It's the crack of dawn; the sun is just rising, lighting the land with its warm light as it does. Two girls run toward a small forest, stopping by the entrance.

One of the girls asks "Renko, this is the place, right?"

Holding on to her hat, Renko looks around and spots a red ribbon on a branch and smiles.

"Yes, Mary, this is the place" she replies pointing at the ribbon.

The blond girl squeals with excitement "aren't you excited? We're finally going into Gensokyo!"

Trying to hide her excitement, Renko replies as calmly as she can. "Yes, yes, I know. I can't wait! What wonders are in store for us? What will we see?"

By now, Renko is unable to hide her excitement, and Maribel only makes it worse by joining in, adding to that excitement. They both sit on a bench under the tree and open a paper containing a letter with instructions:

"Dear friends,

I have managed to "convince" one of my friends to open up a portal to Gensokyo, more specifically, here to my shrine. The portal will only accept two humans to prevent any unwanted infiltrations. Just be quick about it and enter as soon as you see it. It's going to open by one of the benches near the entrance to the forest. Look for a tree with a red ribbon. The portal will open there early in the morning around 7. DON'T MISS IT!

Your friend

The Beautiful and Sweet Shrine Maiden of Paradise, Reimu Hakurei"

They close the letter and wait for the portal to open with anticipation.

At the Yakumo residence at Mayohiga, Yukari has had too much sake and is blabbing complete nonsense and laughing at random while sitting on the living room floor.

"Lady Yukari, please calm down!" says Ran, who is trying to teach Chen some math in the kitchen at the time.

Ran suddenly looks at the clock; it's 8:12AM.

She opens her eyes wide and gasps violently and shouts "lady Yukari, lady Yukari!"

Yukari tilts her head to Ran's direction asking "whet ish ith...? Pffft, hahaha... Ran."

"Lady Yukari, you didn't forget your promise, right?" desperately asks Ran.

Yukari stops laughing, thinks for a moment then snaps her fingers, saying "ahh yeah~... I waz zupposed to open a ghate for the two heeumanz" and with that, she falls asleep.

Ran desperately shouts "lady Yukari... the gap for the humans!"

Yukari waves her arms around in an erratic fashion saying "I already opened it... let me sleep, okay?"

Ran looks outside while Chen still counts numbers with her fingers at the kitchen, and thinks to herself "I hope she didn't open it somewhere dangerous...*sigh*", then heads back to the kitchen table to continue with Chen's studies.

Back at the park in the outside world, some people are already coming by the forest, some jogging, others just reading the paper by the benches.

Renko and Maribel look at each other very disappointed, and then Renko sighs loudly and says "I think... they must have forgotten."

Just as they were about to give up, they hear a strange noise. A weird black oval portal with eyes inside has appeared on a tree two benches away from the one they are.

They notice the two red ribbons on the portal edges and Renko shouts "MARY! There it is!"

Maribel gasps and they both start running toward the portal as fast as possible.

They are just about to reach the portal, when two boys pop suddenly from behind the tree that's just before the gap.

The two girls try to stop in time, just as one of the boys starts posing and saying loudly "see? The ladies come running when they see me..."

The other boy sighs and slaps his forehead, but is suddenly knocked back by his friend.

The two girls have just crashed against the boy, who in turn knocks his friend back, and all four fall on to the ground.

When Renko and Maribel get up apologizing, they realize the two boys aren't there anymore, and with a loud "uh oh" both girls realize they just sent two boys into Gensokyo by accident.

At the Hakurei Shrine, Reimu is pacing back and forth, grumbling, while Marisa sits by the shrine's porch calmly sipping on some tea and eating some cookies.

"She FORGOT!" shouts Reimu, then continues "I am sure she's sleeping right about now. Oh~, when I get my hands on her I'm going to-"

"Relax, ze." calmly says Marisa.

She takes another bite of a rice cookie and continues "you know Sukima. She's probably waiting for you to get all worked up, just to come through at the very last possible moment."

Reimu takes a deep breath then looks back at Marisa and says "you're right. She's probably opened the gap by now... right?"

Suddenly, they hear two voices screaming not too far away, to which Reimu face palms hard, grumbling "what a PA~IN!"

The gap had opened just at the edge of the mountain where the shrine is, and the two boys are now falling to the trees below.

"What the hell just happen~!" shouts the boasting muscled boy.

The other boy calmly looks down as they rapidly fall to the ground and shouts "KYO! Under you; use that branch as a trampoline!"

Kyo falls on the middle of a tree branch where the branch bends down and slightly cracks just as he jumps and uses the next branch slightly above to spin around, then lets it go to land softly on a lower branch, then looks around for his friend whispering to himself "dammit, his body couldn't take this kind of impact..." then shouts "AIL! Anilan, where are you!"

A bit winded, Ail comes out from under a bush, his face and left arm full of cuts and blood all over, but still able to walk, he calmly replies "I'm here. I used the smaller branches to soften my fall and was able to grab one branch before I landed. I see that you are well."

Both laugh for a bit, and then as he comes down from the tree Kyo asks "where the hell are we?"

Ail just shrugs, then suddenly a large wolf demon appears right in front of them ominously saying "well, well! Two tasty looking humans ready for me to eat. How fortunate. Last night's hunt was terrible for me so I am quite hungry."

Kyo's face fills with panic; however Ail just calmly looks back at the large wolf-like creature.

"I-It can talk... Ail that thing just talked" says the panicked Kyo.

Ail calmly nods and replies "yes, I can see that... but you should call him a wolf demon."

The demon stares at Ail and says "how polite you are to your predator, little human. Perhaps I'll kill you quickly and painlessly"

Ail calmly replies "you are most welcome, however, I don't recall saying you were going to kill me at all."

"Ail! Don't encourage it!" shouts Kyo.

At that very moment, the wolf demon charges Ail. Kyo freezes in place and blocks his eyes with his forearms, calling his friend's name.

At that moment, Ail moves to avoid the wolf's jaws at the last second, then kicks it down with all his strength.

Kyo opens his eyes and is left in awe, however celebrations will have to wait as the wolf quickly gets up and backs away, angrily snarling and shouting "you INSOLENT human. How DARE you-!"

Countless sealing talismans and green colored stars fall on top of the wolf, blasting it and knocking it down.

Kyo, very surprised, and Ail, with an impressed look in his face, look up and see a shrine maiden wearing a red and white outfit with detached sleeves, and a large red bow on her black hair, next to a blonde girl wearing black and white clothes and a black witch hat with a white ribbon on it flying just above them.

"Are you two alright?" asks the shrine maiden.

Ail quietly nods while Kyo stares at them both, then unblinking and mindlessly asks "g-girls flying? Where the hell are we!?"

Back at the shrine, Ail has his wounds treated and properly bandaged and now both he and Kyo are kneeling inside the shrine right next to a short table with two cups of tea next to them.

The shrine maiden looks a little mad, while the witch-girl would just stare at the two boys curiously.

"She's not coming... oh, ho-ho, but just you wait, I'm going to throttle her when she comes." says the maiden furiously.

The witch simply says "Da~ze" with a childish smirk on her face, then Ail coughs, breaking the awkward silence from his part and introduces himself.

"My name is Anilan Inmodo Leuch; but please call me Ail, and this is my friend, Ka-"

Kyo glares at Ail before he continues, and the boy just looks back and awkwardly smiles, then continues " friend, Kyo. May I ask where are we?"

The shrine maiden calms down, takes a deep breath and sighs, then says "sorry... I forgot you're not from around here. My name is Reimu Hakurei, and this is Marisa Kirisame."

Ail politely bows, Kyo hesitantly follows his friend's lead.

Reimu continues "you are in the Harkurei Shrine, in the land of Gensokyo."

Kyo springs up asking "Gensokyo! Where the hell is that? You-you made the name up... this is a trick this-"

As his friend keeps on elaborating, Ail feels a deep sense of nostalgia, and for a moment he stares blankly at the floor, then lifts up his head and says "so we fell into a portal after all."

The other three look at him as he continues "those two girls that bumped on us were trying to get to a portal after all. A portal we took by mistake."

Reimu's eyes open wide as she grabs Ail by his shoulders and violently shakes him asking "what about those two girls! Where are they!?"

Ail desperately shouts "calm down, miss!" and after Reimu stops shaking him he continues "yes, there were two girls before. One had black hair and wore a black hat, had a tie and a white shirt, and the other wore a purple dress, and a puffy white hat on her blonde hair. They were running so fast... when they bumped on us, they must've sent us through a portal by accident."

Reimu blankly smiles and thinks to herself "she opened the portal somewhere else... murder-murder-murder-murder"

"That's Sukima for you, ze!" says Marisa while shrugging.

Reimu glares at Marisa, her eyes twinkling with murder, so Marisa wisely shuts up and sips on her tea while looking elsewhere.

Kyo finally calms down and says "well, I guess you can send us back home now, right?"

Ail feels as though his heart has been impaled by at least 12 daggers after hearing his friend say those words.

"It's not that simple" says Reimu.

Kyo face palms hard, then looks at Reimu as she continues "I had a lot of trouble convincing her to help those two girls get in. I don't think she'll help again."

Ail quietly sighs, as if great relief just came to his heart.

Kyo ponders for a moment then smiles and says "well, it's not that bad, I mean... having two cute girls like yourselves come to our rescue like that... why this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship." As he says this, Kyo wraps his arm around Reimu's shoulder.

Ail smirks and sips on some tea, then moves two baby-steps to his right, and then suddenly Kyo is forcefully flying out the door, sliding on the ground and hitting a tree, finally coming to a full stop.

Somehow Kyo rapidly recovers and dashes back inside, but before he can complain, Reimu glares at him.

Something inside him tells him to sit down and keep quiet, and so he does.

Reimu and Marisa both stare at the boys now, to get a better look at them.

Ail has short brown unkempt hair, wears a violet t-shirt, black knee-long pants full of pockets, and brown short boots.

Kyo is very fit and has black spiky hair. He wears an unbuttoned red shirt, and under that, a white muscle shirt, long white pants and black slippers.

Ail notices Reimu staring at him and asks "what it is, Miss Reimu?"

Reimu snaps out of her trance and asks "are you... sure you're not from around here?"

Ail looks down at his tea, saying "I-I'm not... I was born outside of this world... yet-"

Kyo notices his friend is uncomfortable, so he interrupts the conversation, saying "right, right; look, the thing is we have no homes here, so..."

Reimu raises her hand to Kyo's eyes and says "you can stay here at the shrine for a few days... get settled in and all that, but you'll have to work your butts off if you want to stay here... got it!"

"YES MA'AM" shouts Kyo, placing his hand on his forehead in salute while Ail nods quietly, then a voice is heard from outside, shouting "excuse us~!" It's Ran, accompanied by Chen.

The woman has blonde hair covered by a pink hat with many talismans on it and has yellow eyes.

She wears a white and blue dress and has 9 fox tails, and Ail assumes the pointy things on her head are her fox ears.

The little girl wears a red dress with gold trimmings and pink sleeves; has brown eyes and brown hair, and wears a green mop hat.

She has a pair of black cat ears; the left one adorned with a golden earring, and has two cat tails, and very long red nails.

The moment Ran reaches the open shrine doors she sighs and tries to cover her face with her hand saying "she didn't..."

"So let me get this straight... She got completely smashed, and opened the gate without thinking..?" says Reimu with a murderous look on her face, while Ran simply looks down in shame, whispering "I'm sorry..."

Reimu smiles again, however all in the room can feel her desire to break something, however she exhales, rubs her forehead with her index finger and thumb, then says "I'll deal with her later, I suppose."

All in the room sigh with relief, then Reimu presents the visitors, speaking calmly "Ran, Chen, these are Kyo and Ail, our newest Gensokyo residents for a while."

Kyo is in shock, staring at Ran's tails and making Ran feel uncomfortable, while Ail is already stretching his hand to Chen's, saying "nice to meet you, Miss Chen", then extends his hand to Ran "nice to meet you Miss... err... Ran?"

He notices Kyo and says to Ran "please forgive him, Miss Ran. He's never seen a kitsune before... or a nekomata for that matter;" then he smiles.

Kyo composes himself and grumbles to himself "this... is going to be a long one."

Ail simply smiles, pats his friend on the shoulder and says "don't worry, we'll manage..."

And so, on the next day, their life in Gensokyo begins.

Kyo spends most of the time in the shrine, helping with many chores that Reimu "refuses" to do by herself; mostly she just sits on the shrine's porch drinking tea while the boy does all the work.

Ail helps organize here and there, then heads to down to the Human Village, where he meets:

Keine Kamishirasawa, the history teacher who wears a short sleeved white and dark-blue dress with a red ribbon around the collar, has brown eyes, and wears a peculiar hat that looks like a house with a large red ribbon on top and red glyphs inscribed around its sides.

Mystia Lorelei, the night sparrow youkai who is also known as the eel-cart lady. She wears a long-sleeve white and light-brown dress with many bird-like ornamental ribbons, has grey eyes, short pink hair under a light brown hat with a wing-like ribbon on top, has owl-like pointy ears and a pair of light-pink wings with purple highlights.

Reisen Udongein Inaba, the moon rabbit with the lunacy-inducing eyes. She wears what appears to be a business suit on top of a white shirt and a red tie with a carrot clip, and a purple skirt that somehow allows her fluffy white rabbit tail though. Her eyes are red, has long purple hair and her long rabbit ears are crumpled and seem to have buttons on the bottom.

Akyuu Hieda, chronicler of Gensokyo's history and events. She looks like a child, though her soul is much older than her body, or at least this is what she tells Ail when they first meet. She has short purple hair adorned with a flower-shaped ornament, purple eyes, and wears a long-sleeved yellow flower-patterned shirt on top of a green vest, and a shortened hakama skirt separated by a red and while laced obi.

And Mokou Fujiwara, who just happened to be near the village one day Ail went to visit Keine. She has red eyes and an amazingly long light violet hair that reaches her ankles with red and white charm-like ribbons on the side and one larger one on top. She wears a long-sleeved shirt that looks as though is burned, and dark-red overall pants decorated with paper charms that look the same as the ribbons on her hair.

Unlike his friend Kyo, Ail feels more at home with each passing day.

He'd do favors and services around town in the name of the Hakurei Shrine and get compensated with gifts of foods or money.

He also secretly donates some of the extra money at the shrine and quietly laughs at Reimu's expression every time she finds some money in the donation box.

For a week, everything goes well. They even meet:

Cirno and Daiyousei, the ice fairies from the lake. Cirno wears a short-sleeved light-pink blouse under a blue jumper dress, has aqua-colored eyes and hair, wears a large green ribbon on her head, and has 6 wings, 3 on each side, that look like large icicles.

Daiyousei has blue eyes and green hair she ties with a yellow ribbon on the side, wears a long blue dress with white trims and sleeves, and has crystal wings with golden highlights.

Alice Margatroid, the puppeteer magician who seems most uncomfortable around the two boys. She has orange eyes and short blond hair adorned with a red ribbon she places like a head-band, and wears a light-blue dress, and a white capelet with pink ribbons around her collar and waist.

From Reimu, they've heard about Aya Shameimaru, a crow tengu that's been writing about the two humans from the outside almost every day in her paper, the Bunbunmaru Newspaper.

All is well, overall; until one day:

Ail walks out of the shrine and heads to the front, shouting "Kyo, Miss Reimu, I'm heading to..."

He stops when he hears some commotion out back and goes to investigate, only to find Kyo and Reimu arguing again.

Apparently, Kyo has been raiding the food stores again. Ail sighs, then goes and tries to calm them down.

They stand near the storehouse, glaring at each other as Reimu shouts "If you keep eating like that, I'm gonna kick you out of here, got that!"

Kyo shouts back "well, I DESERVE a little more food than you seeing as I am doing almost ALL the WORK around here, you lazy shrine maiden!"

They butt each other's faces, unblinking and ready to see who strikes first.

At that moment Ail arrives and looks as the scene, then sighs and heads toward them to see how he can calm them down, however Reimu pushes Kyo hard at that moment and knocks both boys to the ground, where very suddenly, underneath them, another portal opens up, then closed as soon as they both fall through.

Meanwhile, at the Yakumo's residence, Yukari springs up from her sleep and mutters "w-what the... maybe... I was dreaming?" then falls back on the pillow, falling asleep again in seconds.

Another portal opens in a dark damp cave and the two boys fall through, crashing hard on the rocky ground.

"Argh... that hurt" says Kyo as he stands up, then looks around and sounding annoyed asks "where are we now?"

Ail sits peacefully on a rock, looking up and saying "don't worry, at least we are still in Gensokyo, however it seems we stepped into some trouble."

He points up at two girls right above them. One is inside a bucket and has green hair tied into two side-ponytails and wearing a white shirt, while the other; who hangs upside-down; has short blonde hair tied up to a bun with a dark-brown ribbon and wears a black long sleeved shirt with a brown overall dress that looks like a balloon at the bottom of the dress, which seems to be tied with a yellow ribbon as well, probably to keep the skirt from riding down.

Both girls slowly lower to meet the two visitors, then the blonde one happily says, "my, my; two humans? How rare. Are you here to join the party? Everyone is welcome~!"

The green haired girl just giggles and looks over the border of her bucket.

"Well, these girls seem very friendly. A party you say?" asks Kyo, who gets shocked as soon as he looks at Ail, who sits on his knees on a small cushion while sipping on some tea, which immediately reminds Kyo of Reimu for some reason.

"What are you doing!?" asks Kyo while staring at Ail in disbelief.

Ail peacefully replies "just having a peaceful moment here. Besides, she's a spider youkai. She just wants to eat us."

The blonde woman sounds offended as she angrily says "hey, that's not nice! I don't want to eat you... yet! And my name's Yamame Kurodani, and I'd appreciate it if you remember my name!"

Kyo's heart starts beating fast as panic takes him as he shouts "and you say this so calmly! What the hell is wrong with you!? And looking closer, I think they want to attack us..."

Yamame sweats and smiles sheepishly, then says "Kisume, we've been found out!"

Kisume giggles and replies "then let's cut to the chase, Miss Yamame."

Kisume starts throwing fireballs at Kyo, who grabs some rocks and throws them at her, making her lose her aim.

"That wasn't very nice" says Yamame, to which Kyo replies "nor is trying to eat us! Ail, let's get out of here, NOW!"

Yamame and Kisume sweat as Yamame scratches the left side of her head, whispering "but we're not trying to eat you, dammit."

Ail just smiles and says "but it's so nice here. Oh~ I see. The spider and the tsurube-otoshi scare you, huh?"

Kyo, slightly annoyed, replies "well they are trying to eat us!"

Annoyed, Yamame shouts "are you even listening!?"

Ail smiles as he looks at the two girls above and says "let's get rid of them, then."

With that, he shapes his hand like a gun and shouts "bang, bang, bang, bang! Pow, zap!"

Kyo is left in shock and stares blankly at his friend, thinking he's lost his mind, when suddenly both Kisume and Yamame start yelling "Ow ow ow, OU~~CH! Hey, how did you do that?" Asks Yamame as she rubs her cheek, while Kisume rubs her forehead.

Ail laughs saying "wh-wow~, I can't believe that actually worked! Hmm, I wonder..."

He points his finger at Yamame's thread and Kisume's rope and made a buzzing sound with his mouth, then both youkai fall hard on to the ground.

Ail sips some more tea, asking the girls "you two want some more?"

The two youkai have had enough. Dazed, they both lift a small white flag and slowly wave it above their heads.

Kyo is left in complete shock. He doesn't know what to say or think. He's not even sure if that boy is even Ail.

Ail laughs and gets up from the cushion while saying "I LOVE this place! Common sense makes no sense here! This is so perfect!"

Kyo thinks "is this really Ail? Where and when... did he-? The second we landed here he changed... He's normally quiet and keeps to himself... but now..."

Kyo notices Ail looking toward the deeper parts of the cave, and he knows that look only too well. He knows Ail wants to go in deeper, but Kyo won't have that.

Kyo crosses his arms in front of his chest, making an X with them, saying "oh no, don't you even THINK of going further in! Look, the exit is really close, so come on and forget..."

Ail looks back at Kyo, looking almost sad while saying "there's something in there... I have to go."

Kyo shouts "you IDIOT, it's probably another trap! Well FINE, whatever... I'm not going! You can go then and have your butt served to some monsters. I am going BACK to the shrine RIGHT NOW!"

And so Kyo turns his back to his friend and heads outside the cave while Ail simply whispers "then please take care, alright," then goes on deeper into the cave.

As Kyo reaches the exit and heads to what he believes was the way to the village, he mutters to himself "that idiot. Ever since we came here he's been acting differently. He's going out, having fun, meeting people... and monsters... it's like here... he's... Nah... I'm thinking too much. He'll come around, I'm sure."

What Kyo doesn't notice is the afternoon sun slowly sinking in the west, and night creeping over his head.

Soon it's very dark, half a moon already high above in the sky, and a little hungry youkai that lurks in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to attack her prey.

Kyo returns from his thoughts and realizes he is in danger and somehow senses the little youkai, however he can also see the mountain where the Hakurei Shrine is.

Hoping to get there safely, he quickens his pace, however the little youkai realizes she's been found out, and rushes along her victim.

Kyo thinks "crap, how am I supposed to fight here! I can't use magic, dammit... but wait, what Ail said... 'Common sense makes no sense here'... Maybe if..."

Kyo imagines himself having an extension on his arm that he could use to repel magic, and so punches blindly at the shadows, hitting the little youkai.


As if out from nowhere, a little blonde girl wearing a red ribbon on her head and a little black dress, falls on the ground rubbing her left cheek.

Angrily, the little girl asks "HE~Y, what was that for?"

Kyo nervously says "oh, I-I'm sorry little girl, I thought you were going to eat me."

The little girl gets up and giggles, then says "Is that so~!? Well I WAS going to eat you... but now my mouth is sore thanks to you, you meanie!"

Kyo is surprised and in shock and thinks to himself "this little girl is one of those... you..youkai? What is it WITH this place?"

The little girl begins to hover just above the ground and starts to float away with her arms extended.

Kyo realizes, for the first time, that he isn't home anymore, and so decides he needs to learn more of this world, starting with that little youkai, so he shouts "wait!" to which the little girl turns around smiling and asking "what?"

"What's your name?" asks Kyo. The little girl playfully replies "is that so~?"

Kyo apologizes again saying "sorry, I, err, forgot... my name is Kyo."

The little girl stares at Kyo for a moment, and then says "you can call me Rumia."

Kyo smiles then asks "err.. Rumia? Could... could you accompany me to the shrine? Seems you know a lot about this... err Gensokyo and I'd like to know more too..."

Kyo feels very awkward asking this, but there is no other way of getting accustomed to this new world... or so he thinks.

Rumia smiles and nods, saying "is that so~? Then please, ask away..."

As they walk toward the shrine, Rumia stars to nibble on Kyo's arm as she answers his questions... when she suddenly yells "Argh... you're bitter! Blech!"

Back at the cave, Ail is dodging the many bullets from a blonde girl with green eyes who keeps saying how jealous she is of anything Ail does. She wears an odd getup of a brown jacket with a purple and white border, and under that a black shirt and a pink sash with a blue bottom, purple and black with criss-crossed red strings hanging on the bottom edge. She also has a pink scarf tied around her neck and pink puffy arm warmers.

"Parsee" calls a tall red eyed blonde woman who has a red horn with a star on her forehead, wearing a white short-sleeved shirt with red trims at the cuffs, neck and bottom, and a dark blue translucent skirt with red highlights and trims. Her wrists and ankles are manacled with short, broken chains attached to the manacles.

"You're going to drain yourself... Go rest, I'll take care of him" continues the tall woman

The green-eyed girl puffs some air from her mouth, and then says "great, he outlasted me..! I'm SO JEALOUS! This stupid human makes me so jealous I could DIE!"

"So, miss Yuugi Hoshiguma..." says Ail as he eyes his new opponent, then continues "what do I have to do for you to let me continue to that large palace you mentioned before?"

Yuugi smiles and says "wow, you're some human. Haven't met many humans like you... except for the last two that came by some time ago... Well, how about this... since you can't use danmaku... how about... if you touch my horn... Simply touch my horn and I'll escort you to the Palace of the Earth Spirits personally. Deal?"

Casually, Ail replies "sounds easy enough. What's the catch?"

Yuugi smiles with surprise in her face as she says "very sharp, Mister Ail... I'll be using my best spells on you."

Ail, looking excited, nods and says "sounds like a lot of fun... shall we begin?"

And with those words, Yuugi raises an arm, then immediately shoots a barrage of bullets at Ail that start to bounce all around.

He has a lot of trouble dodging those, some even grazing him; then Yuugi smiles, then starts throwing large rocks at him.

Ail jumps high enough to land on one of the rocks, then jumps on the next rocks, getting closer close to Yuugi, but she catches on just in time and stops throwing the rocks.

Both opponents look at each other's eyes while smiling, and then Yuugi raises her hand and mouths some words, though Ail can't hear her speak at all.

She surrounds herself with oddly colored crystals, then even more of those crystals surround the first ones, and then, just as Ail jumps inside the opening of the second set of crystals, countless bullets materialize, right where he was standing.

Ail excitedly exclaims "that was a close one!" but quickly realizes it isn't over, and notices the first set of crystals head his way.

He can't duck or jump to safely avoid the crystals, however he starts to move as if dancing and finds an opening between the crystals, which he used to graze his way out of that mess.

As soon as all the crystals are gone, Yuugi materializes more crystals, these ones red in color.

Ail has little time to think, so as if still dancing, he gets into the first circle of crystals, stretched his arm and touches Yuugi's horn with his fingertip; with one crystal grazing his arm; but Ail does not even flinch, and as soon as the crystals vanish, Yuugi smiles widely, laughs and wraps her arm around Ail.

She gently rubs the top of his head with her fist and says "WAHAHAHAHA, I can't believe this. You are ONE crazy human... I like you."

Ail, who is being squeezed hard by Yuugi, grunts "urgh... thanks... you' pretty cool too."

"Oh, sorry" says Yuugi as she lets him go. "Well, let's go." She says, while walking further inside the cave.

Ail looks a little surprised, and noticing this, Yuugi says "I promised I'd escort you to the palace, so let's go."

Ail follows quickly, and on the way to the palace they have a little chat. Ail explains Yuugi how he got there and why he feels he has to go to the Palace, and so they arrive...

Yuugi looks up at the palace, then turns around, heading back to her home while saying "well, good luck little human. Umm... be careful in there. You might find something you might not want."

Ail nods and thanks her for escorting him there, then turns around and tries knocking on the large doors of the palace, but they open up before he can start knocking, so without thinking it twice he goes inside.

After what feels like an hour or so of walking around, he comes across a pink haired girl, who has a black headband on her head, and wears a light blue shirt with yellow heart-shaped buttons, a light pink skirt, and has a red eye with weird strings flowing from it floating over her chest. She is also holding a black two-tailed cat in her arms.

The girl looks neutrally at Ail, and then says in a calm and soft voice "welcome to the Palace of the Earth Spirits... Anilan Inmodo Leuch. My name is Satori Komeiji. Odd that I can see yoru thoughts about your name, but why are you here, I wonder? Perhaps you're looking for some treasure?"

Ail is surprised for a moment, but says nothing at all.

Satori continues to stare into his eyes, and then says "I see... so you prefer to be called Ail. Then Ail... why have you come?"

Ail speaks to her through his mind, thinking "I am not sure, myself... I felt a strong impulse to come here, and I fail to understand why."

Satori slightly smiles and says "I see... you're not from Gensokyo, and yet you've never felt more at home. You are looking for answers, are you not?"

A tear drops from Ail's eye, down to his cheek, then he nods and speaks to Satori through his mind again, saying "I have never felt more alive, and ever since I stepped into this world, the very first second, I have been doing things that would have been impossible in the world outside. I have even felt as though I am flying sometimes."

Satori widens her eyes a little, revealing her dark pink eyes as she sees distant memories in the boy's mind, and says "that's because you probably are. Sometimes fate likes to play a cruel hand. By now you should realize you are not fully human... you are half youkai... It's all in there... at the very back of your memories... all inside your heart. You remember it, but you can't grasp it."

Ail's eyes widen, his knees feel weak as he drops hard on the ground, holding his chest as if in pain, then says "so it's true..." He lowers his head and starts to sob.

Satori keeps quiet for a moment, then says "that happiness swelling inside of you gives you power, I see. Emotions are useful and annoying."

Ail raises his face, smiling so hard it looks like his teeth are taking over his entire face.

He then jumps high, then lands softly back to the ground, and in a slightly calm tone of voice he says "this is the answer to all these recent questions... the whys, the hows, they're all answered! Thank you Miss Satori!"

Saying this, he rushes to her and hugs her tightly, surprising Satori, who is already surprised by the half-human.

Not only did this human catch on to her mind reading so quickly, he wasn't appalled by her powers at all, and the fact that he enjoyed talking through his mind made Satori quite happy to be around a human for the first time in some time.

Ail steps back and says "I'm sorry Miss Satori. I guess I was overcome, heheh."

They both chuckle for a moment, but suddenly, from the darkness comes a girl with long black hair, black wings on her back covered by a white cape with starry designs inside, a green bow on her head, a white shirt with a big red eye on its chest, and a short green skirt.

He also notices she has some sort of cannon-like rod on her right arm, a rocky-like shoe on her right foot, and her left foot is surrounded by atoms.

She points her left arm at him as he backs away slowly, then asks "Satori-sama, did he hurt you!?" while summoning power to herself, holding a black orb on her left hand.

Ail can feel this power and is, for the first time since entering Gensokyo, frozen in fear.

He softly says "the power... of a black sun?"

The girl throws the black orb straight at Ail, expanding it as she did, giving him very little room to move...

To be continued...

Characters and scenario all belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-

Ail and Kyo were created by Willie G.R.

JUN 16 2009

Written by

Willie G.R.

-Edited on MARCH 4 2010 and May 27 2013 by Willie G.R.-