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File 144640502114.jpg - (147.49KB, 850x680, Remila quick words.jpg) [iqdb]
"I'll admit, probably not the best first impression," Remilia said.

"Culture shock, milady," Sakuya said as she licked her thumb, then pinched out the small fire smouldering on Remilia's cowlick.

Wherever they were -- Gensokyo, Remilia thought, she was certain she'd heard that name -- they had very different norms around here. Instead of rightfully submitting to a powerful and wealthy family of vampires, they sent someone who kicked her butt.

"Anyway, it seems we can't simply brute-force our way into the politics around here." Remilia tousled her hair, shaking out the last bits of ash. She watched in the mirror as Sakuya combed it as neatly as she could on the short notice.

"Do you know what plan B stands for, Sakuya?"

"Business?" Sakuya said.

"It stan-- yes. It stands for business," Remilia said, deflating before she could even puff up. "They might be able to rival me in magic power, but we have a cellar full of gold."

The Scarlet estate had gathered quite an impressive collection back in Ardennes. They had found the perfect location -- too much of a hilly backwater to draw attention, right on the periphary of the wealthier duchies full to bursting with sweet, sweet trade goods and filthy lucre from France and Germany. Every so often, a trade caravan would wander a little too close to their estate, and then disappear. They had a wonderful collection of furniture, wine, pottery, a modest seed bank, wine, jewelry, and wine.

She slipped off the burnt remains of her dress and looked over her wardrobe, running a long fingernail over each dress as she considered her choice. In just a few minutes, she was going to have to start giving speeches. She decided on a black affair, tight around the top and billowing out around the waist. Just the right mix of approachable and imposing. Someone you could talk to, but really shouldn't.

Sakuya slid the dress over Remilia's shoulders, adjusting it to fit properly on her. Her staff was neatly divided into those who were devoted and incompetent and those who were ruthlessly competent and aggressively odd. The competent ones included Meiling, master of tai chi, rumored descendant of a dragon, and irredemable dork; Patchouli, a scholarly magician with a library so impressive she hardly left it; and Sakuya.

Well, Sakuya was a special case. That wasn't her original name, of course. She was ______ just a few days ago, but as soon as they had crossed the border into here, the name 'Sakuya' just felt right for her, and she adapted to the new name as though she'd used it for decades. She tried not to think about Sakuya's history. If she thought about it too much, she might let a few words slip out, and then the whole thing would fall apart.

Thanks to Patchouli, the rest of her estate was made up with a small army of faerie maids. Faeries were nature spirits, and existed in countless numbers in the woods and plains. Patchouli had pulled them from the natural essence of the castle grounds, the vines growing up the walls, the trees from which the wooden doors were carved, and so on. A little morally dubious magical oomph to make them large enough to be useful, and presto, faerie army.

Since the house of their spirit essence was part of a castle now, the faeries had sprung to life already wearing maid outfits. That had sent Patchouli for a loop. She spent the next month muttering angrily to herself and flipping through books on faerie physiology. Patchouli didn't like surprises, even pleasant ones.

Remilia had assumed that the faeries would be like simple children, easy to order. Instead they were like a pack of asshole cats. As soon as they realized that they couldn't get away with playing pranks on her or Patchouli, and Sakuya had no response whatsoever to pranks, the faeries resorted to pranking each other. After the initial chaos, the faeries reached a strange equilibrium. They couldn't all be pranking each other, and Remilia would get angry when they left messes everywhere, so they worked out some unwritten structure of who was going to clean and who was going to prank on any given day.

With some practice, Remilia had noted that each faerie had a different specialty. The ones with glasses were a little more clever than most, and especially liked to correct other faeries when they said something wrong. Faeries with mob caps enjoyed cleaning and made games out of it. Their favorite game was to collect all the dust they swept up, toss it in the face of another faerie and see who could get the most sneezes. Faeries with headbands had a little extra strength, which came in handy both for moving furniture and giving headlock noogies.

Remilia twirled and watched as the skirt of her dress spun along with her. "Well, then, I suppose it's time."

[ ] Have meeting with the competent people first.
[ ] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.
This thread is part of the Quick Words contest:

[x] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.

Have to make sure that the commoners are in order first. A solid foundation is important, then we can move on to bigger things.
[ ] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.

Might as well get it out of the way
[x] Have meeting with the competent people first.

[x] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.
As annoying as it'll be, putting the dregs in their place is the first step to a disciplined venture.
>Remilia had assumed that the faeries would be like simple children, easy to order. Instead they were like a pack of asshole cats.

I love you already.

[x] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.

File 144641035951.jpg - (30.09KB, 604x438, smug ass cat.jpg) [iqdb]
>pack of asshole cats
Seems legit.

[X] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.
[X] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.

Can't let the fairies mess anything up when something important happens.
[x] Have meeting with the competent people first.

We'll need all the help we can get with the mobs of fairies. Let's consolidate our power and come up with a strategy first.
[x] Have meeting with the competent people first.

Though I have a feeling the faeries are going to start trouble while we are away.
[X] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.

Be sure to bring fairy treats or someone allergic to fairy dust so that you can be certain they'll all be in one place.
File 144642671643.png - (112.65KB, 525x550, 1446398135642.png) [iqdb]
[x] Have meeting with the competent people first.

I'm pretty impressed with the writing.
[ ] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.
[x] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.

Calling votes. We will appease the uncultured masses before moving on to bigger things and people.
Take note of this, thp...

... This author can write a charisma break that isn't blown a mile out of proportion.

Keep your eyes on this one.

I can't wait to see if an actually big charisma break happens. Good luck, Gold.
[x] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.

Alright, you've all convinced me. I'll be keeping a close eye to this story. Good luck with the contest, Gold.
File 144648914091.jpg - (135.18KB, 834x1080, faerie meidos.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Have meeting with the faerie rabble first.

"I'll get the faeries in some semblance of order first," Remilia said, looking herself over in the mirror and adjusting her cap. She looked good. She certainly didn't look like she was on fire a couple hours ago.

"Very well, milady." Sakuya stood and watched. Only her lips moved when she talked. She was like a machine, no wasted movements.

Remilia hooked a finger under her lip and pulled it up, inspecting her fangs. Good, healthy gums. She'd heard her great-grandma got gingivitis and her browning fangs were the laughingstock of every vampire in the country.

"After that, we'll need a total inventory of the mansion's goods and a report on the markets around this place. It'd be good to fortify the place and try to keep that whole fighting mess from happening again as well."

Sakuya's face twitched.

"I'd like to spend as little gold as possible at first. We don't want to dig too deeply into our savings. Get something small built up and have it turning a profit, then we can look towards more risky investments."

Remilia hoped that it sounded like a solid plan, even though she was making it up as she went along. Nobody dared to come collect taxes on her estate back in Belgium, and faerie maids didn't need a salary. They didn't even know what a salary was. She had no experience in economics, but she knew a thing or two about butting into people's business, and that seemed like it would be enough.

"Very well, milady. I'll make a note of all this." Sakuya reached into her apron pocket and pulled out a small Moleskine notebook and pen.

"Great. Then I'll need you to get the faerie lure ready."

'Faerie lure' in this case was roasted beets and barley tea. The promise of free refreshments could get the faeries to gather together and sit still for a few minutes.

"Duly noted." Sakuya scribbled some notes down, closed the notebook, and went to the door.

Remilia took one last look at herself in the mirror and liked what she saw. Sakuya held the door open for her as she strolled out, then disappeared before the door had swung closed. It made a heavy, imposing 'thud' as it slammed shut.

She made her way towards the grand hall. The smell of beets wafted from the kitchen out into the halls, pulling faeries towards it like a magnet. They floated hunched over, sniffing the air. In addition to providing an incentive, the smell also helped guide them towards the great room. Providing directions was one of the hardest parts of training the faeries.

Mistress, why's the grand hall bigger than the entire castle, they said.

Mistress, that room is twice as big as it was a week ago.

Mistress, why are there scratch marks all over that door.

She stood at the tall dais of the great hall, half-moon shaped staircases on either side of her. The faeries were beginning to gather on the floor below. Remilia had long since given up trying to do headcounts, and instead waited to begin until some of them started getting fidgety. She snapped a finger and the chandelier flickered to life, casting a regal yellow glow over the dais.

"Good afternoon, gathered faefolk. You've probably noticed that we aren't in Belgium anymore. This was planned transportation, plotted out for many months."

"I saw a faerie outside!" one of the headband faeries shouted. "We chased squirrels together!"

That got cheers out of the rest of the faeries. Remilia waited for it to die down.

"The old world is gone, and the humans of the new world are hostile to our kind. They refused both fear and tribute, and instead sought to dethrone us. So we found an alternative, a home amongst our own kind. Not other vampires, but other spirits and creatures with powers humans can only dream of. Faeries, I say to you, I will not be queen of the world of humans. I will be a queen among queens!"

She stretched a hand triumphantly upwards. The faeries cheered again.

"Woo vampire lady!" one shouted.

"Barley tea!"

"Blood! Bloooood!"

That was a good high note to end on. Remilia gestured towards the kitchen. Sakuya wheeled out a cart of beets and barley tea, followed by pairs of mob cap faeries each pushing their own carts.

"Well said, milady," Sakuya said, now right behind her.

"Thank you."

"Lady Patchouli insists on finishing her chapter on geometric sulphur sigils before coming to the meeting."

"Murf. I should've expected as much." Remilia scratched her fang with her middle finger, a nervous habit of hers.

"In the meantime, would you like to work out some scheduling?" She flicked open her notebook again. Sakuya liked flicking things open, and twirling things, and by god, the way she carved a chicken.

"Yes. After the meetings are done with, our first priority is..."

[ ] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.
[ ] A report on Gensokyo's markets. Gotta know what they don't have.
[ ] Strengthening our defences. Gotta know how to not get our butts kicked again.
[ ] Raising our reputation. Gotta know how to rub elbows.
[x] Strengthening our defences. Gotta know how to not get our butts kicked again.

This being Gensokyo...
[x] A report on Gensokyo's markets. Gotta know what they don't have.
[x] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.

This should be obvious. Know thyself before you know thy enemy and all that.
[x] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.

Knowing your own capabilities is the first step to victory! Because if you don't know yourself, you're kinda boned! All of the time!
[x] Make inventory

How can we build defenses or Scout the market without knowing what we have to work with?


Hoho! We have a lively one here!
[X] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.

Seeing as how we just got whupped, how about laying low for a bit?
[x] Raising our reputation. Gotta know how to rub elbows.
Appearances are vital in business.
[x] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.

You should see if you have enough blood to feed a hungry Remilia, a hungry Flan AND a bloodthirsty fairy maid.
[x] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.
[x] Strengthening our defences. Gotta know how to not get our butts kicked again.

Once we move out we'll be on the map, best take advantage of being hidden while we can.
[x] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.

Because you can't do (legitimate) business without having something to back up your words.
[X] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.
[X] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.
Inventory check!
[X] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.

Closing votes. Brace for the thrill of bookkeeping!
File 144652393086.jpg - (122.51KB, 551x418, 2d3e64a0e584e0b1781326e4466b561b.jpg) [iqdb]

Hey, even the mundane moments can become something memorable sometimes
Update is coming! Sorry for the wait, I couldn't finish it between classes. Thank you all so much for the kind reception and I'm glad you're enjoying it!
File 144660036517.jpg - (159.42KB, 850x606, a venture capitalist having dinner.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] A thorough castle inventory. Gotta know what you have.

"First thing's first, and the firstiest of first things is inventory." Remilia ran her hands along the podium as the faeries did their best to turn a modest afternoon snack into a feast of gluttony. You haven't seen someone excited about eating beets until you've seen faeries with free food.

"We're in a delicate position right now. The dust has settled, literally, from our last little adventure," she continued. It was her little adventure, really, but she liked to diffuse the blame. "I'm sure they're waiting to see our next move, so now's the perfect time to lay low, get our books in order, and plan a strong first move."

"A sound plan," Sakuya said.

"To the meeting hall!"

Remilia liked the assortment of powerful people on her side. They were odd and unpredictable, but that made things more interesting. Meiling came first, fidgeting and trying to fit her tall, toned, oversized body comfortably in the chair. Sakuya came next and sat across from Meiling, her hands neatly clasped in her lap.

"Lady Patchouli will be here momentarily," she said.

A few seconds later, Remilia heard the sound of heavy footsteps. Koakuma staggered into the room, Patchouli on her back like a heavy sack, legs wrapped around her waist and a book in her hands. She closed the book with a dusty thud and slid off of Koakuma's back.

Koakuma was much more capable than the faeries, and a hundred times better at following instructions, but she didn't quite have anything to make her stand out. If anything, that was her specialty. She was pleasant enough, long-suffering but not emotionless, and probably the one best able to leave a good impression. She brushed her hands over her blouse and trim black jumper dress, wiping off some stray dust.

"Welcome to the Cabal Room, ladies." Remilia bridged her fingers and set her elbows on the table.

"It seems my work was a success," Patchouli said.

"It's warmer here. I like it." Meiling grinned. Despite being the muscle of the group, Meiling was more likely to try and hug it out than start a fight.

"Yeah, it's something, alright." Koakuma fiddled her hands.

"We're going to go with a different approach here. I daresay we can't match the combined magic power of Gensokyo's inhabitants. But we can out-barter them. They have straw shrines, but we have a mansion."

"How do you plan to do that?" Patchouli said.

"No more sitting on my laurels. I'm going to start a business. No, many businesses. And they're all going to be successes. And then I will bury my enemies under boulders of silver."

"Sounds like fun. Good luck with that."

"Speaking of which, Patchouli... the first thing I'll be doing is performing a full inventory with the faeries. Seeing what we have available to sell, you know. You've got quite a lot of books in your library, any that you'd consider sell--"

Patchouli cut Remilia off by lifting the spine of the book to her mouth and biting it. Dust shook off her shoulders as her whole body vibrated.

"You nearly gave me an asthma attack," Patchouli hissed. "Sell my books? Would you sell loaded cannons to an enemy gunner?"

Koakuma squeezed Patchouli's shoulder, consoling her as she gnawed at her book. They waited patiently for the moment to pass. She took the book out of her mouth and set it in her lap.

"I'm done."

"Right. Once the inventory's finished, we're going to freshen the place up and get our name out there. In a good way this time." Remilia grinned. "I can't wait to see what other sort of creatures and monsters live here."

Meiling glanced back and forth, then looked at Remilia. "Is... is there anything else you brought us here for, then?"

"Yes. To follow me."


"Aren't you excited? Come on, let's explore the castle together. If you find something you like, you can keep it."

"I'm not carrying her the whole way," Koakuma said.

"You can go. I'll be in the library." Patchouli waved a hand, then brushed some stray spittle off of the cover of her book.

"Come on, Patchy," Remilia lilted.

"Please don't call me that." Patchouli put her hand to her mouth and glanced away.

"Patchy," she sang. "We're friends."

"I'm your debtor. That doesn't really qualify as friendship."

"Dammit, Patchy, you're going to come along with us."


"I'll carry you," Meiling chimed in.

"You nearly broke my ribs last time."

Meiling's cheeks flushed and she made a self-conscous smile. "I got excited, that's all. It won't happen again."

Sakuya leaned towards Remilia. "If we're going to do this, we'll want some support from the maids."

"Ah, yes. We have grunts at our disposal." Remilia rubbed her hands together.

[ ] Some glasses faeries to take notes and keep count.
[ ] Some mob cap faeries for the messes we'll no doubt encounter.
[ ] Some headband faeries for lifting heavy bags and heavy librarians.
[x] Some glasses faeries to take notes and keep count.

Have to keep an accurate assessment even if it takes a little longer.
[x] Some glasses faeries to take notes and keep count.

Glasses faeries? Glasses faeries.
[x] Some headband faeries for lifting heavy bags and heavy librarians.

Cleaning can come later and Sakuya is perfectly able to take notes.
[CUTE] Some glasses faeries to take notes and keep count.

Glasses moe best moe
[x] Some headband faeries for lifting heavy bags and heavy librarians.

[x] Some headband faeries for lifting heavy bags and heavy librarians.
[X] Some glasses faeries to take notes and keep count.
Another evening-ish update tonight (by EST standards). Studies take priority!
[x] Some headband faeries for lifting heavy bags and heavy librarians.
[x] Some headband faeries for lifting heavy bags and heavy librarians.
I like this Remilia a lot.
File 144669035833.jpg - (767.16KB, 637x900, scarlet devil kitchen.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Some headband faeries for lifting heavy bags and heavy librarians.

Remilia stood up and stretched her back. Her wings spread out behind her, with plenty of room to manouvre behind the low-cut back of her dress. She wished she could crack her knuckles, but for whatever reason, vampires couldn't. She had asked Patchouli something about that once, and she'd responded by saying that if vampires can regenerate from dust then they can quite well avoid forming vaccuums within the synovial fluid of their joints.

Patchouli may have been the least fun person in the world.

"Right. Now, keep in mind, this isn't a pawn shop operation. This isn't about cleaning house. This is about looking for things we have that can generate revenue. This is an inventory of skills as much as it is an inventory of goods."

She walked towards the door, and the rest of her cabal followed with varying degrees of eagerness. The faeries were still milling around in the grand hall, chatting and laughing. The mob cap faeries were cleaning up silverware. A gang of headband faeries were lounging on furniture, laying across a table like sunbathers. Remilia led the group over to them.

"Look sharp, ladies," she said, snapping her fingers.

One faerie with red hair in side-tails and toasty browned skin sat straight up while the others groggily looked at Remilia. "Evening, mistress."

"Evening. Get yourselves up, because you've just been recruited for inventory duty."

"Sweet!" The redheaded faerie grabbed another faerie in each arm and put them in a headlock.

"Ow! What're you doing?" one of them yelped.

"Establishing dominance."

"That one is Priscilla." Sakuya's voice floated over Remilia's shoulder.

Sakuya gave all the faeries their names, save for the ones who already had names. She knew all of them by sight, and was something of a cross between an aunt and a drill sargeant to them.

"I like your moxie, Priscilla. Come along with us. There's work to do," Remilia said.

She then had to wait paitiently as the headlocked faeries punched Priscilla in the side. She held on as long as she could, then relented after one, a faerie with a short bowl cut of green hair, pinched her hard on the thigh. Priscilla let go with a yelp and clasped her hands over the pinchmark.

"So, what're we doing?" the green-haired faerie asked.

"We're going to be scouting the castle, making a list of what we've got available. You're going to be our muscle in case we need to move stuff," Remilia said.

Sakuya's eyes flipped from Remilia over to Patchouli, reminded of something. She looked Patchouli up and down. "Lady Patchouli, do you wish to be carried?" she asked.

"Yeah!" chimed the other headband faerie, with a long black ponytail and rolled-up sleeves showing off her lack of muscle. The three of them crowded around Patchouli.

"I'm fine! I can--"

Patchouli was swept off her feet as the three faeries carried her overhead like she was part of a festival parade.

"Heave!" Priscilla shouted and stepped forward.

"Ho!" the other two shouted back, a Patchyleg slung over their shoulders like a firewood log.

"This is entirely unnecessary. And silly."

"Don't talk," Sakuya said. Her voice was deathly serious. Patchouli went silent and stared at her.

"You could bite your tongue."

The three faeries burst into laughter. Koakuma bit her lip to avoid doing the same. Remilia couldn't be sure, but she thought she saw a victorious smirk at the corner of Sakyua's lips. The ruckus and laughter had drawn in some more faeries, who followed Remilia all on their own.

"Well, um... where should we start?" Meiling asked.

"Let's start with the kitchen," Remilia said. Sakuya flipped out her Moleskine notebook yet again.


-- Enough cooking surfaces to cook for a small army. A wide stovetop and several large ovens, pots and pans of every size, knives no Priscilla stop put that down!

-- A modest supply of various spices, both powdered and whole, kept mostly for the Scarlets and an occasional treat for the faeries.

-- Enough grains, mostly wheat and barley, to fill up a large part of the kitchen storeroom.

-- Enough onions, roots, and other durable veggies to fill up another less big part of the storeroom.

-- A collection of personal luxuries: bags of black tea, coffee beans, and cacao beans.

-- A few dozen assorted varieties of fruit and vegetable seeds. They were taken already packaged and labeled from caravans, so Remilia tossed them in the pantry and forgot about them. Includes grape seeds.

-- The faeries staffing the kitchen kicked the green-haired faerie out after she stuck a spoon up her nose.


-- Despite being underground, it survived the move perfectly. Patchouli reacted to this with a smug nod.

-- Remilia didn't care how many bottles of wine there were, they were hers. Mama needed her medicine.

-- And same for the liqueurs!

-- A small cache of bottled blood. Despite being kept in the cool, dry cellar, it still tended to go stale, but food was food.


-- Priscilla dragged everyone there next. Remilia kept winding up with masterless horses after sacking a caravan, so she had a stable built on the first floor. It only had about six horses, since that was how many Priscilla could reliably look after. She tried seven once, but the other faeries didn't mention that anymore.

-- Priscilla really liked horses. There was enough food and grooming supplies to last for the reasonable future.

-- She climbed up on Alfalfa's back and pretended to shoot arrows at Koakuma.

-- Green-haired fairy asked about Alfalfa's fifth leg.



-- A frankly unreasonable amount of furniture. The faeries didn't need that much; they only had a change or two of clothes apiece and barely even used their beds anyway.

-- Mob cap faerie mentioned being decent at repairing furniture. Said it got broken a lot. Understandable.

-- A lot of different stuff here. Remilia said that there must have been stolen goods from all over Europe, then beamed with pride.

-- Green-haired faerie's name was apparently Julianne.


-- A fully-stocked humidor and minibar.

-- Remilia asked if you could take the tobacco leaves from a cigar and grow them. Patchouli said she would laugh if the faeries weren't still carrying her.

-- The good furniture was kept here, around the fireplace. Well-maintained.

-- An untouched accordion gathering dust. Remilia seemed a little guilty about its sorry state.


-- Oh, baby.

-- Not enough gold coins to bathe in yet.

-- A large collection of jewellry that Remilia needed to include in her wardrobe. She was the new hotshot in town, after all.


-- Flower and herb gardens lined the area between the castle and the surrounding wall.

-- Meiling said that a lot of them were Chinese medicinal herbs.

-- There was still some space to expand upon, and the areas outside the wall were pretty undeveloped.

-- A nearby lake that smelled like opportunity. That mist was a little suspicious, though.

"That took forever," Remilia said, wiping some stray sweat from her brow. It was a lot of walking, and Meiling was right. It was noticably warmer in this new world.

"Productive, though." Meiling stretched her arms and cracked her neck.

"Mhm. It shouldn't be too hard to come up with a few ideas," Koakuma added.

As they walked back into the castle, a few faeries still lingered in the grand hall. These ones weren't lazing around, though. Somehow, word had got out about Remilia's plans, and the faeries were all fighting for Remilia's ear.

"Hold it, hold it. One at a time." Remilia raised her arms, silencing the rabble. "Sakuya, got a few pages left in that notebook? Take these down."

[ ] Margeroux the glasses faerie wants to try moneylending first. The idea of making more money just by being rich appeals to her very much.

[ ] Charlotte the mob cap faerie wants everyone to try her baking.

[ ] Priscilla won't stop chanting "Horses! Horses! Horses!"

[ ] I will not bow to the rabble! (write-in)
File 144669327160.jpg - (154.87KB, 640x360, 17kdjxvdqvygyjpg.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Margeroux the glasses faerie wants to try moneylending first. The idea of making more money just by being rich appeals to her very much.

>-- Not enough gold coins to bathe in yet.
This is officially our end-goal now.
[x] Margeroux the glasses faerie wants to try moneylending first. The idea of making more money just by being rich appeals to her very much.

hm. Three interesting choices. The third should basically be right out, horses aren't actually a money maker for the vast, vast majority of owners/breeders, and I have no faith in a fairy's ability against those odds. It's one thing to keep a stable of horses healthy, it's another entirely to actually make money off them.
Baking is probably a "nicer" option, as money lending/ usury has never particularly been seen as a noble occupation, but it's also risky. I'm not seeing anything in particular in the inventory that makes me think that we have the kind of merchandise to reliably keep up production of any kind of baked goods without having to purchase raw materials. That probably wouldn't be too hard to set up, but then the profit margin goes down. There is some space to expand on, so I guess some farms could be set up, but that sounds more like a second or third business, not a first.
Moneylending looks bad, but as long as you don't go too speculative, and can both set decent rates and actually force people to honor contracts, it's basically impossible to fuck up. Biggest question with this would could we actually enforce the terms of loans on the populace? I want to think so, but it is a risk worth considering

so basically go with the moneylending, then see if we could work on obtaining a source of raw materials for whatever else we want to work on

lol effortposting
[x] I will not bow to the rabble! Start a vineyard and winery with the grape seeds in the kitchen. All the medicine one could ever need.
In order to make a successful business, your business has to be sustainable. The mansion has a lot of resources, but most of them are useless for establishing a business because they are a finite resource. For example, they can't go into the furniture selling business because they stole all of their furniture from caravans, and therefore do not have the skills or resources needed to make their own furniture. Once they sell all the stolen furniture, their business is dead because they will have run out of furniture to sell.

However, there is one resource mentioned that is sustainable: seeds. Specifically grape seeds, which can be used to grow a vineyard to create fancy and expensive wine. Gensokyo loves alcohol, and with proper marketing you can sell the wine as a rare high quality European import. Just make sure to harvest the seeds and replant them and you have a long term sustainable business.

[x] use grape seeds to enter the fancy wine business.
[x] Use grape seeds to enter the fancy wine business.

I like this plan. Only thing to make sure of first is that Gensoukyo has the climate and soil needed to support the grapes we have.

Or we can go lolmagic, if that works.
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here, changing vote to [x] Use grape seeds to enter the fancy wine business.
Do note that Sakuya can artificially age wine via time-powers in canon, which might prove useful.
[x] Charlotte the mob cap faerie wants everyone to try her baking.

Bake sale route go.
[x] Use grape seeds to enter the fancy wine business.

This is a good one. People in Gensokyo always want their booze.

Might be able to expand on this using the supply of wheat and barley for other alcohol as well, depending on ingredient/equipment availability. Though that isn't sustainable unless we can get a constant supply from farmers. Not sure exactly what they grow in Gensokyo.
[x] Use grape seeds to enter the fancy wine business.

---[X] Maybe make Bake Sales a side business.

I want my bake sale, but there's no denying that the wine route is the smart route.
[x] Margeroux the glasses faerie wants to try moneylending first. The idea of making more money just by being rich appeals to her very much.

Not a bad start.
So, the sellable things are:

-Fruit and Vegetable seeds
-Assorted low quality wine bottles. (Yes, Remilia, shut up, you can keep the low quality liquor if you hate yourself that much)
-Some mid-quality furniture. They have too much.
-Some art, maybe?
-A jewel or two. Probably too expensive for villagers though


-Give the accordion to someone who can use it.
-Get enough coins to bathe in.

As for alternative money-earning methods... I guess they could breed the horses but... does Priscilla know about the birds and the bees yet?
[x] Use grape seeds to enter the fancy wine business.

So the vineyard idea seems pretty good, but we have no idea if the climate is suitable for growing wine grapes. I think we should investigate that a little further if we do ahead with it.

The moneylending idea seems safe, but like >>62482 said, the issue is enforcing contracts.

I think it's also worth considering that the fairies are manpower that could be used to make money. Maybe Patchy can come up with a power loom design and the mob cap fairies could try and construct it. We could turn Scarlet into a textiles manufacturing giant. If we can somehow obtain or grow fancy dyes en masse, then that'll be even better.
[x] Use grape seeds to enter the fancy wine business.

We Winemaker in Gensokyo 2.0 now.
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[x] Use grape seeds to enter the fancy wine business.

"Right. I have taken your suggestions and will return later with news of our first confirmed plan for a venture. Now get back to work."

The faeries, including the headband ones, shuffled away, continuing to argue about which plan was best.

"Hey! Put me down!" Patchouli shouted at Priscilla, who was still carrying her.

"Oops. Sorry." She dumped her on the ground without warning and scampered after her friends.

"Well. I'd imagine that my involvement in this scheme is done," Patchouli said, rubbing her sore backside.

"Hold on. They had some okay plans. Not great, but okay. I've come up with something better, though. Something sustainable. Something steady. Someth--"

Patchouli cut Remilia off. "It's wine, isn't it."

Her face soured. "Can I just have one moment of... yes, it's wine. You ruined my fun."

Patchouli smirked. "I'll see if we have any almanacs on viticulture." She turned to Koakuma. "Koakuma, go check."

"If we're going to grow grapes, can I help? I'm good with plants." Meiling said.

Remilia put a finger to her chin. "I'm glad you asked. Could you check outside for a nice empty patch to grow them in?"

"Yes'm." Meiling went back outside, happy for her green thumb to be of use.

She and Sakuya went back to the cellar, gathered up every pouch of grape seeds they could find, and carried the modest basketful out to the garden. Sakuya retrieved a massive parasol to shade Remilia with before they headed outside.

"Where's Meiling?" Remilia said.

"Up here!"

When she looked up, Meiling was standing on the mansion wall, pointing somewhere off eastwards. "It would be perfect over there. There's a nice, hilly area by the lake," the guard called back.


Meiling hopped over the railing of the wall and landed in front of them. Remilia noticed she had a wheelbarrow all ready to go with shovels, fencing, trellises, and bags of... stuff.

"Let's go." She grabbed the wheelbarrow and started running past the gate.

"It's good she's excited, at least." Remilia took the parasol from Sakuya and spread her wings.

She flew over the mansion towards the hilly area Meiling had mentioned, landing there just before Meiling reached it. The sandy soil was already mostly clear of grass, sparse enough that they could start planting right away.

"First, we'll need some holes for the trellises, about... I'd say six inches wide and two feet deep."

Remilia nodded. "Alright, I'll get some faeries and--"

Meiling hunched over and slammed her fist into the ground. Soil sprayed up like an explosion, leaving a perfectly sized ditch.

"Or that." Remilia smiled at Sakuya like she had just been playing along.

Meiling set to work putting in trellises, planting seeds, and covering them with fresh dirt. Sakuya made her way over, watching with bored curiosity. Meiling left plenty of space between each trellis, and in half an hour had a small forest of thin rods carved into the hill.

"And now, with four years of careful pruning, weeding, and fertilizing, we've got grapes." Meiling put her hands on her hips and smiled at her handiwork.

"Why wait four years? Sakuya, do the thing."

"Right." Sakuya pulled out her pocketwatch.

Not satisfied with only being able to slip through time herself, Sakuya could also speed and slow time in little pockets, keeping food permanently fresh and clothes permanently soft. It was an almost unreasonably useful power, and the fact that it was used solely for banal purposes gave Remilia a little twisted pleasure. It was like mopping the floor with hundred-franc notes.

"Wait, no!" Meiling held up her hands.

A healthy bud emerged from the ground and burst out into long vines covered with leaves. A split-second later, it turned brown, then black, and slumped over onto the ground. The leaves turned to crinkled husks in the blink of an eye.

"You can't do it all at once," Meiling groaned. She knelt down and patted the ground. "It's as dry as a bone."

"Oops," Sakuya said with no emotion.

"We'll have to be careful with time-skipping, okay? Grapes are sensitive plants. We'll have to give it just a couple extra days at a time."

"Right. How many faeries do you think it'll take to look after the area?" Remilia asked.

"Hmm. It'll depend. We'll want as many as we can during pruning and harvesting, of course, but in the meantime we can task two or three of them with daily checkups. They'll definitely need some training from me first. After a rain, or if the soil's doing well, I can ask Sakuya to come over for some time-skipping."

"How fast do you think we could get some fruit from these?"

Meiling scratched her cheek. "Hard to say. But once they're established and bearing fruit then we can definitely speed things up. They just need time to settle first."

"Could we build some kind of irrigation or get Sakuya to haul buckets of water from the lake?"

Sakuya winced.

"No. These grapes need the tender touch of a loving hand." Meiling crossed her arms.

"Very well. In any case, there's the first step done with."

"First step of what?" A young voice, jaded beyond its years, came from above them.

The sound of clothes rustling and feet landing on dirt came from behind Remilia. She turned around to see the red and white woman from before who had bested her in combat. Her name was Reimu, if she remembered right. It was good to know the names of people who were capable of ruining your day.

Her, Sakuya, Patchouli, Meiling...

"Just starting a vineyard. Consider it a show of our plans of peace and our intent to stay." Remilia did a one-handed curtsey.

"How do you know Japanese?" Reimu asked.

"How do you know French?"


"Oh." Remilia shrugged. "I just learned it because Japanese stuff was all the rage back in France."

"So. A vineyard, you said?" Reimu paced back and forth. "Be careful. Faeries love to prance around here."

"Aww." Meiling smiled. "Our faeries could make some friends."

Sakuya shook her head once sharply.

"We've got it under control." Remila waved a hand at Reimu.

"Ahem. I was implying that there's much more going on here than you understand. As the Shrine Maiden of Paradise, I've seen a lot of strange things happen here, but I can confidently say you're the first mansion to..."

She paused. "The first Western mansion to drop in here. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to take a look around your place. And if you do mind, we can fight again."

[ ] Treat Reimu like an honored guest. Spare no expense to give her a warm reception.
[ ] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.
[ ] Treat Reimu like an inspector. Keep your nose clean and don't give her too much attention.
[x] Treat Reimu like an honored guest. Spare no expense to give her a warm reception.

Reimu is our bestest friend.
[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.

She's annoying, so she doesn't deserve a good treatment. However, she kicked her ass, so she shouldn't' get a bad treatment either.
I wonder, can she be mellowed out?
[ ] Treat Reimu like an honored guest. Spare no expense to give her a warm reception.
[X] Treat Reimu like a filthy plebeian that you can't wait to get rid of. Brief, brusque tour of only the most noteworthy features.
I'm sure that'll get rid of her.
[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.
[X] Treat Reimu like an honored guest. Spare no expense to give her a warm reception.
[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.

Treating the person who kicked our butts a little too well might seem a little weird/suspicious, but no sense in not trying to be friendly either.
[X] Treat Reimu like an honored guest. Spare no expense to give her a warm reception.

We know who we're dealing with here.

Some may say we're kissing up to the authorities.

We say we're showing off the Splendors of France and the Outside World! With the Shrine Maiden's seal of approval, we would be allowed to sell our wine (or open any other business under the Scarlet Devil Label) much more easily!
[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.

After that conversation and her threatening us, it would be kind of jarring and confusing to suddenly start showing her extra respect. The last thing we want is to seem like we're caving in to pressure.
[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.

I'm worried that if we treat her like an honored guest she'll want to come by more often than we want. She might feel snubbed if we don't meet her expectations.
[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.

Yeah, if we go into butt-kissing mode right off the bat, she'll start suspecting something, even if we're trying to go legal. Besides, I don't think Reimu's the kind of girl who'd feel comfortable with being given preferential treatment.
[x] Treat Reimu like an honored guest. Spare no expense to give her a warm reception.
[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.

IF we lay it on too thick, she's bound to get suspicious.
[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.

Just read this, I can see now why it's so popular.
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[x] Treat Reimu like a normal guest. Be polite and generous but don't be extravagant.

After half a millenia of life experience, it would take more than a surprise visit to make Remilia sweat. Reimu didn't seem angry or even all that suspicious of Reimu, her presence here had the half-hearted feeling of a legal obligation. A little food and hospitality would go a long way here, without seeming too saccharine.

"That's no problem at all." Remilia said.

"Oh, good." Reimu sighed with relief.

Remilia led Reimu back to the door to the mansion. She had hoped Reimu would be impressed by the splendor inside, but all she got was an eyebrow raise. Must have been the cultural differences at work again.

"Meiling, won't you go clean up?" Remilia asked. Meiling's hands were still caked with dirt, and she apparently wasn't bothered by all the dirt she had gotten over her clothes.

"Ah, right. Good idea." Meiling slipped away from the group, soon disappearing from sight behind the bustle of faerie maids.

Reimu took in the room, from the gold leaf chandelier down to the red carpet. "How many faeries do you have working for you?"

"About thirty," Remilia replied.

"Quite a place." Reimu looked up and down again. "Quite a place indeed."

Remilia scratched her fang. Her initial plan to overawe Reimu with her riches and splendor wasn't working. She looked vaguely interested but unengaged, like she was passing through a town she'd never seen before.

"I'll be honest. Usually, by this point, it's already clear if someone's planning to get revenge on an ancient god or eradicate the planet or something. I'm gonna poke around for a little bit, then probably head out," Reimu said, scratching at her neck.

"Alright, no problem at all," Remilia said.

Reimu wandered off towards the stairs. Remilia lagged behind, then gestured for Sakuya's ear. "If she goes anywhere near the basement, I don't care what you have to do, make that not happen," she whispered.

"Duly noted." Sakuya said, a little too loudly.

Reimu glanced back at them. Remilia put on a forced smile. Thankfully, Reimu was soon distracted by a faerie running up to her with a handful of dust.

"Boo!" She tossed the dust wad into Reimu's face.

"Gorf," Reimu said, and flailed her arms in front of her. Remilia rushed up to her side.

"Sorry about that. The faeries get excited at new faces, and pranks seem to be the only way they have to express themselves."

"It's fuh, fuh," Reimu tilted her head back, then let out a huge sneeze into her sleeve. "It's fine," she said, sniffing. Up above, the faerie gave a silent fist-pump of victory.

"Do you want me to have her killed for you?" Remilia offered.

"No, that won't be necessary. Just throw a rock at her later or something."

"Sakuya, write that down." Remilia gestured to her maid.

Once Reimu's sniffles were over, she got to wandering. She was suspicious at first when Remilia told her there was an entire floor of nothing but guest rooms, but after the tenth room with either nobody in it or a faerie taking a nap and playing hookey, she started to relent.

"A whole lot of space for so few people," she said.

"Of course. No point in having a cramped mansion," Remilia said.

"Fair enough. Anything more interesting around here?"

"You saw most of it when you flew through here earlier, to be honest. I could show you the lounge, perhaps?"

Reimu sniffed the air. The scent of roasting vegetables floated through like a friendly offer. That was one of the nice things of Sakuya's meddling with space. Not only did it make the mansion so much bigger, but pleasant smells could spread everywhere quickly. Remilia took the cue to distract Reimu from her search.

"Or it should be time for lunch soon. Would you like to join us?"

Reaching the dining room got the biggest reaction out of Reimu that day. When she saw the table lined with lentil soup, baked potatoes with herbs, glazed carrots and string beans, and crusty loaves of bread surrounded with olives and saucission, she nearly started drooling on the spot. Sakuya pulled back a seat for her, which she quickly took. The maid then took a bottle of wine from the table and uncorked it. Reimu watched her pour it with interest. The ordinary wine glass must've been an unusual sight for her.

"Sorry it took so long," came Meiling's voice from the doorway.

She had changed into a loose purple robe embroidered with flowers. Though it hid most of her body, she still looked quite nice in it. She took her seat near Remilia.

"Am I late?" she asked.

"No, we were just about to start," Remilia replied.

"Oh, good." Meiling smiled.

"So this is grape wine." Reimu raised her glass and looked at it.

"Mhm. I do hope you enjoy it."

Reimu tilted the glass up and took a sip. Her face puckered for a moment, but after letting it sit in her mouth for a moment, she grinned and swallowed.

"Not bad at all."

She took a large swig from the cup, then set it back on the table. Sakuya bent over and topped it off for her. Reimulooked up to Sakuya, then back to the glass. She grinned and leaned back in her chair, looking a little like a newly-established countess herself as she cradled her cup and drank from it.

Most of the food was foreign to Reimu, but she was a good sport and finished every plate that was presented to her. The wine she was gulping down probably helped. Free wine always helps one get on people's good side.

"Y'know, I gotta... I gotta be hones' with you," Reimu slurred between bites of roasted potato. "You're alright. You wouldn't-- you seen the stuff. The stuff that I deal with?" She paused to hiccup. "You jus' seem like some... some kinda rich ol' weirdo. Least you aren't some kinda god, trying to... with some kinda scheme..." She let out a sloshy giggle.

Reimu's appetite for wine was the stuff of legend, but her body was only human, judging by the way she knocked them back, Remilia thought that she was no stranger to getting drunk, but she was still approaching dangerous levels. Dessert was coming soon. She had originally planned on a white dessert wine, but that might not be the best option. She pondered what to do with her new friend after dinner was over.

[ ] Cut her off and let her spend the night here to nurse her inevitable hangover.
[ ] Cut her off, give her some coffee, and send her on her way back home.
[ ] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.
[ ] See how much wine you can get one human being to drink in a night.
[X] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.

This is the best choice. As a guest, it's up to Reimu to determine how much she wants to drink. To determine on her behalf would be unbecoming of a great host such as ourselves.
[X] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.
[X] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.

I'd really like to get her as drunk as we possibly could but she might hate us after the fact. Better to let her do it to herself.
[x] Cut her off and let her spend the night here to nurse her inevitable hangover.

Tuck her in and tell her a bedtime story.
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[x] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.
-{x} ...and let her spend the night here to nurse her inevitable hangover.
I, too, am indecisive.

[x] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.
-{x} ...and let her spend the night here to nurse her inevitable hangover.
[x] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.
-[x] ...and let her spend the night here to nurse her inevitable hangover.

I guess there's some risk of her being mad either way, but this way is probably going to be funnier so it wins.
[x] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.
-[x] ...and let her spend the night here to nurse her inevitable hangover.
I want that fucking chandelier.
[x] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.
-{x} ...and let her spend the night here to nurse her inevitable hangover.
File 144695356972.jpg - (142.19KB, 850x837, turntmu.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Let Reimu have as much as she wants. Even if she won't say anything revealing in her drunken stupor, at least it's funny to watch.
-[x] ...and let her spend the night here to nurse her inevitable hangover.

Ah, well. It couldn't hurt to let her do what she wants.

It actually could hurt, a lot, but Remilia ignored the thought. Though she did get Sakuya's ear for a moment and ask her to quickly whip up some pain au chocolat instead of a white dessert wine. If Reimu learned there were red and white wines, she might not make it out of here alive.

Reimu picked up her wine glass just as Sakuya started to refill it. Time blinked for a moment, and the stream of wine vanished before it could stain the tablecloth.

"So why'd'ja got the, uh... the-- Why's the glass like this?" She held it up to her face, staring at the stem. "It's all... long."

"That's to keep your hand from warming the wine," Remilia said.

"Ahh. I see, I see. Hey, maid lady." Reimu grabbed Sakuya's skirt and tugged on it like a bored child. She tilted her head back and opened her mouth.

"Right in here! Pour it!"

Sakuya glanced to Remilia, who nodded to her. She raised the wine bottle and poured it straight down Reimu's gullet. To the quiet awe of Remilia, Reimu's drinking speed could keep up with gravity, and she didn't spill a drop.

"That's the bottle, ma'am," Sakuya said.

Reimu smacked her lips and leaned back with an expression of empty, bodhisattva-like contentment. Sakuya scooted to the kitchen to prepare dessert, and Remilia and Meiling watched, fascinated, as the half-bottle of wine slowly spread through her body. She started to tilt to one side as though she was about to fall asleep, then righted herself. She leaned back and forth as if sitting was too taxing of a balancing act for her. Just as the wine was starting to fully kick in, a faerie brought out a tray of pain au chocolat. Reimu snatched one from the tray and stood up.

"Ayy, wuzzis?" She took a bite out of it as she started wandering towards the door.

"Mmf, good." Flecks of pastry flew from her mouth as she talked.

Remilia and Meiling scooted up from their chairs, following her but keeping a safe distance away in case she decided to literally or figuratively explode.

"I'm gonna see the... gonna see the..." she mumbled to herself, bouncing against the wall as she tried to figure out which of the four doors she was seeing was the real one. Her feet slipped on the thick carpet and she fell flat on her face. Remilia winced seeing her nasty fall.

"Screw'is, I'm'n'a fly."

A gust of magical wind swirled around Reimu's feet, making the plates and silverware clatter on the table. She scooted along the floor without moving, bouncing up and down as her drunken attempts at flight pushed her along the floor.

"What should we do?" Meiling asked, anxiously fiddling with her hands.

"Just follow her." Remilia ran after her.

Reimu flopped her way into the great room, mushy remains of pain au chocolat still held in her hand. She pushed herself up onto her hands and knees. Remilia saw some red rugburn on the side of her face. Reimu staggered up to her feet, looking up at the chandelier. As she sloshed around, she crashed into a faerie, falling on top of her.

"Hey! Watch where you're going." The faerie kicked her arms and legs under Reimu's weight.

"Murf, shu'up, jeez." Now finding something to focus on, Reimu tried to fly towards the chandelier. She moved through the air in jerking zigzag motions, like a moth circling a lantern. She smacked into another faerie on her crazed path towards the very, very expensive chandelier.

"Reimu, please!" Remilia went into the air, chasing after her.

"I'm just gonna look at it!" Reimu kicked her arms and legs in midair, bobbing up and down, smacking at Remilia as she tried to catch her.

Remilia clawed her long nails at Reimu. She wouldn't have minded Reimu smashing a few plates or wine glasses, but when the chandelier was in danger, it got personal.

"Do you have any idea how expensive that is?"

"I'm just 'onna LOOK AT IT!"

"You can look at it fine from here!"

"I NEED TO SEE THE COLORS!" She swayed off-balance, still limply slapping her arms in Remilia's direction. Sudenly, she froze to a stop and let out a moist burp.

"Oh dear. Meiling, get a bucket!"

"Oh jeez, oh jeez, oh jeez." Meiling took off running while Remilia grabbed Reimu around the legs and dragged her back down towards the ground. She turned her body, pointing Reimu's mouth in the direction of the stone floor instead of the carpet.

"I need colors," Reimu mumbled, then let out a little shiver. "Chanaleer colors."

"I'm here." Meiling came running back with a bucket in hand.

Without a word, Reimu snatched it from her, knelt down, and puked. After a few moments of heaving and sploshing, she leaned her head up and wiped her mouth.

"Okay. Whew. I'm gonna... I'm feel--"

She knelt back over the bucket and vomited again. After another round of heaving, she looked up to see Meiling's worried face staring down at her.

"S'okay, Meifeng. You don--" She hiccuped. "You don' gotta worry about me." She staggered to her feet, her head rolling on her neck like a puppet. She stumbled towards Meiling and threw herself against her. Meiling grabbed her on instinct and she limply hung in her arms.

"M'honored you care, though. I think you're purple. I mean, purple is good. I think you're a good purple."

Meiling gestured to Remilia, then to Reimu, panic all over her face.

"Roll with it," Remilia mouthed to her.

"Th-thank you," Meiling said.

"Purrrrr-pllle." Reimu dragged her feet against the floor.

"I think you need to get to bed, Reimu." Meiling pat her gently on the back like a baby.

"Whoa, heh-hey, zatta... izzatta invitation?"

Remilia bit her lip to hold back her laughter.

"I'm taking you to a guest room." Meiling scooped her up, one arm under her knees and one arm under her back.

"Whoa-ho, hey, gotta... gotta take this slowly."

Reimu raised a hand and patted Meiling's face. "Slowly, you... you cute purple. Curple. Cuttle purp."

Reimu kept babbling at Meiling as she carried her to a guest room. Remilia turned to find a faerie to take care of the bucket and saw a wide-eyed Koakuma clutching a stack of books to her chest like a piece of armor.

"Um. I found some books on grape-growing," she said.

"Aheh. Thank you." Remilia took the books from her and thumbed through them. Plenty of illustrations of harvesting, mashing, fermenting and bottling. Yes, these would be handy.

"These will work very nicely, Koakuma. And my apologies that you had to see that. A friendly inspection that got a little too friendly, that's all."

"I'll say." Meiling came stomping down the stairs, arms crossed defensively across her chest. "I leaned over to tuck her in bed and she... smooched me on the nose." She blushed and touched her face. "She passed out as soon as she was under the covers, at least."

"I see. What room is she in?"

"Second guest room on the left," Meiling said.

Remilia looked up at the crowd of faeries that had gathered to watch. "Ahem. I seem to recall one of you threw some dust at Reimu's face."

A dozen fingers pointed at a faerie who was trying to look busy, making wiping motions over a window with an empty hand. She pointed at several different faeries in a panic.

"Congratulations, you'll be looking after Reimu as she recovers from her drinking. You'll need a mop."

"Yes'm." The faerie's face fell as she floated to the ground and walked over to the broom closet.

Sakuya reappeared at Remilia's side with the remains of the tray of pain au chocolat. "Here," she said.

"Oh, yes, good." Remilia took one. "Now then. It's quite nice that we're all here, actually." She rubbed her hands together. Koakuma, sensing more scheming, pursed her lips and glanced away.

"I'll probably be going down for a siesta soon, to wait out the rest of the evening light. Sakuya, put a pot of coffee on in about two hours if Reimu hasn't woken up by then. If she gets conscious enough to be walking and talking and moving around, come to my chambers and wake me up."

"Duly noted." Sakuya nodded.

"Now, with that established, tomorrow will be coming all too soon. We need to figure out two things: What to do with Reimu and what will be keeping us busy tomorrow.

(Experimenting a little here. You guys have been pretty on the ball with coming up with your own ideas, so we're going with something more flexible than normal choices this time.)

Sakuya's to-do list:

[ ] Fortify/tidy up the mansion.
[ ] Get some information on the human village.
[ ] Plan a party to get your name out.

Available subordinates:

- Koakuma
- Sakuya
- Patchouli
- Meiling
- Margeroux (glasses faerie)
- Charlotte (mob cap faerie)
- Priscilla (headband faerie)

Choose who will lead which projects. You can apply several people to the same job, and it's up to you whether or not to give everyone a task.

Reimu won't sleep forever, and will likely be cranky when she wakes up. You'll probably want to be there personally for her.

[ ] Treat her the same as before, and try not to mention the bender.
[ ] Be a little closer and chatty now that she's used to the place.
[ ] Be professional and scoot her out after she's recovered.
>If Reimu learned there were red and white wines, she might not make it out of here alive.

Red and white wines for the red and white miko! A match made in heaven.

>A gust of magical wind swirled around Reimu's feet, making the plates and silverware clatter on the table. She scooted along the floor without moving, bouncing up and down as her drunken attempts at flight pushed her along the floor.

I am really loving this story.

[2] Fortify/tidy up the mansion.
- Meiling
- Charlotte (mob cap faerie)
- Priscilla (headband faerie)
[2] Get some information on the human village.
- Sakuya
[3] Plan a party to get your name out.
- Patchouli
- Koakuma
- Margeroux (glasses faerie)

My thoughts are that Meiling can supervise the two fairies who clean and fortify, with the mob cap fairy being ideal for cleaning house and the headband fairy being perfect for any heavy lifting or manual labor.

Patchouli doesn't seem like she'd have much of a use for the other two tasks and should at least be able to plan out a good party without making it an absolute failure. She'll need her subordinate with her, and the more intelligent fairy would probably be more useful for forming plans than her more dimwitted sisters.

Finally, Sakuya should be able to do some reconnaissance without causing any kind of major mayhem. She's a big girl, she can take care of herself.

As for Reimu,

[x] Treat her the same as before, and try not to mention the bender.

She may get suspicious if we suddenly switch Remilia's behavior, so it'd be best to keep up the professional facade. It'd also be a little rude to kick her out right after that, so I think the decision should be left up to her.
[x] Meiling and Margeroux on defence.
[x] Koakuma on info gathering.
[x] Sakuya on party planning.

Feels like a pretty good allocation.

[x] Be a little closer and chatty now that she's used to the place.

Reimu is love.
[x] Be a little closer and chatty now that she's used to the place.
Reimu is cute.

I'll reply to this post after I decide who to assign to what job, I missed that bit when I first posted.
To me, the party feels like a lower priority than the other options. We're new here so we don't even know who's important enough to invite, assuming we're not just letting anyone in. I would say:

[x] Fortify/tidy up the mansion.
- Meiling
- Charlotte (mob cap faerie)
- Priscilla (headband faerie)
- Margeroux (glasses faerie)
[x] Get some information on the human village.
- Sakuya
- Remilia(?)

I think rather than the party, Patchouli and Koa should spend the time putting together the relevant information from the books that Koa found. The intention would be to create some kind of class or productive way to teach Meiling and the fairies who are conceivably going to be doing most of the work.

The party can then be revisited later once we're cleaned up and know more about the humans. Could maybe even end up using it for advertising after we have some wine available.

also: [x] Treat her the same as before, and try not to mention the bender.
So, it was mentioned in our list of resources that we have an entire kitchen storeroom filled with wheat and barley grain. I didn't think much of this at the time because I was more concerned with using the seeds to start a business. But I decided to do a little research, and I found out that a grain is basically the same thing as a seed in that if you plant a grain it will grow into a plant. So I'm thinking we might be able to expand our wine business by planting the wheat and barley and making beer out of it, like >>62488 suggested.

So with that in mind:
[x] Patchouli research grain cultivation and beer production
[x] Meiling help plant grain

[x] Treat Reimu the same as before, and try not to mention the bender.
[x] Be a little closer and chatty now that she's used to the place.

That was a marvelous description of drunk flying.
[x] Patchouli research grain cultivation and beer production
[x] Meiling help plant grain
[X] Everyone else tidy up the mansion

[x] Treat Reimu the same as before, and try not to mention the bender.

I dislike micromanagement.
[X] Fortify/tidy up the mansion.
-[X] Priscilla (headband faerie)
-[X] Koakuma
-[X] Charlotte (mob cap faerie)

[X] Get some information on the human village.
-[X] Sakuya
-[X] Margeroux (glasses faerie)

[X] Investigate about grain cultivation and beer production
-[X] Patchouli
-[X] Meiling

[x] Plan a party to get your name out.
-[X] Remilia (You!)

Tidying up is easy, Charlotte mob can arrange it.Fortifying can be started by Priscilla headband as well (it'll need supervision latter on, of course)
Koa can try and coordinate those two so they don't screw the other's work. Which is something that can happen.

About information: Sakuya, as a human, can do it, like no other, in the village. Margeroux can assist while, at the same time, give a preliminary report on the villages' attitude towards fantastic creatures inside their borders.

Beer reasearch is best left to Patchouli, but she may need someone experienced in the botany to make sure that the projects are firmly rooted in the ground
File 14470393335.jpg - (147.99KB, 850x680, sleepymilia.jpg) [iqdb]
Since this was a different kind of voting, I'm going to count the options that got three or more votes. That leaves us with:

[x] Fortify/tidy up the mansion.
- Meiling
- Charlotte
- Priscilla

[x] Get some information on the human village
- Sakuya

[x] Don't start organizing a party yet

[x] Research beer-brewing
- Patchouli's the brains, Meiling's the muscle

"Well, that experience showed one thing. If Reimu's anything to go off of, people here in Gensokyo love themselves some alcohol." Remilia crossed her arms, tapping a long finger on her upper arm. "We should consider beer and ale as well, not just wine. We could make some quick money from our stored grains, or look for more crops to grow. In fact, that might work a lot better for time-skip growing," Remilia said.

"Yeah. Though weeding, harvesting and threshing will still take a while, and I can only teach the faeries so much at a time," Meiling said. She touched her nose again every few minutes as Remi went on.

"Good point. Anyway, it would definitely be a solid extension, so--" she turned to Patchouli, "--if you could find the books on wine..."

"I'm on it," Patchouli said, turning to her familiar. "Koakuma, go--"

"Yeah, yeah," Koakuma grumbled, "I'll start as soon as this meeting is over."

"Now, onto the next thing. There's still a lot of dust left over by the fight. I like the gung-ho attitude Priscilla and Charlotte had, so let's experiment with them getting a little power. Meiling, can you keep an eye on them in case they turn out to be little shits?"

"Yes'm. If they abuse their privileges then they'll be on weeding duty for a month." Meiling nodded.

"Excellent. Now, Sakuya, I have an interesting request for you."

Sakuya looked up, her eyebrows raising but her face remaining even.

"Now, while I could go out information-gathering, it would have to be during the day, and I'd rather not risk it for so long. The faeries are out of the question unsupervised; Patchouli would sooner die than talk to humans; and Koakuma and Meiling have other business. So, Sakuya, I am entrusting it to you."

Sakuya nodded once, slowly, an unusual look of curiosity and concern on her face. "Very well."

"Go about it however you feel is best, whether that's out in the open or in secret."

It certainly wouldn't be unusual to see a servant out and about in the markets. Remilia's concern was whether or not she would even be seen as human. Remilia still wasn't entirely sure what Sakuya was, and she probably never would. She was forbidden to ask about Sakuya's history in any way. That was the deal she had struck with fate. Sakuya's life, her family, and her true name would be hidden from history, and in return, Remilia received a servant with power over space and time.

"As you wish, milady. Will that be tonight or tomorrow morning?"

Remilia rubbed her chin. "Tomorrow morning. Today's been busy enough already. Speaking of which, I do believe it's time for that nap I mentioned. You have your instructions, and I will be in my bedroom if you need me."

Remilia left as the rest of the mansion got to work. She heard the faint sound of brooms sweeping and furniture being lifted as she made her way to the bedroom, took off her dress, and climbed into bed.

She was able to drift off to a light sleep quickly, despite being that weird time where she didn't know if it counted as an early bedtime or a late one. She was awoken a few hours later with a gentle rap at the door.

"Mistress Remilia? Reimu's awake."

She rubbed her eyes and sat up. "Thank you."

She rolled out of bed and bent over for the dress she had left on the floor. She heard a creak and whipped her head around to see Reimu and the fairy standing in the doorway, smirking.

"Aren't vampires supposed to be awake at night?" Reimu said, not showing much reaction as Remilia hurriedly threw on her dress.

"Today has been unusual." She adjusted the straps of her dress and shot the faerie a dirty look. "How are you feeling?"

"Ow," Reimu said.

"Coffee," said Sakuya, suddenly next to Reimu. The shrine maiden gave a small start, nearly bumping into the door.

"Um, thanks."

"It's good for hang-- for headaches," Sakuya said.

Reimu took a cup and sipped at it. Her face puckered.

"It's an acquired taste, but a good one." Remilia strode up and took a cup of her own. She used to serve it with cream, but after an incident with Meiling, she learned that dairy wasn't for everyone and played it safe.

"Well. The place seems benign enough. Thanks for the bed. And sorry for the, um, reason I needed it."

"Not a problem." Remilia took a long sip to hide her face. Reimu certainly felt like an important person. With her strength and capability, she had to be. Yet she couldn't have acted less like someone with power. As Reimu rubbed her temples and puckered her face at the coffee, she looked more like a confused farmer's daughter than anything else. Though that may have just been her embarassment at going on a bender in someone else's house.

"Anyway. Try not to pull that mist mischief again and we should both get along fine here."

"Hah. You've shown that well enough."

They walked to the door over sips of coffee and small talk. Remilia picked up a few extra details from her: She was the caretaker of a shrine near the far hills that, despite being small and obscure, housed a powerful god.

Yes, that was what Reimu reminded her of. She was a little like a folk god herself, aloof and capricious. Though she walked and talked as a human, inside her mind she was on some different wavelength than the rest of humanity. If Remilia was going to have a good first impression on anyone, Reimu was probably a good choice.

Reimu made a slight bow and returned the coffee cup as they reached the entrance. Remilia took the handle and tugged open the thick ten-foot-tall door with one hand, giving Reimu a little thanks-for-coming flick of the arm as she left.

"Goodbye, Reimu."

"See you later, Remilia."

She closed the door with the same flourish. The grand hall was quiet for a moment, and then Remilia raised her hands and started clapping.

"That went fantastic. We impressed her with our riches, saved her when she messed up, and even kept her from seeing the..."

Her clapping slowed. "From visiting the..."

She stopped, holding her hands in the air. Her eyes went wide. "Did anyone tell Flandre that we were going to move?"

Every faerie in the room screeched to a halt at the mention of the name 'Flandre'. The only movement in the hall was the beads of sweat forming on Sakuya's forehead. For a few painfully long seconds, nobody said anything.

"I don't believe I did, milady," Sakuya whispered.

"I... I don't think I did. And I know Patchouli didn't," Remilia said slowly, as if trying to delay the only conclusion she could reach from this. "Oh... Oh dear."

[ ] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
[ ] Sakuya needs to go check. Flandre knows her as well.
[ ] Patchouli needs to go check. She lives closest to the basement.
[ ] Multiple people/nobody
[x] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
-{x} Bring ablative fairy along just in case.

Surely everything will turn out to be fine.
[x] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
[x] Sakuya needs to go check. Flandre knows her as well.
-[x] Remilia can go for backup.
[x] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
-{x} Bring ablative fairy along just in case.
[X] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.

Big sister duties must be done by big sister.
[x] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
-{x} Bring ablative fairy along just in case.

It IS kind of her fault.
[X] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
[x] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
-{x} Bring ablative fairy along just in case.

Just makes sense.
[X] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
[X] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
[x] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
-{x} Bring ablative fairy along just in case.
[ ] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
[x] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
-{x} Bring ablative fairy along just in case.

Oh shit.
File 144713128930.jpg - (246.24KB, 850x663, flandre the artist.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Remilia needs to go check. She's the older sister.
-{x} Bring ablative fairy along just in case.

Remilia paused, scratching her fang.

"Well. I-It won't be that bad. S-She's been through worse changes, right?" Remilia said. She glanced around the room.

"Hey, Vanessa was your name, right?" She gestured to a mob cap faerie that was scrubbing the floor, trying to look inconspicuous.

"N-no, ma'am! I'm... Blablessa."

"Well then, Blablessa--"

Sakuya nudged Remilia, then leaned in close and whispered. "I think she's lying. The notebook says her name is Vanessa."

"Yes, thank you, Sakuya." Remilia brushed her away. "Well, then, Vanessa. Unless you want no snacks for any of the faeries for the next three months, you'll--"

"Do what she says!" one faerie screamed.

"Snacks or we revolt!" shouted another by the door.

"Snaaaaacks!" A chair went flying down the stairs.

Vanessa gripped her brush tight in her hand. "Do I have to go see Flan?"

"In a sense. You'll accompany me for a brief visit."

Vanessa trembled in fear.

"You can't die, remember? You'll just resurrect the next day in the library, like all the faeries do," Remilia said, sighing impatiently.

"But the horrors!" Vanessa crawled forward and grabbed Remilia's shirt, clinging to her like a life raft. "The horrors faeriekind was not meant to see!"

"You know what's just as scary? Not doing what I tell you to."

A collective taunting "Ooooooh!" rose from the rest of the faeries.

"Fine. I'll do it." Vanessa straightened up. "But I better get some hot cocoa with tomorrow's snacks."

"Very well. You're lucky I'm giving you anything." Remilia crossed her arms. "Now, let's go." Remilia's wings spread out behind her, casting a wide profile. She wasn't going to use them, but it was a reflex by now to brandish her wings after saying 'Let's go.'

"Wait! We need a torch," Vanessa said.

"What for? The whole way is lit."

"But that's what you do when you go into some scary dungeon, you--"

"I didn't lock Flan in the dungeon!" Remilia spat. "I-I mean, just because it's on the lowest level doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it."

"Then why's the door reinforced and surrounded by a magic barrier?" a faerie called from the stairs, picking up pieces of chair.

"You. You're coming with me too." Remilia snapped her finger.

"Aww." The faerie moped towards Remilia.

"Then, unless anyone else has something to add, we're going to visit my little sister."

Vanessa and the other faerie looked at each other and exchanged a nod of commiseration. "Yeah. We can just die and get the rest of the evening off," the other faerie said.

"Whatever gets you two following me." She folded her wings behind her back and led them to the library.

The only access to Flan's door was on the lower level of the library, hidden behind a tall bookcase.

And a large painting.

And a false wall.

After a few minutes of grunting and pulling, the door was finally visible. With a heavy sigh, Remilia took the key from its hiding place on her thigh strap. "Here goes nothing."

The door swung open with a loud, steady squeal, the kind of noise that removed any chance of a subtle entrance. Flan peeked her cheery blonde-haired face up from the bottom of the stairs.

"Hullo, big sister." She smiled.

"Hello, Flan," Remilia said, her voice cracking, refocusing, and cracking again in the space of two words.

"What was all the noise?"

"We--" Remilia cleared her throat, "--we moved. Belgium was getting crowded so we left for Japan."

Flan's mouth hung open in wonder. "Why, that's amazing! Come down and tell me all about it."

Remilia took a slow step onto the stairs, then gestured at the faeries to follow. Despite being isolated from the rest of the mansion, Flandre's room was bright and colorful. All manner of diversions and hobbies lined the wall -- a collection of books against one wall, a grand piano at another, a half-completed ship in a bottle, and an easel and paint wheel were just the beginning. Remilia saw a stack of completed paintings. Each one was a detailed painting of her own room in a variety of different styles. A pang of guilt hit her like an accusatory finger jabbed against her chest.

"You've become quite the painter." Remilia swallowed.

"Thank you," Flandre said. "I've been practicing the piano as well. Would you like to hear it?"

"I'd love to." Remilia smiled, and it felt a little more genuine this time.

Flandre turned to the piano, her wings making a wide sweep, their colorful ornaments jingling. She was an odd bird, to say the least. Those piercing eyes of her must've seen through any false facade that Remilia or the faeries put up. Yet she always had a big, vacant smile, as if she'd turned off some part of herself to better deal with her seclusion. This was her home now, and she didn't want to leave it. As she played out a delicate melody on the piano, Remilia wondered if she hadn't found a way to be happy in here.

Vanessa wandered over towards the ship in a bottle. She looked at it intensely, and har hands slowly crept out towards it. Remilia and Flandre both looked up at the same time and saw her reach towards it. Flandre's hand whipped out, and the lantern next to the bottle exploded into dust with a loud crack that bounced off the walls in the cramped room.

"Please don't touch that. I worked hard on it." Flandre's smile didn't falter. She turned back to the piano without another word, leaving Vanessa wih her hands hanging in the air and tears forming in her eyes. A tiny, high-pitched squeak came out of her.

Quick to learn her lesson, Vanessa gathered around everyone else, listening as Flandre's fingers dance across the piano. She was impressively good at it, and before they knew it a pleasant hour had passed in silence.

"Thank you for visiting me, big sister."

"It was good to see you, Flandre," Remilia said.

She bent down and gave Flandre a hug arorund her shoulders. Flandre hugged her back, squeezing her tight.

"Take care," Remilia grunted as Flandre squeezed her ribs. "I'll get you some new books from the village."

They held the embrace for a moment more, then Remilia pulled away and led the faeries back up the stairs. As she turned to close the door, she saw Flandre peeking up the stairs again. She waved her goodbye as she closed the door.

"And we didn't even die," Vanessa said, nodding to herself.

"I was hoping to get the rest of the evening off," the other faerie said. Their work done, they both started floating away back towards the grand hall.

"Why didn't you ask her? I'm sure she would've blown you up."

"But she's weird!"

Remilia stretched her arms. Her wings flapped behind her. She'd done enough for today, she'd take another nice, long nap while everyone else got started on their work. And then a nice long bath, too.

She gave the orders to Sakuya to start turning off lights through the mansion and headed for her room. Lights flickered off behind her. It was a little routine Sakuya had practiced -- lights turning off behind Remilia as she walked, as if anything she didn't see wasn't worthy of light. She had power and she was going to enjoy it.

She fell back to sleep just minutes after climbing into bed. It was the long and deep sleep of someone who had finished a long journey. The sun fell and rose with her still in bed.

Sakuya, however, was up at the first sign of light. Waking up early was no challenge when 'early' was whenever she wanted it to be. She washed and ironed her clothes, went to the faerie's quarters to wake them from sleep, then went to the guest room and dragged the rest of the faeries out from their hiding spots under the bed.

Patchouli and Koakuma worked on their own schedules, and Meiling woke up just as early as Sakuya did. Meiling said that her tai chi routines and regular meditating let her function on little sleep, and the results agreed with her. She was already out tending to some hydrangeas in the garden.

"Going to the village, huh?" Meiling said.

Sakuya nodded.

"Well, good luck."

Sakuya nodded again.

The village was to the south. A small footpath led the way. She had no idea how a footpath had got there already, but she wouldn't question the favor. After a brisk walk, distant farms and rice paddies came into view, with a cluster of buildings further away like little blocks. The village wasn't far away.

[ ] Observe from behind the scenes, quietly and inconspicuously.
[ ] Go shopping and see the sights.
[ ] Ask around about Reimu and other important people.
[X] Go shopping and see the sights.

It's probably a better idea to act as normal and nonthreatening as possible, I think. Lurking behind the scenes is bound to draw attention at some point, and even if it doesn't leaves us without any knowledge gained about the interiors of village buildings or about the people who inhabit them. Asking around about Reimu is probably also a bad idea, since it might seem like we were out for Hakurei blood to the wrong person.

I think this option would be playing it safe.
[x] Go shopping and see the sights.

That went surprisingly well. I was expecting the EX stage to start but I guess Remi wasn't there at the time so we'll have to wait a bit. If it even happens that is.
[x] Ask around about Reimu and other important people.

Akyuu? Akyuu.

Also, Flan is hnnnnggghhh/10 despite being obviously "off".
[x] Ask around about Reimu and other important people.
[X] Go shopping and see the sights.
[x] Go shopping and see the sights.

No better way to get information inconspicuously than to act as if you're not gathering information at all.
[X] Go shopping and see the sights.
[x] Go shopping and see the sights.

Flan is loev.
[x] Ask around about Reimu and other important people.
[x] Ask around about Reimu and other important people.
[X] Go shopping and see the sights.
File 144721359038.jpg - (129.95KB, 600x400, and boy are my arms tired.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Go shopping and see the sights.

Sakuya had no reason to hide. A maid going shopping for the head of the house was perhaps the very definition of normalcy. Heads turned from hunched-over bodies as she walked by. She must've been a bit of a sight in her freshly cleaned clothes as she walked the paths between earlybird farmers pacing between growing rows of rice plants.

She walked briskly, shopping basket hooked under her arm, ignoring them with little effort. She made her way towards the village center. The village was just waking up, doors opening and the covers on stalls being lifted.

The word 'provincial' came to mind. A stroll through a few blocks found few luxuries for sale. A middle-aged woman stacking clay plates for sale on an outdoor table. A sign over a door saying "Saito's house sells fresh eggs!" and other similarly small-time operations.

Come to think of it, perhaps the mistress would enjoy some eggs, she thought. She waved at the open window -- really just a hole in the wall -- to a sunny-faced family in the middle of breakfast. They stared at her. She stared back.

"Can, can I help you?" the father of the family said.

"How much for eggs?"

The father cleared his throat and glanced away before looking back to her. "Five eggs for ten yen."

"I see," Sakuya said. She nodded slowly to herself. "What is a yen?"

The father of the family pursed his lips, his moustache wiggling like a catterpillar. "It's money. You know, how you pay for things."

"Ah, I see. Now that I know what it is, I'm afraid I do not have any yen. I wouldn't have any if I didn't know what it was either."


"Do you take gold dust as payment?"

The older sister make a horking noise as she gasped with a mouthful of rice.

"I, er... yes. I suppose that would work." He turned back to his family and a chatter of whispers broke out.

"Do we have some kind of bag we could keep it in?"

"We can't take it. What would the neighbors say, us showing up with flecks of gold out of nowhere?"

"It's only a pinch, that's all. It's fine."

"How about this?" The younger sister went and got a small empty pouch from the back room.

"Yeah, that should work."

Sakuya took a pinch of gold from a tightly-wound bag within her coinpurse. "Is this enough?"

"Yes! That's--" The father was interrupted as his wife elbowed him in the ribs.

"Thank you, but that's far too much. A fifth of that will be more than enough," she said.

Sakuya dusted the small flecks of gold into their bag and bought five fresh eggs, the kind that felt perfectly-weighted in the hand. She arranged them safely in her basket, nodded to the family, and left.

Another few blocks away, Sakuya spilled out into the main artery of the village. The bustle here was more comfortable to her, though there were still many strange sights -- such as the man with a broom cart, a little broom shop on wheels with the handles sticking straight up as if he was carting a small forest behind him.

She wandered around, watching the stock and the customers with equal interest. Some people haggled, though most paid the advertised price. Every seller seemed to have some friends or associates who would get a special discount. Some kind of guild, perhaps?

The fruit and vegetable stalls had some familiar sights. She saw peas, onions, corn, eggplant standing next to all sorts of strange new vegetables she had never seen before. Massive white tubers, like some kind of overgrown carrot, were stacked in tall piles at every stall, along with all forms of strange new leafy greens and herbs, often advertised as being just picked from the mountains not hours ago. She made her way to a friendly-looking old woman hidden behind a row of tall wooden tubs.

"Pardon my assumptions, but I'm guessing you're new here," the old woman said.

Sakuya looked at the sign above the stand. "Tsukemono. Pickled vegetables," she read aloud slowly.

"That's right. You'd better get familiar with them if you're going to be here for very long." She smiled and nodded.

Sakuya peeked into the tubs. These were more than the simple pickled cucumbers and cabbage she knew from back home. They were impossibly bright and colorful, with shining shades of purple and yellow, like they were dyed.

"Here, have a taste of pickled ginger."

She fished out a thin pink sliver of ginger with a pair of chopsticks and plopped it into Sakuya's hand. She popped it into her mouth. It was actually quite good, crisp and peppery with a satisfying crunch.

"I like it," Sakuya said.

"Glad to hear," the old woman said, not fazed by Sakuya's flat voice. She picked up a spoon and a small container made from rough straw. "How about I get you a little sample of everything?"

"Is it acceptable to pay in gold dust?" Sakuya asked.

The old woman raised her eyebrows and smiled. "Ooh, yes. That will be nice. Here, let me get you a bigger bowl."

Heads turned to Sakuya as she fished out a pinch of gold. The old woman nodded to herself happily as she scooped up pickled vegetables. This was good, Sakuya thought to herself. With all these people paying attention to her, there were more people to listen or answer questions.

[ ] Ask about how the businesses around here are doing.
[ ] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.
[ ] Ask if they've heard about the great and powerful Remilia Scarlet.
[X] Ask if they've heard about the great and powerful Remilia Scarlet.

Ditzy maid powers activate!
[x] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.

[x] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.

[x] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.

I just like how little self awareness this option has.
[x] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.

You and me both.
[x] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.
[x] Ask about how the businesses around here are doing.

Really, she could've asked 'Seen anyone interesting shopping around here?' and it'd have been the same.
[x] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.
[X] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.
[X] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.
File 144730129471.jpg - (258.34KB, 546x800, Meiling are buff.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Ask about local news and any catastrophes.

Sakuya deposited the fingerful of gold into the pickle-seller's bag of coins. She had some idea of the notion of small talk. As the old woman continued assembling a variety of pickled foods, Sakuya cleared her throat to break the building silence.

"How are the local political and cultural events going?" she asked.

"They're... alright, I suppose."

Sakuya saw someone waving from the corner of her eye. She turned to see a gaggle of children gathered around her.

"Are you good luck? Will you come by my grandpa's cart next?" a fresh-faced young boy asked.

"Whatever do you mean?" Sakuya asked, crouching down towards the child.

"You came in here with gold. That means you're a symbol of good luck, right?"

"I am a simple maid and nothing more," Sakuya said. She didn't smile, but her face softened.

"Really? You don't seem like a human."

Sakuya's face re-hardened. "Ahem. What does your grandfather sell?"

"He's got fresh strawberries from the hills."

"Your pickles, ma'am." The old woman presented Sakuya with a basket. It was piled high, looking ready to spill if she wasn't careful. She stood up and tucked it into her shopping basket.

"Some strawberries sound lovely," she said to the boy.

He grabbed Sakuya by her wrist and led her through the crowd. The rest of the children followed after her. It reminded her slightly of the faerie maids.

"So, little ones. How has this Gensokyo been?"

"The red mist is gone, so someone must've beat someone up," a girl said, then turned and punched the boy next to her in the shoulder.

"Ow! Sis..." the boy grumbled and rubbed his shoulder.

"Ah. Do things like that happen a lot in Gensokyo?"

"They never last long. Reimu or Marisa or someone'll swoop in and take care of it quick. Usually."

"Ah. What was the last big happening before the mist?"

"There was, um..." A girl put a finger to her lips, struggling to remember. "There were demons and... a ghost? It was really big."

"Youkai did something," another one added.

"Yeah. Youkai did something."

"My uncle said he beat up a youkai that was trying to eat his chickens two nights ago." Another boy puffed up his chest with pride.

Each boy and girl started into their own story of a friend of a relative of a friend of an associate who most certainly defeated a youkai by themselves. Sakuya listened intently, as if their schoolyard bantering was a time-honored old legend. The children seemed at ease around Sakuya, and she in turn was at ease with them.

Meanwhile, Meiling had her fan club of one back at the mansion. A chipper fairy with the flattened build of a tomboy and pointed ears peeking from her yellow-orange hair, was watching her intently with wide eyes.

"I'm sorry, Esmerelda, but we can't start until Charlotte and Priscilla get here." Meiling adjusted her hat. Boring as her usual job was, she'd rather go back to being the one taking orders if it meant not having the stress of giving them.

"C'mon! We can form a secret organization. I'll be the power behind the throne."

"You can't have a secret organization of two."

"Not with that attitude!"

Meiling heard a whinny off in the distance.

"Dear god, no." She took off running towards the far end of the hall, towards the stable.

"Priscilla! What have I told you about riding horses indoors?"

Priscilla hadn't had the chance to try yet. She was busy trying in vain to get her mount to fit through a door one-fourth its size. Every time she kicked her feet at its sides, the horse just turned away from the door.

"What kinda commander am I if I don't have a steed?" she said.

"An indoor one." Meiling grabbed her by the back of the apron and hauled her off the horse.

"Wow! You didn't even have to get up on your tiptoes," Esmerelda said.

Meiling hadn't even noticed that she was following her. She turned to her and sighed. "If you're so excited to help, can you find Charlotte for me? We need to--"

"Here I am!" Charlotte's voice chimed. Meiling turned around again.

There she was. Right where Meiling had been looking three seconds ago.


"How did you--"


Meiling shook her head. "Alright, alright. We've had our fun horsing around--"

"Heehee," Priscilla giggled.

"--and now it's time we get to work. Priscilla, I know the stable's spotless already, so you can't get away with 'cleaning' it all day."

She set her down and led the group back towards the main hall. Some faeries had gathered there already and were passing the time jousting with mops.

"Alright, you two. Show me how you organize a cleaning."

"Listen up, everyone! I have a plan." Esmerelda stepped forward and was promptly jerked back as Charlotte grabbed her collar. Meiling gave them both a serious look.

"Ahem. Remilia said me and Priscilla are in charge, so we're going to organize stuff."

She let Esmerelda go and clapped her hands. "Let's all organize in groups of five, alright? I know you've got some friends so this shouldn't be hard."

"Lady Remilia said 'fortify and clean,' right? Then first thing's first, we should fix that hole in the wall where Reimu and her friend came through."

"Mhm. Meiling, what'd Lady Remilia mean by 'fortify'?"

"That'll come later." Meiling rubbed her arm. "We don't want it to be that easy for the next intruder to wreck house. But you can't expand on a dirty house, right?"

"Watch me!" a fairy shouted from the crowd.

"The guest rooms should all be pretty easy, since they don't get much use. There's a lot of knocked-over furniture from the move but that's pretty much it. Let's do them after we fix the hole so it looks like we're getting a lot done," Priscilla said.

"Esmerelda, you need to join a group," Charlotte said, wagging a finger at her.

"I did! Meiling can easily do the work of four faeries. Four hundred faeries, probably!" She grabbed Meiling's arm.

"Then she won't need your help." Charlotte crossed her arms.

Meiling made an awkward smile, the kind of smile one makes on reflex when they don't want to deal with a tense situation.

[ ] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her.
[ ] Tell Esmerelda she can work with her later.
[ ] Let Esmerelda down gently and have her join another group.
[x] Let Esmerelda down gently and have her join another group.
--[x] ...Because it's better for subversives to work in cells. How else will the revolution gain a foothold?

C'mon Esmerelda, you know direct takeovers don't work anymore!
[X] Let Esmerelda down gently and have her join another group.
[x] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her.

It's adorable.
[x] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her.

I'll be honest, I live to force tie votes whenever possible.
[x] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her

Gotta watch them subversive elements closely.
[ ] Let Esmerelda down gently and have her join another group.
[x] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her.
[x] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her.
[X] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her.
[X] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her.
File 144738893434.jpg - (180.40KB, 850x638, koa_yikes.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Let Esmerelda indulge her idol worship and work with her.

There was a very good reason Meiling wasn't often put in charge of faerie maids. Faeries, as capricious and bratty as they are, could also be downright adorable, and Esmerelda's doe eyes struck Meiling right through the heart.

"We can let her work with me, it's fine," she told Charlotte.

"Woohoo!" Esmerelda pumped her fists.

"Alright, everyone! Let's all get warmed up with some calisthenics!"

Meiling led the faeries begrudgingly through a routine of jogging in place and jumping jacks. Once their blood -- or whatever passed for blood in faeries -- was running, they got to work. Esmerelda hopped on Meiling's head, catching a piggyback ride.

"Where to?" she asked, beaming with joy as she sat on her idol.

"First, let's get some spare planks, nails, and tools from the storage room. That'll have to do for patching the holes for now, we'll need to buy some carved stone and clear out a section of wall to get the job done properly."

"Lead the way!" Esmerelda said, swinging her legs.

They gathered up long planks and carried them up to the third floor, where the summer heat and light was leaking in through a hole about as big in the middle as Meiling was tall.

"Do you really think we can nail them in through the stone?" Charlotte asked.

"Leave it to me," Meiling said. She rolled up her sleeve and flexed her bicep. Esmerelda squealed with adoration.

A pair of faeries held up the plank while another hammered the nail a few inches into it, then stood back. Meiling clenched her fist. Her body swung like a whip as she jabbed the nail square on the head. The end of the plank shattered into slivers of wood.

"Okay. I'm open to alternatives," she said, picking splinters out of her knuckles.

"A big old tarp," one of the faeries said. "We could hang it from hooks, right?"

"That'll work. You three run and get some sheets and rope while we stack up the rest of the planks."

It seemed that faeries could actually be made to focus and work together with the right task. After about an hour of stacking and fiddling, the reinforced tarp blocked out the sun with barely a breeze around the edges.

With that task done, Priscilla and Charlotte started ordering around the rest of the faeries, dividing up which rooms they'd work on and in what order. Meiling didn't even notice the dirty glare they shot her as she carried Esmerelda off down the stairs.

"Hey, want to come help me weed the garden?"

"Yeah, let's go!"

Charlotte harumphed as the pair left. She tried to keep an eye on the other groups and help out where it was needed, but soon sloth began to creep back in. When another group came to say they had cleaned two rooms just twenty minutes after they started, she levelled a glare at them.

"We just had to pick some stuff up and dust some stuff. It doesn't take that long." The other faerie put her hands on her hips. "Maybe the other groups are just slacking off."

Charlotte put a hand to her chin. "Hmm. Maybe they are."

She tagged along with the faeries as they went to see how another group was doing.

"Hey, that lamp is cracked. Don't we have to replace it?" she asked to one group as they fluffed up the pillows for a guest bed.

"I dunno if there's any spare lamps, so we'll just leave it for now," a fluffer said and shrugged at her.

"A very good point! And hey, you! No pillow-fighting, it makes the pillows all lumpy."

As each group cleaned their rooms, they gathered along with Charlotte. The rooms were cleaned not too long after they had begun, though everyone seemed to have a different definition of 'clean.'

"Okay, everyone. Quick meeting." She rubbed her hands together. The faeries were already gathered together, but Charlotte liked to announce meetings anyway.

"Where should we go next?" she asked.

"Remi says if she catches any of us in the treasury she'll use our wings like handles to sled down the hill," one faerie chimed in.

"And Remi told me if she catches me in the lounge she'll set my hair on fire and use me as kindling."

"That's because you were going through the minibar."

"Those bottles were dirty with the devil's water, so I dumped them out. Into my mouth."

"Hold it, hold it," Priscilla raised a hand. "Is there anywhere that nobody's banned from?"

A pensive hum went through the crowd.

"Well, Patchouli said we can go in the library as long as Koakuma's watching. But she said if we aren't with her she's going to put us in a centrifuge and--"

"Okay, library it is, then."

Gathering up as much confidence as she could manage, Priscilla stepped forward and knocked at the big wooden door to the library. The sound of footsteps echoed on the other side of the door. It creaked open a few inches and Koakuma peeked her head out.


"Cleaning service," Charlotte said. "Mistress Remilia's orders, technically."

Koakuma sighed and looked over the group. "Well... it could be useful to have some help, but... the library's pretty big and dusty."

"We can set our standards as low as you need, ma'am."

"Great, then come in."

Koakuma instantly took on the role of supervisor. Starting from the closest column, she put a few faeries in each row of shelves to sweep the floors and wipe the bookcases. Once they started sweeping, cloud of dust formed and hung in the stale air like a lazy sandstorm.

"Koakuma," Patchouli coughed, "do you have any idea how long it would take to clean this entire place?"

'We'll just do the first couple of rows. That way, anyone who peeks in will see a clean library. I mean, who else is going to come in here?" Koakuma said.

"I wish you would've let me know. If this were a Tuesday, my wind magic would make short work of this."

"Gods, no. Have you forgotten last time?"

"Last time was a fluke."

"That's what you said about the last time before the last time."

As they argued, Koakuma didn't notice as Sophie, one of the faeries with glasses, grunted in frustration, slashing her broom across the floor. This dust was fogging up her lenses and making her long black hair get gray and grimy. The handle of her broom knocked a book loose from its shelving as she swiped again. It bounced off of her head, then splayed out on the floor. She bent down and picked it up, ready to chuck it back on the shelves, when the title caught her eye.

[ ] Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
[ ] Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
[ ] The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
File 144738983299.jpg - (401.91KB, 1056x1500, e81e369a42d87b0818086fcfe90d8d93.jpg) [iqdb]
Hahaha, the options cracked me up. We're basically choosing if Remilia is a parasite, an enemy of the proletariat, or an oppressor stuck in the old ways.

[x] Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
[x] Two Treatises of Government by John Locke

One can only imagine the horror that is Objectivist faeries.
[X] Two Treatises of Government by John Locke

>"We can set our standards as low as you need, ma'am."
Yes, hello waiter, I am ready to order. I'd like the beef risotto with a side of sides because mine are fucking gone.
[x] The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

I'll be honest, I'm only voting for this because nobody else has.
[x] The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
Better Red then Dead!
[x] The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

You know what we need? A dictatorship of the fairytariot.
[x] The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

We are the Scarlet Devil Mansion, after all.
[x] The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
I want to see a glorious communist fairy uprising.
[x] The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
Too good to pass up.
[X] Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
File 144747213187.jpg - (229.96KB, 850x1207, the existance of these comics is baffling.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

The Communist Manifesto. That sounded kind of cool, like a mystery book. She cracked it open.

A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism.

Ooh, a ghost story. Screw cleaning, Sophie thought. She could sneak away through the dust cloud and go read. Slipping between the rows and holding her book tight, she found a deserted corner a safe distance away from everything else, but with enough light to read by.

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles...



Remilia stirred from her deep sleep as she felt Sakuya's hand on her shoulder, shaking her gently.

"Milady, it's evening." Her voiced seemed far away.

"Mmf," Remilia grunted and squirmed under the sheets.

"I hate to wake you, but this is your normal morning time."

"Okay, okay. One second." Remilia squirmed again, then sat up. She ran her hands over her face, her fingers tangling in her messy hair.

"There's blood tea for you, along with yesterday's report," Sakuya said.

"Yesterday's report. I like the sound of that. Sounds official and businessey."

Remilia rolled out of bed, yawning and stretching her wings. She picked out her clothing for today as Sakuya wheeled in a small cart. She settled on a simple pink dress for now, with a loose cap and a red ribbon around the collar. She could dress up if she needed to later today. She glanced down at the cart and saw some small, bright yellow discs on a plate next to her tea.

"What's this?"

"Pickled daikon radish, milady. It's all the rage here, apparently."

She picked up one of the discs and took a bite. "Hum. Not bad." She ate and drank with one hand as she held up the report.

The economy of Gensokyo is rudimentary. The human village is the only human settlement within Gensokyo, though there are mentions of other creatures settling on the mountain. With no source of trade, Gensokyo's economy has few luxuries and is focused mostly on necessities. Alcohol appears to be a booming business, though I saw no wine sold anywhere.

Communities are largely unorganized, and the people align themselves politically around one of a handful of wealthy and influential families. There is a strong sense of local community, which may make it difficult for others to trust our wares, but they will also surely be envious of our dazzling riches.

The faeries completed a very brief patching-up of the mansion. The hole in the wall is covered for now, but should be repaired soon. Damage was done to a variety of furniture pieces throughout the mansion, but nothing that would be an emergency. The kitchen and lounge are still fine.

On my way back from the village, I met with Meiling to check up on the grapevines. With some careful time management, we were able to squeeze in a week of growth.

A proletarian revolution started a few hours ago, led by Sophie.

"Sakuya, what the hell?"

"Oh, good. I was worried you might choke on your tea when you came to that, so I put it at the end, hoping you'd be finished by then."

Remilia yanked her clothes on hurriedly. "Let's see what this mess is all about. Take me there."

Remilia ran into the hall, followed by Sakuya. As she rounded the stairway, she heard chants coming from the first floor.

"The faeries united will never be defeated! The faeries united will never be defeated!"

In the grand hall, Sophie was at the top of the dais, standing on top of a podium. She caught Remilia in her sights.

"The ride's over, Remi. No longer will you profit freely off of our labor!"

Remilia arched her eyebrows. "I don't profit off of you. All my treasures were earned through hard work and honest theft."

"The authority you exercise over us is illigitimate, Remi! Who made you so much better than the rest of us?"

Remilia scratched her forehead. "I'm literally a vampire. The wealth is kind of secondary to that."

"Then why do you keep us around, doing all your dirty work?" Sophie put her hands on her hips.

"Gods know I've tried. I can get about three useful things a week out of the whole lot of you."

"And why do you threaten and mistreat us?"

Remilia raised her finger to speak, then paused. "Alright, I just like the power trip. Got me there."

"Revolution!" a faerie cried from within the crowd.

A chair went flying up towards the dais with surprising force. Remilia snatched it from the air and set it on the ground.


[ ] Break this up the old-fashioned way, by which you mean violence.
[ ] Wait it out. They'll schism soon enough.
[ ] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.
[x] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.

This should be good.
[x] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.

oh god fairy communism debates
[x] Wait it out. They'll schism soon enough.

Minoriko only knows, you can't have two lefties in the same room without a schism happening.
but are the faeries intellectually rigorous enough to have created competing brands of leftism, or is this a Sophie lead cult of personality?
[X] Break this up the old-fashioned way, by which you mean violence.
-[X] Once you get bored, threaten them with Flandre.
[X] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.
[x] Wait it out. They'll schism soon enough.

[X] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.

Shake faith, plant doubt, sow discord, and foster mistrust.

Yes, we could wait for this to happen naturally, but where's the fun in that?
[X] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.
[X] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.
[X] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.
[x] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.
>"The faeries united will never be defeated!"

Isn't that what the Che's followers used to say? 'El pueblo, unido, jamas sera vencido?'

At least it rhymes in spanish.

[X] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.

This is hilarious.
[x] Wait it out. They'll schism soon enough.

Go People's front of Gensokyo
File 144756315215.jpg - (59.24KB, 850x593, let me tell you why that's Remi.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Debate one of the faeries to see how much they actually know.

Remilia turned and seated herself in the chair she had just snatched out of the air. A murmur of awe came from the crowd of faeries. "Alright, then. I'm willing to listen. Why don't you tell me how you came to these conclusions?"

"I'll do better than that. I'll let my friend do it." Sophie put her hands on her hips and grinned down smugly at Remilia.

"How is it 'better' to pass the work to someone else?" Remilia asked.

"Make room for Suzanne!"

There was the sound of cracking joints as a faerie stood up and started walking through the crowd. Her hair was a matted mess of gray, and her flat gaze and drooping brow made her look as though someone had just recently pointed her in the direction of sanity.

"Another chair incoming!"

A faerie -- Remilia could swear it was always the same faerie who shouted and threw chairs, though she only seemed to show up at meetings -- chucked a chair up to Sophie. Rather than catch it, she stepped aside and let it fall, then righted it.

Suzanne walked painfully slowly. Remilia was drumming her fingertips when she was only halfway up the stairs. Her anxious boredom was broken as she heard the library doors swing open and saw Patchouli flying through the air, parallel to the ground. She flew up to Remilia's side.

"Mistress Remilia, please let me handle this. This is my responsibility."

"Patchouli, who is this? I've never heard of Suzanne before."

"She's... an accident." Patchouli winced. "During the spells to draw faeries from the castle, she sprang up from the library. She just wanted to read, so I let her be. I never thought anyone would run into her. Or that this would happen."

Suzanne reached the chair and sat herself down in it. Remilia and Patchouli waited for her to speak, but first, she sniffed and wiped her nose between her fingers. Then, she tugged at her shirt collar.

"What we percieve to be a castle is, in reality, a rotten shack of ideology," she said.

Patchouli winced. "Oh, no."

"What's wrong?" Remilia asked.

"She's postmodern."

"By structuring the hierarchy of the mansion according to species, you have created what is meant to be perceived as a sort of emulation of 'natural order', a heirarchy based not only on power but on 'culture'. The faeries, with their pranking and eating with their hands, you know, and so on," she gesticulated wildly as she spoke, "are 'lesser' beings than the villainously noble vampire, crackling with sex appeal and 'culture', whilst the faerie's immortality symbolizes their irrelevancy in this ideological discursively generated order -- lacking the traditional motivation of mortality, they are seen as without agency, and by lacking 'culture' they have no place within the materialist system of producer and consumer, and so on." Little mists of spittle came out as she talked in a thick Slavic accent.

"Right. Then we're agreed," Remilia said.

"No, I'm saying that this is bad," Suzanne said, tugging on her collar again.

Patchouli leaned forward and, lacking a table to slam on, slapped her hands on her thighs. "Define 'bad.'"

"Er, that is not to imply the existance of a grand and absolute theoretical moral system, but merely to illustrate how the current system is at odds with the demands of our current revolution, and so on." Beads of sweat formed on Suzanne's brow, trickling down her cheeks.

A long, irritated groan came up from the crowd. "I have no idea what you're talking about!"

"That's 'cause she's smarter than us," Sophie shot back to the crowd.

"No!" Suzanne rose up. She gesticulated violently as she talked. "I do not accept the traditional culturally-mediated measures of intelligence, valuing only those traits that are useful for capitalist production!"


"Degenerates! Lumpenproles!" Suzanne screamed at them.

Remilia grinned to herself as the crowd turned. She could swear it was always the same faerie who liked to shout and throw things. She'd have to find out who that was later.

"It seems you didn't have the presence you had hoped for," she said, running a finger along her chin.

"Aheh... hahahah." Suzanne stood up and propped herself up on the back of the chair, hunched over. "How can 'I' lose, when there is no prediscursive self?"

With a thick puff of mist that smelled vaguely of socks, Suzanne disappeared.

"Well, that could've gone better," Sophie said. More shouts came from the crowd.

"We have no leader!"

"It's anarchy, and not the good kind!"

The faeries fought amongst themselves, becoming a mess of flying limbs and aprons flying off. Remilia stood over them and spread her arms.

"Ahem!" she called to the crowd. They all stopped fighting, except for one faerie who used the distraction to land a firm slap.

"Get the hell back to work. That is all." Remilia folded her arms.

"Right, well. You heard Lady Remilia." Sophie shrugged. "Want us to go back to the library, Patchouli?"

"First, I have some books to burn," Patchoul said.

Remilia turned and left the grand hall. There were a few slivers of pickled radish left in the bedroom, and she intended to finish them. She wasn't sure where Sakuya had gone in all the hubbub, but she would be back soon enough. She pushed on the ornate door to her bedroom and saw a figure through the crack.

"Who are you?" she called through the door as she shoved it open. "I just put down a coup and I'm not in the mood for shenanigans."

"If you don't like shenanigans, then you'd better find somewhere else. Which will be difficult, given that, you know. You're kind of stuck here."

A tall blonde woman sat at Remilia's desk, legs crossed, a folded-up umbrella in her lap. Red and black trigrams ran across her dress, which was purple down the middle and white at the sleeves. They looked vaguely familiar. She would have to ask Meiling about them.

"Would you please get the hell out of my mansion?" Remilia snapped.

"Is that any way to treat a guest? Especially one with information."

Remilia walked towards the mysterious blonde. The faerie revolution, while fun to end, had also got her in an irritated mood.

"Your little sister won't be satisfied staying in the basement forever."

Remilia stopped mid-step. "How--"

"I am Yukari Yakumo, the youkai of borders. I can be, have been, and will be everywhere. And believe me, I know what it's like to be bored. To feel like you've done everything and just want some excitement. You've seen empires rise and fall, Remilia, but I saw when humans first climbed down from the trees. So, your little sister is going to slip out at some point in the future. What do you plan to do about that? First thing that comes to mind."

[ ] Have Patchouli prepare countermeasures.
[ ] Try to reason with Flandre.
[ ] Well, Yukari, if you're so great, can't you hide her away for a bit or something?
First person to correctly guess who Suzanne is a pastiche of gets a congratulatory thumbs-up.
[x] Have Patchouli prepare countermeasures.

The second option is risky, and I can't help but feel that the third option would be incredibly bad.
[x] Have Patchouli prepare countermeasures.
[x] Have Patchouli prepare countermeasures.
I don't remember any character that dissapears in a 'puff' of logic when refuted... I think I'm in the wrong track.

[x] Try to reason with Flandre.
-[x] And don't start with a lecture: I know it is dangerous, but she's my sister. Look, if anything happens, I'll take responsibility.
[X] Distract her by throwing fairies at her until you run out of fairies or she gets high on fairy dust. Gensokyo's native fairy population should make this a more viable plan than it was previously.

I don't really care about Yukari.
[X] Try to reason with Flandre.

We can't keep her locked in there forever.
[X] Try to reason with Flandre.

Poof of Logic == God (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series)
File 144760415236.jpg - (107.95KB, 650x796, I think therefore I am.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Try to reason with Flandre.

The poof of logic reminds me of the joke about Descartes. I don't think that's who OP was referring to though.
[x] Try to reason with Flandre.
-[x] ...accompanied by head ruffles.

Maybe we can keep it from happening altogether?
[x] Try to reason with Flandre.
File 14476431631.png - (914.66KB, 700x1000, Yukari going home to drink from a big bottle of yo.png) [iqdb]
[x] Try to reason with Flandre.

Remilia took a long, slow breath. She could sense that Yukari truly was as powerful as she said. It was in the air, like a scent. If she knew about Flandre without Remilia ever knowing who she was, then she was probably someone to listen to.

"I... suppose I could talk with her more, see if I can figure out what's bothering her." Remilia put her hands on her hips and looked around, as if hoping the answer would be written in the corner of the roof or along the closet door.

"That is an option," Yukari said.

"What do you think?"

"I think that the decision is up to you. I have places to be. Toodles!"

Yukari reached for her umbrella and opened it up. Behind her, the far wall shimmered like an illusion. Two small red bows appeared, one by the floor and one halfway up the wall. A line traced between them and spread open, revealing dark purple space behind them, like the mouth of the universe. Yukari stood up from her chair and strode through it as Remilia watched, words failing her. The gap closed shut, leaving the room exactly as it was before.

"Well. That happened," Remilia said to herself.

She scratched her fang. Flandre was now back on her schedule. She thought that Flandre seemed like her unusual self when she visited, but she knew that trying to apply any kinds of predictions to her wouldn't work.

She'd visit Flandre. Soon. Not right away! It was too soon to her previous visit. That'd be weird. Flandre would know something was amiss. Tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. That was the ticket. Maybe she'd go in with Sakuya when she left out Flandre's cup of blood tea.

She made her way back to the grand hall. The faeries were already back to their usual routine of wandering around and looking busy. Sakuya came walking up the stairs.

"Are you well, milady? You look nervous."

"Just things." Remilia waved a hand.

Sakuya lowered her voice. "Are you still worried about the revolution? Should I get the swords out from the treasury?"

"Ah, that won't be necessary. No need to be upset about it. Wait."

Remilia paused and checked her thoughts. Indignation. Haughtiness. "Okay, I'm still slightly upset about it, but it can wait."

"What shall we do in the meantime?"

"Oh, that's right. First, let's see if Koakuma managed to find more brewing books between all the nonsense."

Remilia walked towards the library. Sakuya trailed after her.

"Then, hmm... I suppose we're reaching the point where we can't do much more without investing some cash in equipment and such. Which will mean purchasing things from the village."

The library doors were still wide open. Inside, Koakuma was hustling back and forth with heavy piles of books while Patchouli sorted through stacks of them.

"Don't mind us, we're just starting our own little reeducation program. We're taking out all the books from Suzanne's corner. Oh, and Koakuma found some beer-brewing and distilling literature. I have no idea how half of this stuff winds up in my library, honestly."

"A 'thank you for being so good at robbery, Remi' would work." Remilia looked over the stack of five or six books. They certainly looked thorough.

"I am not calling you 'Remi'," Patchouli said.

"You're no fun." Remilia handed the books to Sakuya.

"That's just one of the many services I offer."

With Patchy being in one of her moods, Remilia saw little reason to stay and led Sakuya out of the library.

"You know, we need to stay organized. Let's turn one of the guest rooms -- the furthest one on the right hand side -- into a base of operations for now. We can keep the books and tabs and such in there."

"Very well."

They went to the far guest room and, after booting Vanessa out of it, set down the books on the desk.

"Sakuya. Notebook."

Sakuya took out her notebook. Remilia turned and sat on the edge of the bed.

"First, we'll get this bed out of here. No need to have it taking up half of the room. Then, we--"

Remilia hit the floor, falling flat on her back. The bed had vanished underneath her.

"Right, good job, Sakuya," she grunted as she stood back up. "Then, we'll want paper, pens, ink, one of those counting things..."

Each item appeared on the desk as she mentioned it. Sakuya never broke eye contact with her, managing to return to the exact same position after each of her time-jaunts.

"...and then we can store things around as they come up. So, right, early investments."

Remilia put a finger to her lips as she rolled ideas around in her head.

[ ] Find some stonemasons -- the people who carve stone, not the secret society -- and get the wall repaired.
[ ] Locate and buy brewing and bottling equipment.
[ ] Maybe there's some other angle we're missing? (Write-in)

[ ] Spend only what you need.
[ ] Spend a little extra on it.
Oops, I should've been clearer Suzanne was a parody of a real person. She's a takeoff of literary critic and professional oddball Slavoj Zizek. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18qD9hmU9xg
[X] Locate and buy brewing and bottling equipment.

[X] Spend a little extra on it.

Booze runs Gensokyo so why not make one that people will come back again and again to enjoy.
[x] Find some stonemasons -- the people who carve stone, not the secret society -- and get the wall repaired.
[x] Locate and buy brewing and bottling equipment.
-[x] Spend a little extra.

Greasing some hands will let them know that working with the SDM is good business.
New story, awesome.

[X] Stills, etc.
-[X] Spend a little extra on it.
Quality matters in this business, and ruining our first batch would be terrible financially and for our reputation.

[X] Next Saturday, have Patchouli use her earth magic to do something about the wall.

Leaving a whole in the wall is an invitation for disaster, plus it simply isn't befitting the home of a noble vampress.

[X] Ask Sakuya about local currency. Also local demand for other, non-alcoholic goods. (Would the non-flight capable locals be in the market for horses, our spare fancy furniture, etc)

If we're buying things, we'll want something easier to work with than gold dust. Maybe talk to Reimu/Yukari about means of exchanging our assets to the local variety. Also is a nice sign of goodwill, since it shows our intent to stay while also being good, involved citizens instead of aloof foreigners who only pay with gold.

As for other commodities to deal in...I'd say tea except our gardening staff probably have their hands full with our wine ventures. That similarly rules out medicinal herbs.

Flan is a skilled painter in this setting, but pushing her to sell her art would be a terrible idea, and Gensokyo is by and large probably too rural to have interest in a gallery. Later on it might be a good opportunity to bring her out of the basement and introduce her to Gensokyo in a way that doesn't involve violence.

It being rural though, we could stand to profit a great deal if we led it in some degree of controlled modernization, but that would certainly create backlash, especially given that Gensokyo exists as a refuge from the modern world. Maybe there's a middle ground? I'm not sure yet, and it's a very slippery slope.

Similarly, if we're willing to stomach the financial risk, we probably have the means to take the colonial approach and buy out and then monopolize various crucial native trades, but that also runs the risk of us being seen as invaders, and we know how that ends up. It does however let us use the local human labor instead of stretching thin our in-mansion labor pool, which is always something we should be looking out for.

As for using our subordinates not already committed to projects, Sakuya is most valuable when kept close to us as an assistant and vital errand runner. Patchouli has a thing against humans and leaving the library, so as funny as it would be to try to get her a position teaching in the village school or something, it'd be better to keep her at hand too as a font of information when we need it. Probably be opposed to renting out the books too, and since most aren't in Japanese they'd only be of interest to people who know the linguistic magic previously mentioned.

Just throwing out some ideas. This is much more fun than economics should be.

Also, spoilering for use of some outside knowledge, but with regards to our grape crop it occurred to me that an unnaturally long winter might screw us over terribly if it isn't resolved quickly enough.
[X] Stills, etc.
-[X] Spend a little extra on it.
Quality matters in this business, and ruining our first batch would be terrible financially and for our reputation.
[X] Next Saturday, have Patchouli use her earth magic to do something about the wall.
[X] Ask Sakuya about local currency. Also local demand for other, non-alcoholic goods. (Would the non-flight capable locals be in the market for horses, our spare fancy furniture, etc)

I'll be honest, I just like voting for wordy write-ins.
[X] Find some stonemasons -- the people who carve stone, not the secret society -- and get the wall repaired.
[X] Locate and buy brewing and bottling equipment.
[X] Spend a little extra on it.
[X] Ask Sakuya about local currency.

We need to clear this up quickly. If we let people just keep estimating how much our gold is worth in yen, we're just asking to get burned on deals.

[X] Next Saturday, have Patchouli use her earth magic to do something about the wall.

This should work, and is more or less free. Not sure what day it is, but the hole shouldn't be that huge of a deal so long as Meiling does her job and Flandre doesn't get bored too soon.

[X] Locate and buy brewing and bottling equipment.
[X] Spend a little extra on it.
[x] Locate and buy brewing and bottling equipment.
-[x] Spend a little extra.
-[X] Ask Sakuya about local currency. Also local demand for other, non-alcoholic goods.
[x] Find some stonemasons -- the people who carve stone, not the secret society -- and get the wall repaired.
[x] Locate and buy brewing and bottling equipment.
-[x] Spend only what you need.
-[X] Ask Sakuya about local currency.

Time is money, and we really can't afford to leave holes in the wall for long with the types that live in Gensokyo. Also, gotta start generating that revenue.
Proletariat uprising was straightforward enough and predictable, but now I'm curious about what sort of capitalist nightmare Atlus Shrugged would have spawned for us?
File 144773691172.jpg - (151.08KB, 640x640, Remallia.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Find some stonemasons -- the people who carve stone, not the secret society -- and get the wall repaired.
[x] Locate and buy brewing and bottling equipment.
-[x] Spend a little extra
-[X] Ask Sakuya about local currency.

Remilia knew that Patchouli's earth magic couldn't do much for the wall, even on a good day. Magic was like peasant life, fickle and brief. Any summoned element would vanish on its own after a few minutes unless it received constant attention. Besides, Patchouli's focus was more on reading obscure nonsense she'd never use. If Patchouli had serious magical chops then Remilia would be dead by now.

She figured she might as well go buy everything she could think of needing, and not just go for the cheapest options. Some cold, hard cash could make people a lot more trustworthy of your species.

She got out a piece of paper and started writing. Much as she'd rather not have humans working on her castle, the repairs were too important to leave to the faeries, and the last time Sakuya tried serious masonry by herself she threw out her back. It didn't matter too much since she went into time-stop for a few months to take a load off, but it was still unpleasant for her.

That, and bewing equipment. She thumbed through the books to see what she'd need. She'd get new buckets specifically made for brewing instead of using up all the kitchen crockery. Jugs, funnels, presses, syphons... It took a fair amount of machinery to get the sweet, sweet alcohol out of food.

"Sakuya, how'd purchasing go in the village? What currency do they use?"

"Yen, milady, though they took gold dust as payment."

"I trust you weren't too liberal with it?"

"No, milady. They appear to be honest people, because every time someone tried to overcharge, a relative of theirs would punch them in the shoulder."

"How... quaint."

"I do not recommend using shoulder-punches to barter, however."

"I figured as much." Remilia looked over her list. "Right. Did you see any sort of currency exchange place?"

"I'm afraid I did not, but I was not especially thorough."

Remilia stood up, rolled up her list and tucked it into her collar. "Well, then, get an extra fistful of gold, because we're going shopping."

One of the few downsides of having Sakuya around was it served as a reminder to Remilia of how short she was. Granted, Sakuya was quite tall, not quite as tall as Meiling but a solid few inches over the average person, which let her shade Remilia under a parasol with ease.

Rather than walking again, Remilia hopped on Sakuya's back and started flying. She kept her wings tucked behind her back. They weren't actually necessary for flying; they just looked big and intimidating. Flying went easily ten times faster than walking, and attracted ten times as many stares as they touched down around a few sleepy farmhouses right outside the village entrance.

A silver-haired woman came running towards them, a large blue boxy hat bouncing on top of her head, somehow managing to not fall off. "Ahem. Might I ask who you two are?" she said after stopping to catch her breath.

"I am Remilia Scarlet, and this is my dutiful assistant, Sakuya Izayoi. We're here to peruse the market's services." Remilia curtseyed to the woman in blue.

"I'm Keine Kamishirasawa. I believe Reimu's already met you. The vampire, correct?" Keine furrowed her brow, giving her an intimidating look.

"The schoolteacher," Sakuya said.

"Er, me?" Keine pointed to herself.

"The children told me about you when I was here yesterday."

"You met them?"

"Yes. They told me stories." She cracked a fraction of a smile.

"Well, ahem." Keine fought through the confusion to keep her angry-eyes. "If you think you can get so much as one drop of blood from any of the villagers then you've got another think coming. And if you're trying to lure my innocent students into anything weird, then you won't be staying here for long."

Sakuya's deadpan nature usually served to distract and unnerve people, but sometimes it was very useful, and that was in defusing situations. Remilia pulled the sheet of paper out of her collar and handed it to Sakuya.

"Shopping list," she said, keeping her eyes on Keine.

"I-- well, let me take a look at that."

Sakuya handed it over to her.

"Well, then. Ahem. I'll be keeping an eye on you. And I'll warn you, we tend to notice when people go missing, and we don't like it." She handed the list back.

"Do you know if there's a currency exchange booth around here? We have gold, but no yen," Sakuya asked.

Keine paused long enough to take a deep breath before responding. "Three blocks north, near the big crossroads of stores."

"Thank you."

"Be seeing you, then." Keine brushed her dress and turned away slowly, her glare lingering on them before she left.

"Alright. Now, to commerce." Remilia took off walking following Keine's directions. Surprisingly, Keine had given them real advice. They found what must have been some area of import, perhaps near a few wealthy families, since there were a number of luxury businesses around: a flower shop, restaurants, carved glass jewellry, and a precious metals store with a surly-looking man standing around outside, a dagger at his hip.

"Here to exchange?" he said as Remilia came close.

"Yes, gold to yen."

The man raised an eyebrow. "Let me see it."

Sakuya took out her purse with one hand and opened it for him to see inside. She'd learned how to do a lot one-handed while holding an umbrella.

"Come on in," he said, keeping his voice calm but looking excited.

A muscular man with some extra weight around the tum sat behind a counter. Paintings hung on the walls behind several more guards lounging around, and a sheathed sword hung on its holder behind the muscled man in charge. Sliver and jade sat half-hidden behind thick panes of glass. The man gestured for them to sit down.

"Welcome to the Masuda family currency and valuables exchange. I don't get that many customers, you know. Most of them come from far away, or even from a different time, so I won't ask questions. You want to contribute to the local economy, and I will not stay in your way. What brings you here?"

"Gold," Remilia said before Sakuya could, and lifted the purse from Sakuya's hands. She knew Sakuya wouldn't give it the proper inflection and oomph. Sakuya was terrible at playing along with others.

"Aha, I heard about your maid going around buying things with gold dust yesterday. It was unusual enough to cause a small stir. I'm going to have you to ask you to close your eyes for a moment."

Remilia grinned and shut her eyes. There was something fascinating about how everyone reacted differently to wealth and power, and she enjoyed watching the way each one went about it. She heard Masuda clap his hands once, then heard the creak of a false floorboard. A moment later, she heard the sound of a thumb flicking through bills.

"You may open your eyes. You see, gold is quite a rarity around here. It's so scarce that even getting a few crumbs of it is as lucky as a god's smile. Because of that, I'm afraid I'll only be purchasing half the bag at the moment. Wouldn't want it to lose its luster overnight, you understand. I hope this will be enough to cover your purchases in the meantime."

He handed Remilia a thick stack of small bills, along with a thin stack of bills with a couple zeroes at the end. "Just in advance, it wouldn't be wise to try and swindle me," Remilia said with a quick look through the stack.

"Of course not. Your receipt's on the bottom. If you feel that these funds aren't acceptable, I'll be here."

"Very well, then. Sakuya, we are off." Remilia snatched up the leftover gold.

Armed with local currency, the streets seemed different now. They smelled like easy opportunity. She wasn't likely to find crafting equipment or stonecarvers-for-hire lounging around the fancy shops, but she was in no hurry.

A pair of street musicians strummed on twanging, guitar-like instruments. Flandre playing piano floated in Remilia's mind.

"Let's look around for a bit for something nice," Remilia said.

"Milady?" Sakuya turned her head to her.

"You know, to celebrate the occasion. A nice little present."

Remilia felt a small lump in her throat. Sakuya must've noticed, but would sooner die than say anything. She'd tell Sakuya about what happened earlier once she got her gift. Or maybe later. Maybe after she actually visited Flandre. Or maybe never.

It'd be best to stick with one gift for now. Showering her with presents would be a little too obvious, but one moderately-priced item seemed like a nice sort of hello.

[ ] Flandre might appreciate these exotic new dyes and paints.
[ ] Show Flandre the local culture with some of their jewellry.
[ ] Perhaps Flandre would like to learn a new instrument.
[ ] Flandre might enjoy one of the strange new board games or card cames they have here in Gensokyo.
[x] Local games

A thoughtful gesture
[x] Flandre might appreciate these exotic new dyes and paints.

Discourage from painting with blood.
[X] Games

Gotta select it since it's the only option that requires a second person. It'll probably backfire with how busy our business ventures will make us, but that failure could in turn be a form of progress.

Also because SDM game night could be hilarious.
[x] Flandre might enjoy one of the strange new board games or card cames they have here in Gensokyo.

SDM twister!
[ ] Flandre might enjoy one of the strange new board games or card cames they have here in Gensokyo.
[x] Flandre might appreciate these exotic new dyes and paints.
[x] Flandre might enjoy one of the strange new board games or card cames they have here in Gensokyo.
[X] Flandre might enjoy one of the strange new board games or card cames they have here in Gensokyo.
[X] Flandre might enjoy one of the strange new board games or card cames they have here in Gensokyo.
[x] Flandre might appreciate these exotic new dyes and paints.

Want to see those Happy Little Corpses
[x] Flandre might enjoy one of the strange new board games or card cames they have here in Gensokyo.

Adding to the overwhelming tide.
File 144782043950.jpg - (213.17KB, 850x638, village.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Flandre might enjoy one of the strange new board games or card cames they have here in Gensokyo.

A sign caught Remilia's eye: 'Cards, tokens, and boards sold here.' A fanned-out deck sat carefully arranged on a table behind the window. They were eye-catching, full of flowers and elaborate nature scenes. It was hard to believe that they could ever be part of a parlor game.

"Pardon me, madam. What's that deck there?" Remilia asked the woman seated inside the store-slash-house, busy daubing a small wooden piece with a fine-tipped brush.

"That's-- Oh!" The woman did a double-take as she saw Remilia. "Er, hello."

"What are these cards? They're gorgeous."

"That's hanafuda, ma'am." She cleared her throat. "Interested in buying them?"

"Yes, I'll take the deck and a rulebook, please."

"O-One moment." The seller scribbled down a set of rules with jittery hands. After a minute of writing, she tallied up the price and hastily exchanged the money. Remilia wondered how much they knew just by looking at her. Were vampires even known of in this strange corner of the world, or were her imposing looks enough to make her status clear?

"Enjoy, ma'am," she said as she handed Remilia her purchase. The elaborately illusrated cards had hardly even dented their stack of money.

"You see, Sakuya? A little legitimate business is all it'll take to have these plebs warm up to us," Remilia said, thumbing through the cards as her dutiful umbrella-holder followed her. "No offence," she added to a passing human who glanced at her.

"None taken, ma'am." He gave a friendly wave as he walked.

The money exchange went well enough, but getting some hired muscle and specially-made goods would be more complicated. There weren't exactly castle-quality stone blocks lying around for sale in the market. In another working-from-home store, Remilia saw what looked like a father and son putting the segments together on one of those paper room dividers, those things that you put up so people can't see you change. She couldn't remember the name of it, but she had an idea.

"Pardon the intrusion," she called through the open door.

"Eh?" The son turned his head.

"Easy, easy, don't move it like that." The father reached out and grabbed the other end of it, narrowly saving it from falling over into a pile of planks.

"S-Sorry, dad."

A woman came out from the room behind them. "I'll get it. Don't worry."

She hurried up to the door. "Sorry, we only take orders in-- Oh."

It seemed nobody could complete their first sentence when they saw Remilia. The woman nodded once, though Remilia had no idea what that was supposed to convey.

"Are... Are you looking for something, ma'am?"

"Sorry to interrupt." Remilia grinned and felt her fangs poke out. "I was just wondering where your family purchases its tools; they must be of good quality."

The woman turned to ask her husband. "Er, it's from the Mori family toolsellers, right?"

"Yeah, the Mori." The older man grunted as they fitted a sheet of paper into the thin slot of the divider panel.

"If you're looking to buy some tools, then try the Mori family. They're down by the rice flour booth." The woman nodded again, but it was deeper this time, like a half-bow.

"Thanks very much." Remilia turned on her heel and strode away.

It took a little exploring, but when they came near the rice flour booth it was hard to miss. The whole area was hard to miss -- it must've been near the centre of the village, and it was easily the busiest place they'd seen so far.

They had no trouble walking around, though, since their presence brought the noise of conversation down a few notches, and everyone kept a few steps away from them. Mori Custom Tools and Commissions was a bona-fide store, with sample works hanging from strings like decorations over the door and a clean-cut man poring over some documents inside.

"Don't often see folks like you interested in tools," the man Remilia could only guess was Mr. Mori said as they came near, looking up from his papers.

"Pardon me?"

"Sorry for that. Slipped out without thinking. Most youkai come by at night, and they're more interested in things other than tools. But you don't look like most youkai either."

"I'll have you know that I am Remilia Scarlet, vampire mistress of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, and not some dime-a-dozen natural beast."

"My mistake, my mistake," Mori said with a friendly nod, as though Remilia was telling him about some strange foreign tradition that he wasn't interested in.

"Well, then, I'd imagine you deal with a lot of crafters and strongmen. I'm interested in getting some stonework repairs, as well as a full set of brewing equipment. Could you give me some names?"

"Well, carpenters don't make a habit of staying in one place for long," he replied with a dry chuckle. "I can send someone to come by as soon as I can get one of their ears. What're you looking for, again?"

"Everything on this list." Remilia handed him the paper that was getting wrinkled from all the use. He looked it over, then started scribbling down some numbers.

"I can tell you a lot of the prices for these, save you some time later on. Call it a down payment, yeah?" He scribbled some more, then lifted his pen. "You want glassware syphons?"

"Are they better?"

"Easier to use."

"Then, yes."

He wound up with prices for about a dozen pieces of equipment, which was most of the stuff on the brewing list. "Do you know what size stone you'll be putting in for repairs?"

Remilia sucked air through her teeth. She should've thought of that.

"One moment," Sakuya said. A second later there was gray dust on her palms and gravel on her knees. "Does this work?"

She handed him a scrap of paper with the dimensions of the stone and the size of the hole to be filled, as well as a little example of the pattern the stones were stacked in.

"Yep, that's good. Where do you happen to live?"

Remilia puffed out her chest. "Up on the hill by the lake with all the fog in it."

"Ah." It was Mori's turn to suck his teeth. "The thing about that is, there's a forest filled with dangerous youkai between here and there. I could still send out someone to meet you, but by that point I'd practically be hiring a mercenary. Sorry to ask, but it'd make things easier for the both of us if you could check by with me later. Shouldn't be long. I might have some leads tomorrow."

"Travel is no trouble for me," Sakuya said, which was such a perfect understatement that it made Remilia wonder whether or not Sakuya had the grasp of social niceties expected of her.

Mori made a note, seeming unfazed. "Then I'll be seeing you soon. Want to take care of the brewing equipment costs now?"

The brewing equipment made a few of the larger bills disappear, but they still had quite a lot of money left over as they left the village.

"So, Sakuya," Remilia said once they were back in the air. She still had the deck of hanafuda cards in her hand, and she looked at the designs over Sakuya's shoulder as she hung on to her.


"I'm going to be seeing Flandre again tonight. When we get back."

"I see," Sakuya said back. The castle came into view.

"A woman named Yukari came into my room without leaving a trace and warned me that Flandre might try to go out of the basement soon."

"You had a lot of wine last night, milady."

"No, this was after I woke up. This 'Yukari' is apparently one of the stronger people around here, and I don't mean she's a local warden. Perhaps she's some sort of demigod, even."

"Then perhaps it is wise to heed her advice."

"That's what I'm thinking." Remilia looked at her cards again.

[ ] Go by yourself for sisterly bonding.
[ ] Bring Sakuya with you. She knows Flandre second-best ouf ot everyone.
[ ] Bring Meiling with you. She might be the only non-fairy in the mansion who can smile without looking weird.
[ ] Bring them both with you. Party in the basement.
[x] Bring them both with you. Party in the basement.

Party time.
[x] Go by yourself for sisterly bonding.

Going by the way she was acting before they went down the first time, Remilia apparently doesn't talk to Flan that often. This would be a good chance to try and patch things up inasmuch as that's possible.
[x] Go by yourself for sisterly bonding.

Looking forward to seeing more of this Flan, she's a cutie.
[x] Go by yourself for sisterly bonding.
- [x] Figure out a game or two we could play with the cards.
[x] Go by yourself for sisterly bonding.
- [x] Figure out a game or two we could play with the cards.

"I don't think a hydrangea counts as a face card."
"You obviously haven't read the rulebook."

>She'd visit Flandre. Soon. Not right away! It was too soon to her previous visit. That'd be weird. Flandre would know something was amiss. Tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. That was the ticket. Maybe she'd go in with Sakuya when she left out Flandre's cup of blood tea.
She sounds committed to this idea, all right.
[x] Bring them both with you. Party in the basement.

She didn't seem to mind four people before. As long as they didn't touch her stuff.
[X] Bring them both with you. Party in the basement.
Is strip-hanafuda a thing?
[X] Bring them both with you. Party in the basement.
File 144789580777.png - (975.29KB, 1000x1412, flandre is winning.png) [iqdb]

It is now!
Sorry to do this, but I can't sit with a tie when I'm on a daily schedule. The coin has spoken:

[X] Bring them both with you. Party in the basement.
File 14479068114.jpg - (133.96KB, 850x808, Patchy before Remilia.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Bring them both with you. Party in the basement.

The castle came into view. Sakuya and Remilia reached it seconds later, landing inside the gate. Meiling looked up from tending to some flowers and strolled over to greet them.

"Would you be willing to come with me, Sakuya?"

"By default, yes." Sakuya nodded.

"Making plans?" Meiling asked.

"Yes. In fact, you're coming along too. We're going to see Flandre tonight."

Meiling's mouth opened wide. "Did anything happen?"

"No, and I plan to keep it that way."

"I won't ask questions," Meiling said with an awkward salute. "When are we going to visit her?"

Remilia glanced away quickly. That was the question she had hoped wouldn't come up so quickly. "Er, after a few quick things are taken care of. Sit tight and be ready to hear from me."

The gate guard knitted her eyebrows but shrugged. "Oh, well. Okay."

"But it's going to happen," Remilia quickly added. Sakuya shot Remilia a glare for a fraction of a second. "Within the next couple hours. Mark my words."

"Alright," Meiling replied.

Meiling turned and went for the door. Remilia stood in place, trying to move her legs but feeling stuck to the ground. She ground her teeth and grunted loudly.

"Alright, the time is now. Let's do it," Remilia almost shouted.

"Er, okay," Meiling said, and turned around. Remilia felt everyone's eyes on her.

"T-To the library, then."

"We'll be fine." Meiling squeezed Remilia's shoulder as she caught up to her. For all her strength and size, she was good natured to a fault. Of all the people to have supreme physical fitness and a mastery of Tai Chi, Remilia thought, why did it have to be someone who just wanted to grow flowers?

"You're okay with coming along, then?" she asked Meiling.

"Flandre's a strange one, but she isn't malicious or evil. I mean, relatively so."

"Sure you don't want to insist that you aren't going and drag me along on several hours of delays as I convince you?" Remilia said.

"We're going, milady." Meiling crossed her arms.

"Right, fine, fine."

They went back to the library. The paths of the castle were getting more wear over these past few days than they had in a long, long time. She pushed open the door and saw Patchouli hurrying by the doorway -- a rare sight, except for when something was up.

"Hey, Patchouli! Why the rush?" Remilia called after her.

Patchouli was fidgety to begin with, but Remilia was always a little worried to see Patchouli hurrying doing something. Like most everyone else, she was here thanks to a fate contract. Centuries ago when the ink was still wet on the contract, Patchouli had dressed it up: According to her, she was studious and devoted, yet never found the skill she rightly deserved. The more and more time she spent in the backwoods little sect of mages she belonged to, the more she felt like she'd never advance her skills, reading the same books over and over. As the land became more and more hostile towards magic, her inability changed from an embarrassing frustration to a failure to protect her tutors. Especially once she went into hiding.

In the end, what she desired came down to the same things everyone wanted: power and money. A magical power to match her intellect, and the stores of money to buy rare and advanced tomes. Remilia did her one better -- she gave her the Great Unmoving Library all to herself. She could even summon whatever familiars she wanted to help her. The price was, if Remilia said so herself, one of her most clever cons yet. Patchouli could stay in the library with free and full access, but she would be bound there until she had learned how to rewind time.

Patchouli, being young and confident in her own abilities, had accepted. It should have been common sense that anything involving vampires, fate, and time was an outrageous con, but Patchouli hadn't realized that until it was too late. Centuries into her work and the progress she'd made had been scattered at best and nonexistant at worst. At least it was usually lively, as far as studying went.

There was always the possibility that Patchouli might be trying something. Some kind of escape. It would be an utterly ridiculous plan, but it was possible. She and Remilia were bound by fate, but fate loved a gamble, and Remilia could never be sure how desparate Patchouli was behind the heavy eyes and flat, frowning mouth. Remilia remembered Yukari's words -- why now? What about these next few days would lead to Flandre escaping? Could Patchouli have something to do with that?

[ ] Go get Patchouli's ear right now and ask some leading questions.
[ ] Take a quick peep around for secrets.
[ ] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.
[x] Take a quick peep around for secrets.

[X] Take a quick peep around for secrets.

Just a quick one. OR ELSE
[X] Go get Patchouli's ear right now and ask some leading questions.

>hurrying anywhere
I am confused and mildly alarmed.
[X] Take a quick peep around for secrets.

Remilia is curious
[x] Go get Patchouli's ear right now and ask some leading questions.

Remilia's probably desperate for a distraction, plus Patchouli's acting pretty strange. Might be worth investigating.
[X] Take a quick peep around for secrets.
[X] Take a quick peep around for secrets.
[X] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.

Pissing against the tide here, but what if Flandre chooses to go out right now, while we're busy snooping?
Fate does love it's irony.
[x] Go get Patchouli's ear right now and ask some leading questions.

wot's all this then
[X] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.
[x] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.

Onward, milady!
[x] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.

More time for gaming.
[x] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.

Remilia is just looking for any excuse to avoid Flan. If we let her get distracted she'll never go down there.
[X] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.
It's a close one, so I'm gonna announce that the votes are closed now. Something came to Remilia's mind, and that is Meiling's fist.

[X] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.
I did not see this winning. I am amazed and amused.
File 144799240035.jpg - (119.58KB, 850x607, Cheaters get beatered.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Meiling punches Remilia in the back of the head until she goes to see Flandre right away.

"Did you see that? What was up with Patchouli hurrying?" Remilia asked.

"She seemed normal to me," Meiling said.

"I should go check on--"

Remilia stopped as something whacked her in the back of the head. She whipped around to see Meiling, arms crossed, towering over her.

"What was that for?"

"You made a promise," Meiling said.

"But shouldn't we go check the-- ow!"

Meiling chopped Remilia on the forehead. "We're going to see Flandre."

"Yeah, but can't we--"

The gate guard loomed over Remilia, her arm raised like she might just give her another chop. Remilia quickly ducked down with her hands on her cap. "No."

"Fine," Remilia growled, peeking up at Meiling.

Sakuya watched the two of them as distantly as if she was watching a play. Normally, someone giving Remilia sass would bring a reaction from her, but Meiling was different.

Meiling probably had the most amiable relationship with Remilia out of everyone. Like Sakuya and Patchouli, she was bonded to Remilia by fate, but compared to the others, her story was downright pedestrian. She was once a dragon.

Not one of those great big earth-shaking dragons but a piddly little one watching over some corner of the Yellow River. Remilia happened to have the good fortune of coming across her territory on a trip through China -- or, more likely, fate working in its strange ways again. Her rivers were scheduled to be dammed up, and she needed some way to stay alive. Remilia gave her what she needed, and in return, she became a human, with the leftovers of her otherworldly ability being sapped into the mansion itself.

Meiling had taken her downfall with surprising grace and begrudged neither her village nor Remilia for her state. She was too busy with martial arts, comic books, and gardening for that. Remilia respected her self-sufficiency and easygoing nature to the point where one would barely guess that they were tied by the fickle whims of fate.

"Stop reminiscing and git, or I'll bop you again," Meiling said, shaking a fist.

"I'm going, I'm going."

Remilia passed around the rulebook as they found their way over to the bookcase that hid Flandre's room. Meiling tugged it open with little more than a thought. When she raised her hand, finger marks dug deep into the wood.

Remilia took the key from her thigh-strap and unlocked the door. She swung it open, and moments later, Flandre leaned in from the other side of the stairs, smiling up at Remilia and crew.

"Oh! Do come down, all three of you," she said, sounding like a doting grandmother getting a surprise visit.

Meiling flicked Remilia in the back, right between her wings. "Go on," she whispered.

Remilia fiddled with cards in her pocket nervously and descended the stairs. She heard the steps creak behind her as the other two followed. Downstairs, Flandre was hurriedly dragging out a table and chairs. A thick layer of dust turned the top of everything gray, and a trail of dust led to the corner where it was usually stored. Sakuya's pocket-watch clicked, and in the next moment the surfaces were wiped and cleaned.

"Thank you, Sakuya." Remilia pulled the deck of cards out from her pocket. "Here, Flan. I found something fun in the village. The locals call it Hanafuda."

"How wonderful!" Flandre beamed.

Meiling came to sit next to Flandre, smiling. "You seem to be doing well."

"I am, thank you."

Sakuya sat across from Meiling, completing the table. Flandre looked around the table, her head darting back and forth, smiling wide. Tears formed in her eyes, and her lips quivered.

"Are you alright?" Remilia said.

"I'm j-just... I'm so happy." Flandre sniffled. "You all came to see me."

"Um..." Remilia glanced around awkwardly. Thanks to Flandre's instability, any strong swing of emotions was nerve-wracking to watch.

Flandre sniffled again, still smiling, and wiped her eyes.

"It's okay, Flan," Meiling said, and put a hand on her shoulder. Sakuya stuffed a handkerchief into her half-open hand.

"It's g-good to see you," Flandre said, muffled through the handkerchief.

"There, there." Meiling turned Flandre towards her and moved in for a hug.

"No! I d-don't wanna hurt you by accident."

"It's alright, it's alright. Here." Meiling lifted Flan out of her seat and plopped her in her lap.

"Meiliiiing." Flandre wrapped her arms around Meiling and squeezed her around her chest. There was a sound like rubber stretching as her grip tightened.

"S-see? It's fine," Meiling said, patting Flandre on the head and biting her lip to keep from showing any pain.

"Meiling," Flan said again.

Meiling grunted. "How about we play some cards?"


Flandre hopped out of Meiling's lap and took her seat. Remilia briefed Flandre on the rules as she shuffled the cards, then set up the board. It took a few minutes to get the hang of how it went, but soon the initial fumbling around was over, and the conversation started to require small talk.

"What's Gensokyo like, Remi?" Flandre asked.

"Oh, you know. Different place, same people. Ahem."

"Oh, is it? I thought this was where all the mystical creatures came."

Remilia tugged on her collar without thinking. "Well, you know, I still haven't spent much time here. Still getting used to things. But it's rather, ahem, rather plain. Not much to say."

"You're lying." Flandre's tone didn't change, and her smile hadn't moved an inch, but she stared straight at Remilia.

"What do I do if I don't have a matching card?"

Everyone turned to Sakuya, who was looking down at her hand.

"Put a card in the center and then flip up the top of the deck," Remilia said, then took a deep breath. That was another little moment of surprising social maneuvering from Sakuya, considering it wasn't her turn.

"I'm not that easily distracted, dear sister," Flandre said, her tone still eerily calm. She set her cards down and gripped the edge of the table.

"Really, Flandre, it's just a normal village of farmers and carpenters." Remilia rubbed her hands on her knees.

Flandre was silent. Remilia smelled burning varnish and saw a black color forming on the table under Flandre's hands.

[ ] Insist that you don't know that much about Gensokyo.
[ ] Tell her there's fantastic things.
[ ] Throw Meiling at her!
[x] Tell her there's fantastic things.

Seriously now, has Remilia SEEN anything wonderful besides that weird drunk girl that wrecked her shit?
[x] Tell her there's fantastic things.

Seems like one of the only reasonable options. Meiling is okay at handling her, but we don't want to risk having her out-of-commission at a bad moment, and panicking or digging our heels in is only likely to trigger bad times.
[x] Tell her there's fantastic things.

Well, could at least say something about Reimu and Yukari. That's something unusual. It hasn't been mentioned how involved Marisa was.
[x] Tell her there's fantastic things.

An amazing flying ship! A mountain ruled by gods! A netherworld palace with a man eating tree!

Eh, give it a few years and they'll all be there anyway.
[x] Tell her there's fantastic things.
[X] Tell her there's fantastic things.

There's clearly a lack of communication going on here.
[x] Tell her there's fantastic things.

Wow, Remi's bad at lying. Maybe she should, you know, stop.
[X] Tell her there's fantastic things.
[X] Tell her there's FLANtastic things

I'm sorry.
[ ] Tell her there's fantastic things.

But you've only seen a couple of them yourself.
File 144808173329.png - (1.06MB, 834x1179, I bet Sakuya is really good at card tricks.png) [iqdb]
[x] Tell her there's fantastic things.

Remilia felt sweat forming on her brow. A sizzling sound came from the table. She had been telling the truth already, sort of. Reimu's assault and Yukari's appearance were certainly extraordinary, but they weren't especially entertaining.

Okay, Reimu scoot-flying along the carpet and getting rugburn was pretty entertaining, but that was an exeption.

Poor lying had gotten Remilia into this situation. She needed good lies now. No, she needed help. Badly. She tried to focus and think of what she saw in the village, seeing if she could remember anything extraordinary she had missed.

"I've seen a few things," Meiling said hurriedly, waving away the smoke coming up from the table. "The mansion isn't the only place with faeries. I saw some flying outside."

"Really?" Flandre said. The sizzling stopped.

"Yes. And people flying through the air with great big bird wings." Meiling spread her arms to emphasize.

"Wow! What else?"

"A witch," Meiling said. "With a big black hat, flying through the air on a broomstick."

"So this really is the land of myth," Flandre said to herself. She let go of the table and readjusted herself in her seat. "Well, thank you. Let's have some tea and continue our game, shall we?"

"Yeah. That, uh, sounds good." Remilia nodded.

"I believe it was Sakuya's turn?" Flandre said.

"Yes," Sakuya said, picking through her cards. "But, first, I'll go get some tea for us."

Sakuya stood up and walked up the steps. She must have blinked around again, because she came back fifteen seconds later with cups and a pot of piping hot tea, just quickly enough that the flow wasn't interrupted.

The game got back into motion and went quite smoothly. Remilia had to admit, it was rather fun. She'd found herself building a solid hand, and was considering throwing the game to try and let Flandre win, but Meiling beat her to it by winning with that damn sake cup card. Flandre wasn't fazed by her loss, though. She seemed happy just to be playing with them.

"If you thought that was fun, I'll have to teach you mahjong someday," Meiling said, scooping up the cards.

"That would be wonderful," Flandre said, sipping the last of her tea.

"It was nice seeing you, Flan, but I have to go back and attend to business," Remilia said. She walked around the table and gave Flandre a hug.

"Aww. Well, thanks for coming. You'll be coming back soon, won't you?"

"Of course." Remilia patted her little sister on top of her soft hat.

"It was a pleasure," Sakuya said, wiping the char off of the table.

"See you again soon, Flan." Meiling gave her a friendly squeeze on the shoulder.

As Remilia broke the hug, her little sister sat there smiling, looking as though she was going to melt into her seat. "Th-thank you all so much," she said.

"You're welcome," Remilia said, feeling like she should say something else, but not sure what. The three of them stood around Flandre, waiting for her to move or say something, but she seemed too overwhelmed to say anything else.

"We'll... see you again soon," Remilia said. The three of them slowly and carefully climbed the stairs and shut the door.

"She may be monstrously powerful and unbalanced, but she's still your little sister at heart, you know," Meiling said.

"I know better than anyone. It's just been too long. As far as any of us are concerned, including her, that's her home." Remilia wondered whether she was talking to Meiling or herself.

"I'll take your word for it. In the meantime, I'm going to go fix those ribs she cracked with that hug." Meiling scooted away.

Remilia leaned against a bookcase. Already her thoughts where shifting away from her sister and back towards doing something else, and she felt like that shouldn't be happening. Damn Meiling and her good-heartedness, expecting some nice sisterly bonding between vampires.

"Hum, Sakuya, what time is it?" Remilia asked.

Sakuya checked her watch. Remilia wondered how often she used it for actually checking the time.

"Mid-evening," she said.

Remilia harrumphed. "I hope things start getting finished soon. Seems all we've gotten for our efforts is waiting on a half-dozen different things."

"Three, milady. The grapes, the stonemasons, and the brewery equipment."

"Yes, Sakuya. That was hyperbole. My point being..." Remilia reached into Sakuya's apron and grabbed the thick wad of bills.

"Oh, that startled me," Sakuya said, showing no emotion.

"My point being," Remilia reiterated after a pause, "we have cash. Let's make something happen."

[ ] Find some businesses to invest in.
[ ] Find some palms to grease.
[ ] Reconsider a party.
[ ] (Other)
[x] Find some businesses to invest in.

We stock market now?
[X] Find some palms to grease.
[x] Find some businesses to invest in.
Time to buy out the whole village.
[x] Find some businesses to invest in.
[x] Find some businesses to invest in.

We're early in the timeline so there are a lot fewer important named people to grease the palms of. Might as well get our roots in deep now while there's no apparent competition.
[X] Find some businesses to invest in.
[X] Find some businesses to invest in.
[x] Find some palms to grease.

Akyuu's influential. And Tenma, I guess, if we can find him/her.
What makes you think Akyuu takes bribes? Her family is old money and she's literally been to hell and back.

[x] Find some businesses to invest in.

It's much too early for corruption. We don't even know who to bribe and for what, and going around offering bribes to people we don't know is almost guaranteed to blow up in our face. Legitimate investments will give us a foothold in the power structure.

That reminds me, I should finish reading The Prince.
File 144816803339.jpg - (75.68KB, 636x900, a sucker's born every minute but there's.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Find some businesses to invest in.

As they walked back to the hall, Remilia ran a painted-red fingernail along her cheek, then along the underside of her chin. "The night is still young, Sakuya. How about we return to the village and engage in some legally dubious practices?"

"Opium?" Sakuya asked.


"Arms dealing?"


"Gambling house?"

"No. I mean, I'm not opposed to their existence, but that isn't what I have in mind."


"No! I'm talking about investment, Sakuya!"


The place was starting to feel quiet now. The faeries must have been changing shifts or sneaking naps somewhere.

"Check outside for me, would you?" Remilia said.

Sakuya opened the front door a few inches. "The sun's starting to go down."

"Damned long summer days. Well, looks like I'll require your umbrella assistance again."

"Of course." Sakuya unsheathed her parasol and opened it.

"To the village, for business!"

Remilia hopped onto Sakuya's back. Sakuya slipped out the door and shut it behind her. Remilia spread her wings, but the evening light made them tingle uncomfortably. She folded them back up and flew the boring, normal way.

"Let's start in the nice corner, the one with the jewellery and money-changers," Remilia said.

Sakuya said nothing back, but sometimes it was nice to have someone who would listen and not say anything. The wealthy area wasn't hard to spot -- all the houses had expansive yards and bright gardens. It seemed that some things were universal, and rich people going "I don't need all this land, I'll just grow grass on it!" was one of them.

People were out enjoying the pleasant weather, sitting on porches and benches, with children scampering and climbing trees. Remilia swooped down and landed in a clear dirt road between houses. She walked around the nearest house, approaching the porch from the side, where a lone middle-aged man was sipping tea.

"Evening, sir," she said.

"Good evening?" he said back.

"You seem to have earned quite a lovely estate for yourself."

"Well, I won't say I go hungry. What the hell are you doing here, by the way?"

"Providing you an opportunity. How long has your estate been this size, might I ask?"

"For generations," he said. "It's a part of the village, like a piece in a puzzle."

"A big piece," Remilia said.

"Yeah." The man cracked a smile. "A nice, big piece."

"You could have more, you know," Remilia said.

He raised an eyebrow.

"Why don't we discuss a--"

"Nope. Nope!" The man stood up and ran back into the house.

"Well, piss. That wen't poorly," Remilia said. "Did I come on too strong?"

"A little," Sakuya said. "Perhaps the time is not quite right. Or the location is wrong."

"Mmm, yes." Remilia stroked her chin. "The rich getting richer -- that's for courts and capitals. In a place like this, we should be preying on the weak instead of the greedy."

"That's... logical," Sakuya said.

Remilia grabbed Sakuya and flew up in the air just in time to see the man come running back outside with a torch. "Let's go somewhere more densely-populated."

She guided her Sakuyacraft over towards a gathering of multi-storied cob houses. They looked hastily put up, facing different directions and generally looking like temporary housing. They were perfect. She landed a good ways away, far enough that she could approach on foot and not look like a dive-bombing loan shark.

It was a quaint little scene, a loosely-populated dirt circle between the houses with women weaving cloth and men shelling beans. Remilia's eye was drawn to someone wandering by themselves, looking to be in their late thirties. He walked with the slow, wavy movements of a drunkard.

"Looks like you have some sorrows to drown, my friend," she said.

"You could say that," he replied, surprisingly lucid.

"Short on cash, perhaps?"

"Yeah..." his face fell.

"Wouldn't it be nice to have the life of a landlord?" Remilia said, a grin creeping on her face.

"I suppose it would be."

"Kick up your feet and drink punch while other people work the land for you. Not a care in the world."

"Eh, s'still pretty rough. Last week my landlord had to solve a land dispute when Masanori's pigs got across the stream and ate up some of Shoji's compost. He had t'listen to the two of them talk for hours and hours and hours. I don't envy that."

"But isn't it worth it for the riches? You wouldn't have to live harvest to harvest anymore. You could have fine clothes, fatty foods..." Remilia was about to follow it up with 'endless drink' but that didn't seem to be all that unusual around here.

"Ahh, I do fine, I do fine." He waved a hand in front of himself.

"Even working someone else's land? Then why're you sulking around like this, with empty pockets?"

"Just got back from the wedding, I did! My little Michi's gonna have a baby!"

"I-- oh."

"Michi's baby!" shouted a few stray people.

"Cost a lot but nothin's too much for a wedding! We had grilled mutton and there was music and--"

"Come, Sakuya. There's no place for us here." Remilia grabbed Sakuya's hand and started tugging her away. She had to stay close enough to keep under the umbrella's shade, so it was a very unconvincing gesture.

"Why's that, milady?"

"These bastards have income parity," Remilia hissed. "Maybe I really should start an opium den. Bunch of rotten labor-valuing monkeys with values and morals."

Not ready to give up fully, Remilia took Sakuya's notebook and scribbled out a quick note.

To all those who are desparate, whose livelihoods are in danger, there is a simple and easy solution: Await the next appearance of Remilia Scarlet and/or her dutiful silver-haired maid, Sakuya. Her presence will be obvious, for she overawes commoners with her grace and beauty and she's really good at chess.

"Very tasteful," Sakuya said as Remilia stuck it to the wall of a random house.

"Let's get out of this place." Remilia grabbed Sakuya and took to the air.

The sky darkened as they flew back. Remilia tested the air and stuck her wings out again. They felt fine. With a sound like a sheet opening in the breeze, she spread her wings wide.

"Much better. I was starting to feel cramped."

As they flew over the plains, just a little bit away from the forest, a lantern-light caught their eye. She circled around it. Perhaps fate had left her a treat. Between two paper lanterns was a small food cart, a paper sign on the front proclaiming 'Grilled eel!'

Remilia landed by the cart. A lithe pink-haired girl in a brown robe waved a pale hand at them. As she walked closer, Remilia saw the girl had long green fingernails and, more strikingly, a pair of fuzzy pink ears with white fur in the middle. But not like gross old man ears with ear hair. They were like a cat's ears, except not.

And purple wings. Remilia decided to stop noting details before she was stuck there all night.

"Howdy! Welcome to Mystia's eel stand! Are you two hungry?" she chirped, beaming at them with a wide-eyed open-mouthed smile.

Remilia wondered what her blood would taste like. Was she some kind of half-human? Would that be like blended whiskey?

"You know, some dinner would be lovely. Two orders of whatever you're most proud of serving."

"Coming right up, ma'am." Her wings made a little flutter.

Remilia took a seat at one of the stools by the counter. "An odd location for a food cart."

"Ahh, well, the humans don't appreciate me getting too close, so I blind them with my song. Then they have to buy my food!" she said, her voice lilting up and down as if she was singing.

"I don't quite follow, but I always respect a good extortion scheme."

"Thanks!" Her wings fluttered again.

Remilia took in the ambience of the stall. Some of the wood was beginning to splinter, and the lanterns showed a good deal of wear.

"Do you have any difficulty making ends meet?"

Mystia hummed in thought. "Even with my great ideas, it's still tough getting customers."

"Is that so?" Remilia traced a finger along the counter.

"Yeah. They all like to eat chicken and birds, and that sucks! So I started an eel stand to try and get them to stop, you know? Oop, hang on." Mystia turned her attention back to the eels on the grill.

Remilia hummed.

"Ooh, do you want to sing?" Mystia said. "We can hum together."

"Ahem, perhaps in just a moment. I must talk to my friend."

Remilia stepped away from the booth and brought Sakuya with her. "Sakuya, this woman is perfect. We could get her to sign anything. Maybe she can't even read."

Both of them looked back at the stand. Mystia kept humming as she turned the eels over.

"And... we could..." Remilia paused, shaking her head at whatever thought she was in the middle of. "She is a lovely singer, though."

"Indeed," Sakuya said.

[ ] Invest in the stand the normal way.
[ ] Get Mystia to sign a contract.
[ ] Or perhaps something else...
This was not really what I had in mind, re:
>Legitimate investments will give us a foothold in the power structure.

...I don't think conventional tactics are Remi's thing. Let's try for disruptive innovation, instead.

[x] Get Mystia to sign a contract.
[x] Convince her to feed the faeries in exchange for singing our praises. Literally.
[x] Pass her a little loan for spiffing up her stand.
-[x] Consider enlisting Margeroux or another glasses faerie's help with that.

Guerilla marketing, feeding the leeches, and debt. It might be small potatoes now, but we're in a whole new world, so we ought to take liberties where we can.
[x] Get Mystia to sign a contract.

I like Mystia so I don't really want to screw her over but at the same time I'm not that confident on the ROI being high.
[x] Get Mystia to sign a contract.
[X] Get Mystia to sign a contract.
[x] Convince her to feed the faeries in exchange for singing our praises. Literally.
[x] Pass her a little loan for spiffing up her stand.
-[x] Consider enlisting Margeroux or another glasses faerie's help with that.

Remilia is kind of mean, eh? I'm not sure what I expected from a noble vampire from 500 years ago
[X] Invest in the stand the normal way.
[X] Or perhaps something else...
Would you like to become a magical girl idol ?
[X] Invest in the stand the normal way.

Let's not fall into a siren trap. Let's also not abuse our fellow youkai, they'll make much better allies than enemies.
Thread 2: >>62708

Thanks for posting the link! New thread has been claimed in the name of the Scarlets.
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