NOTES: This is where it starts getting confusing during scene transitions. Try and keep up, for it is ALL part of the fun of this fanfiction. I still tried my best to make it as least confusing as possible, though reluctantly.
Also note that in order to understand certain parts of this chapter (concerning Rika and the resort visit), please read "Balance in the Dark", a spin-off concerning Rika's growth into a whole.
Legend: [i] = a sudden thought/dialogue between the main dialogue.
Dec 17 2012 - Rewrote many parts of this chapter. More than on the first chapter. I'll be checking the rest of the chapters before continuing the story. Sorry.
"Honey~ ...Wake up sleepy head~"
Ail moans as he stirs about, a sweet voice echoing in his dreams and slowly bringing him back to reality.
"Ail, sweetheart. ...If you don't wake up *giggle* I'm going to have to kiss you~ ...On second thought, don't wake up."
"My Lady Reimu, the people are watching," worriedly whispers Rika, who seems to be a little farther away to the left.
Reimu just giggles again, and playfully says "let them watch and be jealous."
The maid just moans with fright, and seems to move away while muttering "if you think it's ok, My Lady."
Ail's consciousness is right between awake and asleep, consciously knows Reimu is kneeling beside him, and yet, when her warm lips touch his own, he subconsciously thinks of Sanae instead.
The thought costs him, and a painful tingle curses his head, yet somehow he gently wakes up to a breezy summer noon, under the tree next to the Dragon God statue at the village's center, with the kneeling Reimu looking down on him with a smile that would melt a heart of cold stone.
Unable to help it, he smiles back at her as he slowly pushes himself up, and stutters "R-Reimu... [my darling] G-good afternoon."
He twitches and glances around in confusion as he wonders where that thought came from so suddenly, then starts combing his hair with his hands in an effort to calm himself down, and feels something moving around his right wrist.
The black-haired girl sighs irritably, places her hands on her hips, pouts cutely, and asks "sweetie, are you still asleep?"
The boy wonders if he should say something or not while pulling his right sleeve, but then sees his golden bracelet on himself, though it's lacking any kind of adornments or symbols other than the green oval jewel on its top, and can't help but feel surprised for some reason.
He switches his eyes between the bracelet and Reimu, ends looking at the girl, and asks "I have a bracelet?"
Rika can't help but chortle and break into a fit of laughter after that unexpected and sudden question that has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but quickly composes herself and apologizes repeatedly before pointing to her left and saying "um, I'll be over there if you need me."
As the winged girl distances herself from the couple, Reimu looks at her man and says "wow, that's some nap you were taking there, honey," leans closer with a naughty look on her face, and teasingly asks "dreaming about me, perhaps?"
Somehow, Ail finds the idea both attractive and taboo, places his left hand on her shoulder and takes notice of his wedding ring, stares at her right into her eyes, and asks "why do I have a golden wedding ring on my hand? [Want to make that dream a reality, my love?]"
Again he twitches, wondering where that thought came from, then he looks at the girl's confused and slightly hurt expression, then he hears his own voice inside his mind shout "she's your wife now! Don't upset her!"
The boy quickly smiles at her, chuckles while rubbing the back of his head, acting as sheepish as possible, then says "ah, s-sorry honey! I guess I'm still asleep, it seems. Err, sorry about that."
Reimu's face becomes bright and loving in an instant, and is jumping to hug the boy by the neck with great force while exclaiming "kyaah~! It's alright, I forgive you!"
She rubs her face against his until she's rubbing noses with him, then playfully says "but don't do it again, or I'll have to punish you!"
The couple look into each other's eyes and giggle happily, while the smiling Rika walks over to them and says "alright, alright, that's quite enough. Remember Missis Reimu, we have to clean the house today, and it's already quite late."
"Ah, that's right. We better hurry then," says the black-haired girl as she gets on her feet.
She offers her hand to the boy and smiles sweetly, then says "come on, my love. You can't stay napping like that all day. We might need your help around the house today."
He smiles back as he accepts her hand, chuckles with surprise when she easily lifts him up with one hand, then looks around and takes notice of all the hateful glares aimed at him from all the villagers in the area.
He suddenly chokes and twitches violently, and his own voice in his head exclaims "there's no time for this, you fool! You have to go to Eientei! You NEED to go, now!"
He's brought back to reality when Reimu grabs his hand and drags him with her while irritably saying "honey, you're acting really weird. Stop it! Now come on, let's go!"
"W-wai-wait! Reimu, there's-"
Regardless of his protests, she forcefully drags him down the dirt road that's right in front of Keine's empty school.
Something on the front yard of the school gets Ail's attention, and while looking at the seemingly empty yard, he asks "um, h-hey, Reimu, Rika, do... you guys see that?"
He points to the school, even though nobody is currently paying attention to him, as that yard slowly fills with a thick grey mist, and a figure starts to grow from the ground, taking a very familiar shape.
Keine now stands in the middle of that yard, wearing a black dress, with her hands hanging limp under her slightly slouched body, and staring at the boy with a malicious smile and glowing blood-red eyes that shine through her hair, she sinisterly whispers "you failure."
His face turns ghostly pale, his mouths dries up, his eyes lose focus as they become full of innocent fright, and painful jolts of adrenaline surge through his limbs.
Ail breaks free from Reimu's grip and falls on his butt on the ground, then proceeds to push himself away from the school with his feet while hyperventilating and whimpering with fright.
He wants to call for help, but quickly realizes Reimu and Rika, as well as the glaring villagers are gone, and left in their stead are faceless ghosts of either black or white in color walking around as if though going on with their lives.
The boy tries to talk, but his throat squeezes itself tight and chokes him, threatening to suffocate him, however it all stops suddenly, he gasps for air, looks up and blinks once, and now that ghostly-pale, black-dressed Keine stands in front of him with a murderous look in her glowing eyes.
She chuckles softly, a bit of blood trickles down her pale lips that happen to be drawing a crescent smile on that ghostly face, her eyeballs turn pitch black; save for the single glowing red dotted pupils; and her small sharp fangs grow long.
Before Ail can react, she grabs him by the collar of his shirt, lifts him above herself with ease, and with a voice that echoes in his mind, she furiously says "go to Eientei. Go to Eientei NOW! NOW AIL! LEARN!"
He finds himself being dragged by Reimu again, notices how both her and Rika appear to have not noticed a thing, but not wanting to tempt fate again, he shouts "I need to go to Eientei!"
The black-haired girl jumps, making her kimono lift itself a bit, then turns around to look at the dense boy, gasps, and exclaims "Ail, my love, you look so pale! What's wrong?"
Ail grabs her hand as gently as possible and says "it's nothing serious. I just need to go. Reimu [my love], my love, please let me go!"
Rika raises a suspicious eyebrow, holds her family sword by the hilt, and with a suspicious tone, she says "hmm~. You've been acting very strange, Anilan. I swear, if you are up to your mischief-making again, I am going to-"
Reimu raises her arm to stop the winged girl's aggressive advance at her husband, looks at her and shakes her head slowly, then says "Rika, no."
She looks back at the boy and says "this is different. My darling, I don't understand why, but there's some sort of urgency about all of this, as if it is something of undoubted importance."
Ail gulps and nods, then says "it's something at the back of my head [darling] d-darling. Like there's something I must do there!"
The black haired girl lifts her hand chest-high and says "just go. If it's that important, then please go with haste. It must be the will of the gods, there's no other explanation."
The trio ignores the glaring villagers as they all look upon each other, and just by staring into each others' eyes they all come to some sort of unspoken understanding.
Meanwhile, at the west side of the Human Village, Kaizo Yumeda, who prefers to be called Kyo, looks curiously out the window in front of the house from his living room, then sighs with boredom.
He has short, spiky black hair, dark brown eyes that give the impression to be scowling, and wears a pink muscle shirt under a long-sleeved, unbuttoned black jacket, and long black pants.
He walks over to the door of his house with that bored expression, opens it up, letting in the wintery winds and some dead brown leaves, then asks "back from the resort, I see. So, did she do it?"
Keine stands just outside, looking quite fresh in the wintery late noon outdoors, nods elegantly, and says "oh yes. Rika is now a very lovely and radiant young woman with soft... very, very soft feathers I just want to touch and-"
She realizes just in time how her lustful self is presenting herself in front of the boy, so she quickly composes herself, forgets about Rika's soft feathers, and casually says "um, yes, she did it. Happened faster than you said. Ten minutes against your two hours. You owe me twenty-thousand."
The tanned-skinned muscle boy grumbles curses under his breath as he hands the money to the history teacher, and as she pockets it on her right breast, he asks "won't Rika be kinda pissed if she finds out we're betting on her? She was being kind of private about the whole thing."
Keine winks as she points at the boy, as if reprimanding him, and says "only if some stupid blabbermouth happens to let his tongue slip."
The two stare daggers at each other for a while, then suddenly start to laugh like a couple of drunk friends at a bar.
A third voice joins their fit of laughter, and slowly, but surely, they stop their laugh to stare at the laughing Medicine and Su-San, a doll that looks just like her master, only her shirt is red, while her skirt is dark red.
The little blonde's fake laughter slowly stops so that she and her doll may stare vilely at the betting friends, and grins while saying "so~ betting behind Rika's back, huh? How disgusting the two of you are."
She twirls in place like some cute little girl would, stops with a playful bow that somehow makes the back of her skirt rise just slightly and quite elegantly, then looks at the two friends with an evil grin, making them both gulp with worry.
"I want a hundred thousand by the end of the week, or I'm making sure that dear sweet angel maid knows of your dastardly deeds."
The bright confidence in the youkai's eyes quickly dissolves when going against the two evil grinning faces of the human and the half youkai.
She gulps as she takes several steps away from the terrifying buddies, then Keine sinisterly suggests "how about this proposition instead?"
Kyo punches his left hand repeatedly while suggesting "we beat you up, lock you in a trunk, bury you in the backyard, and never speak of the poisonous doll youkai again."
"Ooh, I was going to suggest we seal her mouth in Makai, but your idea sounds much better," chirps the teacher with a most devious smile.
They both walk toward the little girl, she takes a step back, they keep moving forward, chuckling wickedly as they do, the little doll's eyes becomes two white ovals with tears flowing from them, then she runs into the living room, crying like a little child.
"WAAAAAHHHH~ LUNA! LUNA~ help meeeee! Wwwa-ha-haaaa~ Kyo wants to bury me in the backyard!"
Kyo and Keine completely ignore the little blonde's cries for help, and continue to chuckle sinisterly and looking at her with their own sinister faces while chasing her all around the couch and guest table.
Two powerful whacks vibrate strongly all over the house, threatening to knock down many ornaments with the vibrations, and now both muscled boy and teacher curl down on the floor and groan while holding their heads tightly as steaming bumps sizzle on their crowns.
Luna stands tall on top of the table, with the crying Medicine snuggling her face between that ample chest of hers, and angrily says "stop picking on Medi so much, Kyo! Next time I'm using my sword's hilt," then blows on her steaming fist.
She looks at the history teacher with a very disappointed face, and says "and I can't believe that you, Keine Kamishirasawa, of all people, would stoop as low as to pick on this child!"
The blue dressed woman chuckles weakly as she gets up, still rubbing her head, and says "oh, come on. It was just a little teasing. Besides, she's a youkai. A... err, young youkai."
"My point exactly," angrily retorts Luna, now patting the blonde on the head in a motherly manner.
She hops off the table and lands next to Kyo, forcing the boy to stand up straight because of the impact on the floor, and asks "so I take it you got good news about Rika?"
"Yes," chirps Keine quite happily as she arranges her hat over her bump. "She and Reimu are safely back at the shrine-"
"And you collected your bet money from Kyo, I'm sure," finishes Luna with a vicious grin on her face so vile, it makes both teacher and boy twitch as though stung by a knife's tip.
The girl's silver eyes glow brightly in the dim lit room as her sinister smiles matches her sinister face, and then she sinisterly whispers "oh yes, I know about that, and I am sure you'll be sure to keep me and Medicine happy, or else one of us will accidentally blab to that sweet maid of Reimu's."
Both Kyo and Keine slump and smile weakly in defeat, and after a long sigh, both sadly say "fine. You win."
Luna smiles sweetly and continues petting Medicine's head, while said doll youkai trembles.
Unknown to the sinister and motherly girl, Medicine is currently hiding her terrified face between her breasts while thinking "Luna is scary. She's too scary. I must never get on her bad side!"
Meanwhile, the warm summery afternoon makes the walk at the Bamboo Forest of the Lost as little uncomfortable for Ail. However uncomfortable it may be though, a sweaty neck is not enough to keep him from trying to dig inside his own mind.
"Ok, so Reimu and I are married. [No kiddin'?] Why do I think it's such a big deal? [What about that other girl?] I mean, I feel there was someone else, but whenever I try to think about her... AUGH!"
He tries thinking of the blurry image in green, white and blue, and his head fills with strong jolts of tingling pain that quickly force him to think of something menial, like a bird flying in the sky, or a rabbit bouncing on the snow, and with those thoughts filling his head, the pain slowly subsides.
The boy finds himself holding his head with one hand, while supporting his kneeled self with the other so as not to fall on the ground, and after a groan, he looks up and gets back on his feet.
As if on automatic, his thoughts turn to Rika, and he questions "Rika... my little sister. Why do you look at me like that? [You caught her off guard.] Like if I was some kind of villain for you to defeat, before it's too late."
His head throbs a bit, and then images of himself sealing a darker-skinned version of Rika by the Misty Lake, regardless of the girl begging to be released, curse his mind with painful images.
He gulps after realizing he's on his knees again, quickly stands, and keeps walking while sadly saying "whatever was it that I did to you, it seems you can't forgive me. [Of course not, you villain!] But why would I even do such a thing?"
"Aww, poor guy," says a girl walking besides Ail, who has short blonde hair, yellow eyes, and dresses in a blue maid's outfit. "Well, it's her loss. I think you're kinda' cute, so I can be your new little sister if you want."
"I'm hurt, sis," says another blonde to the right of the maid, this one with slightly longer hair with a red ribbon on her head, wearing a long-sleeved pink and white dress with a brown vest on top and sporting a pair of wings on her back. "I thought you were my little sister already."
The maid girl smiles, holds her own cheek with her hand while she flaps her other hand in the air says "oh, don't feel bad. I can still be your little sister too."
Ail stops to stare at the maid girl and her sister in surprise, and whispers "Miss Mugetsu?", then looks at the winged girl, and adds "Miss Gengetsu. Err... th-those are your names, right?"
The girls look at each other, turn their saddened faces at the boy, then the winged girl says "now I'm really hurt. To think you forgot our names already."
The maid pouts and boos at the boy, then says "and here we finally find you to thank you for releasing us too. I'm sad."
The boy sighs, bows and apologizes, then says "I'm really sorry, I'm just so confused. It feels like I'm in some kind of nightmare right now and I can't wake up. [You villain! You MONSTER!] I can't remember things I should know, there are facts that seem to be... twisted. And hey, wasn't there another girl with you?"
Mugetsu stares casually at the boy, smiles, then says "oh, Kana's around here somewhere. As for your little predicament, well that's kinda obvious. You're insi-"
A massive ripple of pure, invisible energy, rushes through the area, muting the two blondes, while making Ail feel sick and disoriented, and right after it stops, Mugetsu and Gengetsu are gone, as if they were never there in the first place.
Ail looks around the area as though completely disoriented, calls "Mugetsu? Gengetsu," scratches the side of his head, and wonders "did I just dream those girls up?"
He stops looking when Reisen Udongein Inaba appears before him, panting as if exhausted while holding on to a bamboo shoot to avoid falling on the ground, and looking at him with tired and lustful eyes.
She has long light-purple hair that reaches her lower back, red eyes, crumpled rabbit ears with buttons on the bottom, and wears a white button shirt with a red tie around the neck, though it's currently lose and crumpled, and a blue skirt that fails to hide her fluffy white tail.
She lifts her weak eyes to meet with Ail's, smiles weakly, though looks insane when she does, blows a kiss, and whispers "I'm waiting for you, Ail. Remember your promise."
The boy gasps, shakes his head while rubbing his eyes, then opens them again to see that he is all alone in the middle of the Bamboo Forest again.
His brain suddenly registers what Reisen had just said to him, and he gasps in surprise before kicking off to a run, and then says to himself "what the heck was that? Reisen? Is she alright? I promised something to heAAAAHHH!"
The sound of crumbling soil accompanies the dense boy as he screams while falling down a dark hole, then after a few seconds, his body thudding on the bottom is quickly accompanied by thumping rocks and his groans of pain.
It takes him a whole minute to get on his feet, fly out of the hole, and crash on the ground to the right of the hole with spinning eyes and a very sore butt.
As he rubs his pained posterior, he groans pathetically, then moans "auuu~! Gods damn it, Tewi."
Meanwhile, at Mayohiga, Yukari is in her room, and stares at her triangle-like item as its light turns from purple to green after she rubs one of its edges.
She glares at the item with intensity, as if looking within it, then says to herself "I better inform the Yama about thi-*ywaaa-aaaaaan*"
Her head falls on the pillow under her chin, she pulls her covers over herself, tucks the pyramid around her belly, then contently sighs "ahh, I'll tell her after I wake up. Mmm~ it's so warm."
Meanwhile, on that cold and wintery late noon at Eientei, Reisen, who is wearing her blackish-grey suit-like shirt and a pink skirt, sets the last of the bamboo pieces that are to be used for the fire in the winter on the neat pile in front of herself.
She expels her held breath and swipes the sweat off her forehead while looking at the ten piles of fire fuel she's set on the corner of the yard next to the mansion, and though feeling exhausted, she starts speaking to herself.
"Ugh, so much work. My whole body is aching. And that Tewi is so lazy! She didn't even bother showing her face around me while I did all the work. She was probably playing around the forest all day-YYYYYYAAAAA!"
Upon taking a single step away from that last pile of cut bamboo, the poor Moon Rabbit falls victim to the teamwork of gravity and one of Tewi's holes.
The poor girl groans from within, while a little girl with fluffy white rabbit ears, dark-red eyes, shoulder-length black hair, who's wearing a frilly pink nightgown and socks, walks over the edge of the hole with a smug smile, and says "nice work Reisen. You really showed me how to do a job well done."
Tewi Inaba bends down to look down that hole, allowing her carrot necklace to dangle in front of her chest with the intent of taunting some more, then Reisen's hand breaks through the darkness of the hole, grabs on to the necklace, and regardless of the Earth Rabbit's complaints, she pulls with all her might and they both fall within into the hole.
Silence reigns after the double groans from within that hole, then Eirin Yagokoro walks by with her arms crossed under her chest, making some noise with her every step, and coldly says "well done Udonge. Although you did take a little longer than I had anticipated, I'll forgive you."
She has very long silver hair she braids and ties at the bottom nearing her calves, dark grey eyes, and wears a blue nurse's cap with constellations on it, and a blue and red dress with the blue and red parts alternating sides on the top and bottom parts, which are also adorned with constellations, and symbols as the bottom of the skirt similar to those on Marisa's Hakkero.
Reisen and Tewi crawl out of that hole, groaning and moaning as they pull themselves out of the trap, then the out-of-breath Moon Rabbit says "I am sorry Master, but there was no way I could do this any faster on my own."
"I don't want to hear excuses Udonge, I want to see results," reprimands the Lunarian Pharmacist. "Another failure like this and I'll have to punish you."
The lilac haired girl just groans and lets her head fall flat on the ground, then she screams when Tewi suddenly sit-bombs on her back.
"That's for dragging me into that hole," furiously exclaims the black haired girl.
Reisen twists her body just to grab her ally by the ears, pulls with what little strength she has left, and growls "I'm getting sick of your pranks! If I wasn't so tired, I would teach you a lesson right now!"
Tewi is about to launch a punch straight at the ally's face, when they both suddenly turn their heads toward the mansion, and all three girls exclaim "ah, Princess!", look at each other, then say "stop doing that!", and then Eirin smiles in a very sweet and deadly manner, causing the two rabbits to bite their own lips with fright.
Kaguya Houraisan has beautiful long, straight black hair, dark brown eyes, and wears a long-sleeved pink shirt riddled with white bows, and a dark burgundy skirt adorned with yellow bamboo and flower shapes.
She smiles at her pets and her attendant, and asks "Inaba, Inaba, Eirin, I'm bored. Can any of you find something for me to do?"
The nurse looks at the long-haired rabbit, and then says "you heard the princess. Please find some form of amusement for the princess."
"Please do so in ten seconds," adds the Lunarian Princess with a chirp.
Before Reisen can even think of some form of reply, from the mansion's gate, a familiar girl calls "well, it seems the shut-in ex-princess doesn't know how to pass the time by herself. Perhaps I can teach her how to play cards or sumthin."
Kaguya's smile becomes twisted with disgust and evil as she slowly turns around, and in a mocking sweet voice says "that voice that screams 'poverty' with every syllable spewed from its filthy mouth that lacks proper hygiene. Mokou, how unpleasant to see-EEEEEHHHHHHH?"
Mokou Fujiwara stands next to the gate with an old woman and her grandson to her side, and six or more other men with posters declaring their love for the immortal, adorned with glittery shapes and letter.
To add insult to injury, the usually unkempt, dirty, and unevenly tanned girl is shining with beauty, is tanned perfectly even, is dressed in neat and clean clothes that cling to her curves, and even her eyelashes seem to shine with feminine beauty.
"Mo-Mo-Mo... MOKOU? Wait, is that really you?" exclaims Kaguya before looking at Eirin and asking "is that her?"
The fire girl smiles and shrugs so that everyone sees her doing it, then says "what can I say? Since that tengu leaked my swimsuit photos from the resort, I earned myself a little fan club. I was against it at first, but it's kinda grown on me."
"MOKOU, WE LOVE YOU," shouts one of the young men at the back, causing said girl to turn around and wave.
In mere seconds, Kaguya is standing in front of her bitter enemy, while a thick cloud of dirt and dust slowly dissipates behind her, and pointing at the light-lilac haired girl, she smiles disturbingly while exclaiming "you're LYING! You hate attention, you HATE being idolized by men, and you most certainly HATE being seen in anything other than your dirty clothes while in public!"
The bamboo hermit smiles back rather casually, and says "hey now, I'm not here to fight. There's a sick woman here who needs medical attention. Not to mention the six adoring mortals behind me."
Eirin, Tewi and Reisen are already leading the boy and his mother to the clinic, while Kaguya stomps her foot on the ground, angrily saying "you're! just! pissing! me! OFF! But it won't wor-err... DAMMIT! You're hot!"
Mokou has lifted the Kakashi Spirit Newspaper article of herself between her face and her immortal rival's, and is proudly displaying herself in her bikini, and her cute swimsuit, and although the pictures are in black and white, it is clear that lone-wolf girl has been hiding her real curvy beauty from the world for quite a long time.
"Thank you very much, Kaguya," proudly replies Mokou while pulling the paper article away.
Mokou looks around as casually as if she owned the place, totally ignoring the Lunarian Princess' hateful glares and sparking eyes, then sighs and says "well, I guess it's time I left after a job well done."
She turns around and walks away, followed by her fan club, which now also includes a few youkai rabbits, and says "kill you later Kaguya. Oh, and nice wrinkles there, princess."
Kaguya grinds her teeth as her rival and her admirers laugh at the vile joke against her, yet she somehow manages to stop herself from attacking the girl or the club, and just rushes to clinic.
She bursts through the front door, walks to the back, kicks the next door open, then furiously demands "EIRIN! I want to go to that resort, NOW!"
The Lunarian Pharmacist peeks her head from the second door on the hallway of patient rooms, looks at the princess, then says "you cannot," then closes the door again.
Kaguya is left with white spheres for eyes in the middle of that hallway, letting her arms swing as she slumps sadly, then screams out loud "WHAT'S THE MEANING OF THAT ANSWER!? WE ARE GOING THERE, AND THAT! IS! FINAL!"
Her yelling causes small tremor that sends the rabbits running and cheering all over the mansion grounds in a fright-frenzy.
The outside of Eientei is gloomy, lonely, almost depressing, and quite uninvitingly dark on that late summer's day noon. These are the first things Ail notices upon his arrival.
He stands outside the gates and gazes at the cold and empty grounds of the eternal mansion, and somehow feels an overwhelmingly depressing sadness coming from within that once lively home, and says "it's so sad here. Doesn't even feel like Eientei."
Meanwhile, inside the mansion, Reisen, who is in her summer outfit, looking unhealthily skinny, walks nervously down the dark corridors of the mansion with a tray that's holding her master's dinner.
As she walks forward, her body jitters as if she were frightened. Her eyes look empty and tired, she smiles blankly, her skin looks so pale it is as if she were undead, and her hair has lost all its sheen.
She seems to be stumbling onwards with the intent of serving her Master Eirin, but she trips on herself and falls on her sides, yet her empty smile remains the same.
Nothing spills, yet the Moon rabbit appears to not even notice she has fallen, seeing as she continues moving her legs and keeps holding her hands out as if she were still walking and carrying the tray.
Tewi and a couple of youkai rabbits stand in front of Reisen, and one of the subordinate rabbits is holding the tray for Eirin, while the rabbit leader looks down at her allied Moon Rabbit with a pained look.
"Reisen," she sighs as she gently sits the fallen girl straight, helping her realize she's not on her feet as she thought she was.
Udonge looks around with a disoriented look, stares at her empty hands, tears start to roll down her eyes, yet she calmly asks "what happened to Master's food? Did I deliver it? I didn't fall again, did I?"
The youkai rabbit sighs as she caresses her allied rabbit's face with her hand, then twists her body around and commands "take that tray to Eirin, and don't you dare eat a single bite. Not even a crumb!"
The two lesser rabbits bow, then rush further into the corridor, while Tewi turns around to face the Moon Rabbit's empty smiling face, sighs again, and says "you have to snap out of this. If you keep this up, the masters will certainly-"
She quickly turns around when she feels one of the two rabbits standing behind her, and before she asks, the rabbit youkai nervously says "she requests for her, Tewi-sama!"
The pink-clad rabbit girl groans in her frustration, and hiding her pain with a furious face, she helps Reisen up on her feet; despite their size differences; and says "come Reisen! Eirin wants to see you."
The lilac haired girl just smiles and looks forward as she chuckles softly, then says "Master is so nice, but her punishments hurt. Heh-heh, I don't want to get punished. I am good."
The black haired rabbit can only sigh to prevent herself from crying, and guides the disoriented girl by the hand.
The door to Eirin's room is just a few steps ahead, and it remains open, giving Tewi a very bad feeling, yet regardless of how nervous she feels she has no choice but to keep leading Reisen there.
Inside the room, Eirin and Kaguya sit around a small rectangular table, where the tray with the food remains untouched.
The Lunarians stare at the alien rabbit for some time, Kaguya sighs sadly, and then Eirin says "there is no choice. She's become a threat."
"What? Just like that!? Please, give her another chance! I got her to walk all the way here on her own! She fell just outside; please, you have to believe me!"
Despites Tewi's argument, it appears the pharmacist's decision is final, and knowing this, the Earth Rabbit breaks down to cry on her knees, while her lunar ally simply stares around the room, as if seeing the nice and cozy surroundings for the first time.
The silver haired woman looks down to the floor with a pained look in her eyes and says "I'm sorry, but she's become a real threat. Ever since the boy broke her, her mind has been degrading. She could expose us all without even realizing it, and then we are all as good as gone."
Kaguya walks over to the youkai rabbit and easily picks her up, holding her against her chest while softly saying "we tried Inaba; we all did. But you saw her outside. She didn't even realize she had fallen. It's over."
Tewi's tears suddenly dry up, and hides a feral look of pure rage against the princess' chest, while angrily growling "that Ail! Let's kill him and fix this problem. Let's save Udonge!"
There is a deafening bang on the table, then Eirin furiously shouts "WE'VE BEEN THOUGH THIS! IT WILL ONLY WORK IF SHE KILLS HIM," then she suddenly grabs the bridge of her nose and closes her eyes while more calmly saying "and given her state of mind, and how clever that damned boy is, the chances of that happening are low."
Even the youkai rabbits in the room seem to start crying as silently as possible, while Reisen herself smiles as she looks at her master with those empty eyes, and casually says "then you better do it now, while I still have some consciousness left, te-heh! I don't really want to, but I have been trouble for you and the Princess, right?"
Eirin will never admit to feeling a sharp sting in her heart after hearing her apprentice say those words so casually, but as strong as she is, she fails to stop a single tear from rolling down her face.
She nods, starts to rummage through her right pocket, and softly says "you're right, Udonge. I guess it really is time..."
Reisen's delicate nose start to twitch, she lifts her head and sniffs softly, rises to her feet as she sniffs a little louder, the life returns to her eyes, her hair becomes a little more bouncy and radiant, and her skin regains a bit of color.
The Moon Rabbit stands on the tip of her right foot while lifting her left leg, a smile escapes her lips, then she mumbles "...him. Is it him? He's here? ...The promise?"
Eirin gasps when realizing what's happening and shouts the command "stop her! Don't let her go outside!"
Tewi and Kaguya act too slowly, and by the time they jump on Reisen, the girl is already out in the corridor, and racing to the exit.
The Lunarian Pharmacist stands up, places her hand on her chest, and her voice echoes all over Eientei as she says "the boy is here! Reisen! Everyone, you have to stop Reisen, NOW!"
Udonge plows through the waves of youkai rabbits like an automated and unstoppable motor machine, and makes her way outside with some slight effort.
She spots Ail standing with his arms raised over his head while being surrounded by countless youkai rabbits, and runs to him faster than she did while in the corridors.
She jumps on the boy, grips him tight in a hug, and exclaims "you came! You came back for me! You really did! You really did keep your promise!"
The confused boy returns the hug with a light pat on the back, while asking "wha? M-Miss Reisen, what do you mean?"
Ail gently pats the Moon Rabbit's head when the girl starts to sob, then asks "Reisen, what's the matter? Why are the rabbits aiming at us? [The damned bastards!] And what promise are you talking about?"
The girl pulls her head away from the boy, then lunges it straight at his face, locking lips and almost sucking out his life before pulling herself back at the last moment, and giggles almost madly.
Anilan falls on his back after the loss of oxygen affects his head, while Udonge remains sitting on his chest, giggling like a giddy little school girl and sneaking the occasional kiss on his face.
She chuckles mischievously and says "this is how our love story started, my dear Ail! Although, you were on top last time. Teh-heh, we made the pact on a day similar to this one. At first I was a little against it, but when we sealed our love, and the pact was made-"
Her cheeks burn as she closes her eyes and remembers the occasion, then places her hands on her cheeks while cheering stupidly and says "kyah~! I still feel all tingly just thinking about it!"
Ail's eyes spread wide open, his face shine bright with both embarrassment and awkwardness, and all he can reply are a couple of mumbles and incoherent chokes.
Reisen bends down, getting her face closer to his while getting comfortable on him, and whispers "and then you promised me you would come back for me, that you would take me home with you, where I would be treated with the love and respect I deserve. Oh yes you did."
The boy grabs the Moon Rabbit by the shoulders and rolls to the left, getting on top of her.
"Oh my, sweetie, not while everyone is watching," says Reisen with a warm smile and flushed cheeks.
He pulls her up and takes flight just before five arrows hit the ground where they were lying, twirls around with the girl in the air, avoiding another set of arrows and some large blue bullets, pushes the girl away while still holding her hand to let three more arrows pass between them, then pulls her back and holds her against himself, then dives to avoid six red arrows.
After they are both safe, and Reisen moans in bliss after that dance, Ail glowers toward the mansion and furiously shouts "you idiot! You could have hit Reisen!"
The dense boy gazes upon the intense and emotionless eyes of Eirin, a sudden chill hits his spine, and realizing what comes next, he takes flight to the left.
He has no choice but to start shooting the rabbits, and doing so triggers an insane shower of danmaku headed his and Reisen's way, but being almost as quick as Reimu, he manages to move through tight spaces, while making sure the subtle homing arrows keep missing their mark, which happens to be his face.
He shoots his focused orange bullets to the left and takes out five rabbits, thus making an opening for himself and the lilac haired girl, which he gladly flies to.
"DISPERSE AND REGROUP!"
The rabbits all break formation and scatter about after Tewi's command, Kaguya intercepts Ail and shoots her colorful orbs straight at him and the rabbit girl, but a quick dive and a spray of white bullets from Anilan saves him and the rabbit girl.
Tewi kicks the dense one's face from the right, taking Reisen from his hands while he falls toward Eirin, at the same time as the rabbits regroup, making large triangle formations all around the sky, so as to prevent Anilan from escaping.
"Master, don't," shouts Udonge from behind him, while the boy's and the Lunarian's eyes meet.
The woman's eyes are filled with insatiable bloodlust specifically aimed at him, while Anilan's are filled with fear and confusion, but she doesn't care about this and raises her bow with an arrow ready for the kill.
Ail sees no other choice than to hoot several focused blasts at the pharmacist to throw her aim off and save himself, and after managing to lift his body in mid-air, he arcs upward and flies to the sky again right in front of Eirin.
Tewi's already feral face becomes monstrous as she growls, and then exclaims "use lethal force! Take him right out of the damned sky!"
All rabbits, including the pink-dressed one herself, shoot in unison along with Kaguya, who seems to be delighted in joining in the boy's demise.
Reisen hits Tewi on the cheek with her elbow, breaking her concentration, but earns herself a hard chop on the neck, and an apology from Tewi as she falls unconscious. "Sorry Udonge, but I rather kill him with my own hands than to watch you die!"
Ail knows those bullets aimed at him aren't your everyday danmaku, and is suddenly reminded of Reimu's stories from when she had to resolve incidents without the use of the spell card system.
He can only see one choice, and that is to land and use his all-around spell card, Brightness, Overwhelming Heart, "but to do so, I'll have to risk going through those dangerous bullets [I'll get killed! I must run away!], and land precisely in the center of the field."
His thoughts are soon brought to a sudden halt when Kaguya appears to his right and hits the back of his head with a linked-fist punch, at the same time a bright yellow arrow goes right through his stomach.
He falls, though is still conscious, and as he does, he can feel the other bullets burning through his clothes and stinging his skin as he falls straight to the ground below.
"Huh; not so bad. It hurts, but I'm not dying. [Oh shit, I'm going to die! No, I don't want to die!] I can get back up. Just need to endure a little more!"
He feels his back smash hard against the ground a little sooner than he thought, and knowing well he doesn't have time to waste, he lifts his aching and disoriented self, and moves left toward a red skull sign, when wanting to move right.
He falls down a pitfall, screaming when he sees the bed of thick blades getting closer to him, then instinctively activates a thick blue barrier under himself.
"I'm safe!", he exclaims after his physical barrier protects him from the spikes below, but upon looking out the hole, he gasps, kicks off his own barrier, activates another in front of himself, and blocks hundreds and hundreds of semi-lethal bullets headed toward him.
Arrows, orbs, petals, shards, even bullets that look like giant bricks; Ail is happy his barrier deflects all those bullets while he exits the hole, and takes off to the now-clear skies.
He calls off his barrier and looks down with anger and fright at the army below, and shouts "WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM? [YOU ARE ALL IN DEEP SHIT NOW!] YOU COULD HAVE KILLED ME AND REISEN! AND WHAT'S WITH THOSE DEATH TRAPS!?"
"Tewi," coldly barks Eirin. "I know you want to kill him yourself, but Udonge is the one that has to do it. I will face him, and you will wait until I knock him down. After that, restrain him to the best of your abilities. DID I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?"
The black haired girl's feral face slowly relaxes to the cute one she always wears, and looking down to the ground, she mutters "fine, but if he beats you-"
"You'll do all you can to stop him," commands Eirin as she takes off to the sky to meet with the boy.
The Lunarian and half youkai meet at the darkening sky, where the boy furiously asks "what the hell is your problem; all of you? What did I do? [I'm going to rip you damned head off!] And what's with Reisen? She looks like she's dead and still dying!"
The silver haired woman just shoots her deathliest glares at the boy, raises her bow and arrow, and darkly says "don't worry. She's about the get a whole lot better."
Ail flies to the left to avoid an unfair and sudden barrage of arrows that would put Sakuya's knife count to shame, and even though he did avoid the large bulk of the attack, he's still dealing with dodging the straggling bullets.
As he dodges, he forces Eirin to move when he starts shooting her with his hottest blue and white lasers and homing light-blue petals, while shouting "dammit Eirin, I don't want to fight you!"
The Lunarian starts shooting head-sized black and blue pellets at the boy while staring at him with her coldest and darkest stare, then intensifies the attacks with her arrows without showing the slightest bit of strain.
"Dammit, this is bad! I've never fought with Eirin before, and now I'm facing her when she's clearly pissed off at me! [This woman is frightening.] I better give it my all, but I can't hurt her too bad. ARGH! What IS it with these girls? [What a pain in my butt.]"
His thoughts are brought to a halt when he realizes she's activating a spell card, and mutters "this is not good... [attack, you idiot!]"
Eirin throws her spell card in front of herself, where it floats while she aims her next arrow directly at it, and shouts "Heaven Spider's Butterfly-Capturing Web!"
She shoots the glowing card with her arrow, and several straight beams fly from it, forming a web of hot beams, capturing Ail inside a narrow space between twenty of the lasers in mere seconds, long before he can activate his own spell card.
Regardless of being trapped, he snarls as he lifts his spell card, and shouts "like hell I'm letting you beat me! Mad Waves, Raging Ocean!"
Countless extra-large blue and white bullets appear all around the boy, and quickly spread out with a magical water wave that seems to appear from the larger bullets themselves, and although Eirin's laser beams remain in place, the round bullets shot by the Lunarian get swept off by the boy's wave.
Though Ail is trapped, it's Eirin who finds herself gasping with surprise and dodging danmaku with outmost care, though never stops shooting orbs and arrows at the boy.
Anilan has to improvise with sudden barriers to block the unfriendly arrows that easily break through his waves and trap him in that narrow spot between beams.
This tense shooting and dodging continues on for fifty-eight seconds, and aside from a few grazes, both battlers are fresh, as only their clothes have gotten any actual damage.
After sixty-three seconds has passed, both spells time out, and almost immediately Ail and Eirin are snarling at each other's faces; the boy blocking her bow and a dagger with a barrier placed next to his arms.
"You're going to pay for what you did to Udonge," snarls Eirin. "Thanks to you, her mind broke to pieces! She has never been able to recover, and all she has had to hang on to her sanity was your empty promise to her!"
He pushes her back by some miracle strength, swings his right arm around as though wielding a sword, though only white arrow-head bullets spray from his hand, and now they are face to face once again, with him stopping her bow from striking his head.
As they push each other back, he says "I swear, I don't remember doing any of that, but Eirin, listen to me. [Let me take her home with me, or I'll gut you all!] Let me talk to her! I can help her, I just know it! She just needs to have her mind opened up again, right?"
The Brain of the Moon roars furiously and swings her bow around with the boy as if he was a mere rag adorning her weapon, and furiously shouts "like! I! would! fall! for! ...THAT!"
Ail is thrown away with ease and crashes against a concentration of black and blue pellet bullets that the woman had prepared, which explode violently on impact.
He screams in pain as the danmaku breaks through his last-second defenses and burns his skin directly, but he has no time to stop and lick his wounds, as the Lunarian Doctor is rushing toward him.
The dense one easily deflects her knife with a barrier, and growls before raising a spell card and furiously shouting "if you won't listen to words, then take a dose of pain instead! Blast Sign, Expansion that Soothes!"
Right at point-blank, Ail activates his spell card and blasts Eirin on the face with one focused orange bullet after another.
A total of thirty of these bullets blow right on the woman's face, healing the boy as he siphons the stolen energy with each blast, and now the dazed Lunarian finds herself caught in a viciously powerful grip.
Ail's hair stands on its ends as he holds Eirin by the throat, and threatens to break her neck with his raw strength alone.
His eyes glow bright red as he stares hatefully at the woman, then his own voice inside his mind says to him "do it. Kill the fucking bitch. She deserves it. She made you feel pain, now make. her. pay!"
"You should have listened, Miss Eirin. Now you're going to pay."
He tightens his grip enough to make the woman gag out loud, winds his arm back, aims his maddened gaze at the sharpest edge he can see on the mansion's roof, then prepares to launch himself forward.
He quickly realizes what he is doing, his eyes return to being gold, he stops moving, softens his grip, then looks straight at Reisen, who is down on the ground and keeps looking back at him with worry, then he asks himself "what am I doing?"
He releases the woman, confusing her to no ends as she nurses her sore neck while backing away, then looks at her, smiles, and says "this is not the real me, you have to believe me. I would never try to hurt anyone deliberately. Especially those I call my friends."
He lifts his hand again and offers it to the Lunarian Doctor, but the rabbits below think he's attacking, and rush to aid their alien ally.
It all happens ridiculously fast, but for Ail and Eirin, it seemed as though time had slowed down to a crawl, and now the confused Lunarian merely watches as the boy is shot and beaten to the ground next to Reisen.
Ail kneels on the ground, full of bruises, cuts and burns that stain his whole face, his left eye is black and swollen to the point of being closed shut, and just to make sure he's weak enough, Tewi punches his stomach as hard as she can, and shoots a bullet directly on it.
Reisen yelps and covers her head while crouching and looking away after she watches him cough out some blood, then Eirin kneels beside her and hesitantly says "Udonge, don't look away. You have to break free of him, to free your mind and be yourself again."
The silver haired Lunarian looks back at the boy with some pity present in her eyes, then hesitantly continues "you... You have to kill him. Please Reisen, I know this sounds hard, but I promise you, it will all get better when he's gone from your life!"
She hands over the knife she was using to fight the boy earlier, places it on the rabbit's hand and whispers "please, don't make me send you away. Just stab him once and it's done."
Eirin stands, then turns her gaze to the boy again, a bit of pain can be seen in her eyes, but she closes them up and steels herself before turning away and saying to herself "no. He's a monster, Eirin. Look at what he's putting Udonge through."
While the Lunarian walks toward her princess, the Moon Rabbit stares at the knife on her hand, then at the damaged boy being held by her allied rabbits.
Tewi grips Ail's hair, pulls his head up, and sinisterly says "don't you dare try to sweet-talk yourself out of this, you monster. I'll be right here to stuff your mouth with dirt if I must."
When she lets his head drop again, she fails to see the cocky smile on his bloodied lips.
Reisen does notice, and gasps as though realizing something, gets on her feet, then whimpers "no. I can't believe it. They are right! You are a monster!"
She stares at the knife, then says "I screamed, a-and you hit me. I... I trusted you, and you... Oh no, what have I been thinking?"
She rapidly walks over to the boy, kneels next to him, lifts his head, and exclaims "Ail, why? I always liked you, it's true, but what you did to me is just..."
She slaps his face and pulls away from him, then gulps and says "you used me! You were planning to use me again today, WEREN'T YOU!?"
Seeing Reisen return to her old self so suddenly elates Tewi to a happy giggle, and she even ignores as Ail softly groans "I am [going to get you] ...not that person."
The Moon Rabbit skillfully turns that knife around her hand until she's gripping it tight with the blade facing downward, walks closer to Ail, and tears suddenly roll down her eyes as she cries "I can't forgive you, Ail," and whispers "...my darling."
She lifts the knife above her head, holds it with both hands, looks down at the back of the boy's neck, her targeted spot, and hesitates.
Images start invading her mind, of a time when Ail constantly showed he valued her by merely helping her out, begging Eirin to not punish her, giggles when she remembers him being in his tiny dog form, and of how much he wanted to see her recover after that incident with her shadow self.
She also remembers how he came to her after Kyo's death, how destroyed he looked, and how he begged for the end, indirectly asking her for a drug to finish him. And then, how he jumped her.
She starts to shake hard and whimper softly, making Tewi get desperate and shout "do it already Udonge, please! I want you back! PLEASE!"
Reisen's trembling worsens, yet she keeps her eyes on the boy, as if wanting to convince herself that killing him will really bring her life back.
She takes a deep breath and quickly expels the held breath.
The girl lifts the knife higher, takes an even deeper breath than before, "RRRAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH", and throws the knife as far away as she can, so that nobody may catch it.
Tewi stares in shock at Reisen, her lips rapidly wriggle, she starts to sniffle, then loudly cries "Udonge, what the hell's the matter with you!? Go get that knife back, and finish the job!"
Reisen smiles as she looks at her old friend with her empty eyes, and whispers "I'm sorry. I just can't. He's too special to me."
The Earth Rabbit breaks down and cries, drops on her knees right next to Ail, and punches the ground while crying "no! No! NOOOOOOOO! No Reisen! You can't!"
Anilan groans with pain as he moves his head to look at the youkai rabbit, and weakly asks "what's going on?"
The youkai girl gets on her feet and runs away to the Bamboo Forest, ignoring the boy's words and leaving her subordinates confused, wondering what to do next.
Ail knows he can now escape if he wanted to, but then notices the pained and empty smile on the lilac haired girl, then looks at Eirin and asks "Eirin, what's going on? [I want Reisen!] ...Eirin, wh-what's happening!?"
The reluctant Lunarian looks at the boy, though this time her hatred seems to be overwhelmed by deep sorrow, and while Reisen walks over to her and the princess, she turns her full attention to the boy.
Kaguya gently wraps her arms around the slumped moon rabbit while sweetly saying "goodbye Inaba," then proceeds to kiss the girl in a ritualistic fashion; first on the left cheek, then on the right, and finally a long paused kiss on the forehead.
While this happens, Eirin sadly says "when a moon rabbit's mind is rendered useless, they become a danger to their masters and their species, and must be dealt with before it becomes a dangerous threat. I... think you understand what I'm talking about."
"Wait! No, Eirin... [Bullshit! She's mine!] Reisen, don't! K-Kill me! [Just give her to me!] Reisen, don't waste your life like this!"
Regardless of the boy's begging, the rabbit girl drops on her knees in front of Kaguya, while Eirin slowly makes her way to them.
He takes his chance to get up, and charges forward; "detain him," but Eirin's sudden bark helps the rabbits to regain their senses and hold on to the weakened boy.
The Lunarian Pharmacist pulls out a syringe with a purplish-red liquid inside, then kneels in front of her apprentice, and with a cracking voice, she says "I'm so sorry Udonge."
Reisen lifts her pale face and aims her empty red eyes at her master, smiles before she shakes her head, and says "no, Master. I am sorry for all the trouble I caused you and the Princess."
"ERIN! EIRIN, DON'T! Please, stop this! [Why do I feel guilty? It's her own fault for being weak!] Don't kill her!"
Ail's screams seem to fall on deaf ears, and his struggle to break free makes him curse his half-youkai body for not recovering fast enough, and after one last struggle to get away, he gives up and watches.
Eirin reluctantly plunges that needle into Udonge's neck, then forces her eyes shut as she pushes the plunger and sinks the liquid inside her apprentice.
The dense boy starts to cry and repeatedly asks why, then suddenly screams "this is UNFAAAAAAAIIIIIIRRRRR!"
The rabbit girl starts convulsing and breathing rapidly; suddenly rolls on her back, both Eirin and Kaguya take her head and place it on their thighs, making the girl smile peacefully at them.
Reisen lifts her arm as her eyes slowly close, Eirin immediately grabs hold of it and lets her tears flow, then the happy looking rabbit girl softly says "you know, ...this isn't so bad. It feels ...peaceful."
A sob escapes both Lunarians, then Eirin gulps and with her cracked voice says "go now. You're a... a free rabbit now."
Udonge smiles and sighs, her eyes close, her hand drops on her chest, and Ail screams as hard as he can; his tears shedding as unstoppably as the aliens'; then everything stops, and the world slowly turns whitish grey, then it all becomes pure white in an instant.
"REISEN!", screams the boy as he springs off his bed of flowers with his hand raised in front of his chest.
He looks around the misty room, punches she right side of the bed, and curses "damn it! I almost had Eirin convinced! Grr! What did I do wrong?"
He watches curiously as the flower he punched slowly springs back to perfect health, then sighs after a while.
"U-fu-fu. You weren't meant to get that far, but still, almost convincing Master like that was a remarkable feat."
The boy turns his head to the right and smiles happily when he sees the Moon Rabbit sitting on a chair of yellow flowers, looking as healthy as ever, and giggling at his confusion.
"Miss Reisen! Are you alright? D-did it hurt? I'm so sorry!"
The girl lifts her hand to signal the boy to quiet down, and calmly says "it's alright. Like I said, it wasn't so bad; really. But Ail, I'm not here for this. We have to hurry. Because of those two intruders, your friends felt your pain outside. The Yama will tighten the security around here."
She walks over to him and says "first of all, wipe that sadness from yourself. As bad as it may seem, you didn't really do that much to me."
Ail raises an eyebrow, causing Reisen to laugh hysterically, then she quickly composes, her face becomes stern, then she says "Ail, what your other self, that broken self of yours did to me, was merely play with me."
"He toyed with my mind and stimulated my body, broke through some heavy mental defenses with his attacks until I became a mere mass of clay for him to play with."
The boy gulps, his face shows deep sadness, but before he falls into a depression, the girl gives him a tight hug and says "I'm so glad the real you still hasn't broken. You're so sweet, and you do value me as a friend. That's why I like you and Rika so much."
She lets him go after she is certain the boy's heart is at ease, then says "but listen Ail, there is one thing. As broken as you were, I saw it, right inside your eyes. You were hurt and you were scared, and the only reason you did what you did, was because you needed an escape."
The girl looks at the boy in the eyes, and as they sit on the bed, she continues "you were hurt, because despite everything you tried to make Reimu happy, you failed. You felt you failed her. You were also mad at her and Remilia because for the fact of her inability to have a child."
"You were scared because deep inside, you knew that what you were doing was hurting me, that you were destroying our friendship, but the pain of losing Kyo was too great, so you forced yourself, hoping to gain pleasure and defeat the sadness."
The boy sighs, looks to the misty grass between his bare feet, and says "Miss Reisen, I'm sorry. I- ...That other me was a real monster. I wish I could undo what he did."
She places her finger on his lips and continues "despite of your hitting me, then playing with my body like that, I never hated you. True, I was mad and scared, but I could never hate you, you know. And that promise you made me kept me going, even in the end."
Before he can ask the obvious question about said promise, Reisen continues "now that you understand that, you must understand that there were other girls you harmed emotionally, others your other self really did defile, and in my opinion, I think Byakuren got the worst of it all."
Ail opens his eyes wide, his skin loses all its color, he wants to ask what happened, but then the girl sternly says "ah-ah-ah! No way. You have to find out for yourself, or you'll never be able to go back to how you were. Oh, you were just so much cuter the first time you got to Gensokyo."
His cheeks quickly turn red, causing the Moon Rabbit to giggle quite contently as she gets back up on her feet.
She turns her neck to look back at him, smiles, then says "time's up. Your next goal is Myouren. Good luck Ail."
"Hey wait," shouts Ail as the world around slowly turns white. "What was that promise I made to you?"
Reisen turns around again, chuckles mischievously, giving the boy a bad feeling, then says "you promised me that you would one day return, and would either undo what you did to me, or take me with you and finish what we started."
The world around them turns brighter, and a low whirring rings around their ears as the girl winks and sticks out her tongue, and playfully says "and I was SO hoping you'd fulfill the latter! Tee-he-he!"
Ail scowls, his face turns so red it contrasts with the blinding white, and reprimands "M-Miss Reisen! That is highly improper!"
As the world around them turns brighter and the whirring gets louder, the boy can hear the Moon Rabbit's playful laughter, and somehow feels a lot less tense than he did moments before, even when feeling so embarrassed about the girl's behavior.
Meanwhile, at the Hakurei Shrine's storage house at the back of the shrine, as the orange wintery sky starts turning black, Shikieiki walks out of said place while pocketing her reset machine, closes her eyes, then suddenly sighs, opens her eyes again, and says to herself "well, this was to be expected."
Before long, she is swept off her feet and carried away to the back of the shrine by Mima, the supposedly evil spirit, who holds her under the arms.
The spirit has long green hair that reaches her ghostly tail, green eyes, and wears a blue cone hat with a yellow sun adorning it, a blue robe with long white sleeves, and a blue cape with white edges.
She look furious as she carries the nonchalant Yama to the lake behind said shrine, then drops her on the ground at the other side of the lake, and pokes her chest.
"What was that just now, Yama! Why did I just feel Ail's presence!? He was in great pain! Are you watching over him? We want him to go back to the way he was before, not torture his mind until it breaks!"
Shikieiki's blue eyes keep on the spirit's own, and though sounding calm, it is clear she is a little annoyed. "So says the one that kept killing him to blow off her steam."
"Don't go bringing that up now," barks the woman. "You promised he would be safe, and yet here we are, feeling his overwhelming emotions as if he's calling us for help!"
"You sure can grow attached to people," murmurs the Yama, before sighing and continuing "calm down, he's fine. Just look for yourself."
She hands over the round machine that's currently glowing blue to the spirit, and while the woman inspects it closely, Eiki says "I don't understand exactly why, but his feelings managed to get through to Gensokyo, but as you can see, the reset took effect, and he is emotionally stable once more."
Mima clicks her tongue after returning the machine, then says "this is why I wanted out. This is too much. Yes, I overdid it too, but this mental strain is just too much for him! Death would be a blessing compared to this hell we put him through!"
She starts to huff while playing with her own hair, and reveals her pointy ears to the shorter girl before her, but she's so upset, she doesn't seem to care one bit.
Shiki stares at the spirit for a moment, then warns "careful Mima. You are a vengeful spirit, and although I should just pass judgment on you right now, I feel I would be making a mistake. Regardless of my feelings, you must be careful with yours. You are too attached to those two, and that could make you ascend."
"Although I should encourage you to do just that, I think those two I mentioned would be a bit upset if you just suddenly disappeared. Especially Ail. I'm sure he'll want to talk to you when he gets back."
The spirit just sighs to calm herself down, then says "don't worry; I still hold a certain grudge against the humans. I just decided I don't want to act on it, so I can do whatever I want."
Shikieiki stares at the evil spirit, who looks away with a nostalgic look on her face and says "I know he's not really my concern, but he did free me from that room, you know. Twice! Ahh, I remember it like it was today~"
Mima remembers herself lying on her futon inside that very small room, lit with a magical oil lamp on a corner table, with her hands behind her head, looking as bored as one can get, and slowly closing her eyes.
"I was all alone, locked inside that sealed prison with absolutely nothing to do but think. I got so bored in there that I was about to fly around in a screaming rampage. Heheheh, I was even focusing power to myself to begin the crazed flailing... but I didn't do it. Wonder why."
She remembers how she suddenly got up and started to cackle, then began to pace around the room while saying "just you wait, you red and white! I am going to escape from here, and when I do, I'm going to stuff all your holes with leaves and set them on fire, then cook your eyeballs while I watch you scream in agony. MUAHAHAHAHAHA~! Oh, it will be so delicious!"
She stops, chuckles to herself, then says "nah... I'll probably just pull her hair while she sleeps... Hmm, and the poor dear does need to eat too. Tch, the curse of having a body. I guess I'll give her some money too."
"I started to do what I always do when I get bored beyond mental sanity, and started elaborating on how to get back at Reimu with all sorts of pranks. Of course, I may have also been a bit delirious and may have said some stuff about money for Reimu. Hmm. Ahh, but that's when that door suddenly opened up."
She remembers looking at the door and staring at the red and white charms on it as they break in half while the door opens up, and curiously asking "wait, what's this?", then looking upon the miniature body of Ail in his cute little dog form.
"Ail was in his adorable tiny dog form when he opened that door. He just stood there, wondering if he had made some sort of mistake by opening my prison door. Heheh, he looked so cute, I just wanted to eat him up. Of course, I knew he wasn't a dog, but still ...so cute!"
She remembers questioning the little dog boy about the opening of that sealed door and his answer in that high-pitched voice: "I'm so sorry. Didn't mean to bother you, Miss. I was just wondering who was in here."
Mima's ghostly tail makes a loud popping noise, and a pair of legs suddenly adorn the lower half of her body, and looking smug and proud, she declares "I am the great and powerful Mima! I'm sure you have heard of me", then looking disappointed when he lowers his doggy ears and casually answers "sorry, I haven't..."
"Silly boy. I'm sure Reimu cursed my name in front of him a few times and he just forgot. Ah, but after a quick exchange of some friendly words, we went outside, got bombarded with yin-yang orbs, and then I realized I had left my staff inside the room, so Reimu let me stay outside as punishment. Ahh, Ail looked so cute weeping like that. And then I drank sake."
The supposedly evil spirit sighs with delight after her flashback is done, then dreamily says "I wonder if I could force him to take that dog form again? He looked so cute, and I always did think he looked better like that."
Shikieiki is not sure whether she should laugh, sympathize, or be disappointed in the evil spirit, regardless, she lifts her Rod of Remorse to hide her lips, and says "causing an accidental attachment to the none-existent heart of a spirit. That Ail is a weird one. Regardless, Mima, don't worry about the boy any longer. He is safe. Those hardships he will endure will make him stronger, steel his will, and return his spirit to what it was long before."
The magic spirit stares at the Yama, sighs, then nods, but before she speaks, Eiki says "the bad experiences lived there will be buried in his subconscious, and will only surface when he is ready for them. That was your own contribution to this learning experience for him."
Mima smiles, chuckles, and then says "yes, you're right. I forgot about that. Hmm, he's going to be alright after all."
The next morning, at the front of the shrine, where the usually-empty donation box sits in wait on the veranda for worshipers to make it all the way up the insanely long stairs to it, Rika Onkamikami sweeps the bit of snow that piled up on the short track to said box during the early hours of the morning.
The radiant shrine maid, who has finally shut off her Soraogan blood limit, has sky blue eyes, long wavy brown hair that reaches to her lower back, where it's tied to her fiery-red scarf she puts around her neck, a small pair of soft-looking white angel wings, and wears a white sleeveless shirt with openings large enough to reveal her black, spaghetti string camisole-like bra, detached sleeves that reach all the way to her hands, her red skirt with the white band on the edges, her sapphire yin-yang around her neck, and a cute pair of light blue socks.
She also has her curve-enhancing belt fastened snugly around her waist, giving her hips a curvier look, and it is now tied at the back.
She sighs contently as she swipes the sweat out of her forehead, then says to herself "noting like a job well done to start the day."
"Are you sure tying your hair to your scarf's ends like that is a good idea?" asks a very familiar voice from behind.
The shrine maid turns around with a bright smile on her face, bows politely, and says "good morning Miss Reimu. You are looking radiant this morning. ...Please allow me a moment to prepare your breakfast."
Reimu Hakurei, who wears a large red ribbon on her wavy and straight hair, a white shirt under a red vest, white detached sleeves, and a red skirt, chuckles at the maid, and says "ohh, dodging my question, eh? Fine, see if I worry about you again."
Rika's cheeks turn pink as she frowns and cries "ack! I'm sorry My Lady! Please forgive my insolence! I'll be good! I'll be gooooood~!"
The shrine maiden can't help but grin and blush upon looking at that adorable face unsettling like that, and as the maid flaps her arms around while apologizing, she notices the bra under that shirt, and a trickle of blood rolls down her nose.
"Kyaaaah~! Miss Reimu, you're bleeding!", exclaims the unsettled maid, rushing to the red and white and wiping her nose with a napkin, to which the shrine maiden casually says "oh come on. It's fine, I'm fine."
"As for your question, My Lady," continues Rika as she guides her mistress to the table inside, "tying my hair like this allows for greater movement without the hindrance of my long hair. It'll be harder for anyone to grip my hair while I move since it won't be lagging behind. Not to mention less chance of it tangling or getting caught anywhere."
The red and white one merely nods in assent after being seated, then Suzaku, a youkai bird with red feathers all over its body with hints of white under its wings and white eyes, lands on the table in front of the shrine maiden, and telepathically says "good morning mom. I see you are as delighted as I am with Mater's new attire."
Reimu grins widely, pats the bird on the head, then says "oh you bet your wing feathers I am! She looks so cute and so sexy now! Heheh, but teasing aside, she looks wonderful."
There is a loud explosion coming from the roof of the shrine, then the lovely celestial's voice; which happens to annoy the Hakurei Maiden greatly; rings all around the shrine grounds as she calls "Rika~! I came over early, so I'm coming with you today~!"
Tenshi Hinanai, who has dark red eyes, long blue hair, and wears a light-blue scarf around her neck, a round black hat adorned with heavenly peaches, a pink dress with colorful borders at the bottom, and a long blue skirt and brown cross-laced boots, enters the shrine with a sack of peaches hanging from her shoulder, and says "I even brought some heavenly nourishment! Ohh, Reimu, good morning."
Even the violent shrine maiden settles down after such a warm greeting, holds the bridge of her nose for a second, then casually says "yeah, yeah, good morning."
"What an improper greeting," comments the celestial, getting a vein to pop out of the red and white's forehead, though she doesn't care.
She walks to the kitchen, where Rika turns around with a spin and sweetly says "thank you so much for coming so early Chik-err, I mean Tenshi. You're a sweetheart. And thank you for your kind gift," then turns around with another spin to continue cooking breakfast.
The celestial freezes just as she was; walking towards the maid; with her face slightly red, her eyes sparkling, hearts popping around her head, and a bit of blood trailing down her nose.
Reimu and Suzaku share a quick chuckle, then the vermilion bird says "she lost a life almost immediately."
Before Reimu replies, the witch with yellow eyes, blonde hair with its left strand tied with a purple ribbon, that wears a black witch's hat with a purple ribbon adorning it, and a black and white witch's dress with a white apron, flies straight inside the shrine's living quarters on her broom, and exclaims "wa-haaa! Morning, ze! Ready to go to the Netherworld!? I'm dying to see what goin' on there," then whispers "and maybe get a little sumtin' for myself."
Marisa Kirisame grins cockily at her dear friend Reimu's annoyance, sniffs vulgarly, then exclaims "that smells WONDERFUL! I'll LOVE eating your breakfast so early in the morning, Rika!"
The sweet maid almost sings as she replies "please wait a little longer~ It will be worth the wait~ Te-heh-heh."
Reimu slams her forehead as brutally hard as possible against the table without hurting herself too badly, and while Suzaku stares at her with concern, the girl moans "where did my peaceful morning go? That sung sentence was supposed to be mine!"
A large sweat drop rolls down the side of the red bird, then she flies away to her perch above the entrance to the rooms corridor, and says "Rika-sama's power has increased unexpectedly high. I must take higher precautions."
Marisa just stares at her friend in confusion, and hops off the broom before asking "what? Reimu, what's the matter with ya? Reimu~?"
The Hakurei Shrine Maiden just stares subtle daggers at her dear friend, and then darkly says "just sit down and eat fast. We're all going to Hakugyokurou with Rika as soon as we're done!"
To be continued...
Characters, spell cards and scenarios belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Kyo and Luna Rivers were created by Willie G.R.
Brightness, Overwhelming Heart; Mad Waves, Raging Ocean (derived from Mad Waves, Raging Waves); and Blast Sign, Expansion That Soothes spell cards were created by Willie G.R.
Rika Onkamikami and Suzaku the Vermilion bird were created by Snapshot 2010
JUN 3 2012
As you can see, I really want to keep this from being a full-blown dark fic, however there will be chapters where comedy will be barely present. I'll keep doing my best, ze. Take care.
Yukari: And here ends another lazy re-edit. Hmm wait, some parts look like you did a re-write. I'm impressed.
Me: Tch! You don't have to say it like that!
Yukari: OF course I must. You're a lazy slob.