Patchouli Knowledge, the Unmoving Great Library, the sorceress of arcana complexus, the master of natural elements, was working on a particularly vexing incantation. Combining multiple elements with less-than agreeable compatibility, the mage took it upon herself to enchant the arte of fire, wood, and moon as an experiment. One which required all her concentration.
“Miss Patchouli! Miss Patchouli! An unidentified object is making a beeline towards the library at Mach one!” Koakuma’s frantic yelps ring across the grand library.
Patchouli says nothing. Her robe flutters softly with the stream of magical energy. She shuts her eyes and blinds herself from the physical world to see the current of mana. Within the tome in front of her is a vortex of tri-elemental power. The book waxes and wanes in power, its cryptic words on its pages known only to Patchouli Knowledge. Glistening beads of sweat adorn her forehead as she channels her magical incantations. The next step will require perfect execution and uninterrupted magical prowess.
“Yer never gonna catch me, ya gate guard! Wahaha!” A door from the side of the library topples down as a broom and its owner, Marisa Kirisame, enter the fray. She makes haste with her cleaning apparatus, zipping through the complex shelves.
“Hey! Get back here, intruder!” Hong Meiling cries out in half-exasperation, half-determination.
“Nope~” A blinding light escapes Marisa’s mini-hakkero, unleashing a flurry of stars and lasers, eviscerating innocent books in their wake.
“MARISAAAAAAA!” Meiling screams out at the black-white magician at the top of her lungs. She retaliates with some danmaku of her own, throwing out vibrantly colored shots towards her assailant.
Patchouli’s footing on the ground wavers, as the entire ground shakes from the clash in aisle Arcane-Apparitions. Only a drop of mana left. But before she can finish her spell, a shockingly familiar beam shoots out from behind a bookshelf. “I-Is that master spar-”
An explosion of energy knocks Patchouli off her feet, blowing her away. Despite the impact, she was relatively unharmed. What remains of her magical circle and experiment is not. It suffered a direct hit from the Master Spark – only clouds of dust remained. When the clouds blew over, it resembled nothing like the magic circle that Patchouli painstakingly drew out. Patchouli expected that. But she didn’t expect it to look like that. For the first time as a mage, she was at a loss for words.
Marisa, zipping by with her broom, falls to the floor with a clatter. She sputters and does a double, triple, quadruple take. The witch hat falls from her head in the most absurd fashion possible.
“Hey now, did you surrender alrea- oh. Oh, my.” Meiling gapes at the sight.
From the charred remains of the magical circle contained a boy. Head cocked to one side, he looks at Patchouli with expectant curiosity.
Patchouli coughs violently, shakily taking a step backward. “Koakuma…please notify Remilia and Sakuya of the situation.”
It takes Patchouli’s assistant a few seconds to respond. “What? Oh, right away!” She scrambles out of the library calling for the head of the household. The boy in the middle of the ruined magic circle watches her leave, turning his head towards the fleeing Koakuma.
Patchouli, exhausted, leans on a bookshelf for support. It was not exactly her greatest day.
The sun shines a warm light outside, illuminating the bright green of the forest and the sky-blue lake. The fairies dance around the edge of the lake’s surface, shattering their lively reflections with ripples of the water.
The light glints off the window in the library of Voile, taunting your urge to play. You want to play! Very much! But Miss Patchouli ordered you to stay in her studies to…study. For at least an hour too! It’s hard, but Miss Patchouli said you were good at learning! You felt happy when she praised how fast you learned how to talk!
Ten minutes left until the hour is up! You can’t wait until you’re free to play! You stack tome number two-oh-four on the growing pile of deciphered magic grimoires. Nine minutes. In your excitement, you sped through reading the book! You can’t wait nine minutes anymore!
Oh, a great idea! If you read extra fast, Miss Patchouli will never notice you finished early! Flipping through the pages as quickly as you can, you memorize the content instantly so that you can play. You feel guilty that you’re tricking Miss Patchouli, but the world outside of the study room beckons to you! You must! Eight minutes left – and seven books read!
But where? With whom?
[ ] Miss Koakuma is somewhere in the library! You should find her! [ ] Miss Sakuya wanted to see you today. Now is a good time! [ ] Outside! Miss Meiling always wants to play~ [ ] It’s tea time. Maybe Miss Remilia would like some company!
Okay, I keep forgetting the image and choices. I must have erased this post several times by now. ---
[x] Miss Sakuya wanted to see you today. Now is a good time!
Oh, right! Miss Sakuya wanted you to go visit her today! Since you’re done with your studies, you can play with the head maid! The manor is unexpectedly big, but you can’t get yourself get lost. If you do, then you’ll trouble Sakuya…again. The first time you wandered off alone, you ended up trapped in a hallway with no doors. You…you don’t want to remember that again!
Miss Patchouli was in shock the entire day, and then spent the rest of the week holed up, trying to recreate the no-door hallway phenomenon. You still aren’t sure how you got out, but you remember it had to do a lot with breaching the spectrum of reality, or something like that. It didn’t interest you. You only cared about getting out at the time.
A fairy maid in the hallway waves at you, so you wave back. She glanced around her, like if she is checking for something, so you look around to see what she is looking for. She casts aside her broom in the meantime and all of a sudden she’s all over your hair! A surprise ruffling!
“H-Heeey, stooooop!” You feebly resist, but she’s not listening to you. Her hand goes through your hair, upsetting your already messy hair.
“Oh, asking for more? Okay!” the fairy maid replies as she tousles your hair. When she finally stops, a happy glow radiates from her. “I needed that! I’m all recharged now~♥” She sends you on your way, blowing a kiss.
You want to ask her how that helped, but you knew better than to set yourself up for another tousling!
Step, step, step. At this time, you know that Miss Sakuya will be in the guest rooms tidying up. The head maid, like clockwork, follows a strict schedule to keep the mansion prim and pristine.
…And you’re here to mess it up~
You hear shuffling behind the twelfth guest door so you knock. Miss Sakuya always says to knock before entering a door. You almost always do. It’s good to be proper, but sometimes you forget.
The door creaks open, so you take a peek. Nothing’s there! “Miss Sakuya, I’m coming in~”
The moment you step through the door, you knew it was a trap. The room got too quiet the moment you called out to Miss Sakuya! In a split second, you drop to the floor and roll to the back of the room. A dull whump greets your ears, coming from behind.
“Ah, there are you, cutie. That was a spectacular roll! Meiling would be proud.” Miss Sakuya greets you with a smile. Her flawless posture and cheerful tone don’t deceive you! Her hair is all messed up and her clothes are slightly disheveled!
“M-Miss Sakuya! Don’t scare me like that!” You complain. “That’s no good!”
The chief maid, still pretending to be innocent, pulls out a teapot and cup from thin air. “Some tea?”
“Miss Sakuyaaaaa!” She’s trying to throw you off! It won’t work! It will never work!
“It’s your favorite; masala thai!”
Ah. She’s cunning. “…O-Okay.” She hands you the cup and pours, filling it up with a milky brown tea. You take a sip and…and what were you talking about again?
“Is it good?” Sakuya smiles sweetly, the teapot vanishing from her hands. Her appearance and hair are now in perfect condition.
“Yeah…” You answer absentmindedly. The cup of tea is now an empty one. It’s scary how a well-brewed tea can deceive your emotions. But you must admit that cardamom, condensed milk, black tea, and a hint of cinnamon can do just the tric- you’re doing it again. The cup is now gone from your hands.
Miss Sakuya, during your tea thinking time, had snuck next to you! Defensive positions! It’s too late. She attacks your head! It’s the second time today, so you won’t give up so easily this time!
…She pats your head twice. It is nice.
Sakuya pulls you into a tight hug, swinging you around in her arms. “Good job today, cutie. You did well.” She slyly grins, “And as a reward, I won’t tell Patchy that you skipped out early on your studies.” She winks, smoothing out your hair and clothes. Miss Patchouli says your robe is western, but you don’t know what “western” really means. A direction? But your clothes don’t point west!
But anyway! “I was caught~” She knew, but it’s okay! She’ll be your accomplice! Your partner-in-crime! She even gave you tea.
“Lost in thought already, cutie?” Sakuya pokes your nose.
Ah, chai distracts you again! “N-No. And I’m not a cutie! I have a name! I am… um.” Miss Patchouli gave you your name! You remember that! But what was it again?
I like both the connection to Patchouli and the fact that the Salazaria plant is the only member of it's genus, implying that we are one of a kind. And, being born from a magical mishap, that's probably true.
>>58973 here, forgot to mention that Leonotis is also part of the family Lamiaceae, I just didn't know for sure if I liked the name Salazar. Credit for the idea goes to Salazar anon in any case. A half a cheer for being a pretentious fuck!
>Her hand goes through your hair, upsetting your already messy hair. >She attacks your head! It’s the second time today, so you won’t give up so easily this time! If hair ruffling is going to be a thing, then having a mighty mane and being surrounded by women means Leo is the appropriate choice.
>When she finally stops, a happy glow radiates from her. “I needed that! I’m all recharged now~♥” The ruffling will continue until morale is improved.
Oh, right! It’s Leonotis, but everybody calls you Leo. The name means “lion’s ear” but you wish that it referred to a cooler appendage.
Sakuya takes a lock of your short hair, twisting it around her finger playfully. Right! You’re supposed to tell Sakuya that you do have a name! “Miss Sakuya!”
“Please,” she gently coos. “Call me Miss Izayoi.”
“O-Okay. M-Miss Izayoi…” you sputter out. It’s weird! Saying it is weird!
She brings her hands to her face, smiling blissfully. “Never mind, just call me Miss Sakuya.”
“You’re teasing me, Miss Sakuya.” She’s being mean. “Anyway! I’m not ‘cutie!’ I’m Leonotis!”
“That you are, cu- oops.” Miss Sakuya buries her face in your hair. A complete disregard of your own privacy! “I mean, Leo. It’s hard not to say how cute you are, because it’s true.”
You? Cute? Never! You have archived over four hundred grimoires and spell tomes. Two hundred of them today! The vast knowledge of your arcana is deadly, deviant, dastardly! “Am not!”
“Are too.” Miss Sakuya has the same glow as the fairy maid from before. Her smile’s bigger than before! You won’t let that distract you.
Before she can counter again, a loud crash rings through the manor. “Oho? It seems like Marisa’s coming for another visit! Do you want to go pay her a ‘visit?’” Her eyes twinkle mischievously. “We’ll have to… properly greet her.”
Yay, Marisa’s visiting again! “Absolutely. It would be rude not to~” Mana flows from your body, also eager to say hello to the intruding witch. You can’t help it because it gets so excited when you’re ready to play!
“We’ll continue our lovely chat later. Don’t fall behind, Leo!” Sakuya opens the door and readies her spellcards. With a wave, she flies away.
You dash out the door, getting a running start to fly. You can’t always make yourself float in time, so running’s the next best option! The rush of air against your face gets your blood pumping. You dip down to get momentum, almost touching the floor before you rise up to fly. Miss Koakuma always gets worried when you do that, but you’re not sure why.
In a minute’s time, you’ve caught up to Miss Sakuya. She floats from left to right, unleashing a burst of daggers and blades. The flying knives appear mid-flight, forcing Marisa to change direction through the storm of danmaku. “Leo, it seems you came at the perfect time! Be a dear and say hello to our guest.”
“Whoa whoa whoa, wait justa second there! Two against one!? Ain’t that unfair?” Marisa frantically yells, weaving through the dense cloud of knives and bullets.
“Now what are you saying, Marisa?” Sakuya giggles, still throwing out her danmaku. “What of the Prismriver sisters? Are they not three against one?”
“Well yeah, but tha’s different! They’re about th’same as one pers-“
“Miss Marisa, it’s not good to insult others.” She doesn’t get it! Words like those’ll definitely hurt people!
“Leo, you’re right! We’ll just have to teach her a lesson, won’t we?” She winks. “Why don’t we try out the new spellcard we practiced?”
Sakuya pulls out the spellcard. It is exciting! And what better target than Miss Marisa?
Time Sign 「Arcana Laser of Khronos」
A white glow trickles out of your being, ready to play. The mana flows out, still drowsy from waking up. It’s time to wakey wakey! You can’t make it take any shape yet, but shooting it is simple enough. Your robe flutters from the magic coursing through your veins.
Miss Sakuya teleports in and out of view, flinging knives from all directions. Just when you think she’s behind Marisa, she’s also to the side! The front! Behind again! Miss Marisa is too busy trying to defeat the head maid. She’s completely unaware of your surprise~
Energy courses through your veins, with your fingers feeling all tingly. It’s a bit ticklish, but you don't let that distract you from the battle! Miss Meiling always says to keep your focus on the fight. You reach for your mini-grimoire in your pocket. Or you would, if it were there.
Aah! It’s gone! It’s at the study room. If only you hadn’t left in such a rush! You only have another ten seconds to prepare the arcana laser!
There’s no time. Miss Patchouli says not to cast magics without a proper spellbook, but you need to prepare something for Miss Sakuya’s spellcard! You’ll just have to cast from your mana!
Closing your eyes, you imagine scooping water with a ladle. The energy is at your fingertips! Ah, it’s almost time! Instead, you imagine a bucket and submerge the entire thing. A ball of concentrated energy appears in your hand. Now all you have to do is shoot.
“Miss Marisa, Miss Marisa~”
“Can’t ya see I’m busy, kiddo?” She seems to have forgotten you're a part of this game!
“Yes, but I have a surprise!” That got her attention! She dodges the danmaku, leading her straight to you. Miss Sakuya conveniently stops shooting in Miss Marisa’s direction. It’s your turn now!
The ball unravels and explodes in a puffy white cloud. A jet of magical energy slices down, straight towards your target.. The laser, by sheer force, knocks you out of the air. The whole room is spinning and spinning and spinning!
Poff. You are caught by something soft and flowery-smelling. Maybe it’s a bed of chrysanthemum? Looking up, you discover that it is a person! Miss Sakuya caught you!
“Miss Sakuya! Did it work?”
She lets you back on the ground. Your feet touches solid surface once more. “Yes it did, Leo. But I remember the laser to be less explosive. And deadly.” Miss Sakuya only shrugs. “No matter. Our lovely ‘guest’ has been caught.”
Yay! “So where is Miss Marisa now?”
Miss Sakuya points to a hole in the floor. Rubble everywhere! A single hand pokes out from underneath the debris. And then another one! A Marisa pops out of the ground, shaking off all the dust from her clothes.
“Wow! That was amazin’! Kiddo, ya really take after Patches! It’s no Master Spark, but goddamn! Looking into the laser gave me chills!” Miss Marisa glances around, stepping out of the hole in the ground. “Speaking of that bookworm, where is that woman?”
“Do you need something from her?” Miss Sakuya inquires.
Miss Marisa tips her hat, smirking. “She gave me a call for some research or whatever. Pretty rude of her to not tell the gate guard – or the maid.”
Miss Sakuya, already directing the fairy maids to repair the hole in the ground, nods. “Perhaps she finds you rather irritating?”
“Yep, that’s it.” Miss Marisa grabs your hand, pulling you along. “Now, aren’t ya gonna come with me?”
“Pleaaaaase.” She groans. “Just call me Marisa. No need for some ‘miss’ or whatever. That kinda thing makes me all uncomfortable.”
Miss Sakuya slaps Marisa’s hand, making her yelp in pain. “Oi!”
“I’m sure Leonotis would love to, but he has something to do.” Sakuya smiles warmly. “Right?”
Miss Sakuya is definitely right! When has she been wrong? But what do you have to do?
[ ] Classes with Miss Meiling! [ ] Story time with Miss Koakuma!
>>59051 Well, she is a female devil. How many female types of devils are there?
I think the general line of thought was just that simple, and then the idea was out there. It didn't really start anywhere so much as everywhere. Too many people came up with the idea separately to say that it started at any one place.
Also, the wings on her head also makes her look like Morrigan Aensland from Darkstalkers. Who is canonically comfirmed as a succubus.
That’s right! You had magical readings with Miss Koakuma. That’s what Miss Patchouli calls it, but you just call it story time. But only when Miss Patchouli is out of earshot~
She cuts you off. “Marisa.”
“Marisa! I have reading time with Miss Koakuma, so I can’t play! Next time we can have more fun!”
Marisa waves, flashing you a big grin. “See ya ‘round, bucko.” You wave back to her, and then to Miss Sakuya. She bows and leads Marisa into another part of the mansion.
Now then. Back to the study room you go. But it’ll be much more bearable because you’ll be with Miss Koakuma! A long hallway connects the room to the library. You find it amazing that everything always leads to Voile. Maybe it’s because the library is so huge that the mansion has to connect to it. It’s the heart of the Scarlet Devil Mansion!
Miss Koakuma is in the office, furious scribbling something down on paper. Books fly from shelf to shelf, sorting themselves. She’s hard at work! It’s time for a surprise! Tip-toe, tip-toe. You circle around the desk, careful not to alert any books of your presence. You weren’t sure if the books would tell Miss Koakuma because they’re books, but better safe than sorry~
A few more inches until you can secure your target. Perimeter clear. No obstacles between you and your victim! You drop down to the floor and wriggle your way towards your object of attack.
“Oh, Leo? When did you come in?” Curses! You’re spotted! You quickly pounce before you’re compromised! Pounce!
Miss Koakuma catches you effortlessly. “Oof.” She kisses your forehead. Miss Koakuma is very warm and nice and good for cuddling~
“Miss Koa! How are you today?”
“Much better, now that you’re here Leo.” She rests her head on top of yours, wrapping her arms around your body. So soft~ “I’ve been doing some sorting and some studying.”
“Studying? You have to study too?” It must be very boring for Miss Koakuma too. You’d much rather play!
“Of course. If we all stopped studying, how will we learn anything?”
But it’s boring! If nobody studied, everybody could play together. But then Miss Patchouli would be mad. Oh! “Then can we study together?” You’re sure that with Miss Koakuma, studying will be fun!
She pulls you into her lap, affectionately rubbing her cheek with yours. Like how cats do! In any case, it’s comforting. “Silly Leo, that’s why we’re here.”
“But spending time with Miss Koa is too much fun to be studying! I love every moment with her!” Studying is boring and dull. It’s nothing like Miss Koa’s story time.
“Leo~! Marry me!” Miss Koakuma pulls your closer, nuzzling the back of your head. The wings on her back flaps vigorously, almost knocking the two of you off the chair!
“Miss Koa, s-stop, it tickles~” Her hair brushes against your face and neck. It’s everywhere!
When Miss Koakuma pulls away from you, she flicks her hand at a nearby bookshelf. A book with a blue cover and latch floats lazily towards her. She makes a chopping motion, and all of a sudden the book comes in a hurry! It drops itself in Miss Koakuma’s hand.
She plops the book on your knees and opens to the front. “Now. Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. They all lived in different houses to seek their own fortunes. The first little pig built his house out of straw, mainly because of the recent fall of the economy, which resulted in the bankruptcy of his company.”
“Yes, he was very poor! The second little pig, known to be a genuine idiot, built his house out of porcelain, glass, and fragilite – the most fragile mineral discovered by knick-knack scientists around the globe. The third little pig holed himself up in a magical library. But one night, the big bad wolf came along and saw the pig with the straw house. He said, ‘Let me in little pig or I’ll huff and puff and I’ll blow your house down!’
“‘Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!’ Said the little pig. But of course the wolf blew down the house and ate the first little pig. The wolf then came to the house of the second little pig. ‘Let me in little pig or I’ll huff and puff and I’ll blow your house down!’”
“‘Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!’ Said the second little pig. But the wolf blew down that house too with less effort than the first house, due to the fragilite.”
“Why would he use fragilite?”
“He was not a clever pig. The wolf then came to the library. ‘Let me in little pig or I’ll huff and puff and I’ll blow your house down!’”
“‘Divinum impius inimicus igne purga,’ the third pig incanted. And with twice the output of the initial mana enchant, a concentration of magus fascinio funneled through a bodily segment and into the atmosphere creates a spectrum of diffusing mana into the air, generating enough heat to literally blast purgatory fire into the directed area.”
“But wait, Miss Koa!” There is something definitely wrong! “The pig used a poor choice of words for the incantation. Shouldn’t it have been-”
“Oh, it’s probably poorly translated.” Miss Koakuma eagerly closes the book, resulting in a muffled thump.
Ah. Of course! “Okay then~”
A nibble. On your ear. Miss Koakuma’s sweet-smelling red hair drapes over your robe. It’s something like citrus! “M-Miss Koakuma! Geddofme...” It’s very uncomfortable when she’s leaning on you!
“But Leo,” she whispers, all dreamy-like. She moves down to your neck, nibbling there too. “You need to be loved more~” But then Miss Koakuma shoots up into the air! But why?
“Koakuma.” Miss Patchouli’s voice echoes from the library. “Are you harassing Leonotis again?”
“But Miss Patchouli! I can’t help it!” Miss Koakuma, held up by a gust of wind, flails around wildly.
Miss Patchouli sighs. “Have you no self control? I swear all sense of rationale is thrown out the window when you’re in close proximity of the boy.” She pulls the gust of wind towards her, flinging Koakuma out of sight. Fwoosh! With a pause, Miss Patchouli says, “Leonotis. Carry on.”
Upstairs! Up, up the stairs. They curl around and around like a never ending circle! But it does end. And you’re on the higher floor of the mansion. The low patter of water on glass starts to rise in tempo. It must be rain! You haven’t personally seen it, but you know enough to understand what the noise is. Little droplets fall off the windowpanes making tiny plopping sounds.
The sky outside is a dull gray. Good thing you didn’t go! Your adventures would’ve been ruined, shattered, desecrated! Miss Meiling is still outside. You hope that she’s okay.
Owww! You hit your face against a large, open door. Your nose stings and it hurts and owww your head! Rub rub. You rub your nose and head at the same time. You must look silly! But pain! But silly!
“Who knocks during the time of Scarlet leisure?” A voice resounds throughout the entire hallway. But you know that voice!
“Ah, Mis- I mean, Lady Remilia!” Your nose and head can wait. You’ve found Lady Remilia! Walking into the room, you find her at the light switch, throwing her cap on. The blanket is messy and on the floor. Her hair seems frizzy and extra curly, like yours! You wonder if somebody ruffled her hair too.
“Oh, it is just Leo.” She takes a seat on the nearest chair, crossing her legs. Her wings flap twice, but Lady Remilia stays in place. “Why do you bother me during my rest?” She motions for you to enter the room, yawning and stretching her arms.
You didn’t mean to bother her! It’s just that something was in the way! And you happened to hit it! “Lady Remilia...I’m sorry. I was thinking about something and the door was just there and I hit it and it hurt.”
The pit-pat of the rain hails over the roof. “I, the ruler of this mansion, Remilia Scarlet, of descent from great vampires of old, have been woken out of slumber by a boy of diminutive stature, whose purpose in life is to frolick within the confines of this villa of mine?” She flicks her pointy finger at you dramatically.
“Yeah!” Lady Remilia tells the truth! You’re amazed at how accurate she is!
“In any case, we’ll have to issue a punishment, don’t we?” She smiles a big smile that stretches across her face.
“Um. Yes?” You weren’t sure what the right answer was!
Lady Remilia’s face lights up, smirking. You think you guessed right! “Absolutely, dear. To make up for this insolence, you’ll have tea with me. Now, to procure a table and extra chair.” Instantly, two fairy maids heave a table and a chair next to Lady Remilia!
They came here super fast! The one that tousled your hair winks at you. A third fairy maid comes in with tea, chamomile. She clacks the teacup on the platter, pouring some for Lady Remilia and then you. “Now tell me, child. How has your day been?” She brushes her hair behind her ear.
“It was a lot of fun! I got to play with Miss Sakuya and Miss Koakuma today. I didn’t get to go outside, but I’ll do that another day!”
“Mmm, that’s nice.” Lady Remilia takes a slow sip of the tea, smiling at the thought. “Have you been working on your studies?” She laughs as if she knows the answer.
But she doesn’t! Unless she thought that you did study. In that case, she does! “Yes’m! I have studied and analyzed over four hundred grimoires in my study time!”
“Child, you did well. I’m certain Patchy’ll be proud of your endeavors.”
Yay, your endeavors~
“I’ll be happy if Miss Patchouli praises me, ehehe~”
“It takes little to please you then!”
Krak! Fwoosh. The tea, it’s flying! Right onto Lady Remilia. This is horrible! Plop.
“Lady Remilia! Are you okay!?” Nooo! The loud crack made you fling the tea reflexively!
She grabs a tissue, which is quickly handed to her by a fairy maid at her beckoning, and wipes the tea off. “More importantly,” she casually says. Too casually! You did a bad thing! “Are you okay?”
“Um, y-yes?” You felt smaller and smaller with every passing moment.
“Raise your hands up, Leo.” Remilia is using her scary voice! You do as you’re told. Be a good boy. But your hands! They refuse to listen to you. They’re a bit stiff. “You’re shaking.”
A flash of light and a roaring boom greet the outside sky. Aah!
“Fewer grimoires, more Poe. Haven’t you ever heard of a storm isLady Remilia throws her wet nightgown at your face. You can’t see! In a gentler voice, she chides you, “Don’t be scared. It’s just thunder and lightning. If you put things into perspective, wouldn’t a vampire in front of you be more frightening?” A hand removes the nightgown from your person.
“Lady Remilia~” She’s right in front of you. And wearing the new dress without the choker or the the laces and frills! “Very pretty!”
“Now, Leo. Are you still scared?” Her bright red eyes are so warm-looking! It makes you feel at home.
“Need me to hold your hand?”
Lady Remilia’s small hand grasps yours. It is cool but soft to the touch. Like her! She’s very cool, but soft inside~
“My dearest Leo. Worry not.” She pulls you along the room, approaching the window. “Look.”
The rain on the window fades away and instead is replaced by a ray of sun peeking through the clouds. “Lady Remilia! How did you do that?”
“I’m Remilia Scarlet. I have great powers at my disposal.”
“Did you use any of your great powers?” You wonder what powers she has!
“I am the master of fate. A storm is trivial to me.” She is the Lady Remilia, so you quickly believe her. She wouldn’t lie! She lets go of your hand and pours herself another cup of tea from the table. “How ironic is the vampire who soothes the storm for the sun, enemy of the Scarlet Devil, to come out!”
“Then why, Lady Remilia?”
“To show my affection, child.” Oh! Lady Remilia is such a wonderful mistress!
“Lady Remilia~” You go up to her and give a big squeeze!
She pats your head. Yay, headpats! “Now that I’m awake, I feel like strolling through the mansion. Leo, you are free to do whatever you please until bedtime. Orders by your mistress, if Patchy wants to know.” She saunters out of the room, without so much a goodbye.
She’s gooone! But what to do?
[ ] Outside! You said you’ll go another day, but today can be that day! [ ] Studies! Not exactly studying, but magical training!
[x] Outside! You said you’ll go another day, but today can be that day!
You’re free! And since you still have some spare time, you’re off to the outside! You consider opening the windows and flying out, but Miss Sakuya says that’s bad manners. The windows are to stay shut! Instead, you’ll fly through the mansion. So you speed through the hallways and rooms, gaining momentum for a big jump!
Fwoosh~ You barrel through the front door but recover perfectly back on your feet. Clap clap clap! Miss Meiling applauds you for sticking the landing! Your audience compels you to bow!
“Miss Meiling! I did it~”
“You did!” She pauses for a second. “Did what now?”
“I stuck the landing!”
She looks at you, nodding slowly. “It was good. I’d only give it an eight though. Not enough style, Leo!” She jumps in the air, doing a twirl and flip. “You need more of that.”
“I see!” But you don’t know how to twirl and flip! “How do I do that, Miss Meiling?”
“Easy, you just bend your knees and...” she arcs through the air. “Like this! I don’t know how to explain it. I kinda do it without thinking.”
You do a practice jump eagerly. The cool, evening air nips at your ears. It’s almost night time! “Miss Meiling! I think I can do it!” You do another jump! On the third one, you tuck your legs and heave yourself backward. Extending your legs, you flail wildly to recover balance! Then you gracefully plant your face on the ground.
Owww. The grass softens the blow, but your nose! It’s still delicate from greeting the door. You tumble to the side, facing up to the sky. “Miss Meiling, my nose has suffered enough today.”
Miss Meiling plops down, lying down next to you. The grass rustles slightly. “All you need to do is relax. Like right now!” She breathes deeply, closing her eyes. “Don’t move, just look into the scarlet sky.”
The grass is cool, slightly damp from the rain. You don’t mind, since your robe’s all thick and fluffy! “Oh, Miss Meiling. Did you have to stand out here in the rain?”
“Yes I did!” Miss Meiling laughs heartily. “But Sakuya came and kept me company with an umbrella until the rain died down. Still, good thing it didn’t last.”
“Yeah!” The rain is okay, but you’re definitely glad the thunder and lightning went away!
Miss Meiling jerks up erratically. “...Hey, Leo. Were we supposed to have classes today?”
“I think so?” You aren’t sure if you did! “I did a lot of things today, so I don’t really remember~”
“Another day then.” Miss Meiling lies back down again. “Not today, because we’re having an important thingy right now.”
“What is the ‘thingy,’ Miss Meiling?” You want to know what you and Miss Meiling are doing!
Miss Sakuya told you to hit Miss Meiling’s forehead whenever she mentioned siestas! Bop~
“Ouch. That’s not very relaxing, Leo.” Miss Meiling rolls away, still lying down.
“But Miss Sakuya said to bop you when you do that!”
“Man,” she rubs her head. “can’t she cut me some slack once in a while?”
You roll towards Miss Meiling. Ah, the grass is still dewy from the rain! Your robe is all wettish now. You assume Miss Meiling is too.
“I’m all soaked~”
“I bet you are!” Miss Meiling chuckles. Then, with a swift twist of the wrists, she rolls you some more!
Oh, the sun is all gone now. It must’ve disappeared while you were siesta-stopping Miss Meiling. Your play time is over! You didn’t get to explore far outside, but at least you were with Miss Meiling. “It’s almost time to sleep~”
“Right. Which was why we couldn’t do our classes today. At least, that’s what you’ll tell Miss Sakuya if she asks. Right?” She winks.
“Right!” Miss Meiling is just a victim of circumstance! Miss Sakuya will understand.
All of a sudden, you’re up in the air! “Hup!” Miss Meiling grunts, hoisting you onto her shoulder. “Okay then. Off to sleep you go!”
Onward! You’re taken away to your room, which has a big cabinet and an even bigger bed. You’re certain it could fit another two of yourself under the covers.
“Good night, you.” Miss Meiling waves goodbye.
Your clothes are still dripping! Throwing your robe and underpants off, you fold the them into neat little squares and slip into your pajamas. It’s nice and poofy. You slip into the bed~
The covers are so snug! But before you sleep, voices are hush-hushing each other outside the door. You faintly hear Miss Koakuma and Miss Patchouli!
“No buts. You’re not allowed to sleep together with the child. And definitely not with those clothes!”
“Crying about it isn’t going to persuade me.”
The voices fade, and all is quiet now. The bed is so...comfy.
You wonder what you should do tomorrow.
Light gently seeps through the windows, insisting you get up. You want to get up, but you’re sinking into the bed. It’s so nice, you just want to roll yourself up in the blanket~
So you do! And then you fall off the bed, still entangled in the covers. You should figure out what to do today! Aside from freeing yourself from this trap. This warm, soft, snuggly trap... not helping! You wrestle yourself out of the sheets.
Now then. What to do?
[x] Training with Miss Meiling! And maybe flips! [x] Exploring! It is time to acquaint yourself with the outside world. [x] Breakfast! Then help out the fairy maids! [x] Study. Better now than later (or so Miss Patchouli says).
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[x] Breakfast! Then help out the fairy maids!
You can’t forget about the most important meal of the day! You’ll need the energy in the morning, otherwise you’ll end up falling asleep. But what happens if you fall asleep while flying? Will you go into autopilot, or drop down once you lose consciousness? In any case, either one is dangerous. You shouldn’t try it, but now you’re curious!
Oh right, breakfast! You scamper to the dining room, greeted by the various smells of food. Everyone’s here too! Miss Meiling, Miss Koakuma, Miss Patchouli, and Miss Remilia! Even Miss Sakuya, who is directing the fairy maids in the back.
“Hiya, Leo!” Miss Meiling enthusiastically calls out. You notice that she finished eating before she called out to you! That means she’s going out already.
“Miss Meiling, good morning! How are you today?” Best to sneak in a conversation before she leaves!
“Great. I got to see you before I go guard the gate, so that’s like good luck or something, huh?” She places her utensils on the plate, patting her belly. “Thanks for the meal. I’m off!”
“See ya~” You wave to her before she exits the room. You take a glance at your empty plate, and then at the food set across the table. A small bowl of oatmeal catches your attention! From afar, you can only see blueberries inside, so you bring it closer to you. Oh. OH! It has cinnamon and a hint of honey too! You’ll take some~
It’s already gone from your plate. Your stomach knows, and tells you that it’s not enough. You must appease it. This time, you throw a few items onto your plate. First of which is some scrambled eggs. To the untrained eye, it may seem like normal eggs – but no! They have black pepper and what seems to be olive oil. Or maybe vegetable oil. In any case, they are better. Your tongue agrees. A plain muffin with jam also complements the meal. It’s gone too! You end the meal with some grapes. They’re the plump, seedless kind. Also gone~
“Mrrnnnn...” Miss Koakuma mumbles. But you weren’t sure what that means.
“Mish-“ You’re still eating! Chew. There, now you won’t be rude. “Miss Koakuma, what did you say?”
“Leeeeeeoooo!” She’s tearing up! What do you do!? Miss Koakuma’s bawling and you don’t know why!
“Miss Koa! What’s wrong?”
Miss Patchouli sips her cup of tea, frowning at her assistant. “Leave her be, Leonotis. She needs to learn self-control.”
“But Miss Patchouuuli! It’s unfair! Even if you order me, an entire day without touching Leo? Impossible, impossible, impossible.” She vehemently objects to this.
Miss Patchouli shakes her head, taking a small bite of her toast. “This is for your own good. And for the general welfare of Leonotis.”
Miss Remilia interjects. “Perhaps the lack of control is better for the boy, hmm? It’s certainly...thrilling for him.”
“Absolutely not.” The conversation ends there.
You didn’t really get it, but okay! “I’m finished with my food!” You decide to take your plate directly to the kitchen to help out the fairy maids! You wave goodbye to everyone else before leaving.
A fairy maid asks you, “Leo! Come for something?”
“Miss Sei! I’d like to help out.” A few other fairy maids take notice of you and all give you nice, pretty smiles!
“Let’s see what you can do. Can you wash some of the dishes in the sink?”
“Of course! I can do that.” Getting ready! You pull the sleeves from your nightshirt up, plunging your dish into the sink. Plugging the sinkhole, you let the water gently rise up and up. You got the sponge and you got the soap! Rinse and lather, rinse and lather~
“That won’t do, sweetheart.” A fairy maid grabs your hands gently and moves them around to clean the dishes. “You do it like this~♥”
“No fair, I want to clean with Leo too!” Another fairy maid joins you, helping you wash the dishes. And another. And another! Pretty soon, the entire kitchen is washing the dishes. They’re all grabbing your hands too! It’s hard to stay efficient now.
“Umm. It’s hard to clean when we’re all squished here!”
“Don’t worry, hun. It’s a group effort~”
You manage to get all the dishes finished. A miracle! You wipe your brow in exhaustion. “We did it~” The plates are all sparkly clean now!
“Thanks for your help, Leo~” The fairy maid that first assisted you in dishwashing activities smiles cheekily.
“Any time, Miss Lora~” Yay fairy maids! They always smile, so it makes you want to smile! But you’re now soapy and wet. So you’ll take a shower! You pass hallways, moving straight to the baths room. Throwing your clothes on the neat little laundry basket outside the shower stall, you turn the warm water knob to the right.
Wah~ it’s so nice! There’s nothing like a big meal and a hot shower. Scrub scrub. Shampoo, soap, hair, face. All done! Grabbing a towel on the little hook, you dry your hair until it’s soft and fluffy.
Wrapping the towel around your waist, you can wait no longer. Where to go?
Waaait! You throw on your oriental white robe with long sleeves and flowing pants. You need clothes first!
Now. Where to go?
[ ] Reimu’s shrine! [ ] The Buddhist shrine! [ ] The Taoist Mausoleum! [ ] The Forest of Magic! [ ] Fairy Lake!
Speaking of white, fluffy robes, it kinda looks like Miss Futo’s traditional dress... wait. Could it be that you’re wearing a dress!? Upon further inspection, you are not wearing a dress. Indeed, you are wearing pants. Crisis averted! You’re saved~
Oh, come to think of it, you haven’t paid Miss Futo a visit for a while. She said she’ll introduce you to her friends the next time you see her. You wonder what kind of friends Miss Futo’ll bring!
The books on the side of the room’s desk lay there, stretching their wings. You really should study... but you won’t. They open to the cover page affectionately, wanting to be read. Aww, not now. You’ll make time to study later! You pat the books and flip them closed before you leave the room.
The fairy maids are up and about, dusting the chairs, desks, and windows today. They seem extra spirited in the morning. You wonder why.
One of the fairy maids notices you and waves. “Hello, Leo! It’s nice to see you so early in the morning!”
Another one of the fairy maids interrupts. A crowd of fairy maids is gathering! “Leo! Thanks for helping us yesterday~” More fairy maids.
“Any time! I’m glad to help out any way I can.”
Poke, prod, squeeeeeze.
They’re not doing their job! Unless it involves grabbing at your hands and clothes and everywhere. In that case, they are. But you’re sure that their job doesn’t involve that!
In that case, you’ll take evasive action. Slipping out of the maids’ grasps, you break into a sprint as fast as you can.
“Leooooo, come back~” One of the fairy maids call out from behind you.
They can’t keep you away from your objective! You always seem to disrupt the fairy maids whenever they’re working. While running, you pass Miss Sakuya.
“Leo, no running in the mansion! You’ll get hurt.”
“Kaaaaay!” You broke the rules, but you didn’t mean to. You stop immediately.
“Going somewhere?” asks Miss Sakuya.
Indeed you are! “I’m visiting Miss Futo today!”
“Alright,” Miss Sakuya nods. She seems to have noticed that you’re in a hurry. “Don’t do anything dangerous now.” She dismisses you with a wave.
Okay, now you’re ready to go. Walking! It takes much longer to get to the mansion gates because you’re not running, but breaking the rules will make Miss Sakuya sad. You’d rather make her happy than sad!
You pass Miss Meiling, who is taking her morning nap. You should wake her up. “Miss Meiling! G’morning!”
“Huh!?” She straightens her back and tenses up. How does she sleep standing up? It’s a mystery to you. “Oh hey. Good morning,” she yawns.
“Anyway, I gotta go! Good luck guarding the gate, Miss Meiling. I’m off!”
“See ya, Leo.” She leans back on the gate, yawning again. Miss Meiling’s not really a morning person~
Now that you’re free of the mansion, you stop holding back and break into a full sprint. Your feet gradually leave the ground, skirting against the flowing air. You are nowhere near Miss Shameimaru’s speed, but you’d still say that you’re pretty darn quick! The only problem is that your flying is hard to control.
You zip past Misty Lake, passing by blurs and fairy blobs and other things obscured by the pseed of your flight.
“Hey, you! I challenge you to... waitwhereareyougoing!”
You think that was Cirno. You couldn’t really tell, because you didn’t hear what he or she was saying.
The Myouren Temple’s cemetery draws near. Too near! You can’t slow down in time! You manage to slow down enough to find the mausoleum’s entrance...and fly directly through the doors. That reminds you! Miss Meiling taught you about proper etiquette when charging through someone’s doors.
Tuck and roll! You cover your head and curl into a little ball, rolling through the entrance. It would be bad manners to shoot through the doors without a little bit of finesse!
You finish your roll near the feet of Miss Futo.
“Leonotis! A pleasant surprise to see you.” She bows, apparently not bothered by your more-than-enthusiastic entrance. It must have been the roll!
You bow to her as well. It feels appropriate to bow! “G’morning Miss Futo! How are you doing today?”
“I am doing well, little one. For what occasion do you visit for?” She ushers you inside the main temple, chuckling. She sits you down on a comfy pillow, which absorbs you. The fleecy pillow stuffing is eating you.
“Just to visit!” You continue the conversation. “I was wondering if you needed some company.”
Miss Futo smooths down your wavy hair, closing her eyes and smiling. She’s very lovely when she smiles! “You’re welcome here any time, little one.”
“Do we have a guest, Futo?” A voice calls out from the adjacent room. Could that be one of Miss Futo’s friends? It probably is.
“Yes we do. It is the boy I was talking about earlier, Tojiko. He is a splendid fellow.”
“I’ll make some tea then.”
You take a look around. The area is very simple, with a few mats padding the floor. It reminds you of the Buddhist temple! But you won’t say that here. Miss Futo very sternly told you not to mention that to any of the others around when you mentioned it before. Other than that, there are a few potted plants, fresh and alive with greenery!
A woman with light green hair and an even greener dress floats into the room, placing two cups of tea on the low table. Floats? Oh, she has no legs! She has two cloud-shaped tails in place of feet.
“Hello. My name is Soga no Tojiko. It’s an honor to meet a guest of Futo.” She curtsies, despite having no legs.
“Hello to you too, Miss Tojiko!” Maybe it should have been Miss Soga, not Miss Tojiko. You always get confused with old fashioned names. “I’m Leonotis!”
She sets down a cup of tea on your side of the table. “It’s always pleasant having guests here. We don’t seem to get many of them, if you don’t count spirits.”
Fluffy, fluffy ghost tails. You really want to see how soft they are, but you shouldn’t. You just got to know her! It’ll be rude and embarrassing. Instead, you’ll drink your tea. It’s a clear green, almost like the color of Miss Tojiko. You don’t know what it is, but it’s strong. Not that it’s bad! It’s actually very good.
The door suddenly clacks open, revealing a woman with a regal-looking dress and vest. The cape that adorns her shoulders flutters with her arrival. So cool~
“Well isn’t it lively around here!” She laughs without restraint, shaking the golden sword strapped to her waist.
“Crown Prince, you have returned!” Miss Futo exclaims with excitement.
“Like always.” Adjusting her earmuffs, she turns to you. “And you there. I am Toyosatomimi no Miko! I have listened your heart’s desires, and I am glad. If only the rest of the world could share your intentions!”
What are your desires? You aren’t sure! “My desires?”
“Your desires. Very well! I shall grant them myself!” With a big flourish of her hands, she reaches for you and pulls you close to her. Only then, do you realize your true desire. A hug! It’s very nice and cozy inside her cape. You like the Crown Prince already! Still embracing you, she glances towards Miss Tojiko. “You don’t need to restrain yourself. Go on.”
“Oh, no! I couldn’t!” Miss Tojiko energetically shakes her head no. “Well, and it would be bad manners to do so after Futo and I need to prepare myself,” she babbles. Miss Tojiko’s face is getting red and flustery! “F-Futo, please start.”
Miss Futo smiles impishly like Miss Sakuya does when she teases you. “My heart is content. I am fine with watching.” She motions for you to go to Miss Tojiko.
Miss Tojiko is all confused, so you’ll take the initiative! You run up to her and hold her in a big squeeeeze.
As it turns out, her ghostly tails are indeed very fluffy! Gradually, Miss Tojiko loosens up and strokes your head. Yay, friendship~
“I’m afraid if I start, I may not ever want to stop,” mumbles Miss Tojiko, sitting down with her ghosty legs on the matted floor.
“That seems to be the norm with him,” replies Miss Futo with a low chuckle.
The Crown Prince adds, ”He is the sort of boy who unleashes those desires. And what selfish desires he has!”
Right now, you’re content with lying down on Miss Tojiko’s soft ghosty lap. Is that considered selfish?
“What are his desires?” asks Miss Futo, who squeezes closer to you and Miss Tojiko. You’re sandwiched between the two of them! It’s okay, because they’re all kind people~
“Let me tell you, my cute follower,” replies Miss Toyosatomimi. You’d say Miss Miko, but that might be confusing with all the other shrine maidens flying about Gensokyo. “He has three main desires. The first is the safety of his family, which includes most of his companions and acquaintances.”
That’s right! “It’s nice to have a big family.”
Miss Toyosatomimi continues. “Second is his desire to keep his friends happy.”
“Miss Crown Prince! You’re good at this!” She must be a master at this! Clap clap~
“I know.” Miss Toyosatomimi acts like it’s no big deal. But you can tell she’s happy that you praised her! “And the last desire, perhaps the most selfish of them all, is a profound desire for head patting.”
“Hugs?” replies Miss Futo.
“...Hugs?” Miss Tojiko parrots back.
But they don’t understand! Head patting is the focal point of the universe. Without it, there would be dire consequences for emotion and mental stability. Where would the foundations of courage, diligence, and perseverance be if there were no head pats in the world? You shudder at the thought. Reality would tear apart from its absence; the universe would cease to exist.
“Yes, head pats. And his desire increases even now.” Maybe she caught wind of your inner ramblings. You should perhaps teach a lesson next time. They don’t seem to understand basic physics. It’s astounding how little people know about the Abstract Theory of Headpatting Thermodynamics: Energy and You Versus Energy and My Head.
“Oh, w-well...” Miss Tojiko trails off.
“Just pat his head already.” The Crown Prince impatiently adds. She must have heard Miss Tojiko’s desires as well. You’re not inclined to refuse though. But the head patting never comes!
“Miss Tojiko, do you not want to?” You ask her because she has her hand over your head but only hovers over it.
“This is playing unfair...” She finally plops her hand on your hair and rubs it. It’s different from ruffling, because she does it so tenderly. There is nothing more blissful than having a gentle head pat. It only lasts for a few seconds. You’re not disappointed! But it would be nice to have more...
And more head pats were given. Miss Tojiko must have sensed it! The Taoists have a knack at sensing desires. All is well in the world.
But it can’t last. You have other things to do today! Lifting yourself up from Miss Tojiko’s lap, you smile at the Taoists. “Oh, Miss Futo. Thanks for inviting me today. It was nice and relaxing here~”
“It was nice seeing you again. Do stop by more often.” Miss Futo bows respectfully.
You wave to your new acquaintances, Miss Tojiko and the Crown Prince. “Miss Tojiko! Miss Toyosatomimi! It was nice meeting you two!”
“You as well.” Miss Tojiko nods, having calmed down.
“I didn’t catch your name, boy. What is it?” The Crown Prince asks.
“Leonotis, but you can call me Leo!”
“Alright, Leo. I’ll see you another time.”
“Of course! Next time, I’ll show Miss Tojiko and Miss Futo the wonders of Headpatting Thermodynamics.” The ghost and her colleague both give you confused glances. You give a thumbs up in response. They’ll understand! Next time.
But now. Where to?
[ ] The House of Puppeteers. You recall Miss Patchouli has an errand for you to do there. [ ] Up the Youkai Mountain. Someone wanted to talk to you, but you forgot who. [ ] The House of Rabbits, Eientei! [ ] The House of Fire, Mokou’s place! [ ] Or maybe Somewhere Else? (Write in)
[X] Myouren Temple. You're practically there already.
>A crowd of fairy maids is gathering! “Leo! Thanks for helping us yesterday~” Wasn't that this morning?
>They don’t seem to understand basic physics. It’s astounding how little people know about the Abstract Theory of Headpatting Thermodynamics: Energy and You Versus Energy and My Head. Probably because it's not in any of the physics textbooks I've read.
[X] Myouren Temple. You're practically there already.
You might as well pay the Myouren Temple a visit, since you’re nearby. Ethereal spirits float by the entrance of the mausoleum, presumably to pay the Crown Prince a visit. You didn’t see them before! Maybe it’s because you were in the presence of Miss Toyosatomimi herself. Maybe it’s traffic hour and all the spirits are lining up for their turn.
Anyway, you take a quick look at your surroundings as you pass by the graveyard. The area is very drab and lifeless – as expected of a cemetary. Even the air seems to be still, creating a very creepy quiet. You kinda wish that there would be something to distract you from this nothingness.
You take that back! You didn’t really mean it! A loud scuffling breaks the eerie silence in the air, coming from... behind you! You do a complete 180, swinging your entire body around in one swoop. A girl, donning a hat with a star, stares back at you. It kinda reminds you of Miss Meiling. Her grayish hair and red price-tag thing obscure her face. Her arms extend out to you, almost like she wants to grab something.
“Aaaaaah!” You realize what she is! “A zombie!”
She shakes her both her head and arms sideways. “Wait, but I’m not a zombie. I’m a jiang-shi.” Pausing to collect her thoughts, the girl stands completely still. “I was told to say that after Reimu called me a zombie.”
“Oh. Okay.” That brings a new light to the situation at hand. “Let me revise my earlier statement.” You take another deep breath. “Aaaaaah! A jiang-shi!” Now your cry of fear is terminologically correct!
“Now then.” She starts dragging her stiff legs across the ground, inching closer towards you. “Leave this plaaaace!”
“But miss! I was just about to leave!” She’ll leave you alone if you do what she says, right? It’s not like you weren’t going to listen to her.
“I was born to protect this magnificent mausoleum!” The jiang-shi exclaims, completely ignoring your reply. She keeps trudging her feet, hobbling towards you.
“That is splendid. But I, uh, just came out of the mausoleum. Had a good chat with the Crown Prince and Miss Tojiko and Miss Futo.”
“This isn’t a place for the likes of you!” She ignores you again! Her feet lift off the ground. She’s flying! “Leaveeeee!”
“Whaah! Flying zombi- er, jiang-shi!” She starts chasing you, prompting you to sprint away from her. You run as fast as you can for ten seconds straight until you get yourself off the ground. Once in the air, you speed away from the chasing jiang-shi. Her flight speed didn’t seem to be that fast, because she is nowhere to be found when you pause to check your surroundings. You wish that she would have listened to what you said.
In any case, you managed to find yourself at the bottom of the stairs of the Myouren Temple. The imposing set of steps make the temple feel so far away, like you can never reach it.
…Well, you could always fly over them, but where’s the theatrics in that? You take the first step. And the next and next and next and next... and the last one. You skipped a few of them. As you near the top of the stairs, you hear a soft humming, accompanied by a soft brushing sound. From the entrance of the temple, you spy green hair, accompanied by a set of droopy ears. Getting closer, you see Kyouko swaying to a silent rhythm, still humming and brushing her broom. She does a twirl and a twist.
“Hello!” You call out to her.
“Wah!?” Startled by your sudden greeting, she retreats behind the main gates. “O-Oh... hi, Leo.” She suddenly becomes timid, cowering behind a stone lamp.
“Heya, Kyouko! How’s the temple been? Cleaning as usual? Still echoing things as your day job? Reciting sutras?” You barrage her with questions.
She nods, peeking her head out from behind the lamp. “I’m finished for the day, but yes. I clean everyday. Hopefully, my training finishes sometime soon so I don’t have to tend to the main gate every morning.” Slowly, she inches out from her lamp-spot and resumes sweeping. But her form is all wrong! Her wrists are too crooked, making the broom angled too sharply to efficiently dust and sweep. This is unacceptable. “Kyouko.”
She sharply turns around, fidgeting with her broom. “Y-Yes?”
You thrust your hand out, motioning to the broom. “I am commandeering this. Your broom-sweeping skills are unsatisfactory. If there are two things in this world that people don’t know, it’s proper sweeping and the Abstract Theory of Headpatting Thermodynamics!”
She hands you the broom, but shoots you a perplexed look. “The abstract theory of what?”
“Exactly!” You give an exasperated sweep. “Now, look carefully.” You keep your wrists slightly tilted, only enough to keep the broom slightly off the ground. This is very important, otherwise the dust just goes flying everywhere! “Keep in mind that you should never sweep back and forth. It only spreads around the dust and makes it worse! You want to keep sweeping towards one direction and later clean the accumulated pile of dust afterward.” You hope she understands. Sweeping is serious business! Cleanliness is next to… something-liness.
“...What am I seeing here?” A woman with a tiger-pattern dress and equally tiger-like ears comes into view. She relaxes her grip on her previously brandished spear, letting the spearhead drop to the ground with a dull clang.
Kyouko, fidgety and nervous for some reason, raises her voice. “W-Wait, it’s not what you think!”
She crossly folds her arms, letting the spear drop to the floor. “Could it be that this boy here was furious at your broom-handling skills?”
Wah, how accurate.
“...Okay, then it’s exactly what you think.” Kyouko hangs her head in shame. Poor girl.
The tiger-woman sighs, picking her spear up again from the ground. She leans it against her right shoulder as she walks walks towards the temple entrance. “Well, not like it matters. The place hardly ever gets dusty. Anyway, I’m off.”
“Wait, miss~” You feel like you should add something before she leaves. Oh, right! “I’m confident Kyouko’s brooming abilities will be perfect the time you return. I’ll take her under my wing. My metaphorical wing, that is.”
The tiger-woman turns around slightly, raising an eyebrow. “You’re an odd one, aren’t you?” She chuckles lightly. “What’s your name, boy?”
She nods in recognition. “Ah, the Leo that Byakuren talks about, I assume?”
She nods again. “Okay, that works. I’m Shou Toramaru. Nice to meet you.”
What does she mean by that works? But before you can ask her more questions, she disappears down the temple steps. Okay then.
Kyouko, pouting and red-faced, stares at the ground until you feel like you should do something. You offer her the broom back. She hesitates, but accepts and grabs the broom back by the wooden handle.
You attempt to console her. “If you want, I could continue with the lessons.”
Kyouko’s upper lip trembles. “I’m happy that you want to help, but I don’t need any... I need some time alone. Just me and the broom.”
“Hang in there, Kyouko!”
Kyouko sets the broom down. She sighs, lying face-up on the temple floor. “Maybe I should reevaluate my cleaning duties.”
“But you have so much potential! Not everybody can learn to sweep without hard work and perserverance. Everybody goes through a broom-related crisis at least once in their lives!”
Kyouko, sitting up with renewed vigor, fervently nods her head. “Yeah. You’re right. I shouldn’t let this hold me back. I can learn, improve!”
“Hello, Kyouko. Still not cleaning as usual, eh?” A bushy tail briefly obscures your vision.
Kyouko’s upper lip trembles, as she hugs the broom to her chest. “I... I give up!” Kyouko bursts into tears, running down the temple stairs whilst dragging her broom with her. She sweeped in one direction, at least.
“...Was that joke in poor taste?” The bushy tails respond.
“Yeah! That was very mean!”
“I suppose I should go fetch her then,” the tails reply. As the bushy tails move down the temple stairs, you discover that the tails are in fact attached to someone. You’re not sure to whom exactly.
And now you’re all alone. Everybody left the temple grounds, whether it be for duty or for a passionate-cleaning-aptitude-reassessment dash. The Myouren Temple, silent from its sudden lack of residents, holds little interest to you now. You wonder where Miss Hijiri is, thinking that she may be within the temple. But because everyone else on the temple grounds left, you feel strangely uninvited. Oh well. You’ll find Miss Hijiri another time!
The sun glares at you, but it’s more the in-your-eyes kind of glare than the angry-scowl kind. The sun’s already so far up in the sky! You should probably get back home so you can practice some moves with Meiling. It’s training day!
Exploiting the high ground, you throw yourself off of the high hills of the Myouren Temple and jump off the stairway, free-falling for a good five seconds before you start flying. The greenery and roads all blur into a single image as you pass by Gensokyo’s forestry.
But when you arrive at the entrance of the mansion, Miss Meiling’s nowhere to be found. Where’d she go? The gate is surprisingly lonely without its guard and the guard is surprisingly absent from the gate. It’s an incomplete scene.
This won’t do. You’ll guard the gate instead! You feel bad for it, so you’ll keep it company. You’ll protect this post until Miss Meiling comes back! You will let nobody pass!
“Heya buddy, long time no see. Whatcha doing here all alone?” Marisa pats your head as she nonchalantly walks toward the manor.
“Miss Meiling disappeared, so I’m the temporary gateguard~”
“Cool. Well, see ya.” How nice of Marisa to visit. She’s probably going to visit Miss Patchouli and...
Wait. “Marisaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” The moment you call out to her, she speeds off with her broom! You dash as fast as you can, propelling yourself off the ground to chase after her. She cuts a few corners through the spacious rooms, making sharp turns into the narrow confines of the halls. She eventually disappears, leaving you all alone in a lengthy hallway. On the end of the hallway is a single door, well-used and paint worn down.. An open lock adorns the handle of the door.
Well! There’s only one thing to do.
[ ] Never leave an unlocked lock unlocked. Lock the lock. [ ] Unlocked locks should remain unlocked and doors are for opening. Find Marisa!
[x] Unlocked locks should remain unlocked and doors are for opening. Find Marisa!
The faded brown door is unlocked. And if it is unlocked, it should remain unlocked. An unlocked lock might as well be an un-lock – and if it is unlocked, you’ve no choice but to scout out where the door leads. After all, you wouldn’t be fulfilling your duties as a gatekeeper if you just let Marisa go without so much as a friendly danmaku battle!
As you near the door, you realize that the lock is rusty and aged - probably useless if anybody decided to force the door open. For a well-maintained mansion, it sure has a lot of problems with security. Maybe it’s because the mansion has maids everywhere instead. Or maybe vampires. You tap the lock lightly, and it clatters to the floor. Okay. You might as well enter now. Nothing’s standing between you and the door!
As you open the door, it ominously creaks and squeaks. This door’s not well-maintained – maybe you should come back and oil it. You swing the door closed, resurrecting the squeaks and creaks. Any stealth you had before is completely gone now.
But there’s no need for stealth in tracking Marisa! You sprint forward to boost yourself off the ground, er. Wait. The ceiling’s now dangerously close to your head! And the floor turns to stairs, leading downwards. Miss Sakuya said that it’s dangerous to run down stairs because you might trip and fall. You hope Marisa feels the same way too. Unlike at the Myouren Temple, you can’t just skip every step, because you’re so cramped here! Very tedious.
When you get to the last step, the open room reverts to the mansion’s usual spacious... space. But the lights seem dimmer than in the rest of the mansion, more like a faint glimmer than a bright glow. Your eyes adjust enough to see what’s in front of you. With nothing in sight, you discover that the place is quite barren! The usual furniture and matching tapestry are gone, replaced with nothing but mellow-orange lights on the wall.
You dash and fly up into the air, but your speed is limited by the fact that your eyes haven’t adjusted to the darker area. You do a slow glide across the area, searching for the yellow-haired magician.
A shiver runs down your spine. Or rather, it’s not so much running as taking the express train. It’s much faster and efficient that way. Magic instinctively courses through your body, readying for... something. A muffled jingle resounds from underneath you, so you drop your altitude to go check out what it is. You really hope you aren’t in a horror story, because all the people who try and check things out in those end up dead! Then again, you do have magical powers. But then again, so might whatever is making the noise.
...You pray for the best. “As your feet touch the ground with a tap - two eyes, face-level, gleam red!” They’re looking straight at you! You can barely make out the figure. You hope it’s Marisa. Marisa with red, shiny contacts and shorter legs. As you squint more, your already-fading belief that Marisa’s playing a cruel prank on you disappears. A lot of things are running through your mind, but you blurt out the first thing you can think of.
“An intruder!?” Great. Now you know and the intruder knows that there is an intruder. Maybe you should be more careful with the whole saying-what-comes-to-mind shtick.
“But... I live here.” The two eyes inch closer, revealing a certain level of warmth to them. It’s a person! A person with a red dress and yellow, wavy hair that’s tied in a side ponytail.
“...Oh. Then who is the intruder?”
“My guess would be... the person in front of me.” She directly points at you. The nerve! Ah, your “indignant” face must be showing, because she takes a half-step back. “Am I... wrong?”
“I’m not the intruder, I promise! I was looking for the intruder,” you explain to her. She gives you a puzzled look, so you clarify. “I’m the temporary gate guard. Miss Meiling disappeared for a bit, so I’m filling in.”
The girl blinks twice, flitting her luminous red eyes about in confusion. “Then who are you?” Her ponytail swishes as she leans her face in closer.
“I’m Leonotis, or Leo. You can call me whichever you want. I’m a... err. What am I? I guess some sort of mage-in-training under Miss Patchouli.” She moves her hand, so you take it for a handshake. You aren’t sure if she is trying to go for the handshake, but it’s too late now! “Nice to meet you.”
She holds your hand delicately, as if afraid she’ll get hurt. Silly, you won’t do anything to hurt her. Despite your magic going haywire, you’ve got it under (relative) control! You should really protect her from whatever is making your mana go crazy. Seems like it’s really powerful.
“Nice to meet you too... I’m Flandre. Flandre Scarlet.”
“It’s a very pretty name~” Flandre! A new acquaintance! Flandre... Scarlet? Huh. Wait a minute. “...Scarlet?”
“Y-Yeah. I’m Remilia’s younger sister.” She looks down at the ground, focusing her eyes on her shoes.
Eh? Lady Remilia has a sister!? When did she have a sister? Why is Flandre down here? And why is she being so bashful when she’s in her own sister’s mansion!? She offers no response. It may be because you asked those questions in your head. Okay, first of all, you should breathe before you ask! Breathe in. “If you’re Lady Remilia’s sister, why are you down here and not up there?”
“I’d rather not make unnecessary trouble for my sister.”
“I think the most troubling thing is that you’re here in the dark all alone.”
Flandre flinches and shrinks back, curling into a small ball by hugging her knees. She hides her face behind her legs. “I can handle it,” she murmurs into her knees.
You take a seat next to Flandre, crossing and uncrossing your legs to find a comfortable spot. Your magic seems to have cooled down. Whatever was irritating it is gone now. With a grateful sigh, you lean back, using your two arms to prop yourself up. “Isn’t it lonely down here?”
“It’s lonely up there too.”
Hrmm, what a predicament. But you might have a solution! “Okay then! How about if I be your friend? That way, you won’t be lonely all the time. Would that be good enough?” No wonder you’re a genius!
Flandre, looking up with a mixture of forlornness and expectancy, nods twice. You think she’s smiling just a little, but her knees cover up her face.
There we go! Problem solved. But you feel like you’re forgetting something... ah well. “Anyway, I should go do whatever I was trying to do. See you later!”
You turn around and walk towards the direction of the main hall entrance. But after just a few steps, you feel a slight pressure on your robe.
Tug. Flandre, delicately holding on to your robe sleeve, glances at you with her red, upturned eyes. “...Will you come back? Promise?”
[ ] You promise. [ ] You’ll come back. [ ] You might not be able to.
[x] You promise. -[x] Applied physics. [Thermodynamics]
Hmm, you promised not to make promises easily. There’s nothing sadder than an unkept promise. Flandre, still holding onto your sleeve for dear life, says nothing during your deliberation. You take this chance to take a closer look at her. She has a fluffy cap adorned with a simple red ribbon. Her blonde hair lightly falls down to neck length, apart from her side-ponytail. Strange. You wonder how ponytails can even go to the side like that. It’s still dark, but you can make out her red dress and yellow necktie. Anyway, your eyes fall to her wings with tiny little reflecting crystals that seem like they could break at any moment. Flandre sneaks a look at you, accidentally making eye contact.
Ah!” She immediately starts inspecting her shoes, releasing her tight grip on your robe.
Well, you shouldn’t think too hard about it. Besides, it’s not like it’s too hard to go and find Flandre. She doesn’t seem she’ll leave here any time soon. “Okay, I’ve made up my mind!”
Her eyes light up in anticipation. Hopeful may be the better word. Or... fearful? You’re not sure anymore! Emotions are hard.
Aah! Her lip is quivering! Eyes watering! You didn’t mean for her to take it that way. You didn’t even say anything yet! Okay, think quickly. What should you do? A lightbulb flashes in your head! Or maybe that was the dim light flickering. The ambience in this place is rather dark. Anyway, now’s the perfect chance to test out your little physics theory. It is thermodynamics time.
Pat pat. You place your hand on her hair, careful not to make her hat fall off, and give it a biiiiig ruffle! You take extra time to dishevel her hair, just to make sure that she gets all that raw energy you’re sending her! With enough time, it’ll turn into happiness. If you did your calculations right. “Alrighty. I’ll promise you that I’ll visit, okay? Don’t think you’ll get rid of me just yet!” You think you poured on the excitability too much, leaning towards the “concerning” zone.
But Flandre gets the message. She gives you an honest-to-goodness, sincere smile. The theory works! That’ll show Miss Patchouli. She never believed in your theories, saying that it’s “silly” and “naive” and whatnot! You return the smile back, because it’s nice to reciprocate.
Now then. “I’ve something to do! I recall it being urgent, but I think I’ll find out once I get out.” Flandre nods, giving you a slight wave. Hm. You think she can provide some assistance. Plus, it still unnerves you that she’s here all alone and in the dark and giving you some kind of puppy-dog look! So you extend your hand out to hers. “Want to come with?”
Her hand twitches. Looking back and forth between you and (presumably) the exit, Flandre hesitantly reaches for your hand, but moves away at the last second. Then she does it again! Reach. Flinch. Reach. Flinch. You wonder if she’s playing some kind of game. Almost as if answering your thoughts, she shakes her head nervously. “I wouldn’t want to cause Remilia trouble.”
“Are you sure?”
She nods once, twice.
“Okay then. I must hurry to my task, Flandre. Whatever I need to do is calling me!” She waves goodbye, the dim light flickering on her figure. You bid her a loud farewell and return to the exit. Aaaaah. You finally get used to the darkness and now you have to leave. It’s sad. But whatever you need to do is not here. You only hope that you’ll remember what you actually had to do by the time you actually get out. Unfortunately, finding the exit is a lot easier than wandering around the place. You open the door leading to the rest of the mansion.
Aaaaaand you don’t have a clue. You wish it was easier to tell the time in this huge mansion. You feel like the time would give some kinda clue as to what you need to do. Wait, could it be...? Do you have magic classes with Miss Patchouli today!? Noooo! If you do, she’s going to be really mad! It’s half-past something o’clock right now! The more you run, the more you remember that classes were indeed scheduled mid-afternoon! Not good. You’re running in the hallway! No use now, it’s time to fly. The hallways and spacious mansion rooms all blur, as you take the left, left, straight, right to get to the library. Quickly and hurriedly, you open the door!
Too bad nobody is there. How strange! It’s not like Miss Patchouli to be late to class. But on the bright side, you can pretend that you were here all along, being a good boy and studying. Yay magics!
You’re learning about archaic magics today. Many wizards of old have often cast spells through chanting incantations. Usually, it’d be Latin or some other language that sounds really mysterious, but that was more out of the cool-effect or confusing the enemy. Really, they could’ve chanted “big fire exploding thingy” and it wouldn’t have made any difference. Or it could’ve – magic tends to be fairly subjective. It’s more about the mindset really. The more modern mages merely modified magic. And although chanting the old arts tend to be flashy and exciting, the magical battles today tend to be quick and relentless. As seen in danmaku, the era of spellcards has reached its prime – no veteran of arcana and the like would be caught dead without a spellcard. But still, ye olde chanting is something you’d like to try out, if only because it has a certain charm to it. Anyways, that concludes Leo’s Magical History Lessons for today!
A few fairy maids clap in admiration of your expansive knowledge of the magical. O-Oh! Were you reading aloud!? Judging by the maids’ nodding, you might have.
Oops. Anyhow! You excuse the maids, needing some space for yourself. They give you the classic “fairy maid teary eyes,” but you’re adamant on this. An important part of magic is also safety, and their close proximity puts them in potential danger. Now if they were enemies, that’d be another story. They all bow and leave the magic quarters to go clean some other part of the library.
Now, here comes the fun part. History is interesting and all, but you’d rather experience the spells yourself. Your studies have inspired you. A slight jolt courses through your body, sending out discharged sparks of mana.
Hrmmmm. You feel a bit... off today. No matter. Practice makes perfect! The kinks will work themselves out. Probably. The ground tremors under your feet, inscribing a blue, pulsating ring on the floor. The sight is entrancing, periodically beating with raw energy. You reach for your mini-grimoire in the pocket of your robe, but it’s not there... still most likely in your private study room. You wonder why you keep it there, because you never study there, let alone anything else. Sometimes, you feel like the mansion has rooms for the sake of having them.
Now, the next step will require perfect execution and uninterrupted magical prowess.
Fwoosh. “I’m baaaaaaaaack~! Wahaha!” Books hail from the sky, clattering to the floor with exceptional force. A certain blonde haired witch speeds through the bookshelves, creating enough wind to knock over most loose books.
“Marisa. I’ll have none of this today. First of all, books are meant to be borrowed in a library. I don’t have time to chase you around all day. I’m already behind schedule.” The purple haired witch releases a torrent of arcane bolts that twist in a conic shape towards the intruder.
“Ya gotta catch me first, pal! That’s the rules!” A myriad of stars hail down at the purple witch, but she narrowly drops dodges by dropping altitude, resulting in mass property damage to the library walls.
“Maids! Miss Patchouli! Heeeeelp!” Clambering over the falling books, the devil assistant trips and drowns in the ever-rising mountainside of tomes, scrolls, and grimoires.
“M-Miss Koakuma! Hang in there! We’ll get you out soon!” The few fairy maids within the library start a tug-of-war against Koakuma’s hand. And they fail miserably. “O-Oops!” A book flies.
The fun part was to make up overly-elaborate, magical-sounding words! “Incanto privilus, empyria-“ Smack! An object makes direct contact with your forehead. Critical spell failure! “-bwuh!?” Tilting backwards, your sight blurs, filled with visions of the roof, Marisas, Miss Patchoulis, and a single book in the air, the binding slightly unstitched. Oh right, you were looking for Marisa! But at that moment, the spell, an amorphous red-and-orange mass, fluctuates and stirs enough to disjoint from your casting hand. Oh. Well. There’s only one thing to yell. “Oops.”
Or was it “take cover”? But oops indeed! Your body tilts all the way backwards, pushing you enough to land on your back. You have a clear view of the spell flying its way through the air, waltzing right in the middle of both Miss Patchouli and Marisa. They both turn in split-second surprise at the mass of fire passing by, only to be consumed by a pillar of flames that follow it. The surging fire obliterates the roof and continues shooting towards the heavens and beyond.
Damage assessment. One Miss Koakuma drowned via text. Eighty to a hundred books in collateral damage. One Miss Patchouli and one Marisa exploded. One roof sporting a hole the size of a small mountain (you’re not too sure how big a small mountain would be, but you’re estimating here). And many maids in shock. The ones that are still capable of moving are already cleaning and repairing the gigantic hole that used to be a roof. Leo status: critical.
“…Leonotis.” Charred and purple-gray robes flutter. Singed crescents.
Code red! Code red! “Y-Yes?” You sit up immediately, legs crossed and back straight.
“I understand that you were practicing for your studies, but I honestly expected better than that. Where is your grimoire? Magic is not to be handled with such recklessness.” Miss Patchouli eyes the roof, as the fairies scramble to reassemble the tiles. They work fast. “An elemental magic of that caliber should drain you of your mana, if not fatigue you for the entire day.”
“And so what? Doesn’t even look like he’s tired. Just scared, cause yer all glaring at him like that!” Marisa wipes the gray off of her face. “What’s wrong with being strong? We know he’s got a knack for it.”
“And he might be killing himself because of it. Magic without moderation is no more useful than a crude weapon.”
Marisa frowns, her overly large hat breaking apart from its burnt fabric. “That’s got me through most incidents. Magic is power! Powerful magic is powerful! I beat ya with it, too.”
“Channeling powerful magic through your little contraption, sure, it may work. But Leonotis here has no conduit to pass magic through – he might just exhaust too much mana and have Gensokyo bear his unintentional wrath.” Patchouli scowls at the thought, sending you another quick glance. You try your best to appear small, so she won’t pay you too much attention. You’re in the wrong! You’re sorry! You try to say that, but Marisa interrupts you before you can start.
“Yadda yadda. I personally think it’s up to Leo. Power’s something he’s good at – the control can come later.” Miss Patchouli glares at her, but she shrugs it off. Marisa turns to you and offers you a smirk, patting you on the back. The ashes from her hands create a small puff of gray. “Whatcha think, buddy?”
[ ] Miss Patchouli’s right! What’s magic if you can’t control it? [ ] Marisa has a point. Strong magic’s still magic! [ ] It doesn’t matter who’s right! You’re in the wrong and you’re sorry!
As much as I would like to vote for cute, doesn't it feel like we're voting for our magical prowess? Like if we choose Patchouli, we get more control, and Marisa power. Or I could be totally wrong and assume too much.
And as a side question, what are we? We seem too strong to be some kind of summoned familiar. Just curious.
[x] Miss Patchouli's right! You're in the wrong and you're sorry!
>>60443 Don't think too hard about it, okay? At this point, you're free to roam and have fun with your choices. Even though it might influence future events and choices. It's not a big deal though, so don't worry too much and take it easy.
Also, isn't it obvious? Leo's an Experimental, Artificial Creation.
[x] It doesn’t matter who’s right! You’re in the wrong and you’re sorry!
“What do I think…?” You echo back to Marisa.
“Yeah! Who’s right, me or Patchy?” Marisa winks and gives you a none-too-subtle thumbs up. Aah! Miss Patchouli’s glaring at her!
“It doesn’t matter who’s right!” You have to be firm on this! “I was wrong and I’m sorry for the roof, the explosions, the books, everything!” You take a big bow for good measure. From the corner of your eyes, you sneak at peek at the two magicians. They seem to be better now!
“Awww, Leo~!” Marisa grabs you from behind, swinging you in the air for a couple seconds before letting you down. But she doesn’t let go. Ah! The ashes are rubbing into your robe! It’s not so white anymore. “It’s a miracle how anybody gets any work done with this cute thing around here!”
Miss Patchouli wearily smiles, shaking her head. “We don’t.” She separates you from Marisa’s persistent grasp. For extra emphasis she repeats herself, “…We don’t.” Maybe Miss Patchouli should go lie down. She seems extra tired today!
“By ‘we’ you mean…”
Miss Patchouli eyes the tower of books and the fairy maids struggling to break free from their literary prison. “Various inhabitants of our mansion.” Miss Patchouli then turns her attention towards you, dusting your robe off a bit. It helps a little. “Now, Leonotis. Could you be a dear and help poor Koakuma out of the pile of books while I discuss some matters with our kleptomaniac friend here?”
“Okaaaay~” Immediately, you get to scaling the mountain of books. And it never seems to end. A few hands poke out of the books, so you pull on each and every one of them to free the helpless fairy maids. Every single one of them comes loose with a little pop! When you reach the top, a single hand protrudes from the peak. Taking the hand, you firmly clasp it with your own. But before you can do anything, the hand pulls you into the cover-bound abyss.
“Leo~♥” Miss Koakuma’s muffled voice penetrates through all the books. As she drags you deeper into the books, Miss Koakuma wraps you tight in her arms. “Heehee, caught you all to myself!”
Many things go through your mind! First, it was a trap! Second, the books are heavy! Third, you’re assigned to saving Miss Koakuma. You can’t let down Miss Patchouli. It’s just that it’s so hard to move! “M-Miss Koa… Miss Patchouli said th-”
“I know.” She knowingly replies, nuzzling your hair. It tickles! “Just give me a moment.” Pulling you closer, Miss Koakuma breathes through her nose, inhaling deeply. But before she could exhale, a fierce wind sends all the books on top of you flying.
“Koakuma. Unhand the boy. Must you bother him every time he’s in arm’s reach?”
“But Miss Patchouli! It’s been so long since I’ve had Leo time!”
“It’s been one day, Koakuma.”
A snicker echoes from behind Patchouli. Marisa, whose hat seems to have completely disintegrated as this point, smirks in your general direction. “Even capturing the heart of yer own assistant, Patchy! And strong, to boot.”
Miss Patchouli pays little attention to Marisa. Instead, her stern gaze is focused on Miss Koakuma. Head hanging down, Miss Koakuma relinquishes her hold on you. “Miss Patchouliiiii, this is unfair!”
“Hardly. I can’t trust you to be responsible within a hundred yard perimeter around Leonotis.”
With tears in her eyes, Miss Koakuma sulks off into another part of the library. You hope she’s not too sad, but it’s for her own good! Miss Koakuma can get all dreamy-like and distracted when you’re around her for too long.
“So.” Marisa tips her hat. Funny, you swear her hat disintegrated. “How’s our favorite ball of unproductivity doing?”
“I’m not unproductive!” How rude! You’ve been diligent in your studies! “I’ve learned many things.”
“Didn’t mean you are unproductive. It’s scary how you can distract just about everybody in this place in such little time.” Marisa flashes a grin.
“Oh.” You just realized something. You’re still the gatekeeper. “Miss Marisa, what is the nature of your visit!”
“Already told Patchy. Don’t worry about it!”
Miss Patchouli, coughing slightly, motions for you to come over. “Leonotis. If you please.”
“Kaaaay.” You make your way down the book-mountain, careful not to trip over all of them. It’s a lot harder going down than climbing up! You jump down from halfway, landing right between Miss Patchouli and Marisa. “What’re we going to do now?”
“Isn’t it obvious? We’re continuing your studies. Now, to get this all sorted out.” Miss Patchouli crinkles her brow, flicking her wrist towards a bookshelf. The books strewn over the floor all become something of a river, floating through the air and into their respective shelves. How neat. Maybe she’ll teach you that someday! It’ll help out the maids if you could do that.
Marisa plops down on a chair, reclining back. She props her feet up on a desk, leaning backwards. The chair only has two feet on the ground. “Yeah, study time!”
Miss Patchouli glares at Marisa and pushes her feet off the table. The chair clacks to the floor and Marisa almost follows. “Marisa. If you would just leave, please.”
“No can do! Almost got blown to pieces by Leo, so I deserve to see his studies!”
“I don’t follow your logic.” Miss Patchouli grimaces but begrudgingly takes a seat on the chair next to Marisa, waving in the air. An untitled book with a brown cover falls into her hands, pages flipping exactly to where they need to be. “But I’m far too tired to argue about this matter.” Miss Patchouli scans through the page, eyes following the text. “Especially after our little… scuffle. As long as you don’t distract Leonotis, you’re free to watch. And watch only.”
“Awright!” Marisa nudges your side with her elbow. “Didja hear that? Miss Marisa’s gonna help with yer magics!”
“Were you even listening to me, Marisa?” Miss Patchouli pinches at the bridge of her nose. Marisa laughs a kind of laugh that echoes throughout the library. She waves off Miss Patchouli’s attempts at lecturing her. “Anyway,” Miss Patchouli suddenly interjects, “You may continue, Leonotis. Show me the fruits of your studies.”
“Will do!” You’re ready for this! This time you’ll get it right for sure. As you let the magic flow through your entire body you-
You get hit by a book. “This time, don’t forget your grimoire.” Miss Patchouli, voice level, eyes stern, is scarier than before!
“S-Sorry! I was just warming up!” Swiping up the book from the floor, you try once more! You let the magic flow through your entire body, but this time you allow the grimoire to become a catalyst for your mana. An immense blue washes over you. The very ground you stand on becomes blue. The world disconnects.
Scribbling on paper.
The air is cold and yet you’re so warm. Red and orange fills your vision as fire circles around your body, dancing to your command. The flames snake through the air, coiling and lunging and slithering. The fire… it wants to spread. But you won’t let it! Each flicker, each snap of the flames that stray are snuffed, put out, executed. The fire that spins around you increases in volume, almost consuming you completely. It spits heat in every direction, lashing out at nothing and everything. You hold your arm up to gather all the flames. They hover slightly, quivering eagerly. Then, you release. The fire starts off thin, piercing the air like a spear, the lingering flames following the spear. But before the wave of inferno hits anything, you sever the connection between the flames and yourself. Instead, the flames sizzle and dissipate into the light of the hovering chandeliers.
“Hrm…” Ah! The voice brings you back to reality. Welcome back, world. “Leonotis. I’ve noticed your lack of reliance on the grimoire. You had stopped using it altogether when you started channeling your power. However talented you are, don’t be too reckless with your strength.”
“Ah! Sorry, Miss Patchouli! I forgot about it.” This is true! You don’t remember where it went, but sometime during your spell, you used your arm to dictate the fire.
“Well, well. He had it under control, yeah? Even though it looked like he was gonna let loose, the book was floatin’ right next to him.” Marisa winks at you, chuckling. “Ya looked so intense, too!”
“Strange,” Miss Patchouli mutters. “Despite clear indications of instability, he managed to control and sever the flames. No grimoire, hakkero? Hrm. Maybe it- urk.”
Marisa’s elbow leaves Miss Patchouli’s side. “Dontcha have something to say? Hmmm?”
“Ah, erm.” Miss Patchouli clears her throat. You wonder if she’s sick, because her face looks slightly flushed. But then again, Miss Patchouli always looks sick. “Leonotis. Good job.”
Oh! “Miss Patchouli~!” You throw yourself in her arms. She smells of ash and you know that the ash will make your robe all dirty and gray but you don’t care!
Marisa laughs heartily, leaning on the desk for support. “There ya go! Isn’t so hard, right?” Marisa takes a quick look at the nearest window, raising her eyebrows. The moonlight slightly spills out of the pane before mixing into the ambient light of the chandeliers. “Oh? Has it gotten so late already? I’ll talk to the two of ya a later time! I’ve things to do.” Taking her broom, she waves once before flying towards the window. Unlatching the window, she clutches her hat while passing through to prevent it from falling off.
“Strange.” Miss Patchouli crinkles her brow. She’s been doing that more as of late.
“What? What is it?”
“She actually opened the window for once. Maybe she has more tact than I thought?” Suddenly, Miss Patchouli coughs violently! More than usual! “Leonotis.”
“Hmm?” You peer into her eyes. Her purple gaze wavers, staring at a nearby desk.
“I’ve need of my arms.”
Oh? OH! You’re still hugging Miss Patchouli. You let go so that you won’t bother her. “Sorry~” Looking up at the library, you find that the hole in the roof is all patched up now! Yay, productivity! Take that, Marisa! The people are hard at work in the Scarlet Devil Mansion.
Miss Patchouli gathers a stack of books at her desk. Obviously, she doesn’t plan on sleeping for the night. But you will! It’s been a looooong day! So you bow. “G’night, Miss Patchouli!”
“Good night, Leo.” She’s already hidden underneath the increasing pile of books stacked on top of her desk.
You take a night stroll through the mansion. Taking slow walks like this is relaxing once in a while. The mansion is still bustling, alive with all the fairy maids running about. They’re always running somewhere. You hope it’s not because of your little incident with the roof.
“Ah, it’s Leo.” One of the fairy maids stops to address you. The rest, seemingly busy, all give you quick waves before disappearing into the manor. The light from the hallway is dim, but you can still clearly see the fairy’s bright red hair.
“Miss Sei, good evening~”
“How are you today?” She gives a quick curtsey and a little spin on her buckled shoes.
“Great! So many things happened today, but I’m all exhausted now. I’m heading to sleep right now.”
“Oh!?” Miss Sei darts her head left to right, checking out the hallway. Then, smirking and taking a step next to you, she grabs your hand. “Okay then! I get the privilege of walking you there.”
“Okay. I’m a little tired, so this is good too.” As long as you hold this hand, you’ll be guided to safety! “Is it okay if I lean on you too? I’m really tired, so I might fall.” Miss Sei starts crying all of a sudden! “Aah! Miss Sei!? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine!” She wipes her tears, pulling you closer with her hand. “These are happy tears!” With a skip in her step, she pulls you along the stairs, hallways, floors.
By the time you reach your bedroom, you’re not sure what is happening anymore. You say goodbye to Miss Sei before you drag yourself to the bed and wriggle under the covers, not bothering to undress out of your sooty robe.
What bliss you find under the covers after a long day.
A lot of blue. Something about blue. Blink. It’s hard to open your eyes, but you have to. Today, you have no classes. You made sure of that. But why? Why do you have to get up? You just do. Rolling off the bed, you make a soft “whump” sound on the floor. From the corner of your eyes, you spot the little grimoire placed on top of the desk next to the bed. You crawl to the baths room.
…The shower’s nice. You almost fall asleep again in the stall, but you wake up as the hot water runs out. It seems to happen every time you almost fall asleep. The morning’s all a blur, but you manage to get into your black robe. The dark brown sash is a bit tricky, but you manage to tie it correctly. The gray pants are a bit baggy, but fit anyway.
Now then. What to do?
[ ] Training with Meiling. You’ve been delaying it long enough. [ ] Visit Miss Koakuma. She wanted to see you, right? [ ] See Flandre. You hope she’s doing okay. [ ] Take a trip to the lake. Take it easy today.
Thoughts of that faded brown door come to mind, with the lock dangling helplessly over the handle. The stairs, the dim lights, the red eyes, the scarlet Scarlet. Flandre Scarlet. Hmm, you wonder how she is doing. You can’t say that you fancy the thought of leaving her all alone in that dark, spacious floor. You should remedy that! But before you take off to the lower floors, you feel like you’re forgetting something. Ah! The grimoire! You won’t forget this time – Miss Patchouli will definitely get mad if you leave it in the room again. So you take the time to go and secure your grimoire. All set!
Off to the lower floors you go. You’re in no particular hurry. It’s a bright and beautiful morning and these kinds of things need to be appreciated. Taking a leisurely stroll through the hallway, you absentmindedly look through the large windows. The lake is rather calm today. Only do the fairies who veer too close to the waters disturb the lake’s serenity. A flurry of light blue reflects off the surface of the great lake, but the window disappears and the hallway ends. The stairs cascade down and down and down. As you tread down the steps, you imagine the light-blue lights twinkling off the lake. Most likely Cirno. You immediately dismiss it as the usual fairy affairs.
Finding the large brown door is easy enough. Opening it is another matter. The door desired not to be opened today, looming over your person with an unsteady air.
Flourish. Ah! You turn around to see Miss Sakuya, raising an eyebrow at you. “Oh?” Blink. She vanishes and re-enters almost immediately, squeezing your face with her hands. “So it’s just Leo. How are you?” She lets go of your face.
“I’m good, Miss Sakuya. My face hurts.” Facing the door again, you stare at its handle, polished crudely yet crafted finely. The lock even more so, even though the old thing’s so rusted that you doubt it’s much use anymore. A stupid ol’ un-lock. “Why place a broken lock on a door that has no reason to be locked?”
“Because it used to be a door with plenty reason to be locked with a lock that was anything but broken.” Miss Sakuya taps the lock playfully, making it swing by its shackle. “So, my good Leo, what brings you here to the broken lock and its unbroken door? Exploring the vast world we call the Scarlet Devil Mansion?”
“The person who resides behind the door!”
“Then I wasn’t mistaken.” Miss Sakuya bows to you, giving you a knowing smile. “Still, it’s a surprise that you are already acquainted with the young mistress. She is a shy one.”
“Can she not exit the basement?”
“She most definitely can. Out of her own volition.”
“Then why does she stay?”
“Because she wishes for it.” Miss Sakuya clicks open her pocket watch, jumping back with a little spring in her step. She bows, but this time it’s one of an actor’s bow. Like the kind you’ve read about in your books. She winks at you before she turns. “But it’s never as simple as that, is it?”
Unflourish. She’s gone without a sound. So many questions, but not enough answers. The door still stands before you. It doesn’t seem as ominous as before. Pushing it open, you return to the stairs that lead downward into the darkness. The dim lights provide some vision, but not much. You open the second door at the end of the steps. Immediately, a wave of cool air brushes against your face. Your mana suddenly reacts, sending out magical energy in preparation. But for what?
For nothing, apparently. The entire floor is idle. But your magic refuses to calm itself, making it really hard for you to concentrate. Luckily, walking is no big deal! In minutes, you can barely even feel the crushing amounts of mana flowing out and about around you. Thank you, sensory adaptation! But before you can praise the wonders of psychological theory, you bump into something. Your mana streams out with renewed vigor. It’s an enemy! It’s something vicious! It’s a dangerous, horrible...!
Couch. Why is a couch here, in the middle of nowhere? Well, whatever! It’s here now. You take a big dive into the fluffy cushions.
“Hya!?” Hypothesis. Someone is on the couch. That’d most likely be you. Someone was on the couch. That’d be the owner of the mysterious voice. Someone recklessly threw himself onto the couch, causing quite a scare to the person that was there before. That’d probably be you again. Two wary red eyes peek out from behind the armrest.
“Oh, Flandre.” The large red eyes gave it away. You wonder how good – or bad – she is at hide and seek. Probably bad. “How are you?”
She nods indistinguishably before muttering, “...Good.” Flandre pauses for a second before eliciting another response. “Welcome back.” Her bright eyes duck under the armrest again, but you can see her little wings flapping, the colorful crystals flying about helplessly.
“Thanks~” Your mana starts to dissipate. Or perhaps re-uptake? Anyway. Whatever the process, it lets you stretch around more. Seems like your mana physically impedes your movement. “I’ve been good too. Mostly. I accidentally struck Miss Patchouli and Marisa with a tower of inferno, but they ended up okay. I was scolded for it.”
Flandre inches out from behind the armrest. “Marisa?” She props herself up with the couch’s cushions. Seems like your story caught her attention.
“Yeah. She even helped me out a bit with my magic.”
Flandre murmurs an acknowledgement in the form of a quick nod but she focuses her eyes on you. Expectantly. Her gleaming, no, shining eyes. They’re rich in color of maroon and curiosity. They’re waiting.
“Hmm?” You try to figure out what she’s doing, but you have no idea. She takes off her hat and leans forward a bit. All the while, her eyes are completely glued on you. You ask her again, more directly this time. “What is it?” She answers, but only in the form of leaning dangerously close to your side of the couch. She’s leaning down so much that she could be bowing. The non-theatrical kind.
Flandre’s left her head so defenseless. She’s just asking for a ruffling, isn’t she? Quickly, you reach over and give her hair a good tousle! She giggles and squirms around, sending her side ponytail to and fro, but she won’t escape your grasp! Your hands assault her hair, a ruffle here and there. Flandre smiles, a small but sincere one, which redoubles your efforts to muss up her hair! But you overreach and fall off the piece of furniture. Now that you’re on the floor, you wonder again, why is there a lone couch in the middle of the room? You wonder if she uses it as her bed. That’d be... not too bad. The couch is definitely plush, a grand thing. It’s comfortable enough to act as a bed. Flandre pokes her head out worriedly from the top of the couch, kneeling on top of the cushions. Her hair is still disheveled.
“Are... are you okay?” Flandre asks hesitantly.
“I’m fine. It’s just that the couch caught me off guard.” Always the worrywart, that Flandre. You think that, but you’ve only known her for a day. Only a day, huh? You’ve got an idea. “Hey, Flan.”
“...Flan?” She questions. Flandre blankly stares, those red eyes shimmering slightly.
“Flan.” You reaffirm. “How about we play a game to get to know each other? It’s only natural.”
“What game is it?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Danmaku!”
Flandre sinks deeper into the couch. “Danmaku...”
“Danmaku.” You reiterate. Leaping back on your feet, you run to the side for a bit to gain some momentum.
“Ah. Where are you going?” Flandre seems concerned.
But you have to keep running, so you can fly! “Just a moment!” Once your feet leave the ground, you flip yourself back around and face Flandre, who is still sinking into the couch. “I challenge you to a danmaku duel!”
“Non-negotiable!” Already preparing a spellcard, you take the offensive!
Water Sign「Celestial Torrent」
Once you declare the spellcard, Flandre floats up to face you. So the battle begins.
The world fades out of view, the darkness enveloping you. Blue. Blue erupts from below. The gentle seas splash, splash, splash, roar. The once calm seas rise twice, thrice churns. A tempest in waiting. Downpour. But the rain is none too kind. Patter patter patter. The drizzle, the rain, the storm. Waves of sea rise, waves of rain fall. The sea crashes against the invisible walls, slowly flooding the little world. The rain, swayed only by the wind, lands on more rain, and more rain falls on the sea.
Blue orbs of danmaku slowly rise from behind, under, below Flandre. The orbs sway left to right harmlessly. The calm before the storm. Then, white. White lasers start randomly flying towards no particular direction. She slides through, dodging every single shot with apparent ease. But the danmaku floods the area, slowly but steadily. Truly a celestial torrent. The blue orbs rise, closing in on Flandre. The space between the sea of orbs and the younger vampire lessens, dramatically impairing her movement.
Stuck between the clashing seas and the falling downpour. Falling danmaku. The lasers only increase in volume, leaving Flandre to be more precise than agile. But Flandre is able to break through before she can drown in the sea of danmaku.
Ah! Your spellcard ended! The world fades in again, as with your incessantly flowing mana. Flandre’s quick! And strong! Despite her shy personality, she can really danmaku. Now’s her turn to declare a spellcard.
“Are you ready, Leonotis?” Flandre shakes her head vigorously. She corrects herself. “Leo?”
Then, she swings a gigantic sword. Arcing the sword around her body, she slashes it in a circular fashion, releasing bullets of red from the blade. You follow the circle, avoiding the stray bullets that are in the air. It’s amazing how she can even swing that huge thing. This time, Flandre holds out the sword straight forward and rushes towards your direction. The blade moves strictly horizontally, leaving a trail of danmaku in its wake. The red bullets form a wide trail, so you easily slip through the opening. As you near her, Flandre swings the sword in your direction once... twice. She’s able to swing the sword twice! Incredible! The resulting red bullets that fly around aimlessly are harder to dodge, forcing you to sway to the side and re-enter the fray. Despite the menacing sword, you’re able to end her spellcard. It’s only a huge, deadly weapon! Not too crazy. But before you can declare another spellcard, your mana just... floods. And not in the celestial torrent sense. Whoops. You fall straight down, the mana impeding your movement and all.
You upright yourself, but it’s too late to try and slow your fall. You brace for impact, but the cold, cruel ground never comes. Your mana is so dense it’s literally blocking you from hitting the floor. Hurray! You could almost hear the gravitational theorists complaining.
“Leo?” Flandre’s voice echoes in your ear. It’s so calming to hear her soft voice. But you’re so cloudy right now. You’ll have to talk to her later.
“Dear Flan, one moment. I have to pass out really quick, okay?”
“Eh!?” You hope you didn’t shock her too much but it’s too late now.
You wake up in a simple bed, covered with plain gray sheets and two white and fluffy pillows. The first thing that comes to mind is that you’re glad that Flan doesn’t have to sleep on the couch. Couches are couches, but beds are beds.
“Leonotis.” Flandre becomes silent again. “...Leo.” She corrects herself. “Are you okay?” Two teary red eyes enter your vision.
“I’m okay!” To prove your point, you sit up straight on the bed and stiffly wave. Flan’s such a worrywart. You only passed out, no big deal! You make eye contact with her, but she ducks under the side of the bed and hides herself. She seems to do that a lot.
Your magic’s starting to cool off, finally allowing you some breathing room. You stretch your arms, swinging them around a couple of times. Good, they’re still attached! Jumping off the bed, you land right next to Flandre. Her face is a clear mix of surprise and concern.
“I’m not going to die, if that’s what you’re wondering. I feel fine now. Really!” You hope she doesn’t think it’s her fault. Your mana seems to have a mind of its own. It did save you. Then again, it caused the problem in the first place. It’s rather hard to explain. And she’s being all teary-eyed again! Maybe she knows you’re weak to this kind of thing. So you answer in the only way you know how.
“Here.” You gesture to your hand, extending it towards her. After some deliberation, Flandre finally grabs your hand. You drag her along, mindlessly wandering around the bottom floor. She doesn’t resist. Flandre is so frail, so weak, yet so very strong. You wonder about that. So many questions you want to ask. But you don’t – not yet. Maybe when Flandre feels more comfortable answering those questions. Or maybe when you feel more comfortable asking. Either way.
Flandre, being dragged along all this time, remains silent. Silent but happy – she has one of those special wordless smiles. You’ll bother her another time with your questions.
There are no clocks on this floor whatsoever. You wonder what time it is. You’d say that you have a good sense of time, but the dim lights and magical disturbances are really messing with you. You even had a lapse in consciousness. It could be mid-afternoon for all you know. The only measure of time that you follow right now is the little skip in Flandre’s step, her shoes going tap, tap, tap in a steady rhythm. It’s soothing to listen to. The spacious area echoes, every tap of her shoes re-tapping far away.
Somehow, you and Flandre end up right at the entrance of the bottom floor. She gently pulls at your hand, loosening her grasp on it. You oblige her freedom and let go of her hand. So you go for her hair instead! She even forgot her hat – it’s ruffling time. A slight pang of remorse enters your mind. You’ve messed her hair up enough. Maybe it’s time to stop?
No. No, it isn’t. But you reach a compromise with yourself and decide to pat her hair. Gently. Nicely. Her blond hair is rather curly, even more so after you decided to mangle it earlier. It’s rather soft to the touch and makes patting Flandre’s head pleasant. Ah, what bliss!
Instead of running away this time, Flandre smiles. A small one. One that you have to look really hard to even realize that it’s a smile. But it’s progress nonetheless! She does a little twirl and a curtsey to bid you farewell. “See you later?” She says it with such hesitation that it becomes a question.
“See you later,” you reply back as an answer. In that moment, Flandre’s small, curious smile widens and her red eyes shine with a warm light. It’s a happy sight and it makes you happy. You give her one last wave before you turn around to open the door.
The door... hmm. You didn’t notice it before, but there are locks on the door. Many locks, bolts, latches, levers, restraints, hindrances, obstacles that all decorate the door. And they’re all well maintained too. None of them are locked, so it’s no problem. You open the door and enter, closing it softly behind you. On a whim, you decide to check the other side of the door. No locks there. Anyway, the familiar stairway greets you again. Each step you take makes the mansion brighter and brighter until the faded brown door blocks your way. You open it and return to the mansion back up above.
Now then. What to do?
[ ] There still might be time to visit Miss Meiling! [ ] Go to the library. Some quiet time would be nice. [ ] You remember something happening around the Lake...
This story is shaping up to be something but I don't know what. We have to deal with two big things. Leo himself as an unreliable(?) narrator and his problems with his mana. We know that he's really strong with magic but the story and some characters practically handwave the subject matter. I was bored and I found some circumstantial evidence.
Leo's and other persons' apparent lack of concern: >The first time you wandered off alone, you ended up trapped in a hallway with no doors. You¡¦you don¡¯t want to remember that again! >¡°Yes it did, Leo. But I remember the laser to be less explosive. And deadly.¡± Miss Sakuya only shrugs. ¡°No matter. Our lovely ¡®guest¡¯ has been caught.¡±
Leo's strength in magic: >Flipping through the pages as quickly as you can, you memorize the content instantly so that you can play. You feel guilty that you¡¯re tricking Miss Patchouli, but the world outside of the study room beckons to you! You must! Eight minutes left ? and seven books read! >There¡¯s no time. Miss Patchouli says not to cast magics without a proper spellbook, but you need to prepare something for Miss Sakuya¡¯s spellcard! You¡¯ll just have to cast from your mana! And Patchouli's comment on his magical affinity: >¡°Channeling powerful magic through your little contraption, sure, it may work. But Leonotis here has no conduit to pass magic through ? he might just exhaust too much mana and have Gensokyo bear his unintentional wrath.¡±
Various mana problems When Sakuya and Leo face Marisa: >Mana flows from your body, also eager to say hello to the intruding witch. You can¡¯t help it because it gets so excited when you¡¯re ready to play!
When Leo was practicing: >A slight jolt courses through your body, sending out discharged sparks of mana.
Patchouli's response to Leo: >¡°An elemental magic of that caliber should drain you of your mana, if not fatigue you for the entire day.¡±
First encounter with Flan: >You should really protect her from whatever is making your mana go crazy. Seems like it¡¯s really powerful.
Before second encounter with Flan: >Your mana suddenly reacts, sending out magical energy in preparation. But for what? >In minutes, you can barely even feel the crushing amounts of mana flowing out and about around you.
After danmaku with Flan: >But before you can declare another spellcard, your mana just... floods. And not in the celestial torrent sense. Whoops. You fall straight down, the mana impeding your movement and all. >Your mana is so dense it¡¯s literally blocking you from hitting the floor. Hurray! You could almost hear the gravitational theorists complaining.
All of this is completely irrelevant to the vote. [x] You remember something happening around the Lake...
[x] You remember something happening around the Lake...
Ah! That’s right! Come to think of it, there was something happening around Misty Lake. You’re fairly certain that it’s Cirno’s doing, but you should go around to make sure. So you walk! All the hallways in this mansion never seem to end. These hallways are long. The door seems to pan away from your vision the more you walk towards it. Or not. You actually collide into the door face-first. Navigating the mansion is always tricky when you’re not really paying attention!
As you open the door, the foyer, with its stairs spilling down to the first floor, springs into view. The standard hubbub of various fairy maids going who-knows-where grows louder with every step you take. At the main entrance of the very atrium of the manor, you feel compelled to bellow out a grand announcement. “Good mor~ning!”
You receive a warm reception to your greeting. The fairy maids explode into a chaos of chitter-chatter, hellos, and excited wavings.
And suddenly, a pair of arms wraps around your waist! From the corner of your vision, you can see a blue vest and skirt, a white shirt underneath and a whiter apron over. The sleeves of the shirt are all rolled up. You wonder if you could roll up your sleeves up like that.
“Leo!” The voice gives away the person’s identity.
“Hi, Miss Sei.” She pulls you into a tight hug and you don’t resist. There’s no hope for those who get pulled into a fairy hug. “How are you?”
“Great. And now that you’re here, even greater.” She rests her cheek on your head, sighing with relief. “I needed my daily Leo dose.” Spinning you around, she walks you down the twisting stairs. Miss Sei jumps beside you, sidestepping other fairy maids going up and down the stairs. “Going somewhere?”
“Off to go investigate the lake. I remember something going on over there! Something about blue lights and fairies.”
“Sounds fun! Myself, I have to tend to our mistress.” The two of you approach the big twin doors that signify the entrance of the mansion. Miss Sei bows slightly. “Also,” Miss Sei smirks. “There’s no good mornings to be had. It’s noon.”
“Oops.” You blush in embarrassment. Your announcement before must have been silly. You completely lost track of time in the basement. Maybe you should get Flandre a clock. Though, you don’t think she really seems to mind not knowing what time of day it is. Miss Sei opens the door for you, so you oblige her by exiting. The day is calm. There is no breeze. The door squeaks. You give Miss Sei a quick goodbye before it closes. Turning your head up towards the sky, you survey the position of the sun. It’s right there, idle in the middle of the sky. Miss Sei is right. It’s indeed noon! Or afternoon. Somewhere around there.
The day is so bright and nice with no clouds in sight. The garden is greener than ever. You pay a visit to the ponds, kneeling down to get a better view of the aquatic flowers. A single lotus floats amongst the other flowers, catching your attention. With its pink petals and white pod, it stands out from the pond even from afar. Ah, the Nelumbonaceae! A few water lilies drift around the water, surrounding the lotus a la pincer formation. Nice. Very practical. Not very pretty though! There could be a garden of a thousand water lilies, but you still wouldn’t be impressed. The water lily lacks the poise of the lotus, with its petals shaped in a constant emerging-from-spring-and-budding fashion. The petals encase the seed pod with a home, a shelter.
A single tap on your shoulder jolts you out of your speculations of various plantae aquatica. Miss Meiling gives you a quick thumbs up. “Heya, Leo. Looking at the lotus?”
“Yeah. It has a wonderful spring vibe! Really pretty.”
“It is, isn’t it?” The gate guard puffs out her chest proudly, closing her eyes in satisfaction. She opens one eye to sneak a peek at the pink lotus. “It’s my pride and joy, y’know? Back when I didn’t know much about gardening, I decided to take a leap of faith and grow one... and here it is! I remember I grew the lotus out of a bowl of warm water. It’s been through a lot and survived various incidents. Not that I would let it die just like that.” She snaps for good measure.
“You’re amazing, Miss Meiling!” She really is! She’s the best gate guard and gardener you know!
“What? No, it’s nothing special.” Miss Meiling dismisses the thought with a laugh. She returns back to the post at the gate and you follow her. She opens the gate for you easily, swinging the big thing open. “Doing something today?”
“Yep!” You respond. “I saw something at the lake earlier this morning, so I’m going out to investigate!”
“Great! It’s nice to see you taking the initiative!” Miss Meiling ushers you out the gate, closing it shut with a big clang. The gate’s so big that the sounds echo slightly. “Good luck, Leo. Don’t rough up the fairies too much~”
“Kay~!” Oh, so it was the fairies! You’ll get to the bottom of this! Wasting no more time, you run, sprint, fly. Your flying starts off shaky, but you quickly grow accustomed to the open air. And you do a couple of somersaults for good measure. Going in the direction of the lake, you keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
Whoosh. A stray icicle bullet almost hits you in the face! That probably falls into the category of “anything suspicious.” Gazing in the direction the bullet came from, you see a small group of fairies flying towards you as fast as they can, laughing playfully. They pass you, all of them going left and right in a disorganized fashion. Two other fairies tail them, one of them being Cirno and the other one being dragged by Cirno. The other fairy wears a dark blue dress with a yellow necktie. It’s quite fashionable! Flandre had a yellow necktie too. Maybe you should try and wear one. Anyway, Cirno and the yellow-necktie fairy are heading your way right now!
“H-Halt!” You put up a hand to stop them. You’re not used to playing the incident investigator, but you’ll do the best you can. “What’s going on here?”
“Tch, they got away,” Cirno glowers, frantically eyeing the fleeing fairies, and then you. She flies forward, letting go of the other fairy’s hand. “Well then! No time to dawdle! Let’s fight already! I have fairies to catch.”
The green haired fairy worriedly steps to the side. “Cirno, I don’t think you have to–”
“That’s assuming you’ll win!” You pull your mini-grimoire from your pocket. You’re confident enough to not use any spellcards, only using pure danmaku as your weapon of choice. You can do this!
“Don’t blame me when you lose!” The blue sky grows dark, not so blueish anymore. Cirno throws out a multitude of icicle shards, blue and sleek despite the lack of light in the area. Although there isn’t much space to move, it’s certainly a lot easier than dodging Flandre’s sword. You just have to move before the flying shards nick you. Focus, concentrate. You shoot lasers in the meantime, whittling away at Cirno. Left, left, right, up, left, down. You sway through the blizzard, err hailstorm, dodging the blue and light-blue coming from every direction. You wonder if you’ll be able to play in the snow this winter. Would you have to change your wardrobe? All you have are robes, robes, and more robes. Well, you’ll worry about that when you get there. For now, you’ll dodge.
“Gah!” Cirno jumps back, her spellcard breaking. She immediately resorts to her second spellcard. Her crystal-blue eyes are renewed with confidence. “...Okay then.”
Ice Sign「Icicle Fall」
Eh? You’ve seen this before! Cirno used this the first time you two fought! No matter, you’ll dodge as you did before – straight in front of her! You fly so close that you could even touch her if you extend your arm. But she smiles. Aah! It’s a trap! An arc of bright yellow orbs comes flying right at your face! And you’re about five meters away from them. You have to take a big risk. You take a look behind you, keeping your gaze on the angled shards of ice flying towards your center. You backpedal as fast as you can, dodging both the orbs and the shards. You inch out diagonally to avoid the icicles coming at you from both the left and right. Once you clear the right side, you move back towards the center, fully utilizing the space that Cirno leaves you. All you have to do is now dodge the orbs for a little while longer! The icicles cross over each other, sliding past each other and forming a tiny opening for you to squeeze through without getting hit. There! Another opening. And another. And another! The spellcard shatters and the skies are bright once again! You have triumphed.
“...You got me.” Cirno rubs her head, staring off into the sky. Well, she’s already in the sky. Whatever! “Maybe it was the angle. Did I miscalculate the icicle’s trajectory? Maybe thirty degrees was too sharp. Did it allow too much space? Was it due to entropy?”
Eh? Entropy? That’s silly. “No, no. It couldn’t be entropy,” you say, breaking Cirno’s train of thought. “You’re thinking about it too hard!”
Cirno crosses her arms doubtfully. “And what do you know? Do you know anything about thermodynamics?”
You just so happen to be a renowned scholar on thermodynamics! Applied thermodynamics, but thermodynamics nonetheless! “In fact, yes! I happen to be an expert on it. But the thermodynamics you know and the one I know are entirely different concepts. You’re thinking about thermodynamics too factually.”
“Are you saying it’s irrelevant?” Cirno gives you a cold stare.
“I’m saying the laws of thermodynamics are outdated! In certain cases.”
“What!? Heresy!” Her eyes widen at the thought. Of course, she hasn’t been enlightened yet!
“Modern applied thermodynamics, Cirno! Headpatting. You see, the first law of thermodynamics is inherently violated because the conservation of energy is also violated. The input energy, with any given mass, administered from a headpat converts to a greater output energy from the headpatting. The output energy exceeds input energy when mass is unchanged.”
“That so?” Cirno remains skeptical. “Then we’ll just have to conduct an experiment, right? Hey, Dai!” She beckons to the green haired fairy. Ah, right! She’s here too! The prospect of danmaku and thermodynamics distracted you.
“E-Eh? What is it?” Surprised that she was called, “Dai” inches forward towards the ice fairy.
“For the sake of fundamental physics, I decree you to go to that robed boy and get your head patted! The very workings of reality rests in your hands... on your head!”
The green haired fairy darts her eyes back and forth, fiddling with her hands. “Ah, err, that’s a lot of pressure to put on my head! Why me?”
Cirno grins with complete certainty. “You were right next to me, so you were chosen.”
Wordlessly, the green haired fairy gives up, knowing it’s a hopeless case. Glancing at you, she sizes you up hesitantly. She takes a deep breath and exhales, flying towards you listlessly. She bows her head straight down, tensing up. “O-Okay, I’m ready!”
“No need to be so formal. Just relax and enjoy the headpat!” She seems like such a serious girl. But still. You give her a slow and thorough headpat, making sure to ruffle her hair too. But not too strong, because then it wouldn’t be all fuzzy and soft and nice! “There! All done.”
She only nods, her face all flushed with energy! Her wings are fluttering too!
“Well I’ll be!” Cirno whistles, obviously impressed at the success of her experiment. “Now then. I should get to explaining.” Looking over the frolicking fairies flying over the lake, Cirno shakes her head. “The fairies over there? They’ve been mischieving. So I decided to put a stop to them!”
“Sound reasonable enough!” You completely misjudged Cirno! Maybe you should’ve just talked it out.
“Because I’m the only one who can mischieve around here!”
“...Huh?” Maybe you didn’t completely misjudge Cirno.
“Anyway!” She turns around, facing the fairies skittering about. “I’ve figured out how to deal with these miscreants. Applied thermodynamics! I’ll just have to replicate the experiment myself and see if it’s true. Two birds with one stone.” Cirno winks and speeds off, not bothering for a response.
So you’re left alone with the green haired fairy. Dai, as she’s called. “So, Dai. Want to wait for Cirno on the ground? Some solid footing would feel nice right about now.”
“O-Okay.” She drops down to the ground, landing on the soles of her feet gracefully. The two of you are near the edge of the lake. You can oversee the rest of the lake here. She waits until you reach the ground before she starts talking. “Um, you are Leo, correct?”
“Yeah. How’d you know?”
“Your arrival at the big mansion over the lake was a big commotion, you know? All the fairies were talking about it at one point. I even saw you one day while you were training with the gate guard. It was a while ago, but I still remember. You were amazing!”
“I still have a ways to go. I’m still blowing up roofs and people all the time.”
Dai has little sparkles in her eyes. The sparkles! You’re especially weak to that! And teary eyes too! You realize that you may have too many weaknesses. “Incredible. You must be really strong.”
“Ah, well, I suppose, yes, but...”
“I remember while you were training with Meiling, you created a shower of blue that washed over the entire lake like rain.” She blushes bashfully. “I thought it was lovely.”
Ah, how embarrassing. That was when you were a novice, inexperienced in magic and temperament. As for the skill, Meiling affectionately dubbed it the “Adorable Geyser” because it did nothing but create a useless blue fountain of mana, making it the worst offensive spell in the entire world! It’s been demoted to a party trick now. “Well, I won’t cover the entire lake this time. Just here. Otherwise Reimu will get mad. Do you want to see anyway?”
She nods. “I would.”
You get to work. Shutting your eyes, you let your muscles relax, instead focusing on the magic rising within you. It takes less than a few seconds before you start to well up. The mana releases itself from your clutches and shoots up into the air, sprinkling distinct hues of blue around you and Dai. The blue disappears into the grass underneath your feet.
“Wow~” She says quietly, as if not to disturb the sight around her. Dai opens her mouth, but before she can say anything more, she pauses, suddenly flustered. “I just realized, I never really introduced myself properly... I’m Daiyousei. Nice to meet you.”
“Leonotis! Nice to meet you too.” From the corner of your eye, you see a glimpse of Cirno. She’s still chasing around the fairies, grasping at their heads with her small hands. Daiyousei follows Cirno with her eyes. You point to the ice fairy. “She’s really something isn’t she?”
“Yep! I’m always being dragged along. Not that I mind. Every day’s fun~”
“That’s good.” Settling down on the grass, you think about wading your feet in the lake. You decide otherwise. Only because the grass feels so nice and cool and soft and all of a sudden you’re laying down, eyes closed.
“Hey. Heeeeeey!” “Shh, don’t wake him. He looks so peaceful.” “But why can’t I wake him? Aren’t you uncomfortable?” “No, not at all.” “Then you like it? Hmmmm?” “N-No! He just seemed tired, so I thought I’d help.” “Pfft, okay.”
A finger pokes your cheek, prompting you to open your eyes. So heavy~ “Heeey. We’re going to go eat at a friend’s stand-thing. Wanna come? Dai told me to invite you. Or are you going to keep napping all day?”
Ah, food. But sleep. But food! But sleep! Well.
[ ] Sure, why not? [ ] But you have things to do! Like sleep. Right here. -[ ] Or at the Hakurei shrine! -[ ] Or at the Youkai Mountain! -[ ] Or at the Moriya shrine! [ ] Okay, but maybe another place?
Your desire for food has overcome your want of sleep. A harsh battle, but food triumphs once again. “...Kaaaaay, I’ll go.” But your eyes don’t listen to you. They’re so heavy! Then your stomach growls and you know that you can’t play this game any longer. You slap your cheeks with the palms of your hands. It stings a little, but it certainly helps you get your eyes open! What greets you is Daiyousei’s worried face. Strange. Your head’s resting on something very soft. “Morning,” you say even though it’s afternoon and you know it’s afternoon but you’re too tired to care. You stretch your arms and rub your eyes, blinking away the sleepy tears.
Daiyousei huffs, worry lining her brow. She twirls a few strands of her green hair restlessly. “Umm...”
“She’s trying to say that we should go eat,” Cirno impatiently replies. “And we can do that once you get off of her.” She reaches for your hand and hoists you up. Your lethargy is reaching new levels, but you manage to only stumble over a few stray rocks before you recover your footing.
Ah! You now realize what you have done. “Sorry! I have a habit of rolling over when I sleep.”
“Oh? You didn’t mind?” Cirno parrots back, a wide-faced grin on her face. “I see, I see~”
“No, I didn’t mean it like that!” Daiyousei stands up... for a moment. She clutches her legs and yelps, rolling through the grass.
Should you ask? Will you ask? You ask. “Erm, are you alright, Dai?”
”...My legs went numb,” she murmurs through the grass. The green-haired fairy shivers as she gingerly extends her legs. Wincing all the while, Daiyousei unsteadily climbs to her feet and balances herself. “I’m okay... I’m okay,” she reassures you and Cirno and probably herself.
Cirno raises an eyebrow. “Really now, Wobbly Legs?” The ice fairy floats away from the ground, circling impatiently around Daiyousei. “Eh, don’t need legs to fly. Let’s go, let’s go. We have food to eat.” Cirno speeds off. You don’t blame her. Food is food!
Daiyousei follows close behind, desperately attempting to catch up her companion. “Aah! Wait, Cirno!” Poor Dai. She’ll never catch up at this rate.
Time for you to start flying as well! The usual procedure. You run, you fly. The sudden gust of air in your face blinds you for only a moment, but you quickly recover your sense of sight, or at least enough to know that you’re about to air-tackle Cirno. She adeptly dodges! But so do you. In the same direction.
...Ow. Your head! Disoriented, you wriggle around in the air until you can find your bearings. After a while, you manage to right yourself, but you can still feel your heartbeat pulsating from your temples.
“Oi,” Cirno growls, rubbing her forehead. “Are you trying to pick a fight with me?”
“No,” you blush. “I have a hard time controlling my speed. Because I need to run to gain momentum, I go really fast and don’t know how to stop sometimes.”
“Oh.” Cirno squints, like if she were trying to look at something really far away. “I see. So I guess some people do need to use their legs to fly. Maybe it’s like swimming in the air.” She starts mumbling to herself, engrossed in her own musings. Suddenly, Cirno jumps up. “Oh, right. Where’s Dai?”
You’re pretty sure that she was behind you the last time you checked. And there she is! She drifts slowly towards you and Cirno, pensively looking at the ground below her.
“...The slowpoke. Well, whatever!” Cirno inexplicably flies faster, forcing you to speed up as well. But Daiyousei’s falling behind! She seems to be lost in thought too. You wonder if she’ll notice that she’s straying from the group.
You decide to call out to her. “Heeey. Dai!” No response whatsoever. The distance between you and Cirno is growing! Pretty soon, you’ll lose track of her and thus won’t be able to eat. Time to take matters into your own hands. And by “matters” you mean Daiyousei. You change directions, quickly grabbing her hand. She seems taken aback for a second but holds her head down and lets you drag her along. Daiyousei acquired!
Cirno turns around and waits, arms at her hips and toothy smile. She blows a tuneless whistle through her teeth.
...? You don’t get it.
Daiyousei quickly jerks away her hand from yours, glaring at the ice fairy. Cirno only shrugs and flashes her a smug grin. Daiyousei shoots a cloud of danmaku towards Cirno, but she nimbly dodges it. You don’t understand!
So you decide to ask her. “What’s the matter, Dai?” She stares at you for a while, then shakes her head and sighs.
“...No, it’s nothing.”
It doesn’t look like she’s going to continue shooting at Cirno, so you won’t bother her about it. Alrighty then. Daiyousei’s a confusing person! Fairy. Fairy-person.
Suddenly, Cirno darts down and disappears from view. And so do your hopes of food! “Dai! Cirno’s trying to lose us!”
Daiyousei smiles warmly. “No, no. We’re here.” She beckons to you before flying down. You follow her, descending from the air. A particularly homely stand greets you, fashioned with paper lanterns, tall stools, and... curtain-thingies. Cirno and Dai, already sitting on the two middle stools, waves you over. You plop down next to Daiyousei and greet the shopkeeper. Or rather, you would if she were here. There’s nobody managing the stand!
“Weeeird,” Cirno drawls. “Mystia’s usually here at this time.”
“Oh!” Being in a stand like this is exciting! “You know the stand-keeper? How is this place?”
“It sucks,” Cirno rolls her eyes. “That’s why we always come to this place.”
Daiyousei eyes Cirno, shrugging. “And Mystia’s the only one who would tolerate our freeloading business.”
“...Back again, you vagrants? I thought I chased you off the last time.” A pink-haired girl appears from behind the doors of the stand. Her fritzy bangs are held back by a dark blue bandana but are still long enough to be tucked behind her ears. She has a brown flowing apron-and-dress, though tied back with the sleeves rolled up. She places her hands on her hips and leans over to Cirno. She’s up in Cirno’s face! “And who’s this? Another victim of yours, Cirno?”
“...Please.” Cirno scoffs. “He is a fellow thermodynamics enthusiast and researcher!”
“Spare me the details,” Mystia groans. Turning to you, she waves. Even though you’re right next to her. “Hiya. My name’s Mystia Lorelei. I manage this here stand. Part-time stand owner, full-time youkai. Nice to meet you!”
“Hello, I’m Leonotis. Umm, I’m part-time mage, part-time thermodynamics researcher. I don’t know what I am full-time, but it’s nice to meet you too!”
Mystia nods slowly. “Oh, so you must be the Scarlet Mansion’s new thing. I’ve heard about you. Something about blowing up the library or whatever.”
“Yep, that’s me.” Aaah, that’s embarrassing! A lot of your early existence equated to explosions. “I’ve become... slightly less explody.”
“That’s always nice,” Mystia chuckles. “Oh. One moment.” She disappears behind the stand, only to reappear back again. “Just checking up on the lamprey. They’ll be ready in a few.”
“How much longer is a few!” Cirno whines, slapping the table.
Mystia sighs, resting her elbow on the table. “I’m cooking for more than just you, ya know. I’m expecting Wriggle and Rumia to arrive too.”
“What’s important that I get something to eat.” Cirno bangs her fists on the table, but Mystia slaps the ice fairy’s hands away.
Questions! “Mystia, who’s Wriggle? And Rumia?”
“Friends of ours,” Mystia answers. Then, nodding her head up towards the sky, she points. “And speak of the devil.”
As soon as you turn around to look, you’re enshrouded in darkness! A figure presses against your person, hugging you! Or death-gripping you. One or the other. Two dark red eyes illuminate the darkness.
...Deja-vu! It’s eerily similar to how you met Flandre for the first time! A rather energetic voice echoes around the darkness. “Are you a person that I can eat?”
Panic! Maybe you should present the voice a riddle. Or a series of complex physics equations. Or maybe it’ll get angry. Well! Honesty is the best policy, so you should give it to the voice as truthfully as possible. “...No?”
The two eyes bore into yours. Seconds pass, but the eyes don’t react. Just a blank stare. “Kay.”
The darkness fades, revealing a blond girl wearing a black vest and skirt. A red ribbon completes her outfit, with a similar ribbon tied to a lock of her hair. Your vision clears and you can see another girl straggling behind her. Green hair and antennas. Shirt and shorts, with a very snazzy cape! You wave to her with the blond girl still wrapped around you.
The antenna girl exhales, slumping her shoulders. “...Rumia, shouldn’t you get off of him?”
Rumia ruminates. She rumianates. “Kay,” she responds, plopping off of you like a detached puzzle piece. She takes the seat next to you, while Wriggle takes the seat next to Rumia.
“..Sorry for the trouble. Anyhow. I’m Wriggle and this is Rumia,” she motions to the girl sitting next to her. “And you are?”
“I’m Leonotis! Leo for short. I had a little thermodynamics chat with Cirno today involving greater output energy derived from certain hand motions and-”
Wriggle holds a hand up, shaking her head no. “I’m well-versed in the subject. Cirno gives me enough of a headache every day about it.”
“Oh, okay. I also met Daiyousei today. And then Mystia. And then you and Rumia!”
“Sounds exciting. I was there for the last part.”
Just then, Mystia shuffles around the corner holding six dishes, supporting them with her entire body. “Food’s here. And... is anybody going to pay today or am I stupid for asking?”
Cirno points to Rumia, Rumia points to Wriggle, and Wriggle points back to Mystia.
“...Right. Whatever,” Mystia shakes her head and slides the dishes down the table. You get one too! “Luckily, I get no business at this time, otherwise I’d have to kick you out for the real customers.”
“But then how will you hear about all the fun stuff that happens while you’re working?” Cirno mischievously quips.
“...Like what?” Mystia inquires, raising an eyebrow at the ice fairy.
“Like... how Daiyousei decided to be Leo’s lap pillow!”
All of a sudden, the entire stand explodes into hollering and cheering and whistling. “Ooooooh, Dai~!”
Daiyousei covers her face, vehemently shaking her head back and forth. “It’s not like that! Cirno’s twisting what happened!”
“So you didn’t give him a lap pillow.” Cirno frowns.
“Well... it’s not like I didn’t, but...”
“Ahaha, Dai~!” Rumia stretches across two seats to poke Daiyousei’s side.
Cirno, with a glint in her eye, clears her throat. “And that’s not all. At one point, they held hands.”
The grilled lamprey is great. It has a somewhat sweet taste, but not the sugary kind of sweet. Marinating it is a good choice. Plus, only the outside is crisp while the inside is soft and succulent. Truly, it is a blessed day.
“Daiyousei, she’s a bold one, alright.” Wriggle makes no attempt to stifle her chuckles between her words.
Daiyousei, stiff in her seat, hides her face by resting it on the table and shielding herself with her arms.
Finishing your plate of grilled lamprey, you shrug. “I don’t get it. What’s the problem?”
Wriggle raises an eyebrow. “Or maybe Leo’s the bold one.” She twirls her utensils mindlessly. “You can’t just give a lap pillow and hold hands with anyone.”
“Why not? I’d give a lap pillow to any of my friends!”
The caped girl nods her head. “Daiyousei’s a little more... delicate.”
Before you can ask, a man knocks on the wood of the table. His brown hair is cut short, and he wears an outfit similar to Mystia’s. He frowns at the pink-haired girl and motions behind him, pointing to a large cart. “Oi! Get out of here. I have to set up shop!”
Mystia leans over the table and shoos the man away. “Nope. I was here first, so you gotta find some other place to set up.”
“This is where I always set up. It’s basically my area.”
“I’m sorry, do you own this sect of land? No? Didn’t think so. I’ve already set up and you haven’t.”
“...Lady, I’m trying to be courteous here.”
“Of course. Courteous. ‘Get out so I can have my most favoritest spot in the whole world!’ Don’t be silly.”
Hmm. This is a predicament! Maybe you should step in.
[ ] With magic? -[ ] With stealth! -[ ] With presence! -[ ] With grace and finesse! [ ] With reason? -[ ] But what to say? (Write in) [ ] Maybe you shouldn’t step in. You trust Mystia to do her thing, whatever that means. [ ] Or maybe something else! (Write in)
[X] With reason? -[X] "Since nobody owns the land, it's first come, first served. The early bird gets the worm. Are you scared of some competition?" -[X] "If you're always selling here, why do you have a cart instead of a permanent stand?"
That pun may be unintentional for Leo, but not for me.
[X] With reason? -[X] "Since nobody owns the land, it's first come, first served. The early bird gets the worm. Are you scared of some competition?" -[X] "If you're always selling here, why do you have a cart instead of a permanent stand?"
Great to see this story isn't dead. I was basically just waiting for a vote that put it well, this is it.
[X] With reason? -[X] "Since nobody owns the land, it's first come, first served. The early bird gets the worm. Are you scared of some competition?" -[X] "If you're always selling here, why do you have a cart instead of a permanent stand?"
[X] With reason? -[X] "Since nobody owns the land, it's first come, first served. The early bird gets the worm. Are you scared of some competition?" -[X] "If you're always selling here, why do you have a cart instead of a permanent stand?"
Mystia’s in a predicament. You know what they say, a friend in need is a friend indeed! Or maybe it’s a friend with a deed needs a friend with a steed? Need brings friends in greed? You’re confusing yourself! Anyway, you should help her!
“Mister, I have a question! Why is it so important that you have to set up shop here?” Boldly, you venture where no Leonotis has gone before. Hopefully. Maybe it’s too presumptuous to say that you are the only Leonotis out here.
“Because it’s my spot! My area!” He huffs.
Mystia rolls her eyes in the man’s direction. “Real logical argument you got there.” Cirno chuckles from the side, but a quick glare from the man shuts her up immediately.
“Well, since nobody owns the land, it’s first come, first served right? The early bird gets the worm.”
Mystia breaks into a fit of laughter. “Pfft, hahaha. Good one. Was that pun intentional?”
“What pun?” You don’t get it! “Anyway! Puns or no puns, it’s strictly business competition. It’s a fair fight. Cart versus cart! If you’re always selling here, then why do you have a cart instead of a permanent stand? If you had a stand then I’m sure Mystia would have to leave the premises. Right?”
“Eh. I won’t explain it to the likes of you, kid.” He scrunches his nose haughtily. Or maybe in an effort to sneeze. Either way, his face is all red now! “This isn’t worth my time... whatever. I’m leaving. I hope you ingrates are all satisfied!” He mutters a few words while he turns the cart around and disappears off into the sunset. Well, road. Sunset sounds more dramatic though.
“Good job, everyone,” Mystia calls out. “And by everyone, I mean Leo. The rest of you slackers were hiding behind your chairs with your tails tucked between your legs.”
Cirno gives you a good-job thumbs up! “I knew you could do it. I didn’t even need to step in!”
Mystia responds with a quick slap upside Cirno’s head “You wouldn’t have stepped in anyway! Now, thank Leo you idiots. Because of him, you lousy freeloaders can eat here another day!”
Immediately, Rumia yells cheerily, “Yay, Leo is the best~” The rest of the group chimes in after her.
Aww, shucks~ It’s a bit embarrassing to be praised like this! “No big deal! I just did what I had to do.”
“Wasn’t it kinda scary?” Dai asks. “I thought that was pretty brave.”
“Would you say he’s a knight in shining armor~?” Cirno knowingly crosses her arms, getting reaaally close to Dai.
“Didya fall for ‘em yet?” Rumia interjects as well.
Mystia returns from the back of the cart. You didn’t notice she was gone! And the dishes are all gone from the table. You’re reminded of Miss Sakuya. “Hmm, I like this one,” she says, pointing to you. “Maybe I’ll just snatch him away. He’s a keeper, alright~”
Dai just covers her face with her hands. Poor Dai.
You don’t really get it, though! You decide to announce this fact. “I don’t understand whatcha guys mean.”
Wriggle gives you a look of disbelief. “...Are you really that dense?”
Hmmm. Are you? “I float on the water, so I guess I’m not.”
Wriggle blinks a couple of times before glaring at Cirno. “All the thermodynamics people are genuine idiots, I swear.”
Cirno, standing up for all the thermodynamics researchers in the world, returns the glare. “On the contrary, we’re freakin’ geniuses. You’re the one who doesn’t understand anything.”
“Who was the one who froze the lake to ‘check out whether fish move their eyeballs when frozen’?”
“It was a valid field of research! Who was the one who fell asleep mid-flight!?”
“That was Rumia.”
“Ehehe, it was.”
“I don’t care anymore! Let’s danmaku, Wriggle!”
Ahh, how peaceful. The food coma is starting to kick in and the sleep you avoided earlier is coming back with a vengeance. You can’t resist! It’s far too strong for you! You should have grinded a few levels before fighting this boss!
And sleep takes you.
But not for too long. You’re woken up by Mystia, who pats you gently on the shoulder.
“Whuh. What’s going on?”
“You scared off a guy!”
“I know that! I was awake for that one.” Unless it was all a dream. Then you’d be wrong.
“We were discussing how cute you were when you did that!” Mystia smiles sweetly.
“...No we weren’t!” Dai’s voice echoes from one of the further tables.
Rumia’s voice comes from a similar location. “What a denial. Haw haw.”
“Cirno and Wriggle are already gone, still probably danmakuing about.” Mystia shrugs. “Gonna close up shop soon. Looks like everybody’s heading out, too.”
“I guess I’ll head out too, then! It was nice meeting you, Mystia! And Rumia! Give my regards to Cirno and Wriggle, too. I’ll see you all later!”
“Bye Leo!” Rumia shouts from her table.
Dai waves to you. “Good night, Leo.”
“Don’t be a stranger,” Mystia adds in, patting your head.
It’s already evening! The sun’s getting ready to set so you should hurry back home! You take care not to hit any trees while getting ready to fly. The flight back to the Scarlet Mansion is easy once you clear the forest!
Miss Meiling’s out in front of the gate. But it’s so late! You fly into her arms. Pun intended this time! “Miss Meeeeeiling! You’re still outside?”
“Mmmhm! I’ve been waiting for you.”
Wha! “...Did I forgot some kind of promise!?”
She laughs softly. “No, it’s nothing like that. We have a dinner party in an hour or so. The mistress wanted to have a get-together with everyone tonight. Miss Flandre’s also invited as well.”
“Is there something special going on today?”
“Nothing really. To quote the mistress, ‘Deviation from routine’ or something like that.”
“Right! I’ll be there!”
But it’s in an hour! That means you have an hour to kill until then.
[ ] Find Miss Koakuma! Surely she’ll be interested in your exploits today. [ ] Guard the gate with Miss Meiling! She could use the company. [ ] Hang out with Flan until dinner time! She won’t be lonely if you’re with her.
[x] Find Miss Koakuma! Surely she’ll be interested in your exploits today.
...Which means that you have an hour with Miss Koakuma! Surely she’ll be interested in your exploits today. It’s just a matter of finding her. She’s most definitely in the library, maybe!
You would think that you’d know your way around the mansion by now. But you don’t! Well, you do. Kinda. The hallways and more hallways and stairs and other stairs confuse you at times. Anyhow. The library! The grand Voile awaits. Miss Koakuma’s there for sure, probably!
Except she isn’t. You even checked aisles Arcane-Apparitions to Mystical-Incantations! But Miss Koakuma is nowhere to be found. What a strange conundrum.
Just then, a blur from aisle Generic-Explosions swoops in on you! It's too late! You don't have enough time to react! You're helpless to whatever action that may happen in the next few seconds! Which is a horrible, gruesome...
Hug! Two arms wrap around your waist and you can do nothing to stop it! Then you're swung around and thrown mercilessly into a comfortable pillow. Upon further inspection, you realize that you aren't on a pillow but rather on Miss Koakuma's lap!
Instead of finding Miss Koakuma, you were found instead.
“Leo~ You have no idea how happy I am to see you right now!” Miss Koakuma is all excited, petting you everywhere. She's getting dreamy-like again! “I haven't had a dedicated Leo time in a long time. How are you?”
“I've been good! I made some new friends and have recently conducted an experiment in the theoretical concept of thermodynamics!”
Lecture mode on! “Thermodynamics! Modern applied thermodynamics, to be specific. It revolves around the teachings of Leonotis and his revision to the First Law in certain cases. The input energy, with any given mass, administered from a headpat converts to a greater output energy from the headpatting. The output energy exceeds input energy when mass is unchanged. I created an experiment to prove how this is the case. Via fairy headpats.”
Miss Koakuma has that mischievous look again. She's ready! “Leo. As a fellow magician and scholar, I find your little experiment very intriguing. But I must say something!”
“Ah! What is it, Miss Koakuma?”
“You created an experiment, yes? Just one?”
“That's correct!” Miss Koakuma's on to something. You just know it.
“That means your experiment is statistically insignificant. Perhaps it's only fairies that generate more energy than they expend. Without reliability and validity, I refuse to believe that it was a success. Which means,” she pauses to allow herself a growing smile, “that it must be tested again.”
“Ohh! So you're sayin–” But you can't finish! Miss Koakuma is already attacking your hair with extreme prejudice! Into the plush couch you go. She is relentless, masterful, and very comfy! Your attempts to wriggle free are in vain as Miss Koakuma grabs you and secures you tightly in her arms.
You are given a moment of respite once Miss Koakuma has to stop to catch her breath. “Hah... phew. You... you said something about new friends?”
“Mmhm! I’ve met a lot of people! I’ve met Mystia, Rumia, Dai, and Wriggle all in one day!”
“I assume Cirno was with them too.”
“Yeah! We’ve settled our differences. We are fellow scholars in thermodynamics so it’d be pointless to fight when research is at hand.” All’s well that ends well. Everything’s resolved! The story’s over! Oh, wait. There’s still the dilemma of the lap pillow incident. Maybe Miss Koakuma would know. “Miss Koa, Miss Koa!”
“What is it, my dear Leo~?”
“It’s okay to give friends a lap pillow because sleeping on the hard ground is bad, right?”
“What!?” Miss Koakuma seems alarmed all of a sudden! “Why? What happened?”
“My friend Dai gave me a lap pillow.”
Miss Koakuma is suddenly talking very rapidly! You can barely understand her. She takes a deep breath. “Oh, hrm. How forward. Very commendable. But I’ll never let her have Leo... exclusively. Nope.”
“Nevermind, just talking to myself!” She gives you a quick smile. “Anyway. Lap pillows are serious business.” Miss Koakuma fluffs her skirt, smoothing out the wrinkles from her last attack. “You can’t just give anyone lap pillows,” she says, resting your head on top of her lap.
“But Miss Koakuma, you’re–”
“I know. You’re not just anyone, Leo.”
“Ah, I get it. Kinda. Does that mean it’s okay for people to give lap pillows to me?”
“Oh.” You’re confused. And you’re left with more questions than answers.
Well. It’s comfy, so you won’t complain.
Whuh... bllblu. Oh!? Is it dinner time yet? You check the time. Almost. But not yet. You should get ready to leave so you can make it on time! “Miss Koa~”
She’s asleep, but the library has the usual hustle and bustle of books flying around everywhere. Somehow, Miss Koakuma manages to magically sort the books while asleep. You nudge her gently, poking her arm repeatedly. Poke. Poke.
“Miss Koakuma, it’s time to go!”
She yawns, nodding her head. “Yes it is. Yep.” Flicking her wrist, Miss Koakuma assembles all the flying books into a single towering stack on top of the desk. She stands up and stretches her arms. “Let’s go.”
And several minutes to spare. You’re fashionably early with Miss Koakuma, five minutes before the dinner party actually starts. Being fashionably late is rather unfashionable nowadays.
Lady Remilia nods towards you. “Leonotis! Koakuma! You two have the seats to the left of mine. Naturally, I’ll be seated at the head of the table.”
“Did we do something good?”
Lady Remilia has a twinkle in her eye. “Well. Yes and no, dear Leonotis.” She says no more, making it all a big mystery! Your mistress always loves the theatrics.
It begins! The dinner party is commencing. And everyone has a seat. The fairy maids included!
Lady Remilia stands, making a grand flutter of her wings! “I give my thanks to all who have attended. Again, I give my thanks, for nothing. For doing nothing. And doing nothing is nary nothing in itself. We have but nothing to celebrate but that also calls for a celebration withal. So that we may have something to celebrate, let us celebrate nothing. I'd like to keep my deliverance succinct – so may we celebrate nothing for there's nothing to be done. Cheers.”
Yaaaay! The entire floor explodes in applause.
And so, the fairy maids, Miss Patchouli, Miss Sakuya, Lady Remilia, Miss Koakuma, and Miss Meiling begin the eating. And how! The dinner platter is plattered. The appetizers are appetized. The main course is de-coursed.
Well, that’s to be expected when the entire dining hall has filled seats. All but one. In front of the chair is an empty plate, complete with its unused utensils and the little triangular napkin to the side. Apparently, Flan didn't make it!
You wonder where Flan is right now.
“Flandre... a dummy is what she is.” Lady Remilia mutters under her breath. You sneak a glance at your mistress but she turns away.
Flan’s late. You really hope she gets here in time!
“...Then who cooked the dinner?” Miss Meiling’s voice echoes throughout the dining hall.
“Why, our Lady Remilia herself. And the maids. And me,” Miss Sakuya answers back.
“Uh. I would’ve helped too.”
“I don’t want to be a good-for-nothing!”
“It's okay if you're a good-for-nothing slouch. We love you anyway, even if you're worthless.”
“Sakuya, those are some hurtful words you've got there...”
Maybe you should check up on Flan. The dinner party’s almost over, but you could still make it in time. Maybe.
Hrmm. What should you do?
You don’t know!
[ ] Clean up with the maids. Maybe some hard labor will help. [ ] Go outside to the grand balcony. Sunsets always make for some good thinking! [ ] Go to Flan. You're worried after all!
You can’t just sit here and wait it out! Your worry thins out your patience. Even with the temptation of dessert coming soon. Even if it means that you won’t be able to taste your favorite, succulent lemon meringue pie, with its fluffy crust and– anyway.
Flan awaits! Or maybe she isn’t! She might not be awaiting and just be waiting. Or maybe she just forget and you’re blowing everything out of proportion. In that case, you might be doing something very silly and stupid! But doing something silly and stupid once in a while is okay. If you limit yourself to once a week, it actually refreshes the mind.
As you pass through the hallways, you hear the foyer door open with a long creaaaaak. Just who could it be? A rather large witch hat sits on top of blond hair. It’s Marisa! And she’s intruding!
“Marisaaa! You’re intruding again!” You’ll have to make this quick! You’re busy right now.
“Yeah– wait, no, Leo. We can talk this out,” Marisa says, getting on her broom.
Hrmph! She won’t fool you! You stand your ground, throwing out your spellcard. You won’t need to fly for this one.
Aetherblast「Winds of Akasha」
There lay just a breeze, the air calm in its presence. Then the breeze becomes a gale, the gale becomes a storm. Green mixes with gray, bullets, arcing lasers swarming the area. But you are calm. You are the eye of the storm.
Marisa inches closer, winding around the cluster of danmaku.
But the eye of the storm isn’t calm. Not in the slightest. You channel a light, which then expands into directional lasers. Almost like rays in the sun. Now, Marisa is left stuck between two moving beams of light and a storm of bullets.
The hatted magician of love descends from the air, landing back on her own two feet. Did you win?
“Ya always surprise me with that power of yours, Leo! Really packs a punch!”
Marisa should take this intruder thing more seriously! “Marisaaaa, why are you here again? People will be mad. Miss Patchouli will be doubly mad.”
Marisa smirks confidently – one that says that you’ll be surprised if you just let her talk.
“You’ll be surprised if you just let me talk, buddy.”
“I knew it!”
“Knew what now?”
“Err, go on~”
“Got invited over by Miss Patchouli. Isn’t that great? I didn’t even get stopped by Meiling either. Wasn’t at her post.”
“Oh!” That makes it all better! She’s not an intruder anymore. “Does Miss Patchouli need something?”
Marisa puts her finger to her lips. “Top secret. She says it’s very hush-hush.”
“Okay. I deserve to be the first one to know when the information is declassified, though! Anyway, I have to leave! Things to do, busying to be.”
“Whatcha doin’ Leo?”
“It’s a secret too~”
You bid Marisa a quick farewell. You have delayed enough. It’s time to go to the younger Scarlet!
The basement stairs are rickety and rackety as usual. The doors are all out of tune. Sounds a bit too flat to be on-key. You approach the door at the bottom of the basement – leading to Flandre’s... room. Floor. Floor-room. But the door doesn’t budge. You try pulling it, pushing it, rattling the knob a couple of times, and speaking to it very nicely.
Well, you have a good suspicion why the door won’t open but it’s fun being silly. You recall that the door had a lot of locks on the other side. You didn’t really think about it before, but that’s rather strange. Wouldn’t you want locks on the outside?
Mystery solved! It’s just the matter of the locks. You could take care of that, but you’d probably be blasting it away.
[ ] Open the door. With a little help of magic. [ ] Leave the door alone. Maybe it isn’t such a good idea barging into Flandre’s floor and blowing up her door!
[x] Knock on the door first! It can't hurt to be polite, and you (probably) shouldn't barge into places uninvited. (Flandre's a vampire - she should know!)
Well. It doesn’t hurt to be polite. You might as well knock first! You probably shouldn’t barge into places uninvited – unless they don’t say anything. Then it's okay. You're pretty sure that's the rule. Hopefully. Flandre’ll understand. Knock knock. No response. Well, you weren’t really hoping for much. Her room is gigantic, after all. At any rate, you’re going to have to remove this problem from the equation. And by problem, you mean this door!
You didn’t want it to be this way, but the door is impeding you from your destination: Flandre. But this is the optimal choice. You tend to explode things in the mansion quite frequently, so what’s one more door? Into the list of “things exploded by Leonotis” the door goes.
Poof. The door’s gone. It’s been explodified. You have to admit, destroying things without prejudice is a lot easier than controlling your mana flow and creating magic. A bit more blunt than knocking, but it gets the job done.
Even with the door gone, you still feel a bit hesitant to enter inside. Maybe it’s because you feel bad that you have to break and enter into Flan’s room-floor. Well. Since the door is no more, you might as well follow through and find her.
The basement is as quiet and dimly lit as ever. Maybe you should go and fix the lighting yourself. Unless Flan wants it this way. Then you’d be fixing what isn’t broken. Which would be wrong. Kinda. Unless it’s a broken clock because even a broken clock is right twice a day. Unless you’re using one of those 24-hour clocks. Then it’d be right once a day.
Err, you should find Flandre before you butcher any more idioms.
The couch, placed in the middle of nowhere, is still there. And with it is one Flandre in good condition. As soon as she spots you, she hides behind the couch. Her plan is foiled! You've spotted her already. And even if you didn’t, her wings are poking out visibly.
But you’ll humor Flan for now. “Ah, a couch! For some reason, I feel like throwing myself at it rather violently. Who knows what’ll happen – maybe it’ll topple over!” You run, jump, flip into the cushions.
Flandre darts to the side, dodging the falling furniture. “...Hi, Leo.”
“Hi, Flan,” you respond, keeping yourself balanced on the couch you flipped over. The world is upside down. “It’s not too late to join the dinner party, you know.”
Flandre, being Flandre, attempts to find something to hide behind. But you’ve taken and toppled over the only thing she can use as cover. “I can’t...” she mumbles, shaking her head side to side.
Flan, chewing on her upper lip, hangs her head down. “I’ll cause trouble again.”
All the blood is going to your head now. Maybe you should get off the fallen couch. Rolling off, you upright yourself. “It’s more troubling that you didn’t come to the dinner party! Besides, I cause trouble on a daily basis. You’re fine!”
“...Should you be proud of that?”
“Nope. I blew up a roof, I blew up Miss Patchouli and Marisa, got stuck in a hallway with no doors or windows, and accidentally fell into a space-time vacuum.”
“I’m worried about you, Leo.”
“I get that a lot!”
Flan looks up and down, switching her gaze between you and her shoes. “I’m like that, too. Sometimes I blow things up and I hurt people. I don’t like hurting people...” She stares are you with her big wide eyes. They're as red as ever. “I can’t really control myself.”
“I can’t either. But we’ll never learn if we coop ourselves up in here, right?”
Flandre thinks deeply about it. Either that or she’s nodding very respectfully towards the ground. Probably the former!
Oh! You know just the thing. Why not demonstrate your (hopefully) growing control over your magic? Magic can be used for danmaku and attacks and whatnot, but there’s something a lot of magicians forget.
[x] Explosion「The Disappearance of Flandre Scarlet’s Ceiling」
From your current position, you’re about 300 meters away from the dining hall. The only problem is how to get Flan there as quick as possible. You’d have to get both yourself and Flan there before the dinner party’s all over. But you have stairs and hallways and doors to cross!
Actually. You don’t have to cross them.
A great idea just popped into your head! Why not go straight from Flan’s ceiling to the first floor? Even better, why not remove the ceiling entirely? Then the dinner party will be brought to you – and more importantly Flan. You should reason it out. Flandre Scarlet is currently in the basement. The basement’s ceiling is also the floor of the dining hall. If the ceiling is removed, the dining hall will be brought to the basement, therefore Flandre Scarlet will be in the dining hall.
Upon a quick assessment, it’s risky, dangerous, and incredibly crazy. Perfect! A magician is all those things and you just so happen to be a magician! As long as you do your math correctly, the mansion will be intact! Or so you hope. Anyhow. Your plan is now in motion.
Flood「Storm of Leviathan」
The sea speaks silently and swiftly. The waves are nothing more than a whisper, prodding against the shore. A serpentine force shakes the tranquility, stirring up the waters, begetting the very foundation of the waters. In the dark abyss does a flood rise. And rise, and rise and rise and rise.
A hail of dark blue bullets fall from above and rise from below, intertwining together to create the image of flooding water. Flan, flustered and surprised, moves back to dodge the first few bullets. Its abrupt movements keep Flan from getting too close to you, so she keeps inching back, finding a safer place to shoot danmaku. The flood quickens. So does Flan. You close in, forcing her to move further and further away. She darts away, leading you closer and closer to your desired position.
If you judged the distance right, Flandre should be near where the door leading towards the dining hall should be. From your current spot, you have a good chance at not blowing up the entire dining hall! Margin of error: eight percent.
Now it’s time! “I hope you’ve prepared yourself Flan!”
Explosion「The Disappearance of Flandre Scarlet’s Ceiling」
“I-Is that even a spellcard...?” Poor Flan has no clue what you’re trying to do. She looks all confused!
“It is now~” You spin once, hurling a fiery orb like a shotput ball! It completely misses Flan, who doesn’t even attempt to graze it. But you aren’t aiming at Flandre. You’re aiming at her ceiling! The orb sinks into the ceiling, dissipating with a pop. Seconds later, a nova-like explosion expands across the ceiling, cutting the base of the ceiling in a 18x30 (estimated!) rectangle. But your work isn’t done yet!
Gale「Descending Dining Hall 」
These spellcard names are just so silly. But it’s sad because you’ll never be able to use them again! They’re just too specific and situational. What are the chances of encountering another falling dining hall?
Speaking of, you should get to that! Harnessing more magic than danmaku, you channel your mana through your entire being. Or maybe you shouldn’t. Taking your grimoire out of your pocket, you channel through that instead. Miss Patchouli will definitely get angry if you forgot again! You hope that she won’t get too angry when she figures out that the dining hall suddenly falling through the floor is your fault too.
Aah! It’s falling fast! There’s no time to channel the magic as you usually would. Instead, you exert mana from the grimoire directly, infusing it with the element of wind. What comes out is a current of air strong enough to slow the descent of the currently falling dining hall. You charge more mana into the grimoire, hoping that the added strength will lessen the impact.
At this point, you can see the faces of the various inhabitants of the the mansion. The fairy maids are stuck in freefall, being gently pushed by the wind you’re creating. They are adequately surprised. Miss Meiling is in a daze, still sitting on a chair mid-air. Miss Sakuya has a slightly-concerned face while Lady Remilia is still pouring herself some tea. Miss Koakuma is clutching onto Lady Remilia’s chair with an extremely focused gaze on the floor and Miss Patchouli is kneading her temples with her index fingers.
Flan looks absolutely horrified. You’d say something, but you’re currently stopping a dining hall from crashing into the basement like a meteorite! Magic first, talking later.
The dining hall floats down, the wind just barely strong enough to slow its dramatic descent. Thankfully, the rest of the ceiling remained intact. Except for the gigantic rectangular hole in the ceiling, the dining hall is the only thing you need to worry about right now. You funnel more and more mana into your grimoire, forcing the wind to grow stronger with each passing second. The rate of the wind growing stronger should be able to stop the force of gravity. Or at least enough to not have the party crashed literally. You decide that’s enough: you’re starting to feel off balance and woozy. You stagger back a bit, releasing the control over the gusts of wind.
The dining hall lands as majestically as it can: with a muffled thud.
Flan looks around, trying to find a place to hide. She decides that you’re suitable then promptly hides behind you.
Instead of replying back, you grab her by the hand, walk her over to the table, sit her down at where you sat, and walk to the head of the table. The entire room’s been shuffled around, but it doesn’t matter! It feels like the first interview of a press conference.
“Ah, um...welcome to the basement?”
“Leo~” The fairy maids chime in.
Miss Patchouli swats away the fairy maids. “Leonotis. Are you out of your mind? You know fully well that your magic is destructive and hard to control. Must you explode everything in this mansion?”
“Patchouli,” Lady Remilia says softly, quieting the entire basement-dining-hall down. Lady of the Night indeed! “Our dear Leonotis brought my beloved sister to the party. The means by which he did it are negligible. The floors of the manor mean nothing to me when compared to my sister. Let us enjoy ourselves in the basement and we’ll worry of such trivial things later, yes?”
Miss Patchouli, blushing and coughing, nods her head. “Of course. I may have acted a tab bit excessive in the heat of the moment.”
“My friend, don’t fret.” Lady Remilia smiles.
“...So you aren’t mad?” Flan joins the conversation, glancing at her sister.
“Why would I be?” Lady Remilia reaches over to pat Flan’s head. “You’re my sister.”
“But I hurt one of the fairy maids...”
Lady Remilia, for once, is caught off guard. She shows a rare face of irritation. “Flan. That doesn’t change the fact that you’re my sister. My most favorite sister.”
“Remi, I’m your only sister...” Flan tearfully states.
“That doesn’t change that fact that you’re the sister that I love the most.” Lady Remilia kisses her forehead, flapping her wings once for emphasis. “But if you’re still worried about that little mishap, why don’t you talk to the fairy maid in question? Sei, if you would.”
Miss Sei comes along, bowing to Flan. Miss Sei gives her a wink and a smile too. “Lady Flandre, how are you~”
Flan does her best to make herself smaller, hiding halfway behind one of the chairs. “Are you okay..?”
“Better than ever, thank you for asking!” Miss Sei joyfully salutes the younger Scarlet. Flan has no idea how to respond, so she just blushes. “I’d only get seriously hurt if you really meant it.”
“N-No...” Flan retreats, hiding behind you now. But this time, you won’t let her! You dodge. Now her cover’s blown and sidestepped out of the way. “I would never mean it.” Pausing for a moment, she looks between you and Miss Sei. After a moment of silence, she shoots a tiny, heart-shaped danmaku. It kyuus, then pops, fizzling out. She looks up at Miss Sei then immediately hides behind a chair.
The fairy maid, unable to control herself, runs and tackles Flan, hugging and spinning her around and around!
“Commence the merry-making!” Miss Meiling shouts out and everybody cheers, making merry!
Miss Koakuma, who was previously hanging onto dear life, rejoins the party! “Leo! I know that Miss Patchy said some mean things, but do you think you can forgive her?”
“Of course, Miss Koa! Miss Patchouli is the best and kind and nice and she worries about me all the time.”
“Leoooo~ I’m so proud of you~” Miss Koakuma pulls you into a warm hug. “So proud~!” She’s pouring all of her warmth into you! You’re suffocating!
But then she’s yanked away, allowing you to breathe. Miss Patchouli has her by the scruff of her shirt, tugging at her collar. “You’re nothing but a repeat offender, Koakuma.”
“Why is it always me and never any of the fairy maids?” Miss Koakuma sulks, desperately trying to get away from Miss Patchouli’s clutches.
“They don’t try and smother the poor boy.” Still holding her assistant’s collar, Miss Patchouli turns around and coughs. She looks at you intently, so you look away. Maybe she’s still mad at you...? But she pats your head lightly.
She really is the best! “Thank you, Miss Patchouli!”
“...Why are you thanking me, you fool?” She abruptly turns around and drags Miss Koakuma away.
Maybe she still is mad.
Well! Blowing up ceilings and stopping dinner parties from crashing into the basement is a lot of work. Your mind’s all blurry and foggy right now. But you’re still good! You can still do things! Just not magic. The Leo magic battery has to recharge.
[ ] Stay a while longer and talk to Flandre. After all, this is her dinner party now. Kinda. [ ] Take a midnight stroll. Get a breath of fresh air. Clear up the head! [ ] Talk to Miss Sei. You’re interested about what happened!
[x] Stay a while longer and talk to Flandre. After all, this is her dinner party now. Kinda.
You should stay a while longer. Talk to Flan! After all, this is her dinner party, now that the dining hall came crashing into her place. Currently, she’s being surrounded by a throng of fairy maids. You make eye contact with her. Immediately, she slips away from the clutches of the fairies and hides behind you. The fairy maids are following!
Now’s the time for a tactical retreat! To the back of the dining hall!
The coast is clear. Flan’s still hiding behind you. “It’s okay now,” you reassure Flan. “It’s safe!”
Clutching your robe tighter, Flan nods. “I feel the safest right here.”
In the back of the dining hall? “Well, okay. Makes sense. Not a lot of people here.” Hm, yes. That’s most logical. Yep. Yeah. Yes.
“Are you okay?” Flan’s worrying about you. That’s just silly.
“Never been better,” you reply as your left leg gives way for a split-second – but no less. Excellent recovery!
“You’re kinda wobbly, Leo.” Flan steadies you by the shoulders. Luckily, she was hiding behind you. You would have fallen over her otherwise.
“It’s been a long day!” And this was true. You’ve done many things today. Many exciting things! Like sleep and eat and... things that you can’t really remember as of this moment but they were cool and fun!
Flan is quiet for but a moment. She tugs at your wrist, moving you to a chair. She sits you down and then sits herself down, scooting her chair closer over to you. Miss Sakuya, being impeccably Sakuya-like, walks over nonchalantly, serves a few dishes to Flan, and waltzes away in one fluid motion. It’s amazing how Miss Sakuya always comes by at the perfect time.
Flan is greeted with Naan flatbread and hummus, lemon pepper rotisserie chicken (which is not to be mistaken with the more technical lemon pepper rotary chicken), and garlic mashed potatoes. Apparently, Lady Remilia likes the garlic mashed potatoes too. She said that garlic isn’t so bad but Dracula was allergic to it or something.
The chair is so comfy. The cushions are comfy too. And so is the table. And so is your face on top of the table.
...You shouldn’t be doing this. It’s rude to everybody in the dinner party! Stifling a yawn, you turn your attention towards Flan. She’s happily eating without reserve, savoring every bite. Flan’s just eating and eating and eating. She sits quietly in her chair, sneaking looks at you between bites.
“Aren'tcha gonna talk to people, Flan?”
Her wide-eyed red stare shifts directly at you. It’s slightly mesmerizing. “I don't know.” She twirls her fork between her forefingers. As a side thought, she adds in, “People are scary.”
“Oh, I see.” That’s true. People can be scary! But you consider yourself a member of people. “Then, am I scary?”
Flan finishes chewing. Then, setting her fork down on her plate, she starts twirling a lock of her blonde hair. After much contemplation, she replies.
“I'm happy then. Yaaay!”
A flutter of her crystal wings. Flap flap. “Me too,” mumbles Flan, all red-faced.
“Leeoooooooooooo~!” The crowd of fairies are back! “We need you for something!”
“Am I reaaally needed?” Suspicious. You're wary because the last time they said that, they ambushed you out of your study time and then Miss Patchouli got really tired and frustrated and sad!
“...Well,” pauses one of the maids.
Flan, distraught, looks desperately around the room to find the answer to your question. She has a moment of realization, then walks close enough to touch you. Standing on her tip toes, she pats your head shyly.
“I didn't mean it like that! I don't feel unneeded.” At least, not when your thesis on thermodynamics is almost complete. You're needed to revolutionize the current world of meta, physics, and metaphysics.
Understandably, Flan blushes at her mistake. “I feel silly.”
Feeling silly is silly. “You are silly!”
“Flan's silly. Very silly!”
She has no idea how to respond!
...And your head's on the table again. It's a huge problem that the tables are rather pleasant to nap on. It's a situation that must be addressed. You get off of your chair. “Flan.” You salute her. “Battle stations.” Commander Leo will assume control.
Private Flandre, who is both confused and startled, stands up straight and salutes you back hesitantly.
“I'm being called over to save a dimension outside of this physical plane.”
Silly Scarlet. You explain it to her again. “I must go save the dream world by fighting the sleepy-monsters.”
She replies with too much seriousness to continue your commander act. “Will you be okay?”
“I'm going to bed, Flan~”
“Oh!” Flan finally gets it! She nods earnestly, bobbing her head up and down. “I'll walk you over.”
“No need to be polite!” you exclaim, tripping over your feet. You're too exhausted to get up immediately. “Actually. I'd love some company.”
Flan helps you to your feet, pulling you up. You lead her forward. To victory! To sleep!
You feel bad that Flan has to walk you to your room, especially when you're wobbling all over the place. “Sorry for this~”
Walk walk walk. Flan hums softly to herself, the light tapping of her shoes echoing with each step she takes. You pass Flan's broken door, up the stairs, into the hallway, over the large hole that used to be the dining hall, up some more stairs and into the residence hall. The mansion is in a sad state of affairs. You can't walk for more than three minutes before seeing something that you broke or blew up. Anyhow. The door to your room is to the left. You've made it! You have managed to avoid passing out.
“Leo,” Flan interrupts your momentary celebration. Fidgeting, she hides her face behind her cap, save for her eyes, which are staring right at you. “...Thanks.”
“Any time!” Not that you would destroy her ceiling any time, because that'd be a safety hazard. Maybe only on special occasions. You should clarify! “Any time not meaning that I'd blow up your ceiling any time. You know what I mean.”
Flan, still hiding her face behind her hat, nods.
You wave her adieu. “Nighty night, Flan.”
“...Nighty,” she responds.
You enter the room and throw yourself into the bed, not bothering to change out of your clothes. You'll worry about that tomorrow. Technically, the tomorrow you're thinking of is already today. You'll worry about that tomorrow too. Today.
You're sleeping before you can worry about worrying about today-tomorrows!
And you awake. Your robe is all wrinkled. The yesterday-but-technically-today-you said that he'll worry about it later. And it happens to be later. So you fold-and-tuck the robe, placing it into the hamper. You put on a loose gray robe. Or is it grey? No matter!
You should study! It's been a while since the last time you did.
But you need a warm shower first. Taking a pair of leggings from your drawer, you're off! Well. You call them leggings but you're not really too sure what they are exactly. They're like cotton pants, except they're all poofy and soft. No matter!
...The shower water's nice. It's so warm that you could fall asleep in it! And you do. But only for a minute or so. You should probably turn the shower off. Probably. Maybe.
The hardest part about taking a warm shower is turning the water off and getting out. You make a quick dash to the towel before you get all cold and chilly. Drying yourself off, you pull over the robe and get your leggings or whatever it is, on. Clothes equipped! Since the robe is loose, you tie the sash extra snug.
You're ready! You exit the bathroom and enter the brave frontier: the hallway. A light twinkles from the corner of the hallway. Many colored crystals poke out from behind the door. Flandre! She inches out but retreats once she catches sight of you.
“Flan~!” You run over to the hallway door, expecting to chase Flan around the mansion but instead you're greeted by Flan attaching herself to your side. A bit different from what you had in mind, but the end result is the same: you caught a Flandre! “So you’re finally out of the basement!”
Flan nods. “A change of scenery is nice.”
“It is, isn’t it?” You start to walk, dragging Flan along. You’re doing your best to get to the library quickly but Flan’s being pulled along too, so you’re careful not to walk too fast and trip.
“Where are we going?”
“To the library. I’m running over to go study for a while and catch up with my readings.” And how! You have so much to catch up on. Your reading backlog has been growing and growing and growing. “Do you like to read?”
“I think I like mystery. I pretend that I’m the detective that has to figure out who the perpetrator is.”
“I did that when I read Murder on the Orient Express~”
“...Me too. I like Agatha Christie.” Flan throws out a spellcard all of a sudden! Assume defensive positions! “I have a spellcard dedicated to her. It’s called ‘And Then There Will Be None?’”
Unassume defensive positions. “A grim spellcard for the soldier boy who hung himself. How tragic for thee, lone soldier boy!”
Flan looks puzzled. “Hmm? You don’t know the real lyrics?”
“The real lyrics?”
“She got m–” Then Flan completely drops her sentence mid-conversation, blushing. She’s really bright red! What happened!?
“She? Who? What?” You’re so lost!
She shakes her head left to right multiple times rapidly. “Never mind.”
You don’t get it. “Anyhow. To the library?”
Miss Patchouli is posted in her usual place – at the huge desk in front of all the gigantic bookshelves. “Leonotis, just in ti– Flandre. A rare visit. Do you need something?”
Flan, taking a slow step back, murmurs out, “No, not really.”
“Oh,” pauses Miss Patchouli. “I see.”
Now hiding behind you, Flan nods timidly. In a small voice, she adds, “Don’t mind me.”
“Anyway,” Miss Patchouli sighs. She has that tired look again! “I have something to discuss with you, Leonotis. I’ve been looking at your magical energy output yesterday. It does not particularly line up to how much energy you should have. It’s a little too much. A lot too much, actually. This is a chance to apply your knowledge. There is an obvious magical disparity. Do you know why?”
There are a lot of factors. You aren’t sure, so you’ll just give it your best guess! “Because I got excited and that excitement was channeled into magical energy?”
“Oh.” You tried.
“It is because you don’t only expend your energy when you cast spells. I haven’t figured out what it exactly is, but you consume some other kind of resource simultaneously whenever you utilize magic.”
“Oh, my mana?”
“Well, yes. Let’s call your mysterious source of magic ‘mana’ and define it as a separate entity from your magical energy. I have a hypothesis. Normally, when magicians utilize magic, they draw upon their own magical strength through a conduit.” Miss Patchouli coughs, flipping open a book. “For example, a grimoire, a staff, a mini-hakkero. They are all conduits. However, you act like a conduit for your own magic. Your magic needs no provocation by any conventional conduit. My conclusion yields two premises. First, you expend ‘mana’ as a secondary magical resource to raw magical energy and second, you act as your own conduit for magic.”
“I see! So what’s the conclusion?”
“...I do not know yet,” Miss Patchouli admits.
“Does this mean that I don’t need to use my grimoire anymore?”
“You are not required to, but I suggest you practice with it. Think of it as a sport.”
“Anyhow. Today's lesson. We’ll be going over non-spellcard magic one more time. The easiest ones to create are the elementals. We are essentially copying nature’s templates. For example, wind.” She flicks her finger in a direction and a little tornado comes out. “You can improvise how you channel your magic as long as you keep an image of what you are trying to create in your mind.”
“Yay! I do that a lot.” During spellcards, you tend to disappear into your own little world. So you attempt tornados, then whirlwinds, then hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, confluences and various other weather patterns. “But what about non-elementals?”
“It is different for each individual. My expertise relies on the five base elementals, so I have little to say about the subject matter. But what I do know is that non-elemental magic, barring danmaku, tends to be less tangible. Therefore, it is harder to visualize. Hrmm.” Miss Patchouli points to Flan. “Flandre!”
“Y-Yes!?” Flandre exclaims, jumping up from the sudden outburst. Well, as much of an outburst Miss Patchouli could make. Obviously, she was not prepared to be a student in this lecture.
“How do you practice your magic?”
“Um... I just find the eye of the object and it just goes kyuu~”
Sounds like an interesting way to use magic.
“...As a reminder, don’t do that to people,” Miss Patchouli wearily states. “Leonotis, you as well.”
“It’s okay for meteorites, though,” notes Flan.
“Of course. Any questions?”
“Yes, yes!” You do have a question! “Why do you reject my revision on the fundamental laws of thermodynamics?”
“This question is irrelevant to the lesson. However, I will answer it anyway. Your theory's credibility cannot be ascertained because there is no quantifiable data for your hypotheses.”
“Some things cannot be proven by experiments alone, Miss Patchouli! You have to feel it!”
“...Any other questions?” Miss Patchouli looks straight at Flan, ignoring you.
“Miss Patchouuuuli, that’s mean!”
Flan, cupping her hands, creates a small bubble. It floats up to the air and pops, leaving only remnants of magical light.
“Good. Self-study is now in session.”
And she leaves! How cruel~
Welp. At least you can catch up on your reading. It’s a good time to finish that book on various magic – Advanced Basics: How to Basically Advance Intermediate Magics. Or maybe Dr. Diddit’s Who Dunnit? The Locked Room Mystery and How Magic Wizardry is the Solution. Or even the well-received magical text book, Magic Makes Sense so You Don’t Have To.
You can’t choose which one to finish! So you’ll just read them all. You just need a desk now. Luckily, the library has some!
You move over to a wooden table. Or maybe it’s a faux-wooden table? They all look the same. Flan sits on the other side, having picked up a copy of Sophie’s World. Furrowing her brow, Flan silently mouths the text of the book to herself – she’s in her reading zone.
It’d be a shame if something interrupted her~
It really would, because books are precious and deserve to be read. And Flan would miss out on a good reading experience if something did interrupt her!
Hmm. You’ll read slow today~
Twenty-three books later, you realize that you may have forgotten to read slow. You have created a book fortress, with a wall of books to your left and a wall of books to your right. Sneaking a peek over your book castle, you see that Flan’s just about done with her book. Yay! She snaps the book shut. One book conquered~
“I’m being called.”
“Called, Flan. To the outside.”
“Outside! Want to come?”
Paaaaaaaaaaause. Flan’s a deer in the headlights, except you’re not really sure what headlights are! “Okay.”
“We’re venturing to places somewhat unknown, by roads... um.”
“...taken somewhat but not too much?” Flan offers.
“Yes! We’re on the same page, dear Flandre!” The venturing begins! But where to?
[ ] Visit Marisa! You faintly recall that Flan knows her. [ ] Go around the lake! Cirno and Dai are probably nearby. [ ] A trip to the human village! Because why not? [ ] Elsewhere!
[x] Visit Marisa! You faintly recall that Flan knows her.
Mmm. Places, places. Places to go, places to be. But not just any place! A place where you can go with Flan. “Oh!” Realization. “Why don't we visit Marisa?” You faintly recall that she knows her.
Flan flutters her wings, creating a sound akin to wind chimes brushing against each other. “...Kay.”
“Alrighty then! Off to Marisa's!” You waste no more time. Once more, you drag Flan along through the hallways and doors and everything else. Suddenly, your feet are off the ground. Flan's flying! And now you're being the one dragged along. Well, it's either that or falling face first onto the ground. Your grasp on her hand is slipping. “Flan. I need to report on my current circumstances now.”
“Hrm?” She doesn't seem to notice that you're hanging on for dear life.
“I might fall and go splat.”
“Don't worry, I'm strong.”
“I-I didn't mean it like that, Flaaaaaaan~!” Oh. Oh, whoops. You're falling! You're falling and you can't get up! You flail wildly, grabbing at anything to slow or stop your descent.
Whoosh.. You're safe. Flan's got you in a princess carry. Prince carry? Anyway. Two red eyes stare back at you, filled with questions. But they only ask one. “...Don't you already know how to fly?”
“I do! Just... I can only fly after I get some momentum.” You shrug. “I self-taught myself, so I don't know the correct way to fly.”
“That's dangerous, Leo.”
“I know! I have so many things to do, though! Like... err. Studying and scouting missions and, um, venturing? I'm not really helping myself much, am I?”
“Not at all,” agrees Flan. Well! At least she's honest about it.
“Um, Flaaaan. Can we get down? I can still fly, y'know.”
“Don't worry, I'm strong~” Flan does a spin in the air, spinning you along with her.
“You're just teasing me now, aren't you, Flan?”
She doesn't reply, but twirls once more.
Yep. She's definitely teasing you.
“Oh. Leo. Where exactly is Marisa's house?”
“The Forest of Magic. It should be past this forest, which happens to be the Forest of Particularly Uninteresting Events. You know, it's pretty weird. Supposedly, the Forest of Magic is supposed to be dangerous and scary but it's pretty close to the human village. Plus, it's dangerous for commonfolk like me to enter but I've had no problems yet!”
“You're considered commonfolk?”
“I never realized that Gensokyo is such a scary place,” Flan mutters, slowly drifting back down towards the ground.
“It is, isn't it?”
And now you're here at the Forest of Magic, with its thick thickets, grooved groves, and treelots with lots of trees. You're finally allowed to set foot on the ground again! As soon as you do, you trip on a root, uprooting your foot from floor. Err, ground. Scrambling over the grassy terrain, you regain your footing.
Flan stifles a chuckle, but immediately trips over the same root. You do the polite thing and pretend you didn't notice!
Several trippings later, you're at Marisa's house. You can tell that it's Marisa's and not Miss Alice's because it's covered in shrubbery. Miss Alice would never stand for that and would have the house promply unhedged. You knock twice on the door, then twice more for good measure. No response.
Welp! You didn’t take into account that Marisa might not be home. Might as well leave! The door, however, says otherwise, creaking open as loud as it possibly can. “Well. The door’s open, Flan. Let’s go~”
“Should we be doing this?” asks Flan.
“Probably not,” you reply truthfully. But you’re curious what wonders you may find in the Kirisame household!
The inside is a sight to behold. To clarify, it’s a complete mess! Books are clattered everywhere, with vials and flasks strewn all across the floor. A faded sign that reads “Magic Shop” in faded letters lays face-up on a desk. Despite all this, it’s quite cozy. However, one thing looks out of place! It’s a bookshelf to the side of the room. Unlike the house’s other inhabitants, the bookshelf looks neat – pristine, even. The books have their spines intact and are untainted by various concoctions that are spilled all over the place. A lot of them look really familiar... Ah!
“Leo?” Flan tilts her head, giving you a dubious look.
“Flan, lookie.” You point to the books on the second highest shelf. “It’s one of Miss Patchouli’s books. She was looking for this one. Elemental Vivace: Musical Magics. And this one. And this one! Oh, I’ve been meaning to read this for some time now.” You’re reclaiming these!
“Um, are you sure about this?” she questions, as she’s handed two books.
“Always, Flan,” you reassure her, taking the rest of the books into your custody. A couple of other books foreign to you are on the shelf as well. Soul & Automatio sounds interesting, but you won’t take them. They’re not Miss Patchouli’s and they’re certainly not yours.
Then, the door clatters shut. Then open again! “...Did I leave the door open, again?” You’re not sure whether to answer her or not. Before you can decide, Flan speaks up.
Marisa promptly freaks out! “Whoa!? Intruders!?” She brandishes her mini-hakkero and squints, taking a better look at you and Flan. Her gaze falls to the books in your hands. Flan’s as well. “Well. This is fairly ironic.”
“Um,” you pause, thinking of a good retort, “turnabout is fair play?”
“Indeed,” Marisa nods, rolling the mini-hakkero around in her hand. “But how should I deal with these troublemakers?”
“...Let them go nicely?” Flan suggests. Good job, Flan!
“Tsk tsk, naive.” Marisa clicks her tongue, wagging her finger at Flan. She escorts both you and Flan out the door. In a flash, she draws out a spellcard. “Let’s danmaku, ya hooligans!”
Love Sign「Non-Directional Laser」
A burst of stars explodes from Marisa’s mini-hakkero, forcing you to dodge to the right. You keep dodging right, running through the stars at full speed. Flan’s already in the air, weaving through heavy danmaku traffic. You shortly join her, gaining altitude quickly. “Flan!” You call out to her. “Give me the rest of the books! Shoot, and I’ll move!”
“Hey. That’s my catchphrase, buddy.”
Flan drops the books, and you flip to grab the books, barely grazing the lasers in the process. You start moving, she starts shooting. The spellcard’s easy enough – though you feel like you’ve seen it before. No matter. All you have to do is dodge the little stars, squeeze through the big stars, and not get hit by the shiny lasers.
“Very good! This two-on-one thing is hard.” Marisa excitedly shouts. She throws out another spellcard. “But I’m not done yet!”
Loving Heart「Double Spark」
...Double spark? Suddenly, stars everywhere. It's hard to move around with the books, but you manage to fly to an area with some breathing room. There's a lot of space, now that you think about it! It's almost as if–
Bwoom! And then a giant laser came piercing through the air. You scramble through the air, speeding away from the line of destruction as fast as you can. Flan's in a similar situation, but she dodges the other Master Spark with ease, having no books to slow her down. You don't think you can dodge another one of those death-lasers. Fortunately, Flan takes down Marisa's second card before you have to. Yaaay~
“Wah, ya got me. As a reward, I'll let you have those books you painstakingly fought for.” Marisa shrugs. “It's yours now.”
Flan blinks. “...Weren't they ours in the first place–”
“Anyway. Let's head in, shall we?” Marisa dusts herself off, floating back to the ground. You and Flan do the same. Back into the house! “So what's up, Leo? Got something for me? Errand? Confession? Executing your evil mastermind plan?”
“Oh, we were just venturing~” you reply.
“Adventuring?” asks Marisa.
“Venturing,” corrects Flan.
“Oh, venturing!” Marisa really gets you. Other than when you have to danmaku her. Maybe she'll be sympathetic to your pursuit in the knowledge of thermodynamics?
“Actually, Marisa. I have an important subject matter to discuss.”
“What if I proposed that the first fundamental law of thermodynamics is outdated?”
“Hmm.” Marisa scratches her cheek, nodding slowly. “Go on.”
“So what I have so far is that the input energy with any given mass, administered from a headpat, though not necessarily only by headpats, converts to a greater output energy from the headpatting. The output energy tends to exceed the input energy even if mass is unchanged.”
“Let me thiink about that.” Marisa does a sudden sneak attack on Flan's hair, ruffling it with no mercy. Flan fidgets the entire time. You realize that you're next once Marisa turns to you. You can't run! You can't even hide! Noooo~
Headpats feel nice. Marisa has good technique.
“From a cursory study, I'd say that it makes sense.”
“I knew you'd believe me, Marisa! Yaaay!” Tackle hug administered! The books you were holding clatter to the floor.
“...Do you think Patchy'd mind if I borrowed you for an indeterminate amount of time?” Marisa asks a grave question.
You recall several escapades of Leonotis kidnappings. Miss Patchouli was not very amused. “Um, maybe?”
“I might just do it anyway.”
“That's slightly scary!”
Marisa gives you a thumbs up. You're not sure if that makes it any better! “Oh, right. Flan. Does Remilia know that you're out?”
Flan shakes her head.
“Should I be worried?”
Flan shakes her head.
“Great.” Marisa squeezes Flan's cheeks with her palms. “This is the first time I've actually seen you outside. Don't make too much trouble for Leo, alright?”
“Leo is a troublemaker~” Flan adds inappropriately.
She only giggles in response.
“It's settled,” Marisa declares. “Both of you are troublemakers.”
“I refuse to be grouped with this slanderer,” you cry out in protest.
“Me too,” she adds in. Strange how she can act so innocent while being so cruel.
“Enough, you fools. Both of you are idiots as well.” Marisa spins around in her chair, wheeling it around the room. She picks up a little screwdriver, fiddling with it and another thing on her desk.
“Hmm? Whatcha doing, Marisa?”
“Lately, I've been looking into some new magical magicky magic. It involves powering up an experimental mini-hakkero.” She tinkers with the thing on the desk. “Trying to see if I can pack some more punch into it.”
“Even more than a Master Spark?”
“Much, much more!” She smacks the table with her hand. “But only if I can get this thing to work properly. It just doesn't receive enough energy.”
“Hmm.” You've an idea! “What about making the thingy convex so that it directs all of the energy into a single focal point? It'd take more energy as its input, right?”
Clatter. Marisa drops her thingy. “Leo. Are you a genius?”
“Just a humble theorist~”
Marisa furious fiddles with the object, now sporting a drill-looking tool in hand. “Uh. This might take a while. You may or may not see me in the next couple of days.”
Glorious! “Flan, look. The beauty of inspiration. Isn't it wonderful?”
Flan tilts her head to look at the spectacle from another angle. “Um... I think so?”
Marisa's preoccupied now. Maybe it's time to take your leave? So you do!
“Leeeeeo!” Flan yells, still inside the house. She returns with... another Flan. And the books. “You forgot about these!”
Two Flans? “Question, Flan.”
“Am I seeing things?” Because you definitely are. Two Flandre Scarlets!
“...I don't think so?”
You pinch the cheek of Flan. Err, the first one without the books. She gives you a concerned gaze. Then, moving onto the second one with the books, you pinch her check. She also gives you a concerned gaze.
“Kay. Just checking.”
Anywho! Err, anyhow. What to do now?
[ ] Tourism. Pay the Hakurei shrine a visit. [ ] Mountain climbing. Visit the Youkai Mountain! [ ] Trekking. Keep going through the forest. [ ] Go back home. You’ve secured the loot!
“Now that Marisa's absorbed into the world of wonder we call magics, why don't we go and bug Reimu! The shrine's not too far from here.”
Both Flans nod. The one without the books does the speaking. “Okay.” Flan and Flantwo, the one with the books, are under your guidance. Enough dilly-dally. To the shrine!
Hmm. This is tricky. You'd naturally fly out, but you're a hundred percent likely to collide with the trees, due to how thick the forest is. The Forest of Magic is rather dense in its greenery, much to your dismay!
Oh well. Walking out is nice, too. This time you're careful not to trip over any stray vines or roots! They won't catch you off guard this time. But you also keep an eye on Flantwo, who also has a stack of books to worry about. “Doing alright, Flan?”
“Yes,” the two of them say in unison.
Well, okay then. “I could hold the books if you want, now that there are less people shooting at us.”
“S'okay,” Flantwo declines your request. “I'm strong.” The original Flan agrees, nodding to herself. The other herself. It's getting rather confusing!
“Question, Flans! How should I differentiate between the two of you?”
Both Flans hold a quiet discussion. After conspiring with her fellow Flan, she has come to a conclusion. Flan points to herself. “Flan. No books.” She points to herself. Err, the other self with the books. “Flan with books.”
“Alrighty!” Good enough for you!
Now that you're past the forest of magic, you're clear for lift-off! The Forest of Particularly Uninteresting Events is sparsely populated with trees, so you're able to fly out with ease. Flan and her book lackey, Flan, follow suit. You pass the human village nonchalantly, waving to its residents. The village quickly passes by as scenery as you keep heading east. On top of a lonely mountain, which looks more like a tall hill, is the cluttered but homely shrine that is Reimu's shrine and home. You land on the patio of the shrine. Knocking!
“Come in,” a voice croons from inside.
“Oho, what do we have here?” Reimu, leisurely laying her head on an old fashioned heating table, is wrapped around with many blankets. It's a Reimu burrito.
“Reimu~ I've come to visit! I... I don't have any donations though.”
The shrine maiden shakes her head. “Nonsense, Leo. No need to donate. You're a good boy. Now, c'mere.” She pulls you in for a hug. “This is donation enough.” Then Reimu coughs violently, pushing you out of the way!
“What's wrong, Reimu?”
“Sick,” she groans. “Caught the Hakurei flu.”
Flan, who was peeking from the door, sneaks in. Immediately, Reimu stands up and grabs you in a headlock, drawing out her charms. “Oh, it's you!” She wheezes out with a sick vigor. Pause. “...Who are you again?”
Flan looks terror-stricken! “Flandre Scarlet, um, sister of Remilia Scarlet.”
“Oh. Right, I forgot.” Reimu scratches her head. Book Flandre enters the room as well. “And who are you!?”
“Also Flandre,” the original Flandre answers.
“The two of them are with me!” you add in. “We've come to visit together.”
Reimu, to respond, hacks, coughs, and wheezes. “Okay.” She sits back down, covering herself with the many blankets on the floor.
“Um,” Flandre pauses. “...Should you be that close to Leo when sick?”
“Don't worry, the Hakurei flu only affects shrine maidens. I'm sure of it. I've only gotten Sanae, the other lovely shrine maiden, sick so far.”
Flan mulls over it for a moment. “Maybe she has a weak immune system?”
“No way.” Reimu shakes her head. “She lives on top of that blasted windy mountain and can still wear those skimpy clothes of–”
Just then, a geyser explodes from the side of the room!
“– hers.” Reimu pours herself some tea from the thermos on the table. Looks like simple green tea!
“Oh, can I have some too?” you ask.
“Sure,” she replies, “just don't use my cup.”
“But I thought only shrine maidens can get sick from the Hakurei flu?”
Flan apprehensively taps Reimu on the shoulder. “Err. Is this normal?” She points to the overflowing water in the room.
Reimu sips her tea. “I've been through worse. Might be another incident.” Turning to you, she asks, “Leo, can you go check it out? You can be me for the day.”
“Should the shrine maiden be this carefree?” you question.
Reimu shrugs noncommittally.“Yeah, sure, why not. I'm on sick leave.”
Oh! “I wasn't aware that shrine maidens had paid vacations!”
“We don't have paid anything.” Reimu sips her tea again.
...Oh. You bow respectfully towards the shrine maiden. “I promise to bring donations next time.”
She pats your head before retreating back into the blankets.
Flan, in response, pats Reimu's head. Reimu sneezes.
But what do?
[ ] Be Reimu with your trusty sidekick Flandre! Solve incidents! [ ] Don't be Reimu! Marisa can handle things, maybe. Err. Whoops. [ ] (Provisionally) Be Reimu! You might want to ask Miss Patchouli for permission first. [ ] Call out to the other shrine maiden for help! [ ] Something else?
[X] Be Reimu with your trusty sidekick Flandre! Solve incidents!
Since nobody else will step up, you guess you’ll have to be Reimu! Flan can be your trusty sidekick. “Looks like we’re going to have to solve the incident ourselves, Flan. But how do we become Reimu?”
“It’s easy,” replies Reimu. The real one. “All you have to do is shoot people until the incident is resolved. I’ve done that with every incident to date. So far, so good.” She gives you a hearty thumbs-up.
“Hey, that doesn’t sound too hard!” It’s pretty neat being Reimu! “But we don’t have to shoot, right?”
“Well, no, but I find it easier.” The miko shrugs.
She’s the expert on this subject matter! “Got it!” You’re almost set to go! But before you do, you should probably keep your acquisitioned books safe. “Book Flan! Attention, soldier!”
Book Flan salutes, back straight, holding the stack of books in one hand. The pile nearly topples over, but Book Flan catches it before everything flies to the floor.
“Orders?” She plays along.
“Get the package, err, packages, back home safely. If you don’t, there will be consequences! Dire consequences!” A suitable punishment must be delivered if she fails. You’re thinking about tickling her!
“Y-Yessir!” she replies with gusto. She disappears, the books disappearing along with her.
Reimu, huddled under several blankets, scoots forward. “Go henceforth, serve your liege or whatever. Make me proud.”
“Yes'm! As the temporary Reimu-in-charge, I'll ensure this incident gets resolved without complications!”
“Well about that...” she hmms and hrms. “It's okay if you can resolve the incident with complications too. I don't really mind.”
“What a scary implication that is,” Flan comments.
“Go, go. I'll be here, drinking tea.” Reimu lazily waves the two of you off.
Before exiting, Flan adds, “But what about the geyser?”
“What ABOUT the geyser?”
“Oh hey Leo-and-friend, whassup?” A voice from near the donation box! Two horns poke out from behind it.
“We're instigating,” declares Flan.
“Dontcha mean 'investigating'?”
“Well, we're Reimu right now, so we're supposed to–”
“Aaahahahah!” Suika boisterously guffaws. “I get it! I totally get it!”
Flan tilts her head quizzically at the oni. “Erm, that wasn't a joke...”
“So! Anything unusual happen lately?”
“Mrmm,” Suika taps her forehead with her index finger. Her face brightens up at a sudden realization. “Oh! No matter how much I patch all of my shirts up, the same hole always reappears. It's mysterious.”
Flan points to Suika's head. “Those.”
“What, my hair?” Suika skeptically holds a few locks of her hair.
“...No,” Flan shakes her head. “Those.” She draws two imaginary triangles with each of her hands on her head.
“Oh? My horn– Ohhh.” Suika has a rare moment of clarity.
Incident resolved! Let's go home! “Mission complete, Flan! Let's tell Reimu we got the job done!”
“Yay,” she cheers nonchalantly.
Your work is done.
Except a geyser blows through the pavement and into the sky, water sprinkling the entirety of the Hakurei shrine in a drizzle. It feels rather nice~
“Looks like it's coming from the underground.” Suika pauses, frowning at herself. “Well, duh. It's a geyser. I gotta stop pointing out the obvious. Anyhow! Might wanna check up... down? Check down there. Underground. You know what I mean. It's either something down there or the work of those Moriya peoples again.”
Startling news. You've gained some critical pieces of information. Now you have some direction to start working towards this incident. “Thanks, Suika!”
“Yep! Come visit again sometime soon. Reimu's been getting really lonely, bugging me every day saying, ‘Suikaaaaaa, I’m soooo lonely where are our friends wahhh.’ Every. Day. Did I mention she does this every day? Point being: visit.”
It's either the Moriya shrine or the underground. Where should you go?
[ ] Straight to the underground! Resolve the problem directly! [ ] To the Moriya shrine! You might figure something out.