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File 162108384837.jpg - (92.52KB, 723x645, 20210515063545_1.jpg) [iqdb]
202319
Notice: There will be open spoilers for both Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 8: Village going forward. This will be the only warning you'll get.
=====================================================
Everything is dark, and everything is numb.

You can tell your eyes are open, at least, but there is nothing else observable to you. Your mind is as blank as your senses, your only emotion being a complex mixture of lingering sadness and relief... and a hint of anger?

Slowly, feeling begins to return, and your entire body feels sore.

That soreness quickly evolves into pain, and you close your eyes. Not that it matters. Everything is pitch black, wherever you are.

After a moment, the deafening silence of the void is broken by a woman's voice.

"My, my, still holding on, after all that? You certainly never disappoint."

You open your eyes again, but the source of the voice is too far away to make out clearly. You recognize the color purple, but little else. Which is strange, since it sounded like she was right next to you.

Enough feeling returns for you to realize you haven't been breathing, and you cough violently. You feel flecks of... something come up when you do so.

The voice continues, still as if she was only a foot away. "You certainly are in bad shape, though. Here, allow me to help."

You feel a tingling sensation across your body, followed by a second of intense pain. You only have enough energy to gasp and close your eyes again in response.

Once the pain subsides, it does so entirely. Even the earlier aches you felt are gone. You open your eyes again, and inspect your body. Despite the black void around you, you can clearly see that your body is unharmed.

You look back at the woman in the distance and finally find your voice. "What... Who are you? Where am I?"

The woman giggles. "I take it you're feeling better, now? Good. And to answer your questions, I am nobody, and you are nowhere."

The cryptic reply annoys you, but you move on to another pressing question. "...who am I?"

"Oh? You don't remember?" The woman seems genuinely confused. "Though, with everything that happened, I suppose some temporary amnesia isn't unusual. Isn't that right, Mr. Winters?"

As soon as she says that name, it's like a dam broke within your mind. Memories came flooding back, of who you are, what you did, all the horrors you went through...

...and front and center of the deluge of memories, a single sentence, said by yourself:

"Goodbye, Rosemary."

You sit up on your knees, and you feel tears well up in your eyes. You look back at the woman. "Am I dead, then? For real this time?"

Even at this distance, you could tell the woman shrugged. "Technically, you were supposed to be. Either way, you could say that your role in your old world is over."

You look at your hands. They were perfectly fine, despite the terrible things you remember them going through in that damn village. "And... Mia, and Rosemary? Are they okay?"

"A family man, even after 'death' I see." The woman giggles again. "Don't worry, they made it home safe and sound."

You smile, even as the tears fall. "Then... I did it. As long as they made it, I can die happy." You look at the woman. "Do I follow you to the afterlife?"

Now the woman outright laughed, and your smile fell. "Oh, heavens, no. Like I said, you were technically supposed to be dead, but I stopped that from happening."

You slowly stand up, eyes on the woman the whole time. You didn't like what she was saying. "So... why did you do it?"

"Because you're far too entertaining to let you die like that."

You feel your anger swell, though you're also just now realizing that you had none of the weapons on you that you had previously. "I'm not some actor for you, lady. Whatever the hell you have planned for me, tell me now."

"Oh, Ethan, I have a lot planned for you." The woman chuckles. "For your part, though, all you have to do is survive."

"Survive? What the fuck do you mean by that?"

Suddenly, the woman was in your face and grabbing you by the face. You can barely make out a head full of blonde hair from beneath her white glove.

She pulls you close with terrifying ease, and whispers in your ear: "Survive the dangerous world of Gensokyo, of course."

With that, she violently throws you backwards. You yell out as you expect to hit the ground, but instead you pass through some kind of hole. For a few horrifying moments, there's nothing around you but endless eyes and infinite space. You scream the whole time.

After what feels like far too long, the void of eyes ends, and you land on the ground harshly. You gasp for air after the rough landing, and take a moment to recover from the pain.

Once you're sure that nothing's broken, you slowly get up and look around. You landed next to a body of water, on a patch of snow just next to the shore. It was the dead of night, though a full moon was out to give you a decent amount of light, especially with the light bouncing off both the water and the snow around you.

Farther inland, you immediately spot a large, dark red mansion. You can see that a few windows have light coming out of them, so you know it's currently inhabited.

Next, you look over yourself. You were wearing the same clothes you went out in. There was a distinct lack of a hole in your chest, and you put a hand to your neck to confirm that you do in fact have a pulse again. In one of your pockets, you had a single bottle of first aid serum. Your left hand was no longer missing a couple of fingers, and after searching your other pockets you recover your wedding ring and put it back on.

Once you do that, you stare at it for a bit. "Mia..."

Wherever this "Gensokyo" is, you're alive and well, despite all odds. With that in mind, you decide that, no matter what, you will get back home to your family, or die trying.

First thing's first. The only place of interest you see around you is that mansion. Plus, since you gave away your outer coat, the cold was starting to bite at you a little bit. After everything you went through, dying to the elements would be disappointing, to say the least.

Even if you were technically already dead...

You shake your head. "Focus, Ethan," you say to yourself, "you're moving, you're conscious, and you know who you are."

Even if you really were a pile of mold shaped like your old self, you're still you. As far as you were concerned, that made you as alive as anyone else.

The mansion has a wall surrounding it, but there are a handful of snow-covered trees growing over it. You briefly considered finding the front gate, but you highly doubted that anyone would be out at this time of night in this weather.

Using the trees, you easily hoist yourself onto the mansion grounds.

Despite the snow, there is quite a well-kept garden around the mansion. The trees you used to climb in are part of a unique display, though apparently most of it wasn't in use for the season.

As far as the mansion itself, it seems like you are near the back side of it. It's easily at least five stories tall, with a tower near the center of the building that extended even further.

You can see a couple of small doors leading inside, with almost no decor around them at all. Likely for easy access to this garden.

Besides the doors, there is also a small building to your left, hidden under some of the trees and situated against the wall you climbed over. You'd guess it held all the materials needed for the garden, but maybe it could also connect to the mansion's cellar, since it almost certainly had one.

Though you couldn't see it right now, you could also circle around until you found the front door. Even if the front gate wouldn't be manned right now, you might be able to get the attention of whoever's inside.

[ ]Try the doors out back. Maybe whoever lives here got careless and left one of them unlocked?
[ ]The building in the garden appears interesting. You should start there.
[ ]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.
[X]Try the doors out back. Maybe whoever lives here got careless and left one of them unlocked?
[X ]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way
no way, ojou-sama
[X]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.

Let's try to start things off on the right foot, so that we don't 'die' for the third time.
[X]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.
[X]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.

Neat.
[X]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.

We're not Chris and would probably die in a straight up fight.
[x] Try the doors out back. Maybe whoever lives here got careless and left one of them unlocked?
[x]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.
[X] Try the doors out back. Maybe whoever lives here got careless and left one of them unlocked?
File 162158965010.jpg - (134.20KB, 850x1363, maid.jpg) [iqdb]
202403
[x]You're already technically trespassing right now, it might be in your best interests to get inside the proper way.

You crunch through the snow as you walk around the mansion. Climbing over the walls was probably bad enough, the last thing you'd want to do is further antagonize whoever lives here by even more overtly breaking in.

The mansion was big enough that it took almost a minute to circle to the front. Though a few windows had light on the other side, all of the ones at ground level were pitch black.

You reach the front door, and notice that, unlike the rest of the mansion grounds, the path from the front gate to the door was completely cleared of snow. Almost as if someone had just cleared it...

You turn your attention back to the door. It was large, about eight feet tall, and incredibly ornate. While you try to come up with what you'll tell whoever lives here, you bring up a fist to knock.

The moment your fist makes contact, however, the door creaks open. You hesitate. The lights were on inside, but you knew that doors opening for you were never a good sign.

Still, the only other option is staying outside and slowly freezing to death...

You quickly slip inside the mansion and close the door behind you. No need to let the cold in, after all.

The entryway to the mansion was... massive, to say the least. Not only were there two hallways splintering to the left and the right, there was also a grand staircase that went up three floors, each floor containing two more hallways leading to elsewhere in the mansion. The main source of light was a chandelier hanging from the high ceiling, though it looked like it contained electric lights.

There was no one in sight at all, and the interior was eerily quiet. Your cautious footsteps echoed against the tile floor.

You look between all of the paths presented to you. You had no idea where to go, so maybe you should call out...

"May I help you, sir?"

You gasp and whirl around, reflexively reaching for a gun that you no longer have. Behind you, in front of the door you just entered, was a silver-haired woman in a maid outfit. "Where did you come from?"

"That is unimportant. Please explain why you are here, sir."

She doesn't move towards you, but you can still feel the threat in her voice. "I, uh, got lost in the storm. This mansion was the first building I came across." Probably better to see how they react to you before you go talking about how you were thrown here by a mysterious blonde woman after you died.

She looks you up and down. Her face remains neutral, but she does relax her stance slightly. "I see. You are an Outsider, then?"

You frown. Last time you were called an Outsider didn't go so well. "I... guess so? Where am I?"

The woman walks past you, and you take care to not get in her way. "You are in Gensokyo, and this is the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Seeing as you are new here, I believe it would be best if I take you to my mistress." She looks back at you and motions up the stairs. "Please, follow me."

She immediately begins walking up, and you follow. "Wait, is that really necessary? I'd just like some directions for how to get out of Gensokyo."

The maid shakes her head. "I'm afraid that is not something we can help you with. You will have to go to the Hakurei shrine maiden for that. In the meantime, however, my mistress would like to see you."

Hakurei shrine maiden? That sounds like you're somewhere in Japan, then. But then why did you find a mansion that looks very European...?

More concerning, you're noticing some red flags with what the maid is saying. "Wait, isn't it the middle of the night? Would your mistress even be awake?"

You spot a small smirk on the maid's face as she turns to you. "Believe me, that will not be an issue. You will understand when you meet her."

On the second floor, she goes down the hallway to the right. You stay in step with her, but you're starting to wonder if going along with this is such a good idea.

[ ]Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.
[ ]See if you can keep getting info out of the maid, or even if you can talk her into letting you leave right now.
[ ]Clearly, you won't be able to talk her out of an audience with her mistress. Time to make a break for it instead.
[ X]See if you can keep getting info out of the maid, or even if you can talk her into letting you leave right now.
[X] See if you can keep getting info out of the maid.
with a little bit of
[X] Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.

I don't see much reason to leave yet, with the effort we put into getting in the mansion in the first place. Sure, something seems a little off, but we've dealt with stuff like that before, and it is probably a better option than going back out into the cold.
[x] no way, ojou-sama
[X] See if you can keep getting info out of the maid.
with a little bit of
[X] Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.
[X] See if you can keep getting info out of the maid.
with a little bit of
[X] Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.
File 162230048355.jpg - (192.99KB, 850x1206, lady of the manor.jpg) [iqdb]
202456
[X] See if you can keep getting info out of the maid.
[X] Play nice, for now. As concerning as this is, maybe it won't be so bad.

Even though part of you is screaming for you to run and not look back, you continue following the maid. She hasn't done anything to hurt you, so far, which is a big step up from the last time you were taken to see the matriarch of a large building.

Speaking of large, shouldn't you have reached the edge of the mansion by now...?

Either way, you decide to at least get some more intel from the maid while you walk. "So, uh... who's your mistress?"

She doesn't turn around to give you a very basic answer. "Remilia Scarlet."

Right, she said this was the Scarlet Devil Mansion, makes sense it was named after the owner. "And how long has she been in Gensokyo?"

"It has been many years now, though we spent far longer in the Outside World before coming here." Before you can ask a follow-up question, she speaks again. "Europe, if you were curious."

"Huh, what a coincidence, I lived there recently, too," you think out loud.

The maid turns to you and raises an eyebrow. "You look and sound more like an American, sir."

"I only lived in Europe for a few years. It's... a long story."

She lets out a thoughtful "Hmm" and turns back around. "It is probably a story my mistress would like to hear. Sometimes she finds the life of Outsiders fascinating, to see what she has missed in her absence."

You say nothing. You're not sure how they'd react to you being a mold-borne manifestation of your former self, who had to survive untold horrors both in Louisiana and rural Europe. Might be best to let them think you're just a normal human for now.

"Here we are, sir."

The maid stops in front of a door that is slightly larger than the others. She opens it to reveal a large dining area, with a grand table and several seats around it.

At the head of the table, in a large chair that could almost be called a small throne, was a girl who must be the Remilia Scarlet the maid talked about. The blue hair was a little odd, as was her somewhat old-fashioned dress and matching cap, but the most striking thing was her apparent age. If you had to guess, she looked to be a young teenager.

Despite her appearance, she speaks very formally. "Ah, so this is our unexpected guest. Thank you for bringing him here, Sakuya."

"It was no issue, my lady."

Remilia gestures to a seat adjacent to hers at the table. "Come now, sir, have a seat. I won't bite."

...you really don't like how big she's smiling after she says that, but you still oblige. Sakuya follows you, and remains standing nearby even after you take a seat.

Remilia offers her hand. "I am Remilia Scarlet, and I would like to formally welcome you to the Scarlet Devil Mansion."

You nervously accept the handshake. "I'm Ethan Winters. Uh... sorry for the intrusion."

She chuckles and leans on the table, her hands clasped together. "Oh, don't worry. Even though you clearly trespassed by climbing over our walls, the weather outside is too harsh to truly judge you for your actions."

You tense up slightly. "You knew I climbed in?"

She nods. "To be quite blunt, I was prepared to have Sakuya take more... drastic action against you if you forced your way inside. Since you didn't, however, you clearly have at least some manners."

You look back at the maid. She doesn't betray any emotion on her face, but you still feel like Remilia wasn't lying. "Um... thank you?"

"It has been a while since we entertained an Outsider here," Remilia says. "Would you like something to eat? I'm not sure how long you were out in the cold, but it must not have been pleasant."

Even though you were effectively restored by whatever that blonde woman did, you could tell that you were still full from that last meal that Duke made for you before you went to finally end Miranda. "I, uh, actually ate not too long ago. Thank you for the offer, though."

Remilia shrugs. "That will be for later, then. For now, we can discuss your temporary stay, before we send you to the Hakurei Shrine so you can be returned to the Outside."

You're surprised. "That's... perfect, actually. I was just about to ask about that."

Remilia smiles. "Of course, I only ask for a small favor from you in return."

Your optimism quickly begins to fade. "And what would that be?"

"A quick sample." She motions behind you. "Sakuya, if you would, please?"

Suddenly, your left hand is being forcefully grabbed. "Hey, what are you doing?!"

Remilia gets out of her seat and grabs your hand, but pauses when she sees your wedding ring. "Ah, a married man? Who's the lucky Mrs. Winters?"

You try to pull your hand free, but this girl is keeping you in place with impossible force. "Tell me what you're doing first!"

"Oh, don't worry, Ethan, you'll only feel a pinch~"

She then brings her mouth down on your wrist and bites, and you yell out in pain.

Your blood enters her mouth, shortly followed by Remilia going wide-eyed and abruptly dropping your hand. While you nurse the bite wound, she sputters and spits your blood out onto the floor.

"What the hell was that?!" Remilia asks, her composure shattered. "You taste... rancid!"

From this angle, you spot a pair of folded up bat wings on Remilia's back. That, plus her youthful appearance and what just happened, was enough to clue you in, and you jump out of your chair. "You're a vampire?"

Remilia wipes her mouth. "Of course I am, but what are you?" She points an accusatory finger at your chest. "I've sampled all kinds of blood from humans, and I've never had anyone taste as bad as you!"

You stay silent.

Remilia regains her earlier composure. "If you won't tell me, then I suppose we'll find out another time. Sakuya, please dress his wound and take him to-"

"Like hell I'm staying after that!" you interrupt and start walking away. "I'm out of-"

A strong force pulls on the back of your shirt, and you're yanked onto the ground. Before you can get back up, Sakuya holds a knife to your throat, and Remilia walks into your view.

"You no longer have a choice in the matter, Ethan," Remilia says. "I have a feeling that you aren't quite human, and as such it is my due diligence as a citizen of Gensokyo to figure out exactly what you are before we even think about letting you loose." She waves a hand at Sakuya.

You blink, and... Sakuya is at Remilia's side?

"Now, get up, and follow Sakuya to your room. I will clean myself up and question you more later."

With that, Remilia leaves through a side door, and you slowly get up. Sakuya says nothing and simply walks to the main entrance to the dining hall, making sure to look back to see if you're following.

Once you're back in the hallway, your mind races. This makes twice now you've been held hostage by a vampire in just as many days. So much for an easy way home.

Still, you needed a plan for what to do next.

[ ]You might be able to overpower Sakuya and make a run for it, even though you're not quite sure how she pulled that stunt earlier.
[ ]Sakuya looks human enough, unlike her master. Maybe you can reason with her?
[ ]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[ ]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[ ]You've killed a vampire family before, so you can probably kill one more. There has to be something in the room you can use as a weapon.
[X]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[X]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[X] Be aware that it'll be hard to escape since they already knew you climbed over the wall. You have to think of a way to bypass their surveillance

I doubt there'd be any weapons inside of the room Sakuya shoves us in, unconventional items included. And chances are she'll place some kind of watch on us. The question is, how do we spoof the watch long enough to make the slip.
[X]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[X]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[X] Be aware that it'll be hard to escape since they already knew you climbed over the wall. You have to think of a way to bypass their surveillance.

This situation just got a lot harder with Remilia bring super suspicious of us now, so barring explaining what happened to us (if we even fully remember), escape should now be our top priority. If we aren't fully human, which I don't know the lore so idk, Gensokyo's rules might not protect us in general, so not sure where we'd go from there.
>>202459
Lore-wise, Ethan has been dead since the start of RE7, and was actually a mold creature shaped like his old self the whole time, yet he had so much sheer willpower that not only did he maintain control of himself, he didn’t even realize he was dead until at the end of RE8, three years later. This is all a pretty huge spoiler, but the OP did say as much going in.
[X]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[X]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[X] Be aware that it'll be hard to escape since they already knew you climbed over the wall. You have to think of a way to bypass their surveillance
[X]For now, simply follow to your room. You can figure out what to do then.
-[X]There will almost certainly be a way out if you look hard enough. You're not sticking around for whatever interrogation Remilia wants to pull.
-[X] Be aware that it'll be hard to escape since they already knew you climbed over the wall. You have to think of a way to bypass their surveillance

Whatever Sakuya is capable of, you're pretty sure she could easily kill you if you tried anything against her. Instead, you focus your attention to your hand wound.

It was two bite marks, made rougher by Remilia suddenly pulling back. In hindsight, that comment that Dimitrescu made about your blood being stale makes sense, given that you were actually mold all along. Remilia's more extreme reaction is a bit puzzling, though.

Still, better to focus on the present. Despite the ragged bite marks, your hand is otherwise fine, though it is still bleeding slowly. You make sure to keep pressure on it while following Sakuya.

After some distance and a descent to the first floor, she stops at a random door. "You will be staying here."

She leaves you to open the door yourself, probably to taunt you since your hands are a bit occupied. You open the door and are surprised at how... normal the bedroom looks. It has a decent sized bed, a crackling fireplace, and an empty nightstand next to the bed. It even has its own bathroom.

"Go and clean your wound," Sakuya says. "There will be bandages ready for you once you do that. Then you will wait for Lady Remilia to arrive."

"Look, I just want to-"

Your pleas are cut off by the door slamming behind you and locking shut. You sigh and do as she says, cleaning off the blood in the sink. When you return to the bedroom, there's a set of bandages waiting on the bed, so you quickly wrap the bite up.

Sakuya said to just wait for Remilia, but fuck that. You're getting out of this crazy place as soon as possible.

The room was an interior one, so no windows to speak of. There was also no obvious exits besides the one Sakuya locked.

Next point of interest was the fireplace. You snuff out the fire as quickly as possible, but nearly burn yourself on the embers. While they cool, you check the nightstand for anything useful. It was empty, sadly.

Next you do a full check of the bathroom. Besides the sink, a toilet, a towel rack, and a bathtub, it was very bare bones. Tapping on the walls revealed that they were very solid, so even brute forcing your way out wasn't likely to happen.

By now the embers are surely cool enough to touch, so you return to the fireplace and dig through the sooty logs. At first, you were worried that you'd find nothing, but eventually your hand bumps against something that feels like a handle. You quickly shove everything aside and pull on it. After some force, a hatch opens up, leading down into pitch black darkness.

You hesitate. While this would be a way out of the room, you have no idea what would be waiting for you down there. The last vampire basement you were in was quite hostile, and you still don't have any weapons.

You look back at the locked door. You have no idea when Remilia will come back for you, or what she'll do to you once she's here. Both options before you are far from ideal.

[ ]Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[ ]The sooner you get down there, the better.
-[ ]There has to be something you could bring as a weapon in this room. Tear the place apart until you find something.
[ ]Hide evidence of your snooping and wait for Remilia. Unlike the last vampire you dealt with, this one isn't holding your daughter hostage, so you might still be able to talk your way out.
Also something I forgot to add in both previous updates because I am a bit idiot

Hand Injury Count: 1
Ah yes, getting deeper into an unknown mansion will definitely make things better.
[x] Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[x] The sooner you get down there, the better.
Time is of the essence. Get ready to escape.
[x] protect the scarlet legacy
[X]Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[X]The sooner you get down there, the better.

It might be hard to hide evidence of our snooping (why else would someone put out a fireplace in winter), and I don't think we will find anything of much use since we already looked around quite a bit. Also, if we are going into the basement, its probably time to meet Flandre, which I'm sure is going to go perfectly and everyone will be happy and safe.
[X]Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[X]The sooner you get down there, the better.
Flan~
[X]Hide evidence of your snooping and wait for Remilia. Unlike the last vampire you dealt with, this one isn't holding your daughter hostage, so you might still be able to talk your way out.
Blondes are gross.
[x] Hide evidence of your snooping and wait for Remilia. Unlike the last vampire you dealt with, this one isn't holding your daughter hostage, so you might still be able to talk your way out.

Maybe don't go down flues in old buildings from before there were building codes.
File 162301038657.jpg - (91.71KB, 850x927, danger.jpg) [iqdb]
202521
[X]Take your chances with the secret exit. You've survived basements before, what's one more?
-[X]The sooner you get down there, the better.

"Not sticking around for this," you mutter to yourself. You make sure to position yourself right, then push through the opening, feet first.

The drop is longer than you expected, but thankfully you're still able to land without breaking anything. A more pressing matter now was visibility. The only light down here was what could come from the hatch you jumped down, which was barely enough to let you see your own hand in front of your face.

If only you had a flashlight with you, or even a lighter.

Still, staying put will only get you caught again when Remilia eventually comes for you. Better get moving.

You walk slowly, making sure you're still stepping on solid ground and not running into anything. The walls and floors here were made of smooth stone, contrasting the rest of the mansion above.

It doesn't take long for the light from above to run out, and you begin moving even slower now that you're in pitch blackness. Your only real hope is that your eyes adjust to the dark fast enough.

Despite this, you continue making slow progress. Once you can see a little farther ahead of yourself, you pick up your pace accordingly.

The wall you're tracing soon gives way to an intersection in the tunnel. You have no idea which way to go, so you randomly decide to go to the right.

...you really hope you don't end up lost down here.

Your footsteps, as light as you're making them, still echo somewhat into the darkness. It's unnervingly quiet down here.

As you walk farther, you notice that something feels... off. You abruptly stop in place, and the sound of your final step echos once more.

...including from behind you.

You turn to look, but can't see anything. Cautiously, you start walking again, then stop.

Once again, the echos persist a bit longer than they should for just your steps alone.

Your breathing gets a bit heavier as the adrenaline starts to kick in. You're not alone down here.

Not only that, but whoever's shadowing you, they're making sure to keep pace with you. They're smart, not just a mindless ghoul like there was in Castle Dimitrecsu's cellars.

By now, your vision is a bit more adapted to the dark, so you walk faster down the tunnel, no longer caring about the noise you make. You keep an ear out, and sure enough, the other set of steps keep pace behind you, also louder.

You reach another intersection. Without missing a beat, you turn left.

And then you run.

You're hoping that the louder steps will echo through the other tunnels, and throw your pursuer off enough to give you more of a lead.

After some distance, you reach another intersection, so you stop just around the corner of another left turn. While your run echoes through the dark tunnels, you peak behind you.

The echoes die out, and to your relief, the extra set of steps are nowhere to be heard.

That relief shatters when you notice a very faint glow in the distance. And it was getting closer.

Whatever it was, they weren't on foot anymore.

Your blood runs cold, and you start running again. The glow slowly gets brighter behind you, and you fight to get every last ounce of energy into your legs.

It's not enough, and something tackles you from behind. You roll on the ground for a short distance, dazed, before someone holds down your arms and gets in your face.

Blonde, red eyes, female, young, and very peculiar wings that are the source of the glow. And she's smiling with a mouth full of very sharp fangs.

"That was fun! I actually lost track of you for a bit there!"

Though your arms are pinned, your legs aren't, and you manage to work one under her and kick her off. She just laughs as she tumbles off of you, and you scramble back onto your feet.

"Oh, and he's still got fight in him!" she says, righting herself in midair with her flight. "I like you already, mister."

"Who the hell are you?!" you demand. She actually looks similarly dressed to Remilia...

"Name's Flandre Scarlet. I take it you met my sister?"

You tense up. Of course the vampire has family. "You a vampire too?"

She gives another wide grin to show off her fangs. "Sure am! But don't worry, I won't drink your blood. Full right now."

"...What?"

Flandre suddenly flies toward you, and you brace for impact. None comes, however, and instead she stops just in front of your face. She makes a point of... sniffing you?

She grabs your injured arm and takes another sniff at the wound. "Seems like Remi already got to you. Made you pay the blood tax, same as every other Outsider, right?"

You wrench your arm away, and surprisingly she lets you. "What do you want with me?"

"Woah, calm down, big guy, I won't hurt you." She smiles. "Much. Probably. We'll see."

You just frown and maintain something approaching a fighting stance.

Her nose wrinkles. "Actually... can you let me take another smell of that wound? No funny business, I promise."

"And why should I let you?"

"Because if you don't let me, I'll just do it by force, and I might break your arm in the process."

...you hate to admit that she's probably right. You begrudgingly offer your wounded hand to her, and she grabs it again, though more gentle this time. She takes a deep sniff, and her nose wrinkles even more.

"Yeah, hmm, not sure how to tell you, but you smell... off. Not normal."

She lets go of your hand, and you take a look at it yourself. After a moment, you say, "Remilia seemed to think that I tasted rancid. And now she won't let me leave this damn place."

"So you came down here to try and escape. That right?" Even though she's not attacking you, you still don't like the way Flandre keeps looking you up and down, as if sizing you up.

"...yeah. That's right."

She puts a hand to her chin in thought. "Hmm, what to do... I could be a good sister and give you up to Remilia. Living or dead, I don't think she'd care from me." She's giving you that massive grin again, and you take a step back.

"Oooor," she continues, dropping the smile, "I could help you get out, just to mess with her. That could be fun, too."

...you really don't like how she seems genuinely indecisive about those options. "Please, I just want to go home and get back to my family."

She laughs. "Okay then, mister, you've convinced me. I'll help you get out."

You're... unsure how to react. "Really?"

"Yep! I barely ever have anything to do down here anyway. Most Outsiders that stumble their way to me are either already dying, so clueless that they think they can get away with attacking me, or just boring so I let Sakuya take them back up." She walks around you. "But you're different. Mostly because of the way your blood smells, honestly."

"...thank you. I-"

"But!" she interrupts. "To get you out cleanly, you'll have to wait until daylight, so Remi can't follow very far. And last I checked, it was only like one in the morning."

You look down. "Oh."

"Hey, don't look so glum!" Flandre points a thumb into the darkness. "I'll let you hide out in my room until daylight. Even Sakuya never pokes around in there without letting me know, so you'll be safe from her."

There's still a piece of doubt clawing at your mind. "Why are you doing this? Why go against your own sister?"

She shrugs. "Honestly, it's funny to mess up her plans now and then. And you seem like an alright guy, even if there might be something very wrong with you."

You glance at your hand again, but stay silent.

"Oh, I just realized, I never asked you your name."

"...Ethan. Ethan Winters."

Flandre snaps and points a finger at you. "Alright, new terms, Ethan, I'll help you but only if you explain what's your deal. Who you are, why your blood smells so funky, and so on."

You pause. "And if I refuse?"

"Well, I already promised I wouldn't turn you in..." She takes a step away from you, hands behind her back. "I guess I could turn a blind eye, let you try and find your own way out. What'll it be, Mr. Winters?"

[ ]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.
[ ]Your secrets are yours to keep, so you'll escape by yourself.
[C]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.
well there's no going back now, :mokoushrug:, guess were stuck with the little shit.
[x] Tell her less than half of everything you know.
She can't determine if you're lying. She's not Satori. All you have to do is to bluff it.
[X]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.
fuckin' mold man. At least they probably won't eat us if they know we're a fun guy. haha get it

also I uhh, didn't play either of the resident evils pertinent to this thread, is the mold that we apparently are infectious? Like, should we worry about Remi?
[x] Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.

I could do with a bit of knowing what's going on, myself.
[X]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.

Escaping from a room with no one watching is one thing, escaping from Flandre is a whole other deal. Also, she might be somewhat more willing to listen to us than Remilia, who can be a little... stubborn, so this might go better than trying to explain it to her would have.
[X]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.
Flan~
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[X]Guess there's no helping it. Agree to tell her everything in exchange for her assistance.

You sigh. “Alright, Flandre. I’ll tell you everything.”

Flandre smiles and claps her hands. “Great! But let’s not talk here. Follow me.”

She walks down the hall and you follow. Instead of speaking to you more, she opts to hum a tune to herself instead. That suits you, because you need a little time to think about exactly what you were going to tell her.

Your body being mold is unavoidable. There’s no real way you could lie that one away. Similarly, telling her about your family, or the horrors you went through for them, would be very difficukt to sugarcoat.

Briefly, your mind flashed to Chris, and the work he was doing. Even though you still resent him somewhat for keeping you in the dark for so long, he still helped you save Rose. You probably owed it to him to at least keep his work secret, even if the person you’re talking to might not even be able to do anything with the information.

Eventually, Flandre stops at a door, and waves an arm with a dramatic flourish. “We’re here!”

She throws the door open and bounds inside. You follow, and even though there’s only a number of candles lighting the room, it nearly blinds you after spending so long with only the light of Flandre’s wings.

There’s a simple bed in one corner of the room, and a small table with two chairs newr the center. Another corner contains an empty canvas, and the walls were covered in paintings of various subjects and quality. You even spot a closet containing more than a few stuffed animals.

Flandre takes a seat at the table. “Make yourself at home.”

You sit across from her, and she wastes no time. “Alright, Ethan, spill the beans. You a zombie or something?”

You look at your hand, thinking about how it’s actually all mold there instead of flesh and blood. “I guess, technically, I am.”

The vampire’s eyes go wide. “No way, really?! But you look so... normal!”

You sigh. “It’s a long story. Let me start from the beginning...”

And so you do. You briefly summarize how you met your wife, Mia, then how she one day vanished. Then, three years later, you got an email from her telling you to come to Louisiana.

You then go over the Baker family, and their twisted fate, as well as the fates they tried to pull yourself and Mia into. How they were infected with this substance called the mold, giving them superhuman strength and regeneration but corrupting their minds and bodies into monsters.

You also mention that this is where you died. However, somehow, your body was remade from the mold, and you got the benefits of the infection without the downsides.

Flandre is watching you with rapt attention, even as you idly stand up and begin pacing. “Turns out, there was this girl, Evelyn, who was a test subject made by the company Mia worked at. She controlled the mold, and the Bakers.” You shake your head. “She almost got me, too. But I stopped her?”

“How’d you do that?” Flandre blurts out. “Didja convince her to stop?”

You can’t bring yourself to look at her when you answer. “I killed her.”

Flandre gasps. “Woah... that’s so cool!”

You blink. “Not the word I’d use.”

“But it’s, like, poetic!” she insists. “She created you from the mold, I guess, then you killed her! Very Frankenstein!”

You say nothing else on the matter. “Anyway, after that, Mia and I moved to Europe, and after almost 3 years, had a beautiful baby girl.”

You try and reach for your family photo to show her, but you can’t find it anywhere. Did you leave it in the jacket you left for Rose...?

Pushing on, you skip the part about Chris killing “Mia” and go straight to your daughter being kidnapped by Mother Miranda and you searching for her in an old, werewolf-infested village.

“Eventually, I made it to Castle Dimitrecsu, since I thought Rose would be there.”

“Dimitrecsu?” Flandre scratches her head. “That sounds familiar...”

Now it’s your turn to go wide-eyed. “Wait, you know who she is?”

“Maybe?” She shrugs. “You’d be better off asking Remi about that. I got out even less back when we were on the Outside. Anyway, keep going.”

You file that bit of info away for later and push on. You tell her about killing Dimitrecsu and her daughters, only to find out that your daughter had been crystallized and separated into four different jars, owned by the other lords of the village.

You explain getting the next jar from a local infected dollmaker, but quickly gloss over it. You don’t want to relive that basement again...

Next was a supposed doctor next to a reservoir. He was dispatched with little issue, despite how ugly he was.

Flandre giggles slightly, and you talk about how the fourth lord, Heisenberg, tried to convince you to work with him to take down Miranda.

“But I turned the son of a bitch down.”

Flandre tilted her head. “Why wouldn’t you want his help?”

“He wanted to use my daughter as a weapon. That is unacceptable.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Use your infant daughter... as a weapon.”

“Apparently, Rose had some kind of power.” Maybe because you were mold when Mia got pregnant with her. But how would...?

Nevermind, you don’t want to think about that. “Anyway, I killed Heisenberg, but then Miranda showed herself and... tore my heart out.”

“Like, your entire heart?”

You nod.

“And... you didn’t die?”

You think back to that vision from Evelyn, and the emptiness in your chest back then. “I think I did. But that’s when I learned I was a mold monster, ever since the Baker house.”

Flandre’s expression gets serious. “Not a monster.”

“What?”

“You risked your life for both your wife and daughter, well after you had died and come back as mold. No monster would do that.”

You hesitate. That was... incredibly comforting, actually. “Thank you.”

Just as suddenly as it changed, Flandre’s expression returns to the awe from before. “So, you killed Miranda and got Rose back, right?”

“Yeah...” You remember the sight of your hand crumbling before you. “But I was on borrowed time. I stayed behind to make sure the village and the source of the mold was destroyed for good, so Mia could escape with Rose.”

Now Flandre looks a bit sad. “Awww... and that’s how you ended up in Gensokyo?”

“Sort of. Some blonde woman apparently revived me somehow, and told me to survive here for her entertainment. Next thing I knew, I was outside the mansion.”

“Blonde woman... was it Yukari?”

“Is that her name?”

“Probably. I think I only met her once, but she mentioned making a habit of screwing with people.”

At least now you have a name to blame for your entire situation. “Either way, that’s my story.”

Flandre stands up and gives you a standing ovation while laughing. “Wonderful! I had a feeling you weren’t gonna be boring, and you proved me right!”

“And your end of the deal?” you press. “You’ll still help me get out, right?”

“Of course, don’t worry!” She looks at a clock on the wall. “It’s only been an hour, though. Sunrise isn’t for another four, give or take.”

[ ]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.
[ ]Make an escape attempt ASAP. Flandre can still help, but the sooner you leave this mansion, the better.
[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.

She probably won't let you just take a nap or anything, but they've stuck her down here long enough there's probably something to do to fill the time.
[X ]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.
While going out before sunrise means that a certain vampire is able to trail us, it also means a certain other vampire is able accompany us.
Flandre has shown herself to be a good girl, so I say
[x]Make an escape attempt ASAP. Flandre can still help, but the sooner you leave this mansion, the better.
[X] Make an escape attempt ASAP. Flandre can still help, but the sooner you leave this mansion, the better.

Sure Remilia can come after us, but Sakuya, Patchouli, and Meiling could come after us no matter the time, so Flandre's help would be very useful.
[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.

Flan's gotten some good points with Ethan. Remilia finding out that he's with her should throw some things in doubt. Also, Ethan hasn't wound down in a long while. After a day of grueling tortures, it sounds like a good idea to take it easy. Perhaps ask Flandre about herself. Ask about the shrine maiden, and the blood tax.
hmm...
The smart thing to do would be to stay put.
I'm liking this Flandre, and kind of want to take her with us. Could be hilarious, could be very troublesome.

[x]Sit tight and wait.
[x]Sit tight and wait.
[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.
[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.
[X] Sit Tight and wait, not like you have anywhere better to go.
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[X]Sit tight and wait. Flandre said her room was safe, and you trust that.

Well, looks like you're staying put for a good while. You retake your seat at the table, and Flandre does the same.

You cough awkwardly. "So... got anything here to help pass the time?"

"Nah, sorry. I've been trying to talk Remi into letting me have a TV and some movies, at least, but between you and me, she's a bit stubborn when it comes to certain modern conveniences." She giggles to herself. "Or maybe she's just too proud to ask the kappa for one."

"Kappa? Like that one Japanese myth?"

Flandre's eyes go slightly wide, but she recovers. "Oh, right, you wouldn't know. Gensokyo is basically a big collection of all kinds of 'forgotten' myths and creatures." She points to herself. "We got vampires, fairies, all kinds of youkai..."

You sigh. Of course it wouldn't be that easy. "There are at least some normal humans, right? That maid, Sakuya, looked normal to me..."

"Oh, there's humans. They have a whole village some distance from here. Right next to the Hakurei Shrine, too, so it's your best place to go if you want to get home." She leans back in her chair, using her flight to maintain a normally impossible angle. "As for Sakuya, she is human, but that doesn't stop her from using time magic."

That would explain her sudden movements and appearances.

Suddenly, Flandre bolted upright. "Wait, what's today?"

"Uh, I don't-"

She rushes to a corner of the room and digs out a calendar. You don't even get a good look at it before she tosses it away. "Shit, today's cleaning day! I forgot!"

You stand up. "Cleaning day?"

"Remember when I said Sakuya never comes in my room without asking? Every Thursday is when she asks." She starts pacing the floor. "Shit, shit, shit, how do I keep her from finding you..."

"I could try hiding-"

"Won't work," she cuts you off. "She'll stop time and bump into you." She looks back and forth between the door and you. "Sorry, Ethan, but you won't be able to wait out the clock here."

Well there goes your easy plan. "Hey, thank you for helping as much as you did, at least."

Flandre's panic melts away to a confident smile. "Actually, I can keep helping you. Keep my end of the promise."

"But won't Sakuya know something's up if you're not here?"

She just keeps smiling. "Watch this."

Her wings start glowing brighter. There's a sudden flash of colored light, and you have to shield your eyes. When you look again, now there's... two Flandres?

"Can stay with you and here at the same time this way," the left Flandre says.

The right Flandre nods. "Trust me, this is your best option."

You're still stunned at the multiplication. "What the fuck..."

"Just something I can do." The left Flandre grabs your hand and goes to the door. "Come on, we should make some distance from here."

The other Flandre waves goodbye while you're pulled back into the dark hallways of the mansion basement. Your mind eventually catches up and you start running behind Flandre, who lets go of your hand once she's sure you're keeping pace.

"Best bet to lay low would be the library, now," Flandre explains. "It's big enough that even Sakuya usually doesn't bother checking every single corner of it at once. Just have to hope Patchy won't notice you."

"Patchy?"

"The librarian. Powerful magician, but she's very physically weak. You could probably overpower her easy if you got the drop on her."

You say nothing. Part of you would feel bad about hurting anyone in the mansion (besides Remilia, that is), but if it came down to it...

After some more turns, Flandre stops. "Up here."

She floats up a small staircase, and you follow closely behind. At the top of the stairs is an iron door.

Flandre turns to you. "Bad news is, Patchy will notice me very quickly if I go into the library proper. She, uh..." She looks away awkwardly. "She put a detection ward for me specifically after some... prior events."

"So I just have to hide up there until after Sakuya finishes with your room, right?"

She nods. "I'll come get you once it's clear. I can make enough of a diversion to cover your escape once it's time."

You reach a hand to the door. "Thank you, Flandre."

She smiles. "Now don't go screwing up and getting yourself caught, alright?"

You chuckle. "I'll do my best."

Flandre starts hovering back down the stairs. "Good luck, Ethan."

Once she's out of sight, you steel yourself and pull the door open. Thankfully, it's almost silent, and you emerge into a corridor created by a pair of absolutely massive bookshelves.

You peek around a one of the shelves and are absolutely floored by the scale of this library. This single room had to be about three times the size of the mansion itself! How does...?

You shake your head. More bullshit magic, probably. Now all that's left is to find a proper hiding spot. You don't see anyone around, but that doesn't mean that librarian Flandre mentioned wouldn't happen to fly overhead.

Assuming she can fly. Given the size of this library, she would have to in order to get anything done.

You creep a bit further out, keeping your eyes peeled for anything. No movement above or on ground level, but also no break in the endless bookshelves. At this rate, you were thinking that all you could do was stay put and simply hope that no one happened to fly over you and look down.

You slowly peek around yet another shelf, and are very pleased to see a reading desk. It was slightly dusty and devoid of any books, so it likely hasn't been used in a while. That would make for very good cover, all things considered...

"There you are."

You whirl around at the voice, only to be stopped by a knife impaling itself through your right hand and into the bookshelf you were pressed against. You cry out in pain, and look to the responsible party.

Sakuya's held you in her cold gaze, and she held more knives in her hand. "Now, enough of these games. My mistress and Lady Patchouli would like to see you."

You try to pull your hand free, but the knife is stuck deep in the wood. You'd need your other hand to get it out, but you're not sure if the psycho knife maid would let you do that.

While your blood starts dripping onto the carpet, Sakuya takes a step closer, as if reading your mind. "Of course, if you won't come willingly, I could further injure you until you cooperate. Please make the right choice, Mr. Winters."

Through your pained breathing, you take a closer look at Sakuya. While she has knives in her right hand, you notice that her left is hovering close to a pocket on her skirt. It could be more knives, but maybe her time powers has something she has to physically use.

Sakuya takes your lack of immediate response poorly, and throws another knife, this one landing just above your shoulder. "Please make your decision quickly. I have little patience after your escape attempt."

[ ]She caught you, and there's no way you can see getting out of this. Agree to see Remilia again.
[ ]Play along, but try to grab her hands once she's close enough. If that's how she stops time, that's how you stop her.
[ ]Stall. Flandre said the name Dimitrecsu was familiar, so maybe Sakuya would know it too?

Hand Injury Count: 2
All options lead to possible death. I'll make one of my own.
[x] Stall by requesting medical aid for your right hand. Assume that the mistress wouldn't like to have her carpets dirtied up by your blood dripping down along the way.
[X] She caught you, and there's no way you can see getting out of this. Agree to see Remilia again.

On second thoughts tho Remilia only is holding you back cause she doesn't know what you are so just give her the full story and she should hopefully get bored of Ethan afterwards and let him go.

Attacking Sakuya or outright succeeding in harming her would just antagonize Remilia and the sdm crew (Aside from Flandre that is) so for now avoiding getting too many injuries should be best.

Though if afterwards Remilia decides to still keep you for some reason then it's time to full WINTERS mode and get the hell out of here.
It'd be like him to scream 'fuck you' at his captor while being tied to chair right next to a trapdoor leading to a basement housing a monstrous abomination. Not that that would have happened to him...

[x] Stall
>>202823

Actually that's true, Ethan is one bold and stubborn son of a gun so going along with her demands seem unlikely.

Changing my vote to stalling too, if Sakuya doesn't know who Dimitrescu is then fuck it graple her ass, by which I mean hands
[x] Stall by requesting medical aid for your right hand. Assume that the mistress wouldn't like to have her carpets dirtied up by your blood dripping down along the way.
You know, I don't think trying to bring up blood spillage as a problem in a vampire's mansion would pan out so well.
Throwing the maid off by mentioning a name that we absolutely should not know would be much more effective.

[ ]Stall. Flandre said the name Dimitrecsu was familiar, so maybe Sakuya would know it too?
[x] Stall by requesting medical aid for your right hand. Assume that the mistress wouldn't like to have her carpets dirtied up by your blood dripping down along the way.
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[x] Stall by requesting medical aid for your right hand. Assume that the mistress wouldn't like to have her carpets dirtied up by your blood dripping down along the way.

You grimace and do your best to stand up. The knife trapping your hand is a bit too low, however, and you hiss as the blade digs itself a bit further into your flesh.

Despite the situation, you can't help but muster a bit of snark. "I don't think your mistress would appreciate me bleeding all over her floors." You glance towards your hand. "Mind helping me out here?"

Sakuya just frowns at you.

Suddenly, you find yourself a good few feet away, no longer leaning against the bookcase. The sudden lack of support makes you fall, and you cry out again when you notice that not only is the knife still embedded in your hand, your hands have been bound together with thick rope in front of you.

You look back up at Sakuya, who has a sadistic smirk. "My mistress would not care about how much blood you spill, but you are at least partially correct. I am the one who would have to clean it, after all." She leans in close. "And in case you didn't know, the proper way to treat a knife wound is not to remove the blade until you can reach proper treatment."

She snaps back to standing. "Now get up. If I have to drag you there, I won't hesitate to add some fractures on top of the stab wound."

You stay quiet and rise to your feet. This wasn't the first time you let a smartass comment bite you in the ass.

Sakuya just nods at your compliance and leads you deeper into the library. On the way there, you see about using the knife to cut your bonds, but she tied them in such a way that there's no way you could get the blade against the rope.

Every heartbeat sends another flare of pain through your hand, and you do your best to ignore it. You've had far worse, after all. Though the pain does make the journey feel even longer than it actually is.

Eventually, Sakuya brings you to a clearing in the middle of some bookshelves. There's a reading desk that's completely covered and surrounded by stacks of books, and a chair in front of it with some very obvious restraints in place.

Standing next to the chair was none other than the lady of the mansion. She gives you a wide grin, but you can see the annoyance in her eyes.

"How nice of you to join us again, Ethan," Remilia says. Her grin grows wider as she sees your injury. "I see Sakuya had to persuade you a bit."

"Cut the bullshit," you blurt out. "What do you want, Remilia?"

She gasps with mock surprise, then laughs. "I already told you. I refuse to believe someone human could have blood as disgusting as yours, so we're going to find out what exactly you are." She glances behind her at a path in the bookcases. "Although the timing is a bit unfortunate. Patchouli had to go and look for additional books right before you got here. She'll be back shortly."

You bring your hands up. "So what if I'm not human? I just want to go home to my family! You'd never have to see me again!"

"And what if you're lying?" Remilia asks before waving her arms in an overly-dramatic fashion. "What if there is no family, and you're actually a grave threat to Gensokyo?"

You stare her down and decide to call her bluff. "Then what would stop me from killing everyone here, if you think I'm that dangerous? There's another reason, isn't there?"

Remilia blinks, then chuckles. "Was it that obvious? I need to work on my acting, then." She gets uncomfortably close and cups your cheek. "Honestly, Mr. Winters, this is for my own curiosity more than anything. Once Patchouli gets back and is able to tell us what exactly you are, then I'll decide what to do with you."

You shake your way out of her grasp. "You're sick, you know that?"

"I have been called that in the past, yes." She walks back to the desk and motions at her maid. "Sakuya, see to it he's restrained."

"Yes, Mistress."

"Wait-"

You barely even get the word out before you're suddenly moved again, this time strapped into that chair. Naturally, Sakuya decided to leave the knife in your hand, and the motions it went through in stopped time make the pain flare up once more.

You immediately test the restraints around your wrists and legs, but they're solid iron. The chair itself isn't bolted to the floor, though, and it's made of wood, so you take note of that.

"And now to wait for Patchy," Remilia says. "I swear, you'd think that girl would have this place memorized by now..."

You're not getting out of this chair anytime soon, especially with both Sakuya and Remilia right next to you, but maybe you could say something that would convince one or both of them to let you go. Or maybe you could goad them into making a mistake and giving you an opening.

[ ]Tell the truth, right now. If Remilia is just curious about you, maybe telling her is the fastest way out at this point.
[ ]Bring up Dimitrecsu. Flandre did say the name was familiar...
[ ]Mention Flandre, and how you befriended her. It might be throwing her under the bus, but it might make Remilia think otherwise about treating you like this.
[ ]Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her.
[X]Tell the truth, right now. If Remilia is just curious about you, maybe telling her is the fastest way out at this point.
Fuck it, full send
[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.

[x] Just resume the two experiences (games) you went through and how the fact that litteraly almost every parasite, demon and devil has biten your hand which makes it reasonable that Ethan tastes like a bunch of vampire std.
[X]Tell the truth, right now. If Remilia is just curious about you, maybe telling her is the fastest way out at this point.
This is a certified Ethan Winters moment.

[x] Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her.
-[x] When you need it, a weapon in hand is just as good as a weapon on hand.
[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.

[x] Just recount the two experiences (games) you went through and how the fact that litteraly almost every parasite, demon and devil has biten your hand which makes it reasonable that Ethan tastes like a bunch of vampire std.
Well now, I'm sure we can all be the mature, responsible adults we are and act civil about thi-

[x]Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her.

FAHCK YOU
Hehehe, dammit you fellows.

That made me laugh so duck it

changing my vote to

[x] [x]Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her. too

Go be you Ethan!
[x]Try to insult Sakuya until she lashes out. You'll definitely take more of a beating, but it might let you slip away when her boss admonishes her.
[X]Tell the truth, right now. If Remilia is just curious about you, maybe telling her is the fastest way out at this point.
[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.

[x] Just recount the two experiences (games) you went through and how the fact that litteraly almost every parasite, demon and devil has biten your hand which makes it reasonable that Ethan tastes like a bunch of vampire std.
File 162936277623.jpg - (9.91KB, 205x246, images (3).jpg) [iqdb]
202969
[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.

[x] Just resume the two experiences (games) you went through and how the fact that litteraly almost every parasite, demon and devil has biten your hand which makes it reasonable that Ethan tastes like a bunch of vampire std.
Something something Vampire STDs. And if that doesn’t work, then mentioning the other monsters Ethan had to deal with could also work
File 163007887482.jpg - (71.03KB, 655x818, librarian.jpg) [iqdb]
202984
[x] Bring up Dimitrecsu.
-[x] Also bring up your past experiences, and try to convince Remilia that's why you taste odd.

With your limbs restrained and an unknown fate awaiting you, you understand that your options are limited. As much as you'd enjoy taking Remilia down just like the previous vampire you dealt with, for now the best you can do is get under her skin, or otherwise throw her off her game.

And you think you knew exactly how to do that.

"Oh? What's got you smirking?"

Shit, she noticed that. Instead of denying it, you decide to play into the slip-up. "It's just funny... you're like the exact opposite of the last vampire I ran into."

That definitely got her attention, and her eyebrows go wide. "Mr. Winters, are you implying I'm not the first vampire you've encountered?"

You laugh. "Lady, I've had to deal with all kinds of bullshit over the past three years of my life." You nod at your still-impaled hand. "Between this and getting half my hand gnawed off by a werewolf, or picked to the bone by killer insects, a knife in the hand is almost pleasant."

"Hmm, is that it, then?" Remilia asks. "You're actually a werewolf?"

"Tonight is a full moon, Mistress," Sakuya chimes in. "If he was, we would have known already."

"Hmm, right." Remilia leans a bit closer to you. "Still, back up slightly. What did you mean when you said 'the last vampire you ran into'?"

"Tell me, does the name 'Dimitrecsu' ring a bell?"

Remilia gasps. It seemed genuine, this time. "My, that's a name I haven't heard in a long, long time..." She looks up at Sakuya. "Do you remember Lady Dimitrecsu?"

The maid's expression remains cold. "I cannot say I do, Mistress."

"Hmm, I know I mentioned her to you at least once at the time." Remilia shrugs. "Ah well. Anyway, Ethan, I met her a couple times back when we lived in Europe, about... fifty years ago? Sixty?"

You say nothing, and Remilia continues. "She was a much younger vampire than myself, of course, but she was still a nice enough lady the few times I encountered her. Never got much of her story, she was very secretive about that. Still, she was very gracious to meet a fellow vampire."

A thought occurs to you. "...how tall was she, back then?"

Remilia arches an eyebrow. "About your height. Why?"

"Well, when I ran into her, she was easily eight feet tall, at least."

"Really? Interesting..." She puts a hand to her chin in thought. "There was something about her that seemed... different, now that I think about it. By vampire standards, anyway."

For a split second, you almost feel bad about what you did, with how fondly Remilia speaks about her brief memories of Dimitrecsu, but then you remind yourself that she was more than happy to go along with some inhuman plan to split your infant daughter into pieces, just to resurrect Miranda's own child. So fuck her.

"So, tell me, how is she doing?" Remilia asks. "And more importantly, how did you end up in her company to begin with?"

You see an opportunity to both give a bit of the truth and further antagonize her, so you take it. "Well, it started when Dimitrecsu was involved in a plot to kidnap my infant daughter."

Even though you were restrained, you still notice that the venom in your voice made Remilia appear nervous for a very brief moment, and you mentally congratulate yourself. She soon looks... apologetic? "I am... sorry to hear that. No wonder you didn't want to trust another vampire."

Remilia is acting like she's suddenly sorry for what she's done to you, but you're not buying it, so you press on with your story. "You're talking as if I didn't get her back."

All at once, the sadness washes away from her face. "Ah, then it all worked out. I take it you reached an agreement with Lady Dimitrecsu?"

Oh, she just set you up perfectly. So perfectly that you can't help but chuckle.

"Was it all just a misunderstanding, I take it?" Remilia guesses.

You calm down and stare right into her red eyes.

"I killed her."

The library is silent for a moment. Then Remilia breaks out into laughter.

"You? Kill a vampire?" Remilia steps back to lean on the desk and laugh harder. "Ahahaha, I find that, hah, hard to believe, Ethan!" She composes herself slightly. "Sure, you've proven yourself tougher than the average Outsider, but there's no need to lie to me about what you've done in the past."

You maintain your glare. "It's not a lie. She helped kidnap my daughter, went along with butchering her for some bullshit plan, and then put me through all kinds of hell when I tried to get her back. So I killed her and her daughters."

Remilia was done laughing, and now is looking at you with mild amusement. "She never mentioned anything about daughters when I met her. There's no need to keep building onto this lie to impress me."

Now you were starting to get a bit frustrated. "I'm telling you, I'm not lying."

"Clearly, none of you know what it means to be in a library."

You look at the new monotone voice. It's a girl wearing purple robes and a matching cap, along with a distinct crescent moon hair ornament. She hovered just above the ground from between a set of bookshelves, followed by some sort of servant carrying a massive stack of books. The stack was so large that you couldn't even see who was carrying it.

"There you are, Patchouli!" Remilia says. "Just in time, too. Our guest here claims to have killed Lady Dimitrecsu."

Patchouli just looks at her blankly. "Who?"

Remilia throws her hands in the air. "Am I the only person in this mansion that remembers her?"

"Most likely," Patchouli says bluntly. "Still, if you think he's lying, I can cast a quick lie-detecting enchantment on him before we get started."

Remilia just nods, and Patchouli opens one of her books and starts reading from it. By now, you can actually see her assistant, who is a red-haired woman in a suit with bat ears similar to Remilia's, though she also has a smaller pair sprouting from her head.

...is that a devil tail behind her, too?

Whatever, Gensokyo is fucking weird.

Patchouli makes some gestures and says some words in a language that sounds unlike any you've ever heard. Shortly after, a faint circle of light comes into being around your chair.

"Alright, he can't lie now," Patchouli says.

"Thank you, Patchy." Remilia goes back up to you. "Now, Ethan Winters, did you kill Lady Dimitrecsu and her supposed daughters?"

"Yes, I did."

Nothing happens.

As you stare down Remilia, your words slowly sink in, and you can't help but feel satisfied as her smug grin falls away.

"...oh."

It was your turn to be a little smug. "I told you."

Remilia backs up a couple steps, and appears to be at a loss for words. Even Patchouli, as stoic as she was, looks a bit taken aback by what you said.

"...this changes nothing," Remilia clearly lies. "P-Patchouli, go ahead with... whatever you had planned. Find out what he is."

"...right." She sits at the desk and opens several books in front of her. "It will take some time to prepare fully."

"That's fine," Remilia says. "We have all night."

You continue to glare at the vampire in front of you, but now it seems that she can't bring herself to make eye contact with you. Patchouli's servant likewise appears spooked.

In contrast, Sakuya seems to be keeping an even closer eye on you now. Her hands aren't poised to reach into her pockets at the moment, but you know that there's no way you could act faster than her from your current predicament.

Suddenly, you spot a familiar wing behind Sakuya. Without looking directly at her to give her away, you watch Flandre out of the corner of your eye as she leans around a bookcase, makes a "Shh" motion at you, then disappears back into cover.

Well, at least Flandre didn't forget about you. You have no idea how she can help you here, but the help would still be greatly appreciated.

The question is, should you do anything to help her help you?

[ ]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.
[ ]Keep needling those around you with conversation, especially Patchouli. Breaking her concentration would help stall for whatever the younger Scarlet will do.
[ ]Knock yourself over. It won't do anything to help you on its own, and Sakuya might stab you again on reflex, but something tells you Flandre's help might require ducking and covering.
This is Flan we're talking about. If her plan isn't high yield then I'll be shocked.

[x]Knock yourself over. It won't do anything to help you on its own, and Sakuya might stab you again on reflex, but something tells you Flandre's help might require ducking and covering.

This doubles as a stall option, since how are they not going to ask about why you toppled yourself over?
[x]Keep needling those around you with conversation, especially Patchouli. Breaking her concentration would help stall for whatever the younger Scarlet will do.

Easiest choice of my life. Give the good girl ample opportunity to set up whatever she has in mind, she already got around the detection ward somehow.
That really was satisfying reading it. Let him boast some more!
[X]Keep needling those around you with conversation, especially Patchouli. Breaking her concentration would help stall for whatever the younger Scarlet will do.
>>202986 (add)
-[x] Knock yourself over. It won't do anything to help you on its own, and Sakuya might stab you again on reflex, but something tells you Flandre's help might require ducking and covering.

It's not like you can't distract them and then knock yourself over, right?
[x] Knock yourself over

Commence Operation get Chaired!
[X]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.
[X] Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.
[X]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.
[ ]Keep needling those around you with conversation, especially Patchouli. Breaking her concentration would help stall for whatever the younger Scarlet will do.

lets annoy them
[X]Sit and wait for Patchouli to finish whatever she's doing. If Flandre already has a plan, then all you have to do is wait.

I feel like all hell is about to break loose for some reason.
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