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1x1 Under the Scarlet Moon

Discussion in 'Side Story Archives' started by Kaykay, Nov 6, 2017.

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  1. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.

    A side-story set just after Civil War, specifically between the first two parts of Shiki Tohno's Epilogue, and follows him, Len, and Sakuya Izayoi.


    Shiki Tohno felt particularly parched today.

    Maybe it was the physical exertion in the wake of the Coalition Civil War that he had to go through. Maybe it was the mere thought of being served tea by Sakuya that had been on his mind for a small while now. But whatever the case was, he was in the mood for a good cup right now, and indeed, he expected it to come soon enough. He figured he certainly deserved one after everything that had happened at the very least, right? Civil wars took a lot out of oneself after all, especially if they were, to be quite frank, filled with some rather holier than thou people. Maybe that's why he was never a big crowd people, always preferring the more intimate things in life.

    Arising from the portal in the air to his destination, the world that Sakuya Izayoi originated from, Shiki took a breath, giving a small smile as he pocketed his hands. It wasn't often that he traversed through different universes like this, and much less that he was able to simply relax and enjoy the place, rather than hustle through it like he needed to get something done, like back when he and Sakuya both went on to fight the Arch Demon, incidentally their first meeting, though... For better or for worse (more likely the latter), her first impression of him seemed to be his other personality, but... The less said about Shiki Nanaya, the better, in Shiki Tohno's opinion.

    As Remilia and Sakuya also arrived into their home world, the portal closing behind them with that (not that Shiki was worried, he had his own portable device to get back home, courtesy of VECTOR's corpse from way back), Len, in her cat form, sat comfortably atop the maid's head, having taking a liking for her during the Coalition Civil War. Maybe it was simply a maid thing, considering how well Len got along with Kohaku, Shiki mused to himself.

    Letting out a soft breath, Shiki finally spoke. "Alright, we're finally here! Your... ah, mansion shouldn't be too far off, right? I'd love to take a look around your place before supper and tea," he said, moreso to Sakuya than Remilia.


    "Indeed, it's simply a short walk around the lake. It is a little hard to see through the mist, but I'm sure you'll be able to recognize it on sight. There's only one mansion around here, after all. I can't help but wonder just how the fairy maids have been doing without me though..."

    Other than her concern for the fairy maids, Sakuya spoke in a fairly relaxed manner. The events of the Civil War had left her a little tired, leaving the maid ready to go back to her usual activities rather than all of that dramatic grandstanding she was certain almost everyone involved had done at least once, including herself.
    While her first impression had definitively said otherwise, the Shiki she currently knew didn't seem like much of a troublemaker, unlike certain other humans who tended to frequent the mansion. Thus, having him over, despite not being a normal resident of the mansion or even this world, almost seemed like it'd be more relaxing than just heading back solely with the mansion's owner.

    "I do plan to escort you around the place, but do beware that my power makes the mansion larger on the inside than it seems." Sakuya reached up to pet Len as she spoke. "But speaking of which, what sort of food and tea would you prefer, Shiki? And maybe some cake for the little one up here?"

    Remilia meanwhile mostly just flew around overhead in the mist, trying to keep away from sunlight. She was a vampire, after all.

    "He knows the mansion is mine doesn't he..."

    Still, she muttered to herself as she hovered above them.


    "Hmm? What would I prefer to eat? Well..."
    Shiki responded, looking up for a small while, as though taking a while to think over it, before shrugging his shoulders with a smile and pocketing his hands, after briefly scratching his cheek with a finger, "Why don't you surprise me? I'm sure that as long as you're the one making it, I'll love it," he spoke pleasantly, continuing to walk with her and the others.

    While Len purred contently when Sakuya pet her, when Shiki did the same shortly after, the familiar "playfully" pawed his hand away, prompting the boy to purse his lips. Was she really still irritated about having to leave just because of that damned dog she fell for? It really was a mad world in which he lived, and beyond. Clearing his throat after putting his hands back in his pockets again, Shiki nodded. "As for Len though... Yeah, she's a tad more picky than I am; she'll be content with any sort of sweets, most preferably shortcake if you can manage that."

    Len gave Shiki a sidelong glance, but did little more to react to his words. It wasn't as though he was necessarily wrong anyway, after all.

    "So then, how much further away is this mansion of yours?" He then proceeded to ask Sakuya and Remilia.

    "Hm, I see. Anything works...I wonder if I'll have to grab some supplies from the human village," Sakuya held a hand to her chin, thinking for a brief moment about what to make. Something for humans to eat, any kind of tea, and some cake for desert. The maid nodded with a satisfied look as everything seemed to come together quite well. Though she couldn't help but laugh softly when Len got "playful."


    "Come now Len, it's alright. We'll get you some cake when we get back, okay?"

    Pondering Shiki's question, she glanced around the Misty Lake to get a sense of exactly where they were on it. She knew they were heading towards the ridge the mansion was located on, but the lake's namesake tended to prevent exact knowledge on where one was.

    "Well, it would take us about an hour to go around the whole lake. Based on where we started, it should only be a few minutes now."

    True to her word, the mansion would soon appear through the mist.


    "Too bright...Sakuya..."

    Upon hearing the vampire's complaint, a parasol would suddenly appear in Sakuya's hand. Remilia took to the ground as Sakuya opened it up, protecting the small vampire from the sunlight. A tall woman dressed in green Chinese-looking clothing stood off to the side with her arms crossed.


    But on closer inspection, she appeared to be asleep. Sakuya appeared to pretend she couldn't see the woman while Remilia merely tried to keep herself inside the shade of the parasol.

    "Whew. So that's where you guys live, huh?" Shiki inquired, making an impressed whistle. And to think that it was supposedly even bigger on the inside! He couldn't help but let out a lightly amused chuckle at Remilia's reaction to the sun. The young man had forgotten her status as a vampire, and how they oft were under the sun's rays, considering he had so gotten used to Arcueid back home practically being hyperactive as she was from day to night, with only a mild discomfort not worth even mentioning "plaguing" the White Princess as a result.

    As the woman in Chinese looking clothing appeared before them, evidently asleep where she stood, Shiki lightly raised an eyebrow. While the maid next to him might have preferred to not even acknowledge her, the boy's curiosity got the better of him as he tapped Sakuya on the shoulder and briefly gestured in the direction of the dozing woman as they continued making their way toward the mansion.

    "Who's that over there? She also take care of the place or something?"

    "Take care of...I suppose. She is the gatekeeper for our mansion. But she does so enjoy her 'siestas.'"
    Sakuya sighed as she was forced to acknowledge the other woman, turning to look at the sleeping gatekeeper.

    "Ouch!" The other woman suddenly cried out, as though hit in the back of the head. One had to assume that by Sakuya's suddenly raised hand, someone had perhaps been a little too liberal in the use of their powers. Nevertheless, the woman still appeared to be in a good mood as she looked over at the group.


    "Sakuya! Milady! ...Guest person! Welcome back, and welcome! I'm Hong Meiling, nice to meetcha! I was patrolling the area just now, and of course nobody has come into the mansion in your absences."

    "Of course they haven't." Though Sakuya's tone dripped with sarcasm, she smiled as she spoke. "This is Shiki...Tohno. We have invited him over for supper and tea, so there's no need to dispose of him."
    Sakuya introduced him.

    "You mean we're not feeding him to Flan?"

    "That would make us rather poor hosts."

    "Oh, sounds delicious. I'll see if I have time to join you guys after I patrol the area some more. Shiki, right? If you've got anything you wanna ask, fire away!"

    "Patrol...of course."


    "... Lively, isn't she?" Shiki let out a small chuckle as he mumbled to Sakuya, before clearing his throat, "Yes, nice to meet you then too, Meiling-san," he said politely enough, giving a small wave, before gesturing toward Len, still resting comfortably atop Sakuya's head, "And that there's Len. She may not look like it right now, but she's a shape-shifting familiar, just to let you know."

    So this was what it was like to meet another person from Sakuya's home world, beside Remilia. It was perhaps the first time Shiki found himself genuinely interested in learning more about the world, akin to an earnest curiosity found mostly in children. He remembered how Mikasa had described her world back in his first Murder Game, and what a grim world she presented it to be, as well as how Plutia had described her own world during the Arch Demon's Fall, and how... strange it seemed to be. Perhaps a bit too much so for Shiki's taste at the moment.

    As mentioned before, something like Sakuya's world was perhaps more to his liking, what with the vampires and other supernatural oddities, in comparison to the fantastical sciences of what have one in Plutia's, for example.


    "Oh, dear. I assume this Flan doesn't bear much resemblance to the pastry of the same name then?" He inquired with mild concern in his tone, though his expression reverted back to a pleasant smile quickly enough. "In any case, thank you for the offer, Meiling-san. You're too kind," Shiki said with a slight bow.


    "She doesn't do her work well, but if that was how we hired people I would be the only one working here anyway..."

    Sakuya's words seemed almost arrogant, but in the end in the Scarlet Devil Mansion it was just something that was commonly accepted. The fairy maids did almost nothing and came and went as they pleased, and Meiling followed the same "schedule" despite her different job.


    "Ohh, the cat wasn't just a stray? Hi Len-chan~!"

    Having not realized the cat wasn't just, well, a cat, Meiling reached up in an attempt to pet Len. The familiar was getting a lot of people trying to pet her recently.


    "Ah, no, Flandre would be the other mistress of the mansion. Miss Remilia's younger sister," Sakuya answered. "She's a little bit uncontrollable when she 'plays' around and until recently was mostly used to eating humans rather than actually seeing them."

    The maid suddenly put her hand to her chin thoughtfully.

    "Actually, she's a little bit like you, Shiki, after I give it some thought."

    Hopefully she didn't mean that in the eating humans way.

    However Len reacted to Meiling, afterwards she'd give Shiki a wide smile and nod enthusiastically. "See you at supper then, Shiki!" One had to wonder if she'd actually make it instead of ending up taking a nap somewhere.



    Len simply looked away from Meiling in something of a standoffish manner, but otherwise didn't resist as the green clothed female petted her.

    Meanwhile, Shiki couldn't help but let out a soft chuckle as Sakuya described who "Flan" really was, and her comparison to him. "I'm not exactly sure whether to take that as an insult or a compliment, but ah... Noted," he spoke in amusement. Indeed, the "eating humans" part was just a tad alarming to hear, but hey... Shiki figured he was just gonna pretend the only humans who got eaten were bad people who had it coming to them.

    Quickly enough, he followed himself up with a nod and a friendly wave toward Meiling. "See you then! It was good to meet you, Meiling-san!" He said, and with that, continued on forward with the others, turning to Sakuya again.

    "She seems nice. Are all the people in the mansion as eccentric as her though?"

    "...Ah, I suppose I should have made that more clear," Sakuya responded, seeming to have not even considered that at first. "It's not really a good or bad thing, I was just sort of thinking to myself. I don't believe you've described it in detail, but your knife seems to cut just about anything, right? Miss Flandre's ability is a little bit like that, is all."

    As they began to walk past the gates and into the mansion, the maid simply nodded. "In one way or another. There's our resident bookworm, her assistant, and the fairy maids. None are quite as energetic, but I believe they'd certainly qualify as eccentric."

    There weren't all too many people who lived in the mansion despite its size. Some people might have considered this somewhat boring, including the mansion's owner, but the majority of the inhabitants were just fine with that and the occasional visitor. Strange things happened often enough for entertainment to not be much of a concern for almost all of the residents.

    Once they'd finally entered the mansion, the group was greeted by a ridiculously large but empty European foyer. If one didn't know better, they'd probably be inclined to believe it was uninhabited. It would probably make one wonder why Sakuya even bothered making the interior bigger.

    '...Well, this is why I would be the greeter."

    "We don't need a greeter Sakuya, just prepare us some tea, if you would."

    "Of course, milady. Just allow me to bring our guests to their seats."

    After that brief exchange, Sakuya would take them towards the dining room. "Unless anyone would like to put in any particular requests, I'll go ahead and make that tea then."

    "Goodness. Guess it'd be in everyone's best interest if I stay in her good graces then," Shiki spoke, his hands still pocketed as he spoke. It was quite astonishing, how powerful the people in this world must be.
    For just a brief moment, he wondered just how well he'd be able to stack against the inhabitants of this world, but just as quickly erased the thought. His power was more ideal for "killing" rather than "fighting," lest he'd want to seek out a brain hemorrhage actively. After all, despite all his power, it was more practical to have powers like Arcueid's and Ciel's, but alas, all he could do was continue playing with the hand he'd been dealt at life, and leave it at that.

    The young man silently nodded as Sakuya talked about the others who resided within the mansion. Indeed, if he lived in a place like this, it would have been more than eventful enough for him, even if others would have found the place boring. After all, things were lively enough back in his own home, and sometimes he wondered if he could handle a consistent life crazier than that, overbearing little sisters be damned.

    After being led from there to the foyer and then the dining room, Len eventually hopped off Sakuya gently, landing on the floor and nonchalantly morphing back into her normal form. Without so much as a gesture, Shiki walked over and pulled up a chair at the table, allowing Len to plop herself on top, before the boy looked over at the maid.

    "Other than the shortcake for Len, I don't have anything in mind. Surprise me!" He said with a smile.


    "Good choice," Remilia suddenly spoke up in response to Shiki's musing on Flandre. "I wouldn't want our guest being rude to my sister, you know?"

    With nobody seeming to have any particular requests, Sakuya smiled and bowed before taking her leave for the kitchen. "Understood. I'll be right back, then."

    There were a number of surprised sounding girls' voices giving greetings and excuses from the kitchen, presumably the fairy maids Sakuya had mentioned earlier. They began to scatter out of the kitchen, a few of them happening to walk through the dining room and stopping to briefly greet Remilia before continuing their trek away from any sort of work.

    Naturally the cooking and tea preparation would take some time, but eventually Sakuya would reemerge from the kitchen.


    "Thank you for waiting. I do hope the wait wasn't too long."

    While she'd brought a tea pot and enough tea cups for everyone, the maid appeared to have not brought anything else for her mistress strangely enough. Though neither commented on it.

    On the tray she'd brought a strawberry shortcake for Len and a stack of pancakes with cottage cheese and grated lemon zest. Sakuya placed their meals in front of them before beginning to pour the tea.

    "I prepared something simple Shiki, but for some reason I found it fitting. I was a little careless with my words earlier, so I do hope the food does not come across the same way."

    Remilia seemed content just sipping away at her tea, apparently not feeling the need to eat.


    "O-Of course not, Miss Remilia..." Shiki simply said, admittedly lightly intimidated by the smaller girl's casual remark, for some reason finding himself attempting to resist something to the degree of chills running down his back.

    As Sakuya made her temporary leave, the young man tried his best to simply mind his business and wait patiently, though to a small degree his curiosity did get the better of him as he ended up attempting to listen in on the voices and noises coming from the kitchen, but alas, supernatural hearing was something he did not possess. Unlike Len and practically everyone else he knew back home with their special powers, Shiki didn't have anything of the sort, so he didn't get much out of his attempt, and Len seemed too concerned with her treat more than whatever might have been going on elsewhere.

    The wait was surprisingly not as bad as one would have expected had they been in Shiki's situation, though perhaps that was partially to do with the boy's unique personality. Though admittedly his slight discomfort with Remilia, contributing to his unwillingness to strike up a conversation with her, made the relative silence a bit awkward, Shiki didn't have an inherent problem with silence. He had spent much of his recent life in silence, in solitude, and when he did have a companion, it was the ever reticent Len, who hardly ever made a sound, let alone uttering a word. To an extent, he was comfortable with it; he had come to terms that silence was a better friend than many gave it credit, but now, he had people back home, he had Plutia, he had Ilona... he had Sakuya to call a friend.

    Perhaps company wasn't so bad after all.

    When the maid eventually returned, Shiki gave a pleasant smile, not commenting on Remilia not being given any food (he knew enough about vampire workings, even if someone like Arcueid didn't follow those rules he was familiar with, to have a rough idea), before having a sip of the tea poured for him. Meanwhile, Len's eyes practically shined like diamonds when the sweet foods became visible to her, her expression had shifted more significantly in that moment than it ever did during the Civil War possibly, before quickly helping herself in no time.

    With a nod, Shiki also helped himself to a bite of the meal, before responding to the maid. "It's delicious. Thank you, Sakuya," he said, maintaining his smile as ever, before raising his teacup toward her, "Here's to you, then. You really are quite a remarkable person, and... I'm truly glad to have met you," the boy spoke, before having another sip and then clearing his throat, "Now then... In any case, how about after this, we can proceed with the tour? Just you and me perhaps? I'm sure Remilia and Len would rather... relax than to have to tag along?"

    Len just kept eating silently.

    "I'm glad it's to your liking," Sakuya said with a slight bow. She couldn't help but smile as Len and Shiki appeared to be enjoying themselves. She'd gotten rather used to Len's unchanging face, but it was still a pleasant surprise. Preparing food and the like was part of working as a maid, but it was always encouraging when others enjoyed her work.

    When Shiki spoke again, she nodded towards him. "It is a pleasure knowing you as well, Shiki. I must admit I hadn't left Gensokyo intentionally originally, but it hasn't been an experience I'd say I regret." Surprisingly enough, the majority of people she'd met were a lot more welcoming than she'd expected. Generally her ability to manipulate time rendered her somewhat outcast by normal humans, and though her first meeting with Shiki in particular was a little less than welcoming, eventually he'd blown that image away from her mind. There weren't really any humans that weren't magicians or shrine maidens around, and having one around wasn't bad at all.

    "I believe that should be fine," she replied to his inquiry about touring the mansion, glancing in Remilia's direction.

    "Ah, I'm tired. I don't care. Do whatever you like." The small vampire sounded dismissive, waving her maid off while closing her eyes. There were hardly any windows in the mansion so it was hard to tell the time, but it was still daytime. Their little excursion outside of Gensokyo hadn't meshed together well with a vampire's sleep schedule.

    "Well there you have it. There would be little point to milady touring her own mansion after all."


    "Sounds like a date," Shiki said with a coy smile, eventually getting around to finishing his meal after a few moments, standing up as soon as he'd done so, rubbing his hands together.

    Like the maid, Shiki was also far from a stranger to the concept of being outcast by other humans, even if it might have not been anywhere near whatever Sakuya had been through. At best, he might have come off to others like any other unimpressive, unimposing young man with a poor constitution (thank heavens his anemia had subsided ever since he'd tapped into his powers), but Shiki had always felt more isolated than that. He'd felt like the living embodiment of misanthrope, someone who was always meant to be different from others, and the few friends he had in life were similar to him in that regard. Touched by death, dead to the world, and the only connection to this world being the desire to figure out what it truly meant to live.
    But he had long since figured out the secret to that, and now, he was living the life that he wanted to, spending time with the people who mattered to him, beyond any big conspiracy of massive organizations and villains out to hunt him.

    "Take me away wherever you please then, Sakuya,"
    he spoke, standing behind the silver-haired maiden, before briefly turning to Len, raising a stern finger toward her, "You behave now, alright? Don't cause any trouble to Miss Scarlet over there, alright?"



    Len just sighed in mild exasperation, more out of not exactly appreciating the boy's patronizing tone than anything, but it seemed that he was just used to talking to other people like that, though to be fair, considering the girls he knew back in his home world (with the exception of possibly Ciel), they did all seem to be... impressionable people.

    The familiar sometimes thought to herself that Shiki was something of a fish out of water when he was around people who weren't so impressionable, especially Arcueid, but she'd never say that aloud, even if she wasn't a reticent individual by default.​
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  2. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.

    "Like I always say, Sakuya, you can never trust the guest," Remilia criticized Shiki's choice of words, "They're always trying something shady. Like how you mixed a pheasant's eye into my tea again."

    "It's the first time you've said that, I believe. And I did mix in a little more sugar for you this time as well, milady. Besides, I truly am confident it'll be good for your heart."

    After that exchange, Sakuya offered Len a reassuring smile as Shiki seemed to lecture the familiar, as though telling her she trusted her with the mistress of the mansion regardless of what Shiki thought of the little girl. Cat. Hm, multiple forms could get confusing at times.


    "Follow me then, Shiki."

    Leading him out of the room, the maid thought of exactly where to take him. Now that the time give him a tour had come, she wished she had planned this better ahead of time. Most guests who came into the mansion came uninvited, though she still treated them hospitably, now that she thought about it. Perhaps an outside to inside approach would be best?

    Suddenly realizing that she might have been quiet for too long as she thought, Sakuya spoke up.
    "Our garden is a rather nice sight, how about we head there?"


    Once she'd led him there Shiki would find a single fountain in the middle, with a large amount of architecture formed through flora. Arches and walls made of greenery that surpassed their own height surrounded them, though on the main path that Sakuya led Shiki down one could see the Misty Lake and mountains with a rather clear view. The lake's namesake seemed to not be particularly hindering from here.

    "Hm, I guess the view is actually better from the balcony," Sakuya placed a finger on her chin in thought, a moderately sized balcony high in the distance behind them. "Though I suppose being in the garden itself has its own charm, doesn't it?"

    "I-I'm still here," Shiki said in response to Remilia, a mildly uncomfortable sweat drop almost visible as he tried his best to maintain a nonchalant smile.

    Regardless, he nodded and followed along Sakuya as the maid led him away, pocketing his hands as he did so. Gray eyes partially obscured by spectacles scanned all around the mansion, taking in its intricate design as the boy looked around, comparing the mansion to his own; that is, the mansion that belonged to his family, and technically "owned" by Akiha as the blood heir. Home always seemed to have a consistent blue and brown color scheme, at least when he thought back to it; sometimes it reminded him of the ocean or the blue sky. Blue, in Shiki's eyes, was always a color of pristine implications, a "pure" color not unlike white. Indeed, Ciel-senpai was the... least of a handful, compared to the other girls for example, and her blue hair... Well... Oof. Shiki knew he was deliriously homesick when he started to do color association with people back home.

    The young man was more homesick than he'd realized, not that he disliked spending time in Sakuya's home world for a detour at all, but it was difficult to forget that his journey away, and his odyssey back home were nearly at an end. He couldn't imagine how long he'd been gone, not only because of the uncertain nature of the passage of time between these kinds of dimensions, but also just because he'd lost count of how many weeks, or hell, even months that he'd been gone.

    It was amazing to think of how much he had though, and to still want for something more. He almost felt guilty about it.

    Shiki didn't realize how lost in thought he was about his home until Sakuya spoke again, admittedly not even noticing the silence that permeated the air for a moment as he followed the silver-haired maiden, quickly nodding at her suggestion. "Sure! Sounds good to me."

    Upon reaching the area, he once again marveled at the place, wondering how long it must have taken to build such an extravagant place for a brief moment. When Sakuya spoke, Shiki nodded once again, taking a breath of the fresh air. "Yes, I suppose it does. Sometimes, it's nice to look at things from a different perspective, eh?" He spoke as he continued to walk alongside Sakuya, gazing up at the outdoor sun as he did so. Without much prompt, Shiki took one hand out of his pockets and silently stretched his arm out toward the sun, as though reaching out to it. How much time had he spent, trying to grasp something that he didn't even know? Looking for something, but having no idea what it is? Looking for something more, even when he really had everything he could ever want now?

    "Hey, Sakuya," he suddenly spoke again, turning to her as he put his arm down, "Have you ever... thought about what your life would be like if you weren't a maid for Ms. Scarlet? Or at least, more free to go wherever you pleased? What kind of path you would have led if you did?" Shiki inquired, taking a short breath, before continuing, "I'd always spent a lot of time wondering what could have if I never went back to the Tohno, and just decided to stay with the Arima family who took me in before. Could I have been normal? The kind of person who knew nothing of vampires, arch demons, and the multiverse, who could fall in love and settle down, who could... grow old in peace like any other human?"

    "I... Ah, I guess the central point of what I'm asking is... Have you ever wished for more in life?"

    "Hmm, if I weren't a maid...I'd become a housewife, then? Ah, or rather a schoolgirl at my age. Maybe a magician, the kind that does sleight-of-hand without any actual magic. I do enjoy a few tricks like that, you know."

    Sakuya had been speaking in a light tone, but then closed her eyes in thought for a moment. A different kind of life, huh? She had to admit she'd thought of that before, but she'd already come to one conclusion.


    "I can't imagine a more comfortable life than this. My reputation as a maid for devils may not do my image any favors, but I have enough companions as it is, as well as clothes, food, and a home. Going out for a little fun every so and then and coming back to make tea is good enough for me. If more comes I'll accept it, and if nothing does I'll still be content."

    The maid rested her hands low in front of her, staring towards the bright sun.

    "But regardless, no matter what I might have chosen, I could never have lived normally with my power. Even if I never used it, just knowing I have it is too much for normal people. Could you live with someone that can stretch any moment into eternity without your knowing? Someone who could steal anything, cheat any kind of supervision or security? Not that I would find it interesting to do those things, but that doesn't stop people from being paranoid. Any unexplained event or eccentricity will be pinned on me. I don't know about you, Shiki, but at least I could never have been normal."

    She smiled as she turned to face Shiki.

    "But that's okay with me. My life as it is now is just fine. I already have everything I want. When I fill a cup of tea, I don't just keep on pouring even after I've filled it up. If my cup ever empties out, perhaps I'll wish for more. But due to milady's nature, I doubt it'll be empty any time soon."

    For a moment she paused, realizing she'd been rambling on a bit. It wasn't often people asked her such questions, but she had always known she was content with how things were. Her mind was at ease all the time. Whether she was doing simple tasks like cleaning and cooking, resolving an incident, trying to capture Spring itself, or doing something extremely strange at her mistress's request, Sakuya did it with an easy-going attitude and had a good time.

    "Moments like this, where I can just stand with a guest in the garden and look over Gensokyo...that's enough for me. Are you looking for something more, Shiki?"


    "Aha, is that so? I didn't expect that kind of answer from you," Shiki initially said in response to Sakuya's first response. Housewife? Surely not, right? The young man never did picture the silver-haired maiden as the romantic type who even thought of such things, but then, people did have their secret vices, didn't they? Though... Perhaps it wouldn't have been all that dissimilar to being a maid as she was now. Schoolgirl? Perhaps. The thought of her running around, sitting in a classroom studying, sporting a sailor uniform along with everyone else. Shiki pictured her for a brief moment as a student at his own school (or... was he considered a drop-out already at this point?), and found himself rather amused at the thought. Magician? Oddly enough, that seemed fitting for her, but perhaps that was a given, considering the kind of world she lived in.

    The bespectacled boy's expression seemed to match Sakuya's own vocal tone at every turn, shifting from light and soft to distant and longing. As she spoke, Shiki also looked up at the sun again with her, partially covering his own view with his arm. Though he respectfully remained silent, Shiki nodded to Sakuya's words, believing himself able to relate to her plight to a degree. Every day, he had to live knowing that he had the godlike ability of being able to erase anyone's "eternity" in the blink of an eye. He was a living reaper, and indeed, especially during his journey away from home, he'd lamented the inability to live as a normal human, but alas... Perhaps "normal" was overrated anyway.

    When Sakuya finished her reply to Shiki's question with an inquiry of her own, Shiki froze for a moment, finding himself at a pause for some reason. He had believed himself to be resolute in what he wanted, and yet, when he was asked by her what his own feelings were, he couldn't quite say anything immediately. Eventually, with a breath, he adjusted his glasses and focused his gaze on the maid, giving a somewhat awkward smile.


    "You know... I'd been wondering that myself for a long time. Humans are such... arrogant, vain creatures, aren't they? Someone like me... After getting to go on adventures quite literally out of this world, or any one world for that matter, after being blessed with the chance to return home after the Arch Demon, I... I still felt lost. I had what every person desires, but I didn't even know it. I couldn't see nor feel the love from those around me, nor the luxury of the choice of a peaceful life after the great adventure. I was just... too busy, looking the other way for something else, not knowing what to look for, because I'd become so used to looking for something beyond what I already had. Another adventure? The next step? Wherever did the path take me?" He began, putting a hand on his hip.

    "... You're right, you know. I just wish I'd realized it sooner," Shiki said after a brief pause, shifting his gaze from the maid to the garden they stood in, "It's the moments like these that make it all worth it. The beauty of our worlds, the halcyon times spent with those around us. If you're content as you are, then... I'm glad. I'm glad for you. As Miss Ilona said, sometimes the bravest thing to do is to be content with what you have. Or... something like that. All this time, I'd been looking for the destination of my life's journey, but really, all I had to do was take a look to my left."

    "That's... That's my answer."



    Shiki let out a cough, before adjusting his glasses, a coy smile on his face.

    "Though... I must say, I didn't expect an answer like housewife from you. Though I suppose... That Remilia-san is pretty childlike as she is, isn't she?"


    "It's a privilege to seek out adventures, the rush keeps some alive." Sakuya didn't care too much for insane adventures throughout various worlds despite having gone through two herself, but she was well aware of how poorly Remilia would handle such tedium. "Young men especially."

    She let the restriction of not taking such adventures in excess go unspoken.

    "These calm moments really are nice, aren't they? Makes you wish you could stop time. Ah, not literally, though," Sakuya said as she also turned her attention back to the garden. "But I do hope you find your destination satisfactory."

    The maid couldn't help a short, light laugh as Shiki expressed his disbelief towards her initial answer. Perhaps that answer was even more unfitting of her than she'd imagined, much like her other answers. One might call her unimaginative, coming up with plain, girlish alternatives to her current life rather than something fresh and exciting. And...well, she couldn't quite refute that. Being a schoolgirl more or less just came from her trying to adjust her what-if role to something fitting for her age while a not-magician magician was just something she enjoyed doing. Housewife, though? Such a "job" didn't differ all too dramatically from her current role. Though, perhaps the term single mother was more fitting.

    "Am I that unfitting for the role? I am glad it seems to have amused you, at least." Though Sakuya appeared amused in her own right. "Milady is certainly quite child-like at times. It does make serving her difficult sometimes, but I do enjoy it. Even if she tries to sneak out food and plays around too much."

    "Ah, no, not like that..." Shiki cleared his throat when Sakuya inquired if she was unfitting for the role of housewife, "It's just... You come off as the kind of person who would be interested in something else, but then... I suppose that kind of caretaking role fits you quite well," he said with a light laugh. Indeed, the young man imagined Sakuya did possess qualities of a housewife, considering her very own "child" to look after and tend to, but... aaaah, he should probably stop right there, lest he inadvertently let his mind wander into stranger territory.

    Before either of them could say anything more though, a strange, unfamiliar voice would suddenly make itself heard, belonging to a petite figure that stood several feet away from them.

    "My, what a chimerical display. You two really are the spitting image of Cinderella and Prince Charming, aren't you?"


    Immediately moving to a battle stance at the sound of the unfamiliar voice that practically leaked hostile intent like a faucet, Shiki placed a hand on his sheathed knife, but found himself frozen like a statue when he'd laid eyes upon the mysterious figure, who bore an uncannily familiar figure.

    "Certainly, with a mansion like this, it's like I've warped myself into the pages of a genuine fairy tale!" the outspoken girl with a physical resemblance, and nothing more, to Len spoke adoringly. For a moment, it'd seemed as though she were unaware of the response provoked from Shiki and possibly Sakuya as well, but it was clear to Shiki at the very least that the "individual" was feigning innocence.

    "It isn't the traditional story we're familiar with though, if it's the prince who's a mere peasant, and the princess is the true royalty," she continued, nonplussed, "But it'd certainly be boring if every fairy tale were the same, wouldn't it? Right down to the dragon being slain..."

    "Wh... Len? No, you can't be..." The boy sputtered briefly in confusion.

    "Ah, yes. I suppose how I look would cause you some immediate confusion. In fact, where are my manners?" The mysterious girl went on, before clearing her throat and lifting the sides of her dress formally.

    "I haven't exactly existed long enough to grant myself a name, but... Perhaps it would be simplest if you refer to me as White Len, then? Not that I have any true connection to that girl, I simply decided a form similar to hers would be the easiest to assume. It isn't like she is my sister or spawn or anything; in fact, she and I couldn't be more different, and to be frank, I enjoy it like that. I don't think I could ever stand being as insufferably quiet as she," the entity introduced herself, continuing to go on like a chatty child, and it certainly seemed she was aware of it.

    "I'd ask how do you do, but... Well. I can gather an answer for myself as I am," White Len said with a small laugh, "This is quite a lovely mansion you live within, Cinderella-san," she continued, directly looking toward Sakuya as she spoke, "A little too many people residing in it for my liking, but... What's life without a bit of redecorating every now and then, hmm? Yes, I imagine red would be a good color for these walls... Wouldn't you agree?"

    Sakuya hadn't had too much of a physical reaction, simply raising an eyebrow and turning her head until she fixed her gaze upon the source of the voice they heard. At first she'd figured her for the Len she was familiar with, just suddenly more talkative and bleaching her clothes or something, but soon enough that notion was dispelled. Though she had to admit, she was utterly confused. Where did this person come from, and who was she? The security for the mansion was sub-par really, but Sakuya did make an effort to note any intruders.

    "Hm, if I'm Cinderella, who would my step sisters be? Patchouli-san is reasonable enough, and if anything Meiling is the one who gets bullied..."

    The maid seemed to deliberate the idea with the utmost seriousness, but somehow it was still hard to take her seriously. Rather, even though she spoke in an air-headed manner, Sakuya tried to look over "White Len." If she bore no connection to Len, what made her form easier to take? She personally considered the mansion fairly empty considering its size, especially for a self-proclaimed lover of chatter, but clearly White Len's motives weren't so simple.

    Though try as she might, she was a maid and not a detective. Mentally sighing and shrugging, Sakuya responded calmly and politely in turn as though unfazed.

    "Well, we do call it the Scarlet Devil Mansion, so a red hue is certainly appropriate for the mansion. Actually, a lot of it is red already. Perhaps you have another suggestion? Any more red and we'll be trying to paint this very garden red, and I don't believe that hue would suit it at all."

    "Oh, I disagree. I think it'd look rather pretty if all the flowers were turned into roses with all the red. Especially if Cinderella isn't to your liking. Perhaps Beauty and the Beast instead?" She asked, pointing her finger at Sakuya and Shiki again respectively, before crossing her arms behind her back, "I must say, either way, with such an extravagant mansion and a romantic garden... It really is the ideal place where a fairy tale can come alive. All the more reason I'd love it for myself," White Len continued.

    "What... What are you? Where did you come from?" Shiki questioned warily, still keeping his guard up, though White Len still made no move indicating she was about to attack, as though talking was deliberately keeping her at bay.

    "Ah... Now, aren't those such direct questions? And yet, neither is so easy to answer..." The entity responded, nonchalantly looking up at the sky, akin to a wide-eyed child thinking over what to say, before a smile curled at the edges of her lips once again as she looked at the two in the distance, "I suppose you could say I'm malevolence incarnate. Despair given flesh. Evil given form. The dragon of the castle."
    She took a short breath, and then continued.

    "In other words, I am a piece of Mother. The Mother who appeared before you all at the climax of your little... civil disagreement. You all and your self-righteous politics, arguing over a wide-eyed girl with blonde hair as vibrant as Rapunzel's or Aurora's..." She revealed, most likely referring to Ilona with that description, "You might have believed you destroyed Mother completely, but one can never truly destroy malevolence. Especially not with all that boiling anger seething around. You've no idea how frustrating it is to witness such self-righteous humans talk of morality, and then proceed to protect such a destructive girl and idolize her like a princess... to witness all that and be unable to laugh at how pathetic it was."

    "Wait... t-then..."

    "When that despair reached a boiling point, that was when we appeared. And we took the form of the Roa as you remember him, Shiki Tohno, just as we took the form of other fears from the deepest recesses of their minds. Of course, we were quelled away, but... Well. Nothing ever truly wants to die. Not even one that feeds off such fears. That malevolence that one calls Mother tried so desperately to retain itself in this realm of the living, even if only through a small piece," White Len explained calmly, as though telling a grand story.
    "I was that piece, you could say, though... Back then, I didn't have such a concept of individuality. Not until I followed you all to your lovely home, and I took the appearance of Len-chan. Not that I wouldn't adore looking like a maiden like you, Sakuya Izayoi, but taking the form of an entire body... It can be quite tiresome."

    "So basically... You're just a glorified piece of walking and talking malevolence that came to finish us off after the Civil War," Shiki simplified it, mostly for himself, as though he couldn't believe such a long-winded explanation.

    "In essence. I suppose you could say that," White Len nonchalantly responded, pursing her lips for a brief moment and giving a nod, "The only thing I feed off is despair. And I'm quite famished, you see. Like a newborn baby. But I figured you were owed an explanation of who was going to put you down."

    Suddenly, from there, an awkward silence seemed to permeate the air for a few seconds, as White Len slowly shifted her body and stance until it looked as though she intended to do battle.

    "Back to painting the garden red... I do believe you'll like it if you take a look at it, Sakuya Izayoi. We aren't in any shortage of red paint. I can paint it all blood red as much as I want!" She exclaimed, and with that, White Len thrust her arm forward as energy projectiles materialized before her, taking on an appearance like daggers made of glass or ice, before shooting a great barrage of them right toward the two!​
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  3. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.


    "A collection of malevolence, is it? How strange. I don't recall such a Youkai existing here in Gensokyo. And I would like to keep it that way, if it's all the same to you."

    The maid reached for her knives as she spoke. A piece of that "Mother" thing that had appeared? She wasn't ignorant to the self-righteous discourse the others had squabbled about, so while some may have been more cynical of the self-proclaimed walking, talking malevolence, Sakuya simply accepted White Len's explanation. Malevolence wasn't something that would go away, certainly, and her little excursion out of Gensokyo had been rife with it. That it could take form and even confront them like this, while not exactly an expected everyday occurrence, was not strange to Gensokyo. But it still would not be permitted in this mansion in which Sakuya and Remilia lived.

    Now that she understood what exactly it was that they were facing, the mystery was gone. The hard part of an incident in Gensokyo was often just figuring out what was wrong or who the culprit was to begin with. This time, the culprit both came to them and explained herself immediately. All that was left was the easy part of resolving the incident.


    "Here, we have a few rules when it comes to incidents. We play by the Spell Card rules so that everybody has a fair shot. The strong limit themselves a little bit to make the duel more fair and compete through beauty, giving even a human a shot at defeating the most powerful Youkai. However..." Sakuya raised one finger towards White Len, waving it as though berating the living malevolence. "You are not from here, and don't plan on playing by our rules, do you?"


    In an instant, the knives she had were multiplied into a curtain fire of them, the maid almost completely veiled by her knives.

    "I'm quite used to babysitting, so allow me to take care of you. Unfortunately, it seems we really will have ourselves a new coat of scarlet around here!"

    Like a shower of bullets, Sakuya's knives flew out. Some to match and hopefully cancel out White Len's projectiles, and some to pierce Len's impersonator!

  4. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM


    "Fufu... I do aim to misbehave,"
    White Len said with a malicious giggle, "But either way, I think you'll find that my performance will be a stunning one, befitting that of a true princess."

    Shiki could only stand behind Sakuya, gasping softly at the sheer display of power as Sakuya's rain of knives clashed with White Len's many glass-like projectiles, two barrages of incredible attacks fighting against one another. In his mind, he couldn't hope to engage, especially considering how sensitive his Mystic Eyes had become. He could only feel the urge to huddle behind the maid for safety, but placed a hand on his pocketed knife, just in case.

    Eventually, the knives managed to outlast White Len's projectiles and whatever remained headed straight for her! Still, the entity seemed to have little concern for the impending attack, and she even began to walk toward the numerous knives! However, all was revealed when the knives all passed through her harmlessly, as though her body had taken an intangible form for a brief moment, her form fading in and out like a ghost as she did so. With the clash over, the petite girl clasped her hands together once again.

    "Perhaps after I absorb all the life energy from everyone in this manor, yours will be the form I take. I'll wear your skin and write my own Cinderella story with it," she laughed, before suddenly raising her arm in the air, and a small but ominous vibration was felt in the air.

    Before long, for as far as the eye could see, the sky turned a dim red and what looked to be a barrier entrapped the entire mansion inside. As the air changed, Sakuya would feel afflicted with a sort of weakness and nausea, as did Shiki, who seemed to feel such weights on his shoulders that it was difficult for him to stand up straight, or even breathe normally for that matter.

    "A... A Bounded Field?!" He exclaimed, clutching his chest as he already felt light-headed.

    "But of course. How else am I gonna help myself to everyone here? Your mana... Your energy... It all belongs to me," White Len replied, as though it were no matter, continuing to walk toward the two with a malevolent smile, "I would simply adore it if you gave yourself up to me. Won't you two be absolute dolls?"

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  5. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.


    "Hm, that's not good."

    Sakuya frowned a bit as her knives passed through White Len like a ghost, though given her knives had pierced ghosts perhaps that wasn't the most apt comparison. Regardless, that was a pretty big problem when her main method of attack was simply hurling knives. Though a greater problem appeared as what Shiki called a Bounded Field enveloped the area.

    "That's...really not good."

    Her voice came out strained, knees bending as she forced herself to stay on her feet as well. So she stopped time. She wasn't sure exactly what was happening. Was the problem breathing in the strange air? Or was the "Bounded Field" draining their energy? Perhaps it was even both? With this, there were now two things the maid needed to resolve this incident. Find a way to hurt White Len, and find a way to be rid of this Bounded Field. She couldn't be sure, but it must have been affecting the other residents of the mansion as well.

    She wouldn't allow that.

    Orienting herself with her current condition in the time stop, time soon began to flow once more. "Shiki, would you tell me what a 'Bounded Field' is? And more specifically, if there's any way to be rid of this condition?" she asked before extending her arm out towards the approaching White Len.

    "Sorry, but I believe I am the only one who should be using my form. And I have quite lot of work to do, so I'm going to need all the energy I can get. Why don't you wait right there?"

    What looked like clock faces with roman numerals began to spread from her. Time suspension fields, threatening to freeze just what was in their area in time, flew towards their foe. If White Len was going to hinder their movements by through this space she had created, then Sakuya would do the same through her own kind of space, buying time to find a way to either get rid of this inflicted weakness or put down the imitator.

  6. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM


    "I-It's bad is what it is!" Shiki responded curtly to Sakuya's initial question, trying to adjust to his weakened state underneath the Bounded Field, gritting his teeth as he struggled to even stand up at all now, "I... I might have an idea on how to kill its influence on you, but if or when it works, it'd be best if we pull a retreat! She's too much for us, at least for as long as we don't know what she's capable of!"

    Meanwhile, White Len seemed hardly perturbed by Sakuya's continued resistance, almost amused by it even, at least, until the clocks appeared, stopping in her tracks and adopting a frown as she fired more energy projectiles at the objects, thinking to destroy them. As her movements were slowed down, Shiki put one hand on Sakuya's shoulder from behind, managing to utter one breath before long.

    "When the time comes, I should note, I probably won't be in much of a position to retreat with you, so it'd be nice if you could carry me or so. And... sorry in advance for this," he said. Before Sakuya had any time to think over what Shiki was even talking about, the maid would suddenly feel a sharp pain in her back as the dark-haired boy jabbed her with his knife, roughly a few centimeters piercing through the maid's skin, before Shiki suddenly fell down to the side, barely supporting himself up by his arms, until he vomited a bit (more saliva than actual food somehow), before his limbs gave way and he sunk into the ground.

    Almost immediately following this, Sakuya would feel her power returning to her, but it was a slow, gradual process. Not fast enough to be able to rush back into the fray and go up against White Len head-on certainly. It was as Shiki said; he knew how to kill the Bounded Field's influence on Sakuya, and so, with his Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, he did. Killing abstract concepts like this... Shiki had done it before, between a poison that a certain Kohaku tried to stab into herself years ago, and an entire illusionary Silent Earth world during the Civil War ordeal (both of which ending in less than ideal results for Shiki's well-being), but it seemed like he could never get used to such a thing. The immediate toll was always too great for him, a mere human. It was quite lucky that he hadn't suffered any permanent damage from the reckless usage of his Mystic Eyes, though... Now was hardly the time to muse on that.

    "Oh? Did Prince Charming-san fall under the weather? Perhaps he took a bite of the poison apple and has fallen into a deep sleep! Whatever will you do now, hmm?" White Len taunted, still firing her many projectiles, gradually beginning to send some Sakuya's way as she refused to allow the maid any time to herself in this makeshift battlefield.

  7. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.

    As Sakuya knew nothing of Bounded Fields, she simply nodded after a slight delay at Shiki's suggestion of a retreat. Slowing White Len down was one thing, but it was nothing more than a stalling tactic. She could neither destroy the Bounded Field nor White Len like this, and she wasn't feeling any stronger in either stopped time or its natural flow. Her own fields weren't exactly destructible through means like energy attacks, but unlike the Bounded Field they weren't long lasting. The projectiles slowed as they entered the time suspension fields before resuming their natural course as the fields disappeared.

    "Hm? I don't mind carrying you, but sorry for wha-!" She winced as the knife pierced her. Even if it was just a few centimeters, she hadn't expected a stunt like that. If her strength hadn't practically immediately returned after that, she'd have had many questions for him. Not wasting a second, she bent over to pick Shiki up from the ground, wrapping his arm around her shoulders as her power returned. She couldn't quite stand up straight while supporting his weight yet, but she could at least keep him off the ground. It was hard to tell if he was even conscious, but the maid mouthed a thank you as she pressed on.

    Her power may have been coming back, but just as Shiki had said fighting White Len seemed a poor choice. She needed time to recoup, and Shiki even more so. But even if she couldn't contest White Len, at least running away would be possible now.

    "Breaking me out of your cursed spell...perhaps your fairy tale metaphors are more apt than I thought. But if you're the one casting spells on the princess, you're definitely the one who'll have to exit the stage, you know."

    Sakuya stood up straight as she felt enough power flood back into her, her blue eyes meeting White Len's red ones. A slight smile appeared on her face even as White Len's projectiles were fired her way.

    "Though if Prince Charming is the one out instead of the princess, I suppose we don't have to follow those kinds of rules, hm? Speaking of rules, Bounded Fields aside I'm glad you seem to follow Gensokyo's rules. The shrine maiden wouldn't be very happy otherwise. Barrages of bullets like this are exactly how we do battle here." She gave a small smile and pulled out a small piece of paper. "So of course, we have counter measures."

    Spell Card: Time Sign「Dual Vanish」

    The piece of paper lit up, and Sakuya's own eyes turned the same red as White Len's. Her ability was to manipulate time. While generally she used it for simply slowing or stopping time, it wasn't such a straightforward ability. Manipulate. A word one used when referring to something like clay. Molding it, reshaping it, or even taking it apart.

    So she manipulated the present and future of White Len's projectiles and erased them, effectively rendering the projectiles non-existent.

    Of course, with her bomb now used, she definitely didn't want to stick around any longer. Not quite feeling up to halting time again, Sakuya only accelerated herself and began to flee the garden, heading back for the mansion.

  8. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM



    Rendered powerless to stop Sakuya as she made her retreat along with the unresponsive Shiki, White Len was only able to watch them scamper out of her grasp like cockroaches. Even with her projectiles erased, the entity was able to at least glare daggers at the maid from behind, killer intent burning in her eyes. As the saying went, if looks could kill...

    As she gradually came out of sight and Sakuya continued her retreat into the mansion, successfully making her way out of the garden along with Shiki in tow, the bespectacled young man himself seemed to lull in and out of consciousness, until the two of them would eventually reach a safe place within the mansion itself, isolated from everyone else. Considering the vast reach of the Bounded Field, one had to wonder how the rest of the mansion's inhabitants were faring, and what might even be happening there as well, but for now... Well. It was lucky at least that Sakuya seemed to be immune to the effects of the field, thanks to Shiki.

    On the other hand, Shiki himself wasn't holding up as well. "Killing" the influence on one person was damaging enough to him, so he hesitated to even think about doing the same to himself, especially considering the last few times he'd pushed his luck, and his power, even if it meant being subject to the Bounded Field's influence. As though he had taken fever, the boy breathed heavily, almost sweating a bit as though his body temperature had gone up exponentially. Still, he continued to struggle for consciousness, clumsily attempting to gently push himself off Sakuya to let himself stand on his own, only to end up having to lean against the wall in the corridor.

    "Ngh... God, these damned eyes are gonna kill me quicker than White Len will," Shiki groaned, fighting with all his might to remain standing as he grasped his temple with one hand, "Sakuya... Are... Are you alright? She didn't get you anywhere, did she?"

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  9. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.


    "I'm alright for now, thanks to you. Dodging curtain fire like that is a given for us here, but I still doubt my ability to do so had I gotten any more worn." Though she could move unhindered thanks to Shiki, her breathing was still noticeably heavy. "Rather than me, are you okay, Shiki? I'm grateful you saved me out there, but doing something like that doesn't seem to have been free..."

    It was rather obvious that no, he was not okay, but her powers offered no aid to a fever or fatigue. Sakuya offered her arms and shoulder to him in an effort to help prop him up, though she didn't force the matter if he was unreceptive.

    She couldn't help but wonder how the others inside the mansion were doing. Remilia and Flandre were vampires so this amount of fatigue shouldn't have bothered them, even if Sakuya highly doubted it was pleasant at all. With any luck, Flandre would even destroy this Bounded Field herself, but Sakuya didn't have too much confidence in the centuries old child. Some of the others, however, were probably doing much worse. Patchouli was already lethargic to begin with for example, though perhaps she had some magic that protected her in instances like these. Koakuma would probably simply experience whatever Patchouli did. Meiling was a Qi practitioner and thus far more lively than Sakuya or Shiki, but if the Bounded Field kept up she doubted the gatekeeper would be in good condition for long.

    Oh, and the fairy maids. They'd probably just...resurrect sometime. No need to worry about those little girls.

    Still, even if the maid held confidence in the rest of the mansion's inhabitants' capabilities, that didn't put her mind much more at ease. Even if the vampires felt fine for now and Patchouli's magic protected her, how long would that last? They hadn't been told anything about White Len, so they wouldn't even know what the problem was.

    But she had no solutions for them right now. So instead, she would just solve what she could for now.

    "Is there anything I can get you to help recover? We don't exactly have medicine, but if it's aliments or something we can find in a book..."

  10. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM

    "I don't think there's exactly anything you have that could... remedy my eyes. But it's... it's fine. It's a small price to pay if you're safe, at least," Shiki said, trying his best to keep it together. Though it almost seemed as though he slowly managed to gather his bearings as time passed, it was evident that it would be a small while before he'd be able to go back to how he was before. Between his cold sweat and his skin that had gone pale, it was almost as though he had taken fever. Try as he might have to reassure the maid, his condition however once again caught up to him, his legs giving way as he just about sunk into Sakuya's arms again with a soft groan.

    "J-Jeez... This is embarrassing... Between my Mystic Eyes catching up to me after all these years and the Bounded Field, it's like a double whammy," he choked out, forcing out a light laugh as though to lighten the mood, though once those words left his mouth, the boy figured it did little, especially considering the severity of their situation.

    "As nice as it'd sound to just hide together until this all blows over, I doubt that'd be the best course of action," Shiki continued tiredly, his grasp on Sakuya loosening a bit, though it was difficult to tell whether his body was continuously growing weaker, or he was trying to push himself into standing on his own again, though if it were the latter, it wasn't very effective. "Hopefully, Meiling-san and whoever else in the mansion can hold their own against the Bounded Field, and whatever other tricks White Len has up their sleeve. I'm not looking forward to explaining all this to Len..." He grunted, his voice continuously sounding more labored as he went on.

    "What do you think? You thinkin' about trying to regroup with some of them, or trying to come up with a plan? I recall seeing lines of death on White Len, so it's definitely possible to kill her. Next time we'll be ready... right? She just... got the drop on us, that's all..."

    Even though it sounded like he tried to undermine White Len's efforts, the effect of her field that presumably reached all across the entire mansion - as well as Shiki himself - spoke for itself, especially in his own fatigued tone.

  11. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.

    Sakuya didn't respond immediately, her expression pensive. At first, she'd wanted to come up with a plan to take the intruder out herself. She wasn't sure how the others were doing, but time spent trying to find them only meant more time that their conditions would be worsening. As far as she could tell, she was currently the only one free and likely the only one who would be free until they took down White Len.

    But her knives hadn't done much. There were more tactics to try, such as stopping time and then jamming the knives into her or stabbing her when she was unaware, but their success was neither guaranteed nor particularly easy to achieve. Perhaps it really would be best to get the others to help.

    "The others should be fine. Physically speaking, only Patchouli-san is inferior to myself but she should have magical protections. But now that you mention it, I am a little worried about Len." The maid wasn't sure how the familiar dealt with something like this, especially considering she wasn't particularly familiar with the workings of either. "But since you haven't mentioned anything, I assume she should be okay for now, no?"

    She wasn't sure about the details of Shiki's current condition, but as he had said it would do them no good to just sit around. He didn't seem to be regaining any strength, at the very least.

    "She did get the drop on us. If we manage to get it on her instead, we could probably turn the situation around ourselves. But...I am a little worried about milady and the others. I know I just said they should be fine, but it's not like I really know how the Bounded Field works, and the vampires are much more powerful than myself."

    Sakuya decided to start getting them moving, helping Shiki as he appeared to still be struggling.

    "Let's meet up with them. And if that White Len tries to get the jump on us again...I suppose I'll greet her with another round of knife throwing, hm?"


  12. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM

    "Let's hope so," Shiki simply nodded when Sakuya brought up Len and made the assumption that she'd do well for now. If nothing else, he could only hope that she'd be safe, having been left with Remilia, though... considering what Shiki knew of the girl's personality, as gathered from the Coalition Civil War and here, he had to wonder if Len was any safer than she'd normally be, or in even more danger. But he figured the best idea right now would be to perish the thought; he had to think about himself and Sakuya first before anyone else, regretful as that might be.

    When the maid advised to try to regroup with the other inhabitants of the mansion, Shiki could only nod again. What was also regretful was how little use he had as he was right now, so he agreed with the notion that their best bet was to find others, especially if they were comparably powerful as Sakuya. "Yeah... that White Len will have to watch out for us! Isn't that right?"

    And then... an irritating noise was heard, like nails on a chalkboard, behind the two of them. Shiki blinked in brief alarm, before pursing his lips.

    "... I spoke too soon, didn't I?"

    If Sakuya were to look behind her, she'd find a small group of what looked like headless blue skeletons, wielding strange blades in their hands, dragging them across the floor to create the strange noise. Eyes widening, Shiki's grip on Sakuya instinctively tightened a bit, gasping slightly.

    "Son of a...!"



    The noise began to grow more numerous, as another group of skeletons suddenly appeared in front of the two as well, surrounding them on all sides. Still, considering how slowly they were moving, one could only hope that they weren't too strong individually, but there was only one way to find out.

    "Sakuya... Would you mind doing the honors?"

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  13. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.

    "Of course."

    Though she spoke matter-of-factly, her main weapons being knives was a little troublesome if her opponents were skeletons. Sharp things were good because they punctured flesh and organs after all, not bone. But as much as she prided herself on her accuracy in knife throwing, naturally that wasn't all she did. Even if her weapons were simple steel or silver, dispatching of a group of skeletons shouldn't be a grand task.

    Stopping time, the maid separated from Shiki for now. No matter his current state, he wouldn't fall if time didn't flow. Sakuya drew a few knives, holding them between her fingertips. She glanced around the room they were currently in. They really did seem to be everywhere.

    "They really do look like mindless drones. Ah, though they don't have heads, so of course they'd be mindless, right?"

    Talking to herself in stopped time, she began to fling the knives she held. The blades stopped after flying for a bit from the momentum she gave them, as though slowly obeying her rule of stopped time after a brief period. Without even stopping to check the knives' positions, she moved back to the position she'd had before stopping time.


    "Let's see how they deal with this, shall we?" she spoke as she resumed time. The knives began to move, but not like normal knives. Accelerating their time, Sakuya increased their momentum to c, the speed of light itself. The silver blades ricocheted around the room to try to strike the skeletons in the middle of their spines!

  14. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM

    At such momentum that the knives traveled at, the blades managed to easily shatter the skeletons into bits as they fell apart from the spine, the small army dying off like ants, no matter how they tried to run toward the two, weapon in their hands. Shiki, though still dealing with the pain of being subject to the Bounded Field and the reckless usage of his Mystic Eyes, watched in awe as Sakuya handled the skeletons by herself, the display of power being unlike anything he'd seen before. The boy could only think of how, while he might have run into powerful beings before, between Arcueid, Ciel-senpai, and so on, none of them had a power quite like Sakuya, nor did any of them utilize it in such a way that... for a lack of a better word, dazzled him.

    The destruction was almost beautiful to him.

    He could feel his blood boil at the sight, but he didn't know what the cause of it was. Was it the grace in her stillness, or in the annihilation of the enemy?

    Was it Shiki Tohno who was drawn to it, or Shiki Nanaya?

    In the midst of the scene, however, the young man found himself gasping as slender, yet oddly firm arms wrapped around him from behind, even though he had his back to the wall. He felt himself be pulled against the wall, and it was only when he looked up that he'd realized what was going on. There she was again. White Len, half of her body phased through the wall, sticking out from it, practically hugging him from behind. Just as all the skeletons collapsed, it became evident to Shiki that their presence was a diversion, but for what purpose White Len could have for providing little more than just a distraction escaped him at the moment.

    He grunted, gritting his teeth as he tried to struggle, but it was in vain. He could only call out for the silver-haired maid, so he did just that.

    "S-Sakuya...!" He choked out, before White Len, still phased in the wall, moved her hand to his neck, letting out a soft giggle as she diverted her attention to Sakuya.

    "Mmm, you know what? I think I've changed my mind, fufufu," White Len said, keeping her left hand gripped on Shiki's neck while her other traced itself across his chin, "Possessing a body like yours would be ideal, Sakuya Izayoi, but perhaps for now, I think I'd do well to at least solidify my existence in the natural world before long. After all, you struggle so much, it'll be quite bothersome if I take too long," she mused, her right hand moving up to his temple, "For a second, I thought I sensed three souls in the area, but there are only two bodies present; yours. The only natural conclusion then... I see in him, a knight and a dragon. How quaint," the faux familiar giggled.

    "And both drawn to you, the princess. How interesting~" She continued, stifling a wide grin, "Is it not troublesome to know such an inconvenient existence like his? Do you not wish for the knight and the dragon to be separate?"

  15. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.

    Sakuya whirled around as she heard her name called, a knife already between her fingers. However, seeing that throwing that knife would serve little purpose here, she relaxed her arm at her side. The maid only glared at White Len with narrowed eyes, twirling the knife in her hand. How foolish to divert her attention so wholly to a mere horde of minions. She knew not how White Len "possessed" bodies, but certainly allowing Shiki to remain within her grasp for too long wouldn't lead to anything good.

    Sakuya sighed.

    "If any existence has been thoroughly inconvenient..." Sakuya's arm was raised, and the knife in her hand was planted firmly into the wall White Len was phased into, right next to the familiar's head. The silver-haired had suddenly gotten much closer, instantly appearing at the wall herself. Another trick with stopped time. "It's that of the jester, I should think. Can you tell me which princess would be content with someone trying to hijack her body?"

    If their scuffle before showed anything, Sakuya's knives had no real effect on White Len. All she could do then was threaten her and play her word games. Stopping time was meaningless if there were no actions she knew to take, after all. The only thing she could do was stall and hope another one of the residents of the mansion would find them.

    ...Preferably a certain vampire.

    "Though, trying to be both the knight and the dragon is a little greedy. Having so many roles...there's no room left for anyone else to enter the stage." A small grin of her own crossed the maid's face. "But something nontraditional like that. It's kind of interesting, don't you think? Exactly the kind of unusual occurrence my mistress would eat up."

    Almost as though enjoying the conversation, Sakuya leaned back, her hand releasing her knife and being placed on her hip instead. She wasn't sure what this "third soul" was, but if her first encounter with the boy was anything to work with, that "other" boy who shared the same "ya" for "night" might fit that role.

    "I'm considered a very capable maid, and thus 'princess' if you will. Whether it's a knight or a dragon, or even both, drawn to me, I will handle the situation as necessary. And perhaps you have forgotten, or never even knew, but I am already the servant of devils. Both a princess and devil's servant...my existence doesn't appear to be all that more convenient."

    It was nothing quite as drastic as what she could only guess was either a personality disorder or two souls actually dwelling in the same body, neither possibility seeming that out there by the standards of Gensokyo, but Sakuya quite doubted she could summarize her existence as that of a "princess" and nothing else.

  16. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM


    "Fufu, indeed. It is greedy of the boy to hold on to two roles, and yet... It certainly does make things interesting. Indeed, quite an unorthodox tale we're weaving here,"
    White Len said with a soft giggle, evidently finding Sakuya a stimulating conversation partner as she played along with the play and the fairy tale analogies. Not that it was enough to convince her to let go of Shiki, of course.

    "I suppose, being born of malevolence, I was created to be the witch? But it is hardly such an attractive role. I'll write my own story, one in which I am the princess, and who knows? Perhaps even the dragon will get to be the prince. I don't know about you, but I think it would be quite a hit!" She giggled, before her grip on Shiki's temple suddenly tightened visibly, the young man wincing slightly, more out of mild surprise than anything else, especially given how tense he was at this moment.

    "But... I wonder... what would happen if I were to try to bring out the dragon out of the prince? Perhaps we're deviating too much as we are. Besides... if there truly are two souls, all I need do is give the other soul form, and it will be one that I will also be able to drain out for myself," she said, her hand beginning to glow with magical energy. Shiki gritted his teeth, eyes shut tightly as he began to let out pained groans, his breathing accelerating rapidly in response to whatever the petite "girl" was doing to him.

    "Say, Cinderella-san -- servant of devils indeed, just as in the original tale -- which do you suppose is more alluring? The gentle prince who hides a wicked dragon within, or the wicked dragon who has taken the form of the gentle prince? It looks as though the dragon is indeed his own soul, and when I set him free, I wonder--Kya?!"


    As White Len continued speaking, she was eventually cut off when a blinding flash of light assaulted both her and Sakuya's vision, like a small, harmless boom, something that she evidently did not expect. Or at least, expect so soon.

    Rising up to his feet, standing between Sakuya and White Len (with Shiki's unresponsive form in tow), a wispy air surrounding him like a sinister aura, a familiar boy with fair hair let out a drawn out sigh, rubbing his head with one hand while the other held a knife in White Len's direction.

    "Haaa... We've really got to stop meeting like this..."


    "What will the neighbors say about it?"
    Shiki Nanaya asked, ever with an ever-present smirk on his face as though nothing was wrong. However, something was different this time. Something was wrong.

    Though Shiki Nanaya was awakened and walked among this Earth once again, White Len was still seen clutching the unresponsive form of Shiki Tohno.

    It was as though she had successfully, truly, separated the boy's two personas into different bodies.

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  17. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.


    Sakuya's eyes widened, her habit of trading words with the faux familiar suddenly ceasing as Shiki was quite literally split into two. Or rather, spiritually split, which was admittedly still literal in a way. White Len had spoken about splitting the souls, but the maid had taken it as a hypothetical. Not a result she could actually produce. Though given her sudden cry and the knife pointed her way it didn't seem she could actually control the result.

    The maid quickly recovered from her surprise however and gestured with her hand. The knife she'd stabbed into the wall reappeared inside her grasp. She wasn't sure just what was going on, but decided it was better to be armed than not.

    "An illusion? No, perhaps not. Dealing with such trickery has never been my specialty, but it doesn't seem like that to me." While avoiding properly addressing the Shiki in front of her, Sakuya simply stared at him with a hint of apprehension. Why was he able to exist at the same time as Shiki Tohno? Whose side would he be on if White Len didn't have any hold on him? She couldn't claim to have much trust in this Shiki, but right now the more pressing matter was taking care of White Len. Especially as she was currently carrying the other Shiki's body around.

    So for now, she avoided directly antagonizing the conscious Shiki.

    "...You're real, aren't you? Body and flesh," Sakuya finally asked directly, her voice calm and level. The faux familiar could be said to be "real" in her own sense, but as she had said herself she was in need of a real body. A way to solidify her existence. There wasn't any way to confirm it, but she somehow felt as though the Nanaya part of Shiki's soul had truly been given flesh of its own. "Right, Shiki Nanaya?"

  18. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM

    "So it seems," the young man who identified as Shiki Nanaya said with a shrug, "My, what a pain, really. It was annoying enough whenever the poor soul that stole that body would collapse and leave me to pick up the pieces, but if I didn't know what a rude awakening was before..." He sighed, idly scratching his head, before resting his hand on his hip, seeming hardly perturbed by the sight of "himself" right in front of him, still in the clutches of White Len.


    "Hmph. I assume from the way you're standing defiantly before me, you have little care for continuing to exist as a separate entity from the vessel you were bound to before?"
    White Len asked Nanaya, still phased halfway through the wall, "I'd have a mind to offer you a... mutually beneficial relationship, one where we can make use of each other's magical energy."

    "You presume too much. A killer like me who thrills on snuffing out life... Why would I give my own any special treatment?" He shot back, before pointing his knife intently at the faux familiar, "If you are the one who brought about my rude awakening, then I'll have to show you what happens to those who poke the sleeping lion. Especially if you had the nerve to separate my consciousness from his, and to want to one-sidedly make a contract with me... I'm in a very bad mood right now~ I'm in no mood for such drabble right now," he said, ever with his cool-headed demeanor, deceivingly dark and hiding a great wicked persona underneath.

    "Ahh? Well, I suppose 'tis is to be expected when awakening the dragon. But no matter. The dragon will bend his will to the witch soon enough, and perhaps by then, you'll have indeed demonstrated yourself a worthy anchor to this realm. Go on, give it some time."

    "At this moment, here's my answer!" Nanaya exclaimed, swiftly dashing right at White Len, aiming his knife right at her, further displaying he cared little for Tohno's unconscious form, but before he or Sakuya knew it, the petite girl disappeared completely, sinking into the wall along with Tohno, their bodies phasing through, causing Nanaya's knife to make a soft clank sound as it only hit the wall.

    With a disappointed sound, as though he clicked his tongue, he tilted his head back, eyeing Sakuya silently for a brief moment, before his lips stretched into a smirk as he oft had. "Well... Rather nice to see your face again, if you don't mind my saying, old maid. To think I've become quite used to it..." Nanaya began, before turning around to fully face Sakuya, "But I presume that, like before, it's hardly a time for pleasantries and all that?"

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  19. Kaykay

    Kaykay Mhm.

    Sakuya, unfortunately, couldn't lend much of a hand to Nanaya's attempt to down White Len. Before she knew it, she was gone along with Tohno's body. What a troubling situation. And now, she was left only with Nanaya as her companion. The maid didn't exactly hold this personality of Shiki's in high regard, but it would probably be for the best if they cooperated.


    "I'm not old."

    Still, she was insistent on that point.

    "But I agree. Let's not waste much time. You don't wish to be separated from your previous body, right Nanaya-san?" she asked, though based on how he'd acted towards White Len the answer seemed obvious. She put away the knife in her hand before crossing her arms and continuing. "I will be pursuing that little imp as well. So let's make it simple. We cooperate to catch ourselves a trickster. Does that sound agreeable enough?"

    This turn of events threw more than just one wrench into her original plan with Shiki Tohno. Not only was she longer with a partner she could claim to trust, she had no intention of bringing someone dangerous like this to meet with Remilia. Or just about anyone else in the mansion really. But that also meant she couldn't just leave him to search on her own. If he ran into anyone...she didn't want to have to deal with that situation. Besides, if he still possessed the Shiki's eyes in his new flesh, he'd be rather helpful as a way to actually threaten White Len.

    "If so, let's proceed. We have ourselves a minx to catch."

  20. Ver

    Ver Endearing Misanthrope Staff Member Moderator The Convergence Series GM

    "Yes, yes. It was just an expression, sorry," Nanaya responded to Sakuya's deflection about the "old maid" comment, waving his hand about slightly. That aside, when she continued speaking, the raven-haired boy simply gave a one-armed shrug. "Well, I have my own body now, instead of having to share it with the other. That's a new one, but... It doesn't matter either way; I still don't care to be awake. The only thing that could make this all worthwhile is if I'd get a chance to kill, and when was the last time I got to do that? Oh, how time flies. Without devilish homicide, what do I have to look forward to when I'm awake?" He sighed idly, as though remembering bygone halcyon days. "Of course, then again, with you at my side every time I open my eyes, maybe... Well, never mind," the boy began, before stopping himself in a coy manner.

    "But sure. Why not? I'll accompany you. I have more reasons to do so than reasons not to, after all," Nanaya remarked, keeping his trademark smile. Running a hand through his stray hair, he let out a short breath. "A trickster shouldn't be any problem. These Mystic Eyes may be a bit limited, but if all she can throw at us is mirages and fantasies, then I should be able to break those messed-up illusions," he said confidently. For a moment, it sounded as though he made a contrived meta reference.

    "In any case, you're right. Let us get a move on! I'll have to trust in you to make our way through this... very extravagant mansion, but I suppose it shouldn't be too difficult to at least try to follow the direction in which that girl fled," he continued, before finally walking over and leaning down to pick up his knife from the ground and then getting a move on from there, off on their intrepid misadventure. As the two of them walked together through the halls, the boy keeping close to Sakuya's side, "Shiki" folded his arms behind his back and looked toward the maid, as though intending on beginning idle conversation, even hunching over and leaning forward, as if trying to get a better look at her features.

    "So then, in the meantime... I take it you and my other half have been getting along swimmingly? To let him into your home... And for what even? Tea? Hmm?"

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