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File 152176789057.png - (578.87KB, 600x800, nobody.png) [iqdb]
66010No. 66010
You open your eyes again, but you don’t see the dark streets of the city, disgruntled passersby, or fellow drunkards. Instead, it’s the warm glow of a quiet kitchen — her kitchen. It was cozy, as was the rest of the house — distinctly upper-class, but not big enough for servants. That was her dowry, absurd as it was. When you discovered it had been the house she stayed in since she was a child, things made a lot more sense: it had never really been your home. It was the princess’s playhouse, where she could pretend.

Just like now. Washing dishes. She was good at that — cleaning. It’s no wonder why. She turns away from the running water with the most delicate smile you’ve ever seen. “Another late night?”

You lean on the wall, keeping the length of the room between the two of you. “Whatever keeps me away from you.”

Her hand on the wet plate stops for a moment, then resumes. “If I didn’t know any better, I would say you were an abusive husband.”

You weren’t abusive, but you weren’t the best. Long hours, late calls, and a lot of pent-up stress and anxiety dominated most of your relationship.

“Let’s pretend I was the perfect husband,” you say. “Would it have mattered at all?”

She looks back at the sink and grabs another plate. “What do you think?”

You’ve considered it, again and again and again. Where would you both be if you hadn’t become a detective? If you were at home with her more often? If you appreciated her more instead of using her as a reprieve from a hard day at work? Would you be speaking with her in reality, instead of this twisted dream? Would you still have your old life?

“Of course not,” is your answer. “You were always rotten to the core.”

Kotohime puts the plate back down, but doesn’t pick up another. “Even when we were kids?”

“I met you when I turned eighteen,” you answer. “Our parents arranged for us to be wed.”

Suddenly, she breaks out into a fit of laughter that you have to tune out. After collecting herself, she says, “You can be such an idiot sometimes, PI. But that’s alright. I love you anyway — whether you’re out at work or home with me.”

Fucking lunatic. You ignore her and turn your attention to the kitchen itself. It’s been a while since you’ve seen it, even in your dreams. There were always things laying out on the counter: jars, rags, knives — small and large. You wonder if she really did like cooking, or if that was just another part of the big ruse. Your hand falls on a carving knife— worn, but with a maintained edge and a distinct point. You happen to pick it up.

“That’s my favorite,” she remarks, as soon as you get a grip of it. “A dependable blade makes all the difference when it comes to meat.”

Disgust turns into rage, and you drop the knife back on the counter. “I’m sure it does,” you utter, your hands feeling a little dirtier.

“I remember how you always loved my cooking,” she goes on. “Bragged about it, even. You haven’t had anything else like it, right?”

She isn’t wrong, but that’s hardly relevant. You don’t want to give her the satisfaction of a response to her rambling.

“But I always thought it was a funny thing, how you never asked me what you were eating.”

You whip your head around to stare at her. “What?”

She meets your eyes, with a grin. “You were so happy whenever you could actually sit down and eat with me, that you never asked. All I had to do was say it was fresh from the butcher.”

Something dark and heavy grabs your stomach. You remember that night, how she showed — no, displayed her sick ways for you, her captive audience. The ways she tortured those girls — physically, mentally, sexually. The humans were lucky enough to die, and that just left the youkai who could suffer through it again and again.

But there was always something else you didn’t want to remember. It was the way she could remove their skin so effortlessly, and how the flesh could be pulled from the bone. She knew exactly how to do it so their bodies would grow back quickly and properly — turning the youkai’s ability to regenerate physical wounds so cruelly against them. She had done it so many times before that it had become a routine.

She beams a smile at you. “They were delicious, weren’t they?

You cross the length of the room in an instant. With one hand you grab her and slam her against the wall, hard enough to hear it splinter. Your fingers clutch her white neck halfway around, and you squeeze hard enough to where you can feel the tendons in her neck strain and fold.

Kotohime offers no resistance, letting her arms dangle as she stares into your eyes with none of the emotions you want her to feel — just a pleasant expectance of what has and will come.

“A, are you going to do it?” she chokes out. “W, will you stab me?”

You glance down at your other hand. It’s holding the carving knife. You don’t even remember grabbing it. All it would take is one thrust, then you could keep going and going and going, until you killed her again. That your wife might feel a fraction of the pain she put others through would bring you peace.

Wouldn’t it?

Would it?

Your hand on her throat loosens, and then releases.

Kotohime doesn’t take any deep breaths, or even feel around on her throat. Instead, she keeps smiling at you, like nothing happened. “It’s more difficult to stab someone to death than to shoot them, isn’t it?” she remarks. “The trigger of a gun is a decision that can be made in a split second. The blade of a knife requires dedication. I know you can’t really kill me.”

You turn around and search for an exit, but there’s no doors where they should be. It’s just walls. You look back, and that pure smile of hers starts to burn into your head.

“I’m your wife,” she continues, “and you know that everything I did, was because I love you. Nobody can take that away from us.”


You jolt out of bed and dash to the bathroom. Your vomit tastes like alcohol and bile. Even when you’re finished, it doesn’t feel like enough.

It will never be enough.


It’s Mori’s voice. You raise your face out of the toilet bowl and look toward the door. Both Mori and Hina are standing there, watching you with concern.

If you confessed your sins, would they be able to forgive you? Would they be able to comfort you? You remember how Mori saved your life, confided her failures with you, and smelled like dandelions when you held her and kissed her forehead. You also remember the warmth of Hina’s embrace, her inexplicable dedication to you, the sadness she felt while describing her creation and creator, and her resolve to help Alice.

But you also remember vividly the sight of Mori gnawing on that night sparrow, and Hina happily mentioning her disposing of the bodies of the families that used to live here.

No. Mori and Hina can’t help you. Nothing good can come of exposing them to her.

This is what you deserve.

Your voice barely croaks out of your throat. “Just a bad hangover,” you finally respond. “Gimme a sec alone.”


Taking a shower helps only a little bit, but it helps. For once you’re thankful for the headache, because it means you can’t think too hard.

The apartment is quiet, except for the mumbling of the television in the living room. If Hina and Mori are still here, they aren’t talking — at least not loud enough for you to hear. You wander through the bedroom door and almost run smack into Mori, who’s wearing some of the pajamas Hina gave her.

She looks up at your face, and then smiles. “Oh, you look better. Come on, Hina’s making breakfast!”

You wince at the sudden bit of volume. “Keep it down. I still feel like shit.”

Mori stops and speaks quietly. “Uh, sorry. Bad headache, huh? Didn’t mean to hurt you. I can heal a lot of things, but a hangover is a bit complicated, y’know? You’d need a dedicated water god or something for that.”

“You’re awfully chipper,” you grumble. “And obedient. I don’t like it.”

Mori avoids your eyes. “I dunno what you’re talking about. Aren’t I always chipper and obedient?”

Something’s up, that’s for sure. Regardless, you follow her to the table and sit down. Hina is standing in the kitchen, messing around with the oven. You watch her play with the dials for a few moments before you feel the need to ask, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing, Hina?”

Hina jolts the tiniest bit in surprise and turns around to face you, and her cheeks slowly flush red. “I must admit that it has been a while since I’ve cooked, and never with one of these machines. However, I am confident that I can figure it out!”

That’s easy for her to say. It isn’t a gas stove, but you’re still a little nervous about the way she’s messing around with it.

“Anyway,” Hina continues, facing back toward the stove. “I deeply enjoyed our sleepover last night. I understand that neither of you were in a state of right mind, but I was still happy to be in your company.”

You look at Mori, who wears a sheepish grin. “Sleepover?”

Mori forces a laugh. “Well um, I had some problems walking home, and Hina helped me out. Then we saw you doubled over in front of the door, one thing led to another, and I didn’t want to send Hina back to her place, so I told her she could stay here.”

Your partner’s acting like she did something wrong, but you don’t really care about that. “I don’t mind if Hina stays here for a night,” you reply. “I trust her enough.” Then you think for a moment. “Wait, where did she sleep? The couch?”

Mori looks away, so that may be the crux of the issue. “Well, she was kinda insistent on sleeping with us, and I wasn’t really opposed to the idea, so we all ended up sleeping in our bed.”

Our bed, huh? You wonder when that happened, but you find yourself unwilling to address it.

“It was fun,” Hina chimes in pleasantly, as she gracefully cracks some eggs against the countertop. “I do not sleep much, but watching both of you sleep throughout the night was fascinating. You both snore in intervals, and occasionally you even synchronize for a period of time. Your hand was also quite fond of my breast, PI, though I’m not sure why.”

You groped an idol of misfortune in your drunken stupor. No wonder you had such a shitty dream. “Sorry about that, Hina,” you tell her only half-sincerely. “You should have pushed me off.”

Hina turns around and stares at you intently, actually taking some kind of offense to the suggestion. “Not at all! In fact, it has been many years since I was massaged like that. Please let me know any time you would like to massage me in the future.”

That’s a dangerous thing for her to say, so you’ll pretend you never heard it.

You glance over at Mori. Normally, she would be breaking out in a fit of snickering right about now, or maybe glaring at you, but she’s strangely quiet. “And where’s your smartass comment?” you remark to her.

“Oh, the little one made plenty of comments as she held onto you during the night,” Hina answers for her. “Unfortunately, she has sworn me into secrecy. I think she might be embarrassed, but I thought it was very, ahh, cute. Yes, cute.”

Mori drops her head on the table. “Hina, when someone tells you to keep something a secret, that doesn’t mean you tell him that you’re keeping a secret.”

“I see,” Hina responds. “I will try and remember that in the future, then.”

The way she smiles at you after saying that leads you to believe she’s probably messing with Mori again, kind of like the time she dropped her when you were walking back to Minoriko’s farm the other day.

“Well, I wish I had been awake and sober for that,” you admit to Mori, “but if you’re that embarrassed, I won’t push you.”

Mori buries her head deeper in her arms. “Thanks,” she mutters.


Hina sets a plate of food in front of you: a fat omelette with some rice on the side and a drawing made with ketchup on it. Well, you call it a drawing, but it just looks like a blob with some lines coming out of it.

“What is this, Hina?”

“It’s an omelette, with rice and ketchup,” she answers.

“No, I meant, what did you draw?”

“Oh,” she responds less enthusiastically. “I was told I should draw a heart on it, but I couldn’t remember exactly what the human heart looked like. I think I had some problems with the — what do you call them — arteries?”

That would explain why it took her half an hour to do it. You aren’t sure what’s more disturbing: that Hina tried to draw a heart on your omelette like a schoolgirl or that she tried to draw an actual heart on your omelette like some kind of psychopathic stalker from a television drama.

You glance at Mori. “Did you have something to do with this?”

This time, she’s barely keeping herself from bursting with laughter. “Nope,” she says quickly. “Nothin’ to do with it.”

Of course not.

“I, I can make something else,” Hina offers quickly.

You hold the plate down with one hand so she doesn’t run off with it. “It looks fine, Hina. I promise.”

That’s what you say, but you hesitate to actually take a bite. It’s just eggs, but that heavy grip on your stomach returns. Your appetite isn’t exactly there since your little conversation with Kotohime, and the red ketchup sure as shit doesn’t help. Just like this, you ignorantly devoured the flesh of those youkai — those girls. Who knows how much, and for how long? All the while, they withered away in that fucking basement — dungeon, rather — being used as some sick demented game.

You’re just as responsible as she is.

Hina’s voice interrupts your self-loathing. “PI?”

She’s standing there, watching you expectantly. Out of the corner of your eye, you also see Mori staring at you.

Kotohime isn’t here. She doesn’t even exist to anybody anymore — only you. She’s your sin to carry, and it has nothing to do with Mori, Hina, or whoever else. So for now, you can eat the omelette. And you can smile.

It isn’t good. Some parts are slimy and uncooked, while others are brown and crispy. Hina really was totally clueless about how the stove worked. It’s nothing like the level that she used to cook. This is completely mediocre, and it doesn’t help that the ketchup bottle you have is probably a year or so old.

And that’s exactly what you needed.

“I’ll help you next time, Hina,” you tell her, “but I can eat this.”

Any disappointment that Hina might have felt is completely replaced with excitement. “Yes! I would appreciate that very much!”

“So, whose was better?” Mori speaks up, loudly munching on some toast.

It’s been a while since that time Mori cooked, but you still don’t hesitate to say, “Yours, definitely.”

That, however, does cast a gloom over Hina’s demeanor. “I see. So the little one has bested me in cooking.”

You take another bite of the sloppy egg. “Don’t worry, Hina. It won’t take long for you to get used to that stove.”

What you aren’t telling her is that you don’t mind someone else doing the cooking. It’s not really taking advantage of her if she’s more than happy to do it, or so you tell yourself.

Hina brightens up. “I see. Yes! That is what I will strive for!”

Mori glares at the two of you. “Hey uh, I was complimented, but I kinda feel like I’m getting the short end of the stick, y’know?”

“But you are short,” Hina replies without missing a beat.

Mori looks like she might say something, but stops. Even she probably doesn’t want to push Hina since she heard her secret sleep-talking or whatever it was.

“I don’t like this,” Mori grumbles after a moment.

You glance at Hina and notice her pleased smile. She’s definitely aware of the hold she has over Mori.

“Don’t worry,” you assure them, “you’ll both make great wives someday, I’m sure.”

Then you freeze. Whatever pleasant atmosphere you reestablished for yourself crashes, and surprisingly enough it seems to affect Mori and Hina as well. Mori withdraws into her food, while Hina goes far away in her thoughts.

What a stupid comment. You of all people should know it can be a sensitive subject, but for the first time you really consider: these are two women who have lived many lifetimes. You can’t be the first human they’ve been involved with. Hina had her creator and the villagers from back then, while Mori had her followers and subjects in the outside world. Have they ever made human friends? Lovers? Is it even possible for beings like them to form lasting attachment to humans? They’ve given you a lot of leeway with your own past, so asking them — now, at least — isn’t something you want to breach.

It’s another reminder that these moments are fleeting, especially for them. This could all be gone tomorrow, like so many things you once held dear.

There’s a knock on the door — three of them, very measured.

You stand up. “I’ll get it,” you announce, not that Mori or Hina are rushing to the door or anything.

A glance through the peephole bestows a curious sight upon you: a silver-haired young maid in a blue-and-white uniform. “What the fuck?” you mumble to yourself before turning the knob and opening the door.

Sure enough, it wasn’t a trick of the light. It really is a maid, with pale skin, a genuine maid’s uniform complete with frilly apron, and red eyes with heavy bags that lead you to believe the two of you might share at least something in common. “Good morning,” she greets you with a deep bow. “I apologize for disturbing you, but I believe you are the man known as PI.”

If this is a job, it’s probably the most bizarre way you’ve been recruited yet. Since she’s already made it this far, there’s no use in denying it. “I am,” you reply.

The maid procures something from a pocket in her apron, and you notice just how toned her bare arms are. That is not the physique of a simple housekeeper.

She unfurls a piece of parchment and clears her throat softly before reading aloud from it. “To my esteemed ‘PI’, I hereby invite you to the First Scarlet Devil Mansion Birthday Celebration of Mistress Remilia Scarlet, Blood Heir of the Legacy of Vlad Tepes, Greatest Most Legendary Vampire of the Outside World.”

The maid takes a breath after such a long, nonsensical title, while you wonder both who Remilia Scarlet is and what she’s compensating for.

“You will hereby attend on the night of the new moon,” the maid continues. “For your special case, formal attire will be provided and free lodging will be granted until the event. Please rest easy, and accompany my head maid without reservation. Further instruction will be provided when you arrive. Dictated but not read, Mistress Remilia Scarlet, Blood Heir of the Legacy of Vlad Tepes, Greatest Most Legendary Vampire of the Outside World.”

The maid takes another breath, then hands the parchment to you. Everything she read is written in clean, crisp penmanship, and at the bottom is a signature in a language you can’t read, penned in a deep red ink.

It’s all pretty damn surprising, and you’re still trying to wrap your head around it. “The Scarlet Devil Mansion?”

“Are you not aware of it?”

“I think so,” you answer. “Only a couple rumors, if it's what I'm thinking. I don’t know why your mistress would invite me to her birthday party when I’ve never met or even heard of her.”

The maid thinks for a moment, before frankly stating, “I do not, either. This invitation was made for you by the request of Patchouli Knowledge, a resident of the mansion and close friend of the mistress. Would that name be more familiar to you?”

You shake your head. “Never heard it before in my life.”

The maid’s eyes regard you sharply. “Then that is unfortunate, because I was ordered to bring you to the mansion now. Will this be a problem?”

Mori saunters up to you, with Hina not far behind. “So uh, what’s this all about, PI?”

The maid glances down at Mori, and then — to your surprise — smiles warmly and speaks delicately. “I’m sorry, Little Miss, but the invitation is for this man — alone. Please don’t worry. I won’t harm him, and neither will my mistress.”

“Invitation?” you repeat. “This seems more like a demand.”

“If that is what you think, then I apologize,” the maid replies to you, a bit more coldly than she addressed Mori. “The language my mistress uses isn’t meant to insinuate a lack of choice, but a predetermined outcome. Simply put, it’s your fate to attend. If it was your choice, you would have certainly attended. It just so happened that your presence is required a bit earlier than we originally expected.”

This Remilia Scarlet sounds like some kind of grandstanding crime lord. “I still don’t see what the difference is,” you admit. “In fact, I might even take it as a threat.”

“I see,” she replies, with a strained smile. “Well, I certainly wouldn’t go that far. Please excuse me, I need to check the time.”

The maid reaches into the other pocket of her apron and takes out an old-fashioned silver watch on a chain. She hits the button to open the face, and—




You wake up in…

[] …a sunny garden, near a flowerbed.

[] …a dark library, tied to a chair.

[] …the middle of a bunch of fairies?

Expand all images
>>No. 66012
First Thread: >>63343
Second Thread: >>64075
Third Thread: >>64718

Off the Record (NSFW): >>>/at/38307

Cool Stuff:

PI's files are currently offline while he and Mori rewrite them. Please wait warmly!
>>No. 66013
[] …a dark library, tied to a chair.

The Koakuma option
>>No. 66014
[X] …the middle of a bunch of fairies?
Lol fairies freed him somehow.
>>No. 66015
[x] …the middle of a bunch of fairies?

Gotta keep PI's lolicon street cred
>>No. 66016
[X] …a sunny garden, near a flowerbed.

Mei Ling!

And oh WOW PI really need a therapist. That's one hell of a PTSD holy shit.
>>No. 66017
[X] …the middle of a bunch of fairies?
I smell hilarity.
>>No. 66018
[x] …the middle of a bunch of fairies?

Fairy shenanigans best shenanigans.
>>No. 66019
[x] …the middle of a bunch of fairies?
>>No. 66020
[x] …the middle of a bunch of fairies?
>>No. 66022
I guess we're gonna meet Lucy soon, huh?
>>No. 66024
[X] …a dark library, tied to a chair.
looks like PI is going to be interrogated by Patchouli about Kotohime.
For the disaster two threads back
>>No. 66070
Looks like the vote is pretty clearly in favor of fairies, but I'll go ahead and call it just to be safe.

It turns out that before PI was captured, he actually finally made some progress on his files. The "Mori Journal" he's planning isn't quite presentable yet, but his basic Contacts list should be, and a new corrupted file has sprung up. You can find the link to the folder here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B3yTr6zUKvDYM1p1WDllYkk4MnM?usp=sharing
>>No. 66085

Oh wow... So PI is responsible for unknowingly encouraging Kotohime's urges.
>>No. 66099
File 152255779520.jpg - (160.30KB, 850x956, endgamesuwako.jpg) [iqdb]
Even calling him 'unknowingly responsible' is a step too far. She had those tendencies from the start.
>>No. 66104
File 152286687723.jpg - (148.87KB, 600x888, pouting big sis.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] ...the middle of a bunch of fairies?

You’re conscious, but every muscle in your body feels numb — even your eyelids. The last thing you remember is talking to that maid, and then everything went black and it felt like you were sucked through a straw. You can breathe fine, but you can’t see — or rather, you just can’t muster the strength to open your eyes. The noise, however, is unbearable. High-pitched screeching settles into girlish chatter that violates your ears from all sides.

“I can’t wait for the party!”

“What are you going to wear?’

“Our uniforms, duh! We gotta look all nice and proper for Miss Sakuya.”

“You’re such a kissass. I want to wear something scandalous!”

“You don’t even know what scandalous is!”

“I do too! It’s like, black stuff!”

“Will the Mistress wear something scandalous, you think?”

“Well duhhhhh! Vampires are the cutting edge!”

“Cutting edge? Like Miss Sakuya’s knives?”

“Um, kind of, yeah!”

“That’s not what that means!”

“Is too!”

“Nuh uh!”

“Is too!”

“Nuh uh!”

No longer. Every fiber of your body strains and connects with each other in an effort of sheer resolve and determination. As you feel your limbs again, you summon what little strength you can recover to pull yourself upright and bellow, “Enough!

The room falls silent. Your eyes slowly open, revealing what must be twenty fairies dressed in frilly blue maid uniforms, all floating completely still in the air with their wide eyes locked on to you. The room is some sort of open barracks, lined with small cots — one of which you happen to be laying in. The bed is so small, however, that your legs are dangling off the end.

“He’s awake!” one of them — a tiny white-haired fairy — cries.

Then it all becomes chaos.

“He’s awake!”

“Ohmigosh, he’s awake!”

“PI is awake!”

—and it keeps going and going and going. All of them buzz around like a swarm: from the floor to the ceiling, bumping into the walls, bumping into each other. You cover your head and make yourself as small as possible, trying to ignore the tremendous, aching pressure building up in your head.

You consider that you may have died and begun your eternal punishment, but the Blazing Hells you read about were supposed to be a fiery domain deep underground. Instead, this appears to be a torture catered toward you personally, and one beyond your own imagination.

“Shut up!” one of them yells over the madness. She looks tall — for a fairy, anyway — with green hair tied into a simple ponytail. “Beta, go tell Miss Sakuya that he woke up,” she commands. “The rest of you, don’t be so loud ‘cause he’s sick and stuff!”

“O, okay, big sis!” the fairy presumably named Beta zips out the door before you can even get a good look at her.

The other fairies, at the larger one’s behest, begin to settle down and crowd around you, much to your displeasure. None of them dare touch you, but their eyes scan every bit of you as they whisper to themselves excitedly.

One voice finally addresses you. “Are you really a hero of justice?”

The floodgate of noise opens once again.

“Do you really have a gun that goes like, BANG and stuff?”

“Are you wearing something scandalous to the party?”

“What does ‘scandalous’ mean?”

“What’s your pants size?”

“Do you hate the tengu the mostest?”

“Have you ever killed anyone?”

“Do you like puppies?”

“Have you ever killed a puppy?”

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Are you gonna take Lucy away from us?”

That last question is what stops your attempts to tune them out. You hold your hand out, and all the chattering fey fall silent — or as silent as a group of them can get. “You all know Lucy?”

The green-haired fairy from earlier, who exerts some manner of authority, flies in front of you. “Of course we do! She reads us stories, and sometimes she makes up her own. The story she’s tellin’ us now is about you: Gensokyo’s Ace Detective.” Then she frowns. “You don’t look as cool as she said you were, though.”

A fairy’s judgment is worth less than nothing to you. What you care about is Lucy. “So she’s here? Lucy works here?”

The green-haired fairy places her hands on her hips indignantly. “Now hold on! You never answered the question! Are you gonna take Lucy with you?”

All the fairies stare at you expectantly, with childish dread. You had no idea that Lucy is here, so it’s difficult for you to even answer the question.

“I just want to meet her,” you tell them. “I have this feeling that the whole reason I’m here is because of her.” You don’t really want to bother interrogating a bunch of fairies, but this bunch seems well-behaved — for their kind — and they really are the only source of information you have about your situation right now. You try and think back to your brief conversation with that maid and remember a name from that letter. “Who is Patchouli Knowledge?”

“She’s a nerd!” one fairy suddenly shouts.

“A big nerd!”

“A total nerd!”

“A super nerd!”


Alright,” you cut in before this gets out of hand, again. “I get it. She’s a nerd. But Patchouli Knowledge isn’t Lucy?”

The fairies all laugh, which makes you regret ever thinking that they could be good for anything. Finally, the green-haired “big sis” answers, “Nope! She’s Lucy’s boss, and we don’t like her because she won’t let us read any books from her library. She even booby-trapped all the books with a buncha dangerous spells! But that’s okay, ‘cause we can just respawn.”

Then Patchouli Knowledge must be the slavedriver Lucy always complains about, and Lucy bonded with the fairies over their mutual dislike of her. However, looking at these snot-crusted, bouncing-in-place, mouth-breathing fairies, you can’t help but sympathize with Miss Knowledge somewhat. “How many of you can actually read in the first place?”

The fairies all look around at each other, confused. One of them raises a hand. “I know a couple letters!”

The green-haired fairy chuckles smugly. “A couple letters? I read a whole word once.”

There are gasps and hushed awe throughout the crowd. The idea of reading an entire word must be akin to some great enlightenment for them.

“That’s why she’s our big sis!” one fairy remarks.

“But wasn’t there a fairy who could read and even do math, though?” another fairy says.

“A fairy that wise? I don’t remember anyone like that. Do you, big sis?”

The larger fairy thinks, but gives up after a few seconds. “I dunno. I bet she just made that up. For a fairy to be that smart, she’d have to be the strongest, and I’m the strongest here.”

“I don’t think I made it up,” the original fairy responds, but is obviously unsure. “I just can’t remember her name.”

At the very least, when you do meet this Patchouli Knowledge, at least you can bond over your mutual distaste for these fairies. Whatever Lucy sees in them, you certainly do not.

Your body doesn’t ache as much now, so you lift yourself off the bed and groan as the joints in your legs creak and pop. Your head is light and your stomach churns, but that’ll all work out while you’re exploring this place.

The green-haired fairy flies right in your face, wearing a nasty glare. “What are you doing? You can’t get up! Miss Sakuya will be here any second!”

You have no more interest in talking with these pests or whoever Miss Sakuya is, so you shove the fairy aside. “Stay out of my way. I need to get my bearings, and I can’t do that if I’m surrounded by you noisy brats.”

All the fairies gaze upon you with terror before exchanging nervous glances with each other. You don’t waste any time in stepping over and under them. However, before you can make it to the door, one of them tackles you.

It’s the green-haired fairy again, and although she isn’t heavy enough to knock you over, she’s clinging to your side tightly. “Everyone, I don’t wanna get in trouble, and neither do you! Glomp him!”

Easily convinced, the fairies become deathly resolute as they charge forward, grabbing your arms, legs, and then eventually each other as they pile on top of you, grabbing as tight as they can. “Fucking fairies!” you curse them, as you try to move forward to the door.

However, the combined weight of the fairies on top of you is enough to anchor you where you stand. You sweat, as the combined heat of all the squirming little bodies attached to you becomes unbearable. You’ll have to start pulling them off, starting with the one who started all this: the big sis.

“Get off me, you little bitch!” you scream, as you try to wedge your hand between her body and yours. Eventually you come across the distinct feeling of a firm but small bra cup under her uniform, and you realize where your hand must be.

“Gah!” she cries out. “My boobie! He’s touching my boobie!”

“He’s touching big sis’s big boobies!” another fairy shouts. “Glomp him harder!”

Big? You didn’t even notice she had breasts, let along “big boobies”. She’s probably wearing a training bra, for fuck’s sake.

The fairies all squeeze harder, and one of them even hops on your head and covers your face with her hands. You try to get your other arm free, but since you can’t see, you’re really just flailing around desperately.

Then you jab something soft, of a distinctly softer cloth than the fairy’s uniform.

You hear a fairy gasp loudly. “He poked my squishy place!”

Surprisingly, some of the fairies let go of you and retreat. “Run! He’s a pervert like the little sister!”

“You cowards!” the big sis calls after her fleeing comrades.

“I don’t even know what’s going on anymore,” you admit out loud. “But if poking your ‘squishy places’ will get you off of me, then so be it!”

After being captured and taken to the Scarlet Devil Mansion by a lone maid, you must now escape a mass of fairies by groping them until they let go. This truly is a Gensokyo moment. At least Mori isn’t here to see this — or gods forbid, Hatate.

Then you hear the distinct sound of the door opening, and the fairies that remain fall silent. You peek through them, and expect to see Mori and/or Hatate, because that would be the pattern established thus far in your life.

Instead, you see a familiar blue-and-white uniform for a split second before it completely vanishes.

Then suddenly, you’re free — and sitting back on the bed you woke up on. The fairies — even the ones that ran away — are sitting against the wall. They look just as disoriented as you are.

In the middle of the room is the maid who brought you here in the first place, holding that silver watch.

“I was only gone for ten minutes,” she begins, maintaining a composed facade despite her exasperation, “and already there’s been a battle in the maid quarters.”

He started it!” the green-haired fairy speaks up. “We were just trying to keep him here like you ordered us to, Miss Sakuya!”

So, the maid who brought you here is Miss Sakuya. If the fairies are speaking to her like that, then she must be the one in charge of them — not that you’ve ever heard of an ordinary human being in charge of a bunch of fairies before. She looks at you with her icy-blue eyes, and then you hear a click.

Now she’s right next to you, having crossed the distance between the two of you in an instant. “It seems like you aren’t physically harmed,” she says. “That is a relief.” Then she steps away from you to bow deeply. “I apologize. I thought you would be unconscious longer, but your body has recovered rather quickly for a human.”

Simple politeness won’t fool you, though. “Are you talking about how you knocked me out?” you respond bitterly. “Thanks for that. If I’m your prisoner now, then your little helpers did an excellent job of torturing me.”

“Only because he wouldn’t stay put, Miss Sakuya!” the green-haired fairy pouts.

Sakuya turns to her, wearing a cold smile to mask her frustration. “And did you do what I asked you? I told you to prevent him from leaving, but I also told you to explain that he was being kept in the maid quarters while I prepared his guest room, and to make sure that he wasn’t hurt after my blunder. Instead, I’m going to assume that you completely forgot about that, and mobbed him with all sorts of useless questions.” She turns back to you. “Is that correct?”

You can’t help but grin while watching a group of fairies get thoroughly lectured by someone who must be way stronger than them — at least you’re assuming, because anyone in Gensokyo who can move as fast as this maid has to be pretty high-level. “More or less,” you reply to her.

While her gang of fairies shifts nervously in their seats, the green-haired fairy crosses her arms and huffs. “This is so stupid.”

Sakuya’s hands tense as she looks down at the rebellious fairy. “It is stupid, Daiyousei. The other girls look up to you. I expect better from someone who calls herself the strongest fairy.”

Daiyousei looks away from Sakuya, refusing to meet her glare, but seems pacified regardless.

Then Sakuya turns her attention to you, with the same cold smile. “And I wouldn’t be so smug if I were you. Anyone who would use violence on children, let alone their ‘squishy parts’, couldn’t possibly be in the right either.”

The grin falls right off your face. These aren’t children, they’re just fairies, is what you’d like to say. However, that silver watch is still in Sakuya’s hand, and your intuition is screaming that it has something to do with her warping powers. Next time she clicks that watch, you could end up feet-first in a wood chipper, for all you know.

For that reason, and that reason alone, you turn to give the line of fairies sitting against the wall your best forced smile. “I’m sorry I touched your squishy parts.”

“And my boobies,” Daiyousei grumbles.

“And your boobies,” you add.

“Now all of you apologize together,” Sakuya tells the fairies.

Daiyousei looks to her comrades, sighs, and then raises her hands. “All together,” she begins, with zero enthusiasm.

“We’re sorry we glomped you,” all the fairies tell you in varying degrees of unison.

Sakuya’s smile turns much gentler from hearing all the fairies’ voices. “Thank you, all of you. Now, PI, I’ll show you to your room.”

“Yeah, thanks,” you mutter. Your smile vanishes as if it had never been there, as do the fairies’ once Sakuya’s back is turned. As you and Sakuya leave through the door, you turn back one last time to meet Daiyousei’s green eyes. Then, you raise your middle finger at her. She responds in kind right before the door shuts, leaving you and Sakuya alone in a long hallway of crimson walls, red carpet, and dim light provided by chandeliers.

“It’s a bit late,” Sakuya begins with a slight bow, “but welcome to the Scarlet Devil Mansion. I am Sakuya Izayoi, the head maid.”

“I still can’t tell if I’m a prisoner or a guest,” you admit.

“It’s as I said before. You are an invited guest and I will serve you as such. It just so happens that you were summoned early.”

“And forcefully,” you add. “With the added bonus of knocking me unconscious.”

Sakuya bows again. “I apologize. It’s been so long time since I carried a human with me, that I forgot the effect it would have on your body.”

She must mean the warping. You can’t tell if she’s really being sincere or not, but it doesn’t matter. Looks like you’re here to stay, at least until that party. Then you remember something — the people you left behind. You check your pockets, and find that you have your key, wallet, and cell phone still on you. When you open up the cell phone to check it, there’s a lot to gape at.

17 missed calls. 11 emails from your contacts. Sakuya knocked on the door of your apartment in the later hours of the morning, but now it’s 1 AM the next day.

“I was out for the whole day?” you remark.

Sakuya confirms with a nod. “I know little of physics, but I believe that when I stopped time to carry you here, it would have been like your body moved very, very fast — because you still would have been sensitive to time’s flow. You vomited quite a bit when we arrived at the gate, then immediately fell unconscious.”

What the fuck is she talking about? Physics? Time’s flow? You’ve been hearing a lot about faith recently, but this is the complete opposite of the wacky bullshit power spectrum. “Sorry, I really can’t wrap my head around that right now,” you tell Sakuya. “I need to check my phone.”

“I’m not your jailer or your babysitter,” she reminds you. “Please do as you wish. I have plenty of time.”

The log of missed calls is an assortment of Mori, Hina, and Hatate’s numbers — and even one call from Q. There’s just as many voicemails, but you’d rather not listen to seventeen of them right now. You can imagine what they would say. Instead, you turn your attention to the emails.

To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: gensokyomori@kmail.com

Call me as soon as you can
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: agentq@tengu.net

Are you okay?
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: psychicdetective@tengu.net

better not die, bich
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: gensokyomori@kmail.com

This is your partner btw, “jailbait@kmail.com” was taken, believe it or not
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: gensokyomori@kmail.com

Hello? is everything okay?
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: psychicdetective@tengu.net

i know youre probably drowning in child pussy at the sdm, but fucking call us
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: gensokyomori@kmail.com

Starting to get worried
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: gensokyomori@kmail.com

You better not be ignoring me
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: gensokyomori@kmail.com

Please call
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: gensokyomori@kmail.com

Call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me call me
To: gensokyopi@kmail.com
From: gensokyopi@kmail.com

Greetings, PI. This is Hina. The little one has given me permission to borrow your computer and your email account and use it to send my own message. Because you have not responded for over twelve hours, we believe you to be held in captivity. Therefore, I am working with Hatate and the kappa who wishes to be called Q so that we may mount a rescue. Please survive until I reach you.

If your captors are reading this, then they should know that I fear no youkai, no matter what they wish to call themselves, and I will happily tear them apart until they no longer wish to regenerate and prefer to rot on the ground.


PS: Please explain to me what a “titfuck” is after your rescue.

Immediately after reading that last email, you check when the emails were sent. Mori’s first email was sent not long after you were taken, with the others’ emails following soon after that. Then you received emails, mostly from Mori, every hour or so throughout the day — until Hina’s, which was about three hours ago.

That means they could be here any moment, if they decided to act quickly — and it sure didn’t seem like they wanted to take their time. You turn to Sakuya. “It seems that my companions are plotting a rescue attempt.”

Sakuya blinks. “I haven’t heard any news from the gatekeeper. Why would they do something so foolish, though? As I’ve said, you aren’t a prisoner.”

You sigh. “You suddenly vanished with me, didn’t you? What else would they assume?”

“I told that little girl you would not be harmed,” she mentions.

You consider arguing that there’s no way that would be enough to assure them of your safety, but there’s no time. You have to make a call.

[] Call Mori.
[] Call Hina.
[] Call Hatate.
[] Call Q.
>>No. 66105
[X] Call Hina
>>No. 66106
[X] Call Hina.
That was entertaining.
>>No. 66107
[] Call Hina.

>Hina wants to know what a titfuck is

Goddammit, between obsessive Koa, mischievous scamp Suwako, buttslut Hatate, and now Hina, you are making it very hard to identify just who is best girl. And Nitori hasn't even come into play yet, so she's a wild card in waiting!
>>No. 66108
[x] Call Mori

>that last message from her
>voting to call literally anyone else
It sounds like Suwako is either emotionally unable to help or is about to attempt something stupid and desperate. Either way, PI's partner needs his trust, faith, and reassurance.
>>No. 66109
[X] Call Mori.

She's PI's partner y'all. After everything, she should be prioritized.
>>No. 66110
[x] Call Mori

She really wants him to call her..
>>No. 66111
[X] Call Mori.

I feel like Mori is the one that needs reassurance the most as soon as possible.
>>No. 66112
[X] Call Hatate.

She at least deserves a pity vote from time to time.
>>No. 66113
[x] Call Mori.

Is there anything in poor PI's life that isn't a complete and utter clusterfuck? Get the frog on the phone before someone croaks.
>>No. 66115
[x] Call Mori

I hope someday we'll get a Hina option I can vote for without feeling like a complete asshole.
>>No. 66116
[x] Call Mori

"Yes, I'm a prisoner. No, attacking someone who can stop time is not a good idea"
>>No. 66121
[x] Call Mori

Do not make frog goddess sad.
>>No. 66124
[x] Call Mori.
>>No. 66127
[x] Call Mori

It'd be heartless to do otherwise.
>>No. 66132
[x] Call Mori

"Hey Mori, what's a 'squishy place'?"
>>No. 66134
[X] Call Mori.

She is his partner after all.
>>No. 66246
[x] Call Mori

She just seemed so worried...
>>No. 66259
File 152453400463.jpg - (288.59KB, 1727x2048, haha yeah im calm yknow.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Call Mori.

If you’re reporting your status, then your partner needs to know first. Besides that, Mori has been far more desperate in her attempts to get a hold of you than the others. You can’t imagine her being so distraught, but you did vanish right in front of her. Would you be freaked out if the situation was reversed? Could you just shrug and say “it’s Gensokyo” like you used to?

No. You wouldn’t leave her. You couldn’t leave her. That feeling has been with you ever since your first morning together.


The phone rings only once before she answers, “Hello?! PI, is that you? Answer me!”

Mori’s voice is so loud that you have to hold the phone away from you. Even Sakuya winces out of sympathy for your eardrum.

“Yeah, it’s me,” you respond. “It’s PI. I’m okay. Everything’s fine, Mori.”

There’s silence for about a second. Then it’s another ringing outburst from the speaker. “What do you mean everything’s fine? You think you can just vanish for fourteen hours and then nonchalantly call me back like, like—”

Her voice stops, and you wonder if the connection has somehow eroded from the sheer volume of her voice. Then, you hear her laugh. “J, just kidding. Uh, y’know, of course I knew you were fine! I was just pissed you were ignoring me! I couldn’t stand it if you were having fun somewhere without me, y’know—I mean, uh, wait, you can have fun wherever you want, it’s just, I thought you would respond, or, um—”

You don’t know what’s wrong with her, but this isn’t the time for that, so you gotta make this quick. “Mori, it’s okay,” you reassure her. “I’m sorry I couldn’t respond sooner. I was unconscious because of an unexpected side-effect resulting from that maid’s teleportation powers. I’m completely unharmed.”

“Right,” she says, slowly calming down. “Yeah, that’s a relief. I mean, not a relief, because I knew you were fine anyway. Just, I mean—”

You have to cut her off again, or else she’ll keep going. “Mori. What about the others? Are you all really trying to rescue me?”

There’s another pause from the other end of the line. Then, yet again she strains the speakers of your phone. “The others! The plan! We’re uh, we’re about to reach the mansion, but now I can see that um—hold on, I gotta go and stop them!”

Before you can ask anything else, you hear a lot of rustling — wind, maybe? Then, you can hear voices: Mori’s, Hatate’s, Hina’s, and someone else’s that sounds familiar, but you can’t quite place it. There’s more rustling, then that voice you can’t quite pin down speaks to you directly over the line.

“PI, is this really you?”

Immediately a wave of relief washes over you, and you know that you’ve averted a true calamity.

“Yes Mima,” you respond, “it’s me.”

She sighs. “So, it is really you. I thought they might have charmed you, or mimicked your voice somehow.”

“Wait,” you begin, “I’m glad you realize that, but how can you tell it’s me just from my voice, over the phone?”

“Well, any magical influence would be detectable in the sound of your voice, regardless of how—ugh, never mind. I don’t really like explaining magic unless I’m about to kill the person I’m explaining it to in a villainous fashion.”

Wasn’t she supposed to be Marisa’s teacher? It seems like the more you learn about Mima, the more you understand about Marisa.

“Now,” she continues, “do I still need to blast this mansion to kingdom come, or are you calling it off?”

“I’m calling it off,” you answer immediately. “Can you put me on speaker?”

Mima hesitates. “I don’t know how this thing works. One of you, put it on speaker, whatever that means.”

You hear some more rustling, before Mori says, “Alright PI, you’re on speaker. It’s me, Mima, Hatate, and Hina.”

“Can he hear us now?” you hear Hina say immediately.

“Yeah, I think—” Mori begins, before she’s cut off by two very different voices.

“I am so happy to hear that you are unharmed, PI. Please forgive me, but I feared so greatly for your safety after you vanished—”

“PI, you motherfucking prick, I can’t believe I flew all the way out here because I was worried that you were getting your stupid ass drained like a stuck pig by loli vampires—”

“Yeah, it’s okay,” you tell both Hina and Hatate. “Thank you both for being worried. I mean it. But, I’m fine. How did you even get Mima to help out, anyway?”

“It sounded fun,” the ghost herself replies. “Mori told me the story when I dropped off your reward earlier today. That mansion has always been an eyesore to me, so I thought I could save you — which would be good — and destroy the place in the process, which would be great. Win-win.”

That’s some very Mima-sounding logic. “But you aren’t going to do anything now, right?”

“Nah,” she answers. “I can’t destroy that mansion for no reason. Reimu would seal me back up in that little box in a blink. She’s still pissed at me for everything that happened with Marisa.”

As she should be. “Alright then,” you say, “at least that’s settled.”

“Nothing’s settled!” Hatate cries. “Lucy’s gone totally rogue, and I have no idea what that girl is thinking! If she tries to rope you into working for Remilia Scarlet, then you better tell her that I have the exclusive rights to your ass! Ohhh, that girl is going to get it. Nobody backstabs me, not ever again! I’m the psychic detective, Hatate motherfucking Himekai—”

You close your eyes and rub your aching forehead with your free hand. “Hatate, for fuck’s sake, take it easy. I know as much as you all do at this point, and I’ll keep all of you updated. Just give Mori back the phone.”

Despite some disgruntled noises, the phone returns to Mori. “Okay. Well, Hatate aside, I think we’ve all calmed down.” She pauses. “But, uh, couldn’t you have brought me? You get a plus one, right?”

“He’s already someone else’s plus one,” Sakuya speaks up. “He will be attending the party with Miss Patchouli Knowledge — or rather, the assistant who will be taking her place.”

You wish you knew how to turn the volume down on this thing. Sakuya doesn’t even need good hearing to pick up on the conversation.

“You heard her,” you tell Mori. “Sorry, but I’ll be going this one alone, for now.” She doesn’t respond right away, so you add, “I’ve been doing this for years and years before I met you. You know that, right?”

Mori takes a deep breath. “That’s right. You’re right. I have faith in you. I uh, guess that means I’ll be alone too for a bit, huh?”

“This is gross,” Hatate remarks loudly enough for her voice to be picked up. “You two might as well be husband and wife. And it’s been what, a couple weeks? How easy can you get — even for some old goddess who parades around in a kid’s body?”

There’s a moment of silence on the other line. Then, Mori continues in a much more resolved tone. “Actually, y’know what? I think I know what I can do. I’m going to torment Hatate. I’m going to make every single second while you’re gone a headache for her, so when you come back, she’ll greet you with open arms knowing that the pain and fear will finally be over. Hina, Mima, would you care to help?”

“I’m not sure what you mean, but I would be delighted to help,” Hina replies. “Would this be the fabled ‘girl time’ I’ve heard of?”

You hear Mima laugh. “And here I was, worried that I would be left disappointed tonight. I don’t think Reimu would fault me for being home late if I’ve been having some fun with a youkai all night.”

Hatate yelps. “W, what? I was just telling it like it is! The truth! D, don’t look at me like that! I won’t let you do whatever you want! You can’t out-speed me!”

“Oh, I think you’re well out of your prime, little tengu,” Mima says. “But please do get a head-start, if you think you need it.”

There’s some very loud rustling, and then everything goes silent for a few moments. Just when you think you might as well hang up, Mori returns to the phone. “Well uh, now they’re gone. Anything else you want to say?”

“Don’t go out too much while I’m gone,” you warn her. “You never know what the tengu or that friend of yours are planning.”

“Treating me like a kid, huh?” she replies, her spirit and sass returning. “Don’t worry, I can keep myself out of trouble, unlike you.” Then she laughs, and her voice becomes a little gentler. “Sorry. I’ve been saying a bunch of weird things, haven’t I?”

She has. You remember she was pretty quiet at the party last night, too. “Anything you want to tell me about?”

“I’m not sure,” she admits. “I haven’t thought about it enough yet. It’s not something I could do over the phone, anyway.”

That raises questions, but there’s no use worrying about it now. “When this is over, we can talk. Just the two of us.”

“I would like that,” she replies warmly. “Then, I’ll be waiting for you to come home.”

“Now you really do sound like my wife.”

Something pecks at your heart when you realize what you’ve said. She really did remind you of her, before—

Mori laughs softly. “You wish.” Thankfully, she’s playing it off as a joke. “Okay then. I’m pretty tired, so I’m going to have a nice long sleep in your bed. Good night!”

“Good night, Mori.”

She hangs up before you do. You slip the cell phone back in your pocket and then sigh.

“Would you like a cloth soaked in ice water?” Sakuya offers.

You glance at her suspiciously. “Why?”

She smiles. “Your face is red.”

You touch your cheeks, and upon confirming you’re indeed a bit flushed, you clear your throat in an attempt to get back some dignity. “Don’t worry about it. I’m still feeling a bit sick.”

However, Sakuya doesn’t look convinced. “Is that so? Regardless, they do seem like an interesting bunch of companions.”

You don’t feel like you should be too apologetic, given the circumstances, but she did wait there patiently for you this whole time while you dealt with them and defused the situation. “Sorry about that, Miss Izayoi. I can assure you there won’t be any disturbances.”

Her smile never falters. “It’s alright, I wasn’t worried. While you were talking, I took your measurements and made some adjustments on the outfits I had prepared for you.”

You feel around your body, as if you might find some evidence of her touching you. Then you glance down at your feet, and see that you’re wearing some very long, dark socks that are incredibly smooth on your skin. They’re high-class dress socks, and you sure as shit don’t own anything this fancy.

Then you hear a click, and instantly the socks are gone and replaced with the plain ones you had been wearing.

Sakuya bows slightly. “Sorry about that. I forgot to switch your socks back.”

Stopping time, huh? You’ll never be able to relax around this woman.


Sakuya walks at a relaxed pace, so slow that it actually annoys you. Then again, for someone with her ability, time must be an infinite resource.

Speaking of infinite, it feels like you’ve been walking down this hallway forever. This mansion must be so huge that it’s messing with your depth perception.

Eventually, Sakuya stops in front of a door that doesn’t look any different from the rest. “This is where you will be staying,” she announces.

You look at the door, and then glance down the hallway both directions. You haven’t seen anyone else walking around since you left those fairies. “Is there other staff, or any guests who arrived before I did?”

Sakuya smiles politely. “You’re a special case, so you’re the first guest, but there are other servants besides myself and the children. The rooms in this hallway have all been prepared already, so our main tasks now are securing ingredients for the meal and preparing the main hall.”

That begs the question of what the fairies are actually supposed to be doing, but you let it go. You’re more interested in the prospect of being more-or-less alone in this hallway. It will be much easier to sate your curiosity with some completely-harmless exploring if there’s nobody around to bother you.

But Sakuya’s blue eyes sharpen, and you get the cold feeling they’re piercing right through you. “However,” she continues, “please don’t wander around aimlessly. This is a very easy place to get lost in. If you feel the need to sight-see, please call me with this.”

Sakuya presents to you two objects on a platter: a large, rustic key, and a small, silver hand bell on a platter. The key is obviously for your room, but the bell perplexes you. “This bell has been enchanted so that its sound carries to wherever I may be,” Sakuya explains promptly. “If you ring it, I will appear within five seconds. I will be more than happy to escort you wherever you like on the premises — within reason, of course.”

You take the key and the bell. The silver bell seems perfectly normal, but then again you aren’t really the type that can sniff out magic in the first place. “Do I really need to call you every time? Even for the bathroom?”

Sakuya nods. “Yes, that’s right. Don’t worry, I don’t mind.”

You’re the one who minds, but you doubt a complaint would change anything, and you don’t want to make her even more suspicious of you. Her powers are beyond anything you’ve ever encountered, and you want to keep her friendly — or at least non-hostile — for as long as you can.

“There are many Western-style bathrooms,” Sakuya goes on, “but there is also a large Japanese bath if you prefer it.”

You hesitate for a moment as you imagine a grandiose open bath tucked away in a corner of the mansion. “A Japanese bath? In a place like this? That seems out of place.”

A shadow falls over Sakuya’s pleasant demeanor. “Since we arrived in Gensokyo, it has become necessary to make certain adjustments to the mansion in order to, to better please our guests, who tend to be traditional Japanese youkai.”

There’s only one type of “traditional” youkai you know that could enter a place like this and demand a Japanese bath. “Like tengu?”

Sakuya laughs quietly. “It’s in poor taste for me to comment on other guests. Now please, make yourself at home. Don’t forget to ring that bell if you need to leave your room.”

You look at the key, then turn to examine the door. Sure enough, there’s a large keyhole under the red doorknob — because gods forbid something in this mansion wasn’t red.

“Please enjoy your stay at the Scarlet Devil Mansion.”

You hear a click, and when you turn back around, Sakuya is gone.


You aren’t surprised but are still disappointed when your room turns out to be just as red as the rest of the mansion. It would be much less garish if vampires favored another color, like blue or even a dark purple. Instead, you flop right down on the large — probably queen-size — bed and stare up at the dull, crimson ceiling.

This is the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Your presence has been forcibly requested by a woman named Patchouli Knowledge, whom you have never met. There are fairies dressed like maids, a head maid who can stop time, a vampire — or perhaps even multiple vampires — who seems to suffer from a case of extreme tackiness, and apparently Lucy is somewhere in all this mess.

You glance over at the small clock on the desk. The hour hand is close to the two. You reluctantly pull yourself out of the soft bed and throw open the curtains to the window — which are red, of course.

The moon hangs ominously above you, in a black sky. Below, you can make out torches that illuminate spots of the courtyard. There seem to be great stone walls that divide this place from the forest outside; were those built before they arrived in Gensokyo or after? Assuming, of course, that such a large place could be moved into Gensokyo. But Mori’s shrine was moved here, and after seeing Sakuya stop time with a click of her watch, you once again have no idea what the ceiling for bullshit powers is.

You could fall back asleep until morning, but a vampire and her servants would be more active at night, anyway. Might as well go with the flow and stay awake until the sun rises.

First things first, you need to prepare for your meeting with Patchouli Knowledge. No way you’re getting literally dragged out here and being kept in the dark until the party — especially if the fucking tengu are somehow involved this place.

You grab your phone and email your group, explaining that the tengu seem to visit the Scarlet Devil Mansion often and asking what they’re up to. They might be asleep, or still chasing Hatate, but you said you would keep them updated.


Two gigantic wooden doors are in front of you.

“This is the Scarlet Devil Mansion’s great library,” Sakuya announces like a tour guide giving her first tour of the day. “Our resident magician, Miss Patchouli Knowledge, lives inside.”

A magician living inside a library? She already sounds way more legitimate than Mima or Alice — and there’s no use even mentioning Marisa in the same breath as them.

“I thought you might have wanted a day or two to get settled before meeting with her,” Sakuya continues, “but I have to point out that you do clean up pretty well.”

Her bright, approving eyes cause you to glance away and adjust your red tie. “I just want to get this over with so I can learn why I’m here,” you reply. “And I may be living in the slums, but I remember how to present myself nicely.”

“If you would like a change of locale,” Sakuya remarks, “my mistress may be interested in hiring you as a servant.” Her eyes narrow and she smiles darkly. “But the job comes with many conditions you would have to be willing to agree to, and I don’t think your companions would approve.”

“I’m sure they wouldn’t,” you mutter, finding her odd pity annoying. “Well then, please lead the way, Miss Izayoi.”

Before Sakuya can open the doors, she suddenly perks up — reacting to something you can’t hear or see. “Speak of the Scarlet Devil,” she murmurs warmly. “I’m sorry, PI, but I have to attend to my mistress. I think you can find your way through the library on your own. It may seem intimidating, but all you have to do is follow the candles straight ahead to find Miss Patchouli. And, I will add that wandering from this path is a very bad idea.”

Of course it is. This whole damn place is a bad idea for you, but it’s not like you have much of a choice. “I understand,” you assure her.

Immediately, she’s gone. It must be an interesting relationship between master and servant if Sakuya is that eager to attend to her. With her power, Sakuya being the servant must be purely choice, unless vampires are even stronger than stopping time. You really hope they aren’t, but it’s Gensokyo.

That leaves you alone with the two big doors. You grab one gold handle — the color of which is refreshing to your eyes — and push on the thick wood, but it takes all your might to budge it open enough. You squeeze through and stumble into relative darkness, and you hear an ominous boom as the door shuts behind you.

“That’s just fucking great,” you remark out loud, before turning to take in the entirety of the Scarlet Devil Mansion’s library.

Sakuya wasn’t wrong. This library is beyond intimidating: it’s colossal. Even in the darkness, you can see bits of light from candles that reveal rows of enormous bookshelves that stretch out as far as you can make out in the extremely dim room — and there seems to be a whole other level above, connected by thin, spiraling staircases. The air itself smells like old paper and wood — but not of dust.

There’s two significant sources of light you can see: one at the end of the raised walkway that cuts through the center of the library — this must be the path that Sakuya mentioned — and a smaller source of light floating off to your right, nestled in some bookshelves. The smaller light, which appears to be on the move, seems much closer than the light at the end of the path that Sakuya mentioned.

[] Keep moving straight into the large light.

[] Take a side path to meet the closer, smaller light.

>>No. 66260
A very warm conversation with Mori. I think we made the right choice.

[X] Keep moving straight into the large light.

No need to do something that might raise suspicion this early in the game.
>>No. 66261
[X] Take a side path to meet the closer, smaller light.

>>No. 66262
Good update

[x] Keep moving straight into the large light.

Flandre? My money's on her.
>>No. 66265
[X] Take a side path to meet the closer, smaller light.
Most likely to be Koakuma. She's got some explaining to do.
>>No. 66268
[x] Keep moving straight into the large light.

Stick to the script until we know what's up. Patchouli's more likely to give us a straight answer anyway, I'd wager.
>>No. 66269
X] Keep moving straight into the large light.
>>No. 66270
[x] Keep moving straight into the large light.
-[x] Call out to the small light.
>>No. 66273
[X] Keep moving straight into the large light.
Let's not wander immediately after being told it would be a very bad idea to do so.
>>No. 66280
[x] Take a side path to meet the closer, smaller light
Did sakuya cut off our balls when she was taking measurements or what?
>>No. 66281
One thing is having balls of steel, another thing is having balls for brains.

Remember the battle with Wriggle, how bad thing got even with Mori's help, how do you think things are going to turn out if we have to fight a youkai alone, especially since we don't have any weapons?
>>No. 66286
[x] Keep moving straight into the large light.
>>No. 66287
This is the SDM, not the forest.

And even if it were, my answer to your question would be "pretty damn good" considering we have a bell that summons Sakuya instantly.

If you're a pussy just say so.
>>No. 66296
> calling someone a pussy
> relying on a girl to save your ass

>>No. 66349
Goddamnit, update! I have a hard-boiled itch that needs scratching.

...does anyone have any recommendations, by the way?
>>No. 66358
Sorry friend, work and life have been busy. But, the update is moving along quite nicely now. I've also been working on a little something else I hope you sadists will enjoy.
>>No. 66361
File 152619753847.png - (271.86KB, 465x600, the unsleeping great library.png) [iqdb]
[x] Keep moving straight into the large light.

Normally a library wouldn’t give you cause to be suspicious, but you’re certain this is no ordinary library. Anything could be waiting in the darkness of the aisles — and whatever it might be probably won’t give you enough time to ring Sakuya’s bell. So, you swallow your curiosity and follow Sakuya’s advice.

Walking to the center of the library is a chore. The raised, dimly lit path walkway gives you vertigo, which isn’t helped by the way this entire mansion seems to mess with your depth perception. For instance, one moment it feels like the center of the library is far away, and the next it feels like you’re almost there. Did Sakuya’s abilities have lingering effects on you, or is it a trick the mansion itself is playing on you?

When you finally reach the center of the library, it’s brightly-lit in contrast to the rest of library — but you aren’t sure by what. There are no candles, lanterns, or electric lights anywhere. You can’t even pick out where the light is coming from — nothing casts a shadow, the light just seems to be there.

Besides the mysterious light, the first and only thing that jumps out at you is a large wooden desk with piles of thick books stacked high on top of it. The wood looks old, but well-maintained; you can’t spot a speck of dust, dirt, or wear on the limited amount of desk that isn’t covered.

“Can I help you?”

The low, somber voice startles you, especially since you can’t see anyone. Then, some color catches your eye, and you look up to see a girl with long, purple hair under a pink nightcap rising from behind the desk — so slight of frame that she was completely obscured by the desk and the tomes. Her skin is a pale, almost-ghoulish shade of white, with her eyes darkened by bags that are even heavier than your own. Her pink nightgown flutters slightly in the open air as she halts a few feet above the books.

It’s no surprise that you would encounter a strange librarian in a library like this. “I was summoned by Patchouli Knowledge,” you explain. “Is she available?”

She floats over the desk, closer to you. Her dull eyes scan your body up and down. “I am impressed,” she claims, despite none of it on her stern face. “There are demons who have taken longer to appear before me when they are called. I suppose I owe it to Sakuya.”

It’s easy enough to assume that you’ve found your girl. “Then my invitation to this mansion was your doing?”

She nods. “It was a convenient excuse for all parties involved — except Remi, but I would rather not report to her about this particular interest of mine. If she knew, she would grandstand and bring far too much attention to it. Instead, I would prefer to handle this matter delicately.”

You don’t know if you would call this situation “convenient.” But, you keep your mouth shut for now and let her continue as she lowers herself closer to the floor — her dangling feet stopping just inches from it. “In any case,” she continues, “I never thought I would feel any sort of happiness from seeing a human again.” She floats even closer to you, illiciting an urge to take a step back from the encroaching girl. “Though I have theorized that you are not human at all.”

You hold your hand out because you have to stop her there — both physically and whatever she’s talking about. “I get the feeling I’m missing a lot of context here,” you say. “I’ve never met you before, Miss Knowledge. I have no idea who you are or what kind of interest you have in me, so please explain yourself — especially if you’re going to make accusations like that.”

Patchouli blinks slowly, then floats higher into the air. “Take a seat.”

You feel a light tap on your behind, and glance back to find that a floating wooden chair is offering itself to you. Before you can put much thought into it, the chair scoops you right off your feet and rises into the air. It’s disorienting at first: being a grown man whose legs are dangling freely off a chair. However, the chair’s ascent is slow and stable enough to where your initial panic quickly subsides — though your hands are still glued to the sides of the chair for support in the wide-open space.

“I see now that you are confused,” she begins. “I am Patchouli Knowledge, a magician. I know you, PI, from a time not long ago when I infiltrated your dreams through a hole left by my careless servant.”

“You don’t remember her?” an all-too-familiar voice whispers in your mind. “The pajamas girl you were infatuated by? The awkward yet adorable red-haired woman? Not me, but the other one.”

You think — and then you remember that messy, nonsensical dream with the redhead who tried to seduce you, and the pajamas girl who came to retrieve her but was assaulted by Kotohime. But, it turns out it wasn’t nonsense; that pajamas girl is now in front of you.

“While I was inside your dreams,” Patchouli continues, “I stumbled upon an anomaly that I believe exists within you — something that can prevent my magic. No human’s mind should be able to undo my spellcasting.” Her eyes narrow at you. “That girl in your mind. She must be the source of that anomaly. I cannot blame you for the atrocities she visited upon me, but I must know more about her.”

This is bad. Kotohime has claimed another victim — in your dream space anyway — and her influence has once again crept outside your own head. A magician’s curiosity could definitely unlock the history you’ve been concealing for over ten years — and once it’s out, it’s out. Patchouli’s already invested in this enough to track you down and bring you here, so unfortunately playing dumb won’t work.

Patchouli floats closer toward you again. “I know that you may not be fully aware of your own psyche, so I am prepared to conduct my own research. I can promise no harm will come to your body, but I will be reaching into the depths of your mind to find this girl once again.”

Kotohime’s voice echoes once again in your head. “Let her come, I don’t mind. She seems to admire me, and I’ve been quite starved for playmates.”

“Nobody asked you, monster,” you mutter to yourself.

Patchouli’s cool eyes stare into you. “Excuse me?”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you’re talking about,” you state clearly. “I don’t know how anything in my head could interfere with your spellcasting. I’ve been around multiple magicians recently and they haven’t had any problems.”

“Your words do nothing to dissuade my curiosity,” she replies, “only provoke it.”

You glance down. Since you’ve been speaking, your chair has been steadily rising and is now ten feet off the ground, at least. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want anyone poking around inside my head.”

“I could not care less for your mortal secrets and masturbatory fantasies,” Patchouli claims, her voice gradually becoming loud enough to echo slightly off the far walls of the wide library. “I have no interest in such petty and shallow plundering. I need to investigate the makeup of your brain and soul. A detective, of all people, should understand my thirst for this knowledge. Unless, there is something you are protecting?”

You’re protecting Patchouli herself, but she’s too stubborn to understand that. You don’t know what measures she might have prepared against Kotohime, but you think it won’t work out well for you regardless of what happens. When Patchouli tries to place one of her clammy hands on your forehead, you shake it off. “You’re acting like an idiot,” you tell her. “Obviously, your magic is fine now. If that’s all you’re interested in, then I’m leaving.”

You look down again, and your stomach turns when you realize that the floor is a lot further away than you thought it would be. The chair is at least thirty feet up now, and a fall from this height onto hard wood isn’t something you’re willing to attempt.

While you look down, Patchouli grabs the sides of your head with both of her hands and brings her face close and level to yours. Her widened eyes reveal the veined whites around her purple irises. “Gi, give her to me,” she demands through increasingly rapid, strained breaths. “Bring her, her out. I have to, I have to find—”

Patchouli coughs right in your face, spraying you with some spit and stale breath. She collapses into you as she continues coughing, wheezing, and gasping for air. As an instinct, you wrap one of your arms around her back — only to keep her from slipping off the chair and falling.

With her body against yours, you can feel just how frail and cold her small body is through her nightgown. She obviously isn’t healthy. You wonder if that has to do with her magic abilities, but then you consider that Marisa and Alice are both completely healthy and spry despite their constant use and exposure to magic. Patchouli’s health is likely an independent factor.

When her coughing dies down, you tell her, “If you’re not feeling well, then you should probably put us both down.”

No response. You pull her back and check her face. She’s still struggling to breathe, her pale cheeks are flushed red, and her eyelids are closed tightly. You shake her a little bit, but her eyes don’t so much as twitch. She’s obviously unconscious.

The floating chair begins to wobble. You look down again.


The chair loses its magical support and you drop; Patchouli slips out of your arm and falls as well. The floor is quick to rush at you, and something hits you hard.

But it isn’t the floor.

When you open your eyes, you’re looking up into the face of a beautiful woman with long, red hair and tiny black bat-like wings sprouting from her head. She holds you to her chest like you’re her damsel-in-distress, while she floats gently down to the ground.

“U, um,” your savior begins quietly, “are you okay, PI?”

When you turn your head to look into her face, you can feel the distinct softness of her ample breast. Strangely enough, you also feel her getting some handfuls of your ass. “Are you groping me?” you ask bluntly.

Her face flushes red and she laughs nervously. “I, it was a reflex.”

That excuse doesn’t really work, but given the circumstances you’re going to let it slide. She sets you down — but you notice she takes the opportunity to take a long sniff of your nape. You waste little time in separating yourself from her and turning your attention to the magician laying face-down and motionless on the floor nearby.

“Is she going to be alright?” you wonder out loud, since you aren’t particularly motivated enough to go and check on her yourself.

“She has her precious Philosopher’s Stone, so she won’t die from that,” the redhead explains. “It’s her fault anyway, since she forgot to take her medication. How great can a magician be if they faint so easily? Stupid master.”

You ignore whatever a Philosopher’s Stone is supposed to be — for now — and turn back toward your rescuer, who jolts and blushes again. You remember that she’s the same redhead from your dream, but you aren’t sure if she remembers. “You’re from my dream too, aren’t you?”

“S, so you remember that?” she responds loudly and quickly. “Well yes, I am, uh, a being that can enter dreams, and it just so happens I picked yours — completely by coincidence! I go through men’s dreams all the time, really, so you shouldn’t feel special or anything.”

You watch her closely as she tries to explain herself, and her eyes never end up meeting with yours for more than a millisecond. Her black tail pokes out from underneath her black dress and thrashes about wildly, while her hands fidget with themselves at about waist-level. Every couple of seconds, one of the bat wings on her head twitches.

You sigh. “Lucy. Calm down.”

She fidgets more with her hands. “Hey, I’m totally, completely calm, I assure—ah!” Her eyes widen with surprise. “How did you know?!”

“It wasn’t that difficult to guess,” you tell her. “I already knew you were in here because the fairies told me, and from there it was just comparing what you’ve told me in the past to what I’m seeing now. Plus, you did say my name earlier and you admitted you were Lucy just now.”

Her face goes from red to white, before she forces a grin and flips her hair back to try and look cool. “I, I see. Of course, an ace detective like yourself would employ such a masterful ruse, PI.”

It wasn’t masterful, and it was hardly even a ruse. Nevertheless, you’re surprised that Lucy is actually a woman, and a little more awkward than you might have imagined. Whereas Hatate acts almost the same online and offline, Lucy seems to be more reserved. It makes you wonder what Q would be like in person. It would be amusing if she were actually extremely outgoing.

Lucy looks away once again. “Are you, um, are you mad at me? I wanted it to be a surprise, but I didn’t think Sakuya would be so, um, so forceful.” She casts a glare down on her fallen master. “And then there’s this bag of nonsense. She can really be a handful when she gets fixated on something. I can’t count how many tomes on anti-magic she’s been sending me out to find.”

“I can’t say I’m thrilled about being stuck here in this mansion for the purposes of being a research specimen,” you answer her first question, ignoring the rest of her rant. “Why did you think that would be a happy surprise for me?”

Perhaps sensing her time to shine, Lucy straightens her posture and smiles brightly. “That isn’t why I wanted you to be here, my dear PI. You see, my goal was to make you privy to some very important events that will be unfolding! I’ve seen the guest list for the party, and it can’t be a coincidence that they’re all youkai — but not one of them is a tengu! The whole event is being kept very quiet to outsiders, and I have reason to believe it’s because Remilia Scarlet will be making some kind of announcement that she wouldn’t want the tengu to hear! So, I convinced my sullen master to make you her plus one and then have me attend the party with you on her behalf. That means we both can be at ground zero for Remilia Scarlet’s announcement and get the scoop for Hatate!” In conclusion, she crosses her arms and nods smugly. “How’s that?”

It’s better than you thought. If you were called here just to fend off a magician, put up with a bunch of spoiled fairies, and maybe eat some cake, then you would be pretty upset. “That sounds good to me,” you reply, “but Hatate and Mori are gonna be pissed you left them in the dark about this.”

Lucy grins. “I think Hatate will be happy when she gets her report. And as for Mori, well, you’re the one I want to impress.”

Now she’s starting to sound more like the Lucy you expected. You’d like to change the subject for now, so you direct your attention to the unconscious Patchouli. “Shouldn’t you be helping your master?”

Lucy scoffs at the very idea. “Not unless her life is in danger, and it never is with all the trinkets and enchantments she keeps on herself. If she would keep up with the medicine she gets from Eientei, then she wouldn’t have such a hard time with her asthma.”

So, that’s what it was. “I imagine asthma would be pretty crippling for a magician who has to make long chants for spellcasting.”

“That’s why she has her Philosopher’s Stone, which is the perfect catalyst for alchemy. She’s mastered the use of transmutation, which uses somatic rather than verbal components, so she doesn’t have to speak much when she casts.” In response to your blank stare, Lucy giggles. “Sorry, I forgot you don’t know much about magic.”

You don't, so you move on. “Is there somewhere we can take her? Where does she sleep?”

“She has a room on the upper floor,” Lucy answers. “I can teleport her there later. She can wake up on the cold floor with a stiff neck for all I care. I’m much more interested in talking with you.”

Lucy starts fidgeting with her hands again.

[] You want to carry Patchouli to her room since you feel bad for her. What happened to her wasn't entirely her fault.

[] Can Lucy clear that desk off? You wouldn’t mind having a nice chat with her here in the library.

[] Lucy should give you a tour of the mansion. You get the feeling she’ll be more candid and helpful than Sakuya would be.

[] If Patchouli has a room, then does Lucy have a room?

>>No. 66362
[X] You want to carry Patchouli to her room since you feel bad for her. What happened to her wasn't entirely her fault.

lets see where this take us.
>>No. 66363
[x] You want to carry Patchouli to her room since you feel bad for her. What happened to her wasn't entirely her fault.
>>No. 66364
[X] You want to carry Patchouli to her room since you feel bad for her. What happened to her wasn't entirely her fault.

I'd love to have Lucy give us tour, but it'd be kinda cruel to leave Patch on the floor like that.
>>No. 66365
You'd think a veteran magician would know better than to mess with mysterious sealed incorporeal entities of unknown power.

[x] If Patchouli has a room, then does Lucy have a room?
>>No. 66366
[X] Can Lucy clear that desk off? You wouldn’t mind having a nice chat with her here in the library.
No fun allowed.
>>No. 66367
[X] Let's carry her to the room or you'll get scolded later.
-[X] Then teleport us to the library to have a nice talk-in private.
>>No. 66368
[x] You want to carry Patchouli to her room since you feel bad for her. What happened to her wasn't entirely her fault.

PI the gentleman.
>>No. 66371
[x] Can Lucy clear that desk off? You wouldn’t mind having a nice chat with her here in the library.

More Lucy! But not possibly life-threatening amounts of Lucy. Always Lucy responsibly and in moderation.
>>No. 66372
[x] You want to carry Patchouli to her room since you feel bad for her. What happened to her wasn't entirely her fault.
>>No. 66373
[X] You want to carry Patchouli to her room since you feel bad for her. What happened to her wasn't entirely her fault.

Not helping her immediately makes me feel bad so let's carry her to her room first.
>>No. 66416
I've been busy, but an update is in the works. Excluding a disaster, it should be up this weekend.
>>No. 66517
Looking forward to more updates dude. This is one of the few storys I try to keep up with!
>>No. 66533
Everything is a disaster these days, it looks like.
>>No. 66587
File 15327224469.jpg - (208.20KB, 850x1098, unwaking obsessive magician.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] You want to carry Patchouli to her room since you feel bad for her. What happened to her wasn't entirely her fault.


Patchouli Knowledge’s room seems like it was originally for storage — not for someone to live in. There’s a large, plush-looking bed that takes up most of the space, with only a small cabinet for outfits — on top of which are a variety of pills and an inhaler. It’s easy to tell she spends most of her time in the library. There isn’t even a mirror, and you thought that was a necessity for a woman. Then again, Patchouli is a youkai with access to a time-bending maid. Her needs might be a little different.

Taking care with her frail body, you gently lower the unconscious magician onto her bed. You figure leaving her uncovered is the best for her asthma, but that’s really just an assumption. It’s not like you would want to tuck her in anyway, even though she does look pretty cute when she’s asleep.

Lucy sighs. “For all the times I fantasi—err, imagined meeting you, I never would have thought you’d end up putting Patchouli to bed so delicately.”

You look at Lucy. She avoids your eyes, but the jealousy in hers isn’t hard to miss. “She’s been through a rough time because of me,” you explain. “She can’t be held entirely accountable for her actions.”

“I don’t know how much you know about magicians,” Lucy says, “but she isn’t a human that was tempted by knowledge or corrupted by a mentor or anything tragic like that. She’s a full-blooded youkai witch who willingly lives with a vampire and has no moral quandries sharing a glass of human blood with her on a good night. I’ve always heard the stories and reports of how you treat youkai, but seeing it in-person just feels unnaturally self-sacrificial.”

Self-sacrificial. You hate that. “I prefer to think of it as being conscious of my worst mistake,” you mutter. Already you can tell you’ve said the wrong thing when you see curiosity blossom on Lucy’s face. “And I don’t see what’s so unnatural about humans and youkai trying to get along,” you add quickly. “Humans are capable of far more monstrous acts than youkai. That’s why I can work at Kakashi, under a tengu, dealing mostly with youkai.” And gods.

Lucy approaches you. “You speak from experience.” After a twitch of hesitation, she raises her hand to caress your face. “How—u, um, how deep are your scars, PI?”

Her awkwardness is nice, because it gives you a great opening to deflect. You grab her hand and move it away, but don’t let go. You get so close that you can feel her breaths on your neck. “Are you trying to seduce me again, Lucy? It sounds like you’ve been reading too many romance novels.”

She breaks completely, stepping away from you with a fierce blush. “I’m just trying to help! Geez. You don’t have to act so practical and cool all the time. A good lead character should go with the flow!”

You can’t help but laugh. “You’re the one who panicked. And I don’t know where you’re getting those ideas. I’m not practical, cool, or a lead character.”

She fidgets with her fingers. “Of course you’re the lead character, dummy. That’s why I wish you would um, stop being so cool. Because, you’re a human. And if you die, that’s it. But, it’s also really exciting when you have all these dangerous adventures so, um.” Suddenly, she shakes her head and cries, “Ahhh! It’s so frustrating! I don’t know how to feel!”

You don’t know how to respond to her delusions, until you hear a choking, gurgling noise and look back to the bed to find Patchouli coughing up some kind of dense foam in her sleep.

Lucy groans. “Oh geez. Just when it was getting good. I have to give her medicine or she’ll choke on herself. Blech.”

She sluggishly grabs one of the pill bottles on the plain wood dresser, empties more pills than you can count into her hand, and unceremoniously shoves them all into Patchouli’s half-open mouth. With a snap of her fingers, a glass of water appears out of thin air and also dumps itself into Patchouli’s mouth.

“Won’t that drown her?” you mention.

“Nah, she’s used to this,” Lucy responds. While she’s paying attention to you, Patchouli coughs most of the water down her chin. Lucy doesn’t even notice, and dismisses the empty cup with another snap. “Alright, she’s good.”

Patchouli stops making noise, but now she’s laying face-up and completely still — almost like she’s ready to go into a coffin. You can’t help but confirm with Lucy. “Are you sure?”

Lucy neglects to even look at her. “Yeah, she does this a lot. Like I said, she has so many enchantments on herself that she might as well be immortal.”

You’ll have to take Lucy’s word for it, and move on. “Well, now I have to think about how I’m going to avoid her until the party. I can’t let her get inside my head, Lucy. Come to think of it, why hasn’t she tried invading my dreams again??”

Lucy glances away with a nervous smile. “I was the one who actually invaded your dream in the first place, and she entered through the hole I was using.” Then she starts thinking. “It would be possible for her to enter your dreams on her own, but I think she knows that’s a bad idea. Something about your mind is very unstable, enough to even block out other people’s magic. I’m not sure what her plan is now. If I were her, I would create a neutral space that would temporarily house the entirety of both your consciousnesses, but that might have its own issues.”

Once again, that kind of magic talk goes over your head. “However it is, I’m happy to hear she can’t use any dream magic to get inside my head whenever she wants.” Then you stare at Lucy hard. “That just leaves you.”

Lucy blinks. “Me?”

“You also saw something you shouldn’t have seen.”

Lucy raises her index finger to her chin, thinks for a moment, then shrugs. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. All I remember is a beautiful noir scene that was rudely interrupted. If I did see anything else, I’ve already forgotten it.”

Then she winks.

You smile and relax. “I think that’s the best answer you could’ve gave me. Some things need to stay buried and forgotten, Lucy.”

Lucy thinks. “I understand that.” When she catches your disbelieving look, she adds, “Honest. I’m a demon who isn’t even from this plane of existance, so there’s a limit to how much I can meddle with your affairs, anyway.”

You don’t know much about demons, but it would explain why Lucy doesn’t feel like a human, a youkai, or anything else you’ve encountered before. The rest might as well be gobbledeguk, but you think you understand the gist of what she’s saying. Focusing on the “what” instead of the “how or why” is how you make it through these types of conversations. “So you’re an outsider, looking in? It seems like you want to meddle with me quite a bit, though.”

Lucy’s tail catches your eye as it wags and flicks itself around. “W, what I’m doing now is no big deal. Sex — even um, love — between humans and demons is pretty common.” Then her expression turns serious. “However, I can’t interfere with the laws of the world. For example, I can’t exploit my presence outside the timeline to affect—”

Okay, even you have a limit. “Sorry,” you interrupt her, “but I’ll settle for an understanding of the very basics. I don’t really know anything about other existences or timelines or any of that.”

Lucy stops and smiles. “Ah, right. Then let me ask you this: if such a dangerous thing did exist inside you, do you really think you could control it by yourself? What happens when you die?”

“It’ll die with me.”

“And if it doesn’t?” she continues. “If whatever it is becomes larger than you?”

That’s something you’d rather not consider. If Kotohime somehow remained despite your death, you have no idea what would become of her. She might become a proper spirit, waiting to possess someone and go on a rampage again.

But the question is: could anyone even help? Anyone that you would trust? Mori or Hina, maybe. But you already decided not to expose them to this. You glance down at the unconscious Patchouli. The obsessed magician is all the proof you need that Kotohime’s influence is alive and well. If she did to Mori or Hina what she did to Patchouli, you couldn’t stand it.

Lucy stares at you, expecting an answer.

“I’ll resolve it myself,” you tell her. “It’ll be put to rest, somehow.”

Now Lucy is the one giving you a disbelieving look, but she lets the conversation end there.


Lucy couldn’t escort you back to your room since she wasn’t allowed to be a certain physical distance from Patchouli, so she begrudglingly let you call Sakuya by ringing your bell. The maid appeared promptly in about two-and-a-half seconds and began leading you straight out of the library. Before that, however, Lucy informed you that you were welcome to return to the library without concern because Patchouli would be resting for a few days. You told her that you would consider it.

“This library is one of our greatest treasures,” Sakuya remarks all of a sudden, as you reach the giant doors you entered from. “We are proud to have Miss Knowledge — and Koakuma — to watch over it.”

You haven’t heard that name before. “Koakuma?”

“She may go by ‘Lucy’ now, but Koakuma was the name given to her by my Mistress, so that is what I will use.”

Not a very original name from Remilia Scarlet, especially when compared to the long, drawn-out nonsense she spilled out in that invitation.


After taking advantage of Sakuya’s reminder that she could bring you food, you sit on your bed, alone but content. You can call on her to take back the used dishes later, since right now you want to try and log onto Kakashi with your phone. Half an hour later, you think you have it figured out.

*** Welcome to the new mobile KappaIRC! We hope you enjoy the slimmer interface.
*** now talking in #kakashi
*** topic is Official Channel for Kakashi Spirit News THE TRUTH | SEND NUDES TO psychicreporter@tengu.com | SHAMEIMARU TERROR LEVEL: bad memories
<~internethatatemachine> look who it is finally
I hope you’re doing okay, PI.
<~internethatatemachine> alright, gimme all you got
<~internethatatemachine> uh hello have you been compromised
typing on this thing is slow and annoying
<~internethatatemachine> too bad
<~internethatatemachine> report
<~internethatatemachine> fucking yaaaaawn
<~internethatatemachine> come on old man
<~internethatatemachine> its just a phone keyboard
Take it easy on him, Hatate.
<~internethatatemachine> i refuse
It’s a new technology.
I’ve been given a room at the Scarlet Devil Mansion. I met the magician who summoned me. She is mentally unstable. I avoided harm thanks to Lucy. We talked. She believes Remilia Scarlet is planing to oppose the tengu and seeks assistance from other youkai under the pretense of a birthday party.
<~internethatatemachine> holy shit
<~internethatatemachine> now thats more like it
And fuck you this keyboard is too small
<~internethatatemachine> now you know you have to talk to that vampire right
I figured
I don’t know if I can pull it off though
She doesn’t seem the type to meet with anyone
<~internethatatemachine> well its your job
Then I want an advance
<~internethatatemachine> excuse me what
This is more dangerous than anything you’ve ever asked me
By far
<~internethatatemachine> well uh you got kidnapped yourself
<~internethatatemachine> that was all lucy
But now it’s Kakashi business
So I want money
Give it to Mori
<~internethatatemachine> so thats what its about
<~internethatatemachine> i remember when we couldve been called partners
uh huh
<~internethatatemachine> i used to stroke my clit to your reports
<~internethatatemachine> i finally had an agent i could rely on
<~internethatatemachine> and now youre so interested in this little goddess
<~internethatatemachine> arent we friends
Give me money, Hatate
<~internethatatemachine> fine fuck you
<~internethatatemachine> nobody loves me i get it
<~internethatatemachine> Hina and that ghost chase me around all night
<~internethatatemachine> just for pointing out a simple fact
<~internethatatemachine> that you are now reinforcing
<~internethatatemachine> you love that goddess and im nothing
<~internethatatemachine> you think im just a boss barking orders to her assistant
<~internethatatemachine> but at least I respect you
<~internethatatemachine> i dont want to hurt you
<~internethatatemachine> you wouldnt know what its like
did they hit you in the head or something?
<~internethatatemachine> but okay ill give your little girl her money
<~internethatatemachine> and she can buy a diamond ring and propose to you
<~internethatatemachine> disgusting disgusting normalfags
*** internethatatemachine (psychicdetective@bunbunmaru.is.a.cumrag) has disconnected
Well then
She was a bit depressed before you came in.
All I did was ask for what she owes me, Q
I know.
But she’s running out of money.
That’s why she moved down there next to you.
She was about to get kicked out of her last place.
Don’t try and guilt-trip me on this
I don’t want to guilt-trip you.
That wasn’t my intention.
I’m really sorry.
I probably shouldn’t have said anything.
Please forgive me.
It’s okay, Q
don’t you start rambling too
Right. Sorry.
We don’t get a chance to talk like this often any more.
I get nervous.
I remember
I don’t know much about you, but I trust you
And I’ll keep in mind what you said
That’s good.
Thank you.
Are you alright?
Still wrapping my head around a lot, but fine
That’s good.
Is there anything you want to know about Remilia Scarlet before you meet her?
As long as she doesn’t try to tear my throat out, I’ll be fine
I wish I could help out more.
None of my gadgets ever work.
I feel like a failure.
It’s okay, Q
None of us are over-achievers
As long as you achieve when it counts
Thank you.
I will try my best.
But right now I’m going over some documents for Kanako Yasaka’s project.
you made it on the team?
Not quite.
I got myself recommended, but whoever designs a structure that matches her ideas best will get the job, and then they pick the team.
What are her ideas?
It’s really hard to explain. I don’t understand it much myself.
But it looks like she wants to supply free, limitless energy for all of Gensokyo.
Not exactly an evil plan.
Sounds too good to be true
That’s what I’m trying to figure out.
Did you tell Mori or Hatate?
I haven’t seen Mori online, and I was going to tell Hatate, but she was a little occupied.
I see
Thank you for telling me, Q
Of course. I’ll let you know what else I find out. There’s a lot to look at still.
But it’s been a long time since I’ve slept.
I should probably take a nap before I continue working on it.
Good night, PI.
Please stay safe.
good night Q
*** AgentQ (blueblur@kappa.net) has quit (Signing out.)

With Q gone, there is little reason for you to linger in the dead #kakashi chatroom. You close your phone and lose yourself in your thoughts. Hatate’s paranoia and jealousy are nothing new, but Q’s explanation is. You assumed that all tengu were more-or-less rich, and Hatate was funding your little missions and investigations with whatever fat lump of cash she had been sitting on in her nest. You thought she moved into your apartment building because she wanted to keep an eye on you directly, instead of relying on Hina. But actually, Hatate’s resources have been dwindling. You only know small bits and pieces of Hatate’s troubled past with tengu society, but you never imagined they would be willing to cut her off and risk tarnishing their ideal that all tengu are simply superior to other youkai, living high on their big mountain, and enjoying all the luxuries of advanced society. However, Hatate is definitely an outsider to their society, and a hostile one at that. They must have finally decided that enough was enough. Suddenly, you’re a little worried about your income. Even if you don’t pay rent, you still have to pay for electricity, water, and food. If Hatate can’t pay you, how can you support everyone?

Wait, why are you even thinking like that? Why would you support everyone? In any case, nothing will come from worrying about it now. What Q revealed about Kanako Yasaka is far more important, and relevant to you and Mori personally. Limitless energy for Gensokyo sounds like a pipe dream. The meagre amounts of electricity Gensokyo does have is mostly funneled into the Central District, while residents of the slums experience frequent blackouts. The fact that you’ve had more-or-less consistent electricity in your apartment must be due to Hatate and/or Q’s influence. You wonder what Kanako Yasaka’s ideas are, but if a kappa is having trouble understanding, then there’s no hope for you.

A hard knock at the door startles you. “Room service.” It’s Sakuya. When you open the door, she peeks inside. “May I have your used dishes?”

“Of course,” you answer. While you pass them to her, you decide to take advantage of the convenient opportunity. “Miss Izayoi, would it be possible to meet your Mistress before the party? I would be remiss if I didn’t properly introduce myself beforehand.”

Sakuya’s eyes focus on you for a split second before returning to the plates. “That is difficult to tell. My mistress is quite busy, as she prepares to be a proper hostess for her guests. And to be blunt, she doesn’t find the idea of meeting ordinary humans to be worth her time.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be that easy. “I see.”

As Sakuya closes the tray and holds it up with one hand, she adds with a little smile, “However, she finds herself bored at times — and you are not quite so ordinary. I’ll mention it to her in passing and gauge her interest.”

Your expression lightens up. Maybe Sakuya isn’t so bad — or she’s feeding you to a monster. Regardless, it’s what you want. “Thank you, Miss Izayoi. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.”

Sakuya nods. “It’s no problem. I’m only looking out for my mistress, after all.” Then her expression gets harder. “I advise you to prepare yourself, though. Conversing with a vampire is not easy. See to it you don’t end up our mansion’s newest servant.” She smiles again. “Though I would be happy to have you.” Then she bows, keeping the tray of food perfectly level the entire time. “Have a good night, PI.”

You’re so caught off-guard that you can’t muster a response before she walks off. When you poke your head out the door, she’s already gone.


Needless to say, you had mixed results trying to sleep as the morning set in. Luckily, the mansion’s curtains are especially thick — as expected of a vampire’s abode. Your sleep schedule is going to be totally out-of-order, but you have to acclimate to the nocturnal residents if your stay is going to be fruitful. Thankfully, you were exhausted enough from yesterday’s events to get a few hours of restful sleep. But after waking up just past noon, it’s impossible for you to sleep any longer.

You prepare yourself for the day ahead, and your thoughts toward Remilia Scarlet once again. Sakuya’s words trouble you, but there’s no turning back now. She’s a youkai, she’s dangerous, and you’ll have to be prepared — that’s all there is to it. In that sense, she’s no different from any other.

But you don’t even know if you’ll be able to meet with her before the party. For now, you should find something to occupy yourself with. The sun is still shining brightly outside, so it’s likely the mansion’s residents are still sleeping — except for Sakuya, most likely.

[] The garden outside looks nice. Maybe you should take a stroll and spend some time outside before night falls.

[] Call Sakuya and ask her to escort you back to the library. You can do research with Lucy.

[] Call Sakuya and ask if she can stay with you a while. You’re curious about the time-stopping maid.

[] Wander around the mansion without Sakuya, because you’re just that reckless.

>>No. 66588
A new entry in Off the Record can be viewed here: >>/at/39377

Special thanks to Mibya from the Unofficial THP Discord for proofing the Off the Record update for me!

I am a massive, massive faggot, and I apologize for such a ridiculous delay. That being said, I'll be returning to our regular schedule (or as regular as it ever was).

To those who are still with me, thank you so much for your patience.
>>No. 66589
>regular schedule
Once a month, then?

[x] The garden outside looks nice. Maybe you should take a stroll and spend some time outside before night falls.
>>No. 66590
[x] The garden outside looks nice. Maybe you should take a stroll and spend some time outside before night falls.
>>No. 66591
Hey man, just because you're right, doesn't mean you can be...right.

Sorry. I don't plan to wallow in it. I'll devote more time to writing from here on out. I may be a slow writer, but that doesn't excuse me from being that slow.
>>No. 66592
[] The garden outside looks nice. Maybe you should take a stroll and spend some time outside before night falls.

Welcome back!
>>No. 66593
[x] The garden outside looks nice. Maybe you should take a stroll and spend some time outside before night falls.

Heck yeah all the cool stories are coming out of hibernation. Good to have you back, Raftclans.
>>No. 66594
[x] Call Sakuya and ask her to escort you back to the library. You can do research with Lucy

Research sounds interesting and I really want more interaction with Lucy. It's not like he'll get another chance.
>>No. 66595
[x] The garden outside looks nice. Maybe you should take a stroll and spend some time outside before night falls.
>>No. 66596
[x] Call Sakuya and ask her to escort you back to the library. You can do research with Lucy
Mostly because I want to see get more involved.
>>No. 66597
[x] The garden outside looks nice. Maybe you should take a stroll and spend some time outside before night falls.
>>No. 66612
[x] Call Sakuya and ask her to escort you back to the library. You can do research with Lucy

Lucy is good. I do hope that sometime in the future we can find a way to help Hatate out.
>>No. 66625
[x] Call Sakuya and ask her to escort you back to the library. You can do research with Lucy
>>No. 66677
File 153438264820.jpg - (1.07MB, 768x1024, redheads are just the worst.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] The garden outside looks nice. Maybe you should take a stroll and spend some time outside before night falls.

You call Sakuya and ask her to escort you outside to take a stroll around the grounds. Her expression darkens a little bit. “I would be more than happy to escort you outside, but…”

Her voice trails off as she thinks. Then after a moment, she nods. “Well, it should be fine — so long as you don’t stray too far from the gardens.”

“Worried I’ll make a run for it?”

The thought gives her a simple smile. “That’s no problem. I would bring you back.”

You figured that was the case. There isn’t really much of a chance of you sneaking away from someone who can control time. But then, what gave her pause?

“Follow me,” she continues. “I’ll lead you to the back garden. That should be a safe place.”

The way she phrases that raises some flags. But any attempt to probe her for details on the way out only elicits a quiet sigh from Sakuya followed by a not-so-solid assurance that everyone should be fine as long as you stay in the garden.

It seems like you’re going to find out on your own.


You make yourself as small as possible, under the bursting lights above.

The garden was beautiful: flowers of all different shades and hues planted into vibrant patterns that you could follow from one lovely patch to the next. How those flowers could still be in bloom so late into the year, you have no idea, but given where you are it’s likely magic of some sort was involved. The smell was sublime, and for the first time in a while, you could be at peace while watching the red sunset — though there was a massive wall obscuring most of it.

Then you decided to wander into the hedge maze.

“I didn’t wanna do this…” the fairy curled up next to you blubbers. “They made me volunteer. I didn’t wanna go to war against the Red Menace!”

If she’s a conscript, then you’re a civilian stuck in the crossfire. After entering the hedge maze, it didn’t take long for you to lose yourself in the massive arrangement of shrubbery — which you swear didn’t look so large from the outside. You thought it might be nice to wander a while before calling Sakuya, but then the fighting started, and you had to duck for cover underneath bullets of light and concussive explosions. Every so often you hear a tiny body slam into the hedges, rustling the thick bushes.

You place your hand on the fairy’s quivering shoulder. “Take deep breaths, and most importantly, shut up.”

She attaches herself to you at the abdomen, and you feel wetness soaking in through your shirt where she’s buried her little head of blonde hair. “I’m sorry, Mister Human… I’m so scared!”

Normally, fairies are little more than buzzing insects to you, but this fairy’s resemblance to another little blonde in your life tugs at your heartstrings just a little — especially after your last conversation with said person.

You could use something to do while you wait, so you play along and hold the back of her head while reciting some bullshit lines you might expect a dashing male lead to give in this scenario. “We’ll survive this war, and start that bakery you always wanted, and give bread to all the little orphans…”

She stops crying and looks up at you. “What?”

You shrug. “I don’t know. Isn’t this just a game you girls are playing? Like capture the flag or something? Two teams against the other? We’ll just wait it out until the end and sneak away, no problem.”

While you and the fairy have been whispering, the lights and explosions above have gradually died down. Now you don’t even hear anything. It would probably be a good time to get moving.

But the fairy doesn’t budge; her amber eyes stay locked onto yours with a mix of pity and terror. “You don’t know the Red Menace, Mister…? We’re not fighting against each other, we’re all fighting against her. And we never win…”

Suddenly, a red-and-green blur drops several yards in front of your little cowering place, landing on her feet with enough force that you think you feel the air vibrate. With her back turned to you, all you can see at first is her long, fiery red hair, a green cap, and a foreign dress. Her arms are hard with tensed muscle.

“So she hunts us all down,” the fairy finishes.

One person is responsible for all this racket? You find that believable enough, actually. If it’s another resident of the mansion, then she might really be a menace — not that beating up a bunch of fairies is particularly impressive.

The redheaded woman turns around, revealing sharp, blue eyes and a gold star on her hat. “You all did well enough this time,” she says, “but the war is over. Just one more—”

She blinks when she notices you, and her entire body loses its edge. “A human? You look like the VIP that Sakuya brought in. What are you doing here?’

There isn’t much dignity in being hunched over on the ground, so you stand up, slipping out of the paralyzed fairy’s grasp as you rise. “Waiting for the coast to be cle—”

The fairy suddenly shrieks and flies away, but as soon as she makes it into the air, she’s struck with some invisible force that sends her crashing back into the ground beside you. Her body hits the grass floor of the hedge maze with a loud thud.

You glance over to the redheaded woman, who now has her palm extended. She relaxes again and grins. “Wow, she was fast! Maybe I should have let her have a head-start.” Then she returns her attention to you, and chuckles. “Sorry about that. Just wanted to finish this little exercise up. My name’s Hong Meiling. It’s nice to meet you. I don’t meet too many humans that are still human, so it’s my pleasure.”

That are still human? That’s odd. You make sure to keep a bit of cautious space between yourself and the Red Menace, Hong Meiling. Her grin annoys you. “Just call me PI,” you respond. “So you’re the Red Menace, huh? You seem a little strong to be beating up on fairies like this.”

She nods. “They came up with the name, not me. But I don’t get much time off, and training by one’s self can be a stagnant affair. A variety of opponents with different abilities and cunning will keep my senses sharp.” Her eyes appraise you. “Looks like you’ve had some training yourself. That’s a good stance.”

You’re confused until you also look at yourself: for some reason you’ve dropped into a tight guard to protect your vitals. Something about his woman puts you on edge.

The blonde fairy turns over on the ground and coughs. “M, Mister…” she murmurs. Her strained voice sounds like she had the wind knocked clean out of her. “I think bread sounds good…”

You watch the fairy’s eyes close, and stay shut. Honestly, you could care less that some fairies are getting knocked around — most of the little shits deserve that and more. You don’t even have any attachment to this somewhat-cute fairy, who coincidentally resembles another somewhat-cute person you know. There’s no desire within you to pursue revenge.

But this woman, Hong Meiling, still makes your body itch all over.

She closes her eyes and takes a breath. “Your qi is remarkable, too. Vicious, with the smell of hallowed earth and bodies rotting. I can’t tell if you’re serving a god, or a demon.” Then she opens her eyes, her expression now sharp towards you. “This is a pleasant surprise. What say you to a little spar? Sakuya doesn’t have much time for me, recently. You feel it too, don’t you? How opposed our auras are?”

“Yeah, I feel it,” you answer, facing her. “I don’t know what it is or what you’re even talking about, but I feel it. I hate you for some reason, Hong Meiling.”

She smirks. “This could be the beginning of something beautiful. If I stamp out that hatred inside of you, would you be my friend? We could be like yin and yang.”

“Sorry,” you tell her, “I have too many people to care about as it is.”

If you blinked, you might have missed her adjust her feet slide into her own stance: one hand down and clenched, and the other up and flat. “What a shame,” she remarks. “I believe that one can never have too many friends.”

Honestly, you don’t have a chance. She doesn’t have a wound on her after fighting off a legion of fairies. You haven’t had formal training since you served the city over a decade ago, and even then you were by no means gifted.

But still you charge forward, closing the distance between the two of you so you can throw the first punch right at her face. She doesn’t move or guard, but instead decides to let your fist slam into her cheek and push her head — but not her body — back. Your knuckles ache and sting like you punched an old, thick tree.

You pull back your fist and adjust your stance. She seems unfazed, except for a drop of blood forming in the corner of her mouth. “Not bad,” she says. “One must have a lot of confidence or a lot of desperation to aim for the face. Now let’s get started.”

The blows come so quickly you only have time to block. You rely on pure reflex to guard all of her fists with your forearms, worrying about the integrity of your very bones as you catch punch after punch. Surprisingly, you hold up quite well. Then she throws an elbow, catching you off-guard. You manage to block it, but you’re off-balance when her foot launches off the ground, hitting you in the chin like a hammer. You feel your lower jaw crash against your upper jaw with a sickening click as you stumble backward and away.

Hong Meiling swiftly regains her footing, but does not pursue. “Impressive,” she comments. “Your qi makes up for what your body lacks.”

You don’t know what “qi” is or how that affects anything, but you did see her punch through the air to knock out a fairy. She’s definitely going easy on you — which isn’t surprising, since one of her punches at full strength could likely kill you. That kick was a bloody taste of what she can do with an ounce of effort — and now your jaw’s so numb you can’t even physically muster a comeback.

You consider your options. She’s waiting for you to come at her again, giving you your “turn.” You know this isn’t a serious match, and you know she’s likely gauging your strength — or even just toying with you before she calls it off. But something inside wants you to defeat her, or at least damage her. She’s underestimating you, and that means you can surprise her.

[] Whimsical madness. Ignore the pain with a smile. Play along with her game, and then break the rules.

[] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.

>>No. 66678
[x] Whimsical madness. Ignore the pain with a smile. Play along with her game, and then break the rules.
>>No. 66679
[x] Whimsical madness. Ignore the pain with a smile. Play along with her game, and then break the rules.

We're not going to win this by the book.
>>No. 66680
[x] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.

I mean, any qi he has is probably coming from kotohime right? What's the worst that could happen?
>>No. 66682
His Qi is from Suwako. He's receiving her blessing. Has been for some time now.

[X] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.

For Pi, fights aren't a game. No reason to treat this one as such.
>>No. 66683
[x] Whimsical madness. Ignore the pain with a smile. Play along with her game, and then break the rules.

We'll lose in a straight out fight, I doubt that attacking with ferocity is gonna change anything and any dodge we manage to make will be because she allows it, we need to catch her with her guard down, become predictable enough that she won't expect the blow.
>>No. 66685
[x] Whimsical madness. Ignore the pain with a smile. Play along with her game, and then break the rules.

Agaibst a powerhouse that can air punch best to push her out of the comfort zone. I have a theory this is how kotohime fought.
>>No. 66686
[X] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.
The other option feels OOC.
>>No. 66688
[x] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.
>>No. 66689
[x] Whimsical madness. Ignore the pain with a smile. Play along with her game, and then break the rules.

I could see no way this could possibly go wrong!
>>No. 66694
[x] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.
>>No. 66695
[X] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.
>>No. 66697
[x] Whimsical madness. Ignore the pain with a smile. Play along with her game, and then break the rules.
>>No. 66698
[X] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.

Now, if only we can channel Kotohime as a Stand.
>>No. 66700
[X] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.

Something about anger and hatred and shit
>>No. 66728
[X] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.
>>No. 66811
[x] Whimsical madness. Ignore the pain with a smile. Play along with her game, and then break the rules.

I think this would be the more appropriate option.
>>No. 66951
This isn't dead, I promise. The situation is: I write the most for this during downtime at my job, but now my workload is kind of a nightmare and I haven't been able to finish an update. Slowly but surely, I promise it's being worked on.
>>No. 67570
File 156078609620.jpg - (178.51KB, 500x750, pride and qi.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Focused hatred. Attack with ferocity, and dodge her attacks. You aren’t playing around.

You don’t like it. The way Hong Meiling looks down on you, the confidence she exudes — it’s unsettlingly familiar. You swallow blood again in your mouth. No more. You’ll fight her for real.

This time, while attacking, you try to follow Hong Meiling’s movements. She always dodges fluidly, while putting herself in a position to immediately return to a stable stance. Whatever martial arts she’s practiced must require a lot of stamina and flexibility. Even if you do predict how she’ll dodge, she blocks. This happens a few times before she disengages once again.

“Excellent!” she says. “You must be shaking off some of your rust. Your eyes are nice and focused. But I could use a nap, so if you survive this one, you win!”

“You win” isn’t good enough. She represents what you aren’t: bright, proud, and possessing incredible strength. You need that strength, and you hate her for having it — for flaunting it. She wants you to accept your weakness, to accept her terms, to accept your shame.

Something inside you wants to crush that oppressive pride.

When she throws her first punch, you slide out of the way and retaliate with your own. Your fist smashes into her face once again — and this time she recoils. You try to use the opportunity to follow-up with a strike to her chest, but she ducks down and throws a sweeping kick that knocks you right off your feet. Your knees catch the ground, and you find yourself looking up at a Hong Meiling who is no longer playing.

“Are you trying to be serious?” she says. “Don’t fool yourself. I have no desire to kill a human. Be calm and focus on your qi before you lose control.”

Hong Meiling stares down at you, towers over you, but there’s a sadness in her blue eyes. All colors of light swirl around her, and the intensity of it makes your eyes water — but you can’t look away. It’s truly incredible.

But it conjures an image in your mind: a woman even taller than Hong Meiling, standing over you, with her hand outstretched. Your spear lays under her, the point rusted away into nothing and the shaft broken in two. A blinding light obscures her features, all except her blue hair and two eyes that glow with a solemn red light.

“Accept her choice. Your fight is over — in truth, it never even began. I do not wish to kill you.”

She never had a choice. It’s easy for an invader to preach acceptance. You spit on this disgusting mercy. You spit on her bloodless campaign. If you can’t protect her, then you’re better off dead.

Hong Meiling reaches out to you with a hand shining with glorious lights. “This qi is darker than I thought. I need to interve—”

Even without touching you, that light burns.

You thrust a flat hand at her chest. She manages to dodge at the last second, and you graze her side. She gasps and leaps backward, putting distance between the two of you.

You cursssse yourself for missing. You’ll kill her. You’ll desssstroy her. It doessssn’t matter how sssstrong she is, or how many timessss

Then you see the pain in her face. She’s struggling to breathe, and clutching that place where your hand brushed against her. The shining aura fades.

“Impressive…” Hong Meiling mutters, just loud enough for you to hear. “I made a terrible mistake. How could I not recognize—ah, it doesn’t matter. I suppose we really can’t be friends.” Through the fingers she clutches her side with, you can spot an inky black mist leaking out — not blood, but something of yours. “This level of spiritual attack is troubling.”

Without Hong Meiling’s light blinding you, your mind also clears. The events replay through your mind immediately, and you struggle to grasp what really happened. It felt like you were in some kind of cold rage, acting purely by instinct. But, there was something else there — and for once, it didn’t have anything to do with Kotohime.

“If I have to miss my next shift,” Hong Meiling continues, “Sakuya will kill me.” Then she smiles at you. “It seems like you’re returning to normal. You don’t want to keep going, do you? One of us really will end up dead.”

“No,” you answer immediately. Your own body starts to ache, and your head pulses uncomfortably. “I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I don’t want to continue.”

“Good,” she responds. “I was worried for a second, there. You have something monstrous within you.” Then she laughs weakly. “And there really isn’t much I can do about it. I hope you figure it out one way or another.” Suddenly, her eyes narrow. “But if you cause any problems here at the mansion, nobody else will hold back. I’m the only optimist.” She relaxes again. “Ah, but most would call me lazy…”

“Understood,” you reply simply. Unfortunately, you know that “Hatate” and “causing trouble” are pretty much synonymous. All you can do is try your best to mitigate any disasters.

Though, judging from the scene right now — Hong Meiling walking away clutching her side, amidst the disheveled hedges and small bodies of fairies — this mansion already has a pretty high tolerance for disaster.

“One last thing,” she mentions, not turning back. “Don’t heed any voices in your mind besides your own. That’s how you’ll stay sane.”

You hesitate to respond, but by that time Hong Meiling is already gone — vanished into the hedge maze.

After you settle down and catch your breath, you call Sakuya. When she arrives two-and-a-half seconds later, she looks upon the scene with disgust. “That damned guard and her war games…” she mutters to herself, before turning to you with a glare. “It seems like you’re somehow complicit, as well.”

You shrug it off. “If by ‘complicit’ you mean I was just taking a stroll before I ended up in a battlefield, then sure. I’m somehow complicit.”

She sighs and relaxes. “I’m sorry. My temper got the best of me. Please forgive me.” Then a fiendish glare overcomes her pale face, but it isn’t aimed at you. “However, that guard will be working overtime to clean her mess, if I have to watch over her myself.”

Sorry, Hong Meiling.


Sakuya stops in front of a door. “There is a bath inside that I have prepared. Please clean yourself.

You stare at her flatly. “Do I smell that bad? I didn’t think I sweat that much.”

She turns around and sighs. “I’m sorry, I meant no offense. I mentioned to my Mistress that you would like to introduce yourself personally, and she seemed intrigued by the request. In fact, she told me she would ‘love’ to meet you.”

You blink a couple times. That was quick. There must be some catch. “She would? When?”

“Right now. I warn you that my Mistress’s attention is fickle, so please do hurry.”

It should have been difficult to secure a meeting with the Mistress, from the way Sakuya spoke before. However, it seems you’ve aroused her lady’s curiosity, and that will be either a very good or a very bad thing. From the way Sakuya avoids your eyes, you feel it’s the latter. At least the bath will give your body some rest.

It’s not like your body’s going to be assaulted by some mysterious, red-eyed fiend while you’re so vulnerable, right? All of a sudden, you feel anxious. Thankfully, you end up having a relaxing bath in the mansion’s luxurious open air bath. Nothing silly like that would possibly happen.


As soon as you step out the door of the bath, in the blink of an eye you find yourself wearing a fancy black dress suit. Sakuya stands before you, smiling. In her hand is the bathrobe you had been wearing a second earlier.

“Not bad,” she comments. “You clean up nicely, PI.”

You sigh as your body adjusts to the new sensation of fine garments. “Thank you, but that was a little sudden. I could’ve at least put my underwear on for you—”

Then you notice a certain fresh coolness to your face and between your legs, and realize that you’re significantly less hairy than before.

“—and shaved. Was that all really necessary, Miss Izayoi?”

“Everything shall be perfect and tidy for my Mistress,” she responds in her composed manner, as if she didn’t just stop time to shave your crotch. “Though I hope she doesn’t inspect you that thoroughly.”

A perfect maid, indeed.


Sakuya leads you out to the foyer: a large, open room that’s garishly red and tall. Large, double-doors on one side must be the main entrance; if you had any desire to flee, now is the closest you might ever be. But, a job’s a job. Let’s get this over with.

As Sakuya leads you up three staircases, you wonder just how fatigued she is between getting ready for the party, her normal duties, watching over a bunch of fairies, and her Mistress’s sudden whims. Her power may be extraordinary, but you have to respect her dedication and elegance.

Also, you can see up her skirt a little — but you’ll keep that to yourself. That white lace is very nice. Maybe Mori would like wearing something like that?

Wait, why are you thinking about her right now? You need to stay focused.

Sakuya holds the door open for you to enter a tiny room, but no less garish. A small, clothed table sits between two comfortable chairs, and the two tall glasses filled with something deep and red capture your eyes. Hopefully it isn’t blood, but you are in a vampire’s mansion.

“Please take the seat closest to you,” Sakuya instructs. “I will let the Mistress know you have arrived.”

A faint click after her last word, and Sakuya vanishes entirely. You take the seat she offered and peek over the rim of the glass you assume to be set out for you. You’ve seen enough blood — mostly your own, recently — to tell that your glass isn’t filled with the stuff. It’s most likely some kind of fruit juice. You waft some of the scent into your nose and pick up the bitter yet welcome scent of alcohol. This must be wine: a rarity in Gensokyo.

However, the other glass is a little thicker.

Suddenly, Sakuya appears again and clears her throat softly. “I now present Lady Remilia Scarlet, daughter of Vlad Tepes, heir to the name of Dracula, conqueror of mortal hearts and esteemed regent of vampirekind.”

Remilia Scarlet must be trying out some new titles.

The door on the other side of the room opens, and in walks a little girl with light-blue hair, pale skin, and a red glint to her eyes. She wears a fine pink dress and cap, complete with cute little frills. On her back are a pair of black wings that look different from a crow tengu’s. If you didn’t know any better, you would say she was a foreigner who stumbled into the room by accident on her way to bedtime.

But you do know better — or rather, this is what you might have expected all along. You stand and give your most courteous bow. “Thank you for having me tonight, Lady Scarlet. I am PI.”

She returns in kind, with a proper curtsy and a smile showing off her large, pointed canines. “Au contraire, I thank you for being here. What proper manners, have you.” Then her eyes pass over your body, appraising you. “My my. A wonderful job as always, my dear Sakuya. Truly the most elegant of maids, to bring out the handsomeness that lay dormant in this man. May your loyalty be eternal.”

Sakuya bows her head. “Of course, my Mistress. Shall I stay?”

“Non,” she responds. “I can handle this man alone. Please take your leave and tend to...the basement.”

Sakuya wavers. “Are you quite sure, Mistress? I will always have time for the basement, so it may be best if I stay and—”

Remilia’s smile twitches. “And my dear Sakuya, I assure you that I will be fine. Tend to the basement, please. I trust you are aware of the importance and urgency of your task.”

Sakuya reaches for her watch, bowing all the while. “Yes, Mistress. I apologize, Mistress. Please have a good time, Mistress. Please call if you need anything.”

With a click, the uneasy Sakuya is gone, and Remilia Scarlet gives you her full attention. “Let us sit down, PI.”

Normally you wouldn’t bother with extreme displays of etiquette, but you don’t like how eerie their little conversation was, and self-preservation take precedence when you have no idea what you’re getting into. You do know how much the elite prize being treated as such, so you rush over to pull her chair out for her. “After you, Lady Scarlet.”

Remilia hops into the chair and smiles wide. You get a closer look at her black wings, and discover they resemble a bat’s — fitting, for a vampire. You thought the table might be too high for her, but then you notice that she’s hovering above the seat of the chair, like a cushion of air is under her bottom. Subtle. You don’t blame her, since a high chair would deflate her ego. You take care not to linger, however, and return to your seat promptly.

“I have to say,” she continues, “I was curious about what rabble Koakuma might tangle herself with, but I’m pleasantly impressed. You have a stern face, yet good manners. I wonder what it says for Gensokyo that its humans have more class than its youkai.”

“It says that we’re in trouble,” you answer frankly. “Though I doubt you need me to tell you so, Lady Scarlet.”

She nods, before looking at you a little more. “Indeed. Interesting that a human is concerned about the well-being of youkai. That’s one thing Gensokyo has over the rest of the world, at least.”

It’s not that you’re concerned about youkai — you simply have some compassion for them after the atrocities you’ve witnessed, and regard them no less or no more than your human kin. Apparently, that neutral sentiment is far more than what most humans hold for them. “So you are a foreigner then? If you don’t mind me asking.”

She grins. “Don’t I look Japanese?” Then she laughs. “A jest, of course. Yes, I come from Europe, though I have my doubts you even know where that is, let alone my home country.”

“I can’t say I do,” you admit. Gensokyo isn’t great, but the Outside World has never been of much interest to you either, since you don’t have plans to break the barrier any time soon. And if you did, Reimu would kill you when you came back. It would’ve been nice to prove Remilia wrong, though.

“Right,” she continues smugly. “Well, let me assure you it’s quite a long way away. It took a considerable amount of magic to bring the whole estate here through that barrier. Yet I’m so glad I did. It’s home sweet home, after all.”

You nod along with her, while imagining what Reimu would do if she heard this. She’d probably knock Remilia’s teeth right out of her little head. “It certainly is a unique mansion.”

You’re choosing your words carefully.

Remilia beams with pride. “I’m glad to hear that. It used to be a bit tacky, but I remodeled it not long ago. I did all of the designing myself!”

You can’t possibly imagine what she would consider “tacky” if she considers all this red to be good interior design. “It’s impressive that you would do such a thing yourself. You appear to have many servants.”

Her face sours. “Perhaps. Though I must say that the phrase ‘quantity over quality’ best describes my workforce at the moment. My options as a vampire here in Gensokyo are dreadfully limited.” Then her smile returns, somewhat. “At least the fairies are cute, and add some liveliness to this place.”

You can’t imagine being bored enough to pass the time by owning a fairy daycare. Then again, you also can’t imagine being an immortal maneater. However, her change in tone intrigues you. “Quantity over quality? Would that be a comment on our population as a whole, Lady Scarlet?”

She smirks. “Are you interested in a vampire’s opinion of your kind?”

You smile back at her. “It can’t be too low, if I’m sitting here with you now — unless I’m here for a reason besides providing a bit of company for you.”

“You have good enough intuition,” she says, “but remember your place. You’re here because of Koakuma’s suggestion and Patchy’s insistence. Right now, you’re a bit of entertainment to go with my breakfast.”

Patchy — an interesting nickname for that solemn magician. “By ‘breakfast’, I assume you’re referring to the glass of blood in front of you?” You lift your wine glass. “Then how about a toast, then? An early toast, to celebrate your upcoming birthday.” You muster as warm a smile you can for the brat in front of you. “To Lady Remilia Scarlet, The Scarlet Devil, and more entertaining times ahead!”

Curiously, Remilia Scarlet hesitates. She reaches her pale fingers ever-so-carefully toward the stem of her glass, and slowly lifts it to match yours. “R-right! Thank you! A toast, indeed!”

Her glass taps very, very lightly against yours, like she’s scared of something. Then you both take a drink. Yours is shorter than hers, as the dry, bitter taste of the red wine is alien to you — but not entirely unpleasant.

After Remilia drains about half her glass, she slowly sets the glass back down, and licks her lips. Once again, you get a good look at her fangs. When she lets go of the glass, she quietly sighs in relief — from what, you aren’t sure.

She collects whatever composure she lost, and brings up a new subject. “You’re a detective. Tell me, as a human, how do you see the youkai?”

You don’t recall advertising yourself as such — though Lucy sure would. Regardless, one word comes to your mind concerning the youkai. “Desperate. But, not without reason.” You need to pick your words very carefully, since you’re not sure what Remilia Scarlet has in mind — or who else might be listening. “If it weren’t for certain factors, I think Gensokyo would have a brighter future for humans and youkai both.”

She grins. “Certain factors, hmm? Interesting. I’m glad someone who calls himself a detective has a bit more awareness.”

“You might be right, but I have my own personal reasons for disliking the status quo.”

“And so have I. But certain factors are awfully entrenched. Can you do anything but complain?”

You could take her words as a dismissive insult, but your gut tells you she means it genuinely. However, you can’t reveal the specifics of your work with Mori and the Akis yet. “Maybe.”

She studies your face, and then smiles. “Excellent. Would you please show me your hands?”

Your body tenses up. “You wouldn’t be thinking about topping off your glass with some fresh blood, would you?”

Remilia stares for a moment, then breaks out in high-pitched laughter. “No thank you,” she answers. “I’m not normally a picky eater, but frankly, the smell of you makes me sick to my stomach.”

You did bathe thoroughly, but nevertheless it’s a relief that she finds the thought of biting you so revolting. However, you’re no less hesitant to offer your hands. Then you realize that, if she really wanted it, you would be dead or worse already. You might as well just do it. “Very well, Lady Scarlet.”

You present your hands, palms-up, holding them over the small table. Remilia’s wings wave gently as she leans forward, making you wonder if they’re just for show. Her little, white hands grab yours— slightly cool to the touch — and feel around on your palms first, then each of your fingers. Though the feeling itself is not unpleasant, the hairs on the back of your neck start to rise.

Eventually, she spots something on your hand that you can’t see. “A severed thread?” Her curious eyes look up to yours. “What kind of power is this, to conceal your fate even from me?!”

You’re just as confused as she is. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lady Scarlet. You mentioned a thread? I have no threads on my person, besides the outfit Miss Izayoi dressed me in.”

She huffs. “No, not in the physical sense! You’re Japanese. Don’t you know about the red thread of fate?”

It’s insulting for a foreign girl to tell you what you should and shouldn’t know as a Japanese person — if someone from Gensokyo could even be considered a citizen of Japan. Nevertheless, you grit your teeth and bear it. “I suppose I’m not aware of that particular tradition. Please teach me, Lady Remilia.”

Your restraint is rewarded, as Remilia calms down, floats back to her chair, and smiles. “Well, I suppose I can do such a thing for you. In Asian traditions, the red thread of fate is said to link someone to their destined lover. No matter how far apart they are, no matter how tangled the thread, it should never break. And one of my unique powers as a vampire is to see this thread, which allows me to see many other things related to that person’s fate.”

Why would a Western vampire have a power related to an Eastern tradition? However, it’s ultimately irrelevant, so you let her keep going.

“This severed thread of yours implies that you’ve been subjected to a force strong enough to break your very fate. Now you’re drifting through this world, only tied to yourself. Perhaps you’ve felt a lack of connection to others?”

“That’s how I wanted it,” you answer.

Remilia shows her biggest grin yet. “Of course. For a man who serves an exiled tengu and routinely deals with youkai, I would expect nothing else.”

Lucy must have a bigger mouth than you thought. “So she’s informed you of our operation?”

She laughs. “I’m her Mistress, so it’s only natural that she would tell me such a thing. I needed some convincing to assure me you would be the right...fit, for my celebration.”

“I thought Patchouli Knowledge was her master?”

She forces one more laugh and looks away for a moment. “Well, I’m the Mistress of the whole mansion, so I’m her Mistress indirectly.”

What vain logic. “Regardless, I’m honored you decided to invite me, Lady Scarlet.”

“Of course. Though I do have a minor request I think should come as no problem to you.”

Normally when you hear such a thing, it is absolutely a problem. Unfortunately, in this situation you have no choice but to listen. “Please, go on.”

“I only ask that you keep an eye out for anyone else who doesn’t fit. If you did happen to spot someone like that, you would inform Sakuya. A simple task, in return for my hospitality. A fair trade, non?”

Yeah, you’ve heard that one a lot too. Nevertheless, you’re going to be keeping an eye on the other guests anyway. Pretending that it’s at her behest will put you in a better position. You take a sip of wine, if only to pretend like you’re giving it some more thought. “Very well, Lady Scarlet. I will do such a thing for you.”

Remilia’s face lights up. “Good! I trust you will have many things to tell me.”

She must be expecting quite a few people who “don’t fit” at her party.

“Then I propose another toast, myself,” Remilia continues, raising her glass with a jolly smile. “To PI, the first true guest I’ve had at my manor in quite some time. Cheers!”

You wonder what she means by “true guest,” but you have no choice but to raise your own glass.

With none of the restraint she showed earlier, Remilia collides her glass against yours. Immediately, both of them shatter in a shower of tiny glass shards, and a shock of fear goes up your arm and through your entire body. You recoil instinctively, but Remilia Scarlet remains frozen with big, round eyes, as if she had also shattered.

“Oh, oh no…” she murmurs, tearing up. “I didn’t mean to. These, these damn fragile glasses. I thought I was, I was controlling my strength just fine. I’ve been trying so hard and Sakuya will be so upset with me. So [i[stupid[/i]. It’s my manor, why can’t I just use my steel mug…?”

So that was why she was so hesitant after your toast. With the body and brain of a human child — despite being preserved by the curse of vampirism — she still can’t control her own strength. Perhaps she’ll never be able to. You quickly glance at your hand and then Remilia’s. It seems that the shattering of the glass was so complete and instantaneous that it didn’t slice either of your hands. However, tiny shards of glass and a mixture of wine and blood are now spread over the fine tablecloth.

More importantly, Remilia Scarlet is sobbing. As a child who can’t control her own strength, perhaps it’s best you try to reassure her before things get dangerous. “It’s okay, Lady Scarlet. It doesn’t seem like either of us are hurt.” You reach into your jacket pocket, where Sakuya left her bell after you changed. “Let me call Miss Izayoi, and she can clean this up.”

“No!” Remilia screams, causing you to cease immediately. “Not Sakuya! I, I’ll clean this up myself!” She starts gathering the glass shards into the center of the table hurriedly, ignoring whatever cuts she gets along the way. “Don’t call anyone…” she whines through tears. “Don’t speak a word of this. I am the Mistress of the Scarlet Devil Mansion and I can clean my own mess! Just leave! Leave me alone!”

[] Quietly excuse yourself, as she demands.

[] Console Remilia.

[] Call for Sakuya.

>>No. 67571
[x] Quietly excuse yourself, as she demands.
Welcome back.
>>No. 67572
File 156079678226.jpg - (135.72KB, 572x800, __hakurei_reimu_izayoi_sakuya_kirisame_marisa_and_.jpg) [iqdb]
>"You have something monstrous within you. And there really isn’t much I can do about it"

Damn. I voted for that hoped she'd be able to help, somehow. But now even Remilia knows something is wrong and she can't do anything either.

[x] Console Remilia.

PI is the type of person that'd console what seems to be a crying kid.
>>No. 67573
[x] Console Remilia.

Glad you're not dead.
>>No. 67574
[X] Console Remilia.

A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.
>>No. 67575
[x] Console Remilia.
>>No. 67576
[X] Console Remilia.

My poor insane daughter.
>>No. 67597
[x] Console Remilia.

From the dead it rises. Glad to have you back.
>>No. 67610
[x] Help her clean it up

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