Thread 1: >>123033
Thread 2: >>124226
Thread 3: >>124917
Thread 4: >>125518
Thread 5: >>126187
Thread 6: >>126955
In which a Wizard trolls the SDM.
[X] Offer to help Meiling get the table set up. It’d be helpful to have a friend inside the Mansion.
[X] Take this chance to ask Meiling/Keine more about your host, how she managed to get fairies to work for her in such numbers and most importantly: WHY would she do such a thing?
“So the fairies do everything around here?” Cirno asks.
“Kind of,” Meiling says. “Most of them aren’t too bright, so Sakuya and I have to do all the real work. Sakuya will be along soon to set the table and lay everything out, and I’ll help her.”
“Oh, she will?
” you, say, a wicked glint sneaking into your eyes.
“Uh, yeah?” Meiling answers cautiously. “Why, do you want to see her?”
“He wants to vaporize
her,” Cirno interjects. “Every time somebody mentions her, he goes all, like-” Cirno widens her eyes into an intense glare, the corners of her mouth just hinting at a snarl.
“Pretty good likeness,” Keine comments quietly, and you shoot her a look.
“You hate Sakuya!?” Meiling says, shocked. “But- but- you’ve only been in Gensokyo for a few days!”
“More then enough time for Sakuya to show up on Keine’s doorstep, uninvited, and start threatening her,” you growl.
“She did?” Meiling says, sounding doubtful.
“She did,” Keine confirms. “Not actually making threats,
“Kind of letting on that she’d make you regret it, otherwise?” Meiling purses her mouth uncertainly and nods. “That sounds like her, when she’s in an unfriendly mood, yeah...”
“Wait, she’s got a friendly
mood!?” you exclaim. “You mean it’s not always that cool little ice-bitch smile, and looking at you like she’s contemplating an earthworm?” You think back to the first time you met her; in Kirisame’s secondhand shop. Staring down at you, cold, distant...
“Oh, no!” Meiling objects empathetically. “She’s not like that with us. At the Mansion, I mean. But she’s distant with other people. And you...” Meiling wrings her dress in her hands awkwardly. “Uh...”
“Spit it out,” you say impatiently.
“Well, she thought you were a potential enemy
at first,” Meiling said. “Nobody knew anything about you, besides you arrived in the process of killing a freaking dragon.
The mistress ordered her to find out who was behind it, and Sakuya is very
thorough when following orders.”
You almost ask if that justifies threatening a sweet, inoffensive schoolteacher who never did anyone harm, but you remind yourself not to take out your anger on Meiling.
“She also thinks you’re unstable,” she says. “You’re nothing
like she said you were.”
“I wonder what could have given her that impression,” you say innocently. “Well, anyways, since we’re early, would you like help setting that table?”
“Oh no, we can handle it,” Meiling says. “And I couldn’t let the guests
set the table- Sakuya would kill
“Well just tell her I was talking to you, then,” you say, stepping over to where the congo line of fairies are apparently trying to drop the huge tablecloth into a punch bowl. Rescuing the fabric, you begin spreading it out, Cirno and Keine coming to the other side of the table to help.
“I- I really can’t!” Meiling nearly wails, darting in and taking the corner of the tablecloth from you. “I’d get in so much trouble- I’m already
in trouble-” Meiling turns away from you, and from the way her voice breaks, you can tell she’s on the verge of tears- “-I’m always
“What the hell for?” you ask.
Meiling just turns and continues straightening the tablecloth, saying nothing, keeping her face down. You shrug, and continue to lay out the tableware. As you reach for a set of silverware rolled neatly in a napkin, you nearly put your hand on a small fairy. The little thing squawks and rises into the air, making exaggerated gestures in your direction that you doubt are well-wishes.
“Goddamn little-” sidestepping away a bit, you nearly blunder into a small cloud of fey trying, and failing, to convey individual sugar cubes into a silver bowl. One half are struggling to drop their loads accurately, and the other half are eagerly building little forts with them.
You scoot backwards, and turn to see a pair of slightly larger fairies locked in mid-air fisticuffs only a few feet away, for no discernable reason. Turning away from them, you spot more of the miniscule monsters having a pillow-fight with tea-bags. One of them spots you and points to you eagerly, and the rest raise their tea bags to commence the assault.
” you say, as the pint-sized legion charges for you, shrieking-
“BATTLE-CRY!” their tinny voices squeal, and then they’re upon you, little tea-bags impacting with surprising, but painless, solidity all about your face and head. You sweep your hat off your head and duck swiftly, swinging your hat by the brim where your head once was. Most of the little blighters are knocked flying by the blow, and while they try to reorganize and retrieve their tea-bags, you have time to retreat to the far end of the table.
“Meiling, why the hell
do your bloodsucking bosses put up with this shit!?” you ask, your eyes darting around for any more fairies coming close, your hat held at the ready.
The redhead heaves the sigh of the long-suffering. “The Mansion’s pretty big, and humans aren’t exactly lining up at the gate for jobs. They’re mostly idiots, but with enough of them, the basic tasks eventually get done. Even if it’s just dusting. Not even Sakuya could keep up, otherwise.”
“They’re mean, too,” Cirno says, sticking her tongue out at a few passing fey, which chatter back in incomprehensibly high-pitched voices. “They never play nice.”
Meiling leans in close and whispers in your ear: “Cirno’s considered the de-facto leader of the lake fairies, because she can count past three. They don’t get along well with the Mansion’s.”
Down the table a ways, you see Keine look up from a breadbasket she’s setting down, and stop to glare at Meiling for a moment- until she sees you looking, whereupon she finds her task immensely fascinating once again.
“Well that’s because... she’s the... strongest...” you say absently, your eyes darting around.
Fairies to the right of you. Fairies to the left of you. Fairies behind you, their high-pitched chattering volleying to and fro, to and fro as they plot
Your mind clears as you feel Cirno squeeze your hand. “Don’t worry, they’re all talk,” she assures you. You smile at her, feeling your heart slow down a bit.
“Wait, what do you mean ‘don’t worry?’ What are they saying!?”
“You mean you can’t understand them?”
“Pitch is too high,” you reply absently, fighting the urge to glance about defensively for encroaching fey. You contemplate what horrid things those little flighty bastards could be planning- tiny daggers, punching through the whites of his eyes in the middle of the night, fey gathering ‘round to scoop the firm whitestuff away in minuscule buckets-
and you hastily put a halt to that train of thought. Cirno’s right,
you think. They’re easily distracted morons, and Cirno’d know. I just have to...
“... stay frosty,” you whisper.
“Hmm?” Cirno says, looking up at you.
“Nothing,” you say, squeezing her hand. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” she says. “I wouldn’t let the fairies getcha!”
“No, of course not,” you say, relaxing a bit. Looking over the table, you see that Keine and Meiling have most of the place-settings ready to go; despite constant meddling by the fairy ‘maids.’ All that’s missing is the majority of the food. Near the end of the table, you spot a cluster of fairies, evidently bored with their task, forming up in a traditional fairy ring. You narrow your eyes at the little procession, the cabal
forming over there, and then- you see it.
The characteristic flourish, the little bow being gently lowered to sing upon the strings- of a fiddle.
Time grinds to a halt, too sluggish to keep up with your lightning reflexes. Meiling hasn’t even begun to gasp when your feet hit the tabletop. You take one mighty bound, two, three,
and then you’re hurtling through the air, Wizard hat held high above your head in both hands, bellowing fiercely- ”WRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY-“
-you slam the hat down over the fiddler triumphantly as you crash down onto the table. Plates and silverware go flying everywhere, and the fiddlers expectant entourage explodes outward as they flee for their lives.
“Waaaah! LET ME OOOUT!” the fairy inside your hat screams, the fabric poking out here and there as she punches at it.
“I WILL NOT!” you roar, keeping the hat pasted firmly to the table.
Somewhere near the door, a harsh clatter and crash sounds. You look up to see Sakuya staring at you dumbly. A silver serving tray lies at her feet, where it just slipped from her numb fingers.
Sakuya’s mouth opens, and then closes again. She slowly takes a step backwards, then another, and manages to stumble backwards out of the dining room.
A long moment of silence passes. Even the fairies are silent.
“I think you broke her,” Cirno observes, looking at the empty doorway.
If Sakuya wasn’t sure you were a loon before, she is now. And what with your dragon-slaying, she thinks you’re a powerful
lunatic. Not necessarily a bad thing,
you think. Deception is the basis of all warfare, is it not?
[ ] Let’s keep up the ZUUL! act throughout dinner- toned down a bit, of course. Let the vampires weave their plots around a false impression.
[ ] Keep up the act until the vampires reveal something of their approaches and motives by responding, then abruptly drop it. Mind games will be played tonight- so they may as well be mine.
[ ] That act won’t fool anybody for longer then a minute. Just play it straight. Sakuya’s reaction upon realizing she’s been had should be reason enough.