Decided to do a coin toss for the first two votes. Commencing update.
[c] Stay with Alice. Bonding time with seven-coloured puppeteer~
“If I were to stay with you, could I at least let my family know about this?”
“Of course you can, dear. Why, if I may ask?”
You tighten your arms about Alice’s waist. “I used to take nightshift assignments back in Melbourne. Often had to spend my night outdoors, so yeah.” You’re slightly worried when Alice stays silent, but your doubt is quickly washed away as she gently pats you. “I take it as a yes, then.”
“I already gave you my permission, silly,” Alice giggles. “Hang on. I’ll let Shanghai and Hourai deliver the message.”
“Are they capable of doing that?” you ask, slightly concerned over the fact that Alice’s entrusting her dolls to do the bidding.
“What are you talking about?” So saying, both Shanghai and Hourai appear beside Alice and curtsy to their master. “Like I said earlier, they’re my best creations and I’m very proud of them. Is there anything you’d like to convey to them before I send them?”
Your only concern is why Shanghai and Hourai are staring jealously at you. Maybe it was because you were hugging their master without their consent? It’s impossible, dolls aren’t supposed to have self-conscious, let alone emotions like jealousy.
“Right.” You tuck all your doubts deep in your head and begin relaying the message to the dolls. It takes you a few good minutes before the whole message is conveyed, and the dolls nod to one another before darting off to the forest. “Is it alright to send them off just like that?” you ask as you watch them leave through the window.
“They’ll be alright,” Alice tells you.
“What about these two?” you ask, pointing at Reika and Kogasa.
“I figured that they can find their own way home, but I’ll let them stay here for the night. You don’t mind, do you?”
“If you’re okay with it.” Besides, waking your half-sister and her friend while they’re enjoying their trip to the wonderland would be very unwise. “Is there anything I can do after this, Alice?”
“Hmm, that’s a difficult question to answer,” Alice answers while preparing the cooking pot. “Well, it’s a known fact that Marisa always wants to become the strongest magician in Gensokyo, and she’s always undergone harsh training to reach her goal. It was just…”
“It was just what?”
“It was just… that she caught us by surprise when she told us she’d continue her training in Makai. Well, mostly I was, but…” Her ranting stops when you grab her hand and you allow her to heave in deeply as she clenches your hand. “But she couldn’t just abandon her responsibility as your mother and pursue her own, selfish goal! Did she ever realize how many hearts had she left broken since she left us? Did she ever?”
Your instinct is telling you to give her a hug. And that’s what you do, as you put aside the paring knife and pull Alice into your arms. “A-Alyssa, you… why are you, uh…”
“It’s what I do to calm people down back at my place,” you shrug.
She’s too shocked, obviously because you are hugging her. “You don’t have to, uh, do this, Alyssa… it’s so…”
“Embarrassed?” You chuckle. “Come on, we both are girls. There’s nothing wrong with a girl hugging another girl, does it?”
“It’s because we are girls that it embarrasses me!” Alice complains.
“And what is it about we being girls that embarrasses you?” you ask back. “You clearly enjoy being cuddled, don’t you?”
“Alyssa, stop teasing me! You’re just like your mother in many ways!” Alice falls silent, and you can’t help chuckling as she buries her face in your shirt, trying very hard to hide her greatly blushing face. “I’m sorry. I, uh, I shouldn’t get carried away. Please forgive me.”
You let her hold onto you for a while. She may not admit it, but your hunch knows that she’s enjoying this moment. Though this does seem very familiar to you… ah, you understand why. It’s your dearest one Sylvia.
“Feeling better?” you ask as she pulls away. She nods warily, still not looking directly at you. You smile at her meekness and focus back on your work. “Come. We better cook something before--”
“Is dinner ready yet? We’re starving already!”
“--oh, speak of the devil.” Not missing a beat of paring the potatoes, you shout at Reika and Kogasa. “Naughty kids won’t get dinner! And you know who I’m talking about!”
“That’s not fair! We’re not naughty!” they protest from outside the kitchen.
“Thank you for the meal!”
And just like that, Reika and Kogasa reach for the nearest food they can reach. You scold them for misbehaving, only to be ignored as they start gobbling everything. You observe them for a while and snicker when they start choking and frantically asking for water; serves them right for being greedy off the bat.
“Can I ask you something, Alyssa?” Alice asks. “Do you live alone at the outside world?”
“No. I have a family to take care of,” you answer.
“You have a family.”
You nod while swatting Kogasa’s hand off your plate. “A wife and a daughter. Well, we aren’t really married to each other and the girl’s not really ours. I’ll introduce you to them tomorrow, if you like.”
“Oh, I would like to, Alyssa- wait.” Alice does a double take. “You have a wife.” She pauses. “Wife.”
“Yes. A rather possessive one, too,” you chuckle. “Is there something wrong with that?” Alice’s face has gone from beet red to pale white. It’s as if she’s been horrified by the revelation. Poor lass; she must have expected you to be the wife instead.
“It’s a long story,” you shrug and give Kogasa’s hand yet another slap as she reaches for your meal. “No dinner for three nights if you do that again.”
“Aw,” Kogasa moans.
“Seriously, learn some table manners, will you? It’s not like the food suddenly grow legs and start running away that you have to give them a chase,” you sigh.
“That’s horrible! I don’t want to chase my food around!” Kogasa protests.
“Then be a good girl and finish your own first,” you reprimand.
“…you don’t have to scold me like that,” Kogasa mumbles. “…it’s like you have a kid or something.”
“Do I look like someone who can get along with kids? Do I, Reika?” Reika shakes her head as to answer no. “It’s always the same thing. Everywhere I go kids want to tag along with me and I have to avoid them like a plague. Give me a break.”
“Do you have bad experience with children?” Alice asks.
“No, Alice, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. My occupation is hazardous, risky, dangerous, and doesn’t have fixed timetable. And the nature of the occupation doesn’t allow for a quality time with kids, hence,” you grumble. “What, they think jumping between office blocks and outrunning patrols while carrying groceries is cool? Kids today.”
“I’m not a kid, [i]excuse me![/s] I’m a thousand-year-old karakasa, and I can take care of myself!” Kogasa complains.
You respond by pinching her cheeks and pulling them, ignoring her plea to let go off her. “I don’t care about your excuse or origin or whatever, you’re still a kid to me,” you answer while continue pulling her cheeks. Kogasa’s eyes have turned watery, and that’s your cue to free her before she bursts into tears. “Cheer up. I didn’t mean to bully you. It’s the truth.”
“You’re a worse person…” Kogasa grumbles.
Do you have something else in mind? [ ] Yes. [ ] No.
If [ ] Yes, please choose one. [ ] Ask Reika about… - [ ] …anything; write-in is permitted. [ ] Ask Kogasa about… - [ ] …anything; write-in is permitted. [ ] Ask Alice about… - [ ] …anything; write-in is permitted.
If [ ] No, finish the dinner, wash the dishes and… [ ] …get ready to sleep. Choose a spot: - [ ] Couch. - [ ] Floor. - [ ] Rooftop. - [ ] Bedroom. Alice’s bedroom. And share the bed with her. [ ] …venture outdoors. [ ] …play with dolls. [ ] …make peace with Kogasa. [ ] …bond with Reika. [ ] …spend more quality time with Alice.
Sorry for the delay, as it’s the middle of Ramadan and weather’s being a spoilsport for the past two weeks. I don’t know if I said this before, but imagine the shenanigans of Alice being introduced to Sylvia. Man, I do like the word shenanigans, don’t I~
Sorry, guys. No options to steal their precious things for this one.
[X] Yes, please choose one. [X] Ask Kogasa about… -[X] How she manages to be so youthful at her age.
I am a million years later here, but I have to say that I like this. I really do. I hope you will resume this sooner or later, SATA. And seeing how LSL came back, I have hope that you'll do the same here.