Author's notes: Tenshi speaks to herself in third person during her berserk state.
This story is a spin-off of my "Sukima" series and is set after "Misplaced Sukima", and just before "Another Misplaced Sukima"
Note that this contains some spoilers for 'Another Misplaced Sukima'. If you don't mind spoilers, then please go right ahead.
Iku walks about the Clouds over Gensokyo, when a sudden chill crawls up her spine.
She looks up to the heavens and feels a tremor that unsettles her heart.
Fear takes her, then she feels her legs losing their strength.
Quickly, she descends to Gensokyo to call for help.
At the heavens above, Tenshi Hinanai laughs maniacally while standing over the unconscious bodies of various celestials.
Her eyes glow white, her smile twisted. She looks onward to the heavens and spots many large buildings.
In a twisted tone of voice, she says "fi~rst, I rid myself of all you celestials, and then... THE~N I'll dance on the blood of the humans belo~W~~! This... yes, this will be my GREATEST achievement!... oh, but what to do with that lightning girl, Tenshi? Don't worry Tenshi, We'll deal with her soon enough! Hahahaha~!"
Iku lands at the Hakurei Shrine, calling for Reimu immediately. "Reimu~! Reimu, where are you!? It's and emergency! Reimu?"
From the large red gate, carrying a broom, come Maribel and Renko.
Iku gets a little nervous, bows to them and says "I-I'm sorry for the intrusion, but I need to speak to Reimu. It's a matter of great importance."
Maribel bows to Iku and says "sorry, miss... uhh-"
"Iku. Iku Nagae" says Iku, then Maribel continues "miss Iku. I'm really sorry, but miss Reimu went to investigate a new hot spring. She only left a few minutes ago."
Iku's fear turns to despair. She grabs Maribel by her arms and shakes her violently as she shouts "WHAT!? But this is an emergency!!!"
Renko smacks Iku with her broom, forcing her to release Maribel, then calmly says "sorry, miss Iku, but Reimu left and shaking Mary around like that won't help."
Maribel tumbles around with spinning eyes, trying to recover herself.
When she hears Renko call her 'Mary', she immediately recovers and shouts "my name is Maribel, not Mary! Maribel Han!"
She turns to Iku, calms down and says "and this is my friend, Renko Usami. Nice to meet you."
Iku trembles and says "we're all doomed..."
Renko asks "lady, what's got you so excited?"
Iku sits on the ground, hugging her knees then says "there's something very strange going on in the heavens, and I feel it's something really bad. I need Reimu's help. Only she is strong enough to help."
Renko and Maribel look at each other and Maribel says "we know someone who's almost as good as miss Reimu."
Iku looks at them asking "who? The witch? She's more trouble than you know."
Renko says "no, no. It's this guy called Ail. He should be coming around by now... Ah, speak of the devil himself."
Renko points up to the sky, toward the large red gate, and there is Ail, flying backward, lazily and slowly reaching the shrine.
He turns around just as he reaches the gate, but he does so too late, and crashes against the large arc, managing to hook his leg to the top before falling down to the ground.
Iku looks on, gets really depressed, then says "we're all doomed."
Maribel runs toward the hanging boy with a smile on her face and says "hello mister Ail. Caught on the arc again, I see."
Ail bends his body in order to manage and look at Maribel, then says "hello miss Maribel. Heh, I'll be down in a second."
Ail frees his foot from the arc, but forgets to fly, landing hard on the ground.
He springs up, dusts himself, then asks "hey, where's Mima. She's usually trying to use me as a target whenever that happens to me."
Renko, sounding annoyed, says "she said she wanted to go and have some fun..."
Ail looks at Renko and says "is that so~?"
Just as Rumia comes at Ail, using Agava as a blunt instrument to beat him up with, shouting "STOP STEALING MY LINES!", at the Human Village, some villagers scream "WAAAH~! GHOST!" and Mima can be heard cackling as well.
Rumia snorts as she drags the unconscious Agava along with her, leaving Ail full of bumps and bruises on the ground.
He rolls around while holding his head in pain.
Maribel gets closer and says "mister Ail, someone here needs your help!"
Ail recovers miraculously, springs on his feet and asks "my help? Who?"
Maribel points at Iku with her hand.
Iku gets closer to him, inspects him, then says "are you girls sure he's strong enough? He doesn't look strong enough to me."
Ail smiles and says "don't judge a book my his cover, miss..."
Iku sighs and says "sorry... my name is Iku Nagae. I didn't mean to offend you, mister Ail. It's just that something really dangerous is happening at heaven, and I don't feel you have the power needed to handle this case."
Maribel smiles and says "he does look scrawny."
Renko adds "doesn't look that sharp either" then whispers to herself "probably a pervert too."
Ail, forcing himself to smile and trying to ignore the sudden barrage of insults says "fine, let's wait for Reimu, then. Although... Marisa does have more raw power."
Iku says "no thanks. She tends to blast everything and anything without thinking of the consequences."
Ail thinks "so picky" but says "ok then... let's wait for Reimu, then."
5 MINUTES LATER:
Iku grabs her hat, tears it in two and shout "argh! I can't WAIT anymore! YOU! Come with me!"
Ail looks at her a little surprised and says "but I though I wasn't-"
Iku, whose hat is completely restored and back on her head, turns to Ail and says "maybe if we combine our power, maybe we can pull this off."
Behind her Maribel smiles and says "oh my, your hat is back."
Ail says to Iku "ok. I will do my best."
Behind him, Maribel jumps with glee and says "I'm coming too."
Iku turns her attention to the clouds and says "we better hurry. Something is happening up there... something really bad."
Ail replies "I see." His expression turns serious and says "I feel something... familiar..."
Maribel jumps on Ail's back and clings on tight, saying "I said I'm going!"
Iku shouts "THIS ISN'T FIELD TRIP!"
Maribel pouts and says "but it's so boring here."
Iku wants to reply something, but Renko beats her to it, saying "the more you try, the worse she gets."
Maribel smiles and says "thanks Renko."
Ail gets quite annoyed and says "fine, you're coming with us, but just one favor..."
Maribel turns her head and places her chin on Ail's shoulder, then asks "yes? What favor would that be?"
Ail forces a smile and says "please, get off my back."
Flying toward the Heavens, Ail carries Maribel on his arms as she happily hums and occasionally says "another adventure."
Iku, sounding much more calm, turns her head to Ail and Maribel and says "please, forgive me, you two. I normally don't behave like I did back at the shrine."
Ail stares back, smiles and says "it's alright. I understand. Whatever the situation is, it seems to be affecting you a lot."
Iku smiles and says "I have the ability to read the atmosphere. Up there, it feels as though something will explode at any second. The feeling is getting worse."
Ail watches as Iku's expression changes to worry, flies next to her and says "Maribel, speed-time. Miss Nagae, hold on tight to my arm."
Without wasting a second, Iku grabs hold of Ail's arm as he speeds up, arriving at the Heaven's gates in almost an instant.
Iku looks around quite impressed and asks "wait, we're already here?"
Maribel giggles and says "mister Ail can fly as fast as miss Aya."
Ail blushes and says "don't let her catch you saying that, ok?"
All three get a good look around, then the sudden realization hit them. The gates to Heaven are destroyed, the buildings broken, some covered in blast marks, celestials all on the ground, some still unconscious, others barely able to get up by themselves. Some are even re-accommodating joints, and the few that are still able to walk are too afraid to get out of their houses.
Iku looks around and says "this... What happened here?"
Ail looks around and spots something written in blood by the gate.
He reads "Ten... Ten-ko... Hi-nanai... was here. Who's Tenko Hinanai?"
Maribel shouts "mister Ail, behind you!"
Ail turns around as the blue haired woman, wearing peaches on her black hat smiles at him, letting her head drop on to her shoulder.
She chuckles and says "did you hear that, Tenshi? He called you TENKO! But I'm not Tenko, dammit! I'm~ Tenshi!!! Relax, Tenshi. Let's just kill them! Good idea~, Tenshi!"
She raises her sword above her head, but Ail fires a heavy barrage of lasers and exploding energy orbs, causing her to flinch and drop her weapon.
Iku shouts "Tenshi! What's going on!"
Tenshi continues to hover just above Ail, letting her head drop down as she says "well, well~ look who's here, Tenshi. Yes~, the oarfish is he~re, Tenshi."
Ail jumps in front of Maribel and Iku, then generates a blue barrier.
Tenshi frowns as she lifts her head and says "Tenshi... meddlers! Yes, Tenshi~~... We have to kill them too. Let's kill them now!"
Ail watches as she gets her sword, and as soon as she bends down to pick it up, he concentrates one of his explosive energies, fires it at her, the explosion sending her flying back until she's out of sight.
Maribel turns to Iku, who is trembling violently and losing what little color she had on her face.
Maribel places her hand on Iku's back and asks "miss Iku? Are you hurt?"
Ail turns around as Iku replies with a cracking voice "T... Tenshi... Th-this is bad. This is really bad!"
Ail asks "that bad?"
Iku says "yes... Tenshi is quite powerful, even though she doesn't show it. Ail, Maribel, we must go back and get Reimu."
Maribel smiles and says "but didn't you see how easily mister Ail beat her just now?"
Iku gulps, recovering herself from the fear running through her heart, then says "I no longer doubt his power, but we still need more help."
Maribel asks "is she that powerful?"
Iku nods. She's about to lead them back down when Ail says "I'll stay here while you look for Reimu."
Iku shouts "WHAT!? Are you out of your mind!?"
Ail chuckles and says "I think so, but still, someone has to fight her off if she comes back, right?"
Iku hesitates, but Maribel quickly grabs on to Ail's arm and says "I'm staying too, and if you try to convince me again, what will happen~?"
Ail sweats and says "fine, fine. Just keep that feather away from me!"
Iku sweats as she stares at them and asks "are you two for real?"
With Maribel still holding on to him, Ail unleashes 4 exploding energy orbs that push Tenshi away just as she flies back to them, but in doing so, Maribel screams "it burns, it BURNS!"
She drops to the floor and writhes around. Her body starts glowing pink, causing Ail to lose his focus on Tenshi, who takes advantage of the distraction and sends a large keystone straight on to Ail's head, knocking him out.
Maribel's body stops glowing and she stops writhing around, so Iku gets up and in front of Ail and Maribel and stances defensively.
Tenshi smiles a most unnatural smile and says "look Tenshi... it's that oarfish. She wants to play, hehehehe. Yes Tenshi, I can see that. Let's play with her a little."
Tenshi launches toward Iku, who spins, lifts her finger up to the air, while holding on to her hip with the other hand, and lightning comes crashing down on the celestial.
When the lightning stops, Tenshi opens her eyes and looks at her arms.
She cackles and shouts "I-I'm ok! Nothing happened! HAHAHAHAHA, this is GREAT! I can kill YOU, but you can't kill Tenshi~!"
Iku thinks the worst is to come, so she covers her eyes with her forearms and hopes her death will be quick, but from behind her, a few small hearts zip past her, then explode near Tenshi, startling her.
Ail gets up just in time to see Maribel fire a pink, heart-shape energy.
He is surprised and wants to tell her something, but Tenshi recovers quickly and lunges at all three of them with her sword pointing straight at them.
Ail makes a round shield that makes Tenshi slide away in another direction, then pulls one of his own spell cards and shouts "Mad Waves- Raging Splash!"
The watery spell bombards Tenshi with many blue crystal-shaped danmaku, extra-large orbs, and then is swept away from the battle when the watery waves come in.
Ail shouts "let's get her!" and follows after her.
Iku and Maribel manage to trail along behind Ail.
Ail reaches Tenshi first, but is surprised when he sees her playing with his bullets like they were nothing.
She giggles and laughs as she says "we-hee~! Tenshi, isn't this fun!? Oh yes, Tenshi! Hey mister, do that again! No? Aww. Guess Tenshi will have to kill you now, hehehehehe~!"
Tenshi floats in the air, letting her hands, legs and head limp lifelessly as she hovers from side to side.
Leaving her head limping downward, she raises her right arm, holding her sword, jerks her head upright, looking at Ail with those glowing eyes and that twisted smile and says "Tenshi will skewer you like a pig, then eat you up and spit you out!"
Ail glares at Tenshi while signaling Iku and Maribel to stay away just as they are about to reach him.
Just as Tenshi launches at him, Ail shouts "Brightness - Blinding Heart!"
Tenshi's sword is just inches away from Ail's chest when the bright rings strike her hard, sending her back while screaming in agony!
The rings look far brighter than usual as Ail uses twice the amount of energy he usually uses with the spell.
Once the spell is finished, Tenshi's body, singed and limp, lies on the ground.
Ail breathes heavily and kneels to the ground, trying to catch his breath, so Iku and Maribel, concerned for him, rush to his aid.
"Mister Ail, are you alright!?" shouts Maribel as she and Iku run to him.
Ail tries to say something, but he's completely out of breath.
Iku gets closer to him as he manages to say "she's *pant* faking... *pant* use... *pant* card!"
Iku walks bravely toward Tenshi, then pulls out a spell card, and waits.
Ail loses his strength and falls down on the rocky ground, still breathing heavily, trying to get his breath back.
Maribel kneels beside him and rubs his back, hoping that will help and says "come on mister Ail, you have to get up now. Don't go to sleep!"
Tenshi slowly hovers back to the air, her limbs and head limp, falling victims of gravity.
She manages to accommodate her torso upright, then jerks her body, causing her neck to crack as her head flails around.
She uses her free hand to grab herself by the hair and pull her face up to face Iku, smiling in a manner that makes Iku feel pure terror in her heart.
"Well little oarfish, what's it gonna be?" asks Tenshi.
She starts to bleed through her mouth as she continues saying "you can run... yes, run away from Tenshi... from heaven... and Tenshi will leave you alone"
Tenshi gasps and says "or even better~!!! *giggle* Why don't you join me, Nagae?"
Iku looks on with a brave face then shouts "Dragonfish - Dragon Palace's Messenger Swimming Shot"
Using her usual stance, her fingertip is struck by lightning, causing it to expand, then spread around Iku in the form of slow-moving, yet powerful lightning orbs.
Tenshi smiles and lets the lightning hit her, showing Iku how useless her attempts are.
She even swallows one of the orbs, belches, then says "a little too spicy, Tenshi. Yes, Tenshi, but it tasted so good. Now, little oarfish... it's my turn."
As if resisting herself, Tenshi's arm trembles as she reaches into her pocket.
She says to herself "come on, Tenshi. We have to kill her so we can kill the rest of them~!"
Tenshi continues to struggle with herself and whispers "no... stop... It's not fun anymore."
Iku freezes where she stands, watching as Tenshi struggles with herself and thinking "this is it... she's going to kill me. What should I do now? I can't win... there's no way I can win. If only Reimu were here... she'd stop you, Tenshi. Sad that all I got are these weak... but innocent humans. May their souls forgive me for bringing them to their doom."
Iku snaps out of her thoughts when Maribel gets close to Tenshi and shoots more of those short-ranged pink hearts, causing the maddened celestial to back away.
Iku shouts "RUN AWAY!"
Maribel smiles as she continues her barrage and says "if I run away now, I'll regret it for the rest of my life... which won't be long if miss Tenshi here wins."
Iku is surprised by Maribel's words and thinks "this human... She could be killed in the blink of an eye, yet she fights. Humans... such mysterious creatures."
Ail manages to sit back up and backs Maribel up with some of his lasers.
Iku thinks "he's not fully recovered, but he still fights on. Why do they fight, I wonder? Is it for their lives? Their homes? What?"
As Ail struggles to fire more lasers at Tenshi, he manages to shout "miss Iku! We need a little more power to finish her off."
Iku smiles and nods, then gets close to Tenshi, who is covering her face with her forearms, unable to counter-attack.
Iku stares at Tenshi for a moment, raises her arm behind her head as her sash wraps itself around her wrist, coiling itself and forming a drill.
Iku launches her attack, but stops when Tenshi, in her normal tone of voice shouts "IKU~! Help me~!!"
Iku hesitates, giving Tenshi the chance she needs to counterattack by unleashing a shock wave of energy that knocks Maribel out-cold, pushes Iku away, then heads toward Ail, but he manages to jump out of the way.
Tenshi starts to laugh, then cry as she holds her head, shouting in her normal voice "get out of my head!" then in a twisted voice she answers herself "never, Tenshi~ You and I have a mission, remember?"
While Tenshi continues to struggle with herself, Ail rushes to where Iku and Maribel are.
Quickly, he checks Maribel's pulse, then sighs with relief, then he turns to Iku, who sits on the ground staring at Tenshi.
Ail pats Iku on the shoulder and says "please keep Maribel safe... I'll handle miss Tenshi."
Iku nods, then quickly picks up Maribel by her shoulders and drags her behind a large tree to their left.
Ail gets close to Tenshi, just as she stops struggling with herself.
She smiles in a twisted manner, her eyes now glowing blood-red.
She raises her sword once more and launches herself at Ail.
He manages to bounce her back, using a magical attack similar to his Blinding Heart spell, however it only unleashes one single short-ranged ring.
Tenshi continues to hover just above the ground when she strikes hard under her feet with her sword, causing large rocks to pop out from under the ground, knocking Ail off his feet.
Ail quickly gets up and fires a blue laser, accompanied by small white orbs, taking Tenshi by surprise.
Tenshi recovers from the assault and frowns, looking twice as menacing, then throws her sword at Ail.
He dodges it, but doesn't see it coming back, so Iku shouts "behind you!".
Ail gets out of the way as the sword spins close to him, heading straight back to it's master's hand.
Ail kneels, then shoots various orange orbs at Tenshi, all exploding before reaching their target, releasing countless small orbs that overwhelm Tenshi, causing her to fall to the ground once more.
Growling and scowling, Tenshi gets back on her feet and shouts "you are much more powerful than I remember... Tenshi, it's time to kill!"
In her normal voice, Tenshi shouts "human, run away! She's going to-"
In her crazed and twisted voice Tenshi says "that's enough out of you, Tenshi~! Human Ail, I hope you came prepared to die~~hehehehe~!"
Tenshi flies back up, pulls a spell card and shouts "Scarlet Weather Rhapsody of All Humankind!"
Ail readies himself with another spell card, but he is quickly blasted by a large red laser beam, accompanied by smaller laser beams.
He screams in agony as the lasers continue to strike without any sign to stop.
To him it feels like an hour has passed by the time the lasers stop.
Iku runs toward Ail, hoping to be able to help him, but she finds herself in Tenshi's grasp, being chocked to her death.
Still frowning, and in that twisted tone of voice, Tenshi says "before Tenshi comes back, I will kill you!"
Tenshi's graps tightens with each passing second, cutting the air from reaching Iku, choking her to her death.
Iku struggles to break free, but her strength fails.
She feels as her hands and legs lose their strength, falling to the ground while Tenshi continues to strangle her with her hand.
Iku's consciousness drifts away as her life is about to end, but then she feels her breath returning and realizes Tenshi's hand is no longer around her neck.
Instead, Tenshi holds her own neck, strangling herself.
Iku tries to get up, but her legs still feel numb, so she shouts Tenshi's name, hoping beyond hope to save her.
Tenshi continues to fight with herself, constantly shifting from her normal voice, the her crazed voice, and back again.
Finally she seems to take control of herself and shout "that's IT! If you won't leave my head, then I'll make you leave by FORCE!"
Tenshi grabs her sword and points it straight at her forehead.
She chants in a strange dialect, causing the sword to engulf itself in a magical flame.
Iku closes her eyes tight, turning away from Tenshi, who freezes as the sword continues to point straight at her forehead.
Everything seems quiet for a moment, when Ail shouts "Light Sign - Within the Jewel's Core!"
Ail's body glows white as 7 blue and white stars with 8 sharp and pointy edges materialize around Ail and scatter at the speed of light, trailing sharp blue spikes that fall in straight lines at random directions, and followed by homing white petal-shaped bullets.
Tenshi becomes crazed again and launches at Ail, but when she tries to cut him, the sword passes through him as if he wasn't even there.
The sharp bullets strike Tenshi almost immediately, then the white petals follow, rendering her weak on the ground.
Another wave of bullets forms, but this time, part of Ail's bright silhouette is consumed as each bullet wave is unleashed.
Iku notices this and thinks "oh no... he's... he's sacrificing himself!?" then shouts "no~! Stop, you fool!"
Tenshi's body is covered by the sharp crystal-like bullets as she lies on her back while on the ground, unable to move and trembling.
Ail's spell cancels out just as a red spirit floats above Tenshi's forehead.
It's taken away by a gust of wind that forms just where Ail was when his spell canceled out.
Iku watches as that gust takes the red spirit far away to the Sanzu river.
Ail finds himself lying on his stomach inside a large dark room with a large platform in the middle.
Sitting on that platform is Shikieiki Yamaxanadu, who is passing judgment on the little red spirit.
"...and all you've been causing is trouble for all those around you, even as a spirit."
Shiki scowls in such a manner that Ail feels a chill crawling down his spine as he sits up.
Shiki then shouts "you will be sent to a higher jurisdiction, away from these lands. May your next judgment be fair and just!"
With those words, strange creatures wearing white masks with a small opening on the right eye, and an uncovered left eye, demonic wings and tails, both hooded with brown cloaks, come from above surrounded by beams of light.
They encase the red spirit in a translucent yellow energy orb and immediately go back the same way they came in.
Ail stares with awe as they go away, wondering what was going to happen to that little red spirit.
Shiki clears her throat, getting Ail's full attention as she says "those belong to a different world. Don't worry about that spirit. The judge in that world is fair and just. Now..."
Shiki come down from her platform and walks straight toward Ail, stares at him and says "what to do with you, mister Ail? Seems you enjoy death, perhaps?"
Ail looks around some more and then realizes he is shackled with golden chains.
He tries to speak, but no words come out.
Shiki stares at him and says "mister Anilan... You realize now what happened?"
Ail nods, being unable to speak.
Shiki sighs, then strikes him with her sword and shouts "REPENT! You idiot! What in blazes made you use that spell so recklessly!?"
Ail closes his eyes and remembers what happened before.
He raises his eyes to look at Shiki, but she was busy looking into a mirror.
She sighs and says "I see... You don't even know where that spell card came from, huh? Well, it got you into a very messy situation, Anilan."
Shiki waves her sword, releasing Ail from the golden cackles, then says "look to your left."
Ail obeys without delay and sees a very large spirit by his side, acting out how Ail feels, which is very nervous.
Ail looks back to Shiki, who tells him "by some miracle, you have become half a ghost now. Maybe because you're half youkai? No, I don't think so. One thing is clear, you are not fully dead."
Ail asks "but... what does this all mean? Hey... I can talk again!"
Shiki smiles and says "while you've been here, time outside these walls has been stopped. You will return back to where you just were. You will speak of this to no one, and you will hide that card until the time is right. Did I make myself clear?"
Ail nods then asks "but what about...?" Ail looks at his ghostly half.
Shiki says "it will stay here with me until it recovers the energy you just used, then it will merge back, filling your own soul again."
Shiki places her sword on Ail's left shoulder and says "you will experience changes, Ail. You personality, tastes, you might even consider loved ones as enemies, and enemies as friends... you might even become a completely different person. Ail, whatever happens, keep true to your heart; don't let yourself become what you are NOT!"
Ail nods, however he feels empty for some reason.
Shiki smiles and says "now go back to your friends. Remember, you are not to tell anyone about this. Understood?"
Ail nods then feels as though he's being squeezed through a dark and tight tube.
The darkness around him turns to light as he wakes up a few feet away from Tenshi.
Maribel cries while she shakes him, shouting "wake up mister Ail, please~!"
Ail opens his yes and sees Maribel crying.
He feels angry as he thinks "idiot! Worried about me?" then he remembers what Shiki said to him.
He takes a deep breath, sits up and rubs the back of his head.
Maribel gets really happy and hugs him tight while saying "mister Ail, you're alive!!! We though you were dead. You weren't moving,or breathing, or even... is something wrong?"
Ail stares at her, but doesn't smile, or chuckle like he usually does and asks "what happened to Tenshi?"
Iku pulls out the last sharp crystal from Tenshi and says "she's right here."
Tenshi weakly chuckles and says "and I'm much better. Thank you so very much, for getting that thing out of me."
Maribel continues to stare at Ail with concern and asks "mister Ail, are you sure you're ok?
" Ail realizes he's not smiling, and even though he doesn't want to, he forces as smile and says "yeah, of course I'm ok. Why wouldn't I?"
Maribel places her hand on his forehead and says "you feel really cold... are you sure?"
Ail smiles again and says "of course. Don't worry, I swear, I'm ok."
Iku helps Tenshi up and says "please, help me take her back to her home... I wish to accompany you back to the shrine afterward."
Ail nods and says "ok. We can wait, right?"
Maribel giggles and says "yeah. in the meantime, I wanna shoot some more hearts!"
Ail sweats, but says nothing. He gets up and helps Iku carry Tenshi back to her house.
Back at the Hakurei Shrine, Reimu is scolding Mima for terrorizing the humans at the village, and giving Keine a scare that left her unconscious on the school floor.
Iku and Ail, who's carrying Maribel, land next to the entrance.
Reimu turns to them and says "oh, and where have you been?"
As soon as she touches the floor, Maribel rushes to Reimu with sparkles in her eyes and pulls her inside, making her sit next to Renko and Mima, then starts telling everyone their tale.
Ail is already turning away without saying a word, but Iku grabs his shoulder and says "hey... thanks for everything. I am so sorry I called you weak and...-"
Ail raises his hand, signaling Iku to stop, then he says "it's alright, Iku. To be honest, I doubted myself quite a lot today as well. Oh well... live and learn, right?"
He turns away and as he flies away he says "take care, now. If anything else happens, let me know."
As he leaves, Iku stares at him and says "he sacrificed so much just to help us up there in Heaven, even though we've never even glanced his way. Ail, I owe you much."
Ail arrives to his house late in the afternoon.
Immediately after opening his door he sees, on the brand new blue couch he just bought, a brown cloak, a white mask with the left-side eye uncovered, and a green oval crystal set in a pin.
He grabs these items and stares at them for a moment. Under the cloak he finds a white orb of light.
He touches it and Shiki's voice says to him "these items will help you along the way to your restoration. Remember what we talked about, and remember to stay true to your heart."
Ail stares at the brown cloak a little longer, while the orb of light vanishes into thin air.
He grabs the deadly spell card from his pocket and stares at it, then says to himself "so... I must act like my old self? This should be easy, but..."
The next day, he wears the brown cloak with it's hood down, and around the neck he places the green oval crystal.
He looks around, takes a deep breath and says "alright, time to do my daily routine, I suppose." and then flies away toward the Underground Cave.
Iku, from above the clouds, watches him as he flies around and thinks "maybe I should pay attention to the humans a little more. They are... a very interesting lot."
Characters, scenario and spell cards belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail and his spell cards were created by Willie G.R.
SEP 29 2009