Anonymous 2009/03/16 (Mon) 15:07 No. 27241 ▼
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"From this point onward, you are free," says Remilia. "You are no longer my Servant, and you are no longer bound to this Mansion."
"I... don't understand," says Grey. "Are you kicking me out?"
The vampire shakes her head. She pulls out something from her dress and places it on the table together with a pen. It takes Grey a few moments to recognize the object.
"A contract?" he says.
"I won't deny that we could still use your help," says Remilia. "However, I can't force you to stay here. Not anymore. I owe you at least this much. That is why I am giving you this choice."
Grey looks at the contract thoughtfully.
"You can leave and find your own destiny," she says. "I'm sure that you can find a way to recover your memories and return home. I can even point you in the right direction."
Remilia pauses for a moment.
"Or, you can stay here and continue working with us," whispers Remilia. "I'm sure that I'm not the only one who is grateful for your help."
Grey pauses to think.
"- with me."
He scratches his head, puzzled.
"Excuse me?" says Grey.
"I asked if you would have a match with me," says the red-haired woman. "I am Hong Meiling, the gatekeeper of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, and I would like to see what you are capable of."
"Well, I dislike unnecessary violence..." mumbles Grey.
"It's just a friendly match," says Meiling as she approaches. "Since you're human, you can even use weapons if you like..."
"I like interesting things. Your stories are interesting. They make me laugh. Falling stars are interesting. I just go 'kyu' and they go boom! Danmaku is interesting. I like the bright colors and sounds. Let's see what else..."
Flandre pauses for a moment before continuing.
"Sweet things are interesting. I like strawberries, manju, and visitors. They make me feel warm inside. Except for ice cream; it's cold, but I like that too."
"I like ice cream too," says Grey, though he doesn't really follow.
"Two? I guess I can have two ice creams, but big sister says it isn't good to eat too much. I hear that you can die if you eat too much, but what does gambling or painting have to do with it? I tried painting before, but the brush broke and I was sad..."
"But you aren't sad now, are you?" he says.
"I'm kinda happy," says the girl with a smile. I like being with big sister. I also like playing with Sakuya and China. Patchy is fun too when she isn't giving a lecture. One time, Marisa came to visit and we played all over the house! She disappeared after a while, but she didn't die, so that makes me happy."
"Err... that's interesting," mumbles Grey nervously.
For a moment, Flandre stays silent as she looks at him closely. Then, she smiles brightly.
"I think I like you, too!"
"A hand mirror?"
"W-w-what the -" stammers Sakuya as she turns around.
The chief maid trips on her feet in confusion, but Grey manages to grab her hand before she falls.
"Careful!" says Grey.
For a moment, the two stare into each other's eyes. Then, Sakuya's eyes widen. She quickly pulls her hand away.
"I-I-I can take care of myself!" cries Sakuya.
She looks away from him quickly.
"B-but thanks, anyway," she whispers.
Sakuya slowly takes his hand and walks a few steps forward. Grey blinks stupidly as he lets her lead the way. Then, without warning, they find themselves standing in front of the entrance to the Scarlet Devil Mansion.
"I have a lot of work to finish, so I'll leave you here," whispers the chief maid.
Before he can reply, she vanishes from sight.
After telling her everything, he lowers his head in shame. Is she going to torture him, or is she going to kill him where he stands?
Patchouli raises one hand over his head as she examines the book in her other hand. She starts chanting some words in an unintelligible language. Grey closes his eyes as he braces himself. Suddenly, a bright flash of light erupts from her hands.
A few moments later, Grey opens his eyes. After finding himself uninjured, he looks up at the magician, puzzled.
"This spell should protect you from most attacks," says Patchouli. "It isn't perfect, but it should last long enough."
"Wait... what? I-I don't understand," mutters Grey.
"I think I can believe Remilia now," whispers the magician. "If it's you, then maybe -"
Exhausted and drained, Patchouli suddenly falls forward into his arms.
"I-I won't let that happen again!" cries Koakuma. "I won't let it happen to you! Even if it means that I have to fight as well!"
"I don't understand," says Grey.
"They knew," whispers the bat-winged girl angrily. "All of them knew, but they did nothing to stop it. But I understand everything now."
Suddenly, Koakuma runs up and embraces him. Her delicate fingers shake nervously, but they hang on to him with determination. Her wings tremble slightly, and he can feel her tiny heartbeat as she pushes herself into his arms.
"I will protect you," she whispers.
A single tear drops down to the floor as she speaks.
"Have you decided?" asks Remilia.
Grey looks up at the vampire girl.
"Yes, I have."