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File 154761937043.png - (2.37MB, 1754x1240, the witch in the devil's mansion.png) [iqdb]
67429 No. 67429
♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG4a4ittWVg
[紅の魂 ~ 赤より紅い夢 - 幻想少女大戦紅 オリジナルサウンドトラック (さんぼん堂)]

・-・・ --- ・・・- ・

Music Collection: https://mega.nz/#F!1BdBzIKZ!bhLzijfM3iyphpueDOKf0g

Histories of Yatsugatake, a Suika backstory short: >>>/shorts/2180
THREAD 1 >>65260
THREAD 2 >>65548
THREAD 3 >>65922
THREAD 4 >>66462
THREAD 5 >>66845
Expand all images
>> No. 67431
File 154880868867.jpg - (486.67KB, 800x426, the always noisy halls.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Leave Suika with Wakasagihime.

“Suika, I’m going back to Scarlet Devil Mansion. Would you mind waiting here while I go?”

“You’re gonna leave me with some slimy fish!?” she whined.

He looked on with a smile and some confusion. “You haven’t eaten each other,” he noted. To that, Suika made a grumbling sound. So did Wakasagihime.

“It’s a bad idea to let you in while Master Patchouli’s still in a mood,” he explained, gazing toward the Mansion again. He gave her his attention again, saying, “I’m leaving you for a little while to not start any trouble.”

“But trouble’s fun,” she told him with a grin.

“Not so fun is the punishment I’d receive for letting your fun through the gate,” he told her, turning away. He glanced at her once before taking off across the lake, waving and telling her, “... Later!”

Suika sat before Wakasagihime and watched him go while the mermaid waved goodbye to her friend. With that, the two seemed to stop arguing, and in short order idle talk began instead.

He brought his heel down to the sands before Hong Meiling, who lifted her head very suddenly to the sound. He shot her a glare. “You were sleeping again!” he chastised.

“S-Sir Gen... No, I...!” she answered him awkwardly, rubbing her right eye with the back of her hand. “I just closed my eyes!”

“Leave them open,” he told her with a frown. “What would the Mistress say?”

“Yes...” she replied, her head slightly bowed, “I will do better.”

His frown deepened and he shut one of his eyes, resting a hand on his hip. “I’m too new to Scarlet Devil Mansion to be the one chastising you.”

“Ah, to speak of chastising, Sir Gen,” Meiling whimsically changed the subject, pointing upward in announcement, “Lady Patchouli is angry with you!”

“Hehh... Seriously...?” he muttered, sweating a little at the thought.

“You should’ve told us you’d be staying outside of the Mansion. We figured you were dead,” explained the guard. Gen put his free hand on his other hip and cocked one of his eyebrows.

“She was angry with me even though she thought I’d died?”

Meiling yawned, waving off her breath while explaining: “She’s annoyed.” The youkai stood at ease, saying, “Please talk to her soon, Sir Gen.”

“Of course,” he replied, and he floated his way past the gate, hurrying to the front doors with the intent to go down to the basement quickly. Upon throwing them open, he paused due to seeing Sakuya blink into existence in the foyer. She addressed him immediately.

“Gen. Go to Kourindou later and find something curious for the Mistress. I’ve been meaning to but haven’t had the time.” She spun on the toe of her shoe, said, “Welcome back. Please see Lady Patchouli as soon as possible,” and vanished.

He couldn’t, and wouldn’t refuse her order, but he thought it was somewhat inconvenient. He wasn’t exactly sure where Kourindou was, let alone what sort of curiosity would pique his Mistress’s interest. While he was thinking, still at the door, his face caught a flying fairy maid, who grabbed around his head and threatened to topple him onto his rear.

“MMWHat!?” he exclaimed. From the scent, rather like the scent of an autumn morning, he determined in a muffled voice: “Merremia!?”

“I didn’t get to wake you up or sleep with you yesterday,” said his fairy, “I’m gonna sleep on you now, Sir Gen.” She squeezed his skull a bit tighter.

“Don’t, I’m doing something!” he shouted, but she was already at rest. Somewhat used to this, he sighed into the cloth of her uniform and put his hands under her thighs to start rotating her. He switched posture to pull her back around until she was settled, snoring, on his shoulders now in a way that let him at least see ahead. He felt exasperated, but held her drooling, unconscious form firm to him regardless. The foolish fairy felt like family to him at this point, and he didn’t even consider being angry with her.

He took a cautious step forward, expecting a different resident (or flock of residents, as the case may be) to stop him, but finding none. So he walked undeterred through the bleak antechamber and toward the basement stairs, keeping Merremia steady and hoping her spit would not ruin his hat.

That reminds me, he noted while descending beside flickering torchlight, watching orange streams and shards dance upon the steps, I need to get my coat back. Taking it off for the Village was pointless, huh? He looked down at his vest, recalling when he’d received it. Once entirely in the stone-halled basement, he felt a pang of guilt. He didn’t have to report in every day. He didn’t have to do anything, despite recognizing another person... at least three people, in fact... as “masters”. The nagging sensation he’d felt before accepting Suika’s midnight invitation loomed again at the edge of his awareness.

He pushed it away.

He looked down the hallway, pondering, Is Mistress Flandre in her room? He turned his attention to the great doors of the library, huffed, and moved to get them opened.

It wasn’t that he already missed the library—he’d been here just yesterday, but he realized that the old odor of its almost infinite catalog of books was calming his nerves with ease. As he pushed the right door forward, gripping Merremia’s thigh to keep her stable, and the smell of the library – the rush of mostly stagnant air displaced from a difference in temperature – blew around him, his apprehension and worry started to fade. It only started, and it wouldn’t finish. It did a little for his confidence, but he had to face his Master.

“Master...” he called out, moving into the library, flanked by shelf-towers and walls, “I’ve returned, alive.”

She didn’t answer him, so he kept on, assuming he would run into her instead—as was a fairly typical pattern. He did, not long after coming inside.

His Master was lounging on a scarlet-colored couch to his right and ahead from where he entered the area. Her legs were extended across it as she – of course – paged through a book. Her eyes laboriously moved from the text to his face, where they held their gaze in silence for a solid, rather noticeable number of seconds. Her first word after letting him stew was simply, unemotionally, “Gen.”

He nodded.

“I see,” she continued, unblinking, “you’re alive, hm.”

“I-I’m sorry I did not return last night,” the boy stammered. “I—”

“Are you aware of why I’d be angry about this?” asked his Master, blank-faced as ever. He swallowed, and answered her seriously.

“I don’t have that freedom,” he told her, echoing the truth his Mistress had given him the day he was introduced to Gensokyo. “I can’t pretend that I do.”

Patchouli swung her legs to put her feet near the floor, sitting up and putting her book down, slouching forward. “That isn’t the only reason,” she told him, speaking somewhat hoarsely. “In fact, I thought it over, Gen, and if it even is a reason, it’s a negligible reason. We can rule it out: no count on however free or not free you are.”

He stood still and listened. She explained.

“Of the facts relevant, the most important is that you are not only summarized in two words: ‘my student’. You are, in one word, ‘mine’.

“Yes, that means you have no freedom,” she said, her eyes steady, “but the overarching truth to this is that you are something I value. I do not want you to reflect on me poorly by dying stupidly out in the wild, and I do not want you worrying me by possibly dying at all.”

He drew his eyebrows together, feeling confused. She lowered her gaze, and continued to speak without tone.

“You’ve been good lately. Don’t concern me by playing ignorant with one of my foundational warnings.” Patchouli Knowledge stared into his eyes again and he straightened his back, feeling a prickling crawl up his forearm. “The night is dark,” she spoke smoothly, with a threat cold on her tongue, “and it belongs to dark creatures. It will never be humanity’s place.”

It had been quite a long time since last, but Itou Gen found that he was once more fearful of his Master.

He didn’t know what to say to her. He had a justification, but not one he wanted to admit to Patchouli Knowledge, and especially not at that juncture. He felt he hadn’t forgone her teachings, but telling why would leave him compromised. He had left his life in the hands of an oni and slept overnight at the foot of the Mountain (on a full moon—a youkai’s night, no less). He could explain every facet to the context of that reality, but he was sure she would hear only the reality: that he had knowingly put himself at the second greatest risk (and this was after he had put himself at the first when he’d dabbled with the Rauðskinna). He felt like right behind him, at his heels, was a yawning, bottomless, pit to doom.

He swallowed again, unable to break his gaze from her eyes, and something struck him as odd.

What struck him as odd was that more than scared of the witch’s potential malice, he was upset that he hadn’t met his Master equally. Not four days ago he had accepted that he had a strong love for his Master. Why, then, had he underplayed his worth in her eyes again?

When he’d nearly perished from producing a gift for Remilia and Flandre Scarlet...

When she’d taken up arms to defend his right to life against Kazami Yuuka...

When he’d returned after resolving the Spring Snow Incident...

There were many times he remembered that Patchouli had surprised him with concern, care, and even affection. Had he been surprised because she said caustic things? Because she wore a face that often told nothing?

Why hadn’t he realized this? In gesture and act, Patchouli Knowledge showed in many ways that she loved her apprentice as much as the apprentice loved his master. Was she not the same way with the Scarlet Devil...?

So now, although he felt worried for his life, he more majorly felt regret and fast-diminishing self-worth. He knew he had betrayed the one who mattered most to him within this hidden world.

... However...

He couldn’t regret it all, and he swore inside his mind; cursing that this was simply not simple.

“Master Patchouli...” he finally spoke, managing to tear his eyes from hers to stare at the blood-carpet below them. His chest was thumping into his throat, and cold ran down his skin. He opened his mouth, and felt a vibration through his teeth. The words he had to say, he had to drag them heavy from his heart, and so out they came weakly, but in absolute honesty, “... I am sorry.”

Without begging for anything, he expressed how he truly felt.

“... I didn’t tell you to always come back to me,” Patchouli said. He continued to gaze into the red before his feet. “And I didn’t think you made a mistake.”

His brow relaxed and his tension went away instantly, leaving him feeling pale, and in a daze.

“You came back safely, which tells me that whatever you did last night, you did within reason. I maintain that I have taught a good student, one who listens to me well.” Gen brought his head up with a jerk, jostling the fairy on his shoulders awake. His brow contorted in befuddlement, and there was a heat in his eyes. “I don’t need to know what it is you did...

“Thank you for returning unscathed. Please do not worry me any more. Welcome back, Gen.”

“Don’t cry, Sir Gen,” he heard Merremia’s voice, feeling her hands atop his head. He forced a smile to his lips, exhaling a shaking breath from his nose and mouth and saying:

“I haven’t cried yet.”

“Do you have anything to tell me about your discoveries or findings so far?” Patchouli asked, as if nothing prior had taken place. He hid his eyes behind the back of his hand before answering.

“N-No, I... I’m still working on your request, Master.”

“You should take care if you’re seeking things out at night that although the moon is a source of youkais’ power, it can be used just as well against them. Don’t fear it, or become narrow-minded about neglecting it.”

“Yes, I know that...” he replied, sniffing once, and keeping himself together. Merremia rubbed his head.

“And if you’re sleeping under the sky, don’t put too much faith in wards and barriers like some kind of idiot. That can just as easily be a beacon, and a shield is no use against quite a number of evil spirits.”


“Are you listening?” she asked.

“I always listen to you,” he answered, lowering his hand and revealing unreddened eyes, having successfully held back a wave of burning, twisted, sentiment. He told Patchouli Knowledge, “Master, I hope that I can always be someone you’re proud of.”

“... The record shows,” she said lightly, and she opened the book on her lap again. “If you’d like to read or research, do as you like. I’ll be waiting for the completion of your task. Be careful, be mindful, boy-Gen.” She turned a page.

“Please excuse me, Master Patchouli,” he announced formally, and bowed before turning to take his leave. Patchouli did not acknowledge this, and kept at her book.

As he listened to his soft footfalls on the scarlet field below, Merremia told her human, “You’re a real crybaby, Sir Gen.”

“There are things I don’t deserve, Merremia,” he explained. “And it just so happens, I often feel like it’s ‘every’ thing.”

“Hmm...” she moaned, swaying slightly while still seated on him, “I don’t get it.”

“You can’t,” he said with a chuckle. “Just... Lady Patchouli is a better person than she’d ever let on.”


“She’s a good girl,” he said simply. “I love her.”

Merremia breathed in sharply and he heard her wings beating rapidly. He looked up at the library’s doors, laughed through his nose and said, “Not like that.”

“No! Noo! Don’t you know what ‘love’ means, Sir Gen!?” the maid cried, gripping at the hair underneath his hat. He smiled easily now while he pushed the door open.

“No, please tell me.”

“Love is—!”

And she explained her fairy view of romance.

He couldn’t tell his Master what he had done the night before, or more importantly the circumstances behind his choice... he’d say that in time. He was not resolute or settled in his decision: regret still crept at his mind and core. However, he knew now that the faith he had in his Master, his Master readily reciprocated in him. He only needed to prove that her faith was worth it. Patchouli believed he was a mature enough magician to truly handle himself, even in the dark. He had to do everything to make that sure, and he was eager to rise to the challenge.

Before he left to complete Sakuya’s errand...
He felt like easing his mind, just a little more, through the company of at least one of the two sisters. Selfish though that may be...

Which did he seek out?

[] Remilia.

[] Flandre.
>> No. 67432
[x] Remilia.

The hardest decision of this quest so far
>> No. 67433
[x] Flandre.

Easy choice
>> No. 67434
[x] Flandre.
>> No. 67435
[X] Remilia.

May as well kill two birds with one stone and ask her if she had anything specific in mind.
>> No. 67436
[x] Remilia.
>> No. 67437
[x] Remilia.
>> No. 67438
[x] Remilia.
>> No. 67439
[x] Flandre.
>> No. 67440
[x] Flandre.

She's super observant, so she would probably be the better of the two to ask about what would be an interesting curiosity to Remilia.
>> No. 67441
[x] Flandre.
>> No. 67442
File 154889222580.jpg - (54.32KB, 415x311, 1293452337447.jpg) [iqdb]
(X) Flandre.

Given the choice, a Magician's Apprentice will always gravitate toward the blond loli. QED.
>> No. 67443
[x] Remilia.
>> No. 67444
[x] Remilia
>> No. 67445
[x] Flandre.

The most ancient popularity contest of vampire lolis begins anew.
>> No. 67446
[x] Remilia
>> No. 67447
[X] Flandr
>> No. 67448

At least he didn't invoke the forbidden popularity contest.
>> No. 67450
[x] Remilia

The votes are now perfectly balanced (as all things should be).
>> No. 67451
[X] Flandre.

I'll vote for the opposite of what the tiefag voted for.
>> No. 67452
[x] Rumia

Ok, [x] Flandre
We'll probably be seeing the other sister after Kourindu
>> No. 67453
File 155037790223.jpg - (392.33KB, 718x723, canon sass.jpg) [iqdb]
Sheesh. Lots of votes. Thanks, even to the cheeky "making it a tie or not" voters.

Image is safe for work, just a surprise box. Sorry for the delay. Slowly but surely I earn more free time.


[X] Flandre.

After shooing away his morning fairy, Gen began making his way toward the younger mistress’s room. He wanted a bit of relaxation from the company of one of the sisters... They were often entertaining to be around, and it had been a few days since he’d sat down with either specifically. When he reached her door, he knocked on it and announced, “Mistress Flandre? Are you there?”

He opened it, finding the room seemingly tossed inside (which was the norm), and the little sister absent (which was also the norm).

He left her chambers to find and ask the maids if they’d seen her in the halls somewhere and was surprised to learn that today was a rare case: Flandre was with her sister.

“Really?” he asked the fairy who had revealed this information. The little blue-haired fay nodded.

“They’re hanging out together,” she explained. She told him, “You should go make sure they don’t start beating each other up, Sir Gen. I’m not gonna. I’d get killed!”

Eehh... It’s not like I have much better chances, and I don’t even get to revive...

Hmph. It’s probably fine. They’re not
always at one another’s throats.

“Will do. Thanks,” he answered. “Get back to work.”

“Roger!” she exclaimed with a salute, and then she returned to dusting painting frames.

The sisters were in one of the studies on the second floor. He traveled more windowless halls and grandiose staircases on the way, noting that it wasn’t particularly quiet today. The mansion tended to only really be loud at night. He wondered if Suika’s closeness to his home at the moment might have been exciting the fairies. The presence of powerful youkai usually led to that.

As he came toward his destination, he began to hear a pair of familiar voices muffled behind a door. They didn’t sound aggravated... The voices seemed quite casual, in fact.

He entered the room.

[ ♫: http://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=4RC2hrMFIMQ ]
[Acoustic Image - TOHO BOSSA NOVA 2 (ShibayanRecords)]

“Because they were brothers, Flandre.”

“He killed the dog, Elder Sister! He killed Danny!”

“I’m aware, Flan.”

They’re... talking about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure? he gathered as he stepped inside the room.

It was a chamber with an open-air balcony and some cupboards for chinaware: the sort of place his Mistress often liked to find herself in. The sisters were seated at a circular, thin, and white tea table with an elaborate metalwork base crafted to resemble spiraling roses. Remilia’s posture was leaned back, but composed. Flandre looked like she was ready to stand in anger.

“If you did that to my dog, I’d never forgive you, Elder Sister,” said the blond.

The blue-haired sister looked a touch exasperated. “We don’t have a dog. Though, if I ever did something like that, I wouldn’t expect your forgiveness.”

“You wouldn’t get it!” the younger sister insisted. “Why did Jonathan!?”

“‘Forgiveness’, well... Putting aside whether or not he truly forgave his brother in the end, he was simply a gentleman. Though he could fight, he always wanted an amicable, jovial relationship with everyone. He wished for a peaceful life.”

“Peace is for losers,” Flandre said. She declared (almost hopping with emphasis, which made the crystals on her wings waver a bit wildly), “It’s cooler to mess everything up! You agree with me at least for that, right? You.”

“Use respect... I only mostly agree. Dio certainly did have more charisma.”

“That’s right, huh... He was bad, but fun too... Oh? Gen. The heck are you doing here?”

Having finally been addressed by one of the two, Gen ceased twiddling his thumbs and bowed. “Mistresses. Sorry for interrupting.”

Remilia smirked. After taking a sip from her teacup she asked, “My, who is it that you came to see?”

He squinted, knowing the truth or its opposite as an answer would, in either case, cause trouble. From the look in her eye, he could already tell that Mistress Remilia had wagered he hadn’t come to see them both... and the fairies could corroborate that.

He decided to answer truthfully, “Mistress Flandre.”

Remilia’s expression soured. Flandre looked at it, her expression now twisted and teasing. Seeing this, Remilia snapped, “Don’t look at me like that!”

“Like what, El-der Sis-ter?” Flandre asked, looking, of course, entirely smug. She pointed at her face with both hands. “Like this? With a face of someone superior?”

“It’s a face of someone who’s about to get thrown,” the older sibling threatened.

Gen interjected, saying, “I wanted to see one of the two of you before I left the Mansion again, and decided to see Mistress Flandre since I don’t tend to bother her with my company as much as I do with you, Mistress.”

“Smooth!” the elder vampire exclaimed, her eyes severe.

“Don’t make excuses, Gen; you can say I’m the better sister. It’s fine,” Flandre assured him with a voice full of sympathy. She had her elbow on the table now, her cheek on the heel of her palm. “Well, you found me,” she spoke breathily. “What happens now?”

I’d thought about asking her what Mistress Remilia might be interested in from Kourindou, but... he thought to himself, eyes drifting to the somewhat bothered older sister. “I was going to go back out shortly. Would you like me to find anything out in Gensokyo?”

“Find a leprechaun,” Flandre said.

“... Are those here?” he asked seriously.

“How should I know?” she asked, pouting more than Remilia now. She stretched out across the table, making her sister narrow her eyes and frown rather deeply. Turning her head she told him, “I don’t know, Gen. If there was something out there, wouldn’t I go get it on my own?”

“... Would you?” he asked, again seriously.

“I would!” she shouted. While Remilia shook her head.

“I’ll challenge myself to spark your interest then, Mistress Flandre,” he announced with a bow. Looking up he changed the subject, “That aside: JoJo, Mistresses?”

“You already know I read that,” Remilia told him. Flandre began to lightly flap her wings as the Mistress continued, “Flandre decided to read Phantom Blood, and was discussing it with me.”

He straightened up, asking Flandre, “How did you find it aside from the animal cruelty?”

“The frog punch was cool,” she said.

He nodded. It was.

“But I could’ve destroyed that rock without even touching the frog!” she boasted, grinning.

Remilia sighed, afterward saying, “Of course you could.” Flandre shot her a glare.

“Do you have any other manga to read out ahead of you, Mistress Flandre? Or are you going to shift your interests again?”

She shrugged. “Who knows?”

Remilia hissed in an angry whisper, “Get off the table already!”

“You should join Miss Meiling and I for tai chi in the mornings!” he declared enthusiastically.

“Hahh?” Flandre grunted. He lost enthusiasm.

“We vampires have no need for exercise,” said Remilia calmly. Next, showing a fang in her smile, she explained, “Unlike physically lesser youkai such as Patche, our bodies are made of strong stuff. In fact, we’re the most powerful beings imaginable.”


That had been Flandre. Remilia’s smile stiffened.

While looking at her sister and kicking her legs slowly, Flandre asked, “Didn’t you get beaten down by an old lady only last week?”

“I did no such thing,” Remilia replied, squinting at Flandre again.

“You did, you did,” she insisted, though playfully.

“I didn’t and you’ve got no proof!” With a raised voice and flared wings, Remilia Scarlet settled the matter. Flandre Scarlet puffed laughter out of closed lips.

He wagered they were talking about Miss Suika, who he recalled had mentioned in passing that she’d met Remilia and thought of her as a “scaredy-cat”. Much as he respected his Mistress’s strength, having witnessed Suika’s firsthand he was quite sure Flandre’s call had been right. Not that he’d ever call Suika an old woman, even with her gruff and somewhat old manner of speech.

This wasn’t something he could ask Remilia about, at any rate.

“Mistress Remilia is incredible,” he said truthfully, “I’m sure she’s being honest, Mistress Flandre,” he lied.

“You’re lying,” said the younger sister. Remilia, whether she believed his words or not, was happy that he hadn’t delivered them mockingly, and was blushing now with her eyes closed and a smile on her face. He did believe this: if her opponent hadn’t been an oni, there were none likely to really give his Mistress a run for her money. Miss Reimu could due to Gensokyo’s rules of engagement but that was all.

... Oh, he recalled, and whoever it is antagonizing Mokou, sis, in the Bamboo Forest. They’re supposed to be trouble.

On second thought, there may have been quite a few. But, that didn’t matter! He had faith in the Scarlet Devil’s power!

“You look like you just went through a buncha leaps in logic in your head, Gen,” Flandre said, still fully locked in to “sass”. “Don’t worry, this girl is always building herself up way taller than she actually is. I mean, look at her! Midget.”

“You’re the same height as me!” Remilia snarled.

“And you’re five years older than me... How sad...” spoke a pitying Flandre, still sprawled out across the table. He saw the cup in Remilia’s hand trembling.

“I’m going to go get Sakuya.”

“Get off the table!” Remilia yelled, standing from her chair. Flandre cackled, her wings flapping delightfully. He stepped out of the room, closing it as he saw a red spear of energy manifest in his Mistress’s hand. This had been a critical failure. He had to find the Head Maid to make sure the two of them kept things civil. If they destroyed parts of the Mansion while the Sun was still up, that would be very bad. He hurried down the halls and stairs and flew fast toward the kitchen, hoping to find his human peer there, who might defuse the lit bomb between Scarlet Sisters.


He stepped into the Mansion’s gardens.

After talking to Sakuya, he outfitted himself completely once again, and so now stood under the Sun in his dark, but airy robes. The maid had gone to keep peace, and though the two’s fighting had already gotten intense enough that he could hear it outside, he was sure Sakuya could handle it.

What should I pick up for her...? he wondered as he rose into the air, thinking of Remilia. Something that’d amuse her and take her mind off of her sister’s bratty behavior, hm...? Huhm... I wonder if I can find a Rubik's Cube there... Oh! Or maybe one of those... What are they? They’re like, boxes of smooth metal pins... You can put an imprint of your hand or face in it... Those are cool.

Supposedly Kourindou had quite the supply of curated Outside World items. It would be better for finding something than his going to Muenzuka, perhaps. That, and surely Miss Sakuya would prefer that he not dig around in garbage for The Mistress’s gift.

He started to descend when he spotted Suika and Wakasagihime where he had parted from them.

“I’m back!” he told them enthusiastically.

“Hey,” answered Suika with a smile. Wakasagihime waved as her greeting. He noticed at once from Suika’s slouched back and The Princess’s usual shore-resting posture that these two, at least, had worked out their differences.

“We just heard something going BANG, BANG coming from the Mansion. Was there a fight?” Suika asked. He nodded, and Wakasagihime sighed.

“Why do so many youkai fight all the time...” she lamented.

“It’s in most of our blood,” said Suika, thumping her chest while looking at the mermaid. She pointed at the younger woman and observed, “Can’t you fight, too? It’s weak, but, I can feel some kinda power coming from you.”

“You end up having to fight here and there in Gensokyo... I wish it wasn’t like that,” she answered.

“Where’d that fire in your heart go, mermaid!? Did the Lake drown it!?” complained the oni. Wakasagihime shook her head.

“I just ended up feeling easy around you, Madame Suika.”

“Just call me ‘Suika’...” the older girl replied, plainly bothered by the honorific use. Gen smiled and pushed up one of his brows to observe that. She found his use of a similar term adorable, after all.

“Do you mind if I get going, Princess? I have a new assignment from Sakuya,” he said to his friend, who shook her head lightly.

“Go ahead. Just be careful the oni doesn’t rip off one of your arms by accident.”

“I... I won’t do that!” snapped the oni in question. Wakasagihime only gave her a look, centered around a smirk.

“See you soon, Gen!” said the girl, turning from the shore and waving once again. He waved back with chipper gusto, then looked at Suika as she stood up.

“So you two hit it off?” he asked.

“I can hit it off with anyone!” she yelled, more “honest” than boasting. He knew that wasn’t true, and when she saw the look on his face she grumbled and turned her eyes away.

“I’ve got to go to the shop just outside the Forest, but not quite near the village. You know it?”

“Yeah, a pathetic guy lives there.”

“I can’t speak for that, but that’s where I need to be. I don’t feel like flying there. Shall we walk?”

“Y-Yeah! I can spend more time with you that way!”

Whoa, he thought as his heart tightened. He put a hand over his chest and gripped.

“Th-Then—” he spoke abruptly, “let’s –

[] go through the Forest.”

[] take the long way around to the store.”
>> No. 67454
[x] go through the Forest.”

(insert Jojo reference here).
>> No. 67455
[x] take the long way around to the store.”

Just to spend a bit more time with her.
>> No. 67456
[x] take the long way around to the store.”

>> No. 67457
[x] take the long way around to the store.”
>> No. 67458
[x] go through the Forest.”
>> No. 67459
[x] take the long way around to the store.”
>> No. 67460
[x] take the long way around to the store.”

Suika a cute
>> No. 67461
[x] take the long way around to the store.”

Jojo references get me in the mood for long, drawn out journeys that are more indirect than necessary.
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