A few days after Ail and Sanae left to find Budou, Reimu Hakurei enters Makai in order to meet with Shinki.

Once in Pandemonium, she is greeted by Yumeko, who immediately leads Reimu inside for some tea and treats while she and Shinki have their meeting.

Taking a small cake, Reimu takes a small bite, gulps, takes a quick sip of tea, then says "so you want me to extend the spell card rules over to Makai in order to join it with Gensokyo..? Sounds too risky."

Shinki smiles and says "well, I'll continue to rule here, of course, and keep this place separate, but I was hoping... if you, perhaps, would allow this... it would help join the two lands in harmony."

Reimu thinks for a moment, then looks at Shinki and says "wait... I think this could work after all. It would really help you keep those powers in check."

Shinki blushes, then sips on some tea to hide her face. Reimu continues "we could also make it so your demons can visit Gensokyo, and our humans and youkai can visit here... All under supervision, of course! Sight-seeing tours, perhaps."

Shinki looks very surprised at Reimu and asks "a-are you sure it's alright? I thought you didn't want-?"

Reimu abruptly says "I've had a change of heart. As long as they are kept in check, I think they can come and visit. Besides, they'll eventually get sick of it."

Shinki smiles and asks "so it's ok after all? I mean, after what happened last time... I don't want something like that to happen again, Reimu."

Reimu smiles, gets up from her chair and heads back outside, but before leaving the room, she turns her neck and says "last time, you demons entered Gensokyo without my knowledge or permission, and, of course, I considered it an invasion. This time I have the knowledge, and some control as well. As for the spell card rule... better come up with good spell declarations. Oh, and if you're gonna use foods as names, done use real... food... please."

Shinki giggles and says "ok, I promise."

Reimu turns her face straight and says "come by to my shrine tomorrow, so we can sign a treaty, alright?"

Shinki smiles and asks "should I bring something?"

Reimu shouts "cake!"

-

After Reimu leaves, Yumeko enters the room in which the meeting had just been held.

She looks at her lady Shinki, smiles and asks "so she accepted?"

Her spirit uplifted, smiling uncontrollably, and feeling as though she can start flying at any moment, Shinki nods her head and excitedly says "not only that, she suggested we do sight-seeing tours here for the youkai and humans from Gensokyo, AND she'll allow for tours on Gensokyo for us as well!"

Yumeko looks surprised and says "well, that was totally unexpected. Wonder what brought all that up."

Shinki smiles and says "isn't it great!? It's just so amazing! Oh, I can't wait to start naming my spells..."

While Shinki talks excitedly Yumeko thinks "oh great... humans... and youkai from Gensokyo in here. This is going to be a disaster, I just know it."

Yumeko comes back from her thoughts just as Shinki says "oh, we better tell Luize! She's gonna be so excited!"

Yumeko nods, and sounding uninterested, she says "sure, sure. I'll tell her later. Lady Shinki..."

Yumeko gets closer to Shinki and asks "anything from your contact?"

Shinki's face completely changes from happily uplifted, to worried and anxious.

She says "Yumeko, it's only been a few days. I don't think they'll find it so quickly."

Yumeko looks away, trying to hide her disappointment.

Shinki stares as her and asks "Yumeko, you're not worried about them, are you?"

Yumeko gets shocked and says "er, of-of course not! J-just curious!"

Shinki looks toward Yumeko like a mother would and says "my child, it's alright. You agree with me when I say that he's a very special human... or... half-human. The point is, you don't have to be ashamed if you're worried."

Yumeko sighs, but says nothing.

Shinki smiles, wraps her arm around Yumeko's neck, which causes Yumeko to blush bright red, and says "come on, Yumeko. Let's tell the others of the news for now, alright?"

Yumeko nods while looking down in order to hide her red face and quietly says "ok my lady."

Outside, under the window, listening to the conversation is Reimu, who sighs sadly, then slowly flies away back to Gensokyo.

-

2 and Half Weeks Later:

Reimu floats on her back, on the lake behind her shrine.

Her long hair, which reaches down to her waist waves along with the water as she looks on, as if searching for something.

Beside her, Genjii looks worried and says "Reimu, this isn't healthy for you. Come on, get up and go and punish some bad youkai. You know you want to."

Reimu stares quietly at the sky and in a very low tone, she says "I sent them to their grave, didn't I?"

Genjii sighs and says "how many times do I have to tell you, you didn't send anyone to the grave. Those kids are fine, and they'll be back before you know it."

Reimu smiles as she closes her eyes and says "I hope you're right, Genjii."

Reimu is just about to fall asleep when a shadow casts itself over her, making her open her eyes and seeing Ayalina, Ail's mother, and Marisa, flying just above her.

Ayalina says "well this is something you don't see every day. A mopey shrine maiden about to catch a cold while sleeping on a lake."

Marisa smiles and says "yeah, that is a pretty rare sight, huh?"

Marisa turns to face Reimu and says "come one. I'll cut your hair after we get back... It's too long, ze."

Reimu looks confused and uncaring as Ayalina and Marisa grab her arms and pull her up, then take her back to the shrine.

Genjii looks on as the three of them fly away and says "finally. Someone that can break that block in her head!"

-

Inside the Hakurei Shrine's living room, Marisa and Ayalina have Reimu wrapped in a thick towel, serve her some hot cocoa and while Marisa and Maribel work on her hair, Ayalina says

"Reimu, your friends are very worried about you. They tell me you've been locking yourself up in your room, you barely come out, and when you do, they tell me you won't even talk to them."

Reimu looks down to the ground without responding.

Ayalina sighs and says "my son was right to be worried about you. He told me everything that has happened."

Reimu opens her eyes wide and lifts her head very suddenly, almost causing Marisa and Maribel to make a really messy cut on her hair.

Marisa says "hey, careful! You almost lost a pound here!"

Maribel asks "a pound? Miss Marisa, this isn't meat, you know!"

Marisa looks at Maribel, unable to believe her ears, but just keeps quite and continues cutting Reimu's hair.

Ignoring Marisa and Maribel, Reimu asks Ayalina "he-he did? Is he ok? And Sanae! what about Sanae!? Is she ok too!?"

Ayalina says loudly "relax, Reimu!" then lowers her voice and says "yes, they are fine. They took a detour to visit me. I must say, those two looked so worried, and yet they went and visited me. I never wanted Anilan to go through something like that, but I am sure there has to be some reason for this, right?"

Reimu looks down again and says "I-I'm sorry. He tried to tell me, but-"

Ayalina raises her voice and says "stop that, Reimu Hakurei!"

She gently lifts Reimu's face with her hand and tells her "neither Ail or Sanae hate you, resent you, or anything of that matter. In fact, they were so worried about you that they wanted to come back and take you with them. That's why I'm here, Reimu. I promised them I'd come in they're stead and make SURE you're ok."

By now, Marisa and Maribel are done with Reimu's hair and are picking up the long strands and throwing them into a waste basket.

Reimu's hair now reaches to her upper back, instead of all the way down to her waist.

Reimu notices this and turns her neck and says "th-thanks... you guys."

Marisa smiles widely and Maribel replies "you're welcome!"

-

Ayalina takes this moment and says "see? Reimu, you have so many friends here, and all are very worried about you, and so are Ail and Sanae. So why don't you snap out of this depression of yours and come back to your friends?"

Reimu looks around and notices Aya, sitting next to Mima and Suika, all looking worried at her.

She looks to the other side and notices Marisa, Renko and Maribel, all staring at her worriedly.

Reimu asks "have... have I really worried you so much?"

Aya replies "well... a little. But we all know you'll get better, right guys?"

Mima and Suika both shout "yeah!" then Mima adds "she just needs some time, right?"

Reimu turns to Marisa and the others as Marisa says "if she doesn't, I'll have to blast her and force her to come to her senses, zei~!"

Maribel adds "that's not very nice, miss Marisa. She needs love and care."

Marisa smirks and says "yup. Just what my Master Spark possesses."

Renko scoffs and says "you're too full of yourself."

Marisa stares angrily at Renko and asks "you want a taste?"

Everyone start talking amongst themselves about Reimu while she keeps turning her head around in order to look at all of them.

She starts to giggle at first, then bursts to laughter, getting everyone's attention.

After laughing for some time, she stops and notices all in the shrine looking directly at her.

She smiles back and says "sorry I worried yo so much. Even after Shikieiki talked to me about that and... I am just so worried about those two, specially after what I did."

All inside look at Reimu as she lowers her head again and starts to tremble as she says "I caused them so much pain, all because I refused to listen."

Mima sighs and whispers "here we go again"

To their surprise, Reimu lifts her head with a big smile and says "but I'm so glad to know they forgive me! And I'm so happy to know you all care about me like this."

She turns to Ayalina and says "thank you so much Ayalina! You're really--- eh?"

When they all turns to face Ayalina, who is supposedly to Reimu's right, they notice that she's gone, and in her place, a small patch of tulips and roses grow on the floor.

When Reimu realizes this, she touches one of the tulips, but when she does all the flowers turn into specs of light that fly away with the wind.

Marisa then says "you know, now that I think about it, I didn't see Yukari with her. How did she get in here!? without her help?"

All inside mumble between each other, all wondering the reasons and possibilities.

Reimu closes her eyes, sighs and says "any parent will do anything for their children, right?"

All inside stare at Reimu, looking very confused.

Reimu smiles at them as she turns around to face them all and says "never mind me. Come on, let's get things ready for when Ail and Sanae come back."

Mima shouts "hell yeah! Let's bring SAKE!"

Suika shouts "YOU ARE A GODDESS!!!" then rubs her cheek on Mima's knee, as she poses heroically, placing her foot on the table and pointing toward the ceiling with her finger.

Everybody else simply ignore them and go to Reimu, happily asking her of any welcoming ideas.

-

At the Moriya Shrine, Suwako sits under the large red gate, looking away from the shrine.

Kanako walks to her and sounding a bit annoyed she says "Suwako~! You were supposed to clean the dishes today! What are you still doing here!?"

As she gets closer, she realizes Suwako is sobbing and doesn't reply.

"Suwako? Are you crying?" asks Kanako, as she slowly gets closer.

Kanako's eyes fill with horror when she notices the communication orb she was using to keep in touch with Sanae and Ail is cracked on the floor, turning black and blowing away like ashes in the wind.

Suwako turns to Kanako, her eyes red and puffy from so much crying, her face full of tears, and still unable to speak properly.

Kanako looks on, feeling her chest getting tighter, her heart beating hard, sending pain with each beat.

She drops to her knees and spreads her arms.

Suwako quickly jumps to her, and Kanako immediately embraces her as she cries "Sa-Sanae~! She-she's gone! Kanako, she's go~ne!"

Kanako chokes back her tears and takes a big gulp.

With all her might and will, she manages to calmly say to Suwako "c-calm down. Suwako, remember, that orb would save her if her life was in danger. She's ok... the orb did it's job. She's ok."

Kanako brushes Suwako's hair with her hand, knocking off her hat as she did.

Suwako doesn't care and just keeps sobbing on Kanako's shoulder.

Kanako looks at the orb and thinks "if something's happened to Sanae, you are going to answer to me, Anilan!"

-

1 Hour Earlier

High on a cold and icy mountain, two climbers dressed in light clothes; Ail and Sanae.

Sanae has Ail's thick brown cape on, while Ail protects himself from the cold with a small, yet warm red and yellow scarf he got from his mother.

He picks up the tents they used while Sanae Writes in her diary.

-

Day XX/OO

Dear Diary,

It has been almost three weeks by now since we left Gensokyo.

I miss lady Yasaka and lady Moriya so much and hope that they are well.

Well anyway, you won't believe what this idiot, Ail, came and did just now!

First, you remember what happened a few days ago, right? Yeah.

He was acting so gloomy and wouldn't even listen to me. It was like I wasn't even here with him.

All was "when I find Budou this" or "when I find Budou" that. Then he'd get all depressed and... it just made me so mad.

And what was the deal with that stupid white mask?

I chewed him out and spit him back out that day, remember? I called him a... well it's not nice to repeat those things, is it?

Well, I kinda wish I hadn't said all that stuff to him after I did. He wouldn't speak to me at all... that is, until after breakfast today.

You want to know what he said to me? He said "Sanae, you are right. I've been acting very selfishly, I've been a complete jerk to you, and it's true that I forgot about your feelings about Budou too. Sanae, I am sorry. Please forgive me for being so selfish and rude."

Can you believe that, diary!? After all those things I called him, the IDIOT comes and APOLOGIZES to ME! It should have been the other way around! Now I feel like the bad guy... girl... here.

That's not all. After telling me all of this, he apologizes, yet again, that idiot.

He then takes off his mask and says "this is why I was hiding my face, Sanae. I didn't want you to see me like this."

He took off that mask, crushed it and threw it away, then he slowly turned to face me.

I was horrified. Claw-marks from his right eye trailing down to the left side of his face.

After he shows me this he says to me "please, don't worry too much about this. It hasn't even bled in days now."

How am I supposed NOT to worry after seeing that? And then he tells me that other thing so casually too; of COURSE I'm gonna worry! Idiot!

And I still don't know if I should apologize for calling him all those nasty things.

Oh well, it looks like it's time to move on. I'll see you later.

-

Sanae puts her diary away and places it inside a light-green waist bag, to the left of Suwako's orb, and as she zips the bag close, she stares at Ail.

He's just about done picking everything up when he says to her "Don't apologize. What you said to me was what I needed to hear... even if it was quite harsh."

Sanae continues to stare at him curiously, takes a deep breath, then rushes to him and strikes him with her gohei and angrily shouts "you were looking into my diary!? How could you!? That's very private!!"

Ail covers his head and says "ouch, ouch! No, Sanae, I swear. I just took a wild guess. Come on, give me a break here! OW~!"

While Sanae continues to punish Ail, a door opens up to their left, glowing red and feeling menacing.

Sanae stops striking Ail as both stare awestruck at the door.

Quickly, Ail gets up and says "come one, let's go!" then grabs Sanae's hand and both run toward the door.

As soon as they enter, the door closes behind them, leaving the picked up tents and a few supplies behind.

-

Meanwhile, Ail's crushed mask flies along with the wind, flying over the village at the foot of the mountain, then continuing it's flight above Ayalina's house, who smiles as the mask passes by and thinks "that son of mine can be strong when he wants to be."

The white mask continues it's travels, leaving all who see it in awe, some even feel inspired and uplifted after seeing this mask.

For one day and one night, it travels through the sky, until to bumps on Lily Black. "UGH! What the hell is this piece of crap!? A mask?"

She inspects it thoroughly and says "oh, it looks like it's been crushed. *Sniff sniff* wait... *sniff* that scent. *sniff*"

Lily Black's eyes glow with crimson fury when she recognizes the smell and says "that half human... Ail~!"

Shiki grabs Lily Black and takes the mask away, asking "what's this all about, little fairy?"

Lily black stutters and is unable to answer.

Shiki releases her and says "you better continue on your duties, or I'm sending you to clean the gutters in hell again!"

Lily Black panics, salutes Shiki, and without saying another word, she flies away toward a large stone.

Shiki inspects the mask, scoffs and says "I see. They made it inside. I wonder... What's gonna happen next, Anilan?"

-

To be continued...

Characters and scenario belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-

Ail and Ayalina were created by Willie G.R.

OCT 7 2009

written by

Willie G.R.


AN: So here I go again, eh? Another Sukima chapter. I love writing these so much, as well as other works too. I really hope you enjoy reading these.

Oh, on another note, I want to say that I am sorry I will not be able to fulfill the request to add certain characters. Amongst many reasons, I do not believe I can portray them in a satisfactory manner, and so, I have decided not to add them. As I've done so far, I'll follow my heart when writing these. Thank you for reading, and have a good day/night.