NOTES: Keep a sharp eye up. I think I finally succeeded in making certain transitions confusing enough. Also, this chapter also ended up being a little longer than I had wanted it, but not long enough to be able to split it successfully. I still hope you enjoy it.

Legend: [i] = a sudden thought between the dialogue.

Dec 21 2012 - Rewrote many portions of this chapter, some quite larger than others. Hopefully it will make reading this a lot easier, and will make some scenes easier to follow as well.

That first winter morning at Mayohiga, the somber Yukari gazes upon her pyramid-like item as its light turns green, then yawns before groggily saying "I took care of them. They're not coming back. See? The world is not detecting their presence anymore."

From a gap to her right, Shikieiki sighs and says "I hope you are right. Thanks to those three, Ail's feelings were felt by all of those with some attachment to him. I am certain you felt his sorrow as well."

The blonde youkai gulps and grimaces, then stares more intently at the machine and says "seriously Eiki, I don't see them in here, though I am a bit concerned. I don't remember seeing those three exit the world either."

"They could ruin things in there," concernedly sighs the Yama. "Alright, I guess I can keep an eye out on them too, but this is starting to get in the way of my job. Yukari, you'll have to take a little more responsibility, at least for a little while."

The gap youkai chuckles as if amused, then says "fine. I guess I'll have to show Ran how to use this after all. You know what happens to me when winter comes."

"You do that," sternly says the Yama while she's apparently rummaging through some papers and wooden items on her desk. "That evil spirit was really upset when she felt the boy's suffering, so we'll have to make twice as sure that Ail remains stable, or she'll be causing trouble for us."

Something about those words strike Yukari as worrisome, her usual confident smile vanishes, and her somber state lifts, as if it was never there.

She nods at the gap, says "I see. Tch! That emotional fool. His attachment to his friends is a really huge hindrance, and I hope, for his sake, that he manages to loosen those bonds a bit."

Inside the gap, Shikieiki's upper body can be seen clearly, while the rest hides behind a desk in that strange dark room that is her courtroom.

From there she shakes her head, and says "no. It's those ties that have made him so strong ...Though I admit, it is also the reason he has made such poor choices whilst living in Gensokyo, so perhaps you are correct."

The gap youkai chuckles playfully along the Yama, then both sigh at the same time, then the blonde says "I guess I better get to work. I will look inside for a bit before teaching Ran."

Shikieiki nods once, and then says "please do. The safer that world is the better for him. He has plenty to deal with already."

The gap slowly closes up, while Yukari chuckles and says "working with the Yama. Still feels strange," then starts looking straight at the pyramid.

Her eyes glow lightly, then she starts to see the world within in a translucent manner.

She can see Ail is waking up again, with Reimu kneeling besides him and rubbing her cheek against his, while Rika keeps herself behind the dragon statue while keeping a wary eye on the boy.

"Well, he's waking up again. Everything looks fine over here. Perhaps I'll check elsewhere."

As she thinks this, the translucent world inside the pyramid seems to move at blinding speeds throughout all Gensokyo, but just as she's reaching the Moriya Shrine, her eyes start feeling heavy, her entire body starts feeling weak, and Yukari suddenly just drops on her pillow, moaning "wha... happened?"

The pyramid tumbles out of her hands, though it doesn't get too far, and just sits there, a mere inch away from the sleeping youkai's hand, and after a few seconds, girly giggles come from within the item itself.

It tries to turn purple again, but quickly becomes green on its own, as if everything is alright.

Meanwhile, at the Hakurei Shrine, Reimu and Marisa step out of the shrine and walk toward the storage house while the red and white says "I don't care. We've waited long enough for her! We're going now, so lock up! She'll follow us, so don't you worry!"

From the veranda, Rika sighs and says "don't be so mean, Miss Reimu. Those sort of things happen to everyone."

The witch chuckles mischievously, then says "you have to admit, that celestial's face was just priceless! I wish I had my camera, ze!"

The angelic maid can be heard puffing from the veranda, and before comments are made, she exclaims "stop making fun of Tenshi. And My Lady, can't we wait just a few more minutes? I'm sure she'll be back soon!"

The red and white chuckles mischievously, whispers to Marisa "she looks so cute when she puffs her cheeks like that," then loudly says "fine, fine, we'll wait for the messy celestial."

The angelic maid claps her hands, flaps her small wings, and cheers while bouncing in place, causing her chest's mounds to bounce around with her, while happily chirping "Miss Reimu is the greatest!"

Reimu's and Marisa's blissful faces flush at the sight of that happy bouncy girl, then the shrine maiden chuckles and flips a thumb up while a bit of blood trickles down from her nose.

The black and white moans like some sort of zombie, then blissfully says "Reimu, you lucky bitch. You got cute and sexy on one package like that."

"Don't forget wonderfully sweet, kind, and with a heart of gold," telepathically says Suzaku as she flies around in a circle above the perverted girls' heads.

She dives and lands on Marisa's shoulder just as the worried angelic girl rushes over to her mistress to clean her face, and adds "and sometimes adorably unaware of some things."

Rika is cleaning her blissful mistress' face while crying "please, My Lady, you really should see a doctor! That's the second time today!"

There is that familiar loud boom coming from the front of the shrine, then Tenshi's familiar voice hurriedly calling "I got it! I cleaned it up! Let's go! Rika, you were waiting for me, right!?"

The angelic maid twists her torso to look back with a smile, failing to notice Reimu's soured face, and calls "we're back here Momoko~! Come on, hurry!"

They can hear the celestial's huffs as she rushes over to them, and shortly see her dashing toward them with a slightly humid wintery-blue scarf messily placed around her neck, flailing dangerously behind her, where it almost tangles with one of the dry branches of the trees there.

Rika giggles as she takes a step toward her friend; Tenshi stops right in front of the maid and grips the front of the scarf before cheering "got it cleaned! I can't believe I stained such an important gift with soup!"

The maid giggles again, tenderly calls her friend's name, then slowly places her hands on the celestial's cheeks, causing the black and white to gasp and chuckle with mischievous delight.

Tenshi tries to ask her friend what she's doing, but with her face and ears burning from the excitement and embarrassment, she can only stammer incoherent words.

Rika smiles very sweetly at the blue haired girl, grabs the scarf, and easily pulls it free, then sweetly says "Tenshi, you dummy. That's not how you wear a scarf. You'll catch a cold."

"Here, let me help you," continues the girl as she stands on the tip of her toes and gently arranges the warm yet humid garment around the flushed celestial's neck.

Marisa clicks her tongue in disappointment, while Reimu watches the scene distantly, her eyes seemingly gazing elsewhere, while Suzaku notices something on the shrine maiden, but merely watches in silence.

Meanwhile, the lucky celestial is enjoying the extra attention and gentleness of the angelic maid as she gently secures the scarf, letting just enough strand hanging to the right, then said girl stands back and sweetly says "there; all done. It's still a bit wet, silly, but you should be fine like that, right?"

With the warm event over, Tenshi feels herself recovering from that lovely blow, and of all the words she can think of saying, her jumbled mind allows "th-than-err, I mean, d-don't think so lightly of me! You should know how tough I am! And I'm a celestial to boot! I'm not going to succumb to such a silly disease as a-CHOOO!"

The angelic girl smiles as she hands her friend a napkin, and says "bless you."

The blue haired celestial turns her eyes away as she accepts the offer, and softly says "um, err, th-thanks Rika."

"Alright, alright, that's enough of that," exclaims Reimu while clapping her hands twice.

Regaining her usual fiery look, she points to the sky and says "come on, let's go to the Netherworld already. Unless you two rather stay alone in the shrine?"

With that said, and both Tenshi and Rika blush while chuckling nervously, the shrine maiden grins, chuckles to herself, then takes flight, followed by Marisa, who calls "you shouldn't have stopped them, you know."

Suzaku flies after them, saying "Miss Marisa, you are being awfully nosy," to which the witch merely scoffs at and speeds after Reimu.

Rika giggles nervously as she looks at her friend, and says "come on Momoko. Let's see what all that Miss Eiki said was about."

Tenshi grins, takes off after the maid, grabs her in mid flight and holds her bridal style, then happily says "you're a slowpoke, Hime! Let's go faster! I want to get to see something new today! Exciting~!"

The shrine maid allows herself to be carried off, chuckles softly, then playfully says "please don't drop me."

Meanwhile, it's Spring at the Human Village, and where there are couples, Ail isn't even noticed, while where there are singles, the boy can feel their gazes piercing through his skin.

He is carrying a box of burnable garbage toward its destined location at the north-western part of the village, and aside from the few glaring singles, he is glad is isn't being noticed so much, though is obviously confused as to why he feels this way.

Having finally reached his destination; a wide range littered with burnable garbage that's surrounded by a simple wooden fence; he sets his box at the farthest edge, dusts his hands with a satisfactory huff, then says to himself "that was a little harder than I thought. Still, [dammit all, I should be out there having fun!] this should please Rika and my honey enough."

He gazes around, admiring the many flowers growing all over the village outside that garbage range, and gasps when he sees Reisen, but she seems strange.

Her skin looks transparent, her clothes seem weathered and broken, there's a red stain on the side of her neck, and her eyes glow bright red as she glares at him with hatred.

She takes off running toward the exit of the village, then he hears her voice in his mind, echoing as she shouts "what the heck do you think you are doing, Anilan? MOVE! Get going to Myourenji!"

He doesn't know why, and repeats to himself "I must be insane," but he takes off running after her, jumping over the simple wooden fence, and huffing as he speeds off after the ghostly girl.

"Wait! ...Miss Reisen," calls the boy between pants, trying and failing to catch up to the girl.

He runs past Luna's weathered house and starts to lose his patience when, regardless of all his attempts, can't seem to even get near the Moon Rabbit, and after a frustrated pant, he says "dammit, what the hell is wrong with me? I used to match Orin's speed!"

In his mind he can see himself in the past, back when he had first entered Gensokyo, long before he could even see spell cards, running from Chireiden to the surface in a race against Orin, a kasha with long, fiery-red hair tied to the sides in braids with black ribbons, black cat ears above her human ears, two tails, red eyes, who wears a greenish-black dress.

He remembers how they taunted each other during said race, sticking out their tongues and pulling on their eyelids, and speeding up like demons out of hell, and it finally hit him.

"That's right! I can catch up", thinks the boy before suddenly kicking the ground only slightly harder, and off he goes, running at incredible speeds and getting closer to the rabbit's ghostly figure.

He's not even breaking a sweat and he's running as fast as a car after Reisen, and with a confident smile on his face he starts to laugh, then says "you're not getting away from me now!"

He is having such a good time with his rediscovered speed; one he already knew, but was blocked from accessing it inside that world; that he fails to realize that he is being followed by something else.

Ail gasps, lifts his hands defensively as he tries to stop himself, lifting up a thick cloud of dust as he skids several feet forward, and finally falls on his butt and stops five feet in front of the ghostly girl, who just stands in place and stares at him as if ready to strike him.

Reisen roars furiously as she throws herself at the boy, bearing a set of dangerous-looking sharp claws and long and pointy fangs inside her blood-red mouth, scaring all the color off the boy's skin.

She grips his neck, pushes him against the ground, snarls on his face, staining him with bloody drool, and then roars "why are you stopping? Myourenji! Keep going to the Myouren Temple! RAAAARGH!"

She swings her claw straight at his face, and just as she's touching his skin, she disappears.

Anilan shivers a bit, glances around, then asks "wh-what [what the fuck was that all about? Crazy bitch!] just happen? R-Reisen? Myouren?"

He hears footsteps to his left and rolls right on to his feet, then hears a rustle from a lonely tree to the right and turns around, then waits while keeping his eyes peeled, wondering if he is going to be attacked.

"HI AIL!" screams a girl from behind him, making him yelp and jump away in fright.

The girl has a wide-brimmed sun hat over her shoulder-length blonde hair, yellow eyes, and wears a blue and white maid's dress, with a pair of elbow-length gloves adorning her hands and arms.

She giggles at the sight of the boy who almost pees his pants with fright, and playfully coos "ooh, what a lovely reaction. I might just make this my new habit."

The boy's hand glows white as he smiles vilely at the girl before him, and before she notices, he's holding her by the back of the neck and getting the white hand closer to her face.

"Listen well Miss Anaberal," he begins with that toothy grin of evil. "Don't think for a second that I'll just let you do with me as you please, understand?"

The girl chuckles nervously, nods twice, then says "calm down, I was just having a little fun with you. And please call me Kana. You're making me sound old."

Ail raises an eyebrow and asks "and how old are you?"

He earns himself a slap that sends him five feet down the road, and then the blushing girl sways her hips around while holding her face with her hands and says "young man, you shouldn't ask a lady such rude questions. You could get hurt."

"Got it [I really want to kill you]," groans the boy as he pushes himself up.

The maid girl looks around, thinks "that's right. I better not tell him about this dream, or I might get punished too," then asks "so where are you going? Can I come too?"

Ail's face seems to brighten up, nods energetically, and says "that would be great. Maybe you can help me scare away that ghost that wanted to maim me just now."

They begin their walk down the road to the Myouren Temple, then the girl casually says "sure, but you know I'm a poltergeist, right?"

"Is that different?" asks the clueless boy.

"We are different, so don't confuse us with those spectral things," replies the girl with a proud tone.

"Aren't you a spectral thing too?" asks the confused boy.

Kana punches his head, making him bend over and hold his new bump in pain, then says "I told you to not confuse us just now. What kind of idiot are you?"

That same invisible magical wave from last time passes by the duo, making Ail feel dizzy and confused, and when it stops, he straightens up, looks around, then says "what was that just now?"

Kana is no longer there, though it seems he's not even noticing she's missing, and after shaking his head to recover from the daze, he looks toward the road and says to himself "right, the temple. ...Gotta move."

Meanwhile, Reimu, Suzaku and Marisa are the first to arrive to the Netherworld, a place that's dreadful for the living, being cold, mysterious, always full of choking mists, and sure there are a few trees along the long, long stairs up, but they are currently dead, and give no feeling of welcome.

Shortly after admiring their surroundings, Rika and Tenshi land behind the girls, the bird perches on the witch's shoulder, then the celestial whistles and says "whoa. I've never seen such a spooky and desolate place that feels as coldly welcome as this."

"Why thank you," begins a sweet and whimsical voice. "It makes me glad to know my Youmu's hard work to keep this place up is appreciated by none other than a celestial."

The shrine maiden looks up, sighs with annoyance, and asks "can a celestial even be in here without causing some trouble for you?"

Yuyuko Saigyouji, Princess of the Netherworld, who has short and wavy pink hair she adorns with a light-blue mop cap that has a ghost band with a red swirl motif on its center, has maroon eyes, and is wearing a light-blue kimono with spirits drawn on it, giggles quite contently, then says "don't worry, I don't mind her being here. Besides, she won't leave without that angel girl."

"Damned right I'm not leaving without Rika! Right Rika!?" proudly says the celestial, getting a rather nervous chuckle from her angelic friend, while Reimu and Marisa seem to be joke-gagging behind their backs.

Yuyuko stares at them with narrowed eyes, then coos and says "that sounded less appealing than I thought. Regardless, welcome to the Netherworld."

"Hold on," suspiciously exclaims Marisa. "What's up with this scenery today? Where's Youmu to do the actual greetings while trying to kick us out by means of a sword and threats?"

"Ooh, I'm glad you asked," happily chirps the ghostly princess. "My special guest, Rika of the Onkamikami clan, has to pass a few trials before I'll allow her inside Hakugyokurou to meet her old new friend. Youmu happens to be one of those trials."

Rika looks up at the woman with interest, and asks "what did you mean by 'old new friend', Lady Yuyuko?"

The ghostly princess giggles playfully, then sweetly says "never mind that now. Now all you have to worry about is passing your first trial."

The angelic maid's face gets full of confidence and determination, and raising a fist next to her face, she bravely says "I'm ready, Lady Yuyuko! Please tell me what I have to do!"

Behind her, Marisa, Reimu, Tenshi, and even Suzaku are murmuring amongst each other while placing bets on Rika's success.

Said maid turns a casual face toward the girls, whom immediately stop all that they are doing to look as innocent as if nothing was happening, then the red bird squawks and exclaims "good luck Rika-sama~!"

"Well then, it's quite difficult, but I know you can do it," begins the whimsical ghost as she flies toward a wide platform to the left of the fiftieth stair.

This takes the angelic girl's attention away from her friends, allowing them to continue their murmured bets, then Yuyuko coos and finishes "you have to cook me my breakfast."

The girls all look disappointed at the princess, then Tenshi says "only that? That doesn't sound like a trial to me."

From higher up on the stairs, Youmu can be heard screaming "HEY! That is NOT the first trial!"

"And you have to do it naked in an apron," rapidly adds Yuyuko before Rika could ask what was the catch.

The three girls and bird behind the maid quickly suffer from long strings of blood hanging from their nostrils, as they silently pump their fists (and wing) in a mute cheer, while Youmu can be heard moaning and saying "and I'm going to miss it!? That's not fair, Yuyu-sama!"

Rika can only stare toward the platform to hide her shock, while her cheeks turn bright red from the embarrassing thought of having to strip down naked and cooking a meal for the ghostly princess.

Yuyuko chuckles playfully, shakes her head, then flies down to the maid's side while casually saying "oh my, that was just a joke. You don't really have to be naked in an apron."

"Stop making fun of everyone," shouts Youmu from the distance.

"Oh, come on! That's not funny," complains Reimu, clearly disappointed at the sudden turn of events.

"How do you kill a ghost?", asks Tenshi as she holds her shut-off Sword of Hisou while shaking in anger.

"That Yuyuko really knows how to throw a party, ze," casually comments Marisa while resting her head on her hands behind herself.

Suzaku flies over to the ghost princess, tweets once, then says "please don't be mean to Rika-sama! She's a very sweet girl."

Yuyuko merely giggles to all of that, and continues "now Rika, you have to be sure I will enjoy this meal, and you can't make me wait too long, or I'll have you fail."

"Leave it to me, Lady Yuyuko," confidently says the angel-winged maid, and in the blink of an eye, she's already on that platform, chopping vegetables and meat on an impressive outdoors kitchen.

Reimu sighs as she watches her maid cook like never before, then says "leave it to Yuyuko to get herself a feast from what are supposed to be a set of serious trials."

The pink haired woman opens her fan to hide her whimsical smile behind it, then sweetly says "nobody ever said these were supposed to be serious trials."

"Breakfast is ready~", sings the shrine maid from the platform, and that ghost quickly takes off as fast as Marisa flies on her broom.

While said witch and the celestial "ooh" and "ah" at the speeding ghost glutton, the red and white turns away with her teeth gritted and bare, suppressing a shriek of frustration, then mutters "she's supposed to sing like that for me!"

Meanwhile, at the Myouren Temple, the flowers planted by Ichirin grow all around the inside of the walls that protect the sacred grounds.

"There are so many of them growing this time. Yuka would be proud," comments Ail as he looks to the temple from a safe distance.

It's true that the temple and its surroundings look beautiful that spring day, but there is a fact unsettling the boy greatly, and that is the lack of youkai walking around inside those walls that make a semi-hourglass shape.

Not only that, but there is a cold and heavy feeling emanating from the main building, and with the dense one's affinity with energy patterns, it is easy for him to tell, there is no welcome coming from that usually-friendly temple.

"I wonder what's going on," calmly mumbles the boy. "I never thought this place would feel so cold and unwelcome. Maybe that's why Miss Reisen wanted me to come here."

He stands there, admiring the flowers adorning the sides of the steps leading to the main temple building, then sighs and says to himself "I better go and check it out. Oh man, what am I getting myself into?"

Only one step is taken and he already feels the ground shake terribly hard, so he instinctively stops moving to look around.

The ground shakes a second time, this time accompanied by the muffle sound of something bashing against hard soil from beneath it.

There is a third, a fourth, a fifth muffle boom, Ail gulps, and the next second he's forcefully flying forward, screaming as large pieces of dirt as big as his head fly upward with him, and threaten to crush him as he falls.

Thankfully, he merely rolls safely as soon as he lands, manages to get on his feet while the large chunks of dirt crash around and behind him, turns around to face this new danger, and that's when all the blood on his face drains to the bottom of his stomach.

Two giant centipedes that are as long as three houses put together screech as they look at their half-youkai prey, whom has lost his mind to fear, and only whimpers with each erratic breath taken as he stares back at the giant poisonous bugs.

One has a shiny brown hard shell for a body, the other is plated in black and yellow, and both have wide oval red eyes that seem to buzz as they shine bright; even out in broad daylight; hundreds of sharp-looking yellow legs, and dual stingers with red tips on their backsides.

Ail wants to scream, but his throat seems to be blocked by his own hard-beating heart and shortly after managing to breathe in, he turns around and runs toward the temple, still unable to scream.

The brown worm cuts his path and the boy drop on his butt to stop himself from even getting close to the disgusting bug, and now finds himself trapped between two giant poisonous worms that keep running around him in a semi-circle at ridiculous speeds.

The dense boy whimpers as he pushes himself with his feet in a useless circle, and after a pathetic whine, he manages to speak as though out of breath. "Wha-where should..."

He gasps when he notices the black centipede is looking at him, and screams as he stands and runs again when that black monster suddenly lunges itself at him.

The boy finally manages to scream "SOMEONE HELP MEEEEE!" almost sounding like a girl.

He feels he just made the greatest mistake by raising his voice toward that gloomy temple, but he's too terrified to care about that, and sees no other way out of such a terrible predicament.

To his luck, whether good or bad, the temple still seems to be unaware of his presence, yet he still has these monstrous centipedes running after him faster than he can; and he is giving it his all.

The brown bug cuts him off again, and startles the boy into dropping his spell card as he throws himself to the ground again.

The black centipede lifts the back of its body, then throws its sharp tail at Ail, who reacts by shooting three focused orange orbs that go right through the creature.

The boy quickly throws himself to the right to avoid the poisonous stingers, desperately looks around, breathing fast and hard through his mouth, then he feels something odd coming from a particular tree to the left.

"Nue," he growls under his shivering breath, and shoots several explosive orbs at the tree with the source of undefined energy.

The orbs turn the tree's top to splinters, a bird chirps loud, as though being killed slowly by a hungry cat, and slowly but surely, the centipedes vanish, leaving no trace of their presence behind.

With his body slowly relaxing, Ail heads towards the destroyed tree, scowling and growling as he dreams of ways to punish Nue for putting him through that frightening ordeal.

When he arrives to the mess of splinters and burnt wood, he is surprised to find the place devoid of any youkai.

His attention suddenly turns left toward the temple, after some rustling from the grass startles him, then he sees a large snake rapidly slithering its way back home.

"Oh no you don't you little bi-err, I mean, witch! That was just too cruel," calls the boy as he runs after that little snake, which seems to understand the boy's words of anger, and merely speeds up after sticking its tongue out at him.

Ail runs after it with white scowls for eyes, shouting "ora, ora, ora, ora! I'll teach you a less-"

And he stops immediately when he comes face-to-face with Kyouko Kasodani, the yamabiko youkai with short wavy teal hair and eyes, big floppy brown ears, a cute brown tail, who wears a pink and rose dress with teal flower-shaped buttons and a white dress underneath.

Ail and Kyoko look into each others' eyes for a total of fifty-six seconds, then the boy smiles at her, raises his left hand and waves his fingers at her, then softly says "hey Miss Kyouko. How are you?"

The yamabiko youkai screams right on the boy's face as she flaps her ears, and then she starts to cry.

Kyouko screams out loud as she falls on the snow, flapping her ears and swinging her broom around as her face becomes redder with every passing moment.

Kyo just laughs and points at her, then exclaims "all that just because I pulled her tail!? But you know, it's really soft and cute and cuddly-wuddly!"

The embarrassed yamabiko girl gets on her feet, runs away behind one of the flaps of the inner wall, then cries "you stupid fat idiot idiot-head! Leave my tail alone!"

A small vein pops on the muscled boy's forehead even though he still smiles, combs his spiky hair backward with his hand, then a glint escapes his right eye.

The teal haired girl gasps, then shakes her wobbly white eyed face and softly cries "don't you do it! Don't you dare do it!"

The vile muscled boy with the evil smile takes a deep breath, cups his hands around his mouth, and with all his might he shouts "I MADE OUT WITH A RAGING LESBIAAAAAN!"

"I MADE OUT WITH A RAGING LESBIAAAAAAN! WAAAAAH!" parrots Kyouko while flapping her ears rapidly, and adding, "NO I DIDN'T!"

Kyo takes another deep breath, the girl whimpers as she winds up her broom and threatens the boy with it, then a pair of legs clamp themselves around the boy's neck from behind, and now said boy finds himself being flipped in the air and slammed on to his back to the ground.

Orange, who has long orange hair that reaches her lower back and is tied to the end with a white ribbon, has orange eyes, and wears a yellow cap, a green shirt with yellow sleeves, and yellow short shorts, dusts her hands after dealing with Kyo, takes a baton out of her pocket after she stands, picks her hair and places it over her right shoulder, then bravely declares "only I get to pick on Kyouko!"

"GOT TO HELL," screams the angry yamabiko from behind.

The boy springs up from the ground, grabs the orange girl by the back of the neck, then threateningly says "I'll teach you some manners, you little twerp!"

Before the girl complains, he spins in place once, swinging Orange around with him, then tosses her straight toward the temple and shouts "I WAS JUST HAVING A LITTLE FUN!"


"See, even this little one agrees," shouts the boy with a grin.

"NO I DON'T!" quickly adds the teal haired girl.

Kyo wastes no time in his retaliation, and grabs the yamabiko girl's tail, then gently pets it while saying "man, this fur is really soft. You take really good care of yourself, don't you?"

Kyouko Kasodani is currently on the cold snow, smiling blissfully as the warm relaxation of her tail being petted fills her entire being, making her head all fuzzy and tingly, and turning her limbs into gelatin.

"Now that's a sickeningly cute reaction from just petting that tail," says the boy. "I wonder what would happen if I pet your ears too?"

The yamabiko's eyes open wide when she realizes he's not petting her anymore, her face slowly turns pink, then red, then tomato red, and finally, she kicks off the ground and reaches the temple in .36 seconds, then hides behind a large Buddha statue, peeks her head from its right, then hides again after failing to shout an insult.

Kyo holds his sides as he laughs and laughs at the shy little girl, then Orange, who now stands to his right, sighs and says "you're a real pain in the butt, you know that."

The boy chortles one last time, then casually says "she's just so much fun to tease."

The orange girl nods and says "that she is. You still have to pay for what you did to me."

The snow behind the boy crunches as a couple of feet make their way to him and the youkai girl, and confident that it's Medicine and Luna, he shrugs and casually says "hey, we're even, remember? You pulled a really nasty finisher on me from behind, after all."

"Ohh~! Then perhaps I should teach you about the mighty pinky twist finisher. THEN you'd have reason to really retaliate," sweetly says Byakuren from behind.

Both Kyo and Orange gasp and turn to face Byakuren Hijiri and Shou Toramaru, whom stand firm with their hands on her hips; Shou holding her large spear with her right hand.

The Youkhrist has long wavy light-brown hair that fades to purple at the top, hazel eyes, and wears a white and black dress that's adorned by black laces crossing around the chest and white laces around her forearms, and also wears a black cape that's red underneath.

Bishamonten's Representative has short orangey-yellow hair with black stripes she adorns with an orange lotus-shaped ornament, yellow eyes, and wears a long-sleeved burgundy-orange-white dress with a tiger-stripe band around the waist, and has a white cloth circle around her back.

Behind them are Luna and Medicine, and before the temple girls say it, the silver haired girl irritably says "Kyo, stop picking on Kyouko every time we come here!"

The boy merely smiles contently, and then bluntly says "but it's just so much fun teasing that girl. Just look at her shaking behind that statue! It's PRICELESS I tell you!"

Byakuren walks over to Kyo, smiles and bends her legs just slightly, taps the back of his head with a light karate-chop, and now the boy is scrunched up into a ball on the snow, holding his head as a steaming red bump swells up to the size of a basketball.

Shou lifts a finger in the air and opens her mouth, then a washtub knocks her to the ground, where a fairy with long red hair, petal-shaped wings, and dressed in a burgundy and white rag jumps on her and lovingly rubs her cheeks on the tiger youkai's.

The gradient haired woman sighs at the sight, then turns to the boy and says "Shou's right, Kaizo. If you keep picking on that girl like that, you'll eventually end up fighting."

"But Shou didn't say a thing," comments Medicine in the background.

Ignoring her, Byakuren helps the boy on to his feet, and asks "and to what do we owe this visit today? Surely you didn't just come over to traumatize Kyouko?"

Luna walks in front of Byakuren and pulls out several white envelopes from her pocket, and with a shy face she says "Kyo was supposed to give you these; the invitations to our wedding."

"Oh my," happily exclaims the woman as she accepts the invitations, then tilts her head left while cutely asking "does this mean you have a date?"

Kyo joins his fiancé's side, and looking as hurt as her, they both shake their heads, then the boy says "no, not yet. We still want to wait for Ail to come back."

The Youkhrist's face turns sad when reminded of Ail, and then she softly says "I wonder when he will return?"

Almost a minute of silence passes by, Shou recovers herself and joins them in their silence, then Medicine clears her throat and says "jeez, he's only gone for a while, not dead you guys."

This seems to ignite the boy's spirit, and with a newly formed smile on his face, he cheerfully says "hey, Medi's right! He'll be back before we know it! Now then, about those invites."

"Right. Patchouli and Alice gave us a bit of a hand," begins the silver haired girl, "and once we have an actual date, these things will let you know immediately."

Kyo grins similarly as Marisa would, and says "it's going to be pretty casual, so don't fret about dresses and stuff."

Byakuren, Shou and Orange chuckle and smile at the happy trio, then the orange girl grins mischievously, and says "so~ Medicine is truly your daughter, and you are marrying because of her, huh? Kyo, you perverted human, you."

The boy knows where this is going, so he rushes straight toward Kyouko, whom happily screams "Medicine is actually Kyo's and Luna's daughter!? That's AMAZING NEWS!" long before he can reach her.

His mission failed, the muscled boy, his woman, and the poisonous doll say "oh crap", and now they can see two crow tengu flying straight toward the temple with glinting cameras ready, and vicious drooling smiles.

At the same time, at the Netherworld, Rika has finally reached the top of the stairs, and is now facing Youmu Konpaku outside the closed gates to Hakugyokurou.

Suzaku perches on the wall that protects the ghostly shrine from intruders, and seems to be observing her master and her opponent with great interest.

Youmu has short silver hair, blue eyes, wears a dark green dress with white ghost symbols at the bottom of the skirt, has a large spirit that's her own size floating around her, and carries a long sword called "Roukanken", and a short sword called "Hakurouken".

While those girls face each other, Reimu and Tenshi grind their teeth while standing beside a very blissful, fresh-looking Yuyuko, who glistens with cleanliness and radiance, and behind them stands Marisa, chuckling happily at the girls' rage.

"Now, now, no need to be so upset," begins the ghostly princess with a sweet and whimsical smile. "She passed all her trials up until now. You should be happy for her~."

Reimu gestures her hands as though wanting to strangle the ghost princess while breathing fire and growling "rubbing your feet and massaging your back are NOT TRIALS!"

Tenshi trembles violently as she struggles with herself so as not to activate her Sword of Hisou, while shooting sparks from her eyes and growling "a sponge bath and hair wash! Y-y-you FIEND! She should be doing that for ME!"

The maiden and celestial quickly lock eye-sparks as they face each other, then the red and white furiously says "she's MY maid! She should do that stuff for me, not you!"

The blue haired girl's face turns dark, then she says "she's my friend LONG before she was your maid. Do the math, Hakurei!"

Marisa places two mirrors in front of the girls, bouncing their sparks back at each other and making them scream with that stinging pain from the returned attacks, then casually says "oi, keep it down. Those two are about to start, da-ze."

Rika elegantly holds her sword with the hilt above her head and the blade facing downward while in front of her face, and with a smile she says "I guess the easy trials are over."

Youmu; who crosses her swords in front of herself in a defensive stance; sighs and slumps while looking miserable toward the angelic maid and says "sorry about that. Yuyuko-sama just took over the last-minute preparations for youy trials, and... Please forgive us."

The sweet maid giggles and smiles, though doesn't drop her guard at all, then says "forgive you? Are you kidding me? It's nice to have easy trials every once in a while, and I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed them."

"Oh, COME ON!" shout Tenshi and Reimu from the distance.

The half-ghost girl just stares quizzically at the maid, covers her mouth as she chuckles, then says "you sure are different from the last time we talked, teasing your mistress and that celestial like that."

Rika just winks, lifts her wings and bends her knees, Youmu grins confidently, prepares herself to attack, then says "right. Your real trial begins now! No draws accepted this time! You either defeat me, or you go back home!"

The silver haired girl kicks dust from under her feet after she takes off before the maid can reply, and now said angelic girl prepares for the attack that's to come.

Youmu lifts her large sword as she gets closer to Rika, twirls when in range, then swings the large blade from below, making the maid yelp and scramble to block the attack.

The angelic girl jumps away, still keeping that confident smile on her face, and says "nice feint. Someone's been practicing plenty. Good. I've been practicing a few things as well."

The half ghost and her ghostly self look eager at the winged girl, then the girl confidently says "excellent! I'll feel even better after defeating you!"

Rika sheathes her sword, swiftly claps her hands twice and a pair of black fingerless gloves with white wings on the palms and yin-yang orbs on the back appear on her hands, then she smiles confidently while staring back at Youmu.

The silver haired girl frowns, thinks "she's preparing something. I better stop her now," then takes off after the maid in hopes to stop whatever she's doing.

The angelic girl grins, throws a high kick before her opponent is in range, confusing the silver haired girl, who sees an opening after that failed attack and goes for it with Hakurouken (short sword) ready.

She swings her blade and gulps when she realize she missed, though is not sure how, and remains unaware of Rika, who is spinning like a ballerina, with her right leg raised high to her right.

Before she can move again, Youmu is struck at the back of her head with a surprisingly solid calf, which sends her to the air against her will after a powerful rebound, and soon after she's being kicked all over her body as Rika keeps her airborne with her relentless kicks.

With her family sword charged with energy, the maid unsheathes and swings her blade, but this gives the half ghost girl the chance to place her Roukanken in the way of the blade of light, block, and rapidly declare "Human Sign, Slash of Present!"

Not even Youmu herself know how exactly she does it, but she manages to take a step toward Rika while in mid-air, and swings her sword right on the mark, sending the shrine maid flying five feet backward.

She winged girl bounces once on the ground, flips backward, lands on her feet, sheathes her sword, then takes off after her silver haired opponent, while declaring "Hikari, Byakuya Senmetsuken!"

She activates her Soraogan limit as she runs to Youmu, activates her Quicksilver when next to the girl, said half ghost swings her blade, but the six-winged girl has swung her sword already, and has left several bright beams of light all around her opponent.

Youmu only has time to scream "DARN IT AAAAALLLL," before shockwaves fly out of those beams straight to her, and although she is able to block those in front of her, she's caught by those beams and waves that fly from the sides and behind.

Rika jumps a few feet back and deactivates her Quicksilver as she cheers, all while poor Youmu lies on her back with an annoyed look on her face, while her ghost half lies to her right, curled up as though in shame.

The young swordswoman narrows her eyes, making herself look unamused, and mumbles "underestimate at your own peril."

Meanwhile, at the Myouren Temple, Ail jumps away from a massive pink fist that misses him and destroys the beautiful bed of flowers behind him.

He quickly pushes himself up and runs to avoid a shower of red arrowhead bullets, followed by pink orbs that leave small craters on the ground.

He looks toward his attackers, raises a large blue barrier, and then shouts "just say something already! Why are you guys trying to kill me!?"

The boy kicks off the ground to avoid another pink fist, and flies on to the wall, from where he stares at his attackers and prepares a counter attack.

Ichirin Kumoi, a girl with purple wavy hair she covers with a dark-blue hood, dark purple eyes, who wears a white dress with dark-blue borders at the bottom, threateningly points at the dense boy, and says "you're not getting away this time! I'll make you pay for what you did to Byakuren, Nue, and the karakasa, you murderous pervert!"

On her left hand she holds a golden ring that seems to be holding Unzan, a pink nyuudou that looks like a bald old man with a thick beard, who seems to be clenching his teeth at the hated boy.

"What do you mean?" asks Ail with a confused look on his face. "What happened to Lady Byakuren and Kogasa!?"

He jumps off the wall to avoid Unzan's fist again, rolls on the ground to avoid Kyouko's arrowheads, then jumps to avoid Ichirin's orbs and the nyuudou's eye beams.

As he rolls away to safety, the purple-haired girl snarls and says "just die, you disgusting bastard!"

Ail stops to look at the girl with a pathetic teary face, and sounding as though ready to cry, he asks "M-Miss Ichirin... Why are you talking to me like I'm some sort of plague? Wh-what did I do?"

A deafening boom causes a powerful shockwave that sends the boy flying straight toward the temple, causing the purple haired youkai girl to click her tongue and sigh with frustration.

"Kyouko, look at what you did now," exclaims Ichirin, frightening the yamabiko a little bit, then turning her gaze to the temple and shouting "NUE, MINAMITSU! STOP HIM! DON'T LET HIM NEAR HIJIRI AGAIN!"

"DON'T LET IM NEAR HIJIRI AGAIN!" parrots Kyouko in an attempt to fix her mistake.

The dense boy is unable to stop himself as he flies straight toward the second section of the temple grounds, where two girls with short black hair stand side by side, waiting eagerly for him.

The one on the right, Nue Houjuu, has cold red eyes, three red metallic wings on the right, three tail-like blue wings on the left, wears a short black dress with a red yin-yang tomoe imprinted on the side, and holds a black trident on her right hand, where the snake from before crawls from and wraps itself around the trident and the girl's forearm.

The one on the left, Minamitsu Murasa, has teal eyes, wears a white and teal sailor suit, complete with a silly white hat, and holds a massive anchor over her shoulder as if it merely weighted a few ounces.

She throws that anchor at the flying boy, and he instinctively wills himself to dive under it, and although his landing is rough because of that maneuver, he is saved from the anchor that turns a portion of the wall to splinters after it falls.

The boy doesn't need to look to know what happened, and gulps with fright while kneeling and looking into the murderous eyes of the two girls before him.

"Crap, they're out for blood. I better block Murasa, or she'll drown me with my own spit! And Miss Nue is dangerous too, even with my barriers. Gah! Why are they after me? What did I do to make them so mad?"

"Smart move, you depraved bastard," says Minamitsu in an unfriendly undertone as she waves her ladle in front of her own face, "putting a barrier against my powers was smart, but that won't save you, you lecherous bilge rat."

The boy breaks free from his mind when he realizes he's surrounded by five very dangerous youkai now, and to make matters worse, the four girls have spell cards ready on their hands, while the nyuudou winds a fist back.

"Please," begs the boy while looking at the nue's hateful eyes. "Can someone tell me what's going on!? Why do you girls want to kill me? What happened to you, to Byakuren and Kogasa?"

Nue's cold eyes suddenly soften, her gaze locks on Ail's pathetic look of confusion and fear, and in her own confusion she hoarsely whispers "wait. ...Wha?"

"Together now; today we avenge Lady Byakuren and Kogasa!" shouts Minamitsu, breaking Nue's sudden confusion, which return her eyes to that cold stare from before.

All spell cards glow bright yellow long before they are activated, and realizing what this means, the dense boy gasps, a new kind of fear invades his heart, and as he looks at Kyouko's teary eyes, he thinks "They're aiming to destroy my spirit! What do I do? I don't know how to use a barrier strong enough to defend myself against that! [Stop being such a wuss and FIGHT BACK! Kill them all! You know you can!]"

"Flood, Venus of the Bilge," hatefully declares Minamitsu.

"Divine Fist, Hell Thrust from the Heavenly Seas," declares Ichirin, causing herself and Unzan to glow bright yellow.

"Mountain Echo, Yamabiko's Specialty Echo Demonstration," declares Kyouko, causing the ground to tremble with her voice.

"Grudge Bow, The Bow of Genzanmi Yorimasa", hoarsely whispers Nue, her eyes welled with tears of pain as she speaks.

All four spell cards activate at the very same time, Ail only has a split second to think of something, then the next second the spot where he stands becomes the center of a magical concentration that's meant to destroy souls.

The center of said concentration becomes a four point star that spins counterclockwise, stops, then explodes with such a magnitude, the walls protecting the temple ground are blown away along with the flowers; the temple itself sways, its foundation groaning as it fights to stabilize, then slowly, everything settles down.

On the ground, the girls all lie unconscious on their backs, unaware of the disappearing barrier bits in front of each, Unzan is the size of a pea, and hides under Ichirin's neck while he recovers, and high above them, the dense one covers his face with his forearms.

He slowly uncovers his fleshy protection, opens his eyes, studies the scene below him with great interest, then slowly descends to the left of the massive crater left behind by the blast.

After landing, Ail looks around, sighs at the sight of all those dead flowers and the destroyed wall, resumes his march toward the temple, and casually says "that's what happens when you aim at each other."

Nue shivers as she barely opens her right eye and weakly looks around until she spots the boy, but feeling so weak, she sighs quietly and closes them again.

"Man, I barely put those barriers up in time. Phew, who knew I had it in me."

The undefined girl twitches after hearing the boy speak those words, her snake crawls over to her face, tweets like a bird, then both it and the girl settle down to rest.

Ail continues toward the shrine, unchallenged yet unsettled due to the eerie silence that's surrounding him now.

The building itself is giving a very cold feeling, as if all the holy essence has been sucked form it, and thus has become a haven for vile demons, yet regardless of this feeling, he continues on.

"It's so quiet and empty," says the boy to himself, sounding calm, hiding the cold sensation on his rapid-beating heart.

He opens the door to the dark temple's insides, then softly calls "he-hello? Byakuren? I-it's me, Ail," not sure what will happen if he meets with the woman.

He explores the dark room with his eyes, takes two steps into the building, then gasps with shock and surprise as his eyes open wider.

Meanwhile, back at the Netherworld, Reimu, Tenshi and Marisa are congratulating Rika with pats on the wings and shoulders, while Youmu opens the gate to Hakugyokurou with a slightly humiliated look on her face.

"Ah-ah-ah~ don't open that gate just yet, Youmu~" sweetly chirps Yuyuko.

"Hey, what gives? Rika beat your girl fair and square," angrily barks Reimu.

The ghost princess lifts a single finger while keeping her seemingly-whimsical eyes on the girls, and with just that, she manages to quite all protests as she floats toward Rika.

"There's just one more trial," happily says the bouncy woman, and reaching the angelic maid, she wraps an arm around her shoulders, and whispers right into her ears while smiling ever so cheerfully.

Rika's wings stretch as she activates her Soraogan Mode again, twists her neck as she turns a very mischievous, perky and bright smile toward Youmu; whom understandably enough gulps at the sight; then calls "Suzaku dear, come here for a moment, please."

The obedient familiar flies from the wall to her master's shoulder; from which Yuyuko backs away from; and with a doubtful look in her eyes she suspiciously asks "Rika-sama, what are you going to do?"

The maid giggles as she pulls the bird's face closer, hunches up as if trying to be as secretive as possible, then the vermilion bird squawks loudly as she becomes a red cape that covers the maid's back.

Everyone stares with interest at this turn of events, but none are more interested than Youmu, who stares with a bit of worry as the maid holds her stomach and double over, as though in pain.

"R-Rika? Are you alright? What's happening to you?" asks the gardener, unaware of her mistress' and guests' chuckles on the background.

The angelic maid wraps her wings around herself, and then hoarsely says "Y-Youmu-san. I... I don't feel too well. Urk. I feel like... like..."

The silver haired girl rushes over to the convulsing maid, and worriedly shouts "Rika, what's the matter? Yuyu-sama, I think she's being possessed!"

"Possessed you say?" whispers Rika in a dark tone.

She shivers as she slowly turns around, reveals a pair of messy wings, then she straightens up, opens her ruffled wings, lifts her arms above her head, and fire roars when her cape ignites.

Rika's face is pale, her left eye is looking to the right, while her right one is looking up, her teeth are jagged, a large long red tongue hangs from the corner of her mouth, and she snarls like a beast before screaming an echoed "NOT POSSESSED! GHOOOOOOOOOSSSSST!"

Youmu's face and ghost half turn blue, her clothes colors bleach along with her skin, her lips wriggle as she stiffens in place, tears well up under her now unhinged and terrorized eyes, then she takes off running and screaming while shooting random danmaku behind herself.

She tackles the mansion's outer gates open as she cries herself inside, then continues her way to the back of the mansion, screaming her lungs out and calling out for help from Yuyuko.

The ghostly Rika frowns as she watches the poor gardener run away like a frightened child, then sadly says "I think we overdid it, Suzu-chan."

Behind her, Tenshi, Reimu and Marisa are laughing their lungs off, all trying to speak between breaths, talking about Youmu's reaction, while Yuyuko merely giggles playfully.

The angelic ghost maid turns around with that jagged-toothed frown, the large red tongue still hanging, that fire still roaring, places her hands on her hips, and in a tone of disappointment, she says an echoed "hey! That's not very nice! She's really scared!"

The girls stop laughing, huddle together, scream like frightened children, then run into the mansion, following the half-ghost's trail.

Rika sighs, pulls off the fake mouth by pulling on the red tongue, Suzaku stops the fireworks, and after an inevitable chuckle, the sweet maid asks "wow, was I really that convincing?"

Yuyuko floats over to her, pats the maid's shoulder, and says "you would make a most wonderful ghost, my dear. Now come, you passed all your trials, so now you get to meet you old new friend."

The vermilion bird has taken her true form and perches on the girl's shoulder once again, and now shares her master's look of confusion, along with a raised brow, and then the ghostly princess merely giggles as she pushes the girl toward the mansion's tackled gates.

"Lady Yuyuko, who is this person I am going to meet?"

"Lykamei~ you have a guest that's eager to see you~", sings the pink haired ghost in the sweetest of tones, ignoring her guest's question.

She turns around to face Rika, giggles, then says "she'll be out in a minute, so you just wait here while I go get Youmu and the others back. Oh, and she's been asking about a special item this whole time. I wonder if you know anything about that."

After a sweet coo and a wave of her fingers, Yuyuko floats away toward the back of the ghostly mansion to go look for the cowardly girls, and shortly after she's out of earshot, Rika feels a familiar essence getting closer to her.

After a few seconds, a girl from inside the shrine sweetly calls "what was that Miss Yuyuko? I have a guest?"

Rika smiles sweetly when the girl from the mansion finally comes out into view, but then her eyes fill with some sort of longing, as if she knows this ghostly girl.

Lykamei looks like a little girl with long white hair that's smooth on the top and wavy at the tips she adorns with a maid's headdress, has dark yellow eyes, and she wears a cute little purple shirt with a maid's apron that covers down to her grey ghostly tail.

Her skin is pale, though a bit dark, her eyes show wisdom hiding behind innocence, and her mousy voice sounds pained yet sweet as she shyly asks "oh, a g-guest. Um, m-my name is Lykamei. Er, please come inside Miss..."

The little ghost's eyes become blank as she narrows them while looking at Rika and Suzaku, then they suddenly turn back to normal as she casually asks "say, do I know you?"

Tears start forming under the angelic maid's eyes as her mind makes a comparison to Kali, whose only difference is the wavy hair, the red eyes, and that voice.

The little girl gasps and quickly floats toward the guest, and nervously asks "Miss, what's the matter!? Are you hurt!? Can I hel-KYAH!"

The little ghost girl yelps when Rika drops on her knees and embraces her, but quickly relaxes after her would-be captor sobs out loud and cries "it's you! You're her! *Sob* Kali, I'm so sorry! I wasn't strong enough to save you!"

The shy little ghost hesitantly pats the maid on the head twice, then says "um, th-there, um, Miss. Calm down. I don't even know who Kali is, though her name does sound kinda familiar."

She stares at the sobbing angel and the red bird rubbing her cheeks against her master's face, and then asks "wait, Kali is a girl, right?"

Rika nods, and after a heartfelt sniffle, she giggles as she rubs Suzaku's cheeks with her hand and says "yes. Yes, Kali is a girl. But I thought I lost her. I thought she told me shadows didn't have souls, so why-"

"The Yama brought her here; personally even," begins Yuyuko from the side, cutting the angelic girl's words off. "This little one was wandering around without a goal, and was sure to turn into nothing, but she's living with us now."

From behind the ghost princess, Reimu and Marisa open their eyes wide and express their surprise with a dual "whoa," then the shrine maiden adds "it's the spitting image of Kali. But I don't understand."

"Neither do I, My Lady. I mean, when did I activate my blood limit?"

The girls look at the maid and smile, Youmu, who still looks a bit shaken, sighs and says "and she even fell asleep. I haven't seen her do that since she got here," then Tenshi clicks her tongue and mutters "that should be me there."

Lykamei has both hands under her head as she rests it on Rika's thigh, and said maid embraces the ghostly shadow girl with her wings, as though wanting to protect her, making the little ghost girl coo when those soft feathers touch her cheeks.

Yuyuko giggles at this, and then softly says "I'm sure you have a lot of catching up to do, so please take her home with you for a few days. Youmu will pick her up when it's time."

The angelic girl wants to say thanks, but gasps when she remembers something, takes her Saboten Stock out of her pocket, presses the button and sinks her hand inside its glowing hole, and then pulls out the bronze plates and circles necklace that belonged to Kali.

She pockets the little cube once more, then gently places the necklace around the ghost's neck, while softly saying "before she passed on, she asked me to take care of this. Maybe she knew we would meet again. I'm so," she sniffles, "glad."

As soon as she lets go of the necklace, Suzaku tweets when the item starts to glow faintly yellow, the large plates shrink, turning into a thin necklace, the center of the thin strap takes the shape of a pair of angel wings, and then glowing stops.

Rika's eyes water again a she looks at the new golden necklace with her family symbol on it, smiles sweetly, then says "thank you Miss Yuyuko. I really appreciate you taking in this girl and caring for her."

Lykamei moans as she pulls herself off from the angel girl's lap, smacks her lips, then asks "where am I?"

She sees Tenshi, Reimu and Marisa staring at her with great interest, yelps and hides behind the angel's wings, then nervously says "w-w-welcome t-to Hakugyokurou. U-um, p-please be kind to me and don't eat me."

Yuyuko giggles and floats closer to Lykamei and the maid as she opens her fan to cover her mouth with it, then says "child, please be on your best behavior. You'll be staying with these people at their shrine for a few days, do you understand?"

The little girl glances upward and trembles, nods once as she gently squeezes Rika's wing as if for protection, then the ghostly princess squeals and flies through the maid, grabs the little girl, squeezes her in a hug, and blood start rolling down her ghostly nose while she happily coos and hugs the little one.

Before the obvious comments are made, Youmu sighs irritably, and with a disgusted face she says "I don't know how she's bleeding either, but it's been happening a lot since that girl came here."

Reimu, Tenshi, Marisa, Rika and Suzaku all share a silent stare in their disbelief of this situation, all while Yuyuko coos, squeals and giggles while holding the complaining ghost in her arms.

"Lady Byakuren?" whispers Ail as he slowly enters the prayer room.

He's almost to tears as he kneels and crawls on the floor, yet steeling himself so as not to sound too disturbed, he asks "Miss Byakuren, wh-what happened to you? ...Why aren't you talking to me?"

Byakuren Hijiri, the once proud and beautiful head of the Myouren Temple is now a skeletal shell of her former shell.

Her pale skin clings to her bones, wrinkles invade her once beautiful face, black rings surround her eyes, her hair looks dry and unkempt and most has turned grayish, and she wears a dirty white robe that seems was put on her by force.

She is curled up into a ball on a corner of the room, hugging her knees tightly as she throws her unhinged eyes around the floor, seemingly unaware of Ail's presence, yet the closer he gets to her, the harder she shivers.

Noticing her state, the boy wisely crawls slowly toward her, whispering calming words as he tries to reach his friend.

He is hurt by her current state and wants nothing more than to help her, to reach her and help her stand, heal her if he can, but that is when he notices what lies on a pedestal on the statue above her.

It's now his turn to have unhinged eyes and pale skin as he gazes, mouth agape, at the broken dark eggplant colored umbrella that is split in two on that pedestal in front of a large Buddha statue.

He forgets what he was doing and foolishly stands up, his legs shake as something in his mind plays images of himself breaking that umbrella with his knee in front of a crying heterochromiac girl, and then he punches himself on the right temple.

He holds his pained head as he stumbles closer to Byakuren, making her flinch and whimper, then starts to cry and says "no! Kogasa! I would have never done that! Why? Why did I do that? Kogasa!"

His shout frightens the shivering woman on the floor, and before he can recompose himself, the frightened woman cries "no! Please, don't! Ail no, stop! Stop it! Stop it! G-get away! SHOU, SAVE ME! SHOOOOOOUUUUUU!"

She starts to cry, causing the boy to break free from his mind and realize his foolish mistake, and lifting his hands defensively, he slowly backs away, swallows the last of his tears down, and softly says "alright. It's alright. I'll go away."

He throws himself away from Byakuren and lands flat on his back on the floor, and watches with horror as a feral-faced Shou thrusts her giant spear from the right, destroying the seats and ornaments on the left side of the room.

She turns that disfigured beastly face toward the boy and furiously roars "HOW DARE YOU COME HERE? HOW DARE YOU, YOU LECHEROUS WRETCH! I WILL TAKE YOU LIFE, AIL! NOBODY WILL CHANGE MY MIND THIS TIME!"

She pulls her crystal pagoda out of her pocket and starts shooting lasers and orbs that literally snake their way to the boy, confusing him with their erratic movements, and shouts "you lecherous backstabber from hell. It wasn't enough for you to break Hijiri, NO; you had to use her for your sick pleasure! SHE WAS YOUR FRIEND!"

He manages to back-flip at the very last second to avoid the danmaku, and uses the momentum from the explosion to make his way toward the exit, but that's when the mouse youkai strikes him with her black dowsing rods, forcing him face-down on the floor and trapping him there.

Nazrin has short grey hair, red eyes, large grey mouse ears on top of her head, a leathery mouse tail with a yellow basket hanging from the tip, and wears a brownish-black dress with long pink sleeves, a light-grey capelet on her shoulders, a crystal pendulum around her neck, and by the look on her face drooling, she's eager to devour the boy before her.

She wastes no time in opening her mouth and throwing herself at the boy's back to take a bite, but doing so loosens her grip, allowing the dense one to roll away to safety, but as soon as he stops, he has to flip back to avoid getting impaled by Shou's giant lance.

He rolls backward until his back hits the wall, uses it to balance himself as he stands, and nervously screams "are you two out of your minds? Jeez, what is wrong with you guys? I would never do anything to harm Lady Byakuren! Why the hell are you trying to ki-", but that's when those fake memories hit him again.

He can see himself holding Kogasa's eggplant colored umbrella, wrapping its large tongue around its own body, and lifting it to the air.

The karakasa youkai, whom has short turquoise hair, a right turquoise eye, a left red eye, and wears a blue-green vest with long white sleeves, a light-blue skirt, and wooden sandals, cries and begs the boy to stop.

Ail feels himself smiling at the girl, lowering the umbrella, and then quickly pushing the thing against his knee, and now he's back in reality, holding his head while kneeling on the floor, crying like a hurt child.

"But I wouldn't!" He sobs, then yells "Kogasa! I didn't!" He sniffles, "...I liked her, so why would I hurt her like that?"

Nazrin hesitates on her next attack as she stares at the pathetic figure of the boy before her, but Shou strikes him with the bladed side of her spear, sending him flying to the right of the large room with a bloody gash on his ribs, then follows her attack with many yellow lasers from her pagoda.

Ail crashes against the remaining seats, making horrible noises as the lasers pierce through his skin, leaving horrible burn marks on him and causing him great pain, adding those screams of pain of his to the mess of loud noises.

As the boy screams in pain from the burning lasers, the tiger youkai grabs the mouse youkai by the shoulder and sternly says "remember how that lecherous backstabber got Byakuren, Kogasa AND Nue! Don't let him fool you too, Naz!"

Debris shifts as Ail groans while he sits up, and by some miraculous strength he manages to stand on his shaky legs, then growls "I'm sorry Miss Shou and Miss Nazrin, but I can't remember consciously doing anything that vile my friends. I would never do that. The real me wouldn't. [Just shoot them now and end this!] So I will say this once. Let me go now, and I'll never come back here, or attack me again and I'll retaliate."

"I don't care about the no-killing rule anymore," angrily mutters the tiger youkai under her breath. "I am taking his tainted life!"

She holds her pagoda high above her head, throws her spear at the boy, then follows up by declaring "Light Sign, Aura of Justice!", and summons massive blue laser beams and yellow petal-shaped bullets to rain down on said boy.

Ail's left eye twitches, he moves his head slightly right, avoiding the giant spear, raises a barrier to protect himself from the yellow bullet above and below him, then clenches his teeth, says "you asked for this, Miss Toramaru," and shoots several focused orange bullets at the tiger youkai.

"MASTER," shouts the mouse youkai before she tackles the tiger girl out of the way of the merciless blasts.

The explosions cause a confusion of screams and dust, but at least Shou's spell card has been cancelled, and now the dense boy thinks it is the best moment to escape.

"Nazrin," screams the tiger youkai before breaking down to sob.

Ail gulps, turns around and sees the damage he caused the grey haired girl.

The back of her shirt has been burned off, and her skin is as black as the laser spots on the boy's, meaning he used too much power in his attack.

He should be glad those two are out of his way, but being who he is he sighs and heads on over to help the girls, but that's when he discovers Byakuren standing right behind him with a deathly look on her face.

She lifts her wrinkled bony hand at him, snarls, then speaks in a dangerous undertone. "You. You were my dearest of friends. You betrayed and destroyed me when you forced yourself on me like that. You killed Kogasa in front of my very eyes. You ripped Nue's throat when my body rejected you, out of some sick sense of revenge over something nobody could control!"

She points at the ruined figure of Nazrin, whom has lost a great portion of the back of her clothes, has her back completely burned, and barely breathes on Shou's arms, then returns her full attention to the boy.

"I will not forgive you! I CAN'T," begins the woman as she takes a few steps toward the boy, "you won't take another of my girls away!"

Her skin tightens as her body starts to fill itself up with magic again, her hair recovers its beautiful color and sheen, her eyes recover their focus and life, then she pulls her magical blue scrolls from the pocket of the dirty robe, snarls at the boy, then furiously says "I will break my own rules today; but only today! Anilan Inmodo Leuch, you will die by my hand!"

The woman throws a punch at the boy's chest that sends him flying though the temple's ceiling wall.

Ail manages to stop himself outside in mid-air, and scrunches himself up into a ball to rub his sore and aching chest, but nursing his bruises will have to wait.

Byakuren is already behind him and throwing another deadly punch at his spine.

The boy manages to raise a physical barrier, but the woman's punch breaks through and connects, however the impact is lessened, and the dense one rapidly loops over the angry saint.

He traps her inside a blue barrier, kicks the oval barrier to the ground, then shouts "I'm not doing this, Byakuren! [I'm looking forward to our fifth-to-tenth round, sweet cheeks!] I'm your friend, not you-"

A thought suddenly hits him and his body becomes stiff and almost impossible to move.

He starts to see himself beating the gradient haired woman repeatedly with his own hands, all while smiling with some sick satisfaction before ripping her clothes off and throwing them away.

She screams and cries out to him, but he only smiles back, seemingly ignoring her and getting a kick out of the sick scene before him.

He stops those thoughts and finds himself feeling ice cold while hugging himself in the air, and as he slowly descends, looking blankly to the distance, he whispers to himself "who the hell am I?"

"HE'S FALLING DOWN! GET HIM," shouts Kyouko from the near left, and now two set of footsteps rush toward him, but Ail doesn't care anymore.

His eyes suddenly bulge with surprise and fright when someone whooshes closer, then he feels Byakuren's fingers wrapping dangerously tight around his neck while saying "don't any of you dare! He's too powerful and sneaky! Stay away while I deal with this one!"

Ail looks to the ground and sees his oval barrier prison is still there, but there's a perfect circle opening on its right side, then he moves his eyes to meet with the woman's and whispers "this is why I never wanted to fight you when you were serious."

Byakuren sinks her fingers deeper into the skin of his neck, her eyes glow reddish with hatred, and then she mutters under her breath "it's too late for that!"

She dives to the ground and forces him to crash first, sinking his body into the dirt and making sure to make as much internal damage as her magic can cause him, then lifts him up as she starts to breathe through her teeth, seeping hatred from her pores as she stares at him, repeatedly punches his face, then suddenly stops.

"I trusted you with my life! I confided many things to you, shared happiness and sorrow! Ail; you were like a dear little brother, maybe even a son to me! I couldn't make you join religion, my beliefs, but I didn't care!"

Tears start to flow from her eyes at a rapid rate, staining her face and her clothes as she slowly lifts the boy up to the air, then punches him on the stomach to disable his movements, then throws him against the solid wall of the temple building and starts to cry as she walks to him.

"You came here one day, demanding me to love you; to bare you the child that fate denied! Ail, you knew my beliefs, my rules! But no, you took advantage of my love for you! You lured me into a trap, sealed my powers with that damned charm; Buddha forgive my words!"

Byakuren opens her scroll, and without speaking a word, a spell card activates.

Ail immediately recognizes the "Nikou Hijiri's Air Scroll" spell the woman silently activates and performs, he knows he can block and dodge this easily, but he just sobs in a manner that feels like a cough, and merely lowers his head and waits for the barrage of spirit-diminishing bullets to hit.

The woman holds the attack, takes a deep breath to calm her nerves as she lands in front of him, then says "you weren't satisfied after that, oh no! You had to beat me up! What did I ever do to you to deserve such treatment!? I begged, and begged, and begged, but you kept going! Then Kogasa tried to help, and you just break her in half!"

She sends a single line of those blue bullets crashing on to the boy's chest, and screams "and then you trick Nue into lowering her guard and you damaged her like she was some enemy! Ail, she trusted you too! Why did you betray us; because fate dealt you a dirty hand? IT WAS YOUR OWN FAULT, YOU IDIOT!"

Ail's cracking breath makes his pain known as he looks up at the crying woman before him, and even he gasps with fright at the sight of the ten remaining lines of bullets heading toward him, but he clenches his eyes shut and turns his face away while he awaits his inevitable demise instead of running away.

After some time passes and nothing happens, the boy hesitantly opens his eyes again to meet the first orb of blue light a mere inch away from his face, then he turns his sight toward the loud sobs.

Byakuren drops on her knees and covers her eyes with her left hand as she cries and sobs uncontrollably, her spell cancels on its own, then she cries "I can't do it! Hic-hic; I can't kill him!" She sobs and adds, "Ail, you did such terrible things, but you were so special to me. You still are. My friend, what happened to you? Why did you change so much?"

The boy can't help but cry along with the Youkhrist, lets himself stumble away from the wall, then cries "I don't know." He sniffles long and loudly before crying "I don't even know who I am anymore."

The woman's eyes flicker, she lets her head drop, then she softly says "just go. Leave this place, and I beg you, please, don't you ever return."

A cold sting; that is what he feels when those words reach him. He has been banished from the Myouren temple due to actions committed by himself, though he is still confused by the whole thing, even though he knows it's his own fault.

Regardless, he gulps down his sorrow, nods twice, then stands up and walks away from the temple, but when he's to the woman's right, he whispers "none of this makes sense to me, but I wish none of it had ever happened ...onee-chan."

Byakuren lifts her tear-stained face and scowls at him; her eyes surrounded by those dark rings again; and in a sudden burst of pure hatred, she furiously swings her arms around while roaring "GET OUT! JUST GET OUT OF HERE! DIE UNDER REIMU'S CHARMS FOR ALL I CARE! JUST DISAPPEAR FROM OUR LIFE!"

Ail continued to move after saying his piece, doesn't stop when Byakuren screams hers, and merely keeps moving with his head hanging low in shame as he makes his way to the Temple's exit.

He walks past Minamitsu, who snarls at him so as not to smash his head in with her rustiest anchor.

He walks between Ichirin, Unzan and Kyouko, and the yamabiko merely moves away from the boy, while Ichirin mutters "damned destroyer of lives."

He stops for a moment to look back at the temple, and sees Shou holding Nazrin by the arms, helping her keep on her feet as the weakened youkai is barely able to lift her head.

Ail turns around again, looks at his hands and sees them stained in blood, gasps and blinks; the blood is gone, then tears start to well under his eyes as he thinks "so I really am a monster? I did all this because of a child; my child? Me? [FATE DENIED REIMU HER HAPPINESS! IF SHE CAN'T BE HAPPY, NOBODY ELSE CAN!] I don't understand, and yet it is clear I caused a lot of grief."

He looks around the ruined temple grounds, the fallen wall, the destroyed flowerbeds, then sighs to avoid sobbing again, and thinks "I am a monster. I am the villain of this world! And here I thought I was a hero. How pathetic. [SHE CRIED FOR WEEKS, SULKED FOR MONTHS! NOBODY CAME TO COMFORT HER! THEY WERE DISGUSTED BY HER CHOICE TO MARRY ME! DAMNED HYPOCRITES!] Maybe I should stay put in the village."

The boy can hear Byakuren crying behind him, and every moment that passes makes her sobs louder, and each and every time he hears her voice so hurt, his heart punishes him with a cold stinging needle.

He has had enough, covers his ears to block out the woman's crying voice, moves his foot forward, but then sees those silly red shoes over black stockings he knows well.

Ail looks up at Nue's confused face, notices the doubt in her eyes, then his eyes are met with something else that seems to shine red on her neck.

Slowly, he moves his hand toward her neck, paying no mind to the fear rising in her eyes, and when his finger touches the skin of her throat, he grunts and coughs up blood after a disturbing sound of breaking skin echoes around him.

Byakuren screams, calls for him, but he can barely hear her.

The undefined girl has her trident thrust through his chest, and on its prongs his spirit remains stuck, forced right out of his body.

Nue sobs and hoarsely whispers "not again. Not this time."

Anilan has only a few seconds before being completely detached from his body, and with a quick flick of the wrist and a good grip, he removes a red and white charm that was stuck under the skin of the youkai's neck.

The black-haired girl gasps, her voice returns to her, and just as Ail's life flickers out of his eyes, and his spirit drifts away from her trident, she whispers "what? But..."

Her eyes water, her lips shiver, then she screams "NO! I MADE A MISTAKE! AIL, I'M SORRY! COME BAAAAAACK!"

The world freezes, everything turns grey, a white light consumes all, and all that is left is a single white feather floating in nothingness, and three mischievous giggles that fade after a few seconds.

Ail wakes up face-down on the grass-like floor next to his bed of red flowers with a loud and desperate gasp for air, and the first thing he does after kneeling up at once is touch his chest to check for any holes on it.

He sighs with relief after he finds he is still whole, then gasps and turns around by hopping on his knees after a giggle from behind.

Byakuren, Kogasa and Nue stand behind him, while Shou and Nazrin stand behind the former, with stern and cold looks on their faces, as though acting like guards.

"Surprised, aren't you?" asks the Youkhrist in her usual sweet tone of voice.

"L-Lady Byakuren... M-Miss Nue... Kogasa," whispers the boy with trembling lips.

He crawls toward the girls and prostrates himself in front of them, then starts to cry "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry! I swear, I don't know why I did those things to you! I swear, I don't even remember-"

The karakasa places a finger on his lips to shut him up, smiles, then says "if it's of any consolation for you, I didn't feel a thing. It was that quick."

"I'm the one who should be apologizing," says the undefined youkai as she looks away to hide her shame. "If I hadn't been so scared, you could have removed that thing, proven to me you weren't evil, and be back home with the real us."

The dense boy raises an eyebrow, gulps that last bit of sorrowful feelings in his chest, then says "b-but I still did such horrible things. Even if it is fake, it-"

"It wasn't you, silly little brother!"

Byakuren's words seem to stump the boy, and before he recovers, she continues "Ail, don't you remember? This world is what would have been if Reimu and you would have paired up by the force of a spell. THIS is the world you almost created when you tampered with time."

The boy's eyes widen with the remembrance of that recent blunder of his, and with this knowledge present in his mind, the saintly woman continues "that's right. Ail, if you had succeeded in destroying the fabric of time, like you almost did, you would have destroyed us all, not just yourself and Reimu. And yes, even your going insane would have been your life. YOU would have been the worst of all villainous scum in Gensokyo."

The dense one gulps and nods as the information shared resurfaces to his mind, but then another question takes the front of his thoughts, and asks "Hijiri? In that world you mentioned I was special to you. Like a little brother, or a son. I..."

Tears start to roll down his eyes as he looks at the gradient haired woman, and says "I don't care if it was an evil me! Lady Byakuren, onee-chan, I am sorry for what I did to you! It was disgraceful; a horrible thing to do to a special friend like you! And you too, Miss Kogasa and Miss Nue! I am so sorry for what I did to you!"

Byakuren grabs the boy by his cheeks, makes him stand in a gentle, yet strong manner, and while keeping his eyes locked on hers, she says "don't you dare think for a moment that you are evil, Ail! Everyone has a dark side, as well as a side of light! Keeping them in balance is what you, the real you, does best, just like Reimu."

She suddenly disappears, leaving Kogasa and Nue in front of the boy, then the karakasa says "Ail, something is interfering! Your next goal is now hidden. Be careful! We all feel there's something tampering with this world. They might try to harm you."

She disappears as suddenly as the saintly woman, then the undefined one hurriedly says "Ail, don't give in! You are a very nice person, and whatever happens in here stays here! You are you Ail! Don't forget that!"

She disappears as well, quickly followed by the two guardians, but as soon as they are all out of the room, there is a strong bang, a misty blue cloud spreads on the spot where Shou and Nazrin where, then Byakuren walks out of it, wearing a godly white dress with silk sashes clinging on a ring she has on her middle fingers, which holds the end of her sleeves in place.

Ail tries to mutter something, but she quickly moves toward him, embraces him strongly, then softly says "don't let him consume you, Ail. You are pure, wise and strong. Don't forget, and use it to your heart's content."

"Wh-wait, wait! Lady Byakuren!"

The boy's shouts are wasted on an empty room that suddenly turns completely white, and before he loses his consciousness, he hears himself speaking to his right.

"I'm real sick of you, kid. I didn't want to do this, but you give me no other choice. Come on Ail, let's go. Let me show you the wonders of your new life!"

That wintery evening, at the Hakurei Shrine, Reimu moans contently while waving her feet inside her bathtub, while Rika gently rubs her bare back with a silky soft sponge.

Hearts fly out of the shrine maiden's head, her cheeks are bright red, her wriggled lips and distant eyes reveal the bliss she is feeling, and after a long sigh, she says "man, this is great. Thank you for washing my back for me, Rika dear."

The angelic maid giggles contently, stealthily activates her Soraogan Blood Limit, and sweetly says "my pleasure, My Lady. Besides that, you know I would never ignore an order from you."

The angelic girl slowly moves her wings toward her mistress, carefully positions them to her sides, slowly places her feathers on the girl's neck, and Reimu Hakurei immediately moans and melts after the silky-soft feathers touch her skin.

Rika giggles mischievously, then happily says "that was an interesting reaction."

The shrine maiden suddenly rises from the water, splashing it everywhere and getting her maid all wet, then loudly calls "hey, Lykamei, the water is getting cold. Give it a little more heat!"

The angelic maid deactivates her blood limit while shaking the water off her hands, face, wings and chest, then sweetly says "Lykamei~, sweetie, could you please make the water a little hotter for Miss Reimu?"

"Hai~! I'll warm it up real good Miss Rika," immediately calls the eager ghost girl.

The maid chuckles, then casually says "see Miss Reimu? If you're a little sweeter, she'll respond."

The naked red and white merely groans and sinks her face in the warming water, then blows bubbles while speaking incoherently.

Just outside the bathroom's walls, on the cold snow, the little dark ghost blows on a bamboo pipe, helping a nice roaring fire come to life every time.

She stops blowing, dusts her hands, raises an eyebrow, then bluntly asks "say, don't you think it's weird that I, a ghost, am actually breathing oxygen on this fire here? I mean, where does the breath even come from?"

Inside, Rika chuckles and happily says "oh Miss Lykamei. Sometimes it is best to not question these things."

The little ghost girl merely shrugs, even though the maid can't see her, then proceeds to grab her new necklace, and stares at the golden wings on it.

Her eyes suddenly turn back to the fire, they sparkle as a mischievous smile covers her face, then she rushes toward a spare pile of firewood, takes a few pieces of wood, quickly runs to the fire, then throws them in.

Immediately afterward, she inhales as much oxygen as she can; her body expanding like a balloon; blows on the bamboo pipe when full, then Reimu screams at the top of her lungs right after the fire takes too much life.

Minutes later, Lykamei lies on her stomach on the living room's floor with a bump on her head, and a mischievous smile on her face as she chuckles and mumbles "that was funny~."

"No it wasn't, you evil little roach," barks the angry shrine maiden with red burned skin under the white towel.

Rika stops Reimu before she strikes the ghost with her gohei again, and with a nervous smile on her face she says "My Lady, she's my guest. Please, allow me to deal with her after your foot massage."

The shrine maiden sighs, rubs the back of her head, then begrudgingly says "fine, fine. But if she does any more mischief, I'm sealing her inside a bottle."

Suzaku flies on top of the ghost girl with the sparkling eyes, notices the girl is looking straight at the door to Reimu's room, then telepathically says "I suggest you stay put, or you'll find yourself in a pickle jar, Miss."

The girl merely moans sadly, then says "fine. I'll just watch them be naughty."

At that same moment, at the dark courtroom, Shikieiki growls after having pressed the button on her circular machine to the right of her stack of papers.

She gulps as she stares angrily at her machine, then says to herself "that was close. To think he succeeded after dying in there. I hope he'll have better luck next time. Still, what was that odd sensation just now?"

She jumps off her seat to stretch her legs a bit, and while walking around the large dark room, she says to herself "it felt cold and painful at first, but it suddenly became warm and soothing. I wonder what does that mean."

At her meditation room, Byakuren Hijiri sobs softly as she puts her hands back on her hips.

Tears flow down her cheeks, even though she smiles warmly, then looks to her left at Shou, who smiles weakly as she asks "so he failed with us too?"

"I'm afraid so," begins the magician monk. "I felt one of us changed her mind about him, but he had already failed when that happened. I still managed to link with his mind. The poor thing."

Concern fills the tiger youkai's eyes, and she hesitantly asks "but won't Miss Yama get mad at you for interfering?"

The Youkhrist wipes the tears from her face with her forearm, smiles at the girl, then says "she's the one that asked for some assistance. She mentioned something about a certain spirit getting angry at her."

Shou's face turns pale while she's thinking, then says "that must be one heck of a spirit, if the mighty Yama is willing to go out of her way to keep it pleased."

"No, it's not like that," sweetly chuckles Byakuren. "She merely wants to keep her word to her, and she also, truly, wants Ail to come out of this as undamaged as possible."

The tiger youkai lets out a silent "oh", then sits besides the Youkhrist, crosses her legs as she takes a meditative position, then relaxes herself and closes her eyes.

To be continued...

Characters, spell cards and scenarios belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-

Ail, Kyo, Luna, Kali and Lykamei were created by Willie G.R.

Rika Onkamikami and Suzaku were created by Snapshot 2010

Rika's Spell Card: Hikari, Byakuya Senmetsuken (Light, White Night Annihilation Sword), was created by Snapshot 2010

JUN 17 2012

Written by

Willie G.R.


I apologize for taking so long with this chapter, but the hell-like heat took all my motivation away, and it took me a great deal to get it back. Oh well, I'll do my best to write as fast as Aya flies. LOL, a guy can dream.

One thing to point out is that I tried to lessen the impact with Byakuren's scenes, but... by lessening the manner in which she was affected, I made the characters around her hurt more. *Sigh* Well, this was bound to happen.