It is a new, early morning at the Hakurei Shrine, and considering the events that took place the night before, it is a surprisingly peaceful new day.
A childlike Yukari sleeps peacefully on a futon in the living room, and to her left, the exceedingly kind shrine maid with small angel wings is wrapping the last of a fresh set of bandages around that terrible, slow-healing wound of hers.
Meanwhile, Kali sits on the very same spot from the night before, in front of the kitchen counters nearest to the living room, and continues to stare suspiciously at Rika, while at the same time keeping away from the maid and doing nothing to raise any kind alarm.
Even her plan to assassinate Reimu in her sleep has been aborted, just so that demonic maid, as she kindly calls her, doesn't have any reason to attack.
"Good morning," yawns the Shrine Maiden of Paradise as she exits her room, still in her white sleep robes.
She stretches her arms above her messy pillow-head, then looks over to her bed-ridden guest and asks "nothing yet?"
Her maid slowly shakes her head and sighs "nothing," then stands up with the bloodstained bandages she removed and says "she did manage a weak grunt when I changed these."
Before the indecent robed maiden with a bed-head can speak again, from the front of the shrine a girl calls "excuse us? Miss Hakurei, are you here?"
"Of course she's here Shizuha! This is her home," angrily says another girl's voice before demanding "hey, shrine maiden, we have a complaint here!"
The first voice gasps and says "Minoriko, I know you're... but... so don't...," but it's hard to tell what else she's saying as the tone of her voice lowers to a whisper.
Reimu growls as she covers her eyes with her hand, then sighs and slumps as though she's been thoroughly defeated and says "better go take a look."
Regardless of her current appearance, and the insistence of her maid to stop, the shrine maiden opens the front sliding doors, then stares flatly at her guests and mockingly says "well, a couple of goddesses have come to the Hakurei Shrine."
A few feet in front of the door, glaring at the mocking shrine maiden, is Minoriko Aki, the goddess of abundant harvest and with the breasts to prove it, who has short blonde hair under a red grape-adorned cap, red eyes, and wears a yellow blouse under an overall black dress and a light-orange apron.
Besides her is her older sister, Shizuha Aki, the goddess of turning leaves who loves humans, and has curvy blonde hair adorned with a red maple leaf on a black diadem, and wears a maple-red long-sleeved shirt with a matching skirt that has leaf-shape cuts on the bottom border, and a pair of white socks with black slippers.
"As rude as ever, shrine maiden," angrily says the bountiful girl.
Her older sister steps in between the girls, smiles nervously, then says "she meant to say 'good morning', and we've come to file a complaint, if you'd be so kind."
Minoriko shoves her sister aside, points at the maiden, then demands "that's right! It's your job to take care of these things, so pay attention!"
Reimu holds her gohei on her right hand and polishes it's tip with the left sleeve of her robe while nonchalantly replying "mm-hmm. How interesting."
Shizuha panics, places her sister's head in a lock, then nervously says "she's just very upset. Please forgive her. It's just that yesterday, when we arrived to our home, we found this boy wearing brown and a color-changing bandana next to our destroyed house."
Somehow, the bouncy little sister breaks free from her older sister's hold and furiously says "he completely destroyed out beautiful home with that THICK head of his, then just smiles and waves at us before flying away, leaving us to sleep under that insane rain!"
The shrine maiden holds her forehead and squeezes hard as she growls inward, then, sounding annoyed and disgusted, manages to say "that Drake again."
"AH-HAH! So you DO know him!", shouts the plentiful girl while pointing at the shrine maiden and bouncing her pearls with every move.
"Minoriko-chan, it's rude to point," angrily whispers the leafy girl.
The younger goddess growls inward as she glares dangerously at her older sister, who crosses her arms under her chest and glares back, asserting her position as the eldest sister.
Minoriko pouts while crossing her arms over her chest, but quiets down and backs away.
Shizuha approaches the maiden in sleep robes, then says "well, that's our story. Can you help us teach that cretin a lesson?"
To the young goddesses' surprise, Reimu nods and says "sure. He's got a pretty long list of complaints, so I'll just add yours to the list and bop him a good one in your names."
The two blondes stare at the maiden in shock, surprised by her answer, and as though some switch was flicked inside the goddess of bounty, she smiles merrily as she gleefully says "well, thank you very much Miss Reimu!"
The older sister steps forward, smiling dearly at the robed maiden, cupping her hands under her chin as she softly says "you are very kind Miss Reimu. Thank you so much."
The Hakurei is thoroughly disgusted after witnessing such behavior from a pair of goddesses, but prefers to silently waves her fingers while frowning at the girls with a twitching right eye.
Inside the shrine, while her lady deals with the morning guests, Rika approaches Kali and asks "I'm going to start breakfast. Is there anything you'd like?"
The shadow's eyes bulge with fright and she shivers while saying "n-n-no way! G-g-get away! You just want to poison me with my favorite food!"
The angel-winged maid sighs as her smile turns to a sad frown, and says "if I could just show you I mean you no harm. I swear, last time was just a big misunderstanding."
There is a short pause, the shadow girl doesn't look like she's going to accept the maid's excuses any time soon, so with another sigh Rika walks straight into the kitchen and says "well please remember that while your powers remain sealed, please count on me for support."
The white-haired girl stares at the back of the maid through the corner of the counter, wondering if she's being a bitch, of if that maid is just trying to get her defenses down for a quick kill.
Regardless, she can feel a bit of her powers returning to her, and smiles at the thought of finally leaving that shrine.
Later that morning, after stomachs have been filled and maidens have dressed properly, another call takes the silent tranquility that never is the Hakurei Shine.
"Hello~ Miss Reimu, Miss Rika~," calls the familiar voice of Ran Yakumo, promptly accompanied by little Chen's "hi~ We're here~! Now where's Yukari-sama, you fiends!"
There are no grunts or complaints, no annoyed moans or greetings; the left-side door of the shrine slides open from within, and without looking outside Reimu says "she's over here."
The nine-tailed fox's ears bend back as she thinks "ugh, I hate it when my gut's right about something being wrong," and stops along with the nekomata, pushes her shoulder back, then sternly says "Chen, wait for me here and come in only after I tell you."
The little cat girl wants to question her master, but she knows questioning her when her eyes are so intense is dangerous, so she just nods and softly says "don't make me wait too long, please."
Ran nods, then walks straight to the open doors and enters the shrine.
She gasps at the sight of Yukari's childlike form lying so perfectly still in that futon and wrapped in bandages, then shouts "Yukari-sama! Yukari-sama, what happened?", as she rushes straight at her master.
She ignores Reimu, Rika and Suzaku perching on the maid's shoulder to the fox's right and the quiet shadow to her left, and fails to notice when her curious little nekomata peeks her head through the corner of the open door.
The fox youkai kneels beside her master, gently touches her forehead with the back of her hand, then looks at the red and white maiden and worriedly asks "what happened to her?"
Reimu thinks fast and hard, then asks "Ran, you remember that sword in my closet, right? Drake's sword?"
The blonde fox nods, then the shrine maiden continue "seems that pain-in-the-ass god got it back, right from under my nose, and cut Yukari with it. That's all she could tell me before passing out."
Seems like a light-bulb just went off inside the shikigami's head when she spasm with delight, then sighs and places her hands on her master's shoulders.
She closes her eyes and a dim light can be seen by all but the peeking nekomata and the shadow girl enveloping both fox and gap-sage before it all goes into and around the little girl in the futon and dims.
"Quite the handy trick," comments the shrine maiden, looking as casual and unimpressed as ever.
Ran raises her head, her face shows she's tired from that, but sounds normal as she nods and says "I do what I have to," then looks to her peeking shikigami and says "it's alright Chen, you can come in now."
The cat-girl looks surprised and ashamed due to her master's face, but upon getting closer she realizes she's not being glowered at, that it's just the fox looking exhausted.
Yukari moans as she starts to move inside her futon, then stretches her arms and winces when the pain from her wound registers in her system again.
"Whoa, wait a moment. Please don't move too much," exclaims Rika as she promptly rushes to assist the wounded girl.
The little girl is wide awake and looking around herself, then smiles and cockily says "hey, I'm not bad at all. Made it to the shrine after all."
Drops of sweat roll down all the present girls' heads, then Reimu apprehensively says "well, it seems she's already back to her old self. How great."
"Please don't go sealing her. She's weak," comments the fox.
The black-haired maiden smiles as she says "it's alright, it's alright. Besides, I'd very much like to know what happened."
The little blond gasps, sits upright, ignoring Rika's requests to lie down, then excitedly says "Reimu! Reimu! I fought with that Drake! What a pain in the ASS he is!"
The red and white armpit maiden rolls her eyes, then says "yes, you did tell us that much last night. Now could you tell us what exactly happened?"
Tiny Yukari grumbles, but rapidly composes herself and says "he can absorb magic, but his capabilities to do so are very limited, but is still dangerous. I hit him with everything Reimu, but he's like some sort of masochist! He just kept coming after me, even when I blasted his eyes out!"
From outside the mansion, Tenshi's voice rings loud as she calls "hello Hakurei Shrine girls! It's your favorite celestial coming to visit!"
"Tenshi!", happily exclaims Rika before sweetly calling "in here."
The celestial enters the shrine, looks around at the many guests, then says "didn't know the circus was in town."
Hateful glares hit the celestial cutie from several sides, but Reimu ignores her to ask "Yukari, how the hell did Drake get his sword? It was right here the day before!"
"He summoned it back to himself," irritably replies the little blonde before growling and adding "I knew he gave it up too easily. I should have known something like this would happen!"
From outside the shrine, Marisa calls "oi, Reimu~ I came to play, ze!"
She walks in uninvited, looks around at the guests, then says "ah, I see. Just another day at Hakurei Shrine."
"Miss Marisa, welcome back," sweetly greets the angelic maid.
"Don't point out the obvious so early in the morning. You're gonna give me a headache," irritably groans the shrine maiden.
The black and white witch grins annoyingly as she takes a seat beside her shrine maiden friend, then whispers "so, it's story time?"
Reimu quickly whispers back "you better listen to this. I might need your help."
"Master," snaps Ran to get Yukari's attention. "What happened to Drake? What should we do about him? Why are you still bleeding?"
The little girl sighs, tries to cross her arms but grimaces from the pain on her shoulder, then clears her throat and says "I'll begin by saying, that sword can kill anyone and anything without questioning its master. It's perfectly balanced with light and darkness, so this warning includes annoying celestials!"
Before Tenshi can complain, the little girl continues "the wound he inflicted on my shoulder will take a few days to heal because of that. The fills up with a mist that represents the counter affinity of the one being cut by it, and when the blade is full, the sorry soul being touched by that blade will die."
"And for now," she says while looking straight at Reimu, "we do nothing about him."
Expressions of confusion fill the entire room, then, surprisingly enough, Chen asks "what did Yukari-shama do to the bad god?"
The little blonde gap youkai smiles sweetly at her shikigami's shikigami and says "what a bright little kitty you are, Chen. He is currently trapped inside the void."
She can see the many faces already calming down, so she grins mischievously as she says "oh, but don't relax just yet. He may be trapped in the void, but it's only a matter of time until he figures he can use those god-powers of his to get back out."
"Reimu," she continues sinisterly "he is going to get out of there, and when he does, he's going to be mad as hell, and he'll be going straight to that vampire's mansion. You all need to be ready to take him down before he causes irreversible damage."
As the little girl Yukari glares around the room she can see many worried faces, particularly that of Kali, whom for some reason, feels there is something particularly wrong about that Drake, and now, as she looks at Rika's face, is considering her feelings toward the maid.
Moments later, Ail, Budou with little Phredia on her shoulder, and Sanae, land behind the shrine's gate, with the blue and white maiden complaining "we would have gotten here faster if you'd just open a gap."
The boy growls, suppressing a desire to shout at the green-haired girl, but manages to just dangerously whisper "I told you, there's something wrong with the damned gaps! I can't open them right now."
Before the uncomfortable little bat can speak, from the shrine's stairs Medicine loudly calls "hey! Lazy maideeeeen! It is true that gap girl is dead?"
There is a bonk and a complaint from the doll, then Ail smiles when he hears the voice of his old friend, Kyo, angrily saying "don't start unnecessary fights yet! Let me rile her a bit before that!"
"Oy, Kyo!", calls the dense one.
As soon as the three heads of the poison doll youkai and her winged doll, the bulky boy, and the silver-haired woman, Luna, peek over the last steps, said boy raises his hand and calls "Ail, buddy! It's been a while!"
After a brief greeting from the parties, the silver-haired woman asks "you guys here because of that rumor about Yukari?"
The dense one and his girlfriend nod, and with a low tone of voice the boy says "I still can't believe what I heard. This is Yukari we're talking about."
"Well my cute little man," playfully says Reimu from the veranda, "why don't you come here and see for yourself?"
The two parties walk over to greet the shrine maiden, and one-by-one enter through the doorway and gasp at the sight or Ran changing the childlike Yukari's bloody bandages for fresh ones.
Budou gasps and buries her face in Sanae's stomach, then Phredia pops right out of her chest before getting trapped between them and gently rubs the little girl's ear for comfort.
"Whoa, Aya was RIGHT! The big girl herself fell after all," comments Medicine, walking past Luna and getting a handful of bloody bandages by the fox, who angrily says "please discard of these, quietly!"
The last to enter are Kyo and Ail, and when the dense one enters through that doorway the little gap youkai smiles as she holds her covers up against her naked body and exclaims "my, my, my, so many visitors. This is so unexpected. Ran, I didn't know I was this popular."
The shikigami lowers her ears as she irritably says "yes, yes. Please hold still while I wrap these bandages and put your clothes back on."
Outside the shrine, Chen urges Budou to follow after her, and after a quick nod of ascent from the blue and white armpit maiden, the little bat hurries out those doors, almost whimpering with fright at the sight of that wound.
The muscle boy growls, looks at his woman and sternly says "Luna, we're going to have to take Byakuren's offer. If that bastard did this to Yuk-""
"Wait just a minute," angrily interrupts the red and white maiden. "If you still think you're going after that godling, then you got another thing coming! He is too much for you-"
"Don't underestimate us Hakurei," immediately snaps the angry boy.
The childlike blond chuckles and casually says "hey, you guys, he's in the void, remember Reimu?", though nobody seems to pay attention to her, though it's a good thing so Ran can dress her up properly.
Sanae watches with concern as her dense boyfriend grips his right wrist as though wanting to wring it off, and asks "Ail-kun, what's the matter?"
"What's the matter?", asks the boy in a sinisterly low tone of voice.
As he looks around a shadow covers his lower lids, his usually brownish-gold eyes seem to glow red, and as he glares at his golden blessed bracelet he angrily says "this shit! This stupid little shit didn't WARN me of Yukari! It's been malfunctioning for a while! Yes, the gods turned on me, didn't they?"
Even the little gap youkai watches suspiciously and silently as the dense boy continues looking at that bracelet with hatred, then Marisa suddenly snaps "hey, man-boy! What's wrong there, ze?"
Ail shakes his head as though snapping out of his own thoughts and looks around the shrine as though just getting there and having no clue as to how he did.
He glances over to his girlfriend and asks "Sa-Sanae? Wh-why are we-?", then glances over the two Yakumo and says "oh, right. Yukari."
The little gap youkai raises an eyebrow and smiles, then whispers something to her shikigami before saying "say, green-haired maiden, why don't you take your boy out for some fresh air?"
Long before Sanae can reply to that, Reimu already holds Ail by his right arm, and placing her head on his shoulder she blissfully says "come on dearie. Let's go get some fresh air by ourselves."
Sanae roars with rage, but before she can make her move, Mima pops like a bubble behind the dense boy, smacks his back hard and sends him flying out the room and face-first onto a tree.
Kyo, Medicine and Luna stare in shock, blink twice, then the muscled boy whistles and says "that's one hell of a pat-on-the-back."
"Hunk~!" sings the evil spirit as she flies over to the boy, totally ignoring the red and white's and blue and white's complaints for the dense one.
She immediately clings around the boy's neck, squeezes him tight, then says "oh my, someone's been working out hard I see," then squeezes tighter while giggling and blushing pink.
Luna wants nothing more than to flick that woman off of her man like a booger, but she takes a deep breath and thinks "I'm younger, than this hag. He's still mine, so don't make a show."
The dense boy walks through the door with help from both Reimu and Sanae, growling with every breath while the girls have a tug-of-war with his arms, and smiles disturbingly viciously at the evil spirit while saying "Mima. Good morning there."
The green-haired spirit flies over to the dense boy, gets her face close to him, then grins mischievously and says "lookin' good there Ail. Say, how's that spleen treating ya?"
Tension rises so high in the room that Yukari and Ran stop their whispering and plotting just to look over at the hatefully glaring boy and the mischievous evil spirit.
Ail sighs, smiles as he shakes his head, then says "actually, I'm doing fine. Just came to see Yukari."
"Good, good," coos Mima, then she turns the boy around to face outside and says "so you came and you saw Yukari. Now be a good boy and leave before something regrettable happe-AUGH!"
A red and white seal smacks itself right on the spirit's forehead, causing her enough pain to make her writhe around and dance around the room in an attempt to remove it.
Reimu stands beside the incredibly dense boy with her gohei on her right hand and several seals on her left and furiously says "mind your manners you old spirit, or I'm sending you to meet with the Yama in a matchbox!"
Sanae holds her boy around the shoulders, softly asking "Ail-kun, you've been acting so strange. What's wrong?", unable to notice the success smirk on his face and the triumphantly evil glint in his eyes.
He casually turns to the green-haired maiden, chuckles, then says "I'm sorry sweetie, I think I'm just tired. Didn't sleep well last night."
While the shrine maidens, the boy and the spirit resume their odd conversation outside, Kyo approaches the young-looking Yukari and Ran.
As he does, he manages to hear them whispering something about Ail.
"His meddling affected... so it's not just Reimu..." he hears the childlike gap youkai whisper.
"But Yukari-sama... then that means... also himself..." desperately whispers the fox.
The muscled boy gets closer and manages to hear Yukari say clearly "once I recover, you and I will go to the Yama."
She notices the eavesdropper and smiles while asking "so you heard? Erm, can you keep quiet about this? I really don't want to kill you today."
Kyo shakes his head and honestly says "um, no, I didn't really hear much. Look, I just need to know about Drake. What happened to him? What did you mean when you said he was in the void?"
The little blonde smiles, gestures Ran to step aside, and looking at the spiky-haired boy and his woman, who now stands by his side, on the eyes, she happily says "he went in over his head and tried to finish me off, so I opened a gap on his face and sent him to the void."
The frown from the two humans surprises the gap youkai, and with a grin on her face she says "oh, don't look so disappointed. He would have killed you three anyway. The magic siphoning ability of his is a pain in the ass, and would have done you in immediately, Kyo."
Luna grabs her muscular man and wraps him around her arms while shouting "no way in hell I would have allowed that! I'd have killed him, then killed him again!"
The girl's shouting gets the attention of the shrine's guests, and from outside, sounding a lot more like his normal self, Ail asks "hey, what's going on? What's with all the shouting?"
Medicine chuckles, and as she looks to Su-San she jokingly says "seems Luna can't live without her man's-" but long before she can finish her sentence, she is showered by rainbow-colored kunai and screams as she falls on her back.
Kyo sighs, feeling greatly disappointed, then turns around to face his friend and the shrine maidens and says "well, that bastard's in the void. We failed Eintei. Best thing we can do now is report back to them."
"Oh~" coos Yukari while smiling, successfully getting everyone's attention, thus brightening her smile, then says "I did say he was in the void, didn't I. I never said he was in there forever."
Even Marisa, who was poking the moaning poison doll with her broom, turns a cold and frightened stare at the young-looking border sage and asks "so you weren't kidding before?"
"O-ho my, no," coos the little blonde.
"How long do we have to prepare?", asks Sanae.
"The real question, dear Kochiya, is what do we do to beat him", says Reimu as she stares straight at Yukari and Ran, then finishes "he still has the powers of a god, and you know damned well how tough you guys are."
The little blonde girl's grin turns to a frown as she ominously says "I don't know how long he'll remain in there, and nothing we do now will prepare us for him. All we can do is be ready for when we find him," she looks to Kyo "and attack together," then looks at Ail and says "or he'll take down that mansion in a heartbeat."
Ail's face almost morphs to something ghost-like as he takes a deep breath and visualizes the Scarlet Devil Mansion razed to the ground by a demented boy with an overpowered sword, and as though possessed by a demon he furiously screams "if he touches anyone in there, I will make him see hell!"
Everyone knows he has a strong attachment to that mansion and those that live there, and though she hates that fact, the blue and white maiden places her hand on his back to show her support.
The muscle-shirted boy turns his sight from Ail and turns to Yukari, then asks "do you at least know where he might appear?"
The blonde shakes her head, to which Luna sighs irritably and says "that brat is a real pain in the ass."
"I'll ask Moriya-sama and Yasaka-sama for help," begins Sanae, rubbing Ail's back and calming him down. "They should be able to match him."
The gap sage raises an eyebrow and scoffs, to which the Moriya Shrine Maiden furiously asks "what with that lack of faith?"
The little girl taps her shikigami with her elbow, then Ran hurriedly says "um, Drake is a god-in-training, and other gods cannot interfere with him," and looks to her mistress and asks "did I get that right?"
The little Yakumo smiles, softly claps her hands beside her cheeks and says "marvelous my dear Ran, you did excellent," then turns to Reimu and her many guests and says "we're on our own here. Only if he really goofs up and attacks a shrine or a human village would other gods intervene."
The red and white maiden remains serene as she looks back at the youkai sage, then nods and says "then we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Anyway, this won't the first time I have to punish a god. If you guys can't, I'll beat him for you."
Yukari giggles, then happily says "that's the spirit!"
Meanwhile, at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, a missed sense of blissful peace envelops the library, and with Leon sleeping while sitting on her lap, Patchouli quietly reads her book with her small rectangular white glasses while holding the boy's head with her hand.
Hiding somewhere around the northern section of said library, Koakuma and Lina nap inside their individual futons.
Well, at least that was the initial plan, and though the ice girl's futon is there, it is completely undisturbed while she sleeps with the little demon on that one futon.
The figure of Remilia Scarlet walks silently through the hall of bookshelves leading to the entrance, bearing an odd look of curiosity on her face.
She approaches the purple-haired librarian who says "please don't start a ruckus. It's a strangely peaceful day today, and I'd like it to remain as such."
"Not today. No, today is a boring day, and so it shall remain," gracefully replies the vampire as she takes a seat in front of her long-time friend.
She sits across that table and places her head on her hands after placing her elbows on the table, and stares.
After a long pause of quiet staring, the aggravated librarian lowers her book and apprehensively asks "what? Do I have something on my face?"
She looks down at the very lucky sleeping ice boy resting his head on her breasts, fumes as she growls at her mistress, then says "don't start with that, Remi!"
The elder Scarlet shakes her head, her face becomes cold and serious, then she says "Patchy, you know what they are. You two are getting too attached, too quickly. I never really expected this of you, so stop it."
"What are you talking about?", asks the magician after resting her book to the table to pull down on her glasses with her now-free hand.
The little vampire looks surprised, obviously not expecting that answer, and absentminded, she asks "wait? Seriously? You really don't know?"
Irritation takes the magician's usually-calm face as she glares back at her friend as though she's just been thoroughly offended, but Remilia simply raises her left brow and the magician relaxes.
She lowers her brow as she softly says "my friend, these children aren't youkai, human, or spirit. They are elemental echoes that took on a physical body."
The librarian holds her mouth as she laughs so as not to wake Leon, and continues to do so until she looks at Remilia's cold face, and her lips frown as she asks "wait, you're serious? B-but Remi, I would have-I mean, I should have noticed! R-right?"
The vampire says nothing as she continues to stare at the Kori boy and the librarian.
"Th-that wasn't funny. Don't joke around like that again," says the purple magician.
Remilia shakes her head lightly, then softly says "I wasn't joking. Come winter those two will disappear and return to their original states. Maybe snow, maybe flakes. Who knows."
Patchouli remains dumbstruck, staring at nothing while several thoughts cross her mind, and then finally, in hopes to find a legitimate defense against the Scarlet's revelations, she points and says "a-ha! You are joking. Face it! If what you say is true, these two would have been born in winter!"
"It was the beginning summer when they came to us, so your theory is impossible!", finishes the magician.
The young-looking vampire raises her wings slightly as she smiles and says "your experiment drove the winter spirits mad, you caused a tiny winter the night they were born! From what Reimu and I were able to understand, that, mixed with a broken border around that ice fairy, caused the birth of these two."
She sighs as she stands back up, walks over to her friend and places her hand on said girl's shoulder and says "I'm sorry, I just wanted you to be ready for when it happened. Can't have my servants drag their work due to misplaced overwhelming sadness."
There is no reply, so Remilia shrugs with a nonchalant expression, then turns around to leave.
As soon as she's away from earshot the purple-haired librarian rubs the boy's light-blue hair and whispers "this was completely unexpected. To throw a bomb like that-!"
She sighs as she looks around her library, hoping an answer would come to her, then says "maybe there's something I can do."
Up in her hiding place, Koakuma doesn't seem affected from what she's overheard, and yet tightens her grip on the Kori-girl and gently scratches her head while staring forward.
Meanwhile, at the lake behind the Hakurei Shrine, Suzaku has the shivering Yuki wear a pink ribbon around the neck, and the poor blonde looks just about ready to crack, yet again.
Rika and Tenshi watch from the side, while Genjii entertains Budou, a nervous Chen and Phredia with rides around the lake, and Kali remains silent near the maid's left, studying the girl with every glance.
The vermilion bird perches on the Makaian's thigh and lightly pecks the girl on the temple before saying "it's just a color. It's not burning or strangling you. It is only a color. My beak does more harm, correct?"
The witch shivers and whimpers, glances around as though inside her own little world, then she jumps off her butt and onto her feet and screams "get it off! GET IT OFF!", while trying to rip the ribbon off and chocking herself in the process.
"Oh dear," sighs the shrine maid as she gets up.
She rushes straight at her sister, grabs her hands before she really chokes herself, the commands "Suzaku!", and the bird caws as though sighing, grabs one of the ribbon's strands and gently pulls it free.
Kali laughs while the blonde breathes as though for the first time, and Tenshi almost succumbs to laughing as well, but a glance by Rika stops both girls, and the shadow jumps to the celestial's hands and cries "I DIDN'T DO IT!"
The angel-winged maid can only sigh and shake her head while holding on to her forehead to express her disappointment.
The red bird now approaches Yuki, stares into her yellow eyes, then asks so that her master can hear as well "I just don't understand. What in the world do you see inside that head of yours that freaks you out like that? You were doing so well just now."
She shrine maid rubs her chin while pondering, then telepathically says "maybe we should call it a day Suzu-chan. She's clearly unable to go on."
"Forgive me Rika-sama," begins the bird as she perches on Yuki's head and forces her to sit with several wing-flaps, "but sopping now will not help her. There's something in there tormenting that mind, and I promised to help her with it."
"It's that creepy woman, alright? That EVIL, bubbly, creepy woman from the sunflower fields! W-w-with that PINK FETISH OF HERS! UGH!", shouts the frustrated witch.
If Suzaku had lips, she would be smiling as she says "and there we go!"
She flies on to Yuki's right shoulder and rubs her soft feathered head against the witch's cheek to both congratulate her and comfort her while saying "with this knowledge, I am sure we'll be able to cure you of this phobia you have. But still, I don't know exactly what we are dealing with, so with yours, and Rika-sama's permission, I'd like to go and peek into that memory of yours."
The witch seems to panic, her face turns blue, and the sudden giggles from Budou and Chen seem to unsettle her a little more.
Rika crosses her arms under her chest, reluctant to the idea, and hesitantly says "um, I don't know about that Suzaku. That's a too little invasive. Maybe there's something else."
From the sidelines, Kali raises an eyebrow as she looks to the maid, and the more she observes, the more curious she seems to get.
Noticing this, Tenshi smacks the shadow's back and says "yup, she's that good you idiot. I don't really know why you're so afraid of her, but as long as you don't piss her off, or make her cry, she'll treat you like a sister."
The shadow of a shadow youkai remains silent, staring unblinking at the maid in question, then slowly turns to her shadow form to test her powers, yet stops to observe the maid some more.
"Do it," whispers Yuki with a resolute tone of voice.
The maid and her bird turn their full attention back on the witch, who says a little louder "go in there and see for yourself, what that woman did to me! She was a nightmare!"
Rika and Suzaku share surprised and worried glances, then nod as the vermillion bird's eyes begin to glow brighter than usual.
She takes flight and remains hovering in front of the witch while saying "alright then. Since you're a magical being too, it should be easy to share memories, so without further hesitation..."
The red bird locks her eyes on Yuki's while Rika whispers "no, no, dear sis. Look into her eyes, not her wings."
Seems the maid's sweet voice does the trick, because the second she stops talking the witch relaxes, feels like she's drifting into a dream, and the memories begin to flow.
Suzaku finds herself inside a large house, where from the windows, several dead sunflowers seem to be peaking inside.
Around the house she sees Okuu, wearing a pink bow and dress, a pot that keeps shaking about, notes and diaries written in pink, and finally, a woman that looks just like Yuka, only her smile seems more sinister, and her clothes are pink instead of red.
The alternate Yuka grabs the witch and strips her from her black clothes almost instantly, and though Yuki screams as she tries to break free, the woman just giggles and holds her painfully tighter, then everything turns black.
Moments later, the vermilion bird can see when the Makaian wakes up with that woman still all over her, kissing her and hugging her so tight her ribs are starting to crack, and out of despair, the blonde witch manages to blast the offending woman's face, and even though in pain that woman playfully calls "wait, I still haven't fondled you enough!"
Suzaku stops looking into the girl's mind and squawks with surprise when she sees that blonde girl shedding tears like a terrified child in front of herself and crying "y-you see? T-that pink bitch i-is, *gulp* was sick!"
Rika's warm hands gently caress the witch's face, and soon after Yuki finds herself being warmly embraced by the maid and comforted as though it were Shinki.
The angelic maid softly shushes her sister and says "it's ok, that mean shadow woman is long gone. I'm here now. You may cry on me all you want."
Without realizing it, the fire witch starts to bawl "WAAAAAAAH~ She scared me! She scared me and nobody came! She hurt me and wrapped me in pink!"
Suzaku looks at her master and asks "so you could see everything I was transmitting, master?"
The shrine maid nods and the Bird of Vermilion seems to smile before saying "I believe now is a very good time for her to rest, Rika-sama."
Budou, with Phredia on her shoulder, and Chen walk closer to the scene, looking curiously at the sobbing Makaian, then the little bat asks "wh-what's wrong with Miss Yuki? Did she get hurt?"
Rika smiles, still rubbing her Makaian sister's head, and says "yes, I'm afraid dear Yuki got hurt. But it's alright. She's going to be alright now."
Suzaku tweets and says for all to hear "oh yes. Now that we know what we're dealing here with, I am sure Miss Yuki will be alright in just a few days."
The two little girls aw at the sight, join in the hug, then Chen playfully says "Ran-sama makes me feel better, sometimes, when she hugs me. Though most times it bugs me. Heh-heh."
From the sideline, Kali softly asks "but aren't they youkai? Shouldn't they be afraid of that killer maid?"
Tenshi growls after her friend got insulted, but manages to smile while saying "you moron, can't you see? She loves them all. She won't attack them for no reason."
From the left, Genjii adds "inadequate as this celestial may seem, she's right. I do happen to know what happened between you and that girl over there, and let me tell you, it was something she could not control at the time."
He can see the doubt in the eyes of the shadow and promptly adds "just give it some time, young lady. Get to know the real Rika. Who knows, she might even help you out of a jam."
The celestial chuckles, smiling while staring dreamily at her friend, resting her head on her crossed arms on her raised knees and says "that's the kind of girl she is. No matter if you're a mean little bitch, she will always see the good side in you. Incorrigible maid."
Kali stands and takes two wide steps away from Tenshi, staring at her with a raised eyebrow while saying "erm, yeah, you keep away from me weirdo."
A vein pulsates on the blue-haired girl's forehead, and though she smiles she threateningly asks "do you want me to smash your face with a keystone?"
Meanwhile, somewhere over the Youkai Forest, Minoriko and Shizuha Aki overlook the final stages of the completion of their house, which is being rebuilt by shirtless muscled young human and youkai males in black and dark blue overalls.
Between them is Hina Kagiyama, the spinning doll-goddess that picks your misfortunes and keeps them away.
She has long aquamarine hair she ties with a red ribbon in front of her chest, aquamarine eyes, a large frilly bow on her head, wears a red dress with the spiral symbol of misfortune in aquamarine sewed onto the right of her lower skirt, a large white neckerchief, a pair of long black boots, and wraps another frilly ribbon around her right arm like a bandage of sorts.
The spinning goddess drools at the sight of the working men and asks "however did you manage such luck?"
The younger, more abundant of the Aki, grins as she replies "it was our divine presence. Nothing to it."
The older, less abundant, yet sweeter of the Aki, giggles as she turns her head to their guest and with a drooling smile she says "we asked them for help and said we were cute enough to do it for free."
She sighs afterward, turns her blushing face toward the workers, then giggly says "oh, how I'd love to eat them all up right now."
Ignoring this, Hina stares at Minoriko's chest, points at her breasts, then says "so, it was the boobs after all."
Before the younger flushed Aki can reply to that, the boys stand in front of the finished hose and pose, flexing their biceps, while the shortest amongst them says "we're done here. She's sturdy enough to take on a rock, yet gentle enough for a pair of sweet ladies such as yourselves."
With that the men bow and leave, one of them saying "see you around Shizuha-san!", before out of earshot
The two goddesses stare at the older Aki with surprise, then Minoriko furiously demands "hey! How did you do that? I didn't see you flirting! Why didn't you hook ME up, you traitor?"
Shizuha sighs, shakes her head, then says "I tried to sis, but you said they were all sweaty and icky, and you didn't want anything to do with them."
The young autumn goddess whines loudly and slumps, so to cheer her up the goddess of misfortune grabs the girls' hands and cheerfully says "come, I'll make you my special tea on the new oven those delicious burly men assembled for you."
The Autumn goddesses smile, the three girls take one step forward, then Hina yelps when a washtub falls on her head.
She moans as she gets up on her feet, looks around, then asks "wh-?" and another washtub, this one of silver, falls with a clang on her head and knocks her out.
Minoriko panics and shouts "aiee~! Miss Hina!"
Shizuha grabs the spinning girl's hand and commands "hurry, let's take her to the strong-men poster room!"
"Right behind you," replies the younger sister, and as she picks Hina by the other hand and rushes inside the house she declares "and that's my room, you traitor!"
It is now noon at the Hakurei Shrine, and Kyo, Luna and Medicine have already left back to the village.
Ail has tried over and over to activate his Yozoragan blood limit to heal Yukari, but something keeps impeding him from doing so, and this has him frustrated to no ends.
He sighs in defeat to calm himself down just as Budou and Chen run back inside the shrine, then says "ah, Budou, perfect timing. It's time to go."
"Aww, but I wanted to play danmaku with Chen," complains the little bat.
The dense one chuckles before replying "no buts young lady. It's time we get out of Reimu's hair."
"I don't mind~" sings the shrine maiden from the kitchen.
Marisa sits with Mima by the table, and chuckles while saying "silly maiden's still in puppy-love mode, ze."
The evil spirit smiles to hide the vile rage swelling inside of her, yet her ominous voice fails to hide this as she says "yeah. Puppy-love."
She raises her sight to meet the red and white's gaze and says "hey Reimu, just let them go home already."
Mima blinks for one second, Ail grunts, and the next second she finds the Hakurei Maiden clinging on to the dense boy's back, cooing contently while said boy angrily says "hey, get off! Reimu, that's not funny!"
Sanae approaches her love rival with gohei on hand, emanating a dangerous aura about her, and roars "got off him, NOW!"
A swing and a miss when the red and white armpit maiden pushes herself off of the dense boy's back and lands gently on top of her table and says "butt out evil spirit. And you, Moriya, one more wrong move and I'm breaking your arms!"
From the corner on the ground little Yukari pat's the nervous Budou's head and angrily says "hey, calm down. You're scaring the little girl."
Everyone in the room stares oddly at the childlike youkai sage, then from the kitchen Ran nonchalantly says "it's not a pun, she really means it. Relax already."
Ail shakes his head, shrugs, then calmly calls "come on Budou, you and Phredia go first," then opens a slightly unstable, but reliable blue gap leading straight to the Moriya Shrine.
The little bat places her hands on her chest and says "let's go Phredia-chan," then runs straight into the gap and continues running straight into the shrine's living room.
"Come on Sanae, you next," calls the boy.
The blue and white keeps her eyes on Reimu as she slowly makes her way backward into the gap, only to stop to listen to the black-haired girl whisper "be a good little pet green maiden, and go home like you're told."
The taunt worked and Sanae storms toward her rival and grumbles "your petty jealousy is getting on my last nerve, Hakurei."
The Hakurei maiden hops off the table and presses her forehead against the well-endowed maiden's and grumbles "maybe you and I should play danmaku for keeps! What do you say?"
Both girls yelp when bolts of lightning surround them.
The bolts come from Mima's hand, who looks furiously at Ail as she hovers over the table and demands "Ail, get your damned self and your girlfriend OUT of here before I beat your ass again!"
"WHAT?" furiously exclaim the two maidens, and at that very same time there is an odd VWOSH, and the boy exclaims "oh great, not the gap-thing again!"
From her futon, Yukari grins and whispers to herself "u-fu-fu~ Interesting. The disturbance is affecting his abilities with the borders."
Ran kneels beside her master and asks "should I take you somewhere safer and quieter?"
The little blonde girl chuckles, looks up at her shikigami, then says "are you NUTS? This is like one of those soap operas on TV! I'm not missing this!"
From beneath her sheets, a quivering mass with Chen's voice says "please tell me when it's over," then the vixen youkai sighs and says "come on Chen, let's get you to a safer room then."
Back at the center of the action, from behind her imprisonment, Reimu furiously shouts "so you DID do something that day! WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY AIL?"
"It was nothing! We just talked," irritably says the boy in question from the background.
Ignoring her boy, Sanae furiously shouts "you butt out of this shrine maiden, Ail-kun is MY man! And you, green and blue! What did you do to my Ail?"
"Mima, let me just take Sanae and run!", demands Ail from the background.
Completely ignoring him, the evil spirit glares at the girls and says "I gave him the beating he deserved! He messed with things he should have never even thought of messing with!", then grins vilely as she adds "oh, and to make it extra satisfying for myself, I did it without spell cards hindering my powers!"
"Oh crap! You just want to be sent to hell, I just know it!", comments the boy on the background, to which Marisa replies for her master "oi, she'd rule that place in an instant, ze."
Reimu throws several charms forward, while Sanae finishes a chant that made her gohei spin in mid air, and both maiden break through Mima's magic with ease, forcing a surprised shriek from said spirit in the process.
They both place their left foot forward, point at the evil spirit struggling to get up from the floor, then say "you're going to pay for hurting MY Ail!"
They turn to each other and the red and white exclaims "excuse me, you can just go home! This is between me and the bitchy specter!"
The blue and white stomps her left foot and shouts "that's it! Ail-kun is mine, he's always been mine, and you've been doing this to piss me off! Well you've DONE it! Outside, right now Hakurei!"
The black-haired maiden nods, smiles at the green-haired maiden, then playfully says "alright. This should be our last game then," while taking the ribbon off her hair and dropping it, then threateningly finishes "outside! I don't want your body breaking holes in my shrine now!"
From the trees outside, that familiar reporter's voice sounds surprised as she says "whoa! This is going in the front page!"
Ail tackles the tree before Aya can escape, and after she falls on her head beside him he lift her up and furiously demands "don't just take pictures and help me stop them!"
Marisa lightly taps the boy on the head with her broom, points up when she gets his attention, then casually says "she took the ribbon off. Either wait until they're both weakened, or risk losing your life, da-ze."
Both tengu and dense boy stare at the witch, who lowers the brim of her hat as she says "just watch. If things get out of hand, I'll help you stop them if we can. Just not now. She's really dangerous when she takes that ribbon off."
That sense of urgency Ail was feeling just heightened to new levels thanks to Marisa's thoughtless share of information, yet keeps hoping it's just a simple danmaku battle that ends after someone fake-blows up.
"This is it Sanae. You REALLY crossed the line now," shouts Reimu.
"You're the only one out of bounds here Reimu," threateningly replies Sanae.
They square off above the shrine's gate, holding their goheis like one would hold swords, then in the blink of the eye curtains of pink and yellow amulets envelop the skies.
The amount of bullets being shot could kill a youkai, yet these girls take those shots on like they are nothing, probably because they are humans, and talismans do minimal damage to them.
The blue and white gets hit by a volley, she shoots a volley of her own, then raises a spell card and declares "Esoterica, Gray Thaumaturgy!"
The red and white takes her opponent's last volley head-on, shots another of her own, then raises a spell card and shouts "Divine Spirit, Fantasy Seal!"
From the grown below, Aya takes many pictures, while Ail and Marisa stare with awe when Sanae's large ethereal pentagram captures all five of Reimu's elemental orbs and both spells start consuming each other.
"Holy shit," exclaims the witch, "that Sanae must be really pushing herself. She is actually matching Reimu! Oh boy, we might need Mima to stop them."
The dense boy stares strangely at the witch, but decides not to ask to avoid unnecessary breakdowns.
Back on the sky the girls pick up right where they left off and shower each other with a dangerous curtain of bullets, this time including small stars and energy-enveloped needles.
The bullets explode with equal force when they crash against each other, and after the smoke from all the bullets clears, the girls are found grappled by the arms and pushing against each other with all their might.
"You're gonna regret pissing me off," grunts Reimu before gritting her teeth and spreading her lips with a dangerous snarl.
"I'm gonna get you back for that magical circle," grumbles Sanae before turning her face feral with hatred.
There is a loud thud, and even the tengu reporter groans loudly after the blue and white maiden howls in pain.
She hovers in the air, holding her lower abdomen tightly while preventing herself from falling, then she opens her right eye to glare at her hated adversary.
There is a sudden whoosh, followed by a very loud thwack, then the red and white literally cries out in pain.
On the ground, Ail covers his eyes, Marisa covers her ears tightly, and Aya covers her mouth while taking more pictures.
On the sky, the maidens hold their lower abdomens and struggle to remain airborne, then the Moriya maiden grunts "urgh. H-hurts, doesn't it?"
The Hakurei maiden growls, but yelps from the pain, then manages to say "you tell me, insufferable bitch! Divine Arts, Demon Binding Circle!"
The crazed girl flies over to her opponent and wraps her arms around her waist, crushing her breath right out of her body just before the familiar golden pillar of light rises from the roof of the shrine upward.
Both girls scream as the beam burns them both, then the spell stops on its own to reveal Sanae biting Reimu's forehead so hard she cuts through the skin.
The red and white maiden releases the girl and punches her gut before flying away to rub her wound, but before her rival has the chance to counter attack the black-haired girl throws needles and brightly-colored charms her way.
The blue and white maiden screams and yelps when those bullets cut and tare, not only her clothes, but her skin as well.
Even with the pain she feels, Sanae throws her gohei at her opponent and misses.
Reimu chuckles and continues her assault, not paying attention to the thrown gohei as the winds pick it up and turn it around.
She groans when she's smacked on the head so hard a bit of blood spills out, though not as much as the Moriya maiden is bleeding, though that's just about to change.
That moment the Hakurei maiden stops attacking, the green-haired girl shoots intensely colored charms and thin spinning stars at her rival.
Reimu grunts and yelps in an attempt to suppress herself from giving the other girl the satisfaction, but a well placed spinning star right on the chest causes the stubborn maiden to scream as it cuts her skin several times before stopping.
The girls are covered with bloody cuts after the relentless bullet attacks, and yet they seem ready for more as they breathlessly growl at each other.
They rush forward with their goheis held tightly on their hands and clash them so hard they send holy sparks to the sky, and even though they are just clashing those sticks, the impact keeps burning their fingers with each blow.
They finally reach their mark at the same time, Sanae striking Reimu on the left of her neck, same as the Hakurei is doing to the Moriya, leaving a deep cut on each other, then separate to hold their bleeding necks.
On the ground, only Aya notices the deep cuts, but says nothing to the others as she is too distracted with picture-taking to speak.
The girls in the sky glower at each other, breathing hard through the mouth as they recover from the stinging pain, then launch at each other before they are fully recovered, with spell cards held tight on their hands.
Once three feet away the green-haired maiden shouts "Snake Sign, Great Snake Swimming in the Clouds!", at the same time as the black-haired maiden shouts "Treasure Sign, Yin-Yang Orb!"
Instead of the spell themselves, Sanae's hands glow bright blue and Reimu's glow gold, and they throw those overcharged punches at each other with explosive force that equals the powers of the spells.
The first clash is a solid slug on the chest each that sends them both flying several feet away, and though still out of breath they now shoot charms and amulets at each other, and each of those bullets comes packed with more energy than needed to take each other down.
Each bullet explodes with enough force to take down Flandre with one shot, and yet these girls keep ignoring their pain to launch at each other again.
They fly closer, grip each other by the hairs as tightly as they can, and growl, while on the ground below Ail desperately says "ok, enough's enough! We gotta stop them before they kill each other!"
Marisa grabs him from behind by the arms and says "no, you idiot! They'll kill us if we-huh?"
At that very moment in the sky, Sanae pulls Reimu closer to herself and growls "payback for the pain spell Hakurei bitch!", then she unleashes the stored energy from her spell card and passes it into Reimu's own body.
The red and white screams in a manner not even the black and white witch has ever heard her scream before, as the burning energy coursing through her nervous system keeps sending painful jolts all over.
That painful shriek echoes so loudly, even inside the shrine, Mima can feel it vibrate in her none-existent bones, and on the lake, Rika unsheathes her sword and jumps into action, followed shortly by Yuki and Suzaku.
Kali seems is going to follow after her as well, but quickly notices her powers are back to full, turns into a black shadow, then flies the other way.
Back at the shrine's front, Reimu falls with a thud to the ground and is promptly followed by Sanae, who picks and lifts her up by her hair and threateningly whispers "you will never bother me, or Ail-kun again!"
The black-haired maiden grabs her rival by the neck and returns the favor she just received and pours the energy from her spell into the green-haired maiden's body, making her scream equally loud as that burning energy hurts her nervous system.
The blue and white maiden punches the red and white on the face to free herself, then both falls to the ground on their backs.
They manage to crawl several feet away from each other, then struggle to stand on their knees, and though grunting loudly while struggling greatly to do so, they manage to get on their feet.
They are tired, dizzy, bleeding, and just about ready to drop, yet they scream as they summon great power to themselves and rush once again toward each other.
They are in range, both scream as they raise their fists and ready themselves to unleash their bullet barrages, and when they unleash their final furious attack, a quick shadow steps in between them.
Ran and Mima run out the shrine, the spirit asking "what the hell happened now?"
"My lady! My lady Reimu! Where is she?", demands Rika as she rushes toward the front of the shrine, where the rising smoke slowly dissipates.
And there they are, the two shrine maidens with terrified looks on their bloody, burned and cut faces, standing about four feet away from each other with their goheis pointing at one another, yet seemingly missing their mark.
Between them, at the end of each gohei, stands Ail, and right behind him are Aya and Marisa, who failed to stop him in time.
He has seven deep cuts on either side of his body, blood trickles from his nose and left ear, he falls on his knees and some blood trickles from the right side of his mouth, and he keeps staring forward with his shocked eyes, unable to register what has happened.
From the shrine Mima mumbles "and they finally killed him. Was about time," to which little Yukari just smiles at, while staring at the spirit.
"AIL-KUN!", shouts Sanae when her mind finally registers what has happened.
"Dammit, what have I done," whispers Reimu to herself the moment Rika stands by her side and asks "my lady, what has happened here? Why are you all covered in blood? What happened to Ail?"
The dense boy finally realizes what happened to himself as he looks at the several light cuts on either arms, then smiles, chuckles, and says to himself "th-this is incredible. Eiki... Shikieiki, what have I done?"
Sanae rushes to his man, apologizing over and over while trying to find somewhere on his body she could touch him without harming him, then she points at Reimu and barks "YOU!"
The two maidens seem refreshed, and it is obvious they can fight more, something neither Marisa or Aya will permit this time.
The red and white maiden sighs to calm herself down, not wanting to fight with Aya now, and says "look, let's call a truce. We'll get him inside and patch him up."
The blue and white silently agrees with a quick nod, then notice Ail laughing where he kneels.
When he raises his smiling face, the girls gasp at the desperate and confused eyes of the boy and the blood-stained tears running down his cheeks, and with a disturbing grin on his face as he looks at Sanae he asks "what have I done?"
Ail is forced to sit beside little Yukari and stripped of his shirt, something he hates yet doesn't seem to notice at the moment, while the little blonde smiles and sympathetically pats his shoulder.
He looks to the little girl and whispers "I never meant for this to happen."
"There, there," whispers the little girl. "It's all part of growing up."
Around them, Yuki exclaims "whoa, Ail, you're more beat up than when you fought Damien. What the hell happened to you?"
Suzaku flies on to her perch and says "Ail, try not to move too much. Those internal injuries look bad form here."
Aya takes many photos of the boy, then bows and says "ah, sorry, it's an impulse. Erm, I don't, um-"
"Make the story. I don't care," says the dense boy, making the tengu smile, though looking respectful about it.
Marisa, Reimu, Sanae and Rika talk at the same time, arguing about several subjects at once.
The witch says "Reimu, just sit down, ze. Let me and Rika take care of him."
The red and white says "no, I'm the one that's applying the ointment!"
The blue and white argues "we did that damage, so it is I who cares for him!"
The angelic maid threatens "don't you dare point that finger at my lady! You already made her scream once, Miss Kochiya! I won't let it happen again!"
Meanwhile, Mima hovers around the table and glowers at Ail, and when the boy looks at her, that frown she makes turns vile, then she mouths "this. is fault."
Ran and Chen keep themselves away, hidden by the doorway to the rooms corridors, watching their surroundings in surprise.
All of the voices going off at once, Mima's threats, Reimu and Sanae, "Reimu and Sanae. Reimu and Sanae! Reimu and Sanae!", thinks the boy.
He springs onto his feet, glares around with a feral look on his face, then takes in a lot of air and screams "SHUUUUT UUUUUUUP!"
He takes several steps forward and screams "SHUT THE HELL UUUUUP!"
The entire shrine is frozen in shock, then both Maidens ready themselves to confront the boy, but he points at Reimu and shouts "I just can't believe this from you, of ALL PEOPLE!"
He points at himself with his hands and shouts "you fall in love with ME, when I told you several times that you are like a sister! Just because I helped you against Sariel? What the HELL is wrong with you?"
The maiden takes two steps back, unable to believe what she just heard, but before Sanae can rub it in, Ail points at her and shouts "AND YOU!"
He takes his shirt from the ground and places it back on, places his fist on his chest, then says "I love you! For Suwako's SAKE, I've told you a hundred damned times there's nobody else for me, and I meant it, and still do! Why the hell do you keep making this an issue?"
A quick sigh escapes the maiden as Ail points at Reimu and says "and lay off the damned attacks! Tch! To think I so stupidly though you were fighting out of your stupid rivalry! BUT NOOOOO~ You're fighting over ME! Just like Mima said. JEEZ!"
He hits himself on the chest as he says "ME! A stupid! dense! retard! that couldn't figure this out! until the blood was spilled!"
Mima is going to fly over, already raising her sleeve to punch the boy on the back of the head, but that boy turns around and screams "STOP RIGHT THERE YOU MORON!", and the spirits flinches and hops back when the image of a beastly black-eyed dragon springs out of the boy's very spirit.
Ail takes two steps toward her and screams "YOU COULD HAVE TOLD HER! WHY IN THE HELL YOU DIDN'T TELL HER!"
He points at himself with both thumbs as he says "to piss me the hell off! To make my damned life a cursed misery! Probably what your damned life was before you died."
He opens a solid-looking gap straight to the front of the Moriya Shrine, then shouts "I only came to visit Yukari! To learn what had happened! If you didn't want Reimu clinging on my damned, stupid self, you should have just TOLD her from the start. Hell, why didn't you just tell her after ripping my goddamned soul out of my body several times?"
He notices the look of fright on the spirit's face as she looks at the Hakurei Maiden, then notices said girl's shock and anger rising, so he smiles, and sinisterly says "whoops. Another slip-up. Well then, the cat's out of the bag. You better tell her now."
He looks at Sanae and signals her to get close, and after she enters the gap, he walks in behind her, and with that vile smile and sinister tone, she says "you know, you should all take Ran's, Chen's and Suzaku's example. They are the only ones that seem to know how beautiful they look when they shut up at the right time."
With those words he enters the gap and closes it up, leaving many sour faces looking around in shock unable to speak.
Little Yukari smiles, giggles, then says "no dears, don't blame him. That was the other~ Ail speaking."
The faces around the shrine change to confusion, save for Reimu, who looks down to the ground and holds her chest as though having been stabbed with a sharp knife.
At the Moriya Shrine, Suwako sits with Budou on the living room's floor on a small cushion, and even though the little bat youkai keeps complaining, the froggy goddess refuses to let her go, and ends up sitting the young youkai on her lap.
Kanako sits by the donation box and continues glancing over to the shrine's entrance while taking sips from her large sake plate.
"A little late," she mumbles to herself as she takes another drink from her plate, then the blue gap opens up and out come both wounded Ail and Sanae with long singed faces.
The second that gap closes up the shrine maiden turns around and furiously says "how dare you speak to me that way in front of everyone!", then pokes him on the chest while saying "I should have sealed you right there on the spot!"
"Well, sorry for being the assertive boyfriend you always dreamed of making me," mockingly replies the boy with a scowl and a fowl grin aimed at his girl.
Sanae swings a hand to his face, which he effortlessly avoids, and angrily says "how dare you? It's not my fault you've become an... an asshole! And what's the deal with Reimu, eh? What's with that Sariel garbage you were speaking of, huh?"
Ail clenches his hands into fists, but keeps them under his waist as he angrily says "well I got news for you, you selfish, self-centered, one-eyed maiden! It was YOU who wanted me to be stronger! More assertive! Well HERE I AM!"
Before he can say more, the green-haired maiden pushes him back, almost knocking him down, then shouts "get out! Get out of my damned sight, or so help me, I'm gonna-!"
"Just shut up already and seal me! Go on! Go ahead!", he edges, opening his arms and gesturing a mocking welcome.
The boy's challenge is tempting, and this shrine maiden seems eager to accept it, however they both give each other a sudden forgiving glance, and she turns around and walks over to her goddess, ignoring the boy completely.
Ail raises his left hand, aims it at the girl he's scowling at, then opens another solid gap in front of himself.
Suwako taps Budou on the back and whispers "go with him. He needs you and Phredia now," then the little bat quickly nods and runs toward her father, calling "wait, I'm coming with you papa!"
His face completely changes to what he is usually, and after patting the little girl on the head she looks up at him and says "you're hurt again papa! You're going to have to go into time-out again!"
They enter the gap, it closes up, and now only the sound of the wind is heard travelling through the empty shrine.
Sanae expels air from her nose, almost whistling with steam as she does, then continues on her way to Kanako, asking mid-way "Yasaka-sama! What do you know about this deal with Ail and Reimu?"
The goddess of war places her plate next to the half-full bottle of sake on her right besides the donation box, then takes a deep breath before looking at her shrine maiden on the face.
"First, understand this," begins the woman, "as gods, we are not to interfere with this matter, as serious as it is. That is how it was decreed by the Yama and the fates."
The wounded wind priestess nods once, then the goddess continues "when he was returning home from Damien's Makai, that eager little dark boy shot a curse at him and the girls, which in turn activated a magical circle mean to seal Drake's sword at the Hakurei Shrine, so in order to save Yuki and Cirno Ail pushed them out of harms' way and took both curse and blessing at the same time. However in doing so, he was sent to the past, when Reimu was still young inexperienced as a shrine maiden."
Sanae quickly absorbs what has just been told and nods, then Kanako continues "now then, he was also poisoned by the black sap from those trees, and was using considerable amounts of magic to keep himself from falling to the illness the poison would cause him."
"In doing that while exploring the old Hakurei Shrine he attracted the fallen angel, Sariel's attention, and she took both Reimu and Ail back to her tainted shrine to kill them both. Now, your soft-hearted boyfriend saw how that angel of death almost claimed the girl's life, so..."
The green-haired girl waits for the goddess, then blinks after analyzing the information and says "so he saved her butt, and now she's placed a foolish sense of affection on him, right?"
"Something like that," comments the goddess before looking at the donation box, then says "understand that he tried to keep hidden, and even tried running away before she saw him, but she did see him, and with that, some points in history changed, but at the same time remained intact."
She looks at the blue and white maiden, notices the lost look in her face, then sighs and says "this is affecting him greatly as well, but we cannot force you to choose what you should do, now that you know, nor can we help directly."
Sanae nods, glances around until she gazes upon the living quarters, then says "um, I need to take a bath now. D-deal with these wounds, and go make dinner."
Kanako watches as the shrine maiden slowly makes her way to the house, then mentally curses the pact she made of not interfering, and wishes for someone to come and fix this mess for them.
Later that night, at the Hakurei Shrine, Reimu sits on the veranda, looking up at the starry night sky and keeps sighing repeatedly.
From the table in the living room, Marisa says "man, I hate seeing her like that," then she drink from a tiny cup of sake next to Aya, who nods in assent and takes a drink herself, while Yuki, who wears a pink hat, looks at the girls with sympathy.
From the kitchen Rika calls "my lady please, come an eat something at least. It'll make you feel better."
The girl doesn't reply, and just lowers her head to look at her feet and sighs again.
From her futon, Yukari says "let her be. She needs to think," then Suzaku tweets, and so everyone can hear she adds "that is correct Rika-sama. Right now, her thoughts are a little scrambled thanks to that boy's unexpected and sudden outburst."
Even the pink-hatted Yuki stares with surprise when they look back outside.
Mima approaches Reimu and hovers in front of her without saying a word.
The maiden raises her head, and with a soft and cracking voice whispers "this is all your fault."
The evil spirit stares at the shrine maiden without saying a word, infuriating the red and white, who jump on her feet, points at the offending woman and shouts "why did you attack him? What did he ever do to you, huh? What's all that about that you know, but I don't?"
Mima's gaze becomes cold, but she remains silent and continues to stare.
Reimu takes her gohei from the ground and swings it with both hands at the spirit's face, as she screams "TELL ME!"
The spirit raises her staff from nowhere to block her face from the flailing weapon, then looks straight into the maiden's eyes and says "he broke a promise. A promise to stay away from you while you recovered."
Reimu stops her attacks to properly shout "what the hell was that supposed to mean? Recovered? Start making sense!"
"I was just trying to protect you from him!", continues the green-haired woman.
The maiden roars and shouts "so that's why you attacked him? That's why you tried to kill him? To protect me? What manner of stupidity are you blabbing about you old hag?"
One would believe Mima isn't affected at all by that insult by looking at her dodge those charm bullets so calmly, but now she starts shooting star-shaped bullets at the shrine maiden and angrily shouts "this love you feel for that idiot is fake! You shouldn't have such strong feeling for him!"
Reimu continues shooting and dodging as well as the evil spirit does and shouts "my feelings for him are real! He's the one that saved me all those years ago, and I can feel it! We are destined to be together forever!"
"And what about your duties as shrine maiden? What about Gensokyo? Don't you love Gensokyo as well?", shouts the woman as she adds lasers to her danmaku.
"Of course I love Gensokyo! That's why I'm willing to pass this unfair watch-dog task to someone else before marrying Ail!", shouts the black-haired girl as she adds needles to her danmaku.
Mima flies higher and farther away from the girl to have a better chance of avoiding being hit and shouts "gods-dammit all Reimu, THINK! Use that intuition of yours! You KNOW something is wrong about all of this! You KNOW that love should not even BE there! And you know damned well that's not what truly happened with Sariel!"
The Hakurei maiden chases after the spirit with a spell card on hand and shouts "what do you know about that? You weren't even there!"
"I didn't need to be!", shouts the spirit before swinging her staff and sending a magical wave the maiden dodges by easily diving, then continues "I remember the real story, the one you told Marisa, about how your shrine was attacked and you tracked those responsible hiding in Makai!"
Inside the shrine, all but Yukari and her shikigami twitch when the realization hits them, then Marisa herself says "wait, that's right. Sariel didn't take Reimu by force. But then... why-?"
Above the shrine the realization his Reimu also, but her infatuation with Ail blinds her, so she raises her spell card and cries "yo-you LIAR! Dream Sign, Duplex Barrier!"
The painfully shocking barriers grow from around the maiden's frame, yet stop in front of Mima's nose and nothing else; no bullets, no sealing amulets, nothing at all.
In the center of the spell is the pitiable image of the Hakurei maiden, crying like a confused child while looking up at the evil spirit.
"W-why are you lying to me? Stop it! Stop lying!", cries Reimu in hope to hear a laugh and that woman admitting to the lie, but that doesn't happen.
Mima facepalms and groans, then say "look, this is going to be very hard to swallow, but please pay attention. And no, I am not lying."
Reimu's barriers lose intensity as the spirit begins her story.
"When that idiot was returning from that other idiot's Makai, a curse and your magical circle's blessing crashed right on Ail and sent him back in time. The moron was using too much magic on himself and attracted Sariel to you, already screwing up the timeline."
The red and white maiden begins to descend as her spell card cancels, and the spirit woman continues "he got scared when that angel almost killed you, just like the real story, and panicked. He saved you when you should have saved yourself, and then he let you see him."
Reimu is already kneeling on the ground, softly crying "you lie! You're lying," while Rika holds her mistress' shoulders and softly asks "please, get up my lady."
Mima snorts, slowly descends, then says "you know this is the truth Hakurei! But if you're still in doubt, ask the history teacher. She'll tell you how screwed up the timeline is."
The girl holds her ears and shakes her head while crying the word "lies" over and over, but it is obvious to all in the shrine that she believes differently, that she's just trying to convince herself otherwise.
The magical woman hovers closer to the maiden and softly says "I'm sorry Reimu. I never wanted this to happen to you. That's why I asked Ail to keep away, but-"
Looking at the Shrine Maiden of Paradise like this disgusts the evil spirit, and having had enough of this she clicks her tongue and flies to the storage house where her room is.
As she does she sighs and whispers to herself "ugh, that stupid kid," and after she opens the door to head inside she finds Yukari, standing with Ran's help as she smiles and says "you shouldn't blame the boy for everything. He's suffering too you know. He's really sorry for all of that's happened. Well, his good half."
Mima looks back and watches as Rika, Marisa and Aya take Reimu inside the shrine, then turns to look at her guests and says "after seeing that, I believe you are right."
The blond girl giggles, then says "once he is himself again you should apologize. Not that I care about that stuff, but it would help."
With that said, the supposedly-evil spirit waves her hand as she phases through the floor and goes into her room, leaving Yukari with a smile on her bluish face and sweat rolling down her head.
Said girl looks up at Ran and says "er, Ran, please take me to my futon. I'm starting to get dizzy."
The shikigami sighs as she gently picks her young-looking mistress up and says "I told you, you were pushing yourself too hard."
Meanwhile, at the Scarlet Devil Mansion's library, books, books, and more piles of book litter the floors and corridors between bookshelves, one the many tables and desks, and now even Marisa would have trouble finding a book with all the mess.
Patchouli and Koakuma sit by the only two remaining adjacent desks with enough space to read a book on, both reading through pages as fast as they can and groaning irritably after failing to find what they are looking for.
"Argh! Nothing useful on this one either," says the stressed magician.
The little devil tosses her own book aside, picks another, then angrily says "so many books, and not one has anything useful for this!"
The purple-haired librarian picks another book from a massive pile to her right, then commands "just keep looking! It's almost autumn and I'd very much like to find a solution before we reach that mark!"
While the stressed girls continue reading through pages at record-breaking speeds, Leon and Lina hold hands as they walk toward the girls and stare as the girls flip through pages like maniacs.
Before long, the boy asks "my love, what's the matter? Why are you so stressed out?"
Patchouli twitches and says to herself "still not used to that," then turns her disturbing smiling face at the Kori boy and says "oh, we're just looking for one particular spell."
"Is that so my cute little pet?", asks the girl while looking at the red-head devil.
Koakuma chuckles and smiles more naturally than her mistress, and says "yes. And it is very important we find this soon, so please, be good and go do something else."
The Kori girl shares a serious stare session with her brother, then the boy looks at the magician and asks "is this about what Mistress Remilia said?"
"About us disappearing in the winter?", adds the girl.
The librarians stop stiff and dare not raise their eyes, then the ice girl continues "please, do not worry about it. We are not afraid. Besides, we have lived wonderful lives with you two. Learned about magic, family, loyalty, love."
The ice boy smiles and says "that's right. I even experienced death and rebirth, and it's all thanks to you."
"That's something you shouldn't be that happy about, brother," grumbles the girl.
"But," yelps Patchouli.
"But," yelps Koakuma.
The librarians look at each other, then suddenly cry "but we don't want you to go~!"
"It's true that you annoy me during my reading," begins the purple-haired magician.
"But we would miss you very much," finishes the red-haired little demon.
The Kori twins smile, both bow their heads, then look at their hosts and sweetly say "thank you."
The girls look at each other, surprised and confused about what's happening, then the twins giggle.
"We'll go and pick up the books you have finished reading," begins Leon, "so you two just keep looking for that spell and leave the cleaning to us. I'm sure you'll find something sooner this way," finishes Lina.
As they walk away, hands held still, the boy loudly says "and if we happen to find something," "we'll let you know immediately, finishes the girl, and off they go to the center of the library to begin the cleaning.
Patchouli and Koakuma look at each other, smile, and when they realize they are wasting time they both gasp and the little devil exclaims "ack! No more wasting time! Read Lady Patchouli, READ!"
"I'm reading, I'm reading!", shouts the magician before adding "and don't order me around like that!"
The little devil's apology can be heard three floors above, where Sakuya stands elegantly between her two mistresses, whom sit on comfortable-looking sofas as they look down with wide grins on their faces.
Remilia sighs with satisfaction and says "I'm telling you, they are an endless source of eternal amusement."
Flandre giggles and says "that was mean sis, but I have to admit, it was a good one."
The perfect maid places her right hand on her right eye, groans, then says "My Lady, I thought you were telling them for their own emotional well-being, not your own amusement."
The vampire smiles as she looks to her maid, then casually replies "two birds with one stone, my dear Sakuya. Two birds with just one stone."
To be continued...
Characters, spell cards and scenarios belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Kyo, Luna Rivers, Budou, Phredia, Kali, Drake, Leon and Lina were created by Willie G.R.
Rika and Suzaku were created by Snapshot 2010
Damien was created by Hydroviper
SEP 16 2011
So... yeah, shit hit the fan hard for Ail, Reimu and Sanae, and just as Drake also gets his sword back. Good thing Yukari sealed him in the void, but it won't hold that stubborn godling for too long, sadly. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep my word and give you all the satisfaction of Drake's beating by SOMEONE'S spank-hand. Nope, not telling yet. I want it to be a pleasant surprise. Let's hope I can do it :).