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File 143560926426.jpg - (77.83KB, 736x588, summon circle.jpg) [iqdb]
60957 No. 60957
You are a demon.

Your job is to heed to the call of humans who require favours or tasks to be completed. The craft of summoning creatures such as you and binding them to contracts is known as diabolism. Likewise, those who practice the craft are called diabolists. As a demon, once you have been summoned into the human world, you are unable to leave until you finish your master’s terms or die in the process.

Presently, your consciousness is manifesting in the human world. A diabolist stands over his summoning circle, reciting the incantations to anchor you to his world. A human corpse lies on the ground in front of him in the center of a hexagram. He recites from the large leather-bound book in his hands for at least ten minutes. The words are familiar to you; it is an ancient spell in a nearly forgotten language. His words will grant you the ability to do things in this world. In diabolism, the list of abilities you are granted are known as permissions. Without these incantations, you would be unable to breathe the air or to move through physical space. Experienced diabolists can add or remove words from the spell, modifying what you are allowed to do. In this case, the human’s ritual does not seem to be very advanced. His list of permissions are very textbook-standard – you’re allowed to walk, talk, apply force to matter, use magic, and so forth. You’re glad you will have the standard range of freedom this time around.

Soon the incantation is complete, and your essence enters the vessel set before you. You rise to your feet, but you are unable to go far. Your movements are confined only to the summoning circle beneath your feet. You circle around, taking in the empty room around you. The diabolist interrupts your thoughts with a feeble “H-hey!” and immediately you turn, fixing him with a neutral stare. He’s barely more than a boy, you realize. You’d place him for 17 or 18 years old – an impressive age to be able to successfully summon a demon.

“I, Caesar, have summoned you,” he says. You can tell from how he is speaking that he’s trying to sound commanding or intimidating, but his nervous fidgeting gives away his true feelings. “As scribed by the old laws of your kind, demon, I command you to complete the following task: assist me and my team in destroying a powerful adversary. My terms are as follows.” The boy pauses, producing a piece of paper from his pocket. “One; you may not kill anybody unless I give you explicit permission. Two; you may not inflict any pain on the bodies of myself or my companions. Three; before any other task, your first priority is to protect me from any person, animal, or thing that intends me harm. Four; if I command you to do something by name, you must do it. Now, er, I trust that this vessel is satisfactory?”

When you are summoned to the human world, you do not possess a body. A diabolist is required to prepare a vessel in advance for you to inhabit. Vessels are almost always fresh corpses. The demon can take control of the offered corpse, reigniting a flame of life in it – but it is the demon’s own essence rather than that of the corpse’s original soul.

“If you would be so kind,” you say, gesturing to a body mirror in the corner of the room. (The mirror is one of the few furnishings in here besides a single wooden chair.) He ambles over to it and sets it up in front of you.

Your vessel appears to be in her early twenties. You stretch and move in all sorts of ways, testing the limits of your new body and examining each and every inch of it. It is pale and delicate in appearance; there are no scars, bruises, blemishes, or otherwise noteworthy marks. You nod approvingly.

“Excellent!” he says, throwing a fist into the air triumphantly. “But, uh, are my terms acceptable?”

“Indeed. I swear to complete the task you have commanded of me while upholding the terms you have given. Let it be recorded that we are in a pact, until either the task is successfully completed, or one of us perishes.”

A binding rune appears on the back of yours and his right hand, signifying that the two of you are bound by contract. You step outside of the summoning circle, now free to move about in the human world.

“Now—”

“I need clothes,” you interject. “It’s chilly in here.”

He blinks in surprise. “Demons... get cold?”

“What kind of question is that? Surely you have something for me to wear.”

He nods, leaving the room for a few moments. Several minutes later, he returns with a simple red dress, boots, and undergarments. You dress quickly.

“Alright,” Caesar says, clapping his hands together impatiently. “I’d like to introduce you to the rest of the team, and then we can get started on our mission. But before all of that, I’d like to take a few minutes to answer some questions you may have.”

[ ] Ask questions.

Note: While most of this story will follow the rule of “majority wins the vote,” with this choice I will just pick 2-3 questions from among your votes that fit the narrative best.
Expand all images
>> No. 60958
[x] Where are we?
[x] Who or what is this powerful adversary?
[x] Why do you want to destroy it?

Stupid sexy Flanders.
>> No. 60959
[x] Who or what is this powerful adversary?
>> No. 60961
[x] How did you kill this vessel?
I'm mostly just curious.
>> No. 60981
[x] How did you kill this vessel?
I'm mostly just curious.

The question's in my head now and it won't leave.

I recognize the setting. But for the love of all that is holy, I cannot for the life of me remember what it's called.
>> No. 60988
[x] Her name
[x] How did she die
[x] What are we up against?
>> No. 60993
[ ] What up?
We chill, yo.
>> No. 60995
File 143568515125.png - (28.42KB, 661x661, qa.png) [iqdb]
60995
“What is our enemy?”

Caesar takes a deep breath. “My team and I are vampire hunters. Our enemy is a vampire named Remilia Scarlet. As far as we can tell, she lives alone in a castle near a town that she frequently terrorizes.” His expression hardens and he shakes his head solemnly. “Those poor townsfolk treat her as some sort of god, even offering up their own as tributes. Remilia Scarlet is no ordinary vampire – she is incredibly powerful. People from around the continent have sought out to destroy her. The vampire hunter who successfully slays her will, no doubt, becomes infamous.”

A wry smile crosses over his face. “That’s why we’re here. My team and I are the best of the best, I assure you. And with a demon like you at our side, I have no doubts that we can defeat Remilia Scarlet.”

You are a bit chilled by his smile. It’s the smile of a killer. You’ve seen it many times before in the eyes of other diabolists. You have always been unsure if those were the type of people that the craft appealed to, or that the craft corrupted those who dabbled in it. Whichever the case, it was not your concern. As a servant of humanity, you have no will of your own. As a result, you have become numb to the morality of humans. His smile is chilling, but not strikingly creepy. However, something about it makes you wonder.

“How did you obtain this vessel?”

Caesar frowns. “Remember how I said this town offers tributes to the vampire? Your vessel was the next tribute. I’ll explain more of this when it comes closer to set out on our mission, but the short version is that you are going to play the roll of the tribute tonight. As for how I killed her, I used a quick-acting poison. In return for giving her a quick and painless death, her body became your vessel.”

He nods to himself. “It is probably best I introduce you to the team now. Follow me!”

He leads you up some stairs. The stairs bring you to the ground floor of a quaint wooden house. Outside, the sunset casts orange and pink light over the land. The land is mostly fields and other huts similar to yours. In the distance, a tall castle looms over everything, easily the most eye-catching feature of the entire area.

Caesar calls your attention, and you turn from the window towards him. Standing next to him is a young woman of East Asian descent. Like Caesar, she appears to be in her late teens. Distrust is sewn into her eyes.

“This is Luna,” Caesar says. “She’s second in command. When I’m not around, you can treat her commands as if they were mine.”

You bow your head in greeting. She mimics the motion, but does not say a word.

“GAHAHA! That’s Luna for you!” A burly man enters the room, a huge smile on his face.

“This is—”

“Name’s Deke! Nice to meet ya,” the man says, shaking your hand enthusiastically. “Never worked with a demon b’fore, but I can already tell you look reliable. Maybe you can beat this cranky old mage into shape.” He guffaws, clapping Caesar on the shoulder. The latter does not look amused.

“And finally, we have Villy.”

A tiny girl enters the room. She only comes up to your waist. She smiles when she sees you. “Nice to meet you,” she says, shrugging and going outside.

You whisper into Caesar’s ear, “Your team seems very young. Are you sure you all know what you’re doing?”

“Don’t let appearances fool you. Each person here has killed at least one vampire on their own,” Caesar explains. “And together, we have hunted countless vampires. My team is of the utmost elite.” He walks away, leaving you alone.

With a bit of time on your hands, you decide it would be best to get to know some of the members of the team. You decide to talk to...

[ ] ...Luna, who is examining a set of sharp knives in the corner of the room.
[ ] ...Deke, who is laying in a bed and watching you with mild interest.
[ ] ...Villy, who is standing out in the fields.
[ ] ...Caesar, who is preparing food in a makeshift kitchen.
[ ] ...nobody. You’ll wait until it’s time to set out.

In this sequence, you have enough time to speak to two (2) characters. As such, you may vote twice.
>> No. 60996
File 143568546145.jpg - (21.83KB, 260x354, ricken.jpg) [iqdb]
60996
For those who are curious, Caesar dresses in a similar manner as Ricken from Fire Emblem: Awakening. He's also pretty young/boyish... but not as cute as Ricken.
>> No. 61004
[X] ...Deke, who is laying in a bed and watching you with mild interest.
[X] ...Villy, who is standing out in the fields.
They're all going to die a bloody death, or perhaps a bloodless death. Either one.
>> No. 61005
Luna and Villy? Though I kind of want to throw a third vote out for Deke even though I know we can only talk to two people.
>> No. 61007
File 143570086537.jpg - (50.71KB, 448x488, hue.jpg) [iqdb]
61007
>>61004
>> No. 61009
[X] ...Villy, who is standing out in the fields.
>> No. 61010
[X] ...Villy, who is standing out in the fields.
>> No. 61011
[x] ...Luna, who is examining a set of sharp knives in the corner of the room.
[x] ...Villy, who is standing out in the fields.

I'm excited!
>> No. 61013
[x] ...Luna, who is examining a set of sharp knives in the corner of the room.
[x] ...Villy, who is standing out in the fields.
>> No. 61016
File 143571046263.jpg - (926.46KB, 1000x1101, I will mourn your death.jpg) [iqdb]
61016
[x] ...Villy, who is standing out in the fields.

Because the youngest character needs to be characterized so we can mourn their death.

[x] ...Deke, who is laying in a bed and watching you with mild interest
Because interest should be reciprocated by a servant of humanity.
>> No. 61023
Calling it, Luna is Sakuya. Let's give backgrounds to the others.

[x] ...Villy, who is standing out in the fields.
[x] ...Deke, who is laying in a bed and watching you with mild interest
>> No. 61026
>>61023
I actually started writing already. I'm sorry! I figured the votes were finished; I'm not used to this many voters! Thank you everyone for the support. I'll be more careful about closing votes in the future.

At the time of writing the winning votes were Villy and Luna, so I'll finish this update with them in mind.
>> No. 61029
File 143573822143.jpg - (35.28KB, 770x267, how cool would it be to wield a knife like this.jpg) [iqdb]
61029
Luna stands in the corner of the room next to the window. She is carefully comparing several knives. You approach, waiting for her to notice you. She continues to focus on the knives for a little while, but eventually she notices you. Almost immediately she turns back down to her knives, devoting even more attention to them than before. You awkwardly clear your throat.

“Hi,” you say.

She fixes you with a stare. Her eyes seem to pierce into you just like the knives in her hand would. “What do you want?” she says in a distinctly Japanese accent.

A thought crosses your mind. As a demon, you can speak any human language. You answer her in Japanese, “I just wanted to meet you.”

She raises her eyebrows in surprise. “I’ll humour you. It’s nice to speak in my native tongue.” Her dagger eyes become slightly less punishing.

“Are you foreign? I take it we’re far from Japan.”

She nods. “Yeah, Europe. Plenty far. I get strange looks all the time, but it can’t be helped.” Suddenly, she’s a different person. You wonder if she was only cold to you because she doesn’t like to speak English.

“How long have you been... er... hunting vampires?”

Her expression goes blank. Her entire body shifts slightly to the right, with no movement in between; it is as if her placement before and after the shift were two photos in a slideshow. “I have been a hunter for 16 years.”

Her statement spirals on a trajectory that directly crashes into your impressions of her. You are absolutely sure she’s no older than 18. To be hunting for so long, she would have to have started as a toddler. You mention the contradiction, but it only elicits a smile from her.

“Don’t let appearances fool you,” she says, slipping her knives into a knife holster above her left knee. “I have to talk to Caesar, so if you will excuse me...”

You are left alone by the window. You wonder if Luna is not completely human – it would easily explain discrepancies with her age. Or maybe there’s some sort of magic at play here? It’s tough to say, considering you know barely anything about these people. As you stare out of the window, you notice Villy standing in the field. She has a bow and arrows; she’s firing them straight up into the air.

You exit the house, approaching the small girl. As you come close, she raises her hand to signify stop. You oblige. Moments later, an arrow lands on the ground a few inches in front of you. The girl picks it up and smiles at you. “How was that?”

“Did you know I was coming out?”

“I noticed you watching from the window, so I sent an arrow upwards so that it would land around the time you reached me. Pretty cool, huh?” she places her index finger on her lips. “What did you come out here for?”

You avoid her gaze, opting to stare at the sun as it slowly retracts its tendrils of light over the horizon. “I just wanted to meet you. We’re all going to be working together, so I thought it would be best to learn more about everyone.”

She exhales a tiny “ah,” following your gaze until the two of you are watching the sunset together. “Well, you know my name already. And that I’m a vampire hunter. Anything specific you want to know?”

“I hope you’re not offended by this question, but how old are you?”

She giggles into her hand. “A lady never reveals her age. Don’t worry about it, anyway. My abilities are just as good as the others’. I’ve been hunting vampires for years.”

You wouldn’t be surprised if Villy turned out to be older than her physical body, too. Each of these hunters was mysterious. Their lives were unknown to you. What do they fight for? What kind of people are they? The questions are endless. You are adept at ignoring your own questions, however. As a demon, there were many instances where you were summoned into the world without being given the full picture of the events and people around you. It’s not your job to think about it – you are only a servant.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask questions when the opportunity arises.

“Why do you all hunt vampires, anyway?”

Her face lights up. “Oh! Well, vampires do lots of bad things to people. I can fight back, unlike most, so I wanted to devote my powers to good. As for the others...” she taps her finger to her lips again. “Both Caesar and Deke are in it for the glory. They’re a starry-eyed pair, those two. They met first and have been working together ever since. Luna is in it for revenge. She lost her own parents to vampires, I hear, and because of that she swore to wipe them all out. She was the last one to join us. By chance one day, us and Luna were hunting the same vampire; Caesar saw her potential and invited her to join the team. We’ve been inseparable ever since~”

“I can’t help but wonder why Caesar needed to summon me if your team is so powerful.”

She sighs, but the smile doesn’t disappear from her face. “Weeeellll, Remilia Scarlet isn’t your ordinary vampire. As the stories go, she has the ability to control Lady Luck herself! Fate, I mean... As I’m sure you can guess, it’s not the best ability to be up against. Caesar assured us, however, that with a demon on our side we could win. According to him, demons from outside our reality – uh, inter... inter... interdemons? It’s a little fuzzy on what he called them, but those things are resistant to the rules of our world. Things like Remilia Scarlet’s powers over fate don’t affect you. So, by taking advantage of that, we can circumvent her ability and hunt her down!”

The sun is barely visible at this point. Darkness begins to descend over the land, causing the distant castle of Remilia Scarlet to seem even more ominous.

She snaps her fingers. “Ah, the sun’s set. Caesar will want to get started, so let’s go back inside.” The two of you re-enter the house, where Luna, Caesar, and Deke are crowded around a table. They’re studying blueprints of some kind.

“Is that the castle’s blueprints?” Villy asks.

Deke nods. “Caesar bribed it off some officials earlier today. Take a look.”

The group studies the blueprints for a little while. You can’t make much sense of everything so you wait patiently for them to finish. After much discussion and pointing at the blueprints, Caesar calls you over to the table. You join them.

“Our plan will go like this,” he says. “Demon, you will play the role of the tribute. You will pretend to be the maiden that previously possessed your vessel. The townsfolk will deliver you to the vampire’s castle, and then once you’re in, Remilia will speak to you personally. Your job is to make sure she drinks at least one drop of your blood. If that happens, the demon blood will disable her powers, and we can close in for the hunt.”

“That’s it?”

“Well, she may realize your blood is abnormal. If that happens, our plan is completely useless. Which is why I will do my best to hide the scent of your blood with spells, but it won’t be perfect. It is best to avoid letting your blood into the open air when she is around, or else she’ll definitely know what’s going on. Do you have any other questions?”

[ ] Yes, I have a question. (Add your question to your vote.)
[ ] No questions. Let’s hunt a vampire.
>> No. 61030
File 143573847231.png - (662.38KB, 1000x1321, nona_src_pixiv_48405816.png) [iqdb]
61030
And this is the character I would choose as a "face claim" for Villy. Her name is Nona, from the anime Death Parade.

I'm not spoiling your imaginations with these sorts of posts, am I? If you want, I can refrain from posting visual references for the characters.
>> No. 61033
[X] No questions. Let’s hunt a vampire.

I like the pics, the exact references aren't too necessary.

(I mean, if you're speaking OOC you could just say they're the ladies who will soon become Sakuya and Flandre, and our not-hero will soon be known as Koakuma. I think we can all see roughly where this is headed. (But of course, putting it out there so well almost guarantees a twist, now doesn't it?))
>> No. 61035
Too late, now I think of Caesar as shonen MC just evil, as the girl as a mini patchouli just more kuudere and as knife girl as a typical track student genki gal.

[x] Where will you wait to strike when she takes my blood?
[x] Is annuling her powers worth facing her at the moment where she's strongest? (night)
[x] Did my host die willingly? I need to know, my powers are affected by it (lie)
>> No. 61036
[x] Does Remilia have any dangerous servants or guards?
>> No. 61039
>>61029
>Luna
>Luna dial
>picture of a silver knife
No way, you can't be THIS obvious. Right ?
>> No. 61040
File 143577965927.png - (93.76KB, 436x314, wink.png) [iqdb]
61040
>>61033
No comment.

>>61035
Those are some beautiful mental images. I regret nothing.

>>61039
Whether or not she is who you think she is, these details were put in place on purpose. Stay tuned~

I will try to update today but since it is Canada Day, my family may take my time away. We'll see, I suppose.
>> No. 61048
>>61040
Okay, turns out Canada Day is not a good day to write. Update will come tomorrow.

Consider voting still open.
>> No. 61058
File 143581691892.jpg - (29.17KB, 400x300, Zap-Rowsdower.jpg) [iqdb]
61058
>Canada Day
Just ask yourself: What Would Rowsdower Do?
>> No. 61154
File 143599769930.jpg - (166.84KB, 1600x1200, Scarlet_Fortress_src_pixiv_28570487.jpg) [iqdb]
61154
“I have a few questions. First, is there anyone else that lives in her castle? Maybe a guard or servant?”

“That would be my specialty,” Villy says. “I can sense lifeforms in my surroundings. I made sure to visit the castle earlier.” Caesar opens his mouth, but she talks over him. “Don’t worry, I didn’t go inside the castle. I kept mostly to the outer wall and I couldn’t sense anyone besides the vampire.” You nod. A bit strange that someone would be living alone in a castle, but this is a vampire, not a human. It’s likely that vampires prefer solitude.

“Is there a specific room I should be in when she takes my blood? I would assume you guys have to be able to strike quickly.”

“That is correct. However, we don’t need a specific room. With Villy’s ability, we can track the two of you and strike from anywhere. Well, almost...” Caesar pauses, hand on his chin. “Avoid rooms without windows. Most of her castle’s rooms do have them, but there are exceptions. The entire basement floor is one such example. Keep track of where the windows are and try to stay near them if you can. But make sure you don’t make her suspicious in the process. When it comes right down to it, her lack of suspicion will be our win condition.”

You make a mental note to make mental notes about windows.

“Okay. One more question: Is facing her during the night, when vampires are supposedly at their best, worth eliminating her ability?”

“Absolutely. With her ability, day or night, we would undoubtedly lose our lives. She doesn’t eat during the day, so we can’t use you to eliminate her unless it is night time. She has more strength, but it’s worth the tradeoff.”

“Plus, it’s more of a challenge! GAHAHA!” Deke chimes in.

“Alright, the townsfolk will probably show up here soon to pick up their tribute, so let’s get everything cleaned up around here,” Caesar says, ignoring Deke’s comment. He goes on to explain that this house’s basement – the same room where he had summoned you – is where tributes for the vampire are left. They always deliver the tributes at night, so there’s not much time left before they arrive. You and Caesar decide to clean up the traces of summoning in the basement while the others tidy up the ground floor.

“Hey, Caesar,” you say after the basement is clean. “What was my vessel’s name?”

He avoids your eyes. “Clara.”

“There’s something important I need to know. Did Clara die willingly?”

“Uhm... No,” he mutters. “I mean, I never asked. I just figured, since she was already going to die, and in a more painful way too... My alternative was better.” He fakes a smile. “I’m sure she’s grateful. Don’t worry about it.”

He moves towards the door, but stops after grabbing the knob. “I’m sorry. I really am. It’s not fair that she had to die.” He shakes his head. Then he turns and stares into your eyes fiercely. “Her sacrifice will stop Remilia Scarlet from taking another life ever again. As will all of our efforts. So, I implore you to do your very best, okay?” His smile is legitimate this time. “The townsfolk will be here soon, so stay put until they arrive. Do whatever they say. We’ll be close by.” He leaves the room, locking it on the way out. You slump against the wall, waiting for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

Sacrifice... the word is somewhat cliché to you. Humans use it often to explain away actions that were driven by an ideal. But, in a way, Caesar isn’t wrong... If the vampire is destroyed tonight, it will largely be because of the sacrifice on you vessel’s part. If she is destroyed.

This circumstance that you have found yourself in is interesting. A group of vampire hunters summon you to assist in destroying an extraordinarily powerful vampire. Remilia Scarlet. The name sounds familiar to you somehow, but this is no surprise. As a servant of humanity, you have been to countless areas in countless eras. Recognizing names is nothing new for you; if anything, the familiarity proves that Remilia Scarlet is as famous as Caesar makes her sound.

But does she die here? You can’t quite remember anything about the vampire besides her name. Your experience with her is null, which means that the events that are about to play out are unknown to you. Even if you did know what was about to happen, Caesar did not allow you to act on knowledge of the future when he granted you permissions. You hope this plan works out, but at the same time, you have some doubts. Hopefully all will be clear when you finally meet the vampire.

...

Noises. People walking around above you. The townsfolk must have arrived to deliver you. The door is unlocked and carefully opened. A ray of light enters, covering your face and body with its embrace. A man stands at the door with a lantern in his hand. He’s short, stocky, and looks visibly upset to see you.

“It’s time,” he grunts. “I’m sorry it has to be like this. Come with me.”

He attaches your wrists to each other using chains. You play the part of scared tribute girl so well that he decides against tying you to his person. He leads you through the quiet fields of the town, neither of you uttering a single sound. Before long you reach the front gate of the vampire’s castle. He knocks on the doors – they slide open just enough that you could slip inside.

“Thank you for your cooperation,” the man says, bowing his head. “Good luck.”

You shiver a bit, but say nothing. The doors close automatically behind you as you enter the castle. The great hall stretches ahead of you, with ornate pillars on either side all the way down the hall. A dusty red carpet covers the floor between the pillars. All along the ceiling above the carpet is glass, allowing the full moon’s light to fill the room. At the end of the hall are five steps, and at the top of the steps...
>> No. 61156
File 143599790698.jpg - (747.65KB, 713x1000, Scarlet_Devil_src_pixiv_43389988.jpg) [iqdb]
61156
{ BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJQ5HsXlPTo }
Septette for the Dead Princess by ZUN

...A young girl sits atop a throne. Her white dress drops to her knees and leaves her arms uncovered; her pale exposed skin shimmers like the moon. Her eyes, the colour of blood, capture the surrounding light, making it seem as if they glow. From her back extend a pair of batwings. Her features and body are the very definition of elegance. Upon her face is a wide grin and arched eyebrows, her eyes focused solely on you. Your knees feel weak – out of fear or awe you’re not sure.

“Welcome to my home,” says she, standing up and spreading her arms wide. “I am Remilia Scarlet, or as many of your kind call me, the Scarlet Devil.”

[ ] “I’m Clara.”
[ ] “Y-you’re beautiful!”

Also, it’s probably best to start formulating a strategy amongst yourselves on how you will go about your mission.

Who doesn't like updates at 2AM? Dang, I sure hope this is up to quality in the morning!
>> No. 61160
[X] “I’m Clara.”
>> No. 61163
File 143600962149.jpg - (317.98KB, 525x1216, the gensokyo experience.jpg) [iqdb]
61163
[X] “I’m Clara.”
>> No. 61171
File 143603309426.jpg - (1.12MB, 1200x1705, red moon.jpg) [iqdb]
61171
[X] “Y-you’re beautiful!”
Rational responses are not what scared little girls give when faced with their would-be-killer.

Besides, it's true.
>> No. 61189
[X] “Y-you’re beautiful!”

Sounds appropriately nervous... wonder if anyone in the village actually seen Remilia... not counting the sacrifices.
>> No. 61199
I want to attempt an update today, so once this tie breaks, voting will be closed.
>> No. 61205
[X] “Y-you’re beautiful!”

Act like the awe-struck sacrifice.
>> No. 61260
File 143616666834.jpg - (196.15KB, 600x800, source_deleted.jpg) [iqdb]
61260
The ball is in your court. The others are counting on you to keep Remilia Scarlet in the dark on who you are and what you plan to do. You have to play a role; that of the scared little girl. What should you say? How would a girl like Clara act in this situation?

“Y-you’re beautiful!” You settle for a blend of nervousness and awe. The vampire’s elegance is an indubitable focal detail, and to ignore it would be silly. You add a touch of nervousness to convey underlying fear. You’re a little impressed by your own shrewdness. But, it’s not time to congratulate yourself yet. It is only the beginning of this game of deceit.

“Thank you. You are a fine specimen yourself,” she says, devoid of expression. “I will enjoy your company this fine night. Tell me, what is your name?”

“Clara.”

“A lovely name.”

“Thank you, ma’am...”

“Come with me,” she says. “It won’t do for us to talk out here. I have cosier rooms.”

She waves a hand, causing a portion of the wall behind her throne to disappear. The two of you step through the opening, down a long and dark hallway, and into a small room off to the side. It appears to be a study; along one of the walls is a bookcase with a wooden desk in front of it. A little further away, closer to the door, is a small round table sandwiched by two armchairs. You make a mental note of a window opposite the door.

You and Remilia Scarlet sit on the armchairs. On the table are two wine glasses, but there is no drink accompanying them.

“Clara, tell me about yourself.”

“A-ah... There’s not really much to tell, Miss,” you mumble.

“Please, call me Remilia,” she says, crossing her legs. “Surely you can tell me something... Do you have a sister?”

At her words, a memory floats to the surface of your mind.

A boy stands above you, offering his hand. You take it, and he pulls you up. “That was quite a fall. Be more careful. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“No sisters...”

“Tee hee, thank you for helping me,” you say. “You’re the best brother ever!”

“...But I do have a brother.”

She smiles. “Oh? A brother? Is he older or younger?”

“Older.”

“What is he like?”

“He’s very kind to me,” you mutter absently. The memories float out of reach. You realize they are not your own – they belong to your vessel, Clara. Your mind snaps back to reality. You have a role to play; you mustn’t lose focus here. “I... I miss him,” you add. Scared and confused? Check and check.

“I understand. It can be hard. I’m sure he misses you, too.”

“Do you have any siblings?” you ask. The question is framed as naïve curiosity, but underneath the act you are searching for more information about Remilia. Any stray fact could prove useful.

“I did. She was my younger sister.”

“Did she...?”

“She didn’t die, no. Something happened to her that broke her mind a little bit. She’s never really been the same.”

“I’m... sorry.”

“It is what it is. Hm...” She gestures to the wine glasses on the table. “Would you please fetch some wine from the wine cellar?”

“M-me?”

“Yes, yes. You will do just fine. Simply head down the hall. The wine cellar is on your last left.”

You nod meekly, leaving her behind in the study. Isn’t the host the one who is supposed to do these sorts of things? You suppose it will give you time to think about a strategy for your end of Caesar’s plan. A little ironic, now that you think of it: you’re trying to figure out how to get a vampire to drink your blood, rather than the other way around.

It’s not long before you reach the end of the hall. You turn down a flight of stairs, and immediately find yourself faced by two openings. To the right, you can see the wine cellar. To the left there is a tall metal door. Just as you move towards the wine cellar, you can hear the sound of metal grating. Turning back, you see the metal door, opened just enough for an arm to fit through. In fact, that’s exactly what has fit through the opening. A pale arm, reaching through the opening, waves at you.

“Pssst! Over here!” A child’s voice whispers from the door.

[ ] Cautiously approach the door. Your curiosity is too strong.
[ ] Ignore the arm and voice. The Scarlet Devil wants her wine.

I should stop saying "I want to update today" because that jinxes it and then there's no update.
>> No. 61261
[x] Address miss arm

I wonder if she's suspicious. I mean, of course she is, but can sacrifices be allowed so much liberty? If they were informed of their fate or even knew where they were going (both likely options) then what would stop them to freak the hell out because they're about to fucking die?
>> No. 61262
[x] Cautiously approach the door. Your curiosity is too strong.

I think it's best to take account of the new factor to the plan.
The last thing we want is to get this close to our goal only for a disgruntled little sister to appear out of nowhere and insta-gib us.
By making contact, perhaps we can reach some sort of accord?
>> No. 61265
[x] Cautiously approach the door. Your curiosity is too strong.

I have a feeling things are about to go awry either way, so either's fine.
>> No. 61275
[x] Cautiously approach the door. Your curiosity is too strong.

Never not get distracted.
>> No. 61300
[X] Cautiously approach the door. Your curiosity is too strong.
>> No. 61306
File 143624929916.jpg - (10.70KB, 133x150, touhou_fanart_by_pharan-d3ih6vm.jpg) [iqdb]
61306
[x] Cautiously approach the door. Your curiosity is too strong.

Pic related: hopefully the arm we will be investigating
>> No. 61325
File 143635197685.jpg - (62.49KB, 669x457, You-Died.jpg) [iqdb]
61325
[X] Cautiously approach the door. Your curiosity is too strong.
>> No. 61350
File 143642242959.jpg - (127.16KB, 900x593, is watching.jpg) [iqdb]
61350
The situation is suspicious. A sudden arm – which is probably attached to a person – reaches through the opening of huge iron doors, beckoning you to come closer? You’re not quite sure how to react. Would Clara approach or ignore Miss Arm? Still, it’s not like Remilia is with you, so maybe you can let the act drop a little...

“Come on! You’re making me waaaait!”

You sigh, giving in to Miss Arm’s demands. You stand about a metre away from the arm, peeking through the opening. A portion of a young girl’s face looks back at you, the rest of her obscured by darkness beyond the door. Her red eyes glow ominously in a similar fashion to Remilia’s.

“Hi,” she says. “Care to help a girl out? Can you open this door?”

The door is made of pure metal, but it’s not an issue for you. As a demon, the door is nothing. However, you’re a little hesitant. You don’t know for certain whether or not she has malicious intent regarding you. It’s best to be on guard, after all, so you decide to lie. “Uh... I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do that...”

“Can you come closer, at least?”

“Well, your arm is in the way.”

Her arm disappears behind the opening, but you can still see her eyes carefully watching you. “Here, my arm is gone, so can you come closer? I pinky promise-swear-promise-cross-my-heart-hope-to-die — well, maybe not die, that sounds scary, but I won’t try to grab you or anything like that.”

Even though you’re still wary, you decide to indulge in your curiosity even further by approaching the opening. You crouch so that you’re eye-to-eye with the girl. She smiles. “That’s better! I can see you more clearly. You’re pretty! I lied; I still can’t see you very well. But I’m sure you’re pretty. You sound pretty. Not with your voice, I mean, you just have that sound about you.”

A little overwhelmed, you decide not to decipher what her rambling means. Instead, you decide it would be best to focus on learning who she is and why she’s here. “If I may ask, who are you?”

Is she... is she Remilia’s sister? Earlier, Remilia mentioned having a sister, and this girl has the same pale skin and red eyes. It’s too early to know for certain, but you make a mental note to ask about it. Assuming she is Remilia’s siter, it’s strange that she’s locked behind this huge metal door.

You suppress a sudden shiver.

“Before you ask for a person’s name...”

“Oh, me?” You nod. “Right, I’m Clara, from the village.”

“I am Flandre, Miss Stranger.” She adds with a whisper, “You could never be from the village.”

“Maybe I should have said... uh... something else?” You smile weakly. “How did you know?”

“I can see your eye very clearly,” she says. “It’s a human eye, sure, but you’re not even attached to it. It’s like your floating outside your own eye.”

“My... eye?” You place a hand over your right eye.

“No, not that one. This one!” Flandre places a hand on your chest. “Your eye is right in here. It’s the very center of yo— oh no, I said I would put my arm away— Sorry! Sorry!” She pulls back. “Sorry, I should really go.”

“It’s alright, I’m not upset.”

“I really, really should go... I’ll get in trouble.”

“In trouble?”

“I lied to you. I’m a bad girl.”

“Like I said, it’s fi—”

But your protests are futile, for she is already gone.

[ ] Move the door and pursue her. She needs to be reassured.
[ ] Leave her be. There is wine to deliver.
>> No. 61351
File 143642275869.png - (102.93KB, 246x239, tumblr_m64h8zISYz1r0yamfo1_250.png) [iqdb]
61351
[x] Move the door and pursue her. She needs to be reassured.
More Flandre time please
>> No. 61352
>>61351
You can't be serious. WHO DRAWS THESE
>> No. 61359
[x] Move the door and pursue her. She needs to be reassured.

If Flandre noticed we're not human, it's obvious that Remilia would have already figured it out.

Maybe.
>> No. 61361
[X] Leave her be. There is wine to deliver.
pls no prusue lubu
>> No. 61365
[x] Move the door and pursue her. She needs to be reassured.
>> No. 61366
>>61359

I think it has more to do with Flandre's ability to crush the "eye" of things to destroy them. Apparently we aren't really attached to Clara's "eye". Remilia's fate manipulation explicitly doesn't work on demons so we're probably safe. Probably.

[x] Leave her be. There is wine to deliver.

Remember the mission. Getting attached to Flandre will make things harder.
>> No. 61371
[X] Leave her be. There is wine to deliver.
>> No. 61372
I'd love to pursue her, but little girls can't melt steel doors. Or something.

Point is, we have a cover to keep.

[X] Tell her that she sounds pretty as well.
-[X] Leave her be. There is wine to deliver.
>> No. 61375
>>61372
Allow me to interject for a moment.
>[X] Tell her that she sounds pretty as well.
You won't be able to tell her that since she's not here anymore.
>> No. 61379
>>61375
She can hear us, can't she? How big is her room anyway?

...or is that big door not leading to her room and I somehow missed it? Goddamn.
>> No. 61384
>>61379
It's... big. I suppose you can yell it to her, but it's not quite the same sentiment when it's shouted across a dark room. Plus, Remilia might hear you, since vampires have superior sense than humans.
>> No. 61404
>>61384
Wouldn't those vampiric senses thing apply to Flandre as well? And, since she's closer, shouldn't she... No wait, nevermind that: stop arguing with this faggot and update!
>> No. 61420
Okay well, I'll close votes since there don't to seem to be anymore coming in. Update will happen within the next day or two.
>> No. 61489
I'm feeling pretty unproductive after hearing about Satoru Iwata's passing. I'll still try but it will take a little longer.

Rest in piece, Iwata-san. It's been a beautiful run.
>> No. 61636
File 143708650580.jpg - (126.25KB, 475x472, wine_glass_by_tom_brown.jpg) [iqdb]
61636
You try to look into the room behind the iron door, but the darkness prevents you from seeing anything. You can’t hear anything either; it’s as if Flandre was never there. How big is the room? Unfortunately, time is ticking away, and you’re worried Remilia will get suspicious if you take too long. You hesitantly step away from the door and enter the nearby wine cellar.

The room is spacious. There are a lot of empty barrels and shelves that you assume to have once stored liquor. In fact, the room is so empty that you can’t spot a single bottle of wine. Did Remilia know the room was empty? If so, why did she send you down here? If not, what happened here? You return to her empty-handed.

“S-sorry, Miss. I couldn’t find any wine,” you mumble once you have rejoined her in the study.

Her charismatic smile does not falter. “Is that so? It’s pretty dark down there... You’re absolutely sure?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Well, you were gone for a while, so you must have been searching hard,” she said, beginning to circle you. “We’ll have to substitute with another fine drink...”

Something sharp pricks your arm, drawing blood. You instinctively pull yourself away from her. She giggles, tasting the blood on her hand – your blood. You quickly realize what happened. By tasting your blood, her ability to control fate will be neutralized. She’s lost this battle. You can’t help but smile.

“Why are you smiling, Clara? My powers aren’t disabled by your blood, I can assure you.”

You furrow your brow. “What are you talking about?”

She laughs heartily. “Don’t be coy... I know you’re a demon. Flandre told me.”

The hair on the back of your neck stands up. Flandre... Oh no! Did Remilia know beforehand that you would meet Flandre? Did she send you downstairs specifically for that reason? It would explain why there was no wine...

“I don’t know who summoned you, but they’ve made a pitiful mistake,” Remilia says, slowly stepping toward you. “You can’t disable my powers by demon blood. They’re disabled only by your being; I can guide the fate of any creature but you.”

You’re backed up against the bookcase. Remilia leans in, her hands firmly grasping your wrists. You can smell wine in her breath. “Well?”

Damn. This is not going well at all. But... since your cover is blown, you’re not restricted to acting like a little girl anymore. You can speak your mind. You can use your inhuman talents to fight back. You refuse to lose here. The others are counting on you!

“You’re being a huge nuisance,” you spit. “The people of the neighbouring village don’t need someone like you lording over them.”

“How quick you are to accuse!” she exclaims, taken aback. “I don’t even know why...”

“Anyway, could you leave?”

“This is my castle, is it not? You are the one who will leave.”

“I want you to leave this world!”

She studies you for a few moments, her face a mix of confusion and annoyance. “So that’s how it’s going to be, then?” She releases your wrists, stepping towards the window. “The moon is so beautiful tonight...” She turns, staring at you with a deranged expression. “I will end your life.”

“The moon is beautiful, but...” you trail off, trying again, “Looks like it’s going to be a long night.”

“Looks like it’s going to be a fun night.”

She charges towards you. You move from the course of collision and exit the study. With little time to think, you begin running down the hall. Remilia bursts through the door seconds later, chasing after you from the air. Up ahead, you can spot stairs that go in two directions. One leads to the wine cellar and Flandre’s room, while the other goes up.

[ ] Go downstairs. Maybe Flandre can help.
[ ] Go upstairs. Maybe you can find a window and get the others to help.
>> No. 61637
[x] Go upstairs. Maybe you can find a window and get the others to help.

Welp that was quick. Now I regret even more not going after Flandre.
>> No. 61639
File 143709265574.jpg - (194.25KB, 600x392, nb.jpg) [iqdb]
61639
[x] Go upstairs. Maybe you can find a window and get the others to help.

Pic related: Our current pursuer
>> No. 61640
[X] Go downstairs. Maybe Flandre can help.

The others might not be able to help much, what with Remi's ability and all. They'd be going in on the assumption that it would be neutralized when it would be anything but.

Flandre's a bit more of a wildcard. Might work out, might not.
>> No. 61641
[x] Go upstairs. Maybe you can find a window and get the others to help.
>> No. 61642
[X] Go downstairs. Maybe Flandre can help.
>> No. 61667
I've been a little busy the last few days, but I've finally nabbed some free time! Writing now.
>> No. 61672
File 143744591962.png - (685.10KB, 600x852, by cin_tw on twitter.png) [iqdb]
61672
You race down the hall with Remilia in hot pursuit. You put all you can into running, moving at such a speed that the floor creaks and crackles under your feet. Soon you reach the stairs, and decide to move up rather than down. The chance of finding the others via a window is better than getting on Flandre’s good side. Besides, she’s the one who ratted out your true identity in the first place.

You climb the stairs at a pace that no ordinary human could manage. Remilia floats over the staircase, chasing you from the air. It’s subtle, but you can tell she’s gaining on you, even with your superhuman speed at play. Soon you are headed down another long hallway, although this one is wider and more extravagant than the one on the ground floor. Expensive chandeliers dangle from the ceiling above. Interspersed throughout the hallway are small tables with flower vases perched upon them; however, all of the flowers are dead.

While there are an endless array of rooms on your right, on the left side of the hall are an abundance of ornate windows. The full moon shines brightly through the line of glass, casting the entire hallway in a blue glow. It would be serene if it weren’t for the demon and vampire crashing through the scene. The windows are just what you need to get help from the others, but you feel uneasy about the idea. Remilia’s powers haven’t been stopped, so how can they possibly beat her now?

...

Damn.

Damn it!

Your heart sinks as you realize, too late, that the hallway ends. A thick stone wall opposes your escape, allowing Remilia to finally catch up.

“Did you think you could get away? This is my domain, you know,” Remilia says. You turn to her with a fierce glare. “That’s quite a face you’re making... Don’t be mean. Naughty children get punished.”

“You’re the child here,” you say, pointing out her childlike appearance.

“I’m older than most humans. Do demons grow older, I wonder?”

“Are you going to kill me or what?”

“If a demon can die, it must be able to age...”

She holds her hand up in the air. A spear materializes in her hand. It’s not made of wood or metal; the spear itself is made up of energy. It glows ominously. She draws it back, rearing to throw. And then, just like that, the spear is gone. Remilia did not aim for you. Instead, she had hurled the spear through the window. Glass shatters, the spear disappears, and all becomes silent. Luna stands in front of the window, a knife in one hand and a pocket watch in the other. She points the knife at Remilia.

“Oh, I missed the vermin that wandered into my house.”

“Die, monster! You don’t belong in this world!”

Remilia smirks. “What kind of feeble line is that?”

Without any prior warning, Luna is on top of Remilia. The movement was untraceable even by your eyes; it was as if Luna standing next to the window and being on top of Remilia were two snapshots in a slideshow. She holds the knife close to Remilia’s throat. “Any last words?”

“I’m honestly feeling so attacked right now.”

Remilia breaks apart into dozens of bats. Luna tries to stab them with her knife, but there are too many for her to attack. They float towards the ceiling and converge into one being – Remilia reforms, flying above Luna and yourself.

“Clara, Clara... why didn’t you tell me we would be having guests? I would have made sure I could accommodate more than one!” She gestures to Luna. “Who are you, I wonder?”

“My name is Luna,” she says, a twinkle in her eye. “My job is to hunt creatures like you.”

“Ah! I haven’t seen your type in a few months. So, are you also a diabolist? Clara must have been yours.”

“I’m not here to talk. I’m here for your soul.”

“I don’t have a soul.”

“Then I’ll just have to destroy your corpse!”

A series of knives appear, flying at Remilia in a cross-pattern. She tries to float out of the path of the oncoming barrage, but they move so fast that one of the knives manages to cut her arm. The air is filled by a loud hiss as steam pours out of her cut.

“Silver... you came prepared...” she says ominously. “You were able to throw all of those knives in less than a second. You’re no ordinary hunter, it seems.” Her expression hardens. “I’ve had enough of this game. Leave now, or I will devote the rest of this fine night to spreading your remains across this castle and the fields beyond.”

Luna responds with another barrage of knives. Remilia, expecting it this time, swerves out of the way before any knives can land a hit. Her spear reappears. She fires the spear at Luna, but the latter is already down the hall by the time the spear hits the ground. “Slippery one, aren’t you?!” Remilia shouts, chasing Luna back down the hall.

As soon as the two are out of earshot, a hand grasps your shoulder. You jump, turning— it’s Caesar!

“You’re okay?” he asks, concern etched into his brow.

“Yes, but you guys shouldn’t have come here! The blood didn’t work!”

“What?!”

“Remilia said that drinking my blood wouldn’t have any effect. She knew what we were planning already! We can’t let Luna fight her!”

“Don’t fret,” Caesar says. “I instructed Luna only to distract the vampire. Villy picked up on the second vampire in the basement while you were down there. Frankly, this plan is in shambles, so we’ve decided to retreat for now. Luna will serve as a distraction until the rest of us can get out of here, then she’ll rejoin us later.”

[ ] Trust them. Luna knows what she’s doing. Escape with Caesar and the others while you can.
[ ] They’re wrong. It’s too dangerous! Chase after Luna and Remilia.
>> No. 61674
[x] They’re wrong. It’s too dangerous! Chase after Luna and Remilia.

Luna has no hope of escaping the vampire. Why isn't the demon the bait?
>> No. 61675
[x] They’re wrong. It’s too dangerous! Chase after Luna and Remilia.
>> No. 61676
[x] Trust them. Luna knows what she’s doing. Escape with Caesar and the others while you can.

Luna appears to have the Lunar Dial, or at the very least some sort of movement power; escape should be pretty easy for her once we're out of the way. The longer we stay the longer she has to fight.
>> No. 61682
>>61672
[x] They’re wrong. It’s too dangerous! Chase after Luna and Remilia.
>> No. 61685
File 143753166776.jpg - (95.75KB, 900x676, spongebob_touhou_wallpaper_by_lipascarlet.jpg) [iqdb]
61685
[x] They’re wrong. It’s too dangerous! Chase after Luna and Remilia.
Because our protag is 100% more disposable to these guys than their treasured teammate, so something's up here.

Pic related: pic related
>> No. 61686
>>61672
[X] They’re wrong. It’s too dangerous! Chase after Luna and Remilia.

>>61685
Jesus fucking christ, that picture.
>> No. 61688
[X] They’re wrong. It’s too dangerous! Chase after Luna and Remilia.

This has all gone deliciously wrong. I wonder if we can side with Remilia - those permissions and the contract in the first post are quite specific, yet by no means comprehensive...
>> No. 61690
Voting closed, update within the next few days. Also, I keep reading the choice like this:
>[X] They’re wrong. It’s too dangerous! Chase after Luma and Rosalina.

>>61685
Squidward = Caesar Spongebob crossover when?
>> No. 61691
>>61690
Never, hopefully. I think ZUN killed himself just so he could roll in his grave to that pic.
Splatoon is okay though.
>> No. 61872
File 143994911286.jpg - (1.07MB, 1133x850, src_pixiv_21996783.jpg) [iqdb]
61872
{ Image source: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=21996783 }

Caesar stares into your eyes earnestly, a worried smile plastered onto his face. You keep your expression vague, pondering his “Plan B,” as it were. It doesn’t sit well with you. Sure, he’s technically your master, but far be it from you to act like a human’s dog. Contrary to what most people think, demons have emotions and desires just like humans do.

You take a deep breath. “Caesar, do you remember why you summoned me? My ability to nullify Remilia’s powers is key. What makes you think Luna can get by without it?”

“Er...”

“The fact is, you blew it,” you say, “I don’t know where you got your original information, but as I said, the blood thing failed. Without my help, Remilia can use her powers to ‘fate’ the ending of this battle, right? Isn’t that how it works?”

“Yes, but...”

He frowns, his hand on his chin and his eyebrows furrowed. He taps his foot a few times.

“I guess you’re right,” he mutters hesitantly.

“I’ll cover for Luna’s escape. Then I’ll rejoin you guys later. Okay?”

He sighs. “...Fine. I’ll trust you, Clara. But don’t you dare die.”

I chuckle, but say nothing. He pulls a small stone out of his pocket and holds it close to his mouth.

“Luna. Return to our entry point. We’re leaving the rest to Clara.”

He falls silent, focusing on the stone intently. Presumably, the stone has an enchantment that allows Luna and Caesar to communicate with each other. He frowns. “No, Luna, listen: she’s going to cover for our escape. We’ll regroup and try something else later. Escape is the priority.”

...

“Thank you,” he finally says. “Alright, she’ll let you take her place. It’s up to you now. Good luck.” He hands you the enchanted stone. “Just in case. Oh, and this.” From his pockets, he produces a silver knife, and places it in your hand. You nod, thanking him silently.

You turn and run down the hallway. It doesn’t take long for you to reach Remilia and Luna, fighting it out as before. The battle has not changed much; Luna continues to fire dozens of knives at once while Remilia focus mostly on evading. There are a few large holes in the walls and floor, which you assume to have been caused by Remilia’s spear.

As soon as Luna notices my presence, she grants me a thankful nod, and then disappears altogether. Remilia scowls in my direction.

“Back again, are you?” she snaps. “Are you going to fight this time?”

She throws the spear. You try to avoid it, but it’s too fast. The spear hits you in the middle of your chest, bursting through your body and eventually coming out the other side. You crumple to the ground, screaming in pain.

Remilia lands next to you. She grabs you by the collar, lifting you up. She’s so short that your knees brush against the floor as she holds you. Realizing this, she floats into the air so that your legs hang freely. Her eyes fall to your chest wound.

“That would have killed an ordinary human...” she mutters.

She drops you.

“Well, you’re too durable. I won’t be able to catch your friends at this rate. So...” she smiles, her fangs fully exposed. “I’ll just have to get to you after I’ve killed the rest of them.” Chains shoot out of her fingers, wrapping around you and locking in place. They’re made of a scarlet mist, causing them to be extremely translucent but no less restrictive than real chains.

Then, without another word, she smashes through the window and flies into the open night air.

Well, this is great! You completely failed your own plan and let the others down in the process. Apparently you’re not much better than Caesar at formulating plans.

You whimper as the wound on your chest is beginning to renew itself. The process is no less painful than receiving the wound; flesh sews itself together, organs regenerate, bones are repaired – soon, your chest is completely restored. However, you can’t escape the chains. Even though you’re gifted with strength beyond normal humans, the chains still bind you. They wrap around your entire body, from feet to shoulders. Only your head is exposed.

“Miss Clara?”

You turn your head.
>> No. 61873
File 143994915966.png - (285.18KB, 600x480, src_twitter_tauminust_626441166771261440.png) [iqdb]
61873
{ Image source: https://twitter.com/tauminust/status/626441166771261440 }

{ BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrK8OFJ5T50 }
~ Piano arrangement of U.N. Owen was Her?, original composed by ZUN ~

...A young girl stands by the staircase. She wears a red dress that matches her glowing red eyes. Her skin is pale and almost seems to shimmer. Her hair is yellow, and reminds you of the sun, though it is a bit messy. A pair of bat-like wings spread out from her back. The way she holds herself, she seems incredibly shy and unsure of herself. Her expression is dipped in worry, and her eyes are on you.

“I-it’s me, Flandre...” she says, avoiding your eyes sheepishly. You smile, trying to look welcoming. That seems to reassure her; she smiles back and slowly approaches you.

“I’m sorry I told on you,” she says once she’s standing next to you. “I’m so sorry...”

“It’s... It’s okay, Flandre,” you say, a little taken aback. You’re not sure what Flandre’s role in all of this is, besides her relation to Remilia, but something about her makes you want to protect her.

“Are you sure? Oh... I know, let me make it up to you!”

She holds her hand out in front of her, palm up. Focusing on you, she grimaces and then closes her hand tightly. The chains around you explode, sending you into the air. However, instead of crashing into the ground, you land in Flandre’s arms.

“Oh,” you huff, slightly out of breath.

“Sorry, did it hurt? I tried not to let it break so much.”

“I’m fine,” you reply. It’s a small lie; your body is extremely hot and your bones are aching, but it’s nothing serious. “Thank you for your help.”

She grins. “Do you want to play?”

Something about her eyes puts you on edge.

[ ] Let’s play the “save my friends from the vampire” game.
[ ] Tell her you can’t play today.
>> No. 61875
File 143995073332.png - (504.79KB, 900x540, remilia_and_flandre_scarlet_sonic_style_2_by_plane.png) [iqdb]
61875
[x] Let’s play the “save my friends from the vampire” game.

Pic related: They were both in this entry, so I think this is the prudent time to use this. I'll save the other spongebob ones for later.
>> No. 61876
[x] Let’s play the “save my friends from the vampire” game.

Can't wait to inevitably betray her. Humanity forever, vampires never.
>> No. 61878
[x] Let's play the 'Good vampire saves people from the bad vampire' game. And you get to be the good one!

Considering she's a vampire, misunderstanding the game and going after his friends herself would be a very Flan thing to do. Better cover our bases.
>> No. 61881
[x] Let's play the 'Good vampire saves people from the bad vampire' game. And you get to be the good one!

This seems like an alright idea.
>> No. 61883
[x] Let’s play the “save my friends from the vampire” game.
>> No. 61932
“Uh, sure, we can play a game,” you say without really thinking.

“Yay! What game are we going to play, Miss?”

There’s only one thing you want to do right now, and that’s stop Remilia. So, as a game...

“We’re going to play a game called ‘Good Vampire versus Bad Vampire.’ In the game, the good vampire has to stop the bad vampire before she does something bad. Guess who gets to be the good vampire? You!”

She blinks. “I’m the good vampire?”

“Yes! Also, the bad vampire is Remilia. So, we gotta stop her before she does something bad!”

“Oh, Remi is the bad one... Okay. What are you?”

“I’m... uh...” You didn’t think of that. To be fair, you’re coming up with this on the spot. “...I’m the good vampire’s assistant!”

She stares at you for a few moments, devoid of expression. The tips of her mouth bend upwards ever-so slightly. “That sounds like a fun game,” she says. “Assistant! Where’s the Scarlet Devil off to now?!” She raises her arms, palms upturned, with her face frozen in mock frustration.

You point dramatically at the nearby broken window. “She escaped the castle, ma’am! We have to give chase!”

“Alright!! Oops... I mean...” She giggles into her hand. “We’ll have to chase after her then,” she says in a low voice, nodding solemnly.

She holds onto your waist and floats through the window. She appears to glow in the moonlight. The two of you fire off into the night. The moonlight illuminates the countryside, exposing fields, houses, and trees. The scarcely-populated countryside looks even lonelier at night. Having a living vampire as powerful as Remilia Scarlet nearby isn’t going to do wonder for the local population. However, you’re sure that this is a popular region for vampire hunters.

“It’s getting cloudy, huh?” Flandre asks. She’s right; dark clouds are blowing over the region.

“Yeah...”

“Do you know which way the bad vampire went?”

“Let me find out,” you say, reaching for Caesar’s enchanted stone. You speak into it, “Caesar, I’m safe. What’s your status and how far from the castle are you?”

“We are a few miles north of the castle. We’re safe, but Villy can sense the Scarlet Devil pursuing us. I take it she got through you?” Caesar’s voice sounds as if he’s right in front of you, but Flandre doesn’t react to it. Come to think of it, you couldn’t hear Luna’s replies to Caesar when he used the stone, so it must send sounds directly to each participant’s brain.

“She ditched me in favour of you guys. Hold on tight. I’ll be rejoining you shortly.”

“Alright.”

You replace the stone in your pocket.

“What’s that stone?” Flandre asks.

“I can talk to my friends through it. Remilia is chasing after them close by, so keep your eyes peeled.”

The two of you spend the next few minutes of your flight scanning the lands below. Eventually, you spot a tiny humanoid figure speeding through the air.

“That must be her,” you say, pointing. She nods. The two of you fall into line behind Remilia and begin to follow her. Thunder booms in the distance. The sky is covered by dark clouds. Remilia is not even deterred by the possibility of rain, a weakness of vampires. Eventually, she begins to descend, so Flandre follows suit. She lands near a large patch of trees.

Flandre gently lets you down and lands next to you. You nod, thanking her with a smile.

“She’s coming close to our refuge spot,” Caesar’s voice resounds in your head. “Where are you?”

“Close behind her,” you say.

[ ] Confront Remilia as quickly as possible before she meets Caesar and the others.
[ ] Watch events unfold from further away, but be prepared to step in when things go sour.

----------

I have a new job starting Monday, so it might take me a bit to get into the swing of things. Next update may be delayed.
>> No. 61933
File 144026760621.jpg - (59.85KB, 348x251, koamad.jpg) [iqdb]
61933
Alas, I forgot to grab a picture for this update!

...I'm not sure what else to say, so let me take the chance to thank each and every one of you who take the time to read & vote on my story. (Especially after my absence!) I love writing for you guys.
>> No. 61934
File 144028326838.jpg - (258.13KB, 734x396, 121950756964.jpg) [iqdb]
61934
[x] Confront Remilia as quickly as possible before she meets Caesar and the others.

The weak ones need the element of surprise. Besides we need to know how will Flan react
>> No. 61940
[x] Confront Remilia as quickly as possible before she meets Caesar and the others.
>> No. 61948
>>61940
Fuck, I have no idea if this is my vote or not.
>> No. 61952
[ ] Confront Remilia as quickly as possible before she meets Caesar and the others.
>> No. 61973
[ ] Watch events unfold from further away, but be prepared to step in when things go sour.
hands off
>> No. 61987
[X] Watch events unfold from further away, but be prepared to step in when things go sour.

Be a good assistant. or risk the Good Vampire's wrath.
>> No. 61989
File 144046952561.jpg - (158.70KB, 1049x762, _fanart_touhou_ball_z___set_1_by_overlibertyshead-.jpg) [iqdb]
61989
[x] Confront Remilia as quickly as possible before she meets Caesar and the others

There was a lot of Flandre this update, so have a relevation regarding Flandre, courtesy of deviantart
>> No. 62464
File 144437646233.jpg - (1.82MB, 3504x2332, choice.jpg) [iqdb]
62464
You charge after Remilia with reckless abandon, Flandre following close behind you. Bushes sway in your wake and dead leaves crunch beneath your feet, alerting Remilia of the imminent impact, but she has little time to react. In mere seconds, Flandre unceremoniously collides with her, sending them both several metres across the ground.

You slow to a stop, ending up where Remilia had been standing. Flandre hops off of her sister, bouncing in place and pointing at Remilia eagerly.

“I win! I win!”

“Shut up,” Remilia growls, climbing to her feet. Flandre’s cheerfulness dissipates immediately, replaced by a grimace and light trembling. “This isn’t a game. You,” she hisses, glaring in your direction, “Don’t involve my sister in this.”

“I could have sworn that you did that first.”

She breaks into a sprint, closing in on you in seconds. You try to run, but she latches onto your back. Her legs wrapping around your torso and her hands grasp your shou— AHHHHH! Your shoulders, your shoulders! At this rate, she’ll crush your bones. You feel a sharp prick of pain on the right side of your neck— GAH! She’s biting you, tearing skin, your blood burning as it comes into contact with her saliva.

You’re screaming, she’s screaming, and somewhere, you’re sure you can hear Flandre screaming too. You stumble around, barely able to remain on your feet with the combination of Remilia’s weight and the pain.

However, amongst the pure chaos of that moment, it dawns on you that Remilia is more open to an attack from you now than she has been the entire night. With this realization comes another: you still have Caesar’s knife. You grasp the weapon in your left hand; you can’t exactly feel your right arm anymore. She doesn’t notice the weapon, but she does manage to throw you off-balance. You fall to the ground with her firmly latched onto you.

The force of crashing into the ground leaves you dazed for a moment, but you quickly shake it off. There’s no time. You swing the knife towards your right shoulder, catching her hand with the blade at the cost of stabbing your own flesh. The primal noises she was making only seconds prior turn into screams of pain. The knife pins her hand to your shoulder. You hear a strange hiss and realize that it is the sound of her skin, evaporating.

She kicks and claws at you, trying to get away as soon as possible. As if she were paper under a tack, she is unable to remove her hand from under the knife. You attempt to stand, but the vampire frantically fights you every inch of the way. You do eventually reach your feet, and quickly pull the knife from your shoulder. Without wasting any time, you turn and dive onto Remilia, holding the knife up against her heart. She freezes immediately, her eyes slowly moving up to meet yours.

You hold the knife there. The two of you pant heavily, neither daring any sudden movements. Blood trails from her lips all the way down her neck. Her clothes, having before been a light shade of white or pink (tonight’s lighting had never made it clear), have become stained by your blood. You realize, with a hint of irony, that she might be called the Scarlet Devil simply because of how she drinks blood.

Clap, clap.

You tilt your head slightly; just enough to keep an eye on Remilia while still seeing the source of the noise. Near the patch of trees up ahead, you can see Caesar. He claps slowly, a smile of bravado and confidence upon his face, his eyes focused directly on Remilia’s.

“Oh dear,” he says in a high voice, “Seems like you enjoyed the meal I prepared for you. That’s good...” His voice drops to its usual range, but filled with malice, “Especially since it was your last.

“But, I’m a considerate person. I’ll let you state your case. Explain to me why you deserve to live, Remilia Scarlet. Maybe I’ll let you go!”

“What, are you expecting me to beg?” she spits. “I’d sooner burn for an eternity than beg to a human. A lowly peasant, at that. How exactly did you come to diabolism? You’re one of most sloppy, incompetent vampire hunters that have had it out for me.”

“You don’t seem to understand your situation, Remilia Scarlet. I’m the one in power here.”

A silver knife materializes in Remilia’s shoulder, sending her into another bout of screaming. After a few seconds, the knife disappears.

“Well? Are we humble yet?”

Burn in hell,” Remilia hisses.

“Alright, but you asked for—”

“Wait!”

Flandre emerges from the bushes, standing between Caesar and Remilia, spreading her arms wide. “Don’t hurt Remi! Please!”

“Flandre! Stay out of this!”

Caesar blinks. “Oh. The other vampire.” He shakes his head. “Listen, girl. I have no qualms with you, personally. Sure, I’m out for all vampires, but tonight’s hunt was just the Scarlet Devil. If you leave us be, I’ll let you off the hook just this once.”

“Flandre, run! Get away from here!”

“No! I can’t let you hurt Remi!”

He frowns. “I see. So that’s how it will be.” His expression hardens. “Clara, if she makes any sudden moves, I want you to kill Remilia Scarlet.”

The hair on your skin stands on its ends. Flandre slowly turns to stare at you. “My assistant? A traitor?”

“...I’m sorry,” you whisper.

Flandre freezes.

“That’s more like it,” Caesar says. He nods solemnly. “I’m not a fan of dragging this sort of thing out, so let’s just get it over with... Clara, would you do the honours?”

The fear in Flandre’s expression changes – it morphs into something dark, angry. She stares into your eyes with hatred. “You lied. Clara is a liar...” If looks could kill, her glare would lead to an instantaneous, explosive death. However, she does not move. She becomes so still that if you didn’t know any better, you would have mistaken her for a life-sized statue.

“Clara?”

You glance down at Remilia. Her chest rises and falls as breath passes through her lungs, but that is the only movement from her. Her eyes are shut, as if in a deep sleep. She knows what’s coming. She’s ready.

But are you? Are you ready to do this?

Who is Remilia Scarlet?

Who is Caesar?

Who even are you?

“Clara, by my role as your Master...”

Sure, in this body, you’re Clara. And beyond that, you’re a demon from beyond this plane.

“...the one who has supplied you with a mortal vessel to inhabit this world...”

But beyond even that...

“...and who has supplied you with permissions to allow you to remain in this world...”

What does your true identity say about this situation?

“...and as by your role as my Servant...”

Do you honour Remilia’s life?

“...the one who exists to fulfill the tasks of humanity...”

Do you honour Caesar’s trust?

“...and finally, by the terms we made in our pact that created this partnership...”

Luna’s trust?

“...I, Caesar...”

Flandre’s trust?

“...command you, Clara...”

Do you honour the contract?

“...to fulfill our contract here and now...”

Do you honour your own agendas, even at the cost of punishment? Do you follow the system set about for your kind, even at the cost of a life? If you do follow the system, won’t you be saving lives, since the person in question is a powerful vampire? If you let her live, will she go on to change the future, causing events to occur that wouldn’t be possible otherwise?

“...by killing Remilia Scarlet.”

[ ] Follow the contract.
[ ] Spare Remilia’s life.

----------

So, how have things been? It seems like the only time I ever get writing done is when I don’t have access to the internet. Maybe I should purposefully shut off the router from time to time.

Also, while I’d love it with every update, here more than any other, please add any thoughts you have on the situation in your posts. It will help me form Clara/demon’s mindset and internal explanation for your actions when I have the readers’ actual thoughts to base these things on.
>> No. 62466
File 144437726452.png - (169.28KB, 800x600, insubordinate_sakuya_by_krackocloud-d630afr.png) [iqdb]
62466
[x] Use the fact that we have literally everyone present's interests at knifepoint to wring information out of them
-[x] If it looks like someone's going to actually act to circumvent us, spare Remilia

Pic Related: Remilia's day thus far
>> No. 62467
Uh, so I re-read the story and made up a few notes. Don't know if anyone cares but...

Caesar: 17-18 year old vampire hunter-demonist. Insecure. Smile of a killer. Wants to exterminate Remilia due to rumors about her terrorizing the village and (most importantly) fame. Killed tribute for your to take her place.

Luna: Distrustful. Japanese. Teenager looks. 16 years veteran on the job. Second in Command in the hunter party. Uses knives. Looks for revenge against vampires. Manipulates time to an extent.

Deke: Caesar's partner. Burly. Cheerful. Mage. BIG. Glory hunter.

Villy: Small. Looks like a kid. Cheerful. Senses lifeforms.

>“Thank you for your cooperation,” the man says, bowing his head. “Good luck.”

Good luck dying? Hint or red herring?

Remilia: Scarlet Devil. Elegant. Beautiful looks. Likes wine, guests and giving hunters a chance to go away even after they already tried to kill her.

>“You’re being a huge nuisance,” you spit. “The people of the neighboring village don’t need someone like you lording over them.”

“How quick you are to accuse!” she exclaims, taken aback. “I don’t even know why...”

Don't know what? Hint or red herring?
>> No. 62469
File 144440215679.jpg - (882.31KB, 2000x1404, 84420f827b4f0da7b11100d596752dd7.jpg) [iqdb]
62469
Man, what a shit situation. We're being forced to take a big decision and we don't know jack.

On the plus side, it still is our decision because, while the fourth term of our contract states that she has to do something if asked by name, the stupid idiot used the name of the vessel.
Even if he did that correctly though, it STILL wouldn't have worked because it would enter in conflict with the third term: 'Before ANY other task, your first priority is to protect me (Caesar) from harm'

By killing Remilia we're indirectly killing him, thanks to the presence of her sister: we know for a fact that she is, at least, faster than us in our current state (I.E.: shitwrecked)

That said, even if these amateurs weren't caught in a catch-22, we have yet to find evidence of her terrorizing anything. For all we know, they just want the fame/revenge. Maybe that's my Remi-bias talking though.

[x] Touch Remilia with the knife slightly and cheer "Bam, you lost the game, team Good Vampire wins!"
-[x] "As a penalty, you can only kill or harm humans in self-defense from now on. I sure hope you know how to feed without seriously harming people."
-[x] Urge the rest to continue with their original retreat plan while you keep them entertained. If pressed, indicate that you can't guarantee the third term of your contract in your state.


>"this plan is in shambles, so we’ve decided to retreat for now.”
That was the original plan, by the way. Only with Luna as the one left behind instead.
>> No. 62473
This is an important decision, and there aren't many votes yet, so I'll hold off on writing for a little longer.
>> No. 62474
[ ] Follow the contract.

I don't see any reason not to.
>> No. 62475
[x] Touch Remilia with the knife slightly and cheer "Bam, you lost the game, team Good Vampire wins!"
-[x] "As a penalty, you can only kill or harm humans in self-defense from now on. I sure hope you know how to feed without seriously harming people."
-[x] Urge the rest to continue with their original retreat plan while you keep them entertained. If pressed, indicate that you can't guarantee the third term of your contract in your state.
>> No. 62476
[X] Spare Remilia’s life.

Perhaps it would be better to find out more first before killing anyone.
>> No. 62477
[X] Spare Remilia’s life.

This isn't a choice you can just take back. Let's get more info.
>> No. 62486
[x] Touch Remilia with the knife slightly and cheer "Bam, you lost the game, team Good Vampire wins!"
-[x] "As a penalty, you can only kill or harm humans in self-defense from now on. I sure hope you know how to feed without seriously harming people."
-[x] Urge the rest to continue with their original retreat plan while you keep them entertained. If pressed, indicate that you can't guarantee the third term of your contract in your state.
>> No. 62487
File 144497532182.png - (5.12KB, 479x433, caesarwantstofight.png) [iqdb]
62487
The decision is heavy on your heart.

Normally, you feel a cold detachment from the acts you perform for your Masters. In this case, something hits closer to home than those of your other contracts. Killing Remilia rubs you the wrong way. You can’t place it, but it’s almost as if you have met her before. The familiarity makes killing her harder than if she was a faceless villain.

However, it is your duty. You glance at Caesar. His eyes are on the knife in your hands. He is so fixated on the weapon that you wonder if he will take it and kill her himself. From his stance, you can see more in him than a desire to save lives from a vampire: you see hatred. Is his hatred a justification for killing Remilia?

Flandre’s eyes continue to burn as she stares at you intensly. If you kill Remilia now, she will be alone. Flandre will no longer have a sister. The vampires you have met in the past tend to be the territorial types, so you doubt that she has anyone else to turn to. If you follow Caesar’s orders, you risk leaving her completely alone.

Remilia... Her steady breathing is almost peaceful. Does she accept her death – perhaps even desire it? You doubt that. From what you know of her, she may be trying to leave this world the same way that she lived in it: with elegance. It is here, in this barren field, that she will experience a silent, elegant death, by your hands.

Or will it be by your hands?

You don’t deserve a choice. You are not a vampire hunter. You’re not a powerful non-human. In this world, you are only a tool. Humans use you to complete a task. A knife has no will in this world; whether used for cutting vegetables or killing, it follows the will of its wielder.

...Is that really true? Even knives develop freewill of their own over time. Is it not the same for demons? Perhaps that is why you find yourself stuck.

You find yourself re-analyzing the terms of your contract. Searching for some sort of slip of the tongue – wording that will give you the freedom you need.

“As scribed by the old laws of your kind, demon, I command you to complete the following task: assist me and my team in destroying a powerful adversary. My terms are as follows.

One; you may not kill anybody unless I give you explicit permission.


He is actively communicating to you that he wants you to kill Remilia, so the first term is being upheld.

Two; you may not inflict any pain on the bodies of myself or my companions.

Your current position has no involvement with the physical bodies of Caesar, Villy, Deke, or Luna, so the second term is also being upheld.

Three; before any other task, your first priority is to protect me from any person, animal, or thing that intends me harm.

...

That’s it!

If you kill Remilia now, you will lose your bargaining chip regarding Flandre. Should she then go on a rampage – which is highly likely given the murderous glare on her face – you cannot guarantee the safety of Caesar. Since his safety takes the highest priority, as per his terms, killing Remilia here would violate the contract. This is just the kind of loophole you need!

You turn to Caesar. “Master, I am unable to kill Remilia Scarlet at this time.”

All eyes are on you. Flandre’s anger dilutes, mild curiosity intermingling. Remilia opens her eyes, a glimmer of hope in them. Caesar’s brow furrows and he bites his lower lip tightly.

“You can’t go back on the contract, Clara,” he says in a shaky voice.

“You are right that I can’t go back on the contract. But, you made something very clear to me when we were working out the terms: my first priority is your safety.”

“Yes. As you can see, I’m perfectly safe—”

“If I were to kill Remilia Scarlet at this very moment, you would be dead in mere seconds. Flandre, the little sister to Remilia Scarlet, would turn on us before we had any time to fight back.”

“Sure, but we can handle her. We handled her big sister just fine.”

Remilia begins to laugh. It’s an empty laugh that comes from the back of her throat. “Don’t tempt the gods today, hunter.”

You need to shut up,” he growls.

“No, you do!” Flandre shouts, clenching her fist.

The base of a nearby tree explodes. The position and angle of the explosion sends the remains of the tree in a direct trajectory for Caesar. He barely reacts in time, shouting words you can’t quite hear to create a bubble of energy around him. The tree bounces off of the bubble harmlessly and lands on the ground.

Flandre grabs another tree, uprooting it with just her hands, and swings it towards Caesar. Sparks of energy fly off of his magic bubble when the tree collides, reversing the force applied so quickly that Flandre loses her grip on it. The tree sails into the air, heading straight towards you and Remilia. Instinctively, you duck, pressing yourself as close to Remilia (and the ground) as possible. The tree grazes by, landing on the ground behind you.

“This is bad,” she whispers. She motions tilts her head in Flandre’s direction. “She’s going to destroy everything that moves... and doesn’t move, I suppose... if we don’t do something about it.”

“I... er... What should we do?”

“I can calm her down, but you need to convince Caesar to retreat. If he sticks around, she won’t listen to a word I say.”

“Alright... I’ll try,” you mumble. You’re still holding the knife. “Can... can I trust you?”

Remilia smiles. “Your actions are noble, if a bit silly. That said, I appreciate you sparing my life for the time being, so when we get out of this, I’ll let you amateurs go on your merry way.”

You still only have her word to go by. You could definitely make a diabolic contract with her to keep her to her word, but there’s not enough time for that. You have no choice but to trust her; the alternative is not a good prospect.

“...Alright. I’ll trust you.”

“Thank you.”

You rise to your feet, and help her to hers. She smiles.

It’s a formal smile. There is no emotion to it.

The trees in the area are disappearing quickly. With seemingly little effort, Flandre uproots and attack Caesar’s magic bubble with tree after tree. Cracks and gaps in the shield created by the onslaught are clearly visible. Caesar holds his hands out tensely, focusing all of his efforts on keeping up the bubble.

“Caesar!”

“Clara! Help!”

You reach the bubble, placing your hands on it. In response, the bubble turns from blue to purple, and the damage done to it slowly repairs itself. Caesar drops his arms.

“Get out while you can,” you say, “It’s too dangerous to fight them right now. Regroup with the others and come up with a new plan. I’ll hold them off so you can escape, just as we were going to do before you got thirsty for the kill.”

“But— Clara, wait—”

“No! Don’t resist! Just get out while you can! I can’t keep this shield up forever. You need to escape.”

Confliction etches itself deep into his brow. “You should have killed her then...”

He shakes his head. “But, I’m glad you didn’t. We might both be dead right now. So...” He turns, staring into the distance. “Don’t die here, Clara. Stay safe.”

He breaks into a sprint, the bubble moving with him.

You focus on the vampires. Remilia is holding onto Flandre tightly, saying something. She’s not resisting, but her eyes are still filled with anger, and her fists are still balled tightly at her sides.

[ ] Follow Caesar. Trust Remilia to sort it out.
[ ] Apologize to Flandre. Keep them distracted so that Caesar can escape.
>> No. 62488
File 144497615284.jpg - (113.62KB, 889x899, touhou_scarlet_devil_sisters____ponified_____by_xm.jpg) [iqdb]
62488
[x] Apologize to Flandre. Keep them distracted so that Caesar can escape.

I usually have an excuse for posting these things, but there's no excusing this one. Oh well, posting anyways.
>> No. 62491
[ ] Apologize to Flandre. Keep them distracted so that Caesar can escape.
>> No. 62496
[x] Apologize to Flandre. Keep them distracted so that Caesar can escape.

I trust Remilia but... if she can't do it for some reason or another (or my trust was misplaced) then the rest are fucked.

Time to own up I guess.
>> No. 62507
[x] Apologize to Flandre. Keep them distracted so that Caesar can escape.
>> No. 62508
[x] Apologize to Flandre.

Can't say I particularly care about Caesar's escape, if he's that much of an idiot. But yeah.
>> No. 62509
[x] Apologize to Flandre.
We may be literally bound by contract to help kill Remillia, but there's no reason to be unprofessional about it.
>> No. 62523
File 144528610978.jpg - (142.56KB, 374x495, koa5w.jpg) [iqdb]
62523
Technically, we were only contracted to "assist [Caesar] and [his] team in destroying a powerful adversary", with no mention in the actual contract of who or what that adversary might be.
>> No. 62556
File 144541103069.png - (724.23KB, 2025x1125, src_pixiv_12976569.png) [iqdb]
62556
Their eyes follow you closely as you approach. Flandre, tight in Remilia’s embrace, narrows her eyes. When you are within speaking distance, she lets out a low growl. Remilia does not react; neither to your approach nor Flandre’s hostility. She simply continues to hold onto her sister, watching you with empty eyes.

“Sorry,” you try.

Idiot!” Flandre snaps. “That wasn’t a game at all!”

“Flandre, please try to relax,” Remilia says softly.

“No! Don’t treat me like a child! I can control myself!”

“Flandre, everything will be alright. Nobody is going to hurt you. Nobody is going to hurt me. We’re safe now.”

“No! No! The liar is there! Don’t let her trick you!”

“Fla—”

Flandre bursts out of her sister’s embrace. She flies above the two of you, raising her hand to her waist, her fingers open. Nothing is there, but she holds her hand as if there is something small and delicate in her palm.

“This is your eye...” she whispers. “All I have to do is squeeze it and you’ll leave me alone forever...”

She looks around. You mimic her, taking in your surroundings. Trees are lying across the ground like bodies in a battlefield. Here and there, small flames lick up some of the fallen trees eagerly. You suspect that the fire was the result of clashing with Caesar’s magic bubble.

“Look at all of this mess,” she continues. “This is all I know how to do. Break stuff. Ahaha...” She brings her hand to her ear. “What’s that, little eye? You don’t want to be broken? I can’t hear you...”

She focuses on you. “I can’t hear you...” she repeats, a dangerous edge to her voice.

What does she want you to say? Her mood is getting increasingly unstable. She’s saying a lot of stuff, but at the core of it you can tell that she’s hurt. Is it because you lied to her, or is it something deeper than that? What could have set the stage for this pent-up frustration? Unfortunately, you don’t know her. You know barely anything about her. You glance at Remilia for help. She bites her lip.

“Flandre, please don’t do this. Clara didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Did she say that?! She’s lying to you! Don’t let her trick you, Remi!”

“Flandre,” you interject softly, attempting to mimic Remilia’s gentle tone, “I didn’t mean to lie. It was a mistake, and completely my fault. I’m sorry.”

The words sound fake coming from your mouth. It’s not about the “game” the two of you played. She knows that, and you know that. Apologizing for that means nothing. What does she want you to say?

“No. No, you’re not.”

“Flandre, come down, okay? We can talk about this back at the castle.”

“Why? So you can give us some tea and we all talk and talk and laugh?” She floats higher, her hand tightening slightly. “It’s so easy... Just one small move and you’ll be gone. And then Remilia will be safe!”

Remilia will be safe...

The pieces come together. She’s scared of her sister being hurt. She just heard Caesar’s horrible speech, and saw you holding a knife to her sister. She’s scared of these unknown threats – you, Caesar, and the others – she’s scared that you managed to reach her sister. She’s scared that you will do it again. She’s not upset that you lied about playing a game with her. She’s upset because you pose a threat to Remilia.

“Flandre...”

She stares at you. Her eyes burn, as before, but beneath her anger you can see a girl who is scared and lost. Her fingers are tight, but she hasn’t closed her hand just yet. She’s listening. She’s giving you a chance.

[ ] “I’m sorry for threatening Remilia’s life.”
[ ] “I promise I won’t hurt Remilia from now on.”
>> No. 62557
[X] I promise I won't hurt Remilia from now on
-[x] You love your sister no? And you don't want to see her hurt, right? I only did this because I was told that your sister was hurting other people. That hundreds of sisters in the village were feeling like you do now.

They are feeling worse actually, but she doesn't need to hear that now.

Anyway, if Remilia really is killing people, then I want Flandre to understand that she isn't the only one in pain. And if she isn't, she should know that she wasn't the only one deceived.

All this only after putting her fears to ease, of course. Relief always help empathy.
>> No. 62558
[X] I promise I won't hurt Remilia from now on
-[x] You love your sister no? And you don't want to see her hurt, right? I only did this because I was told that your sister was hurting other people. That hundreds of sisters in the village were feeling like you do now.
>> No. 62561
File 144545326660.jpg - (35.34KB, 393x474, 1212442898450.jpg) [iqdb]
62561
[x] I promise I won't hurt Remilia from now on
-[x] You love your sister no? And you don't want to see her hurt, right? I only did this because I was told that your sister was hurting other people. That hundreds of sisters in the village were feeling like you do now.

This seems like a baaaaaaaaaad idea, but I am nothing if not a sucker for the saccharine option in a quest.
>> No. 62564
Hi, writer here with a friendly piece of advice.

Try your best to see it from Flandre's point of view. She's not looking for you to justify yourself. She's not even looking for your guarantee of Remilia's safety. Such a guarantee, if provided, would certainly help. However, the issue here is that she thought she could trust you, and events played out in a way that showed her that her trust was misplaced. She's confused and hurt that you turned out to be an enemy. She understands that you are on the side of a band of vampire hunters, but to what extent are you acting on their will or your own? What she needs is reassurance that you didn't trick her because of something she did -- or because of something she and her sister are.

Both of the answers provided will accomplish this. The choice isn't about "what answer will help her calm down?" but rather, "what answer best aligns with my motivations?" An apology keeps things neutral; after all, you don't know if you can prevent yourself from killing Remilia in the future. At the very least, you get to express to Flandre that you don't want to hurt her or Remilia. However, while apologizing will certainly clear things up, Remilia and Flandre will never be able to completely trust you, because they know that you will eventually have to fulfill your contract. On the other hand, a promise means that you have decided that Remilia doesn't deserve death. With this decision, you accept conflict with Caesar & Company when it inevitably comes up. Additionally, you will have to find a way out of the contract or break your promise.

Neither of the options is the wrong one, and I am not trying to give you any hints about which one choose. Think of this advice as from an anon to another anon, rather than from a writer who knows everything. The write-in is off the mark on what this choice is focusing on, so that is why I decided to make this post. I want to help you all realize the true meaning of this choice. Hopefully I succeeded. Good luck voting, everyone!
>> No. 62569
File 14454697335.jpg - (142.16KB, 751x1000, Cross-Over_full_1319596.jpg) [iqdb]
62569
[x] “I’m sorry for threatening Remilia’s life.”
-[x] "I'm going to attempt to avoid doing so in the future, as far as my contract allows."
-[x] Mention that if you can convince Caesar to change who the term "powerful adversary" refers to, you will be freed of any obligation to harm them whatsoever.
-[x]"You wouldn't happen to know of any truly evil vampires around these parts, would you?"

Yeah I'm changing my vote. Have a Goku.
>> No. 62579
[x] “I’m sorry for threatening Remilia’s life.”

Not really though. Unless we've been given some compelling reason to believe she's not killing people and I've forgotten about it.
>> No. 62586
File 144552476775.jpg - (259.37KB, 850x839, sample-d367e55de03659e59d98b52c90930c4b.jpg) [iqdb]
62586
[x] “I’m sorry for threatening Remilia’s life.”
-[x] "And for betraying your trust"
-[x] "It wasn't my intention: I'm under a contract to follow his orders as long as he uses my name, for as long as it takes his team to defeat a 'powerful adversary', I only managed to avoid doing so by abusing a loophole"

Let's try this.
>> No. 62618
[x] >>62586

Do want Flandre~
>> No. 62641
[X] I promise I won't hurt Remilia from now on

I think we can wriggle our way out of the contract from earlier.
>> No. 62642
[x] “I’m sorry for threatening Remilia’s life.”
-[x] "And for betraying your trust"
-[x] "It wasn't my intention: I'm under a contract to follow his orders as long as he uses my name, for as long as it takes his team to defeat a 'powerful adversary', I only managed to avoid doing so by abusing a loophole"

This sounds good to me.
>> No. 62750
[X] “I promise I won’t hurt Remilia from now on.”

When thinking from Clara's point of view, do I feel sorry for threatening Remi? ... No, not really. As the first sentence of the story says, we are a demon. And the threats did work, after all. Except for this.

What I do feel is sufficient amusement and affection for these vampires to promise not to harm them in the future. The systems of contract are the bread and butter of our kind, after all. They work.
>> No. 62784
[x] “I’m sorry for threatening Remilia’s life.”
-[x] "And for betraying your trust"
-[x] "It wasn't my intention: I'm under a contract to follow his orders as long as he uses my name, for as long as it takes his team to defeat a 'powerful adversary', I only managed to avoid doing so by abusing a loophole"

Tiebreaker.
>> No. 62788
I'll lock the votes here while I can.
>> No. 62835
File 144644626134.png - (63.73KB, 170x155, anger.png) [iqdb]
62835
You consider trying to tell her about the nearby village to try to show her Caesar’s point of view. You could explain that the people there feel the same way or worse than she does. Their loved ones are routinely whisked away to the vampire castle to never be seen again. The fear and loss that those deal with on a regular basis must surely be great; greater, even, than Flandre’s fear for her sister. However, you decide against mentioning it. For one, you’re not sure if the circumstances in the village are exactly as you imagine. Also, there’s no guarantee that Flandre, as a vampire, sees the humans in the village as anything more than cattle.

You could promise not to hurt Remilia, but that leads to its own batch of problems. You are bound by contract, so a promise of that magnitude means that you will either have to find a way out of the contract or break your promise. Both options would lead you into a very tough predicament – possibly even tougher than your current one.

The air feels uneasy. It crowds around you, applying pressure on ever inch of your body. The pressure ignites pain in your mutilated shoulder. You silently shut off the functions associated with pain so that it doesn’t consume all of your attention. Flandre, a small ball of fury floating a few metres in front of and above you, vies for your potentially final words.

“Well? What do you have to say?”

With no way to justify yourself, and promises out of the question, the only thing left is apologizing.

“Okay, listen,” you begin, “I’m sorry for threatening Remilia’s life. And... I’m sorry for betraying your trust. I never intended this.”

She shrugs, eying her closed fist. “I’m sure you didn’t.”

“That’s not what I meant. I’m under a contract to follow Caesar’s orders – that’s the mage you just met. He and I are bound by a contract. On my end of the deal, I must destroy a powerful adversary of his. He selected your sister as my target, so I had no choice.”

“If it’s a contract, how come you didn’t go through with it?”

“One of my terms of my contract was to make Caesar’s safety my highest priority. Because you were a threat to his safety, I used this term as a loophole to spare Remilia’s life.”

Her glare softens slightly. “I... saved her?”

“Yes. You gave me an opportunity to spare your sister.”

“You’re making it sound as if you wanted that opportunity,” Remilia says, raising an eyebrow. She opens her mouth to continue, but shuts it almost immediately, watching Flandre cautiously.

You follow her eyes, but Flandre is only staring at you, her face filled by confusion. You fall silent for a moment, pondering. “...I have no will. I am a tool. But, needless killing is always a good thing to avoid.”

“I see. How benevolent of you,” Remilia replies, a sly smile on her face.

“So... you’re not going to kill Remi?” Flandre asks, landing on the ground. Her grip on your eye loosens slightly. The pressure in the air dissipates.

“I cannot promise that. We will have to see what happens.”

She frowns. “Then... maybe I should break you so that there’s no risk.”

Remilia approaches, tapping Flandre’s wrist lightly. She steps backwards, taken aback by the sudden contact.

“Not yet,” Remilia says. “I have an idea.”

“But Remi, she has to kill you!”

“I have a way around it...” she says, a devilish grin spreading across her face. “Tell me, Clara; did that amateur apply any sort of time restriction to your contract?”

“No, there were no such restrictions.”

Her grin widens. You feel a little unsettled by the expression. “I see.” She takes Flandre’s hand. “Well, we are going back to the castle. This time, I’ll let you escape. You can run along to join your allies. But remember that the next time we meet, we will be enemies.”

She tenses up so that she can leap into flight, but after a moment, she relaxes. Her gaze travels to the moon. “I have a plan that may benefit all of us. If an intruder decided to follow us to the castle, I might be able to discuss my plan with them. I suppose we will see where Fate decides to cast the die, won’t we? See you again soon, Clara.”

And with that, the two set off into the night, Flandre looking back at you with complete and utter confusion upon her face.

[ ] “Intrude” on Remilia one more time.
[ ] Reunite with the others.
>> No. 62836
[x] “Intrude” on Remilia one more time.
Remi seems quick on the uptake. Flan... needs more time outside.
>> No. 62837
[x] “Intrude” on Remilia one more time.
>> No. 62842
File 144648907927.png - (244.83KB, 442x543, yvucZC4.png) [iqdb]
62842
[x] “Intrude” on Remilia one more time.
>> No. 62859
>>62835
[x] “Intrude” on Remilia one more time.
Were a devil i am pretty sure it is in our contract to try and get out of our deal's by any means necessary.
>> No. 62877
>>62842
Off-topic, but that is fucking adorable.
>> No. 62948
If all goes well, update will arrive Tuesday or Wednesday by North America time zones.
>> No. 62978
All did not go well. Working today and tomorrow, may be tied up on Saturday. The best estimation I can give is "soon."
>> No. 64270
I doubt anyone will see this, but for those trawling old threads, I'll officially state here this story is abandoned. This goes without saying; however, I wanted to provide official closure.

If someone higher-up happens to find this, go ahead and mark this as abandoned in the Story List.
>> No. 64271
Aww, that's a shame. I was briefly excited when I saw it in the watched threads, too.

Wow, has it really been a year and a month?
>> No. 64275
>>64271
I'm surprised to see a reply so soon. I didn't think anyone payed attention to this story. Hm.

Yeah, I wa surprised too. Time really flies when you're on hiatus.
>> No. 64276
>>64275
Er. I meant to sage. Welp, there goes my attempt at not drawing attention to myself.
>> No. 64277
>>64275
I was surprised too. I check old stories every know and then but that was lighting fast.

For what matters, thank you for writing this. It was great while it lasted.
>> No. 64278
File 14816336173.jpg - (261.77KB, 872x1000, image.jpg) [iqdb]
64278
>>64277
I thank you for your kind words. Have a Flan for your troubles.

Reading the story again, I find it more interesting and well-written than I gave myself credit. I don't want to falsely get your hopes up, but if there's enough people who are still interested in this story, I will reasses if I can still write it after the exam period.
>> No. 64281
I'll admit I just found this because you forgot to sage, but it does sound intersting.
>> No. 64283
Same. I've just found this and I indeed like it.
If you wanna keep it going it would be nice.
>> No. 64291
[X] “Intrude” on Remilia one more time.
>> No. 64292
Flan a cute. I'd also love to read more of this!
>> No. 64294
Alrighty, my exams are over and there seems to be a fair amount of interest, so I'll give this another shot.
>> No. 64300
I'd like to see this picked up again too.
Thank you Flanders!
>> No. 64301
File 148210096078.jpg - (14.30KB, 225x225, dark magic revival.jpg) [iqdb]
64301
The Pain.

Sharp. Stinging. Your side. It bleeds.

The Air.

It encroaches. Lightheaded. Queasy.

Why do you hurt?

You open your eyes.

The Darkness.

Can’t see. Where? How? Where is this place?

Person. Standing over you.

“H… el… lo?” you croak. The words barely come to you. Every movement is a struggle.

“Sssh, now,” the person whispers, shining a light on you. A man’s voice.

The Blood.

Everywhere. The walls. The floor. The table you lay on. Leaking from your chest. Panic sets in.

“Wh… what is this?!”

“Sssh. Don’t get worked up.”

The man forces a spoon into your mouth.

You involuntarily swallow the liquid.

The panic dulls. You feel sleepy.

“W-wait… not sleep… not ready... ”

“Clara, everything will be just fine. Rest well.”

Can’t open eyes. Too tired. Falling asleep.

Numb. Dull. Sleep.

- - - -

You jolt awake. You grab at your chest, feeling for the blood, but find nothing. Under your nightgown, your skin is unscathed. You look around tensely, expecting the man to be there. A few panicked moments pass, but nothing moves. You are alone in the room. It was just a dream.

You relax. You appear to be in a bedroom. Beneath you is a queen-size bed, the mattress gently accepting your weight while still providing support. A dark pine grandfather clock sits nearby. Its pendulum sways, resounding a harsh tick that gives every moment some weight. The time reads 8:50. The sun’s fingers of light reach into your bedroom through the window, indicating that it is morning.

The last thing you remember is talking to Flandre and Remilia. You had ultimately decided to follow them, but then everything had gone dark. The floor, ceiling, and walls of this room have similar architectural qualities as the study where you had first talked with Remilia. Did they notice and take you back to their home?

You throw back the silk covers and slide out of the bed. Your body feels good. Your injuries from the night before have healed and you’re filled with energy. Oddly, you don’t feel hungry. A human body such as yours still requires sustenance to do tasks, demon-possessed or not. Figuring the hunger will kick in later, you look around the room for any items of interest.

At the wall opposite the bed, a round table is covered with a few miscellaneous objects and a note. You read the note first.

> Hello there, I can see you’ve awaken
> Wait, that doesn’t make sense. I can’t even see you right now.
Okay, let’s start over
>
> Good morning evening, Clara!
> I hope you slept well…? You seemed really tired. You fell asleep collapsed just as we were leaving, so we turned around and bpicked you up.
> Anyway, if you’re up at daytime, Remi will probably be asleep resting. If you’re bored, you can come see me. I sleep whenever, so you can wake me up or something Remi is cute when woken up, but also grouchy Otherwise, feel free to leave the castle and explore, but make sure you come back to talk later. I wish I could explore with you, Clara
> Oh, yeah, you can have all of this stuff. It’s dangerous to go alone, so… consider it a gift from me to you, ok?
> Let’s put last night behind us

> Sincrely, Sinsurely, Love,
> Flandre
>
> p.s. Sorry for all the writing mistakes, Remi always tells me a lady needs to write properly so but I keep writing the wrong things…

Next to her name, Flandre left a simple self portrait.

On the table are a few objects of interest. The first thing to catch your eye is a dress. It is blue and white, a bit frillier and fancier than necessary, but looks comfortable. You change into the dress, leaving the nightgown on the bed. With it is a leather pouch attached to a belt, which you fasten to your waist. The pouch is filled with coins.

A simple dagger and sheath rests on the table. Seeing the weapon reminds you of your silver knife, which is nowhere to be found. Its disappearance is easily explainable: considering that this is the home of two vampires, it would not be wise of them to leave you unattended with a weapon that could be used to kill them. You feel a little concerned now that you no longer have an effective bartering tool, but you’re not entirely sure that it would have seen use anyway.

Your mind wanders to Caesar and the other hunters. Where are they right now? Surely not that far away, considering that they have two motivations to stick around: you are still separated from them, and Remilia Scarlet is still alive. You sheath the dagger and attach it to your belt.

The final object of interest is a small flask filled with yellow liquid. You open the cap and take a whiff. It smells alcoholic in nature. Why would Flandre have this? You pocket the flask despite being unsure of how it could be useful to you.

With nothing else in the room catching your eye, you step into the hallway. On the floor outside is a deep spear gash from the night before. You smile, the thought of you and Remilia fighting only a handful of hours ago filling you with whimsy. It feels like that fight had happened months ago, even though it’s only been one night.

[ ] Explore the castle.
[ ] See if there’s anything of interest outside.
[ ] It’s time to wake a vampire.
- [ ] Flandre!
- [ ] Remilia!

- - - - -

Good to be back. Thank you for supporting me, everyone. Let's make a great story!
>> No. 64302
[x] It’s time to wake a vampire.
-[x] Flandre!

We can't have Flandre missing Remilia's sleeping face!
>> No. 64303
[z] It’s time to wake a vampire.
-[e] Flandre!

Totally agree with the post above. And for one time a story restarts after being left, hooray!
>> No. 64304
[X] It’s time to wake a vampire.
-[X] Flandre!
10/10 Yu-Gi-Oh! reference
>> No. 64305
File 148213102463.jpg - (328.76KB, 1010x991, 0001278309_10.jpg) [iqdb]
64305
[x] It’s time to wake a vampire.
- [x] Flandre!

Man, I'm so excited for this to be back! So many fun and interesting stories managed to slip through the cracks and I'm glad this is not one of them!

Pic related: I have no excuses for this one.
>> No. 64306
[x] It’s time to wake a vampire.
-[x] Flandre!

I'm not sure if this is the next morning, or if we were kept asleep for a longer period.
>> No. 64307
[x] Explore the castle.

No harm in looking around a bit while we have the chance to do so without an escort.
>> No. 64308
>>64301
[x] It’s time to wake a vampire.
-[x] Flandre!

I'm so glad this it back, thanks for bringing reviving it.
>> No. 64309
[X] It’s time to wake a vampire.
- [X] Flandre!

This story looks interesting. Hope to see more.
>> No. 64312
[x] It’s time to wake a vampire.
-[x] Flandre!

I'm surprised this story actually died. Your writings pretty good and concisely structured, plus it's not like the prospect of this story's boring. Anyways, I want to mess around in the SDM after we have Flan with us.
>> No. 64313
Flandre time it is~

>>64312
Thank you. When I stopped writing, I was just starting my first job and entering University, so I put this story aside to focus on all of the new experiences going on in my life. I decided to officially drop this last week because I thought interest would have died in the year I left this story hanging, but I was clearly wrong.

Once again, I thank everyone for showing me that this story is still worth it. My life is smooth sailing from here, so we should be able to cruise along until we reach this story's conclusion!
>> No. 64314
[x] It’s time to wake a vampire.
-[x] Flandre!

>>64313
There's some old-ass threads on my watched lists. It's kind of sad how many of them are dead, really.
>> No. 64315
File 148228126151.jpg - (189.92KB, 878x600, src_pixiv_49948714.jpg) [iqdb]
64315
You decide to check on Flandre. Her room is in the basement, near the wine cellar. It only takes you a few minutes to reach the end of the hallway and subsequently, reach the thick metal door that leads to Flandre’s room. Is this really where she sleeps? It seems a bit harsh. You’re not sure the practical purpose of her sleeping down here. Sure, with destructive power like hers, keeping her locked up could limit her potential for destruction, but couldn’t she just destroy the door anyway? Maybe she just likes it down here.

The door is heavy and probably immovable for a normal human, but you open it with little difficulty. The room beyond is very dark, so you wait for your eyes to adjust first. Ahead is a stone corridor. You walk through it, making note of how bady kept this section of the castle appears to be: the ground is covered in dust and grime, and the bricks that make up the walls are covered in cracks, gashes, and holes. Eventually, you reach another metal door, identical to the first. You can barely see at this point, but that doesn’t stop you from entering the room beyond.

It’s too dark in here. You can’t see a thing.

“Hello?” you whisper, hoping that this is Flandre’s room. An unfounded worry briefly crosses your mind that perhaps this is not Flandre’s room, but that of some sort of malevolent creature.

“Hnn?”

It’s a tiny, sleepy whine. Moments later, you are airborne, being held up by the collar of your dress. You grip the arm of your assailant with both of your hands, your mortal body’s primal fears overtaking you.

A series of crystals shaped like elongated octahedrons pop into existence around the two of you. They come in pairs, each pair a different colour. They emit light, letting you see again.

“Oh, it’s just you,” she says, relaxing her grip a bit. You hang on even tighter, noticing how long of a drop is below you.

“Good morning, Flandre,” you say. “Mind bringing us down?”

She sighs. “Yeahsurewhatever.” She floats down, setting you on the ground.

With the light from the crystals, you can take a better look at her room. A grandiose bed sits across from the door you just entered, complete with a canopy and an incredible amount of space. The ground is covered in broken furniture, toys, and other miscellania, including many dangerous objects such as unsheathed knives. It’s a wonder you entered this room without stepping on anything. Near the bed is a wardrobe that is missing its legs on one side, a desk that has a surprisingly well-kept surface, and a few cabinets that are more or less in one piece.

“Nice room,” you say, trying to break the ice. She seems a little irritated for some reason.

“Yeah, sorry, I didn’t have time to clean up. You shoulda’ told me you were coming.”

“Uh… you invited me.”

She blinks, her cheeks turning a light pink. “Oh, I did? Oopsies… Okay, let’s start over,” she says, clapping her hands. The room plunges into darkness.

You wait for something to happen. After a minute you hear her whisper from the opposite wall, “psst… You’re supposed to wake me up.”

“I can’t see.”

She snaps her fingers, causing the crystals to glow dimly and begin orbiting around you. You look over to Flandre laying in her bed, clad in a crimson nightgown, pretending to sleep. You approach the bed and whisper, “Good morning.”

She doesn’t react. You move closer. “Hey, it’s morning. Flandre?” You gently shake her shoulder.

Her eyes flutter open a bit too theatrically. She fixes you with a sleepy grin. “Clara… You’ve come to wake me…!”

“Erm, yes.”

Flandre jumps to her feet, burying her face in your chest and hugging you tightly. The action forces the air out of your lungs.

“Hng…”

She hears your discomfort and loosens a little, but doesn’t release you. “It’s been a long time since Remi has come to wake me up…”

You smile, returning the embrace. “If you want a hug, Flandre, you just have to ask! You don’t have to try to bait me into it.”

“...Okay,” she whispers. She pulls back, face almost as red as her clothes. “Sorry. I know I’m weird.” She stares at her feet, nervously twiddling her thumbs.

“Sssh, you’re fine, Flan.”

She perks up at the nickname. “F-flan? Uh oh, now you’ve done it! You’re my other sister now, Clara. Sorry, it’s the rules, and I definitely made them! Wait, I mean, no, I didn’t make them. They’re a natural property of the universe. You have adhere to them now. Check and mate.”

“Well, if that’s how you want to think of me, sure,” you say. You find it hard to say no to her. “Oh, by the way, thanks for these clothes and other items.”

She nods firmly. “Yes, yes! Remi took your stuff so I had to replace all of it. It’s only right, y’know? Say, what do you think of that guestroom? I’ve never slept in there, I wonder if the bed is comfortable! Mine isn’t that comfortable anymore. I’ve ripped it up too many times. Hey, how come you can’t see in the dark?” As she talks, her voice slowly rises, and her posture becomes more and more open, her entire being clearly becoming more excited as her mind races ahead.

“I have human eyes,” you say quickly, trying to focus the conversation before she moves on again. You realize that the statement doesn’t make much sense, so you elaborate, “They aren’t as adept at seeing in the dark as yours are.”

“Human eyes?” She leans forward, mouth open slightly. “Aren’t you, like, a demon or whatever word Remi said? I can’t remember.”

“It’s a bit of a long story. The short version is that I’m borrowing this human body from the real Clara.”

“Oh! So Clara isn’t your real name? What’s your real name? Where are you from? Can we go visit that place? Is it fun there? Is it scary? Why did you come here?”

Your name is not really relevant to this world or its stories. You’ve never gone by your real name in other ventures, other contracts, so you see little reason to start now.

“Don’t worry about my name,” you say, “ ‘Clara’ will do just fine. By the way, what are these crystal… light things?” You gesture at the crystals in question.

“Oh! Those are my Cranberries! Well, they’re not actual cranberries, I just call them that,” she says, snapping her fingers. The “Cranberries” stop orbiting you and spread out around the two of you, floating in place. “They’re magic thingies. They can do a bunch of simple tasks like providing light. They store excess energy from my… my power.”

“I… I see.” She must be referring to her seemingly boundless destructive capabilities.

She quickly changes the subject. “S-so, what do you wanna do, big sis Clara?”

[ ] (Write-in)
>> No. 64317
[x] More like what YOU want to do? This is an important occasion-the anniversary of our friendship!
-[x] May a suggest a party? Or pranking your sister?
-[x]Maybe preparing the party and then pranking your sister She can't get mad if there's cake! Girls love cake, right?

She has risked much to be here, I think she deserves a little break. And Flandre deserves a friend. They gotta know not all humans, err, demons are bad.
>> No. 64322
[X] Maybe she could show you around the mansion? It's not like you got a particularly look around it...before.

I'm awful at write-ins, but a vote is better than no vote.
>> No. 64323
>>64315
[X] Maybe she could show you around the mansion? It's not like you got a particularly look around it...before.
>> No. 64325
>>64315

[X] Maybe she could show you around the mansion? It's not like you got a particularly look around it...before.[X]

This one sounds right to me
>> No. 64326
[z] More like what YOU want to do? This is an important occasion-the anniversary of our friendship!
-[e] Maybe she could show you around the mansion? It's not like you got a particularly look around it...before.

I like the idea of asking her first. And a tour of the Mansion sounds nice.
>> No. 64330
[X] Let's clean this room up first. No sister of mine should ever have daggers lying around that she can cut herself on.

I feel like playing the sister card as hard as possible right now will set the stage for a stronger bond.
>> No. 64331
File 148243240198.png - (482.06KB, 500x1000, flandre_scarlet_sonic_cosplay_by_hilary1998-d39ws9.png) [iqdb]
64331
[x] More like what YOU want to do? This is an important occasion-the anniversary of our friendship!
-[x] Maybe she could show you around the mansion? It's not like you got a particularly look around it...before.

That went well! Personally I think this'll give us a better opportunity to get to know Flandre and how she sees things.

Pic related: detaler ciP
>> No. 64334
File 148254116936.jpg - (420.31KB, 423x600, pixiv_34504080.jpg) [iqdb]
64334
Flandre’s question opens you to the plain of possibilities. With so many available actions you could take from this point, your mind is overtaken by possibilities. You ponder for a few moments, staring past her earnest smile. Your motive in this world is simple; learn more about Remilia and this world that you have found yourself in. Beyond that, you feel an urge to please Flandre’s wishes. Something about her innocence, seeped in her incredible abilities as a vampire, and the seeming neglect she experiences, makes you feel sympathetic to her. It is currently late-morning, a time when vampires (usually) sleep. This means that your primary motive -- learning about Remilia -- cannot be fulfilled. So, with nothing else to do, you are willing to act to the whims of Flandre. It is reasonable to assume that the most polite and friendly thing would be to return the question on her.

“I’m interesting in just about anything. What would you like to do, Flan?”

She places a hand on her chin. “We should… Huh… I’m not sure,” she says, biting her lower lip. “That’s a good question.”

It dawns on you that she is probably just as unsure of what to do as you are.

“I mean, I don’t know if we have much to do in here...”

Aha, at her external ponderings, an idea forms. “Let’s go out into the castle, then. You can give me a tour!”

“S-see, I’m not supposed to leave without Remi’s permission,” she says, hanging her head.

Your lips curl into a wry smile. “I’m technically your sister now, so I can give you permission too,” you point out, tapping the side of your nose.

“Really? Well, okay. I’ll buy it,” she says, winking. “Let me get changed before we go.”

You wait outside her room for a few minutes. When she emerges, she is wearing a frilly red dress similar to yours.

“Where do vampires go to get clothes?”

“Do you think vampires and humans wear different clothes? We just get them at the usual places,” she says, setting into a confident stride down the hall.

“Where are the usual places?” you ask, following close behind.

Her buoyant gait deflates a little. “Maybe… maybe go ask Remi. I don’t do the shopping.”

You giggle. She keeps walking.

Soon the two of you have crossed the hall and exited through the large metal doors. As you move them, a question forms in your mind.

“Why do you live down here behind these metal doors?”

She frowns. “I’m too dangerous.”

The answer is not unexpected, but you’re unsure of how to respond. The two of your climb the stairs in awkward silence. Once you reach the top, she pauses, glancing down the hall that leads to the study where you first met Remilia. She sighs.

“These hallways are all the same,” she grumbles. “I can never remember which way the place I want to be is.”

You follow Flandre through the castle, meandering down labyrinthine halls and peeking into countless rooms. With each new room you two discover, Flandre explains to you the purpose of the room. She introduces to you studies, bed chambers, lavatories, pantries, kitchens, and many other miscellaneous rooms. Most of the rooms are filled with dust and worn furniture. Clearly, the castle is too big, with too much in it, for two vampires to manage on their own.

“Who built this castle?”

“I dunno. It was built a long time ago for a lord of this area. One day we showed up and ate him and his servants. We’ve been here ever since.” She speaks of the incident so matter-of-factly, but you can only imagine how gruesome it must have been. “Go where the resources are, right? Turns out living near a terrified human village has its perks.”

“So you’re used to receiving live tributes?”

She nods. “People are scared of Remi. They do whatever she asks for. It means we get to eat without having to do much work.” She shrugs, closing her eyes. When she opens them again, she rests her index finger on her lips, glancing up at you. “This is the first time one of our meals has become my sister, though.”

Hunger is a familiar feeling to you, regardless of what vessel you use. Every creature needs to eat. It is a bit unsettling that something so humanlike -- a vampire -- is so open about using humans for sustenance, but without human blood, Flandre and Remilia wouldn’t survive. In a way, you are more similar to them than you are to a normal human; after all, you require a freshly-slain vessel in order to manifest in this world. A life for a life.

“Speaking of food, are you hungry?” Flandre says, breaking you from your thoughts. “Do demons need to eat?”

“We eat only to sustain the vessel we inhabit. So, if Clara the human is hungry, I’ll get hungry,” you explain. “I don’t particularly feel that hungry right now, though.”

“Hm. Okay. I’ve shown you most of the castle, so maybe we should do something else now?”

You approach a nearby window. By the position of the sun, you estimate the time to be somewhere in early afternoon, from 1-2 PM. It’s a bit early, but you consider waking Remilia. She hinted at an offer of some sort last night. You could also leave the castle altogether, taking Flandre with you, to explore the village beyond. If you give it more time, you could probably come up with even more things to do, too.

[ ] Time to wake up the “princess.”
[ ] Visit the village.
[ ] (write-in)

- - - - -

>>64322
I'm awful at interpreting write-ins, so we're even, ahaha. (For what it's worth, I found your write-in useful, given what you all had to work with.)

>>64330
Keep that up and you'll end up stuck here for so long that you'll be a boss in EoSD.

>>64331
I don't even know how to respond.
>> No. 64335
[x] Wake the Princess!
>> No. 64336
[ze] Time to wake up the “princess.”

Sleeping Beauty, time to rise and shine!
>> No. 64337
>>64334
[x] Wake the Princess!

>Keep that up and you'll end up stuck here for so long that you'll be a boss in EoSD

I am strangely ok with this.
>> No. 64338
[X] Time to wake up the "prince".

What is this? A Kingdom Hearts crossover? Not everyone should get to be a damn princess.
>> No. 64341
[X] Rise and shine!

Saw story update, decided to read through it, Not disappointed, keep up the good work, you got yourself another reader.
>> No. 64347
File 14827961642.jpg - (22.31KB, 500x375, 280025 - funny izayoi_sakuya touhou {channel-#anim.jpg) [iqdb]
64347
[x] Time to wake up the “princess.”
Remilia has slept for far too long! Flan time was fun though. She's a good guide, if a bit clueless.

Pic related: DUSTY FURNITURE
>> No. 64350
I noticed in the previous running of this story, I commented a lot on when I could and couldn't write. I won't be doing that as much this time because I was often wrong about my projections. However, I do want to assure anyone checking this thread that the update is on its way. I've been with a lot of family the past week on account of the holidays, so I won't promise an exact day or time, but I'm definitely keeping this story in mind! Thank you for your patience.
>> No. 64352
File 148313049353.jpg - (89.67KB, 704x686, source-minusT.jpg) [iqdb]
64352
Remilia’s room is on the top floor of the castle. The hallway that leads up to it is well-kept and well-lit; there are many ornate chandeliers along the ceiling, and the floor is blanketed by a scarlet carpet. In many ways, the path to the Scarlet Devil’s quarters is exactly the opposite of the path to Flandre’s.

“Kinda weird up here,” Flandre mutters, sticking close to you as you move down the hall.

“It definitely has a different atmosphere...”

Before long, you reach the mahogany double-doors at the other end of the hall. They’re almost three times your height; the doors’ sheer size emanate an imposing aura. Flandre grabs your hand. You look over your shoulder, smiling at her. She smiles back, a sparkle of amusement in her eyes.

“What’s that look for?” you ask, cocking your head.

“Oh, nothing~ I’m just hoping she’s still asleep,” Flandre says, widening her grin and exposing her fangs. “I hardly ever get to catch her still asleep. It’s like she always knows when I’m going to wake her up… Well, I guess she does know that stuff all the time. Anyway, let’s go!”

You grab the handle and pull the door open. The interior of the room is grandiose. Red walls, red floor, red carpet, red bed, red furniture -- the whole room is red. The largest bed you’ve ever laid eyes on sits across from the doors, on top of which sits a coffin. The walls are lined with tall and imposing wardrobes, desks, cabinets, and other furniture. The room is immaculately clean.

Flandre pushes ahead of you, tugging on your arm. “Let’s goooo~”

The two of you approach the bed. The blankets and pillows are set in an elegant arrangement. It looks like the bed has never been used. You eye the coffin laying on the bed. It is made of mahogany and adorned by gold rims. A golden crest that appears to be a rose is in the middle of the coffin.

“My, my, what a nosy duo. Hasn’t anyone told you it is impolite to enter a lady’s room uninvited?”

You turn. Remilia Scarlet sits in the air near the doors, legs crossed, floating up at least five feet. She wears a simple white dress which is adorned by a bemused smile.

“S-sis! We just wanted to say hi and stuff!” Flandre stammers out, hiding behind you.

“Yes. Hello. What do you think of my castle, Clara?”

“It’s quite lovely,” you immediately lie, images of the dust and abandoned rooms flashing through your mind.

Remilia lowers her eyelids, amusement dancing in her eyes. “I apologize for the mess. We try our best to keep things clean, but the castle is much too large for the two of us. It is remiss of me to have not hired a few servants by now...”

Flandre peeks out from behind you. “Hey, Remi, Clara is my new sister now! That means she’s your sister too!”

Remilia interlocks her fingers and rests her chin on her hands. “You two have gotten quite friendly since last night, haven’t you? My, how quickly we forget. Well, I suppose it doesn’t hurt.” Her eyes bore into you. “Tell me, Clara. To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”

“Well, last time we spoke...”

You fall silent as she waves her hand dismissively. “Ah, that. All in due time, my dear.”

She floats down to the ground, gesturing to Flandre. “Flandre, we are going out for a walk. You will watch the house.”

“Aw, but sis--”

“No ‘but’s about it,” Remilia says. With her finger, she motions for you to follow her, and then turns and leaves the room.

Flandre sighs, defeated. “I’m always left behind. Okay. See you in a bit, Clara. Have a good walk, I guess.” She sits down at a nearby chair, pouting.

“Uh… Sorry. Bye,” you say.

- - -

Scarlet mist surrounds her hand, shifting and morphing into a solid parasol. She steps into the sun, holding the parasol in an elegant and dignified manner. You recall that vampires, in the sun, burn up, and begin to wonder if a parasol is all she needs. It seems like a risky way to stay covered; what if a strong wind catches her off guard, pulling the parasol too far and exposing her skin to the sun’s rays? She must have a lot of practice with keeping a grip on it.

You follow her into the courtyard. The stone path leading to the castle is overgrown with weeds. The gardens are in similar disarray. Everything about the stone castle behind you seems uncared for and unwelcoming. If you didn’t already know about Remilia and Flandre, you would assume that the castle is abandoned.

A light breeze picks up. Remilia smiles. “It’s a nice day out. I feel an overcast coming.” She looks at you.

[ ] “With an overcast, I’ll be able to see your radiant beauty without the shadow of a parasol.” (Flirt)
[ ] “So, can I call you ‘sister’ too?” (Joke)
[ ] “By the way...” (Write-in)
[ ] “What about that ‘plan’ you mentioned?”

Note that the last option is guaranteed to come up eventually, so you don’t need to vote for it unless you want to skip the small talk.
- - - - -

I hope everyone had good holidays. I know this is a stressful, fast-paced time for some people, but try to find a way to relax if you can.

>>64341
I am much obliged! Thanks for tuning in.

>>64338
"Prince Scarlet" or "Prince Remilia"; each has an interesting ring to it.
>> No. 64353
File 148315138893.jpg - (296.55KB, 850x1278, __izayoi_sakuya_lancer_remilia_scarlet_and_saber_e.jpg) [iqdb]
64353
[x] (Flirt)

Obviously.

If I can say King Arturia, I can say Prince Remilia. And it has a nice ring to it.
>> No. 64355
>>64353

Nah, I'll pass this time. Maybe if this really was Prince Scarlet.

[X] “By the way...why wasn't Flandre allowed to join us? I'm sure she would appreciate some time spent with her beloved sister.”
>> No. 64356
File 14832002828.jpg - (228.22KB, 600x800, bb50d9ce27cfa6c60dc6fb4332fe651e.jpg) [iqdb]
64356
[X] “By the way...why wasn't Flandre allowed to join us? I'm sure she would appreciate some time spent with her beloved sister.”

Flandre steals the spotlight, that's why. But seriously, not sure how I missed this little gem of a story.
>> No. 64357
[X] “By the way...why wasn't Flandre allowed to join us? I'm sure she would appreciate some time spent with her beloved sister.”
>> No. 64358
[X] “With an overcast, I’ll be able to see your radiant beauty without the shadow of a parasol.” (Flirt)

Always the right time to flirt with Remi.
>> No. 64360
[x] (Flirt)
>> No. 64361
[z] “With an overcast, I’ll be able to see your radiant beauty without the shadow of a parasol.” (Flirt)
[e] “By the way...why wasn't Flandre allowed to join us? I'm sure she would appreciate some time spent with her beloved sister.”

I don't see why we can't go for both here.
>> No. 64362
[x] “With an overcast, I’ll be able to see your radiant beauty without the shadow of a parasol.” (Flirt)

Awww snap I didn't notice this was back until now.
>> No. 64363
File 148349614992.jpg - (273.06KB, 424x600, she's not in a kimono but close enough - src_.jpg) [iqdb]
64363
You look up at the sky as the breeze rustles your hair. There are clouds here and there, but you wouldn’t call it overcast, or anywhere close to one; however, given the certainty with which she speaks, Remilia’s ability to manipulate fate probably applies to weather patterns, too. She really lucked out in the supernatural powers lottery. Your gaze returns to her face, where she continues to stare, waiting for you to say something.

“With an overcast,” you say, lowering your voice, “I’ll be able to see your radiant beauty without the shadow of the parasol.”

“H-huh?” she says, her cheeks turning a light pink.

“Is that a vampire’s blush that I see? Have I reanimated your heart with my sweet words?”

“Sh-shut up!!” she squeaks. The boundlessly confident and charismatic lady before you suddenly disappears; in her place, a flustered young girl twirls her parasol nervously. She turns her head, pretending that her attention is being snatched away by an incidental bird or squirrel or other happenstance.

“Hmm, did I come off too strong?”

She takes a deep breath and returns her gaze to you, that familiar spark returning to her eyes. “On the contrary!” she exclaims, exposing her fangs with a wide grin. “I merely gave you the reaction you were looking for. Such a lecherous child you are, expecting a dignified lady such as myself to respond to your advances.” In only seconds, her charismatic demeanor had returned. You can’t tell whether or not her initial reaction had been an act, but your intuition says this is a simple lie to save face.

“If I’m being lecherous, why did you play along?”

Her smile shrinks a little. “Well, clearly, that is, obviously, I didn’t want to embarrass you. Consider yourself lucky that I am so magnanimous.”

“If you say so,” you say, winking. She rolls her eyes, but does not reply.

In the distance, you can see an army of clouds that cover the sky beyond. They still have a ways to go before they can cover the sun, but it seems quite ominous.

“By the way,” you finally say, breaking the silence, “Why did you tell Flandre to stay behind?”

Remilia shakes her head. “I wanted to talk to you.”

“I’m sure she would have appreciated the chance to be with her beloved sister.”

“She can talk to me anytime she wants. She’ll be fine.”

“...Are you sure?”

Remilia furrows her brow. “Let it be, Clara. We have bigger things to worry about right now.”

You decide to drop it, realizing you don’t have much of a say on how she and her sister interact. Even though they have invited you into their home and have gotten to know you to a certain degree, you’re still mostly a stranger to them.

You give her an affirming nod. “So, 'bigger' things?”

“I have an offer,” she says, switching her parasol hand. “That’s the reason I called you out here with me.”

“So… what is it?”

“A diabolic contract,” she says, fixing you with a hard stare.

“I’m listening,” you say. In spite of yourself, a smile spreads on your face. Her offering of a contract to you is unexpected. The thought of it amuses you.

She closes her eyes. “By whatever laws that govern your kind, I ask that you bind yourself to me and assist me in acquiring a specific artifact of my choosing.” She opens her eyes, somewhat dramatically. “My terms are simple: One; you may not harm me or my sister in any way. Two; follow my every command to the letter. Three; you must complete your contract with me before you complete the one with your previous Master. Four; you must complete these terms within one week of binding.”

The questions begin to set in. What is this artifact? Why does she need your help in acquiring it? Why is she only giving you a week? Her expectant gaze bores into you, but the questions keep on coming. You’re not sure where to begin.

Remilia chuckles. “You seem conflicted. I am willing to make amendments before you accept. What are your thoughts, Clara?” The parasol in her hand bursts into a cloud of smoke. You look up, realizing the clouds have already overtaken the sun.

[ ] (Write-in questions, amendments, etc.)
[ ] Accept the contract.

- - - - -

Oh ho ho, the classic Remilia meme, Charisma Break! That makes me cool now, right?!

>>64361
Hey, you got your wish! ;3c

>>64362
Well, allow me to give you a hearty welcome back!

>>64358
From now on, every voting selection will be:
[ ] Flirt with Remi
[ ] Flirt with Remi
[ ] Flirt with Remi
>> No. 64364
Ok I'm waiting a bit for this one. Need to think a bit about what we can ask her, and what is more important.
>> No. 64365
[X] (Write-in questions, amendments, etc.)
'And afterwards?'

I feel there's probably a lot that needs to be asked, but this seems most pressing to me.

Also, my first vote for this story.
>> No. 64366
>>64363
[ ] (Write-in questions, amendments, etc.)
The terms seem reasonable but the last part of term one has me a bit concerned, the 'in any-way' part to be more precise, especially since we don't know where Caesar is or if he'll come back.

As for term two, I think we should alter it a bit, as i'm concerned it could really bite us in the ass in the future.
Not sure how to put it, but something along the lines of being able to follow the command closely but allowing ourselves a small bit of leg room in how it'll be carried out.

Term three is okay and as for term 4, the only thing I can think of is why the week time limit.
>>64365 throw that in too, as it is also a concern.

Not sure if this counts as a vote, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents.
>> No. 64367
[x] Question:my original master forbade me to harm anyone he doesn't order me to. How will you get over that?
[x] I'm an ally of humanity, I need to know if you or your sister can feed without killing the host
-[x] And I need to know what do you need your artifact for

All humans but Lilith come from humans. And Flandre has suffered enough. Those are good reasons to side with her but.. Does she actually murder needlessly or was that glory hound making shit up?
>> No. 64368
Alright, been thinking about this long enough. Let's get started.

Caesar's contract is absolute trash. For starters, we accepted and signed the contract BEFORE he identified Remilia Scarlet as the powerful adversary. Meaning Clara can end his contract at any time by killing anything she deems to be a powerful adversary, so long as Caesar and his group assist in some way. The only issue with this is the basic walk, talk, fight, and magic permissions will end.

>you may not kill anybody unless I give you explicit permission
Weak. There are multiple ways around this. The easiest of which is to simply use an object. ie: the sword is what killed him, not me.

So, Clara accepting a contract created in opposition to her original summoner's contract would not only reflect badly on herself, but on all of Demonkind as well.

Speaking of Remilia's contract; the first and most basic issue is that it does not include the basic life sustaining permissions. The second issue is that it's terms are mutually exclusive to Caesar's terms, allowing Remilia to cause situation that would force Clara to break one of contracts. I would imagine that, according to "the ancient laws of her kind", breaking a contract is utterly abhorrent, and should be avoided at all costs. I suggest we offer her the following contract;

Task: Assist Remilia Scarlet or her companions in finding [insert the specific name of the artifact].

Permissions: Clara is granted the complete and full range of her available actions, magics, and demonic abilities pursuant to the completion of this contract's task.

Term 1. Clara will not intentionally cause physical or magical harm to befall Remilia Scarlet or Flandre Scarlet, except by direct order from Caesar.

Term 2. Clara will follow all verbal commands issued to her by name from Remilia Scarlet, except those which conflict with an active, pre-existing contract.

Term 3. Clara will make all reasonable efforts to complete Remilia Scarlet's task before midnight on [The specific date one week from now]. After such date, Clara may retain permission to walk, talk, and breath, but all other permissions, binding terms, and clauses associated with this contract become null and void.
>> No. 64369
>>64368
I vote this. Nice and comprehensive.
>> No. 64370
>>64368

I'll go with this as it pretty much sums up what I think, but is worded much better.
>> No. 64371
[ze] >>64368

Voting for this too. Nice reasons and well explained.
>> No. 64372
>>64368
Same.
>> No. 64374
File 148389718996.jpg - (44.22KB, 600x400, sign the contract.jpg) [iqdb]
64374
You gaze beyond the hill where you and Remilia stand, watching the tiny humans moving to and fro in the village at the bottom. A strong gust of wind picks up, causing your dress to billow around you and your hair to float for a few moments. It sends a chill up your spine; you shiver involuntarily.

“I would like to make a few amendments,” you say.

She nods affirmatively. “I thought you might. I am sure I am missing a few details, considering I do not know the full scope of your contract with Caesar.”

You recall your prior contract.

[ Task: Assist Caesar and his team in destroying a powerful adversary.
Terms:
1. You may not kill anybody unless Caesar gives you explicit permission.
2. You may not inflict any pain on the bodies of Caesar or his companions.
3. Before any other task, your first priority is to protect Caesar from any person, animal, or thing that intends him harm.
4. If Caesar commands you to do something by name, you must do it. ]

For Remilia’s first term, you don’t feel like you need to harm Remilia or Flandre. Since Caesar never specified who this “powerful adversary” needed to be, it is possible to complete his contract without ever harming the vampires. You would just need to find an enemy of similar power to a vampire, which is no small task, but it is still a loophole you could use.

Remilia’s third term is of no consequence to Caesar’s contract; after all, she specified a time limit. This means you can follow her terms until her contract with you is complete and then return to assisting Caesar. He never specified a time constraint on his contract, so you could very well ignore his desires for weeks, or months, or even years, provided he does not perish in that time.

Her final term, the time constraint of one week, is not unusual, but you do wonder about the reason for a week specifically. Does she need this artifact so soon? Or is she simply trying to keep relations short for your sake, so that you don’t have so many contracts to worry about?

If you accept these terms, you will effectively be useless to Caesar until this contract is completed. This appears to be Remilia’s intent, anyway; the third term makes that very clear. When you spoke to her last night, she hinted at taking advantage of the fact that there was no time restriction in Caesar’s contract. This simple fact, and the fact that he did not exclusively bind you, makes it possible for you to accept her contract without outright breaking Caesar’s. The biggest issue presented here is Caesar’s fourth term. Since he can order you to do anything by name, you have an obligation to him already. If Remilia gave you an order that contradicted an order by Caesar, you would be forced to break one of the contracts.

You explain to her the details of your contract.

“Ah, I see…” she mutters, crossing her arms. “So, let me guess: you want a fifth term that allows you to break any of my terms should they contradict your previous contract?”

“That would be the simplest way to work with both of you, yes.”

“You definitely cannot break his contract, correct?”

“Affirmative.”

“Very well,” she says, resting a finger on her chin. “I will add this term. Was there anything else?”

“I think the fourth term is a little unclear,” you say. “Only a week? Why? Also, it is entirely possible I will be unable to complete such a time limit, should complications arise. I think it should be adjusted so that the contract becomes void on midnight one week from now, rather than requiring me to complete the task within a week.”

“I accept this adjustment,” she says, nodding. “I specified a week only so that you and I wouldn’t be stuck in this contract just in case things got… ugly. By the way, do you need permissions or anything? I’m not sure how to set those up. I don’t know the incantations.”

“No. The permissions of my previous contract will still apply, and since I have to complete your task first, there is no risk of me losing permissions.”

Both of you fall silent. You focus on the terms once more; after all, if you don’t pay attention to the wording of the contract, you might bind to a bundle of mistakes. Usually, this works in the favour of you, as in the case of Caesar’s unclear contract. However, there have been cases where sly diabolists have gotten more out of you than you intended.

“What about the artifact?” you ask, realizing that the “artifact” in the contract is unspecified. “What is it, and what do you need it for? The task you have given me is a little unclear.”

She goes silent for a long time. She looks concerned about something. “Well,” she says, “It’s an old book. A family heirloom, you could say. I must retrieve it from a thief.”

“Just a book?”

“It’s an important artifact. I need it back.”

“What is it called?”

“I don’t remember the name,” she says, frowning. “I only remember the front cover.”

[ Task: Assist Remilia in acquiring a specific artifact that is in the shape of a book.
Terms:
1. You may not harm Remilia or her sister in any way.
2. You must follow every command issued by Remilia, except for those that conflict with a previous contract.
3. You must complete the task of this contract before completing the task of any previous contracts that you are bound to.
4. You will make all reasonable efforts to complete the tasks given before midnight one week from binding. In the event that the task is not complete by that time, this contract will be null and void.
5. If any of the terms of this contract conflict with a previous contract, they may be ignored in order to satisfy the previous contract. ]

[ ] These terms are acceptable.
[ ] (Write-in further questions, amendments, etc.)
>> No. 64375
Remilia compleatly and utterly invalidated her contract by adding that 5th line.

>before any other task, your first priority is to protect me from any person, animal, or thing that intends me harm

Which means until we complete Caesar's task, Remilia's terms are all null and void. But I mean like sure, why not. I guess this proves Remilia or Flanders for that matterisn't infallible or incapable of error.

[X] These terms are acceptable.

I almost feel bad about this. Almost.
>> No. 64376
>>64375

Wait a tick, this also means completing another task before Caesar's is against the contract. Jeez, this is why I could never be a lawyer. Oh well, I guess I'll still accept just to move the story along.
>> No. 64377
>>64375
>>64376
The dictionary says that a task is something that you have to do, because it is your duty. We are contractually obligated to not accept any task from anyone until we fulfill Ceasear's task. However, a REQUEST is something that you are asked to do, but don't necessarily have to do. So we can still accept requests. In other words, the only way we can fulfill Remilia's task is if she phrases it in the form of "Will you help me find this book, pretty please with sugar on top." And just for the hilarity factor, I say we force her to use that exact wording.

[x] Ammendment: All tasks and commands issued by Remilia Scarlet must be delivered in the form of a politely worded request, ie: "Pretty please with sugar on top"
>> No. 64378
>>64377

Good idea. The quick and dirty fix to this situation is simply to replace the word "task" with anything not synonymous with "mandatory".

She kinda played her hand early in revealing how important this book is, so I think we stand a pretty good chance of strong-arming her into adding the "pretty please with sugar on top" addendum.
>> No. 64379
So, this is a bit of a wording issue on my part. You are correct in that Caesar's safety takes priority over Remilia's terms. However, if he is not in danger, or you don't know he is in danger, his term doesn't necessarily apply. If this were not the case, you would technically be violating the contract as soon as you leave Caesar's side.

Think of it like this: if you learn of anything that provides a potential harm to Caesar, your first priority is to protect him from that harm. If there is no such harm that you know of, then this term does not take effect.
>> No. 64380
>>64379

I'm willing to conceed the issue in favor of keeping the contract a relevant plot device. Do whatever changes or retcons you feel are nessisary.
>> No. 64401
File 148492909136.jpg - (320.87KB, 700x990, Too+_6b8bb7cdeb293e2207ce5bff5db2640a.jpg) [iqdb]
64401
[x] These terms are acceptable.
This is what I get for leaving the country!
Pic related: What I imagine Remilia's charisma break face to be
>> No. 64402
[x] Ammendment: All tasks and commands issued by Remilia Scarlet must be delivered in the form of a politely worded request, ie: "Pretty please with sugar on top"

I realise it's probably too late for voting, but fuck it, it's not been called. Also discreet nudge to Flanders for progress report/certificate of death
>> No. 64404
>>64402

This thing about that, is requests and commands are inherently different to the point of being mutually exclusive. Remilia giving us requests would remove the entire purpose of a contract, since requests can be followed or ignored at the recipiant's leisure. This only way to circumvent that, is to add a clause to the contract instructing Clair to treat requests like commands, in which case they will conflict with our previous contract in the same way commands do.

You'd have to add in some really funky wording like "Clair can accept or decline requests. However after declining a requests, Clair must immediately go kill Caesar."

It keeps the request a request, since violating a contract is something she can choose to do, but still makes it such that Clair will always choose to follow them.

But, lie I said, including something like that in the story would be really weird. I'd much prefer to have a normal, fallible contract but we just promise not to abuse it. Unless Remilia abuses it first, of course. In such a case, all our discovered loopholes become fair game.
>> No. 64405
>>64404
I'll not lie, I just like the mental image of Remi being all haughty like she usually is and right after giving us a command she has to say "Pretty please with sugar on top" like an embarrassed child
>> No. 64406
>>64405
What's to stop her from saying in a haughty, condescending tone? Or too quiet to hear? or saying it 5 hours after issuing the request after returning to her room? Or writing it down since it never specified "verbally"?

I'm just playing The Devil's Advocate here, but you get my point. If we wanted to play that game, I'm sure Remilia would find a way to play it better.
>> No. 64407
>>64406
>What's to stop her from saying in a haughty, condescending tone?

If she did that it would violate the "politely worded" portion of the amendment.

>Or too quiet to hear? or saying it 5 hours after issuing the request after returning to her room?

Doing that would mean we would not hear it, meaning we would never know she said it, meaning we could not follow whatever her request was.

> Or writing it down since it never specified "verbally"?

That would require her to go out of her way to find a piece of paper, find something to write with, take the time to write down her request, and then hand it to us. The only reason she would do this would be to avoid talking to us, which we could interpret as being very rude, thereby breaking the "politely worded" part again. It would also take some time, so if her request was something like "Stop this bear from mauling me," it would be far too impractical to write it down first. It might work for long distance communication, but the only friend she could ask to deliver the letter to us is Flandre, so Remilia would still probably end up having to hand it to us herself, at which point she might as well say it to our face.

This amendment might not be necessary according to >>64379 but it is worded in such a way that Remilia can't just half-ass it that easily.
>> No. 64408
>>64407

So, I didn't want to mention this, since I'm also interested in seeing a polite and cute Remi, but you kinda forced my hand on this one.

>violate the "politely worded" portion

Not at all. Polite has more than one definition. Without even delving into it's culture specific or archaic definitions, this one here;

1. Adjective. Relating to people who regard themselves as more cultured and refined than others

(e.g the picture outraged polite society)

Would allow Remilia to be as snooty, rude, and pretentious as she wants to be, while still being undoubtedly polite.

This amendment loophole is specific to the word "polite", So in it's current form, Remilia can indeed half-ass it all she wants.
>> No. 64409
>>64408
If Remilia decides to interpret the word "polite" as "anything I say because I am a member of polite society", then there is nothing stopping us from interpreting the word "request" as "something optional that I am not going to do until you stop being rude." Being snooty, rude, and pretentious is generally not a good idea if you want to request a favor from someone.

The entire point of this amendment was to throw Remilia a bone by avoiding a potential loophole in the literal interpretation of the word "task" in Ceasar's contract. If she decides to be rude to us after that, she has no one to blame but herself when she doesn't get her book.
>> No. 64410
>>64409

So where does that leave us? Like...what's the point of proceeding any further with this if both sides can loophole their way out of everything, while still legally upholding the contract?

At this point, we might as well just agree to help out without even making a contract.

This would be so much easier if Remi just kills the body Clair is in, and turns her into a vampire. Or gets some CPR/Jaws of Life going on. Dying would solve all our problems since it would immediately terminate Caesar's contract.
>> No. 64412
>>64410
Is there a way of resummoning a specific demon though? Cesar's summoning felt random.
>> No. 64419
>>64410
And that my friend is why it is generally considered a bad idea to try screwing over a demon via rules lawyering. If the demon was originally willing to follow the spirit of the contract, using the literal interpretation to screw the demon over would only convince the demon to screw you over in return. And if the demon was planning on screwing you over to begin with, being a smart-ass with the rules will only convince the demon to screw you over worse. Fortunately Ceasar was smart and/or lucky enough to summon Clara, who seems willing to obey the spirit of her contracts as long as her contractors play nice.

It occurs to me that, in addition to avoiding any potential conflicts with the interpretation of the word "task", this amendment also doubles as a subtle trust test. If Remilia is willing to swallow her pride and act nice and cute to obey the spirit of the amendment, then it shows that we can trust her and that there may be merit in trying to spare her life. However, if Remilia decides to weasel her way out of being polite by interpreting it literally, we can then know that she is a manipulative jerk who we can screw over with a clean conscience.

Fortunately, I already know how we can make her regret trying to out lawyer us. If she decides to interpret our contract literally in order to act rude and snooty to us, we can stop following the spirit of the contract too. She has commanded us to help her acquire a book. If she pisses us off with her rules lawyering, we can have her acquire the book by giving it to her inside of a barrel filled with garlic and crucifixes. Since she successfully acquired the book, the contract will be completed, so we will not have to care if she hurts herself trying to get the book out of the garlic, or obey her if she commands us to get it out ourself.

Also, she has only specified what the cover of the book is. If she REALLY pisses us off, we can interpret this literally by taking the cover off, placing the cover over a holy bible, hiding garlic powder between all the pages, and then shoving the book into her face. If we followed the spirit of the contract, we could not do this because it would harm Remilia. However, interpreting the contract literally, we can say that the second we shoved the book in her face she successfully acquired the book thus rendering the contract void, and that the bible garlic did not start hurting her until the millisecond after the contract was completed. While she is busy suffocating on garlic, we can run up and stab her in the heart with a silver dagger, thus completing Ceasar's contract too.

This is why you never try to out lawyer a demon.
>> No. 64435
>>64402
Still kicking. It seems that if I let a story lie for too many days, I lose my writing steam. I'll try to get out an update within this week. (Then, I will try to keep updating every few days so that I don't lose steam again.)

>>64419
You hit the nail on the head for how most demons operate.

Diabolic contracts only create restriction on both parties in the literal sense. If the contractor messes up with the literal wording, they are effectively at the mercy of the demon. If the demon is willing to follow the spirit of the terms, everything can proceed smoothly, but not every demon is so magnanimous.

Up to this point Clara has been written as "generally accommodating", but how she operates is in your hands. You haven't gone against the spirit of Caesar's terms yet, but you have walked a thin line so far. The spirit of Caesar's contract would dictate that you either turn down Remilia's offer and work to destroy her immediately, or accept her contract in hopes of backstabbing her once her terms have been satisfied. Should you choose to follow the word of Caesar's contract rather than the spirit, you don't have to do either of these things. You could help Remilia and then allow yourself to perish in a battle with her. As a result of your own destruction, your contract with Caesar would be null and void.

Likewise, how Clara approaches Remilia's contract is completely up to you. You are a demon from beyond this realm. "Clara" is merely the name of this vessel you inhabit. You have nearly limitless power and knowledge, should you choose to use it. If you accept her contract, will you honour the word or the law? The fate of Remilia, the spinstress of fate herself, is in your hands.

Diabolism has a bad reputation among the magic communities throughout human history for this very reason. Unless the contractor spend weeks outlying the terms and conditions, considering every possible course of action and creating contingencies for it all, the demon usually comes out with more control over the situation than the contractor. A demon has no ties to this world. If you kill one, they will simply pop up in another time period in another country to respond to another summoning. If you try to bargain with one, they will shrug it off; for what could you possibly hold over the head of an immortal being that simply "logs in" to this world from time to time? The closest a contractor can get to manipulating a demon is if they (or a third party under their control) create an emotional tie with the demon, thus creating a leverage in the form of a person they care about. However, this is a rare event.

All of this is to say that yes, you can play as hardball with Remilia (or Caesar) as you like.

>>64412
Particular demons can be specified at the time of summoning, but the process requires something that works as a specific identifier of that demon. (One such identifier, for example, might be a description of the demon's nature beyond this world.) Interplanar demons generally do not divulge many if any usable identifiers, so choosing particular demons is not often practiced. In this case, neither Caesar nor Remilia have identifiers of you, so once you die, that's it for this time period.

Anyway, I'll call the vote now. I will use the write in (commands must be requests with polite wording), though I will be adjusting it very slightly.
>> No. 64436
File 148537495889.jpg - (185.55KB, 1000x667, i'm pressed for time so here's another c.jpg) [iqdb]
64436
You consider the rune on your right hand. It consists of a hexagram surrounded by a circle. Along the edge of the circle is an inscription in an ancient diabolic language. Single characters are written inside smaller circles that are placed inside the hexagram. The rune is blue and light reflects off of it like wet ink. You idly play with your hair with your free hand, intertwining a strand around your index finger. Remilia watches your movements like a cat watching a mouse in the grass.

In terms of following the contract’s logic, it all checks out. Caesar’s contract, while somewhat limiting, has a lot of holes in it that allow you to follow Remilia’s amended terms with little difficulty. Despite this, something is missing; her terms seem too formal and business-like. You feel the desire to work in something that will embarrass her a bit. She has no control over you yet, and she clearly needs your help, so you have the bargaining power here. You figure that you may as well take advantage of it.

“I have one more thing to add,” you say, placing a hand on your chin in an exaggerated manner. “Your commands have to be worded in the form of a very polite and sincere request.” You hold a poker face, resisting the urge to let out a cheesy grin.

She squints at you, clearly not amused. “What purpose does that serve?”

“How else will I know you love me?”

“Y-you don’t need to know silly things like that! I just need you to follow my orders!” she blurts out, hands balled into tiny fists. Her reaction only entices you to tease her more.

“Hey, be honest with yourself. You need me and my skills. Let’s add this last line and I’ll help you out,” you say, holding up your hands. “These hands were made to please the beautiful and the elegant.”

She pouts, puffing up her cheeks. “D-don’t be weird!”

“C’moooon, do you want my services or not?”

“F-fine,” she whispers. She takes a deep breath, regaining composure. “I, Remilia Scarlet, will add this term to the contract on one condition. If we presume that every command I give is kept track of by an invisible counter, every odd-numbered command requires that I give out the command in any wording I please.” She smiles at you, one eye closed.

You raise an eyebrow, surprised by her returned serve. You expected her to agree to your amendment simply because you would refuse otherwise; however, her adding a rule to your little game was unexpected. Maybe she’s more fun than you initially gave her credit.

“So, every ‘odd’ command is worded at your discretion and every ‘even’ command is super polite and sincere?” you clarify, letting your grin finally show itself.

“Yes. You like games, sweetheart? I’m happy to play by your rules if you’ll play by mine,” she says, lowering her voice. “Do we have an agreement?”

[ Task: Assist Remilia in acquiring a specific artifact that is a book. The book will be identified by Remilia, who can recognize the front cover.
Terms:
1. You may not harm Remilia or her sister in any way.
2. You must follow every command issued by Remilia, except for those that conflict with a previous contract.
3. You must satisfy this contract before completion of the task(s) of any previous contracts that you are bound to.
4. You will make all reasonable efforts to complete the terms and commands given before midnight one week from binding. In the event that this contract is not complete by that time, it will become null and void.
5. If any of the terms of this contract conflict with a previous contract, they may be ignored in order to satisfy the previous contract.
6. Supposing that there is a conceptual counter that increments by 1 every time Remilia issues a command, each even-numbered command must be spoken in the form of a polite and sincere request, whereas each odd-numbered command may be issued in any manner of tone or wording. ]

[ ] These terms are acceptable.
[ ] (Write-in further questions, amendments, etc.)

- - - - -

It seems like a lot of you wanted to see her flustered, so I went with that for your motivation. To be clear, the "it's a request instead of a command" line of logic is not necessary to avoid contradicting your contract with Caesar; the fifth term already allows you to avoid contradictions. That's why I only focused on "trolling Remi" as being a motivation. Let me know if anything else seems unclear. I assume all of us are armchair lawyers and/or diabolists here.
>> No. 64437
I am tempted to reverse term 6 and make her be polite on odd numbered turns, so that she would have to embarrass herself at least once. As it stands, she could be completely rude for command number 1, and then never give us a command again, thus avoiding even numbered politeness entirely.

Remilia could also loophole "odd" to mean "bizarre". If she did, she could rudely tell us to do something crazy for the even commands like "For command number 2, I demand that you sing the Star Spangled Banner backwards while doing jumping-jacks in a vat of pudding. This command is odd and I numbered it number 2, therefore it is both 'odd' and 'numbered' making it an 'odd-numbered' command." By doing this she never has to be polite ever.

But at the same time, I want to keep those loopholes open as a test to see if Remilia tries to screw us over by exploiting them. If she does, it will help us decide whether we should help Caesar kill her or not.

[x] These terms are acceptable.

Go ahead Remi. Just try weaseling your way out of being polite. I dare you.
>> No. 64438
[x] These terms are acceptable.

Good. There are loopholes, yes, but there has to be in order to see how far does Remilia go with the honesty thing.
>> No. 64439
>>64437
This Remi seems like such a sweetheart though. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and [X]Accept the terms
>> No. 64440
>>64436

>armchair lawyers

Nah I'm done with all that noise. I'm here for the story, not to nitpick your efforts to entertain us.

[X] The terms are accepted. Let us sally forth and away on our adventure.
>> No. 64441
[x] These terms are acceptable.
>> No. 64452
File 148554854837.jpg - (15.09KB, 280x180, images.jpg) [iqdb]
64452
[x] These terms are acceptable.

Pic related: Honestly messing with Remilia is going swimmingly thus far.
>> No. 64454
File 148556351020.jpg - (149.61KB, 480x600, CONTRACT_SEALED_src_pixiv_61101261.jpg) [iqdb]
64454
Perhaps Remilia is more than she seems. Not only is she humouring you, but she’s adding to your playful term. You admire the attempt to make the contract a little more fun. In your many experiences with diabolists and contractors, you have seen hundreds of lifetimes of dry, business-like contractors. Will she keep to the “polite wording”, though? The term seems concretely worded to the point of not being negotiable, but you’re no stranger to contractors trying to weasel out of similarly concrete terms.

Even if she tries to work around some of these terms, you don’t have much to lose. This contract leaves you with a lot of freedom. The fact that it will automatically end in one week means that if Remilia tries to manipulate the contract’s terms, you can simply find ways to stall out her commands until the week is over. While you’re prepared for that possibility, you feel that Remilia won’t go that route. Her willingness to accept your “fun” term shows that she is willing to be a good sport.

“I swear to complete the task you have commanded of me while upholding the terms you have given,” you say, the familiar words rolling off your tongue. “Let it be recorded that we are in a pact, until the task is successfully completed, one week has passed from this date, or one of us perishes.

You feel a rumble from no particular direction; you recognize it to be a rumble in the fabric of the universe, directed at the two of you and your new contract. A binding rune appears on the back of your left hand. The rune is a symbol of your contract; the same rune also appears on Remilia’s hand. Unlike Caesar’s binding rune, it is as red as blood, and the shapes and symbols that make up its form are different.

“Wonderful,” she whispers, stroking the rune with her other hand. She smiles at you. “Thank you. I’ll be going back inside. Flandre will need to know what we’re planning to do.”

She heads back to the castle. You follow close behind, seeing little reason to stay out here. You exchange a few words on the walk back. She asks you general questions about contracts, continuously fingering the rune on her hand. Before long, the two of you are back inside the throne room, with Flandre eagerly waiting near the door.

“How’d it go? What’d you talk about?? Can I help???” she says, bouncing up and down.

“Flandre,” Remilia says, thoughtfully biting her lip. “We are going to the city to retrieve something of mine.”

“The city, huh…” she says, frowning. “Is that… is that ‘all of us’ we, or… ‘just you and Clara’ we?”

“...The latter,” Remilia says somewhat solemnly. She takes Flandre’s hand, looking into her eyes. “This is a dangerous mission. I can’t put you at risk.”

Flandre shakes her head. Her side-ponytail sways wildly, at the complete mercy of her exaggerated movements. “But I want to help!!”

“I’m sorry, Flan. This is for the best.”

The ponytail droops. Flandre sighs, her posture and mood completely deflating. “Yeah… okay…”

You approach, placing a consoling hand on her shoulder. She looks up at you, confusion etched into her face. You smile. “When we get back, I’ll do something fun with you, okay?”

A light smile. The ponytail sways up and down as she nods. “I’ll… I’ll hold you to that, big sis Clara!! Come back safely so that we can play!” She hugs you, though at her height her arms only reach your waist. You glance at Remilia. She smiles warmly, giving you approval.

“Come on, Clara,” Remilia says, gesturing to the door once Flandre releases you.

You raise your eyebrows. “Wait, we’re leaving now?”

“Why not?”

“I would think we need to prepare, or something...”

She laughs. “I already have everything I need,” she says, holding up her glistening rune-hand. “Besides, I want to leave before the rain hits. We only have a week, so we best make the most of it~”

Flandre watches quietly as the two of you exit the castle.

You feel the familiar weightlessness from your time flying with Flandre as Remilia picks you up at the waist and takes to the sky. The cold air blows against your face, chilling you to the bone.

You feel bad for Flandre. It seems like she is left to her own devices fairly often. No wonder she seems to enjoy your company so much. Of course, Remilia’s concerns about safety are valid, but is Flandre really at risk considering how much power she has? As a vampire, she has a lot of weaknesses, but surely her incredible powers can overcome any weakness? Remilia mentioned going to “the city”... Maybe she just doesn’t want to cause a ruckus? Flandre seems like the type to stir up trouble wherever she goes.

“So… you mentioned ‘the city’?”

“Ah, yes. My castle is very far from most human dwellings, so we refer to the closest city as ‘the city.’ ”

“What’s it actually called?”

“Pff, I can’t be bothered to remember such trifling details.”

The clouds that Remilia “forecast” are getting thicker and thicker. It definitely looks like it could rain soon. The countryside goes on for miles in every direction, only broken by the dark castle you came from. With little to do in Remilia’s arms but think, you consider a topic to bring up.

[ ] “What do you know about the city?”
[ ] “Who took your book in the first place?”
[ ] “Why is this book so important?”
[ ] Write-in

You can pick (2) topics.

- - - - -

>>64452
That image is pretty much exactly how it has gone so far.

>>64437
Well, the term specifically says "odd-numbered", not "odd AND numbered", so that particular loophole wouldn't work.

>>64440
I tip my hat to you.
>> No. 64455
[x] Who took this book
[x] Why is it important
>> No. 64456
[X] You're going to leave your precious little sister home alone to fend off Caesar's Vampire hunters?

All of my wat Remi. Literally all of it.
>> No. 64457
[X] You're going to leave your precious little sister home alone to fend off Caesar's Vampire hunters?

Lead with this,and follow up with
[x] Why is it important
>> No. 64458
Shameless copypasta because I'm too lazy to come up with original comment to differentiate my vote from the other ones:

[X] You're going to leave your precious little sister home alone to fend off Caesar's Vampire hunters?

Lead with this,and follow up with
[x] Why is it important
>> No. 64459
[x] “Who took your book in the first place?”
[x] “Why is this book so important?”
>> No. 64461
File 148599511282.jpg - (270.70KB, 600x431, src_pixiv_9811089.jpg) [iqdb]
64461
“So… Why leave Flandre alone with the risk of Caesar and his vampire hunters returning?”

“It won’t happen,” she says without skipping a beat. “I have a ‘feeling’ that they won’t be meeting Flandre anytime soon.”

She must be referring to her thus far vaguely-defined powers over fate.

“Are you sure? Is it worth the risk?”

“Risk? Do you doubt my abilities?”

Indeed, she speaks quite confidently about future events. It is jarring to hear her speak in this way. Most beings of temporal linearity (that is, one who experiences time in a linear sequence of “now”s) are restricted to merely predicting how events will unfold. With these predictions is an ever-presence sense of uncertainty. For Remilia, it seems like this uncertainty does not exist. Aside from other demons, the only beings you find that approach future events in this way are clairvoyants. However, unlike a clairvoyant, Remilia has a degree of control over these future events.

“I suppose you’re right. I just have trouble understanding how it all works,” you admit.

“It will unfold rather nicely. Just wait and see.”

“Does that include our upcoming mission?”

She doesn’t respond. Did she not hear you? You repeat the question a little louder.

“Well. In the city, there are too many variables to attend to at once. I can’t guarantee it will go my way.”

Finally, a limit to her ability. You assume that by “variables”, she means people, creatures, and events (such as the weather). If there are too many variables, she has less control. Surely, then, with so much familiarity and so little variables to manipulate in the castle, Flandre is completely safe. At least, that’s what you tell yourself; there’s not much you can do about the situation now, so you need all the self-assurance that you can get.

Ah, is that… is that a personal attachment that you feel?

Your brother smiles. It’s a smile you’ve missed. He envelopes you in a tight embrace.

The adrenaline from your escape still rushes through your veins. You take a deep breath, attempting to calm down. “Brother…”

“Are you okay?” he asks, releasing you. He looks into your eyes with an intense concern.

“Yes. I think.”

Your chest still throbs where your wounds had been. Somehow, the wounds, despite being undeniably mortal in nature, had sealed up.

“I’m just glad you’re safe. I won’t let them take you ever again.”


“Clara?”

Information rushes into your brain from your senses. The cold air. The dizzying vertigo. You snap back to attention at the sound of Remilia’s voice.

“Hey, you’re losing it. Don’t faint on me.”

You open your eyes. “Oh. What happened?”

“You tell me. We were talking and your mind wandered. Everything okay?”

“Yeah… Just lost in thought, I suppose,” you say. You’re not sure if you want to tell Remilia about the vision. You recognized your “brother” in the vision; you had a brief glimpse of him when you first met Remilia. These must be remnant memories that had belonged to your vessel, the real Clara.

“Hmm. Anything interesting come to mind?”

You can tell that she’s bored. There’s a tad too much eagerness in her tone for such a casual question. Equally bored, you throw out something you had been pondering earlier.

“I was just wondering about this book. Since you enlisted my help, I presume that obtaining the book will require a great deal of effort beyond your own abilities. If you are willing to go to this much effort, you must value this book greatly. Therefore, I must wonder; why is this book important?”

“Ahaha. An astute analysis,” she says. She pauses, quietly hmming to herself. “In the pages of the book are a great power. ‘Grimoire’ might be a more appropriate term for the artifact. If it were to fall into the wrong hands… Well, it would ensure a lot of destruction on this continent. I seek to prevent that.”

“So you want it to keep it from being misused?”

“Exactly.”

Huh. That’s not what you were expecting. For someone as allegedly corrupt as she is (if you go by Caesar’s words), her intentions seem quite philanthropic. It is possible she is just lying to you about her intentions, but what would that accomplish? You’re already in contract with her. Though, she could be trying to win your favour so that you’ll be more loyal. For now, you’ll hold that possibility in the periphery.

“If it’s so dangerous, couldn’t you have ‘fated’ it to come to you in some way? Or for those that stole it from you to have failed in their attempt in the first place?”

“That would certainly have made it easier for me. Unfortunately, the grimoire is much too ancient for me to manipulate. The complexities surrounding its history would take me centuries to unravel. Hence why I need you.”

“I see. Well, I’ll do my best.”

She tightens her grip on you a little bit.

After that, conversation becomes small talk. You discuss things like the technology and politics of the time (always a useful thing to know when you’re in the business of hopping between time periods), Remilia’s favourite literature (“I find religious texts to be quite illuminating into the human perspective”), the weather (“it’ll start raining soon, but we’ll have landed by then”), Flandre (“I wish I could have brought her along”), your experiences as a demon (which involved your vehement refusal to explain to her what humanity will be like in the next millennium), and other such topics. During this, the landscape below offers nothing beyond the boundless farmland and a few scattered human settlements.

Eventually, you see “the city”; it is a sprawling mass of brick buildings built next to a winding river. Even from so high up, you can spot the forms of humans and horse-drawn carriages moving in the streets. Remilia descends near a road that leads into the city. When she releases her hold on you, you immediately lose your balance and fall to the ground due to the sudden weight of gravity. She covers her mouth, hiding a giggle.

“You’re supposed to be a big scary demon, but you can’t even handle a bit of flying.”

“Hey, blame my vessel. I still have human instincts and a human sense of balance. If Caesar had used a bird or something, I could out-fly you any day.”

“I suppose. You wouldn’t be able to say much as a bird, though,” she says, hand on her chin.

You shrug. “Sometimes I like being quiet.”

She laughs.

“So, what’s next?”

She raises her arms. A cloud of scarlet mist surrounds her. When it disperses a few moments later, she is wearing a thick black robe. The hood is up, hiding her hair and casting a shadow on her face.

“They’ll recognize me easily without a disguise. I’m somewhat infamous, you know,” she says, placing her hands on her hips and raising her chin proudly.

“So I’ve heard.”

“Anyway,” she says, dropping the pose, “let’s get into the city.”

The two of you follow the road. Surrounding the city is a tall brick wall. When you reach the gate, a tall, somewhat top-heavy gate guard approaches. He wears simple armour and holds a pike, which he does not point at you. He scratches his moustache, eyeing the two of you.

“State your business.”

Remilia smiles. “Hi, we’re just enterin--”

“I said state your business,” the man growls, clearly unamused. “And make it good. You’re a couple of suspicious characters if I’ve ever seen ‘em.”

Remilia opens her mouth, but you step forward, preemptively deciding whatever lie that she is about to spew will end in failure.

[ ] “Ah, fair gatekeeper! Thank you for all your good efforts. We are just mother and child, returning to our home.” (Charisma)
[ ] “We are here on official business. We intend no harm.” (Dignity)
[ ] “Let us through and we won’t start something right here, right now.” (Intimidation)
[ ] Elbow Remilia for some coin. (Bribe)
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 64462
>>64461
[ ] “Ah, fair gatekeeper! Thank you for all your good efforts. We are just mother and child, returning to our home.” (Charisma)

This one seems good enough to stay undercover for now. Though I do have to ask, what does Clara actually look like because if it's too different from Remilia then I'll change my answer.
>> No. 64463
[X] A pair of traveling Demon Hunters at your service. We seek to rendezvous with our client, and be off to the next kill.

Remi choosing to go full Dark and Edgy© kinda limits our options here.
>> No. 64464
>>64462
Good question. Not that similar, unfortunately. You have an advantage in that Remilia is hiding under her hood and robe, so it would be hard to tell at a glance. Of course, with enough charisma, you can argue that she is your step child, or adopted, etc.
>> No. 64465
>>64464

In that case I think I'll go with >>64463, though if the guard starts getting too suspicious, then maybe we could try some charm/illusion magic if we or Remilia know any.

I doubt it'll come to that though since the guy seems all brawn and no brains.
>> No. 64467
[X] A pair of traveling Demon Hunters at your service. We seek to rendezvous with our client, and be off to the next kill.

If he doubts too hard, Remi can just flex her magic a little for intimidation. Or we can just kill him.
>> No. 64468
[x] “Ah, fair gatekeeper! Thank you for all your good efforts. We are just mother and child, returning to our home.” (Charisma)
-[x] This edgy little brat decided to sneak out into the wilderness in the dead of night to "Be surrounded by a darkness rivaled only by the blackness of my soul." Ugh.. Teenagers. She's going through a phase, just ignore her.

My epic quest to embarrass Remilia continues. We act like an exasperated parent dealing with her emo goth daughter. This also lets us explain our difference in appearance by claiming Remi dyed her hair blue as an act of rebellion.
>> No. 64469
>>64467 here

Changing my vote to:
[x] “Ah, fair gatekeeper! Thank you for all your good efforts. We are just mother and child, returning to our home.” (Charisma)
-[x] This edgy little brat decided to sneak out into the wilderness in the dead of night to "Be surrounded by a darkness rivaled only by the blackness of my soul." Ugh.. Teenagers. She's going through a phase, just ignore her.
Because >>64468 is a genious.
>> No. 64470
Yo hold up, this new write-in is like 28x better than mine. Im switching >>64463 to >>64468.
>> No. 64471
>>64468
>>64469

I like the write-in the only concern I have is what period of history we are in because when I saw that castles and horse-drawn carriages are still in use, I'm wondering whether our use of 'Be surrounded by a darkness rivaled only by the blackness of my soul' might mistaken for witchcraft or something.
>> No. 64472
>>64471

I think if OP wanted to screw us over, he would do it with something that isn't an amazing write-in. Join the bandwagon broseidon.
>> No. 64473
>>64471
Don't worry. Remi weighs more than a duck.
>> No. 64474
File 148617285946.png - (1.17MB, 720x1036, 20e22bdaf82b9024bf89f483b849e810.png) [iqdb]
64474
[x] “Ah, fair gatekeeper! Thank you for all your good efforts. We are just mother and child, returning to our home.” (Charisma)

:3c

Pic Related: Child care!
>> No. 64475
>>64472

>>64468

I'll change my vote to this one then, after all nothing ventured nothing gained.
>> No. 64476
>>64468
[X] THIS
I knew waiting was a good idea.
>> No. 64477
File 148642367473.jpg - (707.50KB, 904x1017, src_pixiv_61280855.jpg) [iqdb]
64477
A lie rises to the forefront of your mind. A lie so simple, and yet, so utterly perfect. A lie that will accomplish the immediate goal of satisfying the gate guard while also fulfilling your personal quest to embarrass Remilia.

“Ah, fair gatekeeper!” you begin, spreading your arms wide to indicate openness and hospitality. “Thank you for all of your good efforts.” You give him a wide smile. “We are just a mother and child, returning to our home.”

He frowns deeply, but raises one eyebrow, his face becoming an expressive concoction of annoyance and curiosity. He strokes his moustache, saying, “Why did you leave town?”

Again, Remilia opens her mouth, but immediately closes it upon feeling your hand on her shoulder. You pat her affectionately, smiling at the gate guard once again.

“This silly child decided to sneak into the wilderness to be ‘surrounded by the darkness rivaled only by the blackness in my soul’...” you trail off for dramatic effect. When you continue speaking, you apply full deadpan to your words. “A bit of a melodramatic poet, this one. Pay her no mind; she’s in a phase. You know how teenagers are.”

He guffaws, the sound loud and unexpected given his prior expression. His outburst quickly drops to a chuckle. “Heh heh. My daughter’s the same way.” He nods stoically, regarding you with a new hint of respect. “Very well. Go on through. And make sure you stay with your mother from here on, hmm?” He direct the last comment at Remilia. All you hear from her is a soft hmph, which prompts another guffaw from the guard.

The city seems grander from inside it than from the air. Impressive brick buildings line the roads going in several directions from the gate. Down one road, you see an impressive cathedral.

Remilia elbows you. “It’s only sunset. How am I ‘surrounding myself in darkness rivaled by the blackness in my soul’?”

“You just snuck out, waiting for nightfall. I’m a good mother and noticed you leaving, so I followed.” You try to catch her eye, but she avoids your gaze. A light blush coats her cheeks.

“I don’t care for the story you concocted, but I admire your ability to improvise,” she admits, finally returning your gaze.

“Thank you, my dear daughter,” you say, winking.

“You’re impossible,” she says, shaking her head. “Let’s get a move on.”

“Where do we go next? When is the part where you desperately try to look cool and elegant in front of the thief, while I stand nearby looking threatening with a beautiful blade in my hand?”

“That is quite the vivid image you’ve conjured,” she says, ignoring your attempt to tease her. “Before anything like that, we have to track down the thief first.”

“How?”

“I know someone.” She bites her lip and furrows her brow, contemplating some unpleasant memory. “A bit of an oddball, but he has a complicated web of information in this city. If anyone here can track down the thief, it’s him.”

“Lead the way.”

The two of you move down the street, Remilia in the lead. Despite the sun setting on the horizon, a decent number of the population continues to move to and fro in this area of the city. It appears to be a commercial district; on each side of the road are shops, inns, and other businesses. Each time a horse-drawn carriage passes by, Remilia sighs in what you can only assume to be envy. (“Such simple desires, this one,” you mutter just loud enough for her to hear. She “accidentally” stomps on your foot.)

She leads you to a pub called “The Hole”, gesturing for you to follow her inside.

The floorboards creak beneath your feet. The air is filled by a strong scent of wine. Despite the lack of windows, the pub is well-lit due to the entourage of lamps on the walls and tables. Various people fill the pub, appearing to be members of the upper middle- and high-class margins of the population. A thickset woman stands behind the counter, preparing a few drinks. When Remilia enters, a few suspicious stares turn her way. In true Remilia fashion, she holds her head high and ignores the stares, making a beeline for a specific table with three men sitting around it. You follow close behind her.

You can’t help but feel like you’re interrupting something at the table. A short bearded man seems completely at ease while the other two men look uneasy. Without hesitation, Remilia sits at one of the empty chairs, hands in her lap. You stand at her right shoulder, playing the part of the impartial and stoic servant.

“Salutations,” she says, nodding to the bearded man. The other men grow more agitated by her appearance.

“Who are these characters?” one of them says, glaring at the bearded man.

“I can answer for myself, thank you,” Remilia says, flashing a fake smile. “I am simply another customer.”

“Well, you should wait your turn, kid.”

“Monsieur, ‘tis only sunset. There is plenty of time for me to attend to each of you before the night’s end.” The bearded man’s deep, velvety voice and light French accent snatches away your attention. He regards Remilia, smiling. “It has been a long time since we have met. How may I help you?”

“I require information.”

“Aha. Very well. Let us discuss this in a more private setting, hmm?” He stands up.

The other two men at the table tense up. “Hey, we were here first!”

“And you will be here when I get back,” he says without a hint of malice. “Please follow me, Mademoiselle.”

He leads the two of you into an extra room near the tender’s counter. Inside is a desk nestled between two chairs. The man waits for Remilia to sit, then joins her from the opposite side of the table. As before, you stand by Remilia’s shoulder, watching the man’s movements carefully.

He gives you a once-over. “I don’t believe I have made your lovely acquantance, Madame. You may call me Jean. Might I hear your name?”

“This is Clara. She is assisting me for today,” Remilia answers for you.

“I see. You are quite beautiful. It is a great pleasure,” Jean says, looking into your eyes intently.

“Likewise,” you say, holding your poker face. You are no stranger to being leered at by humans; it comes with the territory of assuming a human form.

“Mademoiselle Remilia,” he says, interlocking his fingers and resting them gently on the table. “You have not visited me in a long time. I wondered if some aspiring hunter had gotten the better of you.”

Remilia laughs. “Don’t be absurd. Besides, if that had happened, you wouldn’t have to wonder. We both know how easily information comes to you.”

“Mm, that is why you are here, no?” he says, chuckling.

“...Indeed. We require information.”

“Well, you know how I work, Mademoiselle. Information does not come free.”

Remilia huffs lightly. “I am well aware. What do you want to know this time?”

Jean catches your eye. He smiles. “I would like Madame Clara to tell me about herself.”

Remilia nods, keeping her gaze on him. “Clara, please indulge Jean.” You feel a prickly sensation on your rune, indicating that under the contract, her words come as a command. Jean wants information about you? With such a vague word on Remilia’s part (“indulge”) it is difficult to determine what she means. Does she want you to tell the truth about you being a demon? Some of the truth? An outright lie? If this man is truly as connected as Remilia has implied, there is a possibility that what you tell him will make it to other ears. Still, if the information you provide isn’t interesting, will he even accept it as “payment”?

[ ] Lie
[ ] Tell the truth

While it is not mandatory, I encourage a write in just so that you have full control of what you convey.

- - - - -

That’s gotta be one of the most unanimous write-ins we’ve had so far. Bravo, >>64468. I hope I did your write-in justice.

>>64471
This is only tangentially related to your worry, but it is somewhat frightening how many pointless research loops that I go into during this story. Usually I don't do much research (this is Touhou, anything can happen), but setting the story in a time period I haven't experienced creates new pressures.

>>64474
Alternate universe where Clara replaces Meiling. Poor Meiling. Forever ignored.
>> No. 64480
[x] I'm just an innocent young maiden sent before Remilia. When we first met, I was stricken by her elegance and beauty. That night was a night I'll never forget. Remilia was just so wild and intense that I could feel sparks fly between us. Remilia was so powerful and forceful that I did not sleep that night until I finally collapsed from sheer exhaustion. The next morning, Remilia propositioned me and now our souls are bound together in a promise stronger than any force on Earth.

Innuendo ho! Give him a story that is still technically true and tease Remilia at the same time.
>> No. 64481
[x] I'm just an innocent young maiden sent before Remilia. When we first met, I was stricken by her elegance and beauty. That night was a night I'll never forget. Remilia was just so wild and intense that I could feel sparks fly between us. Remilia was so powerful and forceful that I did not sleep that night until I finally collapsed from sheer exhaustion. The next morning, Remilia propositioned me and now our souls are bound together in a promise stronger than any force on Earth.

Thankfully someone eventually put in the effort so the rest of us didn't have to!
>> No. 64482
[x] Tell the truth
srs bsness
>> No. 64483
[Lie] I am an alien from outer space.
>> No. 64484
[X] Tell the truth
-[X] I hail from a reality separate, but tangent to this. My people, though possessed of near limitless power and potential, are bound by fate or some other force of cosmic irony to be forever subservient to you lesser beings.
--[X] I'm also single and looking (subtly elbow Remilia).

Eh. Might as well put on a good show of holding our end of the contract.
>> No. 64485
[x] I'm just an innocent young maiden sent before Remilia. When we first met, I was stricken by her elegance and beauty. That night was a night I'll never forget. Remilia was just so wild and intense that I could feel sparks fly between us. Remilia was so powerful and forceful that I did not sleep that night until I finally collapsed from sheer exhaustion. The next morning, Remilia propositioned me and now our souls are bound together in a promise stronger than any force on Earth.
>> No. 64497
post to affirm reader interest and abstain from voting
>> No. 64502
Not dead. I have a few tests this week so writing has taken the backseat. Next week is reading week, so I'll be assuredly writing a lot during then. I'll try to get out an update before then, but no promises.

Thank you for your patience and support, everyone.
>> No. 64568
Well, clearly, my reading week plans did not come to fruition. For now, I'm going to put this story under a short hiatus while I work through midterms. Apologies for the wait.
>> No. 64578
File 148918787362.jpg - (94.56KB, 600x600, East_4a60e6_5541740.jpg) [iqdb]
64578
[x] I'm just an innocent young maiden sent before Remilia. When we first met, I was stricken by her elegance and beauty. That night was a night I'll never forget. Remilia was just so wild and intense that I could feel sparks fly between us. Remilia was so powerful and forceful that I did not sleep that night until I finally collapsed from sheer exhaustion. The next morning, Remilia propositioned me and now our souls are bound together in a promise stronger than any force on Earth.

Our continuing mission: embarrass Remilia thoroughly

Pic related: |I heard Meiling mentioned :3
>> No. 64595
[x] I'm just an innocent young maiden sent before Remilia. When we first met, I was stricken by her elegance and beauty. That night was a night I'll never forget. Remilia was just so wild and intense that I could feel sparks fly between us. Remilia was so powerful and forceful that I did not sleep that night until I finally collapsed from sheer exhaustion. The next morning, Remilia propositioned me and now our souls are bound together in a promise stronger than any force on Earth.

Well, I mean, it's true... Enough.
>> No. 64715
>>64568
Any news Flanders? Just to know when this will probably be resumed.
>> No. 65573
Hey Flanders. We convinced you to bring this story back from the dead once, now I'm going to try doing it again. This story is good, don't let the story die again, there are still people who want to read it.
>> No. 65799
New thread:
>>65797
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