Your eyes flicked up and around, taking in the terrain once again as your mind went over the advantages and disadvantages you had here. Sure you probably missed a couple as this practice wasn't entirely familiar to you but on the whole you decided that the playing field was slightly in your favor. Sakuya's biggest advantage - her flight - was hampered by the scaffolding and curtains, not to mention the wires and cables running from the backlighting setup which she would have to avoid unless she wanted to get tangled up. As to her spells... all you'd seen so far had been a variety of projectile attacks involving various knives. While these attacks were powerful in terms of how much metal they put into the air the knives themselves were verging on the weaker side of things as even a sheet of plywood was enough to shield against them. Hell, even Tokiko's first spell - the shotgun - would have blown straight through something like that without stopping. With all the boxes, speakers, tables and other bits of kit lying around you had plenty of cover to defend yourself with.
Leaving this backstage area would put you in relatively open terrain where Sakuya, as her doppelganger had, could simply pin you down with overwhelming firepower.
Speaking of that fake... you'd have to watch out for that in case the maid tried to distract you and go for Flandre - you didn't exactly know what she was after anymore, would she still try to take the girl? Or would she instead try to take the girl out as she had originally? Did it even matter? You were going to make sure she didn't have a chance to so much as glance at Flandre again after all.
Still... leaving Flandre alone was a risk, especially in the state she seemed to be in now as you weren't sure if she would even notice an attack coming her way - much less avoid it. You take a quick breath and glance at your partner, then smile thinly when she nods in understanding as you gesture at Sakuya. From there you take off running, vaulting over a bunch of equipment as you head towards where Flandre was huddled up to one side of your opponent. Normally such a rush would have resulted in you being turned into a pincushion in seconds but as you ran you knew that Tokiko was charging the maid on her own.
“Zai Bassha!” Or perhaps not so much on her own since you were casting support without even looking back. Tokiko knew how to work with that spell now and you trusted her to keep Sakuya busy while you got into position and either protected Flandre or convinced her to run for help. The former was the preferable option though as the only 'help' around was Wriggle and her partner - and since neither had come to join you backstage you were more than a little suspicious as to what they were doing... assuming they hadn't fled the building already. If you knew where your sister was right now, or even your mother, you would have eagerly sent the blond girl off to join them but you didn't and you couldn't so protecting her yourself was your only real option right now.
A yell from Tokiko made you drop suddenly into a slide just in time for a barrage of knives to slice through where your head had just been. Risking a glance back you smirked at the sight of your partner grabbing Sakuya by one ankle and swinging her, club-like, into a stack of cases and crates. Not that it seemed to keep the woman down as a mere moment later she was up and looking entirely uninjured... you frowned at that as even someone supernaturally tough should have shown some sign of injury - did Sakuya have access to some kind of protective of recovery spell perhaps? Maybe it was tied in with the doppelganger she had - could she have switched out at the last second? Both possibilities were something you filed away in the back of your head as reasons why not to assume Sakuya was down until you were absolutely sure of the fact... actually, you thought, it was probably best to apply that rule to everyone, since who knew who had spells capable of similar results?
You grimaced as Sakuya appeared to be setting up for a small barrage and quickly sought shelter by knocking over a collapsible table and hiding behind it. You also chanted out Tokiko's shielding spell so she would be able to ignore the attack herself. Still... Sakuya could easily keep the two of you pinned down if she wanted - given the sheer volume of knives she, or at least her doppelganger, had been releasing earlier it was pretty easy to deduce that her knives spell was cheap in how much stamina it took from her partner. That or her partner was some kind of stamina freak... either way it meant that she could likely keep shooting until your own stamina - and thus Tokiko's shield - simply wore out.
That wouldn't do at all.
Looking around you tried to think of some way to take out or distract Sakuya while not getting caught in the rain of pointed metal that was pincushioning everything around the maid. Hell - one knives spell? From the look of it you were starting to think that aside from her clone all her spells involved flinging vast quantities of sharp metal about and that they were all dirt cheap to cast. Now how the hell were you going to do something without being caught in any of her spells?
It took a few precious moments - and a steady drain from Tokiko's shield on your even more precious stamina - before you hit upon a plan of action. Scooting over to one end of the upturned table you were using as cover you took a deep breath, prayed hard inside your head, and threw one arm out and hoped it wouldn't get stabbed. Luckily it didn't and you were able to achieve your aim - grabbing hold of a bunch of cables which hung from light fixtures above.
Specifically, after discarding those cables which were wrong, light fixtures that were right above Sakuya.
You tugged, hard, on the cables and while some merely popped away from the lights above you were more than rewarded when two of the lights - evidently fixed to the scaffolding above less expertly than the others - ripped free of their moorings to come crashing down atop the knife-happy maid.
Well... no. Actually she dodged at the last second - but her dodge did send her straight into the falling cables, resulting in several moments of confusion as she was temporarily entangled in the mass of wires. More importantly it resulted in a cease-fire that was long enough for you to sprint out from behind your cover and slide into new cover alongside where Flandre was seemingly having a breakdown. As an afterthought you also cast Tokiko's shotgun spell, letting her pepper the maid with bullets while she was partially immobilized. From then on you turned your attention to Flandre, though you did one eye out for when Sakuya inevitably got free.
“Flandre?” You whispered, hoping your voice sounded reassuring. “Flandre? Are you alright?” you reached one hand out to rest it on her shoulder - only for the blond girl to react by slapping it away as soon as it got too close. “H-hey... Flandre...”
“Leave me alone!” She yells, completely ruining any hope that Sakuya might not notice you with the girl. “I don't wanna go back to big sis! I wanna go home!”
Something about the way she said that seemed to hit you in the back of your mind. She wasn't talking about her home - she was talking about yours. What, really, did that say about the girl? That your home with it's single crazy mother and it's snarky ape of a sister and the probably-going-to-die-horribly-sometime you was preferable to being with her real family?
“Home it is then.” you state, looking down and giving the crying girl a little smile. “And if your sister or her lackey here has any objection to that... well...” You glare at Sakuya as she finally untangled herself from the cables you had caught her in. “They'll just have to take it up with me.”
As you look up Sakuya discards the last of the cables that had been entangling her. “Young mistress,” she asks in an unexpectedly soft voice and seemingly ignoring you in favor of Flandre. “Is it true? Do you really not wish to return to Lady Remilia's side?” Seeing the blond girl nod once the maid seemed to sag slightly in the air. After a moment she drew in a breath and straightened herself up before smiling lightly at Flandre. “This family you have found,” she murmured, “it seems to agree with you.” She turned to look sharply at you. “But still - If the young mistress shall not stand by Lady Remilia then the young mistress must be removed from this contest with the utmost of force.”
You gesture for Tokiko to join you as Sakuya rises somewhat higher into the air and lifts one hand above her head. You feel a buzzing in your head - the same as when someone casts a spell in close proximity only... this was different. Bigger. Quieter. As if the caster was much further away and still the buzzing sensation was reaching you - you knew now that the buzz was the vague sensing of similar magic thanks to your grimoire but if you were able to sense it while being far enough away to not actually hear Sakuya's partner cast a spell...
This was probably not going to be pretty.
“Declare! Illusion Existance - Clock Corpse!”
WELL NOW, THIS IS MOST DEFINETLY NOT OF THE GOOD.
[ ] Write in.
Yes. You did read that right. I'm leaving this one free and up to you - just like Shiori you have no idea what's going to happen next. Have fun and try not to die!