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[-b-] "Don't worry about it. We'll just have to make do with burning her."
[-b-] "But could you keep us informed on what Alice has planned, and when she's coming over?"
[-b-] PURGE THE UNCLEAN WITH FIRE
[-b-]…Carefully. Very carefully. Make sure every part, hair, and fingertip (and nail) is accounted for before we chuck them into the furnace.
[-b-] Don't forget the blood. Wipe it up then burn it and the rags as well.
[-b-] Stow the ashes in a sturdy, non leaky container.
It's not worth it. As useful as having Margatroid coming over and giving you some advice or assistance in figuring out what it is that you need to do with everything, you have to turn the thought away. "D͘on̡'̨ţ ̧wor̛ry͘ ͟ab̧oút it̛,̡ ̶Am͡şte̶r̢d͢a͟m̢. We'll͢ j͟ust̕ ha͝v͏e ҉t͜o͟ ma͝ke to̧ w̨ith͘ bu̡rn̵i̸ng͟ ẁh͞at'̡s left̴ ̡of her͏ bod͏y."
The voice doesn't reply at first, seconds ticking by as you wait for her to answer. Eventually, the apologetic alto answers you. "That would probably be best. Just make sure to be thorough." The doll pauses for a moment, before asking you, "Should I warn you if anything begins to move? You'll have to be listening to hear me, but it'd be all I can do from here."
"Tha̡t wo̸úl̡d ̴b͞e̴ b̀e̵s͠t̢." Sighing, you turn away from where you stand and head back to the door. You do your best to keep any disappointment out of your voice, as it is hardly Amsterdam's fault for not being able to do anything. "T͟ha̧nk̛ y͝ou, A̧m͡s҉ter̸d̴a͘m͏.̕ ͢ ̨Hop͢e͡f̶ull͞y͜,҉ we'l̢l̀ get ̵o̷ut͢ ͡o̡f ̸t̸h̸i̶s…"
"I hope so too. Goodbye for now, friend."
Shaking your head, you head back to the door while forcing away the sound of the grinding gears once more. You are disappointed that there is nothing more that you can do in order to change your fortunes, but you'll just do what you can. After all, that's what you've done the whole time.
Inside the door, you find that you nearly have to shield your eyes from the burning flames in front of you. Tokiko and Mystia both have taken to the grisly work of chopping up the body, rendering Wriggle into many small pieces. The largest that is left is her head, whose eyes still flicker around, lazily looking and silently mouthing at nothingness.
Shivering at the sight, you clear your throat and speak to them. "W̡e͝l̵l̴,͞ ̶I ҉go̴t—̕" The two immediately drop what they are doing, hands clasping over their ears to protect themselves from the pain. "Sorry… It's hard to keep under control. But there is bad news, and there is bad news… Mostly bad news, though."
"That is to be expected. However, do restrain that voice. It did not accomplish what I had thought it might. However, that may be due to lack of preparation upon my part." The ibis spins around, shooting you a weak glare. "Shouldn't we proceed with such experimentation later, when we are not at verge of being desiccated by a vengeful, ugly master for stew?"
"That is the general idea, yes." Shrugging, you glance at Mystia, who is now purposefully avoiding looking at you, as she is busy chopping up the remains of the girl. "You alright over there? You're quiet right now…"
"Not much that is needed to say. The sooner we're out of here, the sooner we can be free… and the better of a chance that she can't find us." She finally turns around, worried eyes glancing at you. "Plus… That voice reminded me of my own there, for a moment. Had a few bad flashbacks."
"I bet you did, sparrow. Little crow that's haunting you, waiting to feed upon the remnants of your guilty heart?" Tokiko narrows her eyes, spinning around to glare at her.
Before she can get on a big spiel, you cut her off. "Enough, Tokiko. She won't do anything against us. So stop trying to goad her into an argument." Shooting her your own glare, you turn back towards Mystia. "So, is the fire ready to go? Not much smaller that you can make the pieces…"
"It pretty much is. We just need to start putting the pieces in." Grabbing a few pieces of body, she approaches the fire pit. "But you never told us what the problem is."
"Right… Well, it's about the Master of Margatroid…" Both of the birds snap their eyes to you, listening intently. "I don't remember if I told you, but her name is Alice… And I just spoke with one of the dolls. She is going to be coming, and it's probably going to be soon." Drooping your own wings, you glance at the fire, nearly snorting at the feeling of déjà vu that runs through you. "She's coming to revisit Wriggle for destroying part of her home."
For her own part, Mystia just shakes her head and turns back to the fire, dumping everything onto a stone platform atop the fire. The ibis was much more vocal in her reaction. "As we are considered her property, that means that she might ask us to recompense the damages. I would hate to be taken for a prize myself. The splinters would probably be horrible."
You can't help but to snort at her words. "This coming from the girl who had a great deal of companionship with a bookcase?"
"A well-endowed bookcase, mind you." Clucking her tongue, she turns back and grabs her own pile of body parts. "However, I do not want a piece of wood having its way with me. I much prefer it the other way around."
"That's enough. At this rate, you'll give Mystia a conniption." The sparrow had retreated during the conversation, hand curling as her mouth turns in disgust. "But we should watch out, and foremost, we should hurry." Pausing, you glance around, eventually finding a few scrap rags. "First, we need to make sure that there is not anything left of her. Burn whatever we can. Hair, blood… make sure it all gets in there."
Not waiting for an answer, you begin to wipe up all the blood you can see. From the discolored skin on the carcass, you have the feeling that it had all been drawn out. The block of stone that she had been using as a chopping board was also covered with blood, much of it sticking and falling away.
Even though you know it is a futile effort, you do your best to soak all of it up. She could have hairs that have fallen off anywhere… Plus, you don't know if she could have something like a shed carapace lying around. "Considering I don't even know what she was supposed to be…"
"Did you say something?" Glancing back at you, Mystia carries the last portion of her corpse over and tosses it on the stone pan. "Or are you just talking to yourself?"
"…The latter." Shivering, you hope that is the case. Who else would you be talking to? At the very least, you hope that there aren't any voices in your head to answer. "Just doing what I can to clean up. Not that it's going to be easy…" Taking the bloody rags, you toss them onto the fire, before looking down at your hands. Wishing that you had a sink to wash your hands in, you look around for any fount of water.
Noticing the motion, Mystia points to the side of the room, away from the fire. "There's a washbasin over there… I don't know if the water is fresh, but it shouldn't matter that much."
"Better than her blood… I can't exactly burn my hands, so I have to make do with this." Granted, if the basin is removable, you can pour it onto the pan. A fire that large will not go out with water, even if it was a normal one.
Fortunately, the basin does prove to be detachable. Taking it with you once your hands are clean, you toss it on top of the pile and watch it evaporate away. Moments later, a bloody apron joins it, and you just watch as everything catches on fire.
"…Wait a moment. It's not burning." While not so obvious with the pieces of flesh, you can see that her head is not turning to black char. Even though you want to look away, fully expecting it to disintegrate before your eyes, you instead watch as it lights on fire but remains the same. "Why isn't it burning?"
The two other birds glance at each other, before shrugging. "Could be that what's trying to resurrect her is keeping her from burning quickly. Maybe if we give it some time…"
You automatically shake your head, finally tearing your eyes away from the sight. "Time isn't something that we have much of. What with Alice coming, plus deciding what to do with the garden… I don't know what we should do."
Tokiko's eyes turn back to the fire, being the only one not quite put off by the sight. "We could leave it. What do we owe some Youkai locked in eternal torment? There's no indication that she's even alive. And we don't want it on our tails, either…"
"Well, it's not just the Youkai…" Shrugging, you avert your eyes from the others. "Every single pet of hers is down there, having served as fertilizer to keep the flower growing stronger and stronger. Their souls have become part of it." You begin to shake as you remember the sight of that one girl, eternally screaming out in pain. "They are locked inside, never being free to pass over into… the other side, I suppose."
"…Well, that changes things." The ibis just shrugs and flaps her wings, shaking her head as she does. "I don't know. If it takes this long to burn her, would that flower you spoke of even burn? It will take hours for Wriggle… And do we even have enough time?"
"I don't know. I don't know…"
[ ] Take the time, and destroy as much as you can. Don't let Alice have it.
[ ] Light it on fire and wait for Wriggle to burn up. Then leave.
[ ] Make sure Wriggle is burning, and get out then.
[ ] Go now. Don't look back.
Are you sure you want to do that?