Anonymous 2008/12/17 (Wed) 18:04 No. 24617 ▼
File 122954064682.jpg - (192.47KB, 734x777 , koakuma.jpg)
"A merry Christmas, Patchouli! God save you!" cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of the young man, who came upon the library so quickly that he realized not the loudness of his voice.
"What a nuisance," said Patchouli. "This is a library!"
So frigid was the girl's reply that the young man took a step back in retreat. But run off and flee, he did not. Heated more by rapid walking in the cold hallways than his shabby old coat, this servant of Scarlet, that he managed a smile befitting the blessed season. His eyes sparkled beyond the darkness within, and his breath smoked again.
"Christmas a nuisance, Patchouli!" said the young man. "You don't mean that, I am sure?"
"It is as you say," said Patchouli. "Merry Christmas indeed. What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You're empty-headed enough."
"Come, then," returned the young man gaily. "What right have you to be gloomy? What reason have you to be bleak? You're learned enough."
Patchouli, having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, simply repeated herself in a drab, emotionless manner, "This is a library!"
The young man simply bowed in reply to the jaded magician. Perhaps she had lost the spirit of wonder among the wisdom that she has amassed over the centuries, or maybe she has simply chosen to ignore it in favor of some calculated and measured principle. Such questions twirled in the mind of the young man, such that even the odd possibility of her being in a poor mood came to mind. But this all mattered little, for his purpose in his coming was not to duel the locked magician with words, but to visit another, more merry soul, that resided in this dusty book room.
"Oh no!" cried a tiny voice. It was the voice a little devil, who's name and presence was oft forgotten in the mansion. She was the librarian and assistant to the wizard of the week, simply named Koakuma, with few distinguishing features aside from her crimson-painted hair and two pairs of bat-wings, with one pair on her back and a smaller pair on her head. Like many inhabitants of Gensokyo, this girl was not human, but that did not make her much more special that the others.
"A merry Christmas to you, my fair little devil," said the young man.
"M-merry Christmas," stammered the girl.
Quickly, she stepped toward the young man, and even faster she placed her mouth by his ear. Blushing bright red like a rose or a cherry, she opened her mouth and managed the littlest of whispers, "Sorry, I had forgotten about today."
"And very well so," said Patchouli sternly. "There is work and much more that needs attention in this place. Or did you forget your duties already?"
"Patchouli!" pleaded the young man.
"Or did you then?" returns Patchouli. "Lady Remilia will hear of such reckless insubordination."
"Remilia likes Christmas," cried the young man. "If it was not so, then why all the rush and clamor over preparations for the banquet and the evening? I have not been long in this place, but I am sure that even here, Christmas-time, when it has come round, has always been thought as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time. It is the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when human and youkai seem by one consent to open their locked-up hearts freely, and to think of the fairies and spirits and other beings below them as they were really fellow companions and friends. That is to say, Patchouli, that though it never taught anyone the power of the elements or the secret of spell cards, I believe that it has done good, and will do good, and I say, God bless it!"
Koakuma involuntarily applauded, dropping the books she was carrying in her excitement. Sensing her master's irritation at her impropriety, she quickly dove down to collect the books.
"I tire of you and the petty sounds you make," said Patchouli. "I believe it is about time that you made haste to depart and spead your Christmas elsewhere and anywhere that is not here. This is a library!"
"Don't be angry, Mistress," whispered Koakuma. "Why don't you enjoy the day with us?"
"You too Koakuma?" cried Patchouli. "Faithful familiar indeed! Keep it! Keep it then! Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."
"But Mistress!" pleaded Koakuma.
"Alright then! Enjoy the day as you will, you sultry band of fools. But not without a task that I have set." said Patchouli. "Every prize has its price, after all."
The magician began to cough in a fit. It took her more than few minutes to recover, but not enough for them to escape unnoticed. After clearing her throat, she turned to face the two servants, friends to each other and foe to her in this foolish business.
"Lady Remilia herself said that she wants a Christmas tree for her party," continued Patchouli, "While I have my own methods, I have little time to spend on merry-making and other such nonsense. Therefore, you two are to bring back one of suitable grandeur to satisfy the selfish vampire girl. You can spend the whole day if you like, but be back by tonight."
The icy tone of her voice thinly veiled the subtle warmth of her message, but before the two could say thanks, the obstinate magician stood from her seat, shaking in anger or embarrassment. It was difficult for either servant to tell which, especially with one such as her.
"Now out! Out! Both of you, out!" cried Patchouli, her cheeks bright red like a tomato.