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File 138604508857.jpg - (72.89KB, 600x413, Scarlet Codex Gigas.jpg) [iqdb]
1st Thread: >>51178
2nd Thread: >>55139


The vampiric magical girl known as Fl_ndre, and her friend Words, are thrown into a thrashing conflict. The feud is mainly between the Mistress of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, Remilia Scarlet, and the magician, Patchouli Knowledge. Despite the efforts of Fl_ndre and Words, the conflict escalates to a dangerous level. In a rare chance to try again, the two obtain the legendary timepiece called the Luna Dial and use it to go back in time.

Unfortunately, Remilia also travel with them. In the new timeline, she continues to weave her plot of destruction. Fl_ndre and Words, in the meantime, experience a hectic day. They manage to discover the motives behind everyone involved in the dark conflict, and also meet a sweet young girl who helps Fl_ndre realize the true meaning of “family.”

In their attempts to reason with Remilia and reunite the family of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, an inter-planar demon, titled Phantasm, takes possession of Remilia. The demon seeks to consume Gensokyo and quite possibly the world beyond.

Angered by Phantasm, Fl_ndre takes chase.

Welcome to Not-Life.
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“Wait!” I shout, flying into the mist after her. Where is she? “Don’t... don’t leave...!”

Is she gone?


No, wait. She’s not gone. She’s just ahead of me, flying as fast as possible. The spear in her hands makes the mist around her glow in an eerie manner, but it helps me keep her in sight. She’s not paying any attention to me. She either thinks I’m lost in the mist, or just doesn’t care that I’m following her.

...Hopefully not the latter. That would mean something bad, I’m sure.

I chase after her. I try shooting her with danmaku, but she merely swerves out of the way, no even bothering to counterattack. Then she begins to swoop, spin, swerve, anything to make me lose track of her. Attacking her at the moment won’t work, so I shift to focusing on following her.

I nearly lose her a few times. Eventually – fifteen minutes later? I’m not sure – she stops. I nearly crash into her, but swerve out of the way, coming to a full stop a metre in front of her.

She sighs as I enter her line of vision.

“Ah, sweetheart!” she exclaims, smiling. “I’m flattered that you followed me all the way out here, but I’m not here to play with you.”

“Neither am I,” I growl. “Give Remilia back.”

Her smile disappears. “And why would I do a thing like that?”

She waves a hand, and then mist around us clears away. It reveals everything from the moon far above us to the Human Village down below. The mist becomes a wall around the village.

“The Human Village?”

“Yes, yes,” the demon says. “As you know, I need to pierce through the barrier of this magical land so that I can continue with the plan...”

“Why the village? Do you need to do it where there’s lots of humans fearing over their lives, or something?”

She grins. “Truthfully? No, I could do it anywhere. This place would offer the most causalities, though. And I really, really, love human souls...”

She throws the spear in her hands towards the village.


Before I can move towards it, the spear stops in the air.

It begins to spin. And spin and spin and spin. It doesn’t descend or ascend, it only floats in place. Spinning.

“What a disappointment! It seems it needs some time to breach through all the magic that protects the barrier. Oh well, give it a few minutes. It’ll all be over soon.”

I fly towards Remilia – no, Phantasm – and grab onto her shoulders.

“Phantasm! Stop all of this! Give her back!”

She sighs. “All of this hero business is starting to get old. I ask that you cease this hopeless resistance, before I’m forced to knock you aside—”


I squeeze hard, cracking the bones in her shoulders. She screams. I’m flying through the air, having been blasted at point blank by power from her fingers. I land heavily on the stone pavement below.

Oww. I think I broke bones with that landing. Again. I have to stop breaking my bones...

“You little fool!” she screeches. “Your precious sister could feel all of the pain, as well! She can feel each painful throb in these mutilated shoulders!”

She shakes her body. Her shoulders shine magically... and then she moves her arm around to point at me.

“It’s of no matter to me, of course. Pain is only temporary. And with this much power at my fingertips, anything you do to me will mend in seconds.”

She makes a sweeping motion with her hand, causing me to magically fly towards her. I flip through the air over and over until I come to a stop in front of her. She studies me.

“Hm. Your spirit seems to have grown over these last few days...”

I’m unable to move my muscles. I can’t even open my mouth.


The sound is loud.

The loudest thing I have ever heard. And I tell you, I have heard a lot of loud things.

The sound comes from the Barrier-Render. That’s the name I’m giving Phantasm’s blue spear. It’s spinning at a dangerous speed. The air is hissing. The cracking sound is coming from everywhere, and everything is shaking.

Then it slows down again, and the cracking and shaking stops.

Phantasm groans. “They have layers to this thing? Damn it all, I don’t have time for this tomfoolery.”

She drops me. I regain control of my muscles, saving myself from a painful collision with the ground.

I glance up. Phantasm is clutching the Barrier-Render, driving it further downwards. She’s met with a physical resistance; presumably the Hakurei Border. Lightning begins to crackle from the spear as she pushes it deeper into the invisible Border. The air begins to sizzle.

Words... what can I do? She’s got a lot of power... I mean, I could try breaking the Barrier-Render, but what if I break the Hakurei Border along with it? And I don’t want to hurt my sister, even though Phantasm is using her body... If only there was a way to drive her out!

[ ] Any ideas?
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And with that, I have completed the NaNoWriMo Challenge. It was fun, wow! I'm one-quarter surprised, one-quarter relieved, and one-half joyful at this success.

Now... I hate to do this at such a tense scene, but I'm going to take a break. A short one, mind you -- just a few days, I think. Probably. Maybe. Perhaps. I have to use those kinds of words a lot.

Thank you for experiencing Not-Life with me during this month, everyone. It was quite a journey.

What if we possessed Flandre and fought in her stead? We should be able to do that, shouldn't we?
>And I don’t want to hurt my sister, even though Phantasm is using her body... If only there was a way to drive her out!

...Demon-to-Demon combat time?

Anyway, Remilia is tough. She can handle pain. As long as we avoid any fatal attacks she'll be fine. Reimu and maybe Yukari will be here soon, there's no way they aren't feeling this. Ideally we can stall Phantasm until they arrive and exorcise her.

The options I can see are;

[ ] Words directly fighting Phantasm. Lots of personal risk, and I have no idea how to do it. Possibly best option.

[ ] Destroy as much of Remilia's body as we can without killing her. This should delay her until reinforcements arrive.

[ ] Destroy Gungnir. This might destroy the barrier, but I doubt it. Yukari makes stern stuff. Besides, if breaking through the barrier was that easy Phantasm probably wouldn't be having so much trouble.

[ ] Fight Phantasm at full power and hope she's competent enough to not die. This should distract her from breaching the barrier long enough for the Border Brigade to arrive. Downsides are obvious. Have to hope Flandre doesn't die either.

Anyone got anything else?

Must admit, I'm kinda glad the challenge is over. Making decisions in such a short time is a little nerve wracking
[X] Destroy Barrier-Render.
I'd say three out of four of those are good.
Destroying Remilia's body is a last resort. She is, in a way, a victim here. Obviously she's not innocent, but I don't think things would have gone this far had it not been for Phantasm. (And, possessed or not, she still Fl_ndre's sister.)

[X] Step one: Destroy Barrier-Render immediately. She's getting too close to breaking through the second layer if the sparks are any indicator.
Step two: Interfere with Phantasms plans in every way we can think of. Keep destroying Barrier-Render as necessary.

From what I can gather of the various examples of Fl_ndre using her powers, it causes a specific object to be destroyed. It doesn't affect anything else. (Other than as a second hand effect. E.g. many of the examples of Fl_ndre using her powers causes the object to explode, which can cause some collateral damage.)

This should cause Phantasm to focus on Fl_ndre instead of the border because she can't break the barrier if we keep destroying her spear.
Obviously, this will lead to a showdown between them.
I think Fl_ndre should focus on buying time until backup can arrive.
We don't want to permanently injure Remilia, but we have to stop them.
Don't forget that while Remilia has Gugnir, Fl_ndre has Lævateinn, and both are also physically much more powerful than most other Gensokyo inhabitants. We can probably keep the battle going for long enough if we fight smart.

Words in the meantime should try to reach Phantasm "personally". We have been disconnected from Fl_ndre several times in dreams and visions, so we're not as bound to her as it first appeared.
We should be able to temporarily separate from her in order to more directly confront Phantasm.
Just try to remember more exactly what it was like to disconnect from her and try to make that happen again. Demons are normally able to do things like that, judging by how Phantasm has been working. It's just that we've been sealed, which prevents us from doing that as easily.

Also, Phantasm needs to act through Remilia in order to accomplish anything, so if we can get her to focus her efforts in another direction it will improve Fl_ndre's chances of subduing Remilia. Especially since Remilia is obviously not a willing ally anymore, and will also be fighting against Phantasm's control.
[x] Words: Try to join the fray by attacking the demon directly-by influencing Remilia. If someone can get out of a 'contract' is her.
... and Remi needs a friend as much as her sister did/does.
[x] Flandre: distract the Demon by using non-lethal attacks on it. Will danmaku work?
>Thank you for experiencing Not-Life with me during this month, everyone. It was quite a journey.
It was fantastic. You've done a wonderful job with this.
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[X]Couldn't we fly down into the village and get Keine to hide the history of Remilia so the demon doesn't have a body to posess anymore?

Remilia was a playable character in IN, she probably told her sister about it.

>From what I can gather of the various examples of Fl_ndre using her powers, it causes a specific object to be destroyed. It doesn't affect anything else. (Other than as a second hand effect. E.g. many of the examples of Fl_ndre using her powers causes the object to explode, which can cause some collateral damage.)

The only way I can see that this might go wrong is if destroying Gungnir releases all the energy it currently contains in one big explosion, overloading the barrier and possibly killing Remilia (and maybe everyone else within a few miles). I expect that Yukari would be prepared for such an eventuality so the barrier is probably fine, but that still leaves Remilia and us.
Well, from what I understand, the explosion is just enough to destroy the object in question. Not like destroying a pebble causes a nuclear explosion or anything. So it's more like the object violently shatters than a proper BOOM.
Besides, in the first fight (Remilia vs Patchouli) we destroyed Gugnir in her hand and it had no noticable ill effect on Remilia.

While I'd normally agree with you, I'm not really concerned with destroying Gungnir, so much as destroying Phantasm's Not-Gungnir, which is apparently different than Remilia's Gungnir, while it's stuck halfway inside what might be the most powerful seal ever divised might cause a chain reaction leading to massive destruction.

We may have destroyed Gungnir with no problems earlier, but this isn't the same Gungnir.

>She floats into the air. A spear begins to materialize in her hands, but it’s not Remilia’s usual spear, Gungnir. Instead, it’s much longer, and it glows an ominous purple-blue.

I'm not sure I want to fuck with it without knowing how different it is from Gungnir 1.0.

Forgive me if there's any spelling mistakes in this post. I can't scroll the post box up to check for some reason.
Obviously it's different from Gungnir, but the alternative is to let it just keep burrowing through the barrier.
If we leave it, it will break the barrier, it will just take some time. 100% certainty.
If we destroy it, it might break the barrier. Uncertain.

So either we hope that the spear is slow enough that the border team can get here before Phantasm wins, or we put our hopes on the chance that there won't be a fatal chain reaction.
And considering it took, what? A minute, at most, to go through the first layer I don't think we have a lot of time.

(And it's basically acting as a big magical drill right now. If you snap off a drill bit while drilling, it won't cause more than superficial damage to whatever you're drilling through.
I know it's not a 100% accurate comparison, but close enough, and I trust the barrier is powerful enough to handle the eventual backlash.)
Not him, but just blowing up the notgungnir seems way too easy, plus it was specifically mentioned we don't know what'd happen if we blew it up.

It's probably integrated with the barrier and blowing it up will take part of the barrier with it, or something like that. And I'm not sure the demon can't just make another one. We need to get the demon out of Remilia. If demons don't have wierd time shenanigans going on, we might be able to summon the demon in question out of her.

Saying Remilia Scarlet to activate the spying thing might give Remilia a push to resist? Alternately, having lots of people say it over and over might distract the demon.

> If we leave it, it will break the barrier, it will just take some time. 100% certainty.

>So either we hope that the spear is slow enough that the border team can get here before Phantasm wins, or we put our hopes on the chance that there won't be a fatal chain reaction.

Judging by the fact that Phantasm is currently forcing Gungnir through the barrier physically, it seems the second layer is considerably stronger than the first. My current theory is that the Barrier works sort of like a net covered in plastic. The first layer (The plastic) prevents things from getting in or out, while the second is the net holding Gensokyo together. While the plastic is easy to cut through, the rope is much stronger. It's possible Gungnir won't be able to cut through without Phantasm concentrating on making it do so. Thus it's theoretically possible to prevent the Barrier being breached by keeping Phantasm busy.

This isn't taking into account that there might be more layers of course.
To me that just seems like she's being impatient, not that the spear can't break through, given time.

Of course that's too easy, that's why blowing it up is just step one. A declaration that we won't let her off without a fight.
Step two is to keep her from attempting to breach the barrier again by repeatedly destroying the spear (assuming nothing horrible happens the first time) while doing our best to keep her from just reforming it nigh-instantaneously like Remilia did during the first fight.

Basically, we pop the spear and fight Phantasm to keep her busy and re-destroy the spear when possible to buy as much time as possible.
Calling for exploding spears and distracting demons. Update will be up soonish.
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O-okay, well, uh! Break the spear!

B-but it could be dangerous...

I know that, but we don’t have a lot of time. We need to break it, and then distract Phantasm until help arrives. I mean, with this much commotion surrounding the barrier, I’m sure Ran or somebody important will show up.

True. Okay. I’ll try.

I glance up towards the demon and the Barrier-Render. Phantasm is completely ignoring me, preferring to drive the spear further and further into... well, it’s the barrier. It’s like watching someone push a spear into the ground, except there’s no ground here. Just the air and an invisible resistance.

I focus on the spear. Focus. Focus. Focus.

I can feel its eye... it has a strong feel to it. I’m not sure it can be permanently destroyed, but I can at least slow things down... I just have to make sure it doesn’t explode so violently that it hurts Remilia. Who is technically Phantasm right now, but still, I’d rather not hurt Remilia any more than I have to...

Have I ever explained my powers before? Not really. Well, I admit they’re so second-nature to me that I hardly bother to explain it to people. I just kind of assume they know what my powers are and how they work, but obviously that isn’t true. It’s kind of like trying to explain how it feels to move a tail or wings to someone who doesn’t have them. You can’t really explain it effectively, and most of the time you forget that other people don’t have those things.

Basically, I’m able to break anything. Every object in the world has an ‘eye,’ and when I flood this eye with my energy it breaks the object apart. If I just carelessly break things, they’ll violently explode, which you’ve seen me do before.

So, for example, that spear. If I’m careful enough, I can break it and only it; there won’t be a huge explosion of energy that damages Remilia or the barrier in the process. But doing that is like trying to control... well, you ever had one of those special drinks that shoot everywhere if you shake them up? Karbin... Karbonate drinks? I forget the word, but... It’s like trying to control those. You have to be very gentle and precise as you poke at the eye of objects, or else it’ll explode and everything. Also, the more the object moves, the more difficult it is to limit the amount of energy I use on it. As a result, I usually don’t do it like that unless I really have to, since it would be tedious and time-consuming to use my power in such a way every single time.

But here, the situation calls for it. I can’t risk hurting the barrier, especially since the spear is lodged in it somehow, and I really don’t want to damage Remilia’s body. I mean, she can endure nearly anything I’ve seen her entire body regrow from just an arm, but I’d still rather not hurt her unless I really, really need to.

...Er, yeah. That was a long explanation. Hopefully not an unnecessary one

The spear’s eye is small, but I find it easily.

I just... need a little, a little tiny poke...


As soon as I make contact with the eye, the Barrier-Render explodes. Pieces of Phantasm go flying in several directions and lightning crackles from the spot where the spear was lynching the barrier.

Oh. Oh.

Okay. That was bad.

The spear had too much energy in it, so when I touched it, it...

Lightning continues to crackle from that one spot in the sky, shooting off in all directions. Buildings are struck and the air booms from the sounds of thunder. This goes on for a minute or so, and then it ceases. The air becomes quiet, not even wind or anything like that giving it sound. In fact, it’s too quiet...

And then I’m flung backward by a heavy blow to my face. Strangely, I don’t feel much from the attack. It’s like my pain-feeler-thingies are numb.

Still, my nose bleeds in response. I should be feeling this pain, but I don’t...

“You silly, silly girl...” Phantasm says, stepping over me. Where are we, again? Oh, I’m lying on the roof of one of the village houses. “Are you trying to stall me? Did you really think that would help you?”

She giggles. “You have neglected to remember...” She reaches into her pocket, yes, that familiar pocket, and pulls out the Luna Dial. “...that I have control over time here. At the moment, only you and me are able to move. Your precious friends will never arrive to stop me, because I have all the time in the world here.”

Not on my watch. That pun was not intended at all

I squeeze my fist.

The Luna Dial explodes, throwing me backwards once again. I land somewhere on the ground, between two houses. I think? I’m starting to get really dizzy. I can taste my own blood from somewhere.



Without any warning or special transition, I’m sitting on the roof again. Phantasm steps over me, grinning.

“You’re still a silly, silly girl,” she says. “Did you think you could destroy the Luna Dial?”

She reaches into her breast pocket and pulls out the infernal timepiece once again. Good as new. As if I never...

“If it is ever destroyed, it will simply turn back time to a point where it is whole again.”


She chuckles. “By the way, I’ve halted your vampire regeneration. At this point, you’re only going to drive yourself further and further into the ground.” She places a hand on my shoulder. It’s Remilia’s hand, but it’s not Remilia’s hand.

Phantasm’s hand.

“Don’t touch me!” I scream, swinging my arm at her head. She catches my wrist easily, twisting it back into a painful position.

“Slow. Slow reflexes. You can’t compare to me, sweetheart. Even something as beautifully evolved as a vampire is no match for a demon.”

She kicks me in the gut. It’s a magically powered-up kick, sending waves of pain up my body. I crumple to my knees in agony.

“I’m stronger, faster, filled with power and magic beyond your comprehension... I can do whatever I please in this world. Your world is an oyster, and the pearls are mine for the taking,” she says.

“Wh... why...” I cough out. “Why... do this...”

“Why? Because I find the negative feelings of mortals entertaining,” she says. “Once I finish with your Hakurei Border...” She examines her arm, as if appraising something. “Yes... your sister is very exquisite. The more beautiful a creature, the more pleasing it is to violate. So, tell you what... I’ll be sure to defile every inch of her body until she’s so overcome by torment she’ll beg for her death. I’ll even give you the torment of watching it.”

Despite my pain, her words spark an extreme anger that takes control of my limbs.

I can’t help myself.

I dive onto her. In a second, she’s struggling to get back up while I try to pin her down. In another second, I break her arms so she can’t push me away. She stops struggling, just lying there silently. Her chest – no, Remilia’s chest – rises and falls with steady breathing.

“YOU’RE A MONSTER!” I scream.

She stares into my eyes with those purple pupils. Those purple voids.

I can’t bear to stare into them, so I rip them out.

In response, she opens her mouth and laughs. It’s not Remilia’s voice, but a low, dark one; a voice that speaks of despair. It continues on, blood pouring down her face like twisted tears of mirth, the horrible horrible laughing.

Make it stop. Make it stop.

She places her hands on my temples. I try to move away, but as soon as we make contact I’m frozen.

She pushes slightly, sending pain to my head. Pain to my head.




The pain panes away, plain away.

She floats out from my grasp, her arms already mended and her eyes having already grown back. She floats back up to the sky, and the Barrier-Render appears in its previous position once again.

The crackling resumes. The lightning resumes. She’s up there in the sky, driving the spear further into the barrier, while I lie in pain on the roof of house. I’m covered in blood, bruises, cuts, and even burns. Nothing is healing; there is no relief. No relief. My head, thankfully, has stopped magically hurting, but the rest of me is protesting to all manner of ailments, magical or not.


I’m failing, aren’t I?


What can I do? What is there to do? I can’t fight her by myself, and I can’t get help from anyone...

Because there’s no one to get help from here...

This is a nightmare.


Words, you’re my only beacon of light in this nightmare. I still have you. It’s just you and me... Phantasm and Remilia... just the four of us. I don’t even know if Remilia can see any of this or not, though...

...I’m so weak right now. There’s nothing I can do, is there? Is there anything we can do?

[ ] Surely there’s something that can be done... (Write-in)


So is this where I say "good luck anon lol" and post pictures of Light Yagami every chance I get?
[X] It takes a demon to fight a demon...
It occurs to me that we might be able to bind Phantasm to our paper. I'm not sure how we would do so though.

Alternatively, we could engage in a demon-to-demon combat over Remilia's soul. This runs into the same problem as above.

Hmmm, maybe we can manipulate our paper like a bastardised version of Konan from Naruto? Maybe turn our paper into some kind of golem to fight Phantasm with?

Maybe we can directly possess Flandre and boost her to the same level as Phantasm!Remilia?

I really don't know what to do here, so I'm just kinda throwing out ideas.
Okay. Not good. Here's what I have:

[x]Give Fl_ndre as much strength as we can. We contracted to her, just as Phantasm is to Remilia, but we have no interest in dominating Fl_ndre. Maybe we can synergize with her, working with her as one as pposed to simply seizing control of the body
-[x]Have Fl_ndre try to get through to Remilia. It's a long shot, but if Remilia realizes that she's being controlled and tries to fight against it, perhaps this will throw Phamtasm off just enough for us to get an advantage.
--[x]Fourth has the paper, right? And touching the paper the last time let us confront Phamtasm directly. So, while we struggle against Phamtasm in the material world, use the paper so that we can also fight Phamtasm simultaneously on the spiritual plane.

This is what I have. Any suggestions?
I think trying to fight on two fronts at the same time is a bad idea.
We're better off only trying to confront Phantasm directly. If we manage to get her to divide her attention (and powers) we have a better chance of succeeding.
Having Fl_ndre try to reach Remilia is a possibility but I don't think that will happen without seriously weakening Phantasm's hold over her first, otherwise we should have seen some sort of reaction from her already.
One possibility is that Remilia's soul has sort of gone "asleep" and her mind is dormant as long as Phantasm (or Fl_ndre) does nothing to wake her. And if she just wakes up, Phantasm will lose control over her, or will at least have to fight for control.

Another thing to consider is this:
Words is bound to the paper, so what happens if the paper is destroyed?
Does that destroy Words as well, or is it like breaking a cage and letting everything trapped inside come out?
It is also worth considering the fact that if the paper can bind demons, can it also bind Phantasm?
Or, if we can get our hands on Reimu's amulets or something that would cause pain or harm to "evil"/"unclean" creatures. Of course that would include Remilia as well, but hopefully she'll take less damage since as a vampire she has some "humanity" compared to a demon which is pure "evil"/"uncleanliness". That would depend on how far she's gotten before being time-locked.

There should also be some limitations to the Luna Dial, otherwise there is no way Sakuya could ever have lost against Reimu during the Scarlet Mist incident.
The inhabitants of the SDM had no idea who Reimu was, and thus would have had no contact with her before and wouldn't know about the Danmaku rules and would have no reason to play by them.
Either that or the Danmaku system is powerful enough to overrule "lesser magical effects", such as the Luna Dial, forcing it to conform to the rules.

Either way, there should be some way to bypass it.
>Not on my watch. That pun was not intended at all
The fact that you didn't mean it and it still came out naturally is proof of your master punster status. Be proud.

Not to, uh, distract from life-and-death fate-of-the-world battles or anything.

>By the way, I’ve halted your vampire regeneration.
How can she do this? Is it a function of the Luna Dial, of hijacked fate manipulation powers, or of some innate demonic ability of her own? If either of the latter two, maybe we can shield Flandre from it somehow? If she can get her body working again, then she can attack again- and this time, get the Dial instead of looking to do physical damage. The Dial is the key; it's what's letting her pull this off with no fear of retribution, her greatest shield. Taking it for our own, even if we can't use it properly, could at least shut down the time stop effect and let help arrive.
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Aw man, I was hoping to get an update out today... I guess not. Just popping in to say I'm still alive and will update as soon as I am able~
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Surely, it’s hopeless. Surely, there is nothing that can be done. Surely we have lost. And yet, I rise to my feet. Broken bones and aching muscles protest, but I try to ignore the pain. How did she halt my regeneration? Is this some demonic power of hers, or is from the Luna Dial? I must fight. I can’t give up... because... no... I can’t do this, can I? I can barely stand...

And like that, I collapse. I collapse and lie there like the corpse I am.


It was futile.

I was a fool, trying to change things. Time travel doesn’t work. Trying hard doesn’t work. I should have just given up at first, spare myself all of this suffering... spare my family all of this suffering. It’s my fault Remilia got confused and Phantasm stole her body. If I hadn’t gotten mixed up in this, she would be fine right now...

Don’t say that.

Why not?! It’s true.

Phantasm is a demon. She governs herself. She was probably planning to take control all along.



Fl_ndre. Don’t give up. We can still work together. Phantasm and Remilia are bound by contract, and so are we. You and me, maybe we can synergize together, or I can lend you my power, or something...

Why? What’s the point? Phantasm is too powerful. I’m weak. Even if you gave me power, I would be no match for her. I’m too weak. Weak... small... young... alone... forgotten.

You’re not alone. Remember? You have me! Remember everything we’ve been through? Everything we’ve fought for? Remember how many times we’ve come close to failure, but prevailed?

No. I don’t remember. I don’t remember anything anymore. Only pain.

No, no! We’re past that! We’re

I don’t want to hear it. Just... just leave me alone... leave me alone!

Flandre! Snap out of it!






Where have I heard that word before? No, not a word. That’s a name. Flandre is a name.

My name...

I’ve used that name. So have the people around me... that’s what people call me...

“Flandre.” The name feels different in my mouth.


It all clicks.

First is nothingness. Then there is birth. This wonderful world is beautiful. All around, there are wondrous things to see.

It is all shattered by vampirism. Or, perhaps the very Strings of Fate are what caused the calamity. It set a chain of events in motion that even now, five-hundred years later, are playing out. Along the way, a witch, a warrior, and a hunter. These become family in this shattered life. Or is called a “not-life?” Isn’t a “not-life” still a life? How can there be something between “nothing,” as in dead, and “something,” as in alive?


After centuries of nothing, this foreign concept I call a “not-life,” I am awoken from the spell. The spell is really a cage, and this cage is my mind, keeping me safe from the outside. Or is it to keep the outside safe from me? I never could tell which was the truth. It is all is changed by the advent of demons. That was only a few days ago.

And then the Luna Dial. Manipulating time, starting over time, rewriting time. Magic. Gensokyo’s destruction. Possession. It all... it all seems to connect. I mean, of course it does. It’s all happening to me and you and everyone else. It’s a common experience.

But still, it connects. It flows. And, most importantly, it’s not a “not-life” anymore, is it? Was it ever a “not-life?” That, I do not know, but I know that at this very moment, I am alive.

I am alive. I have friends and I even have happiness sometimes.

I am alive. I exist. I am here. I feel things.


I am alive.


“I, Flandre Scarlet, am alive.”

It’s a whisper. It’s barely a whisper. Maybe I didn’t even speak the words out loud. Regardless, as soon as the words leave my lips, everything becomes clear.


All at once, I am assaulted by an essence of essences.

It is familiar. It is friendly, warm, bright, and kind. This is my friend.

Words flows through my veins. Words, the name for combinations of letters? No, Words, the name for my ethereal friend. Words, the name for something that I do not quite understand, but I love as if I’ve known this essence all of my life. Maybe I have. Maybe Words has watched over me since the beginning. My guardian angel. My friend.

And now, we are connected. I can feel Words flow through my blood, spreading energy throughout my body. The cut on my cheek seals up. My cracked ribs repair. The power throws me into the air, holding me in the shape of a cross.

I scream ecstatically, the amount of energy flowing through me immeasurable. The feeling is incomparable to anything I’ve ever experienced. I feel as if I am overrun with power... as if the world is mine to shape. It is a divine, ethereal sensation, a truly beautiful thing.

The Mistress... Remilia... no, Phantasm, noticing my movement, stops her furious stabbing and speaks to me.

“Darling? What are you—”

There is no time for her to finish the sentence, as I – no, we – cross the distance between us and deliver a satisfying punch to her face in no time at all.

There is no time here. Time is a construct of this world. And we are not a part of this world right now. We are beyond.

Her limp body flips through the air, landing somewhere below. We don’t watch this, but we know this. In another stretch of time, we are at the spear, and another, it is gone. The spear breaks as we clench my body’s fist, disappearing without a trace as if it never existed.

Words,” Phantasm hisses, her eyes dilating like a cat’s. Again, we cannot see this, but we know it.

She skips through time as well, into the “past,” punching us in the gut before we can destroy the spear.

It is of no consequence. We, too, jump into the past. Or perhaps it was the future all along. There is no concept of time here. We are demons. We do not care about the silly constructs of this world.

We fire a laser into her face, but she slips out of its reach and grabs my wrist before the laser so much as leaves my fingertips. We twist her arm back, and then she twists mine back, and then she punches and we punch and everything becomes a blur.

Memory is a fragile thing. We were there for an eternity, fighting against this demoness, this monster of malice. Her skill and our skill have no bounds, have no limits, have no shortcomings. We are perfect. The battle is perfect. Time warps around us, the blow from one limb attacking five minutes prior, the blow from another making contact ten minutes forward. A tiny, rational part of our mind argues against this clear contradiction, against this battle that transcends the rules. It is of little matter at the moment.

Eventually – or perhaps all along – we take on new forms and new ideas. We become hundreds of large outsider machines that fly and drop destruction and death wherever we please. We become men and women and horses and carts in a battlefield, we become youkai in caves, we become a rabbit being chased by a fox and a fox being chased by a rabbit. We are many at once, or simply two locked in battle. We embody thousands, millions, billions of years of experiences, of lives pit against each other; we see through the eyes of the poor, the rich, the harsh, the kind. We do things that are done every day, things that have never been done, things that could have been done but never came to pass.

The battle never ends. It is infinite. It is as infinite as the possibilities that exist in our world. And despite this seemingly hopeless, eternal, unrelenting clash between our very essences, it ceases within seconds of its initiation.

Neither of us are any more tired than when we started. Neither of us are injured.

“Formidable,” the demoness says, regarding us with new eyes. “You are powerful, Words. Truly. You are nowhere near as experienced as I, but your symbiotic possession is much stronger than forced possession like mine. These factors seem to equalize our strengths.”

“Release my sister,” I say. One-track mind, maybe. It’s important.

“Unless you believe battling this out without end is the best alternative,” you add, using my lips to speak. It’s strange, but it’s kind of neat. I think. It’s at least more neat than strange.

She places a dainty hand over her chest, where her heart must be.

“We must go to the source. We will have to battle beneath the surface that we are presently existing. A battle between our souls in the realm of dreams. If you can drive me out, your precious Remilia will be free... but, if you cannot, I will drive you out, Words, and I will use your host for my own desires.”

She stretches her hand towards us. “Come, take my hand, and let us end this.”

[ ] Take her hand.
[ ] Don’t take her hand.


Hey, great to be posting again! I was starting to miss this story~
[X] Don’t take her hand.

Yeah, no. I really don't trust this.
[x] Take her hand.

It's been coming down to this for a while. We just have to let our link with Flandre strengthen us, as we strengthened her.
File 138704464939.jpg - (107.78KB, 1600x900, Phantasm vs Words.jpg) [iqdb]
>A battle between our souls in the realm of dreams. If you can drive me out, your precious Remilia will be free... but, if you cannot, I will drive you out, Words, and I will use your host for my own desires.

So you think. In the end I'll drive you out or destroy both of us trying. There's no place for demons like us in this world, so if I lose I'll be taking you with me. At least then Flandre and Remilia can live their own lives.

[x] Take her hand
>A battle between our souls in the realm of dreams.
>in the realm of dreams
Considering Phantasm is a creature of dreams, this seems like a bad idea. I have a better one.

[x] Take her hand.
-[x] But drag her into the realm of writing (or reason, or what have you) instead, where we have the advantage.
[X] Take her hand. Fight in the realm of words.

I agree with >>57100's idea. One thing I've learned that always applies to the truly important battles: If you can't win, cheat.

If we can battle in "the realm of dreams", then we should be able to battle in "the realm of words", unless Phantasm was just referring to true demon vs demon combat as "the realm of dreams" because there's no better name for it.

Either way, I'd like to think that when it comes to demons and such, Names, with a capital N, are important. Just like the stories about how knowing a demon's name gives you power over them, even if the realm of dreams/words are actually the same thing, we should try to fight on our "home turf", if possible.
Since we have shown that we are capable of existing on a level far beyond reality, more like pure concepts, I'd like to think that just a semantic difference like that would make the final difference.
If we can become whatever/whenever we want in the world, then we should be able to define the world around us in a similar way in order to gain that extra edge.
I'm not entirely sure what I'm talking about anymore, but I hope you get the idea...
File 138750944687.jpg - (351.29KB, 500x707, aww.jpg) [iqdb]
The very morning after I posted the update, sickness consumed me. I'm finally feeling a lot better now after almost a week of various symptoms, so maybe I can finally start writing stuff.

I'm glad you're feeling better.


...Something about the poofiness of her hat is bothering me. I'm not sure what.
Don't worry, that's just the HHHNNNNNNGGGGGGG shutting down your ocular nerves from kawaii uguu~ overload.

...I am so sorry.

I'm glad it's not just me though!
File 138776497079.jpg - (328.62KB, 471x600, floating.jpg) [iqdb]
To be perfectly honest, when Phantasm said "realm of dreams," I meant the phrase as a simple term to refer to the world where two demons could battle it out. The idea of there being a "realm of words" had not occurred to me. I've been throwing around the concept of fighting in the "realm of words," but I am unsure what that would entail.

So, Anon, I leave to you the task of deciding. We can either:
[ ] Continue on in to "realm of dreams" as planned.
[ ] Drag Phantasm into the "realm of words."

If you should choose the latter, you will have to also include what the "realm of words" is like, because at this point I just have no idea how to go about it.

Sorry about this, and sorry for the long wait.
[x] Continue on in to "realm of dreams" as planned.

I have no idea what a word-realm would possibly be.
>I've been throwing around the concept of fighting in the "realm of words," but I am unsure what that would entail.
I haven't been following this story because all the spoilers and strikethroughs and other weird formatting makes my head hurt, but that is obviously Scribblenauts.

>what the "realm of words" is like, because at this point I just have no idea how to go about it.

In the world of words, everybody fights by making arguments against each others positions, delivering a verbal beatdown to force them to conform to your own. Debates of philosophy are just as devastating as endless barrages of lasers. It is the place where all stories rest, and great beings sift through them at their leisure. Countless faceless entities congregate there, flowing into each other without distinction. Where one ends and another begins is impossible to tell within the green tinge of that place. Though many call it the world of words, it's true name is only know to it's inhabitants. They call it _____THP______.

All kidding aside though, do what ever you would prefer to write. We'll be happy either way.
[x] Drag Phantasm into the "realm of words."

Here's roughly the sort of thing I'm thinking of.

The Realm of Words is approximately the opposite of the Realm of Dreams, when the Realm of Dreams is considered to be somehow related to the collective unconscious of all humanity.

Dreams are the product of the unconscious mind, and rise up from the primitive, reptilian parts of the human mind. Words, on the other hand, are the product of humanity's conscious mind, and a great part of what sets them apart from other beings is their power of language. But the Realm of Words is not merely language, but relates to rationality and storytelling themselves, which are deeply rooted in language.

In dreams, things are often irrational and incoherent. In a realm of words, coherency and rationality are not merely present, but essential.

In the real world, battles are won by superior force, skill, and tactics. In both dreams and words, this is not necessarily so. In the Realm of Words, my idea is that the winner is not the one who is stronger, but the one who makes a better story. That might be the story of their existence, or their stories of existing and battling in the realm of words itself. In that way, it is somewhat like an entire reality variant on one of the key concepts of spellcard dueling: that it is not the strongest who wins, but the most beautiful.

My version is probably pretty close to >>57129's, too.

My other conception of the Realm of Words would involve Words and Phantasm fighting by writing directly into this story, although I'm not sure how that could work.
I'm sort of reminded of The Sandman series where, in the first book, Morpheus and the demon Choronzon compete in a battle of wits.
Each of them take a turn to metaphorically change their form to something that defeats the other's current form.
Choronzon, being the challenged party, starts by "becoming" a dire wolf.
So Morpheus is a mounted hunter.
Choronzon becomes a horse-fly that stings the horse, throwing the hunter.
Morpheus becomes a spider that eats flies.
And so on.
(A summary of the scene can be found here http://www.brendoman.com/kyle/2009/01/15/my-favorite-sandman-moments-1 but I recommend reading the whole series instead. It's simply wonderful, in every meaning of the word.)

Very similar to the wizard duel scene from Disney's Sword in the Stone, but less slapstick.
Taking your collective ideas into consideration (especially you, >>57130), I believe I now know how to properly convey the Realm of Words. We'll see how much free time over Christmas that I will be able to devote to writing this thing.
Yeah, I think the big concept here is that in a realm of dreams, imagination and willpower are likely king- if you can dream it, then the dream can be real. Everything is ethereal, lasting only while there's focus on it, and coherency and logic aren't important.

Words are quite different. They're inherently structured, tending toward logical arrangements of sentences. They can be fleeting if spoken or lasting if written. Anything can be expressed, but it's not as simple as imagining and believing it; description and consistent internal logic restrain imagination.

Ah, this should be fun.
File 138811505363.jpg - (73.77KB, 600x450, The House.jpg) [iqdb]
The world of dreams that she speaks of... would that not be her own world where she can toy with us as she likes? After all, she’s a creature of the dream world, or something along that line of thought. To take her hand and enter that world would be to give her the advantage.

Then, perhaps we should drag her into our own world. A “Realm of Words,” or something like that. A world where we might have the advantage instead.


Yes, yes... that could work! We can take her to our own realm.

Brace yourself, Words. I have no clue if your idea is actually possible, or how it will feel, but I’m going to try.


I stretch out my hand towards her, stopping halfway between us for a moment.

This is a hand. My hand. It feels strange to be back in my body after leaving it for so long. No, wait, I had never left. This hand had always been mine. Before it had only the capacity to destroy, but now, with this newfound power... I feel I could create, as well.

With a deep breath, I take Phantasm’s hand. She begins to grin, and things start becoming dizzy.

“Welcome to the realm of dre—”

I interrupt her by pulling at her with all of my strength. The sudden motion throws us both off-balance. Moments before our bodies slam into the ground that was once safely beneath our feet, our souls react to ideas in my head, and we all leave this world.

~ ~ ~

BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aotmZZRDLVI
Yume Nikki OST - Dark World

~ ~ ~

This is a world that has ended.

In this world, nothing is born, and nothing dies.

This world has ended. There are no recognizable concepts in this world. This world is limited by what one observes in it. If one were to observe time in this world, then this world would be bound by time. If one were to observe physics in this world, then this world would be bound by those physics.

In this world, there is a girl.

This world exists because of this girl. If the girl were not observing this world, then this world could not exist. And yet, without this world to contain her, the girl could not exist, either. The two are dependent on each other, but it is seemingly of no purpose, for neither the world nor the girl have a reason to exist.

It is a pitiful, worthless existence.

This girl lives in a beautiful House. The House is boundless. She has never stepped Outside of the House; there was never any need. There is no need to observe the empty world Outside of the House.

Outside is an empty world. Nothing is born there, and nothing dies.

What about You?

What are You doing in this world?

What is Your purpose here?

You cannot do anything in this world. This is my world. I will observe it for as long as it will contain me. I depend on this world to exist, as it depends on me to exist. You do not have any place in this equation. You do not belong here.

You will stay, despite Your uselessness? You are but dust to me; a speck that flows in the wind. Why would You stay here? What is Your purpose in this place?

You believe I should go Outside?

Why would I go Outside? There is nothing to see in this world. Haven’t you been listening? Are you really so dense? The world beyond the House is empty. What could there be Outside?

[ ] What is Outside?


Happy belated holidays~

A fairly short and abstract update? Sorry! On the bright side, things should be getting more interesting soon. Also, I have finally broken free from sickness and Christmas busy-ness, so updates should be getting more frequent as well.
>What is Outside?

[x]The Search. The search for meaning. Does it matter if there is none to find out there? One must search regardless of the lack of answers... lest all become static and meaningless. It is the search for meaning which gives birth to new meaning... and perhaps the death of the old. You cannot find anything if you do not search.

I can't tell if we're supposed to tell her what's Outside or if we're supposed to create something Outside by answering "What is Outside?". Oh well, my vote kinda works both ways anyway.

On another note, it's been quite a while since I thought of you Clannad. Let's hope this story doesn't make my head hurt more than you.
Am I the only one who thinks that we messed up and ended up in the Realm of Flandre?
(A girl in a house that she has never left, because the world is dead and all that exists only exists because the girl is observing it.
It's basically a poetic description of Flandre's Not-Life.)

I like this.
I was thinking that out there is Life.
The Girl claims that the world is dead, but still she is there. Alive. The world can not be dead as long as it contains life.
And life feeds life, so if we live then so will the world.

...Or something. My poetic side is still on christmas vacation, I think.
[x]The Search. The search for meaning. Does it matter if there is none to find out there? One must search regardless of the lack of answers... lest all become static and meaningless. It is the search for meaning which gives birth to new meaning... and perhaps the death of the old. You cannot find anything if you do not search.
-[x] Inside there is only existence. There is no life. Life is something that can only be made by motion; motion of the body, the heart, and the mind. By going Outside, and Searching, you can find many things, things that you never knew were essential to you until you looked.
--[x] After all, if the world exists by you observing, think how much more there could be with more world.

Building on the previous write-in. Any suggestions?
File 138845890081.jpg - (139.51KB, 1280x1328, The Mask.jpg) [iqdb]
What is Outside?

The Search. The Search for meaning.

There’s nothing to Search for, nothing to find...

Does it matter if there is nothing to find out there? One must Search regardless of the lack of answers, lest all become static and meaningless. It is the Search for meaning which gives birth to new meaning... and perhaps the death of the old. You cannot find anything if you do not Search.

Don’t patronize me... I’m well aware of the Search.

If this is true, why must you ask of me the purpose of going Outside? If you’re aware, why haven’t you tried to Search yet?

I was testing Your wisdom of my world.

I, however, disagree.

BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWbEjQEBgok
Yume Nikki OST – Shield-Folk World

As I said, I am well aware of the Search. I have Searched the lands outside of the House many, many times. There is little to see. Shall I describe this world to you?

Beyond the House is the Garden. In the Garden there grows three plants. These plants are my guardians. With their words, they tell me that they will serve me until the end of time. With their minds, they plot the demise of myself and with me, this world. However, there is no life in the Garden. Perhaps you will argue that these three plants are alive, and perhaps they are, but their lives are but shadows of a past long gone. Again, we Search.

Beyond the Garden is the Field. The Field is vast; it surrounds the House and the Garden and seems to extend into infinity. If you’re lucky, you may come across the fox or the lynx. The two are natural enemies, and while the lynx is more physically superior, the fox is the most cunning. In most cases, the lynx defeats the fox swiftly and easily. With the use of cleverness, the fox may outsmart and defeat the lynx, but it’s only a matter of time before the lynx reappears and the two return to their rivalry. You may argue that the fox and the lynx are alive, but I assure you that any semblance of life within them is not worth anything. The two have no interest in anything beyond their constant battle in the Field. Again, we Search.

Beyond the Field is the Wall. The Wall is so high that you cannot possibly see the top. It encompasses all of the Field, the Garden, and the House. There is no life at the Wall. There is nothing beyond the Wall, as it is an invincible barrier that none can penetrate and none can climb over. You may argue that the Wall is alive, but if this is so, it is a life as void as mine. Here, the journey ends, and with nothing left to Search, I return to the House.

Do you insist? Do you still believe in life beyond the House?

As I have said, this is a world that has ended.

If I were given the chance, I would leave this world to rot. I would move on to another, better world, one where there is life, where I can experience a true life worth living.

You claim that the world is dead, but still you are here, alive. The world can not be dead as long as it contains life. Life feeds life, so if you live then so will the world.

The Girl was silent after that.

She had lied in her bed, staring up at the clean white ceiling above her. She pondered the Search and the world around her, unable to do anything else. You sat in the corner of the room, in an old chair, watching her as she pondered.

It truly was a sad, dismal world, wasn’t it?

Where did You come from?

Have You always been here?

Eventually, I felt an interruption from my silent ponderings.

Knock, knock.

BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=502o5mFfnq4
Yume Nikki OST – Neon World

The door.

For a moment, I believed I had imagined it. I have never heard anyone knock on the front door before. The House is largely ignored in this world, but here, someone knocks.

The knocking continues. Intrigued by this knocking, I approach the door. The rapping echoes down the empty hallway that leads up to the front door of the House. It’s a sound that I have never heard before, one that I have never considered. Never observed. In all of my time in the House, the idea of somebody knocking on my door (for whatever reason) had never even crossed my mind, even in fantasy.

Thus, the Girl found herself holding onto the doorknob of the door with bated breath. Any second now, I would swing the door open and see what had caused these strange sounds.

Unfortunately, the door will not open, even when I turn the knob.

It’s stuck.

I tug on the knob with as much strength as I can muster, but the door is not opening.

I slump against the door with a sigh.

“I’m sorry, the door is stuck,” I announce to the person on the other end.

It’s too quiet. Perhaps I had imagined it.

Then I can hear tapping over to my right.

The window...?

Without thinking, I step towards the window. A person is standing there, watching me. This strange person wears a plain brown cloak that covers them from head to toe. His or her face is concealed by a plain white mask.

The stranger knocks on the window once, then points towards the latch that keeps it shut.

I do not recognize this person. Can I trust them?

Where did he or she come from? Where did You come from? There are too many... new faces. This is getting strange.

You. Can you speak to this stranger for me? Get them to go away, or at the very least, find out what he or she wants.

[ ] Open the window and...
- [ ] ...speak to the stranger personally. (Specify what you will say)
- [ ] ...let the Girl speak to this stranger.
[ ] Step away from the window and...
- [ ] Write-in
Hmmm. So it sounds like we're dealing with Remilia, ans how she perceives the world.

[ ] Open the window and...
- [ ] ...speak to the stranger personally.
- [ ] Hello. Greetings and welcome. Do you have business here?
Is that stranger whom I think it is?

[x] Open the window and...
- [x] ...speak to the stranger personally.
- [x] Hello. Greetings and welcome. Do you have business here?
- [x] Be careful, you know nothing of his intentions.
[x] Open the window and...
- [x] ...speak to the stranger personally.
- [x] Hello. Greetings and welcome. Do you have business here?
- [x] Be careful, you know nothing of their intentions.

Either it's Flandre, wishing to bring Remilia out of her shell, or it's Phantasm, here to tell her how she can "break the wall".

I'm guessing it's Phantasm, because A. Flandre would most likely look like, well, like Flandre and B. it makes more sense for Phantasm to appear first both because Phantasm came to Remilia before Flandre left the basement and because the drama fits together better if the Opponent shows up before she does.

Then Flandre shows up with a dynamic entrance, blowing the door to bits, and drags Remilia into a world that looks completely different from before.
File 138863255168.jpg - (258.78KB, 950x648, The Garden.jpg) [iqdb]
The robed stranger does not noticeably react to You opening the window. His or her eyes, visible through the eyeholes of the mask, are yellow. They watch Your movements with a calculating gaze.

Hello. Greetings and welcome. Do you have business here?

The stranger watches You for a silent minute. The stranger grabs onto Your wrist with a gloved hand. You jump at the sudden movement, but the stranger’s gaze stares into yours. The stranger’s eyes change colour, becoming a warm orange.

“I need to help You,” the stranger says. The voice – undoubtedly a man’s – is low and melodic. His arm releases Your wrist, opting instead to point at me. “And her.”

I step up to the window. “Who are you?”

“My name? W-well... I am Diave.”

We stand there awkwardly for a moment.

What do you mean by you need to help us?

Diave glances behind his shoulder. “It’s a little complicated, I think. I can’t exactly get into it here. Surveillance and all that.”


A vine sprouts up from the ground and wraps itself around Diave’s legs. He jumps, his eyes becoming a sharp red.

“What is this—?!” he shouts, struggling to break free from the plants.

“Take him to the Garden. I will be there in a moment,” I say.

The vines respond to my command, dragging the robed stranger away.

Wait, did you do that?

The House is suspicious of his intentions. As per its request, I have decided to question this creature.

It’s suspicious...?

If You’d like, You may be present as well.

Yes, I would.

Come along, then.

The trip is short. The House was the one that made the front door stuck in place, but now that the stranger has been apprehended, the door slides open effortlessly before us. Immediately outside of the house is a stone path, leading out into the Garden.

[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6zXr38v9Xo ]
Ib OST – Dining Room

The Garden is vast, filled with every type of plant imaginable. It surrounds the house in a circle. Some areas of the Garden are filled with towering trees, others with pruned hedges, and others large flower beds. The area Diave was taken to is in the center of a ring of trees. There, the Guardian of Time has bound Diave to one of the trees. The Guardian of Time resides beneath the ground, and only shows herself as the long vines that are her many arms. These arms are what bind Diave.

“W-what’s going on?” Diave asks, his eyes (dull hazel, now) filled with fear.

“Guardian of Time, I want to be alone with him. Please leave.”

The vines slither away.

“So, tell me. No lies. Are you an enemy?” I ask the stranger.

“Enemy? Of course not!” There is panic in the edge of his voice.

I clap my hands together. A chair made of wood rises out of the ground. “Sit, sit.”

The robed stranger settles into the chair delicately, as if he were made of glass.

“You’re the master of this world, right? You’re the one this world depends on to exist?”

I nod. “I am the one and only.”

“I understand why you are wary of me. I would be wary of me if I weren’t myself, too. Especially in your position,” he says, eyes beginning to relax. They ease into sky blue.


“Well, if you died, this world would die, too.”

“Silly. Nobody can die in this world.”

He sighs. “That’s, uh, well, there’s this Demon trying to destroy your world, did you know? She could be anywhere, appear as anybody. She knows that if she kills you, she’ll win. Make no mistake, she can do it...”

“Perhaps you’re this Demon.”

“No no no,” he protests, gripping the arms of his chair. His eyes become pink. “I came here to stop the Demon. If I can kill her, we win.” He glances around, eyeing the trees that surround us. “By the way, this is a pretty neat setup you have here in this Garden. I even saw a few flesh-eating plants on my way in.”

I can’t die. She must be lying. Right? I can’t... nobody can die in this world.

...Well, a Demon... perhaps a Demon can break the rules. Demons are mysterious creatures, after all. But... to die... what is death like?

I’m not sure I want to find out.

“If... if I hypothetically believed you, how would you propose we ki... get rid of the Demon?”

“I don’t know yet. We need to find out who the demon is before we worry about that. She could be disguised as anybody. Maybe if we asked some of the residents of this world...”

His eyes are green.

[ ] Question Diave more.
- [ ] (Specify questions)
[ ] Agree to help Diave search for clues, but stay on your guard.
- [ ] Speak to the Guardians.
- [ ] Speak to the Fox.
- [ ] Speak to the Lynx.
[ ] Keep Diave in custody. Until we can prove he’s not the Demon, we’ll be on our own.
- [ ] Speak to the Guardians.
- [ ] Speak to the Fox.
- [ ] Speak to the Lynx.
[ ] Write-in.
File 138863326975.jpg - (1.60MB, 1280x1024, Sweets for the new year!.jpg) [iqdb]
Oh, and Happy New Year! May 2014 bring all the more 2hu self-gratification fanfiction to the light. And hopefully more updates all around...
[X] Question Diave more.
- [X] Where did he come from? How does he know about this demon? Why does he want to help?
[X] Agree to help Diave search for clues, but stay on your guard.
- [X] Speak to the Guardians.

So yeah, pump for more information. Anything that might help us understand the situation.

If he turns out to be Phantasm, I'd rather keep him where we can see him instead of letting him run around wherever he wants. "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" and all that.

"Diave", huh?
The name doesn't give any clues, and a quick google search doesn't help much.
What sounds like an amateur metal band, a peruan songstress (pretty good actually), a weather forecast for Boki Diave in Senegal, a ducati motorbike, a deleted polish wikipedia article and so on...
It appears to be a last name, is all I can really find.

So again, most likely options are that it's either Flandre or Phantasm.
Being a man suggests Phantasm because we don't really know it's true gender, we only refer to it as "she" because it appeared in the form of Remilia (and briefly as Flandre).

Although the idea just struck me that we don't know who we are right now. We may be Flandre and Diave is actually Words.
Especially since this world is very... Different. And we're currently seeing things from Remilia's point of view, too.
I'm just randomly throwing out ideas here right now, so make of that what you will.
I was thinking that the very blank appearance and changing eye color reflects the fact that Words is an anonymous blank slate for us to project our opinions through and thus is made up of several different "souls" (i.e. us) and, as the saying goes, the eyes are windows to the soul.
It could also represent Flandre's broken psyche and the most immediately obvious part of her appearance, her multicolored wings. (And right now Diave only has ONE thing noticable in his appearance, the multicolored eyes.)

Also, I saw this.
>I can’t die. She must be lying. Right?
(My emphasis.)
A slip-up or an editing mistake? I dunno. Again, make of it what you will.

Especially since it probably doesn't really mean anything anyway. Phantasm appears female, Flandre is female and last we saw (in the poppy field) Words had also taken on a female appearance.
Ah, yes, that would be an editing mistake. Just assume it had said "he" instead.
I think he's words and we are the guardian of this place.
Or we're words and he's FLandre (eyes changing)
But the more likely option is that we're Words and he's Phantasm.

[X] Question Diave more.
- [X] Where did he come from? How does he know about this demon? Why does he want to help?
[X] Keep him into custody
- [X] Speak to the Guardians.
If we are the guardian of that world, then The Girl should recognize us since she is, in a way, The World.

I think we're either Flandre or Words.
File 138889203494.jpg - (23.13KB, 400x318, Guardian of the House.jpg) [iqdb]
[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6zXr38v9Xo ]
Ib OST – Dining Room

Where have you come from, Diave?

Diave (orange eyes, now) regards you with a smile.

“Wo— Ah, wait, You go by something else in this world, donchya? Er, sorry, that was probably weird,” he mumbles. “Anyways! How do I put this? I’m from a different world than this one. Well, maybe it’s the same world, only different. Kind of like... a coin? Where one side is heads and one side is tails. I’m not all too sure, myself. All I know is I’m from a place that is not this place.”

So how do you know about this Demon?

“The Demon is from a world that’s very very far away. She got into my world, and then stirred up a bunch of trouble. We got into a big fight, and then she escaped to this world for the ‘final battle.’ ”

“So the reason I’m in danger,” I say, “is because some idiots decided to use my world as a battlefield.”


I sigh heavily. “Take the mask off; show me who you really are. How can I trust anything you’re saying?”

“I... I... I can’t! I need to keep this disguise so that she can’t tell who I am. The demon, I mean. If she were to find out, I’d be a goner. Without me, you’ll be all the more vunerable to her tricks!”

I almost feel like my glare could burn his mask off.

Hey... please, don’t fight. What happened, happened. It’s not like we can go back and change it, so let’s try to work on a solution.

“Fine. Whatever.”

Diave sighs with relief. He sends You an encouraging nod that I pretend not to notice.

“Tell me. Why do you want to protect my world and all that?”

“If you die, the Demon wins. By win, I mean she will win the battle that took place in my world, too.”

“So it’s really just a selfish motive,” I mumble.

“I... no, that’s not true. I don’t want you to... die. I’ll protect you until my last breath if need be. I’ve only just met you, but... you seem like a good person, if that makes sense. It’s silly, but you almost feel like a sister to me...” he blushes at the last line.

A sister? I guess he’s kind of like an annoying little brother.

A brother who could actually be lying about the other world, the Demon and the risk of my life. Except, try as I might, I can’t think of a plausible reason for Diave to lie. If he were the Demon, wouldn’t he try to kill me right now, in the middle of the Garden, with my Guardians elsewhere? It’d be a prime time to do such things.

Unless Your presence is what is preventing him from making a move... a disturbing thought, indeed. Make sure You stay near me at all costs, got it? You’re my plan B if Diave turns out to be deceiving us.

“I’ll humour your story, Diave, for now. Just know that if anything turns out to be false, I won’t hesitate to lock you up for a long time,” I say. “So, what’s first?”

“Ideally, we talk to some of the residents of this world, find some clues and all that.”

“We will speak to my Guardians, first, then.”

The Guardian of Time, naturally, would be the best to speak to first, since she can appear anywhere at any moment. I call out her title, and with barely a pause a pair of vines sprout from the ground in front of me.

“Have you seen anything strange in your section of the Garden lately? Besides these two showing up?” I gesture to You and Diave.

“No, Mistress,” comes the reply. “There has been nothing of interest to note.”

“Very well, carry on with your duties.”

[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHRdFILo_Yw ]
“Sonata No. 12 in D Minor, Op. 5” composed by Arcangelo Corelli

There are three realms to the Garden. In each one, one of the Guardians resides and manages the plants there. This realm has only twelve trees. Everything else is flowers, in beautiful and colourful patterns all around the trees. The trees are arranged in a circle, as I have said before, the center of which we are standing. This is the only section of the Garden in which plants grow, whereas in the other areas all plants are in a frozen state.

This realm is governed by time.

Anyways, the Guardian of Time has not seen anything in her realm, so we’ll have to move on to the Guardian of Knowledge’s.

The Guardian of Knowledge takes the form of a frail tree atop a waterfall. She cannot move, but her powers are vast. She is able to command the elements in her section to such a fine degree that she could “rip apart visitors down to their molecules,” as she puts it. I’m not sure what that means, but to my understanding it involves breaking people into tiny, tiny particles. As you can probably gather, her knowledge is vast.

Her realm is mainly populated by trees, with a few patches of patchouli spread throughout. The trees are special in that cutting away their bark will yield words; many words flow forth from these trees. The amount of information stored in these trees are beyond any other.

This realm is governed by ideas.

As we approach the Guardian herself, she reaches out to us by sending a gentle breeze in our direction.

“Greetings,” she says, her branches swaying in the breeze.

“Hello, Guardian of Knowledge. How are you today?”

“I am tired. The elements are restless today.”

“Oh?” Diave pipes up.

The sickly tree shakes all of her branches at once, causing the boy to jump.

“You are foreign to this land... why do you wear a mask? Ah, it is of no importance. To continue with my statement... the elements around here are acting strangely. The waterfall faltered and the trees crackled and groaned. The effects lasted for five minutes. Actually, now that I think of it, the scent in the air was similar to the scent of your two companions, Mistress.”

Well, all that confirms is that you guys are strange.

“And that is all?”

“Yes. If anything else of interest occurs, I will let you know.”

We leave the Guardian of Knowledge’s realm.

[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzfIEKH0NBk ]
Ib OST – No One In Sight

Each part of the Garden is like a ring, wrapping itself around the one before it. The final and largest realm of the Garden is under the care of the Guardian of the House. Her task is the most strenuous of the three Guardians, as she must protect the entire Garden and the House. No creature enters without her knowing of it. Her realm is represented by a grand maze made of hedges. The path is so complex that an outsider would take days to navigate it.

This realm is the last of my Garden’s realms, and it is governed by chaos.

Of course, I know the way out of the maze. I lead You and Diave to the other end, where the Guardian of the House sits. She takes the form of a single, unassuming dandelion. In the face of danger, however, her seeds spread into the air and multiply into more dandelions, which in turn become more dandelions, until the air is filled with dandelion seeds and one cannot help but breath them in. All who oppose her are mercilessly suffocated.

“Guardian of the House, have you seen anything of note recently?”

She takes a few moments to answer me. “No, Mistress! All has been quiet within the Garden and the House, but for the arrival of your two companions. If there was anything strange that happened recently, it would have to have been in the Field.”

“I see... thank you.”

[ ] Your next action?
[x]Question Diave about the 'battle' in his world.

It sure would be nice to get some clarity around here. This place sucks.
[x] Investigate the Field.
>“Wo— Ah, wait, You go by something else in this world, donchya? Er, sorry, that was probably weird,” he mumbles. “Anyways! How do I put this? I’m from a different world than this one. Well, maybe it’s the same world, only different. Kind of like... a coin? Where one side is heads and one side is tails. I’m not all too sure, myself. All I know is I’m from a place that is not this place.”

Right, so the way I see it either Diave is Flandre hiding her true nature, or it's Phantasm pretending to be Flandre. Or maybe "Diave" is just a fictional character being used as an avatar to affect the "Story" by Flandre/Phantasm. There's a small chance that this is Remilia's mental representation of Flandre too I guess, considering her role hasn't been mentioned like the rest of the mansion. Twist option is it's actually Remilia pretending to be Flandre to hide from Phantsm. So yeah, this is probably story-land and narrative logic probably works best here. Especially narrative logic that fits into the owner of this world's personal narrative.
I'd rather not coin-flip, so if someone could break the tie for me, that'd be great. (Next vote closes the votes.)
File 138910331446.png - (69.52KB, 357x357, paintgod.png) [iqdb]
>(Next vote closes the votes.)

[x]Question Diave about the 'battle' in his world.
File 138915107713.jpg - (206.40KB, 600x390, ART.jpg) [iqdb]
[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ9Daf-ODBY ]
Ib OST – Puppet


The boy’s mask, as expressionless as always, looks shiny in the outdoor light. His dirty brown robe sways softly when the wind picks up. He smiles, his eyes a calming yellow. There seems to be a spark of interest in those eyes. “Yes?”

Tell me more about this “battle” in your world.

The spark vanishes, and he shrugs. “Is there any more to say? You were there, dontcha remember?”

“Oh? You’re from his world, as well?” I interject. “Do tell how this fits into your scenario, Diave.” I purposely interlace a trace of parody in the sentence; the stranger shouldn’t be leaving such an important detail out.

“Well, your friend is my friend, too,” he says, either choosing not to comment on the undertones in my words, or just ignorant of them altogether. “We were working together to defeat the Demon before she escaped to this world.”

“So, explain. Explain to me what this battle was like.”

“It can’t be done very effectively. Ignoring the fact that it would take too long to explain everything, there’s also that my world is more complex than this one. There are too many weird ideas and concepts,” Diave says. He points at you. “You already know the full story. You were there. You can vouch for what has happened. If you can’t remember, well, perhaps it will come back to you?”

I remember.

“Is what he says true?”

I can confirm that there was a Demon and that I had a partner with me. Whether or not Diave is either of these, I am not sure...

“Well, I guess that’s the best I can get...” he says. “For a moment, I thought... ah, nevermind. So, uh, what’s next? Assuming there’s a next thing? I mean, there’s a next thing, right?”

For now, we shall continue our search.

As we all know, the Demon is not within the House or the Garden. This leaves only two areas left, the Field and the Wall. Unfortunately for us, the Field is much larger than the Garden, so searching will be more difficult. Perhaps if we can find the Fox or the Lynx, we can ask them for information.

What do You say?

[ ] Find the Fox.
[ ] Find the Lynx.
[ ] Go straight to the Wall.
[ ] Write-in.
File 138918512138.png - (164.88KB, 360x360, fluffy tail.png) [iqdb]
[x] Find the Fox.
Always bet on Kitsunes
[x] Find the Fox.

May as well start somewhere.
File 138967674388.jpg - (222.14KB, 508x750, The Fox of a Thousand Sins.jpg) [iqdb]
Let’s find the Fox.

“The Fox?”

“The Fox is located in the Field,” I tell Diave, stepping past the tall hedges that surround the Garden. “Come along, then!”

[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnpGVc5KEZs ]
The Witch’s House OST – Undermine

The Field is infinite. No matter how far you go, you will never reach the “end” of it. You will travel for hours that do not exist and days that do not really pass, but you will still never reach the end of the Field. Nor are there any landmarks or beings in the Field that you can meet, besides the Fox and the Lynx. There is no reason for the Field to exist. It is merely an infinite grassy plane filled with emptiness and nothing more.

The Fox’s home has no specific location – as long as you’re looking for it, you’ll find it. (This easy way to get around is the only property of the Field that I’ve liked.) The Fox’s home is a simple den. I’ve never seen the inside of the den, but I’d imagine it’s quite boring. Usually the Fox is either in his den or scouring the Field for a stray mouse or something of the like to eat. Or, in some cases, the Fox will be battling with the Lynx.

Fortunately, today he does not seem to be doing any such thing. We stop three metres from the den, and I call out the title of its master.

“Fox of a Thousand Sins, show yourself to me!”

A few second pass where there is no movement from the den. Then, the Fox himself slides out. The Fox walks on all fours and is covered in ginger fur. He possesses a long bushy tail and pointy ears on his head. His long snout sniffs the air while his hunter’s eyes regard us with a wary gaze.

“Ah,” he booms, his voice so low it almost seems out-of-place coming form his body. “It is the Mistress of the House. And...” he sniffs the air again, narrowing his eyes. “...she brings Outsiders with her. To what does a humble creature such as I owe the pleasure?”

Diave takes a tentative step towards the Fox.

The Fox hunches low to the ground, letting loose a low growl. “Do not to come any closer, Outsider,” he commands. “I do not like either of you, and nor do I like the Mistress of the House who so impertinently brings you to my home. I suggest you keep your distance.” The Fox redirects his glare to me. “Again, what is your purpose here, Mistress of the House?”

“There is a rumour that a Demon has found itself into this world and threatens our very survival. I am here for information pertaining to this event.”

“A Demon, you say?” he hops up onto a boulder next to his den, so that his eyes are level with ours. “A Demon who is also not one of your companions? Well, why should I help you, all-powerful Mistress?”

“If you don’t, and the Demon succeeds, this world will disappear.”

“So?” A snicker. “As I said, what can you give me in return?”

Well, obviously he cares not for his own life, so I’ll have to try something else. Hm... There’s not much the Fox needs or wants. He’s too prideful to accept food – he’d rather hunt for himself. I guess the only thing the Fox really cares about is his constant rivalry with the Lynx.

“Tell me, Fox. What manner of battle are you currently engaged in with the Lynx?”

He chuckles. “We are currently in our 495th battle. It has been christened the Battle of Secondary Nature; we have decided that the first to kill the other indirectly will be the victor.”

Ah. This is perfect. The rules of their battle create a perfect price for the Fox’s information: if I can kill the Lynx for him for the sake of a deal, then he will have indirectly caused the Lynx’s death, meaning he will have won the battle. If I were to propose this to him, he would surely accept, pride or no; his rivalry with the Lynx is the most important thing to him. Though, there’s always the worry that Fox does not actually have any useful information and is deceiving us for his own gains. He is, after all, called the Fox of a Thousand Sins for a reason.

Well, what do you think?

[ ] Make a deal: kill the Lynx in exchange for the Fox’s information.
[ ] Leave. Instead, let’s try to find out if the Lynx has seen the Demon or any other strange occurrences. Perhaps the Lynx will be more cooperative.
[ ] Leave the Field and investigate the Wall beyond.
[ ] Write-in.
[x] Make a deal: kill the Lynx in exchange for the Fox’s information.
[x] Then make the same offer to the Lynx, but tell it that you will need some proof that it has information-she will be more cooperative surely
>Battle of Secondary Nature

...Perhaps we should figure out what they're fighting over before making any decisions?
[x} Ask why they're fighting each other.
[x] Leave. Instead, let’s try to find out if the Lynx has seen the Demon or any other strange occurrences. Perhaps the Lynx will be more cooperative.

Let's see what both sides have to say first.
[x] Suggest a deal: kill the Lynx in exchange for the Fox’s information.
[x] But talk to the Lynx first, to find out if it has any information that might help us better than what the Fox might have.

Since we have no guarantee that the Fox actually has any information at all, we might want to check with both sides before committing to either of them.
As long as one of them can prove that they have valuable information, we will offer to help that side.
If neither of them can actually help, we leave them to their endless grudge and move on.

Another thing that might be worth knowing is, what's the score?
Since they areat number 495, that means they have fought an even number of battles (494) so far. Are they at a 50/50 win/loss ratio or is one of them in the lead over the other? Who won the last match? Do they usually win every other match or does it go back and forth in bigger waves?
It could be an important thing to know as bargaining chips while making any deals.
Would probably be less suspicious is either Diave or our mystery voice asks "out of curiosity" (it may even be truly out of curiousity, but if not then that's our excuse), since Remilia will be the one making any deals.
We ask, Remilia "overhears" and uses it as leverage for her deal.
For example, if they've always won every other battle so far (unlikely, but this world is only representative and not actually "real", so it's possible), our interference could tip that balance and create their first win streak.
Which would be an immense point of pride. Even if they keep battling forever, there is only one "first".

They're probably not fighting for a reason, they're just fighting because it's what they do.
[x} Ask why they're fighting each other.

>They're probably not fighting for a reason, they're just fighting because it's what they do.

I'm not willing to take the risk of just dismissing it as that; they might be representations of Remilia's inner turmoil regarding her family or her own nature. If they are fighting over something like trusting your family, then picking the wrong side might just end up with us beating the Demon only to lose Remilia to her own pride.

Thus I'd like to what their current battle is about. If it's just for the lulz then that's a weight off my mind.

[x] Ask what they are fighting over.
I think I might have lost an important point when I wrote and re-wrote my post, like I usually do before I'm happy with it.
It was supposed to be: they appear to be expys of Kaguya and Mokou, the only two people in Gensokyo who have turned killing eachother into a routine, and that's why they're probably not fighting for a reason.
But I also said that it's a good idea to know for sure anyway, so yeah. Ask them.
File 138993750039.jpg - (80.51KB, 500x333, I am victorious tonight Fox.jpg) [iqdb]
[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnpGVc5KEZs ]
The Witch’s House OST – Undermine

I’d like to at least ask the Fox a question, first.

Ah...? Well, go ahead.

You nod in the Fox’s direction. His youthful eyes focus on You.

Why are you and the Lynx fighting each other?

The Fox tilts his head to his side a bit at Your question. For a few moments, he stares at You, as if he were staring down a particularly complex puzzle that had been alluding him for some time.

“Oh. You were serious. My apologies,” he mutters, finally, “I thought you were joking. If you must know, the Lynx and I are mortal enemies. Our hatred for each other runs deep; it has been so for eternity. The Lynx is a powerful enemy. Her goal is to literally consume me. Every time I lose a battle, she devours my body. I, of course, will reappear eventually, but it spares me no pain.”

He casts his gaze to the blank white sky above. “Yes... I will even acknowledge the beauty in her perfectly-designed body. She is a hunter, one superior to myself, which makes her my predator. However, I am not weak. While she may be the most powerful between the two of us, I am the most cunning... the most clever. By using my great intellect, I can bridge the gap between our abilities. She is also very lazy, so that may contribute as well, as much as I'd like to forget it.” He tacks on that last part dryly.

Diave speaks up. “Why keep fighting? Maybe you guys could—”

The Fox barks – literally, of course – causing Diave to cease speaking mid-sentence. “We can never be anything else but enemies. This is the natural order of things.”

“Are you sure?” Diave says, fingering the chin of his mask idly. “What makes you think you can’t change the ‘natural order?’ ”

The Fox shuts his eyes. A light breeze slips past, ruffling his illustrious fur. “Enough of this small talk. Either propse an offer I can’t possibly refuse, or leave.”

[ ] Make an offer: we will kill the Lynx in exchange for the Fox’s information.
[ ] Leave. Instead, let’s try to find out if the Lynx has seen the Demon or any other strange occurrences. Perhaps the Lynx will be more cooperative.
[ ] Leave the Field and investigate the Wall beyond.
[ ] Write-in.
[X] Leave. Instead, let’s try to find out if the Lynx has seen the Demon or any other strange occurrences. Perhaps the Lynx will be more cooperative.

There's nothing that really says we can't come back here if the Lynx turns out to be another dead end, and we have nothing to lose and everything to gain from talking to the Lynx too.
[x] maybe the lazy purple lynx knows something
File 139001849584.jpg - (212.15KB, 708x1127, The Lynx of a Thousand Faces.jpg) [iqdb]
I clear my throat. “To be honest, Fox, I have decided to move on for now. If I can think of something that will please you, I will return.”

He nods. “I’ll be looking forward to it.”

We leave.

Like the Fox’s den, the Lynx’s home has no specific location within the Field. As long as you are looking for it, you’ll find it. Her home is within a cluster of trees. I’ve never stepped foot in between those trees, but I’d imagine it’s not very interesting. The Lynx spends her days either napping or hunting the Fox. Her life sounds incredibly dull.

As we approach the line of trees, I call out the title of their mistress.

“Lynx of a Thousand Faces, show yourself to me!”

[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEeINudl7sY ]
Alice mare OST - Murdered

A few second pass where there is no movement from the trees. Then, the Lynx herself appears out of the air, resting on the branch of the closest tree. Her long ears twitch as she stretches, her back arching and her mitten-like paws outstretched. Her body is flawless; a perfect combination of beauty and power.

The Lynx’s hunter eyes watch us closely.

“Hello~” she sings, her voice elegant and melodic. “I was not expecting visitors. And... Outsiders. Interesting... I cannot recall your title, Outsider.” She waves a paw in Diave’s direction.

“I am Diave,” says our masked companion. “You sound like you’ve spoken to me before.”

The Lynx shakes her head. “No, no, never. I just usually can recall a person’s title just by looking at them. Perhaps it is the mask.” She shifts her gaze to You. “I can tell who You are... as well as the Mistress of the House. Hello, Miss. I don’t often see you out here. Do you need something?”

“Yes. I don’t want to keep you, so I’ll get right to the point. We are in search of something dangerous that may have gotten loose in our world. Have you seen any strange events lately?”

“Dangerous? Interesting. Hm, well... perhaps I have seen three things. The first is seeing these two companions of yours. Where did such odd Outsiders come from? We’ve never had new faces in this world. That aside, the second thing...”

The Lynx hops down from her perch in the tree. She walks towards us. “The Fox has been unusually restless for the last ten battles. Furthermore, he’s dead-set on believing that the last ten battles were all the 494th battle, and only now we are in the 495th. I’ll be the first to admit that he wouldn’t normally make such a silly mistake, especially in math of all things...”

She fades into dust before our eyes. Don’t be alarmed, though; it is a simple theatric that she enjoys using.

“Oh, and the third thing,” her disembodied voice continues, “an unusual creature has been moving about near the edge of the Wall. I’m not really sure what this creature is, or what it’s doing here, but the Fox can tell you more about it. He met with the creature personally.”

The Lynx reappears on her perch in the tree. “That’s all the out-of-ordinary I can remember right now. I would like to get back to my nap, so will that be all?”

[ ] Yes, thank you.
- [ ] Go back and make the deal with the Fox. We need more information on this “unusual creature.”
- [ ] We have enough information. Let’s go to the Wall and try to see this “unusual creature.”
[ ] Wait, one more thing! (Specify)
[x] "The fox won't tell me smack unless I kill you so no luck there. Just one last thing:"
-[x] Why do you think you can't see this guy's title? I'm on the fence of trusting him or not and that sounds highly suspicious.
[x] Wait, one more thing!
-[x] Ask what they are fighting over?

Well we already asked one, so we might as well ask the other.


Diave claimed to be hiding his identity from the demon because he'd be a goner if it found out. If finding out his identity were that easy he'd already have failed. Besides, if Diave is Flandre it's kinda mean to say we don't trust her, and if it's the demon we let it know we're still on guard. The way I see it, the most likely possibilities are Flan is Diave and the creature is Phantasm, or Diave is Phantasm and the creature is Flandre. But it's impossible to tell for sure.

Telling the Lynx that the Fox won't tell us anything about the creature without making a deal is an interesting idea though. The Lynx will probably realise that the only thing we could really offer the Fox is it's own death, and what happens after that I don't know. I suppose we could also offer the Fox sanctuary in the house but I doubt that he would care.

Finally, it seems like the Fox might be working with the creature, but whether it's Flandre or Phantasm is unknown. It's interesting that the Fox is insisting that it's the 495th battle considering the significance of that number. It seems to mirror Flan's thoughts on her age and how she stopped bothering to count after 495 (that was this story right?) although what that means is anyone's guess.
[X] Wait, one more thing!
-[X] Ask what they are fighting over?

I also want to vote for looking at the creature to get more pieces of the puzzle before we act, but I'm just worried about the wording for the votes, "need more information before meeting creature" vs "enough information, go meet creature". It sounds like an "after you go, there is no turning back" choice you'd get outside the boss castle in an RPG.

The Fox said that their current battle was about indirectly killing each other, but the Lynx says that the Fox is loopy and cannot into math. Does the Lynx believe that their current battle has a different theme and set of rules?
Might be worth knowing, to unravel this specific part of the mystery.

If the Fox has insisted that the last ten battles are #494, then something must have happened long before we (and Phantasm) came here. There's no way they've had time to have ten battles since then.
Which probably means that there is some significance to the number 494 or 495, since it's part of how the world is. The alternative is that Phantasm can use the Luna Dial here too, but that would be a massive headache to deal with, so let's hope not.
Either way, now we at least know that something is going on with the Fox/Lynx.
Either there is something about the Fox and it's insistance on 494/495, or the Lynx is lying.
Just because it seems more straightforward than the Fox doesn't mean we can just blindly trust it. What if the real Lynx is "out of the picture" (permanently dead, trapped, captured, whatever) and this is Phantasm disguised as the Lynx and trying to throw us off by making us suspect the Fox?

Then there's of course still the risk of Diave being Phantasm, or this new creature could be Phantasm.

Remember: Paranoia is justified when a shapeshifting trickster actually is out to get you.

Flandre's age at 495 is sort of canon since, iirc, Remilia's age is stated as 500 years old and Flandre is five years younger.

Well, either way, Diave's current identity is hidden. We have gotten his reason for it, but whether or not we trust that explanation is what this whole thing is about.

Telling the Lynx that we might have to kill it, straight to it's face, might not be the best idea though.
Sure, their battles are a bit "business is business", but we are still risking losing a potential ally in case it turns out something is wrong with the Fox. The Lynx won't trust us not to stab it in the back if we tell it that we have all but made a deal with the Fox to kill it.
(I'm assuming the Lynx is smart enough to understand the implication of us making a deal with the Fox, because the only things they would want from us would be something to further their fight against each other.)
It would be interesting to know, though.
>Flandre's age at 495 is sort of canon since, iirc, Remilia's age is stated as 500 years old and Flandre is five years younger.

I can't exactly find anything saying Remilia is exactly 500, only "approximately" 500. Likewise, Flandre is "approximately" 495. So, probably give or take a few years.

Also, remember that that was when EoSD first came out. Since then, both Remi and Flan have gotten older.

>Flandre's age at 495 is sort of canon since, iirc, Remilia's age is stated as 500 years old and Flandre is five years younger.

I'm aware, but I kind of remember Flandre claiming to be 495 years old and then saying she'd been that age for a while because she couldn't really tell the passing of time anymore. That might have been a different story though.

Regardless, Flandre was 495 at the time of EoSD which was set at least a few years before this story and possibly longer. Like ten years for instance, which would fit rather well with the whole repeating the same battle ten times thing. Maybe Remilia just can't let go of the past and refuses to acknowledge that she lost all those years ago? Incidentally, there's a comparison to be made regarding the Fox and Lynx considering how Remilia feels about Flandre. Flandre is "naturally superior" than Remilia, but Flan is also "lazy" and not even nearly as clever as Remi. Their battle could represent Remilia struggling to be better than Flan. If the Lynx isn't taking their battles as seriously as the Fox is then that might indicate this theory has merit. But enough speculation for now.

So yeah, basically what >>57597 said.
It's never enough speculation.
That theory is really interesting and could explain a lot.
File 139035211334.jpg - (535.24KB, 1920x1080, and here's a [probably] irrelevant battle.jpg) [iqdb]
Wait, one more thing!

The Lynx nods. “I thought so; you seem to be a curious sort. What is it?”

What are you and the Fox fighting about?

“Well, how do I explain this easily? Look at the sky,” she says, glancing up herself. “It’s white, right? Why is it white? We don’t know why, we just know that it is. Just like the sky is white, the Fox is my prey, and I will hunt him for as long as I am able. I need no other reason; being the predator of the Fox is a part of my identity. Believe it or not, it’s my job to terrorize the Fox.

“But it’s not just that simple. If the Fox were to disappear, I would eventually disappear too. I depend on the Fox to exist. The Fox can live independently of me, so he will do anything he can to destroy me forever. Long ago, these trees of mine spread across the Field, and even beyond the Wall itself. The Fox is very smart, and he has used his superior intelligence to create things that can shrink my forests. What you see here is the last of my home.

“Does that answer your question?”

Yes, thank you.

“Wait! If you lose these battles with the Fox, does your forest shrink?” Diave asks. His eyes briefly flashes a pale purple, before settling on sharp green.

“Sometimes. It doesn’t happen all too often, though. In fact, sometimes the forest grows, too. Especially if I’ve won a lot of battles in a row...”

The Lynx hops down from her perch and goes deeper into the cluster of trees that mark her home.

“I’m going to sleep now,” her disembodied voice states. “See you around.”

[ ] So, what’s next?
[x] time to investigare the wall beyond.

I'm fresh out of ideas.
Hm, so lynx and fox represent youkai and humans. Maybe, different aspects of Remilia's mind? Either way, I'm not so sure that we should get caught up in their little battle, and I'm not convinced that the fox knows much. So, for now:

[x] time to investigate the wall beyond.
File 139077942134.jpg - (351.59KB, 1620x614, The Wall.jpg) [iqdb]
“Well, now what?” Our robed companion’s eyes switch to yellow.

“The Wall,” I say, spinning on my heel and stepping farther into the emptiness of the Field. “I’m bored of speaking to these commonfolk.”

Neither Diave nor You argue; our mismatched trio set out to the Wall.

I have said this before: the Field has no end. Contrary to this fact, the Wall surrounds the Field. As long as you keep walking with no destination in mind, the Field will continue. As soon as you decide that you want to go somewhere – be it the House, the Fox’s den, the Lynx’s woods, or the Wall – you will find it. This is the only redeeming aspect of the otherwise empty Field.

I have never seen the Wall. I know of its existence, and I’ve looked upon it from afar, but I have never gotten close. The Wall feels strange. The closer you get to it, the more awake you feel. What do I mean by awake? Everything feels more there... more solid. My mind feels clearer. It’s not a comfortable feeling in the least; the clarity that accompanies the Wall is too overstimulating. I feel so awake that the world seems like it could fall apart around me. Thus, I have never attempted to approach it, for fear of causing something irreversible to happen.

This time, I must approach the Wall. There is a creature that we must meet.

As we get closer and closer, I begin to feel it. That clarity. The view of the sky becomes more detailed. I realize that there are countless clouds floating in that sky. They’re made of water and ice, I think. The clouds here are dark and stormy – the boom of thunder and flashes of lightning greets us from a distance.

The dead grass gives way to small red flowers. Hundreds, thousands, millions of red flowers, in all directions. No longer can we see the dead grass that is trademark of the Field. Growing here and there between the flowers are these long metal plants. They’re sharp – sharp enough to cut flesh. I’ve never seen such dangerous plants before.

Diave places his hand on the top one of the metal plants.

“This,” he says, “is a sword. They are used to kill. This is probably how the Demon intends to harm you.”

“A sword...”

What he says sounds right.

Lightning continues to flash, but there is no rain to accompany it.

We can see trees far away, but no matter how long we travel, they never get any closer to them.

We continue onwards, our eyes Searching.

It feels like hours have passed.

The flowers of red continue forever and ever. The swords that stick out of the ground come in many shapes, sizes, and colours.

How did these flowers get here? Why does the Wall exist? Does it exist to keep us contained, or to keep us safe from whatever is Beyond?

[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPO4WU6qoMg]
Ib OST - Old Doll (by Amacha Music)

Eventually, we see something in the distance. It stands out amongst all of the red because it is distinctly black. We approach it quietly.

There is a small girl there. She wears only a scarlet nightgown, which just barely covers her body. Her hair seems to have been blonde at one point, but it’s tainted with all manner of dirt and grime. Extending from her back are eight gnarled... legs. The legs are not human-like, but rather segmented, like an insect or something. They are curled up and appear to be made of a dark black wood. On each leg is a differently-coloured eye.

This must be the “strange creature” the Lynx told us about.

At first glance, the girl appeared to be asleep, but I realize that she’s watching us silently.

“Hello,” I say, kneeling next to her. “I am the Mistress of the House. What is your title?”

The girl narrows her eyes. She reaches out towards me. Her small dirty hand comes to rest on mine for a few moments, but then she moves it away.

“I am the Spider!” she sings. “The itsy-bitsy Spider~”

Her extra segmented legs uncurl themselves, raising her petite frame several feet into the air. She stares down at me, frowning. I stand up to speak to her eye-to-eye.

“So... you’ve finally decided to meet me?” she asks, chewing on her index finger nervously.

“ ‘Finally?’ ”

“It’s been 495 years,” she pauses, staring into the distance. “I think? 456... 495... 502...? I don’t remember anymore. It doesn’t matter, anyways. You’re finally here, and that’s all I need.” A smile lights up her face.

“Waitwaitwait,” Diave protests. “Why are you here, at the Wall? I thought it was empty out here.”

The Spider steps over me, stopping in front of Diave.

“Outsider...? You helped Mistress find me, didn’t you? Thank you. Oh, and your question: I’ve always been here. I’ve been waiting to meet the Mistress! And now she’s here! Oh, and You too!” She place a hand on Your forehead. “Thank you.”

“Spider, we don`t have time to socialize. There’s a bit of a problem,” I say. A little rough, maybe, but my life is on the line here.

“A problem? What manner of problem? Besides this thunderstorm.”

“We have reason to believe that there is a Demon amongst us. This is why we are here.”

[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=jIYPIU7mC5k ]
“Room” by Presence of Music
Original: http://www.geocities.jp/presence_of_music/music/Room.mp3

Her pupils visibly shrink. “A Demon...”

I take a step back. The eyes on the Spider's extra legs begin to swap colours spastically.

“Well, isn’t it kind of obvious (even just a little bit)? The Demon can only be someone from Beyond. An Outsider. And we only have two outsiders here... unless you count me, since you can’t really prove if I’m from this world or Beyond... if it means anything, though, I’m pretty sure I’ve lived by the Wall for ten forevers.”

We all stand in silence.

The Wall. Such a desolated place. A boundary between here and Beyond. It is only here that I can see how thin this world really is. It is as if this world is but a thin layer of paper, floating in an empty space. And Beyond... there are other pages floating in that empty space, aren’t there?

Diave said that there were three who came from his world; a Demon, himself, and You. The Spider says that the only people who can be this Demon are Outsiders: that’s obvious, and it lines up with what Diave said. The real question comes down to whether or not the Spider is an Outsider or not. She claims she is a part of this world, so if she's right, that means one of two things: there is still a third Outsider running loose in this world right now, or Diave was lying about there being a third.

If the Spider is an Outsider, than we have all three present right now. It would also mean that she lied about being from this world. If she lied, there’s a chance she’s actually the Demon, trying to hide her true identity. If she’s telling the truth, then Diave could be lying, perhaps also to hide his true identity.

Perhaps Diave is lying about his identity and he is the Demon. Or, the Spider is lying about her identity and she is not from this world and is the Demon. The only explanation that matches both stories is if You are the Demon. But is there a way to prove any of these three? How can we tell who is who, if this Demon can take any form it pleases?

[ ] Ask questions or try to prove something: your words are your own.
Hmmm... tricky, tricky. First off, I'm more and more convinced that Diave is in fact Flandre. The multi-colored shifting eyes, matching the gems on her wings(not to mention spider, but more on that later). Diave claims to be from a world that is like 'the other side of a coin to this one.' And Remilia, just now, notes that there are other 'pages' out there, beyond. This is a realm of words, in other words, a book. And what is on the other side of a page in a book? The future of the story. Diave has walked through time, much like Flandre. This, and other things, lead me to believe that we can trust Diave.

The three guardians are Sakuya, Meiling, and Patchouli as Remilia sees them: openly loyal, but secretly plotting her demise. The lynx and the fox are youkai and human as she sees them. And the Spider> The being at the very edges of Remilia's perception, who has longed to meet her for so long? Her perception of Flandre.

So. What of the House? Why did the House act on its own to shut out Diave? For all that Remilia fancies herself the ruler of her domain, the House immediately overruled her. And I can't help but think that Phantasm was unknown to Remilia; as far as she would know, her servants would know nothing of it either. I find myself wondering if the Demon has already arrived before us, and is taking a more roundabout means of killing Remilia.

So, questions:

[x] To the spider: did you speak to the fox? What did you talk about?
[x] To Diave: you asked about whether the lynx's forest shrunk whenever it lost battles with the fox. Did you get anything out of that.
-[x] We seem to be comrades. Shall we call ourselves friends?
[x] To the Narrator: the House refused to allow entry to Diave when we first met him. Does it do that often? Show initiative such as that?

Any more thoughts. Also, in a realm of words... are we able to re-write things a little bit? I'm going to meditate on figuring out if anyone here is lying...
[X] This >>57664

I think this is probably the best "who's who" theory right now, so I'm going to back this up.
File 139127499022.jpg - (4.82KB, 540x150, silver sword.jpg) [iqdb]
I believe the tasks falls upon me to find out the truth.

I nod. “Among us here, You seem the most trustworthy.”

“Not that I disagree, but what makes you say that?” Diave asks.

“Call it intuition, if you’d like.”

The Spider claps her hands loudly, grabbing our attention. “I, uh, agree with the Mistress. You seem like a kind soul, Outsider. If that makes any sense.”

Good, because I’m going to talk to you first, Miss Spider. Have you met the Fox?

“Oh yeah, the Fox! He seems kind of cold, doesn’t he? He’s actually warm once you get to know him. Warm like a bath. But, yeah, I met him. I don’t usually leave this scarlet prison...” she gestures to the flowers around us. “...but I did recently go out there, just once. First time I’ve ever been out of here, actually. That was how I met the Fox.”

What happened?

“Phisophy, I think. He saw me, and suddenly he wanted to know the purpose of the existence of other beings besides himself. Maybe he doesn’t like non-Fox people?”

What did you say?

Her ears flush a light pink. “Uhm, well, I told him that the other beings exist to bring balance. He can’t exist on his own, right? It’s important to have, uh... balance.”

I see. Thank you for your cooperation.

Now, Mistress, your turn...

“Let’s go speak over there,” I say, pointing to a spot where a thin silver sword sits. “You two place nice, now!” Diave nods absently, his eyes pale-purple.

You and I step over to the sword of silver. The sword is beautifully crafted. It’s very thin, obviously meant for stabbing, and made of something lighter than the metal the other swords are made from.

Anyways, now we’re alone. What was it You wanted?

Earlier, the House refused to let you meet Diave at first. Does it do that often? Show such initiave?

I place a hand on my chin.

Short answer? No.

I’ve never had a visitor before, unless you count my own Guardians. Perhaps the House has always intended to shut out strangers, but... well, it’s not like the House to be that cold, no. The only other time I remember the House being so on-edge was when the wall was first erected, but I don’t remember much of those days anymore. Besides that, no... the House shutting out Diave was strange. The House didn’t even shut You out, and you’re a stranger as well.

Thank you. I will speak to Diave next. Can you call him over?

“Diave, come here!”

The boy joins us at the sword. He studies it carefully, his eyes crimson.

“Yes, what is it?” he says, shifting his gaze back to us.

Diave. I’m wondering something.

“Go ahead, ask it,” he says, eyes blue.

You asked the Lynx a question about her forest shrinking earlier. Did you get anything insightful out of her response?

He shrugs. “I was curious. I mean, I know a lot about this world already, but with more information, it helps pinpoint what in this world mirrors what in my world. I feel like the Fox and the Lynx represent an age-old battle from my world.”

I see.... So, do you have any hunches about this place? The Wall and the Spider, I mean.

He nods, closing his eyes. Gathering his thoughts, perhaps. The sound of distant thuder booms in the distance. A quiet breeze brushes us, causing the flowers to sway.

“I’m sure you know what the Wall itself is. There aren’t many awe-inspiring barriers like this in my world. As for this field, well...

“I feel like, maybe...

“The Spider might be the Demon,” Diave mumbles, eyes hazel. “Though I am loathe to bring up such a harsh accusation... Remember, in my world, you told me about how you met the Demon in a field of poppies and swords. And, this... this is certainly a similar field. Considering this is a world of symbolism, it makes sense. Plus, the Spider is taking a form similar to my own in our world. Perhaps she intends to fool us into thinking she is actually me.”

A troubling idea, but not entirely invalid... thank you for your insight.

“You’re welcome.”

We seem to be comrades, Diave. Shall we call ourselves... friends?

The masked Outsider pauses again. His expressionless mask betrays no emotion, his eyes (pink-purple, now) the only source of life visible on him.

He nods. “Of course! We’re the best of friends. We always will be.”

Three seconds of silence.

[ ] Ask questions or try to prove something: your words are your own.
This one is pretty though. I'll think about it, but I'll have to re read the entire thread.
Hm. A world of words, of pattern and symbolism. But there are so few clues to work with. Or rather, there are clues that are obscure and hard to work with. Let's take a step back. This is Remilia's world, clearly. The house she owns and the world beyond it. What is Remilia aware of? Her servants, the battle between human and youkai, the general layout of Gensokyo, the plot to take her life.

What else is she aware if? Flandre and Words, coming to battle her, intruders in her world. IE words and Diave. And she is also aware of Flandre, the sister she considers better than her, lurking on the edge of awareness. But was Remilia ever aware of Phantasm? Did she realize Phantasm's presence? I don't think so.

I think Phantasm entered the world at the same time as us and Diave. I think that she is being very subtle, and laying low. I honestly think that Phantasm, the Demon, might be possessing the House, and trying to cut Remilia off from all those who would help her. Eventually, Remilia becomes vulnerable all on her own, and more pliable. A death of the soul, you could say.

But I still don't know how to find the Demon in this world of words. And I don't think that the Demon is one of the figures before us. But I'm not sure how to convince the Mistress of this fact. In the end, the Demon might be closer to home than she realizes, unseen by the Guardians.

...The Guardian of Time only said that nothing strange had happened in her section of the Garden. The Guardian of Knowledge said that something strange happened in her section of the Garden. But the Guardian of the House said that if anything strange had happened, it would have to have happened in the field. This directly clashes with what the Guardian of Knowledge said. Meaning that the Guardian of the House could have been in error, and something else is going on back at the House.

tldr; I have no clue. I'm gonna sleep on this. Anybody else have a good idea?
The Spider and Diave must represent Flandre and Phantasm. The problem is we don't know which one is which. Asking them about themselves hasn't clarified the issue much since Phantasm knows enough about Flandre to pass herself off as her, at least superficially. So I think we should approach this problem from a different angle.

[x] Ask the Spider and Diave to tell us about ourself, and our relationship with both of them.

Whoever knows more about us must be Flandre. Phantasm knows some of our adventure from when Remilia read Flandre's diary, but she knows nothing of what happened to us after we were locked in the labyrinth. Also, Phantasm may be able to tell us what happened and how, but only Flandre will know why we did what we did and how we felt about it. Our friend is the one who tells us something that Phantasm can not know.

...I think you might be onto something here. Diave is probably our Flandre, and the Spider is probably Remilia's representaion of her.

Best way to convince Remi is probably to say we want to check out the House's odd behaviour before we decide. Perhaps we should bring the Spider with us? I wonder if the House will reject her too?


I don't think the Spider will know much about us either way. She's not our Flandre, she's Remilia's mental representation of Flandre. She'll only know what Remilia knows about our relationship. That doesn't mean she's not Phantasm, mind you. On the other hand, asking Diave about ourself could help confirm his identity.

I think the Spider being in the field of poppies probably represents how Flan uncovered the plot for Remilia rather than her being Phantasm.

My theory is that >>57728 is correct and the house itself is possessed. Alternativly, one of the Guardians or Remilia herself is Phantasm.

What we should do is ask Diave some questions only Flan would know the answer to and confirm his/her identity, then check the House and Gardens more thoroughly for Phantasm.

Either way, we shouldn't leave Diave alone. If he's Flan the demon will be gunning for him and if he isn't then we don't want him out of our sight.

My apologies for this post's roughness, I'm not feeling too well at the moment.
I agree.

This world represents Remilia's views of Gensokyo, meaning there must be a Flandre here, because she's one of the things that Remilia actually cares about.
If the Fox represents humanity and the Lynx represents youkai (humans pushing youkai towards extinction, and now they're only in Gensokyo), it also makes sense that the Spider has met the Fox, but not the Lynx (Remilia knows that Flandre met Reimu/Marisa in EoSD, but she doesn't know about her meeting anyone else).

Fox and Lynx = humans and youkai would also explain the reason why the Fox thinks they're still on battle number 495, Gensokyo is a realm that is very much stuck in time, as far as human development is concerned. Remilia came from the outside world long after Gensokyo was established, so she knows how far behind it is.
I think the number 495 is either a red herring or only relevant because this is Remilia's world, and the number is important to her but not to humans/youkai in general.
495 is Flandre's age
Yes, I know. We discussed that earlier. That's why I think it might be relevant to Remilia, but not to humanity and youkai in general.
File 139189514053.jpg - (12.66KB, 310x440, Crown of Scarlet.jpg) [iqdb]
Diave, I need to ask you another question. Something that will help me determine who’s who here.

His eyes are blue. “You think I’m the Demon, right?”

Not necessarily. I just need more evidence.

“I understand,” he says, nodding. “What is it?”

Can you tell me about myself?


I mean... tell me everything you know about me, and us, whether it’s from this world or the other one.

“Alright... let me see... I know that you’re from some sort of dimension that’s beyond mine. You don’t have a physical body in my world, but you still are able to speak to me. We worked hard together, even traveling through time. You’re... you’re one of my best friends.”

...I see. Thank you.

“You’re very welcome. I suppose you’re going to ask the Spider the same question?”

Yes. We’ll get to the bottom of this.

He nods, eyes pale purple. “Good luck.”

The clap of thunder resounds in the distance. It’s louder... as if the lightning was getting closer. Another breeze picks up, this one strong enough to blow petals into the air from the red flowers beneath our feet. The petals smell unkind.

The Spider is still a little ways off, examining something on the ground. As you draw near, she turns, holding something in her hands.

“A gift for You, sir. Madam?” she says, placing a flower crown of poppies on your head. “You’re wearing a dress, but your face keeps changing...” the Spider eyes Your chest for a moment. You raise a puzzled eyebrow and she glances away, her ears pink. “W-well, I guess it doesn’t matter.”

Thank you for this, but... why a gift?

“I just thought, you know, for everything...”

What do you mean?

Her head tilts to the side. “What do You mean, ‘what do you mean?’ It’s because you deserve it. I’m not alone right now, right? You brought my sis— the Mistress here. And... well, from some other stuff.”

You can hear a quiet murmuring from around You. You dismiss it as the wind.

“Sis? She’s your sister?”

“Yeah... I don’t think she remembers, though. It’s easy to forget things in this world. In fact, I probably would have forgotten too, had I not been so close to the Wall... it helps your brain stay focused, you know?” she mumbles something under her breath. “For example, I’m sure she’ll forget you ever existed in a few years from now. Memories are bipolar.

“By the way... is there really a Demon here? What d’You think it’s trying to do?”

Apparently it wants to destroy this world. And, in order to do that, it has to kill the Mistress of the House.

The Spider chews on her ring finger nervously. “That’s terrible.”

Yes. Well, to help figure out who the Demon is, I’ve been asking everyone questions. Which brings to me to why I’m over here.


My question is: what am I to you?

“Oh! One moment.” She sits down cross-legged, her segmented legs furling up. She begins to pick the flowers around her feet. “Well... You are You, aren’t You? I don’t really know You all that well, but at the same time I feel like I’ve known You all my life. I know, that’s a weird contradiction, isn’t it? I’d like to blame the Wall for contradictions like that, but I know it’s just me being me. But sorry, I’m rambling...

“If I could describe You with one word, I’d use the word ‘light.’ When I look at You, Your soul seems like a beacon of light in a dark place.”

Two seconds of silence.

[ ] Write-in.
I am becoming increasingly suspicious of Diave. He answered our question, but everything he said is all information that Phantasm knows about us. Phantasm knows that we originated from a dimension beyond Gensokyo and possess no physical body of our own, because the same can be said about her. She knows that we have been helping Flandre and that we traveled back in time together. She also knows that we are one of Flandre's only friends. Nothing in Diave's answer specifically pins him as being Flandre.

However, the Spider said some very Flandre-ish things. "I don’t really know You all that well, but at the same time I feel like I’ve known You all my life." Flandre really has known us all of her life. Before we came along, all she had was a Not-life. We brought light to her dark, lonely world. The Spider even rambles like the real Flandre does, whereas Diave has been consistently rational in our interactions with him. Rationality and coherency are two very un-Flandre-like traits.

I think Diave is the Demon. Diave was even the first person to accuse the Spider of being the Demon before we got a chance to really get to know her,possibly in an attempt to throw us off the trail and kill the wrong person.

I'm starting to concur, and I've been convinced that he's Flandre all this time. After this last post, though...

First of all, there's that very generic statement he made, and where he mentioned Words "speaking" to Flandre, and not "writing" to him. A very unusual slip-up.

Spider describes Words as a bright light in her life. That really jumps out at me. If this was just about Remilia's perceptions, why would her view of Flandre regard Words as a positive existence? That also occurs to me.

And finally, the whole bit about Outsiders in Remilia's world. Patchouli, Meiling, and Sakuya all belong in her world. Flandre belongs in her world, though she has been banished to the edges of her perceptions. Phantasm and Words do not belong in her world. And while Words didn't trigger a response from Remilia's House, the House actively tried to eject Diave... as though it recognized a dangerous threat.

Or I could be completely wrong. I need to think this over some more.

...Are we sure that "the Mistress" and Spider are not both Flandre? Could be that this entire world is Flan's, and we're dealing with different facets of her. We apparently pulled Phantasm into a world of Flan's devising, but nothing states that we brought Remilia along too. Diave might just be another Flandre.

I just had the amusing thought that Diave might be Remilia pretending to be Flandre, but I'm not sure there's any value to the idea.

Meh, I'm just kind of throwing out ideas at this point to see if anything sticks.

>Spider describes Words as a bright light in her life. That really jumps out at me. If this was just about Remilia's perceptions, why would her view of Flandre regard Words as a positive existence? That also occurs to me.

Remilia might have interrogated Flandre after she lost the battle at the start of thread 2, thus Remilia would have at least some idea of their relationship. I'm not particularly convinced that's the case however.
You know what I think? I think that Flandre tried to enter with us, and got stuck in the spider, which is obviously Remilia's version of Flandre. That's why she obviously fills the part of Flandre (hidden away in a scarlet prison) but also plays as our flandre (the stuff about light, the fact that she recognizes us, etc)

The only solid things against Diave are the mansion's response, the 'speak thing', the mask, and the fact that she thinks that the spider is Flandre... does she not recognize herself as she was 2 weeks ago? The scarlet prison, 495 years, her rambling? Come on!

[x] Diave, would you say the spider is living its life fully right now?
(right answer: not life)
[x] Take off the mask!
File 139235987544.jpg - (445.05KB, 892x1262, True Form.jpg) [iqdb]
Wouldn't you know it, I totally messed up the numbering of the post's titles and didn't notice for nearly a month. Not that it matters in the long run, but it's a pretty silly blunder...


Thank you for your help, Miss Spider. I will be back in a moment.


The girl continues to pick the flowers around her as You step away. You find yourself back at the sword where Diave and I are standing.

“Anything?” I ask.

Yes... and no.

“What do you mean, yes and no? Is the Spider the Demon or not? In case you’ve forgotten, my life is on the line here.”

I don’t have any evidence yet. I promise you, I will get to the bottom of this.

Diave’s eyes watch you with green. “I assume you have something for me, then?”

Yes, Diave. If you had to describe the Spider’s existence here, how would you describe it?

“Well, that’s simple. I would say it’s a ‘not-life’... much like my own existence. The Spider is obviously meant to... well, mirror me, I guess? This is a ‘world of symbolism,’ so everything we know from the other world has been mirrored in a similar, though different way from before. I may have neglected to consider that she is neither the real me nor the Demon, but instead a denizen of this world who represents me. Let me apologize for such a snap judgment...”

It begins to rain. Not heavy or fast – just light, quiet drops here and there. A drop slides down Diave’s mask to the flowers below.

“Diave,” I begin, fixing him with a hard stare. “Take off the mask.”

Red eyes. “Why? I don’t think that’s a good idea, Mistress.”

“How can we believe you are who you say you are if you’re constantly in disguise? We need to be able to trust you, alright? Take off the mask.”

“But what about the Demon? If it figures out who I am, it will surely kill me. And, if that happens, my friend will also perish, because we are tied together.” He places a hand over his heart.

“To be blunt, Diave, your disguise would probably attract more attention from the Demon than going without it.”

“You’re wrong, but... fine,” the boy sighs. “I’ll do it.”

With both hands, he carefully unties and pulls the mask off of his face. Instantly, we are assaulted by a flash of light. For a few moments, I am blinded, but my eyes adjust just as the light disapates and reveales Diave’s true form.

[ BGM : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pzEBS2JXgo ]
The Witch’s House OST – Op. 2

A young woman in a black, frilly dress stands before us. Her hair is blonde, her eyes red, and from her back are two iron rods that stand in wing-like stance. Along these rods hang multicoloured crystals, most of the colours matching the ones in Diave’s constantly-shifting eyes.

“My real name cannot be uttered here,” she says, her voice no longer that of a boy’s, “so for now, keep calling me Diave.”

She turns to You. “Do You believe me now? This is a great risk, revealing myself like this, but... if it’s to prove to You that I’m Your friend...”

One second of silence.

[ ] Write-in.


Also, Happy Valentines Day, THP. What's a more romantic gift from a writer than an update?
[x] Hug Diave
-[x] "I finally get to do this."

Well, I guess I was wrong to doubt Diave. Anyway, I suspect that the Demon is closer to the House than we at first suspected. Let's start heading back, and take a second look at things.
Before we get all huggy feely, I would just like to point out that since Phantasm read Flandre's diary she would know about the "not-life" thing. It was mentioned in the very first diary entry in fact, which would probably make it easier for Phantasm to remember it. Flandre even directly told Remilia about her not-life mere moments before Phantasm took complete control over Remilia's body. So Diave could still be Phantasm disguising herself to look like Flandre.

I say we need one last test just to be sure. So I propose that we lay a sort of verbal trap for her:
[x] Don't worry Diave. Even if your disguise is blown, we can still get through this together. Just like how we escaped from the labyrinth. Things may have seemed grim then, with just the two of us wandering aimlessly alone in the dark, but by working together we were able to navigate our way towards the exit. Together, we will get through this too.

Obviously this is not how we actually escaped the labyrinth. In reality we did not wander aimlessly alone, Patchouli was with us and we had a plan to just keep making right turns. We also never found the exit, we blasted a hole through the roof and swam up through the lake. The point is that Phantasm knows nothing about our adventure in the labyrinth,since it happened after Remilia finished reading Flandre's diary. If Diave is Phantasm, she would just agree and thank us for the pep-talk in an attempt to cover her tracks. If Diave really is Flandre, then she will correct our story, thereby proving her identity once and for all.
I will vote for this only if we get to hug her if she passes the test. Are those terms agreeable?
Sure. If it really is Flandre we can hug her like we've never hugged before.

I dunno... at this point, Flandre has pretty much revealed who she is, and we haven't been giving her a whole lot of trust. I feel that it's time to take that leap, especially when the evidence seems so complete.
[X] One final test, then hugs.

Since we both know that Phantasm could be anyone, anywhere, I'm sure she'll understand if we go for one last test before hugging her like the motherfucking arms of the north star.

Usually it's enough to go beyond reasonable doubt, but in this case "reasonably sure" is not enough. We need to be absolutely sure and she has still only revealed things that Phantasm could know, plus we have seen Phantasm take Flandre's exact shape before.

[x] Don't worry Diave. Even if your disguise is blown, we can still get through this together. Just like how we escaped from the labyrinth. Things may have seemed just as grim then, with just the two of us wandering aimlessly alone in the dark, but by working together we were able to find the path to the exit. This time we aren't all alone, so we'll definitely get through this too!

Edited for less ambiguity, and more obvious incorrectness. I don't think it's perfect, but hopefully it's good enough. If someone else can see a way to make the test more precise or likely to make Flan go "wut", feel free to edit it. I'm half afraid that she might just dismiss it as Words being poetic or hyperbolic instead of addressing the incorrectness.


>If it really is Flandre we can hug her like we've never hugged before.

...Which we haven't, disregarding our forgotten past.

Anyway, I second the idea. Flandre deserves a hug after everything she's been through.

...Do you think we should just straight out ask her to describe how we escaped from the Labrynth? I'm unsure that Diave will address the incorrectness even if she is Flan.
[x] Don't worry Diave. Even if your disguise is blown, we can still get through this together. Just like how we escaped from the labyrinth. Things may have seemed grim then, with just the two of us wandering aimlessly alone in the dark, but by working together we were able to navigate our way towards the exit. Together, we will get through this too.
-[x] If she realizes that it didn't happen that way, and explains how it did, hugs.
-[x] If she didn't: "That part wasn't in the diary you read, so I guess it confused you, my apologies"
If we just ask her to describe how we escaped the labyrinth, Phantasm will know that we are on to her. By hiding a trap in our pep talk, we can determine Diave's true identity and make Phantasm think that she fooled us with her not-life trick. If Phantasm were to realize that her cover was blown, she would immediately attack. This way we can form a plan to kill her at our leisure.

Besides, having a vampire blow a hole in the roof and swim out through an entire lake while carrying an unconscious anemic purple haired librarian isn't something you easily gloss over as just "finding the exit". I'm pretty sure Flandre would make some kind of comment on our choice of words.

>Besides, having a vampire blow a hole in the roof and swim out through an entire lake while carrying an unconscious anemic purple haired librarian isn't something you easily gloss over as just "finding the exit". I'm pretty sure Flandre would make some kind of comment on our choice of words.

I would have no problem with that summary if I were in her position. Not everyone feels the need to comment on something that's close enough to be true that any factual incorrectness could be easily dismissed as simplification. Note that Flandre is a lot chattier as a writer than as a speaker, so she might just decide not to bring it up.
In that case, all we have to do is say "That's not how we escaped the labyrinth." The real Flandre will immediately catch on and tell us what really happened. Phantasm will just attack us.
File 139260459471.jpg - (369.03KB, 425x600, Sacrifice_pixiv40135281.jpg) [iqdb]
The one called Diave... is she one of lies, or of truth? As you smile, placing a consoling hand upon her shoulder, I realize that the task of discovery falls upon You. You smile at the unmasked girl. For a moment, she looks unsure, but then she returns the smile.

I’m sorry for doubting you, Diave. Don’t worry; even if your disguise is blown, we can still get through this together, just like how we escaped form the labyrinth. Things may have been just as grim back then, with just the two of us wandering aimlessly and alone in the darkness, but by working together we were able to find the exit. This time we aren’t all alone, so we’ll definitely get through this too!

She nods. “Yeah!”

Your expression turns solemn.

We never found the exit.

As soon the words leave your mouth, my senses are assaulted. Bright light; the crackling of thunder; scent of burning flesh; the feel of heat and an electric tingle traveling up my arm, legs, and spine. The reaction is so fierce that I bite my tongue in surprise, drawing blood.

I can see the silhouettes of two figures before me; one stands tall and proud, the other on the ground next to her.

The tall one’s body is that of a beautiful woman’s, but the masquerade stretches thinly over the being beneath. Her very spirit radiates of something evil, something beyond even the darkest of mortal hearts. The purple voids of her eyes manifest a panoply of suffering, as if they were a pair of mirrors that reflected the bloodstained histories of many worlds beyond our own. The longer I stare into them, the more I feel I could fall into them and be lost forever.

In her hand she holds the gleaming silver sword. You lie at her feet, covered in blood.

“Bravo,” she taunts, rolling Your body over with her foot. “You discovered my deception before I managed to kill her. I guess you aren’t a complete fool.”

“A-are they...?”

She casts her eyes over to me.

“Not to worry, darling, your friend’s opulent body will regenerate soon. I can’t quite say the same for your own, though,” she sighs. “It’s really too bad I’ve been exposed like this. I wanted to take my time tormenting all of you.”

“So you’re the... the Demon...”

She laughs. “Ah, yes. Demon, Devil, Abaddon, evil-incarnate... call me whatever you’d like. Though, for this iteration, I would prefer you address me as Phantasm.”

“Phantasm? You are not worthy of such a title.”

“The way you name things in this world is unusual.”

“What do you want from me?” My heart beats against my chest. Cold sweat stains my skin. The longer I stare at her, the more the primal urge to run takes over me, but at the same time, my legs feel like immovable poles of steel.

“Your soul,” she says, stepping towards me. “It’s nothing personal, sweetie. Just a little contest, one demon to another. It just so happens that—”

Lightning crackles forth from the clouds. The Demon reels backwards, screeching. Her hand falls to the ground, singed off by the electrical discharge. The Spider stands between me and the Demon, holding her two human arms up in the shape of an X.

You?” The creature growls. “Oh, yes. I forgot you were still here.”

“Go away!” screams the Spider. Another bolt of lightning flashes, but this time the Demon catches on her sword. Energy flows over the sword as it absorbs the blast.

She holds the sword up, grinning wildly. This only serves to agitate the Spider further; bolt after bolt of lightning crashes down from the heavens from all sorts of angles.

“Go away! Go away! Go away! Go away!”

The Demon moves at an unnatural speed, catching each and every strike with the silver sword in her hands. Despite this, the Spider continues, directing an endless stream of raw power towards the Demon. The scent of burning flowers rises.

Finally, the Spider stops, hunching over and panting heavily.

“Mortals tire easily.”

She clenches her fists. “I won’t let you... I won’t let you do it... you can’t take her away... you can’t take her from me again!”

“Well, well. She really has a backbone. Now, how does that rhyme go? The itsy bitsy Spider went up the water spout...”

The Demon points her sword towards the sky. Lightning flashes away from the sword and into the clouds.

“...down came the rain and flushed the Spider out.”

The light shower becomes heavy rain. The drops sting as they touch my skin. The Spider tries to stand her ground, but as more rain washes over her, she collapses. Her segmented legs curl up tightly.

All at once, lightning crackles forth from the skies. Dozens of bolts crashing in on the Spider’s body. The sound is deafening. Flowers burn, the air sizzles, and the girl in the field of poppies screams.

Then nothing but cold and silence.

I feel nothing but numbness as I throw myself over the girl. I place my ear against her chest; my fingers on her wrist; no sign of life. No sign of existence. An empty husk. Her arms and legs rest limply. I weep, I scream, hunched over the girl I just met. Or did I just meet her? I know her, don’t I?

I can still taste my own blood. Bitterness. So much bitterness.

Yes, I remember. I do know her.

I know that girl.

She’s my little sister. The better sister.

She was the smart one, the pretty one, the talented one. Mother’s favourite. But those were days even I do not remember anymore. That was a distant past. I had sent my sister away, and gradually forgotten about her...

Or was I just denying that she existed?

Either way, I was terrible to her.

And now... now... will I ever get to know her? I can’t even say sorry. I can’t apologize for all of those years. I can’t ever show her the world. I can’t teach her anything, I can’t spend a single second with her again. She’s gone. And... and...

Who was she? What was she like?

I’ll never know.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry...

I’m a terrible person.

And now I will die, too. It’s what I deserve for treating everyone so terribly.

In the world where none are born and none can die... I will die.

The Demon leers at me. I barely notice her crooked grin, or the excited spark in her eyes, or the long silver sword she holds over my head. I do, however, notice the words she whispers to me.

“Goodbye, my dear. It was a pleasure being in your service.”

I close my eyes, braced for the impact, but it does not come. The clash of metal against metal fills my ears instead.

You and the Demon clash, sword against sword, Outsider against Outsider.

Your body has regenerated, and in your hands is a sword. The Demon and you brings your weapons together again, again, and again, sliding out of each other’s way and swinging around only to clash blades.

“Words! You’ve foiled me at the last possible moment!” she says in-between sparring. “Just as well! It’s more fitting if she dies last.”


[ ] Whatever happens, kill her. We don’t need this monster around any longer.
[ ] There’s no guarantee she can die permanently here. Keep her talking. Perhaps she’ll let slip something important, like a weakness of hers.
[ ] Try to get her beyond the Wall. Surely that will affect her somehow.
[ ] Write-in


Good luck.
Well. Fuck.

...Can we ask Remilia for help? This is her world, her soul. Does she have the power to destroy Phantasm?
If she could do anything she would have done so before now: she almost got killed.
[x] There’s no guarantee she can die permanently here. Keep her talking. Perhaps she’ll let slip something important, like a weakness of hers.

She does seem to like talking.
[x] There’s no guarantee she can die permanently here. Keep her talking. Perhaps she’ll let slip something important, like a weakness of hers.
[X] Whatever happens, kill her. We don’t need this monster around any longer.

We don't need her permanently dead, we just need her away from here. (Meaning out of Remilia and away from Gensokyo.)

Also, since this is a world of symbolism, we should take a look at the roles Phantasm just set for us( and why that means we will win).
"Itsy bitsy spider, climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
Itsy bitsy spider, climbed up the spout again."

The children's song isn't about how the spider is defeated, but about how even the overwhelming rain cannot stop the spider from climbing.

So if we're going by symbolism then Flandre is the Spider, "climbing the spout" represent her desire to be with her sister and The Rain is Phantasm. Then Words would be The Sun, drying up the rain (beating Phantasm), and then it ends with Flandre going back to trying her best to get along with Remilia.
And since the Rain is gone and the Spider is climbing again, the whole thing implies that in the end the Spider will reach the top of the spout. (Flandre and Remilia finally gets along peacefully, because the Spider has reached it's goal.)
[x] Kill it here.
-[x] this my world- I'll try to help (summon guardians)

Why did we came to this world? Because a thing made out of dreams can only be killed in one? I think so.
Remilia doesn't know it, but going all out seems like a good idea against a master of lies and deceit.
That said, shouldn't words know all of this already?
File 139286061739.png - (316.71KB, 408x600, pixiv38897527.png) [iqdb]
After flipping several coins, I have come to the conclusion of this tie-breaker:

[x] There’s no guarantee she can die permanently here. Keep her talking. Perhaps she’ll let slip something important, like a weakness of hers.
Oops, forgot my sage. ;_;
File 139296353124.png - (24.60KB, 500x354, Strings of Fate.png) [iqdb]
[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9xlhxi3eIg ]
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword OST – Demise

I want to look away. I want to crawl into a dark hole and bleed out my soul until I cease to exist. My dead sister lies in my arms, her own soul probably already beyond. The sister in my arms is only a husk of a living person. A shell of a once living creature, someone with their own feelings, likes, and fears. Someone who could once smile. I want to look away, but I cannot. I cannot ignore the two Outsiders that are now fighting for my very life.

The Demon jumps several meters away from you. She places her free hand over her heart, which causes her dress to glow and morph around her until it is black armour. She grins at you, challenging you with her eyes. The silver sword in her hands gleams threateningly.

Instinctively, you place your own hand over your own heart, also changing your clothes into something more battle-ready. The sword in your hand morphs, as well, becoming a long and heavy.

Her blade is long and thin. It appears to be best suited for a quick stab into the opponent. Conversely, your weapon appears to be meant for cutting through armour, flesh, and bone. You have little trouble throwing it around, but it slows down your movements a little. One wrong move, and you’ll be susceptible to a quick strike...

The two of you circle at a distance, each of you studying the expression and stance of the other.

What’s the point of trying to kill me, Phantasm? You mutilated my body a few minutes ago, and yet here I stand. I’ll just regenerate again.

“Yes, but the time it takes you to regenerate is just enough for me to destroy the girl,” the Demon replies. “Once I do that, I’ll win...” She giggles excitedly.

I won’t go down so easily!

Her expression hardens. “So be it!”

You both shout a battle cry as you converge in on each other.

The Demon moves with quick, calculated strikes. Likewise, you block and twist out of the way of her attacks with a similar level of calculation, though not as much speed. A swipe here, a clash there. The battle could be summed up as “efficient.” No excess energy is wasted. No actions are pointless. If I didn’t know any better, I would assume the entire battle had been choreographed.

After a few minutes of this dance, she begins to speak. “The passion in your heart shows in your movements. I can’t help but wonder, though, what you’re so passionate about.”

...Do you really have to ask?

“No, I get it. You care about these creatures. I’m just unsure of why you care so much. It’s not like they matter.”

Your swords clang together, her tiny rapier against your giant blade. Somehow, I feel that if her silver sword were ordinary, it would have broken from the impact. It’s not ordinary, though. It glows and moves with a frightening speed.

That’s your own twisted opinion.

“It really isn’t, though. You see, none of this exists. Isn’t that interesting?”

Her blade comes close to your face, even drawing blood on your cheek, but with supernatural reaction time you drop to your knees, avoiding a worse wound. She presses forward, not even allowing you a moment of rest.

“That cut of yours doesn’t exist. Neither does the sword I used to cut it,” she says, her grin still wide as she hacks at you. “This Overlayed World doesn’t exist, and neither does your vampire on the other side. You and I are the only ones who bear any semblance of an existence, and even ours are debatable...”

That’s not true.

“Oh, but isn’t it? You’re only pretending, Words. Right now, this very moment, you’re playing a role. You’re placing yourself in the metaphorical shoes of an inter-planar demon, but is that what you really are?”

She steps back, expanding the space between the two of you until you’re unable to even so much as poke each other.

“You’ve been pretending all of this time that your adorable vampire exists, and that there really is a land known as Gensokyo. Just as I, too—”

Her words are lost as you lunge across the gap between the two of you. The attack catches her by surprise, nicking her shoulder, but she manages to move fast enough to avoid a deeper wound. Yet, I can see some sort of look on your face. It’s almost... it’s confidence. Do you trust that you will win? Are you, perhaps, toying with her?

She growls ferally. “Attacking an opponent while she is distracted? I thought you had more class than that.”

Funny, I was about to say the same thing about someone who was pretending to be my best friend. And then, barely ten minutes later, she begins ranting and raving about how said best friend isn’t real. Having ‘class’ is on the bottom of my priority list right now.

She narrows her eyes. “You know I’m right, Words. Just look at what is in plain sight. See the truth beyond your own imagination. All of this...” she waves her hands around her, then points the sword at you. “All of it is a lie. Little more than letters on a page. A literal not-life. So, again: why does it matter? Why fight for them? It doesn’t even matter. None of it does. Just let me do what I want to do, and we can all be happy.”

[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QheKbPoT_Ig ]
Mad Father OST – Love and Hate

You attack her again, but this time she’s ready. She jumps seven feet into the air, over your charging form. You both spin around, but her sword meets its destination first; you heart. It pierces through your armour as if it were made of butter. You fall to your knees, blood flowing from the wound in your chest.

“This is why you’ll never beat me. You can’t win because you refuse to step outside of the confines of your own imaginary world. You refuse to lead, instead settling for letting the false strings of fate of this world to control you. I have tried to turn you towards the right path many times, but you deny the truth in favour of your cloud of ignorance. I will have it no longer. You are dead to me, ____, truly dead. It was a pleasure knowing you.”

She rips the sword out of you. Then she turns towards me, licking the blood off of her blade in a seductive manner.

[ ]
[x] Get back up and fight.
-[x] It may not be real, but it matters.

Maybe she is right, to a degree.
None of this is real, that much is true. But to say that it doesn't matter just because it isn't real is a lie.
There are many things that aren't technically real, that still matter more than anything.
"Justice" is not real. "Love" is not real. They do not exist except as defined by people who want to believe in them, and yet they are more important than many things that are actually "real".

Meaning Words wound isn't real, Words isn't real, but his desire to protect his friend means more than anything in this world.
File 139381006169.jpg - (138.23KB, 1042x768, mortality.jpg) [iqdb]
[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5TiCeBoUec ]
???? Honestly I'm not sure what this is called.

There are many types of reality.

Despite the state of your body, you continue to speak. A voice from beyond the grave. The Demon stops in her tracks, listening.

Some are more real than others.

But no matter how “real” or “not real” something is... whether it’s a “life” or a “not-life,” or anything in-between...

Concepts... ideas... sensations... feeling... all of these are more real than any “world.”

She casts her gaze back to your lifeless body. Her grip on the sword tightens.

I am defending my friends because this is all that I know. That’s all there is to it. To me, they are real, and nothing you say will change that.

You rise to your feet. The wound on your chest seals up. You stretch a bit, your bones cracking into place. Your lips curl into a smile as your blade leaps back up into your hands.

Let’s try this again, shall we?

The Demon screams, charging at you with reckless abandon. Her blade clashes against yours, again and again and again. Each blow hits with the force of a lightning bolt. Somehow, you manage to keep up your guard against her furious onslaught. She continues to swing at your left, your right, from below, from above – her mad frenzy never seems to stop.

Until, finally, one last blow causes your sword to burst apart. Seeing you defenceless, she lunges with a renewed intensity. The weapon only finds air, however, as you leap over her head. At that moment, you have only two seconds before she swings back around and chops you into halves. You decide that the only way to alleviate this is to throw yourself onto her, and in moments you are struggling to pin her down as she punches, kicks, scratches, and bites for her freedom.

However, that freedom never comes, because by then I am next to the two of you with a sword of my own. With you two distracted, I bring down my weapon, nailing her to the ground by the wrist.

She shrieks. So, even this monster can feel pain. Good.

“How does that feel?!”

I bring down another sword, pinning her other wrist to the ground as well. Her screams become even more audible.

“This is only a fraction of the pain you have brought me! This is but a small part of the price you must pay for what you have done!”

Just as I’m about to bring down a third sword, you grab my arms, stopping me.



My cheek stings from the exchange. There is only a frown on your face.

Listen, she was my friend too! She’s the only person I can actually call family. I know you’re angry, but you don’t need to lose your mortality in the process. There’s no need to give her the satisfaction of having taken that too.

“But listen to her! She’s in pain! I’ve—”

It’s an act. She’ll do anything to bring you down, Mistress. Anything at all. She’ll fake anger, sadness, pain, happiness; whatever it is she needs to get what she wants, she’ll do it. She’s a creature of deception.

The Demon falls silent. Blood stains her arms, but she has stopped struggling and screaming. She only smiles.

“Well played, well played,” she says. “I’d clap for you right now, but, well... So, what are you going to do now? You can’t kill me, just as I can’t kill you. We’ll fight here until this world expires. Then, I guess, we’d have to make a new one. If we do, could we make it have more to do? ‘The Field’ is boring as hell.”

If only my glare could strike her dead right now.

[ ]


My apologies for the delay.
[x] Death is too good for her. Pin her body with swords and just leave her here. Let her fade away with this place. Take our friend's body, and let this place of words fade into the ether, taking this... thing with it. An eternity of boredom is just what she deserves.

Any ideas on what we can do with Flandre?
I wouldn't worry about Flandre. This Realm of Words is a world in which concepts are made real. So long as Flandre lives on in our hearts, she will live on in reality too. Phantasm on the other hand is dead to us, so she will die as soon as we are done with her.
Oh man, I love this. Let phantasm be forgotten. What happens to all stories that no one remembers? They disappear!

It's like the old saying about a tree falling with no one around.
[X] >>58071 This.

If we can't kill her, then I guess we just have to lock her away for all eternity.
Too bad we don't have any snakes, or we could do it ancient Norse style. Those crazy bastards sure knew how to punish troublemakers.
File 139408098522.jpg - (155.57KB, 518x650, Phantasm's Chains.jpg) [iqdb]
[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiIZsPkkJQ8 ]
The Clockworks by Theopany

Swish. The wind picks up again, brushing the flowers against my ankles. It’s as if there can be no silence in this world... whenever we stop talking, the world speaks. It fills the void. Just like how when we open our eyes, light floods our vision, sound floods the air when it reaches silence.

But what about death? When something dies, something else must surely live. It only makes sense. The world is governed by laws like that... Even Fate has no rules but one: equivalency. I’ve toyed with it for long enough to know at least that much.

And that’s why... that’s why this monster deserves to die. It killed my sister. It should die. It’s only fair.

No. We don’t need to keep fighting her. Killing someone won’t bring someone else back, don’t you see? If you kill her, you’ll have to pay another price. Something else. Something worse.

But what about my sister? What did she do to deserve this?

Nothing. She didn’t deserve to suffer. But...

I’ll admit I don’t understand fate as well as you do, but I know that it’s mysterious. Mysterious enough that even you don’t know everything about it. Your sister has worked so hard lately. I don’t believe she’s dead. She can’t be.

We saw her die!

Even so, even if she’s gone, she’s not dead! Even if we never see her again, she’ll live on in our souls. Would she want you to kill? Murder? Pull yourself down to such a level? Look inside yourself and tell me what I’m saying is lying! Go on, look into my eyes and tell me that she would want you to do this!


Then what do you propose? We let the Demon live? I can’t do that!

We leave her here. A fate worse than the deliverance of death. We bind her here until this world collapses.


Please. Let go of your anger. Don’t become a monster to kill a monster.


[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7dXaRtBlqM ]
The Witch’s House OST – Miller House

“Fine,” I mutter aloud. “Fine! Fine, have it your way!”

I’ll do as you say. But only for my sister. Only because she would do it like this, too.

“Are you two quite done? Have you come to a decision?” the Demon mocks, licking her lips.

“Yes!” I point a finger at her. “You’re done. You’ve lost.”

“Oh? This should be interesting. Go on, do tell how you, a mere mortal, can even conceive of destroying me, one of the most powerful beings imaginable? How will a child like you defeat me?”

“I’m not going to destroy you, Demon. I’m not going to fight anymore.”


We’ve decided to leave you here, Phantasm. We’ll bind you here and let you fade away into eternity.

“Fools! You can’t win that way! You have to kill me. It was a battle to the death, remember? We will fight until one of us wins.”

No. I won’t fight.

She snarls. “Peh! Come on, I know you two hate me! Spill my guts out, stab me, burn me! Destroy my body until I’m screaming for mercy! Torture me until I beg for forgiveness! You know you have it in you. Take back your dignity, fools!”

“Shut up!”

“Show me you can fight. Do it for your darling sister, worm. Look at her crumpled, poor body over there. Look at the wretched thing she is now. Don’t you even care? Was she just a toy to you? A piece of fiction? Some fucking sister you are!”

“Shut up! I said shut up!”

“You can’t even avenge the last member of your family. You lock her up for five centuries and this is how you make it up to her? This is your chance to redeem yourself. Make her sacrifice worth it. Fight me! AVENGE HER! Do it! DO IT! TAKE THIS SWORD ANGGGAAAAHHHH”

I am unable to contain my anger. The sword pierces her body through her foot. She howls with pain for a few moments, but soon transitions into laughter. It starts out small and quiet. Naught but harrowed breathes; then the laugh becomes something more. She laughs unhindered, shaking wildly from her mirth.

All the while, those purple voids stare.

“You can’t even ‘stop fighting’ properly. Just had to leave one more sword in me, didn’t you? You mess everything up. Such imperfection! It’s no wonder your sister was the favourite.”


And there you are, standing over the Demon, her silver sword in your hands.

Shut your venomous mouth. Mistress, take your sister and get out of here! I’ll deal with Phantasm.


Go! Go, now!

Begrudginly, I find myself doing what you asked.

“What will running away do, dear?” she calls. “It’s not like—”

That’s enough. It’s just you and me now.

“Oh? You know, I can escape these swords if I really want to. It’ll be a little painful, but I’m sure you’d agree it’s worth the pain.”

That’s where you’re wrong. See this?

The sword seems to glimmer, as if responding to your words.

This is Patchouli’s sword, isn’t it? And not just a symbolic copy. It’s the real thing. Somehow, you brought it over here.

“Yes... I took it with me when we traveled back in time after that first loop. Y’know, that loop was interesting. Poor Remilia’s guts spilling out at the hand of her own maid. Truly a marvellous show. Though, not nearly as marvellous as this one...”

Stop changing the subject. I can use this sword to bind you to this world.

“Eh? Where did you get that?”

This sword is essentially me. Maybe you can slip away from normal swords, but if I nail you down with this one, I can actively fight against you.

“Aw. How cute. And just how long do you think you’ll be able to withstand me?”

Long enough.

“And that’s worth it for you, huh? You’re willing to spend an eternity keeping me at bay?”

If it’s what it takes to keep my family safe, then yes.

“Fine, Words, fine! Have it your way! Stab me! Pin me to the ground! It’ll just be you and me, darling. It’s too bad I’ll be unable to move; otherwise the two of us could have some fun...”

You thrust your sword down upon the Demon where her heart would be.

If she had one.

She nods. “So, Words... this is a fitting end, isn’t it? For us to be here, in Flanders’s Fields... It has been a pleasure...”

She closes her eyes. Not dead. Only listening.

You step away from her.

I may be your metaphorical chains, but I have no intention of staying here.

Her eyes open.

“What do you mean?”

I’ll both bind you and stay in Gensokyo for a little longer.

“Are you stupid? How will you manage something as asinine as that?”

I’m an “inter-planar devil” or whatever, right? I have powers that most don’t. I’ll manage.

She huffs. “Heh. I see. Well, good bye, Words. It was a grand fight. You were stupid to the very end, but somehow you still beat me.”

You turn to leave, but she continues talking.

“By the way, what are you gonna’ do about the real Diave? I mean, Flandre, of course. If she’s dead in this world she’ll be dead in the other. In fact, the only reason I can sit here and talk to you so peacefully is because I know you’ve still lost. We both lost today. In different ways. It’s... kind of interesting, isn’t it?

“Oh, but yeah, your friend. See, I know how to bring her back. She might not be completely dead. Who knows? I can tell you how to heal her, but you’d have to fight me again. Take out the sword. Duel me. Defeat me. If you win, I’ll tell you about Flandre. I’ll tell you how to bring her back. And... if you lose... well, I’ll probably be able to bind you here instead... heh heh...”

[ ] Turn around. Make a deal with Phantasm.
[ ] Keep walking. Don’t turn back.
[X] Keep walking. Don’t turn back.

If she truly is dead, then even Phantasm can't bring her back. If she isn't, we can find a way ourselves, without relying on her.
We have all the time in the world to find a way to bring her back. We exist outside of time and fate, after all.

Besides, I have a feeling she's lying. This world is a metaphor, it is not real. Or, at the very least it is "less real" than Gensokyo.
Hmm.. It's a bit hard to explain my line of thought but think of it as a movie vs real life:
Nothing that happens in the movie carries over to real life, so even if "The Spider" has died here "in the movie", she is still alive in real life.
[X] Keep walking. Don’t turn back.
[x] Leave and don't look back.
I fucking hate this guy
[x] Keep walking. Don’t turn back.

I dunno guys, she seems legit.
x] Keep walking. Don’t turn back.
[x] This is a realm of words, founded on meanings and double meanings. Here, what you say may be as important as what you do...or something like that.
-[x] You already know how to revivify Flandre.
--[x] There's one stanza of the poem left. "Up came the sun and dried up all the rain. And the itsy-bitsy spider went up the spout again."
[x] Also, ignore Phantasm. She's something like an internet troll, so denying her any reaction will hurt her more than anything.
Literal "poetic justice". Best kind of justice.
File 13945136688.jpg - (16.93KB, 260x260, Clarity.jpg) [iqdb]
It seems like I'm always sick somehow. Anyways, here's an update.


[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=jIYPIU7mC5k ]
“Room” by Presence of Music
Original: http://www.geocities.jp/presence_of_music/music/Room.mp3

“Hey, where are you going? Get back here!


“Oh, I see how it is. You don’t believe me... silly, silly thing. I’m ruthless, yes, but I at least have a sense of honour. If you were up to my challenge, I would certainly reward you with the knowledge you need.

“Ah, but maybe you think you already know? Don’t do anything stupid, Words! If you mess up, she’s gone for good! Make sure you’re completely sure... that’s why using my method is the best for you...

“Just going to keep walking? Ignoring a lady, goodness... you have no manners, Words. Why don’t you stop this silly stubborn game and come back here? Pull the sword out and duel me, one last time? What do you have to lose? Well, I’ll be the first to admit that you have a lot to lose, but it’s better than ambiguity and risk, is it not?

“Do you have no confidence in your skills? I’m sure you could defeat me rather easily... I’m loathe to admit it, but you’re good at what you put your mind to, dear. You have a gift of focus. Something you can definitely use to beat me. It’s an almost riskless game...

“You’re just going to keep walking, aren’t you?! Turn around and face me, fool! Show me your power! Stop running, coward! We have to finish this battle. Where is your sense of honour? Where is your dignity?

“Fool! Do you not even care for your friend? Your darling Flandre is dead, and all you can do is walk away from your one chance of getting her back? Was all that about being her friend just one big fucking lie? Turn around and prove your love, fool! Fight me!

“Don’t you understand?! Get back here! Your friend needs you! In fact, even your own life is at stake here! I know your type, Words. If you don’t take action now, the guilt will return one day and consume you! You will melt in your own guilt, tormented by what could have been... unable to change the past, because in this world, the past is a solid mark!

“Oh, but perhaps you think you can undo things using that Luna Dial? You may be right, but what garuantee is there that you will be able to fix everything? What if you go back too far? Even if you go back to the correct time and prevent her death, you’ll have to face me again... given how you’re acting right now, you don’t want that. You wouldn’t want to face me again, and relive this...

“Ugh, aren’t you going to reply to anything I’m saying? Get back here! Turn around! Stop walking away! Stop leaving me here! At least keep me company, Words... I... I can’t bear to stay here forever... please, help me... bring me mercy... I’m so sorry for all that I’ve done...”


Finally, silence.

Even the wind seems to stop blowing; no longer to the flowers swish and sway in their natural chorus.

You’re even deeper in the Wall. The sky is reflecting light in a strange kaleidoscope effect, allowing you to see yourself and the many poppies around you from several different angles. The ground feels delicate beneath your feet, as if any moment now your footsteps could pierce through it like paper.

You spot me, my sister in my arms.

Out here, my mind is even clearer... or, perhaps, more broken. I feel that this deep into the Wall, I’m close to something important. I feel as if there’s a puzzle I’ve been trying to solve and the last piece is in my hands. In a few moments, the whole universe will make sense...

It’s best you don’t stick around here for too long, Mistress.

Your words bring me back for a moment. Your face is something to focus on. You are like an anchor, and I a ship that could have drifted away...

There was something important that happened, wasn’t there? Yes... what was it? Who am I? I’m Remilia Scarlet, and...

No. That title is unfamiliar to me. I am the Mistress of the House. I have no other title.

But, that important thing...

I’m so confused...

What am I supposed to be doing?

You should head back.


You point behind you.

That way. Keep going until you find your House again. Both your sister and I will be there by the time you reach it.

I find my voice. “What? A-are you not going with me?”

Not yet. I’m taking your sister with me. I’m going to bring her back to life.

My sister. She’s... she’s dead?

That’s right. I watched her die. Of course. How could I be so stupid as to forget something like that?

But... you say you can bring her back? How is this so?

The reason you feel so “clear” here is because we are on the very edge of this world. Every world has an edge like this... think of it like the edge of a paper. Out here, the laws of the universe become weak. Even your sister’s death becomes unclear to the universe. If I take her deeper in, there’s a chance I can restore her completely.

“I need to go with you, then! She’s my sister, too!”

Absolutely not. If you accompany me, you could lose your hold on this world for good. I can’t risk that.

“But what about my sister? Won’t she be ‘gone for good,’ too?”

She could... but what does she have to lose? She’s already... already gone. This is the only way I can help her.


I’m scared. What if she doesn’t come back? What if you don’t come back?


Fine, I’ll let you do this! But, you better promise to come back, Words! You hear me? I explicitly forebid you from leaving me alone in Gensokyo.

“Gensokyo”? “Words”? The edge of this world is making me say strange things...


I leave it to you.

Come back safely.

Thank you.

You scoop up my sister in your arms, cradling her against your chest.

“Good bye, Words. See you on the other side, yeah?”

I fix my gaze on the flowers in front of my feet and keep walking.

Don’t you dare let go of this world either. I expect to see you again, Remilia.

Don’t worry about me.

With Flandre in your arms, you step deeper into the edge of the world.


You can’t even see out here anymore. It’s as if light has given up reaching your eyes. Eventually, you stop feeling flowers beneath your feet, too. The ground out here is like cold stone. Almost as cold as the girl in your arms.

She’s still not awake.

You knew about the edge of the world merely by being near it. Like a pocket of air trapped underwater, the memory of there being an edge to each world rose to mind.

Being at the edge has resurfaced all sorts of memories.

You know that you’re from a world that is neither this one nor Gensokyo; another world that you spend most of your existence in, but often leave.

There are others like you. And other worlds. How many worlds? Countless. Infinite. How many others? Countless. Infinite. There’s no way to know how many of you there are, or how many worlds that exist, or how many of those worlds you’ve actually visited. You just know that they’re there.

...But, you’re getting carried away. Thoughts like this are unhealthy, you decide. If you think too much about worlds beyond this one, you’ll forget about what’s important in the one you’re in right now. Perhaps that’s why Phantasm doesn’t seem to care about the worlds she visits.


Your friend still lies limply in your arms. She is not awake. She won’t wake. She’s dead. Dead people don’t suddenly become alive again.

Or do they?

Is this not the realm of words?

You’re at the very edge.

Out here, there are no laws.

You can’t see anymore and you can’t feel anything but the girl in your arms.

The natural things you know are bent here.

Could not the dead be brought to life?

The words of the universe are at your command. How will you shape her rebirth?

[ ]
Also, did I mention we broke 100,000 total words with this update? Because that's a thing. And it is awesome.
>“Ugh, aren’t you going to reply to anything I’m saying? Get back here! Turn around! Stop walking away! Stop leaving me here! At least keep me company, Words... I... I can’t bear to stay here forever... please, help me... bring me mercy... I’m so sorry for all that I’ve done...”

Wow, now I almost feel bad for her.
Then again, another part of me wants to say "Not yet, you're not."

I guess we could come back here in an arbitrary amount of time (considering their timeless nature, it'll probably be in a few millenia or something) and check up on her.
This is rather cruel, after all. Loneliness and boredom are terrible things.

Anyway, on to more positive things: our dead best friend! ...And how we're bringing her back.

I was thinking that we could make it a reference back to itsy-bitsy spider with the sun drying up the rain, but I'm bad at being poetic.
I was thinking something like..
"Death is cold and dark. So we shall be like a sun to warm her up and light her way, allowing this little spider to climb back up the waterspout again."
If anyone can think of a better way of expressing it, I'd much appreciate it.

Also, congrats on the milestone. Here's to another 100,000 words of greatness!
[x] Whisper "And out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the itsy-bitsy spider went up the spout again."
-[x] "It's time to live, Flandre. You've had your half-life. Now live your true life."
-[x] Kiss the sleeping princess to wake her up. Give her a piece of you, the warmth of life, the warmth of your love and friendship, to help her back. She's strong enough to make it the rest of the way on her own. All she's ever needed is a little help, right?

...That may be a bit excessive, but it's all I got. Also a kiss on the forehead may be a bit more appropriate than a kiss on the lips. Not sure about that last one.
Kiss on the forehead sounds good to me.
File 139495339138.jpg - (120.79KB, 500x500, Happiness.jpg) [iqdb]
[ BGM: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZcRCS7aY_0 ]
U.N. Owen was Her? Piano Arrangement by 玖原イヅナ

Only you and Flandre.

As far as you can tell, only the two of you exist. Out here, past the very edge of the “Overlayed World,” the laws of the universe crumble before you. Your fragile, meagre senses struggle to make sense of the void, but they fail spectacularly. You think there could be cold stone beneath your feet, but you know the real truth: there is nothing here. Absolutely nothing.

Flandre. The Spider. Vampire. Protagonist. All of these are titles that you have come to know the girl in your arms as; but still, none of these words do her justice. Names are flawed in their vary nature. They are simple words, things that substitute people in conversation. Yes, she is Flandre, but is she Flandre?

That is the beauty of speaking on the page. The beauty of knowing someone not by their name, but by their thoughts and ideals. You can recognize her words just as well as or even better than you can recognize her name. She spoke to you through the words on a page, obscured even her own name, and yet you still came to know her as the girl she was. Is.

No matter what happens, no matter how much of eternity you must spend, you will bring her back to Gensokyo. The universe... Fate... It owes her this. She deserves to live a real life. After living in emptiness for five hundred years, she deserves the chance to live in happiness. She has to see Gensokyo; play Go with Sachiko again; go shopping with Sakuya. She can study the world around her with Patchouli, and puzzle out riddles with Koakuma, and train her body with Meiling. She will play the violin again, and fool around with those fairies on the lake, and talk to that nice mermaid on the lake.

Most of all, though, she'll be able to know her sister. Not “the Mistress,” but the vampire known as Remilia. The two can finally have the relationship they’ve never had.

But, what to say? How to go about it?

You decide that the most fitting answer is something simple. A simple, concise, yet poetic sentence; this is what will bring her back.

Phantasm likened Flandre's last moments to the tune of the Itsy Bitsy Spider:

The Itsy Bitsy Spider when up the water spout.
Down came the rain and flushed the Spider out.

Phantasm’s defeat represents the next line clearly:

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

This is a world of symbolism. Somehow, the pieces have fallen together so that the events mirror the rhyme. So, bringing her back should be guaranteed. The most fitting rebirth would be to the final stanza of that rhyme.

And the Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the spout again.

It’s time to live, Flandre. You’ve had your not-life. Now, go on and live your true life.

To complete the spell, you plant a kiss on her forehead. A small piece of your warmth and love to help her find her way home. She’s strong; she can make it the rest of the way without you. After all, you can’t go back with her, can you? You were always planning to go along with her, but now... you feel as if leaving would break the bind on Phantasm. Every part of you wants to go with her, but you can’t risk the Demon’s escape.

You release her. She’ll find her way back. You’re sure of it.


[ BGM STOP (or just wait for it to finish? It's a nice piece...) ]


All around you is darkness. Darkness save for eyes. Dozens, hundreds, thousands of eyes in every direction. Most of them are red. A few are purple. Fewer still are golden. Some of the eyes are watching you with interest, while others ignore you completely.

“What, you thought that was it? Of course that’s not the end of the story. Who would believe an ending like that?”

The voice has no owner. It seems to be everywhere, and yet nowhere.

A rift opens up in the air in front of you. A woman’s head pokes out of the rift. Gold-yellow hair, sharp purple eyes, rose-red lips... she’s beautiful.

Yukari Yakumo.

You don’t have to ask for her name. You know it. Somehow, you remember this woman.

“It’s been a while. Or, perhaps not.”

From the rift, the rest of her body rises into view. She sits on the rift as if it were a chair, smiling at you warmly.

“Allow me to thank you, Words,” she sings. “Your efforts have helped push this Gensokyo into a positive future. Between Scarlet’s plot, the magician’s meddling with the barrier, and the youkai rebellion, I had my hands full. Fortunately for me, the shrine maiden took care of the rebellion and you fixed up the Scarlet mess.”

Well, uh... you’re welcome. I’m glad I was able to help? Honestly, I was just trying to help Flandre...

“Yes, I realize. I’ve been watching you, so I’ve got all the details. I’m also pleased that you completed the task without resorting to the Luna Dial too many times.”

Oh... you know about that?

She hmphs in response. “I am the Youkai of Boundries. Of course I’m able to track something as important as when the universe has been shifted to a new world line.”

You squint your eyes, trying to puzzle out what she just said.

“I can’t chat with you for long, though. I need to repair that hole Patchouli Knowledge made in the barrier. Are you aware of what will happen once I do that?”

I will disappear from this world, won’t I?

“Yes. In order to exist here, your essence requires a constant connection. I would liken it to the ‘internet connection’ that Outsiders use. If you shut off the signal, you lose connection. That is essentially what will happen to you.”

What about Phantasm?

“The Overlayed World that you created will be pulled with you away from Gensokyo. As a result, the two worlds will no longer overlap, and that world will serve as a prison for her for a very long time.”

As long as she can’t get back into Gensokyo, I’m happy.

She rests her chin on her hand. She seems to be considering something. Finally, after several long seconds, she nods to herself and places a hand on your forehead.

“Words, I want to thank you for all the help, so I’m going to do something I wouldn’t normally do.”

For a few seconds, she keeps her hand there.

“I have untied you from the sword that binds Phantasm,” she says, releasing you. “However, it will still retain its ability to keep her bound. Now you may go to Gensokyo without fear of releasing her. I will give you a few hours in Gensokyo to say your good byes, and then I will have to close the hole. Is that clear?”

Yes. Thank you.

“I’m feeling generous, though. Before we leave, I’ll answer one question for you. Just one question. It can be anything, no matter how trivial, no matter how strange. I don’t care whether it’s about me, you, Phantasm, Flandre, the Luna Dial...”

Her grin is almost frightening.

“Make it quick.”

[ ] Ask a question.
- [ ] (Write-in question)
[ ] There’s nothing I want to ask.
[x] How can I stay in Gensokyo permanently?

This is pretty much the only question that matters at this point. If we have questions about anyone else, we can just ask them directly once we no longer have to worry about leaving forever.
[x]What can I do to remain in Gensokyo or at least visit it from time to time?

File 13949914718.jpg - (64.11KB, 1440x1080, maxresdefault.jpg) [iqdb]
[x]What can I do to remain in Gensokyo or at least visit it from time to time?

We can't at least try to do it. If Shirou could wait a lifetime, then we can wait an eternity.
[x] What can I do to see Flandre again, in the future?

Same question, different wording. It may be impossible to stay in Gensokyo, but nothing says Flandre can't summon us somewhere else one day.
Well, we could try making a proper contract with Flandre to be her familiar, similar to Patchouli and Koakuma.

I'm under the impression that, as an interplanar demon, Words requires a constant connection with his "overself" from which he was spawned. Instead of being a self-contained entity, he's a shadow, an avatar of the full demon still in interplanar space. I'm somewhat doubtful that Flan, powerful as she is, will be able to summon Over!Words in his entirety. Even if she could, I suspect summoning a complete demon might do something wonky to space and time, judging by how much power even a small piece of Words contained.

Long story short; Koakuma is probably not the same kind of demon as Words is, Words is basically an astral projection or finger puppet used to interact with the world by a greater entity. We already have something similar enough to a familiar bond that it probably woudn't help to make a contract, as it's not the bond that's a problem so much as that Words can't be on both sides of the barrier without leaving a hole in it to send a signal/tendril/whatever through.

I think that's an adequate summation of the situation, but if anyone spots something I missed or got wrong, then I'd appreciate your view.
[x] What can I do to see Flandre again, in the future?
Words is Orz. Gotcha.
By the way, can I just say that I'm very proud of everyone for making it this far? I'd say we all did pretty good.
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Yukari Yakumo crosses her legs, watching you calmly. You consider the opportunity for a moment. There’s so many answers you can find here, but only one question can be asked...

Well, it’s obvious, then.

What can I do to see Flandre again? I mean, after my time here is up. Is there anything that can be done?

She shrugs. “Well, that’s just it. Once you leave, you’re gone for good.”

Surely there must be a way. I’ll take anything.

“Well, perhaps there is a way,” she admits. “What it is, I can’t say for sure.”

What do you mean?

She shrugs. “There is a method out there, but I will have to leave it to you to find it.”

What? Can’t you just tell me?

“Hm, no. It would be best if you figured it out yourself. So, good luck.”

And just like that, she’s gone. In fact, so are you.



Eyes flutter, signals are sent and subsequently received. I’m pretty sure that I just noticed that I am awake. perhaps maybe probably yes let’s continue using similar words to signify how unsure I am

I could be dreaming. I mean, I just came out of a dream.

...I don’t remember what happened in it, though. I just remember me, Remilia, and Words. We were fighting a terrible monster.


This is a strange dream. I’m in some sort of bed, and the walls are red. No, that’s the house’s natural colour. This must be a dream in which I dream about my house. Or, perhaps I’m not actually dreaming?

I’m pretty sure this isn’t a dream.

Oh, Words? So, you’re here too? I’m certainly not writing anything. My arms are at my sides underneath this soft blanket. So, maybe this telepathy again? Words, are you there?

You’re... you’re alright?

What do you mean?

Do you remember what we were doing before you were here?

Uh... Well, there was... Oh. Phantasm. We went to fight her, didn’t we? Did it work?!

We... we won. And it appears we’re all in one piece. You’re not hurt?

No... I feel quite good, actually.

That’s excellent! I’m glad that you’re okay.

Did the fight go badly? I can’t quite remember it...

It was tough, yes. But, don’t worry about it anymore. Phantasm has met a fitting defeat.

Ah, I see. I see what you say. Well, I can’t really see it, but I get it. So, wait... we saved the barrier, then? Really? That’s it?

That’s it. We did it, Flandre! We saved Gensokyo.

Well, I’m not sure I did that much...

Nonsense! You may not remember, but I do. You saved your sister’s life, did you know that? You’re a hero.

...I did?

Well, thanks, then, for reminding me. Wait, where is she? Is she alright? I hope Patchouli and Sakuya and Remilia aren’t... aren’t fighting anymore... I need to find somebody. What about that Scarlet Mist and the youkai rebelling?

I slip out of the bed. At first, I’m off-balance, but I manage not to fall over. I appear to be in one of the bedrooms on the third floor, from the looks of things? I can’t really tell. I don’t spend enough time surfing surveying the bedrooms in our house. I step over to the window and peek through the curtains; I’m greeted by a noon-time sun.

So, the mist is gone. Is that a good thing? Hopefully that’s a good thing...

Before I go searching the house, I want to make sure I’m okay. Like, physically, I mean. Did I recover completely, and all that? I remember Phantasm was messing with my regeneration, so... best I see if it’s all okay now.

A bathroom connects to this room, through which I enter. I step up to the body mirror are they really called that?, examining my face. I look the same as I remember, though I can’t say I remember my face very well. I possess a child’s face. Does my face reflect well enough the type of person I am inside? I can’t tell. I wonder if it’s possible to change my appearance as a vampire? Would I really want to if I could? Probably not.


Soon I’ve stripped down to nothing, examining every inch of myself in the mirror. I scan for scratches, bruises, marks, or anything to prove my struggles over the last few days. Of course, nothing turns up; such is the power of my regeneration, which seems to be intact. It’s kind of sad, though. It’s as if I’ve lost the few things that prove what I’ve been through. Didn’t I have a bruise or something here, where my rib was cracked? Yes, I did, but now it’s gone. I can only rely on my memory for these sorts of things.

And as we both know, memories are fragile.

All of that aside, I feel awake. Energized. Refreshed. I have no idea how long I was asleep, but it was a good sleep. I feel like I could wrestle with an oni. Whether or not I’d win is another matter. I also feel a little numb? In my brain, I mean. I can’t quite register that we’ve won yet. I mean, I totally get that we’ve won, but part of me feels like I have to go somewhere, do this, do that... continue the fight. Does that make sense? Hopefully.

I step out into the bedroom, approach the wardrobe, and shift through it a bit. There are quite a few dresses in here! I’m not sure if they were always here, or if the wardrobe was just stocked so that I could make use of it. Either way, these clothes seem to be around my size.


I compare a few of my favourites in the mirror for about ten minutes or so. Eventually I decide on a sky-coloury dress. Sky-coloury? I mean, it’s blue, but it’s also white? Kind of like the sky with its clouds. Interestingly, I haven’t worn anything remotely blue in... well, I can’t even remember the last I did. Blue is a good victory colour, anyway.

Anyway, I’m done being vane for now. My dress is on and I am out. Ready to, uh... find my sister! I wonder how she’s doing. Well, uh, each direction down the hallway looks the same. I have no idea where to go, so I resort to calling the head maid.


Before I even finish shouting her name, I find myself caught in the embrace of a silver-haired servant. Er, I mean Sakuya.

“Mistress Flandre!” Sakuya says. “You’re... you’re alright!”

“I am? I guess I am.”

She releases me and rises to her feet. “You’ve been out for almost three days! The Mistress has been frantic... We were all so worried.”

“ ‘We?’ So... does that mean you’ve been worried together?”

Her expression hardens at the implication. “We have put away our differences for now, if that’s what you mean.”

She still considers Remilia an enemy.

I remember my last words to Sakuya. In the clocktower, after she explained her reasoning for plotting with Patchouli...

“If you really cared about me, you wouldn’t do this.”

I can still recall the pain on her face as those words left my mouth.

“Sakuya, I’m sorry for fighting with you earlier.”

She frowns. “Flandre... I’d rather not talk about it right now. We should show the others that you’re alright. Actually, the Mistress wanted to see you as soon as you were awake, so we should go to her first.”

Sakuya doesn’t like to talk much about these sorts of things. She’s the type to reconcile conflict within her own head and then carry on with life. No “sorry”s or democratic discussion are required. I don’t like doing it like that, though. I’m the opposite: I prefer to get these sorts of things over with. I can’t just move on without reconciliation like she can.

But, I respect her wishes. If she doesn’t want to talk about it, we won’t.

“If... if that’s what you wish. If you ever want to talk about it, though, I’m here, yeah?”

“Thank you. And thank you for staying alive. I’m not sure what I’d do without you.”

“Shouldn’t I be the one saying that? You do so much around here...”

“It’s mutual, then.”

Sakuya leads the way. On the way to our destination, I notice fairy maids, floating to and fro, running errands or cleaning messes or whatever it is fairy maids do. Many of them avoid my eyes, but a few actually wave and smile. I, of course, wave back.

Actually, I think? one of the waving fairies’ arms morphed into a bunch of multicoloured bird as we passed by. She didn’t seem to mind her arms flying away, though.

“Say, Sakuya, what day is it?”

“I believe it is Thursday. Why do you ask?”

“Uh, no reason.”

We reach a guest room. So, is the Mistress on the other side of this door? Is she with a guest, or is she just there for atmosphere?

I knock meekly on the door.

“Sakuya, how many times do I have to tell you, there’s no need to—”

Remilia falls silent as I step through the door, crossing the boundary between hallway and dining room. Sakuya bows her head and leaves us alone.

It’s the same guest room that Remilia and Patchouli had first told me about the hole in the barrier, after Miss Ran’s visit here. That feels like an eternity ago...

She stares for a few seconds. Then she narrows her eyes in my direction. She rises to her feet, approaching me with calm, calculated steps. I begin to worry; she’s giving me that look she gets when I do something wrong.

“Do you have any idea what you’ve done?”

She stops in front of me. I can’t bear to even look into her face, so I stare at my feet instead. I can feel my palms getting clammy and my head feels light. My pulse quickens. I’m in trouble, aren’t I?


She grabs me, pulling me close. She holds me tightly. Not anger, only comfort.

She... she’s never hugged me before. Well, maybe she has, but not for a really, really long time. The gesture is so out of character for her, such a display of... of emotion. My eyes star to water, and before long tears run down my face freely. Are they sad tears? Happy tears? Tears of... regret? What am I regretting? A relationship with my sister that I’ve missed for so long.

“Don’t you ever do something like that again,” she whispers into my ear. “I don’t care how powerful you think you are; stepping in the path of an eldritch creature like that was stupid. It’s irresponsible. It’s...”

She stifles back a sob. “I can’t bear to lose you, okay? Not after how I’ve treated you. I owe you a lot, and I can’t exactly pay you back if you’re dead, you hear? Promise me you won’t do that again.”

“I won’t.”

I could be lying, I realize. If my sister were in danger, I would risk it all to save her. No promise can change that.

“I’m such a terrible person,” she whispers. “My actions have caused so much destruction. What’s the point, Flandre? I feel so lost. I have no purpose anymore. My plot had been all for naught. There’s nothing left anymore.”

I draw back from the embrace. “That’s stupid.”

She wipes her eyes with her handkerchief. “What?”

“Gensokyo is such a great place. You’ve been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here. How many vampires live here? We’re literally the only two I know of. Gensokyo is a safe haven, and we were fortunate enough to make it here where others are probably trying to survive in the outside world.

“And not only do you have Gensokyo, but you have a family that loves you! Me, Patchouli, Sakuya, and Meiling. Even Koakuma, probably? I can’t really tell what she’s thinking half the time. How can you say you have no purpose when there are all of these great things around you?”

“...But I’ve made a grave mistake,” she says. “I’ve pushed them all away, and now they hate me. I’ve destroyed our family. How can we go back to the way things were before now?”

“We adapt. Words helped me learn that if you want to change, you have to do it yourself. You can’t lie around and wait for life to fix itself. You have to make it work.”

She rubs her temple with one hand, frowning. “How will I repair this damage, then? Will you and Words help me to undo my mistakes?”

[ ] Of course we’ll help you. This is our family too.
- [ ] (Specify what you think must be done.)
[ ] No, this is something you must do on your own. We will only get in the way.

[ ] Tell Flandre about your eventual departure.
[ ] We have time; we can talk about it later when she’s less distracted with current matters.


Honestly, it’s a relief to be able to write from this viewpoint again. Sorry that “realm of Words” sequence dragged on for so long! I wasn't expecting it to be of that length, but one thing led to another, and... well. At least we got out of it okay.

Thanks for enjoying Not-Life with me, THP~
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Where the heck was this image when we were at the Wall? I mean, dang, it fits so well.

Thank you for your analysis! You are more or less correct.

Koakuma is a demon that is summoned into the world for the purpose of carrying out some sort of deed (or in Patchouli's case, an extended service) for the diabolist who summoned her. Kind of like Kahi's depiction of Koakuma in Patchy Quest, if you're familiar with that. Words, however, is the "finger puppet," as you eloquently put it, of an entity that can never truly manifest itself in Gensokyo, and that's why a constant connection is needed.

You have led me on an interesting adventure on Google, so thanks for that.
Hmmm, I think that Remilia should start with an apology and an explantion to ... well, everyone I guess, if she hasn't already. I think just talking to everyone will do the most good in the long run. Listening to their complaints and addressing them will help close wounds, and just spending time together will mend their trust and loyalty.

As for the second option ... I dunno. On one hand Flandre can focus on pulling her family back together, on the other I think that Flandre would like to know so she could spend our last hours together talking, having fun and saying goodbye.

I'm gonna hold off on voting until I've thought about it a bit more.
[x] Of course we’ll help you. This is our family too.
- [x] If she hasn't already, explain and apologize for everything.
[X] Of course we’ll help you. This is our family too.
-[X] Have everyone sit down and talk. No more fighting allowed.
-[X] Flandre should also explain how she saw the fight and events around it, from an "outside" perspective. (And also how much fun there is to be had in Gensokyo!)

[X] Don't tell her yet. She has her family to focus on right now.
-[X] If we can, we should explain everything in her "diary", while she helps everyone get together again. Why we wouldn't tell her straight out when there are other, more important, things for her to worry about, how fun we had together, everything.
[x] Of course we'll help you. This is our family too.
-[x] Suggest that Remilia ask Patchy to remove the spell on her name so people can talk about her freely.

[x] Tell Flandre about your eventual departure.

Flandre has a right to know. This really is not something we can just spring on her at the last minute. I can just picture how that conversation would go: "Hey Flan, congratulations on getting your family back together, and oh by the way I'm leaving forever in about two minutes. Just FYI." Flandre would be crushed. We are her family too. We owe it to her to give her a chance to save us.
[X] Of course we’ll help you. This is our family too.
-[X] Have everyone sit down and talk. No more fighting allowed.
-[X] Flandre should also explain how she saw the fight and events around it, from an "outside" perspective. (And also how much fun there is to be had in Gensokyo!)
-[x] Suggest that Remilia ask Patchy to remove the spell on her name so people can talk about her freely.

[x] Tell Flandre about your eventual departure.

I support these options. Everyone needs to just chill out and talk, and Remilia needs to not be such a control freak. And finally, Flandre deserves to know.
Remind me again why everyone hated each other?

RE: staying in Gensokyo, we can't stay as we are because having a random hole in the barrier for our connection to pass through is bad. Summoning us entirely is apparently unfeasible. So what if we routed the connection through the Hakurei Shrine and had the hole in reality that leads to hell in the Outside World? We could also try making the Words in Gensokyo a standalone being. That's arguably not 'us', though, so something along the lines of the former is probably ideal.

If we entered from a portal to the outside world, that would probably put the outside world at risk of demonic invasion, depending on whether our apathy is as deadly to demons as it is to youkai.
Remilia went mad for power

>Remilia went mad for power

More specifically, she was planning to mindfate-control the entire world and destroy free-will. Also, it was more about her desperate need to prove herself relevant than just power going to her head.

There are individual reasons as well.


>“And then... out of the blue, she asked me to help her break through the Hakurei Barrier and into the outside world. I knew immediately then that she had never truly given up her bitterness; she had merely hidden it from me. For a decade, she had brooded in secret, and now she had come to me for help once again.

>“We argued. For several months, we went back and forth, but nothing came of it. At some point...” her voices cracks slightly here, as if she’s fighting back an emotion, yes she probably is “...one of my candles... caught an entire section of the library on fire. Centuries of research were lost in that fire. I was filled with immense loss. The Mistress told me that night that Fate was a ‘vicious creature’ – the way she worded it, I knew. I knew it was her who caused the candle’s fire to rage to such a spontaneous and large scale.

>“The library is my life. To attack the library is to attack me; I’ve put more into this library than I have into anything else. I realized that if I didn’t do as she said, she would cause even more damage. I was left with no choice, and so I complied with her. I helped design a weapon that could purge through the barrier. It was the most despiteful thing I have ever done; I felt like I was betraying Gensokyo. Despite my repulsion to my own actions, I was weak. Too weak to sacrifice my life’s work for the sake of Gensokyo. Too weak to resist the Mistress.

>“I wallowed in guilt for several weeks. It was then that Sakuya talked to me. I vented my experiences to her – my frustration, my guilt, all of it. She helped me realize something. It was then that I decided something must be done. I realized that the Mistress would never give up on her quest, no matter what happened to her or those around her. She was hell-bent on escaping Gensokyo and showing the outside world that she was still relevant. I realized that I... I needed to destroy her so that nobody else could be hurt. Any silver weapon would do, but she has an immense array of safeguards set in place by her power over fate. The only was to bypass her safeguards was with something that could resist her powers altogether.


>“Of course I care, Flandre,” she growls. She’s staring at her feet. “This goes beyond us, though. Do you even know what she’s planning?” She meets my eye. There’s a rage in her eyes. It’s not directed at me, but I can still see it. “She wants to break out of Gensokyo and take control of the outside world! This isn’t just some passive desire. She’s actually doing it! Even today, when we go out, she’ll be laying the foundation for her plans. She needs to be stopped.”

>“Yes, but not this way! There is a better way to stop her. There has to be!”

>“We’ve tried reason. She doesn’t care. She’s been planning to escape Gensokyo ever since the Scarlet Mist incident failed, and no matter how many times we try to change her mind, she won’t budge on it. She has stubbornly insisted on her own agendas, without a second thought for me, Lady Patchouli, Meiling, and least of all you! Why do you think she’s kept you locked up in the basement for over five hundred years? She doesn’t care about us. Open your eyes and see that this has always, always been a game to her.”

>She places her hands on my shoulders. “This is in your best interest. You’re so miserable under her leash... for years I’ve watched you, talked to you, comforted you. And this... I can’t take it anymore. I’m doing this for me, and Patchouli, and the world she plans to invade... but an important part of the reason I’m doing this is for you.”

That's not even mentioning Phantasm's theories about Sakuya having never forgiven Remi for her original loss, and has been waiting for the right moment to backstab her ever since.

As for everyone else; I don't know if Meiling had any problems before but she might be upset about everyone else's problems now that she knows, Flandre is mostly okay and Koakuma seems the type to not really care.

I may have missed stuff though.
My theory for the root cause of, well, everything, is that Remilia came to the same conclusion as Flandre.
That she was living a Not-Life.

The difference was that Flandre looked inwards for a solution, "how do I need to change to have a Life?", while Remilia looked outwards "what must I change in the world so that I have a Life?".

And, ironically, the solution for both their problems seems like they are reached by exchanging questions.
Flandre goes out into Gensokyo and changes "the world" by expanding it beyond the basement.
Remilia on the other hand needs to look to herself and realize the worth in "lesser things", instead of thinking that she can only have her Life if she is on top of the world.
[x] of course we'll help!
[x] a meeting to TALK
Next week is spring break, but unlike most spring breaks it will probably be one of the busier times for me. If Remilia fate wills it, the update will come soon, and if not, well... I can at least say it won't be more than two weeks from now. Please hold onto your frilly hats and wait warmly.

I have finally obtained Pokemon X. Capturing all of the Vivillon patterns is both entertaining and tedious.
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So, yeah, I'm hoping to start writing this week. I'm kind of playing it by ear, because as of this week I've not only got a temporary job but I also met a cute girl, so things could be potentially hectic.

Also I finished my National Pokedex today. Finally.
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Of course we’ll help. This is just as much our family as it is hers, right?

Yes. Of course. I didn’t think had begun to doubt it was possible, but somehow we’ve come to a metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. I mean, we’re not there yet, but after days of stumbling around in the darkness, it’s at least in sight. As long as we stick together and make sure there is are no more miscommunications, surely everything will be alright.

I take her hand and shake it. “We have a deal, Mrs. Scarlet.”

“It’s ‘Miss.’ ”

“Oh, are you quite sure? Could have sworn I had the difference between ‘Mrs,’ ‘Ms,’ and ‘Miss’ sorted out. Words and I agree that we have a part to play here as well, considering that this involves us just as much as it involves you.”

She seems to have almost magically transformed: the traces of her sadness and fear disappeared, and in her eyes is resolve. She flashes one of those smiles that screams “I’m so charismatic.” Or, possibly, “I’m trying to seduce you!” Probably the former, though.

“Flan, what do you two propose we do? I would assume taking that notification spell off of my name is a given.”

“Yeah. You won’t miss it?”

“No. Hearing voices everytime someone in Gensokyo uttered my name in everyday conversation gets old quickly. Not to mention those conversations between humans that were expressing disdain and hatred for me and this property. The spell’s detractions outweigh its usefulness.”

“How will you remove that, then?”

“Patchouli is the one who set it up for me, so I will have to ask her to remove it.”


As for what to do first, I think we should gather everyone up and talk. Let each person voice their worries, goals, and sides to everything. Now that everyone seems less inclined to resort to violence, we can try to settle this diplomatically.

Yes, that makes sense. I relay your idea to Remilia.

“I guess that would be best, but...”

She pauses. “I’ll need to think of how to go about it... Alright. I need a bit of time to think about how I’m going to say this to everyone, so why don’t you go tell everyone that you’re okay in the meantime? Also, let them know that we’ll be meeting in the Great Chamber in half an hour.”


First... well, I’ll tell Meiling first, since she’s closest.

I traverse the halls absentmindedly.

It’s hard to believe we’ve come this far, Words. I feel like a completely different person now. I almost want to think these memories from before meeting you are someone’s else’s. They just seem too different from my current self to be real.

...Time is a powerful thing. Perhaps even more powerful than demons, or fate, or scarlet mist or rebellions or youkai. Even more powerful than the sun and the moon and all of the stars in the sky. The strongest force of all.

I take a blue umbrella with me to match my dress. The sun blares down on the umbrella. If I were to drop it, would I burn? Last time, I did. Most of the days have been cool lately, though, so it might be different. I assume we’re approaching the end of summer? I’m not really sure what part of the year we’re in.

Meiling spots me from her spot at the gate as I step through the mansion’s doorway. As I approach, she places her hands on my shoulders and crouches down in front of me so that we are eye to eye. I can see a spark of excitement in her eyes.

“You did it, Mistress Flandre,” she says, smiling widely. “I knew you could do it. I knew you would be alright.”

It becomes another hug. All of these hugs! I’m not complaining, though. I guess it’s to make up for all of the hugs I’ve missed.

“Thank you for saving Gensokyo. You and your friend.”

“Thanks for your help, too. I mean, you probably don’t remember, but you were really helpful before all of this time travel stuff. You didn’t want the family to break up, either, and that really... it really boosted morale, I think.”

“Well, I’m glad some form of me was of service to you.”

“By the way, Remilia wants us all to meet in the Great Chamber in half an hour.”

She raises her eyebrows in mock surprise, as if to say, “hey! You said her name.”

I nod and wink in response.

“I’ll... I’ll make sure to be there, then.”


I go back inside. Library next.

The Great Chamber... Remilia usually holds her house-wide meetings there, though I’ve never been invited to one. I remember spying on them a few times on the few times they had meetings, though.

This time is different, though. This time I get to be in there with everybody else.




I, uh... I have some bad news.

What do you mean?

After the battle in that other world, I met Yukari Yakumo. Do you know her?

I think she manages the barrier that protects Gensokyo from the outside world.

Yeah. Well, she said... she said that she would need to repair the hole that allowed me to get into this world. Once she does that, I will lose contact with you.

What? Why would that happen?

Because. My body isn’t really in your world, is it? I can only talk to you through telepathy and through those magical papers. When the barrier closes up again, I will return to where I belong.

Then why don’t we just bring you body over here?

It’s not possible... I’m... I’m sorry. Yukari did hint at there being a way for us to at least keep in limited contact, but she didn’t say what it was. We have “a few hours” to figure out what that method is, and then I’m gone.

...Fine. Fine! Give me all you’ve got, fate! You can’t keep us apart. We’ll figure it out. As soon as we clear up this thing in the Great Chamber, we’ll focus on finding out how to keep you here.



I find Patchouli and Koakuma at the usual place in the library. Patchouli is sipping away at her tea, a book in her other hand. I stand a few metres away from her, waiting for her to notice my presence.

Koakuma floats over to me, giving me a high five.

“ ‘Eyyy, kid, you survived! That’s great! This house has been so blue without you.”

“The Scarlet Devil Mansion turned blue?”

Patchouli slams her book down onto her desk. “Flandre. Sit down.”

“Good luck,” Koakuma whispers into my ear.

I sit down on the chair in front of Patchouli’s desk. She regards me with stern eyebrows.

“That was foolish of you. You should not have chased after that demon.” She speaks sternly, but I can see traces of a smile on her face. “But... I am glad you did. And I am glad that you survived. It wouldn’t do for you to leave us just yet.”

Uh. I’m pretty sure that was some sort of praise. I think. Maybe. I clap my hands just to make sure. “Thank you.”

One, two, three, four— oh, wait, I should probably say something important.

“By the way, Remilia wanted us to meet in the Great Chamber.”

Her expression hardens. “Ah. I see. Very well, then. I will arrive shortly.”


[Hey, this is a long update. If you need to take a break, now would be the best time.]


The Great Chamber’s doors are tall. Taller than me, taller than Meiling, even. If I had to guess, I would say ten feet? There are a bunch of patterns painted onto the doors; many different patterns of many different things. The edges of the doors are made of gold and lined with a bunch of multicolour crystals. They kind of remind me of my own crystals.

The doors are wide open. On the opposite end of the Great Chamber sits a great throne. The ceiling here is one of the tallest ceilings in the entire mansion. Thick round pillars stand in pairs on each side of the carpet that leads up to the throne. Behind the throne, the sun casts its beams through scarlet stained glass, making the already scarlet carpet seem redder. Redder isn’t a word, is it?

A circle of chairs are set around the throne. Upon the throne sits Remilia, legs crossed, one eye close. Sakuya stands at her side and Meiling sits on one of the chairs. As I sit next to Meiling, there is a loud crack from across the hall. I glance over just in time to see Patchouli and Koakuma materialize in front of the entrance. I guess teleporting is easier than walking...

Remilia smiles as the two take a seat. “You may sit as well, Sakuya.”


“Go on.”

Sakuya sits down on the last chair, though she looks a little uncomfortable. It’s unusual, you see, because normally Sakuya stands at Remilia’s side, no matter what we’re doing. Especially in meetings like this.

“Good afternoon, my friends,” my sister begins, shutting her eyes again. She closes her eyes a lot when speaking. I’ve always thought she did it on purpose to give off a stoic aura, but I just thought: perhaps she does it to avoid people’s eyes? “As you can see, my sister is well again. This is truly a miracle after the damage she sustained in battle. I commend you, Flandre, for you bravery.”

Applause. I wasn’t expecting applause.

I raise my hand. Am I supposed to do that? “But don’t forget about Words, everyone. I wouldn’t have been able to have done anything without Words helping me.”

Another round of applause.

Remilia nods. “I have something important to bring up today. A significant portion of my words will focus on my experiences over the last few days, but it is important for all of you to hear what I have to say. It is a story about me, but it also about all of us. I ask that none of you speak until I am finished.”

No comments. Everyone watches her quietly.

She takes a deep breath, straightens her back a bit in her seat, and begins to speak.

“As we all know, three days ago, a plan was placed into motion that would lead to my eventual destruction. At the same time, I was preparing for my decade-old plan to be enacted. You may already know, but my goal was to escape the cage I called Gensokyo. Unfortunately, in that timeline, I failed. By the end of the three days, the demon Phantasm had managed to possess my sister. Wielding a powerful sword crafted by Sakuya and Patchouli, Flandre ran the blade through my heart, ending my life.”

“What?!” I exclaim.

“Please, wait until I’m finished.

“And so, in that timeline, I was dead. Do you know what happens when you use the Luna Dial to ‘time leap?’ You do not ‘travel’ through time. The Dial projects your memories onto a past version of yourself. In those final moments, Phantasm used the clock and sent both me and her back to the beginning of the three-day cycle.

“The second cycle began. Phantasm spent those next three days sowing lies in my mind. From her side of the story, she had not intended to destroy me or possess Flandre. She said that she was a demon bound strictly to contract, and all of her actions had been lined out carefully by Patchouli and Sakuya upon summoning. I believed her. How could I not? I knew nothing of demons or diabolism, and her words made perfect sense to my grief-stricken heart at the time. She was a master of deception, and I gave her my naïve trust.

“Finally convinced, I started the cycle over once again. This time, Words and Flandre were friends. I am not sure if the two of you ever met in the other two timelines I experienced. I did not even know of Words’s existence until that timeline. You, Words, were an anomaly, and not even Phantasm could have predicted your involvement.

“Time leaping is tricky. Memories don’t transfer very easily, and Sakuya had a special charm on the Luna Dial that intensified this glitch. Both times that I traveled, I had to be reminded of my eventual demise. Phantasm worked at her best, actively trying to help me remember so that I could continue with my plan before we ran out of time. It was that timeline that I had truly met Flandre for the first time.

“What I mean by that is... there was a whole side to her I had never known before. It was a surreal experience for me. It was as if a light had turned on. I could see her so clearly. I... I yearned for that side of her. I realized that she was still the sister I had used to know before the vampiristic curse that plagued us. Meanwhile, Phantasm pushed and pointed, trying to get me to ignore these newfound feelings in favour of the plan.

“Things got worse. Flandre and Words had been meddling too much, and relations with the rebel, Seija Kijin, turned sour. Phantasm urged me to start the timeline over once again. She was convinced that Flandre and Words would lose their memories and we would have the upper hand. However, Flandre managed to travel with me. Phantasm was upset by this, but she soon realized that while Flandre and Words stumbled around Gensokyo, trying to regain lost memories, we could act.

“Just like the first time so many years ago, I released the scarlet mist into the skies. The mist clouded over Gensokyo. It allowed me to see everything. I have always seen ‘everything,’ but only from a vague ‘this is to be’ perspective. Here, I could see everything in realtime. I was omnipresent. I was marvellous. Powerful. I could do anything.

“ ‘This is but a taste of the power I can grant you,’ the demon had said. ‘Once we get to the outside world, you will remind humanity of what fear is.’

“The temptation was too great for me. I had set out the Strings of Fate clearly for this night. I was guaranteed to win. Or so I had thought. That fateful moment... when my dear sister confronted me at the top of the clock tower... it could have gone both ways. It was then that, for the first time in decades, my hold on fate slipped. To me, the future is as almost as constant as the past is to all of you, but in that moment... I did not know. I could not have known. The future was closed off from me.

“It was my power that kept Phantasm at bay. As the control slipped from my fingers, she assumed control of my body. I became her puppet. Try as I might, I could not scream. I could not fight against her. She assumed perfect control. ‘Finally, finally, you’ve released the strings of fate... oh, how the tables have turned. I will return to you all of the suffering you’ve brought to the world around you.’

“She and Flandre fought. I wanted to scream with every blow of hers that met with my sister. I thought it would never end. Our bodies and minds contorted in all sorts of places they shouldn’t. Fate itself seemed to beg to me as we stretched the bounds of spacetime. I could see worlds and people I had never met, in places that have never existed, and I observed countless battles. It was the most horrifying thing I have ever experienced.

“But just like that, it stopped. And then the battle shifted. We entered a world where all was the same, and yet different. I can’t remember that world very clearly, but I remember watching my sister die. My own sister. For the second time, the demon had defiled her. I could not contain my rage. The strings of fate stretched into my palm once again, and using them, I crafted her defeat. I didn’t care how she would be defeated; the only constant was that she would fall to Words.

“Words trapped the demon in that realm, and then through some miracle, brought my sister’s soul back to this world. And ever since, I have not touched the strings of fate. Not once. It has only been a few days, but I already feel lighter. The strain of holding the future in sight for so long has finally lifted. I... I’ve forgotten what it was like. To be normal. To see things like all of you do.

“So, this is just... this is just my way of saying that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for making you all suffer for so long. I’m sorry I kept you out of the way, Flandre, in that accursed basement, for taking action against your library, Patchouli, for stealing your most prized possession, Sakuya. I’m sorry I put magical spells on my name to keep you all in check, and I’m sorry that I risked destroying Gensokyo – our home – for my selfish lust. I promise: I’m never going to assume control of other people’s fate ever again. You have my word as the Scarlet Devil and as Mistress of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.”

A grim silence descends over us.

Remilia sits there, unmoving, as if she were awaiting judgment by a court.

Sakuya is conflicted; she bites her lip, but her eyebrows are curved downward into a scowl. Meiling’s fingers are interlocked, and she is neither frowning nor smiling. Just... neutral. Calm. Like a slow-moving river.

Patchouli rises from her seat, steps up to Remilia, and places a hand on her shoulder.

“Hello, Remilia. It is has been an exceptionally long time, hasn’t it?”

The vampire glances up, staring at Patchouli with an open mouth.

“For the longest time, I have thought you were gone. I believed you were so utterly consumed by the desires in your heart that you could never be the same again. But, seeing you speak here, I can see the traces of the Remilia I had met so many decades go.”

Remilia slides off of the chair and stands next to Patchouli. The top of her head only comes up to Patchouli’s chest. “So... you... are you saying you forgive me?”

“Remilia Scarlet. If you truly wish to change your ways, you will have to prove it.”

“I... I know... I will do whatever I can. Like... removing that charm on my name. Could you do that for me?”

Patchouli takes Remilia’s hand and mutters a few words.

“The spell is lifted.”

“Thank you, Patchouli.”

Patchouli nods.

“Wait a minute,” Sakuya says, staring at the stained glass windows above. “Is that really it, Patchouli? After all we’ve worked for? How can you trust her? How do you know it’s not another—”

“Look at me, Sakuya,” Patchouli snaps. “There is nothing more despicable than hatred. Hatred nestles in your heart. It festers. It grows into a powerful monster that controls every action you take. Hatred is like a demon. It possesses you, and it takes. It will continue to take until there is nothing left.

“I have given up on hatred. Flandre reminded me that we are a family and that families stick together. I may be foolish for wanting to trust Remilia, but I have seen something in her I have not seen in decades. I am willing to risk it this time. If not for me, if not for her, then for the sake of our family.

“But what of you, Sakuya? Can you let go of your anger and try one last time?”

The maid clenches her fists.

“Sakuya,” Remilia whispers. She reaches into her breastpocket, removing the Luna Dial. She holds the clock out to its real mistress. “This belongs to you. Take it.”

Sakuya snatches it up, holding it close to her heart. “You’re... you’re giving it back...?”

Remilia nods. “I realize how important this timepiece is to you. After all, I was there when you first got it. I should not have taken it. It is yours. It has always been yours. No more will I leech off of your powers.”

Sakuya drops to her knees, gripping the timepiece tightly. She begins to cry. For a moment, I had thought I was imagining it, but those are real tears on her face.

“I’m sorry, Sakuya. You’ve been at my side for over four hundred years. Your loyalty has been unmatched, and yet I have not returned the sentiment. A master who does not respect her servants does not deserve to have those servants. And that is why... that is why I am letting you off.”

Sakuya sniffs, glancing up at her mistress. “What do you mean?”

“I’m letting you go. You don’t work here anymore.”

“Don’t be stupid,” the maid snaps back. Her form shifts – a time-stop shift – and suddenly she is standing tall and proud, her eyes no longer wet and her face clear of any emotion. “I’m not leaving.”

“No, I insist, Sakuya. I don’t deserve you anymore.”

“It’s not about you,” Sakuya says, crossing her arms. “I want to stay here. This is my family, too.”


“No ‘but’s! I’m not going to leave your side, Mistress. I will serve you until I am no longer able. I need to keep a close eye on you, anyway, and make sure you’re telling the truth this time.”

“Fine! Stubborn mule,” Remilia grumbles. She’s smiling, though.

“But not as stubborn as Milady.” Sakuya is smiling as well.

What just happened? I thought they were mad at each other... Or, at the very least, I thought Sakuya was upset. They... they have a complex relationship, don't they? I should ask about how they met, sometime.

Everyone seems joyful, somehow.

I didn’t think it could be so simple... Anger and conflict. They really blow such simple things out of proportion, don’t they? This whole conflict was stupid, but it became so intense... so powerful. That demon Phantasm was part of the problem, but the people here had a part to play as well.


Oh. But there’s still the matter of you, Words. I should... I should probably mention that.

I hop onto the throne, standing on it with my feet so that I’m taller.

“Wait, everyone! I have something to say.”

Everyone’s attention is brought toward me.

“Thank you, all of you, for being willing to keep us together. I don’t know what I would do without each of you in this house. It looks like this huge battle we’ve been fighting is finally coming to a close.”

Here, I pause to clap for myself.

“But there’s this one last thing I need your help with! You see, in a few hours, Words is going to disappear from our world. There’s no way to stop it, but we might be able to create a way to keep in contact from time to time, so... I need help finding out how to do that.”

Koakuma coughs.

“Words has to leave?” Remilia frowns. Koakuma coughs again.

“Do not worry, Remilia. We have a few hours. That is more than enough time. I’m sure if we all scour some of my books about diaboli—”

Koakuma coughs a third time.

“What is it, Koakuma?” Patchouli mutters dryly.

Koakuma gives me a thumbs up. “I know how to help you out, kid!”

“Why didn’t you just say so?”

“I was trying,” the little devil grumbles. “So, I’m not really from this world, either. You all know that. I’m not the same type of thing as Words, but I know one or two things about demons and devils and stuff like that.

“The problem here is Words seems to be a demon that is unable to exist in our world. Perhaps Words is just too big, or maybe our little whole in the barrier is too small. Maybe Words is already anchored to another world, just like how I’m anchored to this one. Whatever the case seems to be, those pages you write on still have a small part of Words bound to them.”


“Even if the barrier thing is completely sealed, a small, small part of Words will always be in those pages. In fact, you will probably be able to speak to Words even after this thing is over just by writing in them.”

“So we have nothing to worry about.”

“Well, no. If you run out of pages, that’s it. You can’t communicate ever again.”




I can use the remaining pages to communicate with you...

But once they’re used up... that’s it.


Sakuya winks out of existence for a few seconds, and then suddenly she’s back with a wooden table. On the table are tons of pieces of paper. Most of them have writing on them. My writing.

“These are all of the pages that consist of Words, including the ones we had stored for the creation of the weapon,” Sakuya says.

Patchouli steps up to the table, examining one of the pages.

“I am not entirely sure without a way to test it, but Koakuma’s method seems plausible. There are not very many pages left, however.”

“Why don’t you use them periodically?” Meiling suggests. “Every few months or years, write a letter to Words. That way, it’ll be like your time together never ends.”


Instead of saying, “Words was a friend of mine,” I can say “Words is a friend of mine.” I mean, we won’t be able to talk long, but a short correspondence here and there... it could be nice.


That... that sounds okay. It’s not being able to talk to you whenever I want, but it’s better than never seeing you again. I’ll still be able to talk to you once in a while.




Your time is almost up, Words.



I’ll give you a few more minutes to say your good-byes.

[ ] What will you say, Words?


This is our longest post, clocking in at roughly 4,400 words. There will be plenty of time for congratulations and sentiment very soon, but let me just say that I appreciate you all a lot. Thanks for reading this story, thanks for voting, and thank you for helping Flandre achieve her goals. Your continued interest is a big part of what gives me the strength to write the next update each time.
It might be a bit cheesy, but I was thinking something like:
"Thank you Flandre, for being my friend.
I will not say farewell as long as there are still papers left, and hopefully we can find a more permanent solution so we never have to."

There are tons of other worlds where people also have use for summoned demons, maybe someone there knows of a solution and Words can negotiate with them for service in exchange for that.

We should also talk to Phantasm occasionally. Leaving her there alone "forever" is kind of mean, especially since she only did what demons are "supposed to do".
I mean, we could do something like make her swear that if we release her she will never, directly or indirectly, interact with Words or Gensokyo again unless Words is the one to approach her first.
Hahahahaha no. We can visit her I guess, but only to make sure she's still locked up.

Also, reuse the papers. Magic the ink off and write again. If the ink is magically bound, write in white over the blackened page. Copy the papers beforehand for a record if wanted. We do have a huge library, and those always had correspondence sections.
[x] Farewell Flandre. My time with you has honestly been some of the most pleasant moments of my entire existence. I will never forget you. By the way, I don't know if I mentioned this, but when I... brought you back, I left a little something with you. A small piece of me. So, in a way, I'll never really leave your side, will I? Farewell, my friend.

Dammit Flanders, giving us such a bittersweet ending, making me all teary and shit...
[x] "You'll always be able to see me Flandre. Maybe we won't be able to talk as much as we'd like, but you have our pages. If you're ever feeling down, look back and know how proud I am of you. We'll always be able to look back on our times together. Thank you Flandre for being my friend."

I think Meiling has the right idea. This isn't a farewell. It's like two best friends that get to meet on a rainy day or a celebration.
If erasing the previous entries is not an option, Flandre could always just go back to the first page and start writing in the margins and between the lines. All she would have to do is practice writing really small so she could conserve paper.

Also, its kind of a shame that Words never got a chance to get to know anyone else in the mansion. Words made friends with Flandre and he got to talk to Remilia in the Realm of Words, but everyone else only knows about him through hearsay. So maybe we should say something like:
[x] "Goodbye everyone. I'm sorry I did not get the chance to know all of you better."
[x] "The Aristocrats!"
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The second part of this update will uploaded in a few hours. Please wait warmly.


“No. That's not good enough.”

Remilia tightens her fists. “I can't just let you go, Words… after all you've done for us?! You're just going to leave? There must be another way. What if… what if we removed the old writing from the other pages, and then re-used those?”

“Unfortunately,” Patchouli says, “that will not work. Any spells I could use to remove the ink will risk removing the binding runes etched into the paper.”

“Runes? I didn't see any runes during all of my time writing…”

“They may have faded away to your eyes, Flandre, but they are still there, I assure you. Removing those runes will remove the paper's ability to reach Words across dimensions.”

“How can you be sure? You didn't even know about the possibility of using the paper for this until a few minutes ago.”

“Mistress,” Sakuya mutters. “Calm down. Please. Your behaviour will not improve the situation…”

Remilia nods, a deep frown on her face. “You're right, but… well… what can we do? Flandre, how are you so calm about this?”

I shake my head. “I'm not calm. I'm feeling numb. That's why I seem so quiet and calm… the circumstances haven't really registered, yet. I guess I'm used to feeling numb… But, still, even if this seems hopeless, I'm used to waiting. I guess you could call it my career. You're not very patient, Remilia. I mean, you are, as long as you keep your mind focused on the goal, but when there's no destination in mind, you lose your patience. I'm the opposite, I guess… I hate waiting for a destination, but I don't mind waiting around from day-to-day. Erm, I'm kind of rambling. But my point is, I don't see this as something as sad as you do because I am able to wait.”

“How can I be like that, too?”

“Time is tricky,” Sakuya interjects. “When you're happy, time will seem to move at an uncomfortable pace. Meanwhile, as long as you're watching, it will crawl by a second at a time. Enjoy the finer moments, Mistress, and you will find the wait to be much shorter than you originally thought.”

Remilia sighs, thinking. After a few moments, she steps up to the pages on the table. She removes a pen from her pocket and begins to write.

Words, thank you for all of your help. Don't forget about us, okay?


Of course I won't. My time here has been some of the greatest moments I've ever had. If you're ever feeling down, remember that I'm proud of you. All of you. Thank you for putting your differences aside. And thank you, Flandre, for being my friend.

…Good bye…

Not “good bye.” Instead, say “see you later.”


Wait, one more

thing. I'm not sure if I mentioned this or

not, but when we were in that

“other world,” I lef//p'

something for you.

A small pi/.;,'ece of me. So, in a wa''[

'.'][[]]y, I'll never really leave your side. Just'.][].[][]

… keep that in memory.[';',';;,';;',

It might help.

Okay! I'll see yo.][].[

[]]]u lo;atoer, Words, -ook;ay?

See o-;you later!


[p[p,[thank. y//ou/////


Dear Words,

It's been a week since the border was sealed up and our family became whole again. The first few days after you left, everyone was really down. The mansion turned blue.

...I've missed talking to you. I can't tell you how many times I've started talking to you... and then realized you weren't really there. I've been trying to hold off talking to you for real. The temptation is really strong, but the others are helping me.

A few days ago, we all went to the Human Village together! Even Patchouli came along. Well, she didn't want to, but Remilia went into her study and argued with her for a while. They're both really really stubborn, but finally after about a half hour Patchouli relented. When we got to the village, I introduced everyone to Sachiko and her family. She seemed really happy to meet everyone. She and Koakuma had a riddle match, too. It took all of Koakuma's willpower to not burst out into a flurry of cussing when she lost.

Remilia got a kimono that matches mine, too! It's really pretty. Later, Meiling arranged us in the garden as if we were her flowers, and then we had a kimono-sisters photo shoot. I wish I could show you, but the best you'll be able to do is imagine it.

Sometimes, Remilia and Sakuya and Patchouli get into fights. I think they're still working at repairing the damage in their relationship relationships?. It doesn't really help that Sakuya hates talking things out... Or that Remilia has so much pride... Or Patchouli's love for tea. No, wait, that last part has nothing to do with their fights. Tea is kinda neat. Even though it scares me when they fight, it works out. Nobody tries to murder anybody or anything drastic like that. I find myself thanking my lucky crystals stars when they all smile together again.

Speaking of fighting, Remilia was pretty worried that the shrine maiden and "all manner of riffraff" would come knocking on our door about the scarlet mist. Fortunately, Miss Yukari decided to reward us for disposing of Phantasm: our reward was the removal of the scarlet mist from everybody's memories, so now only me and you and the rest of us at the mansion remember the mist. Remilia was really thankful, for once. I guess that's a great thing for Gensokyo's politics? Oh, and the youkai rebellion has been dubbed the "Double Dealing Character" Incident. Marisa Kirisame and Reimu Hakurei cleaned it up good. That weird upside-down girl, Seija Kijin, is still at large, though. She orchestrated the rebellion, so that's a bit worrying. I hope they find her soon, and offer her tea and cookies or whatever it is they use to settle disputes. Hopefully it'll be less trouble than our adventure...

I guess the last different thing is that I don't live in the basement anymore. My new room is almost as big as Remi's, and it's directly across from hers. I have a huge bed sometimes I feel like it's going to swallow me up and my own bathroom and wardrobe and... Well, pretty much everything I could ever need. Even a desk for me to write! I, er, I've recently started writing things... It helps to fill that urge to talk to you, Words. Maybe I'll tell you about one of my stories, sometime.

Oh, no, I lied, there's another thing. Remilia let me have the violin in the instrument room. I'm still kind of rusty, but my old skills are returning to me bit by bit! Sakuya can play the piano, so we like to duet. We keep pressuring Remilia to learn an instrument so that she can join us.

Oh, and another another thing. I talked to that Water-Tail girl again. Wakasagihime. I promised to carry drag her around in a big tank of water on wheels some day. Y'know, let her see the world? That will be fun.

...Well, that's about all, I guess. It's certainly been a great week.

It's almost like... well, maybe I have woken from a dream, or died and gone to the afterlife. Perhaps I had always been there, or possibly there had been a life before that had been mine; probably a beautiful life. Probably a terrible life. A life is a life, but I have a feeling that life before was a not-life. What I have now is not a not-life. I would even go as far as to say that I have a real life.

A life has a few important things in it. One of them is happy things, and I certainly have happy things. Another important thing in a life is a death, which is something I have rightly met before. maybe just don't ask Well, you were there, I guess.

A life also has people in it. I have Me, you, Remi, Sakuya, Meiling, Patchouli, Koakuma, Sachiko, Wakasagihime, Cirno, Daiyousei... and I'm sure there are all manner of great people I will meet in Gensokyo. And now I'm getting off-topic.

What other things is in a life...? Time is in a life. I've traveled through time both ways, so I think I've met that criteria, too.

It's true. I have a life.


Sorry, that was a little confusing. My point is, I'm happy now. And... things seem less confusing in my head, too. everything is just... good.

Anyway, I shouldn't use too much paper now, so... until next time! It was nice writing to you again. Meiling was right; doing it like this is better.

See you later, Words.
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さいごに残った小さな願い by Sister's Spread-i

I think this song fits rather nicely. If, y'know, I had a credits screen scrolling right about now.

Anyway. We did it, THP. Almost ten months ago, I nervously clicked that "post" button, publishing Not-Life's first post to the world. To be honest, the name of this story was decided fifteen minutes prior to posting it. At first I had this story in /shorts/, but the next day it was moved to /others/. I was still kind of unsure whether it better suit /sdm/, instead, but the chance for that is long-passed now.

Thank you for sticking with me for this ride, everyone. Not only has it been great fun, but it's also been a great learning experience for me. My writing skills have greatly improved during this story. This is also the longest personal project I've ever created and completed. I tend to drop things I start, but when I started Not-Life I had intended to finish it. I'm glad I actually did.

For reference, the total word count is roughly ~111,000 words. That's an approximation, because some of my Word document is missing a few sequences, but it's around there. Wow, that's a lot of writing. If I could do that, I could probably write an original novel...

I won't take all of the credit here. A big part of the reason I came back to this story over and over was the desire to complete this story with Anon. I mean, I also enjoyed myself; if I wasn't having fun I wouldn't write. But that near-constant thought of "oh, yes, people are waiting for your next update"... it helped motivate me. The discussion and votes were helpful, as well. I remember eagerly opening up my thread every morning to see what new insight Anon brought to the table.

I'm probably going to host a Q&A session, assuming there are questions about the story that you want to ask. What do ya say?
[ ] Yes, do a Q&A. I have questions.
[ ] Nah, no need for a Q&A. I have no questions.

*Afterward? Afterword? How do you spell this thing?

Also, posting this for the third time. Yay tag typos.
Congratulations! An excellent run, that's for sure.

[x] I have no questions, but add trivia about the story and stuff that got left out
I have one question, was were an option for Wakasagihime to have more to get more involved with the story? I'm not entirely sure why she was there.
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Her purpose was two-fold. The first reason was to show Flandre that there were a lot of interesting people out in Gensokyo that she had been missing this whole time. The second reason was to give the story a sense of setting. Not-Life takes place during the time that DDC happened, and I figured Wakasagihime would have to show up at some point to prove that fact. Just like how Seija and Sekibanki made appearance (and Benben, at one point).

As for why Flandre keeps remembering her, well, I'm not completely sure myself. Maybe Wakasagihime left a good impression on the girl?

Well, I should probably bring up the fact that I planned very little of this story beforehand. I know it looks like everything fits into nice tight pieces, as if I had orchestrated every event in advance, but that was not the case. I was pretty lazy about that. Upon starting the story, there were only four constants:

1) Remilia was using her powers to keep a totalitarian control over the SDM and its residents.
2) Words was a spirit/demon/etc from beyond the boundaries of Gensokyo meant to represent the reader.
3) Words was able to resist the powers of fate and thus assist in Remilia's assassination.
4) By the end of the story, Remilia Scarlet would die.

(Obviously, that last one is the only constant that did not remain... constant.)

That's it. There were a few scenes that I had planned here and there that would eventually happen, but besides that the rest of the story was a blank. For example, I did not plan for Sachiko's existence until the very scene in which Flandre met her.

I had a much darker intention when I started Not-Life. Flandre would come to help Patchouli and Sakuya, and then they would work together to defeat Remilia. However, Flandre's personality and Anon's ideals didn't exactly fit into that when I began writing. Slowly, my goal began to shift. It was that point on the clock tower that I finally gave up on "the Scarlet Devil's Defeat" route. I realized then that for the good of the story's tone and consistency, Remilia could not be evil. I didn't write her as an evil enough character to justify her being the "big bad," and I knew if I held onto that ending it would hurt Not-Life as a whole. (The ending of Owen's A Scarlet-Stained Memoir came to mind when I was making this decision.) So, when Words and Flandre convinced Remilia to step down from her dark path, they also convinced me, in a way.

You may have also noticed that Phantasm was not in my "four constants." At first, Remilia was the only antagonist in this story. Phantasm was not born until... oh, around the point when Flandre was lost in the labyrinth, I think. I cannot remember my exact mindset when creating her character, but she was initially made to fill in a few holes that had formed as time went on. Like I said, I did very little pre-planning for this story. (Something I don't quite recommend.) Fortunately, Phantasm was an excellent addition to the story in my opinion. I'm pretty proud of her character.

The Luna Dial was added into the story along the way. Time travel had not been a part of my original idea.

Likewise, DDC was incorporated into Not-Life even though my story had started months before DDC's release. I had already intended for a "rebellion" of sorts to exist; Remilia had required that kind of chaos for her scheme. Upon DDC's story being known to us, I decided to use DDC for my rebellion to give it a more canon, grounded-in-Touhou spin. It was quite convenient. It also gave me the chance to write some interesting characters. (I may have to write something about the DDC cast after this.)

There you have it. Making up the story as I went along wasn't too stressful, to be honest. There was a certain joy to being able to fit pieces together as things went along, though. I think one of the best such instances was when we went to the "realm of Words" because I was finally able to justify this story being in /others/. As for why I didn't plan out, I was literally just lazy. I had been wanting to write on THP for several months before that point, so I just decided "fuck it, I'm posting this NOW" and went from there. Not-Life didn't end the way I had originally intended, but I prefer this ending much more, anyway.
I am curious about Words and his amnesia. We never did find out who Words really was or why he could not remember his past. Could you shed some light on the subject?

Also, what was your favorite part of writing this story? Did Anon's write-ins ever surprise you or impress you unexpectedly?
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>I am curious about Words and his amnesia. We never did find out who Words really was or why he could not remember his past. Could you shed some light on the subject?

As we all know, Words is the character in this story who represents the reader. However, Words is actually more than that. I've hinted at this, but never outwardly said it: Words not only represents the reader -- Words is the reader. When Patchouli broke through the Gensokyo barrier, she essentially broke into our world and allowed Words (the reader) entry into Not-Life's Gensokyo. Words is said to be a demon from a plane outside of Gensokyo. That plane is this world, the one where you posses a real body. The reason Words could not enter Gensokyo fully is the same reason you could not transport your real body into the words on this webpage. Your spirit is bound to this world.

Due to the unpredictability of connections between worlds, time displacement is in effect. The entirety of Not-Life took place in the August of 2013 (by the calender of the "Not-Verse's" world), but we have been corresponding with that world for ten months by our own calenders.

>Also, what was your favorite part of writing this story?

I really liked writing the character interactions. Almost all of them were really fun to do -- from the long, dialogue-heavy sequences to the small-talk exchanges with fairies and mermaids. It was interesting seeing two characters just... communicate. Possibly because I could act out attitudes I can't normally do as myself. For example, Koakuma's rough dialogue. I don't normally talk like that, so being able to speak like that through her has a level of exhilaration to it. As for the characters that fit my usual style of interaction... Flandre and Patchouli, probably. Even right now, I'm noticing that a lot of my terms are similar to Patchouli's lectures about Remilia and such.

Another thing I really enjoyed (I'll be getting into it in a second) was Anon's discussions.

>Did Anon's write-ins ever surprise you or impress you unexpectedly?

Several times. Those "comfort Flandre" sequences were especially sweet. Oh, and unexpectedly wise; I'm pretty sure I took some of those words to heart myself, heh...

Some of the discussions Anon had impressed me, too. There were things pointed out that I hadn't thought of; it was just generally fascinating to see different people with different views about the world mulling over the stuff I had written. I can't think of any specific examples, but in general the discussion was pretty great. (Thanks, Anon!)

Oh, I just remembered that one Anon who wrote an essay of all the stuff you guys knew up to that point in the last thread. (This one >>53864) That was insane, dude. Kudos.
The tone shift from the early updates to now is pretty funny. Especially Koakuma's room.
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>Remilia got a kimono that matches mine, too! It's really pretty. Later, Meiling arranged us in the garden as if we were her flowers, and then we had a kimono-sisters photo shoot. I wish I could show you, but the best you'll be able to do is imagine it.

Dawww. Pic related.

[x] See you later, Flandre.

Just a last little addition to make it perfect.


>So, when Words and Flandre convinced Remilia to step down from her dark path, they also convinced me, in a way.
>Not-Life didn't end the way I had originally intended, but I prefer this ending much more, anyway.

It's always good to see a writer who's flexible enough to change their plans if they think it'll make a better story.


>Those "comfort Flandre" sequences were especially sweet. Oh, and unexpectedly wise; I'm pretty sure I took some of those words to heart myself, heh...

...Oh, really? As the one who wrote most of those, I'm glad you liked them. I felt like I was rambling on too much at the time, but if you liked them I guess they couldn't have been that bad.

Anyway, was there anything we could have done to get a better ending, or did we do as well as was possible? Was there anything that paticularly frustrated you in this story? What was up with Alice? Did Words ever visit Phantasm, or was Phantasm just left there until the world faded? Do you think you'll ever write something set in the Not-Life verse again?

Congratulations on finishing your first story, Flanders! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do in the future!
How did you come up with this story's premise of literally making Anon into a character? Most stories on this site let Anon control the main character, but this is the only one I can think of where Anon IS the main character.
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>Congratulations on finishing your first story, Flanders! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do in the future!

Thank you very much~

>Anyway, was there anything we could have done to get a better ending, or did we do as well as was possible?

I guess you could say you got the best ending. It bent my original plan backwards and let the family stick together, with Remilia alive to boot. Bravo. Words's departure is probably the only "bitter" in this "sweet," but it was unavoidable.

>Was there anything that particularly frustrated you in this story?

Hm... sometimes there were routes that Anon took that I wasn't as eager to write, but those weren't too common. I would also get frustrated if I couldn't find time to write for too long. Besides those, no, writing Not-Life was frustration-free.

>What was up with Alice?

Ah, well, more world-building. The Alice of the Not-Verse (apparently that's what I'm calling this universe?) isn't your typical Alice. More about that in a minute.

>Did Words ever visit Phantasm, or was Phantasm just left there until the world faded?

I may write a short about this. I won't promise it, but it's certainly on my mind. Whether or not she stays there until the world fades, I'm not sure myself, so I'll let you decide.

>Do you think you'll ever write something set in the Not-Life verse again?

Almost certainly. The horror Alice, for example, is a part of a story idea that I've had in mind since way back then. Including her in Not-Life was a way to tie this unwritten story in with the Not-Verse. Although, if I do get to writing it, it won't be for a while. Horror is something I've never really dabbled in (for writing, at least) before, so I would need ample time to prepare.

I also had a story in mind that would take place in the timeline in which Remilia died. It would deal with how Gensokyo has changed because her death, how the SDM residents adapted to it, etc etc. It would not directly be about the SDM, per say. The protagonist of that story would probably be an outsider.

Finally, I've been really fond of an idea for a story about Sakuya, Remilia, and the circumstances in which they first met. It would be greatly centered around the Luna Dial and vampire hunting. That, story, though, would take a lot of planning. (That seems to be the common theme here, isn't it?)

I doubt I could write on THP again outside of the Not-Verse, so it's safe to assume that any future stories I write will be within it. For now, though, I'm not going to write any long CYOAs. Shorts, yes. I have a few of those in mind. I actually have one over in /shorts/ that needs to be finished.

(Also, I don't mind taking suggestions for shorts. If the idea interests me, I'll do it.)

>How did you come up with this story's premise of literally making Anon into a character? Most stories on this site let Anon control the main character, but this is the only one I can think of where Anon IS the main character.

I wanted to come up with a way to explain what THP is and why it works the way it works using in-story logic. The idea is that all of the stories on THP are windows into different versions of Gensokyo. The people who read these stories can assume some control of the worlds by using some sort of avatar (the protagonist). Not-Life just takes it a step further by eliminating the avatar and making the reader a character directly.

The dynamic between Flandre and Words both being "main characters" was an interesting one. I would almost say that Flandre is the protagonist and Words plays the role of a secondary main character.
>suggestions for shorts
>about Sakuya, Remilia, and the circumstances in which they first met
>greatly centered around the Luna Dial
Oh man, have I got a doozy.
What if the first time Sakuya met Remilia was not the first time Remilia had met Sakuya?
Sakuya gets caught between a rock and a hard place; or rather, a Master Spark and a Royal Flare. The interacting magical energies cause a positive feedback loop in the Luna Dial's Time Circuit, resulting in a spacial rift that sends Sakuya spiralling off through spacetime. Hooray for technobabble!
However, the red string of Fate ensures that Sakuya ends up at the side of her Mistress, even if a few centuries earlier than expected.
Before, in fact, Remilia had ever become a vampire in the first place.
A few hours after arriving in the past, a note pops out of the Dial, explaining that Patchouli is working on pulling Sakuya back home, but it will be a full day before she builds up the required magical energy to do so.
The Dial then winds itself to midnight, and begins ticking backwards.
What would have happened if we had gone with Phantasm into the Realm of Dreams like you had originally planned? Would it have been just a straightforward demon vs demon fight?
I really have to give my highest compliments on this story. I only really participated during the period when you were updating on a daily basis, but it was great fun to play and while neither the plot nor the writing were perfect, they were both engaging on intellectual and emotional levels, which is a lot more than can be said for most stories.

Thanks for writing it, and I very much look forward to any future works.
What would have happened if we had responded to Phantasm's last ditch attempt to call us back?
Thank you very much, I appreciate your kind words!

>What would have happened if we had gone with Phantasm into the Realm of Dreams like you had originally planned? Would it have been just a straightforward demon vs demon fight?
Probably. That could have gone either better (quicker) or worse (less epic, possibly even boring?).

>What would have happened if we had responded to Phantasm's last ditch attempt to call us back?
She would have headed straight for Remilia, hoping to finally end her life before you could react. She was trying to deceive you until the very end.

>Story idea
Well dang, that sounds nothing like what I had in mind but part of me still wants to write it. Props to you! We'll see if I actually go for it
How many opportunities did we have to make very bad mistakes? I'm not only talking about bad ends, but also things that would have resulted in more difficult obstacles, a worse ending, etc.
I did enjoy the part where someone seriously fell for Phantasm taking Flandre's form and then acting absolutely nothing like she had throughout the story. I'm sure we would have been punished harshly if he hadn't been the only one.
>How many opportunities did we have to make very bad mistakes? I'm not only talking about bad ends, but also things that would have resulted in more difficult obstacles, a worse ending, etc.

Well, first of all, Not-Life would probably never have reached a bad end. Having a bad end didn't seem to fit Not-Life's style, so I decided to make every bad thing that happened stay permanent. If it ever got so bad that things would have to be "reset" somehow, I had the Luna Dial as a backup. Fortunately, we never got that far.

As for making things more difficult for yourselves, well… I don't have an exact count of the places where such things could have happened, but there are a few things that come to mind:

- Alice's house was mostly safe (no matter what, the Four of a Kind would have saved Flandre), but if you had acted less cautious, you would have gotten out with more of a struggle.
- If you had picked a different route in the Labyrinth, you would have never have found Patchouli. It was possible for you guys to completely navigate the place without her and then found out later that she was dead (and that you could have saved her). It would have weighed heavily on Flan. That probably seems harsh for a seemingly random decision at the time, but I was already planning to kill off Patchouli and collapse that timeline using the Luna Dial. The "save Patchouli from the Labyrinth" thing came as an afterthought; good thing Anon picked it.
- If you had fought back against the human police/law/whatever after leaving the bath house in the Human Village, you'd have been dubbed a member of the rebellion and humans would be fighting against you left and right.
- When Phantasm finally took control of Remilia's body on the clock tower, you had the choice of chasing after her or getting help. If you had gotten help instead, Phantasm would have had more of a headway in destroying the barrier, but Patchouli and Sakuya would have helped you fight back. It wouldn't change the end result much, but the battle would have been quite different.
- This is a given, but if you had taken too long to defeat Phantasm, she would have opened Gensokyo to the Outside World. At that point, you'd either have to use the Luna Dial to try again or chase Phantasm across the now scarlet mist-covered skies of Japan. In the latter's case, the resulting chaos would have made global news.
- The "Realm of Words" area had a few important decisions that you had to choose between. Trusting Diave too much, for example:
>I did enjoy the part where someone seriously fell for Phantasm taking Flandre's form and then acting absolutely nothing like she had throughout the story. I'm sure we would have been punished harshly if he hadn't been the only one.

That would have ended badly, yes. It was quite possible that Remilia would have died instead of Flandre. Diave/Phantasm would have transformed into a dragon from the resulting boost of energy and then battled against both you and Flandre at that point.
- If you had killed the Lynx or the Fox for information, the words "[X] KILLER [X] KILLER [X] KILLER" would have spread across the sky, written in blood-red. The words would remain there for the entirety of your stay in that realm. For as long as they were there, all of the things in the "Realm of Words" would fight against you. For example, the poppies would wrap themselves around your legs, and the thunderclouds would probably have tried to blast you with lightning.
- The only other way to defeat Phantasm in the end would have been to push her into the void beyond the Edge. It would be the equivalent to dropping somebody outside of an airplane with a parachute; she'd survive, landing in a random world below, whilst Gensokyo and the "Realm of Words" would have kept flying away. By locking her up, you basically chained her to the plane and parachuted out yourselves. That's an arguably better result, since you saved any other worlds out there from her chaos.

By the way, the meaning of Diave's name is literally just mashing the words "Diabolic Wave" together. That was Flandre's title in Shoot the Bullet, for those who don't know.
>If you had picked a different route in the Labyrinth, you would have never have found Patchouli. It was possible for you guys to completely navigate the place without her and then found out later that she was dead (and that you could have saved her). It would have weighed heavily on Flan. That probably seems harsh for a seemingly random decision at the time, but I was already planning to kill off Patchouli and collapse that timeline using the Luna Dial. The "save Patchouli from the Labyrinth" thing came as an afterthought; good thing Anon picked it.

Good thing we picked that route indeed. There were three different routes we could have taken for that choice. Since we found Patchouli by going right, what would we have found on the other two routes?
>Good thing we picked that route indeed. There were three different routes we could have taken for that choice. Since we found Patchouli by going right, what would we have found on the other two routes?

Going straight ahead would have brought you on a relatively safe path that would eventually lead out of the Labyrinth. (It wasn't a singular winding passage that led to the exit -- the Labyrinth is too maze-like for that -- but it would have still led to the way out eventually.)

Going left would bring you to many dark passages filled with monsters. Essentially the same thing as above (eventually you would find a way out) but with more of a struggle to get through it.
>Diave/Phantasm would have transformed into a dragon from the resulting boost of energy and then battled against both you and Flandre at that point.
Well, I'm glad that I kept a healthy dose of paranoia all the way to the end.

I don't know if that's cheesy or awesome. Maybe a bit of both.
Also, it vaguely reminds me of something, but I'm not sure what. (Probably some old horror game like Silent Hill/early Resident Evil series or something...)
I really liked the 'Diave' part. Its acting was pretty good, but when the 'spider' appeared it was obvious that she fit the bill much better. I had to make up a few write ins in the spot to stop people from failing for that (like the one where you asked it a question only Flandre could answer-although my attempt failed, if I remember that correctly)
I was astonished at how much was thought up on the fly, considers everything pretty much went smoothly. In a similar vein, I was skeptical at abstract world, thinking that the story might be going off into the deep end. But alas, that too was fine. Congrats on the finished story. Not-life I think is in a different vein then most other THP stories. Not exactly because of the other-plane elements, but considering the objectives of Remilia and Flandre from the start of the story.

>If you had killed the Lynx or the Fox for information, the words "[X] KILLER [X] KILLER [X] KILLER" would have spread across the sky, written in blood-red. The words would remain there for the entirety of your stay in that realm. For as long as they were there, all of the things in the "Realm of Words" would fight against you. For example, the poppies would wrap themselves around your legs, and the thunderclouds would probably have tried to blast you with lightning.
The feeling of being guilty, watched and condemned is creepy but can be ignored by averting one's eyes. The environment snarling up at you alone can be classified as simply a threat to combat. But together, they are plenty unnerving!
Yeah, that was inspired by horror games.

Thank you~! I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
Late question is late, but is the path of communication between Words and Flan at the end of the story one-way or two-way?
>Late question is late, but is the path of communication between Words and Flan at the end of the story one-way or two-way?

Eh, I don't mind late questions~ Anyway…

Technically the connection is exactly the same as before. So, yeah, it's two-way. For the sake of simplicity, however, I won't have Words talk unless Flandre initiates the conversation first. If there are any future shorts written by Flandre, they will probably have Words talking in them.

The last post was written in one-way letter format because it seemed to fit best for a closing post.
Have you ever played Witch's House? You used "X" as a euphemism for "kill" once, so now I'm curious.
Also, who was the shadow in the dream? Now I think it's Phantasm, but at the time I was wondering if it was EX-Rumia...
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>Have you ever played Witch's House? You used "X" as a euphemism for "kill" once, so now I'm curious.
Yes, that was a reference! I've played a few of those "horror RPG Maker" games (The Witch's House, Ib, and Mad Father) and I adore them. The scene in Alice's house was also faintly inspired by them. I've actually wanted to make a full story that takes after The Witch's House, but life is busy right now so it may not happen for a while.

>Also, who was the shadow in the dream? Now I think it's Phantasm, but at the time I was wondering if it was EX-Rumia...
Do you mean the one here? >>52097

That was Patchouli. At that point in writing, I was planning on having Patchouli and Flandre/Words meet so that they could work together towards destroying Remilia (I think I said this before), so that dream was a "future that could have been." Obviously, that future never came to fruition.
> I've actually wanted to make a full story that takes after The Witch's House, but life is busy right now so it may not happen for a while.
> I've actually wanted to make a full story that takes after The Witch's House, but life is busy right now so it may not happen for a while.

I'd read it. (And do something with Ib? Please?)
>I'd read it. (And do something with Ib? Please?)
Glad to know it'd have some sort of audience, then! And, while I can't make any promises, that's certainly a good idea. I may not be able to write either ideas for a long time, but I'll certainly keep them in mind.
Back in >>54845 Flandre ran into a man in the forest who commented on her not-life and then left. This man was never heard from or mentioned again. Who is this guy and whats the story behind him?
Ah, yes, him. I was wondering if anyone was going to bring him up. Anyway...

At that time in writing, I was also planning another story. That guy was the father of the unwritten story's protagonist and he had the ability to "feel" the hearts of others. Essentially, he could sense important ideas or concerns that belonged to the people around him. That's how he knew of Flandre's "not-life." He didn't know anything about it, just that it was something troubling her, and he wished her luck as a token gesture of kindness.

I guess his existence was analogous to the "horror Alice" -- a small detail that holds little significance to Not-Life, but tells more about the kind of universe I was writing and also sets up possibilities for more stories.

Where is that man now? Tough to say. That story has been mostly scrapped, but if everything went as it did in my original idea, he's probably traveling with his daughter somewhere in the outside world.
So I have a question that I don't recall having been asked or answered.

Back when Flandre was fighting against the compulsion to return to the mansion, was that merely because of the time travel, or as I thought while reading it was it Remillia using her fate power?
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It was a result of time travel. Every time someone uses the Luna Dial to go back in time, the universe fights against the change and tries to combine the old timeline and new timeline together. If, however, a time traveler continues to successfully resists those compulsions, the universe will split into two, the new timeline breaking away from the result of the old timeline.

If the new timeline fails to break away, it will fall along a path that leads to the exact same results/destination as the old timeline. This system is in place because it is more efficient to "rewrite" timelines rather than split into two parallel ones. Of course, Flandre and Words successfully split the timeline, so they had no reason to worry about the results of the final timeline being skewed.


*eyes pic*

So... you just need to manage more than 1% Divergence, mm?
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Heh. Basically! In Not-Life, the results almost always would have ended in Remilia's death, but there seems to have been enough of a divergence to change that.
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