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59136
Thread One: >>>/others/50686
Thread Two: >>>/others/51316
Thread Three: >>>/others/52862

Who are you?
What is your name?
What is it that you desire?

...You are... you. Youmu Konpaku, Age 32 in human years. You are a half-ghost, Something That Should Not Be, yet here you are. You are our last, best hope against the evil machinations of Remilia Scarlet, our last line of defense against a vampire whose power is limitless in its destruction.

It all began when Yukari asked you to go on a journey. It was one of noble importance; you were to head "Outside", into the real world, as it were, in order to fight an order of vampire's known as "Camarilla" - a cabal dead set on upsetting the fragile balance of the Sealed Lands; places like Valhalla, Avalon... Gensokyo. You traveled to France with Remilia while another set of allies - Marisa, Sakuya, and Sanae - approached from the East. But of course, all was not to be as planned.

Remilia betrayed you, revealing that she had brought Flandre along in disguise. The vampiress, mad with power, nearly killed you, breaking your beloved katana Roukanken in the process. But you almost killed her in turn, and you escaped into the city, making contact with Byakuren, who promised help. It was all you heard that day, as you passed out from your injuries.

In your slumber, you learned of your link to Flandre Scarlet, her power sealed off thanks to your Myon, which she stole during your battle with her. The Camarilla did unspeakable things to her, and it was then that you realized that not even Flandre deserved such a fate. So you set out to rescue the vampire, utilizing your wits over your dimished power. You succeeded and escaped, though it was only barely. Resolving to get Flandre away from this horrible place, you left the city, teaming up with reinforcements - Reisen and Nazrin. Through them you learned of the others' situation, and also of a captive Tengu - Hatate. You changed your mission to rescue her instead.

Your journey took you to Germany, where you mounted a rescue operation. It was successful, but in the process you felt your own hot bloodedness take over. Though Nazrin was injured, it only focused your resolve, and you told yourself that before you could fight Remilia, you would need strength. So you escaped, and your adventure took you to a meeting of... fate, perhaps.

You came across a group of vampire hunters, amongst which was Sakuya's mother. After convincing them that you (and Flandre) were on their side, you acquired their help to forge a new blade, and it was this weapon - imbued with the power of gods - that you would use to kill Remilia. You swore upon that.

But not all was so easy; a confrontation with Remilia made you realize you were still weak, so you set out to meet the others, who were approaching Greece. The trip was long, but you finally were able to meet up with your old allies. It was here that Sakuya and her mother reunited. But even here, there was conflict; you were being charged with crimes, and thus you had to state your case against the gods of Olympus itself. You succeeded, if barely, and once again set forth.

Now, as you look upon the shining city of Venice, Italy, you take take a moment to breathe. There are some other details; your recent knowledge of Remilia's power, your growing relationship with Reisen, and lastly your... whatever it is, with Flandre, but these are things you don't need to mull over. Your recent conflicts have made you grow up far faster than any harmless incident in Gensokyo ever could.

Standing here on this sidewalk, leaned up against the railing, you watch the gondolas lazily drift by. Next to you, a small vampire child hums a tune, and you feel peace. "Say, Flandre," you begin, putting a hand on the vampiress's head. "Do you think we've waited long enough?"

"I think so," nods the red-eyed vampire. She looks up at you. "We've been away a long time, Youmu."

After reaching Venice, it was agreed that there was no way you could fight Remilia in your current state. For the past month you have been training your abilities, and as the cold of winter sets in, you know that it's time to end all this and resume your mission once more. You gingerly touch the hilt of your blade, always at your side, and take another deep breath. You feel your magic flowing through you, stronger than ever before. Your black hair - dyed that way thanks to Marisa - has grown even longer, and now you must leave it in a ponytail at all times. At first it was annoying, but you've grown accustomed to it. "Any word from Gensokyo?"

"Still nothing," replies Flandre. "Ever since we reached Venice, nothing goes in or out. Whatever method Remilia Scarlet used to get into Gensokyo may be our only way in as well,"she shrugs. "Not even Marisa and the others have figured out a new way in yet."

"Remilia Scarlet, huh?" you latch onto the slip. "So, when do I need to start calling you Flandre Konpaku?"
Flandre grins. "Whenever you want... Sister."

The two of you giggle, turning to look back across the water.
It wasn't always like this. Along with training, you and Flandre nearly killed each other...

[x]Flashback (The vote from before)

HELLO, EVERYONE. I'M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK
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>>59136

YES! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!
[X] Bring them.
[X] The End of Worry and Doubt (Flandre Route)

I missed you a lot. Glad to see you're back
HOLY SHIT I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE THIS STORY AGAIN.

Nice to see you're back, hope the new job hasn't been too hard on you.

[X] Bring them.

We already have a good relationship with Reisen right? Ah but wait, Glen says to choose carefully back in the original post, so as I like Reisen, then
[X] One Last Peaceful Night (Reisen Route)
[X] Bring them.
[X] One Last Peaceful Night (Reisen Route)

YES YES YES!
ITS BACK!
[x] Bring them.
[x] The End of Worry and Doubt (Flandre Route)

Because worry and doubt are the last things we need when going up against master manipulators Remilia or the Camarilla. Also because Flan.
Since I didn't count the votes in the last thread - and because it's been so long - I'm combining the two old votes of the routes, and adding an actual final route vote later on. Sorry for the confusion, but I figure the least I could do for both you guys and myself was to write both routes, that way everyone wins (hue) and that way I can brush up. The next update will have part of Flandre's route, and the one after that will have the rest of Flandre's and then Reisen's. There will also be a vote in the middle of Flandre's to determine how it goes.
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59147
Two Weeks Ago...

"Again!"
You lift your sword, Perseus, and charge the illusion of Remilia again. The vampire laughs at you and easily dodges your overhead, but is slow enough with her own counterattack that you're easily able to deflect Gungnir's point off to the side. You smash the hilt of your sword against the side of Remilia's head, causing her to reel backward. You drive a fist forward, but she recovers fast enough to catch your hand. She crushes the bones in your head and pushes you back, jumping into the air to deliver a spin kick to your chest. The attack knocks the wind out of your lungs.

You get sent spiraling into a wall. Remilia grabs you by the hair and slams you into the ground, takes Gungnir, lifts it into the air. As she brings it down, however, she vanishes. The illusion ends, and all the injuries inflicted on you vanish, along with the pain. You feel a presence above you, and roll over to stare up at Reisen.

"Again?" She asks. You shake your head.
"I don't think I can get good enough to one-on-one her, Reisen," you admit, sitting up. "If it comes down to that, I may as well just lie down and die."

"Well, our two-on-one situations aren't going much better," Reisen replies as she helps you up. "We've tried every combination between us too," she sighs. "And any more than that and we end up tripping all over each other."

"Damnit!" You punch the ground. All around you, the illusion of a torn battlescape vanishes in a flash of light to reveal rolling hills and green grass. Reisen looks at you with a wary eye. "I don't know if I can do this, Reisen. Nothing I try seems to work. Aggressive, passive, defensive... what am I missing?"

"Maybe what you need is a real fight of some sort?" Suggests the Lunarian, gesturing off to where Flandre and Marisa are sitting together, reading under a tree. "Flandre is the closest thing we have to Remilia, so wouldn't it be logical to-"

"No," you say firmly. "I'm not putting Flandre at risk for a training exercise. She may be getting better, but even if we use your Lunatic Eyes, we could easily break her. I'm not willing to go through with that, and you shouldn't either."

"You've got to improve, though," Reisen argues. "If you don't, Remilia could die. You're the only one here strong enough to fight her!" She points at you. "Flandre will do whatever it takes to help, so why don't you let her?"

"It's my job to protect her-"
"To hell with that! You are so desperate to keep Flandre away from her sister that you won't even consider the possibility that she's able to help! This is a war, Youmu! Don't be selfish and let her help, too!"

"I said no, and my decision is final!" You growl at Reisen, stabbing your sword into the ground for emphasis. Reisen glares at you, her ears twitching. You glare right back, a tiny part of your mind trying to scream at you that the stress of not being ready yet is coming between you and Reisen. You shove it aside in favor of anger. "Just because you think its the best course of action doesn't mean that it is, Reisen!"

"Tch," Reisen clicks her tongue. "Fine, have it your way," She turns and walks away from you, hands balled into fists. You continue to stare after her until she sits with the others, then look away toward the sky.

After arriving in Venice, things were supposed to go off without a hitch - you were to pick up your allies and move on. Unfortunately, that plan was destroyed upon learning that Remilia had made a move. Descending upon Avalon, she subjugated the Sealed Land and stole its most prized possessions, the Crown and Swords of King Arthur. How they did it is still beyond your knowledge, but rumor had it that Remilia was starting to gain power at an exponential rate. You needed to catch up, and fast, and to do that you decided to hone you and your allies' skills while she was still away. But Remilia would be exiting Avalon soon, and though you were assured that once she left, the residents would rise up and fight off the invaders, you weren't worried about that.

Instead, your worries and doubts lay with only two things now; Remilia and Flandre. With the night you faced down the Scarlet Vampire so close at hand, you were nowhere near the strength you needed to be in order to fight her. That, coupled with the desire to keep Flandre safe, had led you to become obsessed with this fight at the cost of all else. You know deep down that you've been pushing Flandre and Reisen away, but you know it's because you care about them.

At least, that's what you keep telling yourself. You can't afford to be wrong now.

...then why do you feel so lost? Alone?

There's a sudden spark of instinct, and you dive out of the way, if only barely, as a red bolt of energy crashes into the ground where you were just sitting. Your sword spins in the air toward you, and you leap up to catch it with the sheath, then spin the blade around yourself and go into a fighting stance, scabbard in one hand, hilt in the other. As the smoke clears, you barely register the sudden onset of clouds, bringing with it a cold rain. The figure opens an umbrella in the smoke, raising it above their head as a mighty flap of her wings clears the smoke. "Flandre?!"

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69z_goLu30Q)
Jeux Interdits - Flandre's Theme Remix

She doesn't even speak a word to you as she leaps at you with ferocity, bloodlust in her eyes. You plant Perseus into the ground and draw Hakurouken. "Get ahold of yourself, Flandre!" You scream to no avail as Flandre swings at you, forcing you to block the attack with your sword. Flandre doesn't even register the injury as she summons Laevantein, bringing the crooked blade above her head and down on you. You block the attack and assume a defensive stance.

Flandre is fast; you're barely able to make her out as she dashes all around you, swinging at wherever she detects a weakness in your defense. You let instinct guide you as you manage to deflect several attacks, but a quick low strike at your knees forces you off balance, forcing you on your butt as she comes in for the final strike. You deflect the blow mere inches from your head, but not before the sword runs a ragged cut on your cheek. You roll over and scramble out of the way, grabbing up your sword and resuming your defensive stance, although you modify it to hover a few inches above the ground. Flandre charges you again, but as you go to deflect the attack, she vanishes.

Suddenly, you feel the presence of the vampire all around you. "Flandre, what are you doing?" You hiss.
"You've been far too selfish, Youmu," says the vampire. "I've been begging you to help in the fight against Sis, but you still refuse to let me, even after I've proven time and time again that I'll do whatever it takes to save Gensokyo. Don't you trust me?"

"I do!" you shout at the nothing. Flandre rematerializes with hundreds of bullets. Waving her arm, she hurls them at you in one massive wave, followed up a few seconds later by another. You barely get out of the way of both waves, though a barely missed bullet burns the end of your skirt. "I do trust you, Flandre!"

"Then why won't you fight me?" Asks the vampiress. She vanishes again, and four copies of herself take her place. They begin to encircle you. "Fight me, Youmu," the Four of a Kind say. "It's the only way to get better! The best chance you have of defeating Remilia is if you defeat me!"

"I can't!" You shout at the Four. "What if I hurt you? I'd never forgive myself!"
"Forgiveness wouldn't be your decision to make!" Flandre shouts, and one of the clones attacks you from behind. The not-sword nearly slices you in two as you narrowly dodge the attack. You ready Hakurouken again in its defensive stance as the four clones attack. "Fight me, Youmu!"

"I! Can't!" You scream as you dodge the attacks. "I can't do it!"
"Then we all die, Youmu!" Flandre is genuinely angry at you. "Quit being childish and fight back!"
Flandre's clones come together, spinning in a fast circle. Flandre kicks you in the chest with enough force to send you flying to the ground, creating an impact crater where you hit. Perseus clatters at your side. "If you want me to hate you, then don't fight back. I'll kill you and save Gensokyo myself."

"You don't mean that," you grunt as you struggle to stand.
"Do I? If you trusted me, you'd know, Youmu," Flandre raises Laevantein like a rapier in a salute, then charges you again. Perseus burns in your hands, begging to be used. With a heavy heart, you realize that Flandre will not be satisfied if you don't attack her. Very well then, you think. Let's do this, Flandre Scarlet... gods forgive me.

You draw the katana. It hums in the rain (it's then you notice that Flandre has not once dropped her umbrella). You raise it in an aggressive stance, off to your side, and leap into the sky. Flandre grins wildly as she brings her weapon to block your attack. As the two swords strike each other, a shockwave of energy bursts from the blades, sending the both of you backward. Flandre is stunned by the blast, not expecting it, but you knew it was coming from your last fight using the sword. You take advantage of the lapse in her onslaught and charge her, shoulder rushing the vampiress before she can recover. You punch her square in the nose, causing her to reel back, and take that moment to run the blade into her gut.

Flandre explodes in a burst of bats, which then disappear into the ether. You look around, confused. "What kind of game is this?"

"It was just another clone of me," Flandre pipes up. You feel something warm on your back.
You turn around and look back at Flandre as she looks down toward the others, umbrella in hand. Her sword is nowhere to be found. "Youmu, ever since we got to Venice, you haven't trusted either myself or Reisen. Why is that? Why is it suddenly that you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?"

You look away. "I... Flandre, I don't know."
"It's like you don't want anything to do with us anymore," Flandre's breathing is heavy, and you feel her grab your hand. You squeeze tightly. "Am I just something to be forgotten when you're not interested, Youmu? Why must you bear the burden alone? What about me? Reisen? Don't we deserve to share in that burden so we don't watch you get crushed?"

"It's not that, Flandre, it's..."
"It's what?" Flandre breathes. "Youmu... please, let me help."

She turns to face you, and you see the tears in her eyes. "Don't shut us out, not here, not now. We're right there at the end. After we defeat Remilia, we're going to save Gensokyo, right? Isn't that what you said?"

"But it's not worth it if you die in the process, Flandre."
"..." Flandre looks down. "So you really don't trust me."
"What? No!" You grab both of Flandre's hands. "Flandre, listen to me, I..."

[ ] "I love you."
[ ] "I don't want to see you get hurt."
[ ] "I thought I could do this on my own."
[c] "I don't want to see you get hurt."

I really wanted to pick the first choice, but I fear it would sound very cliched. Regardless, I'll keep an eye on this story, it looks promising.
>>59148


Currently it's top so not bothering to sage, but you probably need to go back and read the first 3 threads because the characterization in this story is notably different from what is normally accepted for Youmu and Flandre thanks to how votes turned out.
[x] "I love you."

After re reading the whole story, I realized that this option makes the most sense
[x] "I don't want to see you get hurt."

I am so, so ecstatic that this story has returned.
>>59149
Do you mean normally accepted for this story, or do you mean their typical characterization in most stories?
>>59152
I'd assume from context that it'd be characterization different from the norm outside of this entire story. They don't seem different in this thread from what's happened already in-story.

[x] "I don't want to see you get hurt."

Hey Glen, by love, do we mean platonic love?
Because if it isn't, then I'd choose this due to Youmu's current relationship with Reisen.
>>59152
Basically the first one. They started very similar to what normal fandom has created for them, but due to events in this tale their personalities have been altered. They've endured some traumatic events together, but both have worked to move away from that. Youmu has become something of a badass, which is uncharacteristic of her normal portrayal of an overly polite moe samurai.
>>59154
I don't know, what do you think?

(To new readers, I love giving not-answers.)
>>59154

Whoa, Youmu is in a relationship with Reisen? Then...what the heck is up with that I love you choice.

[x] "I don't want to see you get hurt."
>>59157

It's complicated.
Basically Reisen is in love with Youmu, but so is Flandre, but she doesn't understand if she just loves Youmu or is in love with Youmu. Likewise, Youmu loves both of them, and does have plans to be with Reisen after this whole thing ends, but she's afraid of just leaving Flandre hanging out to dry. She's also unsure exactly what she feels toward Flandre.
Ayyyy Glen, you're back! And with an awesome action-filled update to boot. I hope you don't mind me namefagging for a moment.

I kinda want to go with the first option, but I don't want her to take it the wrong way... I guess this is safest, then:

[x] I don't want to see you get hurt.

I kinda want to say both of the first two together, but I forget what your policy on write-ins was for this story.

Also, >>59147
>not-sword
The egotistical side of me wants to think this is a reference.


Anyway, it's great to see this story and its writer back. You've made my morning~
I always got a family vibe from the youmu and flandre here, like sisters. Not taht kind of love, huh.
[x] I don't want to see you get hurt.
-[x] You're important to me, and the thought of you getting hurt scares me. A lot.

Holy crap. I lose power yesterday, and finally get to check the site today, and one of my favorite stories is back?! This is truly a great day!

Anyway, my addition may be a bit pointless, but if Youmu isn't sure how she feels about Flandre, it would be premature to say otherwise. But admitting how much Youmu cares for and worries about Flandre would probably help out a lot.
>>59158

Call me crazy if you want to, but I don't think staying faithful to someone you're going out with is very complicated at all.
>>59163
Logically, yes, Youmu made her choice and she intends to stick with it. She looks at Flandre much like one would look at a younger sister...

...or at least, that what she keeps telling herself.
>>59163
I think you need a little bit of life experience. The 'theory' is all fine and good but it doesn't always apply.
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59171
"I still think this is silly," you say as Marisa dries your hair. The black witch has just finished applying the final layer of hair dye, turning your hair completely black. The colored contacts she picked up from some store or other has turned your eyes into a sort of hazel color. "You're just convinced that I'm related to the Hakurei Maiden."

"Hey, it fits is all I'm sayin," replies the witch as she leads you out of the bathroom. She sits you down in a chair and grabs a pair of hair tubes and a black ribbon. "I mean, Reimu never knew her mom, yeah? And Yukari once let slip that if things had been different, she wouldn't have been the Maiden. You know what I'm sayin', yeah?"

You wince as Marisa pulls your hair up. "Yeah, yeah, but I still think it's farfetched," you say. "Hakurei and I are literally worlds apart. We're in no way the same. She's lazy and rude, for example."

"Oi, she's still my woman," Marisa grunts, pulling back on your hair. You wince again. "Don't be talkin' about her like that, ya hear?"
"Yes, yes, I'm sorry," you apologize. "But my point is still that Miss Hakurei and I are total opposites. We can't be sisters in any sense of the word."

"Well... maybe a long lost aunt then?" Marisa suggests as she ties your hair into a ponytail.
"...I don't know, Marisa," you finally reply. This conversation has long been out of your hands, you realize. "According to Yukari, I could be from anywhen. Does Hakurei know if her mother was an only child?"

"Dunno," Marisa says as she gets in front of you and begins messing with your hair some more. "She doesn't talk about her family cause she never really knew them. The only family she's ever really known is, like, Yukari. That old hag helped raise Reimu, kinda like Mima did for me way back in the day, yeah?"

You shrug. That was long before you met Marisa, though you have met Mima... when she was passing through to be judged by Eiki. She seemed like an evil spirit to you, but maybe there was more to her than that.

The door to your hotel room opens, and Flandre lets herself in. "Hey, I'm back... oh! You really do look like Reimu!"
"See, even Flan thinks so, Youmu," Marisa quips. She slides the hair tubes on you and backs up. "See? A young member of the Hakurei family!" She pulls out a mirror and hands it to you. You peer down on it and gasp.

Indeed, you look just like the Hakurei Shrine Maiden. The differences are in colors; where Reimu has red-white tubes, you have black, and instead of a red-white bow, you have a black ribbon holding up a ponytail. The contacts and dyed hair do give off the impression that you could pass for Reimu's younger sister, though you are much older than her. "This is... well, Marisa, your theory of my being a Hakurei just got a lot stronger."

"See? This is why you should listen to me, yeah?"

You look up at Flandre's smiling face. "It looks good on you, Sis," she says with a giggle.

You're instantly taken back to her crying face.

-=-=-

"What? No!" You grab both of Flandre's hands. "Flandre, listen to me, I..."

Two Weeks Ago

"Don't," growls Flandre. The hurt expression on her face says it all. "Nothing you could say could help right now!" You let go of Flandre's hands and grab her by the shoulders. "Stop."

"I just didn't want to see you get hurt, Flandre," you tell her. "You're important to me, and the thought of you getting hurt, especially after all that you've been through..."

"Youmu, I'm a big girl... I can handle it," Flandre looks away from you. "And it hurts that you think I can't handle it. You think I haven't been preparing myself for this? Do you think that I'm that childish?" She sniffles. "...can you got get past the fact that I look like a child?"

"No. No!" you shake your head emphatically. "Flandre, I do trust you. But I can't help but think-"
Flandre slaps you. "Shut up! You don't trust me! I remember how scared you were of getting Myon back, because that meant I would be at full power!"
"No, Flandre, that's not it!" You ignore the stinging sensation on your face and grab her hands again. "I'm not scared of you at all!" You feel Flandre shaking through her hands.

"Then what... is..." you realize you're being pulled higher into the air against your own accord. "Your..." Flandre looks into your eyes, and you see a flare of red power. "Problem?!" With a wail of pain and fury, Flandre goes to throw you, but you grab onto her hands tight as she spins, and you counter it by forcing her to stop with your own speed magic. A furious aura of wind surrounds the two of you as will collides with will. "Let me go, Youmu!"

"Not until you listen to me, Flandre!" You scream back at her. You can feel your body straining as the two forces of magic collide with each other repeatedly, and you're reminded of how powerful this small girl is. "I do trust you! But the truth is that I don't trust myself! There's a very real chance that I'll fail all of you! And if I do that..." You close your eyes as images of a very dead Flandre and Reisen flash in your mind. "I can't risk that, don't you see? I can't!"

Flandre growls. "What's that supposed to mean? You can't trust yourself, so you can't trust us? What kind of crap is that?!"
The wind picks up, and a distant corner of your mind registers that the others are looking up at you. "It's not crap, Flandre! It's how I feel! I know it doesn't make any sense, but I've been spending so much time fighting and being scared for myself and for you that I haven't really tried to process all of it! Please understand! I just want what's best for you!"

"What's best for me?!" Flandre screams.
"Yes! I care about you, Flandre!" She pulls your hands off of her and backs away. You can once again see tears in her eyes.
"If you care about me so much, then why don't you listen to what I want for myself instead of what you want for me?"

"...what?" Confusion tumbles through your mind.
"Instead of acting like Lady Saigyouji telling you how to live your life, why don't you ask me how I want to live mine?"

The words cut through you like a knife, and you realize that she's entirely right; this whole time, from the moment you reunited with her and helped her to recover, you've done nothing but tell Flandre what to do, with little to no input from her. Sure, she's offered advice in your missions, and it was agreed that the final word was yours in many cases, but when it came to personal things, you never once asked Flandre what she wanted out of life... you just always assumed she would return to the mansion for the better.

As the wind dies down, you realize that before you isn't a child, but an old soul trapped in a young body. There is still a lot about her mentally that is childish, but you know that it's because she's never had a chance to truly live. When she offered Sakuya a job as Administrator of the Mansion, it was because she was terrified of a life of responsibility, as an adult... because she doesn't know how to live like that. You think of all those time she's smiled at you, those times that you felt a familial connection with her, and realize that you never asked Flandre how she felt about you.

I love you. Those are the words she said to you long ago. You imagined them as coming from a child.

You were wrong.

"Flandre... you're right. I'm sorry," you bow your head and raise an arm. The wind dies down instantly. As you lower it, you look down at the Scarlet sister. "I've never asked you about what you wanted. I just assumed. And for that, if you never forgive me, I understand," you raise a hand and wipe away some tears off of Flandre's face. "So allow me to ask. What is it you want?"

"Right now?" Flandre asks. You nod. "I want to help, Youmu. I'm just as scared of Remilia as you are, and I know that both of us need to get better in order to fight her. I also want to be... be close to you. I don't know what it means, but when I'm close to you, I feel so... so happy. I know it's love, but... what kind? Youmu, do I..." she looks down.

You nod your head. "I under-"
Go ahead.

You look around. What?
I know what you're thinking, Youmu. You recognize Reisen's thoughts in your mind. I know what the outcome will be, and I know that things between the three of us will be stronger for it.

I don't-
Reisen's light laughter echoes in your head. Just go for it, Youmu. I trust both of you.

Flandre looks up at you, a quizzical look on her face. You grab her by the shoulders and lean down.

"..."
"..."

The kiss doesn't last nearly as long as you thought it would. In those brief moments, you completely understand what Reisen meant. This... isn't romantic. Not in the least. It's entirely different from when you kissed Reisen, and even from when Hatate kissed you. It feels much like you expect it would be kissing Yuyuko; it's not unpleasant, but it's... familial. And you know Flandre feels the same as she breaks it off. "I think... that clears everything up?"

Flandre grins. "That feels like something from one of Sakuya's crappy romance novels."
You giggle. "Too cliche?"
"Yeah, that's the word."

The two of you laugh. Your heart feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of it. Before you is someone that you know you don't have to worry about anymore. Deep down you know that a simple kiss like that won't clear everything up; feelings change, after all. But you hope it's a good start. Flandre is someone you can now say with confidence that you love... but not like that. Maybe it was never like that, at least not for you. That's what Reisen is for, and you don't regret that. And as you look at the grinning vampire, fang sticking out mischeviously, you know that she feels the same.

"So, you want to help me train, huh?"
"Yeah, that's what I've been saying, Youmu," Flandre replies. "You trust me now?"

You draw both of your swords, holding them in a power stance. "Of course I do. Now, I'll give you ten seconds to run."
Flandre laughs as she summons her not-sword. "I don't need ten seconds to defeat you!" She vanishes in a burst of light and reappears some distance away. "Now, come at me, Youmu Konpaku!"

"I'll give you everything I have, Flandre Scarlet!"

The two of you dance. It's a sight to behold from the ground, as it looks much like what lightning would look like if it could fight. It would also look like, one imagines, what lightning would appear as if it could smile.

-=-=-

"She definitely won."
"Won? Youmu, she kicked your ass."

You groan as you feel your body stitch together some more injuries from your fight with Flandre. It was intense. It was brutal. You lost so hard you don't think you'll ever recover.

Well, that's a lie, you will. Especially now that you and Reisen have some alone time. You groan in pain again as you lean against the Lunarian, who simply hums serenely to herself. The two of you are sitting on a bench somewhere in Venice, your head resting on Reisen's lap as you stare up into the sky. The moon shines brightly on this night, and both of you find yourselves lost in its stare.

"Things are about to get... insane again, I feel," you admit. Reisen sighs.
"I agree," she responds. "But you know what? I think we'll pull through. All of us."
"Even you?" You ask.
Reisen laughs. "Especially me, Youmu. Lunarians are indestructable!"

You briefly flashback to the dead Lunarian under Paris, her brains blown out the side of her head. You push it aside. "We're gonna have to step up our training, all of us, if we want to have a hope of fighting Remilia on even footing."

"Shh," Reisen says, putting a finger on your lips. "Don't think about Remilia right now. Think about something more pleasant."

"Like... you?" You ask with a sly grin.
"I'm acceptable," Reisen replies with a smile of her own. "But I'm more concerned about you. Do you think you've worked out all of your issues?"

You shrug. "Don't know, Reisen. I think so, but... I don't know," you sigh. "I still feel lost a bit... but I also think I'm heading back on the right track. I have you and Flandre to thank for that, at least you two above the others."

"Well, she do have something special, now don't we?" Reisen asks. You nod, and your focus shifts from the moon to her eyes...

[ ] "I still have a few insecurities, but I think I can manage for now."
[ ] "I'm totally fine now, I think. Right now, I think I could take on the world."
[ ] Kiss her, you idiot!
[X] Kiss her, you idiot!

Doing anything less would be a cop-out.

And wow, I was not expecting what just happened, I mean, sure I reckoned the whole thing was mostly sisterly affection, but when Reisen psychically messaged Youmu I wasn't sure whether or not she was advocating for a familial relationship or something different. That got settled later on though.
Hey Glen, I'm not sure if this was answered already, but did the events of the Vampire: The Masquerade game happen? If so, could we potentially meet the protagonist?

Then again, I suppose there'd be way too many possible choices for who the protagonist would be, due to character generation leading to so many different kinds of playstyles and characteristics.
>>59177

1. This isn't full WoD canon, it's modified (see >>52664) and probably had to mess with the timeline to make it work (as in the WoD timeline gehenna happened in 2005....).
2. The events of the game happened in the Los angeles, I.E. nowhere near the setting of this fic.
3. Even if he did include that game's lead, the amount of choice in that games means it's basically an OC, and not a particularly notable one in the grand scheme of things.
[X] Kiss her, you idiot!

No brakes on this train, baby.
[x] Kiss her, you idiot!
WELL I WAS GOING TO WRITE AN UPDATE.

But Ral, Bread, Titz, Marisa and I decided to wreck League instead. I'm so sorry.

But I'm calling it for [x]Kiss her, you idiot!
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59257
You listen quietly as Marisa regales Flandre with tales of their epic journey across Asia, content with just observing. You knew that the two were close, but actually seeing it before you is something else. Flandre hangs onto Marisa's every word, and you can tell that, although you and Flandre are close, Marisa is clearly her hero. It was Marisa, after all, who first broke into Flandre's basement all that time ago, and the fight was so intense that Sakuya still brings it up from time to time. But at least, it seems that everything has worked itself out.

Flandre briefly catches your eye and smiles at you, and you return it. Her fang sticking out really is cute.

You feel a pair of hands suddenly lightly grip your shoulders. You look up at Reisen. "Hey there," you say sweetly. "How'd your trip with the others go?"
"First..." Reisen bends down to give you a kiss. Marisa stops mid-sentence. "Mmmmm..."

You're blushing, but you don't really care. "Damn," you hear Marisa breathe. Reisen pushes down on you a bit but you push back, making the kiss much more personal than what you'd normally be willing to show.

But things have changed.

"Jeeze, Youmu, where'd you learn to kiss like that?" Marisa asks when you and Reisen finally break off. "Did y'all finally do it or something?"
"No, but... we came to an understanding of sorts," you answer with a sly smile on your face as you look up at Reisen.

You could kiss her again.
In fact, you think you will.

-=-=-

Two weeks ago

You see your chance and you take it.
You lean up and kiss Reisen before you give it a second thought. The Lunarian is surprised at first but quickly ignores it in favor of returning the kiss. It doesn't last long due to your awkward position, though, and you quickly break the kiss to get up from Reisen's lap, sitting next to her instead. You're blushing slightly but this time, it's okay.

"Um, sorry, but I had to," you say. "You just looked like you wanted that."
"Well, I'm certainly not complaining," Reisen replies with a smile. "But... ah, just one?"
"Is that a challenge?" You ask with a quirked eyebrow. Reisen's smile just becomes mischevious. "Okay, then, I can do that!" You grab Reisen by the shoulders and bring her in for another kiss...

...except you pull her in way too fast. Before lips can touch, you end up colliding foreheads. The pain literally shocks you out of thinking as both of you fall off of the bench you were sitting on. "Ow, ow ow ow!" You hear Reisen cry. You can only groan in response as you clutch your forehead, rolling over and blinking away tears of pain in your eyes. "Youmu, you missed!"

You still can't think. You head literally hurts too much to put together a coherent thought, but somehow you stagger to your feet and help Reisen up onto hers. Both of you lean on each other, groaning in pain. "I'm sorry," you slur. "I didn't mean to..."

"Ugh... its okay... ughhh..." Reisen sits back on the bench and you collapse soon afterward. You lay your head on her shoulder and slowly wait for the pain to subside. "You... just... gotta... make it up to me..."

"Yeah.... whatever you want..." you mumble. Reisen grabs your hand and and the two of you stare into the nothingness. For all the injuries you've ever sustained, nothing hurts more than the unexpected accidental headbutt - although the damage to your pride is probably greater, it still hurts as much as anything else ever has.

"...whatever... I want?" Reisen asks.
"...yeah."

Reisen giggles. "So... if I ask... to have sex... then..."
You blush. "Funny..."

Reisen sits up, still holding her head. You sit up as well, the pain finally subsiding enough that you can function. "Youmu..." Reisen begins. You look at her. "Strike me a deal, would you?"

"Sure," you reply. You lean back on the bench and look up to the sky.
"I'm... I'm going to be honest, Youmu," Reisen says. "I want you. Like... more than I've wanted anyone."
You blush a bit. "Okay..."
"And... I know you're trying to remain... whatever, but... I want us to be something, Youmu. And for me, you can't have a relationship without sex. Well, you can, but that's reserved for childhood, you know? I know you might see things differently..."

You close your eyes and think. For so long, you've considered that you would remain "innocent" as it were forever. But now, with everything going on... could you do that? Give yourself fully to someone? Could you let Reisen into your heart fully? No one was that close to you, but at the same time, Reisen was someone you trusted completely. When it came down to it, though... there was a good chance one of you wouldn't live to see the end of this journey. And if you survived... then-

"Yes," you answer. "Reisen... just tell me one thing first. Do you lo-"
Reisen kisses you. Gently, slowly. The kiss takes your breath away with how loving it is. You close your eyes as Reisen pulls you into an embrace to go with the kiss, and when you finally part lips, she looks at you intently.

"I love you," she says. "Youmu, I really do."
"...I love you too," you reply.

The two of you smile.

A distant corner of your mind screams at you to enjoy this last evening while it lasts... there won't be many more like it.

-=-=-

Present Day

So... now what, Youmu? What's your next move?

-=-=-

OKAY MINI-GAME TIME

You now have a Countdown Timer In your vote choices. Each action will take time off your countdown timer, and at 0, the real mission begins. Each action takes an amount of time off the counter based on the benefits it gives or less based on the drawbacks it has. You will not know what the benefits and drawbacks are until after the scene has been written.

COUNTDOWN: 20

[ ] Combat Training (5)
[ ] Relax (5)
[ ] Interact with Flandre (3)
[ ] Interact with Reisen (3)
[ ] Interact with Vampire Hunters (4)
[ ] Interact with the Others (2)


Lastly, this isn't the end of the Don't Lose Your Way arc. There will be a continual plot worked in with all these options as Youmu finds her way... or doesn't.
PLANNING TIME!

Not enough time ATM to make a full plan, but I'll start. It would be wise to use the last 5 points for resting so we're fresh for the mission and we should fit in as much training as possible however this is our last chance to sort out any loyalty issues within the group before the suicide mission. whoever makes the full plan should re-read the earlier updates and sum up any issues that need sorting, what interactions it would take to fix them and how much of the countdown it would need. Once that's done, unless it needs more then 5 points, we have 2 rounds of training and 1 rest left over. Interactions should be between training sessions to avoid straining Youmu too much.

Withholding vote for full plan, but not saging because plans are important too.
>>59261
I don't think we need to map out all of our options first, because maybe we might learn something later on. Sure, go ahead and have an idea of where to go, but I think we should just vote for each singly or maybe in doubles if Glen feels like it.

[X] Combat Training (5)
This is a very important choice? Why? Because we'll need to at least defend against Remilia, and from what I read of the prior updates, we can't last against a Flandre who at this point is probably weaker than Remilia.
>>59280

I concur. Let's start with something we know will be useful, and make plans from there.

[X] Combat Training (5)
[X] Combat Training (5)

This first, relax later. Game's on for the rest
Somewhere Over the Mediterranean Sea

"Alright, Youmu, this looks like a good a spot as any," Reisen declares from far away. "Try it now!"You, Reisen, and Flandre float high above the sea, far away from any onlookers. "Magical Combat Training, Round 2!"

"Right!" You reply. You stare at Flandre, floating a good thirty meters away in a defensive stance. You unsheath Perseus and hold it high. Channeling your magic into it, you hear the blade hum with power. "Sword Sign, [Blade Cascade]!"

Around Flandre, multiple magic circles appear. She crosses her hands over her chest, forming a spherical barrier made out of hexagons around her. The sphere burns bright red as multiple ghostly blue copies of your sword fly out of the circles, rushing at Flandre full force. They slam into the barrier, emitting red/blue shockwaves as they connect. Flandre winces at the explosions, but her barrier holds firm as multiple gates open around her, each one shooting blades at her.

You sheathe the sword yet keep the spell going. Holding out your hands, fists closed, you channel magic again. "Sword Sign, [Ghostblades]!" You charge forward as two more blue ghostblades appear in your hands. You drop the Blade Cascade and crash both your held swords against Flandre's barrier, shattering it instantly. The vampiress counters by summoning Laevantein, backing away and parrying one of your blades with her own. The ghostblade shatters into motes of light, but another forms in its place and you continue your assault, blocking her sideswing by sacrificing one sword, thrusting deep with the other. The blade catches Flandre by the shoulder, and the Scarlet girl grits her teeth.

Flandre uses her free hand to grab the ghostblade and shatter it, but you're already coming back with another. Flandre morphs into a swarm of bats to avoid the attack, splitting into four groups and reconstructing herself with Four of a Kind active. The four vampires each summon their own copy of her not-sword and charge, the blades spitting fire. You counter this onslaught by summoning more gates, shooting more ghostblades out of them and backing off. The katana destroy a clone, but Flandre simply forms another in its place. The vampires back off a bit and raise their hands, charging energy and shooting magic swarms of bullets at you.

You go into a defensive stance and channel your wind magic, slipping between the bullets whenever possible. One of the clones loses the not-sword and uses both hands to fire homing bullets at you, forcing you to choose between getting hit by the swarm or the homing bullets. You choose neither, instead backing off of your own attack and disspelling your ghostblades. You hold your hands up. "Wind Sign, [Windwall]!" All around you, the wind speeds up quickly, forming an unbreakable barrier in front of you. The shots bounce harmlessly off of the wall, allowing you some breathing room while you summon more ghostblades to your hands. You lift both of them as you watch Flandre dispell the clones and then her own weapon. She raises her hands and encases them in fire and what appears to be molten rock.

The windwall drops, and you charge again, enhancing your speed tenfold. Flandre, however, can do the same thing, and both of you clash, Flandre shattering your ghostblades against her fists. Before you can summon more, she grabs your face and ejects blistering hot heat into your eyes. You shut them out of reflex and feel a huge blow to your chest as Flandre punches you as hard as she can, sending you barreling toward the sea.

You catch yourself before you actually fall in, but only have time to raise your hands in defense as Flandre comes down on you like a brick, shoving both of you into the water anyway. The two of you struggle, but some quick thinking on your part and you're incased in a bubble of wind magic, pushing the water away as the two of you grapple. Flandre is much stronger than you, but you're slippery, able to get out of her vicelike grip with speed, luck, and a little bit of magic. You roundhouse the vampire in the side of the head and collapse the bubble, swimming straight for the surface rather than allow Flandre any advantages.

You break out of the water and take flight again, raising high into the sky above the cloud line. Flandre surfaces not long after.

I'm going to try it. You announce.
Wait, what? But Marisa said that spell isn't ready! Reisen argues.
Right, I'm ready, says Flandre, and you dip below the cloudline to see that she has reformed her barrier. Come at me!

You unsteath both your swords and hold them out to your sides. Concentrating as much magic as you can hold on to, you form five ghostblades around you in a star patter. "Goddess Realm Sword, [1600 Yojana in One Strike]!"

You channel as much power into speed as you can, propelling yourself and your swords instantly past the sound barrier and into a whole new level of speed. Only you, with your overclocked mind, can see what's going on as you charge straight up to Flandre, thrusting all of your ghostblades at her barrier, shattering it with two and impaling her with three. In the same motion, you place both blades against her neck and slice, decapitating her cleanly. It happens all in one fluid motion to you, but to an outside observer the next thing they see is you standing some hundred meters behind Flandre. You flick the blood off of your katana and sheathe them. As soon as the audible click of your katana being completely enveloped by the sheathes, Flandre's body erupts in a pile of blood and organs.

Of course, then it dissolves into a thousand bats and reforms instantly, but that's because you didn't hit her heart; as you have learned, only by killing the heart can you kill a Scarlet.

You turn around and grin. "Flandre!" You shout. "Do you think that'll worHRUGH."

You suddenly throw up blood and pass out.

-=-=-

When you come to, Marisa is making a "tsk tsk" sound while Reisen looks at you worriedly from above. You're laying in a bed, your bed, back in Venice, and Marisa has a very disappointed look on her face.

"I told you, Youmu, didn't I?" Asks the witch. "I told you that using that spell would play hell on your reserves! I told you not to use it during training and you go and do it anyway! Ain't you got a lick of common sense in that head of yours?"

"I... I needed to try it," You reply, propping yourself up on your elbows. "I had to see if One Strike was even possible before I went up against Remilia. Since it's primarily magic based instead of physical, I thought I could handle it," you sigh. "I was definitely wrong."

"Well, it's not complete, Youmu," Marisa says, holding out her hand. A magic circle opens, followed by a spinning spell card with your image on it. "The Goddess Realm Sword still needs one more focus to be complete. If you used it at the beginning of a fight, you could probably pull it off in this stage, but using your trump card that early is never a good idea."

You nod. "However," you begin. "The ghostblades were a huge success. It didn't take many to smash through Flandre's barrier, and each blade is a lot stronger than a bullet. You were right about me having a deep magic pool."

"Of course I was, hon," Marisa says with a grin.

Over the course of your training, Marisa had noticed that you, as had been told before, were literally made of magic. As such, you had a deep "mana pool" as she called it. While normally this is what allowed you to move as fast as you did, Marisa instead began developing ways for you to use it offensively and defensively. Her first idea, the ghostblades, involved a simple process of you channeling magic through Perseus to create copies of the sword. Though each ghostblade was much weaker than the original version as well as easily destroyed, you could keep making them as long as you had energy. Furthermore, this way you couldn't be disarmed.

It wasn't foolproof; Remilia could steal take your original from you, which would be bad. But it was felt that this was the safer option, as none of you knew if it were possible for Remilia to destroy the god-sword. It wasn't a risk you were about to take.

The second technique that Marisa developed for you was the Wind Wall, a nearly impenetrable barrier that staved off any and all ranged attacks. Remilia could still close the gap and attack you in melee, which she was likely to do, nor could you move past the barrier without nullifying it, but it was agreed that it could withstand most of her attacks. Since Remilia was a melee combatant like yourself, you didn't really see the practicality of it, but Marisa assured you that this spell could also deflect conventional attacks.

Finally, Marisa developed the Goddess Realm Sword. With Sakuya and Flandre's help (after all, you were bad at theorycrafting and had a tendency to fall back on old favorites that Remilia could easily see through), they created for you a spell that made you go faster and strike harder than anything else in your arsenal. You didn't really fast enough to cross sixteen hundred yojana in a flash, but it was much faster than your two-hundred, so Marisa got "clever" with her card naming. By combining your speed and wind magic with your new ghostblade spell, you could hit with such force that, as demonstrated on Flandre, it utterly destroyed your opponent.

In Remilia's case, it required you to hit a very small, specific point on her body, near her heart. With as much force as you were bringing up, you should be able to kill Remilia if it came to that (and you were sure it would), if it was possible to get her to hold still; a major drawback of the Goddess Realm Sword, according to Marisa, was that it was a line spell: once cast, you could only move in a straight line as your speed made it impossible to maneuver. Furthermore, it was such a huge drain on you that the spell could literally kill you if you were too weak when you cast it. It was, as Marisa implied, your trump card, your final attack.

"What I don't get," you say as you go to stand. Reisen helps you up. "Why are these spells so much stronger compared to others I've cast?"
"Well, that's because most of your spells were developed with the card system in mind," Marisa explains. "Except for a few of your sword attacks, most danamku is non-fatal since that's how it was designed. However, real magic, like what I had to use against Flandre for example, is very lethal in and of itself. All I'm really doing is designing spells that would never fly in traditional spellcard combat."

Marisa closes her hand, dispelling the magic circle but leaving the card between two fingers. "I'm banking on the fact that Remilia is an immature twat and will think you're going to be fighting by spellcard rules."

"A... a what?"
"An immature twat," Marisa repeats. Behind her, Flandre giggles. "Don't repeat that, Flan."
"Yes, Marisa."

You smile. The training has been going well, but you know you can fit in more time. "How am I physically?"
"Well, other than overexerting yourself, you're fine," Reisen answers. She narrows her eyes. "Why, planning on doing it again?" You nod. "Youmu, you just woke up!"

"Yeah, but I need the practice, and I feel fine. I'm up for it if Flandre is," you answer, looking at the Scarlet. Flandre nods.
"I'm ready for another round," she says. "Remember, if you can beat me, then Remilia should be easy!"

You hope to have that confidence.

-=-=-

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKD3lA-bOZM)
Demetori - 東方妖々夢 ~ Ancient Temple


Back outside, high in the clouds and above the sea, you stare at Flandre across from you. Off to the side, Reisen floats, unsure. "Alright!" you shout. "This time, the kid gloves come off, Flandre!" The vampire nods. You hold out a hand, palm raised, and summon magical energy. Going all out means donning the armor that you were given way back in Olympus. "Defense Sign, [Magic Armor]!" From your outstretched hand, shimmering ethereal chainlinks shoot out, twisting all around you before enveloping you and tightening against your body, applying over your clothes black-and-green chained armor, supplanted by magical plates on your torso and upper arms and legs. The chains burst out and vanish.

"Sword Sign, [Ghostblades]!" You shout. Instantly, two copies of Perseus form, their ethereal blue glow reflecting against you. In the distance, Flandre forms Laevantein in one hand and forms a wreath of fire with the other.

"Come at me," she says with a grin.
You charge, enhancing your speed with swords out to your sides. You spin around to increase your velocity and come across with a double slash, striking against Flandre's arm lifted in defense. The blades shatter against her arm harmlessly, her skin briefly stronger than steel as she channels her own magic through her body. You instantly reform two more swords and go on the offensive, crashing your ethereal weapons against her body and forcing her on the defensive. She can barely get in an attack amidst your onslaught, but you know that this high-speed offensive has to end before you tire yourself out on the first wave. You create a sword at knee level and backflip, kicking it straight up through Flandre's head. The blade pierces her skull.

You back away and form several magic circles around yourself. Flandre's temporarily lifeless body falls into the clouds, reappearing seconds later with a sealing head wound. She cracks her neck and goes on the offense, sword raised high. You fire a stream of homing bullets at her, slowing her down long enough for you to cast Blade Cascade. The ghostblades fly out of the magical circles, all of them homing in for Flandre. The vampiress raises a shield of flame, letting the blades crash harmlessly against it, and vanishes.

And Then There Will Be None? A spell that turns Flandre intangible yet still able to attack. You catch the barest hints of emotion as countless magic circles open up around you, locking you within a cube of energy. You nod, prepared for this. Four blue orbs of magical energy erupt from random places, chasing you down. You fly straight downward toward the bottom of the cube as the magic circles begin to shoot multicolored bullets at you in deceptive patterns, trying to force you into a mistake. You slip between the bullets, careful not to touch the cube itself - its not fatal, but it has an electric current that will stun you if you touch it.

You actually do a barrel roll, incidentally, to avoid some more bullets.

Not-movement catches the corner of your eye, and you fire some ghostblades at the location. Flandre instinctively reacts by moving just barely, but enough to break her concentration. The spell vanishes, and you grin at your success. Flandre scowls. "That's cheating!" she shouts at you. Powering up her magic, Flandre spins in a circle and hurls her sword at you. Laevantein catches you in the stomach, sending you hurtling back into the clouds. You pull the not-sword out of your stomach and toss it aside.

All you feel is pain. Crushing pain. Piercing pain. A pain so deep it touches your soul. You dispel your ghostblades and grab onto the flameblade, tugging at it with futility...

=-=-=

Let go.
"What?"
Let go. Open your mind and let go.
"I don't understand."
You're at the threshold now, Youmu. Just step through and embrace who you are.

=-=-=

You focus on the not-sword. You realize that it doesn't hurt anymore. Channeling magic, you rip the offending object out of your belly and toss it aside. You look down, staring at the gaping hole in your belly as it sews itself shut. Briefly, you look around. Myon is gone, and as you raise your hands, you notice that they're glowing. Ah, so that's it, then; you've fused with your ghost half. You've become whole.

You look up at the vampiress. "Flandre, why are you holding back?" You shout up at her. The vampire tilts her head.
"I'm not," she says uncertainly. "Did that not hurt you?" You shake your head. She narrows her eyes. "Really? Well I guess that I'll have to try a bit harder!" She raises her weapon into the air and conjurs forth a torrent of magic, lengthening the blade ten-fold. She swings down with as much force as she can muster, and as you look up at the flaming not-sword, you raise your hands.

Flandre slams down with her might... but you don't budge. You catch the not-sword in your hands, and with a roar of power, you shatter the blade extension. Flandre gasps, dispelling Laevantein instantly. "How did you do that?"

"I am Whole," you say, although you're not entirely sure what that means. What you do understand, though, is that nothing can stop you from winning. You smile a devious smile and charge Flandre, forgoing weapons for a forward-flip kick. The attack knocks the wind out of Flandre and sends her spiraling downward. Quickly, you speed down past her and open the magic gates. Ghostblades fly out of it, impaling Flandre through the arms and legs, her chest, and her head. Her body explodes into bats again, but this time you give chase, rounding them up into a single cluster and forcing Flandre to reform.

"What?" she says, unbeliving.
"I have found the most vulernable time, Flandre," you say calmly. "When you transform into a swarm, one is larger than the others. That is your weak point," you grab her hand as you feel your ghost-half exist your body. "There's no more need to fight. I can beat you now, Flandre. I can beat Remilia."

Flandre grins. "You really think so?"
"Yeah."

-=-=-

Countdown Timer: 15
[ ] Combat Training II (3)
[ ] Relax (5)
[ ] Interact with Flandre (3)
[ ] Interact with Reisen (3)
[ ] Interact with Vampire Hunters (4)
[ ] Interact with the Others (2)
My idea:
15

3- Interact with Reisen
4 - Interact with Vampire hunters OR Train
3 - Interact with Flandre
5 - Relax
[x] Interact with Flandre (3)

I'd like to chill with Flan for a bit.
[ ] Interact with Reisen (3)
[x] Interact with Reisen (3)
This
[x] Interact with Reisen (3)

If you know what I mean.
Vote called for Reisen.
Oh by the way, training gave you access to +3 Spells (Sword Sign Ghostblade, Sword Sign Blade Cascade, and Goddess Realm Sword).

On the other hand, your standing with everyone not Reisen and Flandre suffered a bit, making them a bit less effective in combat.
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59440
I've done some reviewing of myself.
I've noticed that I'm not writing like I used to, so it's time to step it up. From here on out, less mistakes, better quality.

-=-=-

Paris, France
Despite the mid afternoon sun bearing down into the lavish hotel room, the bed is occupied by a fast sleeping individual. Her black wings make it difficult for her to sleep properly, having grown overnight, it seems. Furthermore, all the blood in the bed, as well as the dead body, put a hamper on things. But the vampire has made little effort to clean up after herself, and as she rolls over, her bloodstained face grins with satisfaction.

A sharp knock on the door, however, snaps her out of her slumber. The vampire opens her scarlet eyes and sits up, pulling the soaked bedsheet over her bare chest. "What?" she asks grumpily. "You better have a damn good reason for waking me up!" The vampire glares as the maid intrudes, holding in her hands a cordless phone.

"I-its for you, Mistress," she says with a fearful tone of voice. "I-it's Miss Knowledge."
"..." Remilia stares at the maid for a few more seconds before sighing and swinging her legs about. The maid blushes at her stark nudity, but says nothing as she walks along the carpet and grabs the phone. "Clean up that mess for me, I'm going to start some water."

"Y-yes Mistress," the maid bows her head low, looking straight down at the floor with red eyes. Remilia ignores the maid as she puts the phone to her ear, walking into the bathroom.

"Yeah, Patchy, how are things?"
"Good morning, Remi," responds the magician. "I thought you might like an update on the situation here in Gensokyo."
"Of course I w- wait," Remilia turns to stare at the phone, then puts it back to her ear. She reaches in and turns on the hot water. "Normally you use projection to contact me, so what's up?"

"Well, using so much magic to power the Sun Crusher has left me a bit under the weather, so this is the most convenient way to do things right now," Patchouli replies. "Anyway, you'll be pleased to know that the Ghouls you sent over here have gladly given their lives to power the weapon, and we're at about seventy percent toward actually completing the weapon. Once we get that finished, however, it's only a matter of using Gensokyo's latent power to activate it."

"Good, good," Remilia says. The Sun Crusher is Remilia's secret weapon, a magical machine that only she and Patchouli know about. Utilizing Remilia's Scarlet Mist and a scaled-up version of Marisa's hakkero, the weapon would spread the mist throughout the entirety of the planet, essentially creating a global nuclear winter. Plants would die, humans would slowly starve, and the vampires - with Remilia as the head - would take over the planet, finally taking their rightful place as top of the food chain. There was the small matter of resistance, of course, but as far as Remilia was concerned, the planet was about to turn Scarlet.

She's pretentious like that.

"What about the war, dear?" Remilia asks, setting the phone on speaker and stepping into the shower. "Last I heard, Reimu was causing trouble for the Lunarians?"

"Yes, but it's a small matter, I'm sure," Patchouli says dismissively. "The Lunarians still have the Yakumo clan, and a simple Mind Sign spell cast on Himekaidou upon her return to Gensokyo - after a masterfully laid out trap by yourself, Remi - allowed us to capture Kochiya Sanae. With the Moriya Shrine under constant siege from both our forces and the Lunarians - when they're not busy fighting each other - Kanako and Suwako can't break out to save her. The anti-magic fields that the Lunarians have placed around Gensokyo are keeping the other youkai down and contained," Patchouli lets out an uncharacteristic chuckle. "As far as the humans are concerned, we are the saviors of the land. Why, just yesterday our forces rounded up and shot all the kappa as a show of good faith."

Remilia began to lather, busy rubbing off the blood caked all over her body. "Kawashiro as well?"
"That I'm not sure about," Patchouli answers flippantly. "Even if she survived, she'll be the only kappa left in Gensokyo. Our next objective, Old Hell, is proving a bit tougher, but the Lunarians contained Utsuho, so she's out of the picture as well."

"Curious that they're only capturing the youkai and not killing them," Remilia comments. "Are there any holdouts left that I need to worry about?"
"Well, there's always Reimu and her rebellion," Patchouli responds. "Her and Alice have set up a rather strong barrier around the Hakurei Shrine and have sent word that any youkai that are able to make it are allowed to stay. Eientei and the Bamboo Forest are constantly under siege by the Lunarians, but without Reisen or her clone they've been unsuccessful. Curiously, the Fujiwara girl and Kaguya have put aside their differences to repeatedly throw themselves at the Lunarians. They'll probably win by sheer virtue of being immortal, but I do think they'll be more dangerous than Reimu."

"Only in the short run, love," Remilia says, rinsing. "Don't forget that Reimu is also nearly invincible, and killing her will require us to starve her out."

"Yes..." Remilia can almost hear Patchouli nodding her head. "Say... Remilia... when you return... I have that spell ready for you to try. You know, for us," Remilia opens the shower curtain in time to see several maids carry away the boy she had so much fun with last night.

"Excellent," quips the vampiress.
"I... I'm still the only one, right?" Patchouli asks. "You're still only with me, right?"
"Of course I am, Patchouli," Remilia answers...

-=-=-

Scarlet Devil Mansion - Library

"Who else would there be?"
"I was just curious," Patchouli says. "I'm sorry, Remi. I just know how... insatiable... your appetite is."
"Well, you needn't worry," Remilia assures her. "You're the only one for me."

Patchouli visibly relaxes. "Remilia?"
"Hm?"

Patchouli rubs an eye. "I... I love you, Remilia."
"...I love you, too, Patchy."

Remilia hangs up with an audible click, and Patchouli sighs, leaning back in her stool. She stares out of a window, staring at the Sun Crusher as its being built, and grins. Her glowing red eyes take in her Mistress's... her lover's, work.

And all is well for Patchouli Knowledge, Full Time Magician, Devoted Ghoul.

-=-=-

Venice, Italy

That evening, you settle down on the couch in the middle of the house's main room. You feel pretty good about yourself; the training exercise did go perfectly, and you must have hit some sort of threshold, as Myon fusing with you has only happened in life-threatening situations before like some sort of last second powerup. That said, you know not to use it lightly; while the fusion increases your power by a bit, it also taps directly into your life force, and if you die with Myon in you, it's a permanent death - not even the cycle of reincarnation can save you. You will have no next life.

At least, that's what you've been told.

You hear commotion from the kitchen, and Reisen comes out with two glasses. "Here," she says, handing you a glass with a red substance in it. "It's wine, pretty popular from around here, or so I've been told."

You smell the liquid as the Lunarian sits next to you. "...alcohol?"
"Yeah, right?" Reisen chuckles as she takes a sip. "It's surprisingly tasty, though. You should try it."

You look back down at your wine as Reisen turns on the television, flipping through the channels to look for something entertaining. You eventually work your way up to taking a sip of the stuff, and find yourself curiously interested in the liquid as you drink. It's not bad, but its nothing like the sake you're used to. You decide that it's acceptable and take another drink of it. Reisen stops on a random soccer game and leaves it there, taking another drink of wine as she sets the remote control down on the couch's arm. "So, Youmu," she begins casually as you take another sip of wine. You listen intently. "When we gonna have sex?"

Say what?!
You choke on your wine. Well, that's not accurate; more like the question catches you so off guard that you nearly cough out the bit you just swallowed. It's a good thing you were actively drinking at the moment or you'd have to explain why you spewed red wine all over the carpet. "W-what?!"

Reisen shrugs. "It's an honest question, Youmu. I'm just wondering, you know?"
"I-I-I though we agreed to wait-" you begin, then catch yourself. You take a deep breath and look at Reisen's mischevious face. "...you asked me that just to get a reaction out of me, didn't you?"

The Lunarian chuckles. "Well, you were sitting there, and I can feel from here that you're tense," her eyes reflect the meaningless game on the screen. "You need to relax, Youmu."

"...ah," so that's the reasoning. You do feel like you could explode, and not in a good way. "You're right, Reisen. But I mean, I can't say for sure I should be blamed for being tense, you know? Soon, we make our move, and, well, it's just on my mind!" You laugh nervously, but its forced.

All you can think about, from the moment you've entered Venice, is your final confrontation with Remilia Scarlet. You've been dreaming about that fateful day, when you finally take your blade against the elder Scarlet, and because of that, you let it consume you. It was a mistake to dwell on it, but part of you can't help it. This will be the biggest challenge of your life, and its one that you may very well may not make it out of alive. You can't bear the thought of Flandre, Reisen, and Yuyuko having to watch you die; not for your sake, but for theirs. Maybe that's selfish, but you don't care - you worry about the others.

You come of your brief reverie to look at Reisen. "I'm sorry, I really haven't been acting like myself, have I?" you ask her. The Lunarian just smiles.
"Hey, I know you're going through some shit, and you process it differently from the rest of us. I'm not criticizing you, Youmu... though I do wish you would talk to me about it a bit more. Or Flandre. Or anyone, really. I just worry about you. It comes with the territory."

"Territory?" you echo. "What do you mean?"
"I mean you, silly," Reisen pokes you in the cheek, and you blush a bit. "You're mine, now, so it's my duty to worry and care about you. Of course, if we were just friends then I'd still do it, but since we're together in the sexiest of ways, then I want to be here every step of your journey. After all, it's my journey too."

"... yeah, you're right about that," you say with a sigh. You don't really like the idea of Reisen looking after you, but you know you can't stop it. You feel Reisen's warmth as she wraps her arms around one of yours and lays her head on your shoulder. Her rabbit ears tickle one of yours, and you're pretty sure she's doing it on purpose, but you don't mind. It's nice to sit here in the quiet and the dark, watching a game you don't quite understand but get the general gist of. The important thing to you is that you're sitting here with Reisen, and right now, nothing else matters. "Say, Reisen," you begin. "After all this, we'll talk, okay?"

"Mmhmm," she mumbles. "You talk a good game, Youmu. We'll see how it goes..."
You sigh again. Things are never easy, but you suppose that you'll deal with your relationship with your moon rabbit later. You take another drink of wine and set it down on the table in front of you before leaning back to get more cozy with the Lunarian. You touch one of her hands and she takes it without a word.

Part of you... well, it itches. You could quite likely let Reisen jump you right now and not think twice of it, but... you want to wait. For the right moment. That moment is nowhere to be seen, at least not for quite some time. You close your eyes, pushing aside all thoughts of evil Scarlet vampires, ghostblades, and their ilk. This peaceful moment, one of your last before all the death begins again. Maybe you should have another?

-=-=-

Bonuses: Improved relationship with Reisen. Will protect you and be more effective in combat.
Penalty: Lowered relationship with all other parties save Flandre. Combat will suffer.
All other options take a +1 point penalty.


COUNTDOWN TIMER: 12

[ ] Combat Training II (4)
[ ] Relax (5)
[ ] Interact with Flandre (4)
[ ] Interact with Vampire Hunters (5)
[ ] Interact with the Others (3)
[ ] Interact with Vampire Hunters (5)
[X] Interact with Vampire Hunters (5)

How long has Patchy been a ghoul?
>>59455

In this continuity? About from Subterranean Animism
>>59456
How'd that happen, her becoming a ghoul? And why? Was she in love with Remilia prior to her ghouling?
>>59469
It's not plot-relevant so I'm down with answering this question (although spoilers in case someone feels like they'll be spoiled.

Remilia had been trying to years to seduce Patchy into drinking her blood and becoming her Ghoul as a token of "affection". After the events of SA, Patchy fell real sick, nearly to the brink of death. Remilia, seeing an opening, gave Patchy some of her blood, curing her of her diseases but also making her a slave to Remilia much in the same way a drug addict can be a slave to their dealer. She'll do anything for Remilia at this point just to get a single taste of that blood.

Of course, this is made all the easier because Patchouli has been in love with Remilia since sometime in the 1960s. So not only is she enslaved to Remilia, she loves it. It's a twisted sort of relationship of master-and-slave... kind of an extreme version of the way fanon portrays Remi x Sakuya.


Oh, and one last thing. Remilia always lies. Remember that.
Alright, I'll call it with two votes. Slow monday is slow. Will update within 47.55 hours.
>>59485

[X] Interact with Vampire Hunters (5)

There. Three votes so you don't feel bad. Planning this stuff out is tough.
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59512
Undisclosed Location - Gensokyo

The room is dark save for a single lightbulb hanging from a ceiling, swinging back and forth due to some unseen wind. The light serves nothing more than to cast dark shadows to the corners, and the room's sole occupant would have rather it been completely dark, because at least that way she could sleep. Instead, she was left with this single lightbulb. Its constant swinging alone was infuriating, and she wanted to magic the stupid thing away.

The woman gingerly touches the choker on her neck again, not for the first time. The damned thing reduced her from a powerful youkai to a simpering human, taking away her magic and strength. A piece of Lunarian technology recently developed, and she was the guinea pig. Shameful to be reduced to this state, but-

The only door to the room swings open. Stepping inside, a young-looking blonde girl wearing the black-and-blue armor of an officer of the Lunarian Occupation Force. She regards the youkai in front of her impassively, as if she were little more than a commoner. The youkai snorts derisively.

"Good evening," the girl says. "It's a beautiful day outside. Would you like to see?"
"Go to hell," the youkai replies. She touches her choker. "Don't keep me like a prisoner then attempt to be nice to me."
"I'm just trying to help," the girl narrows her eyes slightly. "I thought a few days in the quiet room would get you to calm down, but it seems that you're just as hard-headed as ever."

"You have to be in order to keep peace in Gensokyo," the youkai also narrows her eyes. "Not that you would know anything about that."
"You're right, I don't," the girl admits. She clutches at a paper fan on her side. "At least, not in your way. But I have my orders, and I will subjugate all of Gensokyo under the moon's heel. It is my job, and its one that I intend on seeking through."

"Even though it would betray your precious teacher?"
"Yes," the girl nods. "These are orders from Lunarian royalty; you don't just ignore them. That said, none of this wouldn't have happened if you hadn't invaded us. Twice."

"There was a reason for that," the youkai tells her. "Reasons that a plebian like you wouldn't understand."
The girl growls. "I'm not a plebian. I am a princess!"
"A princess of what?" The youkai smiles. "A princess of a dead rock three hundred and eighty four thousand kilometers from Gensokyo. A princess of an isolated kingdom that gave up accepting others a long time ago. A princess that couldn't keep ahold of its own princesses! I spit on your kingdom, plebian. My eastern wonderland is far, far more than yours could ever be."

"Shut up," snaps the princess. "Its clear to me that you're still a gruff old hag. When you loosen your tongue, I'll consider getting that choker off of you."

"I'll figure it out myself," replies the youkai. "Now get out of my sight."

The girl stamps her foot in anger and walks out, slamming the door shut. The youkai grins to herself.

"That's right, get mad," Yukari whispers to her. "Everything is proceeding exactly as I've forseen," she looks up toward the lightbulb. "Oh, go away."

The lightbulb goes out. Yukari giggles to herself.
Yes... all were dancing exactly to Yukari Yakumo's scenario.

-=-=-

The next morning, you're out on the roof, practicing your stances. You consider what you should to for the day, pondering your options. After breakfast, Reisen went back to sleep, and Flandre ran off with Marisa to do... whatever it is they do when they're together. You dread the idea of Marisa using Flandre to steal, but you can think of worse ways for the two to spend their time together. You smirk at that; oh, how you've changed! Before all this, you would have thumbed your nose at the idea of petty thievery, but nowadays? You just hope that they don't steal from an honest person.

Yuyuko would rail at your thoughts. Her little samurai, being okay with someone being dishonorable. But your time in the Outside World has hardened you, and you know you're not the same girl you were when you left. It's only been six weeks, but those innocent days long ago are in the past. You stab your sword into the roof and rest your hands on top of each other on the hilt, staring out across Venice. Almost approriately, a calm wind starts blowing, rustling your dyed black hair.

"Hey there," a voice says behind you. "What's with the serious look on your face?"

You look over your shoulder at the burly man approaching you and smile. Stephen, vampire hunter, holy warrior, knight of Avalon. You met him back when you were still running from Remilia, along with his friends Alex and Nina... and Landon. The smile vanishes from your face as you remember the wizard, surrounded by a mountain of corpses and a smile on his face, his soul having left his body long ago. You push the thought aside. "Good morning," you greet calmly. "And... I guess I'm just thinking real hard... about my past."

"I see," the man walks up next to you, his blond hair and blue eyes a stark contrast to your own features. Even in civilian uniform, you can see his muscles underneath is jacket. The man is ripped, and even though you're committed, you can appreciate that. You look away suddenly, not wanting to give yourself away. "What of your past? In Gensokyo?"

"Ah... more like right prior to leaving it," you tell him. "I'm such a different person now than I was then..."
"Well, everyone's time out here in the Outside World changes them," Stephen explains. "Back in Avalon, I thought I knew everything there was to know. But out here I may as well be a child. There are so many things I still don't know, that a whole lifetime wouldn't be able to teach me," he chuckles. "I'm only 30, and yet I've never felt so young before."

"I can understand, I think," you reply. "Don't forget, I'm older than I look."
The man gives you a sideways glance, then chuckles. "Yeah, it's easy to forget that people like yourself are special."
"I'm not special," you say. "I had to work for all I have now. I've trained mind and body since I was a child to get to where I am now."
"So have I, Youmu," laughs the paladin. "But I'll grow old and die, eventually."
"I'm still half-human," you counter. "I'll die of old age too. Maybe not at your speed, but... yes, eventually my story will be the same. The difference is that you have an afterlife to go to. I do not."

"Oh?" The man looks down at you. You nod.
"Yes," you answer. "Half-ghosts are two incomplete souls in one being; an upper and lower soul. Since these souls are not complete," you gesture to Myon, floating next to you passivelyy. "I am not a true 'person'. When I die, I won't enter Gensokyo's cycle of reincarnation, nor will I ascend to Heaven or descend to Hell."

"Purgatory?"
You shrug. "Don't know."
"Well, when you die, if you somehow make it to Avalon we'll be sure to give you proper honors," another voice says. Alex walks in between you and Stephen, her bobcut hair swaying gently in the breeze. "In all seriousness though, Youmu, I think that it will be a very long time before you have to worry about that."

You chuckle. "You think so?"
"You're definitely one of the most swordswomen I've ever met, that's for sure," Stephen says with a chuckle. "On the ground or in the air. One day after all this blows over, I want to see how your samurai style competes with the good old sword-and-board," you nod at that; you haven't actually gotten to see the knight fight, so it would be a pleasure to go up against him in combat.

"I look forward to it," you reply. You turn back toward the sea, watching it calmly. You hear gulls in the distance sing. "Do you feel it, you two? That electricity in the air? I think that soon, it will be time."

Stephen nods. Behind you, you hear two more people land on the roof. Given your current company, it's not even a guess as you flick a loose hair back. Behind you, Sakuya and Nina, her mother, stand and smile. Ever since they were reunited, the mother and child have been nothing but smiles when around each other. You can happily take away that, at the very least, you got to reunite a broken family.

Assuming we all live through this, of course.

Your thoughts turn darker. I shouldn't think such things, but it's so easy to do. I feel like the weight of the universe is coming down on me when Reisen and Flandre aren't here.

You pull your sword out of the roof and sheathe it, turning to smile at Sakuya and Nina; the other two follow suit. You smile at the (former) maid and her mother. "Hey," you greet. "I haven't seen you lately, Sakuya. Have you finished whatever project with Flandre you were attempting?" Sakuya grins and pulls out her Luna Dial.

"I think I've almost got it figured out," she says. "If I have this thing figured out like I think I do, it may in fact be possible to regress Flandre to before she was a vampire."

"Curing" Flandre of her vampirism had been Sakuya's big project ever since you had been able to stay in Venice. Her plan, should it work, was to lock Flandre into a timeloop that would regress her age by over five hundred years, turning her from a vampire to a normal human. The very process would probably destroy the Luna Dial, but Sakuya was okay with that; she had decided that the power of the watch was too much to be in anyone's hands, mortal or otherwise. Sakuya would lose her time manipulation powers as well, but the (former) maid was okay with this too, as it would reach a goal that she had been shooting for - destroying the Scarlet Sisters.

After all, wouldn't turning Flandre into a normal human be better than letting her live forever as a vampire?

"Do you think she would keep her powers?" You ask. Sakuya shrugs.
"That's beyond my knowledge, but Kirisame believes that she would lose her incredible destruction and flight. She may still be able to cast spells, but that's about it."

You nod again. "So should we attempt this now, or should it wait until afterward?"
Nina and Sakuya exchange looks. "Well... that's what we were going to ask you," Nina finally says. "On the one hand, we need Flandre's power against her sister..."

"... but on the other hand, I may not be alive to cure her of her vampirism, assuming this even works," Sakuya finishes. "I am the only master of the Luna Dial alive, and this may be the best shot that Flandre has had in years to return to a normal life. I think we can take Remilia without her, Konpaku."

You nod again, looking down. "What does Flandre want?" you ask. Sakuya and Nina exchange glances. "...you mean to tell me that you didn't ask her?"
"Well..." Nina looks away. Sakuya blushes.
"I didn't think to ask her," she admits.
"Sakuya..." you start. The (former) maid blushes a bit deeper.
"I'm sorry."

You sigh and rub your eyes. This is way too much for this early in the morning.

-=-=-

Bonuses: Unlocked new option, increased combat effectiveness of vampire hunters, all options reduced by 2
Penalties: Flandre Scarlet combat effectiveness reduced.


COUNTDOWN TIMER: 7

[ ] Combat Training II (2)
[ ] Relax (3)
[ ] Interact with Flandre (2)
[ ] Attempt to Cure Flandre of her Vampirism (4)
[ ] Interact with the Others (1)

THE FUN PART IS THAT I KNOW IF IT WORKS BUT YOU DON'T. SO IS IT A WASTE OF TIME OR A LEGITIMATE CURE?!
ha. waste of time. cause it'd break the luna dial.
bad jokes are funny.

my vote goes to
[x] Spend time with Flandre
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59518
>Penalties: Flandre Scarlet combat effectiveness reduced.

NOT ON MY WATCH


[X]FLANDRE OPTION


FUCK YEAR
[x] Spend time with Flandre

I think it's a bad idea. Let's just forget about it, at least for now.
[x] Interact with Flandre (2)
[X] Interact with Flandre (2)
All aboard!
[X] Interact with Flandre (2)
All aboard!
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59526
Lunar-Occupied Hakugyokurou

The Netherworld is a strange place when the living take residence.

At least, that's what Yuyuko Saigyouji has decided.

Oh, she could have fought them off; after all, they only sent about a hundred soldiers toward her. However, when she saw that following them were the Prismriver Sisters wearing some sort of odd chokers, she decided instead to let them stay, acting like a crazed old lady waxing historical of a time before any of these rabbits were even a tickle in the back of their great-grandparents' mind. The fact that she didn't look a day over thirty was irrelevant, only that she played the part. Yuyuko acted as the sweetest guest one could be, although she informed them that as a ghost she didn't eat as much as would be believed.

Hiding her grumbling stomach was something of an issue, but Merlin turned out to be a wonderful cook. A little bit light, but Youmu hadn't picked up the groceries in a while.

Of course, Youmu wasn't around.

Yuyuko minds herself in the garden, teaching herself the finer points of her keeper's craft. Her hands are wrist deep in soil as she attempts in vain to save this particular stretch of hedge that has simply decided to up and die on her. The ghost grumbles as she attempts to find the root (heh) cause of this particular hedge's refusal to stay alive. Off to the side, Merlin leans up against the side of the Saigyou Ayakashi, playing a melody on her horn. She eyes the various Lunar Rabbits that have taken residence in the tree, completely unaware of how deadly it is. The white choker with scrolling patterns on the side glows a soft orange, much like the one on Yuyuko. These chokers "humanize" youkai, for lack of a better word; it strips them of their power and lets them keep just enough to remain who they are.

It's a terrible thing, but Yuyuko doesn't mind. It suppress her power to induce death, and she's totally fine with that. As Yuyuko attempts in vain to rescue the hedge, she wonders about her wayward child. She hasn't heard a word from Youmu ever since she crossed the barrier, and since her and Yukari had been knee-deep in their own plans, she never even considered attempting to contact her... and when she did, the Lunarians slapped a magic suppressant around her neck, rendering her unable to do so.

Ah, such is unlife. Yuyuko listens to Merlin's soft trumpeting as she messes with the hedge; at least it's something to do. She hears Lunarians sniggering at her off to the side, but she ignores them as well. Instead, she loses herself in the music as a violin from across the way joins the trumpet, then a piano with it. Even scattered across the house, the sisters are so in-tune (heh) with each other that they can easily pick up the same song by hearing soft notes. It's their "theme song" as Marisa called it once, but that's fine. Yuyuko doesn't mind.

Behind her, Yuyuko hears the snapping of a twig. Curious, the ghost turns around and sees a small sakura tree cracked down the middle. "...what?"

Yuyuko walks up to the tree, circling it and looking for a sign of foul play. As she stops with the tree in front of her, she watches in amazement as the crack simply widens before snapping the tree in half like paper. Yuyuko's eyes widen. "How...?"

She kneels before the tree. "This... this is Youmu's tree," Yuyuko realizes. This sakura tree, planted at the time of Youmu's "Birth", as well as the tree she was found next to when she first arrived in Hakugyokurou. It grew at about the same rate she did; that is to say, compared to other trees of similar age, this one was a runt. But what could... "A bad omen?"

The split tree offers no answers, so instead Yuyuko dives into her own encyclopedic knowledge of history, searching her mind for the answer. She finds it in a story her father told her of what it means when the tree dies. Yuyuko's eyes widen at her realization, and deep within, she feels her heart break.

Gingerly, she touches both halves of the destroyed tree and pushes them together, briefly allowing it to look whole again. "Youmu..." she whispers. A light breeze chooses to blow through the Netherworld. "I'm sorry I couldn't save you."

Should the omen hold true, however, then it is too late. Whatever ails Youmu will kill her. And Yuyuko is stuck here. This stupid choker... it holds her power back. For the first time, Yuyuko begins to desperately claw at the choker, trying in vain to pull it off of her neck. However, it's to no avail. The choker holds firm, and as tears form in her eyes, a whimper in her throat, all Yuyuko can do is silently curse her shortsightedness.

Youmu dying was not a part of the plan. It was never a part of the plan.
And there's nothing she can do about it.

-=-=-

"You~mu!"
You turn around to Flandre's call. After your little meeting on the roof, you continued your training, opting to work from within. Your meditations are important to you, and it's been a long time since last time you were able to get some peace and quiet like this, but when the Scarlet child calls, you can't help but set that aside for her.

"Ah, how'd your time with Marisa go?" you ask as Flandre walks up to you with a smile.

"Oh, it went fine," Flandre replies. She looks down at you. "But I realized that I hadn't been spending a lot of quiet time with you, so I was hoping I could!"

"I'm not going to tell you no, Flandre," you say. You pat the ground next to you. "Come, sit under the tree with me."

Flandre sits down quietly, sidling up to you and leaning on you. You place an arm around her and allow her to snuggle up to you. "Has Sakuya asked you about her idea yet?"

"Hmm?" Flandre chirps. "Oh, the whole thing with her clock? Yeah, she mentioned it, why?"

"Well, she told me earlier that she thinks she can finish the formula," You tell her. "And she was wondering if I was okay with turning you human. I told her that it wasn't up to me. So I'm asking you for her, Flandre: Do you want to be a human?"

"I... I dunno," Flandre replies, shutting her eyes. "I mean, I guess that'd be okay, but... If I did, then you would outlive me, right? And I don't want to grow old and die and leave you alone, Youmu."

You chuckle. "You don't have to worry about me, Flandre. I've been alone with Yuyuko most of my life. Though..." you squeeze her into a half-hug. "I like the idea of you sticking around with me for awhile. But I mean, if you wanna turn human, I think that'd be good for you. You'd finally get to do other stuff, Flandre."

"Oh, pfft," Flandre blows a raspberry. "I'm fine with who I am. Maybe one day, I'll turn back, but not anytime soon. Of course, that's if Sakuya's spell works at all."

"True, true," you nod sagely. You try to maintain the pose of a wise-thinking samurai, but you feel Flandre start fidgeting. You close your eyes and take a deep breath. Flandre pokes you on the cheek. "Hey, I'm trying to look noble here."

"But you can't look noble, you're too cute for that," Flandre complains. You flush.

"Flandre..." you begin, but you pause at the vampire's smiling face. "When did you become so silly?"

"When a certain someone gave me something more to live for than a basement and broken toys," Flandre replies. "Youmu, if nothing else, then I'm so happy that you came that night and rescued me. I thought that my life would be nothing more than crushing pain. So... yeah!" she blushes a bit. "You gave me life, Youmu."

You consider at what cost, but you shove it aside. "Well, I'm glad I could be of some use, Flandre. Especially for you."

"Well... not just me," Flandre gets a coy look. "Rei~sen, too!"

"Hah, yeah," you ruffle the girl's hair. "So am I doing alright, then? Does the great Flandre Scarlet approve of me and Reisen?"

"Mm-hmm!" Flandre exclaims. "If it were up to me we'd all live in the mansion with me! And then you and Reisen could have a room, and Sakuya would get a bigger room, and then I'd drag Patchouli out of basement, then I'd take over Sis's... room..." Flandre gains a far off look in her eyes. "Youmu. I'm going to cry. You know that right?"

"...yeah, yeah I know."

"I still love her terribly," she tells you. "Even though the more I think about it, the more I realize that she never really cared about me or Sakuya at all. Why is that?"

"Well... she's your sister," you offer. "You spent half a millenium with her. Of course you love her!"

"Yeah but... after all she's done?" Flandre asks. You nod.

"She took advantage of you. That's not okay, but it happens. I intend to never let that happen again, Flandre. I'm never going to take advantage of you, and neither will Reisen. That I can promise you," You brighten as Flandre's smile returns, and she cuddles closer to you. A cool breeze blows, and the two of you simply spent time staring at each other. It would almost be romantic.

Almost.

Both of you perk up at the sound of footsteps. You both look to see Sakuya approaching alone, dressed in nice casual wear. "Do you mind if I borrow her?" she asks you. You look back at Flandre.

"Mm, if Sakuya needs something then I guess I better go," she says in a singsong voice. You shrug.

"Don't be gone long," you tell her. "We don't get to hang out anymore."

"Yeaaaah," Flandre replies. You pull her into a tight hug, letting her go with a smile. As she stands and walks off with Sakuya, Flandre turns and waves. You wave back, your smile never fading.

Yes. That's it, right there. If nothing else, that smile has made everything worth it.

...so why do you have a dread feeling you'll never see that smile again?

-=-=-=-

Flandre combat effectiveness increased. She will protect you at the best of her ability.
Sakuya and Marisa's combat effectiveness reduced. All options increased by 1.


COUNTDOWN TIMER: 5

[ ] Combat Training II (3)
[ ] Attempt to Cure Flandre of her Vampirism (5)
[ ] Interact with the Others (2)
[ ] The Bad Omen (5)
[x] Interract with the others
preferrably doing our best to prepare everyone for the battle ahead, and possibly any unresolved issues that MIGHT exist between any of our group.

also allows for at best one more option afterwards, hopefully resting.
[x] Interact with the others

Eh, the hell with omens. Youmu makes her own luck.
[x] The Bad Omen (5)
Plot hook.jpg

A bad feeling is always a premonition. Let's fix that
[x] The Bad Omen (5)

How ominous.
Tied. If someone wants to untie that, that'd be great.

Or if you want to be a silly and vote for a third option, that's fine too.
[ ] Interact with the Others (2)

I'll gladly break it. Screw omens.
[x] The Bad Omen (5)

>>59533
No, don't! Ignoring things can only cause harm, ignorance of something does not guarantee respite from its consequences.
>>59533
>>59534

Nice. You guys are awesome.
Still tied though.
59527 here, i'm probably gonna regret this, but i'll change my vote to break the tie

let's get this warning, and hope doing this saves our asses instead of burning em.
Alright I'm calling it for the omen. Too late to start writing now, so I'll start my update tomorrow. Updating withing 44.823 hours.
I have this feeling that because we didn't choose Relax, Youmu is going to slip at a crucial moment... But that wouldn't happen, right?
>>59533 Here.

>>59534
Nooooo! Spending time to simply acknowledge a bad omen, rather than do actual preparations, practically guarantees the success of the omen! It's self-fulfilling!
File 140573913190.png - (1.01MB, 782x900, ad144f40224c169f5f6ed1178c4a2bb7.png) [iqdb]
59557
Undisclosed Location - Europe

Geoffrey du Temple and Francois Villon hated each other. This was a fact pretty well known amongst the Kindred, and only a damn fool would be crazy enough to put the two of them in the same room together. Their honor guards alone turned into what would have been a large office into a cramped mess. The two vampires sat next to each other, alternating between trading snipes at each other but never taking their eyes off of the person across the desk from them.

Remilia Scarlet sits quietly, hands steepled and expression passive as she looks at the two vampires bicker. She's noticably different compared to her time in Gensokyo; due to her heavy feeding, Remilia is now taller, leaner, and one may even go so far as to say she has developed a figure. Although still young-looking, she's since taken to calling herself a teenager. The vampiress briefly breaks her pose to tuck her hair behind her ear, stopping to admire her long fingernails. If getting all this new power has increased her own attractiveness this much by now, she can't wait to see what it looks like when she consumes enough to become an adult.

The mental acuity she's gained is also something wonderful.

"Boys, boys..." she says with a fanged smile. "There's no reason for us to argue. You haven't even heard why I'm here."

"With you involved, it can't be good," Francois says with a frown. "Look, both of us have given you plenty of room to carve out your own little spot of Paris. Surely, there's enough city for three Princes."

"I concur. We all have our own parts of the city, and although your recent conquest of Avalon was something of note, that is on the international scene," Geoffrey sets his hands on the desk, balled together. "Here in Paris, we still have our agreement."

"No, see, I don't think we do," Remilia replies, leaning her chair back on two legs. She props her legs up on the desk, and she pauses to stare at her much longer legs. "Hmm, I could get used to this..."

"Miss Scarlet, what are you implying?"
"Hm. Oh," Remilia grins. "You see, I've recently learned something about myself," she holds out a hand, palm open, and allows a magic bullet to form in her hand. "I've recently learned that my sister isn't the only one limited to her powers. You see, as it turns out... Scarlet blood is just powerful. To demonstrate," she points the bullet at one of the guard vampires. The bullet launches toward him rapidly, but the vampire dodges it, his reflexes honed by centuries of training. Twisting her hand, Remilia continues staring the vampire as she snaps her fingers.

The vampire's head explodes, sending a shower of mist across the room. Remilia's grin never fades as the other vampires stare at her, shocked. "W-what is this nonsense?!" Francois yells.

"There's a change in the balance of power," Remilia explains. "From here on out, I'm the sole Prince of Paris, and there's nothing you, or anyone else can do, to stop me. And from here, I'm going to take over the Camarilla city by city, either by crushing you under my heel or by you falling into line with me. Those are your only two options, Princes. And if I were you, I would take the second."

"You and your small cabal against our far larger forces?" Geoffrey laughs. "I'd like to see you-"

The prince's head explodes with a snap of Remilia's fingers. Before Francois can react, he, too, dies with a misty pop of his head. Remilia laughs at the honor guard as they jump to exact revenge, but a sharp glance from the Scarlet vampire cause all of them to explode into a fine mist of blood and atoms. Remilia swings her feet off of the desk and stands up, looking out of the office at the night sky. "And here I was hoping they'd allow me to just crush them, but... ah, I guess I still don't have full control."

It's clear that Remilia doesn't really care. She steps over the three headless bodies and shows herself out. In the hallway, her own honor guard of Ghoulified maids falls in lockstep, their Mistress drunk with power... and hungry for more.

-=-=-

Venice, Italy

You sit under the same tree, your meditation over. You've decided to simply rest against the tree and look up at the sky, hands resting on your lap as you watch the clouds go by. Soon, you're going to have to get off of your rump and go after Remilia, but you don't think that either you or your team is ready just yet. That said, everyone has been doing their own projects or training so hard, you don't have the heart in you to make them keep going. A break is good for everyone.

Yeah. You smile as you count the fourth airplane fly over you. Everyone needs a break. But, more importantly, you need a drink, and there's a bottle of wine with your name on it back in the house. You stretch, realizing you've been meditating way too long. When people say you unwind, they really mean it. You stand up slowly, smiling as a cat runs by you, mewling. How cute. It's quickly chased by another, then two more. The last one runs around your feet a few times before catching up with his fellows.

You begin walking toward your temporary home, counting the four white cars that drive by in rapid succession. Then, as you turn onto the main avenue, four women in pink shirts walk by you.

Wait. Four? Four cats, four planes, four shirts, four cars....

Four? Four.

You blink. Four. Shi.
Death.

"What in the-" you begin, but shake your head. This is a coincidence, right? Japanese superstition doesn't extend out this far!

Well. Except the half-ghost... and the Lunar Rabbit. Okay, a few, but witches and maids and vampire hunters are all over the place. Why are you trying to justify this?! This is nothing more than a coincidence! You turn around and start marching back toward your tree, deliberately ignoring the four bikers that pass by behind you. This has got to be a trick or something. Bad omens don't hit this hard anyways!

You cross your arms and plop down next to the tree with a thud, slamming your eyes closed and shutting out the world. Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something? You tap into your own historical knowledge, trying to find a time, or a legend, or anything that might have so many fours in it. You reach far back, back to when Yuyuko made you read basically the entire history of Japan: Folklore and Mythology, the maps of the islands, everything down to the day Yukari accidentally broke Gensokyo's barrier for five minutes. Coincidentally, that was the day two girls named Maribel and Renko accidentally wandered in for five minutes, but you managed to shoo them out using Myon and some cleverly placed sounds.

"One day, I saw the number four everywhere I went."

You gasp as you recall Yuyuko's words.

"The next day, I committed suicide."

"No..." you whisper. "No way. That can't be it..."

You take a deep breath.

"The next day, I committed suicide."

Yuyuko's words echo in your mind. Your breathing becomes erratic as it repeats like a broken record. "I can't do that yet," you say. "I can't die now, so close to the end..." you suddenly feel lost and alone. You reach out to no one in your mind, you feel Yuyuko's words pressing down on you. "This has got to be a coincidence."

It's got to. You open your eyes for a brief moment and see four leaves blow by you. You slam your eyes closed again, returning to shutting out the world. Nothing more than a coincidence. A coincidence.

"Committed suicide..."

Something is stinging at your eyes. You briefly open them and look down. Four tears fall from your face, into your open palm. "No. I don't want to beli-"

"Youmu?" You look straight up. Marisa, Sakuya, Reisen, and Flandre are all standing above you.

-=-=-

"Countdown, Five."

Scarlet Devil Mansion - Roof

"Four."

Patchouli looks at the giant-sized hakkero that is the Sun Crusher. Suspended within its core, viewable through a glass panel, two crossed swords and a crown float in a magical sphere, their radiant power being channeled into the cannon.

"Three."

Pathcouli grins. This is her finest work ever, and as her Scarlet eyes glow with power, she feels her Mistress's pleasure, halfway across the world.

"Two."

Off in the distance, standing guard at the gate, Meiling Hong looks up toward the roof. Her eyes betray a certain knowledge not seen in them before. "She's really going to do it."

"One."

"The bitch is really going to do it," she growls. Taking off her hat and tossing it to the ground, Meiling walks away from the Scarlet Devil Mansion, heading in the general direction of the Hakurei Shrine. As she walks, her right arm slowly starts turning a dark green-brown, and scales start to form along the length. Her fingernails grow thicker, becoming claws. "Fine, then, but just so you know..."

"Zero. Fire!"

A giant red ray of light shoots into the sky, smashing against the Hakurei Border with incredible might and shattering a small hole within it. The beam travels to the clouds before detonating at the tip, expanding rapidly over the sky in all directions. Meiling pulls the braid out of her hair, letting it fall freely. She glares back at the red beam of light, her normally calm green eyes turning yellow, the pupil slitting into a reptilian shape.

"When you awaken the dragon, there can be no consequence but your demise."

-=-=-

Four girls are standing above you.

Your memories take you all the way back to the beginning.

Remilia was surrounded by four fairy maids.

Flandre used the spell "Four of a Kind."

Reisen, Nazrin, Flandre, and Hatate were four.

Stephen, Landon, Alex, and Nina were four.

The [/b]four[/b] gods immediately on your side were Zeus, Ares, Poseidon, and Athena.

You've been in Venice for four weeks.


Four. Shi. Death.

"Guys... I..." you begin

"We came to get you for dinner..." Reisen begins. "Why... why are you crying?!"

"I'm... I'm going to die," you say. "I'm going to die. The omen has been following me since the beginning, and now that we're here, in this moment, has it suddenly gotten worse," you look down at your hands. "Even now, the four of you are an omen. S... shi... has been following me! I am going to die!"

"No, no, sweetie, you're not," Reisen gets down next to you and puts her arms around you. "You're not going to die. All of us, we're here for you. You're the only one out of all of us who has to survive the most! Only you can defeat Remilia Scarlet and save Gensokyo. Youmu, trust me, you're not going to die!"

"It's all there!" you scream at her... at them. "The signs are all there!"

"Well, personally," Marisa says. "I ain't never believed in that shit. So, when Reisen says you ain't dying, I gotta believe her," you still hear Yuyuko's words screaming into your mind. She gets down there with you and Reisen. "Hey, we're this far now, yeah? We can make it to the end! Trust me!"

"No, not without me dying before then!"

-=-=-

Remilia stands atop the Eiffel Tower. Perhaps its pretentious, but she doesn't care. She looks towards the west.

-=-=-

"Youmu."

You look up, tears streaming from your eyes, at Flandre. Sakuya looks away from you, but only out of respect, as Flandre looks down on you with an unreadable look on her face.

"Flandre?"

"Stop," the vampiress looks down on you severely. "This is not you."

"But Flandre, I-"

"I said, shut up," she says. The other two back away from you as you blink back tears, staring up at the small child that's been your rock this whole time. "This is not you, Youmu, and it never has been. Why are you doing this to yourself?"

"I... I see it everywhere, Flandre," you say slowly. "I'm being followed by death."

"No, no you're not, you only think you are," Flandre replies. "This is the manipulation of fate I told you about. Remilia has been letting us go for this long because she's been manipulating you into thinking that you'll die. She's put little hints throughout your journey that you will die. This is all part of her grand scheme."

"I... are you sure?"

"Youmu, I may not be the elder sister, but I'm still a Scarlet," Flandre tells you. "I know her. This is exactly like her to play a game that she knows she'll win. Now," she walks closer to you. "I'm not going to sit here and watch you destroy yourself because of her, Youmu. She's caused you to lose your way, and I'm here to set you back on track. Youmu, look around you. What do you see?"

You do. You look around. Reisen sits next to you, concerned. Marisa is on your other side, standing, rubbing the back of her hand and giving you one of her goofy half-smiles she always seems to have. In front, Sakuya gives you a look that can only be described as an odd sort of approval. And in front of her, between the two of you, is Flandre Scarlet. This girl, the one who's been linked to you from the outset. The girl who's done nothing but give you support, and you given her yours. Out of everyone here, it's been Flandre that's been by your side all this time.

Flandre is your light.

You reach up for her. Reisen and Marisa help you to your feet as Flandre grabs your hand. "Now," she says. "Get your mind in the fight, Youmu. A storm approaches."

-=-=-

BGM: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAJzc0RPDmM)
What song do you think it is?

Remilia starts laughing. She can see it as it approaching now. The scarlet light. Her light. Everything that she's worked for, enveloping the world in her power. She holds her arms out to the side, and for the first time since coming to Paris, Remilia opens her wings. They stretch out far past her body, growing to massive lengths and raising up. Far down below, onlookers watch as the sky turns scarlet. "This is my day now!" she shows. "Welcome to my world! Now, feed, my children! Embrace the time of Remilia Scarlet!"

They come out of the houses, from the sewers, from the metro. Vampires, countless hundreds, begin to tear a path of destruction throughout Paris, feeding on all they come across. Ghouls suddenly become active, feeling the power from their Mistress pour into them and acting much like vampires themselves as they feed on the innocent.

Across the continent, similar scenes of death and destruction can be seen as vampires awaken in daylight, coming out of their homes to kill and feed and become the dominant predators of the planet Earth. Across the world, pain and blood are brought out in droves and Remilia's apocalypse begins.

And in a little place in Venice, underneath a tree, five girls look up to the sky as it turns red. "The storm is here," Flandre says. "The only way to stop it is right here. Youmu. You're it. You're the key to stopping all of this," behind her, the three vampire hunters run up.

"It's chaos out there," Stephen says. "There are vampires everywhere. What should we do?"

You look up, clearly away all of your doubts. "Remilia has played her card," you tell them. "Save who you can. The rest of us," you look at your four friends from Gensokyo. "It's time to end this."

They all nod. "Full power," Marisa says. "Total annihlation!" She waves her hand, and her outfit changes into her familiar black-white witch's outfit. She dusts off her hat and puts it on her head. "Let's do this, everyone!"

"Yeah," Reisen nods. She reaches to her back, and you see her pistols shimmer into visible light. She's absolutely loaded with ammo. "I've been waiting for this for a long time now!"

Sakuya closes her pocket watch. "I'm ready, too. Flandre?" She looks down at her... her friend. Her companion, just as much as yours. A daughter to her.

Flandre bends over, rotating her shoulder blades. She growls, and you can hear the tearing of skin, then flesh, as her wings rip out of her back. At first, they're just the bone, but slowly, the crystallized light forms, each light blinking into existence as her wings grow to six, eight, ten feet apiece. Slowly, the vampiress rises, taking a deep breath. "The mist empowers me," she says with a feral grin. "I'm stronger than ever!"

Sakuya clicks her watch, vanishing and reappearing with your swords and gear. "Here," she says, tossing your clothing to you. You hold it up to see a streamlined version of your green-white clothing. "Change, quickly."

You grin and grab your shirt, ripping it off of your body. You throw on the shirt and vest, and with a wave of her hand, Marisa buttons you up. You throw on your skirt, buttoning it up yourself as Reisen reaches around and yanks your pants off. She throws them aside, and you slip your shoes on. Sakuya throws your swords at you, and you grab them in one deft spin and tying them to your waist. Marisa hands you a bracelet.

"Your armor," she says. "The same spell, but a bit faster."

You nod. "Now, are we ready?"

"Yes!" A resounding chorus echoes.

"Let's go!" You shout. Marisa summons her umbrella, spins it around, and leaps into the air, landing on her broom feet first and skysurfing it straight up.

"Be careful, mother," Sakuya says to Nina. The older woman smiles.

"You too, my dear Kr... Sakuya," replies Nina. Sakuya grins and reaches up. A spellcard forms in her hands.

"Valkyrie Sign, [Wings of Lenneth]!" she shouts. Two ethereal feathered wings sprout from her back, and she takes to the sky, rapidly catching up to Marisa.

"Moon Sign, [Lunar Rush]!" Reisen commands. A magic circle of energy appears underneath her and she shoots up, flying faster than she ever has. Of course, none of them compare to yourself. You look down at Flandre.

"Ready?" you ask. She takes your hand.

"I was created for this," she tells you. "It's my fate," the two of you giggle.

"Hold on tight," you say. She shakes her head.

"I've copied your spell," she replies. "I can keep up!" You stare at her for a long moment.

"...I love you, Flandre. You're the... I don't know what you are. But you're special to me."

"I love you too, Youmu. And I know exactly what you are to me."

"What's that?"

"You're my sister. More than Remilia ever was."

The two of you laugh, then look up to the sky. Flandre spreads her wings.

"Hell Realm Sword!" you both shout. "[200 Yojana in 1 Slash!]"

-=-=-=-

This is it.
This is the final moment.
Starting from here is the final arc. This is the Scarlet Earth arc, and the last part of Youmu's Journey.

Just like one of the first votes I ever gave you, here I will give it to you again.
This is in no way to hide the fact that I have no transition here that would make sense for a vote.

Are you ready?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No
[ ] Ask me a question. As in me the author.
[x] yes.

also
[x] question the author

can we get a power/morale level of all our team members (ranging positive and negative scale)

and why was resting off the options this time?
>>59558
Resting became 6 points, so I just took it off of the options list.

As for relative power rankings, I can easily do that.

Power Rankings, E to SS+ scale.

Konpaku Youmu:
Offense: S+
Defense: B

Flandre Scarlet:
Offense: SS
Defense: B

Reisen Udongein Inaba:
Offense: A+
Defense: C

Kirisame Marisa:
Offense: S
Defense: C

Izayoi Sakuya:
Offense: S
Defense: B

Remilia Scarlet:
Offense: SS+
Defense: SS+
thank you very much. looks like it'll be a raid boss.
>>59560
Fukken noobs forgot to bring a tank.

[x] No

We need to hit up LFG fast.
oh shit, i forgot, do we even have heals (battle speed that is) i doubt marisa has healing potions stocked, or knows healing magic strong enough.
>>59565
Flan is a regen tank provided Remi doesn't hit get weak point.

>>59569
No. Well. Marisa knows some water magic but its more like a low grade HoT than a heal.
[X] YES

It's okay guys, full DPS is the way to go! The more damage the more win! Tanks and healers are for scrubs.
it's always good to have party members with ability to sustain. after all, one good *CRIT* and you're out of the fight. then where's your DPS at? sitting in the fire.
File 140599771086.jpg - (157.98KB, 849x1201, sample-fc4ca76eeb57ebee01adc158b479fa3e.jpg) [iqdb]
59665
The little girl whimpers in fear as she hides under her bed. Outside, she can still hear the screams as people die in the streets, falling prey to monsters she's only seen in her nightmares. Her family - her father, mother, older sister - have already been devoured by those things. The seven-year old cries, holding close to her a crumpled picture of her family. In the hallway, she can hear the stomping of feet and the rattling of bones.

Vampires. There were actual vampires in her house. Honest to god vampires out for blood. Her blood. The child was barely into second grade, and here she was, just about to die. Tears keep falling from her face as she hears the knob to her door turn, and in one brief instant, she remembers that her window is unlocked. The girl scrambles out from under her bed, panicking, as the vampire slowly opens the door, a malevolent smile on his face as she's found his quarry. The girl screams and kicks the screen out from her window, pulling herself up into it. The vampire floats forward and grabs her by the ankle. Her piercing shriek echoes through the room.

It's in this moment that, if this child was in a horror story, she would be dead. But today was not her day to die. The gods of Earth took pity on the poor child. They gave her mercy by giving her Flandre Scarlet.

He never saw it coming. Coming in like a red comet, Flandre suddenly barrels into him, her outstretched hand grabbing the vampire by the face. Grabbing the girl by the nape of the neck, Flandre hurls the vampire into the ground, causing an impact crater to form in the road. Gently, she sets the small child down and summons her flaming sword, raising up and coming down on the vampire like a firey tornado, slicing him cleanly in half and igniting the remains in one stroke. She steps out of the impact crater, her not-sword vanishing in a flash of heat. She walks up to the crying child and pulls her into a hug.

"Don't look," she whispers. "It's okay now. Go hide until this all passes. I promise that no one will bother you anymore," she flaps her crystal wings one, raising into the air as she lets go of the child, still holding a hand out to her as she does. The girl rubs her eyes and looks up.

"Are you an angel?" she asks Flandre. The Scarlet vampire blinks, confused, but smiles anyway.

"No, I'm not," she admits. "I'm... well..."

"She's a magical girl," says a voice, and Marisa floats down and lands. Her hakkero is still smoking. "Just like me. We're gonna save all of you!"

"Magical girls exist?" asks the child. Marisa tips her hat. "You can call me Magic Witch Marisa, little'un!" The girl gives a sideways look, and Marisa immediately drops the act. "Alright, come on, little bit, do you have anyone you can hide with?"

The little girl points at the only untouched house in the area. Marisa gives it a sideways glance, her eyes narrow. "Alright, come on, kid, let's go," taking the girl by the hand, Marisa leads the girl off...

-=-=-

...and you land next to Flandre. "Magical girl, huh?"

"Dunno," Flandre replies. "Marisa just said it... that little girl has no family left, I don't think."

"How can you tell?" you ask. Flandre shakes her head.

"She didn't ask about them," replies the vampire. You curse; you were too late again. This makes the fourth town now that there have been orphaned children or parents who have to suffer. Each time, you thought you could save at least most of the people, but its the same story in each one; there are always bodies thrown about, vampires stalking the streets, and insane Ghouls laughing into the sky.

"This has got to stop," you say, turning to face the rest of the small town. You can see signs of battle everywhere from when your group swooped in to fight, along with the bodies of several Hunters that attempted to fight. Bullet holes pockmark the nearest house from both silver bullets and your danmaku... in the distance, you can still hear the sounds of battle. Gunfire from Reisen's pistols can be heard in the distance; you can't mistake that sound anywhere else. Knives scatter into the air, only to disappear, and if you look carefully you can see a maid blink in and out of existence. "Look at this... is this what Hell looks like?"

Both of you stare into the red sky. "This is Remilia's apocalypse," Flandre whispers. "Her revenge against the world. If she can't have the Earth, then no one can. She'll let the red sky continue until everyone is dead or crushed underneath her will. She's spoken of this before... it's why Sakuya pressured her to remove ourselves to Gensokyo."

You nod. The Scarlet Mist Incident... the repercussions from that day are still felt in Gensokyo. A new type of "Scarlet Fever" attacks people to this day, something you now understand to be a sort of miniature Ghoulification. It's a horrible disease, but beatable... because, as you now know, the addiction is passing. "If this goes on, then what will happen to the Earth?"

"First, plants will begin to die," Flandre answers. She takes to the air, and you follow. "Without sunlight, plant life will be unable to grow. Following that, the wildlife that relies on plants will begin to die, up and up the food chain, until only humans are left alive. Even then, between the vampires and Ghouls, as well as the death of all life on Earth, the only thing that remain will be us, as well as supernatural creatures not reliant on food to survive. But even then, youkai thrive on belief, and with no one to believe in them, they too, will begin to die off. Soon, only the fairies will remain."

"Fairies?" you echo. You and Flandre float above the town as you both watch Reisen put down the last vampire, putting two silver rounds into his brain. "How come those?"

"As long as there is an earth, there will be fairies," Flandre explains. "Fairies are the will of Earth given life, according to what I've come to understand. Surely the same must be said of Gensokyo's fairies?"

"I don't know," you admit. "Little research has been done on fairies... I guess they're so commonplace that no one really thinks about them."

"I see," Flandre nods. Soon, you're joined by Marisa, Sakuya, and Reisen. "I was told that fairies are the spirit of the Earth. They will be hurt, dying, but they will rebuild the earth. Maybe in a thousand years, the Scarlet Mist will finally disappear, and in another thousand years, life will finally return."

"Well..." you sigh. "It's nice to know that if we fail our mission, then Cirno and Daiyousei will do their best."

"I'm sure both of them would still be very sad if we didn't succeed," Sakuya says.

"Yeah, we shouldn't fail them," Marisa nods with a grin. "I like Cirno enough, but that idiot would end up making the Poles enormous."

The five of you share a small laugh. "Come on, girls," you finally say. "Paris is just a little ways over. We've got about an hour ahead of us. How's everyone doing on ammo?"

Marisa checks her pockets. "I still got plenty," she says. "I'm saving the big stuff for Remilia."

"I've got half of my knives," Sakuya checks her skirt. "A few daggers, and a sword. I would prefer not to use the sword, since I'm not very good with it."

"I'm down to about one-third of my silver," Reisen tells you. "But I'm not going to be fighting much, remember?"

You nod. "Yes, I recall the plan."

The plan is simple: Knowing you can't beat Remilia one-on-one, you and Flandre will distract her while Marisa and Sakuya defend the two of you from the Ghouls and vampires that are inevitably surrounding her. Reisen will be busy preparing herself to use her Lunatic Eyes over an incredibly large area, trapping the entire city in her mind. There, she will lock away Remilia's power and allow the you to defeat her. If she goes willingly, you will take her back to Gensokyo where she will be judged by her peers; if not, then you will kill her.

A few details aside, this is what has been decided. It is up to you to pull it off.

"Alright, let's go," you finally say. The four girls nod at you, and you take off, heading north in the direction of Paris...

-=-=-

...and as a small girl watches you all take off, she doesn't see that the family she was entrusted to, lead by a powerful mage, has fallen into lockstep with Remilia Scarlet. Her eyes are filled with cautious wonder as a pale boy walks up behind her, a ceremonial knife in his hand.

Because the girl lives in a horror story. Her piercing scream never leaves the house.

-=-=-

BGM: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-WmpoP6ZSs)
Demetori - 亡き王女の為のセプテット ~ Ascending Into Naught


Paris - France
The Eiffel Tower


Remilia Scarlet hasn't moved from her spot for ten hours. She looks towards the south, her mind in overdrive as she considers the power she feels coming from that direction.

"It tastes like that damnable half ghost," she mutters. "And... Sakuya. Hm. That witch who's name I can never remember... Marisa? Yeah, that's it," she licks her lips. "Some rabbit... and... ah," she chuckles. "Dear, sweet Flandre. How easily you are led astray. But it's fine, because once I kill the half-ghost, you will return to my side, as it should be," she reaches to her back and unsheathes the broken Roukanken. Staring at it, her eyes widen as she channels her magic into it. Roukanken shakes, powered by Remilia's energy, and begins to warp, its curve becoming more pronounced as it lengths to its original size, then past it, the blade turning black and red. "This will be the weapon with which I kill the half-ghost," she declares. "I will call it Akumaroukanken, a mockery of everything that little creature holds dear... ah," she grins, summoning Gungnir and holding the burning spear in her left, the corrupted Roukanken in her right. "There you are, little ones. Come!"

-=-=-

"I see her, on that tower!" you shout at the others. "Alright, everyone, let's go!"

The four nod, Marisa and Sakuya breaking off from the main group. As you begin to fly over the main part of the city, the red sky erupts with gunfire as ground-based troops begin to fire their guns, all of them attempting to shoot you down. You move up, out of range, as Flandre lowers herself and puts her arms in front of her face. Reisen lags behind her and holds out her hands, forming a bubble of energy around herself that bullets spark off of. Flandre gets hit several times, but the rounds do little damage to her as she channels magic, increasing the speed of her regeneration.

You summon four Ghostblades - one in each hand, and the others spinning around you - and charge right for Remilia. Myon trails behind as you unleash a barrage of bullets, sending them in a spread pattern for Remilia. You spin, changing your shot-type to homing, and let loose a wave of pointed bullets that close in on the vampire. Remilia doesn't bother to move as the bullets close in, crashing down on her with excessive force. The top of the tower explodes, and for a faint moment, you think it might be that easy.

But of course, it's not. You adjust your flight pattern as Remilia takes to the air, her fifteen-foot long wings beating slowly as she flies backwards, unleashing a massive spread of bullets in your direction. Behind you, Flandre plants her feet at the base of the tower and holds up her hands, firing a barrage of counter-shots that smash into Remilia's, detonating them early and giving you a clear flight path toward Remilia. Flandre leaps back into the air, summoning Laevantein and holding it with both hands, the blade leaving a trail of fire behind her as you she closes in.

"Remilia Scarlet!" You shout. The vampiress grins. "I've come to stop your plan!"

"Then come, child, show me what you're capable of!" Remilia shouts back at you. You close the distance and raise all four swords, brining them all down on her black sword. Your eyes widen. "Oh, remember this? This is your percious Roukanken, half-ghost! And this will be the blade that ends you!"

"Not if I can help it!" Flandre shouts from below. She slashes upward, forcing Remilia to block with Gungnir. The Scarlet vampire's grin grows wider as the two of you struggle against her strength. With barely a grunt of effort, Remilia forces the two of you back with a shove, hefting both spear and sword in an offensive stance. Flandre floats up next to you, her wings spread, and begins to channel a magical spell. Her eyes glow a bright red as she stares at her sister. "Remilia, stop this! I don't want to have to kill you!"

"You won't do any such thing!" Remilia shouts back. Her eyes also begin to glow red. "You won't kill your sister, Flandre, and you know it!"

-=-=-

Marisa and Sakuya land amongst a group of vampires. Quick magic work puts an end to them before they can react. Marisa pulls out her hakkero and takes aim at the rooftop across from them. "Love Sign, [Master Spark]!" shouts the witch. Her signature spell flies out of the hakkero, blasting apart the roof and any opposing forces over there. Only scraps of weapons and clothing remain as Marisa's spell dissipates, leaving only a smoking rooftop.

"Nice work, Marisa, but there are many opponents left," Sakuya says, pointing into the distance. "I will-"

"Nah, I got it!" Marisa replies with a grin, stepping forward and channeling her magic again. Sakuya takes a step back, closing her blue eyes... and opening red ones. Slowly, she pulls out a knife.

-=-=-

"Forbidden Barrage, [Starbow Break]!"

You dodge out of the way as several dozen magic circles appear around Flandre, unleashing a multicolored halo of bullets that spread out in a random pattern, trapping Remilia in the middle. The vampiress doesn't wince as the bullets tear into her wings, reducing them to tatters. In the confusion, you leap into the barrge, Ghostblades at the ready. You start with a scything double strike with the intent to cleave her in two, but Remilia easily backsteps, returning with a rapid front slash that barely gives you time to raise your weapons in defense. The Ghostblades shatter, but you easily form two more. Remilia tilts her head slightly.

"Ooh, infinite swords?" she asks, grinning as you don't answer. "You became more clever. But did you find my ace?"

"Your ace?!" You shout. "What's your ace?!"

"Ah..." Remilia grins. Flandre's barrage stops, and her broken wings regenerate. "So you didn't."

-=-=-

Sakuya raises a knife. Marisa is too busy focused on the targets in front of her to notice. "I'm sorry," she whispers. "But my Mistress demands it-"

Sakuya chokes. In her ears is the distant ring of a gunshot. She grabs at her belly, looking down at the blood. "What?"

"Oh, please," a voice says from behind her. Reisen twirls her handgun and holsters it. "We knew from the outset that you'd do this."

"Yeah," Marisa turns and grins. "Youmu told us, actually; way back, when she first got here, she mentioned that she heard you were on Remilia's side. We all knew you were a traitor from the moment we could separate you from the others."

"But..." Sakuya coughs up blood.

"Oh, don't be so melodramatic," Marisa yawns. "You'll live. It's not even that bad, it's just a lead round. I'll patch you up when you pass out from the blood loss."

Oi, Remilia, Youmu, Flandre, Reisen projects her thoughts to the sky. The dog has been put down.

-=-=-

"What?!" Remilia backs away from you and Flandre. "But, how?!"

"I heard you talking, idiot," you quip. You raise a sword. "Way back when we first got here. When you captured Myon, I used my power to eavesdrop and knew about Sakuya's plan. This whole time I've been leading her to believe that I trusted her, but as soon as I could, I told everyone about her."

"How were you able to deceive her?" Remilia asks, her eyes burning with rage.

"I learned from Lady Yuyuko," you answer. "I learned how to manipulate my targets into believing what I want them to. Now," you raise both swords in a power stance. "Let's finish this, Remilia!"

-=-=-=-

The fight has begun. Pick your poison.

[ ] All out offense.
[ ] Balanced between offense and defense.
[ ] Heavy defense.
[ ] Let Flandre do the fighting.
[x] All out offense.

Our defense stats kinda suck. Better to hit her hard and fast.
Maybe the worst part is how this all plays into Yukari's hand. She knew this would all happen. Maybe she wants an increase in belief in supernatural on the outside, so that youkai can walk around freely. Maybe she wants to whip the world into a frenzy, and pit them against the Lunarians. But in the end, all of this death and destruction comes back to her. I can only hope Youmu's attitude comes as a nasty shock.
remember though, this is a boss we're talking about. when the group has an advantage (knowing the fight, geared past the area, overleveled) full offence is fine. but this is like new patch day, and your group's raiding in with little info to go on.

i'd say a more tactically defencive approach would be best.

[x] Balanced, leaning towards tactics over power.

a strike's strength is 0 if it does not hit.
>>59678
I just want to say, firstly, that I agree with your assesment. But it still makes me uneasy, because against an overwhelming boss, when you have little power to heal(In youmu's case), a balanced approach may just be another way to say "Being whittled down". Now, I feel like a balanced approach could work if we had flandre feel her out, because she can regen, but if she just gets bursted and goes down for the count anyways, we're screwed all over. All in all, I don't like this choice. Incomplete problem, and I don't think I can really decide what's the best way to handle it.
it's an idea is all. man, where's the dungeon journal when you need it?
[x] All out offense.

Haha, I completely forgot about that Sakuya thing. Good thing you weren't relying on us to remember if we wanted to avoid getting shanked!
[x] All out offense.

If I was Remilia, I would have just turned into bats and peaced the fuck out as soon as I learned the tables were turned.

>>59678

Not true. A feint can be just as powerful as a critical hit if used correctly.
[x] Balanced, leaning towards tactics over power.

Hit and run should work well here, Youmu can't tank but she is very fast and Remi can't just chase her as it would give Flan a free hit.At the same time if she tries to focus on Flan she risks taking a hell-realm sword to the back.
[x] Balanced, leaning towards tactics over power.
Fight smart, Youmu.
One would think that Remilia, being a 500 year creature who is hunted constantly, would have a better grasp of tactics than you-moo n' gang.
but does she have a better grasp of tactics than a bunch of internet dwellers?

probably yes, but a single person versus multiple people has only so many options.
[x] Full defense.

Our objective is to hold on until Reisen does her thing and fails no?

Also: Remilia is way too full of herself and has been out of practice due to the relative peace of the last hundred years.
[x] Full defense.

Turtling is the best way to fight against any bosses. Unless they have an enrage timer, in which case we're boned anyway.
File 140625617966.jpg - (106.96KB, 850x680, sample-02f55d1777b89afbddab9ea0c68d1488.jpg) [iqdb]
59712
"Alright, that's the last one!" Marisa shouts as her hakkero fizzles out. It's not really, but between herself and Reisen, they've cleared out enough of the vampires and Ghouls that no one is in a position to mess with them. Marisa pulls out a black gemstone and throws it in the air. As it spins, she looks towards Reisen. "How's Sakuya?"

"Fine, fine," replies the lunar rabbit. "She's out cold, just as planned."

The truth is, Sakuya never planned on betraying the others to Remilia. She did speak of Remilia's plan to have her turn against the others at a critical moment, but by then she had already become more loyal to Flandre instead. So thus came the plan to deceive Remilia by having Reisen shoot Sakuya at that moment with a paint-loaded bullet, making it look like she had shot the maid for real. From Remilia's height it would have looked genuine, but just to be safe Reisen used her Lunatic Eyes to briefly knock Sakuya out... again, just as planned.

Hey, who said that servants couldn't be manipulative?

"Shield Sign, [Onyx Barrier]," Marisa intones. The gemstone bursts, beams of light crisscrossing in the sky and binding themselves to the roof of the building the two girls are standing on, solidifying into a solid barrier that should keep the standard enemies at bay. If Remilia takes an interest in them, then they're toast, since Marisa's defensive magic isn't as strong as Nazrin's, but it should hold. For now. "Alright, 'sen, get started."

Reisen gets on her knees in the center of the roof. Concentrating, she blinks, her eyes glowing red. She begins the arduous process of channeling all the magic she has into her eyes, preparing to cast the biggest spell she has ever attempted to. Marisa in turn opens a flask and drinks a concoction of mushrooms and other chemicals, hardening her magic and opening her mana lines, allowing her to channel energy into Reisen.

It starts raining. Marisa looks up as she opens her palms, two lines of pure mana chaining themselves to the Lunar Rabbit. "I wonder what's going on up there..."

-=-=-

Remilia giggles, backing away from yourself and Flandre and pointing her sword at the sky. The red mist begins to crackle with lightning, and rain begins to pour from the skies. "There, wouldn't you say that's more appropriate for this battle?"

Flandre growls, lifting her sword to charge, but you hold a sword up. "Hold, Flan," you command. Flandre looks over at you. "I've got a plan, but you need to follow my lead."

"Right, okay," Flandre nods. "What's the idea?"

"Alright, you can copy spells, right?" you ask. "Like you copied mine?"

"It's not that easy, but sort of, yeah," Flandre replies. You nod, looking up at Remilia as she awaits your next attack. She's being incredibly passive about all this, and you can help but wonder what she's got up her sleeves. "Youmu...?"

"Spark her," you command. "I want you to Spark her so I can get in close."

"Wh-what?" Flandre blinks. The confusion, however, quickly passes, and Flandre gets a feral grin. "Okay, I can do that! I learned how to cast it from Marisa anyway!" She glares up. "Alright, Sis, you want to play a game? Let's play!"

"Show me what you got!" Remilia says with glee. She holds her hands to her sides, her face adorned with a grin that would be terrifying if you weren't already scared. Flandre rubs her nose and returns it with a smile you haven't seen on her face since you first arrived in Paris. Red energy begins to flow out from her, and her grin widens.

"Taboo, [Four of A Kind]," she whispers. You watch as the magic surrounding her splits off into three orbs, each of which forms into a copy of the vampiress. You back away and begin to channel your own magic. Remilia still watches, her grin never faltering. This will be her undoing, that arrogance. You're going to wipe that stupid smirk off of her face. All around herself, the copies of Flandre take up positions as giant magic circles appear in front of them. Channeling her vampiric energies into the blast, she holds her hands out. "Magicannon, [Dual Spark]!"

The four circles merge into two, firing off two giant lasers that completely envelop a laughing Remilia. You can almost see her being torn apart by the blast, but at the same time you see bats repeatedly breaking off from and reattaching themselves to her body. The blast isn't even damaging her, but it's not supposed to. All of this is a diversion as you fly upward, twisting in air, and charging Remilia. As you enter the light, the full force of Flandre's Spark hits you, but you ignore it to tackle Remilia, summoning a Ghostblade and ramming it repeatedly into her gut. You and Remilia fall out of the Spark as it fades, and Remilia glares at you as blood seeps out of her mouth.

"Get off of me!" She shrieks, balling a fist and smashing it in your face. You recoil from the strike, stunned, as Remilia brings her sword up and slashes at you. You twist to avoid the strike, a stinging sensation going across your face. You quickly draw Perseus and slash upward, slicing her right wing off. The wing explodes into bats as you resheathe the weapon and fly backwards, grateful for the free strike but knowing it won't happen again so easily.

Remilia spits blood as the wounds in her stomach heal, but her wing doesn't. Due to your holy sword's nature, it is anathema to creatures like Remilia, severely reducing her healing. At least for a while, she's going to be without that wing, hampering her flight somewhat.

Except for the part where Remilia just grins and two more wings pop out of her back, growing to be even more massive than her current remaining one. "You can't kill me, half-ghost," she taunts. She raises her monstrous sword in the air as you take a defensive stance, summoning more Ghostblades. She bears down on you, sword raised and spear pointed forward. Flandre makes a move, but you shake your head. No, you need her for a different approach.

You raise your weapons as Remilia thrusts with Gungnir, catching the spear with both hands and twisting, attempting to break her hold on the weapon. You jam one Ghostblade into her neck and grab the spear with your now-free hand, yanking it with all of your strength. You raise your other blade to deflect Remilia's katana, seemingly unfazed by the ethereal blade sticking out of her neck. The Ghostblade shatters as she pulls her spear back, flipping backward away from you as Flandre makes a move of her own, Laevantein pointing forward.

Flandre hurls Gungnir at Flandre, the spear burying itself through Flandre's head. One of Flandre's lights shatter as she lets go of her not-sword and clutches at it with both hands. Remilia flies upward, ignoring you entirely as she quickly grabs the falling sword. You charge upward, seeing an opening, but when you catch up she's already got Flandre's sword as the younger vampire struggles to pull the spear out of her head. She settles on pushing it the rest of the way through her head as you raise your Ghostblades to clash with Remilia's dual swords.

"Why are you even still fighting me?" Taunts the vampire as she destroys your swords. You form two more and come in for a dual thrust. She gladly accepts the swords into her exposed belly and uses it to pull you closer. "You're not going to win!" She grabs your wrist and forces you to shove the sword all the way through, and uses it as leverage to take her demon katana and stab you in the back.

You see stars in your eyes and scream as the blade pierces you, the vampiric magic working its way into your body. Remilia cackles with glee as she lets you go. You fall downward, losing control of your flight. Remilia watches you with glee, then shock as a spear pierces her head.

Flandre flies downward, catching you and bounding off, passing through Marisa's barrier and setting you down. "S-Sorry," you groan. "I got careless."

"No, no, we did everything right," Flandre says with a frown. "If we were reckless, we would have been a lot worse off. Our tactics were sound for the moment, but she is proving much stronger than we thought. However," she grins. "I'm just as strong."

Flandre jumps out of the barrier. As she does, two more crystal wings pop out of her back. She's able to match Remilia's powers evenly for now, but you fear the worst. Marisa kneels next to you as your own blood stains your clothing; if it weren't for your own regenerative powers, it would be a lot worse.

"I'll help," says the witch. She holds a hand over you. "But I'll warn you, I'm not great at this. Water Sign, [Healing Wave]."

As you feel Marisa's healing magic, weak as it is, flow into you and attempt to exorcise the vampire magic, you look up toward the sky.

-=-

Remilia yanks the spear out of her head. The gaping wound seals up immediately. She drops Laevantein off to the side, ignoring Flandre as she grabs it and flies up to her. "Sister!"

Remilia turns, slowly. "What is it, Flandre?"

"Why are you doing this?" It's an obvious question that no one has thought to ask... but Flandre still cares about Remilia. Despite everything, they're still Scarlets. They're still family. "What do you hope to gain from this?"

BGM: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAzGynpOmIc)
WAVE - Dectet, Nonet, Octet

"Gain? Don't you see?" Remilia sweeps her hand. "Look around you, Flandre! It's the middle of the day, and yet we're outside! People aren't judging you! I'm doing all of this for you!"

"For me?!" Shouts Flandre, her eyes twisted into a glare. "Remilia, I never wanted this! This isn't right! You know our lot in life, why are you choosing to make others suffer?"

"I don't care about the others!" Remilia shouts. "I only care about you! Why can't you see that?!"

"This isn't for me!" Flandre screams. She gestures down toward Youmu and the others. "Look down there, Remilia! Do they look happy? Does all this death and pain make you happy? Because I'm not happy, Remi. Not at all. Please, stop all this. Come home. You'll get judged, but Reimu likes you! She'll go easy on you, I swear, Sis! I just want all of this to end!"

"...you selfish brat," Remilia spits. Flandre is taken aback. "Can't you see past your nose? Why would you rather be stuck in Gensokyo under Reimu's stupid rules when out here we can do what we please! Join me, Flandre, and together we can rule the Earth! We'll never be subjugated ever again!"

"I don't want to rule, Sis! I want to stand as equals with my friends!" Flandre puts a hand to her chest. "I just want to be normal, Sis. I don't want any of this. I want to have a quiet life. Why can't you see that?"

"Fuck your friends! You don't need them!" Remilia replies. She raises Gungnir threateningly. "I'll get you new friends. Better friends. Immortal friends."

Flandre takes a deep breath. She blinks away the tears and the pain in her chest. "You just won't listen, will you?" She tightens her grip on her blade. "Fine then, I'll make you listen!" She hefts the sword up and charges.

Remilia easily blocks the overhead swipe, but Flandre is too strong. The repeated crashes of Laevantein are too much for Remilia to handle, and on the last strike she lowers her spear. Flandre roars and slices Remilia's head off. Before she can regenerate, Flandre grabs her and rips her head out of the bats, glaring at it. She then throws the head aside and runs a fist into Remilia's stomach. "I," She punches again and rips open Remilia's stomach. "Don't," She grabs Remilia's arms and rips them off. "Want," She kicks the body backward as it explodes into bats. "This!"

Remilia reforms meters away, glaring. Her right primary wing is still unhealed, but she ignores it. "Flandre, you're making me mad," warns the elder Scarlet. Flandre just stares, her pupils narrow slits. "Flandre, I'll have to stop you if you continue this nonsense."

"Stop telling me what I want!" Flandre shouts at her. She raises her hands to her sides. "Forbidden Barrage, [Counter Clock]!" A hail of bullets scream from the magical circles opening around Flandre as two large orbs form around Remilia. Four beams of light open up and start spinning around, trying to catch Remilia between them. The vampiress weaves and ducks around the lasers and blasts, getting in close to her sister and thrusting forward with her katana. Flandre catches it in her shoulder. With a growl, she grabs the katana and, once again, snaps it in half. The lasers close in and shred Remilia's remaining wings, but she simply reforms them again.

Remilia tosses the katana aside; she never expected it to last anyway, but it would have been nice to kill that half-ghost in a fit of irony. She holds Gungnir with both hands. Flandre continues to fire her bullet patterns and lasers, backing away from Remilia with great speed. Her four wings flap frantically as she attempts to heal the wound, but its taking longer than normal. Remilia seizes the advantage, charging Flandre and stabbing repeatedly. Her legs, arms, and stomach all take the full force of Remilia's assault, and Flandre is forced to do a point-blank blast attack. Charging magic once more, she shoves the attack into Remilia's chest, firing it at full power. A thin red laser bisects the elder Scarlet, forcing her to morph and regenerate some distance away.

"I could do this all day, sister!" Remilia shouts. "And so can you! We've done this before!"

And its true; before Flandre was allowed to leave the basement, the two would have arguments that ended with the entire mansion coated in their blood. It was half the reason that Sakuya was hired.

Flandre glances back down at Youmu and offers a small smile. "Yes, sister," she says. "But I have an advantage over you."

"What could that possibly be?"

"I have friends."

-=-

"Light Blast, [Shoot the Moon]!"

"Asura Sword, [Obsession With the Present World]!"

The black barrier drops. You come screaming out, unleashing wave after wave of bullets while behind you, Marisa shoots her own blasts, filling the sky with multicolored lasers and star-shaped projectiles that spread out, trapping Remilia between them. You summon two Ghostblades as you charge in, stabbing Remilia in the chest. Before she can react, though, you break the swords, form two more, and come back around, slicing her in two. Blood sprays everywhere as her body forms into bats and scatters, giving you enough time to recover. You trace the movements, charge forward, and as Remilia reforms, you flash behind her, unsheathe Perseus, and in a lightning slash, sever Remilia's three wings from her body.

Remilia screams as she plummets to the earth. She claws at the tower, stopping her fall and breaking her arm in the process. It easily regenerates, but as you watch her slowly climb into a sitting position, you count yourself fortunate. She can't fly, but she's still infinitely more dangerous than you are. Remilia's eyes are visible from here as she glares up at you, spear in hand, as if taunting. "Flandre, we can do this! We can win!" You look back toward the roof. "Reisen!"

The Lunar Rabbit never closed her eyes. Standing up, blood seeping out of her ears, she stares up toward the sky. "Lunatic Eyes," she screams. "[i][Lotus-Eater]!"

A blast of magic shoots from Reisen's eyes, and, with a struggle, points them down to Remilia. The vampiress hisses in the light, and you glare down at her as... she... leaps? Right for you!

You go to dodge out of the way, but Remilia is fast. Too fast. She grapples you, spinning you in a circle and throwing you toward Reisen. She lifts her spear up in the air. "Divine Spear, [Heartseeker Strike]!"

You watch as the spear turns into silver, burning the vampire as leans back to throw the spear. Reisen struggles and looks up, catching the both of you in the light of her eyes. The light suddenly turns blue, and the spell takes effect. Remilia screams in pain and confusion as the spell eats at her body, banishing her to the confines of Reisen's spell. Before she vanishes, however, she hurls the spear at you.

You go to move, but find yourself locked in place. The spell has gotten hold of you as well! You look back at Reisen, trying with futility to move as she locks you into the spell. Time seems to slow as you look back forward, staring at the spear as it flies towards you, its killing intent towards you so strong its almost alive. You look at your hands, seeing your own form vanish into Reisen's spell, but it's going to be too late. Remilia's spear is going to hit you first, and silver is just as poisonous to you as it is to anyone else. That's why you haven't touched the silver dagger for so long... the same one that you gave to the vampire hunters to aid in their own fight.

The spear closes in. You close your eyes and hear a sound like a million screaming demons as it impales... you...?

You can't question it. You vanish into the spell.

-=-=-

You awake with a start.

You quickly sit up in bed. "Wh-what?!"

What kind of a dream was that?!

You run your hands through you hair and get up out of bed. Stumbling slightly, you walk into the bathroom, to the sink. You wash your face, attempting to rid yourself of the horrid nightmare you had just faced. You, wearing samurai garb, killing one of your best friends? How awful! You shake your head and wipe your face off on a towel. Why would you even think of such a thing?

You walk out of your bedroom. Your one-bedroom apartment isn't fancy, but it passes for you. As a young college student on your own, it's up to you now to take care of yourself. Your grandfather would be proud of you, you think, bless his soul. You proved to him that you could live without working for Lady Saigyouji. A quick glance at the clock tells you it's ten in the morning; a bit late for yourself, but who cares? Today is your off day from both school and work. Sundays are awesome like that.

You flip on the television and walk into the kitchen, picking up your mobile phone and checking your messages. Sure enough, Remilia is already texting you, since eight it seems. The girl gets terribly bored when you're not around to hang out with her. It's a tough life, being the friend of a French transfer student, but it's enjoyable enough. She's certainly unique, especially with all of her... weirdness... but you came to accept it long ago. Why else would the two of you been friends since... since...

How long have you been friends? You push the question out of your mind.

As you stare at your phone browsing the internet, you don't see a strange violet-haired girl with rabbit ears banging on the screen from the inside, shouting your name. By the time you turn around, it's over.

You open your SMS and stare at Remilia's name. Should you hang out with her or do something else?

[ ] Ask Remi to hang out.
[ ] Go out and eat breakfast first.
[ ] Laze around at home all day.
[X] Ask Remi to hang out.

Don't know. Could be a mistake, could be the last chance we get to hear any real reasons or motivations.
[ ] Go out and eat breakfast first.
[ ] Ask Remi to hang out.
Time to squeeze some information out of her. I just hope Youmu won't babble about her plans to Remi.
[x] eat breakfast
food for thought. best to make use of this peace of mind... or as i'm guessing, peace in mind.
Still tied. If it remains so for the rest of the day I'm going to just combine the votes.
[x] Laze around at home all day.

C'mon anonymous, back me up here. Let's make it a threeway.
[x] Ask Remi to hang out.
OH GOD CALLING IT NOW
File 140648023295.png - (642.14KB, 645x911, Lotus-eater-remilia.png) [iqdb]
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Marisa flies, tears streaming out of her face as she drags behind her the unconscious bodies of Sakuya and Reisen, encased in black magic fields as she flies through the red sky. She has no idea where she's going, since without the sun there to give her an idea of direction, she had to pick one and go. She sincerely hopes she's heading back toward Italy, since that is the closest place she knows where a healer is. On her broom, her hakkero flares like a mad thing, burping out jets of blue fire to further propel her forward. Sparks of energy remain behind her as she flies forward, reaching speeds she didn't know she was capable of.

"Someone, anyone..." she whispers. "Please help me..." She looks back at the two unconscious women floating behind her. Somewhere in Reisen's head, Youmu and Remilia are probably... well, what they're doing doesn't matter. She's got to get somewhere. She's got to-

The hakkero explodes.

With a scream, Marisa is propelled forward by the shockwave, the shielded women falling toward the Earth. With a grunt, Marisa attempts to steer the flaming broom back toward them bug quickly gives up, ditching it and flying over as fast as she can. The broom careens into a house, secondary explosions setting the interior on fire. Marisa reaches out with her magic, grabbing hold of the girls and pulling them towards her. "Gotta... land..." she mutters. "Need some mana. If I can just..." she reaches into her apron and pulls out a metal flask, filled with one of her magical concoctions. She opens the lid and takes a long drink, the liquid infusing her body with raw mana.

Coughing, she caps the flask and puts it back in her apron. With a heave, she grabs hold of the two encapsulated women and pulls them back down to Earth. She lands in a heap, the women floating nearby as she falls to her knees. Marisa rubs her eyes, coughing, and slowly comes to a stand. "Need to recover..." she mumbles, staring at the house as another explosion blows out one of the walls. "Gotta get... my hakkero... need to go..." she stumbles towards the house, each step feeling like a thousand needles running up her spine. Despite the mana infusion, her body is still weak from the rapid expenditure of her reserves, but she needs to keep going. She has to get Youmu out of Reisen's head.

She needs to know. Needs to know about-

Marisa collapses again, falling to her hands and knees. "I can't go on, guys," she tells the two sleeping women. "I'm outta juice. I need to eat or... or something," she looks back at them. "Maybe I need a-"

"Need a what?"

Marisa gasps. Turning around, she looks up at the two armored and helmeted men suddenly in front of her. "Ah..." she slowly comes to a stand; one of them helps her up. "Th... thanks. I just need..." she looks back at the two, realizing that anything she'd say that wasn't the absolute truth might get her in trouble. She blinks slowly. "I... I need more mana... I'm out... I can't run anymore," she gestures. "I've been running for hours now. I..." she sniffs. "I gotta save my friends, yeah?"

"Who are you?" One of the knights asks.

"Kirisame. Marisa," replies the witch. She looks up at them, wondering what they're planning. If they want to fight her, if they're vampires, then she doesn't stand a chance. Not without her hakkero. Not without mana.

"Well, Miss Kirisame," one of the knights turns to look at her. "I'm sorry, but we can't help you. We're on a mission for our King."

"King?" she echoes. Rubbing her eyes, she thinks. "Let's se... silver armor, medieval weaponry, doesn't flinch at the idea of mana... Avalon?" She opens an eye as one of the knights nod. "Right. I'm from Gensokyo. My mission is to contain Remilia Scarlet, or kill her if necessary. I need some help to do that."

"Remilia Scarlet?" A voice says. The two knights separate, revealing a blonde woman wearing a white dress. "That's interesting. My mission is to find her and take back what she stole from us."

"...My Lady," says one of the knights. "Perhaps it would be unwise to speak of her to this child. What if she's lying, and on her side?"

"I sincerely doubt that, Sir Gawain," replies the blonde. "Look at her. That is the face of a desperate woman. Tell me, what can we do to help?"

"W-well," Marisa is taken aback by the woman's green eyes. Beautiful... She shakes her head and points at Reisen. "You want Remilia? She's in that Lunarian's head. Reisen cast a spell that locked her and two of my friends inside of her head, in an attempt to contain rather than kill her. She knows where your stuff is, right?" Marisa looks between the two knights and woman. "Help me get her back out into the real world. I just want Youmu and Flandre back."

"Flandre? As in, Remilia's sister?" the woman asks. Marisa nods. "Whatever would you be friends with her for?"

"It's a long story, but Flan is a good person at heart," Marisa explains. She winces and grabs her side as a wound from a gunshot reopens. She's out of mana to fix it. "The other one is her maid... she's a good person too. Look, there's more to this than you think. There... there always is," she feels her eyes sting. "Look, at least take me as far as Avalon, where I might be safer. I can't watch them alone. I got nothing left to watch them with. My main weapon's gone, and so's my broom. So... please, if there's anything..."

The two knights look down at the woman. "She could still be lying," Gawain offers.

"I doubt it," says the other knight. "Besides, if she does have Remilia in that rabbit girl's head, then our job just got a lot easier. We can use that Gate scroll Merlin gave us."

"I agree, Lancelot," says the woman. She reaches a hand out. "Come, Miss Kirisame, let's take you to Camelot. There, we will see if we can separate your friends from the girl," Marisa stares at the hand, reaching up with her free one to take it. "There, now... Gawain, read the scroll."

"...as you wish, My Lady," Gawain says. He reaches into a cylinder on his side, opening it and reading words of power.

"Thank you," says the woman. She gently pulls Marisa closer. "Have you experience with teleportation magic?"

"Uh... if it's anything like gaps, then a little," admits the witch. "But look, I can take it. Just... help me out. I know I sound dumb, but... this is important to me."

"Of course it is," the woman replies. "We will do anything for our comrades. It's only natural," she holds out her hand. "Come, let's go."

-=-=-

Waiting on Remilia is always a unique experience. You never know if she's pulled another all-nighter, or if she's in between meetings, or even if she's went to class on Sunday because she forgets that she doesn't have class. Today, however, you notice that for once, she's waiting on you at your usual meeting spot at a small park, wearing a pink t-shirt and khaki shorts. It's unusual for her to be wearing anything but long sleeves and pants with a hat, considering her albinism makes it easy for her to burn, but maybe due to the cloud cover today she felt comfortable wearing something lighter.

You sit down on the bench next to her as you watch her text. Remilia is almost always on the phone, managing things. You don't know much about her family other than the fact she inherited some sort of estate back home in France that requires her constant attention. Part of the reason she came to Japan for university was so she could get away from the constant stress and to get more in touch with her Japanese heritage, small as it is. "If I need to leave..." you begin. Remilia immediately turns her screen off and smiles at you.

"Sorry about that," she says. "Sakuya won't leave me alone."

"So same as usual?" you ask, leaning back. Remilia scoots closer to you and puts her head on your shoulder. "She worries about you."

"She could leave me alone just a little bit. I'm an adult now," says the red-eyed girl. "Youmu, take me away from all this mess."

You chuckle. "And how would I do that?"

"Mm..." Remilia looks up at you and loops an arm through yours. "We could run away to America and get married. Swing by France and pick up Flan that way we can say we've got a daughter," you feel your cheeks heat up a bit at the thought of Remilia in a wedding dress but push it aside.

"Ah... speaking of Flandre, how is she doing?" you divert topics a bit. "Last time you talked to her you were pretty upset..."

"I think she'll be fine," Remilia replies, looking out toward the park's small pond. "Her doctor says that if she doesn't over exert herself she should make a full recovery," recently, you learned that Remilia had a younger sister, Flandre, who recently got pretty sick. Flandre is the only thing that she fusses about, and you can tell that she cares deeply for her. You'd like to meet Flandre, but living all the way in France...

"Well, tell her I give her best wishes," you say with a smile. Remilia giggles and holds on to your arm tighter. "H-hey, I need that arm," you complain, looking down at her. Remilia just smiles at you, her eyes looking deeply at you. "Remi, it's too early to be silly..."

"Yeah, yeah," sighs the smaller girl, looking away with a grin. "It's not my fault that I could just eat you."

"That's not scary at all," you laugh, but you can feel your pulse quicken a bit. Lately you and Remilia have been flirting - a lot. You don't know if it's going anywhere, but at the least Remilia seems interested in the thought of you and her being more than friends. Of course, there's the matter of being adults now, and you're perfectly aware that your grandfather probably wouldn't be terribly accepting of the idea, considering that, when he was alive, he also took a dim view of your relationship with another girl.

Come to think of it, you should probably see how Hatate is doing one day.

"You'd like Flandre," Remilia suddenly quips. "Everyone does. She's sweet. She's only twelve but she's already had to swat away so many suitors... when she grows up she's going to be really pretty."

"Prettier than you?" You ask with a smirk. Remilia laughs.

"Yeah, maybe," she admits. "But I'm serious... I want Flandre to be happy. Ever since Mom and Dad died, she's been pretty down, you know?"

"Well you were still pretty upset by it when you came to Japan," you remind her. Remilia nods, her eyes looking distant.

"I was able to move on, though," she tells you. "I don't think Flan has, or if she can. I just want her to be happy, to see her smile again, you know?" she shrugs. "I'd do anything to make her happy."

"Anything?" you echo. Remilia looks at you.

"Anything," she says again. "She doesn't want to live at the mansion anymore, so I've been looking for a bigger apartment so she can move in with me. I figure that's a start."

"I thought you were rich," you say. "Why are you living in that small place anyway?"

"I am, but... I dunno. I don't want to be in your face about it," Remilia puts a finger to her chin. "I guess... I just want to be normal, you know? Flandre and I being normal here in Japan would... that's my dream, I think. Well," she grins up at you. "That and marrying you..." you blush again and look awway.

"W-well," you stutter. You can feel Remilia's eyes burning into you. "We'd just have to see about that, now wouldn't we?" You slowly turn back to face her. Remilia is still smiling at you. "...what?"

Remilia leans in real close to your face. "Let's say... you and I... forget our manners..." she gets so close your noses are touching. "Just... this... once?"

You stick a hand up and push her face, laughing. "Sto~p," you groan. Remilia pouts and looks away, looking slightly disappointed. "Oh come on, Remi, don't be like that."

"I know, but I think you're too stuffy," Remi says, letting go of you. "You care way too much about proper behavior."

"Maybe, but..." you struggle to think of the right words to say. You briefly remember the dream you had of yourself and Remilia trying to kill each other. Maybe that dream was supposed to mean something. "I don't think I'm ready to do stuff like that out in the open. Besides, we're not even dating, are we?"

"Well... no," Remilia sighs. She looks you with an eyebrow raised. "We could be, though."

You entertain the thought briefly. "I don't know..." you drag out. "We're already pretty close..." and that's true. You and Remilia have been friends for three years now, and in that short span of time the two of you are nearly inseperable.

"It's just making something that might be there official," Remilia points out. She takes your hand. "I mean, as much as we do together..." You blush again. "What all we've done," her smile returns as your blush gets darker. "I'm just saying... if you didn't leave me the other night I was going to strip you down and-"

"Oh, hey, look at the time!" you stammer out. You stand up. "Come on let's go!" You pull Remilia up and start dragging her behind you.

You miss the rabbit girl standing next to a tree, staring at you intently, as if trying to tell you something.

-=-=-

Where are you taking Remilia?

[ ] My apartment. Time to end these shenanigans.
[ ] Still haven't had breakfast yet.
[ ] Something feels weird about all this...
[x] Something feels weird about all this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1YmS_VDvMY
[ ] Still haven't had breakfast yet.
[x] Something feels weird about all this...

Okay. This is... odd.
[X] Still haven't had breakfast yet.

>"It's not my fault that I could just eat you."
Better divert her line of thought about this.
[x] breakfast

i also support the deflection of conversation in favor of nutrition
[x] breakfast
The next update is going to be really short while since I'm looking for a place to live and currently lack a computer to use on a regular basis. You could call it mobile sized.
File 140666002613.jpg - (74.85KB, 1099x386, Marisas-new-friend.jpg) [iqdb]
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Avalon - Court of King Arthur

"I assure you that your friends will receive the best care," the blonde is explaining to Marisa. The two have walked into the court, walking up toward the impressively-sized throne that the king sits upon. Marisa looks pensive, and certainly so; meeting the king of Avalon was not on her list of things to do ever. That said, with Avalon so graciously offering their services for everyone's sake, then she wants to thank the king in person. "There are no better healers in any of the Sealed-off Worlds, that I can promise you."

"Again, many thanks," Marisa says, rubbing the back of her head nervously. Behind her, the two knights, Lancelot and Gawain, stand guard over the woman, still cautious of the witch. "I'll help however I can. I mean, I don't know much non-offensive magic, but I'm pretty good with formulae and stuff... and I want to get everyone outta Reisen's head. It'll help everyone, right?"

"Certainly," nods the woman. "If you wish, you can speak to Merlin. He can always use the assistance, and he may need you to help him with your friend's... ah, Lunatic Eyes?"

"Yeah, it's some weird moon magic," Marisa says. She looks around. "W-where's the king, anyway?"

"Ah, right," the woman smiles. "Gawain, Lancelot, gather the other knights, if you will? The king's court is in session, and the people must be seen to. Also, make sure that Merlin knows that a witch is here willing to help with the two we brought in."

"Yes, my lady," the knights say in unison. They turn to walk away, leaving Marisa and the woman in the court alone. "Now, I'm sure you have things to do, Miss Kirisame," she continues, turning to the witch. "If you need me, I'll be here. Please, help your friends the best way that you can, and we in turn will assist them."

"Where can I find you?" Marisa asks. The woman grins.

Turning about, the woman slowly walks up the stairs, deliberately keeping her posture perfect. She reaches the throne, touching it gingerly with one hand. She looks at it reverently, as if touching a holy relic, then turns her smile to Marisa. She curtsies once, then sits upon the throne. From the side, a retainer hands her a jewel-encrusted crown sitting upon a pillow of sorts. She takes the crown and gently sets it atop her head.

"Welcome to my court, Marisa Kirisame," she says, leaning back into the throne as her voice suddenly seems to grow in power. "I am King Arthur of Camelot."

-=-=-

Higan - Gensokyo

"You're going to work yourself to die."

"Impossible. I'm immortal."

Komachi chuckles as she leans back against a tree, sipping some tea from a cup. Next to her, Eiki Shiki drinks from a similar one, holding one hand behind her back as she surveys the River Sanzu before her. In the distance, the far bank can be seen from here, where for once, there are no souls sitting there and waiting for the shinigami to come pick them up. "I'm sure you can appreciate this break," Eiki quips to her subordinate. Komachi chuckles and takes another drink of her tea.

"Yeah, it's been crazy lately, hasn't it?" asks the redhead as she her boss leans against her. Both of them are tired from the recent happenings in Gensokyo, despite being unable to intervene. "So many humans dying up there, and we're stuck here... and here I thought it'd be easy for us."

"Well... we knew it would come to this," Eiki says, sighing. "I wish they would have let me help. I could have sent the Outsider vampires and the Lunarians back to where they came from, quick as you please," and it was true - the yama was perhaps the strongest individual that made her residence in or near Gensokyo, despite all the hot air that Yukari blows out about her strength. "But sadly, it was not meant to be."

"Still... we did good work," Komachi points out. "All of those spirits were kindred. They will find a home up in Heaven... well, except that one that's getting reincarnated. Again," she chuckles. "You really should give that soul its due, boss."

"Hey, he humiliated me!" Eiki huffs, a blush forming on her cheeks.

"That was like, three hundred years ago," Komachi laughs. "He doesn't even know what he did!"

"Oh, he knows, deep down," crumbles the yama. "He knows. I can stll see the laughter in his eyes- eh?"

The two girls watch as a sheaf of papers shimmers into existence, coming to a rest in Eiki's open hands. "What's that?" Komachi asks, reading over her friend's shoulder. "Distant soul retrieval? What's that mean?"

Eiki stares at it, a worried look on her face. "It means that I have been charged with taking a soul that belongs under my jurisdiction," she explains. "The soul itself is outside of Gensokyo and lost, so I have to go lead it home."

"Oh... oh!" Komachi gasps. "One of the girls outside!"

"Yes," Eiki nods gravely. "...is it too much to hope it's Remilia?"

"That's perfectly fine, boss," Komachi says as Eiki flips the page. She reads it as the yama does, her eyes widening with each word. "Oh... oh no. Boss, you... you can't! No, that shouldn't be! She's not even dead yet!"

"I'm afraid it is. She must be on the brink," Eiki flips the page and reads the list of sins. It's a short list, but a heavy one. She sighs and looks up. "Must this be true?"

A rumble echoes throughout the area, the voice of a mighty being speaking to the yama. She looks back down at the paper. "I see... Komachi, take me to Avalon."

"B-but... come on, boss!" Komachi cries, her face contorted to sadness. "We can't do that to her!"

"I know... I know, but... it's our job, Komachi," she walks forward and steps on Komachi's boat. "Please, let's get this over with," she looks back down at the paper again. "This isn't fair..."

Komachi steps up onto the boat, using the haft of her scythe to push it off the bank. She begins to steer the boat down the Sanzu. "Can we take our time, boss?"

"...yes. Take it easy," Eiki nods. She crumples up the paper into a ball and hurls it off the side of the boat. It hits the waters of the River Sanzu and begins to sink.

Only one thing can be read as the ink bleeds and the paper disintegrates.

NAME: SCARLET, FLANDRE

-=-=-

"So, tell me more about your sister," you say with a smile. You and Remilia have stopped at a small corner cafe, taking in the sounds of the city as the two of you eat a light breakfast. Remilia's always been a light eater, whereas you like to stuff your face. There's a running joke between the two of you that you eat enough for both yourself and Remilia, yet you somehow manage to keep skinny. Having a bigger chest wouldn't hurt but it doesn't seem like it's going to happen.

"Flan? Hm, well..." Remi takes a sip of her coffee. "She wants to meet you. She wants to see the big bad wolf that's taking away her dear sister. So!" she holds up a finger. "You've got to be nice to her when she gets here!"

You laugh. "This still tells me nothing about the sister whom the one in front of me will do anything for."

"Well... she's totally innocent," Remilia says after a while. "She doesn't really know any better. She's been raised in high society but she hates it. She's a strong girl, though. She can destroy-" she stops. "Eh?"

"What?" you ask. "What do you mean destroy?"

"I... I don't know," Remilia says, her face confused. "I dunno... I had a weird dream last night. We were fighting, and I wanted to... to kill you I think?"

"I had the same dream!" You exclaim. "I'm not even kidding! Like, you were a vampire or something! And I was trying to kill you to-" you blink. "...protect Flandre?"

"But you've never met Flandre," Remilia says, cautious.

"Blonde hair, red eyes?" You offer. Remilia blinks.

"Well, her eyes are blue but... yeah she's blonde..."

"She keeps her hair in a sidetail," you say. Remilia nods again. "She had... these like... Christmas lights coming out of her back, like wings?"

"That... yeah," Remilia looks down. "Youmu, how'd we have the same dream?"

"I don't know, I..." you look around. Across the street, a violet-haired girl with rabbit ears stares at you. You blink, and she's walking away from you. "...what were we talking about?"

Remilia blinks. "I have no idea, now that I think about it," she waves it off. "Say, let's get out of here. Come on, what do you say? I'll try and tell you more about Flandre and stuff, soon as I remember what we were talking about."

-=-=-

[ ] Chase the purple-haired girl. You forgot things as soon as she looked at you.
[ ] Walk off with Remilia and try to remember what you were talking about.
[X] Chase the purple-haired girl. You forgot things as soon as she looked at you.

Alright, go after her
[x] Chase the purple-haired girl. You forgot things as soon as she looked at you.

Get on with it!
[X] Chase the purple-haired girl. You forgot things as soon as she looked at you.

Right, Flan in danger, let's get moving.
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Marisa stands over Reisen's unconscious form, chanting words of power. A blue magic circle spins slowly behind her, its runes glowing with power. All around her, Marisa has set incense, candles, and a mix of both her blood and Reisen's to trace a circle on the floor. If this spell goes off without a hitch, then she should be able to enter Reisen's mind and wake her up. If that happens, she can eject everyone else out of her mind.

She hopes.

Sakuya stands off to the side, her face pensive. Now that's been updated on what's been happening, she fears for the safety of her Young Mistress... and her former one. Despite everything, her lingering loyalties to Remilia Scarlet still take root, begging her to take the older Scarlet's side. However, she can't forgive her old master for starting what she has. She still doesn't understand Remilia's logic, starting this incident, but even if it has to be her, she plans on doing what it takes to stop her. Preferably, without killing her.

"Mind Sign, [Incarnation of Spirit]..." Marisa whispers. She holds her hand above Reisen. In her palm, a bright blue orb of energy forms, sending a beam of light into the Lunarian's forehead. Reisen opens her eyes briefly, their empty gaze staring into nothing as red light emits from them. Marisa grins, focusing all of her concentration on the spell.

Reisen begins to writhe and twist, letting out a wordless scream as Marisa's spell goes to work. Her eyes gaze at the witch, and Marisa's grin gets wider as she feels herself being sucked into Reisen's mind... but then it all abruptly stops, the spell in her hand exploding with a flash of thunder and light and tossing Marisa across the room like yesterday's trash. Sakuya grips the frame of the door, keeping her balance, as Reisen closes her eyes and snaps back into her comatose position.

"Damnit!" Marisa groans, picking herself up off the floor, making sure to grab her hat. "I don't understand Mind magic, Sakuya. This dumb shit is beyond me..." she leans against the wall and puts a hand up to her face. "I just don't get it. How's that bunny so strong?"

"Well, it's her specialty, isn't it?" Sakuya wonders, looking passively at the Lunarian. "That and wave manipulation. Her defenses against her own magic should be very strong, much like your defenses are strong against Light and Heat magic, isn't that correct?"

"I guess..." Marisa sighs. "Whatever. I think I got closer this time. Gotta keep trying..." Marisa grabs a ceremonial knife and gets on her knees.

"Marisa, you need to rest," Sakuya admonishes. She walks over and picks the knife out of Marisa's open palm. "If you keep pushing yourself, you'll end up in Reisen's position. You've spent too much of your own blood on this. Take a break."

"Can't..." Marisa shakes her head. "Not with Youmu and... and Flandre stuck in there. Gotta keep on..." Marisa looks up at Sakuya, a desperate look in her eyes. "You understand what I mean, yeah?"

"Of course I do," Sakuya puts the knife away. "We'll continue tomorrow, Marisa. Come on, let's go rest for now," accepting Sakuya's extended hand, Marisa stands, and the two say nothing as they go to leave. Opening the door and letting Marisa through, Sakuya takes a long glance back at Reisen, sighs, and shuts the door. She almost runs into Marisa in the process. "Marisa, what...? Ah, what's this then?" Down the hallway, standing next to a wizened old man, two people stand. Two people whom are very familiar with Marisa and Sakuya.

Two people who they do not want to see.

"What do the two of you want?" Marisa asks. "Making house calls now?"

"Something like that," Komachi replies, a forelorn look on her face. "You know why we're here, Kirisame."

"Yeah, I do, and you can't," Marisa says, planting her hat on her head and reaching into her pocket, only pausing when she remembers that her hakkero is gone. "Tch... doesn't matter. I won't let you have her!"

"Marisa," Sakuya begins. "We can't fight those two, not in our current state."

"Won't stop me from trying!" Marisa shouts back. She locks eyes with Eiki, who maintains eye contact for but a second before looking away. "Whaddya say, Eiki? Full contact, no spellcards. I'll fight you here and now!"

"No, Kirisame," Eiki shakes her head. "Like you said, you know why we're here. Now, step aside and let us have Flandre."

"No!" Marisa screams. "No, you can't take her away! Not after everything! Not after all we've been through!"

"It's our job, Kirisame," Eiki's voice is firm. "I won't aside to push you aside if you don't let us to our work."

"If it helps, I don't like it either," Komachi offers. She looks at the old man. "Merlin, I know you're strong, but you might want to step back, things might get a bit hairy."

"I'll be fine," the old man says, taking a single step back. Marisa growls, her hands balled into fists.

"I'll die before you can have her," Marisa raises her fists. With a roar, she runs straight for Eiki, her eyes red with fury. Eiki looks at Marisa passively. As the witch comes in with a swing, Eiki simply tilts her head, steps aside, and makes a swift chop to the back of Marisa's neck. The witch gasps and falls to her knees. "You bitch..." she mutters.

"I said, don't get in the way," Eiki says, her eyes cold. "Come, Komachi."

The shinigami sighs and hefts her scythe, taking a step forward and locking eyes with Sakuya. The maid raises a knife in defense... then lowers it. She steps aside, looking away. "I'm sorry, Sa-"

"Shut up," whispers the maid. "Just... shut up. I don't want to hear it," on the ground, Marisa slowly stands up, looking at Eiki's back with tears in her eyes. The witch pulls out a spellcard, stares at it, then puts it away.

"You could have at least helped," she says quietly. The yama slowly turns to look at the black-white. "People are dying, and you're holed up in Higan, quietly judging the dead. If you had helped, maybe we shouldn't have felt so rushed to do something with Remilia. Maybe if you had helped, Gensokyo wouldn't be at work," she raises a fist. "Instead, you refuse to help, forcing us to make reckless decisions. You could have stopped all this, Shiki. Why didn't you?"

Eiki's face is unreadable. She turns to face Marisa, taking a few steps forward until she's even with the witch. Despite their similar height, Eiki feels imposing. Marisa feels a surge of dread as the yama looks her in the eyes, and slowly she can see the smatterings of emotion in those emeralds. So focused is she that she doesn't even notice when Eiki raises her hand, only being brought back to reality when Eiki slaps her hard enough to spin her around once. Marisa gasps with pain and shakes her head, clutching her cheek in pain. She looks up at Eiki, angry snipe at the ready... but then stops when she sees bitter tears in the yama's eyes.

"You think I didn't ask?" she asks. "You think I didn't get on my knees and beg to help? You think I didn't protest this reaping? Marisa, I might just be Gensokyo's yama to you, but you - no, all of you - are precious to me. I want you to live your lives to the fullest, not... not to be struck down early. That girl in there," she gestures toward the room where Reisen sleeps, where Flandre's body is locked away within the recesses of a Lunarian's mind. "That girl in there is not going to die as a vampire, Kirisame. She's going to die as a child. A scared, lonely child that's going to ask me who I am, what am I doing, why is she dead. Do you think I want to do that? Does that in any way sound enjoyable to you?"

Eiki turns around, choking back a sob. "I don't want to do this, Kirisame. I don't. But I have to; it's my job. I can't be held back by... by my emotions."

"Yeah..." Komachi looks down. "Children are the hardest."

Silence, dead silence in the grand hallway. Merlin watches the strange girls as they all look away from each other.

"I'm sorry," Marisa says sincerely. She raises a hand and pulls her hat over her eyes. "I didn't realize, Shiki. I thought you wanted to do this."

"I've been delaying this," responds the yama. "I had Komachi make the trip here as long as possible while still looking reasonable. Despite that, here we are... and I can't help that. The life of a yama is... not a happy one, Kirisame," she begins walking toward the door, rubbing her tears off on her sleeve. "Come on, Komachi."

Silently, the two pass by Sakuya. The maid looks away from the yama. "Where will she go?" she asks.

"I don't know, Izayoi. The most likely result is..." she lets the answer hang in the air. Sakuya nods, blinking as tears form in her eyes. As Eiki and Komachi walk into Reisen's room, she slides down the wall, hugging her knees and shaking. She covers her face as Marisa numbly walks over to the maid and sits next to her, both leaning against the other as Komachi shuts the door.

As it clicks shut, Sakuya lets out a wail of despair and grief.

-=-=-

"Hey, you!" You shout. You and Remilia have chased the purple haired girl seemingly halfway across the ceiling. Only a chance event of her spasming out and apparanetly having a seizure of sorts has allowed you to even catch up this far. It hasn't seemed to affect the bunny-eared girl, oddly enough, but you push it out of your head as you weave your way through the crowd, which seems to part for her but close ranks for yourself and Remilia. It's almost as if they're protecting her, but you push the thought out of your mind as she runs.

Remilia manages to get ahead of you by simply shoving people out of the way, and so focused on you the bunny girl is that she doesn't notice when Remilia suddenly breaks through the crowd and tackles her. The girl yelps as both of them go falling toward the ground, and the girl gasps as Remilia grabs her by the ears and pulls on them. "Alright, got you!" exclaims the vampire.

Wait, vampire? You shake your head, push the thought aside, and catch up to Remilia. "Hey, I think those are attached, leave her alone," you tell Remilia. You pull the albino girl off of the purple-haired one and stare down at you. "Who are you?" you ask.

"Get away from me, you two!" The girl shouts. "Please, if you value what you have, then get away from me!" She scoots back, going to stand, but Remilia acts quickly, pushing her back down and sitting on her.

"Remi..." you sigh. "That's enough. We're not thugs, I just have questions."

"What? This is the best, and she doesn't seem to mind too much," Remi looks at you over her shoulder. Underneath her, the girl looks away, weakly struggling and blushing. "See? I think it turns her on a bit."

You sigh again and sit down on the sidewalk, noticing that all the other people seemed to have spontaneously vanished. "Now, tell me, why is it that I forget things when I see you?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Reisen replies as she closes her eyes, refusing to look at you.

Reisen?

"Is your name Reisen?" You ask. The rabbit-girl blinks and looks back at you.

"How did-" she starts, then clicks her tongue. "Damnit, what ever that was must have made me slip," She reaches up for Remilia in an attempt to push her off, but the smaller girl just grabs her wrists. This... is looking awfully rapey, now that you think of it.

"What's going on here?" you press, moving closer to Reisen. "You know more than what you're letting on. Now, tell me."

"I'm sorry, I can't," Reisen answers. "If I do, all this goes away, and you'll have to face harsh truth. I can't let you experience that, not after everything that's happened. It's best if you just stay here, where it's safe. I can wipe your memories and you can start all over again. Wouldn't that be nice? You could have everything here, the both of you," she takes a breath. "Just let me go, and I can set this right."

"I don't trust her," Remilia says, tightening her grip on Reisen's wrists. "This 'Reisen' character seems suspicious."

"I agree," you nod. "What do you keep alluding to? What's going on here... Reisen?"

The rabbit girl sighs. "I knew it'd come to this, I should have just stayed away, but no, I had to get curious... or maybe I wanted to get caught. Get off me, Scarlet," Reisen struggles a bit, loosening out of Remilia's grasp and pushing her off, scooting back and getting into a sitting position.

"How do you know my-"

"I know both of you. The problem right now is that neither of you know yourselves."

"What do you-" you begin, but Reisen holds up a hand. She closes her eyes, and when she reopens them, they glow bright red. "Spell Card, Suspend."

Instantly, everything comes rushing back to you. You realize just who you are, and what you're supposed to be doing. You stand up, slowly, looking down at Remilia, who also clearly remembers. She glares up at you. You understand now what's going on and, realizing that Reisen couldn't dispell just one of you, prepare yourself to fight. You raise your hand into the air, preparing to cast a spell and resume your fight. Remilia does the same, but both of you get a confused look on your faces as nothing happens. "Reisen, what-"

"Sit. Both of you," Reisen commands. Both of you do so, despite the insatiable need to rip Remilia to shreds. "While you're here, both of you are powerless. This is a result of the Lotus-Eater spell I created. Now, Remilia, Youmu..." she gives you a softer look. "I'm asking the both of you to stay here, in this spell. It's the best path for the both of you."

"Why?" Remilia asks. "So you can put us back under? Live a false life?"

"It's better than what's awaiting you outside. Only pain and grief and come from leaving this spell. Don't you see, guys? I'm trying to help. If you leave here, then-" she chokes a bit. "Youmu... Remilia... there's something you need to know," she takes a deep breath. "When I absorbed you into my mind, it was right after Remilia threw her spear at you, Youmu," you nod, remembering as much. "It almost hit you, but someone got in its path. To protect you, she threw herself into the spear's way, and was subsequently absorbed as well."

"Flandre," you breathe.

"But-" Remilia gasps. "That spell is instantly fatal! It strikes the heart directly with silver! If she got hit, then she's..." she looks down. "Rabbit, is she..."

"..." Reisen looks away. "She's fine, for now. Entering the Lotus-Eater allows one to survive as long as they have a mind. Flandre is strong-willed, however..." she looks at Remilia. "If the two of you leave, then Flandre will leave here exactly as she came in. She'll die. She's on the brink now, but only my spell saved her... and that's only if you stay here."

You choke. "You're... you're serious," you blurt. Reisen looks back at you.

"Of course I am."

"Well... just let us out then!" Remilia suggests. You can hear panic in her voice. "Leave Flan here!"

"It doesn't work that way," Reisen shakes her head. "When I created this card, it was designed for one person: Remilia Scarlet. I didn't add a condition to let people come and go as I willed because there was ever only supposed to be one. If one leaves, then you all have to go."

"Can't... can't she heal in here?" You ask. Reisen again shakes her head. "Is there anything we can do?"

"Stay here," Reisen tells you. "Let me wipe your mind. Go back to this life I have created for you and enjoy it, together. Flandre will sleep within my mind, but she'll live. I can live forever barring any sort of grievous injury or illness. Hell, I might be able to wake up in a few years! I may even be able to stabilize her mind to reside in mine. You just have to give me time."

"What about Gensokyo?" you ask. "What about the others?"

"Honestly?" Reisen looks at you. "I don't care, as long as you're happy, Youmu. And I know, you won't be happy out there. Not with death waiting as soon as you leave."

You look at Remilia. "You started this..." you whisper. Remilia looks up at you, then away.

"...I never wanted this," she replies. "I didn't want... I didn't want Flandre to..." she takes a breath. "It's settled then. We stay."

"Youmu?" Reisen looks at you. "I'll do whatever you tell me to."

[ ] Stay. A false reality is better than facing the real world... a world without Flandre.
[ ] Go. I have to push aside my feelings and get on with it. I'll live. I'll keep her alive in my memories.

If you stay, the story ends here.
If you go, the story has a couple updates left.

[x] Go. I have to push aside my feelings and get on with it. I'll live. I'll keep her alive in my memories.

Well. Shit. But better reality than some made-up fantasy world.
[x] Go. I have to push aside my feelings and get on with it. I'll live. I'll keep her alive in my memories.

Youmu has grown up over the course of this journey and its time to make the right choice. For every day we stay like this more people in Gensokyo and the real world die, we need to make a choice between saving Flandre and saving the world or at least our home. I really want Flandre to survive, but clinging to that sliver of hope for years in a dreamworld without guarantee that she will actually be saved while our other friends are getting slaughtered is not worth it.
[x] go

shame to leave it here, with everyone working hard to save the world. why the hell should we give up here for a false happiness?
[x] Go. I have to push aside my feelings and get on with it. I'll live. I'll keep her alive in my memories.

I'll pick this on the condition that she actually dies.

Update seemed rushed.
>>59782
I understand. I got a little excited because we're nearing the end and I forgot to rein myself in.
[x] Go. I have to push aside my feelings and get on with it. I'll live. I'll keep her alive in my memories.
We killed her when we agreed to let her fight. Remilia killed as soon as she started all of this. We made this stew, it is time to eat it.
[x] Go. I have to push aside my feelings and get on with it. I'll live. I'll keep her alive in my memories.

The reasonable thing to do would be to stay for the moment and reconvene later to give Reisen a chance to wake Flandre up, but going by the spoiler this is the only real choice.
[ ] Stay. A false reality is better than facing the real world... a world without Flandre.
no. No. NO. NONONONONONONONONONONONO! I love this Flan, darn it! Is there really no way for her to survive? I'm tempted to choose
[ ] Stay. A false reality is better than facing the real world... a world without Flandre.
...but in the end, staying would be a fool's choice. Better leave, and face harsh reality, than to spend eternity in heavenly untruth.
Besides, we have someone worrying for us, back in Hakugyokurou, and... if Reisen dies, we die as well, right? (And be reincarnated within her mind when she reincarnates?)
Speaking of Reincarnation, Flandre WILL reincarnate, right?
Augh, dagnabbit.

[O] Go. I have to push aside my feelings and get on with it. I'll live. I'll keep her alive in my memories.
[x] Can't we use Sakuya's potential vampire cure to save her by reversing her time to before she acquired her injuries?

Potential cake and eat it too option. The basic idea is that Sakuya can set up whatever crazy plan she came up with to cure her of Vamprism and have Reisen drop her directly into the ritual/spell/whatever. Then, before a certain yama takes her soul, immediately perform the ritual/spell/whatever to literally undo the damage by returning her to a pre-battle state.

This works in much the same way as Sakuya's original plan by returning her physical state to a previous time, only instead of going to before her siring we only have to return her to a point where she's stable.
>>59792



Time Sign [Time Recursion] (Transmutation)
Casting Time: Eight Hours
Epic spell (Wiz/Sor 12)
Components: V,S,M,F
Duration: Permanent
Target: One
Range: Melee
Summary: Reverse time for one Target until all undesirable conditions are removed.

Material component: Blood of the caster and target.
Focii: One Luna Dial and one Hakkero.

I'm sorry. It's a good idea though.

File 140694298446.jpg - (98.18KB, 678x682, the-last-song.jpg) [iqdb]
59804
There is one case of random ass Japanese in this. Why, I have no idea. Just because.


The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.
Marcus Tullius Cicero


BGM: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYbRfa3gywY)
幽雅に咲かせ、墨染の桜 ~ Border of Life - TAMusic

You close your eyes. "Take us back," you order. "Take... take us back."

"What?!" Remilia shouts. "You can't be serious! She's your friend, too! More importantly, she's my sister! You have no right-"

"To keep her here," you interrupt. "It isn't our place, Remilia. We made this bed by our fighting, instead of trying to talk things out. This is the price we pay for our foolishness."

"We aren't paying shit!" Remilia stands up and glares down at you. "Flandre is paying the price!" she chokes a bit. "All of this, I did it for her, don't you see?! I just wanted her to be able to go outside! I just wanted her to be able to have people who weren't afraid of her! I just wanted her to be happy, just once in her miserable life! I wasn't able to care for her..." she sinks back down to her knees. "I wasn't old enough to care for her... and now..."

"Remilia," you begin. "There's nothing we can do about it for now..." You get on your knees and reach out, putting your hands on her shoulders. "I know it hurts, Remilia, I do. But living a lie for the remote possibility that she might get better is wrong. You know that and so do I."

Remilia shakes her head and swats your hands away, covering her head with her hands. "How can you be so calm about this?!" she shouts. You look away, feeling the sting of the words that the vampire spits at you. "Why don't you argue with her, or fight back, or tell her to shove it?! How can you sit there passively while my world crashes down around me?! Don't you care at all?!"

You say nothing as Remilia's words strike you like a slap. You have been acting calmly about this, perhaps too much so. Deep down, you're a turmoil of emotions, and none of them are good. However- no. You can't show how you feel, not at this critical moment in time. You take a deep breath, settling your nerves. You shove the emotions deep down, locking them away for now. You blink once, ignoring the stinging sensation of oncoming tears, and glare at Remilia.

"How dare you," you whisper. Remilia is taken aback. "I care about Flandre more than myself, Remilia. But I'm not the one who killed her," Remilia gasps, her eyes wide, furious. She jumps up to her feet and glares down at you as her wings suddenly appear, raised high in anger. Her lips twist into a snarl, a fang appearing on her teeth as Reisen's control over your appearances begins to bleed away. The Lunarian takes an instinctive step back, a hand to her mouth as Remilia's red eyes dilate into slits.

"I'll kill you!" she shrieks. You raise her hands as she leaps onto you, fists raised in rage. "I'll kill you, you bitch!" You cover your face with your arms and look away as she slams her fists into you repeatedly, aiming for your exposed chest and belly repeatedly. "Fuck you! Fuck you and everything you are!" You wince at the pain, but even in her altered state, she still doesn't have access to her super strength or magic yet, so you just grunt as the blows rain down. "Just die already, damnit! Die!"

"Remilia..." you hear Reisen whisper. Remilia ignores her as she continues to strike you, each hit coming in weaker than the last. Slowly, you lower your arms, looking at the vampire's face as she attacks you. You can see the rage and the deep pain behind them.

"Give her back!" she screams at you. "This is your fault! Give Flandre back to me!" She raises her hands to strike you again. Instead of defending yourself, however, you simply reach up and grab her hands. "Let me go! Stop!"

"Remilia, it's okay," you say to her. You look her in the eyes, and you understand. You can see the hurt in them. "Don't do this... come here..." you pull her down, putting your arms around her and holding tightly. Remilia struggles, trying to push herself off of you, but you ignore it, closing your eyes. "Let go, Remilia. I'm here..."

"...I hate you," the vampiress whispers. "I hate you... so much..." you hear her sniff. "I wish you'd just die..."

"I know," you say. You take a deep breath. "Let it out, Remilia."

You open your eyes and look down. The vampire briefly looks up at you, her face still a glare, but you watch as it all washes away. She bites her lip hard enough to draw blood, holding it all in, and for that brief moment, you realize that, methods aside, you and Remilia are just alike. You both care about that child, but now there's nothing that can be done about it. What she did is evil, and you still don't know if you can ever forgive her for her crimes, but... just for this moment. This solitary second... you understand her.

Your lip quivers. The floodgates open. You grab Remilia tight and squeeze her against yourself, and you let out all of the pain and misery that has been thrust upon you. A sob escapes you, and another, and as the tears fall from your eyes, Remilia buries her face in your shirt and lets loose, a wail of pain coming from her like an exorcised demon. She screams into your shirt. You briefly let go of her to push the both of you up into a sitting position. The vampiress throws her arms around you, turning her head aside to rest against you. You hold her tightly, her small frame reminding you so much of her sister it almost hurts to do so.

As the two of you quietly cry, you look over at Reisen. The Lunarian is looking away, her face miserable. "Rei-sen..." you choke out. The rabbit shakes her head. "Please..."

The Lunarian turns to face you. You can tell she's been crying, but she pushes it away. "Youmu. I have to tell you something," she says, crawling over to the two of you. She pulls the two of you close. "I'm too much like you," she whispers, looking up.

"W-what?"

"All this. I understand now," she says. Her red eyes almost appear bleeding. "I know why you were always so confused about your feelings for Flandre, Youmu," she smiles a sad smile. "I understand because... I felt the same way," she puts her arms around the two of you. "She is... a complicated creature, isn't she?"

You wipe your eyes, letting out another sob with a laugh. "She certainly helped me through most of this... crap."

Remilia lets out a hollow chuckle and squeezes you tighter. "She never complained about the way I treated her. Not once. She was selfless like that..."

"She was," you nod. "...Remilia, I'm sorry. You know that, after this..."

"I know. I know..." sighs the vampire. She closes her eyes. "I'll accept whatever punishment you decide to give me. I'd prefer it if I died, mind you... I don't think I can live in a world without Flandre."

"No more of what's going on in reality?" You ask. The vampiress wipes away some tears and looks up at you.

"No more," she states. "I'll end the mist as soon as I can. After that, do what you want. I won't stand in your way," she lets out a harsh laugh. "You know... this close, I can see what Flandre saw in you," she half-smiles. "You have a kind face. You didn't fight back when you really should have. You've not once told me anything about you, instead choosing to remain the calm in the storm," she reaches up and wipes away a tear that's rolling down your cheek. "I'm sorry, Konpaku."

"It's fine..." you say. You smile at her. "Are you ready?"

Remilia gives another harsh laugh. "No. I never will be. But..." she looks at Reisen. "Do it. Go ahead."

Reisen nods. She closes her eyes and puts her hands to her chest. "Spell Card, Break," she utters. A wave of magical energy washes over you, followed by a bright light. You look around as the cityscape decays, vanishing entirely into blackness. A howling wind rushes over you and Remilia, and she instinctively holds you tighter. Your clothes twist and morph into your battle outfit, as do Remilia, and her four wings grow back, albeit much smaller. The vampiress groans a bit as her other fang grows back, and you feel something stiff on your back as your swords reappear. Myon swirls back into existence next to you.

The darkness and wind slowly give way to soft candlelight mixed in with blue magical light. You open your eyes to see you and Remilia surrounded by familiar faces. Reisen floats above a bed, eyes shining at the ground; Marisa and Sakuya hold hands with forlorn looks on their faces at the door.

And Shiki Eiki and Komachi Onozuka stand off to the side, severe looks on their faces.

You and Remilia separate, looking at Reisen without acknowledging the others. The vampire reaches out and grabs your hand as you watch Flandre's form reappear, swirling into existence. As you stare at her open eyes giving off a thousand-mile stare, for one brief, shining moment, you think she may still be alive. You think this even as you run over to her. You continue to think this as her body reappears, falling lifelessly into yours and Remilia's outstretched arms. You think this as the tears come anew, falling like raindrops onto her small, still frame. Distantly, you can hear Remilia screaming Flandre's name, and your own voice calling out for her as well.

It's to no avail. As the others in the room run up, you see nothing but the long gone girl before you. Her eyes are lifeless, the hole in her chest a grim reminder of the fatal blow. Remilia pulls her out of your arms, holding her up to her chest and screaming an anguished cry. You reach forward, putting your arms around her as the two of you let loose, and soon you feel warmth as the other girls, even Komachi and Eiki, put their arms around the three of you. You look up, looking at the looks on Marisa, Sakuya, Reisen's faces. Only Eiki and Komachi look different, having never known her but able to sympathise.

You hear a voice telling you that it's time to let go. As the others part, you and Remilia refuse, holding onto Flandre's body tighter as Komachi grabs you by the shoulders, giving a gentle squeeze before forcing you apart. You struggle, you scream, but ultimately all you can do is reach for Flandre as the voices come rushing back in.

"Give her back!" You wail. "Don't take her! Give her back to me! Flandre! Flandre!"

"No, Youmu, it's time," Eiki tells you. Remilia lets out a soft sob of despair, cradling Flandre in her arms as she slowly reaches up with a hand and closes her sister's eyes for the last time. "Remilia, let go. I have to take her."

"..." Remilia looks at you, lips quivering, as you struggle in Komachi's grasp. She looks up at Eiki and, with a final sob, gently sets her sister down.

"Sleep well, ma cherie," she whispers as Sakuya grabs her by the arm. "Je t'aime."

Eiki steps around Remilia, staring down at the still form. She gets on her knees and reaches down, reaching into Flandre's body. She goes all the way down to her elbow and, finding what she's looking for, begins to pull. As she stands back up, her hand comes out of the vampire... with a pale, glowing hand attached. Slowly, like an angel, you watch with wide eyes as the yama pulls Flandre's soul out of her body, looking every bit like the girl you had come to know and love. Slowly, she opens her eyes, looking around. You finally struggle out of Komachi's grasp as she lets go of you, and you run to Remilia. The two of you watch as Flandre turns to stare at you, beautiful blue eyes framing the best smile you've seen in your entire life.

"Sis, Youmu," you hear her say. And she giggles, and it's as if the birds sing and the clouds part to give way to the sun. You reach out for her as Komachi takes Flandre's other hand. Eiki pats the soul on the head as she looks around. "Marisa, Sakuya, Reisen... please take care of them for me."

"Heh..." Marisa pulls her hat over her eyes. "Will do, little'un."

"I'll do my best, Young Mistress," Sakuya bows, her tears unabated.

"I'll keep them safe," Reisen promises. And Flandre smiles again.

"Goodbye, Sis," she says to her sister. "Moi aussi, je t'aime," you hear Remilia break down again. Flandre looks at you, and just keeps her smile. The two of you share a moment that can't be described with words or actions... but that doesn't stop you from trying.

"Flandre," you say. "I... Aishiteru wa."

"I love you, too," Flandre holds out her hand, palm up. "Don't worry about me. I'll be right there," she points at your heart.

It's all you can handle. The tears come back as you try to stutter a reply, and you sink to your knees as Komachi waves her hand, making the distance between her location and Higan but a small step. As they turn to walk away, Flandre offers you and Remilia one last smile.

And she's gone.

-=-=-

3 Days Later

You watch passively as Remilia finishes casting her spell. Standing in a circle of her own blood, the vampiress still has stains on her face from her crying, but she relentlessly chases the promise she gave you. Remilia's Apocalypse will end, and you listen as off to the side Marisa, standing in a detection circle of her own design, slowly reports as the mist dissipates, clearing itself from the world at large until only a cloud settles over Japan. Remilia struggles to concentrate, but eventually gasps and falls out of her circle.

"I can't stop the Sun Crusher," she breathes. "I'm sorry, but the magic of King Arthur's weapons and crown are too strong for me to handle on my own. You'll have to get atop the Mansion and destroy it. Until then, Japan is going to be covered in the mist."

"Typical," you mutter. You turn and go to walk away, stopping only to look at Marisa, who confirms that Remilia has in fact dispelled the mist. "What about the vampires?"

"Well, it's noon, so any still out will probably die pretty quickly," Sakuya says, helping her Mistress up. "Just like here in Avalon, the sun is shining brightly wherever it's daylight. The other side of the world - including Japan - will suffer for another few hours, but soon they, too, will be free," you turn around to face the maid. "This act alone will severely diminish vampire presence throughout the world, and the vacuum of power will soon be squabbled over by those who refuse to enter the Sealed Lands, but those wars will go back into hiding. Everything will go back to normal."

"Ha," you bark. "Normal."

Now that she's officially gone, the depression has set in.

So has the drinking.

Remilia looks up at you, having returned to her childlike form. "Youmu," she says. "Are you going... to kill me now?" The vampiress looks almost hopeful... but of course she does. She's promised to hold out this long, to recover enough to cast the spell that will end the Mist, but you told her that her judgement would be meted out after the fact. You look down at her, and all around you, everyone watches as you consider your upcoming actions.

If you kill her, you'll have finished out the job you were set out to do... the job given to you by Yukari. You'll have your revenge against her, but in turn, you will live knowing that nothing more could be done. Killing Remilia will help nothing but make you feel better.

On the other hand, if you spare her, you'll have to live with the fact that you're allowing Remilia Scarlet to go unpunished for her actions. Sure, she'll have to live with the fact that, ultimately, she is the one who killed her sister, but your revenge won't be carried out.

There are no right answers. There are no wrong answers. You need to go with your true feelings.

[ ] Kill Remilia
[ ] Don't kill Remilia
[ ] Write-In

This is the next to last update. After this, there will be one more vote, then the epilogue. For all intents and purposes however, look as the next chapter as the last one, and the one after that as the epilogue.
[x] Don't kill Remilia

Because I blame Yukari, and this is the best way to fuck her over, as far as I'm concerned.
[x] Don't kill Remilia

Dont play into Yukaris hands. Also, living with the fact taht she killed her sister is worse than a quick death.
[x] Don't kill Remilia
She'll have to live with the fact SHE killed her sister. She'll have to live with that guilt and in the end that's gonna be a worse punishment.
[x] don't kill her
as an additional write in bit, i think something to make her work back for the world to try and begin to make up for what she did.

worldly service (liek community service, but for LOTS more people.
Uhhh, if we don't kill her, she still gets punished, right? We're not just letting her go with a "see you later", right?
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59838
You turn away from Remilia. "You know what?" you say to her, raising your voice to where she can hear you. "I would love to kill you, Remilia. Really, I would," you look at the faces around you. "But, what would it accomplish? Would it be for Yukari, who put us all in this met? Would it be for Flandre, who died hoping that the two of us would get along? No, Remilia, at this point," you ball a hand into a fist. "Killing you would satisfy nothing more than my own selfish revenge... and give you the release that you think you want."

"I don't think, I know," says the vampiress. She swats Sakuya away and walks around you. Looking up, she holds out her hands. "I couldn't save her. You get that. All of this, everything I did? It was for nothing, Konpaku. Flandre will never know a world without pain because I couldn't save her... because I'm the one who killed her," she closes her eyes. "Like I said before, I can't imagine a world without her."

"It's what she wanted," you reply. She reaches for your hands but you take a step back. "She wanted you to live. Because of that, I won't be selfish. Because of her, I'm not going to kill you, nor am I going to allow you to take your own life," Remilia opens her mouth to protest, but you cut her off. "I know you've been thinking about it, because I have too. But we both have our responsibilities, Remilia; to ourselves, to Gensokyo, our friends, and to her. It will hurt, and you will curse me, I'm certain, just as much as I curse myself, but we have to go on."

"I don't want to go on," Remilia drops her hands and looks away. "But... you're right. I hate to say it, but if I did die so soon after her, once I got to Makai she would probably... be very angry at me," she looks away, and gives out something that sounds like a giggle. "I could hear her now... 'Sis, I told you to stay alive! What are you doing here?!' She would probably say something like that, wouldn't she?"

"That, she would," you reply. "So, here is your punishment. Marisa," you look over at the witch, who nods and walks up to Remilia. The vampire looks, curious, as the black-white opens a magical tome, hovering her hands over a certain page. She chants words in an old language, pulling from the book a mote of energy. She lets go of the book, and as it hovers in the air, the mote of light splits over both of her hands. You move your ghost-half over between Marisa and the book, and she gently clutches it. "You punishment is as follows," you tell Remilia as Marisa chants words of power. "You and I will be forever linked, Remilia; not just by Flandre, but by this spell. Marisa found the original version of the spell that linked her and I, and now we will do the same."

"What do you mean?" Remilia asks as she looks at the witch. They both look at you, and you nod. You reach forward and grab Remilia by the collar.

"Don't read too much into this," you say. You lower your hands to the bottom of Remilia's shirt and pull up on it. The vampiress blushes, but doesn't struggle as you expose her chest, everyone who's not yourself or Marisa turning away. Marisa takes your ghost half, infuses it with the energy in her hands, and pushes it forward, into Remilia. The vampiress winces, but says nothing as Marisa lays her hand flat against Remilia, using her other to trace a circle around it.

"Using this anchor, your souls will be forever linked," Marisa intones, her eyes focused on her task. "Your pain will be her pain. Your death will be her death. Your life, will be her life. Soul Bind," Marisa closes her eyes, looking up as the magic goes to work. A magic circle appears on Remilia, traced around Marisa's hand. It flares a bright blue, so bright its hard to look at it directly. As it fades down a dull navy, however, it seems to embed itself directly into Remilia's body. Marisa lets go, and Remilia grabs her shirt from you. Looking down, she sees the same thing you and Marisa see: Your ghost half, swirling back and forth in the middle of the magic circle.

"What's this?" She asks.

"This is the original version of the spell used to bind myself and Flandre, using my ghost half as the catalyst," you explain. "You and I are now linked. If one of us gets hurt, so does the other, likewise for death. This circle will also seal your powers until I give you permission to use them. While this circle is on you, you can't use your manipulation of fate, the destructive power similar to hers that you have, or even your own magic. You can't even fly anymore."

Remilia looks back, watching as her four wings shrink back into her body, vanishing entirely. She looks back at you. "And what do you hope to accomplish with this?"

"If I give you permission, you have access to your powers, but only then, and I can take it away at any moment," you say. She lowers her shirt as you point at where your ghost-half is. "From here on out, Remilia, the two of us are as one. This magic circle represents our duty to Flandre. As far as I'm concerned, it's her will for us to live."

"You don't think I'll just find another way to kill myself?" she asks. "I'll just take you with me if I do."

You shake your head. "You're better than that, and you know it," you state. Remilia looks down. You reach over and grab her hands. "We've got to do this, Remilia. For both of our sakes. Because with this spell, it prevents me from killing you as well."

"Are you really that worried you'll fly into a rage and kill me?" she asks. The others turn around, and Sakuya is instantly at Remilia's side.

"Yes, I am," you tell her. "I'm not yet... in control of my emotions. I don't know what I want from you, or what I want from myself," you look around a minute. "Can you guys... um... walk away for a bit?"

The other girls nod, filing off of the balcony where all of this magic has been cast. Only Reisen and Sakuya pause to stare at the two of you, and you give them both a reassuring nod. They file out, leaving just yourself and Remilia on the balcony. You turn and walk up to the railing, looking out at Avalon's clear blue sky. Remilia joins you, placing one hand on the railing. She grabs your arm with the other.

"What do you mean by what you want from me?" she asks.

"I'm... I'm not sure," you admit. "I want to hate you, but I can't bring myself to do it. She's too much like you, Remilia. When I look at you, I can see her face, and it hurts. You both have the same smile, the same frown, the same kind eyes buried away. I want to love you, but I remember that night too vividly. I tell myself that you're nothing like her, that you caused great death and destruction for no purpose. But I know that's not true, either. Everything you did, no matter how I feel about it, you did it for her sake."

"Do you think there could ever be-" she begins, but shuts her mouth. "Nevermind."

"I have Reisen," you answer anyway. "But I... I feel the same way you do. And I don't think it means what you think it does, Remilia... but it could."

"..." Remilia looks away. "We have time to think about this, anyway. If I'm stuck with you, then we have all the time in the world. I have this feeling you're not going to let me out of your sight for a long time."

"That much is true," you answer. "Remilia, we'll have to live for her sake. Can we handle that?"

"I don't know. For once in my life, I am uncertain," replies the vampiress. "But... you're right. I can't kill myself knowing you'll die with me. So I guess I'm stuck with you. Maybe this way, I'll find a new purpose to live. What do you plan on doing with me, anyway?"

"You're going to help me save Gensokyo," you tell her. "That is part of your atonement. Following that... you and I will find a purpose in life. I don't know if that means leaving Gensokyo right after we save it, or building up new lives for ourselves, but eventually, we'll move on. We'll give her something to be proud of us for."

"Move on," Remilia echoes. "I was with her for five hundred years. I don't know if it'll be that easy for me, Konpaku-"

"Youmu."

"What?"

You look at her. "Stop calling me by my last name. My name is Youmu."

She chuckles. "Very well then, Youmu," she pauses to click her tongue. "That's such a weird name."

"Thanks," you reply, looking up. "Do you believe that they know what we're doing, over there in the afterlife?"

"Amongst the Western religions they say they do," Remilia tells you. She also looks up. "I don't know, though. Maybe. Because of that possibility, however, I will... try... to be friendly. I'll try to be the sister I should have been. That is part of my own personal atonement."

You nod, not taking your eyes off of the clear sky. "It's the same shade as her eyes, the sky," you mention.

"Yes. Yes it is," Remilia smiles. "Youmu. I don't hate you."

"I don't hate you either, Remilia."

"Do you forgive me yet?"

"...no."

"Good. It would be a false forgiveness otherwise."

-=-=-

That night, you, Remilia, and Reisen share a room... well. Sort of. You look over at the two as they sleep together, Remilia acting as a body pillow for the Lunarian. This whole ordeal has been hard, and right now you don't feel as if you can give Reisen the comfort she needs. Thus, you've turned Remilia over to her, and after a few hours of crying - on both their parts - they've finally fallen asleep. It'd almost be cute if you didn't still feel as if you wanted to kill the vampire.

You push the thought aside and consider your bottle as you take a drink from it. You have no idea what this stuff is, but it's strong, and it makes you forget that Flandre is dead. Your head is already starting its slow spin, and it's hard to walk, so you sit here in this chair, alternating at looking from the sleeping girls to your bottle. "Why am I doing this," you mutter. Reisen stirs a bit, but quickly falls back asleep. You've been putting off talking to her, and that makes you feel bad, but at this moment, you also don't really care. You know you're using her affections for you poorly, but right now, there's a hollow hole in your heart where love would normally be. Right now there's only pain. Grief.

Hate.

You stand up, stumbling over to the door. You lean against it for a second, gathering the mental fortitude to open the door and shut it behind you. You don't even know where you're going, but you have to leave the room before you decide that maybe dying wouldn't be so bad. You lean against the wall and trip over your own two feet, making your way down the expansive hall. You think that this way leads outside, but you can't be so sure. It's a long walk either way. You probably won't make it, but that's fine, you can just pass out in the-

"Are you done?" a firm voice asks behind you. You turn around, slowly. Behind you, the King... Queen... whatever, Artoria stands behind you. "Or is the bottle still your best friend?"

"What... d'you... want..." you mutter, turning back around and walking away. "I didn't ask for your opinion."

"Unfortunately for you, you're going to get it," replies the blonde, walking up next to you. She grabs your arm, stopping your advance. "Destroying yourself like this, is it worth it? Why senselessly beat yourself up for something you can't change?"

"What do you know-"

"I know," she cuts you off. "For many years, I wanted to go back and redo everything about my rule. I wanted to make it where Arthur the King and Artoria the girl were two different people. I wanted Britain to have the ruler she needed. But I learned something, a few years ago, thanks to... someone very precious to me," she raises a hand, placing it on your shoulder and turning you to face her. "Stop living in the past. Enjoy the time you have with those currently in your life. Yes, it does hurt, and you'll still wish to go back and change things, but there's no point in dwelling on it. You have to move on. You have a land to save and a people to protect. You have friends who wish to see you well, and there's someone in that room you just left who cares so deeply for you it's killing her to see you beat yourself up."

"I don't-" you begin.

"You do care. You do," she says. "Don't lie to yourself."

"..." you look at the bottle. "But... this is so easy... just forgetting it."

"That's why it's called a temptation," Artoria tells you. She holds out her hand. "Come on, let's take you back to your room."

"You're not going to try and stop me?" you ask, holding up the bottle. She shakes her head.

"That's a decision you have to make on your own. I could take it from you, but I don't think that will help," she replies. "Sober up and find me in the morning. There's something I need to give you, a keepsake for your oncoming battles."

-=-=-

The night comes and goes. You wake up and do your daily routine, with the added benefit of having a veritable gaggle of maids waiting on you hand and foot. It's unusual to you, but Remilia seems used to this kind of treatment as the maids dress her, brush her hair, and make sure her clothes are set just right. Reisen seems just as uncomfortable as you, and in the next room over you can hear Sakuya complaining about every little mistake the maids are making. Remilia gives you a weak smile as you can hear her, but otherwise pays it no mind as the lot of you are lead to King Arthur's court.

Standing in the giant throne room, the woman you know as King sits there, dressed in plated armor over a blue dress of sorts. She eyes the five of you passively as you approach. "Did you think about what I told you?" she asks you. You nod, knowing that in your heart there's still a lot of uncertainty. The bottle, strapped to your waist, hangs loosely, but she doesn't acknowledge it as she stares mainly at you. "Youmu Konpaku, as the leader of this group, you have mentioned that your next step is to head home and rescue it from opposing forces."

"Yes, ma'am," you bow. "That is our next objective, certainly."

"Then allow us to help," she says. "Merlin has a Gate prepared to drop you in a location of your choosing within Gensokyo. All I ask is that you bring me my weapons and crown back."

"You won't be joining us?" Remilia asks, curious.

"No, I'll be heading to Japan and pacifying the area while your group cuts off the machine creating the mist over it. I have... friends, there, that will be able to help me. I have also went across Avalon and asked for some personal help from two friends of mine, whom are already on their way," she narrows her eyes slightly. "Remilia Scarlet, I should punish you for your thievery of my things, but only by the grace of God will I allow you to go unpunished. I... I know that, with all that has happened to you, you have a lot to atone for. Merlin," she looks at the wizard. "Give them what I had procured for them."

Merlin snaps his fingers, and several knights walk up to you. "These things aren't weapons, but they are reminders of your stay here. They are still enchanted items, and will help you on your way," Artoria tells you. Everyone is given one thing: Reisen a tiara, Sakuya a bracelet, Marisa a wand. To Remilia she gives a pink hairbow. The vampiress stares at it, twirling it in her fingers.

"What's this, then?" she asks.

"A reminder of your reason to move forward," Artoria says. Remilia watches as Sakuya takes the bow and ties it around the vampire's wrist. "It's the same shade as-"

"I know," Remilia cuts her off. She smiles.

A knight hands you a locket. The gemstone is the same color as Flandre's eyes. "These items will help you when the time is right," explains the king. "I can't explain what they'll do, as they will find their own way to best help you. Also," she gives you a soft smile. "I'm bad at magic. Merlin couldn't even explain my own innate magic resistance to me. Now, it is time, isn't it?"

You nod. "Send us home," you say. "We've delayed long enough. It's time to save Gensokyo."

Merlin begins to cast a spell. Artoria stands. "Youmu Konpaku, state a location of your choosing. He can't take you anywhere in Gensokyo, but many locations should be open."

-=-=-

Where do you go?

[ ] Eientei
[ ] Forest of Magic (Marisa's House)
[ ] Hakurei Shrine
[ ] Human Village
[ ] Moriya Shrine Ruins
[ ] Scarlet Devil Mansion

This is it.
This is the last vote.
We've come this far. Youmu has had a long journey, filled with happiness, pain, love, hate, sound, and thunder. It's time to go home. It's time to save Gensokyo.

That said, this next vote will be, as I've mentioned, the last entry into Youmu's Journey. After this, I will begin work on the next story, and will be moving over to /th/ in order to continue it. I hope you all will join me when that time comes.

If this doesn't feel like an ending, well... that's because it's not. It's a sequel hook. And to that, I have to say, thank you all, for sticking with me this long. I know my writing style is fairly minimalist, but I like to believe that your own mind fills in the gaps, that way each of you have a unique vision of the story.
[x] Scarlet Devil Mansion

First things first.

Also, I didn't mind Arturia, but actually referencing FSN was a bad idea. Please resist the urge to toss in random crossovers unless there's a very, very good reason for them.
>>59839
Fair enough. That said don't read too much into it. That is the first and last time F/SN will be referenced outside of Saber being a semi recurring character.
>>59840
For that matter, I disagree completely and I think that it is an excellent idea. Knowing there are other fights with well known people adds to the universe you are building.

[x] Hakurei Shrine
First Hakurei, then Yukari. Afterwards: Gensokyo.
[x] Scarlet Devil Mansion

As I understood the machine is there, thats a good place. And maybe Remi would even be able to get patchy on our side.
[X] Scarlet Devil Mansion

We can get help from Patchouli for this.

As for the "next story" is it going to chronicle the fight against the Lunarians?
>>59852

Yes. The next story will chronicle the Geno-Tsuki war through the eyes of either Youmu (making it a direct sequel) or another character (making it more of a spin-off that brings closure to Youmu).

I haven't decided on a title but the playable character choices will be Youmu/Remilia, Reisen/Sakuya, or Reimu/Marisa .
[x] SDM

also. idea! why not have us vote on the characters?
>>59854
You... are? Just in the next story and not this one. I'll probably expand the vote a bit because pairing off the characters won't work I don't think. Also, there's only so many characters available because a lot of the cast has been captured, so you're limited.

Either way, vote called. Epilogue will be up soonish.
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Hakurei Shrine
Reimu sits in the middle of the shrine, her eyes closed. She feels a great something pass through the Hakurei Border as she meditates, but she doesn't fret. She can feel the presence of familiar faces in that barrier. The people she worried so much about while they were away have finally returned, and she can't wait to see their faces again. Especially Marisa's.

Of course, she knows about Flandre's escape out of Gensokyo. She's going to have words with Remilia about that. The miko sighs and opens her eyes as she hears a gaggle of fairies run by her. It's hard to be depressed when you're surrounded by seemingly half of Gensokyo. Here, in a miniature barrier, this new Scarlet Mist stays out, keeping many of Gensokyo's weaker residents safe - that is, those that could make it. The barrier is strong, but only so long as Reimu remains inside of it.

"Cirno," she calls at one of the fairies running. The ice fairy stops and looks at the maiden.

"Yes, Reimu?"

"You ready to go out again? See if you can find more escapees from the Lunarians?"

"Of course!" Chirps the fairy. Reimu nods.

"Go, then, take Daiyousei and Lily with you. The three of you should be able to move fast enough to scout effectively."

"Yes, boss!" shouts the fairy. She runs out of the shrine. "Lily, Dai! Let's go!"

Reimu sighs again and goes back into meditation. In the kitchen, Alice pours herself a cup of tea, sitting down at the kotatsu and fiddling with Shanghai.

"The anti-magic generator the Lunarians set up is starting to creep in," she says. "Only the most powerful of us can operate outside now... well, the most powerful and seemingly the weakest. Between that and the mist, Gensokyo will die if something isn't done soon..." she narrows her eyes. "I do hope you come back soon... Marisa."

-=-

Higan

Shiki Eiki, yama of Gensokyo, sits behind her large desk, reading some papers. In front of her, down a series of wide steps, Flandre Scarlet stands with Komachi, looking nervous. Now that she knows what being judged entails, she feels as if her afterlife isn't going to be a pleasant one. The fact that Eiki refuses to look her in the eyes and instead sits there, writing on her Rod of Remorse, hasn't helped matters. Komachi keeps stealing glances at the former vampire, and Flandre takes glances back. The shinigami places a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

"It'll be alright, kid," she tells Flandre. "Eiki is tough, but fair. If you do get sent to Makai, she'll make sure it's in a nice part of it."

"I hope so," Flandre replies. "I know I won't go to Heaven, but I hope that I get a quiet afterlife. Now that I'm not immortal, I feel..." she thinks. "I'm not sure how I feel."

"Tired, perhaps?" Eiki looks up. She stands, grabbing her rod and walking around her desk, placing it in both hands as she approaches Flandre. "Exhausted? That would be the obvious ones, Flandre Scarlet. You see, the human soul is not designed to live so long, so when it's subjugated to an existence past its natural life span, it starts to decay. The fact that you're even able to retain your form shows a strong will on your part," she walks up to the small girl. "...are you ready?"

"Time for judging?" Flandre asks.

"Time for judgling," Eiki nods. She takes a deep breath. "Flandre, your list of sins are short, but severe. Being a vampire - an abomination - is the most severe, as it challenges the natural order of the world and is a blight amongst people. This condition alone would be enough to condemn you," Flandre opens her mouth to speak but Eiki shushes her. "The fact that it was against your will does help you in this situation, but normally the situation would call for the Embraced to commit suicide, but there's no way you could have known that. More concerning for me, however, are the number of murders you have accrued," she raises her Rod of Remorse. "There are three-hundred and seventy two murders to your name, Flandre Scarlet, and there's no way around that. I'm afraid you will have to be punished," she raises the Rod in the air. Flandre closes her eyes and puts her hands on her head. She bends forward slightly, ready for the inevitable beating. Eiki brings the Rod down as fast as she can, and-

-stops right above Flandre's head. She gently raps her on the head with the Rod. "There is a huge redeeming factor for you."

"What?" Flandre looks up at Eiki's calm face, the yama's eyes closed. She watches as Eiki sticks a finger in the air.

"You were on the path to redemption," she explains. "You became selfless, you didn't kill anyone for a long time, which is good for you. You fed off of evil or with permission, except for one case, and you allowed that man to live," she walks around behind Flandre. "You've taken great strides to redeem yourself, culminating in the ultimate in selfless acts: you sacrificed yourself so another could live."

Flandre looks away. "I was afraid for her life."

"Assuredly, she would have died if you hadn't done that, Flandre," says the yama. "Furthermore, young Scarlet, you went up against your sister in an attempt to save the world. There is little else that's higher than that."

"...but?"

"But, the severity of your sins still prevents you from ascending to Heaven," Eiki says gravely.

"I suspected as much," Flandre nods again. "So, what circle of Makai are you sending me to?"

"...none of them," Eiki responds after a pause. She walks back around in front of Flandre. "You are too wicked for Heaven, yet too righteous for Hell. There's only one answer to where you can go."

"...I don't understand," Flandre says after a pause. "Where will you send me, then?" She looks up at the yama, confused, as Shiki smiles brightly.

-=-

Hakugyokurou

The last Lunarian drops dead at Yuyuko's feet. The princess looks on impassively as her body twitches, the long roots and branches of the Saigyou Ayakashi pulling out of the corpse like snakes slithering into the dark. "So, even you would rather use your last energy to defend Gensokyo?" Asks the ghost as she looks up at the great tree. In its branches, Lunarians twitch and squirm as their bodies nerve endings receive the occasional shock from the tree while it pulls out their souls. "Fascinating. You truly are a hideous monster."

She turns away from the tree, heading to where the Prismriver sisters sit, enraptured by the sight of the blood and gore surrounding the Saigyou Ayakashi. Although huddled together for protection, the girls do not look scared. Instead, they look on with relief; it seems that, for now at least, their nightmare is over. Yuyuko leans down and pulls the girls close. "Isn't it nice, children?" she asks.

"It's amazing," Lyrica breathes. "But who's the scary lady behind the tree?" Yuyuko tenses a bit before slowly raising. She doesn't turn to face the woman behind her; the presence is all she needs to know.

"Why aren't you in the depths of Makai undergoing penance?" she asks to the woman behind her.

"What a nice greeting!" chirps the woman happily. "God, it's not like you're holding a grudge or anything like that!"

"The last time you were here, you tried to destroy Hakugyokurou and nearly killed my newborn gardener," Yuyuko replies. "I have no desire to see your face again. Go back to Makai and tell Shinki to tighten your leash."

"Ouch, I almost felt that. You know, if I had a heart," laughs the woman. She floats from behind the tree and places a hand on her hip, smirking. "But today isn't about me. I have been yanked out of my cozy cage above the pit of the damned in Makai and been sent here, to your happy place, because I have to give you something. Well," her smirk grows wider, and she bares a ghostly fang. "I also want to cut a deal with you."

"Why should I listen to anything you have to say-" Yuyuko begins.

"Youmu is alive," the spirit cuts her off. "That bad omen of yours from before? Yeah, it was wrong. It wasn't her who died, but Flandre Scarlet... which you might recognize as a horrid vampire."

"Hmm," Yuyuko puts a finger to her chin. "Somehow I think you're trying to manipulate me."

"Surely you jest!" The spirit gasps. "Would I manipulate you, oh great Princess of the Netherworld? No, not today!"

"Just shut up and tell me what you want," Yuyuko growls. "And then get out of my sight."

The spirit giggles. "You've been put in charge of a special project. You must help us nurture this project until we can use it to effectively further our own goals in Makai! Isn't that just grand, Yuyuko?"

"..." Yuyuko looks down at the Prismrivers, an annoyed look on her face. After a moment of consideration, Yuyuko smirks at the girls. "The game is afoot," she whispers to them.

"What was that, Saigyouji?" The spirit asks, pushing her green hair behind an ear.

"Tell me about this... project," Yuyuko says, looking over her shoulder. "...Mima."

-=-

Undisclosed Location

Yukari opens her eyes and looks up. "It's time," she says to no one. "Now, Youmu Konpaku, let's enter the final stage of my grand game."

-=-

BGM: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdWCLT7kccY)
Time To Say Goodbye - RWBY Volume 2 Theme
Scarlet Devil Mansion - Main Foyer

Motes of light begin to form on the floor of the foyer. They twist and twirl in the air, made bouyant by the wind. Gently, the motes of light go to rest on the ground, forming into the pattern of a magic circle. The runes red-shift and flare, becoming too bright to look at. The runes reflect off the ceiling, forming pillars of mana, and the foyer rumbles with power. Five bolts of lightning - red, yellow, pink, white, and green - slam into the center of the circle, exploding with power. From the smoke of the impact, five figures rise.

The first one is short, almost laughably so. If it weren't for the four wings on her back, you would mistake her for a child. Her eyes glow scarlet. Despite her white-and-pink clothing, she is probably the most threatening of the bunch, with her great spear drawn and held off to her side and behind her as she scans the room. Next to her, a tall girl with rabbit ears and long, pale violet hair rests on one knee, two pistols raised and waiting. Behind them, a pale-haired woman wearing a maid's outfit draws several daggers between her fingers, scanning her side of the room. Off of her hip a pocketwatch hangs, ticking away the time.

Off to the side, a blonde girl wearing witch's clothing pulls out a pineapple-shaped object, brimming with magic. She puts her back up to the girl behind her... to you.

You are Youmu Konpaku. You've had a long, hard journey. You've went across the world on an adventure that will last you a lifetime. The happiness you felt in that time will always be cherished... and the pain will never be forgotten. You've grown, changed from being the soft-spoken, obedient gardener to a tough, hard-edged samurai. As you draw your swords, Perseus and Hakurouken, you set aside that stage of your life and prepare for the next. War has come to Gensokyo.

You narrow your eyes. It's time to end it.

Youmu's Journey END

-=-=-

Well. It was a thing. This story is over, and if you've been along for the ride this long, thanks for all your support and votes. Come join me when I begin my next story, The Long Game, a direct sequel to this story, this time set in Gensokyo itself as war rages on.
>>59867

MORE, I NEED TO KNOW!
You finished a story! You are the THP 1%.

Would any combination of votes have avoided Flandre dying? It felt like it was preordained.
>>59872
There were four ways the ending could have gone. You got the Flandre ending, where she dies to save your life. This is because, in most situations, Flandre was the first or second route voted on. Had she not been, she wouldn't have jumped in the spear's path, and you would have died instead. In that event, the story would have shifted from Youmu's point of view to Flandre's, and the story would continue, after a scene where Youmu is judged righteous and ascends to Heaven to hang out with Tenshi and Iku. I referred to this as the Youmu ending.

The third ending was the Bad Ending. This ending would be if you had focused mostly on Reisen and Hatate at Flandre's expense. In this ending, she would have turned against you and rejoined Remilia, and everyone would die.

The fourth ending is the Best Ending. This required you to focus on Nazrin and Flandre. In the climactic fight, when Remilia throws the spear, Nazrin would envelop Youmu in a Pendulum Guard and deflect the spear. It'd drain all of her mana, but she would live. Flandre would then take the opportunity to grapple with Remilia before the three of you got sucked into Reisen's Lotus-Eater. Everyone would live, and the sequel would be ten times easier with Flandre alive.

As for the routes themselves, Reisen was the Romance Route, Flandre was the Companion Route, Nazrin was the True Route, and Hatate was just a red herring, meant to throw you off and lead you toward the bad ending. (Isn't it sad Hatatatatate?)
Damn, that's a good troll. I honestly believed it for a minute. 10/10 would get trolled again.
>>59874
What?
Just found this story a few days ago and I've got to say, thanks for the ride Glen. Really looking forward to the sequel
>>59873
So in other words, it was completely arbitrary on your part and you killed Flandre as punishment for the players not paying enough attention to the characters you wanted them to pay attention to.
>>59889
What? No! If that were the case, it'd have been Youmu dying at the critical moment, not Flandre, because I like Reisen more. I actually had a few half-updates written out with Youmu wandering Heaven trying to find a way to break out of the non-interference contract to continue the fight because I was so convinced that she would be the one to die.

My initial planning only had one or the other dying. I didn't think of the Nazrin idea until after I introduced her. Should I have foreshadowed it more to give everyone a better, more informed idea? Absolutely. You shouldn't feel punished cause of the way you voted - although I did mention way back that no one would get screwed over because of me, but how you guys voted. Should I have clarified? Yes. I should have. But at the time I didn't want to ruin my "OMG SO SUSPENFUL" aspects of my story. I learned a lot about writing a CYOA through this story. Clear-cut votes are much healthier than running it like a VN, which never really lets on what you've done wrong until you're staring at the bad end, only to find out that you made a wrong turn six hours ago and have to start over.
Well-played, Glen. This has been a wonderful ride, and I'll be waiting warmly for your sequel.
By the way, you have it wrong with the Makai=Hell thing. Japanese belief has two places equivalent to our 'hell'. The one you kept on mentioning in your story here, Makai, is not the place sinners go to. Makai is the land of demons, not of evil souls (though evil souls that have evaded capture may find themselves drawn to that place, I think.)
The hell that the Yama sends sinners to is called Jigoku. It is manned by the Oni.

And if I read the Yama's lines the last post in a certain way, I can't help but think that she'll be sending Youmu to Hakugyokurou. (Or reincarnation.)
>>59914
I'm glad you liked it, and I'll remember that. Dunno why I thought they were the same thing.
I only discovered this story the day you made the last update, and only finished it now. Damn, and I probably would've given a vote for Nazrin at some point.

As much as I enjoyed this story, I'm not looking forward to the next one if there's going to be the possibility of a Bad Ending with no way to go back. I was upset enough when Alfred died at the end of Pleasant Meadows, I don't think my heart will be able to take another story like this one!

...but then, I guess that's the mark of a good writer, huh? Even with all the shit that went on in your life, you still managed to churn through, making you an even more noteworthy writer on THP.

I've got a couple of questions, though:

What would've happened if we broke off our pursuit of Remilia and went back to Gensokyo early?

Was there a possibility for Sakuya to have betrayed us without Reisen being able to counteract her?

And, two more I don't expect you to answer:

Have any other named characters in Gensokyo died yet? Kanako and Nitori are obvious possibilities, and I think Suwako might be, since she joined Reimu and wasn't around to help her and Yukari maintain the barrier that protected Hakurei Shrine. It's probably not a stretch to say we'll have a very soon, very real opportunity to kill Patchouli.

Also, and this I'm really concerned about:
Will we have a chance to win the war without killing the Watatsuki Sisters? They say they were under orders, so maybe we can circumvent them and instead, defeat the Lunarian rulers instead.
>>59928
Had Youmu abandoned the mission and returned to Gensokyo early, the Tsuki-Genso war would have happened first, and by the time Youmu won or lost it, Remilia would have taken over most of the world, including most Sealed Lands. If Youmu had rescued Flandre first, her power would be weaker, but still beatable. If Youmu hadn't, Flandre would have escaped on her own at some point and become a rebel against Remilia.

Yes. If Youmu didn't have Flandre there to more or less convince Sakuya that her side was the good guys, the betrayal would have been completely unexpected. Reisen would have been critically injured, maybe dead (though that's highly unlikely), and Marisa would have had to use mind magic on her own, which would drive her insane.

[spoilers]No. No other touhou is dead. Nearly all of them have been captured and are being used for Lunarian Science Experiments™, but other than that, no. As for Suwako, she's busy with. Uh. Things.[/spoilers]

And finally.
[spoilers]What do you think?[/spoiler]
>>59929

>Lunarian Science Experiments

...Well now, that doesn't sound ominous and/or horrifying at all.
The plans have been laid, and the game is afoot. All the pieces are in place. It is time to begin The Long Game

>>/th/181443
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