NOTE: Quite a long chapter. Again I took some liberties while writing, I hope you enjoy and take it easy.
It is a rather late hour in the night by the time the three hungry nurse-wannabes at the Moriya Shrine chow down like raging beasts the meal presented to them in the center table of the Moriya Shrine's living room.
Sanae sits across Budou, who sits next to Cirno, and all three are eating their bean buns as though if they stopped now the buns would run away.
Each holds one bun on each hand and though Sanae focuses on devouring the one on her right, the fruit bat and ice fairy take a bite off each one on either hand before chewing.
Phredia sits on Kanako's shoulder and watches horrorstruck at the sight, while said goddess stands between the shrine maiden and the door to the rooms corridor with her arms crossed under her chest.
She looks with disgust at the famished trio, then turns her sight to the elf fairy and says "seeing things like this makes me glad I'm a goddess and don't need food to survive."
The little fairy nods in assent and crosses her little arms across her chest while looking away.
Sanae gulps down her monstrous bite and says "well sorry we missed lunch! Honestly, if I hadn't asked missis Ayalina to help we would all be dying of hunger."
A drop of sweat rolls down the goddess' forehead as she says "w-well it's not like I don't know how to... cook and such things. Umm, still y-you were the ones holding back from coming to eat just to watch over that sick-boy over your room."
A ladle covered with red bean paste flies straight and true at the mighty goddess' forehead and knocks her down to the floor while Phredia quickly flies off the woman's shoulder to avoid getting tangled in the mess.
Kanako rises from the ground with mighty ladle on right hand, vein pulsating on the head, and bean paste stain on the forehead while furiously asking "what the hell was that for flower mom?"
From the kitchen's doorway Ayalina smiles casually while holding on to a wet towel and saying "that 'sick boy' happens to be my sweet boy Ail, so you better not speak ill of him like he's some sort of insect."
The youkai mother catches the flying ladle with grace and skill and begins cleaning off the paste while the blue-haired goddess furiously exclaims "I was just making a point! There's no need for that crap in-"
The well endowed war goddess changes her expression quite abruptly and turns her attention toward Sanae's room, then asks "what in the... What's going on over there?"
Ayalina quickly demands "what's wrong? Kanako what's happening to my boy?"
The goddess ignores the flower youkai and promptly rushes to the room, and Ayalina quickly drops the towel and ladle and chases after the goddess, saying "if something happened to him I'm going to rip some heads off!"
On the table, Cirno, Budou and Sanae stare at each other with their second bean buns held against their lips, then Phredia flies over and pulls on Budou's wing, edging her and the others to hurry up and follow.
Without further hesitation the three girls jump to their feet and follow Kanako and Ayalina to the room, the shrine maiden feeling something; a strong source of power that feels warm and familiar, but different at the same time, hanging in the air around her.
Reaching the open doors to the room, all three girls gasp at the sight inside, and just like Ayalina, stand in place with their arms hanging limp in the air, their mouths wide open, their eyes almost popping out of their sockets, and in Budou's and Cirno's cases, their wings stretched as open as they can be.
Inside the room Ail floats in the fetal position inside a rainbow-colored orb that is surrounded by the most peculiar yet beautiful rock formation they have ever seen.
It is reddish-brown and looks like a giant fairy with smooth hair that curls slightly at the tips, wearing what looks like a long strapless dress made of silk and flowers, and its wings happen to be where Ail is encased.
But that's not what has these girls frozen in shock.
To the left of said formation is a well endowed woman dressed in a purple robe with long white sleeves.
She has perfect skin, smooth blonde hair with the sideburns laced with a red string, bright turn-color eyes which seem to have a hint of grey as the dominating color, wears Suwako's straw hat, which happens to look a bit silly on her, and ties the middle of her robe with red rope and thus shows off her perfect figure.
She raises her left leg as she sits in mid-air, showing off a bit of skin from her bare right leg and smiles angelically as she says "so much faith from one little fool. Really, he earned this prize along with my blessings."
Kanako stares with both confidence and annoyance at the true form of her goddess rival and friend and says "well, well, if it isn't the old form of my ancient child-like enemy."
Picking up on the wind goddess' subtle insult, the straw-hat goddess replies "well I still look better than you, and my complexion is flawless in comparison."
After a minute passes by, Sanae recovers herself and with unexplainable tears in her eyes she exclaims "M-Mo-Moriya-sama! Bu-bu-but I thought... How did you... So beautiful."
Budou looks like a zombie as she stares at Suwako's true form and in a monotone voice says "the light. It's so beautiful. I must go to it."
The second the bat youkai jumps toward the goddess the elf fairy traps her inside an oval barrier, making Sanae angrily exclaim "Phredia, what the hell are you doing to Budou?"
Without looking at the goddess the maiden knows she's being gestured to calm down, and when she does look at Suwako she notices her hand is slightly raised and gesturing said command, and in a soothing yet strong tone the goddess says "regardless of how sweet she is, if Budou were to touch me now she'll be purified in an instant."
The green-haired maiden nods while keeping her eyes locked on the goddess before her, ignoring the ice fairy flying between them toward an unknown goal.
Ayalina finally snaps out of her own shock, scowls at Suwako, then demands "hey sexy goddess, what about him! What are you doing to my baby Ail? Why is he inside that ball thing?"
The goddess can't contain her smile which also causes a powerful bright light to emanate from within her own body, and says "his faith is so strong and so pure he alone gave me enough power to take this ancient form."
From the background Kanako snaps "HAH! There, she said it! She's ANCIENT!"
Ignoring the air-headed goddess, Ayalina demands "and? What does that have to do with my baby being inside that thing?"
Sounding hesitant, Sanae asks "he... he's not, umm... you know... dead?"
The blond goddess giggles and shakes her head, then says "I am just answering his prayer and healing his body. Don't you two worry, he's going to be just fine. Once he's out of there he'll need one, maybe two days of bed rest and he'll be back to his hundred."
The goddess's smile widens when she sees that gleam in Sanae's eyes and adds "you will be smothering him with your love again before you know it."
The green-haired one blushes with embarrassment and looks toward the orb, and that's when she and everyone in the room notice the adorable sight of one ice fairy and one bat youkai sleeping on top of the orb to the left and right, both snoring softly while the elf fairy flies over their heads as though guarding their dreams.
Half an hour later Suwako is skating on the water of the lake and making several plants and flowers bloom on her path and wither away as soon as she's three feet away, enjoying her restored powers while Kanako sits as though in meditation on top of one of her sacred logs.
The nature goddess suddenly stops, her face turns stern, then the familiar voice of the yama of paradise echoes above the two goddesses heads, though doesn't seem to be heard elsewhere.
Eiki chuckles, then says "Moriya, it's been quite some time since I saw you like that."
Suwako smiles and nods rather respectfully, then says "I owe it all to that time-meddler."
The disembodied voice of the yama quickly replies "you do realize you are interfering with his punishment."
The blond goddess shakes her head and says "no, his punishment is the shrine maidens and you know it. Frankly I'm surprised that you'd want to see someone hurt so badly Eiki."
The yama quickly replies "er, no I'm not. I-I just think he's getting off the hook to easily."
Both Suwako and Kanako grin, then Eiki's voice groans and says "fine, I'm really mad at the twerp! Do you know how hard it was to have him become enlightened and then have him do something so... retarded! I WOULD have expected that of Kyo, but HIM?"
The blue-haired goddess sighs and says "blame that heart of his. It's far too soft."
There is a moment of pause before Shikieiki finally speaks up "then I will speed things up. He and the maidens will go through this earlier, but this HAS to happen! He has to see what his soft-hearted foolishness has caused, and you two better butt out of it, no matter how much faith he pours into you!"
Both goddesses nod in assent, then Kanako sternly says "like good gods we are, we will offer guidance."
In an equally stern tone Suwako adds "we will NOT interfere, you have our word. I too agree he needs to see the error of his actions."
The air echoes with a soft chuckle from the yama, then she asks "and you two... won't take advantage of this? Won't you try to separate your precious girl from him?"
Kanako shakes her head and shivers before saying "we learned our lesson. Best we not interfere again."
There is yet another moment of pause, then all three say in unison "agreed!"
Elsewhere at the Youkai Mountain, Drake arrives to Kasen's mansion/dojo but doesn't enter it.
He stands outside the main entrance and looks within the building as though expecting something.
The law of attraction works its karmic wonders and from behind him Kasen angrily says "there you are. I don't know what kind of guts you have, but coming back here after what you pulled off, after you read Gensokyo's records, really upsets me."
The godling turns around while saying "I was just trying to help that lady. She's going down a very dangerous path miss Ibara! I just wanted her to see the- wait."
The realization quickly hits the boy and he suspiciously asks "how do you know what happened? I knew you'd probably heard of the events, but it sounds to me like you know everything that's happened? Were you following me?"
From behind the hermit a girl sternly says "not quite", then reveals herself to the boy.
Momiji Inubashiri, the loyal white wolf tengu, has short white hair, red eyes, wolf ears, a white and fluffy tail, and wears a long-sleeved white shirt with separated sleeves held together by what look like black rings, a black skirt with red fire motif around the bottom, and holds a round white shield with a maple leaf designed on it on her left arm, and has a large silvery-black scimitar resting against her right shoulder.
The wolf looks sternly into the godling's eyes and says "you can probably tell by yourself but I'll explain regardless. I can see great distances and I saw all that happened over that temple."
Kasen crosses her arms as she adds "and I asked another tengu to investigate so I am well aware of almost everything."
Drake is already holding out his hand and concentrating energy on it as he glares at the white wolf tengu and says "you associate with tengu, the most cunning and vile of creatures? Kasen they will backs-"
"They are powerful allies to those willing to extend a hand!" interrupts the hermit.
The boy takes a step back, he can't believe any of this.
In his mind he relives a battle with several masked tengu that were trying hard to end his life, but as he stares at Momiji he feels more and more at ease, especially since this tengu doesn't wear a mask and seems to be a very honorable warrior.
He lowers his guard and looks to the ground to his right and asks "what is wrong with trying to help?"
The hermit quickly replies "from here it looked like you were trying to take over the place."
The white wolf adds "and from the reports you might as well have been. THAT is no way to help anyone, Starstriker."
There is a moment of pause and although it looks like the boy is about to leave, he just kicks a small stone with his right foot.
Kasen sigh and places her hand on the right side of her face and says "look, just go to your room and meditate on this. I will try to help you, but this will be the last time. You attacked humans, twice, and that's something I just CANNOT allow, so don't think you'll go unpunished either."
The boy obediently turns around and walks into the building, and as they hear him walk up to the second floor, the white wolf asks "think we can speed up his leaving? I'm getting a very bad feeling from him."
The hermit sighs and says "not that I'm aware of, so for now keeping him in check is all we can do."
The girls look up the building for a moment, then turn their sights on each other and stare.
In a flash the tengu is pressing her sword against the hermit, who has said sword held by the sides with her clapped hands, and while grunting the tengu says "thank you for choosing tengu services. Please come again."
The hermit girl smiles and easily pushes the wolf-eared girl to the sky, then said girl waves back and very friendly-like says "see you later~!"
Kasen lets out a quick chuckle, then says to herself "yeah, later."
Meanwhile, at Damien's Makai, which is no longer has the mirror spell, the lord of the lands grunts and screams as though in a fight.
Akaizo, wearing the blue, long sleeved princely shirt and black pants, holds a sword made of pure darkness on his right hand and is relentlessly attacking the Makaian lord, while said lord uses his staff to block the black weapon while focusing on attacking with magic at the same time.
It's taking him some level of concentration to achieve a dangerous level of attacks and magic spells at once, while Akaizo seems to do the same without showing a single strand of effort from his part.
They are at the eastern mountain where the building there has lost the illusion of being a derelict shrine and now looks like a massive castle built with black bricks that seem to emanate an eerie ghoulish glow on the outside.
The fighters grunt loudly as they push each other away, land several feet away from each other, and glare into one another's eyes as black fireballs and greyish-green charms explode on the ground between them.
A bead of sweat rolls down Damien's forehead and he angrily says "if I wasn't this strong I would have died. Tone it down you fool!"
Akaizo furiously replies "you agreed to my methods of training and to that we will hold! I won't let you slip again!"
The Makaian lord growls inwardly while the goat-faced lion dragon thing face palms and says "you are LUCKY my wife and I played our parts right or Ail might have killed you! If you plan on challenging him again I am going to make SURE you are ready! Now, ON YOUR GUARD!"
The grunts, screams and explosions resume as the lord and his subject resume their training, but all stops quickly when Akaizo's blue-haired, dragon-tailed wife approaches the men and asks "still sore about your loss my lord?"
Lord and subject drop from the sky and land in front of the woman, and immediately the brownish-gold-furred Makaian rushes to give his wife a kiss.
Disgusted and annoyed from a distance, the dark boy points at the two and exclaims "I only lost because of your little game, but next time it's going to be different!"
The blue-haired woman sends a rather naughty smile at the lord, giggles, then says "you should be grateful. If it wasn't for us, that seemingly-weak boy would have had your neck."
The goat-humanoid steps forth and adds "and that is why I have to train you twice as hard. That way the next time he comes you can kill him, then go after this Kyo fellow you're after."
Damien places his fists on either side of his waist and clicks his tongue while looking to the ground to his left, then quickly turns his face at the woman and says "you two listen to me good. Next time I get that bastard in here you better take down that goddamned barrier!"
The woman's dark-blue eyes become slitted and her face turns feral as she seemingly calmly says "that is our territory! Not the previous lord, not you, not your conquerors will ever get even close to that place. It's OURS! Only Akaizo, me and OUR friends can enter!"
The Makaian lord gins vilely after hitting the woman's raw nerve, then says "well, unlike the previous lord I happen to know your name... missis-"
He mouths the words to avoid speaking them and smiles cynically at the double gasp from Akaizo and his wife, then the goat-man smiles and says "you most certainly are the best lord we've had in ages, lord Damien."
The Makaian lord smiles more naturally with his staff resting against his left shoulder, then commands "ATTACK!"
The training resumes as soon as Akaizo reaches his lord with darkness sword on hand and determination in his eyes.
The next morning, in Sanae's room at the Moriya Shrine, Ail wakes up feeling completely renewed and refreshed, lying on his futon without covers, and with Budou lying on the left of his chest and Cirno on the right.
He moves his eyes around when he hears Sanae snoring softly in the room, and that's when he remembers he IS in her room, and hoping to catch a good view of his sleeping girl the boy effortlessly sits up without disturbing either the fairy or bat youkai and looks to Sanae's bed.
In his mind he curses the bed sheets but gives up arguing with his inner voice when he realizes that's the most obvious thing that could happen.
Still, not even a peek, it's so unfair, and that's when he hears Suwako's child-like voice as she says "he's over here."
Footsteps get closer and closer and he can hear Kanako saying "you took too darn long."
A man quickly replies "look, I got lost in that forest. Thing is, she's here. Can I go now?"
The sliding doors open up to Suwako and Eirin, and past them Ail can see as Kanako dismisses a wolf tengu.
The kero-chan goddess smiles and says "and it seems he's made a miraculous recovery. Morning sick-head."
The boy with the two little girls on his arms smiles, bows and says "morning Suwako-sama. Eirin-san, good morning."
The Lunarian smiles and bows, then says "so black sap huh? You are so lucky to be living amongst goddesses. The suppository used for curing that is..."
She smiles very friendly-like, something the dense boy doesn't really like, then she says "you know what, never mind that. Let's just have a look at you."
Behind him Sanae moans as she gets up and stretches out, then smiles and drowsily exclaims "Ail! You're awake!"
Glorious sight of Sanae's thin pink flowers pajamas with the open button at the chest, showing off some skin and making Ail blush, gulp and nervously reply "g-go-go-ood morning Sa-Sanae."
Suwako covers her wide grin and suppresses a chuckle, Kanako smirks with a glint escaping her right eye, then the Brain of the Moon happily says "well seems he's making an EXCELLENT recovery, but I'd still like to perform a quick check-up, just to be sure."
The two love-birds blush beat red when they realize what's happening, and Sanae quickly buttons her pajama.
A few moments later Budou and Cirno sleep on Sanae's bed while the pajama maiden joins the goddesses at watching Eirin run some tests on the dense one.
She holds his leg with both hands, keeping his knees between her hands, and in a sudden move she pushes the leg's joint together as hard as she can.
The boy springs up and raises his hands in pain, and although he's trying to scream the jolting sensation from the nerves on his knee prevent him from doing so, and as soon as the pharmacist lets him go he drops down and twitches around, wishing "please let me fall out of consciousness. Please, please, please, PLEASE!"
The Lunarian stares at his face and says "can someone lift his head up please?"
The maiden eagerly jumps into action and quickly uses her lap as a pillow for Ail.
She brushes his hair with her palm and his forehead with her fingers as she smiles at him and asks "better?"
The pain he was just feeling a moment ago is gone and all he can see and feel is the maiden and her touch.
With pink cheeks and a relaxed smile he nods, then Eirin says "oh he's relaxed quite a bit. Good, I can conduct the other examinations without sedating him. Ah, hormones. So wonderful."
While Eirin works her magic and Ail remains in his state of bliss, the maiden looks at the goddesses and asks "so why do you look like a child again lady Moriya?"
Suwako places her hands on the back of her head and casually answers "as much faith as he gives I can't keep that form forever, so I'm just conserving power like this."
Kanako whispers "showoff", to which the nature goddess sticks her tongue out as a response.
Ignoring the goddesses, whom are sticking their tongues out in various manners at the moment, the shrine maiden looks to the doctor and asks "so how's Ail-kun? Will he be alright?"
The silver-haired woman pours a few drops of Ail's blood inside a vial with green liquid, which immediately turns pink, then says "yes, he's as good as new. There's not a drop of poison in his body, though he needs to stay relaxed all morning. His joints are still a bit tense."
Sanae scratches his head, making him blush and smile wider, then says "I think we can do that much."
From behind her Budou asks "hey, where's gramma Ayalina? She should be here."
The maiden turns around to look at the little bat and with a smile says "well, good morning you. Miss fairy good morning to you too."
Cirno moans almost as though crying while rubbing her eyes, then drops on the bed again, and this happens to get Eirin's attention.
Meanwhile Kanako answers Budou's question "she's at Ail's home. Said she needed to get things ready for when her baby went back."
Ail's lips wriggle and Sanae frowns at the chuckling goddesses, but all stop when the Lunarian exclaims "this fairy needs to be outside! Something drained her considerably and she doesn't seem to be recovering fast enough inside these walls."
The dense gold-hearted boy worriedly asks "will she be alright?"
Eirin picks up the ice fairy and coldly says "you just focus on relaxing young man. I'll take her outside so she can soak on some sunlight, now..."
Suwako walks out the room with the doctor and the held fairy, then said doctor turns her head toward Ail and Sanae and says "oh, and no sex for three days."
The boy and the girl quickly blush hard with embarrassment while Kanako and Suwako angrily say "hey, don't give them any funny ideas."
Eirin giggles and says "just kidding~ I just love saying that."
Angry scowls aim at the Lunarian doctor while one very curious Budou asks "mama, papa... what's sex?"
Meanwhile, at the Myouren Temple there is chaos.
Shou is flying above the whole temple grounds in circles, Minamitsu keeps calling out inside and outside her ship, Ichirin and Unzan, along with Kyouko and the red-haired fairy rush around the grounds inside the walls, Nazrin and a large group of youkai and humans split into groups are searching outside the temple grounds, and Kogasa and Nue watch everything from under a tree over a safe distance, far away from the temple.
They can hear as the tiger youkai shouts "ANYTHING?" and the nun with the pink cloud-man shouts back "she's not here!"
They can hear as the tiger shouts back "then keep searching", and Nue sighs and asks Kogasa "so she's not gonna give up, huh?"
The karakasa youkai sighs sadly and replies "no. I don't blame her though."
Inside the temple, Byakuren's room has its door wide open and the insides are empty, save for a brown scroll that's been left wide open in the middle of the floor.
The scroll is a letter for the temple dwellers, and it reads: "Namusan. I am sorry for leaving so abruptly, but I have no other choice. I want to be alone and if I said anything to any of you that is the last thing you would have allowed me. At least I can explain my actions through writing."
As the letter writes out in the air we see how a party of three humans and two rabbit youkai are being led by the three tailed male nekomata searching for any possible hiding spots inside the main temple, where a newly placed jade Buddha statue has been placed on an altar in the very center of the stage of the prayer room.
As they search the large room, under the few chairs and for possible secret doors on the walls the letter continues to write itself out.
"Understand I thought about this thoroughly and tried to meditate hard for an answer, but I didn't achieve anything. Maybe I'm not as enlightened as I thought. I am going to leave the temple for a while to look for that answer. That boy, Drake, he was right about some things, and I ne. NEED an answer I cannot find within these walls. Please, do not DO NOT come looking for me."
As the last sentence writes out we see the garden to the left of the main temple.
It's filled with all sorts of vegetables and a few flowers that are well-tended.
It is obvious that these are taken care of by Captain Murasa, and seeing as they are so moist in this summer weather it is possible that Kogasa is causing it to rain for these plants with her own spells.
Ichirin, Kyouko, the red-haired fairy that dresses like Shou, a black mouse youkai and a slender orange-fur-covered vixen youkai fly above the garden and scan the area with their eyes while the letter continues writes itself out.
"You would probably say to me 'But miss Hijiri, look at all the wonderful things we've done in such a short time!' I agree, we have done many great things, but what if Drake is right? What if we're upsetting the Buddha? I don't know. I tried to communicate with him and failed, so maybe- so he's probably right. But that's not an answer, that's just a question. I keep questioning myself and everything. That's why I had to do this. Please understand."
As the letter writes out we see Nazrin walking around with a very annoyed look and holding her dowsing rods, black rods with the North and West, and South and East symbols on their ends.
She and her group of youkai search near the outside of the temple's walls for anything that might lead them to Byakuren, while Shou flies close by with a pack of small night sparrows around her.
The mouse looks irritated toward the tiger and shouts "Toramaru, for crying out loud! Let's stop this already. We. are. not. gonna. FIND HER!"
Though agitated and extremely anxious, the tiger youkai manages to neutrally shout back "Naz please, just once more around the back! I-if we can't find anything then I'll call off the search. Please Nazrin."
The mouse youkai groans, raises her dowsing rods, then continues her futile search while the letter continues writing itself out.
"Shou, I beg of you, don't blow this out of proportion. I am fine and I WILL return to you. I just need a few days alone, nothing more. If the divinities will allow it I'll come back wiser and with my head held up high. If not... Well, I will return, regardless. Nazrin, be a dear and knock some sense into Shou if you see that it is needed. Again I apologize for doing this, but there truly is no other way for me. Much Love, Byakuren Hijiri."
As these last words write out and slowly fade away we return to Kogasa and Nue, and the undefined one has a look of fury in her face, even though she tries to act all cool about the mess.
The karakasa tries looking into the nue's face, but suddenly snaps her fingers and exclaims "wait a moment! I know someone that's lucky enough to run into miss Hijiri!"
The undefined one almost falls off the tree branch when the karakasa takes flight, then shouts "w-wait, WAIT! Kogasa, what are you- Ugh she's gone!"
She accommodates herself back on the tree branch and gazes at the karakasa as she flies full-speed toward the Youkai Mountain, then says to herself "tch, leaving me alone at such a crucial time."
She looks to the temple and says "and without Byakuren here those girls will kick me out for sure."
She turns her sights to the Youkai Mountain and growls softly, then says "it's all that Drake's fault. I should have killed him when I laid eyes on him."
She takes flight toward the mountain, keeping close to the ground to keep away from unfriendly eyes and says "he was headed there too. I'm going to find him, and when I do I'm going to make him sorry for messing with me."
An ominous black aura looms around the nue youkai as she growls while flying slowly toward her goal, her eyes fixed on the very last spot she saw the godling, before turning into something rather unidentifiable.
At the Hakurei Shrine Reimu wakes up with a most wondrous smile on her face, and an amazing scent that fills the air.
She is almost floating as she heads to the table, but stops mid-way when she notices Rika cooking in the kitchen and happily greets "good morning Rika! That smells delicious!"
The shrine maid twitches at the sound of her mistress' voice and manages to reply "m-my lady. G-good... um, morning. Um I, er, can see you had... another good dream. Right? Eep!"
A quick yelp escapes the maid's lips when she realizes her mistress is three inches away from her face and is staring with pity and longing.
Said maiden suddenly frowns and her eyes turn a bit glassy as she asks "Rika what's the matter? You've been so jumpy lately and so... sad. Why don't you tell your lady Reimu what's wrong?"
The maid gulps as she looks into her mistress' adorable eyes while thinking "oh no! Rika you made her worry! Look at that face! She was so happy just a second ago and now is so sad! Bad maid! BAD! Uuu~ My lady I'm so sorry!"
The maid takes a deep breath and recovers her natural smiling face, her bright light-blue eyes full of life and light, and with a very warm smile she bows to Reimu and says "my lady is so considerate of me. I am fine as you can see. Just, still a bit sleepy, I guess."
The maiden and her maid smile and giggle together, then red and white jump-hugs the maid and holds her tight while mentioned maid uses every bit of will in her to suppress her sudden twitch.
Reimu stops her hugging and gives Rika a friendly rub on the upper arms before turning around to the table and saying "I am so glad Rika. We've been so worried about you. You look so down and sad all the time now. We really don't like that and want you back."
The shrine maid watches as her lady almost floats to the table and gulps while listening to the maiden.
The maid now looks to the floor and thinks "my dear lady Reimu, you truly are wonderful, worrying about me so much. But how should I tell her? How can I say to her that after these memories returned I feel as though I'm surrounded by those who wish to do me harm. That would break my dear lady's heart."
Suzaku's voice sounds clear in Rika's mind as she says "careful what you are thinking Rika-sama. You never know who could be reading to those thoughts."
There is a short pause while the red bird flies through the open doors of the kitchen and glides toward Reimu, and while the maiden happily coos and scratches the bird's cheeks, the maid can hear the vermillion bird telepathically saying "go ahead. Rika-sama now's the perfect opportunity to tell her about this. She can help you!"
The shrine maid growls inward, turns around to tend to breakfast before it burns and angrily thinks "no! I've been nothing but trouble to my lady and my friends! I can't do this to them!"
Suzaku coos loudly when the shrine maiden finds her scratching point under her beak, and when Reimu stops she telepathically says "woo-hoo-hoo, that felt good. Anyway, I understand how you feel and I will never force you to go against your will, but things like these tend to blow up over time. Please think about it and do the right thing, before you reach that critical point."
There is another moment of pause while the bird flies to her perch, then she adds "miss Reimu loves you very much Rika-sama, as do Tenshi, miss Koakuma, miss Youmu, mister Ail... Your friends will never think of you as a burden master. Trust in them please. Talk to them about this. You will be surprised."
Rika twitches and gulps, a tear rolls down her cheek and sizzles when it touches the hot pot beneath her face, but she suppresses her desire to cry and continues with preparing breakfast, all while Reimu keeps looking outside and smiles.
The shrine maiden suddenly says "you know, in this dream he didn't have his wings, but I know it was him. He came from behind and embraced me, and we just watched the clouds pass by. It was magical."
The maid twitches again, gulps, and through a cracked voice she says "i-is that so? Well maybe that dream means he's closer than you think my lady. I'm... happy for you."
Not noticing the sadness in Rika's voice, the red and white continues staring outside and smiling as she giggles she replies "hu-hu, I hope you're right. I want to meet him, outside of my dreams."
While this conversation takes place, Suzaku hides her anxious face under her wing, pretending to be preening while thinking "oh dear, she's got it far worse than I thought! That stupid boy."
It's almost midday now, and at the living room inside the Moriya Shrine's living house Sanae sits on the couch next to Ail, and she has him lying on her lap and is continually brushing his hair with her hands.
His face is that of the most perfect description of bliss available, while her face is the most perfect description of peace and serenity ever seen.
Even Suwako, who watches them from outside, feels slightly jealous and wishes for such treatment, though Kanako looks more like she's ready to cut Ail's head off.
The dense-yet-sneaky boy raises his left arm to touch Sanae's chin, brushing his arm against her chest in the process, and all said maiden does is giggle and hold his arm against her face, making sure his arm is pressed against her womanhood.
Behind kero-chan are Budou and Phredia, and the bat youkai sticks her tongue out in disgust and says "blwe, mushy stuff. I don't want to see all that stuff any longer so I'll be going to the village, k?"
Yasaka turns to stare at the little bat and asks "so you're just going to leave that fairy unattended and all on her own? What will your papa say to that, I wonder?"
To Budou's direct right, on a patch of frozen flowers under a tree sleeps Cirno, who seems to be on the slow path to recovery.
A drop of sweat rolls down the bat's forehead as she groans softly and says "auu, you're right. But I don't wanna look at that anymore! It's cute, but it's just too much!"
The Moriya goddess chuckles nervously and in a low tone says "three straight hours is a bit too much."
Unlike the rest, Phredia looks quite happy and sighs lovingly as she stares at the couple.
Either way it doesn't matter to Kanako, who lifts the ice fairy off the ground and says "alright, let's go to the lake. That way we won't have to look at them anymore."
Suwako and Budou nod simultaneously while Phredia seems to silently complain, yet follows after the goddess and the bat with her little arms dangling downward and her face turned to the ground.
Two minutes afterward Kogasa lands in front of the donation box and calls "Sanae-san, I need you to find Hijiri for me!"
She looks around and waits for an answer, but she gets none so she calls again "Sanae-san~! Are you here?"
This time she's replied by the sound of the wind and the rustling of leaves of the bushes and trees.
Seeing as it's not really the kind of reply she was hoping for she asks herself "where could she be?" and heads toward the living house of the shrine.
Her umbrella's eye peeks through the corner of the open door, followed promptly by her own eyes, and just like that her face gets filled with infinite curiosity.
Still on that couch Ail and Sanae giggle away while whispering sweet nothings at each other.
The boy manages to lift up long enough to tickle her ear with his whisper, then after a giggle the maiden forces him back on her lap and continues to enjoy playing with his hair.
The adorable karakasa youkai stands right in front of them, staring with great curiosity before saying "if you're trying to eat Sanae-san you need to go for the arms first."
The maiden yelps, the boy hiccups and falls on the floor, then the maiden angrily shouts "Kogasa! What the hell are you doing here?"
The karakasa youkai screeches and jumps away, curls up into a ball, covers herself with her umbrella, then nervously and rapidly says "a-a-a-I'm looking for miss Hijiri and thought I'd ask you for help because you're very lucky at finding stuff you're not really looking for!"
The green-haired girl stands up and exclaims "what are you talking about youkai! Do I have to exterminate you again?"
The dense one raises his head and exclaims "Byakuren's missing?", then looks at Sanae and exclaims "we have to go and help!"
The maiden's expression completely changes to calm after her man speaks, then says "alright let's try and help, but you better not strain yourself mister! You're still recovering!"
Before the dense one answers he stares at the karakasa who has recovered already, as she says to Budou "oh yes, Ail's spirit is VERY delicious. Still I like variety, so I try to scare other humans too."
When the dense one sees the interest in the little bat's eyes he quickly hops on his feet and says "okay now! Kogasa, no more giving her ideas, Budou, me and Sanae will be leaving now, so-"
Before he can finish, the ice fairy clinging on his back says "you're not going anywhere without me! I promised to take care of you!"
The green haired maiden angrily says "get away from my man!", and Budou says "then I'm coming too!", and before they know it, there is an ice fairy, a karakasa, a fruit bat, and a shrine maiden talking at the same time.
Ail can't pick up anything they are saying and he knows saying something will only make things worse, so instead he opens a gap straight to the Myouren Temple, waits for the girls to notice it and quiet down, then sighs and says "there, we can all go."
Without further argument, the girls jump inside the gap one-at-a-time, Phredia flying out of nowhere and jumping on Budou's shoulder as she enters said gap, then the dense one sighs, shakes his head, then jumps in.
At the Myouren Temple Shou paces left and right in front of the jade Buddha statue in the main temple while Ichirin, Nazrin and Kyouko watch her go on and on.
The tiger youkai stops, sighs, then says "ok, I can do this. I can take care of things while Hijiri's gone. I mean, nobody wants to seal her so she'll be back, and I can take care of things while-"
Ail's gap opens up and the girl shouts "holy Bishamonten's mother, an attack!"
Kyouko immediately repeats "holy Bishamonten's mother, an attack!", then sighs and says "auu, I need to stop that."
Kogasa, Sanae, Cirno, Budou, Phredia and Ail jump out of the gap one-by-one in front of the shivering tiger youkai with the lance, then the dense boy smiles and says "Shou, how are you? Say, what's with that stance?"
The tiger girl furiously swings her weapon in the air while crying "don't do that, you fat bloated idiot-head!"
Kyouko rapidly cups her hands and shouts "don't do that, you fat bloated idiot-" but stops before finishing, gulps, takes many deep breaths, then says "ok, it's alright. It's all goo- IDIOT-HEAD! Grr, dammit!"
When the yamabiko looks toward the tiger again she gasps at the sight of the green armpit maiden threatening said tiger with the gohei to the neck.
The green-haired shrine maiden glares into Shou's eyes and points at Ail as she sinisterly says "you better watch it Toramaru. We are here to help because HE wanted to."
Sweating and with a purple face, the Bishamonten disciple nods rapidly and whimpers "s-sorry. J-just nervous. Sorry!"
The dense one with the heart of gold places his hand on his girlfriend's shoulder and shakes his head after getting her attention, thus making her back away from the clearly distressed tiger-girl.
After the girls calm down the dense one asks "alright what I understand so far is that Byakuren left, now what exactly happened? What caused her to leave?"
Shou looks around and stops at Ichirin, then at Kogasa, and finally at Ail, then takes a deep breath and says "let me get you some tea. This is going to be a long story."
Meanwhile, at the Scarlet Devil Mansion's basement corridor, Leon opens his eyes just slightly as he looks to his left while standing straight against the wall, beside him is Sakuya doing the same as he, and to their left is Remilia, who seems to be overlooking something with great interest.
In front of the library doors is Koakuma with a look of horror and dread and seems as though just about ready to start crying.
On the floor is Lina, sitting on top of Patchouli's back and pulling back on her left leg.
The purple bean sprout grunts loudly to try and ignore the awful pain she's feeling right now but suddenly screams and punches the rug with her right fist in failure.
The vampire chuckles, then says "you may apply more pressure."
The Kori girl immediately pulls a little harder and demands "you will let her go! She's practiced VERY hard for this and I won't let you interfere with her!"
The librarian immediately screams "NO!", so Lina pulls on a fist-full of the librarian's hair and says "you have twenty-point-thirty seconds away from having a horrible self-induced headache! Make up your mind!"
The smiling Remilia bends down to get closer to Patchouli's ear and says "you know I'm very amused here. That's why I stopped Leon from helping you and why I won't stop her from hurting you~."
Koakuma cries out "Lina it's alright, that's enough! Stop, stop, you're hurting miss Patchouli!"
Said librarian suddenly groans in extreme pain, her left eyes turns to a star and she clenches her teeth tight as the little girl on her back pulls the chunk of hair toward the magician's own ankle in a clear attempt to tie them together.
Realizing the world of pain she's about to enter the purple haired librarian with the large rack screams "KYAH~ FINE! I give, I GIVE!"
Relief immediately covers Patchouli's entire body as soon as Lina releases her, then along with a long sigh says "she can go to the shrine if she wants to. Mukyu~" then faints.
Back at the Myouren Temple, after hearing the whole story Ail scowls with fury as he asks "so that god-wannabe is the cause?"
Shou nods and looks to the ground while trembling and adds "her face... it was a very painful sight."
She looks up at Ail, Sanae to his left, and Budou and Cirno to his right, then says "she asked me to wait for her... and though it pains me to do so, that is exactly what I'll do this time. However she didn't say not to ask for help on this matter. So?"
The dense one nods and springs to his feet, then exclaims "you just leave it to us. I am sure we'll be able to find her. I cannot promise to bring her back, but we'll-"
The green-haired maiden clears her throat to stop her boyfriend and says "you are still recovering mister. Don't go making promises you can't be keeping."
The boy sighs and face-palms, then looks at the maiden and says "don't worry. We'll eventually fall, crash, explode, or just pop around wherever she may be. After we find her we'll have a small chat, then come back home and eat some tempura."
The bat youkai giggles and says "papa's hungry again.", then the ice fairy asks "shouldn't we eat something then? Maybe some berries."
Ail looks back at the girls and says "but we just had tea."
Sanae walks over to her boy, places her hands on his shoulder, and after a light kiss on the cheek she says "Ail-kun is too kind. Fine, but you're not getting out of my sight until I am SURE you are better."
The boy chuckles while looking back at the maiden and says "but I'm feeling so much better now."
Shou stares at the couple with a longing face and thinks "if I could have that kind of relation with Hijiri... *sigh*" then shakes her head to snap back to reality, lightly bows her head and says "a-um, alright then! We are eternally grateful for your help."
Ichirin gets closer to the boy and his girlfriend, then says "but before you start your search, you better go check on Kyo. He and Luna did get hit pretty hard."
The dense one and his girl stare at the nun but before either one can ask, said nun blushes, rushes to her room over at the corridor and slams the door shut.
Meanwhile, at the Youkai Forest, Nue has lost her way but seems fixed on finding her goal, the god-in-training, Drake Starstriker.
As she flies through, several fairies see her and scramble in fright, probably after seeing something that's scary to them, though it's not just the fairies but the many youkai that live there as well.
The undefined girl doesn't really give a damn.
She's not leaving this place until she's found that boy, and this fact becomes more evident with her straight and resolute face, and the raging fire in her eyes.
She's been following the sound of the river for some time now, and she's starting to hear the roaring sound of the waterfall when she als starts hearing two voices.
The nue youkai wastes no time and rushes straight toward the sound of the voices, then drops on the ground and hides behind a tree and several bushes.
Next to the riverbank are two girls.
One has blue hair tied to twin tails with red bobbles, blue eyes, and wears a light blue long-sleeved shirt with pockets on the arms, a white shirt underneath, a long light-blue skirt with several pockets, light-blue wellington boots, a green backpack with a golden key on the front of the strap, and a green hat.
The other one looks like a human female on her late twenties, with golden hair tied to a bun and lime-green eyes, and wearing a red business dress with a white shirt underneath, elegant red shoes, golden round earrings, and a pair of elegant glasses.
The woman places her right hand on the blue haired girl's shoulder and says "please don't go there lady Nitori. Every time you do you get very sad."
The girl called lady Nitori replies "Julia, it's alright. I think I can handle it better this time."
Nue smiles and thinks "this is perfect. The kappa should know this place better than I do, so I just need to follow this one around until we get to the mountain!"
After a long pause between the girls the little kappa says "well, I'm going to the mountain now. Please take care of things as always, and if you see grandpa make sure you tie him up. I need to ask him where has he been going."
The woman called Julia nods and says "it will be done my lady. Have a safe trip then."
The nue youkai can't believe her luck.
Not only is this kappa going to lead her out of the forest, but straight to the mountain as well.
She looks around the tree and thinks "gotta make sure I don't lose sight of her- huh?"
Just as she thinks that, the little kappa starts her walk and slowly turns invisible, save for the odd silhouette of her frame left in the air.
Nue shrieks in her mind then rushes after the kappa in order to not lose what little sight of her remains, but at the same time has to make sure she isn't seen.
And off she goes after the kappa in hope of finding wherever is it that Drake is hiding.
After an hour of following the invisible kappa and scaring fairies and youkai alike, the nue youkai finds herself at the backside of the mountain, hiding from the girl behind a large rock.
Here, at the base of the mountain, the little kappa switches off her optical camouflage and kneels beside a stone that looks like a slab on the dirt with something written on it.
As Nitori passes her hand around the slab Nue thinks "ah, I can feel that bastard. He's close, so... huh? W-wait... why is-?"
The undefined one finds herself unable to turn away when that sweet-looking girl starts to sob.
Curious, she decides to stay, staring with wonder at the scene in front of her.
She can hear as the little Nitori sobs and says to herself "I don't get it. Why do I keep doing this? I know you were a very important friend, but I can't remember your name or anything. Not your face, your voice. It's so weird."
The little kappa's backpack opens up on its own and a large pair of gloved mechanical hands rise from within with a cluster of red flowers, and promptly slither in front of the girl and diligently hand said flowers over.
Nitori thanks her mechanical hands and gently places the flowers in front of the slab and says "I don't understand why I keep coming here even though I don't remember you, and I don't understand why do I feel so sad whenever I am here. All I know is I made a vow to come and see you. Were you really that important?"
The little blue-haired girl sniffles as she rubs her face with her forearms, and that's when Nue whispers to herself "why the heck did I just waste my time with this?", then jumps up eight feet to the next rock.
She looks down one more time and stares at the girl, then shrugs and says to herself "whatever. If it hurt so much she shouldn't even come here, but if that's what she wants... tch, been hanging around Hijiri too much. Just move it Houjuu."
At that very same moment, higher into the mountain, Kasen walks out the courtyard of her house, but before she's all the way out she turns around and shouts "just remember, just make sure not to destroy my dojo while I'm out, and if you go out again, DON'T attack youkai."
From the second floor Drake shouts back "fine, but if they attack first I'm not hesitating!"
The hermit clicks her tongue and grumbles to herself "honestly", then shouts back "hesitate a little! It'll do you good!"
And with that she's off on foot to wherever is that she'll end up next.
At that very same moment, at the Human Village, more specifically at Kyo's house, the front door of said house bursts open and out comes Kyo holding Ail in a powerful headlock while grumbling "so it's fine if we have our fight now then. You are recovering, I am recovering, it's fair!"
The dense boy grunts but can't speak up, and just as Sanae walks out the maiden says "he's not fighting you now because he is RECOVERING, so either you let him go or I will make you let him go."
Before the bulky muscled boy with bandages slightly visible through his black muscle shirt can reply, Budou flies on his neck and starts punching his head while angrily saying "large brother lets go of papa! He is sick you bully!"
Said muscled boy releases Ail and grabs the little bat, pulls her off him, makes sure she's in front of him and looking at his scowling eyes, then says "I exercise daily! I am NOT fat!"
Cirno and Medicine walk out of the house, then the poisonous doll chuckles, stares mischievously at the boy and says "well with all those pastries you keep eating every day those jelly rolls of yours will be the talk of the tengu."
The little bat finds herself in the safe hands of the maiden while Kyo performs several sit-ups while repeating "I'm-not-fat-I'm-not-fat!"
Luna now stand in front of the small party with bandages all over her head and right arm, bows her head, then says "sorry about Kyo. That beating Drake gave us hurt his pride far more than his butt. Don't worry though, the fatso will keep doing sit-ups wile you head to... where was it that you were starting your search."
Ail smiles proudly as he places his hand on his chest and says "where all the weird ones end up when in times of need, when they are lost, or just happen to be at the time. The Hakurei Shrine."
A drop of sweat rolls down Sanae's left temple as she nervously smiles and says "hey, hey, don't let Reimu hear you say that."
The boy stands heroically with his fists on his hips and loudly declares "RIGHT! I want to live past today! Now, off to the shrine!"
The little bat youkai tugs Ail's pants and says "um, papa is it ok if I stay here? I want to browse around the shops."
The dense one stares at Budou, starts shivering, smiles in a disturbing manner, then says "um, er, s-sure. B-but you'll be safe, right? Um, don't you want me to come with-?"
The little bat shakes her head hard and says "no, no, no! I can take care of myself! Besides, Phredia is with me!"
The elf fairy quickly flies out of the little girl's chest and presents herself to the boy with a bow, and before the dense one complains, his girlfriend taps him on the head with her gohei and smiles as she says "of course you can sweetie. Just be good and if anything happens you come here to Kyo's house or the Hakurei shrine, alright? Oh, and be sure to tell people about how great Yasaka-sama and Moriya-sama are!"
The teal-haired cutie with the purple pupil-less eyes smiles, nods, then confidently says "it will be okay! Um, and what would I say?"
Clearly irritated Ail face-palms while thinking "oi, she and her faith-gathering. Ah, I still love her."
Koakuma, Leon and Lina exit the Scarlet Devil Mansion through the front door, and as they walk toward the front gate the little devil says "well I'm still mad at you. What you did to lady Patchouli-sama was unforgivable!"
Lina chuckles mischievously and whispers to her brother "she's so cute when she's being loyal", then says "but now you get to fight for Rika without hindrance."
The little devil raises her head wings as she gulps, then relaxes, chuckles nervously, then says "f-fine, I'll forgive you this time, but if you do that again I'll punish you."
The little girl is about to jump-hug her pet devil when said devil expresses wonder and asks "miss Meiling, where did you get that cat?"
The cute and sexy gatekeeper smiles as she says "he just came over here and refuses to leave, so I'm just holding him for now."
Pressed against her well-endowed chest is one happy-looking black cat with brown stripes on the belly, glowing yellow eyes and three tails.
It looks up at the little devil and meows contently, then purrs loudly when the gate guard starts scratching its head.
Leon stands on the tip of his toes to get a better look and says "aww, he's cute.", then Lina quickly adds "but don't let him inside. Could be a bad idea."
The adorable dragon youkai stares curiously at the twins but before she can ask the sexy devil takes flight while saying "let's go you guys. Move it or you stay behind!"
Lina quickly grabs Leon by the arms and lifts off, shouting "wait! Wait my little beauty! You need my assistance!"
Meiling looks at the cat pressed between her luscious pearls and asks "what was all that about?"
The cat meows his answer while sneering at the twins as they catch up to Koakuma.
Meanwhile, at the Hakurei Shrine, after just seventeen minutes of flying, Ail, Sanae and Cirno arrive at the front of the shrine and the boy calls "oy~ Reimu! We came over to-GAH!"
There is a massive explosion right besides the large gate that lifts an unholy amount of dust in the air, then it's followed by another, lighter explosion right in front of the shrine's living house's left entrance.
Rika with Suzaku on her shoulder, and Reimu holding Tenshi by the collar of her shirt, quickly run out of the shrine to see what's going on, then Reimu shouts "what's with all the racket out here?"
In front of her just under the broken tree right in front of them are one burned up Marisa and a dirt-covered Hatate, and from the looks of things it seems they crashed in mid-air.
The shrine maiden suddenly exclaims "whoa, I think I heard someone out in front just before the blast!", then drops Tenshi on the ground like garbage and rushes to the front with Suzaku behind her, while Rika silently kneels down to help the crashed girls.
Though she does this, in her eyes it's obvious she's far more distressed than in the morning, and instead of actually assisting the girls she just kneels beside them and stares to make sure they are breathing.
Reimu rushes to the front of the shrine but stops when the smoke cloud gets too thick, so she covers her mouth with her right sleeve and shouts "is anybody there?"
She closes her left eye and squints her right eye to try and look through the dust without hurting herself, and as the cloud dissipates she can make out a rather large and odd frame.
Again she calls "hey, is anybody there?", then the green-haired maiden shouts back "this shrine is far too lively today Hakurei!"
The smoke finally dissipates enough for Reimu to see Sanae holding Ail by his arms and Cirno ducking under them both while shivering.
The red and white maiden smiles at the sight, sighs with relief, then says "phew, you are safe. I thought those idiots had crashed against a villager or something."
The Moriya maiden angrily shouts "HEY! They almost pancaked Ail!"
The boy just smiles as he waves at Reimu, while the little ice fairy slowly lifts her trembling head and says "I-I-I'm-mm n-not scared! J-j-just b-b-battle p-pose!"
Meanwhile, somewhere at the Youkai Mountain, Nue finds herself lost again, however she looks determined to move forward and find her target.
She doesn't care if they can see her or not anymore, all the wants is to find Drake already and kill him.
She reaches a rather odd point in the mountains where it looks like she's on the ground, with some trees growing quite large on what she knows are rocks, and that's when her face is taken by the most vile smile she can muster.
She hisses and clicks her tongue then says "he's here. It's HIM alright. That disgusting energy of his is oozing all around this place!"
She walks further toward the odd dirt floor and as she walks around the edge of the rising mountain she spots Kasen's dojo, and her vile smile turns even more sinister as her lips split and her jagged teeth show, even going as far as biting her own lower lip until it starts bleeding a bit.
She licks her own blood, swipes the rest off with the back of her fist, then whispers "I found you, you god-wannabe."
Her black trident appears magically on her right hand, and as a blue snake with red eyes slithers up to Nue's arm the youkai girl whispers "you'll pay for messing with me Starstriker."
Meanwhile, at the Hakurei Shrine grounds, Marisa and Hatate look more beat up than when they crashed, and with a tear dangling under her left eye the witch says "you didn't have to shoot me like that."
The tengu girl adds "and I didn't do, like, anything either. This idiot crashed on ME!"
The witch grabs the crow by the collar of the neck and presses her face against the tengu's while saying "you're the one that got in my way when I was just arriving!"
The crow tengu smiles angrily as she grabs the witch by her vest and says "you're the one flying around like a raging lunatic!"
Surprisingly enough, out of all the characters in the shrine, it is Rika from the kitchen that shouts "shut up you two! You are upsetting my lady!"
Even Cirno looks frightened after hearing such an outburst, but the attention quickly turns to Reimu to thrashing-Sanae's right, who says "she's going through rough times so let her be. Now Marisa..."
Ignoring the blue and white being held back by Ail, the red and white maiden turns to her friend and asks "what was that about Alice?"
Ignoring the crying tengu to the left, the witch smiles as she says "like I said, I went to visit miss loner because I hadn't seen her in a while, but when I went to her house everything was white inside. And when I tried to get in I was attacked by holy magic."
Reimu quickly asks "holy magic? Are you SURE it was holy?"
The witch looks a little annoyed as she says "hey, I'm an expert in magic! I can tell light from holy on a whim!"
The red and white nods and calmly says "sorry, just wanted to be sure. Ail, Sanae, I'll need your help. I'm pretty sure I know what's going on-Ail you can let her go now."
The two love-birds are a sight for sure.
Ail was supposed to be holding Sanae back from murdering Marisa and Hatate, but now is just holding her lightly from behind as they lock lips, and although this did help calm the raging maiden down, the spectacle has caused Tenshi to nosebleed out of consciousness, and for the rest to look bloody uncomfortable with pink cheeks and all.
Reimu however, stares on and thinks "j-just like my dream. Sanae, you lucky- Why can't I have my partner with me?"
The sucking of the faces suddenly stop when the couple realize they are being awkwardly stared at and soon the two separate while mumbling incoherently as though trying to come up with some lame excuse.
The green-haired maiden manages to shake it off, clear her throat, and say "um, so, holy stuff. Y-yeah, Ail and I should help."
They notice the angry red-cheeked glare from Reimu, and noticing this the black and white witch chuckles and says "don't worry girl, that dream boy will get to you soon, ze."
The red and white blushes, lowers her head, then grumbles while heading to the shrine, probably to pick some tools.
She stops mid-way when she hears the expression of surprise form everyone, then looks toward the direction of the Forest of Magic.
From there several beams of light fly through the air and set themselves above some of the houses at the village, and one on top of the shrine.
Reimu stares up at the light, sighs as she slaps her thighs with her hands, then monotonously says "well, we better take care of THIS incident now. Sleeping with light as bright as that is going to be a pain."
The dense one looks at his girlfriend, then at Tenshi, who happens to be recovering from her earlier fit, then asks "is this really an incident?"
At Kasen's dojo, Drake is currently in meditation on the third floor, next to the dusty telescope and the open round window.
The feeling of heat now takes the whole left side of his body as he and some pieces of lumber are sent flying toward the other side of the room, but before crashing on the floor the other side of face slams against the wall on the other side of the room, and finally he falls.
Being a seasoned warrior Drake quickly gets up on his feet with his fist at the ready as he frowns toward the large opening on the wall that used to have the round window with an old telescope next to it.
The sight of surprise and horror that now fill his face can only be explained because of the figure standing in front of said hole.
It's a woman with long blonde hair that reaches her lower back, a blue left eye, and is wearing a white ribbon tied to the left of her head, and broken white rags that flail about with the wind, doing little to cover the gorgeous but blood-stained and wounded female body.
Her right eye is missing, replaced by what looks like a half-wood-half-glass purple eyeball that's stained in blood that flows down the eye-socket, and said woman holds an ancient-looking bloodied scythe on her hands.
Drake stares at the woman, his guard is dropped, his composure is lost, and now cries and trembles like a frightened child at the terrifyingly beautiful figure in front of him.
He falls on his butt and tries to crawl back through the wall as he whimpers incoherently, and to this the undefined Nue Houjuu, hiding in a shroud of dark clouds, smiles with endless satisfaction.
The boy manages to calm down enough to look back up at this woman and speak with a cracking whimpering voice "Mi... Mina? Wh-What happened? WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?"
Nue covers her mouth with her hand as she chuckles, then says to herself "aww how sweet. He's seeing a loved one. I wonder if she's in pain, or maybe dead? Well no matter. This will make things EASIER!"
She flies straight at the boy and thrusts her trident on the left side of his chest.
To Drake it looks like the woman has just swung her scythe and has stuck the tip of the blade through his being, but he gasps when he feels a different kind of pain to the one expected.
The shrouded nue youkai swings the boy above her head then thrusts him downward, breaking through the floor to the corridor in front of the bathroom on the floor below, and with the momentum she thrusts him through the second floor all the way to the ground floor, where her momentum is stopped by one heck of a solid base.
The pain is evident in the godling's face as the one he believe to be his love sinks her weapon harder into him, possibly trying to break through the floor.
He groans and gasps before finally shouting "MINA! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? GAH! MY LOVE!"
The shrouded youkai shivers violently after hearing those words, then makes the mistake of speaking loudly "ugh, how DISGUSTING! Calling me your love? SICK!", and although she does sound like a chirping bird to him, the boy can hear her voice, though faintly.
As she says this she winds him up along with her weapon then flick him off toward the unused kitchen with all her strength.
He grunts loudly as his body breaks through the wall and smashes against the dusty oven, and groans as a pile of lumber falls all over his back, covering him up just slightly.
The horrible beauty follows after the boy and quickly smashes her weapon against the pile of lumber on the floor, but to her surprise the only thing under there is the boy's vest.
She frantically looks around the kitchen and shrieks out loud when a thick white beam rams her on the back and slams her against the wall.
Drake jumps from the other side of the hole made by his body and immediately jumps on the destroyed figure of his beloved Mina, grabs the woman by the back of the neck and pulls her backward, then furiously says "you are NOT my Mina you ghoul!"
He pulls on the neck of the woman and threatens to rip her head and spine right off, so Nue has to cancel her shroud of deception and cut the boy's face with one of her bladed red wings to successfully escape.
Drake doesn't even flinch, even though the wound on his cheek is deep, but he still releases the girl then he remains glaring with hatred toward the revealed youkai in black and furiously whispers "you bitch. Using Mina's image to weaken my resolve. I am going to torture you before sending you to HELL for this!"
The nue youkai stretches her back but quickly turns around to return Drake's hateful glare with her own and says "you're the one that's going to hell! Thanks to you I no longer have a home! I will kill you and feed your soul to those hungry fishes over at Sanzu!"
The boy grins as he raises his arms to chest-height while a light surrounds his forearms to make a pair of gauntlets with clawed fingers, then says "so lady Hijiri DID listen to me! I knew it! She's seen the light!"
The girl's response to that is her trident aimed at the boy's face, then both rush to each other with a roar.
Nue tries stabbing Drake on the ribs again, but the boy grabs the pointy end of her trident with his magical gauntlet then grabs her left shoulder and sinks those magical claws into her.
She grunts as she tries pushing that trident through his hand while at the same time he keeps squeezing her shoulder.
There is a crack from the nue's shoulder and the girl yelps out in pain, so the boy takes the chance and pushes the trident away and sinks the other set of claws into her face, lifts her above his head, slams her on the floor once, then throws her toward the front wall where she crashes on her back.
She's now bleeding through her broken shoulder, the cuts on her forehead and right temple, and he's already on the attack, but the bloodied youkai isn't a quitter.
Even though in pain she lifts a spell card on her left hand and shout "Nue Sign, Mysterious Snake Show!"
Green snakes slither from all holes, corners and dark spots in the room toward Drake and all seem eager to take a bite right out of him, but the god-in-training isn't a quitter either.
He attacks those snakes closest to him with the magic gauntlets and finds out they are all illusions, so filled with overconfidence he ignores the snakes to attack the girl.
One of the hundreds of snakes jumps and bites his left arm, and as soon as he groans in pain several other snakes jump to him and take a bite.
Not satisfied with this Nue walks over to the boy and lunges her trident into his ribs and lifts his snake-covered body off the ground, and as she swings him upside-down to the floor she shouts "DIE WORM! What the fu-?"
To her surprise and dismay, the boy turns around midway to the ground, lands on his feet, takes Nue's weapon, pulls it out of himself and lifts her off the ground with her own trident.
From outside it is seen as the nue is thrust through the wall and tossed like a rag-doll on to the ground in front.
As soon as the snakes vanish the blood-covered boy runs after the nue youkai and punches her on the face just as she gets up.
Nue manages to back-flip on her feet with the momentum of the impact, lifts another spell card, then shouts "Nightmare of Hieankyou!"
Everything turns dark for Drake, who's entire body bleeds from the countless snake-bites, and now he finds himself trapped by laser beams and is forced to fly a few feet off the ground.
For a moment it seems as though nothing will happen, but a massive white beam appears from his left and threatens to finish him off, but he's not one to just sit back and give up.
He claps his gauntlets together and chants as though in prayer, to which Nue scoffs at, and right as the red beams move and the large white beam is just about to touch him, the boy lets out a primal scream and the white beam is absorbed into his body.
Still screaming, Drake unleashes the accumulated energy and engulfs the whole area with light, canceling Nue's spell completely.
Shocked and amazed, the youkai girl stares on with her mouth open and asks "h-how? How did you do that?"
Her response is the air being pushed out of her guts by one powerful punch on the stomach by the godling, and long before she's able to recover the boy grips her hair and throws her face-first to the ground.
As he falls back down he aims another punch to the nue's raised bottom, but instead he is met by the staff of her trident through his stomach and the smile of the real Nue to the right.
Bloodied, beaten, bruised and almost humiliated, the girl in black glares at the skewered boy, snarls, and speaks through her teeth "you can't win! Make me bleed all you want, I'll just keep coming back for more! Now just accept defeat and I might kill you quicker."
The boy's body convulses a few times, making Nue smile upon her humiliating defeat over this so-called god, but quickly frowns when she realizes he is laughing, even though he's like a skewered boar on a stake.
He lifts his vile smiling face to the girl and says "you monsters are all the same. You wait for me to lower my guard and attack me on the back. Well I've learned my lesson."
He holds the trident and slowly pushes himself off it while saying "I don't care what the others say, you youkai are all monstrous abominations! You are evil and MUST be purified! Make me bleed all you want, I'll just keep coming back for more. Though unlike me, girly, you CAN'T siphon magic!"
The girl gasps and flicks Drake off her weapon, throwing him several feet away from herself, and with a terrified face she raises another spell card and nervously shouts "G-Grudge Bow! Th-The Bow of G-Genzami Yorimasa!"
A bow appears on the hands of the undefined girl and she immediately shoots a glowing arrow to the air, then said arrow splits up to several more arrows that disappear into the clouds.
Just as Drake starts his walk to her countless arrowheads of light rain down between him and the girl, and although he absorbs them with ease he also discharges the excess energy.
Nue smiles, having learned something rather interesting just now, then fires several more arrows to the air, making the rain of arrowheads intensify.
He starts to run to her while absorbing and discharging energy, she fires another set of arrows to the air and intensifies her attack; he's too close, she aims the next arrow straight at him, the two are just inches away from each other, and from the mountain's distance Nitori can see the massive smoke cloud from an explosion at the dojo, which is quickly followed by a harsh tremor that makes her screech and duck for cover.
Meanwhile, at the safety of the Human Village, Budou and Phredia walk around the village's shopping district while looking around the several fruit kiosks, an ornaments shop, and a small doll's shop.
With a satisfied yet confused look on her face the little bat youkai throws away an empty grape vine and groans.
The elf fairy taps the bat on the head, then the teal-haired girl says "I can't decide what I want to see. Those glass things mama loves so much, or just go to the doll store and get a new doll."
The fairy flies in front of the girl's face and shakes her hand around with a raised finger, as though reprimanding the little girl. Budou looks away and says "aww, I know I shouldn't spend all my money at once. That's why I'm choosing only one thing."
The little fairy slouches in defeat and flies after the bat as she walks toward the doll shop, but stops when a boy in very modern clothing walks out of the ornaments shop with a glass figure that looks like Sanae.
Budou gasps and opens her wings, then exclaims "that looks just like mama!"
The boy screams with fright and falls on his butt, smashing his Sanae figure on the ground.
The little bat bends down and says "aww, you smashed mama to the ground."
She shivering mass of a modern boy crawls backward away from Budou and shouts "stay away from me!"
The little bat gasps and sobs when she looks at the frightened boy, but she just stops and remains in place as though frozen, though her wings keep flapping on her own and her eyes start to glow a bit.
The boy hyperventilates as he stumbles on his feet, and when finally on them he runs to the center of the town, screaming "YOUKAI~! There's a youkai~!"
The little elf fairy seems a bit concerned about the ordeal but quickly calms down when she notices the people around them don't really seem to mind, but that's when she notices a rather vile smile on her little youkai's face.
The bat drools a bit and quickly cleans her dribble with the back of her forearm, then whispers "that... was good. So... tastyyyyy~"
Meanwhile, at the Hakurei Shrine, Koakuma and the Kori twins have just arrive at the living house when Tenshi says "like I said, she's locked herself up inside her own greenhouse and won't come out."
The little devil shouts "WHAT? Well why don't you go and get her out so we can fight over here properly!"
From the table, Hatate, who looks like she's been crying recently, shouts "just DROP IT ALREADY!"
Koakuma shouts back "well fine, I won! I'm going OVER THERE and cheering her up on my-"
From the greenhouse Rika shouts "SHUT UP! You are disturbing miss Reimu!"
The little devil literally swallows her well-prepared and though out speech, a tear rolls down her left cheek, then she whimpers "R-Rika onee-chan yelled at me?"
The devil sobs so Hatate extends her arms, which Koakuma accepts immediately, then both girls start to sob as they try to comfort each other, the tengu saying "there, there *sob*. She yelled at me too."
Lina seems upset about the whole thing, but at the same time, when she looks toward the greenhouse, she can't help but look on with understanding in her eyes, just like her brother.
Inside the plant-infested greenhouse Rika throws herself to her knees and sobs loudly, gulps, then says to herself "why won't they stop? These tears, they hurt! I also yelled at my sisters again. What is WRONG with me?"
She remembers her earlier conversation with Suzaku and whispers "but I can't bother my lady like that! I can't add more troubles on her! I just-I just CANT!"
Another, louder sob escapes the maid and now she ends up hugging her abdomen while kneeling on the ground as though in terrible pain, then silently sobs away in an effort to suck it up and stop her crying once and for all, though it is obvious that sucking this up isn't working any more, and all she can do now is cry on her own.
At the Forest of Magic, on an ample clearing where a white house western-like with a blue roof and a tower to its right sits on its center, Ail, Reimu and Sanae gracefully land in front of the house's blue door and stare.
The flowers under the windows look far too perky for it to be summer, the inside of the house seems too bright, and the glowing swirling light of holy magic above the house seems to be quite the ornament.
Casually admiring this the red and white says "yup, this is holy magic alright. Now you two, if what Marisa said is true, the house should be a total mess of warped magic that's made it into its own little world, just like when she opened that damned book."
The dense one stares at the red maiden, but before he can ask she says "something about her being a girl and making this world, then we beat her and made her cry... before she was hot and sexy."
From the distance in the air the black and white witch exclaims "you tell 'em how it is Reimu."
A beam flies straight out of the swirling light and smacks the witch right off the air, but nobody really seems to care.
All three turn their attention to the house and that's when the blue and white one says "ok, let's stop gawking and just go in there."
The red and white smile and says "wow, so eager. Well then let's go."
Just as Reimu opens the door Sanae places her hand on Ail's shoulder and whispers "stay close honey. I want to be sure you are safe."
The boy blushes with embarrassment and whispers back "I'll be fine Sanae-chan, don't worry."
The blue and white jumps on the boy, knocking him down to the ground as she exclaims "KYAH~! You called Sanae-chan! I LOVE YOU!", then proceeds to eat him with several kisses on the face.
The disgusted and jealous red and white pulls the blue and white from the boy with a single hand and says "hey, we got a mission here."
The green-haired maiden blushes, giggles and holds her face as she says "sorry. I couldn't help it."
With this all three of them stand up straight in front of the door, Reimu turns the brass knob, and the blinding light from within sucks them right up in an instant, then the door closes up quite quickly.
Inside the house the party find themselves surrounded by a sea of waving and swirling holy light, where even the walls seem to go on forever.
The dense boy looks around until he sees a speck of light brighter than the rest in the distance, points at it, then says "there! I believe she's over there."
The red and white pats his head as she would a dog and says "good boy Ail. Remind me to give you a treat later."
The blue and white smacks Reimu's hand off the boy and says "quit that and let's move."
The second they decide to move forward they are attacked by several dolls on blue, shooting beams and bullets of several colors and sizes, and all three find themselves dodging and shooting back relentlessly.
Formations of five and six dolls in triangles, zigzags and arcs appear all around them, but thankfully they are more than enough to handle the dolls and move on to the next wave, getting closer to the source of light with every moment.
Reimu looks at Sanae and shouts "it's gonna get tougher now! Watch over him!"
The red and white maiden points her eyes at Ail, who seems to be moving a tad bit slower but smiles as he shoots down the dolls, probably having fun.
The blue and white maiden nods, gets closer to the boy, and just as Reimu predicted, it got tougher.
Along with the dolls now come orbs of pure light shooting thin lasers, odd yin-yang spirits with swirling orbs around themselves shooting flames, and an odd shower of massive lances.
The unfair curtain of bullets, flames and lasers seems like child's-play for the red and white maiden, while the blue and white grazes through and the boy, though slow, manages to keep from getting hit by staying behind the party.
The dolls, spirits and orbs disappear, the lances suddenly stop appearing, then Ail asks "so... is it over?"
Two massive dolls the size of a house with glowing eyes appear in front of the party, then Reimu looks back and asks "any more stupid questions?"
Sanae sweats, stares at Reimu, then nods and says "yeah, he earned that one."
The two massive dolls start spinning around and raise a blade each, and as they spin the release holy arrows in shower arcs that pulse down toward the party, and all seem to home in on their closest target.
Reimu showers one with needles, Sanae showers the other with beams and colorful wind blades, and Ail focuses his shots and fires explosives orbs between the dolls, exploding hard whenever the dolls get close.
Though having a bit of a hard time dodging the increasing-in-numbers arrowheads the three keep on shooting, and quite suddenly both dolls explode and fall into the endless light.
After staring at the dolls as they disappear from sight the blue and white sighs and says "that was surprisingly easy."
The dense one happily shouts "that's teamwork!", while the red and white points into her own mouth and gags.
As they continue their way toward the brighter light, the dolls, holy orbs and yin-yang spirits appear all over the place, attacking even from behind and far more aggressively than before.
In the midst of dodging curtains of bullets and shooting down dolls and the such Reimu keeps her sights on Ail and Sanae.
Despite the dangers they are in those two have each other, care for each other, and to the Hakurei maiden it seems there's no room in their world for her.
As she watches them she thinks "those two are so lucky, especially that girl. She doesn't know how good she's got it I'm sure. Bah, why am I feeling jealousy? I'm better than this! I just need to be patient and HE will come to ME! Or better yet, we might just find each other by one happy accident."
The dense one calls "watch out!", and gets in between Reimu and a cluster of homing bullets, blocking their way with a large blue barrier.
From their right Sanae shouts "Reimu what's wrong? You're gonna get yourself killed!"
The red and white chuckles nervously, waves at the love-birds as they regroup, then says "um, sorry just got lost in thought there. I'm alright now."
The couple nod, then the whole party resume on their doll-beat-down.
The dolls attacking now are dressed in white, making it hard to make them out against the endless white background, but thankfully their red ribbons and golden hair does help in making them stand out a little.
These dolls shoot charms and holy homing bullets, and take quite a few shots to take down, and what's worse, the white orbs have reappeared and are leaving behind long holy beams with very narrow gaps that move side to side.
It is by a miracle they survive that onslaught and now are closer to the bright light.
The dolls and orbs disappear and Ail gasps and exclaims "bingo! Look, it's Alice alright. Let's-"
Before finishing his sentence holy magical circles appear in the air and shoot trails of bullets with very narrow gaps between each.
The boy screeches as he grazes through the bullets, though both Sanae and Reimu seem quite peaceful as they move around with grace, avoiding that cluster of bullets.
After the tenth circle fires the last set of bullets and disappear, the party of three narrowly dodge the last bullets and are now ten feet away from Alice Margatroid, the solitary puppet master and magician.
She has short blonde hair, her usually-blue eyes are glowing white, and wears a red ribbon as a headband, a white capelet over her shoulders, a long blue dress tied around the waist by a pink frilly sash, which happens to help show off her womanly figure quite well, and a pair of calf-high cross-laced brown boots.
One thing to notice is she's not holding her black book with the large lock and the pink ribbon tying it down, and both Shanghai and Hourai are flying around her, circling behind their mother and creator ominously.
Shanghai has long blonde hair, her usually-dark-blue eyes are glowing white like Alice's, and she wears a red ribbon on her head, a dark blue dress with long sleeves, a white apron around her skirt, cute little black shoes, and is holding a large razor. Hourai, like her mother and sister, has her eyes glowing white, and unlike them has her long blonde hair tied to a ponytail with her red ribbon, her dress is red instead of blue, and she's holding a silver lance.
Reimu glares at the girls and says "oh yeah, she overdid it with the holy spell. Ail, Sanae, she's completely out of control. We need to weaken her considerably before we can try reasoning with her, got it?"
Completely disregarding the red and white maiden's words Ail shouts "hey, Alice! It's us, Ail, Sanae and Reimu! We're here to help!"
The puppeteer let out a long hiss, revealing more glowing light coming from inside her mouth as she tries to speak, though only that odd hiss comes out.
She shoots a fast beam from the tip of her finger at the dense one who manages to dodge just barely, then he looks at his girlfriend and red and white sister and shrugs.
The girls face palm, the red and white one shakes her head while doing so, then Sanae shouts "you idiot, pay attention!"
Alice, Shanghai and Hourai shoot a white beam each, forcing all three invaders to dodge in a hurry, then Reimu shouts "it's ON! Let her have it!"
Without hesitation all three unleash their bullets on the magician, Ail light-blue lasers, Sanae pink charms and blue twin-beams, and Reimu yellow homing charms.
The puppeteer stops shooting her beam and switches to a barrage for white petals that split into groups that home in on each invader individually, and at the same time Shanghai starts dancing around and shooting white orbs that scatter about randomly, and Hourai starts singing, though she sounds like a harp, and releases light-yellow arcs that move slowly.
The blue and white shouts "these bullets are impossible to see! Reimu what should we do?"
The dense boy takes front and center and generates a massive blue barrier that stops the first wave of bullets, but Hourai's arcs break right through, and the boy's too weak to maintain the barrier for more than two seconds.
Reimu casually dodges the few bullets that made it to her and shouts "just focus and keep your eyes around your immediate area. You should be able to feel the bullets and move accordingly, just don't use a spe-"
Sanae raises a spell card and shouts "Esoterica, Grey Thaumaturgy!", then the Hakurei maiden face-palms, sighs, then monotonously finishes saying "a spell card yet."
A star forms behind the blue and white maiden and from its tips it fires several holy shards that go straight at Alice and her dolls, but the puppeteer raises her own spell card, opens her mouth to do a long hiss, then Sanae's spell is canceled and the three holy-possessed girls resume the attack from before.
The red and white angrily shouts "would you please listen to what I'm saying? She could have absorbed-"
The white sea around them dims a little, allowing them to see the bullets headed their way, and while dodging the Hakurei maiden chuckles nervously and says "um, never mind. Th-that was... a good move... heh-heh."
The Moriya maiden raises her left fist and cheers "YEAH! Score one for the Moriya!"
Alice switches bullets again, and goes for a mixture of those white petals scattered around along with light-red laser beams showering down from her index finger in a circular pattern.
Hourai continues her singing, Shanghai starts shooting more erratically, and now the little girls are circling each other behind the puppeteer.
Ail raises a spell card and shouts "my turn then, Brightness, Overwhelming Heart!"
The dense one's favorite spell, where rings of light grow from his chest and expand far and wide while some circle around him.
Several of those rings manage a hit on Alice and the dolls/tiny girls, then said magician raises another spell card, hisses when she opens her glowing mouth, then Ail's spell is canceled and the sea of white around them dims down enough for them to be able to see they are in Alice's room, though the whole place looks warped and waves about in a sickening manner.
Reimu and Sanae stop shooting as that they, along with the dense boy, hold their own stomachs and gulp down their lunches.
After burping and recovering, the red and white armpit maiden says "alright, my turn. Keep shooting at them this time to weaken all three at once."
Ail and Sanae nod and start shooting their bullets at Alice, Shanghai and Hourai, whom have changed their pattern a bit.
The two tiny girls are now circling behind Alice at a rapid pace, though stop and switch the direction they are spinning, then stop and switch again.
Alice is now showering the whole area with tiny white bullets, homing petal bullets, a pair of wall-bouncing blue beams, and smaller spreading light-red beams.
Reimu flies closer to the girls, managing to go between Alice's larger beam and Hourai's slow arc beam, then raises her spell card and shouts "Wild Exorcism Dance!"
The red and white shrine maiden begins an elegant dance, her yin-yang orbs fly out of her pockets and spin around her sickeningly fast, then a shower of talismans fly in a straight formation from behind Reimu toward the holy girls.
Ail and Sanae both scream when they are forced to split up to avoid being hit by the insanely powerful spell, but the Moriya maiden's own powers get tangled with Reimu's powerful spell.
The world around the six individuals shakes violently as Alice and her daughters are mercilessly bombarded by the Hakurei's spell, but when the dense one sees his girlfriend falling into the sea of dim white he immediately activates his Soraogan mode, flaps his ethereal dragon wings, and flies fast after Sanae.
Meanwhile the puppeteer raises her spell card and hisses again, though this time her voice can be heard faintly as she screams "OW OW OW OW OW OW, THAT HURTS!"
The holy spell card activates, Reimu's spell is cancelled, and everything seems to be working until the Hakurei maiden screams "NO! HELP! It's sucking me in!"
The remnants of the spell card threaten to absorb Reimu in the vacuum as well, but Ail with Sanae safely on his arms flies between the spell card and the maiden, raises his left hand, then shoots a constant white beam into it.
Reimu Hakurei lays her eyes on the dragon-winged boy, gasps as though being stabbed by cold steel on the chest, then excitedly screams "IT'S YOUUUUU~!"
The maiden tackles the boy before he's done, he, she and Sanae scream as they twirl toward the light, Alice, Shanghai and Hourai gasp and brace for impact, and from outside the house a bright flash illuminates the afternoon sky, just before all floating lights and swirling concentration of holy light above the magician's house dissipate like nothing was ever there.
Meanwhile, at the Hakurei Shrine, Koakuma and Tenshi have taken the initiative and are banging on the door of the greenhouse in hopes that Rika will somehow acknowledge their presence.
The little devil cups her hands around her mouth and shouts "Rika please! Come on out! At least say something!"
Suzaku and Cirno fly down from the roof, then the ice fairy says "I couldn't find her! I'm so glad she doesn't play hide-and-seek with us, she's too good at hiding."
Hatate walks over from the shrine and says "who the hell cares about hide-and-seek! We need to get Rika out of there! She needs me!"
Tenshi stops banding on the door, slowly turns around to look at the tengu, then points and tauntingly says "you? What would she need from a big black chicken?"
The tengu is already raising her sleeves and winding her fist as she threateningly says "well at least I'm not, like, some brutish celestial or hormone-altering little DEMON!"
Both celestial and demon gasp and glare furiously at the tengu, then Koakuma shouts "oh, I think I'll be serving BIRD for Patchouli-sama today!"
Tenshi growls and says "you're going down chichen!", then takes the hilt of the Sword of Hisou, activates the fiery-orange blade, and in a moment all three are in the air showering each other with all kinds of bullets.
Surprisingly enough the little devil's bullets are brighter, faster, and come in greater volume, but even so she's only matching Hatate's bullets as the girls continue to fight without stop.
The celestial smacks the tengu with her sword, the tengu flashes the little devil's eyes with her camera, and the little devil accidentally sends a large blue bullet up the celestial's skirt.
Tenshi screams and grabs Koakuma by her head-wings, but the little devil quickly kicks the celestial on the nose, then Hatate tries to tackle the devil from the back.
From the ground Lina shouts "KOA-CHAN, UP AND LEFT!" and so the little devil back-flips and kicks to her left, sending the tengu crashing against the celestial, then the red-haired cutie looks down, winks, and flips her thumb up at the Kori girl.
Said girl returns the thumb up, and while the fight resumes in the sky the Kori twins walk over to the greenhouse, open the door with the turn of the knob, then quietly walk inside.
Over at the Human Village the shopping district has become a battlefield.
The more mature humans shower the air with bullets of all kinds, shapes, sizes and colors, the stores and kiosks are full of burn marks, the signs of the stores are broken or burned, and in the middle of the mess is Mima, raisin her hands and face to the air and shouting "that's it my pretty! MORE! YOU CRAVE MOOOOOOOORE! WAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA~!"
Budou zips from one roof to another and is swooping down on the more younger and modernly-dressed villagers, scaring the life out of them and laughing while doing so.
She stops on the roof of the fruits kiosk, looks at Mima, and with a crazed look on her face she asks "a-a-are you sure miss Mima-Mima? I feel fulls and it is tasty! WHY CAN'T I STOP?"
Without realizing it the little bat cackles as she swoops down after a modern red-haired girl, who runs, cries and screams for help.
Mima shouts "STOP!" and when Budou places her attention on her new mentor, the spirit says "you need to work on your cackle. Come on, after me... BAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA~!"
The little bat lands, her neck twitches, then she smiles innocently and cackles similarly to Mima.
The evil spirit proudly sniffles and says "oh your just like Marisa when she started training with me. Now grab that girl's leg and take her for a ride, but don't kill her! You want to scare her again later."
The adorably insane bat youkai salutes the evil spirit and flies after the running girl, quickly catches up to her, grabs her by the right ankle, and just like Mima suggested she flies the upside-down girl all around the shopping district and then drop her off on the roof of the doll's shop.
The green-haired spirit flips her thumb up and exclaims "YEAH, that's my girl! Now shoot some beams at that hairy man so he stops shooting you!"
Without hesitation the little bat shoots green beams at the owner of the doll shop, who hides to the left of the building, and after he screams and is sent flying away Mima cackles and shouts "ALRIGHT! Now try to-urk!"
Ignoring the sudden stop of her mentor's word Budou takes a deep breath, aims her puffed-up face at the humans hiding behind the stores further ahead, then screeches loudly, forcing them all to cover their ears and forget about shooting.
The adorable little bat lands in front of the doll shop, though her face looks relaxed her eyes look lost and out of focus, then she cackles as she prepares to lunge forward, but a purple cloud surrounds her completely and she now falls to the ground where she twitches as she tries to laugh.
Behind her are Medicine and Kyo, and said boy holds the unconscious Mima by the back of her robe's collar, and flying frantically around him is Phredia.
The boy looks at the fairy and asks "oi Medi, she's just paralyzed, right?"
Medicine bangs on her chest proudly and says "yup. She'll be like that for an hour."
Phredia relaxes, then Kyo looks around and says "so, this evil woman coaxed that sweet youkai into doing this, right?"
The elf fairy shakes her head, but Kyo just shrugs and says "well, whatever. Ail's going to have quite a bit to answer to now when he gets back."
The mentioned boy is now between a rock and hard place, figuratively speaking.
To his left, Sanae holds him tight against herself, pressing her ample womanhood on his arm, while Reimu holds his right and tenderly caresses his cheek while looking dreamily into his eyes.
The boy has no idea what the hell is going on, evident in the frightened and confused look on his face while Alice walks out of her house and asks "can someone tell me what happened? Why can't I remember what happened last night? And when did you all get here? HEY, I'm talking to you!"
Ail turns his sight to Alice, then whimpers "please help.", but the puppeteer doesn't seem to care much about his current predicament.
Suddenly Sanae shouts "Reimu let him GO!"
The red and white frowns at the blue and white, sighs and says "never. He's the one that saved me all those years ago, the one from my dreams, I'm never letting him escape again!"
The Moriya maiden tightens her grip on her man and furiously says "AGAIN? He's never been yours to begin with! Let him go before I kill you, you lying maiden!"
The boy tries to open his mouth but before he even takes a breath the girls shout "YOU KEEP OUT OF IT!", then the Hakurei maiden says "he's too good for you anyway!"
Shanghai stares at the situation from up close, flies over to her mom, then says "I don't think they're listening mama."
Alice places her hand on her right eye and sighs, then says "well whatever, let's try that holy spell again. Think it may work with a sealing circle this time."
The girl and her tiny daughters turn around while Ail himself shouts "no wait, ALICE! We just broke that hold it had on you! NO! STOP! Girls, stop her! She could get hurt!"
Both maidens angrily shout "Shut up Ail!", and now get up on their feet to start a painful tug-of-war with the boy's arms, regardless of his painful screaming.
It is now late noon at the Hakurei Shrine, and while the celestial, the little devil, and the twin-tailed tengu continue their fight, Aya writes and article about it from a tree branch, Suika "oohs" and "aahs" while taking regular gulps from her gourd, and Cirno sits on the donation box, looking to the Forest of Magic while waiting for Ail to return, slowly flapping her wings as she does.
Unknown to all is that the twins have infiltrated the greenhouse, and have been secretly watching over Rika for some time.
Said maid sits on a uncomfortable-looking wooden chair and rests her right arm on the table next to her, not noticing she has crushed a small vine under the weight of her arm.
Her eyes are very swollen and bloodshot, her tears keep coursing through her cheeks over the dried ones, and her lips seem to be stuck in a frown.
She sobs and cries, gulps and says to herself "you have to stop this! Rika you can't keep doing this! You're going to become a burden to her, so stop this!"
She gasps when she feels something touch her arm but is too weak to react properly.
Instead she looks at the smiling face of Leon as he gently rubs her forearm on the table and softly says "there, there miss maid. Dry those tears already."
The maid shivers and cries "bu-but I've been trying. they-they won't stop. My-my lady, miss Reimu will be sad."
Lina grabs Rika's left hand and presses the back of the maid's hand against her face and says "shh, it's alright. We understand."
A warm and soothing feeling quickly fills the shrine maid's entire being and just like that her tears stop, the pain in her heart subsides, but now she's left so drained she's almost half-asleep on that chair.
Now that the maid is in such a state of relaxation, Leon takes the chance and says "there, much better, right? Now miss Rika, I understand that you feel like a burden toward your mistress, that you should be perfect and not succumb to emotions."
The maid looks down at the boy, breathes deeply through her nose, then nods.
Lina taps Rika's left hand with her own and says "wrong miss. You are not a machine that can't feel. You are a living being with a heart and you are entitled to feel. That's a RIGHT for all that breathe and live. You understand this better than anyone, do you not?"
Rika's blissful smile slowly turns to a mid-frown, another tear escapes her right eye, then she whimpers "but I have to be strong, for lady Reimu."
The twins smile toward Rika, then at each other, and while holding on to the maid's hands they hold their own free hands, and after a bright flash Rika finds herself sitting against a giant bonsai tree in a massive field of green grass, with a small silver stream gently splitting the land, and where cherry-blossom petals flutter all over like rain that never stops, but also never touch the ground, creating a blissful world just for her and the Kori twins.
She tries to get up but the twins keep her sitting down, and now, though they don't move their lips, they speak simultaneously.
Looking at her with serene faces the twins say "it's true that you have to be strong for those you love, but right now you aren't being strong. In fact you are the cause of great discomfort and discord amongst them."
There is a short pause to allow Rika to absorb what's just been said, then the twins continue "you tried holding back your fears so you wouldn't hurt those you love, but in doing so you have blocked them and hurt them far worse. This morning it tried to get out, but you pushed it back. It didn't work. The wall broke and that left you in the path to self-destruction."
The shrine maid gasps and opens her eyes wide, but before she says anything the twins continue "say miss Rika, do you know why they are fighting amongst each other so much?"
There is a short pause before they continue "because they love you, and they are that much worried about you. They fight because they think it's the only way to get close to you, because they want to help, but you keep pushing them back. You wounded all their hearts miss Rika. You hurt them when they tried to help, even knowing full well that they are not those bullies at the park. That they are family and friends."
The sudden realization hits the maid so hard she chokes on herself when she tries to gasp, her heart beats so hard her chest feels as though it's made of weak paper and it's just about to break, her limbs lose all strength, and once again tears roll down her eyes.
The image of Tenshi, Reimu, Youmu, Koakuma, Hatate, and even Kogasa appear before her, and all look hurt toward her.
The image of Reimu walks toward her and stops right in front of the maid, then sadly says "why didn't you tell me? I'm not a bully! I'm like your family, aren't I? I can help you."
Tenshi's image walks next to Reimu's and says "and after I saved you from them so many times, you really believe I'd hurt you like they did? Gee, thanks a lot."
The entire field is now filled by images of all of the friends she's made ever since she entered Gensokyo, and she gasps when she realizes how many there are.
This is something she didn't have in the past; friends and family that care for her, that protect her and treat her as one of their own.
Rika tries to raise her arm to reach the images of her family and friends, but is stopped by an unseen force, then the twins say "and now that you understand, you must go to them, talk to them. You will be surprised, but more importantly you will be relieved, and all you hearts will mend. Again you'll be as one whole entity, sharing your light with the world."
The world around Rika turns bright once more, and now the maid wakes up in the same pose she was when she fell asleep.
Her heart feels lighter, though it beats hard, her resolve has returned to her, and she slowly feels her strength return to her. It is now nighttime, the twins are missing, and outside the greenhouse there is great commotion.
The shrine maid walks out of her greenhouse and looks toward the shrine, and there, on the training yard are most of her most special friends together, and as usual tension seems to be quite high.
Ail is caught in the middle of a fight between Reimu and Sanae while the bleeding Koakuma, the tattered Tenshi and the bruised Hatate watch them argue.
Cirno is pulling on the red and white shrine maiden with all her might while Suika cheers on and Aya laughs hard and furiously writes on her notepad.
Behind the short-haired tengu are Leon and Lina, holding hands and smiling at the maid, then the Kori boy nods toward her and Rika takes this as a signal to move forward.
The first one to notice the maid is the celestial, who immediately turns around, gasps at the sight of her friend, then exclaims "RIKA! What happened to you? Are you alright? Did you get hurt?"
The little devil turns around and covers her mouth, then exclaims "oh my goodness Rika! What happened? C-can I do something for you? Just name anything!"
The twin-tailed tengu jumps in front of the devil and exclaims "Rika-sis, you're out! Are you hungry? I can get you something to eat if you want!"
From behind the girls and still holding Ail, Reimu asks "whoa Rika, you look terrible! Have you been crying all this time?"
The maid's body starts convulsing, tears start flowing down her cheeks once more, then she runs to the celestial, trips on a rock, and falls on said celestial's arms.
Not caring of her position the maid wraps her left arm around Tenshi, sinks her cheek on said celestial's abdomen, sobs for a bit, then raises her other hand to welcome Koakuma and Hatate.
Once they are all together and Rika manages to hug all three at the same time the maid cries for a moment and finally manages to say "I'm so sorry. So sorry to have worried all of you so much! Momoko, Hata-chan, Koa-chan, I'm so sorry! Please, forgive me."
Being the one in the middle, the lucky tengu is the only one able to use both arms to hug Rika back, but the others don't seem to mind as they wrap what arm they can around the maid.
Softly, the celestial says "it's ok Rika, you little fool. I'm here.", the tengu whispers "Rika-sis is not mad anymore. I'm so happy.", and Koakuma, sounding relieved says "Rika onee-chan! There's nothing to apologize for. What matters is you are back again."
The maid breaks up the group hug and slowly gets back on her feet, sniffling, smiling and crying, rubs her face with the back of her hands, then looks at Reimu, who has finally released Ail and is unaware of Sanae holding him tight and pressing his head on her chest, something he seems quite content with.
As though unsure of what's going on, the red and white asks "Rika? Are you alright?"
A powerful impulse pushes the maid to jump on her mistress and hug-tackle her to the ground, where poor Cirno is crushed underneath both their weights, though not for too long since Ail opens a gap under the fairy and she's now safely besides the hugging girls.
While holding the shrine maiden tightly Rika cries "I'm so sorry my lady, for everything. I should have told you from the start but I was scared. I didn't want to be a burden, but I was, and now you're all worried sick about me-"
Reimu quickly tightens her embrace and rubs Rika's back and wings, touching the maid's scar yet none seem to care, then says "Rika, it's alright. No more crying now. The important thing is you're back, you're no longer in that path of self destruction. You are back with us."
The Kori twins smile warmly at the sight, then look up at the tree branch straight above themselves, where Suzaku stares back at them and bows in respect, then swoops down and flies in circles around the girls, tweeting a beautiful song while doing so.
Rika finally gets up on her knees and helps Reimu to sit, then each catch each other's faces and smile.
From their left Cirno sniffles and says "I don't know what happened, but I'm glad for you miss angel."
The maid turns her sights to Cirno, then smiles and says "oh my how cute! You must be miss Cirno, right?"
The ice fairy nods, though is too moved to do her usual proud introduction, but it's not needed. Rika looks at that sweet smile, those glistening eyes with bits of tears underneath, and that little bugger running down her nose, then smiles and says "yup, it HAS to be. I never thought you were so adorable!"
The maid picks up the fairy and sits her on her lap, takes a handkerchief from her pocket, then cleans her face while saying "there we go. Someone as cute as you should have a nice, clean face."
While this happens three VERY jealous faces aim their eye-daggers at the lucky ice fairy on the maid's lap being cleaned and snuggled by THEIR favorite girl.
Koakuma, Hatate and Tenshi gulp, their wounds somehow heal to perfection, and in a very dangerous undertone the celestial says "that should be me over there.", the tengu says "stupid fairy sitting there must die.", and Koakuma whispers "after all the crap I went through, SHE get's the prize."
Not noticing the jealous girls Cirno looks up at Rika and stares for a moment before saying "lady angel, you are very nice. I like you."
The maid giggles, smiles dearly at the fairy, then says "my, miss Reimu was wrong about you. You are quite polite and sweet."
The ice fairy smiles, her eyes start shutting down, and the second her head tilts left and she falls asleep, the sword on Rika's belt, after quite some time, turns to its colorful state and glows bright blue.
Meanwhile, Reimu has recovered herself and is pointing at Sanae while furiously shouting "you give him back this instant! He's mine by right!"
The Moriya maiden squeezes the lucky boy tighter and shouts "yeah, the right to be a jealous maiden! BACK OFF!"
The Hakurei maiden straightens up and starts cracking her neck and knuckles while saying "them's fightin' words you spoiled brat."
Sanae finally lets Ail go, straightens up, cracks her neck and knuckles, then says "what if they are? You still won't get MY man!"
The girls glare at each other for a few seconds, charge at each other with their right fists raised, then stop when they notice the guests in front of the boy in question.
It's Kyo, Medicine and Luna, and with them are Phredia, Budou, who has a crazed look and smile on her face while jumping up and down, even though she's tied up with holy rope, and inside a glass bottle held by Luna is Mima.
The fighting girls stare with curiosity, then Reimu asks "Kyo, what's with that face?"
Sanae quickly adds "hey, what's wrong with Budou?"
Ail looks a little annoyed as he asks "Kyo, why is Budou acting like she's high on something and tied up like a cocooned silk worm? And how the heck did you get Mima in there."
Said spirit's voice sounds echoed and muffled when she shouts "get me out of hereee~!"
The muscular boy sighs, clears his throat, then smiles and says "seems like Budou discovered the joys of terrorizing the village, though it's not entirely her fault as miss Mima here was, how you say, adding fuel to the fire. And you wouldn't believe how flexible a spirit is."
Ail stares in disbelief at his youkai daughter as she jumps in place and rapidly says "I'm taking all your scares for great justice. Take me to your leader! MY PAPAAAA!"
Luna raises the bottle with the evil spirit inside and says "if it weren't for Phredia edging us to follow her we would have had to seal your little girl. She's high on excess spiritual power from scaring villagers half-to-death and THIS hag here was teaching her how to scare them more effectively. Your girl is a fast learner Ail."
From inside the bottle the evil spirit growls and threateningly says "watch iiiiit!"
The dense boy stares awestruck as he is given the rope holding Budou and the bottle containing Mima, then says "ohh this is bad."
Medicine laughs loudly and says "you don't know the half of it! You've been summoned by Kotohime and the elders to talk about the repair fee you'll have to pay for, plus a fine for unleashing such terror on the village."
The dense one gulps, looks at the hopping, babbling Budou, then looks at Sanae who shares his same awestruck look, then he looks at Kyo and says "butt-monkeys!", his most powerful curse when angry and confused.
A silver washtub falls from the sky and lands straight on Budou's head, but it splits in two and the little bat rapidly says "clang-blang-clang-SMASH! Lend me some ICE CREAM! I'll Sunday you on pay-grapes! WOO-WOO!"
Later that night, at the Myouren Temple, Kogasa flies down to Shou in front of the main temple's entrance, then looks on with saddened eyes, shakes her head and says "I don't think she's coming back. At least with lady Hijiri gone she's not."
Shou sighs as she rubs her forehead and irritably says "and just when I needed her help. Well, whatever. Let's get inside and go to bed There's no use waiting out here."
They enter through the main door and the tiger youkai promptly turns around to lock it, but she suddenly stops, sighs, then turns to face the new Buddha statue and says "with Byakuren gone everything seems to be crumbling already, and all thanks to the foolishness of one single self-adoring idiot."
Kogasa closes her umbrella, turns her neck to look at the tiger youkai, then says "that Drake fellow is trouble. M-maybe we should do what miss Hijiri does and ask mister Buddha for help."
Shou smiles, almost too dearly and without noticing and says "well, I can contact Bishamonten with ease. Maybe I can contac-"
Several bangs on the large door take the girls' attention, cutting the tiger's sentence, and from the other side of the door a girl calls "hello! Please someone open up quick! She's starting to get heavy!"
Shou and Kogasa share a confused look, but the tiger youkai quickly turns around and opens the door, then gasps loudly at the sight, so loudly in fact that she manages to get the attention of Murasa and Ichirin all the way in their rooms.
At the door stands Nitori, holding on to Nue with her mechanical arms, who slumps, is covered in her own blood, and her hair looks a bit greyish.
The kappa sighs and says "please tell me this is the Myouren Temple! This poor girl's been repeating that name all the way."
And sure enough, the nue youkai is whispering "Myouren Temple. Myouren... Myouren Temple. Please, Myouren Temple."
Just as Minamitsu and Ichirin enter the large room Shou aims to grab Nue and says "y-yes, this is the Temple. Um, what exactly-HOLY BISHAMONTEN, WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?"
When the tiger grabs hold of the weak and very light nue she discovers her face is wrinkled, her left eye is missing, she has a gash on her abdomen and a smaller gash on her forehead, and she also has a horrible burn mark on her left arm.
Her blue tail-like wings look pruned and she's missing two of her red bladed wings, and the snake that usually coils itself around her right arm looks almost black as it dangles almost lifelessly toward the floor.
From the back Minamitsu says "whoa, she finally got herself into trouble I see."
Ichirin sighs and adds "seriously, this was bound to happen soon, but wow, whomever did that to her must have wanted to-"
Shou angrily shouts "hush! And you, kappa! What happened to her?"
Nitori stammers nervously for a moment and finally manages to say "sh-she I found her like that! She fell off the mountain into the river and I got her out of the water, and then she kept saying Myouren Temple, and and-!"
The tiger youkai, though wanting to shout in anger, manages a peaceful smile as she calmly says "I'm sorry miss, I lost my temper. Please stay with us for tonight, rest in the pool. Tomorrow I wish to speak to you. Right now..."
She turns a stern face to the girls in the room, realizes Nazrin is now next to her, then continues "...our main focus is Nue's recovery."
Nazrin looks over the nue's body and quickly says "that burn mark. Someone tried to suck her life force right out of her. And those are cuts from an unidentified mythical weapon, probably foreign."
Ichirin rushes to the rooms corridor while saying "I'll prepare miss kappa's accommodations.", then Minamitsu rushes after her while saying "I'll get in infirmary ready."
Kogasa smiles and places her umbrella against her right shoulder as she says "you can count on me for anything."
Nazrin smirks, looks at Shou through the corner of her eyes, then says "well, it's like you've been possessed by Byakuren's spirit, Master."
While saying this the mouse youkai flicks the basket off her tail and uses it to trap Nitori before she runs away.
The tiger youkai stares at the mouse with a straight and serious face, then says "you can compliment me later."
She starts walking toward the back of the temple while saying "we can't have an ally fall now. What would Hijiri think if something like that happened while she was gone? ...Now come on."
Nazrin easily lifts the struggling kappa and her large backpack with her tail coiled around the kappa's torso, looks at her master as she disappears into the corridor, then walks after her while saying "heh, she can be dependable when needed. Come on miss kappa. Oh don't worry, we won't harm you as long as you behave. Now come, you'll love our pool."
Kogasa immediately cries "hey! I want to help too."
Nazrin turns to look at the karakasa, smiles, then says "then close the door."
She continues walking toward the corridor, followed by several grey mice while the trapped kappa looks at the karakasa and whimpers "save me please."
Kogasa sighs, walks over to the door, and as she closes it up she sighs says "well, at least it's something. ...I wonder if they don't trust me?"
To be continued...
Characters, Spell Cards and Scenarios belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Budou, Phredia, Ayalina, Kyo, Luna, Leon, Luna, Akaizo and his wife, and Drake were created by Willie G.R.
Ail's Brightness Overwhelming Heart spell card was created by Willie G.R.
Damien's Makai created by Willie G.R.
Rika Onkamikami and Suzaku were created by Snapshot 2010
Damien was created by Hydorviper
JUN 08 2011
Wow, what a LONG chapter. I thought of cutting this in half and post it in two chapters, but that made no sense. Anyway I hope you enjoyed the long read. Many Touhou remixes were listened to while writing this, specifically from the newest sound sepher album. Anyway, until next time.