Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paradise Sukima 16

At the SDM, while the incident at the village is being resolved, Patchouli sneaks into the kitchen, eager to try her experiment on Remilia’s food. While she applies a suspicious black powder, looking as casual and uninterested as ever, Patchouli is approached by one of the fairy maids who asks “lady Patchouli, what is that?” Patchouli casually says “it’s nothing, really. Just something for Remi to try out.” Patchouli places the silver cover on the serving tray and says “you may take this now.” The fairy maid smiles, bows, and after a quick giggle, she takes the tray away on to an elegant push-cart. At the dining room, Remilia, still wearing her extravagant clothes, impatiently awaits for her meal along with Flandre. Remilia lightly punches the table and says “ugh, where’s our MEAL?! That white-blooded maid better not be trying anything!” Flandre sighs and sadly says “onee-sama, how long are you going to pick on that girl. I already told you, she’s very nice. She doesn’t want to—“ Before she can finish, the fairy maid enter the room, happily humming as she pushes the cart next to the table. Remilia angrily asks “finally! Where’s the chief maid!? Wasn’t she supposed to cook!?” The fairy maid smiles and says “we made this meal for miss Remilia and miss Flandre, while miss Rika cures miss Koakuma.” Flandre’s eyes spin in places and moans “uuu~ so many misses.” Remilia ignores Flandre and stares with disdain at the meal the fairy maids made. Flandre immediately recovers from her daze and begins to devour her meal, contently squealing as she enjoys. Remilia stares at Flandre and thinks “well, seems it’s good enough. Fine, I’ll try it too.” Flandre notices Remilia staring at her, and with concern and a face full of bits of food she asks “what is it, onee-sama?” Remilia picks up her fork and calmly says “nothing. Err, just enjoy your meal.” Flandre shrugs and continues her meal, while Remilia hesitantly sinks her fork into the mashed meat with blood sauce, then slowly places the food into her mouth. At first, she clenches here eyes shut, thinking the meal will be horrible, however, after chewing a second time, she realizes the meal tastes divine and lets out a loud, content hum, immediately scooping a second portion. For a while, Remilia and Flandre continue to enjoy their meals, Flandre finishing before Remilia, letting out a small burp while rubbing her belly. Shortly after, Remilia pushes her plate away, still with some food in it, and with a content and satisfied look on her face, she says “oh, that was divine! So tasty. As if Sakuya herself made the meal!” Patchouli watches in secret from behind the door, anxiety filling her face as she thinks “nothing’s happening. This was a total waste of time and materials after all.” Remilia suddenly gasps, then Patchouli smiles and thinks “oh, here it comes.” Flandre looks at Remilia with concern while cleaning her face with a napkin, and asks “onee-sama, what’s wrong?” Remilia’s eyes expand, her iris grow, her pupils shrink, and very suddenly, Remilia jumps off her seat, letting her hat drop to the ground, and starts flying in circles in the air above the table, squealing and screaming with excitement, like a child who’s just been given the gift of her dreams. At first, Flandre stares at her sister with great concern, but she suddenly joins in, squealing and screaming with excitement, flapping her wings rapidly while flying above the dinner table. Patchouli watches with outmost attention and says to herself “that’s odd. I didn’t put any on Flandre’s plate.” For a while, she watches as the two vampires fly around, squealing and screaming excitedly, then decides to go back to the library. Once inside, she finds Rika accommodating Koakuma on a small bed and asks “well, what do we have here? Where did this come from?” Rika smiles sheepishly and says “she needed somewhere to rest, and I didn’t want to move her too much, so I made her a small bed here. She should be fine after resting.” Patchouli shrugs, then sits in front of her desk. Curiously, Rika approaches Patchouli and asks “and how was the experiment?” Patchouli almost lets out a smile after Rika asks, and manages to calmly says “it certainly was interesting.” She looks into her book, called “Modern Medicine” and says “it seems powdered laxative has different effects on vampires than it does on humans.” Rika opens her mouth wide, her eyes hide under shadow and her wings involuntarily flap very rapidly, then she exclaims “you gave laxative to miss Remilia!?” Patchouli keeps her calm face as she nods, then Rika darts out of the room, shouting “FAIRY MAIDS ASSEMBLE! Emergency maneuver #53! Move, move!!” Patchouli sighs, burying her face into her book once more, then Rika turns around, grabs her by the shoulder, and as she pulls her with her, she exclaims “I’ll need your help!” All Patchouli can do now is let out a quick “mukyu-“ as Rika pulls her away from her desk.

Meanwhile, at the Moriya Shrine, Suwako lifts the stone under which Hatate is trapped, revealing various charms underneath it that prevent the tengu from flying away. She tosses a few apples and a sweet potato and says “here. Now you can’t say we were mean to you.” Hatate looks up and shouts “OH YEAH!? Well how about letting me OUT!?” Suwako clicks her tongue and waves her finger, then says “no way. You’ll go blab about us to Reimu. We’re not letting you out until you swear to us you won’t say a word.” Hatate angrily shakes her fist in the air and shouts “BITE ME~!” Suwako shrugs and lets go of the stone, sealing the crow tengu once more, then says to herself “you’d think she would be a little more grateful we freed her form that tiny box.” When she looks in front of herself, she finds Ail staring at her with a blank smile. She gets a little nervous and say “err, you won’t talk, right?” Ail blinks twice, then sniffs around Suwako’s feet. The goddess sighs in relief and says “thank goodness he’s subconscious. Ugh, I can imagine it now, giving me a lecture, and telling me about what’s right and...” Suwako realizes Ail is sitting on her shoulders, looking toward Sanae and Kanako, while pointing at Budou and Koishi. Budou wears Koishi’s clothes, While Koishi wears Budou’s, and both seem to stare at Sanae, while hiding behind some bushes. Budou whispers “remember, it has to be squished grapes with cherry paste, got it?” Koishi smiles and says “watch and learn, my friend.” She focuses her sight on Sanae, who is trying to help Kanako back on her feet, using her powers over the subconscious to force Sanae into baking that pie Budou wants so badly. At first, Sanae ignores her thoughts and concentrates on helping the moaning goddess back to her feet. Kanako is almost to her knees when Sanae gasps and lets her go, letting her fall on her face to the ground once more, then flies away in a hurry, saying “I want to bake a pie for Budou!! Lady Yasaka, you are fine, right? Please get up peel some grapes for me. Thanks!” Kanako groans as she angrily gets back up and manages to sit on her knees. She looks up to the sky, then says to herself “uu- I better do as she says.” The goddess struggles to get up, her legs feeling like gelatin, pain coursing through her entire body, but even so, the fear of Sanae getting her again gives her the strength she needs to get up and peel those grapes. From behind the bushes, Koishi and Budou giggle, celebrating their victory, while from farther away, Suwako and Ail, who is still on her shoulder, watch and chuckle. Suwako looks to the sky toward where Sanae left to, and says “boy, that little scamp has changed so drastically. Wouldn’t you agree, Ail?” Suddenly, a sad little music box tune starts to play, and when Suwako looks to her shoulder Ail is already gone. Her face turns blue and she starts to tremble, looking all around for Sanae, and then, a shadow looms from behind, and when Suwako turns around, her “auu” scream echoes all the way down to the Youkai Forest.

At the Human Village, Kyo’s house is the center of a great party, celebrating Alice, Hourai and Parsee’s victory over the crazed Maribel. Inside the house, Renko sits on the couch, bandages covering half of her head and face and her left shoulder, and Maribel sits beside her with a cup of sake on her hand, looking sad and almost ready to cry, saying “I’m so sorry, Renko. I swear, I didn’t know.” Renko sighs, sick of hearing Maribel’s incessant apologies, and managing to stay calm she says “it’s ok, Mary, I understand.” In the kitchen, Alice, Shanghai, Hourai, Luna and Yuugi sit around the round dinner table, the two little girls sitting on the table itself in front of Alice, all looking serious while Luna writes on a piece of paper. Luna raises her sight and read “alright, this is what I wrote for Reimu. *ahem* Regarding the incident in the village, it seems that same magical shockwave that’s been causing chaos all over Gensokyo is the main cause once again. Somehow, it made Maribel’s mind unstable and triggered within her, the ability to create dangerous storms and trap people inside mountains made of glass. Outside interference blew the incident out of proportion, making Maribel’s unstable self even more powerful. In the end, thanks to the combined effort of the yama and her shinigami, Alice, Hourai and Parsee, along with outside help from many friends, the incident was resolved, and everything returned to normal promptly.” Luna glances all around the table, waiting to see if there was any complains, and that’s when she notices Parsee standing next to Yuugi, glaring at her with contempt. Luna scowls and asks “yes? Is something wrong?” Parsee stares back, her ears flip, then she says “why must you be the one to write that? Why can’t I write it!?” Yuugi head-locks Parsee, covering her mouth while she smiles at the angry Luna, then nervously says “ignore her. She’s just being jealous.” Luna glares back at Parsee for a while, but then sighs and says “fine, fine! I’ll take this to Reimu, fist thing in the morning.” All the girls nod at the same time, even Parsee, who is still in Yuugi’s grasp. Meanwhile, Kyo is drunk, and dancing alongside some other drunk male villagers, all dancing their way outside. On the house’s porch, Byakuren, Shou, Medicine and Yuyuko sit with teacups on their hands, all staring with whimsical smiles to the sky, until Kyo and the others come out dancing drunk. Shou and Medicine stare with worry, while Byakuren and Yuyuko keep their whimsical smiles and simply say “oh my” at the same time. Medicine comments “ugh, he’s drunk again”, while Shou nods in agreement. Youmu and Nue come out of the house with trays of snacks, Nue occasionally taking a cookie or cake from the tray and eating it in one bite, while just outside the house, Minamitsu and Ichirin are having a competition to see whether Unzan’s fists, or Minamitsu’s anchors can cause the most damage. Nazrin lies on her back on the roof to the two floor house, looking up to the golden afternoon while drifting to sleep, thinking “just another day.”

That night, at the Moriya Shrine, while Lily, Ail, Koishi in Budou’s clothes, and Budou on Koishi’s clothes, enjoy a large piece of pie, Marisa, Mima and Wriggle quietly approach the donation box in the front of the shrine. Mima and Wriggle stay behind, while Marisa approaches the donation box, drops a few coins, quietly rings the bells and softly claps as if in prayer, then says “gods of this shrine, listen to my prayer. Please, aid me in my quest, so come here before I blab about your misdeeds!” As if forcefully summoned, Suwako and Kanako pop right above Marisa, and fall on the ground on top of her. The goddesses look around with confusion, and when they realize Marisa is groaning under then, they jump off and notice Mima and Wriggle waving at them from a distance. Marisa trembles and groans while standing up, and with a forced smile on her face, she says “sorry if I sound pushy, but I need your help.” The goddesses look at each other, then back at Marisa, and suddenly they are surrounded by a dome made of light. Suwako frowns and says “we told you, didn’t we!” Kanako says “we were NEVER involved with your little plan, regardless of what could happen.” Outside, Mima and Wriggle look at each other, then Mima asks “can you hear what they are saying?” Wriggle shrugs and tries to speak, but Mystia flies around, loudly singing “CHIN CHIN! CHIN CHIN~!” Mima’s face turns blue, while Wriggle shakes an angry fist to the air and shouts “I’M A GIRL, DAMMIT!” Inside the dome, Marisa yells “I know that! I’m not here to say anything! I need your help so I can fix this mess!” Kanako frowns and loudly replies “with that attitude, all you’re going to get is another blunder!” Suwako adds “it’s not our fault you couldn’t read that book anyway, so why should we help out now!?” Marisa gasps and stares back at the two goddesses with surprise and fury. Her body trembles as her rage escalates, fire burning in her eyes, instinctively pulling her Hakkero from under her hat. She points it at the two goddesses and shouts “you knew!! You knew about this!! Why didn’t you tell me!? I wanted to help Reimu, not cause this mess!! Why the hell didn’t you tell me!?” Kanako smirks and with a wicked and ominous look on her face, she says “of course we knew. But if we told you, you would have never opened that place for us.” Marisa’s rage escalates more, her hand trembling violently while pointing with her Hakkero. Suwako smiles and casually says “you see, inside that dragon paradise there are these magical minerals then never run out. We need to collect a good chunk of that for us to give to the kappa, and that way, they can help Gensokyo evolve into what it should be.” Kanako says “all we need is an excuse to leave the shrine, or a moment when Sanae isn’t here, go there, pick up the minerals, and give them to the kappa. Gensokyo will become a modern paradise for all in just days!” Marisa hyperventilates, her rage making her skin turn red, and with hatred in her voice she shouts “MASTER SPARK~~!!!” A tiny spark is all that comes out of her Hakkero, and that’s when she remembers the seal inside of her. Kanako and Suwako smirk, then Kanako says “that was... pathetic.” Suwako scoffs, then says “look, we didn’t want this to happen either, but what’s done is done. Now is the time to look forward. Just give us a few days to get the minerals, then you can do whatever it is you want to make that maiden happy again, alright?” Kanako adds “but please, if you’re going to try something like that again, make sure you have your heart in the right place, ok?” With that, the two goddesses walk away back to the shrine, leaving Marisa with a bitter feeling inside of her. Mima and Wriggle look back to her with concern as she turns around with her head hanging low, and her eyes hidden under her hat. As she walks past them, Wriggle asks “miss witch, what’s the matter?” Marisa continues to walk away, keeping her thoughts all to herself, rage and confusion coursing through her mind.

Meanwhile, at the SDM, Rika sits on one of the dining room chairs, holding on to Remilia, who fell asleep while clinging on to her. Next to her are Meiling, who holds on to Flandre while she sleeps with a content face, and observing them unblinking, is Patchouli, scribbling notes on to a little red book with blank pages. Rika sighs and says “miss Patchouli, that was just too irresponsible. Laxatives can be poisonous to vampires!” Patchouli stops scribbling for a moment, staring back with an uncaring face, and casually says “it’s alright. I removed the poisonous properties. Regardless of what you may think, I do care for Remi.”, then continues scribbling. Meiling yawns and says “well, at least she stopped from trying to eat the fairy maid’s wings.”, then looks at Rika and asks “how are you holding up?” Rika stands up, lifting her arms up to show how well Remilia is hanging on to her, and with a tired smile she says “well, I’m a little tired, but it’s ok.” Remilia starts to moan and rub her face on Rika’s belly, making the maid blush beet red and sit down. Remilia stretches her wings, yawns and lets go of Rika to stretch her arms, and when she opens her eyes, Rika smiles at her and says “good evening, miss Scarlet.” After blinking twice, Remilia’s sight slowly recovers, then she realizes she’s sitting on Rika’s lap. At first, it seems she’s quite calm about it, but she suddenly jumps to the ceiling, screaming in rage and releasing danmaku orbs all over the room, shouting “what the hell is the meaning of this~!!?” Rika, Meiling, and Patchouli take Flandre under the table while she continues to sleep as though nothing is going on, Meiling screaming “my lady, please calm down!” Patchouli looks at Rika and calmly says “well, it appears she’s completely unharmed.” Remilia grabs the large table, lifts it to the air with no effort, then tosses it aside and screams once more. Remilia points at Rika and says “you tried to KILL me! And you!!!” Remilia turns her attention to Meiling and Patchouli, and in a dangerous tone of voice she says “you’ve all betrayed me! You were plotting to kill me and FLAN, weren’t you!?” Before Meiling explain, Remilia says “no matter. Nothing a little disciplinary action can fix!” Remilia summons an energy orb and raises it above her head, energizing it with both hands until it becomes 10 times her own body size. She releases the slow orb toward her servants, however Rika rushes in front of the energy, and using her family sword, she cuts it various times, turning it to dust. Remilia screams in rage, however, something about Rika’s voice makes her stop as she says “miss Scarlet, that’s enough. They were trying to stop me, but I beat them all in a fair fight! If you’re going to punish someone, it’ll have to be me!” Patchouli and Meiling open their mouths, but Rika looks back to them with her usual smile, then winks. Remilia smirks, pulling out a spell card from under her capelet and says “so, you finally show me your true colors. I can’t kill you, so I’ll just beat you until you are inches away from death, and then I’ll tell Reimu how you, yourself, confessed to the attempt on my life... and so... Scarlet Sign, Scarlet Meis-“ Before Remilia finishes her declarations, Meiling and the awakened Flandre stand in front of Rika with defying faces. Koakuma flies out of nowhere and stands next to Rika, using her wings and hands to cover the maid, and Patchouli sighs and lightly face palms, then points her finger, readying a water spell, straight at Remilia. The vampire mistress can’t believe her eyes, and with rage in her voice she says “so you rather betray me to save this white-blooded assassin!?” Koakuma is the first to say “Rika onee-chan is not an assassin! She’s good, even to demons like me!” Meiling nervously says “my lady, she’s not bad at all. Just give her the chance!” Flandre angrily says “she played with me and still took care of the mansion! Stop picking on her already!” Patchouli calmly says “I’m sorry, Remi, but I think it’s unfair you treat her like that, after all she’s done for you.” Remilia scoffs and asks “for me!? What has she done for me!?” From the doorway to the corridor that leads to the foyer, Sakuya says “well, she’s prepared all your meals, you tea, fixed the mansion, dealt with the fairy maids, and nursed me back to health faster than the alien doctor predicted.” Remilia gasps in excitement and surprise after seeing Sakuya standing in her white sleeping robes, looking as healthy as ever, ignoring the angry scowl Sakuya is giving her. Remilia asks “wait a minute? She’s been nursing you!? But... I thought?” Sakuya sighs and angrily says “she’s still here because she wants to make sure I can keep on my feet longer than 3 hours.” Remilia slowly descends, looking confused and a little scared, saying “but, but... Beings like her despise beings like us.” Koakuma says “no, she’s different! She could have killed me, but she cured me, and thanks to her medicine I feel much better!” Flandre adds “not only she’s been playing with me! She’s fixed my flying machine. She even made two smaller ones so you and I can play around the house!” Meiling adds “she’s been helping me train a lot. She’s even helped me with my speed, my lady.” Patchouli adds “AND she’s been working her butt off so that you could continue the lifestyle you’re so accustomed to.” Rika blushes, and sounding a bit bashful she says “aw, it was nothing, really. I’m just glad to know I was able to help so much.” Remilia notices the happy faces of her servants and her sister, as well as the condition in which her mansion is. As clean as if it were Sakuya herself doing the cleaning. She remembers all her mealtimes and teatimes served right on time, even though Rika doesn’t possess time manipulation abilities. She even remembers various occasion when Rika appeared when called, sometimes even as fast as Sakuya. Remilia takes a look at Sakuya, all her bandages gone, her skin color back to normal, and her eyes full of life once more. She clenches her fists tight, her eyes hiding under a dark shadow, then walks toward Sakuya. She stops when in front of her maid and says “Sakuya, I am very happy to see that you are well once more. Everyone else... please don’t bother me. I need to be alone.” Remilia walks to the corridor, and in the blink of the eyes, she’s gone. Flandre excitedly rushes to Sakuya and exclaims “Sakuya~! You’re all better!” While the others head toward the chief maid, Rika continues to stare toward the corridor, thinking about Remilia’s face.

Two days have passed and the incidents in Gensokyo have settled down. At the Myouren temple, Yuyuko and Byakuren share whimsical smiles while saying their goodbyes, and Shou and Nue bow to Youmu, who bows back and says “thank you for everything.” Yuyuko smiles whimsically at Byakuren and says “thank you for your hospitality. I still can’t believe we stayed two whole days here.” Byakuren returns the whimsical smile and says “please, do come again. And miss Youmu, could you come here for a minute?” Youmu looks curiously toward Byakuren, and the moment she gets close enough, Byakuren grabs her and wraps her arms tightly around her, saying “I want you to know I am beyond grateful for freeing me. I was too frightened to get out on my own so... thank you so very much.” At first, Youmu feels embarrassed, but slowly, she relaxes, feeling as though she’s being hugged by her own mother. When Byakuren lets her go, they all can see the pink on Youmu’s cheeks. Nue is about to comment on it, however Yuyuko’s glare makes her think otherwise. After that, they all wave at each other, and Youmu and Yuyuko fly off, back home to the Netherworld. Meanwhile, at the void between paradises, Ail recovers the painful memory, as to why he left Gensokyo in search for his place in life. Ail turns dark blue as he says “and then, I managed to regain my senses, just in time too. Kanako launched a pretty heavy attack and Sanae was right there, right where the attack was aimed, so I used the last of my energy to protect her. Broke my arm in the process... and when that happened.” The guardian dragon sighs and says “it’s only natural, that after all these events, you felt fear and uncertainty. The pain you were feeling at that moment did not help, as it made you feel as though everyone and everything became a threat.” Ail sighs and says “not only that. That’s the first time I fully realized how dangerous I truly was. All the messes, the trouble, the dangers I put all those I care about through. And between you and me, I still don’t know what the heck’s a lecher.” The guardian dragon ponders, scratching his humanoid-dragon chin, then says “perhaps it would be best if you asked Sanae about that.” Ail asks “is that so~!?” The guardian dragon panics and says “great, NOW you’ve done it!” Ail quickly asks “what. What did I do now?” From the gate comes a small whelp-sized black dragon with golden hair on her neck, and three horns, two above her ears, one on her nose, and the right one is red. She walks to Ail with an angry look, then bites him hard, chewing him like bubblegum, and after blowing him like a balloon, she takes him out of her mouth and pokes him with her little claw, making him pop violently. After she’s done, she blows a small black cloud from her nose and says “stop stealing my lines, you idiot!” Ail groans as each of his pieces come together to remake him, then painfully asks “ow. Who was that?” The guardian dragon says “that was Muria. She’s a little pest that eats geckos and anything else that has meat on it. She is also very good at handling the darkness.” Ail can see stars circle over his head while thinking “heh, sounds like Rumia.” A large orb of light enters the room and pops in front of the guardian dragon. He hums and says “it seems your dragon friend got herself into some trouble. I am going to need your help here.” Ail nervously asks “w-won’t I get in trouble?” The guardian dragon smiles and says “these order come from the yama himself. Come, let’s quickly go.” Ail casually says “ok” then rushes outside. He is blinded for a second as he exits the gate, and when he opens his eyes again, he notices he’s inside a white dragon. Panicking, he shouts “oh... oh no! What happened? Where am I? What am I?” The guardian dragon’s voice says “relax, little human. It seems you got into my body. Give me a second, I’ll get you out.” Before long, Ail’s spirit pops right out of the guardian dragon’s head, then sighs with relief, however, the guardian dragon looks at him with concern and asks “you learned something, didn’t you?” Ail turns lilac, then giggles, while the dragon guardian lightly face palms and shakes his head.

At the SDM, Rika enters the main hall, where Remilia has been spending most of her time for the past days, wearing a less extravagant white dress. She serves the tea, just like Remilia herself likes it; just as if Sakuya herself was serving her. Rika notices there are no more angry glares, no more sudden screaming, no more verbal attacks, however she also notices sadness in the mistress’ eyes. A sadness she hides deep within herself. Rika smiles and bows while saying “please, enjoy you tea, my Lady Scarlet.” Remilia stares at the door, and in a cold tone of voice she asks “why?” Rika stares back with a bit of concern, then Remilia jumps off her chair and lifts her wings, then continues “why don’t you hate me? Why aren’t you angry!? I shunned you, called you names, branded you a monster, an assassin, yet you smile like nothing’s happened! That BOTHERS ME! Hate me! Be angry!” Rika stares with a bit of surprise for a moment, then places her hand on her chest, smiles, and says “miss Scarlet, when I was younger, even though I was surrounded by people that loved me and cared for me, taught me to be who I am, I still didn’t have anybody I could call a friend, because they were always so busy, and I was ‘weird’ to the others of my age. That robbed me from my happiness, even though I tried my best not to show it. However, that gave me the resolve I needed, the strength to promise to myself to make others happy, no matter what, because everyone deserves to be happy.” Remilia’s wings drop, the fire in her eyes seems to dim, then she sits down while staring at Rika with concern and pity. Rika smiles and bows down, then says “that’s why I worked twice as hard for you, miss Scarlet. I wanted you to see I’m not that monster you thought I was.” Rika giggles, and before she leaves the room she whispers “and it seems I did just that.” Remilia ignores that last comment, and with a lost expression in her face, she picks her teacup and stares into it for a while. Later, at the library, Rika enters with a tray full of snacks for Patchouli and Koakuma, when a large spiked log flies straight toward her. Koakuma shouts “onee-chan! Look out!” Rika jumps in front of the little cart, raises her hand, and from her palm a large blue magical seal forms up, and around it, five smaller magical circles form up almost instantly, then a powerful stream of water pours form the magical circle, veering the log away from Rika and the food tray. After dusting her hands and sighing with accomplishment, Rika notices Patchouli staring at her with shock and surprise in her usual dull and expressionless eyes. Concerned, Rika asks “lady Patchouli, are you alright!?” Patchouli stares with her mouth wide open for a moment, then recovers her usual uninterested face and asks “how did you do that?” Rika asks “do what? That water spell?” Before Rika realizes it, Patchouli is face-to-face, staring straight into her eyes. Rika gets nervous and asks “wh-what is it? Is something wrong?” Patchouli blinks twice, allowing Rika to step back, then says “I’m going to be straight with you. I want you to stay with us. Your knowledge and abilities with magic would be a great asset. Not to mention, having a little demon and a little angel will be very useful for future experiments... So, will you stay?” Rika covers her mouth as she lets out a quick giggle, then says “I could never do that to miss Reimu, lady Patchouli. I’m sorry, but I’ll have to decline your most generous offer.” Patchouli lets out a disappointed “mukyu~”, then turns around and walks to her desk. Rika calls for her and says “um, that is... Here...” Rika pulls out her Saboten Stock, the tiny box that contains so many of her possessions, then pulls out a thick book on magic and hands it to Patchouli, saying “this is what I used to learn about advanced magic, and about seals.” Patchouli stares at Rika and blinks twice, then smiles and says “this should help me. Thank you very much. I will return this as soon as I am done reading it... Oh, that’s right.” Patchouli flies to one of the bookshelves on the farthest wall on the third floor of the library and quickly rummages around, pulling out an old book with a thick green cover, then immediately flies back to Rika, handing the book to her and saying “you said you wanted to learn about dark magic too, right? This book should help you.” At first, Rika and Patchouli merely look at each other, but suddenly both start to smile and laugh, and just like that, Rika’s sword turns to its colorful state and the diamond on the hilt starts to glow blue. Rika can hear a quick roar coming from the sword when this happens, then it turns back to normal. Rika looks at Patchouli and says “well, that was interesting.” Patchouli simply continues to smile, then says “please remember, you are welcome here at any time.” Rika smiles, bows, then says “thank you, lady Patchouli.” Patchouli smiles and says “my friends call me Patchy.”

At the dragon’s paradise, Kimi flies around, minding her own business as she heads toward the mineral mountains, when from above the clouds, the black and red shadow dragon swoops down, missing a claw strike by inches. Kimi stares back with fury and asks “what the hell’s the matter with you? Didn’t you learn your lesson the last time?” The shadow dragon’s eyes glow blood red for a second, then she says “you are going to pay DEARLY for messing with me, tiny!” Kimi smirks, letting a glint escape her right eye, then she says “alright, I got time to teach you another lesson. Just don’t blink this time, or you might miss out on it.” Meanwhile, Ail floats on the guardian dragon’s back while he races to catch up to Kimi, when suddenly, the guardian dragon says “that’s it. You have remembered everything. And no, that is not a fabrication.” Ail sighs and says “I was... hoping it was.” The dragon guardian turns his neck to the little pink spirit and says “go ahead. Tell me about it. You’ll feel better.” Ail sighs and says “a lot of things happened, you know... after my battle with those goddesses. Thanks to Shadow Suwako... who is apparently called Spee now, and Girlie, Shinki’s Shadow, I learned that the very same spirit that had possessed me and Tenshi, was causing all the dangerous incidents that seemed to be happening all around me. So, after a lot of preparations, I went to hell.” The guardian dragon twitches at the mentioning of that place, but Ail continues, regardless of noticing this. “I had to go deep inside, using a blessed cloak so I wouldn’t fry, a special mask to conceal my identity, and a sword that melted after a few seconds of me touching its hilt.” The dragon keeps quiet, so Ail continues “I managed to do cut its tail and escape before the yamas could find me, and then... Well, that’s when I left Gensokyo, in search for a place to belong. What a foolish mistake that was.” The dragon calmly says “remember, you had to go through those trials, Ail. You know that, so stop talking like you are so sad about it.” Ail sighs and says “I’m a little sad because of what I saw, for leaving Budou behind, for not listening to Sanae and my friends...” Ail turns grey, then says “the world out there is horrible for people like me. Magic and faith mean nothing, and all is ruled by pieces of paper with numbers on them. If you don’t have money out there, you might as well not exist at all.” The dragon takes a deep breath, seemingly growling, then says “don’t think on it too much, or you’ll stain your spirit.” Ail takes a deep breath, taking a humanoid shape that sits with his legs crossed on the dragon’s back, then says “you’re right. Well, the thing is, I had to get jobs in order to live there, and I was doing ok, until one day, there was this eclipse. My powers went berserk; I couldn’t control my magic or my gaps. Some people started ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ and that’s when they started to get hurt. After about 5 minutes of this, I managed to gain control again, even though that eclipse wasn’t over, and then I realized the damaged I had caused. Everything happened so fast after that, and I became a most-wanted felon for harming those people with, what they called, my special effects.” The dragon laughs and asks “so to them, magic does not exist? That’s just sad.” Ail nods and continues “well, before I lost all my memories... before I sealed my memories, I ran from those cops and that hunter, called Guzman. I thought of going back into Gensokyo, so I opened a gap back home... but that’s when I got shot, and Guzman and some other officers almost entered the gap. Somehow...” The dragon stays quiet, watching as Ail’s color changes from grey to dark grey, then back to grey, then white. Ail continues “somehow, I managed to close that gap, open up another to the void, and there... In there, I decided, for the safety of my friends and all Gensokyo, to seal away all my memories from my time there, in case I ever got captured, or tried something as stupid as that again.” The dragon lightly shakes his head and says “longing for home is not stupidity, Ail.” Ail quickly replies “opening gaps when surrounded by hostiles is.” The dragon tilts his head momentarily, then softly says “hum well... experience, I guess.” Both Ail and the dragon laugh, then Ail says “but now... after remembering all of this, I understand one thing.” The dragon turns his neck to look at Ail and asks “and what’s that?” Ail quickly replies “everything happens for a reason. Even my forceful re-entrance to Gensokyo, and my being separated from my body like this.” The dragon smile and says “and now, all that’s left is for you to return home for good. But for now... it seems we’re almost there, so get ready, and remember your lines.” Ali chuckles and says “I won’t forget.”

Meanwhile, Kimi glares at the shadow dragon with a small cut on her snout, while the shadow dragon is full of cuts and burn marks all over her red underbelly. The shadow dragon furiously says “when I kill you, I’ll let the ground creatures devour your pathetic body!” Kimi smirks and says “that’s a great idea. It’s better than disintegrating you in mid-air.” The shadow dragon roars with rage, while Kimi simply prepares to intercept an attack. The shadow dragon spins like a drill as she flies straight toward Kimi, smiling and saying “try and deflect this one, stringy.” Kimi smiles and stays in place, and just before the shadow dragon hits, her scales turn to diamonds, and the drill attack harms the shadow dragon from the recoil damage, chipping off a piece of her horn. While the shadow dragon roars in pain holding on to her horn, Kimi tackles her hard, sending red beams that trail behind her and immediately home in on their target, sending the shadow dragon falling head-first to the ground below, where her body impacts with a large boom and dust lifts all around. Kimi smiles wide, revealing her sharp teeth while staring with hungry eyes at her fallen opponent. She’s ready to dive down and claim her tasty-looking prize, but suddenly, the guardian dragon appears in front of her like a flash of light, blocking her way. Desperately hungry, Kimi drools as she shouts “get out of my way! I won! I deserve my prize!” The guardian dragon firmly replies “that’s now how things work here!” Kimi is ready to tackle the guardian dragon, but the second she charges her attack, she feels something holding her by the back of her neck, and before she tries to attack whatever it is, Ail says “I have been given permission to enter you mind and kick your consciousness right out of there if you try to attack, so be a good dragon and calm down.” Kimi’s face fills with panic, but even so, she doesn’t believe him and says “y-you’re lying! Y-you can’t do that!” The guardian dragon smiles and says “oh, he got the order from the yama himself, I’m afraid. So, you either calm down and leave this girl alone, or wander around as a spirit for a while.” Kimi raises her claws above her head, staring back with widened round eyes and nervously says “I’m a good girl!!” Ail and the dragon guardian stare at each other, then smile wide. Ail flies away from Kimi, and when he lands on the dragon guardian’s back, which is 10 times Kimi’s own size, the dragon guardian says “come, let’s go eat minerals from the mountain. I promise, they are quite tasty.” As they fly away to the mountains, Kimi whispers “they’re not as tasty-looking as you, that’s for sure.” The dragon guardian curiously asks “what did you say?” Kimi’s scales around her cheeks turn pink as she nervously says “er, um, that is... I’m a good girl, for sure.” Meanwhile, on the ground, the shadow dragon stares up to Kimi in a daze, then says to herself “aww, screw it. How can such a tiny thing have so much power anyway?” From behind her, Muria asks “what was that, Kiki?” The shadow dragon sweats as her eyes hide under shadow, then she nervously says “er, nothing! Nothing at all!”

Meanwhile, at the SDM, Rika stands just outside the gates with a wide smile on her face as she stares back to her friends, all staring back with sad smiles. Even Sakuya, who is back on her feet and ready to tackle her duties once more, sniffles while staring back at Rika. The shrine maid looks back at all and says “please, don’t be sad. You know you are all welcome at the shrine at any time, and if you need me for anything, you can come and ask me for help... err, of course, that is if it doesn’t inconvenience my lady Reimu.” Flandre lets out a sob, then runs to Rika and says “I’ll miss you so much! I loved playing hide-and-seek with you!” Rika sweats as she hugs the little vampire, and says “it’s alright. You still have your friends and miss Sakuya.” Meiling approaches Rika, and as soon as Flandre jumps to her, she extends her free hand to Rika and says “thank you for all those training sessions. I hope we can have another match sometime, and if not, a good picnic doesn’t sound too bad, right?” Rika chuckles nervously, then says “either sounds fine, just please, try not to kick so hard next time.” Meiling giggles and bows, then Patchouli and a sad-looking Koakuma approach Rika, then Patchouli says “thank you very much for your services. Even though I returned before the agreed time, you still helped us out a lot, just like Reimu said you would.” Rika bows and says “I’m just glad I was able to help so much, lady, um, I mean, Patchy.” Koakuma jumps on Rika and gives her a tight hug, saying “I’m sorry I called you an assassin, Rika onee-chan. Promise to visit sometime!” Rika gently pats Koakuma’s head and with a smile on her face, she says “of course, miss Koakuma. You can count on that.” The 4 girls back away, then Koakuma, Patchouli and Flandre head back inside the mansion, while Meiling takes her post back on the gate. Sakuya approaches Rika, elegantly bows to her, then says “thank you so much for all your help, miss Rika. I am sure lady Remilia is very grateful too. She’s just...” Rika giggles and says “prideful, right?” Sakuya covers her mouth and giggles, then says “you beat me to it.” The two maids look at each other, then shakes hands, Sakuya saying “well, I’m sure you miss Reimu a lot, so...” Before they finish their hand-shake, Remilia walks out of the mansion and heads toward Rika and Sakuya, wearing her normal pink dress. When she reaches them, she looks up to Rika and says “miss Rika, thank you for all your services, and... um...” Remilia looks away, extending her hand to Rika, then says “I’m sorry.” At first, Rika stares at Remilia for a moment, then accepts her hand-shake and says “you are most welcome, miss Scarlet!” After shaking her hand, Rika’s sword turns to its colorful state, and the diamond glows blue for a while, and after it stops, Remilia looks to Rika with a most serious expression, then Rika elegantly bows and says “then I take my leave, miss Scarlet.” Remilia gets angry and roughly says “stop that lady and miss Scarlet thing! That’s miss Remilia, lady Remilia, or just Remilia! So stop with that Scarlet thing, it’s creepy!” At first, Rika stares back a little frightened, but then she smiles, then starts to giggle, then says “understood, miss Remilia!” She takes to the air and flies away, but before clearing the trees, she gasps and says “oh, I almost forgot! I left you a gift, miss Remilia! I synthesized a few of your dresses with minerals that will deflect sunlight, so you won’t have to rely solely on your parasol!” Rika tilts her head right, giggles, waves her fingers, then hurriedly flies back to the Hakurei shrine.

Meanwhile, at the Moriya Shrine. Hatate is starting to lose her mind, speaking incoherently to herself while typing into her camera, laughing maniacally while looking into pictures of Kanako and Suwako powering up Marisa’s magical circles. Her eyes seem to have rings around them as she smiles wide and says “this is it! The big scoop of a lifetime! Yes, yes! I must tell... this BUG!” she drops on the ground and stares at a dead beetle, then shows it the pictures and says “look, look. Those goddesses are helping the witch, like, all secretly and eerily!” The seemingly dead bug starts to shiver with fear, as Hatate gets the camera closer, but she stops when she hears some footsteps just above her. She screams “PLEASE! Get me out of here! HELP~! HELP ME~!” She can hear Budou, angrily saying “hey, mister subconscious. Leave that rock alone!” Koishi adds “but it’s fun to push rocks. You should try it.” Budou angrily replies “don’t encourage him.” Hatate panics and flaps her arms, shouting “ENCOURAGE HIM! PUSH THAT THING!!!” Above, Lily flies to Ail, looking a little tired and pale, and weakly saying “good morning.” Budou sighs and says “it’s already lunch time... Hey miss Lily, are you alright?” Lily smiles weakly, nods, then yawns. Budou looks seriously at Ail and says “hey, shell of papa. Maybe you should tell her to go sleep. Spring is almost over.” Ail stares back with a smile on his face, then nods. He points his open palm toward Koishi, but nothing happens. Underneath, Hatate drops to the ground and starts crying, saying “this is so unfair! All I did was help out to get a subscription to my newspaper, and who knows... eh?” To her left, a purple oval with many eyes staring back at her opens up like a zipper. She gets closer to investigate it, then is suddenly sucked in. In an instant, she’s out from underneath the rock, and instead is surrounded by tall bamboo shoots. She looks around, unable to get her bearings, then shouts out loud “now where the hell AM I~~!!?” Meanwhile, back at the Moriya Shrine grounds, Budou impatiently taps her foot, looking angrily toward Ail, then says “well? Are you going to do something!?” Ail stares at his hands, then points his left hand upward. A large black gap opens up and sucks in Ail and the 3 girls, then immediately closes up. Immediately, they all find themselves in front of Remilia and Sakuya, who have just finished saying their goodbyes to Rika. Remilia covers her drooling mouth when she looks at Ail, then says “Sa-Sakuya! His blood! Get him away!” Sakuya grabs Remilia as Budou asks “where are we? The Scarlet Mansion!?” Sakuya passes by Meiling, who stares at Ail and the girls, then says “Meiling, keep them out of the mansion while I return!” Meiling salutes and says “it will be done!” Before Sakuya continues her way, a large silver washtub falls right on top of Meiling’s head, knocking her out immediately, and when she looks up to the tree branches above, she sees Koakuma covering her mouth and happily giggling. Sakuya frowns and shouts “alright then, YOU can help her!” Koakuma’s face changes, fright and concern filling her eyes as she says “wah!? That’s not fair!”

At the Dragon yama’s courtroom, the polished floors are all full of burn marks and scratches, the elegant desk lies in ruins, the dragon yama himself lies on his back with dizzy, spinning eyes, moaning and drooling, while his shinigami remains in her human form, swinging her scythe around in a rage. Above the room, a giant blue image of Shikieiki angrily says “and furthermore! For the intrusion into this territory, and the interference with an already dangerous incident, as punishment, your shinigami will remain in her human form until next spring of YOUR world, and this message and report is now being played for the higher spirits. So, dragon yama, and dragon shinigami, have a nice day, and if you try to interfere with my jurisdiction again, I will take disciplinary actions. Thank you and have a good day.” The message stops, Shikieiki’s image disappears, then turns back into a blue scroll. Enraged, the dragon shinigami shouts “this is all YOUR fault!!” The dragon yama continues to lie on the floor next to his destroyed desk, moaning while his eyes spin in place, and after some time, he manages to say “th-that girl... is a menace!”

To be continued...

Characters, Spell Cards and Scenario belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Budou, Kyo, Luna and Kimi were created by Willie G.R.
Muria was derived from Rumia, and Kiki was derived from Agava/Kali.
Rika Onkamikami was created by Snapshot2010

APR 27 2010
Written by
Willie G.R.

Well, this is embarrassing! I wanted to add a small-time incident, but it ended up being a VERY peaceful chapter. Oh well, the incident/s will have to wait until next chapter, huh?
Thank you for showing your support! Yes, those reviews lift my spirits and help me write even more enthusiastically. Remember that helpful reviews help me, and other writers improve as well. Anyway, see you next chapter, if the spirits will allow it.

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