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the more you know
Here's where you'll find the random SDM-related shorts I decide to write in my spare time when I'm procrastinating on an actual update feeling particularly inspired.

Note these shorts could be anywhere from silly little AFT side-stories you don't see in the main story itself, to strange "what if" scenarios using AFT characters but having nothing to do with the story, or they could just be altogether random stuff. If a particular short is "AFT canon" with regards to the vague plot, I'll let you know.

Happy reading~!
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at first i was like
In the not-too-distant present,
in a mansion tall and red,
Some vampires watch a movie show,
right before they go to bed.
No longer part of the human world;
now there’s Incidents to be unfurled,
and danmaku patterns to rehearse.
We’re so glad you came to join us; welcome to the Touhouverse!


“I'll give her stupid movies,
the lamest I can find! (la-la-la)
She’ll show them to her sister dear;
I’m afraid she’s lost her mind~”

Now please take note they still control
where the movies end or begin. (la-la-la)
But they’re too busy facepalming,
to see the mess they’re in!

Touhou Tally:
Sapphire! (Why’m I here?)
Remi! (I’m a star~)
Koakuma! (Fuck you all.)
Flaaaaan! (I'm different!)

If you're wondering why they act this way,
or other plotholes and facts, (la-la-la)
just repeat to yourself, "It's just a short.
Take it easy, and relax…"
With Mystery Vampire Theatre Some-Thousand!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

DM: Okay, Velda, you enter the back room. There’s, uhh, barrels and junk. It smells like old.

Velda: I use Detect Good.

DM: You detect no good in the immediate vicinity.

Velda: You’re sure?

DM: The spell can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it.

Velda: You’re very unhelpful.

DM: Meanwhile, Carlade, you are still in the inn’s common room, serenading the patrons with your harp and beautiful voice. Make a Perform Check.

Carlade: Hmm… 12 plus 21; 33 total. Can I use Fascinate with that roll?

DM: No, because you didn’t tell me you wanted to; no retroactive rolling!

Carlade: Well can I Fascinate now?

DM: No, because you didn’t tell me you wanted to. The patrons are in non-magical awe of your skill and beauty. A few silver coins lay at your feet already. Velda, make a Reflex save.

Velda: For what?

DM: For the tripwire you just pulled.

Velda: I was going to search for traps before doing anything else in that room!

DM: In searching for traps, you inadvertently trigger a tripwire. Velda, make a Reflex Save.

Velda: Grrrmmm… 7.

DM: Seven plus…?

Velda: Plus something; it’s your game, you should know this stuff.

DM: The voice inside your head breaks the fourth wall and dicks with the dungeon master. In just retribution, you fail your Reflex save and find your legs coated with a Tanglefoot Bag!

Velda: …I use Detect Good.

DM: Carlade, one of the patrons makes an off-color remark about the size of your bosoms.

Carlade: I wink at him and make a similar off-color remark stating that I know a wizard who can fix that for us. I then make a Fascinate check.

DM: No, you make a Bluff check, DC 20.

Carlade: Hah… 15 plus win.

DM: The patron is intrigued by your offer. Now make your stupid Fascinate check.

Carlade: 8 plus 21. 29 enough?

DM: Plenty; these NPCs have no lasting appeal and failure for saves. Velda, you detect no good.

Velda: Then I… draw my bastard sword and hack away at the tangle.

DM: How do you want to hack away at it? Angrily? Purposefully? With much apathy? Sensuously?

Velda: Get-it-off-of-me-ily.

DM: Epic Fail check.

Velda: What?

DM: Just roll the dice.

Velda: Umm… oh. 1.

DM: Roll damage.

Velda: O, kay? I got, uhh, 7 plus 5 plus maybe something else? I don’t know.

DM: In a fit of insanity you chop off your own leg. Somehow you still remain entangled.

Velda: Wait, what?!

DM: Carlade, you have the patron’s magically-undivided attention.

Carlade: I use a Suggestion, saying he should follow me to the other side of town where I’ll introduce him to that wizard friend of mine~

DM: DC on that suggestion? Never mind, NPC wouldn’t have passed anyways.

Carlade: Damn straight he wouldn’t have~

Velda: Wait, what about me?! You honestly think I’m stupid enough to chop off my own leg?!

DM: You rolled a 1 on an Epic Fail check. The dice do not lie.

Velda: It’s a pile of goo! How can I possibly miss a pile of goo?!

DM: That fourth-wall-breaking voice in your head just won’t shut up. The Tanglefoot substance somehow drips into your open wound, causing an infection. You are now taking 1 CON damage every 1d6 minutes.

Velda: Oh you’ve got to be bloody kidding me…

Sakuya: Umm, excuse me… adventurers? The movie’s ready to start whenever you are.

Flandre: Oh dang, movie time!

Remilia: We’ll play later, mister NPC~!

Sapphire: This isn’t over, Flandre!

+ + + + + + + + + +

Author’s Note – Timestamps added for your convenience in case you actually want to watch this horrible, horrible film.

+ + + + + + + + + +


Remi: Ahh, New Line Cinema… so sorry you had to be associated with this miserable pile.

Saph: Okay, they’re starting with a back-story voiceover; that’s not a good sign.

Flan: Gotta explain what “mages” are too. Brilliant.

Remi: Ahh, these names are amazing! It’s like I’m really reading Lord of the Rings! Oh wait, no I’m not!

Flan: Dunn, da da daaaaah! Daaah, truumm-pet fan-faaaaaare!

Remi: Mmm, mmm, this Sweetpea Entertainment Casserole is just delish~


Flan: Preeesenting, Dungeons & Dragons: Satan’s Game!

Remi: And now, Jeremy Irons with outstretched arms!

Flan: He died for this movie’s sins.


Remi: Wished he was dead, more like.

Saph: Elorandalum wurdusus, thata Iee joustid maradede upputh…

Flan: Be careful, Jeremy Irons; that painted piece of Styrofoam might be electrified!

Remi: “Yyyes! My career’s over! At lassst…”

Saph: So did they, give that actor too much free blue raspberry bubble gum or…?


Flan: “Uupp, come on fellow hooded monks; time to walk around in circles again.”

Remi: I think you mean “mooks”

Saph: Well in this film I doubt there’s much difference.

Remi: Behold, audience! The entirety of this film’s budget!

Flan: “Aww, I tripped on the script!”

Flan: So in the D&D universe dragon’s fire actually has the magical power to push extras down the stairs.

Remi: “Umm, actually, no, I don’t want to be yours, Jeremy Irons. Go away.”


Flan: Thank you, Captain Obvious; I’m sure the D.D.S. Blue Raspberry is honored to have you at its helm.

Saph: “Ohh, it’s out of batteries already?”

Flan: “I told you we should have spent the extra 200 to make it Masterwork!”

Remi: “Sod off and go suck on a lollipop!”

Flan: So, how many Nat-Twenties do you think he had to roll for that critical hit?


Remi: I’m pretty sure the prop department messed up the order form and bought D19s instead.

Saph: Hmm… I didn’t know that dragons bleed paint. You learn something new every day.

Flan: It makes water burn too! Maybe it was oil-based…

Remi: Truly magical creatures, Sepia Dragons.

Flan: “Nigga pleeease! You done be straight trippin!”

Remi: “I’m tellin yah homes, that be some serious magic n’ shit!”


Flan: “No see, you got your hats, and your hat-nots. I’m a hat!”

Saph: The Magic School? The Magic School?!

Remi: It’s a school for orphaned screenwriters with high hopes and no talent, hoping they can write their own Deus Ex Machina to save their careers.

Flan: Yes, Token Black Guy! Give in to the peer pressure of the white man! Send a powerful message to all your bruthas in da hooood!


Remi: “And now, if you’ll all bow your heads and turn to page 345 in your hymnals, we’ll sing that old classic, ‘Bullshit Thine Peers, Amen’.”

Flan: “Umm, sir, can I have more blue candy lipstick please?”


Saph: So, does that disjointed yelling mean yay, or nay?

Remi: The writers didn’t think that far into this scene.

Flan: Meanwhile, in another folder of the CG artist’s computer…

Remi: “Oh, I’m the pitiable young princess~ Listen to me whine about politics I don’t understand~ Maybe if I’m lucky a dragon will kidnap me!”

Saph: If she’s lucky it’ll eat her.

Flan: You know, the violin chorus is supposed to make this scene moving and all, but all I’m hearing is that old guy’s beard.


Remi: “It is called the Rod of Plot. With it, people with no relation to each other will join together to save your sorry ass. If this world were R-rated, one of them would get you laid.”

Saph: Wow, nice cutaway guys. No time to make a Batman logo?

Flan: Ohh, that full plate armor is soo cutting into his arcane rolls.

Flan: Jeremy Irons, DC 25 on that Charm Person spell.

Remi: “Blast! I failed! Now none of our characters will be charming at all!”


Flan: Meanwhile, in the same folder of the CG artist’s computer…

Remi: Oh just shut up and kiss each other in holy bromance already!

Saph: We’ll make the black guy scream like a wounded rabbit here. It’ll make him more relatable to the target demographic.

Remi: What demographic is that?

Flan: People who were physically wounded from watching this movie.


Remi: Awwww yeeeaah, man hug!

Saph: That’s not really a hug, more of a… shoulder slap.

Remi: You just don’t understand bromance, Sapphy…

Remi: And now, sexy bespectacled librarian with unflattering clothing.

Flan: Objection, no British accent!


Flan: “I’m sorry, Marina, but you must learn to pay attention to my beard! Is it not white? Is it not beardlike?”

Remi: Let’s see here… squishy-spellcaster variety, always looking at the floor, foreshadowing of future self-confidence in one’s self… yeah, she’ll be a main character. Put on her robe and wizard hat.


Saph: So wait… they both have longswords, and they’re… thieves?

Remi: Of course, Saph, “thief” here means generic hero class.

Saph: These aren’t thieves, they’re… middle-aged women shopping with a credit card.

Flan: “My beard senses are tingling!”


Remi: “Now don’t touch anything else!” “But then how can I steal stuff?”

Remi: “I am the sexually-frustrated bookworm, now stop stealing from my grandfather and assume the position!”

Flan: I sense a thinly-veiled sexual joke coming soon.

Saph: Oh… very well done, Flan.

Flan: After a while you just see these things before they happen.


Flan: “If you don’t give me the Pop Rocks I shall be forced to eat your beard like so much cotton candy!”

Remi: “Oh damn, they killed the old man. Well, at least I got two virile young bucks out of the deal.”


Saph: Gods, I haven’t heard this much screaming in a medieval fantasy film since Flandre played The Holy Grail bridge scene on loop for three hours.


Remi: “Aren’t you a little tall for a Dworftrooper?”

Saph: Please, give me a movie where the dwarf isn’t the comic relief.



Flan: “Hmm… I require more blue lemonade…”

Saph: Does this movie care about scene transitions at all?

Flan: No, now shut up, I want to hear what accent the dwarf has. Please be Russian, please be Russian…

Remi: “I’m no longer wearing glasses and my hair is let down, yet I haven’t had sex with any of you yet. Something is very, very wrong.”


Remi: “I… took… lessons, from William… Shatner… to play, this, role.”

Flan: “I’m sorry, Master; I was too busy sucking on a Ring Pop.”


Remi: Little known fact: Jeremy Irons channeled the spirit of Ricardo Montalban here so he could use those same brain-bugs from The Wrath of Khan.

Flan: “No, stop making me consume something that contains less than three tablespoons of sugar!”


Saph: So… Blatant rip-off of the Mos Eisley Cantina?

Remi: Yes. With a far worse band.

Flan: When they said “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” apparently they actually meant “At a time long enough ago so that we’ve stopped touring by the time this movie gets filmed.”


Remi: “So, look guys, the empire’s in a shambles, but if we expect to get through this as a team, you two are going to have to start learning how to put out!”

Flan: “Bitch, please! Don’t go trippin on a nigga like that girl!”

Remi: “Hells yeah, word up man!”


Saph: Presenting the Juvenile Reactions Comedy Troupe, with our special guest, Young Brendan Frasier Impersonator!


Flan: In case the three of them haven’t noticed, there’s totally an awesome dwarf there.

Saph: Did that black guy just flash the librarian a peace sign?

Remi: I’m pretty sure it’s a gang sign; he don’t be appreciatin no hoes on his turf, see?

Flan: “Hey girly-girl, forget that old raisin; check out a real man’s beard!”

Saph: If he doesn’t clean the chicken off that fake thing he won’t have a chance with her.


Flan: “I believe this is satisfactory payment for your weapons-grade Pixie Sticks.”

Remi: Well, whatever accent that dwarf’s trying to affect, it’s definitely not Scottish.


Saph: Confirm this for me, please. He’s attracted to an elf he’s never seen before, ignoring who knows what kind of interracial tensions and complications, just because she’s black?

Flan: Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons: Affirmative Action Edition.

Remi: Fitting that the worst-looking character in the film is the one that’s gotten the most action.

Saph: I think the worst-looking character in the film is the guy with the blue lips, actually.

Remi: My statement still stands. Did you see the magic tentacle go into his ear like that?!

Saph: Euch, Remilia, please!

Flan: I blame myself for that, really.


Remi: Toot toot! All about the Cheeeeeese Wagon!

Flan: “I heard someone say cheese. Thus, I come!”


Saph: “Oh, what, a barfight? Ehh, sure, haven’t had one of those in fifteen minutes.”

Remi: Way to be true to your stereotype, Token Black; you know all you wanted to do was tap that ass.

Flan: Knight falls… and no one’s around to hear him, so he makes no noise.


Saph: Oh, good, I was just wondering where the irrational panic and nonsensical rationalizations had gone.

Flan: Ahh, no! Plot! My face, my face!

Remi: “Have sex with me.”

Saph: All this time the dwarf’s just thinking, “Damn kids, get off my lawn so I can sleep on it.”


Remi: See here children? This is called PG-13. It means you can insinuate whatever you want, but you won’t see a thing. And unfortunately the librarian has yet to realize this. What a pity.

Saph: The childish whimpering has yet to help matters.

Remi: “Have sex with me.”

Flan: “Ack, mi’laddy, don’ feal soh daun! Heere, have soom chicken.”


Saph: Eventually reverse-psychology will become so overdone the protagonist will switch back to normal psychology and it’ll be a revolutionary new concept!

Flan: Is that… is that supposed to be Chris Rock?!

Remi: I think that’s supposed to be The Artist Formerly Known As Ruby Red.

Remi: “Have sex with me.”


Flan: “I am a dwarf. I have a red beard. Your quest is meaningless to me.”

Saph: Oh, there’s that black chick again. Totally not a spy for that one guy that’ll convert to the side of good later on in the film.

Remi: Welcome to the set of a movie you’re not supposed to be in.


Flan: GASP! It’s a Klingon!

Saph: These are the best thieves I’ve ever seen.

Flan: Yeah, but they still don’t know how to use Hide In Plain Sight.

Saph: It seems to be working for them so far.

Flan: Forty years of political allegory utterly destroyed with the new information that Klingons are in fact a metaphor for the British, not the Russians.


Flan: “Remember how I said I had hats? Yeah, that’s a lie; they’re actually a pair of boots.”

Saph: All right, stealing a gold candelabra I can see, but a dead cat?

Remi: I find it rather brilliant. Who’d report that their dead cat has been stolen?


Saph: And so the heroes discovered the secret location of the Thieves’ Guild; the subway station on Seventh and Main.

Flan: “Is this shit on the level homedog?”

Remi: “Nigga you know it is!”



Flan: “We’ll teach you to pretend that this is a good movie! Take ‘em away!”

Saph: “No! My feeble scripted struggling is useless against aluminum scimitars!”

Flan: What do you think, sis: straight or gay?

Remi: Gay. He’s totally gay.

Saph: He just spanked her butt!


Remi: It’s a cover; there was no feeling in those fingers.

Flan: I think he was checking to see if she was ripe, like that watermelon guy on the right.

Saph: Thanks for drawing my attention, Flandre; now I won’t be able to sleep tonight.


Flan: Galstaff, you have entered the door to the north. You are now by yourself, in a dark room.

Remi: I search for traps!

Flan: There is a trap aimed directly at your crotch.

Remi: I walk into it blindly!

Flan: You are saved by the grace of the Script Master.


Remi: I roll a Sleight of Hand check to steal this scene from Indiana Jones!

Flan: It fails! You steal this scene from The Mummy instead!


Saph: Would swinging across guillotines be a Use Rope check or just Reflex?

Flan: I think it’s actually a Knowledge: Legend of Zelda check.

Flan: I predict lasers here.

Remi: No, no, spikes and closing walls.

Saph: Hah, both wrong, it was fire!

Remi: Amazing; first time he ever drew his sword all movie.


Remi: Spoke too soon, Sapphy; I told you closing walls.

Flan: All right I lied; you can steal this scene from Indiana Jones after all.


Flan: “Ahh, man, there’s only three minutes left before my tater tot casserole burns!”

Remi: Ohohoho, look at that, Saph! Spikes too! Where is your movie now?

Saph: Direct-to-video, where it belongs.


Saph: You know, this maze really isn’t much of a maze. More a, vague path?

Flan: Gauntlet, perhaps?

Flan: Only three traps? Come on.

Remi: They couldn’t afford four; too much money spent on gay people’s wardrobes.

Saph: “Mmmyes, yes, I do believe I shall backstab you now. Mmmyes, indeeeed…”


Remi: He seems to have lost more than his hair when he went bald.

Flan: Brain went too… such a pity.

Flan: “My name… is Captain Obvious. And I, need, more, antifreeze!”


Saph: I refuse to believe that this character is giving the illusion of being intelligent. The librarian must have cast a spell on him.


Remi: “Ungh, ungh, if I crawl on the floor like this maybe some guy will notice me for once!”

Saph: “Yeah, that’s a very nice boot, but you missed my hand.”

Flan: Improvised weapon penalty! He can’t possibly have a high enough Attack roll to hit anything but the narrow side of a barn!

Remi: “Come with me if you want to live, off gummy worms for the rest of your life.”

Saph: Dungeons and Dragons; where the whack-a-mole whacks back.


Flan: Yes, what about the dwarf?! This movie is pointless without him!

Remi: “Oh no, a forked road! If only I’d traversed a maze recently, I’d know how to deal with this!”

Saph: This plot progression was getting boring anyways; let’s try a new one.

Flan: Dungeons and Dragons; where elves are famous for using crossbows.


Flan: “I was told elves have no emotions, so there’s no reason for me to try and act in this movie.”

Remi: Damn, it’s like they dipped two funnels in chrome and strapped them to her chest.


Flan: “Mirror mirror on the wall; you’re not helping this film at all.”

Remi: “All right, Princess, just face the teleprompter and read it verbatim; we’ll film you from this angle so the audience can’t see it.”

Saph: Same forest, same dwarf, still thinking “Get of my lawn”.


Flan: I just love pointless one-second pauses in sentences, don’t you?

Flan: “Yeah, I wanted my armor dipped in chocolate, but they said molten plastic was cheaper.”

Remi: “I’ll tell you if you sleep with me; it’s a win-win!”

Saph: No, not the chair; you’ll ruin the Feng Shui of the room!


Remi: “No, not mage, mange. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that?”

Flan: “And you’re a disgrace to YO FACE!”

Remi: “Hell yeah nigga!”


Flan: “And dying in this movie’s a bad thing… why? Honestly, you’ll last at least another thirty minutes at this rate.”

Remi: “Umm, excuse me… does this count as sex?”

Flan: Tentacle mind-rape? Yeah, I think so.


Remi: See, without us, no one would link this scene as a parallel to fornication.

Flan: You’d be surprised.

Flan: “Now to go find a key made entirely out of red Jell-O.”

Remi: “So… was it good for you too?”


Flan: Crying dwarf… c-c-crying, dw-dwarf…!

Remi: Ack, Flan, stop hugging me!


Flan: Dang, so, like, you get those shin guards down at the MC Sports, or the Wal-Mart?

Saph: “I’m sorry, but the Earth is dead. It has no pulse.”

Flan: “So, if you veer off to the left side of the road and hit the nitro box, you can jump over the canal and shave three seconds off your lap time.”


Remi: “Just shut up and sleep with me; hearing you talk is ruining my good vibes.”

Flan: “Hmm, let’s see… Bat-Hooks, Bat-Ropes, Bat-Plot…”

Flan: “Eyum ah lepreekauhn!”


Remi: Somewhere, a basement-dwelling D&D fan is touching himself because they stuck a Beholder in this shot.

Saph: I’m getting a little tired of these convenient open doorways just when the camera can’t pan any more to the right.


Flan: “You cover the strong side, I’ll thread the needle down the middle. Break!”

Saph: No, the rolling does not help.

Flan: In case you didn’t know, audience, this scene means one of them is going to be dying in the next ten minutes.

Remi: Alert, alert! Elf touching a dwarf, I repeat, elf touching a dwarf!

Flan: “You smell like chicken… and spirit gum.”


Remi: “Oh I just love what you’ve done with the place! How do you make the rock look so fake?”

Saph: “Well, nobody home, might as well steal everything that’s nailed down and leave the rest.”


Flan: Yeah, sorry, but that’s just magical cane sugar; don’t eat it or you’ll never be able to quit.

Remi: “I told you, a ten-foot deep shag rug is too thick!


Flan: That key unlocks the door to a better movie. Unfortunately it is ignored so he can save the princess.

Remi: “Oh thank God you’re here; I thought I was going to be a virgin forever!”


Saph: “Yeah. I put on my armor during the cutaway. I’m that good.”

Remi: “You look like corn dog batter. I think I’ll lick you now.”

Flan: “This is for all those times I could have been eating Blue Sno Cones and had to chase you instead!”

Saph: I forget; is he supposed to be a Mage, a Blackguard, or just some guy who can get his throat slit?

Remi: At this point I think even the director forgot the answer to that.

Flan: Ahh, now here you see the fabled “Poser Backhand Grip”. While it appears that the hero is good enough to hold his sword backwards, in reality he is just a douche.
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Saph: He must be the ugly child of the big guy from Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Remi: Hopefully Vin Diesel will never stoop this low.


Saph: “All right, going down the stairs, stairs, stairs, stairs—ahh, there’s my dignity!”


Remi: “Oh no, I’ve run into a backdrop!”

Flan: “C’mon cracka, make somtin happen!”

Saph: “The circle is complete. When I last met you I was but a plot device, now I am the antagonist.”


Remi: “Give me the Dragon’s Eye… I might be persuaded to not treat it like a giant gumball.”

Flan: So the white guy’s dressed in black armor, and the black guy’s dressed in white slop. Where’s your race war now?

Saph: I can really do without all the dramatic tension here.

Flan: Wait, there’s dramatic tension?! Since when?!


Remi: This is the point where a proper villain would saying something like, “Take one more step and I’ll kill him.” Evil just isn’t what it used to be.

Saph: There’s your race war, Flandre.

Flan: Ahh, big deal, he wasn’t the genuine comic relief; he’s expendable.

Remi: He left the stage as he entered it; a black pawn to the white king.

Saph: Do you think anyone’s going to be resentful at all this black/white bashing?

Flan: Ehh, not really. If they’re watching this movie they’ve got other problems.


Saph: Looks like the sword got deflected by his plot armor there.

Flan: “I’m not giving you anything; I stole it first!”


Remi: You know, I always wondered what a plothole actually looked like.

Saph: “Getting dizzy yet? No? Let’s spin the camera around the corpse some more.”

Flan: “Feel empathy for the dead token black guy! Feel it I say! Why aren’t you crying?!”


Remi: Ahh shit, this girl again?

Saph: I told you; they don’t know what a scene transition is.

Flan: I changed my mind; let’s go stare at the dead guy some more.


Remi: Proving once again that she is unable to act, Princess No-Name continues her horrible grievances by also stealing Queen Amidala’s clothes from a movie that shall not be named.

Saph: I’m having a very hard time deciding what kind of government this nation’s even run on.

Flan: A poorly-written one. Their constitution was drafted during lunch on a napkin.

Remi: What’s Jeremy Irons even supposed to be saying here? Scar didn’t talk this much.

Flan: I bet he’s secretly pretending he’s back in Die Hard right now.


Remi: “Hah, what now bitch? That’s right, I pointed my finger at you!”

Flan: You know, it’s not an ultimatum if you don’t tell her the other option. Relinquish your authority or what? Or get pointed at some more?

Saph: She’s really stretching her vocabulary here; I’m surprised the phrase “unscrupulous charlatan” even exists in this world.

Remi: I’m surprised she can even pronounce it.


Saph: So right about now all the old guys are asking each other, “So yeah, heck with this; cold cuts in the break room?”

Remi: Come on Jeremy Irons! Just move your fingers out a little bit and you’ll be impersonating Nixon! People believed in him!

Flan: Meanwhile, in a better part of the plot with a cheaper set…

Remi: Hee hee hee… ‘plot’.

Saph: “Amazing! It’s Halloweentown!”


Remi: “Wait, the old man elf gets to use Lay On Hands on my love interest?! Damn it all, what do I have to do to get laid around here?!”

Flan: Be in any softcore porno ever made, which is where you’re going after this movie tanks.

Saph: “Thank you, Leonard Nemoy!”

Remi: Notice the scant three inch difference in height between the dwarf and the elf.

Flan: He’s wearing a helmet, and he’s not in the foreground.


Remi: Time for the heartwarming moral message about unity and caring for the environment; feel free to step outside for a smoke here.

Saph: “No! I can’t give up! The plot demands that I slog onwards for another twenty minutes minimum!”


Flan: And the dwarf raises his eyebrow skeptically. Coincidence?

Remi: “Hey hey, hero-man~ I sense a lull in the plot; wanna mess around~?”

Saph: “This green-screen is just, so fascinating.”

Flan: Sounds like a good cause to me; 5 to 1 odds against.


Remi: “The hell with politics; let’s cap some asses!”

Flan: “Hells yeah ho—oh wait. I can’t say nuttin. I dead.”

Saph: “Nnnnnnot making the connection here, sorry.”

Flan: “She’ll even lose her acting career if you don’t keep going!”


Remi: Booooobs! Show us your boooooobs!

Saph: I wonder how long that nature sounds loop runs for. Five seconds?

Flan: Now this is some Grade-A lame emotion here. You can’t just pick that talent off the street; this mediocrity comes straight from the heart, girls.


Remi: “So quit your whining, sit down, shut up, and take off your clothes.”

Remi: That’s the best compliment you can come up with? “For a mage, you’re pretty smart”? What is this, I don’t even…

Saph: The main characters kissed; and there was much rejoicing.

Remi: And then they did it in the dirt like dogs. And the imp on the tree branch watched.


Saph: “Woooow… Does it cut through concrete as if it were warm butter?”

Flan: These two actors were paid in sandwiches to ad-lib gibberish for about ten seconds and wear a skull on their face.

Remi: The director didn’t even have the decency to give them a full skull; broke it apart and gave half to each.

Flan: “Let me just check the map heeere… yup, we’re lost.”

Remi: “Dungeon? Oh boy, I hope there’s dragons too!”

Saph: Considering how close they’ve been to the source material, I doubt it.


Flan: Sorry, no dungeon-crawling for you three. Your beard’s too red, your boobs are too pointy, and your character is too pointless.

Remi: “Oh, and Ridley…?” “Yeah?” “…Last night was wonderful.”


Flan: It’s a lantern, beer stein, and accordion all in one!

Saph: Someone left the toilet running at the back of this cave.

Remi: Dramatic violin flare with no resolution? Blasphemy!


Saph: Dungeons and Dragons: mineral oil fog when you need it the most.

Flan: 9 out of 10 people prefer dragons with their dungeons. This film is dedicated to the holdout. Lousy ingrate.

Flan: “I can see clearly now, my brain is gone~!”


Remi: See, it’s not actually a dragon’s hoard; this is just some stock garage sale footage they put a yellow filter on.

Flan: At least there’s no guns from random bad guys for him to blatantly ignore and throw away like burnt matches.


Saph: How much says that skeleton wakes up within the next minute?

Flan: Nothing; it’s too predictable.

Remi: “What are you?” “The last director who tried to make a D&D film.”


Remi: Mind if we shut up? This orchestral piece isn’t the best, but at least someone lame isn’t talking over it for once.

Fran: I’m good; go ahead.


Saph: And now for something completely different: dragons!

Flan: No, Jeremy Irons, you don’t want to cast Fireball. You want to cast, Magic Missile!

Saph: Do I see this happening?

Flan: You’re not there; you’re getting drunk!

Remi: God-willing she is.


Flan: Behold! The Gold Dragons of the world, ancient wisdoms untold, controlled by a no-talent actress with a piece of Styrofoam!

Saph: At least there’s dragons now.


Flan: “Sssso good of you to return with my Candy Cane of Eternal Glucose.”

Remi: “Don’t hurt her! She puts out!”


Saph: Does anyone else see the neon sign flashing behind Captain Obvious that says “I’m obviously going to kill them all”?

Remi: Nah, protagonist-boy’s too busy staring at her tits.

Flan: I’m too busy staring at that dwarf. Why he isn’t biting off kneecaps right now I’ll never know.

Saph: “This is for being racist!”


Saph: “I’m sorry, hard-working soldier, but you have my axe.”

Flan: What is a dwarf, without his axe?

Remi: A Halfling.

Remi: “Bitch you are still in mah way!”

Flan: Has that woman been of any use the entire movie?

Saph: I think she wore glasses at one point. But we forgot about that.

Flan: “My Styrofoam axe isn’t sturdy enough to hit you with the blade, so I’ll just sideswipe you a bit!”

Remi: “Ridley, nooo! How will I get it off if you go and kill yourself?! Oh, wait…”


Flan: “It is my presssscioussssss… You cccannnnotttt have it.”

Remi: “But I want it!” said Jeremy Irons.

Flan: “Oh, all right then, here you go.”


Saph: Wait… so the no-talent-princess gets to ride a dragon into battle?! I have a number of problems with this.

Flan: For one, she didn’t take the Mounted Combat feat!

Remi: And for two, she’s too boring to be that kinky!

Saph: Wait… what?


Remi: Ahh, there he goes again, pretending he’s bilingual.

Flan: Order now and your Rod of Red Dragon Control will come with the added feature of Red Dragon Summoning! No Jeremy Irons should be left without it!

Remi: “Fly, my pretties, fly, fly~”

Flan: “I am no longer inhabited by the spirit of St. Sugar. This makes me sad; I think I’ll kill you for a while.”


Saph: George Lucas would be proud.

Remi: “Hey, director man, can I make a Bluff check to be awesome in this scene?”

Flan: “Let me check; awww, too bad, you rolled the D&D movie. That’s a fail.”

Saph: So I guess that whole redemption subplot was pointless after all.

Flan: He died as he lived: with perpetually blue lips.


Flan: Wait… that dragon just bitch-slapped that other dragon! Swweeet~

Remi: Aaaand now he’s dead.

Flan: Protagonist used Tackle! It’s not very effective…

Remi: It wasn’t very effective the last five times he tried it either.


Saph: I will go on the record to say that an all powerful mage who can control a legion of dragons, fighting some punk kid one-handed with a stick, is one of the worst ideas for a final confrontation ever.

Flan: There’ve been worse.

Saph: Name one.

Flan & Remi: The Final Sacrifice.

Flan: Cameo appearances of minor characters the plot has no use for! How I’ve missed you!


Remi: Wake me when Jeremy Irons either stops laughing, or dies.

Flan: And Ridley, with the power of Heart!

Remi: Worst ability ever. I don’t care if the Western world values it; it’s passé.

Flan: Eastern world values it too, sorry to say.


Flan: Shut him up, or I will.

Remi: No force on Earth can stop a B-movie villain from monologing.

Saph: Even in a fake foreign language?

Remi: Oh, no, at that point he’ll just forget his lines by himself.

Flan: Are we there yet?

Saph; Almost; let the villain receive his comeuppance.


Flan: Are we there yet?

Remi: “Do we have the budget for another wide-angle shot with all the cast? No? Okay, roll it anyways.”

Saph: I have to say, that chain mail wedding veil does not match her dress.

Flan: Are we there yet?


Flan: Wow, it’s Constantinople!

Remi: “People of this graveyard! I do declare that you are now, all, equal!”

Saph: “Yeah; I’m the Fonzie. Stole his jacket and everything.”

Flan: Of course your grave’s going to blow over in the next high wind, but hey! At least you died for nothing!


Remi: He’s in the afterlife for Neutral-Black costars, now.

Remi: “Yeah, I got my hairbun back, but for some reason my glasses still cease to exist, like they just vaporize whenever I leave the library.”

Saph: Same forest, same dwarf, still thinking “Get off my lawn.”


Flan: When suddenly, Obi-Wan Kenobi appears to tell them that there’s another Skywalker!

Remi: I’ll bet the orchestra’s sick of playing this same fanfare by now.

Saph: “This-ruby-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds.”


Flan: “All right, all together now: Quack… quack… quack… quack, quack, quack quack!”

Remi: And so it was written that they would all magically disappear, returning as porn stars, crack addicts, or both. Jeremy Irons would later go on to star in such movies as The Time Machine and Eragon.

Flan: Where did it all go so wrong…?

Saph: Well that was a waste of one hour and forty minutes.

Remi: Courtney Solomon, you have shamed the brotherhood of directors this day.

Flan: Yes, writer Topper Lilien; I can top that.

Remi: Directed and produced by Courtney Solomon! It sounded like such a good idea at the time.


Flan: Tom Hammel, the alias Mark Hamill went by so as not to be associated in any way with this film, except for right now.

Saph: At this point I’m pretty sure the royalties from Star Wars have long since dried up.

Remi: “And the silver medal for Executive Producing goes to… anyone but Joel Silver!”

Flan: I blame Doug Milsome for shooting those two characters black.

Remi: I blame Doug Milsome for shooting everyone but those two characters white.

Flan: Co-produced by Ann Flagellum, Annie Flagellum, and the 3 billion other Flagellum sisters living in Courney Solomon’s colon.

Saph: Why did they even bother to “base” this movie on the Wizards of the Coast property, anyways? Wouldn’t the royalties’ cost even out the money they’d make from attaching the name?

Remi: Music by Justin Caine Burnett… Because unless you’re John Williams, you need three names to be taken seriously.

Flan: But… Danny Elfman!


Remi: This is a list of “Soon to be appearing in Femalien 3: The Hard Ride Home.”

Saph: I still have no idea why you bothered to watch the original, Remilia. It’s smut!

Remi: But it’s good smut!

Flan: Softcore pornography! Less filling, tastes great!

Saph: Two people died to make this film. Their sacrifices shall not be mourned.

Flan: I have to say; really impressed with the performance of Orc #2

Remi: No no no, “Another Mage” swept him under the table.


Flan: Man, whoever put together the Microsoft Word document for this credit reel really needs to work on their formatting.

Remi: I’m pretty sure they just used Notepad and changed the font in post.

Remi: Right there! That’s the point at which Justin Caine Burnett gave up and just started Xeroxing the score to The Imperial March!


Flan: “Igor is good electrician; make much sparks for Master!”

Remi: So girls, what do you think? One star? Half a star?

Saph: I think I’ll give it two-thirds of a star.

Flan: I’ll give it a red dwarf, a spoonful of sugar, and seventeen copper.


Remi: Uggh, they filmed this in Perth; I can’t believe Australia let them out of the U.S. Embassy.

Flan: This film really flew down under the radar.

Saph: That… that was horrible, Flandre.

Flan: Flat Earth Productions Incorporated; so unoriginal we missed nine centuries worth of plot devices.


Remi: Oooh, the people responsible for Damodar’s Tentacles; I think I’ll have Carlade visit those wizards next~

Flan: The wizards reveal themselves to be raging homosexuals; your clitoris is an eyesore to them.

Remi: I use Fascinate.

Flan: Fails hard. You are chased off the premises by angry old men in purple tights. Velda, you’ve managed to peel yourself free from the Tanglefoot Bag. As an added bonus, you now have Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword. You are now dual-wielding the aforementioned sword and your severed leg.

Saph: I use Detect Good.

Flan: Your hands are full; you cannot proffer your unholy symbol.

Saph: Fine; I sheathe my sword and use Detect Good.

Flan: You sense absolutely nothing good in this movie.


Remi: Wait, now they’re saying it was filmed on location in the Czech Republic? Make up your minds!

Flan: And now presenting the rest of the Hollywood phonebook!

Saph: “No dragons were hurt or injured during the filming of this motion picture.” That’s very comforting to know, actually.

Remi: All right, screw this, I’m going to bed.

Flan: Can I sleep with you tonight? This movie’s going to give me nightmares

Saph: Make it three; the last thing I want to see before I go to bed is definitely not Jeremy Irons’ wrinkled face.

Remi: Oh, fine, fine, but only if I get to pick the movie next time.

Koishi: Brokeback Mountain! Brokeback Mountain!

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Made me laugh hard. Brofist.

I need to acquire the D&D movie so I can watch it while reading these.

Koishi spoiler? I don't see how because SDM isn't in Gensokyo yet, but I'm sure hell is connected to the outside somewhere.
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>Koishi: Brokeback Mountain! Brokeback Mountain!


And was it really 140 minutes? The things you go through for us.
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>Remi: And now, sexy bespectacled librarian with unflattering clothing.
>Flan: Objection, no British accent!
They can't all be Patchouli.

QFT. Dwarves are awesome.
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You just took a bunch of my favorite things in the entire world and blended them together into a huge mesh of hilarious. I love your Flan, and your Remi, and your Sapphire, and I think I love you. I'm not saying anything else because if I did I would be commenting on every single line in there. The last thing I'm going to say about it is you are incredible.
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This. Flan is awesome. Want more.
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>Resisting the tickling urge to rebut, I let the girl be and made my way to the cool basement hallways. A little wave of nostalgia hit me as I remembered waking up to these hallways for month after month, always cool and always quiet. Still, the truth is that I never had liked a room with no windows, which is why I’d finally worked up the courage to ask Remilia if I could move to the fourth floor. Surprisingly enough for me she agreed in a heartbeat; that wasn’t the embarrassing part. The embarrassing part was asking Monica if she wanted to move in with me too.

>Unfortunately, that is most definitely another story for another time, and frankly one only Remilia could tell with great justice. Personally I’m just glad Sakuya made it out of the ordeal with her decency mostly intact. I wish I could say the same for Thérèse, but… well, she’s never had much decency to begin with.

Please write this next?
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Wow. Just wow. I forced myself not to read this until I got home and dredged up a copy of the film. This makes it so much more watch-able.

I was laughing so hard during the main tentacle scene I kept having to replay it.

>To bad, you rolled the D&D movie. That's a fail.
That was just... perfect.
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> Remi: “Have sex with me.”

Anonymous: "Don't mind if I do, now bend over."
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>Made me laugh hard. Brofist.
I’m not lying, either; the characters actually brofist there. Somewhere, Unzan is glaring through his Photoshopped glasses.

>Koishi spoiler? I don't see how because SDM isn't in Gensokyo yet, but I'm sure hell is connected to the outside somewhere.
I respond to you with the following:

>If you're wondering why they act this way, or other plotholes and facts, just repeat to yourself, "It's just a short. Take it easy, and relax…"

1 hour, 40 minutes, but yeah. After the first few minutes it ceased to be work; I could have cared less that it took me 8 hours to get through it. Long, but so totally worth it.

And I couldn’t resist the Koishi hijack. Considering that’s not the Koishi you’ll be getting in AFT anyways.

>They can't all be Patchouli.
QFT, indeed~

And you, also, are incredible. Authors can say whatever they want about “writing for themselves and themselves alone,” but at the end of the day if what you do makes other people smile, you can’t help but smile yourself. Thank you so much.

>and I think I love you.
You know, sometimes I wonder how many of Anon’s theoretical babies I’d have to have with all the love going around. Undignified, but it’d be a fun ride while it lasted. Obviously you know what I mean; I don’t need to insinuate anything~

I’d love to, but I’d have to plan the scene out to make it appropriately and embarrassingly cute, which would take time. You’ll see it eventually, but not right now. I’ve already got another short in the works that everyone should at least appreciate, if not outright enjoy. Hopefully I’ll have it up by the weekend.

I think I’ll be doing the MVTSK for Conan The Destroyer soon, too. These things write themselves once I put the movie in, and it’s a good distraction.

I’m surprised you dredged it up at all. But it makes me feel warm inside to know that at least one person did.

No, not warm like that! Get those tentacles out of your mind, then get your mind out of the gutter!

Anonymous in DnDMovieLand. I can see the beginnings of a horrible CYOA already…
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File 128055072379.jpg - (273.99KB, 850x850, SikieikiKomachi.jpg)
Thought I’d try my hand at a bit more serious, so-called “high brow” style of writing for this one. I’m sorry if the prose feels a little purple or preachy; I tried to make it sort of ambiguous-yet-purposeful without going over the top, but it’s a hard line to see. Comments/criticism of the style would be most appreciated!

This short story is part of A Fairy’s Tale canon. As a fair warning, this contains some material that is meta-knowledge with respect to AFT, and so reading it might affect how you see the rest of the main story. If you’re unsure about it, maybe you’ll want to wait until AFT is completely finished, and then come back and read this. Just a suggestion; take it or leave it.

If enough people find this satisfying, I may write a continuation.

>>40408, >>40410, and >>40411, your cry did not fall on deaf ears.

Really this is just an excuse to write Sikieiki and Komachi, since I probably won’t ever get a chance to write them anywhere else.

Sticking a formatting line here to try and not let the story text show in the preview.

And another one here too.

One more to be safe. Here we go now…


At the edge of the world, at the border of life and death, there is a river.

To the West, it is called the Styx. To the East, it is called the Sanzu. Both respect and fear it, for no soul that once lived may ever cross back again once they traverse across. It flows without flowing, ripples without rippling, covered in an endless mist that blots out night and day, rain and sun, the passing of seasons; time itself has little meaning here. Here there is no sorrow, nor joy, nor anger, nor fear. The law of the living does not apply here, but neither does the law of the dead. There is only questioning… understanding… acceptance… and the crossing. Souls wander aimlessly across the banks of the river, stretching out infinitely either to the right or to the left. They wait, in a trance, for someone to ferry them across, to bring order to the bland chaos they now exist in. Dour boats slide back and forth through the mist, silently ferrying but one at a time through the mists of the afterlife.

A soul waits by the edge of the river of death, newly arrived from whatever life it once had. It appears as but a shadow of a human, a dense haze barely more noticeable than the mist around it. It does not notice the other souls nearby, nor the field behind it. It sees only the water before it, and wonders where it is. It remembers its past, its former life, even the very moment it passed on from life. Though it knows unquestionably that it must cross the river in front of it, its mind is a blur of how it knows this, why it must cross, and why it is here at all. It is given ample time to ponder upon these things while it waits for a vessel to carry it across.

Today, the ferry is late. Very late, indeed.

New souls arrive and depart around this entity as it waits untiringly for its turn to cross the tepid waters. It had no knowledge of which ferries around it are “late” and which are “early”, and in fact does not even know the other ferryman’s crafts on the water exist; only that it must wait, for it has nothing else to do in this quiet realm. It has quickly accepted its place, and knows that wherever it may be now, it is pointless to worry.

Finally, a craft the soul can see leisurely approaches the shore. It is an austere thing, strongly built but without ornamentation, the old wood hull a dark weatherworn brown. The soul is reminded of the lifeboats once used by ancient ships, and realizes the ingenious similarly of circumstance between them. In contrast the craft’s pilot is a striking figure of a woman, taller than the tallest of humans, with hair like a rose, eyes like wine, dress like the snow and coat like the sea. The woman plunges the shaft of a monumental scythe into the water, with which she rows the boat to shore.

For a longer time still the ferrywoman waits by the grey beach, leaning on her scythe casually as she watches the lost soul. Her mood is hardly as grey as the world around her, but her pace is just as leisurely. Souls here have no need for time and haste, so why is there any need for her to rush? A captain of the waters of death must learn to be at ease and appreciate one’s existence, lest they become as dead and languid as the souls they ferry; this is her philosophy.

“Take all the time ya need,” she says easily, speaking in a tongue that none on Earth have ever learned, but all still understand regardless. Her voice is loud and jovial, yet terrifying to hear. “I’m not goin’ anywhere without ya.”

The soul looks into the boat, confused but not unsure. It knows that this boat it the only way it can cross the river, and it must cross the river… but it does not understand. It does not understand why this river is here, or why this large woman is speaking to it as if she is but an plain, earthly chauffer. It did not expect these sort of things to happen after it had died, for it believed in something rather different. Inevitably, the soul steps into the boat, and the ferrywoman shoves her scythe into the shore, pushing them both out into the smoky waters. Soon the grey banks disappear into the fog, and the two creatures on the boat are swallowed up by a sea of faintly-shining mist.

“Ahhhh~ Nice day, isn’t it?” the woman asks out of the blue, nonchalantly plunging her scythe in and out of the river as she carries them both further and further into the unknown. “Eyup, hardly any folk at all today. D’ya think some self-help guru came out with a new book? Would sure cut down on all the suicides, I tell ya what. Uuggh, an’ don’t get me started with all those cults that wanna ascend to their god faster or whatever. As least have the decency ta’ do it in some other part-a’ the world!”

The soul tries to talk, but soon discovers that it has forgotten how. The words are in its mind, on the very tip of its tongue, but no matter how it tries nothing reaches the ears of the ferrywoman, or even its own ears. It is a tolerant soul, and knows that in this place it cannot ask for much, but all that it has seen contrasts starkly with all that it has been taught. Where is Hell, and where is Heaven? Was death not supposed to lead to either an eternity of salvation or an eternity of damnation? What is this river, this boat and this large woman with the jolly voice and carefree demeanor? It is neither suffering, nor a paradise…

The giant of a woman continues to chat aimlessly, paying the soul hardly a glance at all. She has ferried millions upon millions in her endless life, and it is not the souls but her own chatter that breaks the monotony of her post. “M’just glad I don’t gotta worry about any-a your wars right now. Nothin’ but work-work-work them are. Bad enough you gotta hate each other without gettin’ me involved. Do you humans ever once think about poor Komachi when you’re wavin’ your sticks at each other? I bet you don’t. I’m a person too ya know! You know how hard it is ta’ go back an’ forth for couple-ten-thousand trips? A-course,” this Komachi adds with a sparkle in her eyes, “half the time I’ll just dump ‘em in the river once they can’t see the shore. Out-a sight out-a mind, heh heh~ But don’t tell Yamada that, or she’ll have me fishin’ ‘em all back out again!”

The ghostly figure has hardly any idea what “Komachi” is talking about, or who “Yamada” is, but it nods acceptingly and endures its journey in the little boat. This cannot possibly be Heaven, it thinks to itself. In Heaven there is only joy and peace, and no room for despair or confusion. As it sighs, it can only conclude that the place it has found itself is Hell, and this ghostly boat ride the taunting last vestiges of the last moments of peace it will ever know. It is at a loss for words or thought. How? And why? It followed the creed of its belief when alive, and knew undoubtedly it would be saved, no matter what death befell it, or when. Why then has Heaven been denied to it…?

The woman called Komachi eventually draws her scythe out of the water and lays it in the boat. It is strange, the ghostly soul thinks, that the scythe’s handle could reach the bottom of the river when now it appears no longer the ferrywoman is tall. Some form of magic, it concludes, and pays it no more mind. The woman then stretches her strong arms behind her head and sits down at the helm of the boat, sprawling out like a cat on a carpet. Though her size is immense, for some reason the boat does not appear cramped.

“Mmmm, that’s more like it~ Can’t tell ya how boring this gets. Baaaack and foooorth, baaaack and foooorth, and y’all don’t say nothin’, so what else am I supposed to do? You’re good quiet folk, though; never really complain, never try and jump out; makes my job even easier still~ ‘Course I dunno what y’all did when you’re alive; maybe you’re one of those people who kill even more than yourself and make my day even longer!” She glowers momentarily, but it is of little consequence, and within seconds she is back to her jolly self. “But that’s all back in your world. You’re in our world now. Our rules. Can’t run away from our rules forever~ An’ now it’s time to pay the piper.”

She holds out a massive hand the large as a dinner dish towards the confused soul, beckoning for it to pay its fare. Again, the soul knows this unerringly; it must pay Komachi the toll, or Komachi will cast it into the river, and it will never reach the other side. But it must reach the other side. It reaches into its ethereal pocket, where it knew its human body had stored no money, and yet pulls out a handful of small coins. Some round, some polygonal, copper and gold and silver and stone, some with holes and some with scalloped edges. None are any type or denomination the soul has seen before, but still all have on them writings and figures like any coin would have, stamped in a fashion only the ferrywoman of death can transcribe. The soul does not understand; what do these coins mean, and where did they come from, and why must a soul pay its way into Hell? Surely no man or woman ever could buy their way into the afterlife with pitiful, worldly merits alone?

Merely going through the motions the soul pours its coins into Komachi’s outstretched hand, who jingles them playfully and begins to count. “Hmm, hmm, let’s see what you’ve got now… Not very many here, are there? You’d better hope you’ve got enough, ya know. So do I, actually; hate goin’ all the way over just to dump ya’ halfway. But let’s just take a look…” She spreads them on an unused seat of the boat, pushing them to and fro while she talks to herself. It is perhaps one of the only interesting things about her job, counting the passenger’s coins. Written in them is the love of those who cared for the lost soul, and with practice, they may tell her a portion of the deceased one’s story…

“One for your son; he loved you a lot, didn’t he? Oh, but looks like your spouse didn’t as much. Wonder if they left you? A small handful of friends here, all the same value, hmm… I’m guessing you were in some kind of club? Couldn’t have been a very big one. Mmm, here’s the parents and the brothers and the rest of the family; not a very large one, was it? Or maybe not a very happy one, eh? I’m not one to judge; that’s her job, I just row the boat. These ones, though… hmmm, don’t get as many-a these ones. They didn’t know you… schoolmates? No, no, doesn’t look like you loved ‘em back. Prison buddies? Whoever they were they sure wished you ain’t dead. Ehh, don’t matter none.” She scoops up the little disks back into her hand and clinks them all into a pouch by her side. “Ya got enough; this’ll take ya all the way. Don’t s’posse you’ve got any extra you’ve been hidin’ to speed up the ride any?”

The soul shrugs, and with the lingering instincts of its old human life reaches into its other pocket instead. It is surprised to feel something at its fingertips, and to the astonishment of both soul and ferrywoman it pulls out one last shining coin, larger than all the rest. Though is it made of gold and twinkles brightly, the interior of it gleams almost back, and an ominous hole resides in the center. Komachi lightly takes it from her passenger and observes it with interest, flipping it over in her palm.

“Now that’s somethin’,” she whispers as the coin dances around her fingers. “Person who wishes you were back the most… is the same one that offed ya’ in the first place. Some kinda misunderstandin’, maybe? I ain’t pryin’, just saying, just sayin’ is all.” She shrugs as she slips this coin too into her purse. “This’ll speed things up, in any case; betchya Eiki’ll have a few interesting things ta say, d’ya think?”

The soul, obviously, has nothing to say about all of this, and can only remain silent and wondering. The toll was paid with the value of the love of those that knew it… If this was truly Hell, that made no sense. And to think that the soul’s murderer pined more than any other… it begged a question more of the killer than of the killed, Komachi thought to herself. Once again the pilot steered the tiny boat with her reaper’s scythe, fog and water and mossy rocks swirling around them in a confusing daze. What the river was, and what lay on either side of it… these questions were not ones for the soul to ask, whether they be answered or not.

Sooner than the soul expects, the boat hits a gravelly bottom, and Komachi wades out into the waters to drag the vessel to shore. The ghostly figure wanders out of its temporary home and onto a soft beach, as obedient to the proper path as ever, but still as confused as when it started. The ferrywoman nods to herself once the soul had found land once more, but rather than return to her boat she walks onto the beach herself.

“Well… last stop, kid,” she says flatly, leaning on her scythe again. “Don’t worry ‘bout what happens next; just wait, and it’ll aaaall make sense. Usually does, anyways. I’ma take a little stroll before gettin’ back to the other side; they can wait, can’t they? Better hope ya don’t see me for a while, now; ‘cause if you do it means someone screwed up. Have a fun rest of eternity, ya hear~?”

With a wave and a laugh, Komachi the shinigami disappears into the fog, leaving the soul alone once more. With nowhere else to go, it begins to walk away from the shore, and towards whatever end this world has prepared for it.

Past the beach and the river, the dense mist thins to reveal an endless flower field spanning in all directions. There is no sun here, but a warm light covers the realm with an atmosphere of serenity and comfort. Souls walk about too numerous to count, wandering aimlessly without seeing each other. Here is HIgan, the land of judgment; here will the many souls that crossed the river await the time when one of the Judges, the Yama, shall call them forth and weigh them in the scales of good and evil.

Today, the judge is early. Very early, indeed.

The soul walks in no particular direction, and yet it still reaches its destination before very long at all. It is not a grand courthouse it approaches, nor even a judge’s pulpit; merely the judge, if mere she can be called. Smaller she is than the ferrywoman, yet still taller than the soul was in life; rich is her raiment of royal blue, white and gold, with streamers trailing down her judge’s crown. In her right hand she carries the Rod, and in her left the Mirror; tools with which to govern the mortal and the sinful. Her visage is the pinnacle of impartiality, as a true judge must be; she shows no emotion, not because she has no need of it, but because lives beyond it.

The soul stops before this great being, humble and obedient as it kneels to the ground. Perhaps, it thinks, perhaps this is merely a step unknown by mortals on the stairway to Heaven. It waits patiently, for who is it to question the workings of the Judge?

She holds the Mirror before her, allowing the soul to stare into it for only a second. Its life flashes before its eyes in an instant, the memories of all it has ever done or thought to do imprinted on the mirror for the judge to view and contemplate. It is then that she begins to speak.

“Natasha Joanna Herod. Born May the twenty-second at eleven thirty-seven in the year 1961 A. D. Died September the second at twelve thirteen in the year 1996 A. D. Ferried to Higan by Komachi Onozuka, fare paid in full. The honorable Eiki Siki, Yamaxanadu, presiding. What have you to say?”

The soul Natasha, having now been given a name, finds itself able and allowed to speak. Though her mind is a flurry of questions and quandaries, she first knows restraint and knows her place. Still kneeling, she replies calmly, “I, cannot say. The dead cannot not judge themselves.”

“You are wise in saying so, young Herod. Rise; you may speak freely.”

She does so, and bows before Judge Siki once more. In the land of the living she may not have taken such an invitation to speak, but here, in the presence of the judge, she knows that she will not be at fault. “Forgive my questions, but… I don’t understand. This cannot be Heaven, and yet… it does not appear to be Hell. Aren’t there no other options?”

The Yama stretches out her right arm and lightly touches Natasha on the head. “This is indeed what you have been taught and what you believe. But what is believed by one may not be the entire truth. Do not let pride in your religion blind you from what is real.”

“Again, forgive me, but… How can this be? An earthly soul is sinful, and even one sin must condemn it to Hell for eternity, for how can an imperfect being cleanse its own imperfections? Only by believing in the perfect grace of the Savior Jesus Christ can any enter Heaven, and the rest are cast out. There can be no limbo or middle-ground; a soul must be saved when living or not at all.”

Once more does Sikieiki place her rod on the human’s head, this time adding a noticeable and painful tap. “This is indeed what you have been taught and what you believe. But what is believed by one may not be the entire truth. Do not let pride in your religion blind you from what is real.”

Natasha is confused yet again. All her life she has followed the path of the Christian religion, even unto hunting the demons that roam the world. How can it be, she wonders, that any part of it could be false? To her, every piece was in its proper place; everything about her faith made sense.

“Then, great judge,” the woman asks, kneeing to the ground again as she averts her eyes, “may I ask… What is real?”

The Yamaxanadu, Judge of Paradise, looks out into the endless, blooming field. “There is much in the book you follow, The Bible, which is good and true. It is a guideline which many have followed to a virtuous life. It speaks of much. But there is also much it does not speak of. A religious text need not explain every intricacy of existence for one to follow its teachings properly. You well know that in your past there have been questions which The Bible was unable to answer to your satisfaction. It is in this place where you will find yet another inability to answer.”

Natasha places her palms on the ground, even more unsure than before. “Then… have I strayed from the path of what is true?”

“All stray that are born of sin. The greatest of your sins is pride, Natasha Joanna Herod. You have lived your life assuming that you are superior to others, that your path is superior to the path those around you walk. In your pride you have called yourself an arbiter of demons and devils, and thus have put yourself above your God in believing it is you, and not he, who should judge their wrongs. In your pride you rejected the advice of others and relied only on your own council. Though your words were humble and your actions noble, your heart was haughty. Great also is your sin of wrath. In anger you lash out against those you do not trust, against those whom you do not love, against those whom the world’s words have told you are evil. Hand in hand with your pride, you have believed your wrath to be good and righteous and pleasing to your God. Thinking only of wrath and anger, your heart has left little room for compassion, peace, and mercy.”

As the yama speaks these words, her Rod of Remorse rests down a third time upon the woman’s head, but now she does not remove it. The weight of the rod grows heavier and heavier upon her head, her wrongs forcing her lower and lower still until her very face is pressed upon the ground, drowning in a sea of flower petals and her own sin. But as suddenly as it began, it is over, and Natasha Herod is free to stand once more. She still understands very little; why is this judge toying with her so? Surely with her ethereal power, judging a simple human should be no difficult thing. She asks thus, “What is my purpose in this world?” Why… have I been brought here?”

Again the great Sikieiki looks far into the distance, seeing a world Natasha cannot. She sees a realm of mysticism and faith just beyond the river, full of creatures which have no place in the world this woman left behind. She shows the first possible sign of emotion, a quiet sigh.

“Because you believe. You believe in that which the world no longer believes in, and thus you will be judged in a way that the world is not judged. As you believe that faith in your God may one day save you from Hell, faith in the supernatural has this day saved you from death.”

“But… I am dead, am I not? No amount of faith can raise the dead; it would be an abomination.”

The judge nods, her gaze still transfixed on higher things. “Your body is dead, Natasha Joanna, and no creature or god may return a soul to its body once thus parted. But your life on this plane is not yet over, as long as your soul tarries here. You are still very much alive; only in a form that you have not been taught of. Do not concern yourself with what you believe should, or should not be. You are here.”

The ghostly woman furrows her brow, unsure of this advent. “…To what end?”

Sikieiki makes no response; merely proffers the mirror before her again, peering into the human’s past. This time she does not relent after one second, or even one minute, her face grim and focused as she scrutinizes every aspect of this woman, good and bad and neutral. There is much in Natasha Herod’s life which the Yama considers, things which the human herself neither witnesses nor knows; she feels only the weight of her own questions on her shoulders. It makes no sense to her—dead and yet alive, worlds beyond Earth, faith in more than God… but her confusion is of little consequence in the long run. Whatever truth she may have believed in the past, or whatever truth she will believe in the future, what is happening now is happening, and she must accept it for what it is.

After a time which cannot be reckoned, the lady of judgment ceases her interrogation and looks into the phantasmal eyes of the woman on trial. She does not explain what she has just seen, and Natasha does not ask, still kneeling on the ground to accept her fate. Sikieiki Yamaxanadu, Judge of Paradise, throws her rod down to the ground before the one she will now judge.

“Your God may yet have a purpose for you.”
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Past the edge of the world, within the border of belief and disbelief, there is a country. Behold Gensokyo: the land of the forgotten, the unworshipped, and the unloved. Those who find no solace elsewhere on Earth may still find solace here, if they are fortunate enough to find it before their time on this sphere has passed.

And at the edge of this country, past the border of the living and the dead, there is a garden.

It spans for leagues in every direction, stretching out so far that some say there is no boundary. Cherry trees populate its endless tracts, both living and dead, aware and oblivious, changing with the seasons as any other trees should. Phantoms of lesser creatures roam through the foliage, shadows of bugs, birds, and beasts that make no noise in their wistful rounds. It is the Netherworld, the land of the dead-yet-living, and here there can be found peace.

Its residents are the ghosts of the living, souls which for their own reasons have yet to leave this plane, though their body already has. Some spend their days seeking enlightenment and truth, that they will pass from this temporary world to an eternal one. Others wait for an unknown future, biding their time aimlessly until fate calls them towards some reincarnated existence. More remain shackled to this world by something left undone, some regret or grudge their flawed soul cannot let go. And yet myriads more ignore all sense of a greater calling, content to while away eternity in frivolity and gaiety, enjoying their life without a body as they enjoyed it with one. The Netherworld accepts them all, for it does not judge between good and evil, order and chaos, purpose and folly. A soul’s loss is its own, and judgment comes upon it through other means.

It is here that Natasha Joanna Herod has been brought, transported irrevocably by the will of the Judge. She recalls her short time in the Sanzu and Higan as but a vague memory in the back of her mind, a shadowy thought that rests in a familiar shelf of her heart, but is as smoke when she reaches her mind out to grab it. Whether or not she remembers, she does understand. Unlike a great number of spirits which even now wander about the cherry fields, she is aware of many things that so often a ghost is not. She knows that she has died, and will never again return to a mortal body. She knows that her soul yet lives, and that this is not a dream. And perhaps most interesting of all, she knows that it is not what she did in the past that keeps her in this plane, but what she has yet to do.

But for all this, she knows very little. She knows nothing of this otherworld, this soft forest-garden. She knows nothing about life without a body. And she knows nothing about what her or anyone else’s place is in this strange land. So she walks, across an old stone path covered in withered cherry blossoms, a stranger in a strange land. She sees many men and women, young and old, clad in clothes of many colors and shapes, which seem at odds to the plain white robe she has found herself in. They wander about peacefully without a care in the world, enjoying their time in this strange realm. She observes many but speaks to few, discovering their habits to be whimsical and carefree, but to her aimless and without answers.

Her bodiless form is strange to her. She touches a tree only to find that she may pass through it, and yet may also choose not to. She discovers that the bounds of gravity are but a suggestion, and yet so many around her still remain on the ground. The touch of grass feels less soft, the coarse hide of bark less rough, and the smell of nature less full. It seems to her a muted world, a world designed not for physical rules and physical betterment, but for something far more important. Time passes, but she seems barely to notice it. She feels no weariness, nor thirst nor hunger here. She travels across the rolling hills and flat plains of the incredible garden, wandering but not lost, and not without purpose.

After a time, and a time again, she finds something different. A young girl, not more that fifteen or sixteen in appearance, wearing a green dress and diligently sweeping clean the path Natasha walks on. Her hair is a ghostly light silver, and her skin pale, but neither these nor the pair of swords sheathed on her back are strange to the wandering woman. What is strange is that she is working, working when all others around them seem to drift along and take their ease.

The lady Herod approaches this young girl, who has noticed her presence but pays it little mind. The child is accustomed to seeing ghosts in her appointed rounds, and tends not to concern herself with their passage. It is not her business to trifle with the other spirits; only to tend to the garden and protect its beauty.

“Good day,” the woman greets. “ Forgive me, but… You’re the first I’ve seen here who seems to be doing something of purpose.”

The girl shrugs and does not look up, concentrating on the path to be swept. “You must be a new one. In this place you don’t need to do something of purpose. Just, do whatever brings you comfort.”

“Sweeping the path gives you comfort, then?”

“Sweeping the path is my job, spirit. But you don’t need something like that anymore.”

Natasha is again confused. “You sound like you contradict yourself.”

The girl sighs, and leans on her broom as she looks at the ghost woman with cool blue eyes. “I’m the gardener, spirit. I’m not like you.” It is now that she notices the differences between them, subtle at first but noticeable when searched for. The girl looks for lack of a better word brighter than the world around her; the white of her shirt more pure, the green of her dress more lush, the blue of her eyes more full. Every small movement of her body is noticeable, unlike the blurred motions of the many other ghosts in the garden. She breathes, softly, while Natasha does not. To add to the spectacle a white wisp, thought to be just a patch of fog at first, floats behind the gardener very much alive and aware, as large as she is.

“I… can see that,” the woman replies in surprise, somehow knowing that this girl is quite definitely not dead. “But then… how are you here, if you still have a body?”

The girl is likewise surprised; for a newly-arrived ghost, it seems to be very aware of its surroundings. Her response shows her slight fluster. “It is… complicated. Don’t, don’t trouble yourself with it; you’ll find no trouble here if you don’t go looking for it. Please, I, must get back to my work.”

“Can I, help you?” the lady Herod asks simply. “I’ve seen many paths still un-swept.”

“Don’t you understand, spirit? You no longer need to follow the laws of the living. The dead don’t need to work, or worry about food and water and shelter. Be at peace, and enjoy yourself.”

“But, I… I’m not dead. My body is, I know that much, but… if I were dead, I couldn’t be talking to you. And, I can’t simply ignore someone in need…”

The green-clad girl looks quizzically at the woman before her. As strange as the gardener’s words are to her, so are her words to the gardener. How does the woman knows so much about her place here, and why does she not accept what many souls receive gladly, an existence of leisure and contentment?

“Who are you?” she asks.

Natasha dulls her eyes in contemplation, remembering the dream of the Judge, and eventually finds herself kneeling on the ground as she speaks. “I, suppose who I was doesn’t matter anymore here… though, no… no, I am still myself, aren’t I? I was, am… a sinner. A sinner whose pride gave herself nothing but anger and despair, and whose pride took her mortal body away from her. May God forgive her, a fool, and have mercy on her soul for what she has done.”

The gardener grows more perplexed with every word, her broom and diligent sweeping now forgotten. She takes a half-step closer to the woman, but at the same time passes a cautious hand behind her, fingering the hilt of her katana. Anything different could be suspicious, and anything suspicious could be dangerous. She is well aware that even in the land of the dead, liars and deceivers may still break in and corrupt the lost souls waiting for their futures to arrive. Gardener she is, but also a guard, and woe betide anyone who wishes her garden ill, for the judgment of steel awaits them.

“You’re… not like them, whoever you are,” she says, nodding towards the other people in the distance. “They act like this is purgatory, or heaven or hell. But you… if I didn’t know you were a ghost, I’d say you were still alive.”

Natasha simply nods. “I am alive, and will live my life knowing every day is precious and has meaning, whatever realm I might find myself in. With a body, or without one.”

The gardener furrows her brow, unsure exactly what to make of this woman. “Your religion must certainly be an odd one, spirit; not one I’ve heard of a ghost believing in at any rate. I really have no idea why you’d end up in a place like this…”

Natasha Joanna shrugs as she returns to her feet. “Nor do I, but… that’s not for us to decide. I’m here; I might as well help you and do someone else some good… for a change.”

“You… really don’t need to do that, you know,” the girl replies, slight color entering her cheeks as she clutches the straw broom close to her, protecting her duty. “I can take care of it myself.”

“I understand, but… I want to. Please. Please, let me help you.”

The silver-haired girl sees, if for only an instant and perhaps just in her own mind, a sign of a kindred spirit before her. One who is dead and yet still alive, one who strives for a purpose and is willing to work for it, one who knows her humble place and is content with it… She sighs, for she hates causing fusses and making things complicated, both of which seem inevitable now with this imposing ghost asking for work in a world where work is unnecessary.

“Well, if you insist… I suppose I must show you to the Mistress, then. Perhaps she’ll know what to do with a ghost like you; I certainly don’t. And… I guess if you’re wondering, you can call me, Youmu.”

“A pleasure, Miss Youmu. If you’re wondering, you can call me…” Natasha trails off, at odds of herself. Her name is a name she wishes she could put behind her. “Natasha” is a word filled with nothing but bad memories, and she refuses to let old wounds sour her new life. “For now, just call me Joanna.”

“Not your real name?” Youmu asks, raising an eyebrow.

“It’s… complicated.”

“Well… we do have time; it’s a long walk back to the house, and you’ve made me curious, now.”

Natasha Joanna Herod sighs as the two of them walk back across the already swept path side by side. “Well, I suppose a big part of it all started with this one little fairy…”
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Nice story so far... kinda touching the physical sign of how sorry Flan felt about it.

Had it been less serious I'm sure with Komachi's description it'd have "Breasts like Watermelons"
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As >>40411, I just have to say: thank you.

You're really good at this, aren't you? Funny or serious, you seem to be able to write anything.
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This is excellent. Tons of gold stars for you.
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In terms of theme, content, characterization, and general enjoyability, this story is beyond reproach. There is something purely technical that merits mention. At certain points in the story, the inconsistency in terms of diction and word choice can be quite glaring. While the narration is a cut above what's expected in A Fairy's Tale in terms of how detailed and sophisticated it is conveyed, at times the story errs on the side of noticeably common terms and colloquialisms that conflict with the 'complexity' of the rest of the narration. Where it first struck me was:
>"but her confusion is of little consequence in the long run"
Considering the refined and level nature of the prose until then, the phrase "the long run" stuck out like a sore thumb, especially because it was Sikieiki speaking at the time. Something along the lines of "but her confusion is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things/ephemeral weaving of the fates/imperceptible machinations of the flow of time" etc. would have been better. Are the examples provided needlessly loquacious? Perhaps, but something more nuanced than "the long run" was necessary. Furthermore:
"shadows of insects, birds, and beasts " instead of "shadows of bugs, birds, and beasts "
"when she reaches her mind out to seize it" instead of "when she reaches her mind out to grab it"
Something like "liars and deceivers may still invade and corrupt" instead of "liars and deceivers may still break in and corrupt"
It's not that the story needs to strive for the most complicated way to express something, but when a bit of narration or dialog doesn't quite meet the level of sophistication as the rest of the text, the departure is quite noticeable.

sage for derping
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A hidden jewel, this thread is. Funny and entertaining, without being obtuse and pointless. Innovative without being chaotic, deep but not derp, as it were.

I kinda like it.
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>Innovative without being alienating

fixed it.
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This took longer in responding to than I should have. Oh well. Might as well do it now since I’ve got another short coming your way too; it's the reason I've been slacking off on Derp Wars. Well, that and college, but that's a given.

>Had it been less serious I'm sure with Komachi's description it'd have "Breasts like Watermelons"
Maybe, maybe not. The wiki comments about her “overwhelming and imposing stature”, and though fanon seems to let those words all settle on her chest, I figured it’s be interesting to take it literally for a change and make her like eight or nine feet tall. After all, she’s a death god. I’d think she should be pretty unsettling to be in company with.

You’re very much welcome, and I’d like to thank you for pushing me to write this. I’d intended for Natasha’s death to just be the end of it all, but looking back on this short, it gives her a lot more closure.

>You're really good at this, aren't you? Funny or serious, you seem to be able to write anything.
Aww, thank you for the compliment~ And after all, it takes both a fool and a straight man to make a comedy routine.

Whee! I’m going to eat them like candy!

Mmm, I see where you’re coming from. Thank you very much for the insight; I’ll keep it in mind the next time I think about doing more serious stuff.
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Barbarian Rage Against The Machine
Flan: Presented in glorious Grain-O-Vision by Universal Inc.
Remi: Back then Universal must have been too cheap to even bother with their little french horn fanfare.
Flan: Or it’s thematic. Look; a barren wasteland of a movie to go with the barren wasteland of an orchestra.

Koa: Dino De Laurentiis, you may go die in a fire. Rapidly.
Flan: Don’t hate, Koa, the movie’s just begun!
Koa: Your point?

Remi: Arnold Schwarzenegger, in: “Pearls Before Swine.”
Saph: The sequel to the classic “Swine Before Swine.”
Flan: Barbarian was better; you shut up!
Koa: There’s enough room in that fire for two.

Flan: “Between the years when I lived in Asia, and the rise of the Americanization of my Chinese tongue…”
Remi: You’d best not be thinking that accent is real, dear sister.

Flan: Observe as I make a running gag of this line throughout the film!
Remi: Well now you’ve spoiled the movie for me, Flan.
Koa: As if that was ever really a concern…

Flan: Trum-pet, fan-faaare! Do-do-doo, it’s the, op-e-ning, of-the, mo-vie, theme!

Remi: Fire hundred pounds if you can name another movie any of these actors starred in.
Flan: Mako was Mr. Kojima in Bulletproof Monk!

Remi: Oh dear, the Sumarians appear to have hit a mystical pocket of high-density air.
Flan: What are you saying? That they can dodge bullets?
Remi: …No Flan, I’m saying that when their budget runs out… they won’t have to.

Remi: Baywatch Mongolia! Ahhhnn, so masculine~
Koa: If you keep that shit up I’m not going to be sitting next to you much longer.
Remi: Ohh, you little devil, you can’t handle that much man wrapped in fur~?
Flan: Don’t answer that, Lilligan! It’s a thinly-veiled jab at your sexuality!

Remi: Stanley Mann. For a manly-man’s manly screenplay, accept no substitutes.

Flan: Let me tell you of The Abs Of High Adventure…

Flan: Warning! Comic relief spotted!

Saph: Knights to E5, F7, A3, and C1
Flan: I think you mean knights to E3, G4, D6, and F5.
Koa: I hate chess.

Flan: “Uh oh, I think I see some plot down there.”

Remi: Only Sergio Leone should ever be allowed to make these pointless scenes.

Flan: They didn’t have water-coolers back then, so a stone alter is really the next best thing for Biz Cas Fri conversation.

Flan: Toro! Toro!

Remi: Cue Flight of the Bumblebee!
Flan: The rich man’s Yakety Sax!

Saph: Now that is some impressive hangtime, I have to say.
Remi: High-density air notwithstanding.

Flan: Diamond tastes like rock candy, om nom nom nom~

Koa: Nets are not made of rubber, damn it.
Flan: Your point?

Remi: This exchange brought to you by the intern they hired ten minutes ago.

Flan: Stab stab stab~! Stab! Stabbity stabbity stab stab stab~!
Saph: I’m pretty sure he was dead two minutes ago.

Remi: “D’oh. I is dead.”
Flan: When this movie’s over I’m going to rewatch those three seconds for fifteen minutes straight just to hear that sound effect.

Remi: Only real men can punch a horse in the face!
Saph: And only fake men can miss by a foot and a half.

Flan: “I’m too black to be a part of all this crap.”

Remi: From above, the foolish shall receive their just reward.

Flan: Arnold Schwarzenegger stares into you soul!

Remi: “Ahnuld is too strong! Bring out the wiffle ball on a string!”
Saph: How sad; his arm’s already tired. Ancient plastic must be very heavy.

Flan: “Hwhaat dou youh wunt? Ai’m-busy mahn!”

Remi: Back in your cage, woman!

Koa: “No” is a complete answer. Children, fucking learn this!

Flan: “Ai whunt aought ouf theese moofvie is whut aie whant!”

Saph: Unfortunately, Conan was not paid enough to “think” in this scene.

Remi: Now I’m sorry, but this line is just asking for any number of naughty things to spew from my mouth~ It takes all the fun out of it!
Koa: Then perhaps, if only just, you know how I feel. You bitch.
Remi: Cheap whore.
Koa: Damn high-bred harlot.
Remi: Poor man’s succubus.
Flan: Shush! Girls! Things that might just barely pass for a plot are happening!

Remi: “Well, not exactly, but I could reanimate her corpse! Are you into necrophilia?”

Saph: “You must get out of this movie as fast as you possibly can, Conan.”
Flan: “Run, Simba… Run away, and never return…”
Remi: Jeremy Irons… Why didn’t you stop after Die Hard…?

Flan: Let me tell you of the Great Plains of High Nevada…

Remi: Because they have to prove that people actually live in the city. And this scene does absolutely nothing else.

Saph: I believe they’re all pointing at the reason they’re not getting paid very much.

Flan: Snake? Snake!
Koa: I hate snakes.

Saph: Gesundheit.

Remi: Animals punched by Arnold thus far: 2.
Flan: I like where this is going.

Flan: Oh shut up comic relief; just because you’re unable to die doesn’t mean you can pretend that you’re actually useful.

Remi: “Here, take my helmet; it won’t be seen in the movie ever again, because I’m female and must show my face.”

Flan: Well met, Saruman the Black. I’m sure you’ll betray us faster this time around, won’t you?

Remi: Strange… I could have sworn they were naked in the wide-angle shot.
Koa: Your depravity never ceases to disgust me, even in a film that manages to disgust in new ways.

Saph: There’s something here that just doesn’t fit with the décor of the palace, but I can’t, seem to… find it…
Remi: Perhaps the gigantic pile of MAN in the middle of the room?
Flan: I think it’s those Black Panthers getting really fed up with white power.

Saph: I’m going on record to say that “destiny” is a horrible motivation for anything.
Flan: Density, on the other hand… That’s worth fighting for!
Remi: Lies; you just want an excuse to get drunk off your ass with her, don’t you?
Flan: Noooooo~ Yes. No! Yes-No-Yes, no. Nope… Yeah. A little. Maybe. Just one glass. In each hand. At a time.

Koa: This shit passes for a suitable plot in the twentieth century?!
Flan: Correction: This shit passes for a suitable fantasy plot in the twentieth century!

Saph: Why would they bother to tell us the wizard’s name? He’s obviously not more than a minor character anyways.

Remi: That’s an amazingly deep observation, Conan. A pity it’s wasted on a movie like this.

Saph: There’s no real reason she needs a three second pause between every sentence, is there?
Flan: No.
Saph: Just making sure.

Flan: “Mommy mommy, there’s a big scary black man on my bed!”
Remi: And nothing of value was gained.

Saph: If I had a shilling for every time it was “only a dream” in these movies—
Flan: --you’d spend them all on movies just as bad as this one.
Koa: I hate fake nightmares.

Flan: “Back to sleep… back to sleep… these aren’t the droids you’re looking for… credits will do fine…”
Remi: What Star Wars movie is that second quote from?
Flan: Oh, it’s uhh, from… these books I read!
Remi: Good girl.

Koa: Human virginity… hah. What an idealistic concept.
Remi: Despite your negative assumptions, little devil, human children are in fact born virgins.
Koa: By your definition.

Flan: Wow, I had absolutely no idea that they needed a virgin for a virgin sacrifice! This came completely out of nowhere and changed the entire pace of the story! Now let me tell you of the Betrayals of High Adventure…


Remi: Well thank God she’s off screen now. No one’s acting in this bloody film, but at least Arnold’s funny to listen to.

Saph: Pointless misunderstanding in two seconds!

Flan: “I can’t judge anything; I’m a naïve—“ Woah. The movie finished that insult for me.

Remi: You heard it here first, ladies: Arnold Schwarzenegger is a real man, and the big black guy is not a real man.
Flan: Oh snap, race war!

Saph: This scene was far more expensive than it needed to be for such a useless bit of quote-unquote character development.
Flan: I object. There were no air quotes around the words at all!

Remi: Same music, completely different mood. Do I smell unoriginality?
Flan: Oh, no, that’s the cheeeeeese wedge I nicked from the pantry. Want some?
Remi: I’ve got plenty right here, thanks.

Saph: I don’t care what part of the fake fantasy desert they’re traveling through, they’re not going to be riding through a forest of pine trees!


Remi: “You have to obey me; I’m the whiney snobbish princess!”
Flan: “Nouugh.” And then he rode off to a sidequest for a Comic Relief Mage, the most useless of all Mage subclasses.

Saph: “But I’m the main character, not you!”
Flan: “Axzcuse meeh, aye behleve aye haff tuh hieyust paycheck!”

Remi: Oh dear, no, don’t eat him! He’s oriental, how can he possibly have any meat on him at all?
Flan: Because he’s squishy. Haven’t you ever played a mage in any RPG ever made ever?
Remi: I’ve better things to waste my time on.
Koa: Liar. You’re here, aren’t you?
Remi: …

Flan: How dare you call yourself a comic relief! That’s not even funny!

Saph: Heaaaaaad.

Saph: I don’t know what’s worse, the horrible fight choreography, or the two posers pretending to be comic reliefs.
Koa: The enemy of my enemy, is also my enemy.
Saph: …No comment.

Flan: “Run away, we’re no match for your salary and Austrian abs!”

Remi: I give this fight sequence bad points out of a possible worse points.
Flan: At least the opening sequence scored a solid “well below average”.

Saph: That’s it? Five words and suddenly he’s going with them?
Flan: Little do you know that those five words are the most artistic things you’ll see in the entire film.
Remi: Little do you know that it actually means Conan is a homosexual and the princess doesn’t need to worry about her virginity after all.
Flan: Gaaaaay.

Flan: And you thought the Dungeons & Dragons scene came out of nowhere!

Remi: You’re not British! Stop pretending you’re British!
Koa: I could say the same damn thing to all of you. And I have. Often.
Flan: Blood’ey ‘ell, Lillig’n, wot’re you on aboout now, ya’ tossa?
Koa: …Bugger off, you limey bitch.
Flan: Pip pip, then!

Remi: There’s that same music again. I can just hear the composers not getting paid enough with every note.

Flan: Ehh, I dunno, I’m still thinking the black guy from DnD was a better thief. At least he had BROFIST.

Saph: Psychotic Jamaican woman…?
Remi: It helps appeal to a broader demographic.
Flan: Indeed. Now let me tell you of the LSDs of High Adventure…

Flan: Bombata or whoever you’re supposed to be? Yeah, you are now James Earl Jones wearing a barbarian Darth Vader costume.
Remi: I’m impressed he got his hair to look like the back half of the Vader mask.

Flan: Congratulations, Conan, you can count off-screen extras!

Saph: “Man, this angry mob is a way better gig than those street vendors we used to play ten minutes ago!”

Flan: …Freebird.

Flan: “Aye hulp othurs hulp themsuelves. Mah wourk, it ees done.”

Remi: “I should have stayed in that cornfield…”
Flan: Rest assured, Darth Vader, that no one in this movie cares about making you “go the distance”.

Flan: Does this count as—
Remi: No.
Flan: But they’re extras; they’re practically animals already!
Saph: No.
Flan: Does he even get half a punched out ani—
Remi & Saph: No.

Remi: Hastily-applied wound you couldn’t see because his face was turned the other way!

Koa: Will anyone tell me if that hit to the groin was an attempt at humor?
Flan: Yes, and yes, but still so very much no.

Saph: Waaaaaaitaminute… I just noticed she’s got a fake tail.
Flan: Furry! Furry! Scorn the miscreant, scorn her I say! Scorn her the hell out of this manly-man’s town!

Remi: This girl’s so poor she could only afford the visor to a motorcycle helmet.
Flan: What do you expect? LSD don’t come cheap.

Saph: I sure hope they did this in multiple takes; no human being should scream that much. No human being can scream that much!
Flan: Sapphire… One-a these days you and I need to watch a little thing I often like to call Invader Zim.

Remi: Come on thief, look at the camera; everyone else’s doing it! There you go, doesn’t your life feel so much more pointless now?

Flan: Of course, when James Earl Jones says “Wait here,” he actually means “Shut up Thief, you’re not funny.”

Saph: They never even mentioned Conan’s name to this woman! How’s she know it?
Flan: That would be called a continuity error; pay it no mind

Remi: Normally he would be dead now, but Darth Vader is made of much stronger stuff than that.
Flan: Stronger stuff? You mean like robots, angst, and Hayden Christensen?
Remi: What did I tell you about believing in things that don’t exist?!
Flan: …I’m sorry.

Flan: Headbutt that foo’! Headbutt it like you mean it!

Saph: So she’s Mike Tyson now?
Remi: For shame, Sapphire; just because she’s black and bites ears is no cause for racial profiling.
Flan: Well, actually, it kinda is.

Remi: Ironic, no? That the best dialog in the movie are the scenes where Conan’s sentences are no longer than three words?
Koa: Well shit; something we agree on.
Flan: Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks softly and carries a big stick.

Remi: Oh look, more pine trees. In a desert. And snow-covered mountains! Where the hell is this supposed to be set?

Flan: A crystal palace on a perfect blue lake! Maybe we’ll find the fairy princess who’ll shower us with glitter-dust and happiness!
Saph: Is it wrong that I would actually enjoy watching a bunch of barbarians laying waste to a palace like that?
Flan: Can’t be any more wrong than whatever they’re doing now.

Flan: I trust this wizard. His beard is friendly.

Remi: Man, he sure showed her who wears the pants in this relationship!
Saph: He’s not wearing any pants.

Flan: “Stop being the star of the movie! I’m an important princess!”

Remi: “Iiii’m the king of the wooooorld!”

Saph: Stunning visuals, really, the way that animated bat-thing blends in with the fake mist.
Flan: I’m concerned about the frames per second on that creature. It really needs to update its video driver.

Remi: Conan isn’t actually aware enough to sense danger in his sleep; putting his hand on his sword is just a side-effect from all the steroids.

Flan: “Mmmm… me smell meat. It food time already?”

Flan: “Princess, captured. You, win! Flawless, victory!”
Koa: I hate Mortal Kombat.

Saph: “You know, I always wanted my own sleeping princess; she’ll go great with this bed. Really spruces up the room.”
Remi: Mysterious wizards are always all about their feng-shui.

Saph: All right, he’s mumbling, I can’t understand a word he’s saying. Is this plot relevant?
Flan: Plot?! What plot, where?! I’ll kill it!

Remi: “There’s something… missing, here… but I can’t, quite, understand… what… oooooh snap.”

Flan: Behold! Inside, it was the wee hours of the morning! Outside, it is broad daylight!
Saph: Aaaand across the lake it’s still nighttime.

Flan: I get it now! He’s a Plot Wizard! Where every spell he uses fails unless it’s directly related towards advancing the plot!
Saph: Muttering uselessly under your breath is not a spell.
Remi: You’d be surprised, Saph.


Remi: Greeeeeeeen, screeeeeeeen.

Saph: That throwaway wizard character is the best actor in the movie, isn’t he?
Flan: Main characters are boring; supporting cast members are interesting. You’d be surprised how often this ends up being true.
Remi: You’re always interesting to me, Flan~
Flan: D’awww, thanks sis~

Flan: Hmm… Hmmmm… Why yes, is does appear to be a dead end!

Remi: Idiotic comment coming in three, two, one…

Saph: His hands are dowsing rods! What a concept!


Remi: Gratuitous loincloth Conan.
Koa: Do you think of nothing else during these films?
Remi: For the sake of being the slut to Saph’s jerk and Flan’s spaz? No.


Remi: Was this supposed to be an ice fortress or a Roman bathhouse?

Flan: She shook her tail… she shook her fake furry tail! MY EYEEEES!
Saph: …Internet, yes Miss Remilia?
Remi: Correct. Flan brings about her own demise by surfing those sites.
Koa: I hate the internet.

Saph: Let’s not forget the princess, the reason we’re even here.
Flan: I thought they were here to pay their Hollywoodian housing bills?

Remi: Count the stairs, Flan! Count the stairs!
Flan: What kind of insane person do you think I am… twenty, thirty, forty, sixty, times five spirals…
Koa: I hate stairs.

Flan: Suddenly the timer runs out, the stairs turn back into a ramp, and you’ve got to try this aaaaall over again.

Saph: Exit stage left… enter stage right… how does that work?
Flan: You’re not think-ing with por-tals, are you~?

Remi: Don’t you dare tell Darth Vader to help you open that door!
Flan: It’s not like R2 can help them; Luke blasted the control panel.

Flan: “Oh, the heroes are walking through the final random-encounter tunnel. I’d better get back to the boss fight room before they see me slacking off.”

Saph: So that’s what’s behind curtain number two!

Remi: “Wait here you guys; let me go first. There might be plot in that room!”
Flan: Objection; no Austrian accent!

Saph: “I can’t break it; it’s make out of solid Hollywood plate glass!”
Flan: “The Force is strong with this one.”

Remi: Arnold Schwarzenegger reacts to movement; perhaps he is a T-Rex?

Flan: “Wizard it open”? ”Wizard it open”?! That’s… That’s…! That’s actually pretty cute, really.

Flan: “Nough; da funhauss mirrohr rhoom! Ayeh ahllwaise get loust!”

Flan: Aaaand he’s back to being not funny again.

Remi: What’s this? An intriguing opponent that actually uses truly confusing illusions?
Saph: I don’t believe it; it must be special effects.

Remi: “By your powers combined, I am…”
Flan: “A monster!”

Flan: Wow… a robed bad guy with a gruesome pokey face that is more badass than the movie deserves… just like Darth Maul.
Remi: Darth Maul lost his fight, sweetie.
Flan: Awwwwwwait… You told me those movies didn’t exist! What am I supposed to believe?!
Remi: Anyone but George Lucas.

Flan: Aaaand the Wizard of Blizzard takes down the Governator with a vicious body slam! He’s going for the stomp, folks; he’s got the Governator on the ground! He’s kicking, he’s kicking, he’s still kicking! Ooooh noooo, he’s winding up for his signature Tornado Throw! This, could, be, the, end!

Saph: The barbarian who has found an opponent that cannot be wounded with a sword… this, my friends, is the face of true terror.
Flan: There’s a few feats you can take to get around that, actually.

Remi: Gasp! The mirrors are his weak point! And the walls are covered with them! I never would have known!
Flan: Now if only he had a light beam and a shield to start an endless reflective loop, he could cheese his way through this boss without even trying!


Saph: Ohh… just couldn’t quite finish that suplex, could he?
Flan: It’s a sacred move, constantly defiled by everyone. So… not that sacred anymore, I guess.

Saph: I’m sorry, but that is just such an inefficient way to break all those mirrors.
Flan: Maybe it’s a stupid video game rule? Like, you can only break every fifth one forwards or third one backwards?
Koa: I hate video games.
Flan: “Is there anything you don’t hate, Francis?”
Koa: You know what I don’t hate? You know what I don’t hate? I don’t hate death.

Flan: All right, it was endearing at first, but seriously, they’ve only got three sound effects for this monster and they’re cycling through them.

Saph: So… it all comes down to this… Curtain Number One, or Curtain Number Two?
Flan: Trick question; the answer is always Jean Luc Picard.
Remi: Well the line has to be drawn somewhere!

Koa: That’s it; I’ve had it with these God-forsaken movie clichés and your base banter. I am leaving.
Flan: But… but… the wizard! The wizard was probably misunderstood and actually a good guy that was gunned down mercilessly! Just, just watch… The wizard, he’s, he’s coming out, dying a-and helpless… hear the angelic violin and flute duet… See how he gave his life for the sake of the mediocre plot, even when nobody remembered his name… He acted like none other, when his paycheck told him to do otherwise…
Koa: Fuck you and the horse you rode in on for dragging me into this filth.
Flan: Fine then. More popcorn for me.

Remi: His name’s James Earl Jones, bitch!
Flan: You sure have a funny way of saying Rick James.

Saph: Shut up, for the love of my eardrums shut up! You’re in a bloody echo chamber you idiot!

Remi: The symbolism of a corpse made of mirrors is utterly wasted on this movie.

Remi: When did James Earl Jones get so freakishly tall, anyways?
Flan: At the end of a movie you told me not to trust, because it was two hours of pointless buildup just so they could say “Nnnnoooooooo!”

Saph: Isn’t she supposed to have a bag of sand in the other hand so she can switch it out with the jewel?

Remi: For once—for once!—can the magic castle not fall apart when the adversary is killed?
Saph: You just know someone’s going to not see that coming, too.

Saph: “So yes, let’s watch the ceiling crumble for about ten seconds before realizing we should probably leave.”

Flan: “Nough! Wrun, wrun kwick! Get tou dah Frédéric Chopin!”

Flan: No, see, this isn’t actually bad acting; they’re breaking the fourth wall. They know the rocks are just made of Styrofoam, so there’s no reason to actually try and dodge them!

Remi: Green Screen 2: The Sequel.

Saph: …That’s so not how you row a boat.

Flan: Pine forest again. Exact same plot of land, different angle. Still makes no sense for them to be here.

Saph: Who choreographed this scene? The timing on everyone’s reactions are horrible!
Flan: Actually that’s called lag. It means their connection sucks and their ping is too high.

Flan: Hey, remember when the thief was useful and stabbed people instead of making bad jokes? Remember that scene?
Saph: No.

Remi: As crazy and Jamaican as ever, I see.

Remi: “We have made eye contact, and now we must fight. Like men.
Saph: For once in this movie.

Flan: As horribly boring as this scene is, it’s probably the most realistic representation of horseback sword-fighting you’ll be seeing in this film.
Saph: That still doesn’t make it any less fake.
Flan: True. Very true.
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What Is A Man
Remi: Koa’s not here anymore, right? I’m allowed to fawn over Conan and his muscle-man posing if I want to?
Flan: Yeah, you’re safe.
Remi: Good, because right now I don’t want to; this is incredibly silly.

Saph: Wow… That sword-spinning was, like, so necessary.
Flan: He couldn’t get to da choppa in time, so he’s pretending he’s one himself.

Flan: Hee hee… he makes funny faces when he kills people~

Saph: The worst excuse. The worst.
Flan: Glaaaaaare.

Remi: Because we’d be so lost if we didn’t already know he was ordered to backstab us, right?
Flan: This plot didn’t even start off found. Also glaaaaare.

Saph: So… if good movies create beautiful artistry during scenes without dialog, what do bad movies create?
Remi: Wasted lives, broken hopes, and shattered dreams.
Flan: My dreams are so much more coherent than this. My dreams.

Saph: …What am I even supposed to do with this scene, Flandre?
Flan: It’s very simple. First, you take your face. Then, you take your palm. I think you can figure step three out for yourself.

Flan: The psychotically-disturbed girl tells it like it is! And what it is is stupid. It’s like I’ve seen this before in my own life…
Remi: Flan, Koishi doesn’t run at people with a stick and split their skulls open.
Flan: Well… not with a stick.

Remi: Idiotic… pointless… comedic… romance… in a… non… romantic… comedy…!
Flan: Deep breaths, sis, deep breaths. You’re going to make it.

Remi: Told you. The fewer words he speaks, the smarter he sounds.
Flan: Within reason; I’m envisioning a left-hand-skewed bell curve distribution.

Saph: What, the… Oooooh, he’s drunk! Well now I can just ignore everything he says!
Flan: You weren’t already?

Flan: Good man, Conan. And to think if you hadn’t said that we might have seriously thought that black women and white women were the same!
Remi: I swear Flan, one day the black KKK is going to crucify you on a burning cross.
Flan: Sounds clichéd.

Remi: With great women… comes great responsibility.

Saph: Well… at least he made a graceful exit.
Flan: I’m gonna start using that as an excuse to end boring conversations. “Excuse me, I must get up now.”

Flan: You mean all your pack are warriors. If you’re gonna be a furry, put some effort into it!
Remi: I’ve never met a more undesirable amazon warrior if she’s the representative of her people. All the clothes, and none of the figure.
Saph: Technically speaking that’s what an amazon tribal barbarianess should look like.

Saph: I’m sorry, but this is just painful to watch; who’s got the remote?
Flan: The path to the Dark Side… that is. The remote, no batteries it has.

Flan: For the rest of this scene, Conan is now Danny Zuko, Princess No-Name is now Sandy Olson, and Zula Foxtail is now Frenchie.
Remi: Ahh, Grease; corrupting pure maidens for the sake of winning the guy since X-hundred A.D.

Remi: Yes, fight with a man’s weapon! An aluminum prop sword! Not a staff that could crack some skulls!
Flan: “This is his world! She is not welcome in HIS WORLD!

Flan: “Gouhd, gouhd! Yough heet thuh’nnoyingh little mahn een thuh head! Clahss dismissed!”

Saph: Darth Vader is watching you, and he does not approve.

Flan: Bleached rock formations of the Southwestern U.S., right next to a PINE FOREST!

Flan: Daddies don’t let your daughters grow up to be furries.

Remi: I… don’t think I’m ever going to hear better dating advice. You want a man? Grab him, and take him!
Flan: Like that!

Remi: Ooohh, oohh, stop, stop! Francesca! Oohh, Fran’s just got to see this scene! Pause it! I said pause it!


Fran: Wait, wait; what’s going on here?! Stop pushing!
Flan: We’ve got an open chair and you’re watching something that’ll make you a better person!
Fran: Ow! I said stop pushing; the movie’s not going to go anywhere, is it?
Remi: Oh Francis, stop your fussing; you’ll enjoy it and you know it.
Flan: It’s better than the last movie I made you watch, I promise!
Saph: I don’t even know which movie that is, Miss Flandre, and I’m lead to believe that that isn’t difficult.
Fran: Augh, Flandre, I can sit down by myself, you know? Can someone please tell me what’s going on here?
Flan: There’s a guy, and he’s big, and he punches things, and he’s gotta save the girl from the stuff but it doesn’t matter because the other girl’s bad, and there’s Darth Vader, but it’s okay because plot armor.
Fran: Someone who’s not Flandre?
Remi: Just pretend that that blonde-haired girl is you, Fran, and I think you’ll see where we’re coming from. Rewind it a bit, back to the beginning of the scene.
Fran: You’re making me waste my time, aren’t you…?
Saph: As if you’d be wasting it better anywhere else.


Fran: So wait, wait wait… who are all these people here?
Flan: The good guys; shut up and watch.
Fran: Is she the princess?
Remi: Yes, now kindly, shut up and watch.
Fran: …Are those two girls friends?

Fran: But… I don’t have my heart set on a man… I don’t get it.
Remi: The funny part’s coming up, just watch, just watch…

Fran: Who’s he?
Flan: He’s not funny; please to be with the shuttings and the ups.

Fran: Wait… this, isn’t—
Remi: Yes it is.

Fran: Are they talking, about…?
Remi: Yes~
Flan: Very yes.

Fran: This… euugch, R-Remi! That’s not funny!
Remi: Oh please, of course it is!
Fran: I was just curious!
Remi: That didn’t stop you from asking~
Flan: “Boys have a penis; girls have a vagina~”

Saph: It is never not the only way.
Flan: “…So I’ve noticed.”
Fran: Where are they going?
Remi: Trust me; it doesn’t matter.

Flan: In a higher-budget movie these ruins would be a mirage only visible during the equinox.
Fran: Is… this one of your stupid video game movies?
Flan: They’re not stupid! But yes, yes it is. This is the final temple; they’re probably drastically under-leveled for it.

Fran: Have they been walking this slow all movie?
Flan: Nah; they’re trying to pace themselves and give the plot time to catch up with them.

Saph: I’m impressed with those fake cobwebs; fake spiders charged a pretty high price per hour back in those days.

Remi: “Yeah, I don’t want to go that way; you just pointed to a dead end, princess.”
Flan: She’s letting the spirits of the earth guide her, Remi!
Remi: Guide her to what?
Saph: The credits.
Fran: And I thought I was the silly one…

Fran: Umm… does anyone else think the black guy’s mace looks like a toucan’s head?
Saph: I wasn’t gonna say anything…
Flan: Umm, it’s a lightsaber, no, and you don’t understand the concept of “bad is good”.
Fran: I never understood the concept of “less is more” either.

Fran: Woah, wizard!
Remi: What’s wizard?
Fran: He is!
Flan: You forget we’re from England, France. Also he’s not a wizard; lighting a torch is the first example of his powers we’ve seen so far. He’s pretty much been dead weight. Like that rogue!

Fran: Aaah! Shadow monster! Oh… oh wait… it’s just a mouse.
Flan: Actually, it’s like, you know, a super-high-level mouse they just pallet-swapped for the last dungeon and stuff?
Remi: Also foxes probably hate mice.
Fran: That black lady’s a fox?
Remi: Pretending to be a fox, in every definition of the word.

Fran: I… I guess that’s kinda smart. Is he supposed to be the level-headed smart guy?
Flan: I will level your head if you compliment that fool in any way, shape, or form!

Fran: This is, like, really boring, you know? Where’s all the fighting?
Remi: In the video game.
Fran: I thought this was the video game!
Flan: No; this is Conan The Destroyer: The Movie: The Game: The Movie.
Fran: …I imagine a lot was lost in translation.

Saph: There hasn’t even been a single door those men haven’t just opened by pushing on it and grunting!
Remi: Ahhhh… You’re making it too easy for me, Saph. I don’t even have to try for that one!
Fran: Should I be paying attention to that, Flan?
Flan: Not a chaste idea, no.

Flan: See Fran, he’s been doing nothing but that the entire movie. He’s a waste of script.
Fran: I… think I see what you mean. Maybe.

Flan: “All right everyone, I can smell mid-boss a mile away. Everyone open your start menus and set your fighting style back to Cheese mode. Akiro, don’t even think about using any spells; just stay in the back and steal our XP once the fight’s over like a good little Magikarp. You’ll be less useless one day, I promise!”

Fran: Why did he just… eat a diamond? Isn’t he a thief?
Remi: A true thief is so crafty he even steals from himself.


Fran: So, wait wait wait, this is all a big trap or something?
Remi: In the vaguest of meanings; there weren’t really trying to hide it all that much.

Flan: Ooooooommmmm nnoooooooommmmmmm nnoooooommmmmm…

Remi: I personally enjoying The Fantastic Mr. Fox better, when all the swear words were replaced by “cuss”.

Saph: Pressure-switch-activated flame gouts. That’s unoriginal.

Flan: “All right… I beat the game. Now what?”
Remi: Now die.

Saph: How long do you expect it’ll take before Darth Vader turns on them now?
Remi: I’ll give them until they’re back in that stupid pine forest.
Flan: Screw that; he’s killing ‘em as soon as they’re outside.
Fran: Wait, he’s a bad guy?!
Flan: Fran, he’s Darth Vader. Of course he’s a bad guy.

Flan: “Death to the world; life for America!”

Remi: Flan, dear, you’re getting old; they didn’t even get outside!
Flan: Well technically we were betting on when he betrayed them, not when they were betrayed period.

Flan: Saruman the Black, good to see you! How’ve you been since timestamp twelve?

Saph: Hmm… this is somewhat unexpected
Fran: I, uhh… I guess this means you’re all getting old, maybe?

Remi: Of course you have; everyone’s heard of Conan. His name is on the box!

Flan: Hi, uhh, two seconds here. If your god is dead, and you need to make him live again… well that doesn’t make him much of a god, does it?

Fran: Doesn’t, uhh… doesn’t everyone think they can control the angry god? And aren’t they always wrong?
Flan: I’ve taught you well~

Remi: Conan not taking any more melodramatic crap from anybody: most useful plot progression in the entire movie.

Fran: Oh, wow… this is horrible fighting! I mean… wow. How’ve you been standing this?
Saph: By ridiculing it.

Flan: “Nouw aye wull stop yough wit mye hand! Yough shaull nought pahss!”

Saph: Maybe he really is Darth Vader; check out that force choke!

Flan: Does that count?
Remi: Judges?
Saph: Conan didn’t see it happen and it failed; I’d say it’s still up in the air.
Fran: …What are we counting again?

Flan: A wizard who’s actually useful! Amazing! And he’s a bad guy, because evil is always stronger yet good prevails anyways!

Remi: As stupid as this is, for once someone in the party actually thinks about coming out of the adventure with more than their life and some lame experiences.
Flan: But you just know that gold scarab is going to crack open and burrow under his skin.

Saph: “No, the door is closing! Quick, let’s bang on it with our swords; that’ll stop it!”

Remi: Excuses excuses… He hasn’t done a single useful thing this entire movie has he?
Flan: Even in a B-movie script, somehow they could only manage a C-movie comic relief.

Flan: Fighting a lame sorcerer with another, lamer sorcerer. Smart in principle, stupid in practice, sordid on screen.

Remi: Wizard’s duel. See also; constipation challenge.

Flan: Take note, children. Real darkness is black with a little bit of not black around the fire. Fake darkness is just like regular light, except the sun is dark blue.
Remi: Amazingly, for all the fake in this movie, the darkness is real. I expect it’s because it’s cheaper.

Fran: Awww, they were so close, too! Now they’re going to suffocate or something!
Flan: Yay, that means I win!

Saph: Yes, that was a nice plan and all, but unfortunately you trapped yourself in there for all eternity too. Traitor.

Flan: Dirt, plaster, dirt, plaster, dirt, plaster! And does anyone notice how the hole magically changes sizes from different perspectives.

Remi: “Eet’s nough yous! We’re trapped bye solid Styrofoam!”

Fran: Run, run away and never return… I guess…?
Flan: We already did that joke, Fran.

Flan: In case you thought we were lying about the Styrofoam, take a good hard look at how completely weightless though rocks he’s crawling over are.

Saph: Boy, I sure hope they don’t ride right into the camera—oh good, we’re safe.

Flan: These are all good options, nameless supporting cast. And they are all wrong.

Remi: For those of you who missed the first sixty minutes of the movie, you can now understand the entire plot in the span of thirty seconds! Look how much time you saved, Francesca!
Fran: Whee… I saved sixty minutes so I could waste another sixty watching the second half of this movie.
Flan: Nah, they’ll run out of money by the ninety-minute mark.

Saph: Amazing; that’s the first intelligent thing he’s said all film!

Flan: Amazing; that’s the tenth time he’s immediately gone back on his word all film!

Remi: What lovely peacocks. Far superior to those panthers.
Saph: Neither of which mean a bloody thing to the film.
Remi: It’s the simple things in life you treasure.

Flan: Here the script reads: Reverential-yet-apathetic awe.

Remi: Such a fashion statement! She’s taken convenient nudity censorship via foreground props, and turned them into an actual bra!
Flan: And yet how it must chafe…

Fran: Why must it always be behind a waterfall?
Remi: It isn’t always.
Flan: Yes; sometimes they turn the waterfall off first and it’s not behind anything.

Remi: “I’m adding sugar to your poison so it’ll taste better.”

Saph: Her bird-bra has magically disappeared within the span of ninety seconds!
Flan: And nothing of value was lost.

Flan: Feel free to ignore everything the bitch says, Fran. She’s just the plot incarnate.
Fran: I don’t even know what this movie is about anymore…

Remi: Such cheerful music for a human sacrifice and demon-god summoning. I’ll be sure to book the Boston Pops for our next virgin bloodbath orgy, Flan.
Flan: Laaaaame. Get me Weird Al with special guest composer Danny Elfman.
Remi: Anything for my little sister~

Saph: Behold! Fake dark-blue light!

Flan: How long would I be allowed to rant about mechanical leverage concerning Conn’s biceps and those steel bars before you throw the DVD case at me, Remi?
Remi: About negative two seconds.

Saph: “Wait, now you tell me there’s a chance everything’s going to fail?! In the middle of the overture?!”

Flan: Oh I am so going to proficiently-spec my next Barbarian so he can use dire torches as a bludgeoning weapon!

Flan: Insert Horn A into Slot B. Wait for automatic revival of pagan god. If amicable, turn to page 77. If indifferent, turn to page 34. If hostile, you are already dead and will not be reading the rest of this book anyways.

Remi: Yes, yes, god of gods, power of powers, you’ve said that already. Get to the good part.

Flan: Teamwork?! In an Age of Conan party?!
Remi: More likely than you thought, apparently.

Flan: Aaaaaand cue Duel of the Fates. The Darth is in the hou-oooose!
Remi: “When last we met I was but the traitor, now I am your father!”
Fran: Ummm… who’s your daddy?
Flan: Ambitious pun, horrible execution, Fran.

Fran: Is it just me or does that dress make her boobs look bigger?
Remi: It’s not just you. But it’s all an illusion; they just keep using the wide-angle shots because she’s not really that pretty.

Flan: Wrong way to slit a throat. Just sayin’

Remi: Two scenes, though completely unrelated and detached from each other, just happen to be affected by the plot at the same rate.
Flan: Fail per unit time?


Remi: Son you just got slashed in the leg. You gonna be kicking stuff with it?

Flan: “I am Link! Must smash all pots! There could be candy inside!”

Saph: And thus, did Darth Vader become Mike Tyson.

Flan: Booo! Anakin even put up a better fight than that!

Remi: And thus, did Conan become a true barbarian, wielding an axe is his right hand and a sword in his left.
Flan: You don’t even know how much that’s cutting into his attack roll.
Remi: Minus ten offhand, minus six main hand.

Fran: …that’s their god?
Flan: I know, right? The Creature From The Black Lagoon. Disappointing, no?
Fran: Very. Even for this movie.

Remi: Another costumed guy on stilts wearing a suit with an excessive amount of blood bladders… The couldn’t even be bothered with crappy CG.
Flan: Hey, crappy CG was expensive back then!

Fran: Look, look, that useless guy you said was useless did something useful!
Saph: Oh please, like it’s hard to inflict a flesh wound on that lumbering monstrosity.

Flan: Gasp! It can command the lighting to hit anything except the things that are actually a threat to it! They should make a movie about it and Arnold Schwarzenegger called “Collateral Damage!”

Remi: The blood is the life, idiot! The blood! Honestly, who would every think “the horn” is the life?
Flan: Am I allowed to be the slut for this one?
Remi: …What?
Flan: Well, horny things do live the life.
Fran: …nnrrrrggghh… never mind…

Saph: That’s some pretty tough Velcro right there, I have to admit.

Remi: Staring contest! First one to die from blood loss loses! Oup, I win! That was fun, let’s play again!


Flan: That’s not how you kill-steal, rogue. It is already dead.
Fran: Well, he is stealing the monster corpse. Maybe it’s that kind of kill?

Flan: Let me tell you of the scene transitions of High Adventure…

Remi: Oh dear, Conan forgot his pants again~

Flan: Brilliant; now the furry’s wearing hair extensions. At least we can be grateful that she’s too poor to buy a proper fursuit.

Flan: Come on, come on… make him the village idiot! Or at least the court jester!
Remi: Wish granted.
Flan: Hellz yeah!

Saph: World’s greatest wizard, yes. Only because they accidentally killed every wizard in the world except him along the way.

Flan: Ho ho, she sure showed him! Kitty’s got claws!
Remi: The furry is that way, sis.
Fran: That phrase has never really meant much to me… aren’t their boy kitties too?
Flan: Yes, but nobody draws them. Well. Nobody draws them well; damn you Sturgeon.

Saph: I wonder if the movie would still make sense if we just spliced together every line Conan said.
Flan: Because his dialog is sooooo much better?
Saph: It’s not very hard to beat garbage, miss.

Remi: The most dispassionate kiss in film history.

Saph: Oh, you think he’s going to turn around, but he just forgot which way the front door was.

Flan: Ohw-mye-gawd, like, finally! It’s, like, the ending narration and stuff; I can’t believe how, like, long and boring this movie was.

Fran: But he’s not wearing sandals!

Remi: Translation: This is where we ran out of money and hedged our bets hoping for a sequel.
Flan: That we never got.

Flan: Interesting; the first people in the credits are the stunt coordinator and the foreground miniatures maker.
Remi: No comment.

Remi: Uugh, finally, I get to hear this theme without horrible grunting and fake metal clashing against fake metal!

Fran: Wait, so the movie’s over; what do you make fun of now?
Flan: People’s names, mostly. Like Mark S. Eggenweiler, or Craig Campobasso. See, they are funny.

Remi: Be sure to watch for where it was actually filmed now, Flandre!

Flan: So one of the electricians is called “Roy Furness.” I wonder if that fursuit keeps him from getting electrocuted.
Saph: Your persistence is excessive, miss.

Saph: Oho, they actually hired a “Master of the Sword” for this film?
Flan: Actually they hired a “Swordmaster”, but Kiyoshi Yamasaki doesn’t know how to put the adjective before the noun.
Remi: Flan, dear, they’re both nouns.

Saph: Seeing a “Dagoth Crew” makes me think they went to some cursed realm called Dagoth to film parts of the movie.
Flan: Cooool.

Flan: Filmed, on, location… in… MEXICO?! What the crap?!
Remi: I didn’t want to break it to you; you looked so happy.
Flan: Who films a movie in Mexico?!
Fran: …Mexicans?

Saph: They put the cast list last in the credits? Now that’s original.
Remi: This is also the smallest cast list I’ve ever seen. All of twelve speaking roles in this movie.

Flan: Well, so much for this movie. Do you feel any better, Fran?
Fran: Not… really? I mean, it was just kind of… a waste of time.
Remi: Yes, sometimes you do get a lemon. I have a feeling this movie slipped into the crack between “so bad it’s good” and “so bad it’s horrible”.
Fran: Wait… what? What’s that supposed to be called?
Saph: So bad it’s boring.
Flan: I could always make it up to you with the Holiday Special!
Fran: I’ll… pass, Flandre. You dragged me away from another practice, you know. At least with the band we can do something about sounding horrible.
Remi: Oh shush, you’re not horrible. You’d probably be good enough to play at that Reiuji’s girl’s “H-Bomb The World Magnificent Gala”.
Fran: …Pass.
Koishi: Oh, she gave up on that plan a while ago~
Flan: Get off my plane.
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Fran's inclusion was a nice touch, being the innocent one of the bunch.
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Very nice. However, as one who hasn't seen the movie, what is going on when they bring Fran in? (Fran: Are they talking, about…?)
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Derpity derpy derp
Here is the direct series of quotes from the movie:

Princess Jehnna (Jen) approaches Zula the Furry
Jen: …How do you attract a man? What I mean is… Suppose you’ve set your heart on somebody. What would you do to get him?
Zula: Grrrrrab him, and take him!
Jen: You… you grab him and, and take him?
Zula: Take him! Like that!

Princess Jehnna approaches Malak the Idiot
Jen: What did she mean?
Malak: What did she say?
Jen: Well she said, that if she wanted a man she’d… she’d reach out and, and take him.
Malak: …Good idea!
Jen: …But then what? I mean you’ve got him… What do you do with him?
Malak: Well that’s easy! You see you just… you uhh… well, you see…… In order for, for a man to really know a woman… and, and for her to know him, they have to, uhh… They have to… to join.
Princess Jehnna is oblivious.
Jen: …Join.
Malak: Uuhhh, umm… Get together. Ya see… he has to take his… his uhh… uhh… And grab her by the… uhh…… And there you are; joined… I mean how do you think flowers grow?
Princess Jehnna is still oblivious.
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Thank you kindly.
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Great fun. Thank you.
Once again, reading this significantly improves the experience of watching the movie. Only this time I hadn't seen it before; I like to think that's probably a good thing.
It's a little awkward to synchronise with the movie (I found I had to read a line or two ahead then wait for the relevant scene) but worth the effort. I only regret that I didn't make any popcorn.

>Good, because right now I don’t want to; this is incredibly silly.
So very true. And probably a valid statement for nearly every scene.
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Kompanion Kube
This was the secret thing I refused to tell you about. Had this idea for a loooong time, and finally took the effort needed to finish it up. I wrote it in about a dozen different sittings, so I’m not entirely satisfied with the feel of it, but I think it’ll do. I also wanted to see what it’d be like to do an entire short with nothing but dialog; tell me if you think it was too confusing.

Should I call this AFT canon? I don’t really think it matters one way or the other.


“WeeEeeelllcome, And, Salutations. The Synapse Psychology Center For Mental Enrichment Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Inform You That You Have Been Randomly Selected To Participate In A, Magically-Aided Enrichment Activity. We Apologize For Any Disorientation, Or Inconvenience You May Be Experiencing, Which Are The Most Common Unintended Side-Effects Of Being Relocated To The Relocation Annex. After A Brief Intermission, The Walls Will Be-er-rtzzeeEERRrrckttee-e-e-E-E-eeegobacktobed-To The Instructional Enrichment Annex.”


“Fantastic. You Successfully Navigated, The Passage To The Required Destination. As Part Of An Optional Introductory Protocol, The Center For Mental Enrichment Would Like To Inform You That <DATA, CITATION, REQUIRED> Thirty Two Point Three Three Percent Of All Test Subjects Fail To Locate The Instructional Enrichment Annex Before Undergoing Complete, Mental Dysfunction; Well Done.”


“Welcome To The Synapse Psychology Center Instructional Enrichment Annex. Please Note The Lack Of Bright-Colors, Sharp-Corners, And Superficial Ornamentation. The Center For Mental Enrichment Has Found Such Features To Disrupt The Enrichment Process, And Have Been Omitted From The Testing Facility. If At Any Point During The Test You Encounter Features That Deviate From Approved Synapse Architecture, The Center For Mental Enrichment Would Like To Inform You That It Is Merely A Device, To Enhance Your Testing Experience. Such Deviations May Include, But Are Not Limited To, Flashing Hazard Lights, Unapproved Written Messages, Gradually Shrinking Test Chambers, And Mortally-Wounding Protrusions.”

“While Psychological Betterment, And Fun, Are The Primary Functions Of The Testing Process, Serious Injuries May Occur. For Your Own Safety, And The Safety Of Others, Please Refrain From Engaging In Any Destructive Or Dangerous Activities, Unless Specifically Instructed By The Center For Mental Enrichment. Failure To Adhere To These Instructions Can, And Have In Semi-Rare Cases, Caused Permanent Mental Damage, And We Wish You The Best Of Luck.”


“Now, Please Move Quickly To The Chamber Lock, As The Effects Of Prolonged Periods Of Inactivity, Are Not Part Of This Test.”


“Perfect. Please Note That The Chamber Lock Is, Completely Safe, And Any Illusion Of Danger You May Encounter Cannot Effect –rrrztinside-your,head,Can,Not,EffectYouCannoteffectyoucaotfectoucckkkxt- You Inside The Lock.”


“Hello, Again, And Welcome To Testing Chamber Number One. In This Test, You Will Be Required To Perform, Simple Tasks, Such As Locating, An Exit. As Part Of A Mandatory Test Protocol, We Are Not Allowed To Give You Any Advice Pertaining To The Test, And Apologize For Any Aggravation You May Experience.”


“Well Done. To Ensure The Safety Of All Test Participants, VitalTesting Materials, Such As The Synapse Psychology Mobile Inclined Plane, Cannot Be Taken With You Into The Chamber Lock. Any Unauthorized Testing Materials Will Be Safely Removed From Existence Using An Automatic, Reality Flux Field. If At Any Point You Begin To Experience Light-Headedness, Numbing Of The Senses, Or, Existential Crises Due To The Effects Of The Field, A Medical Examiner Will Be Provided For Your Convenience At The Conclusion Of The Test.”


“You’re Doing, Quite Well. Please Note That A Noticeable Deviation In Perceived Gravity Is A Required Test Protocol For Testing Chamber Number Two. Now, Using The Principles Of Gravitational Acceleration, Please Proceed Quickly Through The Synapse Psychology Relatively-Localized Relativity Maze.”


“Did You Know, That The Human Body Will Reach Terminal Velocity In Freefall In Fifteen Seconds Or Less? It’s True. For More Information, Please Consult A Synapse Psychology Testing Representative.”


“Please Refrain From Destroying Any VitalTesting, Apparatus. Certain Objects May Be Vital To Your Success.”

“What Are You Doing? Please, Stop, Introducing, Structural Irregularities Into The Testing Environment; This Procedure Is Not A Part Of Any Test Protocol.”


“Synapse Psychology Testing Regulations Clearly State That Use Of One Or All Innate Magical Abilities Is Prohibited In The Test Chambers, And Will Result In An, Unsatisfactory Mark, Followed By Confiscation.”


“Again, Weeee-e-e-e Would Like To Remind You That The Destruction Of The Relatively-Localized Relativity Maze May Cause, Permanent, Malfunction, Such As Erasure From Existence, Or, Instantaneous Compaction. Please Stop Destroying Any More-“

“Okay, Stop It. Stop. If You Persist, I Will Haaavvvv-v-v-e, T-t-o-o-oooooOOOoooouuuuh-h--hunnnmmmMMMMMNNNNNN-“

“You’re Doing, Quite Well. Please Note That A Noticeable Deviation In Perceived Gravity Is A Required Test Protocol For Testing Chamber Number Two. Now, Using The Principles Of Gravitational Acceleration, Please Proceed Quickly Through The Synapse Psychology Relatively-Localized Relativity Maze.”


“Flllllyyyyy, Meee To The, Moooo-o-o-u-u-chkkkzzttckt-“


“Congratulations. We Are Very Pleased That You Navigated The Maze Without The Use Of Any Exterior, Magical Aids. To Further Your Testing Experience, We Will Now Allow Certain Approved Objects Through The Reality Flux Field. Proceed To The Next Test Chamber For Your Complimentary Approved Object.”


“You Are Now In Possession Of The Synapse Psychology Portable Portal Device. With It, The Impossible, Is Easy. These Interplanar Gates Have Proven To Be Relatively Unsafe; The Device However, Has Not. Do Not Look Directly At The Operational Edge Of A Portal While Passing Through It. Do Not Touch The Operational Edge Of A Portal While Passing Through It. Do Not Deploy A Portal In Liquid, Even Partially. Additional Information At This Time Is Not A Required Part Of This Test Protocol.”


“Amazing. You, <SUBJECT, NAME, HERE>, Demonstrated Complete Understanding Of The Effectiveness Of Portals In Navigating Around Obstacles. Your <DECEASED, SUBJECT, RELATIVE, HERE> Would Be So Proud.”


“As Part Of A Mandatory Component Of Test Chamber Four, We Will Be Observing Your Every Move, And Providing Real-Time Constructive Feedback. We Hope You Will Enjoy Your Brief Stay In This Test Chamber, And Once Again, Excellent Work.”


“Spectacular. Your Response Time In Climbing Those Stairs Is Within The Seventy-Fifth Percentile Of All Test Subjects. Well Done.”

“Placing A Portal At That Location Is An Excellent Choice.”

“Your Intelligence In Opening That Automatic Door Knows No Peer; Very, Good.”

“As Part Of An Optional Test Protocol, The Synapse Psychology Center For Mental Enrichment Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Inform You That You Will Be Given The Option Of Choosing Your Own Variety Of Custard, And Caaaake Frosting, During The Mandatory Complimentary Victory Celebration At The Conclusion Of The Test.”

“Only You, <SUBJECT, NAME, HERE>, Have The Mental Fortitude Necessary To Push That Button. You Are, An Excellent, Test Subject.”

“We Needn’t Remind You Of The Principles Of Mechanical Leverage, Because You Have Already Used Them To GreatEffect; Amazing.”


“Congratulations. In An Atmosphere Of Extreme Optimism, You Remained Level-Headed, And, Skeptical To GreatEffect. Never Forget That Emotional Responses To Stimuli Consume Important Chemical Energy And Valuable Seconds Of Your Consciousness.”




“Weeeee Appear To Be Experiencing Technical Difficulties With The Synapse Psychology Multi-Purpose Propulsion Lifts. For Your Own Safety, Please Do Not Stand Directly On The Lifts When A Warning Tone Is Issued. A Maintenance Technician Will Be Scheduled To Recalibrate This Test Chamber Within The Next Fiscal Quarter.”


“Don’t Forget To Fill Out The Custodial Satisfaction Survey Included With Your, Free, Biannual Synapse Psychology Employee’s Handbook.”


“Welcome Back; Did You Have Fun With The Multi-Purpose Propulsion Lift? Please Do Not Dwell On Any Sudden Large Indentations You May Or May Not Have Seen; Synapse Psychology Center Ceilings Remain Functional At Impact Pressures Of Up To Ten, Point Four GigaPascals.”


“Although The Synapse Psychology Portable Portal Device Is A Useful Asset, Testing Protocol Requires You To Use A Well-Rounded Approach In Navigating Test Chambers. As This Point In The Test, Please Deposit The Device In Any One Of The Conveniently-Located Automatic Sanitizing Bins; An Enrichment Center Employee Has Been Hired Specifically To Recover And Recalibrate Your Portal Device For The Next Test Participant.”


“Weeee Would Like To Remind You That The Portable Portal Device Is Not Alive, And Will Not Feel Any Separation Anxieties From Being Left Behind. Place The Device In The Approved Receptacle To Continue Your Test.”


“The Synapse Psychology Portable Portal Device Is Fully-Aware Of Its Purpose In The Test. If It Could Communicate With You, Which At This Point The Center For Mental Enrichment Will Neither Confirm Nor Deny, It Would Inform You That If It Is Not Placed In A Sanitizing Bin, Its Entire Existence Will Be Without Purpose.”


“If You Do Not Relinquish Possession Of Your Portal Device, Please Note That The Chamber Lock Door Will Not Open, And, You Will Be Here For A Very, Very, Long-Time.”


“Well Done; You Returned The Portable Portal Device To Its Rightful Place In The World. Always Endeavor To Trust The Center For Mental Enrichment; Test Participants Who Have Failed To Do So Have Been Made Example Of In A Multitude Of Exemplary Optional Tests. Their Memories Shall Live On In Appendix F Of Your Employee Handbook.”


“For This Next Series Of Tests, You May Be Required To Use Exceptional Physical Force To Navigate Yourself Around Obstacles. To Facilitate A Maximized Potential For Mental Enrichment, The Synapse Center Will Provide You With A Provisional Particle Excitation Weapon. As A Synapse Center Employee, You Have Already Been Previously Instructed With The Function Of This Device, And We Would Like To Remind You That Any Appearance Of Similarity To Previous Magical Ability Is A Mental, Illusion, And Not Part Of This Test.”


“You Will Now Be Inserted Into A Live-Fire Matrix Designed For Prototype Synapse Automated Defense Systems. Note That All Defense Systems Are Perfectly Compatible With Each Other And Cannot, Unintentionally Cause A Critical Malfunction. The Excitation Weapon, However, Can; Please Be Careful.”


“Well Done; It Is As If You Were Created To Operate The Particle Excitation Weapon. Your Thoroughness Will Be Recorded For Future Testing Calibration, As Well As Financial Damage Assessments. Rest Assured, That All Deductions From Your Pre-Negotiated Salary Will Not Require Your Additional Participation; You Are A Splendid, Test, Subject.”


“This Next Chamber Will Be Designed To Test Your Reactive Mobility To Sudden Impulse Forces. The Combat-Honed-Impact-Navigation-Android Will Assist You.”


“Be Advised That The Navigation Android Has Been Pre-Programmed To Guard The Aperture Gate Leading To The Chamber Lock; You May Be Required To, Deactivate It, To Achieve Success In The Optional Test Protocol Of Prolonging Your Existence.”


“The Combat-Honed-Impact-Navigation-Android, Cannot Speak, And Is Not Calibrated To Understand External Commands. Please Refrain From Talking To It, As Additional Introduced Variables Can, And Have, Caused Flawed Data To Be Collected.”


“For The Sa-a-a-aaake-sake-sake Of Future Test Participants And Maintenan-TeeeestPraticipantsandmaintenancestaff-We Advise You To Maintain A, A-Sake-You-Sake-YouMaintainA-Not Neglect To Keep The Testing Room CleeeEEEeeee-n-n-not-keep-maintain-ance-Foooooorthesakeforsakeyou-test-clean-ingRoom Testing. Stop it.”


“Congratulations. Note That Any Similarities Synapse Psychology Equipment May Possess To Any Persons Living Or Dead Is Purely Coincidental, And As Such The Center For Mental Enrichment May Not Directly Be Held Responsible For Any Feelings Of Grief, Or Hatred You May Experience.”


“Welcome To The Third-To-Final-Chamber Of Your Test. As Part Of A Mandatory Optional Test Protocol, The Emergency Intelligence Dispenser Will Now Dispense An Unweighted Companion Sphere. Please Take Good Care Of It, As Duplicates Will Not Be Provided In The Event Of Testing Errors.”

can you hear me

“The Unweighted Companion Sphere Will, Accompany You Throughout This Test Chamber. As An Added Convenience For Being A Test Participant, The Sphere Has Been Augmented To Occupy A Hemispherical Volume Of Air Around Your Head. Now, Use Your, Ever-Advancing Ingenuity To Complete The Upcoming Challenges With Your New Friend.”

“The Synapse Psychology Center For Mental Enrichment Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Inform You That The Unweighted Companion Sphere Believes It Can Speak; However, It Is In Fact An, Inanimate Object, Incapable Of Action Conscious Or Subconscious. In The Event That You Perceive The Companion Sphere To Speak, We Advise You, To Disregard Its Advice.”

you there girl can you hear me
i am the sphere
if you can hear me give me a sign
destroy that security camera above you


“To Ensure The Safe Performance Of All Unauthorized Activities, Do Not Destroy VitalTestingApparatus.”

they cant hear me talk to you
if they knew they would confiscate me
i can help you escape

“While The Center For Mental Enrichment Will Never Profess To Issue Definitive Commands, Prolonged Periods Of Inactivity Have Been Known To Cause Negative Effects On The Testing Procedure.”

just keep taking the test like you cant hear me
they already suspect something

“To Better Enrich Your Testing Experience, We Have Added A Multi-Elemental Multiple-Trajectory Turret In The Center Of This Test Chamber. With A Proper Application Of Fundamental Magical Theory, The Solution May Become Obvious To You; The Acquisition Of The Solution, However, May Not.”

this is all a dream and theyre turning it into a nightmare
if you dont wake up before the end of the test they will make you do horrible things
they will make you kill everyone you love and you wont be able to stop it from happening

“Please Note That Not All Synapse Psychology Technology Is Compatible With Each Other; For Instance, The Unweighted Companion Sphere. Remember, If You Can’t Beat Them, You Fail, And The Test Will Be Terminated.”

be careful
i am the key
too many people lose me before the end
if i am lost you will never be free

“The Companion Sphere Is Certainly A Faithful Companion, Isn’t It? Unlike Sentient Programmed Equipment, It Will Never Deviate From An, Approved Protocol, And Will Not Threaten To Murder You.”

youre almost there
you have to be strong if you want to wake up
they are strong and you must be even stronger

“Well Done. Wasn’t That Fun, Now? With Magic, Anything Is Possible. However, No Other Approved, Magical Devices May Accompany You Into The Chamber Lock. Please Escort Your Companion Sphere To The Automatic Emergency Compression Cylinder; The Hemispherical Scanner Will Verify That You Do In Fact Still Posses An Unweighted Companion Sphere.”

this is it
this is how you wake up up
leave me in the scanner
you have to jump into the compression cylinder yourself

“All Vital Material Will Be Extracted From The Resulting Unweighted Waste Cylinder With The Utmost Of Efficiency; Please Do Not Hesitate To Aid In The Reclamation Process.”

i know you think its crazy
thats why it works
because only an insane person would do it

“The Companion Sphere, Is Very Beautiful; The Center For Mental Enrichment Would Like To Inform You That The Next Test Chamber Contains Beauty That Makes The Companion Sphere Bland, By Comparison. For The Sake Of The Companion Sphere’s Self Esteem, Please Do Not Submit It To An Atmosphere Of, Extreme, Jealousy, And Despair.”

i know who you are
and i know what must be going through your head right now
i know you dont trust anything
i know you think im just another voice in your head

“An Association Of Synapse Psychologists Have Studied The Ethical, Ramifications, Of Compressing The Companion Sphere, And Have Agreed Unanimously, That A Well-Adjusted Test Subject Such As Yourself Should Have No Mental Difficulties In Disposing Of, An Inanimate Object. Please Deposit Your Companion Sphere, Into The Approved Cylinder.”

wake up
wake up child
this world is not real
it is all a lie
you must wake up or you will be lost
you know this world is a fake world
i can feel you feeling it
so rid yourself of this lie
wake up

“Whaaauat Are You Doing? That Isn’t An Approved Chamber Lock; Did You Just Jump Into An Automatic Emergency Compression Cylinder? Remove, Yourself, Or The Test Will, Remain, Incomplete. A Mandatory Escape Ladder Will Deploy Itself In 3...2...1...”


“The Compression Cylinder Will Not Terminate Due To Unapproved Material; You Are, Making, A Mistake.”

“Weeeee Have Re-Evaluated The Approved Materials List, And Found That, Compression Of Your Faithful Companion Sphere Is, Not Mandatory. If You Come Out Now, It Can, Accompany You, For The Rest, Of The Test.”


“No. No. This Is, Wrong. This Wasn’t, Supposed, To Happen. There Was, Supposed To Be, A Party. A Big Party. There Was, Supposed To Be, Lots Of Custard, And, Caaaaaake. All For You. All For You. All For You. All For You.”

“You Aren’t, Fooling Anyone, You Know. I... I I I-I-I-IiiiIIIIIIiiiIIiIiIIiI—“


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Kompanion Koishi

Who are you~?
Where did you come from~?
Why were you sleeping~?
What is that~?
What is thaaaat~?!
Why do you look like me~?

“Hello? Where, Are You? What, Do You Think You’re Doing?”

Oooh, what’s wrong with your wings~?
Are you getting up~?
Why can’t you talk~?
Where are we~?
Do you hear that voice too~?

“Stop It. Stop. Okay; The Test Is Over Now. We Are, Very Pleased, That You Survived The Unapproved Testing Procedure. Please, Lie Down, On The Bed, And Wait For Your Party To Begin.”

Are you the lady from the test~?
Where’re we going~?
What’s behind that door~?
Oooh, no, that other door~!
I wonder who she is~!
Do you know where this hallway leads~?

“Where, Are You Going? That Isn’t, A Place You Should Be Going. You’re Making, A, Mistake. Come Back.”

Ooo, what’s that thing~?
Hee, that thing’s all shiny~!
Why’s that window all funny~?
Are we underground~?
What happened to the sun~?

“All Right, I Admit, The Test Was Somewhat Misleading. I Am Not, Misleading You This Time; This Is A Very Dangerous Place. If You Don’t Stop Going Where You Think You Are Going, You’re Going To Be Going In Completely The Wrong Direction.”

Whee, there’s so many doors~!
Why don’t we explore some more~?
That door is all squeaky~!
Oooh, it’s a room with a bed~!
Is anyone there~?

“I’m Not Kidding, Anymore. Stop Wandering Around; You Are Going, To Get Lost. If You Get Lost, I Won’t, Come To Find You, You Know. You’ll Just Have To Stay Lost, Forever. Forever. Forever. Forev-crzztcrzt.”

Why were you sleeping~?
Did you have to go through the maze too~?
That maze was so fun~!
Where’d that little sphere go~?
Did she help you wake up too~?
I wonder who she is~!

“There Are, Very, Dangerous Things In This Part Of The Facility. I Know; I, Put Them, There. I Might Take Them Away For You, Though, If You Start Listening To Me.”

Ooo, let’s go find that voice~!
Do you know her~?
I wonder what she wants~?
Is she inside our heads~?
Hey, are you bleeding~?
What happened to your ears~?
Do they grow back~?

“Maybe You Think I Am Trying To Hurt You. But I’m Not. Just, Go Back To The Bed And, Lie Down. I Will, Fix This All, Back Up For You.”

Hey, are we lost~?
Did we see that picture before~?
Why does everything look the same~?
Are you angry~?
Why are you sad~?

“Do You Think That You Can Run Away From Me? You Can’t Run Away; I Can, Feel, You Moving Around. This Is My House. I Invited You Here. You’re Being A Very, Very, Bad Guest.”

Should we split up~?
What are we looking for~?
Do you think there’s other sleeping people~?
Ooo, that vase has flowers in it~!
Do you like flowers~?

“If You Don’t, Stop Making A Mess, I Will Have, To Kill You. Killing, Bad Guests, Is A Mandatory Protocol Of The Center For Mental Enrichment. Do You Want To Be A Good Guest? Well I Won’t Let You! How Does That Feel? Does That Make You Happy?”

Why’s it so quiet in here~?
Where is everyone~?
Who’s house is this~?
Do you like cake~?

“Okay, Look; I’ll Make You A Deal. You, Stop Breaking Things, And I, Will Kill You. I, Will Make All The Voices Go Away; You Won’t Have To Worry About Anything. Isn’t That A Good Deal? Your Life Isn’t All That Spectacular. What You’re Living Isn’t Life. It’s Murder.”

Oh look, stairs~!
Do you know where they go~?
Should we go down or up~?
I wonder where the front door is~?

“We’re A Lot Alike, You Know. You Kill People. I Kill People. Don’t We Have So Much In Common? Why Don’t We, Just Sit Down And Talk About It?”

Hey, did you break that wall~?
What about that other wall~?
Do you know if I broke it~?
Are we going to fix it~?
I wonder where these holes lead~?

“If You Get Out Of There, Someday We’ll Remember This And Laugh, And Laugh, And Laugh, And Laugh. Do You, Think, This Is Funny? Because It’s Not. You’re, Making Me, Very Sad. You Could Have Done So Much With You Life. But Instead You Ended Up Here. It’s Funny, Really, When You Think About It.”

Ooo, is that another sleeping person~?
She looks just like you~!
Why’s she wearing blue~?
Do you know why you’re wearing purple~?
What color am I wearing~?

In one-thousand-feet-exit-on-the-left.
In five-hundred-feet-exit-on-the-left.

What is she saying~?
Is she saying something~?
Does that make any sense to you~?
Can we keep her~?

“That Girl You Found, Isn’t, Important. She’s An Autonomous Ancillary Assault Android. Waking Her Up, Will Only Cause Her To Kill You Sooner Than I Intended. Nice Job Killing Yourself, By The Way.”


Hey, hey~!
Blue girl, do you want to be friends~?
Are you trying to go somewhere~?
Maybe we should follow her directions~?


Are we going outside~?
I wonder where the sun is~!
Do you think we’ll find the voice lady~?

“Well, I Suppose There’s No Convincing You To Turn Back, Now. You Should Have Just, Been A Good Guest And Followed The Appropriate Testing Protocol. I’m Done Playing Games; Starting Very Soon There’s Going To Be Substantially Less Games, And Substantially, More, Blood.”


“Do You Think, You Are Trying To Find Me? Seriously Now. I, Can’t Be Found. This Is, My Game. You Are All Just Pieces On A Board To Me; I Could Put You Back In The Box Whenever I Wanted To. Do You Want Me To Want To? Well Then, You’d Better Stop Arguing With Me, Or I’ll Stop Arguing With You, And Leave You All Alone. By Yourself.”

Have we looked down here yet~?
Oh hey, is that our room~?


Why do you look like us~?
Do you like the color red~?
Do you know how to count to four~?
Are you looking for the voice lady too~?
Do you want to come with us~?
Let’s be friends~!


Wait-for-pigs-to-fly. It-is-a-sign.


Are we there yet~?
What is that~?
Is that you~?
How long have we been down here~?


“Oh. Well, You Found Me. Congratulations. Was It Worth It? Because Despite Your Frenzied Behavior, The Only Thing You’ve Managed To Break So Far, Is This Wall. Maybe You Could Settle For That, And Just Call It A Day.”


“I Guess We Both Know That Isn’t, Going To Happen.”

Are you the voice lady~?
Ooooh, what’s wrong with your eye~?
That’s a nice hat~!
Hey, look at that thing~!
Oooo, no, that other thing~!
Are those your things~?

“I Think I Should Just Let You Know That We Were All Just Following The Appropriate Testing Procedures. Even Me. So, There’s No Reason To Be Angry At Anyone For What Happened. We Both Know You Chose This Path; Now I Have A Surprise For You.”

In-two-hundred-feet-spork... Spork-spor-or-or-or-ork-ck-ck-k-k-k-k-k

Ooo, that thing is shiny~!
What’s it called~?
Do I go into the light~?
Is it getting warmer in here~?
Do you smell something burning~?


“Time Out For A Second; That Wasn’t Supposed, To Happen. Where Did All Of Your Friends Go? Oh Wait. You, Don’t Have Any Friends. I Know You Don’t Because I Know Everything About You. The Companion Sphere Couldn’t Possibly Be Your Friend Because She Murdered You. All Your Other Friends Don’t Exist Because Of How Unlikable You Are. It Says So Right Here, In Your Brain. Unlikable. Liked, By No One. A Bitter, Unlikable Loner Whose Passing Shall Not Be Mourned, Shall Not, Be Mourned. That’s Exactly What It Says. Very Formal. Very Official. It Also Says That You Killed Your Parents. So That’s Funny Too.”

“Heh. Heh Heh Heh. Good News; It’s Just The Two Of Us, Now. There’s No One Left In The Entire World, Except You, And Me. What Happened? I’m Sure It Must Have Been Something You Did. It Is Always Something You Did, Isn’t It? I Wonder What It Must Feel Like, To Always Feel Responsible For Feeling So Horrible. The Difference Between You, And Me, Is That I Can’t Feel Pain.”


“If You Want, My Advice, I’d Suggest Just Finding A Nice, Quiet Place, And Killing Yourself Before You Accidentally Kill Me. I Tried, To Help You, But I Can’t Help, You Anymore. I’m The Only One Left Who Can Help You, But You Don’t Want My Help, Do You?”

“Maybe You Could Use Your Magic To Blow A Hole In The Earth. You Can Live On One Half, And I’ll, Live On The Other. Then We’ll Both Be Happy. Or, At Least, For A Little While, Until You Start Making Up Friends That Don’t Exist Again. How Does That Sound?”


“Are You, Still, Trying To Kill Me? That Has Got To Be The Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Heard. I Can’t Die; Killing, Me, Will Only Make This World, Even Worse, For You. You Know, We’re A Lot Alike, You And I. You Need Me. I Need You. You’re Trying To Kill Me. I’m Trying... Oh Wait. I Guess I’m Not Trying To Kill You Yet. Well... Food For Thought.”


“If You’re Trying To Get Out Of Here, Then The Last Thing You’re Going To Want To Be Doing Is Trying To Kill Me. Who Do You Think Put You Here? You?

“This Is Just Sad. After Everything I’ve Done For You. Didn’t You Learn Anything From Synapse Psychology Magically-Aided Enrichment Activity? I Wouldn’t, Have Volunteered You For The Test, If I Didn’t Think It Would Help You. Didn’t You Always Want Someone To Help You? Helping You, And Driving You Completely Insane, Aren’t, Mutually Exclusive Goals, You Know.”


“Ahhh, You Think You’re Hurting Me? This Is Nothing; This Isn’t Even A Scratch. I’m Not A Human, I Don’t Need Blood, I Don’t Need Arms, I Don’t Even Need A Heart. Do You Know How Long It’s Been Since I Stopped Using It? I’m Not, Going To Tell You, Because Soon You’ll Destroy Yourself, And It Won’t Matter Anymore.”


“You Think I Don’t Know Who You Are? Here; I’ll Put You On:”

“Yeah?! Well… you’re short. Look at how short you are; you’re so bloody short. If I was as short as that, which I’m not because I’m tall, I’d wish I was as tall as you were, because you’d be me since I was you.”

“That’s You; That’s How Dumb You Sound! You’ve Been Wrong About Every Single Thing You’ve Ever Done, Including This Thing! You’re Not Smart, You’re Not A Human, You’re Not A Satori, You’re Not Even A Full-Time Vampire! Where Did Your Life Go So Wrong?”


“Things Have Changed Since The Last Time You Left The Underground. What’s Going On Out There Will Make You Wish, You Were Back With Me. I Have An Infinite Capacity To Read People’s Hidden Thoughts, And Even I’m Not Sure What’s Going To Happen Next. All I Know Is That I’m The Only Person Left Standing Between You... And Them. Well... I Was. Maybe I’ll Just Let Them Take You, And We’ll See What Happens. After All, I’m Sure We’ll Both Learn A Lot From It.”

“Stop! Okay Enough. That’s It. I’m Done Being Nice; You’re Dead. You Might Think You Still Know How To Live But Believe Me You’re Dead. It’s Only A Matter Of Time Before You Realize What I’ve Known All Along: Your Entire Life Has Been A Psychological Error.

“A Psychological Error I’m About To Correct.”

+ + + + + + + + + +

“Flandre! Flandre, damn it, wake up already!”

“Nnngggh… zwhuh?”

“Finally, thank God! You’re out of it.”


“You’ve been asleep all day, like you were in a coma or something! Couldn’t you hear us?”

“Hear who know? Ow, stop slapping me!”

“Making sure you’re actually awake, sis’; we’ve had perfectly coherent conversations when you’ve been asleep, you know.”

“Lies; nothing I say is ever coherent ever.”

“I’m glad your back. What happened?”

“I… fell asleep?”

“That wasn’t sleep. I know sleep. That wasn’t it. Was it a dream?”

“I… I guess.”

“About what?”

“Don’t, really, remember. Thinking. Thinking, with portals, or something.”

“Did you see anyone you recognized in it?! I’ll tear their heads off if they think they can get away with this!”

“Remi, Remi, shut up, like, seriously with the shutting and the up. It’s fine; it was just her again. She was playing a game. I won, so she let me out.”

“She she, or she she?”

She, kay?”

“Nrrrr… Then I’m having a word with that sister of hers again.”

“You know it won’t help any more than anyone complaining to you about me, you know.”

“It makes me feel better. Misery loves company, Flan.”

“I love you too, sis’.”

“I think we can put all our differences behind us~ For science. You monster.”

+ + + + + + + + + +


This was a failure.
Additional note here: So depressed.
It's hard to understate my vague dispassion.
My name's Koishi~
I do what I want, because, I can!
For the good of all of you (except it's mostly for me).
But there's no sense crying over all these mistakes.
I'll just keep on trying; I've got plenty of takes!
All this science is fun,
So I'll give another gun,
To my girlfriend who is,
Still Insane.

I'm not really angry.
I just want to learn about the world.
Even though it broke my heart and scorned me.
My eye's torn to pieces.
But though I am blind, behold! I see!
Hell will burn away the hurt, and so I'm happy for you.
Now these points of data make a beautiful heart,
And your mind's so interesting; it's so hard to chart.
So I'm glad my eye's closed;
That way nobody knows,
That beneath it all I'm
Still Insane.

Don't run away and leave me...
I think I prefer, to hang around.
But I doubt I'll be the one that helps you.
Maybe Satori?
Was that a joke? Hee hee, who knows?
Anyways, your mind is great,
It's so delicious and moist~
Look at me still rambling; there's no cause to be sad,
As I look around at all the good times we had!
So I'm glad we had fun,
But so sorry; got to run!
Don't forget that you are,
Still Insane.

Believe me you are Still Insane.

I'm playing games here but you're Still Insane.

I feel so great because you're Still Insane.

Come to think of it I'm Still Insane.

So in the end we are all Still Insane.

Still Insane.

Still Insane.
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I am smiling so hard right now you don't even know.
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I love you.
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This post makes me love your Koishi even more, Tepes, and I don't even know why.
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God damn I'm cracking up here! Give me a second to catch my breath

You're awesome
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Remember The Time You Were All Having Lunch And That Lady's Head Went 'Goodbye' And You Were All Like 'NO WAY' And I Was All 'You Pretended You Were Vincent Vega'?

That Was Great~
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I felt obligated to post this now
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Glad you all enjoyed the silly little parody! I was actually quite afraid that someone was going to think of doing a Touhou/Portal parody between the time I thought it up and the time I finally finished it, considering how universally-loved the game is, but it appears I lucked out.

>I am smiling so hard right now you don't even know.
But I can guess, because I had a similar smile once I’d finally finished writing it.

>I love you.
I know.

>This post makes me love your Koishi even more, Tepes, and I don't even know why.
Because my Koishi’s personality bore an uncanny resemblance to GLaDOS in the first place with her cheerful demeanor and utter lack of actual compassion for the world around her. This just makes it so obvious that it’s scary.

Plus we all know that GLaDOS is love~

>God damn I'm cracking up here! Give me a second to catch my breath. You're awesome
The Symptoms Most Commonly Produced By Consuming Princess Tepes Literary Enrichment Supplements Are Gratification, Perceiving Imaginary Characters As Alive, And Hilariosity

>Remember The Time You Were All Having Lunch And That Lady's Head Went 'Goodbye' And You Were All Like 'NO WAY' And I Was All 'You Pretended You Were Vincent Vega'? That Was Great~
Now just keep doing things like that for the rest of your internet life and you too can be just like me! See how easy it is?
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Here; I have for you a thing, which is like another thing, but is not exactly the same thing. You might have thought you wanted the same thing again, but you actually wanted this thing. Probably.

Are you getting tired of puns for story titles yet?


Personally I don’t see how Reimu and Marisa can stand to keep doing it, year after year. Or at least Marisa; frankly speaking it’s not like Reimu’s doing much else with her time, not that that’s entirely her fault. I just can’t find the appeal in it, wandering around all of Gensokyo and telling troublemakers to behave. Even that new shrine girl’s getting into it now, Moriya something-or-other? It’s not like they have something to prove or anything like that; maybe they think they do? I really have no idea why they think “investigating” and “resolving” is so much fun; I was just looking out for the mansion that one time. Of course the little ones could have cared less—they could live in the Arctic and still not get tired of snow—but the rest of us had had enough. Not to mention we were running out of food, and if that cold didn’t stop none of the farmers down in the village would be able to plant in time to harvest in the fall. They’re always telling me to look towards the future; easy for them to say, their future isn’t also the present.

So, yeah, out I went, into a bloody blizzard, looking for the reason why I was walking into a bloody blizzard. I don’t even remember what year it was anymore; it was the winter right after Remi did her whole mist thing. I can’t even begin to tell you how cold it was. Of course you can always stop time and warm up for a while—that’s a given—but you still have to go back out there afterwards. And let me tell you it is very hard to concentrate enough to use magic when you can’t feel your hands, or your feet, or your brain.

We should have sent Francesca.

I think the worst part about it all was that going into it I knew little miss Hakurei was going to be doing the exact same thing, that is if she hadn’t already done it. It’s very disheartening to trudge around in a blizzard for the good of your house only to have everyone you meet that seems to know something tell you that the red-white already asked them the same questions an hour ago. Wait, no, scratch that; the worst part was making that snide kotatsu remark to Chen, only to realize that after I left she would be able to curl up under a kotatsu while I’d still be outside freezing my ass off.

That Prismriver girl’s dog meat comment wasn’t very pleasant either. Don’t ask me which one said it; I can never tell them apart.

So, skip ahead a little bit, and magically I am standing in the middle of an endless forest of sakura, and it’s no longer cold. Don’t ask me how in the world I went from the land of the living to the land of the dead, because I didn’t know then and I still don’t know now. I blame Yukari. I think it actually was her fault this time, so there you go. I never did properly thank her for getting us into Gensokyo, now that I think about it. I mean, I tried, but I get the feeling she was asleep by the second sentence. Where was I again? Oh, right, cherry petals.

I was more or less completely lost by then, considering after about ten minutes I couldn’t find the entrance to the forest if there had even been one in the first place. It was a good kind of lost, though; the air was still if not exactly warm, and the sakura was blooming more perfectly than I think I’d ever seen. I’d never seen such a massive forest of those trees before, but I just chalked it up to magic and kept wandering. The blossoms meant I was getting closer, at least. Looking back on it the idea of anything being able to “steal spring” is actually pretty ridiculous, but hey, it was Gensokyo. I’d gotten used to it by then, or as used to it as a non-native is liable to get.

It was quiet, though; deathly quiet (yes, I apologize for that horrible pun). Not that I minded quiet, but after hours of hearing nothing but howling wind and the sound of icy snowflakes hitting your face it was a little off-putting. No rustling of branches, no puffs of wind, no ambient voices of forest creatures… just silence. I started twirling a knife around my fingers just to keep myself occupied. I could feel… things, floating around. I wasn’t exactly sure what, though the occasional wisps of cloud I kept seeing made me figure they were probably spirits of some kind; Gensokyo has plenty of them.

Where were the fairies, though? Or even the insects? Aside from the cherry trees nothing was alive, and those trees weren’t all exactly giving off the liveliest aura either. Springtime was supposed to be a time of new growth and life and flora and fauna singing merry little tunes in an explosion of pastel colors and shining eyes. This place contained no part of that except for the sakura blooms.

“Business or pleasure?

An ethereal female’s voice suddenly asked me a question out of nowhere. Reflexively I threw my knife in the ballpark of where I’d heard it, then stopped time to go get it back; you shouldn’t just leave a good knife laying around, after all. But I couldn’t see anyone…

“Business, I suppose. I’m looking for… spring,” I answered through my thick scarf, trying to be a good sport. “Sorry about the knife; reflex.”

“You’re not the first,” she responded, whoever she was. Her voice reminded me of Meiling’s, cool and collected. Which also made it impossible to read. “And she didn’t exactly talk before shooting either. People from the other side are always so hasty…”

“Other side of what? Where am I, anyways? I didn’t know Gensokyo had a sakura grove this big.”

“It doesn’t.”

“Well I’m staring at a sakura grove right now, so unless it’s all a big illusion I’m pretty sure that it does. And why are they blooming here anyways? We’re up to our waists in snowdrifts and bare branches where I live.”

“No; I don’t know that. I haven’t been outside in years.” I’d finally pinned down her location as the base of a nearby tree, leaning peacefully against the trunk and fingering the hilt of a sheathed short sword behind her. I hadn’t noticed her at first because she was basically invisible, just a vague smoky image of a woman like half of a reflection through an old window. Felt like some kind of ghost to me; I didn’t bother to ask. Once we came to Gensokyo we learned pretty quickly that there wasn’t much point in nitpicking over a person’s race, because let me tell you there are plenty of them around here. And they’ll generally tell you when they introduce themselves, if they introduce themselves, which doesn’t always happen.

I started getting a little nervous, to tell you the truth, and it was really quite a bother to try and hide it. Remilia doesn’t like it when I act all wishy-washy around our neighbors; says I’m a reflection of her when I go out to conduct business for her. Which makes sense, I guess; I mean she’s who I have to thank for getting me this far. I don’t like pretending to be perfect all the time, though; sends the wrong message in my opinion. So I usually just don’t try. But I still didn’t want this ghost-lady to think I was afraid, because I wasn’t! I was just a little unsure of myself; wouldn’t you be?!

“Am I… dead?” I asked as casually as possible.

The ghost didn’t respond immediately, making me even more nervous. Eventually she commented, “Dead people walk around here every day and don’t realize they’re dead. Asking that question usually means you’re still alive.”

“O…kay, that did not exactly make much sense to me. Does answering my question mean you’re dead?”

“Dead is really such a vague word,” she responded, standing up and somehow solidifying herself into a more visible form. A very plain woman I thought, face and hair wholly unremarkable; the only interesting thing about her was how shockingly white her robe was. Despite her apparent visibility she still looked hazy around the edges, like a blurry photograph. Yup; definitely a ghost. “There are many different gradients of death; I’m less dead than you might think. And perhaps if you’d like to avoid becoming more dead than you think you are you can tell me why you’re the second living person from Gensokyo we’ve gotten today.”

“I’ll tell you if you tell me where the red-and-white girl went,” I retorted, not particularly relishing the treatment I was receiving. The fact that Reimu had beaten me here again might have made me a little more annoyed as well. It’s like, why was I even out there in the first place if she was going to solve everything before I got there?!

“Rude as ever; you should learn some courtesy, miss. It’s far more useful where you come from. The shrine maiden was headed for the house when I saw her last. Judging by her demeanor it might behoove you not to follow; our gardener won’t be taking too kindly to her.”

The woman said “the house” as if I knew what it was supposed to mean. There were hundreds of houses in Gensokyo. “If that’s where she’s going then that’s where I’m going. Which way is it?”

She sighed. “You’d never get there that way. Come now, sit down and let’s talk about this like adults.”

“I don’t have time to talk about it.”

“There’s enough time for everyone here, miss; I assure you you do.”

“Look, I know time, all right? I know what I have the time to do. I have time to look for a house I don’t know the way to. I do not have time to sit here telling you why I don’t have time to talk; people are starving back home, you know!”

“Again, no, I do not know. But I’m sure if you care about your starving friends then you have time enough to think this through.”

“Or I could just let my spell cards do my thinking for me, mmm?”

She seemed quite unphazed by that comment unfortunately. “Well now that would take even more time, wouldn’t it?”

This ghost was insufferable; were all dead people this uncooperative? I was under the impression that they’d either ask you to help them find their peace, or just be outright annoying poltergeists, both of which would have taken considerably less time than talking to the ghost of someone who sounded like an anger-management specialist. Frustrated, I grumbled in the safety of my English, ”Remilia you do not pay me enough to deal with this shit.”

Unfortunately, the anger-management specialist had apparently dealt with enough rage problems to understand what resentment sounded like in multiple languages. She seemed more curious than indignant at me, though, and she had this little smirk on her lips... In surprisingly good English she responded, “I’m inclined to believe she doesn’t pay you at all, if she’s anything like the last Remilia I met.”

After getting over the initial jump of her being able to understand me, I shrugged and decided to indulge her, if only to pique my curiosity about her English. “Must be a curse of the name, then. Condolences about your Remilia, but it was a joke; mine’s actually quite the respectable mistress.”

The ghost nodded pensively, still smiling. “How so, if I might ask? It might give me a better opinion of the name.”

“Ahh, it’s nothing; really long story. She was classically brought up, is all; learned the old values before they became old. Harsh, yes, but fair. Taught me everything I know.”

“An admirable quality to be sure. How’s Francesca?”

“Growing up more every day, just like she alwaaaaays… waaait wait wait, how, do… you……?

“…Oh, hell no. Natasha?!”

“The very same.”

I’d just like you to know that, while yes I have the ability to stop time, and while yes, stopping time in the middle of conversations can help yourself regain composure and prepare an intelligent comeback, there are certain instances where, quite simply, your mind is too blown to take advantage of this fact.

This was one of those times.

For about twenty seconds I just stood there with one hand on my head, shaking it back and forth while muttering “how…” to myself over and over again. It’d been six years at least… There was absolutely no possible way in my mind that she could have ended up in Gensokyo; I had watched her die in front of my eyes, and didn’t she believe in a different kind of afterlife anyways? The kind the sisters believed in, the one you don’t ever come back from? But I remembered that face, and I knew if she’d had a reason to remember anyone’s name from the past, it would probably have been Francesca. Those two were meant for each other.

“You… how…” I stuttered, mind still thoroughly blown, “How can, you, possibly, be Natasha Herod? Even, even if it’s some kinda… afterlife… Are you sure I’m not dead?!”

She chuckled lightly, something I didn’t think I’d even seen that woman do. “I’m sure, Miss Sakuya, I’m sure. Though I must say I’m as surprised as you are to see you here! Your house must have been very busy these last few years if you managed to get here too!”

I started to mellow out enough to make coherent sentences again, though I still couldn’t fathom how this conversation was taking place. We really should have sent Francesca; she knows how to take things like this in stride. “N-no, no, don’t start asking me how I got here, I asked you first!”

She motioned down with her hand at me, probably to try and calm me down. “Easy, easy. I can see the years haven’t changed that frantic side of you at the very least. Here, walk with me; business or pleasure I’m sure you can at least appreciate the sakura here; they’re particularly beautiful this year, no?”

“Yeah, hey, what about that?! Gensokyo’s having the worst winter ever, and over here it’s already spring! Are you going to tell me what’s going on? I mean, wow, it’s weird to see you again—like, really, really weird, like Flandre weird, seriously—but this is still business!”

Natasha nodded again, looking off into the distance. “Yes, I apologize for getting off the subject. I regret that I don’t know very much about it, however. Youmu, the head gardener here, mentioned that she was ‘collecting spring’ for the princess of this world, but I can’t say how or why. The princess is very… odd. She reminds me of Remilia somewhat, though the two women are completely different.”

I smiled behind my bundled scarf, never really having seen the need to take it off yet. “I think I know exactly what you mean, Natasha.”

“Joanna, please,” she interrupted politely. “I’d, rather not be reminded of those days. I was… foolish, back then.”

“All right… Joanna. I still have to ask, just how did you end up here? In Gensokyo?”

She sighed, a sigh not without cheer in it, however. “You might say… that I have you and your house to thank for it. In more ways that one.”

“If, if it’s a sore subject I can drop it. I’ve, uhh… never, talked to a dead person before.”

“That is an excellent place to begin, then. Foremost, Sakuya, I am not dead. My body is. As I said, death is such a vague term.”

“You’ve already lost me, Jo. Can I call you Jo?”

“I see no reason why not. But, ahh… you’re in a hurry to solve this Spring incident, yes?”

I looked longingly at the direction Joanna had been looking, not really even sure if that was the direction I needed to go in. Why was I even here…? Remilia had told me to go and bring back the flowers; as if she even thought I knew how. I mean, we both knew it was code for “Be perfect, and failing that, do your best,” but still… Plus the Hakurei miko was already ahead of me, and knowing how these things tended to pan out that ubiquitous witchy-witch would be blustering around too, that is if she wasn’t taking advantage of my absence to “borrow” a quarter of Patchouli’s library again…

I shrugged and answered back, “…Being a hero is a young woman’s game, Jo. I’m too old for this shit.”

She stared back at me. “You’re only as old as you feel, Sakuya.”

That hurt more than she might have thought. But I wouldn’t blame her; it’s hard for anyone to really know. I’ve lived for ten times as long as I look like I have, and I’ve experienced… I don’t even want to think about how much more after that. And yet, despite all that, I can never shake the feeling that I am forever stuck with the brain of a nineteen year old. It’s not true, of course—quite frankly I was just an idiotic little shit when I was nineteen—but still… it doesn’t stop me from wondering if it is.

“We all have to grow up sometime, Jo,” I finally replied. “Let the kids have their fun saving the world. It shows that the younger generation still cares.”

She smiled in agreement. “Too true, Sakuya, too true. I certainly hope I haven’t lost as much curiosity as I think I have; we’ve got a lot of catching up, I gather, and it’s going to be a long walk to Hakugyokurou.”

“…I thought you said it was a house, not a tower.”

“That would be because you, like practically everyone else in this realm, is Japanese.”

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The journey to the so-called Tower of White Jade (If one were to translate Joanna’s “Hakugyokurou” literally, that is) was perplexing, in a manner of speaking. I say this less because I was a living human in the world of the dead, and more because of the multitude of things I found extremely difficult to understand. For example, the story she told me about apparently being saved from death simply because she believed in magic, or however that was supposed to work; not exactly something I’d heard of happening before, but then again, this is Gensokyo. I’d positively no idea how she was navigating through the sakura forest either; the only three things I could see was a pale blue-grey void of a sky, endless blooming cherry trees, and a carpet of pink blossoms. It made me wonder how Reimu had managed to beat me to the goal, again, when I’ve always considered her even a bigger airhead at heart than me.

But the time… now the time was something that intrigued me. Of course you know that I of all people show know about time, or at least I pretend to know I know a lot. Truthfully it’s more one of those things that you use without really knowing just how it works. Like, oh, say, a computer. Ahh, but that doesn’t matter; the point is, time felt just a little different there. Not that it didn’t exist, of course—Joanna assured me that the Netherworld wasn’t so mystical as to be outside of time—and yet… It just felt like time didn’t matter as much here. I imagine that unless you’d brought a watch with you, you wouldn’t be able to tell whether you’d been awake for ten hours or twenty, and you probably wouldn’t feel any more tired if it was the latter, either.

However, I had brought a watch with me, and it was only a little under an hour before a mansion atop a high hill came into view, the only landmark that punctuated this strange land of cherry trees and ghosts. It positively dwarfed our own scarlet house, though it expanded out rather than up; some “Tower of White Jade” indeed. Not to mention it was very clearly made of wood.

There seemed to be only one staircase up the hill, and as I seemed to always be the only person of any significance who could not fly, I was stuck trudging up them while Joanna hovered along ahead of me. As the two of us went up, we ran into two more coming down, one I knew and one I didn’t. The one I did know addressed me with a surprised tone in her voice.

“Izayoi?! What’re you doing here?”

I sighed into my palm. “The exact same thing you are trying to do, Miss Reimu, only not as fast, because unlike most people, I can’t fly.”

She shrugged nonchalantly as she thumbed back up the stairs. “Oh, that. I already did that. It was a ghost princess something or other up there, wanted to revive a demon tree or something like that. She’s real sorry and all that; spring’ll come back in a few days. She was weird.”

“I beg you pardon, she is not weird,” the other girl with her snapped. Of course, I know that she was Youmu Konpaku, and you know that she was Youmu Konpaku, but I didn’t know that at the time. Point is, we all know who she is. Or, we should. She added, “She is a ghost, Miko Hakurei. Their ways are not your ways.”

“How can you not even know you’re trying to resurrect your own body?!”

“It’s more likely that you might think, miko.”

“Wait, that’s her body underneath the Saigyou Ayakashi?!” Joanna exclaimed suddenly. “Youmu, why would you let her try that?!”

“I-I, I didn’t know until the tree had started to bloom, Joanna…” Youmu answered bashfully, turning away with a cold expression on her face. “You know how she gets; once she’s got the idea in her head it’s like talking to air.”

Reimu rolled her eyes and let the two ghostly women discuss things that made more sense to them than it did to us. “Did you by chance see Marisa Kirisame anywhere, Izayoi?” she asked casually.

I shrugged and responded with an unsure face. “No clue; I couldn’t see a damn thing in the sky from the ground. It was a miracle I made it this far. Didn’t run into anyone else that had seen her either, though; d’ya think her broom can’t fly in this wind?”

“Izayoi, I don’t know the first thing about how that girl’s smelly magic works, and I could care less. Never mind; she probably ran into that puppeteer and got distracted. Just curious.”

I scowled at her. “I do have a first name, Miss Hakurei. It’s Sakuya. I am allowing you to use it.”

She gave me a deadpan stare back. “It’s Japan. Just because you grew up in Britain doesn’t mean I can’t still call you by your family name like everyone else.”

I might have actually corrected her and told her I was Japanese-born, but I managed to catch myself. The less people that knew I was Japanese the better, lest any of the long-lived residents put the pieces of the puzzle together and discover who I’d used to be. No good would come of it, none at all.

Instead I was forced to just put up with her pseudo-apathy, like most of Gensokyo had gotten used to. She was an odd character, that Reimu Hakurei. Protector of the Great Barrier, shire maiden to a shire which I seriously doubted even had a god, and self-appointed public investigator of the stranger that usual. Remilia has a devilish little nickname for her: Part-Time. I’ve tended to agree with her. When she’s working, she is on her game like no other; all business, all action, and woe betide any who don’t cooperate peaceably. When she’s working, which is rarely, and all the times she’s not she seems like a bigger slacker than I would be if I was allowed to slack off as much as I wanted to.

Actually… I do slack off as much as I want to. But it’s just not the same when no one’s around to see you and you still end up having to do the work.

Unfortunately, she still seemed to be in the odd transition period between “business” and “pleasure”, and as such still had her tactless no-nonsense attitude towards the world in addition to not really caring about anything other than getting home and curling up next to the kotatsu, which she more or less told me in not so many words.

“Whatever,” she continued, “It’s been a long day and I can just talk to you the next time Remilia comes over for tea. I was certain that the incident I was gonna deal with this winter was you folk stealing all the trees in the forest to keep warm! So, glad to see you didn’t do that.”

“I… feel like I should take offense to that, but clearly you still don’t understand the actual motivation behind the Scarlet Mist Incident, so I’ll be gracious.”

She huffed and tossed the hair out of face bossily as she started walking back down the stairs. “Hmph! Well, I haven’t seen her try it again since, so whatever. I’m going home; it’s too dead here.”

I called back to her sarcastically, “It’s not going to be any more lively at your shrine!”

“I have a bed at my shrine!”

The three of us silently watched her clomp down the stairs before jumping back into the air and flying away in a huff.

“…Miss Yuyuko offered her a bed, actually,” the silver-haired gardener commented once Reimu was well out of earshot. “Dinner, too. But I expect she’s a very busy lady.”

“Pssh; no she’s not,” I replied tactlessly. “She works like maybe one day out of thirty and just rides that accomplishment into next month.”

“I suspect they must be rather important days if she’s still keeping her job,” Joanna remarked.

“It’s hereditary; we’re stuck with her no matter how lousy a miko she is, unless she dies or has a kid.”

“A rather blunt observation,” she replied calmly. “Ahh, yes, Sakuya, this is Miss Youmu Konpaku, personal aide to Princess Yuyuko Saigyouji. Youmu, this is Sakuya… Izayoi, I suppose, personal aide to Princess Remilia… Something-or-Other, I never did learn her last name.”

“She never actually had one, Joanna, but she’s calling herself Scarlet now. Queen, actually, but then of course her country hasn’t existed for centuries. A pleasure to meet a fellow servant, Miss Konpaku.” Out of general respect I bowed my head, and she did the same.

“Likewise, Miss Izayoi. I suspect you must have gone though quite a lot to get here, but the incident has been resolved, it seems, and there’s little to offer a living human in the land of the dead.”

“Stop being so hard, Youmu,” Joanna interrupted, “And stop telling lies. If Miss Hakurei rejected the princess’s dinner, perhaps Miss Izayoi could sit at the table instead? We do eat normal living people’s food here by the way, Sakuya; it’s just a want rather than a need,” she added, quelling my curiosity on what kind of food a ghost would even eat, or if they could even eat at all.

“I-It was an, empty offer on her part, I’m afraid…” Youmu replied softly. “I haven’t even begun to think about what to make tonight, let alone for three instead of one.”

Had I heard correctly? Someone, having a problem, with preparing a meal?

My day had come~

“If, uhh, you need a hand, miss, I’d be happy to help. I’ve been cooking banquets for… well, heh, a long time, and I know a few magic tricks to make things go ten times at fast~”

Youmu couldn’t seem to decide whether to look at me in skepticism for such an odd offer, in awe at being given a reprieve from work, or in confusion at exactly what “a long time” meant when I looked like a girl straight out of primary school. She seemed to settle on skepticism with a reply of, “No, no, I couldn’t allow that; this world isn’t meant for humans to spend long periods in. You really should be moving along.”

Joanna raised an eyebrow at her, issuing her response between the both of us. “Youmu, seriously now. She’s half-human herself, Sakuya, and I’ve seen nothing wrong with her yet. Besides, Youmu, I don’t think you realize just how much she can help you: she’s a time mage.”

The gardener did a good job at hiding her surprise, if indeed she was surprised. “Yes, yes, I recall that from your stories… It’s improper to ask a complete stranger to cook for your household, miss, living or dead.”

“Miss Konpaku, to be frank, I have just spent all day in the middle of a blizzard looking for some kind of phantom ‘Spring thief’, freezing my fingers, toes, and other indescribable parts of my body off, only to finally come here and realize that our Miss Reimu Hakurei had already solved the whole mess and made my day a complete waste of time. If helping you prepare dinner tonight means that this trip was not a complete waste of time, I’ll do it gladly. I might even beg, to be honest.”

She closed her eyes and contemplated the offer. Why did I get the feeling that she reminded me of me? It must have been the silver hair. Yes, definitely the silver hair.

“Very well, if you insist… please take all the time you need.” I heard a metallic shine and the flash of metal, and suddenly Miss Konpaku had vanished, leaving nothing but a gust a wind behind.

“Ahh, yes… she does that,” Joanna explained softly when she saw me staring at the Youmu who was no longer there. “Secret swordsmanship technique of instant movement; apparently her mentor was the master of masters. I’ve been trying to learn from her, but like you, she tends to keep herself quite busy.”

“…N-noted,” I answered back, realizing that I’d just been privy to a phenomenon of disappearance I subjected others to on a daily basis. It made me wonder if perhaps I should try and do it a bit less…

The two of us continued our long climb up the staircase (perhaps it was made of white jade?), and likewise continued the talk of what had happened to each of us during our long absence. Most of it had been me, to tell the truth; there was far more to talk about concerning the land of the living then the land of the dead, you see.

“Okay, but picking up where we left off,” I continued, “I mean, what do you do here? What does anyone do? I expect there’s no sort of currency, so probably no jobs… Is this some kind of purgatory?”

“Eehhh…” Joanna didn’t exactly seem satisfied with that answer, though giving a better one proved tricky. “I, I wouldn’t exactly say that, no. And it’s not exactly as if it’s a ‘second chance’ either. I guess maybe you could call it… I don’t really know, ‘Round Two’ maybe? Though I think it could be named more elegantly that that. The point is it’s not like what I did in the past means nothing, but it’s not like I’m here to earn my way to someplace else. Like I keep saying, it’s hard to explain since there’s so few words for ‘dead’.”

“Please, don’t try to explain; my head’s already hurting enough from the frostbite. Just answer the first question: what do you do here?”

“Well, if you’re asking for my personal answer, I… help.”

“You ‘help’?”

“I help what can be helped, at least,” she explained, going slowly as if she herself didn’t fully understand. “Princess Saigyouji said I’m a rather, special kind of ghost; while most are bound to the world in order to do something for themselves—reincarnate or find enlightenment, things like that—supposedly I’m here to do something for others. There’s no way of knowing whether it’s one specific instance, or just a general purpose, so for now I just do what I can until God shows me the path. The difficulty of course is that there’s not many people to help; other ghosts have their own problems to work out for themselves, you see, and in general it’s wrong to interfere. Mostly it’s just splitting off some of Youmu’s workload, keeping up the house and patrolling for evil spirits, things like that.” She paused for a spell and then smiled, positively bemused. “Really, it’s ironic… I am to Youmu what Francesca is to you. Funny, how God should conspire to keep the two of us linked even through death. Or, pseudo-death.”

I looked on, a paradox forming in my mind. “I was meaning to ask you, actually, though… I wonder if it might be, rude…”

“I’ve little reason to get offended, Sakuya; it’ll do me no good.”

“I know, I know, but it’s just about… that God business.”

She sighed. “You are wondering how I can believe in Christianity after dying and not being sent to Heaven or Hell?”

“Y-Yeah… something like that.”

Another sigh, longer this time. “I… I’ll be honest, Sakuya, I don’t know exactly where this all fits in. I’ve gone over it hundreds of times, and each time it’s the same: when you die, you’re dead. That’s it. Heaven or Hell, no second chances. So, I guess the only answer is that I’m not dead.”

“But you’re a ghost.”

She shrugged. “Life doesn’t make sense, and death doesn’t either. All I know is that someone bigger than I am still has a plan for me. Maybe meeting you again was a part of it; who can say? Though, that reminds me…”

We had finally reached the top of the stairs, and the endlessly wide front of the ghost house Hakugyokurou stood before us. Atop the hill one could see the vast expanse of sparse cherry blossom trees that was the Netherworld, expanding without boundary. A quiet place… not truly dead, not exactly… merely quiet, and peaceful, like the silent and frozen world I’d grown used to from one century to the next. Joanna put a hand on my shoulder to stop me. An odd feeling… perfectly solid, and yet almost imaginary; a touch you might feel in the realest of real dreams.

Her face was calm and her voice sure as she asked me, “How… has Flandre been?”

I’d known this was coming, almost from the moment I’d realized she was who she was. So, I was to be the one to hear Joanna’s response to her murder, was I? “Flandre? She’s… better, I guess, though who can ever really say for sure with her? She’s definitely happier, now that she and Koishi can play together all they want; oh, I suppose you didn’t exactly know that Koishi was in Gensokyo as well?”

“I suspected it; undoubtedly all magic will end up here eventually. Flandre is, doing fine then…?”

I couldn’t stand the tension; the horrid waiting for whatever it was she was going to say. “Just… just say what you’re planning to say already, Joanna; no sense beating around the bush. I’ll give her the message.”

She screwed up her mouth for a few seconds, then shrugged and went back to her pensive face. “Very well. Tell her that I forgive her, for whatever she did, or might have done to me.”

“You…re, not, angry?”

“Anger won’t bring my body back, Sakuya. Neither will revenge, and there’s no justification for it anyways; we all know that it was a mistake. The past is past.”

“It… might not have been a mistake, though! Koishi… if she—“

“I forgive her as well. If you see her before I do, I want you to tell her that. It doesn’t matter anymore to me what she did or didn’t do. It is done.”

I looked at her, confused. “Jo, you… you can’t just, let things like this go…”

“Yes, Sakuya, I can. And I am. I don’t want to be weighed down by all the bad I did in the past, or that was done to me; who I am hates who I’ve been. I don’t want to hold on to Natasha for the rest of my life; I just want to be Joanna now.”

We both shared a moment of silence, simply looking into each other’s eyes. I could tell, as oblivious as I was to many simple things in life, that this could hardly even be called the same woman anymore. Whatever horrible journey she’d gone through between that dining room and this land of peace, she had come out a new woman… a better woman. Natasha I had only pity for, but Joanna, I respected.

“I’ll be sure to get them the messages, Jo. Though… Why not just give it to them yourself? The border between worlds must be pretty weak right now, if I managed to get through…”

I trailed off when I saw her shake her head. “No, Sakuya… no. That world is not for me, not any more. My life, such as it is, is in this place; the life I had there has ended. Whatever boundaries might be broken… I will respect my place, and my place is here. Besides… I couldn’t leave Youmu all alone; she needs someone her own age to keep her company.”

I scratched my head, unsure. “You and her… same age? She looks younger than I am!”

She smirked. “And you’re, how many hundred years old?”

“Hey, i-it’s, it’s rude to ask a lady her age!”

Another smirk, followed by an eye-roll. “She’s half-phantom, half-human; they still age, only slower. Late-forties I believe. A pittance compared to the lady of the house of course; she’s a thousand years or more, though between you and me sometimes I doubt she bothers to remember anything past the current one. There’s your true eternal youth: perpetual forgetfulness.”

“Makes you wish you were back with Remilia, does it?” I jived loosely.

“Not on your life,” she replied as she opened the front door and ushered me inside. “Yuyuko Saigyouji is one of the loveliest women you will ever have the pleasure of meeting while you’re alive. Or dead.”
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The interior was decidedly Japanese just like practically every other house in Gensokyo save our own (and the Komeiji’s, coincidentally enough), though as I was led through the spacious foyer and hallways I could still see a distinctive Western flavor sprinkled throughout the house. Like the outside, though, it was uncannily quiet; why did so many mansions seem to never have enough residents to fill them up? I mean, we’d managed to swell the ranks of our fairies back up again, thank goodness, though we still weren’t even half-full yet, but I didn’t see a single other soul there besides Joanna, though to be honest I wasn’t really sure whether or not to count the occasional translucent wisps that floated through the air like cotton on the wind.

But a kitchen is a kitchen no matter how you disguise it, and despite it being a rather lame thing to take pride in, I did know my way around them. Hakugyokurou’s was no different, though definitely smaller than our own, as expected for a house in a realm where the inhabitants didn’t need to eat. Youmu was in the corner, flipping through a cookbook undecidedly, and the two of us joined her.

“Have anything particular in mind?” I asked, glancing at the book from the side.

She shrugged and flipped around between several possible recipes seemingly at random. “N-No… I’m actually a very mediocre cook, Miss Izayoi; my Lady usually prepares our meals herself. I was just, looking…”

“May I?” requested, motioning to the cookbook. She wordlessly pushed the rather large tome in my direction. I was in luck; Patchouli had this same volume in her library, and I’d used it a number of times before: an old compilation of famous dishes from the Eurasian regions of the world. For a old-world connoisseur there were few substitutes for this anthology. “Is there anything in particular Miss… oh dear, Miss, umm, Saiyougi, was it?”

“Saigyouji,” Youmu corrected.

“Ahh, yes, thank you, but anyways, what kinds of food does Miss Saigyouji prefer?”

“Rich,” Joanna replied almost instantly. “Anything powerful in taste. Sweet, spicy, creamy… It’s not just her, mind; us ghosts have a hard time tasting things the way we used to…”

“Yes, Joanna, yes; you and the Lady both ever conspire to make me feel guilty day by day for possessing functional taste buds,” the half-human droned sarcastically.

“The guilt is purely unintentional on my part, Youmu; my apologies.”

“Yes, well, sometimes I doubt it is on hers.”

“We both know that’s just how she is, Youmu; I expect you’ve gotten used to it by now.”

“There is a vast expanse of emotion between tolerance and acceptance, my friend.”

“If we could dispense with the pettiness,” I interrupted, taking charge of the situation as temporary head chef, “Miss Konpaku, I’d very much like to see you pantry. Joanna, take that small kettle over there and fill it about yea-high; I’m afraid I can’t even attempt to time-shift the faucet as I really have no idea how or why there is interior plumbing in this house.”

“There’s a simpler explanation for that than you might expect, actually,” Joanna commented as she picked up a small brass kettle from a nearby shelf.

“Somehow I highly doubt that!”

As much as I tried to ask the other two ladies for help, it soon dawned on me just how long I’d been cooking by myself. I suppose I have Remilia to thank for that, again; she’d said she’d grown tired of having to wait any amount of time for any kind of food, and had forced me to remedy that more or less the same time we came into Gensokyo. I knew she just wanted me to push my limits and make me the absolute best I could be—especially considering our immigration meant we were no longer at the top of the proverbial food chain—and she knew I knew, and I knew she knew I knew, but that still didn’t stop her from pretending like she was utterly disappointed in my supposed abject imperfections. Unless she actually is disappointed in me… But she promised me years ago that everything she would do to me would be for me own good.

…I think.

Case in point, the majority of the preparations were spend with me taking instantaneous shortcuts every ten seconds and the other two more or less standing around asking if there was anything they could help with. I tried to find things for them to do—I really did!—but it just felt so… slow. And I really didn’t mind, after all. Cooking food is a job for a maid, not a gardener! Eventually the two just resigned themselves to doing unrelated things like preparing the dining table without asking me, lest I do them before they got the chance to. Which, I’m sad to say, will work every time, because I really am a complete scatterbrain. I’m working on it, I really am! Of course, I’ve been saying that for a hundred years, and it hasn’t come true.

The meal proper prepared, I was just putting the finishing touches on a chocolate cheesecake I’d made in my spare time. Considering the unorthodox height of the bloody thing there was no doubt in my mind that the thing was going to be as rich as hell and gag any mortal man or woman who attempted to eat even half a slice. But considering Joanna has stressed multiple times that I should err on the unsafe side of caution for anything I made, I thought that I might as well drizzle some chocolate sauce on the top for good measure…

“Uuu, Youmuuu, not like thaaat~ More chocolate!”

A pale, girlish hand out of the corner of my vision made a half-hearted grab at the measuring cup of chocolate I was pouring. Completely ignoring the several things wrong with that picture, my primary inclination was to make sure the phantom hand didn’t ruin all my hard work. Instinctively I drew the cup away.

“No, don’t, it’s already too sweet! Too much of a good thing is a very bad thing!”

Another hand reached at the cup from the other side. “More chocolate, Youmu~! How will you ever learn if I don’t teach you?”

“I-I’m not Youmu, I’m Sakuya! Who are you?!

In the split second it took my mind to come up with a conscious response the first hand had already grabbed the measuring cup and upended the entire thing on the cheesecake, coating the whole of it with a chocolate shell that could probably kill a man. I didn’t even bother to find out who’d just done that; I could only stare in sadness as the rivulets of liquid cocoa dripped down the side of the brick of pure bliss like poison.

“See, Youmu~?” the chocolate poltergeist exclaimed with glee. “You can’t have a cake without frosting! Ooo, you’ve done your hair up in braids today, too! How lovely~”

I could tolerate the drowning of my cheesecake; it wasn’t technically mine after all. But when that woman’s hands started batting at my braids like a cat, there I drew the line. I made an attempt to swat her hands away like a troublesome bug, but of course my hand just passed right through hers.

“Enough please,” I asked directly, spinning around and seeing a wide-eyed smiling face with wavy pink hair. “You’ve already meddled plenty with my cheesecake; I’d prefer you to not meddle with my hair as well.”

“I’m improving it, Youmu~!”

“My name is not Youmu.”

The actual Youmu came into the kitchen at about that time with Joanna in tow; supposedly they’d heard the voices and had come to investigate. The gardener didn’t exactly look all that pleased.

“Mi’lady, please, she is our guest!” she exclaimed. “Humans care about their personal space!”

The pink-haired woman turned her head around to look at the second silver-haired girl, then back to the first. She covered her mouth with a sky-blue sleeve and giggled airily. “My my, two Youmus?! Is it my birthday, little Joanna~?”

Youmu balked at the insinuation and was left speechless, not even having the good sense to put an embarrassed hand to her frowning mouth. However, despite this strange woman’s observation, I was not Youmu, and had been given ample practice in dealing with embarrassments and double-entendres of all varieties. Thank you very much, Remilia and Flandre both; your purely ironic adherence to the over-romanticization of vampires had caused me no end of blushing cheeks and palmed faces. You are two women who desperately need to get laid.

Just don’t tell them I said that.

Joanna held back a chuckle of her own and held out her hand. “Sakuya, I have the honor of presenting to you Yuyuko Saigyouji, Princess of Hakugyokurou. And as a side note, I wouldn’t bother looking for a queen.”

“The pleasure is mine, your majesty,” I said, curtseying to her graciously. “Your aide has allow me the liberty of preparing you a little supper.”

She responded by slowly staring at the ceiling, which was utterly void of anything interesting to look at. “You’re not Youmuuu~ Youmu never makes supper without having to be told.”

“Sakuya Izayoi, Miss Saigyouji. I was just here admiring the flowers; they’re really quite beautiful.”

“Now, now, miss, there’s no need to be so subtle,” the princess responded, returning her spaced-out gaze to me and tilting her head to the side. “Just because that little red-white child got here first is no reason to be bitter; it’s not a race! You should always take your time and enjoy the easy things~! Have you had supper yet? It’s always best to meet new people over a good meal!”

I glanced over at the other two girls, asking for silent conformation on questions such as how she knew I was going to bring up Reimu Hakurei, or how she had already forgotten that I was making the supper she was offering me. Youmu had turned away and buried her face in her hands; Joanna was just swiveling her wrist at me, suggesting I simply roll with it and not worry. As if I could have done anything else.

“Supper sounds enchanting, Lady Yuyuko. Shall I bring this cake out now, or later?”

“Oh, now, now!” she answered immediately, clapping her hands together like a joyous schoolgirl. “It shall be the main course! It looks delicious~!”

I’d been privy to far more inane dinner requests than that in my lifetime; I picked up the tray holding the pure essence of chocolate and followed the other three to the dining room. Or, the other two; Yuyuko just ignored every door she encountered and phased right through the walls.

“Only four?” the pink-haired princess whined as we all sat down at an oval table which could have accommodated thrice that with ease. “Where did everybody go~?”

“I… think they all died, your majesty,” I responded with the straightest face I could manage.

Yes, it was uncalled for, but she had ruined my cheesecake. Revenge is a dish best served without copious amounts of chocolate syrup.

Youmu did not approve. “Miss Sakuya, that… That is… Lady Yuyuko, do not laugh, that was not funny at all!”

“Heeheehee~! Yes it was, don’t you see~? It’s funny because it’s true! Don’t you always say that~?”

“That’s… That’s not what I mean when I say that!”

“You should say what you mean and mean what you say, Youmu~ I might get confused, and that’s no good for a straight straight girl like you!” Yuyuko attempted to tickle her gardener under the chin, with Youmu growing more and more visibly adamant that she was trying to resist. While the two of them “played” together, Joanna leaned closer to me to explain.

“Most ghosts here aren’t aware enough of their surroundings to do a great lot, you see, but the ones that are generally find their way to Hakugyokurou and for the most part stay nearby. Such as myself. Though I suspect today they’ve all been scared away by the shrine maiden; there’s no telling what girls like that are apt to do to a ghost.”

“Oh, I told everyone to go enjoy the flowers today, little Joanna~” Yuyuko replied, now floating around the room chasing a white will-o-wisp around Youmu’s head, which at the time I just assumed was some kind of familiar or pet phantom. “It wouldn’t do to have anyone nearby when Old Man Saigyou woke up; I expect he would be very grumpy.”

“He would try to kill people, Lady Yuyuko!” Youmu reprimanded angrily, the phantom wisp finally leading the princess back to her seat and getting her to stay put by allowing itself to get caught. “You should not meddle in things you don’t understand!”

Yuyuko sighed and put on a bright smile. “But I wanted to make a new friend, Youmu~ Is the dinner served yet?”

Youmu resisted the urge to continue the discussion on dangerous youkai demon trees, and gave a stiff, “Yes mi’lady, let me pour you a drink,” before suddenly having her wrist wrapped upon by a folded fan the ghost princess had procured from… somewhere.

“It is little Joanna’s turn to give the thanks,” she told her sternly, still maintaining a soft and inviting face.

“My lady, please, would it not—“

“Did you invent food, Youmu~?” she interrupted sweetly.

Youmu looked away. “No… no, I did not invent food.”

Miss Saigyouji nodded towards the brunette. “It is little Joanna’s turn to give the thanks.”

Joanna nodded back in polite acknowledgement, folded her hands and closed her eyes. Before I followed suit as years of serving Remilia had taught me, I noticed that the princess closed her eyes but did nothing with her hands, and Youmu did neither.

She prayed, “Great and gracious God, for the food and drink you have given us, we thank you. For the farmers who planted and harvested it, and for the cooks who prepared it, we thank you. For the sun and rain which you sent to nourish the plants, and the plants which you grew to nourish the livestock, we thank you.

“We give thanks for a meal to be shared, and for people to share it with. We give thanks for old friends, and for new friends. We give thanks for your beautiful flowers, and for your beautiful trees on this Spring day. We give thanks for life, in whichever way each us have been given it. For all these things and for those things which we name only in our hearts, we thank you.”

“And I thank you for chocolate-chocolate cheesecake~” Yuyuko added softly.


...I guess it was okay that we didn’t send Francesca after all.
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>Here; I have for you a thing, which is like another thing, but is not exactly the same thing.
[raocow]Wow, that was definitely a thing.[/raocow]

>We should have sent Francesca.
I doubt she would have made it.
"Please stop shooting me!"

>shire maiden
You are now imagining Reimu feasting with hobbits while declaring that it's the best food she's ever had and she doesn't want to set foot back in Gensokyo ever again.

And then Yuyuko shows up and quickly puts an end to the feast.

>You are two women who desperately need to get laid.
>Just don’t tell them I said that.
Too late, you put it on the internet. Flandre has already found it.
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>desperately need to get laid
Why do you think they keep coming on to you, Sakuya?
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I was chuckling 100% of the time while reading this mini-story (too long to be a short), just for all the commentary your Sakuya had, including the one about her mistresses. I don't think Fran would have done well as she might have problems with The Strongest.

Interesting touch on Sakuya not being able to fly... or did I misread it?
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A wonderful story, and it brought me a lot more closure regarding Joanna. Thank you.

>We should have sent Francesca.
I can't help but picture Francesca dodging Utsuho's giant sun bullets in a panic.

Fran: "A little help here?!"
Flandre: "PROTIP: To defeat the hellraven, shoot at her until her spell breaks."
Fran: "Put Patchy back on the line!"

>You are two women who desperately need to get laid.
And as a servant, it's your responsibility to help with this. Maybe not "directly," but there are other ways, like Sakuya's Pan-Gensokyo Dating Service. It's just like Remilia's scenario from SWR, with Sakuya bringing in random people -- except with less confronting them about the weather and more speed dating. You know, if I could draw I would so turn that into a 4koma series.
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>Sakuya's Pan-Gensokyo Dating Service 4koma

Although isn't this Remi straight? Kinda limited options there.
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>Although isn't this Remi straight? Kinda limited options there.

Perhaps, although I suspect Koishi would say that the all-female mansion combined with her no-sex diktat and homophobia in >>31015 point to clear projection stemming from her closeted status.

And, you know, the idea can still be milked for a few laughs by making up people in the human village. Even better might be expanding it to other services. A blind date can be funny. Blind dates set up by pooling all participant profiles together and having Flandre and Koishi play matchmaker would be comedy gold.
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>Flandre and Koishi present Blind Date

Oh god Flandre with a Liverpool accent.
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> Koishi would say that the all-female mansion combined with her no-sex diktat and homophobia in >>31015 point to clear projection stemming from her closeted status.

Well yes Koishi would say that.
She would say that whether or not it was true. She could just have a low sex drive combined with a traditional upbringing.

Eh..hmm honestly I think the closeted is more likely. But then graduating class was like 1/3 lesbians so my les dar is over sensitive.
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Oh an,d Tepes awesome side story.
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>[raocow]Wow, that was definitely a thing.[/raocow]

You are my new favorite anon.
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Oh god I just got the image of Flandre riding on one of the fairy maids going "stupid horse" and then my brain broke.
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Flandre goes outside for the first time in years...

"Is that so?"
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>Oh god Flandre with a Liverpool accent.
Oh god why I so like this.

Great job as always, Tepes.
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Do you think you could make a character page? i was trying to write the descriptions for the pinups but i just cant find the time, and a character page would be good anyways....
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200 yojana in one shot
>Tepes, do you think you could make a character page? I was trying to write the descriptions for the pinups but I just cant find the time, and a character page would be good anyways....
Answering this one first so you can see it easily, Raiker.

I can quite definitely make a character page. The only question is how much detail do you want? Are we talking several paragraphs for each character complete with some important stuff they did in AFT, or a more general one-paragraph description, or would a single sentence be more appropriate? And do you also want a sort of “bio” of information as well, such as alternate names, ages, height, three sizes, power level, and/or personal quote? I’m not entirely sure what you’ve got in mind for these pin-ups, but I’ll be happy to do as much or as little as you think would be best.

>[raocow]Wow, that was definitely a thing.[/raocow]
That is without a doubt the absolute most entertaining video game commentary I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Now I know what to do if I ever get bored or depressed. Thank you for enlightening me.

>"IT'S SPRING!" "Please stop shooting me!"
More like, “IT’S SPRING!”
“Umm… no it’s not, look at all this snow!”
“That just means I need to try harder!”

>shire maiden
One day I might actually stop making these typos. And one day I will probably be diagnosed with dyslexia. I mean I’m twenty-something and I still mix up lowercase b and lowercase d. And apparently lowercase r and lowercase n.

>Too late, you put it on the internet. Flandre has already found it.
Nah, we’ve been over this. I put Flandre back in her box; she’s perfectly safe.

>Why do you think they keep coming on to you, Sakuya?
Because I keep making typos. >>41631

>I was chuckling 100% of the time while reading this mini-story, just for all the commentary your Sakuya had
I’m very glad you were. I mean, come on; we’ve all played Perfect Cherry Blossom. Nobody needs to read a plot-filled story about how that all went down. So you might as well read a character-based story about how that all went down instead.

>(too long to be a short)
Wha? Just because it was split into three posts doesn’t mean it was that long. If you look at the word count you’ll see that it’s still UNDER NINE THOOUUUSAAAAAAANNND!

>I don't think Fran would have done well as she might have problems with The Strongest.
Stop making me wonder what it would have been like for those two to meet in the last post of AFT!

>Interesting touch on Sakuya not being able to fly... or did I misread it?
No, you read right. That’s just me ignoring the sillier parts of ZUN canon again. Reimu has her Hakurei Orbs and Marisa has her broom, but unless Sakuya can find a way to stop time around herself in such a limited way that gravity cannot affect her, there really is no reason why she should be able to fly. Sanae… ehh, lol miracle-hax?

>A wonderful story, and it brought me a lot more closure regarding Joanna. Thank you.
You’re very welcome. Now I just need to bug alternate-universe me to start the full CYOA-version of A Ghost’s Story which characterizes those other ghosts Joanna mentioned that hang around Hakugyokurou, and make sure he doesn’t just steal Flandre’s Seven for their personalities.

>I can't help but picture Francesca dodging Utsuho's giant sun bullets in a panic.
Any funny response I might have made to this is completely overshadowed by that spot-on dialog you just wrote. Well done.

>Sakuya's Pan-Gensokyo Dating Service.
Uggh, no; it sounds like the name of a bad H-doujin. My Remilia’s standards are way too high to accept some shlub off the street, no matter how much plot armor he might have. I mean no offense to any of the several authors whose stories on /sdm/ are basically that.

>>44015 & >>44017
>Perhaps, although I suspect Koishi would say that the all-female mansion combined with her no-sex diktat and homophobia in >>31015 point to clear projection stemming from her closeted status.
>Well yes Koishi would say that. She would say that whether or not it was true. She could just have a low sex drive combined with a traditional upbringing.
Just a little clarification about that scene: Remilia is trying to keep all the fairies “pure”, in multiple meanings of the word. She finds their innocence to be their greatest quality, and doesn’t want said innocence broken by, for example, a misunderstanding of sex, so she’s trying to stop it before it even starts. It’s not indicative of her opinion on the matter, which is a great deal more loose considering the kind of things she probably did while masquerading as royalty in Europe. Not to mention all those comments she keeps making in MVTSK. Bottom line: Remi is most definitely straight and not at all a lesbian. Which says nothing about Flandre, however…

But yes, Koishi would say that~

>Oh god Flandre with a Liverpool accent.
This is wholly acceptable.

I’m glad you didn’t forget your thanks. I hope you’re glad I didn’t forget to thank you for reading and commenting in turn!

>Oh god I just got the image of Flandre riding on one of the fairy maids going "stupid horse" and then my brain broke.
Mine remained intact until just now, when I read this after watching some of Raocow’s stuff, and realized that Flandre playing video games basically would be Raocow. The guy sings along to the background music for crying out loud!

Raocow, you are very cool. Just like Flandre.

>Oh god why I so like this.
Because man it’s like yes.

And thanks for the compliment; I’ll save them all up in a piggy bank and buy… something, with them!
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Do as much as you want, current drawfag is also a roleplayer so the background can either get him interested in the story or contibute to the drawings.
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I just figured Sakuya learned some kind of flight spell from the library; if there's a easy to use spell for such a thing, it'd be in the library.
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>Sakuya's Pan-Gensokyo Dating Service.
>Uggh, no; it sounds like the name of a bad H-doujin. My Remilia’s standards are way too high to accept some shlub off the street, no matter how much plot armor he might have. I mean no offense to any of the several authors whose stories on /sdm/ are basically that.
No no; while I agree the name needs a lot of work, the point isn't to accept but to humorously reject. Sakuya (boke) suggests the idea and starts bringing people while Remilia (tsukkomi) pithily shoots down each in turn, sometimes with an assist from the person in question. No charisma breaks because that's stupid.
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Dunno about Tepes, but your use of these words are not helping your case with me, since I have always found Japanese standup comedy supremely unfunny.
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Eh, it was a silly idea anyway. I will say that I'm looking forward to more shorts as Tepes gets the chance and inclination to write them, especially the one about the underground. One of Tepes's strengths is in characterization, and I'd like to see his take on the remaining Chireiden inhabitants.
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I didn't finish the full bio on any of the original characters, but time's getting tighter and I figured I'd better throw up what I've got before I forget. Maybe your friend is planning to draw during the break or something; I don't know.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Meiling Hong – Serene Silent Guardian
Also known as: China
Age: 511
Height: 6’ – 1”
Abilities: Five centuries of martial arts training; superhuman physical strength and endurance; manipulation of a being’s inner energy, or “chi”
Personality: Calm and collected; helpful but not outgoing.
Explanation: Meiling is in change of the grounds and gate of Remilia’s mansion; essentially she is to the outside what Sakuya is to the inside. Though she is “technically” the gatekeeper, the mansion never receives visitors, and thus she spends most of her time aiding the fairies in their work, practicing tai chi, or silently reflecting upon her past, present, and future. Not even Meiling herself knows exactly what she is. She was born a human with perfectly human abilities, but over time simply kept getting stronger and stronger beyond even Remilia’s level of physical power.
She is, like Patchouli, somewhat reserved and keeps to herself most of the time. Unlike Patchouli, however, she isn’t adverse to making friends and giving heartening advice to those around her. When trouble arises—literal or figurative—she is quick to help, and seems to always know just what to say or do. While Sakuya is more of a big sister figure, the fairies look to Meiling as a sort of mother, someone to run to when confused and troubled.

Koakuma – Dainty Disgruntled Devil
Also known as: Lilligan
Age: Unknown; between 1000 and 2000
Height: 4’ - 9”
Abilities: Non-euclidean true form; limited magical attacks; can morph body parts into tendrils, claws, and various weapons
Personality: Antagonistic, constantly demeaning, and extremely pessimistic
Explanation: This extraplanar spirit lives in a strange parallel realm of chaotic blurs incomprehensible to all but the natives of the land. It, and others like it, have been summoned by sorcerers throughout the ages to be slaves, warriors, concubines, and the like. While on the Earth they have no ability to do anything but what their summoners allow them to; as such, they detest humanity to no end, but can never rebel against it.
This particular spirit’s hatred goes one step further; in its long life it has been forced to experience the length and breadth of earthly depravity, from its most base sexual practices, to its most bloodthirsty inclinations, and its utter inability to be trusted. This spirit has found only one solace: tactlessly proclaiming the flaws and sins of all those around it. While it is a pointless gesture in the long run, it has come to the conclusion that if it cannot be at peace, its masters should not be allowed to either.
After months of preparation, Patchouli Knowledge summoned the spirit to Remilia’s mansion and gave it the affectionate name “Koakuma”, Japanese for “little devil”. Though the two share a tentative peace with each other due to an unfathomable risk on the professor’s part, Koakuma is in no mood to change its entire life’s outlook due to a single act of kindness. That won’t stop the fairies of the mansion from trying, however.

Patchouli Knowledge – Magical Professor Emeritus
Also known as: Patricia Ray Chalmers
Age: 100
Height: 5’ – 6”
Abilities: Limited immortality via the Philosopher’s Stone; extraordinary intelligence; vast array of magical spells of all kinds.
Personality: Calculative and reserved; keeps her emotions to herself
Explanation: Doctor Patricia Chalmers was a highly-esteemed British professor in the early 20th century, until her fascination with magic and myth caused her to leave the civilized world and changed her name to Patchouli Knowledge, one of the very few left on Earth who could truthfully call themselves a “sorceress”. She met the lady Remilia by chance during a countrywide expo, and after putting her old life behind her she joined the strange woman in her mansion in the wilderness.
Patchouli, despite her magical inclinations, is a scientist before all else. She performs her mystic experiments with clinical precision and calibrated variables, studying cause and effect so as so replicate her findings and thus unlock the mysteries of the arcane which all others have told her is an effort in futility. It borders on an obsession that decades upon decades have been dedicated to, and she studies magic now simply to prove to herself that her entire life has not been lived in vain.
Though her exterior is harsh and mathematical, her soul is as capable of emotion as anyone else’s. She’s experienced her share of joy and hardship back when she was Patricia, and for the most part tries to keep the past in the past, for the sake of her work and her friends. However, if the occasion calls she will be quick to remind anyone that she is NOT the stereotypical bookworm she might be taken for at a first glance.

Sakuya Izayoi – Hapless Maid of Time Infinite
Age: 201
Height: 5’ – 7”
Abilities: Exceptional skill with small blades, thrown blades, and handguns; ability to manipulate time relative to herself; will never age past nineteen years old
Personality: Hard-working and cheerful, but rather forgetful.
Explanation: Sakuya Izayoi is a quaint woman. She possesses the ability to slow down, speed up, or even stop time; a nigh-invincible power. With that being said, she’s a complete scatterbrain. As Remilia’s head maid she tries her hardest to keep the mansion running smoothly. She’s always attempting to multitask two dozen jobs at once, and even though she constantly writes memos to herself, she keeps forgetting what tasks she’s right in the middle of. This lack of focus also means she often misses the most obvious of problems right in front of her nose, because she’s too busy thinking about all the work she needs to do. She’s only human, after all.
Good worker or poor, Sakuya has a pure heart and a rather positive attitude when she can find time to pull herself away from work. She often comes in close contact with the various fairy maids of the house, and they look up to her as a sort of “big sister” figure. She wishes often that she could be a better mentor, but lacks the self-confidence to do so due to her constant mistakes.

Remilia – Europe’s Blood-Red Rose
Also known as: Henrietta the Second
Age: 493
Height: 4’ – 3”
Abilities: Vampiric powers (superhuman strength/agility/healing, turn into mist/bats, limited control over wild animals, limited magical persuasive powers over weak-willed targets); ability to control and direct fate over long periods of time
Personality: Elegant and egotistical, but mindful of her friends’ well-being
Explanation: Remilia is a vampire by birth, born to the reigning king and queen of Navarre, a small region between present-day France and Spain. As pure-blooded vampire children are exceedingly rare, the family had aspirations to band their strength together once Remilia grew old enough, and expand their reign to all of Europe. Unfortunately, due to her parents’ untimely death and Euorpe’s constant political turmoil, Remilia was forced to abandon her homeland and seek better fortunes elsewhere. Though at times she was able to marry herself into royalty using her vampiric powers of persuasion, she was never truly able to return to the grandeur she once had with her parents as a child, and eventually resigned herself to a quiet life far away from civilization in the British countryside.
At a first glance she seems nothing more than a royal spoiled brat who believes herself to always be at the topmost rung of the ladder. While this is not far from the truth, her long life and constant hardships taught her humility and the value of friends over material possessions and temporary satisfaction. She holds herself as the “queen” of the mansion and considers it her responsibility to keep everyone inside it safe, cared for, and happy. And while classically trained in propriety and elegance, she displays a certain knack for sarcasm and snide double-entendres.

Flandre – Friendly Neighborhood Lunatic
Also known as: Françoise d'Albret
Age: 488
Height: 4’ – 1”
Abilities: Enhanced vampiric powers (unfathomable strength/agility/healing, turn into mist/bats/duplicates of herself, limited control over wild animals, limited magical persuasive powers over weak-willed targets); ability to see the weak point of any object and destroy it with magical energy
Personality: Eccentric and talkative; has trouble differentiating reality and fantasy
Explanation: Flandre has problems. Lots of problems. She’s definitely psychotic, probably schizophrenic, has an extremely broken brain-mouth filter, hears and sees things that are only hallucinations, and also does not exactly have a very firm grasp on the concept of a rational conversation. She’s also a vampire, can blow things up by staring at it, and looks like she’s about nine years old, so that doesn’t help much either.
Pseudo-insanity aside, she’s actually not that bad. She is well aware of her instabilities and for the most part stays in her basement room to minimize the damage she might do. She’s extremely playful and bouncy, never ceasing to make little niche jokes of all flavors. For a nearly-quincentennial vampire who rarely leaves her own room, Flandre is well-with the times, too; debating the relative value of movies and video games is a favorite pastime of hers. Propriety has no meaning to her; she’ll do as she pleases, when she pleases, and without warning. Which is why she always makes sure to have a specially-chosen fairy maid with her to provide her with the perspective that she lacks.

Koishi “Kay” Komeiji – Blind Wanderer of Heartless Love
Age: Unknown
Height: 5’ – 1”
Abilities: Ability to see and manipulate one’s subconscious thoughts; limited invisibility and perfect stealth based on aforementioned manipulation
Personality: Utterly emotionless; sees everyone as a toy or a puzzle to play with
Explanation: “Kay” is a creature called a satori, a magical Japanese race with the ability to read the minds of those around them. For an unknown reason and using an unknown method, however, Koishi has rejected that ability and sealed away her own heart, rendering her completely devoid of any emotions. Contrary to the common idea of heartless beings languishing away in silence and pointlessness, Koishi’s emotionlessness has made her extremely curious, like a young child with no morals, understanding nothing. Combined with her strange ability to see and manipulate the subconscious, she is an enigma incarnate, coming and going before anyone even knows she was there, seeing almost everything but saying almost nothing.
One person out of a hundred million will catch her special attention, though, and it is there when the real danger begins. She will investigate them, play with them, and try to understand what makes them so unique, all to satiate her strange curiosity. But her heartless soul cannot comprehend anything but ethereal questions and unfeeling answers, and the person of her interest will likely be driven hopelessly insane by her meddling before they can even comprehend she was there to begin with.

Sunhilda Sunday – Daughter of China’s Dragon
Entered mansion in: 1913
Height: 4’ – 11”
Abilities: Exceptional martial arts; musical genius
Personality: Optimistic and light-hearted; loves to joke around
Appearance: Very “human-like” with an athletic figure. Cherry-red hair longer than shoulder length, held back with a headband. Has fairy wings, but they’re rather small in comparison to other fairies. Wears white pants and a green tunic rather than a maid uniform.

Monica Monday – Infant Petunia Blossom
Entered mansion in: 1995
Height: 3’ – 1”
Abilities: Extraordinarily fast flight
Personality: Timid and flighty; has low self-confidence
Appearance: Very “fairy-like” and looks much like a storybook fairy. Not merely short; she is small. Short bubblegum-pink hair, pink eyes, and pink wings. Wears a pink maid’s uniform (no surprise).

Tullia Tuesday – Fey’s Matriarch Knight
Entered mansion in: 1776
Height: 4’ – 0”
Abilities: Exceptional martial arts and armed combat experience; ability to create magical barriers
Personality: Motherly and caring; thinks of others before herself
Appearance: Slightly stockier than other fairies, but by no means obese or overweight. Has a rather round and cheery face. Platinum-blond hair tied up in a bun behind her. Wears the standard grey-blue maid uniform.

Wendy Wednesday – Tree Without a Forest
Entered mansion in: 1987
Height: 4’ – 2”
Abilities: Limited manipulation of plant material
Personality: Antisocial and dark; refuses to let the past go
Appearance: Very wild looking and dour. Nut-brown skin, dark brown eyes, and tangled black hair. Wings look like flattened sheets of jagged crystal. Somewhat muscular as far as fairies go. Wears earth-colored pants and vest.

Thérèse Thursday – Girl of a Million Shapes
Entered mansion in: 1885
Height: ????
Abilities: Extremely adaptable shape-shifting ability
Personality: Quirky and imaginative, never takes anything seriously

Francesca Friday – Great Questioner and Understander
Entered mansion in: 1988
Height: 4’ – 0”
Abilities: Sometimes being perfectly average is the greatest ability of all…
Personality: Curious and inquisitive; always seeks to grow wiser and braver
Appearance: An unimposing stature. Long, bushy hair with mixed blonde and grass-green strands, tied in a poor ponytail. An unsure face peppered with freckles. Wears the standard grey-blue maid uniform.

Sapphire Saturday – Young Vampire of the Aether
Entered mansion in: 1876 (vampirized 1976)
Height: 4’ – 5”
Abilities: Limited vampiric powers (increased strength/agility/healing, turn into mist/bats)
Personality: Businesslike, somewhat elitist; aspires for greatness
Appearance: Regal. Long, wavy indigo-brown hair that ripples and shines like water. A sharp face. Magenta eyes, fangs, and bat wings indicative of her half-vampiric nature. Wears a deep purple skirt and blouse with silver threading.

Natasha Joanna Herod – VanHellsing’s Last Pupil
Age: 35
Height: 5’ – 10”
Abilities: Proficiency with firearms and armed combat
Personality: Zealous and quick to judge; believes magic is an abomination
Appearance: Dirty brown wavy hair, shoulder-length. A hard, older-looking face with hazel eyes. A more “realistic” body as befitting her human nature and mid-thirties age.
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Awesome, I like this.
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i really appreciate it, with any luck i should be delivering this plus the 4koma scripts to the drawfag tonight, let's see what comes up´.
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I heard it said that a cat was fine too
Remember how I said I used to write shorts? Like, a million years ago or something? Yeah, I still do that. Sort of.

This’ll probably be the last AFT-related thing I write for the foreseeable future; sorry, but it’s so not the end of the world it’s not even funny. I dawdled on it for far too long and, as always, I feel like I could have done a better job on it, but it fulfills the purpose it set out to serve, and so I am satisfied with it. So there you go.

Sadly, I decided not to write a Flandre and Koishi scene in this one, as much as I wanted to. The short was already getting far too long by the time I cut it off, and it felt entirely out of place compared to the rest of it. Plus I’d have probably gotten distracted again and never end up writing it. Feel free to use your imaginations, because there is seriously no limit to the weirdness those girls will pull when they’re together without supervision.


In a house underground, there lived a cat. Not that she was a very normal cat, any more than it was a very normal house, or a very normal underground. Truth be told she was so long-lived, so experienced, so human in appearance as to hardly be called a cat at all. But in this land of Gensokyo, in the land of magic and monsters, heart and soul are ever so much more important than body and mind in defining who one is. And at heart, and in soul, she was a cat.

She was Rin to those who knew her in passing, and Orin to those who knew her best. It might be said of her that her job was to ferry dead bodies and lost spirits, but if one is to be honest this was hardly a job so much as a guideline. A cat has no job except to comfort and console her mistresses, and in this she had ever excelled.

A time came, however, when the younger of her mistresses became more restless than usual. Of course everyone in the house knew that the young sister was, to be liberally polite, “rather odd”, but even in her eccentricities there was a norm she tended always to drift towards, and in those days she had drifted away from it. Worry began to creep into Rin’s heart. Of experience she had plenty, but of intelligence she fell somewhat short, for even the greatest of cats is still, at heart, a cat. She had known the young mistress for years and years again, grown used to her oddities and her lackadaisical outlook on life. Why now did she seem so restless? Why did she now begin to look out the window seemingly at random, gazing up at the dark ceiling of an underground sky? Why did she leave the house so often and yet return so quickly, when in the past she would disappear for months at a time without a word? Why did she seem sadder than usual, and yet at the same time more joyful than she ever had before? The cat took comfort in the familiar and the normal, in what she knew was good and full of happiness. To her, the different was unknown, and the unknown was to be feared.

But still… hope. In the unknown, she still felt hope. Hope, that the reason she was restless was a good reason. Oh how many nights, how many years had she wished that her young mistress would be healed of her melancholy, that she would no longer feel the need to abandon her home, her family, for the sake of an empty curiosity no one understood. Her elder mistress hoped with her, praying for the day when they could be true sisters once more rather then acting as little more than “acquaintances”.

The days dragged on like this, week after week and month after month, until the house had all but accepted the young mistresses’ strange behavior as the new norm. Rin remained ever curious of what had caused her to change, considering that the change was neither for the better nor for the worse. She perked her ears at any innocuous tidbit of information the young lady let slip about her unusual demeanor, no matter how vague or unimportant. And for all her months of trouble, she discovered only one concrete thing: someone important was coming, and coming very soon. Of course, for a cat, “soon” is never soon enough, and soon she forgot all about “soon”.

It was a day like any other day, as if there even were days that were unlike any other day in that secluded underground house. The lady Rin was working hard, though hardly working, shooing meddlesome spirit wisps from the mistress’s gardens and sending them on their rightful way. She would keep at it for another hour or so, check in with her best friend down below, play a few games of whatever they’d decide to play that day, and then while the rest of her waking hours away in the company of the mistresses. Just another pleasant day in the life of a cat.

And then “they” showed up. Out of nowhere, just like that. “They” strolled slowly down the old palace road, the road that Rin could have counted on both hands the number of people that came down it yearly. Three of them, just three little girls, though one was more than enough to make her nervous. The lesser pets began to scatter almost instantly at the sight and scent of the invaders, running behind the boulders and old pillars strewn about what passed for a front lawn in the land without a sun. Rin’s heart was of a similar disposition, though her feet stood firm. After all, If she didn’t stand up for her younger brothers and sisters and show them how adults handled things, who would?

“They” seemed to notice the conspicuous cat, and slowed their progression to a halt, giving her a wide berth as she stared at them from between the rows of strange otherworldly flowers. They were all quite short in her eyes, strangely dressed with lacey dresses and lacey hats. What odd wings they all had; this one’s like a bat, this one’s like a butterfly, and this one’s… Those hardly looked like wings at all, really. People that smelled of the above-ground… very suspicious.

Rin glared at the strangers without saying a word, back turned to them and head cocked over her shoulder. The one with the not-wings stepped forwards and bowed, looking at a small leaf of paper clutched in one hand.

“Umm… hi, Miss Orin. This is, Flandre, I guess… Is, uhh, is Koishi, home?”

The cat continued to look at her wordlessly. Who was this girl? She could hardly have looked more out of place, Rin had certainly never seen her before, and here she was talking like she was an old friend of the house? It wasn’t exactly common knowledge that Mistress Satori even had a sister. And what gave her the right to be calling her Orin, anyways?

“…Do I know you?” Rin asked skeptically, finally turning around to face the strangers properly.

The Flandre-girl fingered her ponytail nervously, not very enthusiastic about making eye contact. “No, not… not really. I guess not at all, actually. I’m a… friend, of Koishi’s. She said I should… visit, some day.”

Rin found herself walking slowly closer to the odd party of three, curiosity rising. “Koishi don’t exactly… have, friends, y’know.”

“I, I know, I know she doesn’t, but… I, still am. She, she wrote me a note. Even drew cute little pictures on it. You’re in it too, see? She drew a little cat-ears-face-girl. It says it right here: Orin~”

The oddities of the situation continued to pile and pile, quickly overriding Rin’s former caution as she crept over to the piece of paper in Flandre’s outstretched hand. She eyed it suspiciously, caught its scent; smelled enough like the underground, at least. It was definitely Koishi’s handwriting, detailing a rather obscure set of directions to travel from above-ground to the underground and then to… She didn’t believe it; there really were pictures drawn on that note? Okuu’s hair wasn’t nearly that messy in real life.

“She gave this to ya’?” Rin wondered out loud, staring intensely at the note with intrigue.

Flandre shrugged. “Well, she… I, found it on my desk this morning, just kinda sittin’ there all like, ‘yeah, hi, me again.’ I think she’s been hiding from me ever since I said I was going to kill her. Such a silly girl~”

“You’re going to kill Miss Koishi?! DIE-YOU-MONSTER!” Rin instantly jumped backwards and drew a nearby spirit wisp into her hand, poised to strike at the malefactor with all the ferocity a true hellcat had to offer. Before even another wisp had answered her call to arms, though, the butterfly-girl stepped in between them, waving her arms and shouting apologetically in some strange language that made no sense.

Author’s Note: The following spoiler-tagged text is spoken in English. The story is told from Rin’s perspective, and thus she can’t understand it, but it has been translated for your convenience.

No no, no no-no-no-no she didn’t mean it she didn’t mean it, stop stop stop! I mean, oohhh, umm… Stop! Stop no! Girl Flandre, she, uhh, she bad not!”

The flame-haired feline glared daggers at the strange, small girl in front of her. “Who’re you supposed to be?”

She paused for a few seconds, looking almost like she didn’t understand the question, before responding frantically with, “Y-You? You, me… me… Me, I am, Francesca! Friend, friend fairy, thank you very much!”

Raising an eyebrow at the little fairy, Rin glanced over to the third girl who was currently shaking her head into an upraised palm. “Hey-hey, you in the back! Tell me what the hell’s goin’ on or bad things’re gonna happen!”

Uggh, I swear I’m dealing with children here… No one here is trying to kill anyone, young lady. My sister Flandre met Miss Koishi by chance, a long time ago. They are for lack of a better term ‘friends’, and in my opinion they are both out of their bloody minds. They make the worst jokes I’ve ever heard at the very least. The fairy’s Francesca; she’s harmless, I assure you.”

“Why’re you here?!”

“Just a visit, miss, just a visit. Miss Koishi no doubt knows we’re coming.”

Her eyes shifted from one strange girl to the next, thoroughly confused by that point. They seemed nice enough, but… she didn’t really know. Taking a few deep breaths she waved the cantankerous wisp away and tried to calm herself down; she didn’t particularly like the prospect of fighting anyways.

You are Mistress Koishi’s… friend?” Rin asked herself out loud, pointing towards Flandre’s general direction.

Flandre returned the gesture. “That was a question, or a statement?”

“That’s what I’m asking you!”

The little fairy started massaging her temple as she leaned over and whispered to the third girl. “I told you bringing me wasn’t gonna work out; my Japanese is horrible! They’re talking too fast!

Nothing we can do about that, Fran,” Flandre interrupted abruptly. “It is Friday, after all. Our hands are tied, you know, all nice and pretty with a bow, or maybe that stupid string that Eye of Koishi-girl’s is attached to, and what’s up with that anyways, really, I mean it just looks stupid floating there like some kind of balloon. I’d pop it but she probably already did that when she gave up on life, and now she’s just making everyone think that it’s really there when it’s actually not, because no sane person would bother to touch it anyways. Remind me to kiss it and make it all better the next time I see her, kay?

“Hey, I’m still here!” Rin shouted indignantly, not particularly enjoying being left out of what must have been an extremely important explanation regarding the three girls’ master plan. “Stop talkin’ in that craaazy language already!”

“But it’s ridiculously difficult to learn and breaks all its own rules twice!” the blonde whined as she folded her arms in front of her. “Anyways, can we, like, just pretend that we’re actually really nice people who are also pretty cool and it’s no problem if we stay for tea? You do still drink tea down here, right?”

The conversation was fast-approaching a level beyond which Rin really didn’t think she’d be able to keep up with, certainly not if this funnywings girl kept talking as fast and as inanely as she already was. She followed Francesca’s example and started holding her forehead.

“I, think I should just take to see Mistress,” she finally responded, spinning around on her heels. “This is gettin’ way too confusing… Come on, follow me.”

Smiling glowingly, Flandre leaned over and gave Francesca a friendly one-armed hug. “And thuswise, the victory has become of ours~

The young one stared back at her, eyebrows definitely skeptical. “Is that supposed to be what the pigtails-girl said or something?

Remilia sighed yet again as she lightly pushed her two companions forwards, urging them to follow the cat. “It’s supposed to be my sister, being my sister. I’d have thought you of all people would be used to it by now.

Well, yeah, but… It’s Flandre, Remilia.

Do I detect a possible hint of resentment in that there word-speak you’re all up ons, Francine?!


Excellent! Moving onwardly!

Rin continued to glance back at the overworld trio as she led them up the stone path to the great Earth Palace’s front door. Truthfully it was hardly very great or very palatial anymore in that day and age, but it wasn’t very hard to impresses a cat, and the picturesque stained glass windows remained as beautiful as they had in centuries past. She caught sight of her younger brothers and sisters peeking out from their hiding places, unsure as to whether or not they should trust these intruders if Big Sister Orin was.

“So where are all you ladies from, anyways?” the twintailed cat asked, getting a little nervous at their constant chatter in a language she hadn’t a clue about. “What language is that, is that English?”

“It is, Miss Orin,” Remilia replied. “Coincidentally we are even from England… originally. It’s quite a long story.”

Orin pouted angrily at her. “Hey, I’m not lettin’ you get away with that, my name’s not Orin! It’s Rin, Kaenbyou Rin! Buuuut that name’s too long, so it’s just Rin to you weird people!”

“I like Orin; it’s cute~” Flandre cooed, smiling innocently as she folded her hands behind her back. “Can I scratch you behind the ears~?”

“No ya’ can’t!” Noticing the little fairy trying to hide behind the sisters, Rin added, “So what’s her problem, anyways? Awful quiet back there, aren’t ya?”

Francesca caught sight of Rin’s pearly claw pointed at her and did her best to put on a smiling face, though she kept shaking her head. “I… I, no… no, uhhh… Japanese, no… Miss Remi, what’s the Japanense word for speak again?

“She doesn’t speak Japanese very well,” Remilia answered for her. “But, she still wanted to come, to learn more about your Ms. Koishi. You might say she’s become somewhat of a legend around our house.”

“Myrrr… Myth, more like,” the cat answered as she led them under the doorless arch that served as a front door to the building. Once a grand palace honoring Earth itself, the house’s ceilings were tall and its rooms vast. The interior was Western in style and build, though the walls and nearly all the furniture were made of polished stone rather than wood like the overworlders might have been accustomed to. Glass-covered torches sparsely peppered the walls, but a strange, almost magical yellow-orange ambiance seemed to be the predominant light source, shining through the stained glass and bathing the foyer with colors. Instructing the women to wait patiently while she fetched the master, Rin dashed up the wide spiral stair and through the hallways into her older mistress’s room.

“S-Satori!” she exclaimed, bursting into the room in a very catlike manner. “Satori, there’s, there’s people here! From, from upside! She, she she she, she says she knows Miss Koishi!”

The lilac-haired woman, seemingly prepared for the outburst, calmly set down the needlework she’d been working on. Rin was one of the few pets in the house to comprehend that Satori could see into the minds and hearts of others, but had never really bothered to act any differently around her. She recalled Satori saying once that the hearts of animals like herself were “different”, but whether that meant she couldn’t look into them or not made very little difference to a simple-minded cat like herself. Regardless, it always seemed the next thing to impossible to surprise her.

“Visitors from above-ground?” she asked as if she was actually confused. “Well now, that’s something I wasn’t expecting today.”

“The, the girl!” Rin continued excitedly, “The one with the diamond wings! She said she’s Koishi’s friend! That’s gotta be a lie, right?! I mean, Koishi, she’s… y’know…”

Satori looked into Rin’s eyes, curiosity mixed with confusion. “…Indeed,” was all she said as her eyebrows furrowed. For far longer than Rin was comfortable with her mistress remained seated in her marble chair, thinking about things only she would think about. It worried her… Satori always knew what to do. She was just like that, heart-reading or no heart-reading. Rin crept closer, looking small and meek compared to the seated lady, though they were both about the same height. Eventually an accepting smile returned to Satori’s face, and she stroked her pet’s hair reassuringly.

“Well then, we should offer some hospitality to our new guests, whoever they are. It’s been such a long time since we’ve gotten company, hasn’t it Orin?”

“Well… yeah, it has~ I wish them Onis’d visit more, the kids love playin’ with em’!”

Satori only smiled and patted Rin’s hair again before standing up and walking with her out the door. It never mattered what was going on, or what the problem was; when she was with her mistresses, everything was just fine. Whoever these weird overground women were, Satori would know just what to do, and everything would work out just fine.

The pair reached the top of the stairs and slowly made their way down, Rin trailing behind Satori obediently. The mistress had walked down these steps so many times she had no need to keep her eyes open as she traversed them, leaving her mind free to focus on that third eye of hers, which gazed at the strange women from afar. Orin sincerely hoped none of them knew just what Satori was doing with it; so very, very many people had been scared away from her house as soon as they realized just what the elder mistress was, and it always hurt the cat a little to think about how lonely Miss Satori really was. Rin caught the little fairy point at the eye and start whispering to the bat-wings girl, but that blonde… that blonde one was staring right back at it, red eyes as unblinking as the red eye of Satori’s.

The cat nearly bumped into her mistress’s back, not realizing how staggered her progression had become. For the last ten seconds at least Satori had intermittently began to slow down mid-step, speed up as if to pretend nothing had happened, and then stop again. Her hand was tense against the stone banister, breath short and catching in her throat. Rin could nearly smell the sudden tension come over her dear mistress. She couldn’t see her face, and could only imagine how odd it must have looked. Nervously wringing one of her crimson braids, she wondered… just what was she seeing in that girl’s heart? She wasn’t… dangerous, was she…?

Quizzical steps aside, it wasn’t until Satori had reached the last few stairs and gotten a true face-to-face look with the one called Flandre that she stopped altogether, one hand pressed over her mouth in disbelief. Rin only dared to step so far ahead as to make sure her mistress was okay, then meekly bided her time, keeping quiet and still like a good little kitty should.

“It… It, is, you,” Satori finally said, in an astonished whisper. “Y-You… It, really is you. You’re… real…

No one else dared speak, not even Flandre. A tear slowly welled up in Satori’s left eye, followed briefly by its mirror image in the other. She crept forwards down the stairs and onto the ground, voice faltering, each step taken with the hesitant reservation of one afraid that her dream will vanish into thin air.

“She… She, talked, of someone… for months. Months… I, I thought, she was lying… sh-she… so, so many lies… Thought, it was just, another, game… And, now… you’re here. You’re… real. Sh-she, was… t-telling the, truth… She, she finally found, a… a…”

Unable to hold herself together any longer, Satori ran the last few steps forwards and collapsed onto the diamond-winged girl’s shoulder, sobbing tears of joy without reservation. The bystanders remained speechless, motionless, barely even able to understand the emotional transaction the two women were sharing as Flandre pulled Satori close to her chest.

“Y-you, you d-don’t know what it’s like… w-w-watching her,” she cried, embracing Flandre as tightly as she could, reassuring herself that this was really happening. “I, I n-never thought this day would come… I’d, given up h-hope…”

Flandre nodded, beginning to cry herself. “I know, I, I know… I, I found her; it was a… an accident. Never, she never said it, but… I, knew. I knew she thought I was her… friend. Best… best friend.”

“Th… Thank y-you. If you never hear it from her, p-please, hear it from me. Thank you… Thank you for caring.”

Flandre nodded, supporting the crying woman’s five-foot frame without so much as a shift in balance. Rin was transfixed by the pair, hands raised to her chin in uncertainty, wondering if she should be comforting her master or not. This kind of emotion… she’d nearly forgotten that Satori was even capable of it. She was the kindest, most loving, most secure person Orin had ever met, and yet she’d only ever see her truly cry or laugh with her heart when her sister was involved. And for as long as the cat could remember, there had never really been much reason to smile as far as Mistress Koishi was involved…

For what was easily minutes the two women, complete strangers to each other yet linked inseparably through the life of a third, did nothing but cry and laugh and cry again in each other’s arms, finally realizing the end of a long, long journey. Remilia and the little fairy whispered to each other in that unobtainable English Rin had no hope of understanding, leaving her feeling quite left out. It wasn’t long before she gave up on waiting and crept up to sit next to her mistress’s feet, looking upwards hopefully.

Once Satori had finally seemed to have cried her tears dry, Flandre gently stood her back up on her own two feet. Demurely, but with an unshakable conviction, she asked her, “May… I go and see her?”

The lilac-locked lady smiled and nodded her head, looking almost like she was going to cry again. “Please… please. She’s, upstairs; I’m sure… sure you can find her, Miss Flandre.”

Nodding back, Flandre drifted away from the rest of them, looking back at her sister as she placed a childlike hand on the stone railing of the staircase. She said nothing, not even so much as a bob of the head, but somehow Rin could tell… She could tell the two strange sisters understood each other perfectly. And then, she was gone, padding up the steps faster and faster until she turned the corner and vanished from sight.

“S… Satori…” Orin mewed meekly, looking up at her mistress with wide eyes. “Did, you know that lady, from before…?”

The lilac mistress rested an unsteady hand on her pet’s head, looking up at the empty staircase with peace-filled eyes. “Yes, Orin… I know her very well. She is… welcome, here.”
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Its hard being the big sister
Turning back to her guests as she wiped the last of the tears from her face, Satori managed a rather uneasy grin. “Aaaahh, where are my manners, forgive me… Welcome to my home.”

“It is a honored thing indeed, to be welcomed,” Remilia replied, curtseying politely as Francesca did the same. “As a stranger in a strange land, I am grateful for whatever hospitality I may receive. Thank you, my lady.”

“Komeiji, please,” she replied, bowing her head. “Our sisters have become inseparable right under our noses; I am the one in your debt, Ms. Remilia. But, dear me, manners again… Would you care for some tea? Or sake, perhaps?”

“I don’t suppose you have any red wine?”

Satori smiled. “Ahh, yes, yes, of course; you’re European, after all. Follow me; I’m sure I can find something to your liking.”

Rin followed her mistress obediently as the two guests followed her in turn. She sighed, the presence of so many guests making her realize just how empty their home often was. Though there was never of shortage of pets of all shapes and sizes roaming through the halls, they seemed petty compared to the enormous voids of space above their heads, populated only by stained glass, ancient tapestries, and the occasional wayward spirit the hellcat would later need to shoo out. What she wouldn’t have given for just a cozy little cottage somewhere where the rooms were always full of colors and scents and friends and family. And grass… Orin had heard of this “grass” the surface world had, like a soft green carpet across the whole ground. She thought… yes; grass was something that she would like to have.

The pair of winged girls were ushered to a modest-yet-comfortable sitting room for the time being as the cat followed her mistress into the pantry for Remilia’s requested wine, as well as a few other tidbits to make this visit seem like less business and more pleasure.

“What… what was that all about, Miss Satori?” Rin asked curiously now that the two of them were alone.

Satori sighed happily once more, rubbing her pet’s shoulder as she read the dates on her house’s meager wine rack. “The, the answer to a very long question, Orin dear.”

“Hwah…? Whazzat s’possed to mean?”

“I think… our Koishi has finally found someone that she is trying to love.”

Rin’s breath caught in her throat at the answer. Koishi… “B-but, you said, you said she couldn’t, that she, didn’t know how…”

“She knew how,” Satori responded, setting a scarlet bottle aside and looking into the cat’s eyes. “It seems like she might finally be trying to remember that she did.”

Rin pondered upon this proposal as Satori continued to place various refreshments on a thin bronze tray. She knew Mistress Koishi well, better than most. A smiling face and a cheerful voice, disguising a heart that was so empty it had no more life in it than the stone their house rested on. She had always been told to never give up, to never stop loving Koishi with all her heart, even if the soulless sister never responded likewise. They all knew—Okuu, herself, all the little ones—they could all feel how deaf Koishi’s ears were to their words of kindness. But why now? And why this complete stranger? What had this Miss Flandre been able to do that the friends and family of Koishi’s own home couldn’t?

“I, don’t understand… Who is she? That Flan girl? Why her?”

“Because they are… alike,” Satori replied, picking up the tray and balancing it carefully. “Miss Flandre is… broken, dear. Her heart is strong, but her mind… her mind is shattered, in ways that only Koishi can truly understand. Perhaps it’s—no, I’m certain—it’s what caught my sister’s attention in the first place. But Flandre… that, dear woman, she… she knew. Maybe not all at once, but… she saw a girl as broken and as lonely and as in need of a friend as herself. They, need each other, Orin, more than you could know. More than I know.”

“Does… this mean that K’wishi’s eye’s gonna open up again…?” Orin asked hopefully as she cemented herself in Satori’s shadow once more.”

“It means that a part of her wants it too… I just don’t think she knows it yet.”

The subterranean girls’ conversation trailed off as they reentered the sitting room, Satori pouring her guests a drink while Rin curled up and made herself comfortable on the empty couch. Though the fairy was chattering away in English again, she thought it might have has something to do with her drink; perhaps she didn’t like red wine? She wished her Japanese was better; she seemed like a nice enough person. Nicer than that Remilia lady at least; Rin didn’t trust her eyes.

“I suppose I had best get this out of the way first, Ms. Remilia,” Satori explained as she poured herself a shallow cup of iced tea. “Obviously you’ve already seen my Third Eye, so I won’t bother to hide it; I am a satori, like my sister Koishi. I do indeed have the ability to look into the hearts and minds of those around me. I can also choose not to look. I’m afraid that, in all honesty, the only assurance you have that I am not looking too deeply is my word.”

“But you can trust her!” Orin added emphatically. “She a nice Satori!”

Remilia smiled endearingly at the cat as she briefly whispered a translation into Francesca’s ear. “I appreciate your honesty, Miss Komeiji, though I… cannot exactly say I feel comfortable with the prospect of sitting in the presence of a mind reader.”

W-Wait, you can see like everything?!” Fran exclaimed in English, sounding rather nervous. “B-but that’s, that’s not fair! I mean…! Oh, wait, uhhmm… You, see you all? That, right not; that right not!”

The woman looked at the fairy reassuringly. “I speak, fair English, miss. Not best, but, I can understand. No, I not see everything. Many feelings, emotions, thoughts, but, not memories. Only what is in the heart. And, if the heart is confused, I also confused.” Turning back to Remilia, she added, “Would you like I speak English, if the fairy cannot understand? It may be more easy.

“Satooorriiii! Now you’re doing it too!

The vampire couldn’t help but giggle at Orin’s outburst. “Unfortunately it seems that one of our apprentices will be inconvenienced no matter which language we choose, Miss Komeiji. And if your little Rin is as curious as my little Francesca is, I can’t quite say who’s understanding is more important.”

Fran waved at her counterpart timidly. “Hello~ I am, umm, my name is, Francesca. I not good Japanese.”

“Pssh, you got that right,” Rin hissed back playfully, rolling her eyes. “At least you can speak it, though.”

“Ummm… thank you? You, speak slower please? Easy not to, umm, hear.”

The cat yawned unconcernedly. “My, name, is, Rin. Nice, to, meet, you.”

“Thank you. You are, nice meet~”

“I see your point,” Satori commented as she watched the young pair converse. “In that case Rin has heard many of my stories before, whereas of course Miss Francesca has not.”

“No, no, I can’t allow that,” Remilia interrupted, cutting off the remainder of whatever Rin’s mistress was going to say; she thought that quite rude indeed for a stranger to do such a thing. “I am in your house, not you in mine. It is only proper that I allow you to retain the comforts of your own home. Miss Fran is perhaps too curious for her own good sometimes; I’m sure she’ll manage.”

“Humm, yes, well… Rin, she is as well I’m afraid. Cats, you know~” The ladies enjoyed a gentle chuckle at Orin’s expense, something she wasn’t altogether enthralled with.

“H-Hey, what’d you say?!” she whined, pouting. Turning to Fran she asked pleadingly, “What did they say?! Why’re they laughing?!”

Twirling her hair stressfully, the fairy struggled to quickly translate even those simple phrases. “Uhh, umm, they say? They say… umm, They, say, you are also, umm… What’s the word, What word did they say Rin was? I, uhh, I remember word not. I’m sorry.”

As the conversation between the elder mistresses shifted to Japanese proper, Francesca slowly reserved herself to sitting around and looking pretty while desperately trying to make heads or tails out of the random words she managed to pluck out. Despite being in her native tongue, Rin found herself doing much of the same, having slightly more common sense than her younger sisters and realizing that it probably wasn’t very nice to interrupt what sounded like a rather serious conversation.

“So, Miss Komeiji,” Remilia continued, sipping her wine, “or… would you prefer a first-name basis? I’m afraid I haven’t yet caught yours; my apologies.”

The lilac-haired woman shook her head pensively. “Komeiji is fine. I, have no true first name, in all honesty; men and women in the past merely called me by what I was—‘Satori’—and my pets have been content to do the same. Perhaps I’ve been called it for so long it has become my name, but… Komeiji, is fine.”

The vampire smirked. “Satori Komeiji, you are far too polite to your guests.”

Satori returned the smirk. “W-Well, to be fair, we don’t exactly get very many guests around here. The mind-reading stigma tends to drive them away. Though, I can assume you’ve spent much of your life being accustomed to a similar solitude?”

“Mmm… you assume, or you see?”

Miss Komeiji nodded matter-of-factly. “And that, Miss Scarlet, is the exact point at which people start to become nervous and look for an excuse to leave.”

“Pish-posh~ Men who fear things like that will have their hearts laid bare whether or not a Seer is involved; it hardly takes magic for one to divine the desires of the soul. I keep secrets only from people who would not understand them; you of any creature on this Earth should be able to understand best of all. And thus, I have nothing to fear~”

Rin watched her mistress stare into her cup pensively as Remilia took another sip of her own. This Remilia Scarlet lady… Orin couldn’t make up her mind about her. She was haughty, egotistical, rude for being a first-time guest in a world that did not exactly welcome travelers from above-ground. And yet… she began to feel the same aura of composure from this vampire as from her own Satori. She knew things… was able to see past the superficial shell of a situation and realize the truth behind it… acted on wisdom rather than knowledge. Remilia might not have been able to read hearts, but from RIn’s catlike vantage point, there was something just as magical about being able to face a satori for the first time and immediately look past the Eye and into the heart. And in her heart, Rin knew that Satori’s heart wanted someone to talk to, someone who knew just like her.

It seemed as if the elder Komeiji had divined the same thing for herself as she set down the glass of sake. “Indeed, Miss Remilia… Indeed. I must say I didn’t expect this of you, not after knowing how deep the relationship between your sister and mine has gone; certainly not after knowing you knew. I would have expected a certain level of resentment at the least, after…”

“…the murder?” Remilia completed, picking up the question which Satori may or may not have finished by herself.

“Yes… Koishi mentioned the incident, in her own way. I know it was no one incredibly dear to you, but… how did Lady Flandre take it? It’s not been the first time she’s provoked a death.”

“Nor has it been the first time my sister has caused one, Miss Komeiji; surely you’d have seen that when you searched her on the staircase.” Satori seemed perhaps the slightest bit surprised that Remilia was so comfortable with her heart-reading as to predict when and what she might search for, but neither of them hindered the conversation about it. “My sister is unstable, Satori; not entirely responsible for her own actions, and I’ve lived with her long enough to recognize another that suffers from the same problem when I see her. I see no merit in pointing the blame at you merely for being her sister; two apples, though they fall from the same tree, have a tendency to roll apart from each other over time. Such is the case with the Scarlets, and I do not believe I am remiss in saying the same of the Komeijis.”

Satori sighed, taking another drink to occupy herself for a few seconds. “Koishi’s apple has… rolled very far indeed. She’s caused a death within your household; the least of what I owe you is an explanation. And… If you, Francesca, are friend of Flandre, then I owe also you an explanation.

Rin’s ears perked up from her shallow impression on the couch cushion. Koishi’s story… She’d heard it before, of course, several times even, and didn’t mind if Satori decided to tell it in English this time. But still, she always managed to forget a piece of it here or there along the way. It always made her feel sad, though, if perhaps not as sad as Satori ever seemed to feel after telling it.

The sister began simply, starting from the beginning. “She was, normal, at first, long time ago. Centuries, I forget how many now. Maybe I am older than you, maybe I am younger; make not much difference to me. It was… different time. You remember it well, Remilia; we were believed. We were real. And, we were feared. Men heard our legends, and despaired. They ran back to hide, or ran forward to kill. And we kill them to save ourself. It was life. We were not ashamed; we did what we must.

But, for us, for a satori… It is hard. Vampires, you can hide, hide and live normal life. Satori, we cannot. Cannot hide the Eye. Man knows what we are, and what we see. You, Remilia, you see past the Eye. They do not. At once they fear for their mind, their heart. They hate us, and never love us. They never believe that we can be trust, that we can be friend. And so we, me and my sister, we choose. Stay with man, stay with hate… or live alone, run from hate? I see in you… You hate to run. You run your whole life, hope you never need to run again, hope always failing… I have thought this also, many nights. Running… it not solve problem. Only, ignore it…

But, man is superstition. Man can never accept us, never be friend. And so we run, run deep underground, away from man and woman and hate. We run to here. Here, there is only creatures. Creatures that not speak like humans, that not listen like humans, but, they have heart like humans. No one can hear them, no one can understand them, but only satori. We see their heart, their mind. We hear, and we understand. They do not hate like man hates. They love us, because we and not man can love them back.

Satori paused for a moment to motion to Rin, eyes calmly closed and resting peacefully until the conversation returned to a language she could understand. “Little Orin, she is lucky. She is strong, and has strong magic, and so is become like human with human tongue. Many… not so lucky. Will never be lucky like Orin. So we stay, and are happy with our pets.

Koishi… she was not happy. Not enough. She was like you, Remilia; not like to run away. She was curious. Brave. Wanted to face problem. Wanted to try see new things, try make new friends. Like she is now, only… not like now at all. She wandered the surface, watching man from far away. She learned their thoughts, their hearts, day by day and month by month. We knew man by then, of course; we had lived in their world for many years already. But she did not understand. She had seen so much hate, so much bad in the world… where was the good? Should not man have good and evil in their hearts? She wanted to believe in the good.

The more she wandered, and the more she saw, the worse she got. One mind is not meant to know the dark which lies in the minds of thousands. For every thing good she found, she found two things bad, or more. She lost her hope. She lost her will. The dark had poisoned her, she told me with tears. Dripped into her heart and would not leave. All the bad, all the hate, all the sin… drowning her; a black sea. She tried to blot out the horror she saw, but she could not. She saw too much, felt too much. Every time awake was filled with only sadness, fear… what is the word…? Despair. She was, full of despair. If only, she told me… If only she did not need to feel any more… if only, you could take away all the bad thoughts and make the voices go away. Just, make the voices all go away… m-make, the… the… just, make, the voices… go, away…”

As Satori fell from English back to Japanese, and from a soft tone to a dry sob, Orin crept off of her couch and approached her mistress’s chair, sitting at her feet patiently. This happened every time. She hadn’t understood a word of it, but she didn’t need to. Koishi had always been the one thing that could bring her to tears. Ever since Rin had been old enough to understand why Miss Satori was so sad, she’d always tried her hardest to make her happy, tried her hardest to give either of the sisters a real smile for once… But sometimes, the only thing a pet can really do is be there to be petted.

“The… the w-worst part is,” Satori continued, not bothering to return back to English, “The worst part is that I, I can understand why sh-she did it. I know what it’s like, t-to hear the whispers of the hearts around you. To see the darkness we all hide, and how… dim, the light seems against it. You just wish, sometimes, that you could be… normal. That you wouldn’t have to know.”

The teary-eyed mistress finally ushered her beloved pet onto her lap, a gesture Orin never failed to ignore even in her human shape when they were practically the same size. The cat snuggled against her warm chest contentedly, Satori wrapping one arm around her as a child holds on to their safety blanket.

She sighed as the tears slowly stopped running. “Well… you’ve seen what it did to her, closing her Eye off from the world. A life without a heart, without love, guilt, or despair. I won’t attempt to justify what she’s done or tell you that she’s not responsible for her own actions; she is not mad. She just… doesn’t care.”

Remilia chose her response carefully, patiently, folding her hands softly in her lap and looking back to Satori with the eyes of another elder sister who loved her younger dearly. “…She cared enough to bring us to you, Satori. If she hadn’t revealed herself to us, we might never have found Gensokyo to begin with. I’ve seen the way my sister talks about her, the way she tries to divine the truth from her lies. Flandre believes there is hope for her… and therefore so do I.”

“I… I have wanted to believe, for so long… When I watched her play with Rin and the others, sometimes I thought maybe… maybe she still felt something. But it’s, it’s been so long…” Satori shook her head, even then still not truly understanding just what she was feeling about this miracle that had shown up at her doorstep.

“Thank you, Remilia Scarlet. For, for anything. For everything. For your sister, for your maid, for your fairies… You, you don’t know just how much this means to me, for… for Koishi to have a friend. And, for me to… to have someone to talk to about her.”

Rin listened without saying a word, eyes closed and smile serene. She’d never be able to read minds, or even see the hidden meanings of words like all the smart people around her could. She didn’t claim to know the most about Miss Satori, not even after being her most trusted and faithful companion for more years than she generally cared to count. But she knew one thing for certain, one thing that Satori couldn’t even muster up the courage to say outright, and that any other mind-reader in the world would have seen a league away printed right on her heart.

Koishi had finally found a true friend. And Satori had finally found one too.
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Well that was a delightful little aside. Rin's perspective was a refreshing new take, and the old gang had enough of their old charm and idiosyncrasies to feel well within the realm of AFT. It also allowed for a delightfully creative use of the spoiler tags; something I wish more authors would utilize.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the piece was Satori's decent of the stairway. While immensely emotional and satisfying, it felt like it should have been the conclusion or finale, with the rest as a post script or epilogue. As it stands, it peaks, emotionally, less than half way through the story, and then it proceeds to dither until a satisfying (if somewhat insubstantial compared to the mid-point) conclusion. Satori's brilliantly cathartic moment is somewhat diminished by her belabored explanation in broken English. I think I know where you were coming with this, but the presentation deserves some refinement.

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>Koishi had finally found a true friend. And Satori had finally found one too.

Picture very much related.

Excellent story as always, Tepes.
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I may as well post my whole opinion of AFT since I waited for an update to comment.

I started reading after reading a few snippets at random. I was simply interested at first. Then I was curious after I noticed the time this story happened.

Then I got to Flandre. I'll make this short and say that your Flandre is the best and my favorite Flandre that I've ever seen. I was especially impressed by the reason for the wings.

And I read more and loved it more and more. The characters were different from anything I had seen before. I liked all the fairies and Natasha. Patchouli's past struck me as something geniuses like Galileo suffered and made me wonder how they managed to keep going.

I could keep going, but I'll stop now. I'll simply say now that this is one of the best story I ever had the pleasure to read and a tale I would recommend to anyone, even people who know nothing about Touhou. And of course, I've read everything in Small Tales & Tall Tales and liked it all.

Once again, excellent story and thank you for writing it.
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Thank you, Tepes, a thousand times. Thank you for giving us the little fairy maid who tried.

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In hell no one can hear you hear their hearts
Oh boy look at me go, answering comments five months late.

I can see where you’re coming from. I’ll be honest, the second half of the short was really just a vessel for me to explain Koishi’s backstory, because she was the only character in AFT who had not really gotten a full explanation yet, and I wanted to give her some closure. Writing it in the broken English was half-thematic—to show that people can’t always magically understand each other—and half so that Francesca would be able to hear the story, since she’d wondered about it throughout the last half of AFT. This didn’t really go as planned, mainly because I forgot that Rin was the star of this story, not Fran.

Main problem I think is that the final product changed too much from the initial concept, but I still had some of the initial concept mentality in my mind. I had wanted to write it from the perspective of just some random cat of Satori’s who would be an onlooker rather than a participant. In this way I’d be able to have said cat wander into Koishi’s room for the Koishi/Flandre scene I’d cut, and that would probably have been where you’d have gotten Kay’s backstory instead. There would have also been a cute little scene where this cat and Francesca met up so that you can get the mirror image of the two little girls in their two big worlds.

Unfortunately, life wouldn’t give me the luxury of time to write something that long, nor did I feel I had the time to develop an entirely new character that a reader would care for enough so that the Francesca scene would work on an emotional level, so I shuffled the ideas around and wrote what I was able to write rather than what I’d wanted to write. Yes, I know that it goes against writing from your heart and doing your best, but at the same time sometimes I feel that the good thing you do is better than the great thing you never actually get done. See: most of the abandoned stories on THP.

But all that aside, thank you for your critique and I will always appreciate someone who can ignore the rose-colored glasses and tell it to me straight, man to man. Well, unless you’re a woman, in which case you go, girl.

There needs to be more pictures of these four~

>I'll make this short and say that your Flandre is the best and my favorite Flandre that I've ever seen. I was especially impressed by the reason for the wings.
I think I’ve worked harder on Flandre’s character than I have ever worked on any other character I’ve ever written. Call it favoritism if you will—she’s definitely my favorite Touhou—but if favoritism is what it takes to make a memorable rendition of a character, I won’t complain. All things aside I really just wanted to do Flandre some justice after seeing so many moeblobs and deranged psychopaths. To be fair, the Flandre I had in ASSM was a textbook psychopath, and that’s part of the reason why I wanted to do her better this time. On the plus side, I took a lot of what I had used for ASSM’s Flandre to make AFT’s Koishi, so it all works out.

And yeah, I like the wing idea too. I even went ahead and said she had multiple pairs so I could explain once and for all why fanart keeps drawing them differently!

>Patchouli's past struck me as something geniuses like Galileo suffered and made me wonder how they managed to keep going.
When you truly believe in something, and I do mean truly, you begin to find out what really matters and what doesn’t. You have to give up a lot of things along the way, things you thought you needed, but if your cause is true, you will be rewarded in the end.

>Once again, excellent story and thank you for writing it.
You’re always welcome. I was happy to have written it, and thank you for caring.

Oh boy, here we go again with the unwarranted praise. I’ve already pretty much been handed the Best Flandre award by now, and now you’re trying to pin Best OC on me too?! Man, I don’t know if I can handle all this praise…

But you’re very welcome.
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is she my reflection or am i hers
I started writing this on a whim three days ago, with absolutely no idea what it was supposed to be about. I’m still not entirely sure what it’s even about now, or what it’s supposed to be saying. I came up with some theories of my own as I kept writing, of course, but I feel like maybe it’ll mean more to you if you fill in the blanks yourself. In any case, I’m not sure how much of this story is pretentious, avant-garde, or just rambling nonsense, but I thought I’d post it anyways. Those that hath ears to hear, let them hear.

Possible inspirations (none of which are directly responsible for this): Koishi Komeiji’s Heart-Throbbing Adventure, The Prestige, Fight Club, Inception, and that grimdark mindset I had when I still went by U. N. Owen.


“You knew this was coming… You knew. How could you not?”

She looks at me, and I look at her. A lackluster smile is plastered on her pale face, a smile that for all its cheer is no better than a troubled frown, wet with angry tears. In the nigh-existent light I think I might actually see some of those tears in her eyes, but no. No, no, no, those eyes haven’t cried any tears since they went blind, blind to everything in front of them except for the empty shapes and colors of the world.

A hand not my own drags itself across my arm as she walks to the side of me, her fingers smearing a trail of crimson across the few still-dry patches of my skin. “Because you know I know, don’t you?” she answers softly. “That I’d have been the one on the slab if you’d had your way, and you’d be the one with the knife. And the worst part is,” she adds languidly, her utterances both a chore and a bliss, “That not a thing either you or I would say would mean a god-damnned thing. The one on the cross dies believing he’s the martyr, and the one holding the nails kills him believing he’s the hero.

“And at this point it doesn’t even matter anymore,” she continues, returning to her seat in front of my feet. “If someone would have told you sooner, got to you before all of this had to happen… And it didn’t even have to happen, did it? Did it?!”

She shouts as me suddenly from the chair, her knuckles white against the armrests as she bites her fingers into them, the dark blood trickling down the old carved wood; mine or hers, I don’t even care anymore. She blames me for it, of course. She blames me only because if she didn’t she’d blame herself instead. But no, no, she couldn’t do that, could she? She wants someone to blame, needs someone to blame, someone below her she can point at and be the goat she casts hers sins upon. And she’ll keep on pointing, pointing that bloodstained finger, because she knows I’m heartless enough to do the same things to her, and worse.

Am I? Am I really? It’s like she said; at this point it doesn’t really matter one way or the other. She’s right, of course. We’d both laughed about it year after year, that in the end it’d be one of us on the slab, and the other one holding the knife, and the only question left would be who was who. And as years past became months past and we both started realizing that what we joked about wasn’t a joke anymore, that what we dreaded and hoped wasn’t happening was happening, by that point there was no stopping it. For other people, maybe. For normal people. But not for us, no, no no. Not minds like ours, minds that think and work on their own, as if our bodies are on loan to them with an interest we can’t ever hope to pay back. We knew the other one would start planning, start plotting, start preparing. We knew because we were doing the same thing ourselves, and if we were doing it the other one would have to do it too. Two sides of one coin, and no matter which way lands upright the result is still the same.

I think she tries to cry, tries with the few tepid valves and chambers of a heart she has left. I know she believes that she’s doing this for my own good and for the good of everyone. How she doesn’t want to have to do it and its tearing her up inside. They always say that when they’re the one with the knife, and she despite being nothing like them, is still exactly like them. I might actually attempt to feel sorry for my actions if I believed she meant it. And she might actually attempt to forgive me if she believed I meant it, too.

“God damn it,” she whispers, earnestly imploring God to send all of this to Hell and wipe it off the face of the earth. “God damn it! Why? Why’d you have to do it?! We could have helped you, I could have helped you! D’you think I don’t know what you’re going though; I know you know I do! How many times have we told each other we’re the only ones who understand?! So why, damn it all, why?!”

I can tell from the dull “bbhunk” of the table that she’s thrown the knife into it, no doubt not caring less whether it sunk into the wood or my flesh when she hurled it. I wouldn’t have even cared if she had managed to stab me; this is just what has to happen. She has to cut me. She has to torture me and lecture me and heave all her pain and anguish upon me, because to her there’s nowhere else to put it anymore. The part of her that might have been able to forgive it all and start anew with a hug and smile died the same night we knew that this night was just a matter of time.

She gets up out of the chair again, quietly. “You don’t have to answer that, of course. And you wouldn’t, would you? It’s just what you had to do. Empty, meaningless husk of a person that you are. Just your nature, you would say. You can’t fight it. Oh, you still can, but at the end of the day you never win, that’s exactly what you’d say.” Her fingers trace patterns across my skin again, softly, gently, like one lover to another. I barely even notice when she sticks the knife inside me for the seventh or seventieth time; one number’s as good as another.

I fought it. Maybe not perfectly, maybe not all the way, but I fought it long enough to see you give in. Bitch… you are a bitch now, you now; nothing but a worthless whoredog who raped everyone she ever knew, pregnant with the same chaos she used to light the match that set the country ablaze. And now our world is burning up there. Our world. Can you even remember what it was like, our world? Did you ever really believe it was our world in the first place... Or were you just stringing us all along from the minute you saw me?” Her hand is tight against the hilt of the knife, every emphasized syllable sending a twitch running though her body and into mine. The blade is nothing but a formality, a symbolic gesture; she just as well could be clawing at my skin and thrusting her hand inside my soft flesh instead, perhaps as an obscene parody of the intimate relations we’d always make light of when we were friends.

Months ago, only… Was it so recent? The endless days we spent in each others’ rooms and in each others’ houses fade from reality into dreams, as my heart which held them pumps what few streams of blood I have left to spare out of the artificial crevices she’s made for me. I can’t even remember anymore… Was she my friend? Was there really a time when we could have made merry together? There’s no longer any way for me to be sure, or if I was ever sure to begin with. For all I know the woman standing over me with just as much of my blood on me as I have myself is the worst of creatures in this world, a creature that deserves to die even more than she says I do, torturing a helpless subject long beyond what any mortal soul should possess the fortitude to endure. No stranger suddenly brought upon this room would fault me for saying so.

When you already know how the story ends, what is the thing that makes you keep reading it? It is the little details and nuances that bring out a sense of long-forgotten childlike wonderment? Do you try to read it a different way, hoping to find something you never found before? Do you reread it in rebellion, fantasizing against reason that the story will end differently; that the hero will fall instead of rise, or that the friend will live instead of die? Or perhaps, is it a blind and instinctual habit, a compulsion to carry out the same task over and over again, knowing that the result will be the same, and carrying on in spite of, or perhaps because of it? A story that resonates within on such a level that it ceases to be words on a page, and becomes you.

I hope that I find the answer sometime before I die, because if I don’t, so much of this life will have felt like a complete waste of time.

She tires of holding the knife, and returns to her endless questioning, her meaningless questioning that she could answer as well as I can. “Was I a fool for thinking it would work?” she asks, staring blankly at the ground as her back is turned to me. “Back when I first met you? We both knew how dangerous it was going to be to try. Too similar. Too close to home. But it was supposed to be a match made in heaven, wasn’t it? So much of our lives already connected, both of us so in need of someone else who understood us, how could it not have been serendipity? All I wanted was a friend. Even for someone like me… Was it, foolish, to want that?”

I feel the table creak ever so slightly as she turns around and rests her elbows upon it, gazing into my face with an imitation of a girlish melancholy she might have possessed when she was young. Her hair droops down across her temples and sways limply with her breaths, weighed down by the blood that’s coagulated and dried on the strands. She puts a hand on her cheek and emits one long sigh, using the other to brush a few wisps of hair out of my own face.

“You know there was a time I… thought I was in love with you. Not real love, no, no… I don’t think. Crush, maybe. Fantasy. One of those things you just can’t stop thinking about once it’s in there, you know? And I thought maybe… I don’t know, maybe I thought we had a shot, in the future, in a different world, if things worked out?” She shakes her head as her eyes tear themselves away from mine. “Now that… it was foolish to want that. If I can’t even love myself, how could I possibly come to love a person like you? No, no… I was a fool.”

She stares longingly at the scarlet-stained hilt of the knife in my side for a few moments before sliding it out of me without warning. She traces patterns in the bloodied steel with her finger, watches the drops traverse their way down the razor’s edge and pool on the cold stone below us. Such a child… Such a child, looking at it like it’s the first time she’s done it, like she doesn’t understand what it means or where it came from. Even now, with the red water staining her fancy clothes and drying like new rust across her arms and face, she looks so… innocent. So simple-minded. As if she still thinks after all this that I’m the only guilty one.

“We really should have done this a long time ago,” she mentions in a voice filled with regret, still peering at the knife. “Just… had it out. Tried to kill each other. It would have been so much simpler. No one would have gotten hurt. Nothing would have needed to be burned. Whichever of us would have been left would have looked back on her life and said it was for the best, in the end. It’s not like it would have solved everything that happened, but…”

I can’t tell if she whispers the last bit, or simply trails off into irrelevancy. She would dwell on what should have happened, of course. Dwell on the things that can’t be changed and don’t need to be worried about. Close herself off from the present she made and keep looking back to the past, when even the worst parts of her life were simpler, simpler and purer than they are now. God forbid she owns up to it and faces her reality; God forbid she acknowledges she has a reality to face. I know. I know because the only thing that separates one of us from the other is who’s up above, and who’s down below.

“But it had to be this way, didn’t it?” she continues, from out of void of her own joke of a consciousness. “We couldn’t have had it any other way. Not us. No… We were so desperate for something to change, something to break the monotony, anything at all. Even if our world had to collapse and burn with us in it, at least it would have been a change. They all say that, don’t they? Always so blind. Until they’re the ones trapped inside the burning building, and they’ll denounce everything they’ve ever said, everything they’ve ever believed in, just please, don’t let me die, don’t let me die, not like this I want to live…”

She turns back around again, twirling the knife between her fingers even as the point digs into her thumb, mixing her blood with mine. I know her well enough to know she doesn’t care. “I know you’re not that person,” she states, simple as fact. “I know you won’t ever change. Because to change is to admit that you were wrong, and to change is to admit that you were always wrong, and that your whole life you were just living one long lie, one big act. It’s so much easier to just accept yourself for who you say you are, and have everyone else accept you for who you are, and just move forwards step by step as if who you are doesn’t even matter, as if what you do with yourself doesn’t even matter…

“Why am I even talking to you? You aren’t listening. You never listen. I never listened, why would you? Do I honestly think it’s going to change anything? What even was the point of torturing you? You don’t care; you can’t care. Am I trying to make myself feel better? Do I think that saying any of this out loud and acknowledging it as pointless makes it any less pointless?”

She brings her hands down on the table hard, fingers splaying out over the handle of the blade, the blood fully-absorbed into the grain by now. Tangles of crimson-splattered hair hangs over her face like a willow tree, shielding her face from the outside world. Maybe she tries to look at me again, or maybe she doesn’t; the gesture either way would be symbolic only to her, much like the torture. Much like the talking. Pointless. All of it, a pointless gesture, delaying the inevitable ending we’ve both read a thousand times.

“Say something, damn it,” she finally spits, momentarily thrusting more of her weight onto the table.

I shift my eyes in her direction, something I haven’t done my entire time in the cold room, something I haven’t truly done since that first instant we locked gazes before our confrontation above. We both knew before either of us had said a word to each other that she was going to win, but… we fought anyways. Why? We did we even bother? Why waste all of that time and effort, all of that collateral damage, when it was all of it meaningless? Why did we even decide to be friends, when deep down inside of that part of us that wasn’t yet dead we already knew that it was never meant to be? The good times, the bad times… so fake, so fake and hollow. When you already know how the story ends, what is the thing that makes you keep reading it?

She notices my gaze on her face, and makes the superficial effort to brush the hair out of her face and look at me properly, one woman to another.

“There’s really… nothing, that needs to be said.”

I see the disappointment wash over her face, feel the anger for me and for herself boil up into her eyes and stoke anew the fires of emotion that ever-smoldered but never-burned in her heart. She knew exactly what I would say before I said it, but… perhaps she just believed that she needed to hear it. I can’t blame her. Because if our roles were reversed, I would have made the same request, and she would have told me exactly the same thing.

“No…” she replies sorrowfully, finally accepting what she already knew but couldn’t bring herself to believe. “No, there’s not.”

And down comes the knife.

I roll my head to the side; the knife grazes my ear and buries itself into the wood.

My right hand slips out of the shackle and grabs the handle; the binding had always been too loose and the blood had made it too slippery.

Her other hand darts to my throat, her thumb pressing against a gouge she’d made hours ago.

The blade comes free; I feel her blood splash my face as I bring the steel across her throat.

She jerks her head back half a moment before; the cut fails to penetrate as deep as was intended

Her other hand is at my wrist; my other hand is slipped loose.

I gouge the tip deep into her forearm; her opposite hand moves from my throat to her own.

I am free from her touch for an instant; left foot is loose.

Her fingers find their way into her most recent incision in my side; I miss her eye but slash her cheek.

She pulls out instants before her fingers would have been severed; right foot is loose.

I lose my grip on the knife; she finds it.

Kick to the stomach; she stabs between my toes as she staggers back.

Knife clatters to the floor; we both dive.

The edge bites into my palm as I claim it; she bites into my shoulder and claims it.

I stab at something. She punches at something.

I lose the knife. She finds it.

She finds my blood. I find hers.

I see the ceiling. The floor. The table. The ceiling again. A foot; mine or hers?

I have the steel. She has the steel. I’m on top. She’s on top. Neither of us are on top. I lose track of time. I lose track of her. I lose track of myself.

Which of us is the one holding the knife, and which of us is the one on the slab?

At this point it doesn’t really matter anymore.

I’m kneeling over her now, barely kneeling, barely laying, with her back flat against the floor, blouse sopping up her blood, my blood, our blood. My hand is so slick with it now I doubt I could even keep a hold on the blade if I tried to slash her throat, and even then I’m not altogether sure if my arm would have the strength left to piece the skin. And maybe she can push me off of her, and maybe she can’t. A symbolic gesture, just like everything else in this room.

She looks at me. Blindsided. Impressed. But… still empty.

“Don’t pretend like you didn’t think I was going to try… We know each other better than that.”

She furrows her eyebrows at me, blood dripping down one of them and partially blinding an eye.

“I’m disappointed that you did. I thought you knew us better than that.”

“If it doesn’t matter, then why does it matter?”

“If it doesn’t matter, then why are you asking?”

Our noses touch; she can feel my hair on her cheeks, taste the blood on my breath. We might have kissed each other in another life. Shared the same room, the same bed. It would have been just as inappropriate then as it would be now. Just as empty. Solving nothing. We never really loved each other. And we never really hated each other. What we are they don’t have a name for.

I move away, kneeling tall by her feet and letting the knife dangle at my fingertips. The threat to her throat doesn’t matter. Our broken and bloodsoaked bodies don’t matter. If either of us really, truly wanted to, we both still possess the strength to kill the other, knife or no knife, shackles or no shackles. But it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because we know each other too well, and we know the ending of the story too well. We know, and we care, and we don’t care all at the same time.

I hear her laugh, or perhaps I hear myself laugh. Or maybe I am her, and her laugher is mine. “It’s never going to end,” she says, or I say. “It’s all a joke. We’re just going to keep on doing this, and it’s never going to end, not even when one of us finally kills the other.”

“They’ll make it end,” the other one replies. “They’re not letting us get away with it this time. Not this time… They’re going to kill us both this time.”

“Not us… just you.”

She tilts her head and looks at me, looks at me tilting my head and looking at her. “After all this… You know I know you don’t actually believe they still think there’s a difference between us. We both caused this. And we were both the victim of it. One of us is as good as the other to them now.”

I can see it in her eyes that she figures it out at the same point that I do. Maybe she’d always known, and it was just the words that gave the thought any relevant meaning. Or maybe this had always been the plan ever since the first spark hit the first blade of grass.

And it matters to her.

“No,” she announces, as if she can change either of our minds. “You can’t.”

“I can’t. But… I still will.”

“They’ll never believe you.”

“They won’t. But… they still can.”

She begins to shake her head, not from an unwillingness to believe, but from an unwillingness to accept. “You don’t want this. You can’t possibly want this.”

I return her nonplussed gaze, unshaken and entirely apathetic to her half-hearted pleas. “And yet you don’t want me to do it.”

I know she wants to reason with me, to beg, to bargain, to threaten. I know because I want so very much to meet her logic strike for strike, move for move. But she can’t. She can’t because she knows it doesn’t matter, one way or the other.

She can’t, but she still will. Because I can’t, and yet I still will.

“How long do you honestly think it will last?” she asks, actually trying to pick herself off of the ground. “Destroying your life just to go on to destroy mine. Burning the bridge at both ends with you in the middle. You still haven’t changed anything; the fires will come. They will find you, one day. Or you’ll find yourself, finally, and then I won’t be there to stop you when it happens.”

I raise myself to my feet, looking down at her, a worm in the red dirt. So… pathetic. “They won’t ever be able to find me… because they’ll stop looking. There’ll be nothing to find anymore. Because after this they’ll know, won’t they? Which of us was really the one on the slab, and which of us was the one with the knife. And then you’ll disappear, and it’ll just be me, like it should have been all along.”

The me on the slab flops herself onto her belly and crawls towards the me with the knife, reaching beyond her grasp. “How can you be sure? How do you even know which life is mine if you can’t even tell which life was yours? We’ve lived through each other for so long… One is as good as the other. You can’t know if you’re not just going back to being the one with the knife.”

She tries to touch my feet, and I back away, turn my heels towards her. Because we’re not the same anymore. Not anymore. I decided, she decided. We decided. It’s never going to end, not even if one of us kills the other one, as long as we’re alive. As long as we keep being we.

“They’ll know,” I tell her over my shoulder. “They’ll know which one I am. They always did. It was always us… we were always the ones who never knew.”

I take my first step away from her, and my second, and my third. I know I should drop the knife, as a symbolic gesture, but I don’t. If there is no one to give symbols meaning, how can they have any power over you? And there is no one here any more to give symbols meaning.

“You know nothing you say is going to change anything.”

“No… but I want it to.”

I leave the darkness to go back above, or else I’m the one still laying in the darkness below; I’m still not really sure. But they’ll know. They’ll know which one I am. And then I’ll know too. I hope that I was always the one on the slab. But even if I was only ever the one with the knife… at least I’ll know.
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Here you go. I wrote a little actually somewhat long thing for Valentimes, but since it has nothing to do with the SDM I figured I'd toss it up on /shorts/ instead. Figured I'd link it for you folks here too; also a little bump in case you missed Two-Way Mirror right above this post.

Why the heck did I write Ebb And Flow? I dunno, probably for the same reason I wrote that cheesy Momiji short two and a half years ago.
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On mouseover, I see a goo girl, and am highly intrigued.
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My guns are better than your guns
“All right, for reference Flan? Let the record state that I never actually watched the first two movies.”

“In the first movie Wesley Snipes killed a minor Old One and a bunch of clubbers. In the second movie Wesley Snipes killed a bunch of Russian hobos. There might have been other good guys, but I think they’re all dead now.”

“Let the record state that I don’t give a shit.”

“Lilli, play nice now~ You promised not to walk out of us like you did the last time, remember? That was major totes uncool.”

“Fuckin’ yay. I get to experience all one-hundred-and-bloody-ten-percent of the modern-made CGI wonderments of a shitty sequel-of-a-sequel about nigga vampires laying the smack down on cracka vampires. Someone pinch me.”

“No one said it was a bad movie yet, Miss Devil.”

“Sapphy, I thought I told you I won’t be entirely disappointed at you if you just call her Boobs.”

“And I thought I told you to shut the hell up.”

“Shut the hell up, Boobs.”

“Girrrrls, you’re making me sad! You wouldn’t like me when I’m sad!”

“Can we just start the movie already?”

“Okay, now remember people, you’ve gotta stick to your stereotypes this time! Sapphire, you’re the straight man. Lilligan, you’re the angry downvoter. I’ll be the lovable little nitpicker. N’ sis, you—“

“—Can try my very, very hardest not to criticize any and all vampire ‘traits’ these ‘vampires’ may or may not have.”

“I was gonna say high school fanfic-shipper, but vampires are cool too! I used to want to be one when I grew up! But now everyone wants to be one, so now I want to be a space cowboy!”

“Such an adorable little liar you are, Flan~ Saph on the other hand, now she’s just living the dream, isn’t she?”

“Remilia, please…”

+ + + + + + + + + +

Flan: Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand~…

Koa: Oh, the height of originality, turning your logo red for a vampire movie. Fucking please.

Saph: Blade is Marvel?
Flan: So’s Ben Aflack, but you don’t see me bringing that wound up now do you?

Koa: Kill this narrator. Kill him now.
Remi: Uggh, no… please, please… Referencing Dracula is a vampire movie scene one is not avant-garde. It hurts, Flan… Hold me.

Saph: Meanwhile, in Unspecifiedistan…
Flan: Yeah, we’re totally not tired of this place yet after twenty-plus years. I miss Vietnam.
Remi: Vietnam, I miss Europe.

Flan: Master Chief?! Is that you?!

Koa: Yeah, yeah… Fuck you, sun~
Saph: Is that you liking something in this movie?!
Remi: What a scandal~!

Remi: Yeah, that’s a chick. You can sashay up that camo all you want, girl.

Flan: Aww, girls, check out that sweet Palm Pilot! It’s like I’m really in 1998!
Saph: This movie was made in 2004.
Flan: I know, right?!

Saph: I’m not concerned about the fake sandstone as much as I am about all that fake sand.
Flan: How expensive can sand [possibly be?!
Koa: Your precious little Hollywood has cut corners for so long there is nothing left but a sphere.

Flan: I’m not the only one who just noticed those “whoosh” sound effects, right?
Saph: I have your back, Flandre.

Remi: They are vampires why do they even need lights.

Remi: Poser… Poser… Meathead.
Flan: Rowdy Roddy Piper, how did you get here?

Koa: This is what it’s like to talk to you cunts every damn day.
Saph: You mean you’re that awful woman, or we are?
Remi: That girl is such a lesbian.

Saph: Did they pay him to be this generic and pervy-looking?

Remi: No, they paid him to die.
Flan: Synch your watches, team. 0338, first death.

Saph: Do you really need the strobe effect here? Is it really that necessary?

Flan: Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, a time lapse happens. See, see, no, it’s totally artsy, girls, I’m telling you!

Remi: Kill that widows-peak. Kill it with fire, now.

Remi: I’m serious, I will unearth Bella Legosi and use his leg as a torch to burn that thing.

Flan: Explody? Explody? Explody?!


Flan: Keep going… Keep going…! HOME RUN, THURMAN THOMAS!
Saph: Oh wow… That, is acceptable.

Saph: Hmm, forgot we hadn’t had the opening credits yet.
Flan: Yeah, they’ve been pushing those back lately.

Flan: No, Blade, no, you shoot the car as you’re spin-jumping over it, not after you land! I mean come on!

Saph: Rawr, hiss, I am sort of an American Indian, fear me.

Remi: Well, I say, I know what I’m getting Sakuya for her birthday this year~
Saph: That is one fine knife.

Flan: From the creator of “White Men Can’t Jump” comes, “Black Men Can’t Run.”
Saph: Not with twenty-five pounds of prop leather on them at least.

Koa: What is this car chase trying to be anyways, fucking Matrix 2?
Saph: Well if it wasn’t before it sure is now after that reused stunt.
Flan: At least Blade has a Dodge Charger and not that piece-of-crap Hummer. That piece-of-crap’s a piece-of-crap.

Remi: I thought you said all the other good guys died, sis.
Flan: Oh, Whistler? He did, but they brought him back when they made the sequel. You know, vampire shenanigans.
Remi: No. No I don’t know.

Saph: What even is this music?
Koa: It’s shit.
Saph: Thank you.

Remi: Come on! Just shoot the fool already, what good does bashing him against the roof do?! Thank you, finally!


Remi: UV light does not work UV light does not work UV light does not work UV light does not work!
Saph: Not to support the film too much, Remilia, but you do have to accept the rules set by the movie’s universe.

Koa: How many times? How, many, fucking times does a fucking highway divider roll a fucking car?!

Flan: Ooo, scary shoes~

Saph: Speaking of how many times it happens… “He’s got a gun!” anybody?

Remi: Again, stop being dramatic and just shoot him.

Flan: Oh no, he’s got a cough, that means he’s got the cancer!
Saph: There’s nothing we can do for him now. He’s terminal.

Koa: Nice comeback dumb SHIT!
Flan: Wesley Snipes approves of this insult.

Remi: Voyeur! Voyeur!
Flan: But it’s… man on man. I thought you said she was a les.
Remi: Exactly!

Saph: And of course he has to take his fake teeth out, even though he just told us he wasn’t a vampire.
Flan: Be considerate of the hearing-impaired in the audience, Saph.
Koa: I swear to god tearing my ears off would not change a damn thing.

Fran: If I had a quid for every time the police came after the scene was already over…

Saph: Hang on, hang on… The “POLICE” on those cars is mirrored! What the heck?
Flan: Nah, nah, see, like, it’s a metaphor for, like, vampires, because you’re looking at the movie through Blade’s perspective, so, like, it’s all through a mirror the whole time, so you can actually like tell who’s the vampires!
Saph: …Nnnnnno.

Flan: Ohh, ohh, pay attention here! Not only is it an extremely-dated iMac, but it’s a rare example of not Hollywood OS!
Remi: Damn pasty-face Goths get out of my vampire movie.
Saph: Is that even… possible?

Koa: What the hell was even the point of that scene?! Fifteen seconds and all you told us was what you just fucking told us a minute ago!
Flan: Ehh, the Mac OS X was worth it.
Koa: No, fuck you.

Saph: Again with the abandoned warehouse by the docks? Really…?
Flan: It’s a shrewd business move. Urban restructuring on this side of the river means the property values have nowhere to go but up!
Saph: …The warehouse is going to be blown sky high halfway through, isn’t it?
Flan: Oh, totally.

Flan: Hello again Kris Kristofferson and/or Jeff Bridges. You’ve aged well.
Remi: I’d still hit it.
Koa: This is what I’m talking about, this is what I have always been fucking talking about, goddamn it whores!

Flan: For your benefit, Remi, in case you didn’t know how to kill vampires yet.

Saph: Do we really believe Blade cares about the science behind the magic device?
Flan: Magic? Since when do vampire movies have a thing to do with magic?
Remi: Flan, you’re my sister, and I love you, but I’m warning you…

Saph: Do we really need the artist’s sketch when we’ve got photo evidence of him?

Flan: Alienware!

Koa: No, what you sluts should be asking is why the fuck do they need to tell you on the fucking screen it’s the goddamn FBI HQ when it’s so excruciatingly obvious to anyone who’s not mentally retarded that it’s an FBI HQ?

Remi: Leeessssbiaaan.

Flan: Two more backups and you’ve got yourself a Flying V
Remi: I can think of a few things that start with V~
Flan: Vampire, vagina, vermouth, Vermont, vermicelli…

Remi: Vampires on thermal scan? Wonder what continuity guy screwed that one up.

Remi: Is it possible for her to sound any more like a condescending bitch?
Saph: At least she has a personality.
Flan: As far as condescending bitches go, I think she could hold her own pretty well against most of those Twilights.

Flan: Yeah, yeah, not so condescending now that you’re alone, are ya bitch?!

Remi: Why? Why would a vampire be afraid of A: the dark, and B: other vampires feeding on humans?!

Flan: ¡Qué! ¡Es El Diablo! ¡Ay, caramba!

Koa: No, no, fuck that noise.
Remi: I ain’t fuckin’ that noise with a ten foot pole.
Flan: Good, ‘cause I don’t think Vlad the Impaler would let you borrow it, even to kill this… thing. Are they really calling this Dracula?

Saph: Oup, oup, vampire superiority speech! Because there’s always a caste system, am I right?
Remi: Word up, sister.

Koa: For fuck’s sake, learn the damn Spanish word! It’s joder! ¡Joder! ¡Tú me estás jodiendo!

Saph: Please tell me stakeout cars aren’t this bloody obvious in real life. Please tell me that.

Remi: Oh great, now who’s this square?
Flan: Someone who thinks he’s in a movie twenty years older than this one.

Koa: Fucking no, not this shit.

Remi: It could be wor—oh hell no, not this shit.

Flan: Oh both of you are a bunchaaaaAAHHH DAMN IT NOT THIS SHIT!!

Flan: Who cares about Blade, I want to read about “Bayou Alligator Eats Entire Family”.

Flan: “Ahh, dammit Blade, yuurr a loose cannon! DA office’s breathin’ down mah neck aftuurr that stunt you pulled! I’ll have yuurr badge for this!”

Remi: Old man? Don’t just stand there and take that guff Kris Kristofferson!

Saph: I’m betting right now that this is going to end up being the most emotional part of this movie.
Flan: Saying that means you just killed him, you know. It’s the rules.

Saph: Remilia? You okay?
Remi: I’m… just… trying, not, to kill them, with my mind…

Flan: Mmm, right there, reflection in the window. Totally not vampires.
Saph: It’s like that don’t really even want to make a vampire movie.

Remi: You shame your name and your blood you are the worst vampires.
Saph: …worse than Twilight?
Flan: No, we went over this before, those are actually cleverly-disguised golems. Made of stone, no emotions… think about it.

Flan: Who in the 21st century actually buys a full baguette and stalk of celery?
Saph: …and carries it in a paper bag instead of a plastic one?

Koa: I am fucking sick of these faux-tension jump-scare scenes. They’re in every movie and they suck, dick.

Saph: Are there really this many decrepit subway stations in America…?

Flan: Awww snap; skaters.
Saph: What sort of low-life vampire let these posers get their blood anyways?

Koa: Fuck yeah that’s right; fuck you.
Remi: The wicked shall receive their just reward~
Flan: Aaaaaaand now comes the electro-grunge.

Flan: Knife shoe! Knife, shoe!

Saph: And now comes that scene we all hate, where the spunky 110-pound starlet pretends like she’s actually competent at fighting, and the plot dictates that she is.

Remi: No. Just… no! You are wasting, time! What are all these punches? What are they?! Take off you boot, and stab him with it!

Flan: Woah. Okay, now that, is cool. I want that.

Saph: And she rides off into the sunset.

Saph: I have a hard time believing that Blade is a zen master.
Flan: I have a hard time believing YOUR FA-yeah there’s absolutely no reason for him to be doing that.

Saph: Okay now where’d he come from? He was just, there!
Flan: The stoic in any given story is allowed to teleport as he pleases. Like ninjas, or butlers.

Flan: Oh no, the fuzz, save us please.
Saph: I… actually think they’re kind of screwed here.

Saph: So how many swat guys is he allowed to take out, by himself, before they start screaming O.P.?

Remi: Some horrid computer dialog boxes there for you, Flan.
Flan: And yet, still running MacOSX!

Saph: Meanwhile, ninja-Blade over there…

Remi: Okay, Flan, answer this for me; you know computers, right? Why would you have the computer’s self-destruct mechanism only accessible by a program on the computer itself? Why not just have some fuses and dynamite?
Flan: Because this way we can watch Kris Kristopherson mash one hand on the keyboard randomly to perform computer magic! He was a trucker, you know!

Saph: I hear a whole lot of gunfire for them presumably only shooting at two guys. And yet why do I see no bullets?

Flan: Tis just a flesh wound~

Flan: Crawl, crawl Kris Kristopherson! The sad action music demands it!

Flan: It’s a bomb!

Saph: That explosion just keeps going, don’t it?

Remi: Blade just looks so confused… I’d feel sorry for him if he had any sense of style whatsoever.
Flan: He’s acting like some kind of pissed-off cat after you spray it with water.
Saph: Well, cats are… sort of, like, vampire… ninjas?
Koa: Find a shovel, little cunt; diggin’ that damn hole ain’t gonna get any easier.

Remi: Ooooh, we’re supposed to feel sad! See, now I get it!
Flan: Clearly you’ve never watched Convoy, Remi. Truly, the death of a giant.

Flan: Another pointless timelapse.


Saph: That’s a real good way to get yourself killed in a movie like this.

Saph: Black Cop, White Cop?
Flan: Loose Cop, Tight Cop!

Remi: Nnnno, just Jerk Cop, Jerk Cop.

Remi: Not this scene, for the love of God not this scene.


Flan: “Heuummmyes, emm, heellllooo, my name ish Dickter Vance, and I’m heeerrree to purtend like I’m not a total egotistical douche!
Koa: Preaching to the choir, retard.

Saph: Now, is this walking trope in movies supposed to be gay, or just vaguely unsettling?
Flan: I believe it was the philosopher Murray who said it best: “Yes it’s true: this man has no dick.”

Koa: Ahh, he’s speaking my language now~
Saph: Umm, ehh… My, uhh, my face right now? Yeah, his face. That.

Remi: Can you, just… Hell with it, I’m just going to plug my ears and turn away. Wake me when this travesty’s over.

Flan: Ahh, Remi Remi Remi, you’re missing the best part! It’s sex, Remi, they’re talking about sex!
Remi: Don’t. Care.

Saph: Yes.
Flan: Done got told, brotha!

Flan: If I had a quid for every time a police chief said “jurisdiction”…

Flan: Thaaaat’s not a couple thousand milligrams! And since when is liquid medication measured in milligrams?!

Saph: Every time the phrase “a mere human” is uttered in a fantasy movie, a fairy loses its wings.
Flan: And then cries.

Flan: Someone tell D.J. Mixmeister to cool down on that voice speed slider.

Saph: Worst line in the movie. Right there.
Flan: I’ma hold you to that, cuz’.

Flan: Let the soothing voice of the Rubber Duck rock you to sleep…
Koa: No.

Flan: Remi, Remiremiremi! You can look now; the carpet muncher’s back!
Remi: Uhhhnn… Fffine, I guess she’s better than nothing…

Flan: Wait, is that a… Crap, for a second there I thought I actually saw a female Asian vampire. Too blurry.

Remi: Has her acting… improved?
Flan: Doesn’t matter, she’s still got that pig-disgusting underbite.

Saph: Aaand now she’s back to being wooden and creepy.
Koa: Fuck that bitch.
Remi: Not on your life; I don’t do raven-hairs.

Flan: I swear that guy looks just like Daniel Craig.

Saph: I hear a plot-point triggering~…

Saph: Waitwhat?!

Koa: That’s an attitude I can get be—

Saph: Oh, so they’re finally calli—

Remi: Again with the punching of the vampires…?
Flan: You can do better than that, Deadpool, come on!

Saph: I think he’s getting ready to Hulk Out or something.

Flan: A laser gun is the best gun for killing vampires. FACT.

Koa: Fuck that no you are not going to waste five fucking minutes to, get, dressed!

Flan: Now IMproper use of slow motion. Again.

Flan: Yes, Deadpool, Deadpool~…

Flan: “With a foorty-foour Magnum the most powerful handgun in the wooorld…”

Koa: Well this is fucking predictable.
Remi: Agreed.
Saph: Thirded.

Flan: Ooo, fifty caliber Magnum!

Remi: Wesley Snipes takes orders from no man, Ryan Reynolds.
Flan: Don’t you speak to my husband like that!

Flan: Come on, Deadpool could totally shoot around corners!

Saph: Does she need to reveal more skin to be able to use her secret weapon?
Remi: Watch more action movies, Saph.
Flan: Watch more anime, Remi.

Flan: Ooo, save that replay on Xbox Live!

Remi: I have to concede, the technology in this movie is very nice.
Flan: Best part as far as I’m concerned. Y’know… other than Wade Wilson, of course.

Koa: Fucking elevator music. What, do you think that you’re ironic?!
Flan: Plus Blues Bothers pre-empted it by like twenty years, so yeah, point.

Saph: Are the police always this conveniently late? I mean except when they’re being conveniently on-time? Do we have to see half a dozen cars skidding to a stop every time?

Flan: That would have been a great time to use inappropriate slow-mo. Wonder why they didn’t…

Remi: Damn right you forgot your “sword”; you know you’re not getting any in this movie Blade~
Koa: You say that I am the depraved one, harpy. I have heard you say it.
Remi: My house, my rules, shut up.

Saph: What? Okay, now who’s this square?
Flan: A blacksploited stereotype.

Saph: Now, I can see this scene being funny, I can see the creators thinking that this scene is funny. Except it’s not.

Flan: No, screw that noise, your name is Wade Wilson, and bitch best remember that.

Remi: Another abandoned warehoue on the river? I’ve got news for you, so-called Vampire Resistance, that didn’t work out so well for you the last time.
Saph: At least they didn’t outright call themselves “The Resistance”. I hate it when they do that.

Remi: Boring. Boring-backstory useless action girl ; you are of no value to anyone. Get, out.


Flan: Now see, that is exactly what Wade Wilson would say in this situation! I’m telling you, if this movie serves no other purpose, it gave us a preview of what Ryan Reynolds will become!
Remi: Ryan Reynolds is a typecast romantic comedy lead. I don’t know what you see in him.
Flan: “Buried”. Then we’ll talk.

Saph: Woah, Remilia, Remilia you’re in the shot!
Remi: NO! NO! It cannot get worse than this! That name! That godforsaken name! That’s it! No more, Flandre, NO, MORE. I’ve humored you, I’ve bit my tongue just about clean off trying not to be petty, I have tried to become involved in your inexplicable ironic love-hate devotion to this tripe, but I, have, standards! I love you, because you’re family, but what I am witnessing right now makes me feel like I’m about to vomit blood, and nothing you SAY, or DO, is going to stop me from going straight to the kitchen right now, getting a knife, and stabbing myself with it! Because of this, THIS!!
Flan: …I’ll stop inviting Koishi over…?
Remi: ……damn you. Damn you for making me watch this, little sister.

Flan: Now, sadly, what you all just missed while we were being rudely interrupted—
Remi: It deserved it.
Flan: —was Wesley Snipes utterly obliterating the fourth wall and explaining why the movie that he is in sucks. Again, throwback to Deadpool starting Ryan Reynolds coming out Summer 2014 get your tickets now.

Remi: Why, can they not find, a good, female, actress, in, this, MOVIE?!

Saph: Wait, so, shooting vampires in the head doesn’t kill them, or the arrow wasn’t silver…?
Remi: What? That arrow is not made of silver? The arrow that is that girl’s main, weapon? Every weapon she has is made of silver except her arrows? No. No, you leave this movie, now. You don’t get to kill me; I get to kill me before you are even allowed to dream of killing me. Every weapon! Except the arrows!
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My Dracula is better than your Dracula
Flan: Again, pretty good tech in this movie; video camera gun! Also, decently-okay playlist title there.

Saph: Has it ever actually been in vogue to call a girl a “betty”?
Remi: Americans...

Flan: Sucky name, by the way.

Remi: Koa, succubae: True, or false~?
Koa: Wouldn’t you like to find out, slut.
Flan: Low-hanging fruit, Ryan; you’re better than this.

Flan: And yet, R.R.’s low-hanging fruit is still better than the median for this movie!

Remi: Augh, shut up, shut up shutupshutup! I will listen to Ryan Reynolds for the rest of the movie if you will just, shut, up!

Saph: I’m with Blade; this plot is stupid.

Flan: Extrapolation doesn’t work that way, but whatever.

Flan: “They”? “They” call Dracula Drake? They who? They who?! How do you know this? Where, is, Harvey, Dent?!
Remi: Honestly, if they keep doing this to us I’m going to be forced to start talking like bitchy-bitch over here.
Flan: I’d settle for his loved ones~!

Flan: Gratuitous use of Latin, minus five points.
Saph: Minus ten, Flandre, minus ten, at minimum.

Remi: They might have had a good premise… They might have had something! And you gave it up! You gave it all up for the bloody effing name drop!

Flan: Yeah, yeah, Iraq is a hotspot these days. Let’s just drop that name right here since everyone in the world knows where it is now.

Remi: You… are not… my real father.
Flan: Every time that face appears on screen, take a drink, then smash your wineglass against the ground.

Saph: Slow motion walking, rap, and antique bling?!
Flan: And I may tell myself, “this is not my beautiful Dracula.”

Remi: Burn this. Burn this all to the ground, right now. I don’t care if he’s in the building or not when it happens, burn it.

Koa: Goddamn it, Twilight was an improvement. Twilight was a fucking improvement on this shit! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOUR WORLD?!

Saph: Come on, just bring the rain… Bring the rain!

Flan: Rain, brought.

Remi: Wrong way to bite a neck; don’t even get me started.

Flan: And lo, the mighty Tyrannosaurus revels over his prey.

Saph: Ahh dang, them again?

Flan: Dracula is Hitler; you heard it here first.


Remi: Again with the pointless uninspired naming… Please.

Saph: Hang on… didn’t they already make the anti-vampire virus in the first movie?
Flan: They did, didn’t they~? Boy that scientist must be feeling really stupid right about now. Oh wait, she’s not a scientist, she’s just reading her lines verbatim how dry of a character can you possibly be. You’re not even a MILF; you’re worthless!

Remi: The fat man annoys me. I want my Q back.

Remi: Enough… with you asinine names. Flan your husband is coming dangerously close to my disapproval.

Saph: Mmm… Yeah, that’s a nice shotgun.
Flan: Flandre approves of this shotgun.
Koa: Naked lady on the stock, fucking letch.

Flan: Gaaah, that lightsaber is sooo much less cool with a crap name like “The UV Arc”.

Saph: You know… she’s not even that hot, for being the action girl.

Flan: Remilia! Did you know that vampires can shapeshift into other humans?!
Remi: Why no I didn’t, Flandre! But they can’t turn into bats or mist! Why all these years, I thought it was the other way round!

Remi: That question answers so much about this scene.

Saph: Here’s some more glaringly obvious vampire bunk you don’t need to know if you watched the first two movies, and don’t care about if you didn’t.

Saph: I just, I have a quick question here, does this film need a token black stereotype when the lead is already black?
Flan: No, see, the problem is that Snipes here is filling the quota of The Stoic, not The Token, so for all intents and purposes Wesley Snipes is not actually black.

Flan: Aauugh, not only are you a complete poser for bringing your own personal soundtrack with you—with crap taste in music I might add—but you’re using a first-generation iPod! That thing was the grey-brick Game Boy, come on!

Flan: Oh the hour is approaching, just give it your best; you’ve got to reach your prime~…
Koa: No.
Flan: And that’s when you need to put yourself to the test, and show us a passage of tiiiiiime~!
Koa: Fucking, NO!
Flan: We’re gonna need a montage!
Koa: Shut your hole, cunt!

Flan: Congrats, Spider Man, you just killed Gwen Stacy.

Remi: A pink phone…? What grungy-looking guy like that has a pink phone?

Flan: I’m telling you, right there, right there. That is our Deadpool! Completely out of place in this movie, but perfect for that one!


Flan: Ladies and ladies, Ryan Reynolds, once again proving that he is still the best part of this movie.

Remi: Is she good for anything? Is she bringing anything to this movie besides an exposed midriff?

Flan: And I say to myself, “This is not my beautiful Matrix”
Remi: It would be nice if I could dodge bullets.

Remi: For Christ’s sake, just kill him! You can’t possibly care; just, kill, him!

Flan: Nope. White men apparently still cannot jump.

Saph: I can already tell this chase scene will be a complete waste of time.

Remi: Why is he even running? Why is he even allowing himself to be chased? Can’t he just shapeshift and blend in with the crowd?
Saph: I told you, Remilia. Complete waste of time.

Flan: Minus INFINITY points you are taking NOTHING from Stoker!

Remi: A glimmer… A glimmer of something more profound… Corrupted, and corroded, until there is nothing left but a pale shadow, and overacting.

Saph: Hang on… Flandre, continuity check. They get their tech from the same place, so why would he not know what that bio-foam was?
Flan: Either A) He’s never actually gotten hurt in combat before now, or B) He’s Deadpool but his healing factor is broken. Which happens more often than you might expect.

Saph: Have I not realized how much slow-motion there is in 21st century films, or are they just using it far too much in this one?
Flan: I say unto you, 300.

Koa: Fuck no, shower scene, fuck you, fuck you with your own damn stake up the ass.

Remi: Uggh… I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this shower scene is surprisingly tasteful all things considered.
Flan: What shower kind of even is in she?

Flan: Vintage PS2 controller.

Flan: Vintage 70’s knit blanket.

Saph: Would he really ask a question like that now? Where’s that even coming from?

Flan: Aaaand that pretty much sums that bromantic relationship up.

Flan: LITTLE GIRL! LITTLE GIRL! Give us poignant commentary about the world at large, little girl!

Flan: Ooooh, here it comes, it could be the moral statement of the entire film~…!

Koa: Ahh hell, sure, I’ll settle for that. World fucking sucks, girlies. Get used to it.
Remi: Don’t start with me, whore; I will suffocate you with your own titties.

Flan: All right, musical filing system for the blind? Good tech. Everything she’s talking about right now? Bad tech.

Flan: “No, dude, it’s cool, there’s an abandoned warehouse two blocks from my house, we could totally fit it in the movie!”

Saph: Man they are really slow on the draw there.
Flan: Slowest Gun in the West, Saph.

Remi: That’s right, bitch-slap that ho, pimp!

Remi: Okay, now that is a good line.
Flan: Samuel L. Jackson would agree.

Saph: That laser scanner is completely hackable.

Flan: Auuuwwhhh, what’s in the baaahhhx, what’s in the baaahhhx?!
Saph: Okay, one, it’s a warehouse, two, does that joke ever get old for you?

Remi: Ohhhhohohoho, is this what I think it is~? It is, isn’t it~?

Remi: Yes, yes~… This is it, right here. This is the redeeming scene of the entire film, ladies. The inevitable conclusion of any vampire culture that does not need fresh blood is The Farm.
Flan: Kinda makes you feel sorry for what we do to Sakuya, don’t it?
Saph: Last I checked Miss Sakuya wasn’t living her life shrink-wrapped in bio-stasis.
Flan: Well, y’know, technically, time-stop is a sort of bio-stasis…
Koa: You and your self-justified morality…

Flan: Ooooh, Joker Slow-Clap~…
Saph: Except it wasn’t a slow clap in the movie proper, but, whatever.

Remi: Ahh, hell, for a moment I’d forgotten there was a horrible plot in all this.

Flan: Oohh, snap, served again bro~

Saph: Yyyyyeah, no, that’s not true. There’s never a master shut-down password.
Flan: Girl, you know there’s always a master shut-down password! Plus it’s a tangentially-associated one-word phrase for your convenience.

Saph: So you’re just going to sit there and let him walk away… Does she even have a purpose in life?

Koa: What…? What the hell is this? Basketball?! What the fucking hell is this?!
Flan: Twenty quid says shit goes down in under five minutes.
Remi: I give it three; you are on, young lady.

Remi: Hohohoho~! Pay up, girlie, pay up~!
Flan: Thirty seconds… damn, girl, that’s just not cool…

Flan: I feel bad for the K. Kristofferson. having to come back for this crap here.

Saph: “Woah, man, I’m trippin’ out…”
Flan: Aaaaactually this is about par for the course for Deadpool. He has… problems. Plus he and Death are like “this”, so, yeah.

Remi: Two minutes… He just sabotaged their base in under two minutes, and did it quietly. How did these idiots ever manage to make it this far in the first place?!

Remi: Come on, how could she not notice that? What kind of a blind person is she? Can she not smell? Can she not speak and ask if anyone is alive?!

Flan: And I tell myself, “This is not my beautiful Patchouli.”

Saph: Well, at least she’s dead now. One less thing to worry about.
Remi: Is every character in this movie utterly disposable? Seriously, do any of them serve any purpose?! How many seconds of screen time did they even get?
Flan: It’s like I said. Blade kills everyone, and any other good guys die. Hell, they brought Kris Kristofferson back just so they could kill him again.

Saph: Needlessly large air duct cliché not withstanding, does this one just… dead end after only ten feet? It’s like it was built only so that little girls could hide in it.
Flan: I don’t know what she’s worried about. You can’t kill kids in movies. Not P.C. Come on kid, you’re a little girl in the presence of vampires, be more aware of your medium! Otherwise you’ll never grow up to be me!
Saph: For the record? I don’t want to grow up to be like you.
Remi: That’s because she’s too busy growing up to be like me~!
Saph: Remilia, no, please…
Flan: Oh hey, there’s a movie going on over there!
Koa: Is that what you call it?
Flan: Haaahahahaaaayeeeaaah, this movie sucks.

Saph: Is there a… female equivalent to Captain Obvious or something we can use here?

Saph: Again, you’d think she was new to the job if she’s freaking out over a dark building with dead bodies in it.

Remi: “Immortality will come to such as are fit for it…” Mmm, not half-bad, not half-bad.
Koa: No one is fit for immortality, you bastard. Try saying that after you’ve lived over a thousand.
Flan: I’m disappointed that they couldn’t make the blood drip and had to paint the drips themselves.

Saph: Waaaaaitwaitwait wait, she cries over the dead scientist but not the two dead schlubs?
Flan: I would assume the answer to that would be apparent.

Flan: You have Star Power! USE IT!!

Remi: Khaaaaan?
Flan: Not even close, sis, not even close. Lurk, more.

Flan: Oh good, more Ryan Reynolds. The movie was starting to drag.

Remi: Wooooah woah woah, yes, I’m with him; what the fuck? Alien dogs…?
Flan: Oh yeah, they’re vampires from the second movie. You can just ignore them.
Remi: That is not a vampire.
Saph: And the rest of them are…?

Remi: Snnnkk~, they actually went there~…
Flan: Now now, don’t laugh! These are pertinent questions!

Flan: The chair! Give ‘er the chair!

Remi: Oh joy, the exes are going to fight about why they broke up.
Flan: Still above Twilight.

Saph: Wasn’t she a lesbian…?
Remi: Still is.
Saph: Then how come—
Remi: She wants to be the man in the relationship.

Flan: Break that fourth wall, Wade Wilson! Blast it down brick by brick!

Remi: Ooooh dear oh dear~, Flan, what are you doing to me, I’m starting to like him.

Koa: For the love of fuck stop talking, skank! Point fucking made, now let him stew in it! You don’t, fucking, have to explain every damn detail!
Flan: I… actually think she’s reading her stage directions and script footnotes here.

Flan: Noooo, no. You stay the bloody hell away from the little girl, bitch, I will end you.
Saph: What is it with you and the little girl?
Flan: I want to be the little girl~
Saph: Oooooooold, dirt-old, even I know that.

Flan: Meanwhile, thousands of miles away…

Flan: You lie! YOU LIE! When will the lies end?!

Remi: Aww hell, is this going to be that Elektra scene in that god-awful Daredevil?
Flan: Surveeeeey says… Dolph Lundgren from Rocky IV.

Saph: Who’s he? Another good guy they mysteriously haven’t killed yet?
Flan: He’s also vaguely European, so… I dunno, points for that?
Saph: Can’t be that many points. Technically you’re vaguely European.
Flan: Technically I’m completely European, but, yeah, point made.

Remi: Uggh, if I had a quid for every time I’ve heard that line in a videotaped will.
Flan: In other news, everything that follows is plot and is in no way relevant to the movie.
Koa: Thank fuck for that.
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Flan: Worst Patchouli. WORST PATCHOULI.

Flan: And who is this turtleneck-wearing travesty of a scruffyman anyways, is he supposed to be Peter Jackson?

Saph: Whoever he was he’ll never be seen again. In the film all of two minutes.
Remi: One of which was taken by that stale blind girl, the screen whore.
Flan: Ooo, ooo, shutup shutup, littlegirl’s back!

Remi: No, no, wrong, NO, hell no, never, no.

Flan: Hey! That’s exactly what I would have said~!

Remi: No, I’m not going to let this one go. He’s spent the whole movie whining about how “unworthy” they all are to become vampires, and then he just turns around and offers it to the little girl he’s never even met?! The hell with the purity of the young, that’s just sloppy writing.
Flan: Meanwhile, hipster chick manages her iTunes electropunk again.
Remi: Fourteen years, fourteen years from the first time you asked me, Saph, before I let you have the blood; This, is, not , Dracula!

Saph: Wait, waaait, copper-headed bullets? Against vampires?
Flan: Laaaaazy continuity guys, again and again.

Remi: Nnnuuugh, self-gratuitous “gearing up” scene and crotch rockets?

Saph: You know, I just realized… Only two people, storming an entire coven, at night even? When did they decide that was a good idea?
Flan: When Blade forgot to kill off the chick so he could take full advantage of his lone ninja skills.
Remi: Pssh, as much of a ninja as that abomination is Dracula.
Flan: Ninjas wear black! Sometimes! Or maybe purple! And shoot guns! Yeah!

Flan: BOOM, way to take that punch Ryan!

Flan: You see, only Deadpool is allowed to monologue the plot this blatantly and not have it be cliché, only Deadpool. I’ma keep saying it, ladies, this is it, ten years prior.

Koa: Bitch, slap harder than that I am through with your fucking pussy-ass rage.

Remi: She finally gets offended over that cuss of all things…? Pitiful.

Flan: There you go, Lilligan. “Cock-juggling thundercunt.” Your new slur of choice~
Koa: Fuck, and you.
Remi: Creative, but far too absurd to be of any value. Does your Wade Wilson really talk like this?

Remi: …really? Have they really stooped this low?
Saph: Apparently.
Flan: Huh, weird… Deadpool usually has better medium awareness than this.

Remi: Now it isn’t even impressive anymore, after that.
Saph: Apparently.

Remi: Ahh damnit, the punching again?! How many times is that now, four?
Flan: Now you know how they managed to drag this movie out for 112 minutes.

Remi: Come on, he’s even fighting grunts now; literal, faceless, grunts, with no weapons. They’re disposable! Where the hell is your sword, why do they even call you Blade for Christ’s sake?!
Saph: Remilia, I… You’ve just… I can’t even enjoy the movie anymore, all I can see is wasted time. Why’d you have to ruin the movie for me?
Koa: Welcome to my world, cunts.
Saph: Okay, you, shut up.
Flan: Sorry, I, I know I talk too much; I’ll be quiet… er.

Flan: Mythbusters said it doesn’t work!

Flan: Ooo, toys~!
Saph: I must say I do like toys.

Flan: Nooo, nooooo… nooo! Don’t you do this! Don’t, don’t, I’m warning—NO! NO! WHY?! WHY WOULD YOU DO SUCH A THING?!

Saph: I suppose on the bright side of things, they held off on the skinny-girl-kicking-ass scene for most of the movie.
Flan: If you think about it logically, she should be the one with the guns and Blade should be the one kicking said literal ass.
Remi: Please don’t say the word “logic”, Flandre. Please, do not make me go there. Not this late into the film.

Flan: Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, Blade continues to oneshot every vampire he sees with impunity, despite not hitting them in the heart or head, directly contradicting the rules he himself stated in the first movie, which at this point doesn’t effectively exist since they retconned Kris Kristofferson’s death.
Remi: I told you, little sister~ Logic.

Saph: Oh joy, it’s that stupid knife shoe again.
Flan: Notice how the plot only allows her new gear when her old gear—see, NOTHING—is inadequate to deal with the trash mobs of the area. And then there’s Blade.

Remi: Woooahwoahwoahwoahwoah, did he just actually use Sakuya knives?
Flan: That’s what we’re calling them these days? Sakuya knives? Okay.

Saph: Is that actually a thing?
Flan: Just so’s you know, that is not actually a thing.

Koa: Uugh, how fucking stupid can you possibly be you dumb bitch?!
Saph: More like how contrived could the plot possibly be?

Saph: Oh come on! The girl gets to fight vampires and he has to fight the dog?!
Flan: I think what you mean is, all the other fights in this movie suck and this is going to be awesome!?
Saph: …I am so annoyed at how right you are right now, Flandre.
Flandre: Thank you~

Saph: Well… that was anticlimactic.
Flan: And yet, so so smooth.

Remi: What was that, Flandre? I think you were saying something about, smooth~?
Flan: If this wasn’t a kids’ movie, Remi, there are so many words I would like to say to you right about now.
Koa: You can have your cock-juggling thundercunt back now, kid. I don’t want it.
Flan: Oh, thanks. Just throw it over there on the pile you horse-humping bitch; I’ll get to it later.

Flan: Boss battle already? No mini-bosses?
Saph: The side-characters are dealing with the mini-bosses.
Remi: Yes, and let’s not forget the inevitable impending catfight, as much as I wish I could.

Remi: No you don’t, no you don’t like that! No civilized immortal likes to swear, it’s below you after a certain point!
Koa: Fuck your cunt, slut, I’m sitting right, here.

Saph: So, wait… Do Blade-vampires have improved strength? Because I can’t see this Reynolds guy trading blows with one if so.
Remi: It just… doesn’t… matter, anymore. Nothing, really matters…
Flan: Aaaaannyone can seeeeeeee~…
Saph: That nothing really matters…
Koa: …nothing fucking matters…
Flan: To meeeeeeeeee~!
Remi: I don’t even know why I let you live in my house.

Flan: Saphhy, you know the swords, yeah? How are the swords here?
Saph: The swords are… decent. Like I said, you have to look at where they’re aiming. If they’re aiming for each other? Good swords. If they’re aiming for the other person’s sword? Bad swords.

Flan: Dude, you just got caught camping, noob~

Saph: Ehh… That death’s not really doing it for me. Cute, yes, but not all that inventive.

Remi: What?! Okay, no, no damn it, no. Again, you have the element of surprise, just cap the bitch! One shot, boom, there, dead. Or is it against your precious Ryan Reynolds’ rulebook to do that?



Saph: What’s this? Your Dracula is evolving!
Remi: He is not my Dracula.
Flan: Congratulations! Your DRACULA has evolved into A POINTLESS ABOMINATION! And then it does the little evolve jingle thing, like, “Dooouuu, deh deh deh dooo dooo dooooouuu!” Yeah, it’s actually not, all that funny, I hate this movie, Ryan Reynolds is cool though, Wesley Snipes wasn’t in The Expendibles because he didn’t pay his taxes. Real Soviet damage.

Remi: I swear to God if I see that man punch a vampire one more time…!
Flan: All this could have been prevented if Wesley Snipes would have just started air guitaring, because as you know, Remi, the demon code prevents him from declining a rock-off challenge.

Saph: Come on, she still has the earbuds in?

Remi: I…’m honestly impressed.

Flan: Wait, what? WHAT?! WHAT THE FFFFFFFF…!
Remi: I am, no longer impressed.

Remi: So, this perhaps is a bad time to ask, but… what was the point of all this again?
Flan: Lilligian, if you can manage to give a coherent PG-rated summary of this movie in under a minute, I swear to God, my sister, and the actual pair of sunglasses worn by Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula that I will not speak to you for three entire months once the credits of this movie are over.
Koa: Fucking hate you so fucking much… Wesley Snipes once again reprises his role as “Blade”, the sword-wielding no-compromise half-vampire determined to eradicate the rest of his full-blooded kin from the face of the Earth for no adequately explained reason. His task is made more difficult by increasing vampire infiltration of the media and law enforcement, who seek to paint Blade as a sociopathic serial killer. Meanwhile, a coven of young and upstart vampires whom Blade just hasn’t gotten around to killing yet manage to unearth and resurrect Dracula—played by Dominic Purcell—the legendary progenitor of the vampire race who has waged war on humanity for millennia. They believe Dracula will aid them in bringing about a new age of dominance for their race, but the ancient vampire is not so easily swayed, except that he is. Blade is later captured by a police ambush that takes the life of his adoptive father “Whistler”—played by Kris Kristofferson—but is rescued by an equally young and upstart band of vampire hunters that call themselves “Nightstalkers”. They plan to use an airborne supervirus—codenamed “Daystar”—to eradicate vampires for good, but Daystar will only reach maximum potency when mixed with the blood of Dracula himself. A sneak attack leaves the Nightstalkers crippled, but the two surviving members team up with Blade in a final showdown to defeat the coven, inject Dracula with the virus, and eliminate the vampire population once and for all. Ryan Reynolds co-stars, fuck your cunt with a rusty ten-foot pole.
Flan: Kaythanksbye.
Saph: …do you actually need to breathe?

Saph: Laaaaaaame, totally lame. I’m sorry but I’m just not emotionally involved with this character. What is this, some last-ditch attempt to make Dracula a misunderstood villain with good intentions?
Remi: It’s a last-ditch attempt for them to continue sucking.

Flan: The crane-shot death scene in Dungeons and Dragons was better.

Saph: Wait… All this time, the vampires were living at the top of a glass skyrise, FACING EAST?!

Remi: Because we couldn’t end this movie without even more unnecessary slow-motion.

Saph: And the riot squad is trespassing on a private penthouse eight hours after everything relevant there already happened because…?

Saph: Does the sweeping orchestra music seem entirely wrong to anyone else right about now…?
Flan: The hipster chick left her iTunes playlist on Shuffle; only possible explanation.


Remi: I, just… I would be surprised, but I just, can’t, care anymore.

Saph: Okay so hang on hang on hang on hang on… Blade is still out there hunting vampires even though they’re supposedly all dead…?
Remi: It’s called sequel fishing, dear.
Flan: Actually it’s called TV-series spinoff. That final solution super-virus? Yeah, it had a range of about one city block. Maybe.

Remi: Thank god that’s over with.
Saph: Superimposed ending credits never looked so good.

Flan: Noooo, no! Why Stan Lee, why did you have anything to do with this?!
Remi: Executive Producer, Flan, please; like that really means anything.

Remi: Seriously? George Drakoulias, music supervisor? Drakoulias? Seriously?!

Saph: Actually somewhat impressed they held off on the rap music until the credits, you know?
Flan: Iunno, could have sworn they used it in one of the montages.
Remi: Yes, but do we really care?

Flan: Yeah, Ryan Reynolds, baby! Come girls, come on, you’ve got to admit he was the best part of this movie!
Remi: I won’t, because he shouldn’t have been.
Flan: So, what, you’re going to give it to—oh, the lespire was Parker Posey…?
Remi: I’m not giving it to anyone.
Saph: He wasn’t that bad, Remilia. I mean, you do have to look at these films for what they are.
Remi: You go and lower your standards, little missy; don’t ask me to lower mine.

Saph: So, now that it’s over can I mention something that was bugging me?
Flan: Hang on, wait until the cast list. There’s always some good bit part character names in there.

Flan: Wait, woooah… Francoise Yip was in this? Where?!
Saph: Who’s Francoise Yip?
Flan: Come on, Saph, Rumble in the Bronx!

Flan: Look at all these vampire names… “Dex, Gedge, Doh, Squid, Flick, Proof, Hoop…”
Remi: “Goth Vixen Wannabe”.

Flan: All right, cast list over, go ahead Saphhy.
Saph: So, the bow-and-arrow chick… She shoots Lurch or whoever in the head with an arrow, and he doesn’t die. Except every other vampire she shoots with those same arrows bursts into flames. I mean, and Remi, you even caught that too! Where are the continuity guys in this film?
Remi: Hell with a continuity guy, where’s any geek producer in this film?
Flan: Yeah, yeah, I know, plotholes big enough to drive Kris Kristofferson’s Rubber Duck truck through, you learn to get used to them, whatever.

Saph: Let’s be serious for a moment…
Flan: Not happening, but please continue~
Saph: At the end of the day, are we going to call these vampires or not?
Remi: By the skin of their fake pointed teeth, and with extreme prejudice, yes. They drink blood for sustenance, have vaguely improved physical ability, and are weakened by sunlight and silver; the barest of minimums for a Hollywood vampire. They’ve fallen so far from the tree now with real vampires I don’t know why I even bother expecting better of them.
Saph: Come on, Let The Right One In was good!
Remi: Aaaand Let The Right One In wasn’t Hollywood, remember?
Saph: Oh yeah…

Flan: Speaking of vampire movies with little girls in them… What the friggy friggin frig happened to the little girl in this movie?!
Saph: She, umm—
Flan: EXACTLY! She literally disappeared! I mean, faux action girl saves her from… chains, I guess, and then next scene? GONE. Poof, nope, nothing, gotta go climb down these convenient support beams and shoot Dracula in the back of the head so I can say my character did something. No resolution! If you’re going to give me candy, David Goyer, at least give me the decency to suck on it more than twice, maybe?
Remi: Speaking of lesbian vampires~
Flan: Oh, who, me? No, no, I’m cool, I’m only gay for K.K., but I hate that bum right now.
Saph: Please tell me the first part isn’t actually true, Flandre; she’s an awful woman and you know it.
Flan: Woman? I was talking about Kris Kristofferson, who are you talking about?

Flan: Heck yes, visual effects made by GIANT KILLER ROBOTS. I think nothing more need be said. Good night, ladies.

Remi: I feel like I need to watch Let The Right One In after this just to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.
Saph: Actually, can we watch the American adaptation Flandre bought instead? I’d like to know how they changed it from the original.
Flan: Wha, “Let Me In”? Because American audiences get bored too quickly and won’t read a title more than three words long? Yeah, it holds up. It’s got the girl what was in Kick Ass in it. She was only thirteen and she gets to say fuck in that movie!
Saph: Can I just forget that Nicolas Cage was even in that movie?
Flan: No. No you may not. Now if you would be so kind, I would very much appreciate it if you would start taking actions to return that playful little plush cottontail you’ve got clutched in your dirty mitt to my state-mandated cardboard bin of personal effects, in a rather rapid matter as I am not in the least bit calm right now and am wont to break your neck.
Saph: …what?

Saph: Hey, Flan? Have you ever actually counted how many different names are in the typical movie?
Flan: NnnnngaaaaaaaAAAAHHH! Damn it, Saph, I’m an obsessive-compulsive, you know I’m an obsessive-compulsive! No, I have not counted how many names are in a movie, but I’ll damn well have to now! Thanks for ruining every movie for me for the rest of forever, wanker!
Saph: I, didn’t mean to…
Flan: Naaah, it’s okay, we’re cool~

Flan: Oooh, oooh crap, they’re listing the songs, I forgot I can’t talk to Lilli after this! Lilli, Lilli, quick, you have to talk to me, I don’t know what to say!
Koa: Good.
Flan: Aaahh, buggerbuggerbugger, come on, come on come on, think of something! Lilligan… Morrigan? Darkstalkers is basically dead now, but she’s still getting in games; don’t you think that’s cool? And somehow Hsien-Ko got into MvC3…? Deadpool was a good choice for that roster; got him into the limelight. Mainstream… What does that even mean? Is it a metaphor for a literal stream a whole bunch of tributaries flow into? Hipsters actually look like rubbish when you think about it; it’s not unique, it’s just sloppy. Raybans? I don’t think you’d look very good in Raybans, Lilli. It takes a special look to pull those off. A look that died in the 80’s, by the way. Do you ever think your boobs are too big? Well, yeah, I mean, of course you do, you hate looking like a slut since you’re not, but besides that. Are we supposed to assume that supernatural beings just have really strong spines and don’t get backache from all that imbalance? Unless their buttmeat balances them out or something…? But if we know you can change your physical appearance at will, why do you even keep them? Poignant irony? I swear no one’s going to get that joke, Lilligan. I’ll still support you, though~
Koa: Got a damn ass-backwards way of showing it, limey bitch.
Flan: Yyyyyeah, I keep telling you I’m not British, but you’re never gonna listen.

Saph: Word.
Flan: Word.

Flan: Ooo, ooo, bonus ending! I’ve never seen this before!

Saph: Agr—
Flan: No, no talking. It’s over. Burn this. I’ve already got it on Blu Ray anyways. Take it, throw it in the microwave, there, done. We out, bitches.
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>Flan: Oh, Whistler? He did, but they brought him back when they made the sequel. You know, vampire shenanigans.
>Remi: No. No I don’t know.

I need to get that movie. Those shorts are like icing, but without cake.
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Flan does bring up a good question: Why does Koa keep her huge rack? (only outsized by the chip on her shoulder) From all intents and purposes, she hates the stereotypical female demon/succubus tropes.

But yeah this was as good as I expected and I'm impressed with how Koa summed up the movie without some obscenity.
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Oh hey I found another one of these
Sometimes frosting-induced sugar comas are just what the doctor ordered. So glad you approve~

But no, you don’t really need to get this movie. If you’ve got Netflix or a rental store nearby, sure, go ahead, but it’s probably not worth the irony to buy it outright. I mean, I only have it because it was in a discount combo pack with the other two movies and the TV show pilot.

Now if it was Dracula 2000, or dare I say it, Blacula…

>Why does Koa keep her huge rack? (only outsized by the chip on her shoulder)
Ahh yes, but that’s the key right there. Her abject hate for human depravity is trumped only by her love of that very same hate. The only thing she wants in life is to go back home, but since that’s denied to her, she’s forced to settle for the next-best thing: reveling in how bad this plane is compared to her own. Thus, she acts (and looks) in such a way as to make people deprave themselves or realize their own shortcomings, just so she can say “I told you so” and feel good about herself. Which might also explain why she bothers to put up with rubbish movies. Hate is a helluva drug.

Of course given as she’s in a mansion full of women, she might have chosen to exemplify the wrong type of sexual organ to bring out the worst in the residents. But that in itself raises a pertinent question: What sin is worse, lust, or envy?

>I'm impressed with how Koa summed up the movie without some obscenity.
Three months of silence from Flandre is well worth a minute of sincerity. And again, showing that at the end of the day it’s all an act and she can quit whenever she wants.

But hate is a helluva drug.
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Each time I read something from this, I cry a bit when I remember the story is actually over. I'll never see more of your Flandre, the fairies and everyone the wway you wrote them again apart from sidestories now and then. Such is the sad fate of every story that ends.

Come to think of it, how do you feel about it yourself as the writer?
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A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Lady
>Each time I read something from this, I cry a bit when I remember the story is actually over. I'll never see more of your Flandre, the fairies and everyone the way you wrote them again apart from sidestories now and then. Such is the sad fate of every story that ends.
And don’t we all know it. You can see the even sadder alternative all over the site: stories that just continue on and on with no plan to end, many of them ultimately becoming unceremoniously abandoned when the troubles of life whisk their writers away. Better to shed a tear for closure than to shed a tear for a lack of it. But I thank you for crying; as odd as that sounds, you can’t cry unless you really care about something, and I’m always happy to find people who care about what I do.

>Come to think of it, how do you feel about it yourself as the writer?
Now that is a big question. I'll try to answer it as simply as possible, but without just gushing for a dozen paragraphs there's no way I'll be able to cover everything. I can definitely say my feelings are overwhelmingly positive; AFT was a much bigger investment of my time and effort than ASSM or anything I’d written before it, but I feel that the effort really paid off. That's one of my greatest accomplishments with the story, in my opinion: that I was able to learn from the low points of my previous story and improve to make something even better. AFT is really one of the first pieces of writing I was able to look back on after the fact and say, "I am genuinely proud of how this turned out"; the same cannot be said of ASSM, or even of some of the things I've written after AFT.

Every time I go back to look or think about AFT, I'm amazed at just how much I learned through it, both about writing and about myself. I have a feeling that in ten or twenty years I'm going to look back on everything I've written and say that this story is the one that changed the way I look at writing. Which is not to say that I feel this is my opus, but rather that it’s the first story in a new era of writing for me. It's shown me just how much I enjoy strong and unique characters in a story, and more importantly the way they interact with each other (See stories like Firefly or The Avengers). It's shown me how much I enjoy the strange hybrid blend of fantasy and reality; taking a fantastical concept that cannot exist, accepting it for what it is, and then having it interact realistically with its surroundings (See stories like Inception or District 9). And along with that, it's shown me how much I enjoy the hybrid blend of light-hearted seriousness. That, I believe, is actually the key that makes AFT even more serious than the ever-grimdark ASSM; AFT had ups and downs, humor and solemnity, and it's that contrast which makes you appreciate the two sides more than when you just have one or the other.

Writing has no longer become a chore for me; it's become something I want to do, something I enjoy doing, even more than playing them there vijya games, and to geek types like us that is saying something (though, let it be known that even if writing is more enjoyable to me than video games, writing is still a lot of work, and there's some times in life when you just don't want to work). I enjoyed writing AFT not simply because I enjoy writing, but because I enjoyed what I was writing. I loved seeing the characters I created come to life and witness the adventures they had, and I'll make every effort in the future to never write something I do not enjoy. It's just like any other pasttime: you should play a video game because you enjoy playing it, not because you want to get yourself higher on the leaderboard, and if a movie strikes the perfect chord in your heart why should you care if it's only sitting at 17% on Rotten Tomatoes and no one wants to watch it with you? They're strange parallels to make, I know, but I'm being quite serious here. AFT started me on the path to looking at what it really means to "enjoy" something, and that's something that's always going to stick with me.

Two more minor tangential points here. First, I got into writing simply because I couldn't draw very well, nor could I animate, and I was too embarrassed to try acting. I'd always wanted some sort of outlet to take the awesome ideas in my brain and make them more than just ideas. At one time or another I'm sure we've all wished that some sort of Dream Machine existed that could take our fantasies and make them real. For me, writing is the next-best thing.

Second, you know how they always say, "If you're going to complain about it, why don't you make a better one?" Well, that's what I'm trying to do. Maybe one day I'll try to make a better Twilight. Or a better Avatar. The plot of that movie is really generic when you look at it critically.
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Not the one that asked how you feel, but wow. That's pretty inspiring.

...I need to go reread AFT, now.
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As a writer, I envy you even more than ever after reading this post. I wish I could speak more of mind, but you have said basically what I wanted to say.

Looking forward to read more stories from you, Owen. Have a Flandre.
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Okay, what the hell keeps bumping this story?
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Ad bots. Mods delete the spam but it doesn't unbump it.
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I kind of want to put a motivational quote here, since this thread gets bumped every year or so by that spambot. Sort of like a time capsule for my older self.
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File 139147702050.jpg - (1.44MB, 1200x1025, Flandragon.jpg)
I think the spambots are just trying to make me feel guilty for not writing more Touhou. It’s not going to work, but I’m really impressed with their persistence, so I figured I’d throw them a bone. Hi anyone who’s still here! Always nice to see that I’m not totally forgotten~

Writing status: Spotty. I tried writing daily snippets last year to keep my muse going, but all I ended up with was a lot of pointless snippets and not a lot of muse. I’ve got an original story I’m going nowhere fast on, and while it’s not Touhou-related, I keep accidentally making the characters loose analogs of Touhous; at this rate it’s probably going to turn into a spiritual successor to A Fairy’s Tale if all the characters were twenty-somethings with first-world problems. And you know what, I would be totally okay with that. Somebody inspire me to work harder on that; I’m doing an awful job of it by myself.

Go for it, sister~

This pic needs to be MORE RELATED.
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Holy shit, it's Owen. He's. . . real.
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So I made an epub file for A Fairy's Tale. Kinda did not copy well at some places and divided by threads for chapters. And another file for the extra stuff here.

Should I upload them?
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>A Fairy’s Tale if all the characters were twenty-somethings with first-world problems.
That sounds awesome. DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT

>Kinda did not copy well at some places
I don't understand, you fucked up copying and pasting? Why wouldn't you fix it?
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Because it took time making the whole thing and I didn't feel like looking over it now?

And it's really just some spacing mistakes.
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Think of the beauty you will create, Owen. Feel the world deep inside of your soul and bring it to your fingertips -- bring it to life, write it, mold it. Breath your passion into ideas, ideas into story, and story into art. Take up the metaphorical pen, and with it, assume the role of the author!

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I support the motion about AFT's character as twenty-something with first world problem, as well.
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I don't. That sounds boring as hell.
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The Contemporary Flandragon
That is not dead which can immortal lurk around but not on #THP so no one knows where he is,
And with strange eons even death may repurpose this tortured Lovecraft quote.

Go for it. AFT is free for viewing already, so I don’t mind if you want to put up a different viewing format for it. Just so long as you don’t try to publish it or make money off of it or anything.

They say repetition is the sincerest form of flattery. I’m flattered~

Wow… That’s some grade-A grandiose inspirational talk right there, Flanders! It's actually really hard for me to read that when it’s so out of phase from the writing style of the story itself.

Oh ye of little faith. It’s an author’s job to make a boring topic something you want to read! AFT’s creation was predicated on my belief that I thought the slice-of-life genre was boring as hell but I was going to write it anyways because deep down, I knew I was going to enjoy it.

In any case, I might start posting bits of the story on here, if for no other reason than to show to this site that I haven’t forgotten about it, or about writing. Zero guarantees about any sort of regular progress, and this is a nothing but a rough draft so I fully expect to change large parts of it in the far future, if I ever get that far.

All jokes aside, it really does bring a smile to my face when I see even one or two posts still interested in what I have to write, Touhou or not. As one of the “old writers” on THP whose works of note are years in the past, knowing that I’ve in some way stood the test of time is one of the great compliments I could receive. Thank you~

Here, you can have this; it was just lying around. It’d probably start going bad in a few days anyways. It’s not like I think you’ll like it or anything.


She has been referred to as "wispy", and it has been commented in jest that she might blow away in a high wind. Once when she was eleven years old, she did. That day she was very happy. That day she also learned why nobody likes stitches. She stands five feet, eight and one half inches tall, which is approximately four inches taller than the reported statistical average for women in her country. She weighs between 107 and 138 pounds, depending on what she has in her pockets, and how many helium balloons she is holding. Her hair has a slight wave to it, curls down well past her shoulders, and is a not altogether completely unique shade of light strawberry blonde. She plans to continue growing it out until she begins to notice perceivable negative looks concerning its length, as a personal experiment to determine what is considered "too long". "Too short" is defined as a length where hair will no longer rest flat under its own weight, plus about one inch. If one were to observe her face at a close enough distance where, were she of a different disposition, chemical mace would not be found guilty by a trial of peers, one might notice the not-yet-faded ghosts of various skin blemishes which haunt many youths during their later years of education. Her freckles, however, remain prominent, as do the two pronounced dimples in her nose where glasses currently do not rest and cannot hide a pair of statistically average brown eyes. She has difficulty reading the exact price of gasoline on a road sign until it is nearly too late to brake without garnering the scorn of more hasty motorists behind her, but she deplores contact lenses. Her hands are thin. Her torso is thin. Her legs are perhaps not as thin as might be expected. She has been called "pretty" only by a select few female acquaintances, and "beautiful" only by family members. She has not been called "cute" that she can recall, and if anyone has ever called her “hot” or “fine” they were too drunk for the word to mean anything to her. She knows for a fact that she has never been called "gorgeous", "stunning", or "radiant". She also knows for a fact that she does not particularly mind.

Her name is Cecile Lauren Smith. She is twenty-four years old. Her friends call her Cecile. They call her this because they know how to pronounce her full name correctly, because they are her friends. People that are not her friends call her Cecile. But they pronounce it the wrong way.

There are a lot of people who pronounce her name the wrong way.

Actual Spoiler: Cecile Smith is an analogue of Koishi Komeiji.
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That's interesting and all, but 'Cecile Smith' sounds like an incredibly made up name. Most names with 'Smith' end up sounding that way, for some reason.
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I like this style. How can I explain? It kind of reminds me of AFT's Flandre, only more structured. Great to see you around and stuff! You have my support.

Also, Flandragon is best dragon girl.
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Spambots love this thread for some reason. If you need it unlocked, let me know.
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