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CHAPTER 18: New Game

Year: 2005

4:29 Post-meridian

Scarlet Devil Mansion, Voile the Magic library; Master's bedroom, Gensokyo

Deep purple eyes slowly opened as the last traces of sleep disappeared from their owner's eyes. A young woman sat up from her queen sized bed, rubbing sand out of her eye with her snow white sheets. She was greeted with the sight of a familiar room, a place she hasn't stayed for more than fifteen minutes for as long as she can remember. The sight of her bedroom was almost alien to her, much to her confusion.

She surveyed her bedroom through her sleepy haze. It was hers alright, though the usually cluttered carpet floor was now neat and clean. The shelves were dusted and organized to her left while three of the rare windows inside of the mansion were open, allowing the fading afternoon light to be seen. That's strange; she never let the curtains open since the light irritated her eyes. Then again maybe it wasn't so bad. The orange sunset seemed beautiful from her position.

Abandoning the attempt of kicking off her blanket, Patchouli fell back into her pillows. She had long since forgotten the feeling of sleeping in a real bed. A wave of regret and anger passed her, causing her to put a pillow on her face to muffle her scream.

She had failed once again. Failed to keep the Chess Piece out and failed to kill him for good. Just what did it take to kill him? It was so frustrating, humiliating the way he defeated her. She was winning, winning against him yet that insufferable Red-White had to interfere. Patchouli remembered him crawling on the ground one moment, and then beating the crap out of her the next. That spike of power, it was definitely from the dagger he was carrying.

Just what kind of creature did he sell his soul to obtain that kind of power?

Wrenching the pillow off her, Patchouli began to think. It was baffling, how he got so strong through a short period of time. She had to look into this further. It should have took him a long time before reaching that kind of level in strength, not after she tricked Remilia into interfering with his fate. Yet where… where did he acquire such monstrous strength? That red lightning, the evil sensation he emitted. Back then on that library, Patchouli found herself feeling bone freezing fear piercing her. She was so sure back then that he was going to kill her.

Yet he didn't… he gave up… swatted her like an annoying fly and left her behind without as much as a single glance. To him, the feud was over, yet to her it was not. She will never forgive him, not now, not ever. She would make sure that the Chess Piece will burn into the deepest pits of Hell itself.

It was a good game, she recalled him saying, You just didn't try hard enough...

"Don't…" Patchouli's right hand began to glow with green energy, "ACT SO MIGHTY!"


The Librarian was cut off mid spell cast by a familiar voice. Once the haze of frustration disappeared from her eyes, Patchouli saw her faithful assistant cowering at the door while shakily holding a metal plate. Judging from the delightful aroma, it was breakfast or maybe dinner. With a sigh, the Witch lowered her glowing hand and killed the power. She had to be more careful, she was better than this. It'll take more than that to frustrate her into making things explode.

"L-Lady P-P-Patchouli?" stammered Koakuma as she held the tray with trembling arms, she half expected her master to lash out with a water spell or something, yet she didn't. Her master gestured her forward, giving her the green signal to approach. She set the tray at the Witch's bedside table and stood at attention.

"Um, are you well now?" she asked while studying the visibly distraught Magician, "You've… You've been having nightmares since that night. How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine now, thank you," lied Patchouli as she stared at her hands, they looked so pale and fragile, "How long was I asleep?"

The little devil fidgeted with her dress before answering, "Almost a day. You fell unconscious after your battle with the Chess Piece."

"I see…" said the Witch, "Remi… How is she?"

"The Mistress is being taken care of by Miss Sakuya, rest assured that she suffered no grievous harm during the battle," replied the red-headed assistant, "It's all thanks to her vampiric nature that she withstood both the Chess piece's assault and that of the Shrine Maiden. Though I am still not sure how they defeated her at the height of her power…"

"He planned ahead," guessed the Witch, "Rook knew what to do. He wasn't stupid enough to fight Remilia during the full moon, or maybe if he was, he maybe just darned lucky. Is... the Voile okay? Have the fairy maids begun the repairs?"

"Umm, no," answered Koakuma, she seemed to be avoiding eye contact with the purple haired girl, "They're all awaiting your orders. None of them wanted to touch anything without your consent, meaning that the library was… still… A-A-A mess…"

She waited for a bit for her master's response. One second, two seconds, a sigh. Turning her purple gaze towards her familiar, Patchouli pulled unto one of Koakuma's arms, forcing her to kneel. The little devil winced and closed her eyes. But the pain she expected never came; in its place was gentle pat on the head. She looked up to see Patchouli rubbing her hair back and forth.

"Alright then…" sighed the Magician as she absentmindedly stroked her assistant's hair, "Troublesome, troublesome…"

To Koakuma's surprise, Patchouli fell back on her pillow. She blinked twice as the sound of muffled snores filled the room, it appears to be that her master fell asleep. Or so she thought…

"Hey Koakuma," called the Witch in a muffled tone.

"Yes, Lady Patchouli," answered the red head, the little bat wings on her head fluttering.

"Didn't you know that back at the Outside World, in the country known as Africa, there's a plant known to have powerful tranquilizing effects with enough strength to put a full grown African Elephant to sleep for a day or two?" as she said this, Patchouli sat up again with her head low, "Will you kindly explain how I recovered from six near lethal doses of said tranquilizer in less than an hour?"

A heavy silence hung in the air between the two. Koakuma hastily picked up the fallen plate as her lips trembled, the glare her master was giving her was enough to melt a hole through her head. She had to find out a way to explain herself otherwise it could lead to painful punishments. Finally deciding upon an excuse, she then began to say, "Lady Patchouli I—"


"You…" growled the Magician, her eyes shining with purple power, "What did I tell you when it came to using your magic?!"

"Y-You were in trouble!" explained the little devil, fighting back tears while rubbing her sore cheek, "I couldn't just stand there and do nothing!"

"And yet you disobeyed my direct orders!" snarled Patchouli, pointing a glowing finger at her familiar, "You know the consequences whenever you release your power, right?! Yet why, why didn't you listen? I told you specifically not to interfere, yet what did you do? You strutted out there and used your demon powers. Koakuma, I know that nothing was wrong with your intentions, but because of you tapping into your roots once more, you will be punished. Am I understood?"

"Y-Yes…" the red headed familiar lowered her head in apology, "I… I was just trying to help…"

"I didn't need it…"replied the Magician as coldly as she could, "Now get out of my sight… I'll finish my food alone. I need to think…"

Koakuma didn't wait for any other orders for she immediately ran for the door, quickly closing it behind her as she exited the room. With her back against the door, it took her a bit for her breathing and heart beat to return to a normal pace. She gritted her teeth as tears finally trickled down her cheeks. Her body sliding down the wall until she sat on the floor, she stared at her hands and examined them through sad eyes.

Was it wrong… for me to help? She thought, sniffling as she pulled her knees close and hugged them, Why won't you let me help? I.. just don't want to see you hurt… Lady Patchouli…

Year: 2005

4:29 Post-meridian

Forest of Magic, Youkai Path, Gensokyo

Dusk slowly crept over the horizon, a signal for various nightlife creatures to begin their activities. With the daylight fading fast in the west, and what little illumination obscured by the thick roof of leaves above, a certain young man found it the best time to produce some light of his own. Sending a single command to his core, a stream of blue electricity coursed within his palm, casting a bright glow. He was careful not allow even a spark to fall upon one of the dead tree leaves in risk of starting an all-out forest fire.

Not a single living soul in sight. It was probably for the better, fighting or running from another Youkai would've been bad. The night was always the time where they were the strongest. He had to move fast, he couldn't afford losing his chance today. The fresh scent of the forest filled the Human's nostrils as he made his way across it.

Rook looked around him and sighed. Nothing changed over the course of the years; the Forest still looked as untamed as ever. He wondered if the Human Village would continue to live in such underdeveloped circumstances. Then again, they survived for decades and managed well despite their feudal way of living. He had to give it to them, living simple life farming and raising livestock, only needing to fear Youkai during incidents.

Over the course of the centuries, he had seen the various wars and conflicts that had erupted on the Outside. The ugly battles and horrifying bloodshed, at times he had to participate in secret ones to prevent Gensokyo's cover from being blown by those who delved too much in myths and legends. Those were at Yukari's request of course, but that was back then. Right now, the world was preoccupied with other things such as petty squabbles over territories and oil sources.

However as the Outside advanced, more and more forgotten beings will appear within the Land of Illusions, along with that the number of incidents will increase drastically. By the time Reimu's lifetime will be over, there may be the chance that she may solve more incidents than any of her ancestors had. Poor girl.

As he strolled through the increasing number of undergrowth, the numerous variety of mushrooms did as well. He was careful not to come in contact with the ones larger than his torso, prior experience told him that he'll be stuck in bed should he inhale a few of its spores.

The Forest of Magic was not only known as a death trap for unwary Outsiders that happen to wander in it, it was also known for the countless of numbers of mushrooms of all species that grew at its very heart. The Human took note that he entered through the northern side, the more neutral ground of the forest a place safe enough for armed villagers to go near. The southern part was home to wild Youkai and was also a popular feeding ground for the younger Youkai seeing as it was near the Road of Reconsideration.

Towards the East was a dense area dominated mostly by trees and plants, though that direction led to a faster way to the Hakurei Shrine, a path Rook once took five years ago. At the center was the legendary mushroom paradise with it, most of the area to the West would be filled with almost nothing but mushrooms. A few of them reaching disturbing sizes such as the height of a house. The path leading to the West led to the nameless hill and eventually the Garden of the Sun.

Rook's foot uttered a splashing noise, causing him to look down in confusion. The liquid the pooled beneath his feet was too dark to be water and had the distinct smell of iron, however once his light shined above it, he immediately recognized it as blood. Human blood.

The red liquid was gathered into one spot, meaning that its source was just here not too long ago. He had to look for some sort of trail.

"Poor sap," he muttered as he found a depression on the grass along with a trail he was looking for, "I hope it's just an animal."

With that he began to follow the trail his electrified arm lighting the way. As he continued on his path, the more overpowering the stench of blood became until the smell of a corpse filled his nostrils. Gone was the refreshing scent of the forest as it was replaced by this disgusting scent. Rook was confident in his stomach not to give in seeing as he had seen worst in the past. Keeping his footsteps light enough so as not to make a sound, he cut the power off his arm enveloping him in complete darkness.

The absence of light rendered him blind for a moment, yet he paid this no mind as a strange sound filled his ears. A shiver ran down his spine as he identified the sound similar to that off a wild animal tearing flesh in a chunk. Clearing his mind, Rook put his guard up in case of an attack.


Placing a hand in front of him, the Human slowly pushed a clump of leaves out of the way so as to see the source of the sound. The dim light coming from the sunset wasn't enough to illuminate the surrounding area enough for him to see clearly, however he did identify the outline of someone kneeling before another person who was sprawling on the floor. The figure seemed to be licking its figures just before jerking its head towards Rook's direction; red eyes alight with hungry light.

It pounced, razor sharp teeth glistening in the dying daylight.

The Human burst through his hiding place and met the creature head on, grabbing its neck just before its claws could touch him, pinning it into a tree as he set his free hand alight with crackling power.

"I give! I give! Let me go!" squealed the blood soaked creature as Rook's electrified palm was merely inches away from her face.

"So who did you kill this time, Rumia?" he snarled, giving the Youkai of Darkness a good view of his stormy gray eyes for a moment before letting her go. The little Youkai held her throat as she coughed out blood, probably not her own while sending him a sharp glare.

"For god's sakes, mate. No need to be hot blooded," she hissed as she wiped the blood off her chin with her fore arm, "And as for your question, this bastard over here was a pervert. He got what he deserve."

"Well, he must be pretty desperate going after you," commented the Human as he gave the mutilated man a light kick with his foot. Middle aged man, balding and had a dirty white beard. Rook smelled the smell of alcohol amidst the stench of blood and gore. Having looked upon Rumia's latest victim, he quickly looked away, "You killed a bum. Your standards are pretty much in the mud now, huh?"

"Shut your trap, wise weasel," replied Rumia as she crossed her arms and looked away, "It was your fault I didn't catch me a decent meal last time. Besides, this was my first meal in three days, cut me slack will you?"

"Whatever," Rook then approached her and said, "Look, I never really got to thank you properly for your help. Too bad that I don't have some meat with me that you can eat, maybe I'll treat you next time if you're up for some lamprey. Just make sure you don't make a mess like this, got me?"

The Youkai of Darkness stared at him with a blank expression for two solid seconds that is before erupting into laughter, "Hahahahaha! Oh my, a human giving a Youkai a lesson in fine dining! This is brilliant!"

"You could say that, but I'm the kind of human that's capable of beating you up and down Youkai Mountain," said Rook with a threatening air about him. The little Youkai gulped from this.

"W-Well, if you put it that way…" she faltered for a moment before saying, "Sheesh! Very well, however I will hold you unto your word. Everything on the menu for free! You pay…"

The Human cracked a small smile, "Just don't go killing me yet… Ah, by the way…"

"What? Need something else?" asked Rumia with an eyebrow raised.

"Yeah," replied Rook as he put his hands on his pocket, "You've been around the area, right? Have you seen a girl dressed in black white, giant witch hat on her head and blonde hair?"

"If it's black and white and blonde hair, then you're staring at her, old chump," deadpanned the Youkai, "Still… Witch hat. Ohhh…. You mean that laser spamming lass from the western side of the forest? I see… Well if you're looking for her tonight, then you should take the Western path towards the Nameless Hill. Around the area there should be a place where there would be a number of glowing green mushrooms. It's kind of hard to miss, really…"

"You sure this isn't some kind of death trap?" said the Human with a hint of suspicion.

"Do you want my help or not?" Rumia huffed through her nose as she pouted, "If I'll kill you, then I'll tear you apart with my bear hands. It wouldn't do me good sending you to die from the suzuran! Now if you'll excuse me I'll be taking my prize before some other pain in the arse shows up."

Watching her grab her trophy by the legs and start dragging it with her small arms, Rook stood there as her retreating form entered a clump of bushes. Shaking his head, he shot a bolt through the leaves above him, creating a hole large enough for him to see the sky. The sun was setting towards his right, meaning that his destination was already set.

A faint humming could be heard within the deepest part of the forest. This was followed by the sounds of rustling among the grass as someone or something was moving about. It was then did a young woman with golden blonde hair and eyes with the same color pass by. She carried a large sack over her shoulder while something that looked like a broom stick was slung on her back with a strap.

Today's haul wasn't that bad, a few new species of mushrooms were discovered while one was rediscovered after not being seen for more than a generation. This would surely contribute to all that research she has been doing, she couldn't wait toying with the different components she bought. The magical properties from within the sack are buzzing with energy, waiting to be experimented and tested on.


Yet for some reason, she knew she had to do something else today. This would've been the day she would go and chat with Reimu. After that night, she saved her best friend from doing something dangerous, yet even then she couldn't bring up the courage to face her. She didn't know what was wrong with her, but this feeling is something she's totally alien from.

"Geez, da ze," she grumbled, scratching the back of her head, "It ain't like me to be thinking about this stuff…. Sheesh! But I gotta admit though, you're kinda easy to find. Why don't you step out instead of peeking behind the trees, Rookie."

"You had a good harvest, I see," muttered Rook as he crossed his arms, "Nice to see you again, Marisa. You've grown."

"Well, can't say the same about you… Wow, you cut your hair. You did it yourself?" asked the Witch in a nonchalant manner, a grin spreading across her face.

"The Outside world has what you call a 'barber shop'. You can get your hair done if you want and tell them what kind of style you want," replied the Human with a shrug, his gray eyes never leaving the girl's face. She was hiding it yet the tension within the atmosphere betrayed her actions. He could feel the killing intent that radiated all around her; making it look like that she'll fire a beam of light at any given moment. He understood why so he didn't blame her if she felt that way.

He noticed her grin turn into a smirk as the brim of her hat hid her eyes, "the Outside, huh? So that's where you scrammed off too. No wonder I couldn't find you no matter what I did."

"Marisa, I—"

"No, no, no. There's no need to explain, ze," said the Black White girl as she cut off the boy's words. She raised her hand in the air as she continued, "Funny how you drop into my life again the moment I choose to head to Reimu's after three years. Could it be a coincidence? A chance for me to take my revenge? Is it a sign of some sort that I don't know of? I really have no idea, da ze."

Rook uttered a sigh while saying, "Everyone's been worried about you. Reimu, Rinnosuke, your father… Mima."


A patch of grass just a few centimeters away from the Human's foot was now reduced to ashes. The Witch had her hand formed into the shaped of a finger gun while the tip of her finger smoked from the beam that was just released. Her eyes were narrowed while the air hummed with energy. The Human could feel the sensation of the magic around him being bent and shaped into a very dense danmaku. All Marisa had to do was to issue the command for it to take form and launch it.

She gritted her teeth a she hissed out her words, "Don't…. You ever speak her name…"

I told you it was a bad idea… muttered the Spirit's voice within Rook's consciousness, Careful now, or she might actually kill you. Don't ever let that happened since I don't want my cute little pupil to turn into someone like little old me. Got that, Chess Piece?

Yeah, yeah… Let's see where this takes us, thought the Human as he raised his hands in the air in surrender while he spoke, "Alright, I'm sorry. But three years have gone by and now you've turned into something like this. You think she would like to see you in your current state? Tell me, Marisa, is that what she would want?"

"This next shot's gonna blow your brains out," growled the Witch through gritted teeth, "Just who the hell do you think you are? Yapping like you knew her like I did?! This isn't something I could just let you walk away from, Rook!"

"Then what do you propose me to do? I'm not a god that could do whatever he wants. I'm only human after all," said Rook as he clenched his fist and scowled.

"You wanna know what I want you to do?" asked Marisa as she took a step forward, "Take me to that mansion."

The Human widened his eyes at those words. He was expecting some more explosions than just fulfilling a request. Shaking his head, he mentally kicked himself for letting his thoughts go astray. Maybe he should be thankful that the girl hasn't succumbed to the urge to erase him from existence but what puzzled him was her purpose on going to that mansion.

"For what reason?" he questioned in a steely tone.

Marisa flicked the brim of her hat as a smirk spread across her lips, "That's a secret, Chess Piece. Or to be more accurate, it's none of your business, ze."

"You do know that I almost got killed the last time I went in that place, right? Going there now with the security tighter than any place you've broken into would be suicide," warned Rook, keeping his eyes on the Witch's movements. He didn't like one bit of that smug look on her face. With a heavy sigh, he continued, "If really do plan on going there, then I'll be your guide. But once this is all over I want you to start talking with that girl again, understand?"

"Whatever, gramps," chuckled the Ordinary Magician, "The night's still young, how about we pay our new immigrants a visit, da ze?"

Nicolas Notes:

Hello everyone, it's nice to be back. It's... been a long time hasn't it? I hope that I haven't gotten rusty. No matter, I'm counting on all of you to point out my silly mistakes during my ridiculously long absence...

I won't make excuses though, but damn, it's been a long time. I hope that's the last time I get sucked into another fandom. Phew.

I'll be churning out bite-size chapters for now until i can make 10k words behemoth once again. To the new readers, welcome to my first project ( if you skipped towards here, please head back to chapter 1) in this site. So... It'll be long tough road again, let's get this party started.