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