Snow Globes

With a home in the middle of Cirno's lake, the Scarlet Devil Mansion seems like it would get visits once in a while. But we rarely hear about them. This is Sakuya's take on the nine-ball air conditioning unit. Can Cirno prove her cleverness?

What I do when I'm bored on Sunday.

"Koakumaaa!" An enraged voice rang out from the library, echoing through the many high ceilinged corridors of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

Sakuya sighed. And she wonders why she always feels so anemic… But with so much space to fill, Lady Patchouli certainly seems to have a way with noise.

The maid straightened up from dusting one of her mistress' many "snow globes."

The lake fairy had managed to get the five hundred year old Scarlet Devil interested in these objects about a week ago. After knocking the gate guard Meiling out and flying to the mansion's shaded balcony, Cirno had proceeded to flourish something in front of the vampire, who stayed stock still with her teacup poised in front of her mouth. Sakuya overheard the exchange while wiping the blood off Meiling's hat.

"Hay there! I have come to show you this new creation I have created! I call it a snow globe, because, you see, it snows! The frog is an added bonus. I hope you will take them off my hands!"

Sakuya was immediately suspicious. The fool had only sounded off once or twice. It felt rehearsed. She returned the now clean hat to cover Meiling's red hair, adding a knife for decoration, before moving closer to the balcony on which her mistress was being accosted.

The sight that greeted her eyes was a maniacally grinning fairy, proudly standing in her simple blue and white dress, and holding what appeared to be a ball of ice… with a frog in it. In other words, standard Cirno fare.

But the lady of the mansion seemed fascinated. Her eyes were open wide, her mouth was split into an awed smile, and her tiny wings stretched out behind her to balance her body as she leaned forward for a better look.

"Hey, hey! How do you keep the snowflakes inside from melting? Is there water in it? Is the frog real?" Remilia was talking excitedly, with none of her usual panache – a sure sign of soon to be wasted funds.

"Yew see, it is all real! I have even made some of little fairies, too. And the snowflakes are a… secret. A tried secret."

The maid could only grip her apron's frills and watch in horror as the three-foot ten vampire bought twenty of the even shorter fairy's stock. Sakuya pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed as the Lady Scarlet gathered the orbs into her dress, making the pink fabric damp, and raced inside to pick the globe's new home.

Meiling woke up, pulled the dagger out of her head, and then was knocked out again immediately, after Sakuya shouted "All your fault!" and punched the gatekeeper.

Looking back at the last week, Sakuya found herself more impressed with the fairy's work. Nineteen had survived slacking maids playing games with them, the constant motion near Lady Patchouli's desk, and even the fire the younger mistress had caused in the east wing while checking her new toy's durability. The broken one was the direct target of a Laevateinn; Flandre had pouted as she informed the chief maid that it lasted more than half a second.

As she walked at her usual pace towards the shouting in the library, the maid couldn't help but feel as though the snow globes were the worst things to happen to the mansion since Lady Flandre had decided to stretch her wings six months ago. And that included Lady Kazami's surprise visit to Meiling's garden. As she walked, she considered the first problem.

The lazy fairies of the mansion had always shirked their duties, but now, they could shirk while breaking things by accident. Their latest game seemed to involve one fairy throwing the globe to another fairy down the hall, as the rest tried to tackle each other out of the air. If the catching fairy got all the way to the end of the hall, her team would get to kick the ball, aiming at the same place, for another point. Incidentally, the boundary lines were made up of nearby fragile objects.

Sakuya reached the library. One look filled her in. Ah. I was waiting for that to happen. Looks like Mistress was right about the water.

A clearly dead frog lay on its back on top of a book. An open book, which, Sakuya inferred, Lady Patchouli had just been reading.

The former reader was standing, pointing at the book, and scolding a terrified looking Koakuma, whose devil ears lay back flat against her head, making her look like a bat winged, red haired puppy that had just eaten its masters birthday cake.

Sakuya sighed, froze time, and examined the book more closely. The ink had not run, probably thanks to magical preservation, but the binding seemed to be dissolving. Nothing a little sewing can't fix, she thought, and resumed time with her hand over Lady Patchouli's mouth.

The purple haired youkai continued trying to shout for a few seconds, then noticed her new mouth accessory, and stopped attempting to insult her assistant. Koakuma looked quite grateful.

Sakuya refrained from scolding the mansion's librarian about being noisy, but did mention her solution.

"Give the book a little while to dry, and I can re-stitch the spine. Also, although I think I can guess what happened, I would like an official account."

The junior librarian launched into an epic story… Sakuya readied her mental checklist, and listened for key words.

Open window… breeze… black-white… juggling practice… snow globe, book, and mushroom... dropped it… Master Spark. Of course.

"So, Miss Koakuma, you decided that it was a nice enough night to leave the window open, so therefore Miss Kirisame flew in, and happened to bring along a mushroom that reacts to cold, requiring a localized Master Spark to blow both reactants up if the mushroom comes into contact with something cold before the mushroom can mutate into something worse?" Sakuya felt Lady Patchouli nod, and saw Koakuma do the same.

"And she said that the something worse involved the color orange, a corrosive gelatin, and 'spores from Hell'?" Two heads continued nodding throughout.

"And then she flew away… through an unopened window, I see… shouting about being dangerously shrine-deficient." Their necks must be tired by now.

"Very well. I shall clean up the remains and come to fix the book tomorrow. And the window. And that lamp. And your desk. Good night, ladies."

Patchouli was no longer shouting, but Koakuma still looked terrified, and hastened away from the glowering librarian as soon as Sakuya left. The maid had a new resolve to get rid of the globes, but no idea of how to do it.

She briefly considered giving Lady Flandre a gift, but then remembered that she still had not fixed the eastern parlor, sub kitchen, or pantry, and decided that a complete renovation was not the best solution to the drafty window near her bedroom.

But all thoughts of snow globes snapped to the back of her mind when her employer called. She froze time, jogged to the north gallery, and bowed as she let time proceed.

"Mistress, did you need me?"

"I heard the shouting in the library – I assume you've taken care of it?"

"Yes, mistress."

"It was one of the snow globes, wasn't it." Sakuya almost furrowed her brow. Did Lady Remilia sound… "Sorry."

"I beg your pardon, madam, but why are you apologizing? And to whom?"

"I'm sorry to you, Sakuya, for making this happen. I have noticed the increased destruction of late, you know. It is my job as well as yours," the small vampire explained, much more quietly than usual, "and I would like your opinion on what to do with them. I would just give them to my sister, but I believe we lack the funds to buy a new mansion and maids, and China would miss her gardens terribly." Remilia Scarlet looked expectantly at her chief maid.

"Well, mistress, I have been thinking about that too." She put a finger to her chin, and started to smile. "I was just reminded, however, of you mentioning a certain god who would love to see the frogs back again. You said she was angry at Cirno. Perhaps an indirect present from the fairy would smooth tensions between the two? Would you like me to pay a visit to the Youkai Mountain?"

Hong Meiling, the ever vigilant, all noticing gate keeper of the Scarlet Devil Mansion did not wake when Sakuya Izayoi flew past, carrying eighteen frozen frogs and fairies.

She did jolt out of her stupor, however, when from the lake, a cry of "I am the strongest!" was cut short by another voice shouting "Frog is Eaten by Snake Due to the Croak!"

She admired the brilliant colors of the god's spell card, and clapped when a frantically flying teal colored dot was finally trapped and disintegrated, before falling asleep once again.

Finally. Some peace and quiet at the Scarlet Devil Mansion.