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29518 No. 29518
Time to get back to this before several days becomes seven minutes.

Post #28.1

I shook my head. “I’m good, Miss. And…Could I, be Miss Meiling’s apprentice for today?”

“Ahh, helping out with the grounds, are you? That’s understandable; you fairies do like your time outdoors. Of course you can be Miss Meiling’s apprentice for today.” Sakuya nodded her head at my choice before getting back to work on the soup, giving me a little time to think about my choice…about why I had said it.

Meiling Hong…or was it Hong Meiling? I could never remember which way was right, that’s why most of us just called her “China” for short. I guess I don’t really know why, to tell you the truth. That’s just what I heard the fairies before me calling her, and they say that’s what the fairies before them called her too. China…she was a nice lady. We were always lucky when the job board put us to work outside. Sakuya was right, of course—we love being outside—but it was also just because China really helped us all out. She cared, more than Sakuya did at least. She talked to us so we could understand, taught us our jobs so that we’d remember them. You might think all she does is watch the gate, but it’s so much more than that. It’s like…well, if Sakuya is the head maid of the inside, then Meiling would be the head maid of the outside.

For a lot of fairies, I think, that would be enough. But there was, I mean…I felt something more than that. Something more from China, something…strong. Whenever I got to see her outside, she always felt so confident, so determined. Almost like the magic around her was a kind of bravery magic. I know it sounds silly of course, but I know what I feel, even if I can’t really explain it. Whatever it was…I wanted to learn it, too. All of them—Sakuya, Patchouli, Meiling, Remilia, even Flandre—they gave us fairies something to look up to. Something to work towards, even if we didn’t really think about it.

Saying she had to let the soup boil for a while, she wiped off her hands and lead me outside, but making good and sure to check that little PDA of hers first. Over the weekend I had read about those kinds of devices, after seeing it so much recently, and discovered that it was a sort of portable calendar for organizing your day. I know to you this must be common knowledge, but I was fascinated by it, even if I myself didn’t want to go near the thing. I wondered what kind of schedule she must have written on that notepad. A hundred things at once, she had told me…I doubted that the number was quite that high, but all the same, my curiosity was piqued.

“Umm, Sakuya? I don’t mean to pry but…well, just how many things do you have to do around the house? You always seem so busy, even when you’ve got so many of us to help you every day.”

She considered the question for a moment while we had a rather curious and unspoken battle over who would hold the door open for the other. As I stepped out into the morning air, I could feel…alive. The wind and the grass and trees, touching my senses, this was the kind of home I could feel at home in. The mellow blue sky mixed with the distant red wall and the green, green grass, all brought a sort of inner peace to me. It might not have been the endless hills I had loved as a young sprite, but I suppose it was good enough for me.

“Oh, I’ve lost count,” she replied as we tapped down the steps and out onto to long marble path to the front gate. “It’s mostly all those little things that you forget need to get done, but they still do. Remilia seems to have a knack for details like that; she’s always keeping me busy with tiny things anyone else might miss. When it’s not that it’s either the tricky little things that I can’t be bothered to teach you sprites to fix, or it’s those complicated things she can’t even understand and she expects me to in her stead. You might say that if all us maids were a giant pastry, you little ones are the cake, and I’m the frosting. Dear me, I hope that makes any sort of sense to you; it’s so hard to explain these things out loud. I must be working too hard…”

Cake and frosting? I did like cake, those sweet and puffy little things. I’m certainly glad I’m not a human like you; I’ve heard you can’t eat just cake and candy, or you’ll get sick. But I thought I might have gotten her idea: frosting is tricky to make and tastes delicious, but you can’t have a cake made out of frosting alone, no? It felt nice knowing that Sakuya considered us fairies the sort of heart of the mansion. It felt like…like I meant something to someone. I just wished I knew what the “something” meant, and who exactly that “someone” was…

The great mansion gate loomed over us. It wasn’t really that tall, maybe two Sakuyas in height, but it was strong and beautiful, with lots of twisty loops and patterns disguising a heartily-built frame. The silver-haired woman peeked through the window of the guard house beside us, but found only a sleepy-eyed fairy, who jolted awake at the sight of her superior.

“M-Miss Sakuya!” she cried, springing out of her chair and rubbing the sleepiness from her face. “At your service, ma’am!”

“Not sleeping on the job, were we, little one?” Sakuya asked coyly. “I might have to report that to Miss Meiling, you know.”

My kinswoman jumped a little and shook her head quickly. “N-No, no ma’am! I’ve been awake the, the whole night! I’ve just been waiting until Miss Meiling gets back with my relief, ma’am.”

“Calm down, calm down, it’s a joke. I’m sure you’re doing fine. Where is China, though? I know she wouldn’t be sleeping on the job.”

“Over i-i-innnnaaahhh,” the girl tried to swallow a small yawn, “in the garden, Sakuya. She came by to check on me two hours ago, and said she was going to water the roses at least before she came back with my replacement. Is, umm, are you her?”

That last little bit was directed at me, and I didn’t really know what to say. Was I? I looked timidly to Sakuya for help, who fortunately covered for me.

“Sorry, not yet. I still need to find out what Meiling wants to do with her today, so we’ll see. Thank you for your help, little miss.”

“Most welcome!” she peeped back as we left her, walking across the vast lawn to the garden. That garden…I forgot how many times I got to work in the garden, but it couldn’t have been very many. I assumed the privilege to work there may have come with seniority, or something like that. You might think that us fairies would love garden work to pieces, but it’s not really that true. Flowers and shrubs and all green growing things, oh we love them all very much. But we’re not ones to really organize that love into plots and rows and fenced-off paths. No, we’d rather just let nature be as it will be. So I hope you’ll understand when I say a garden was a little confusing for me. Not that I didn’t like to look at it and walk through it, but…well, I guess a garden is like nature on a chart to me, if that makes any sense.

>> No. 29519
Look as we might, Meiling was unfortunately nowhere to be found in the garden, though I noticed a running hose and work gloves near the rosebushes. Scratching her chin, Sakuya gathered she must have stepped into her house for a minute or two. Her house, hmm…Miss China didn’t actually live in the mansion itself, but a small log cabin set up next to the garden. Perhaps she liked the solitude and the outside more, or perhaps she just needed to be nearer to her workplace; I didn’t really even think about it much. It was a nice house, I thought, not all pompous and gigantic and red like Mistress Remilia’s mansion, just a cozy little home. If I were a human, I might like to live in a house like that.

“I suppose I can wait with you for Meiling to get you started,” Sakuya told me as she checked her electric schedule again. “I think, yes, if I just move this back a bit, it shouldn’t be a problem. She knows you’re coming, of course, but it’ll do no harm for me to see you off.”

[ ] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.
[ ] I thought…the offer was nice, but I, I…I wanted to try it on my own. Sakuya was so busy, she didn’t need to rearrange her day just for me. I...needed to do this by myself, to stop being nervous. (If this option, choose a sub-option below for once Sakuya leaves)
--( ) Feeling a little bold, I stepped right up to Miss China’s door and walked inside.
--( ) Nervously I walked up to Miss China’s door and gave a good knock.
--( ) Patiently, silently, I waited in front of Miss China’s door for her to return.
--( ) While I waited for Miss China to return, I remembered…Maybe I could help water those roses?
>> No. 29521
[x] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.
>> No. 29522
[X] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.
>> No. 29524
[x] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.

If you want to get an idea of what kind of person someone is, the best way to do that by observing their interactions with others. In this way, Sakuya's presence serves a purpose.
>> No. 29525
[x] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.
>> No. 29526
[X] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.
>> No. 29537
>>29519
[X] I thought…the offer was nice, but I, I…I wanted to try it on my own. Sakuya was so busy, she didn’t need to rearrange her day just for me. I...needed to do this by myself, to stop being nervous.
--(X) Nervously I walked up to Miss China’s door and gave a good knock.

I like the assertive side of the fairy.
>> No. 29538
[ ] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.
>> No. 29541
[X] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.
>> No. 29562
[X] I thought…the offer was nice, but I, I…I wanted to try it on my own. Sakuya was so busy, she didn’t need to rearrange her day just for me. I...needed to do this by myself, to stop being nervous.
--(x) Feeling a little bold, I stepped right up to Miss China’s door and walked inside.
>> No. 29567
>>29537

Agreed.

[X] I thought…the offer was nice, but I, I…I wanted to try it on my own. Sakuya was so busy, she didn’t need to rearrange her day just for me. I...needed to do this by myself, to stop being nervous.
--(X) Nervously I walked up to Miss China’s door and gave a good knock.
>> No. 29569
[z] I thought…the offer was nice, but I, I…I wanted to try it on my own. Sakuya was so busy, she didn’t need to rearrange her day just for me. I...needed to do this by myself, to stop being nervous.
--(e) Nervously I walked up to Miss China’s door and gave a good knock.

With confidence comes Understanding. Remi's Fate-hax can only do so much for us.
>> No. 29572
[x] I thought... The offer was nice, but I, I... I wanted to try it on my own. Sakuya was so busy, she didn't have to rearrange her day for me. I... needed to do this myself, to stop being nervous.
--(+) Nervously, I walked up to Miss China's door and gave a good knock.

Just walking into someone's house uninvited is rude. Knocking works.
And the fairy has proven she doesn't need someone to metaphorically hold her hand, I'm not going to vote a step backwards.
>> No. 29575
[x] I thought…the offer was nice, but I, I…I wanted to try it on my own. Sakuya was so busy, she didn’t need to rearrange her day just for me. I…needed to do this by myself, to stop being nervous.
--(x) Nervously I walked up to Miss China’s door and gave a good knock.
>> No. 29576
[x] I thought…the offer was nice, but I, I…I wanted to try it on my own. Sakuya was so busy, she didn’t need to rearrange her day just for me. I...needed to do this by myself, to stop being nervous.
--(x) Nervously I walked up to Miss China’s door and gave a good knock.
>> No. 29597
[x] I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things.
>> No. 29602
8 votes for keeping Sakuya around at first.
7 votes for going it alone (plus various sub-options).

Very close one, but looks like the Sakuya training wheels stay on for just a little bit more. Writing now...
>> No. 29611
I nodded silently, and moved just a little closer to Sakuya. It felt nice knowing she wanted to wait with me, just so that I could ease into all these new things. That I was…important enough to wait with, I guess. As she knocked on China’s door, a little feeling of shame squirmed around inside of me, that I was taking the “easy” way out by having Sakuya speak for me. I wanted to be all brave and independent, I wanted to show Miss China I could do whatever it is she wanted to teach me, but…I was still afraid. It’s all right to be afraid of new things, just a little bit, yes? To take it easy at first and understand you don’t know everything? I guess some kinds of little fear are still okay to have. Otherwise, those people that didn’t have any fear at all…well they’d just keep getting into trouble, wouldn’t they?

“Mei, Mei, you in there? It’s Sakuya. Hope I’m not too late,” Sakuya announced, still rapping on the groundskeeper’s door. I tiptoed just a little closer to try and hear if any noise was coming from inside. Nothing from within, but I thought I heard a slight rustling from without, when I heard a new voice from the side of the house and saw a red-haired head poke around the corner.

“Good morning, friends. I’m around back; just putting the garden hose away.”

We hopped from stepping stone to stepping stone through the small personal flowerbed Meiling kept for herself over to the east wall of her cabin, where she had already finished coiling up a green garden hose, unscrewing the nozzle from the faucet as she talked with Sakuya. I noticed she wasn’t in uniform yet, and wore only baggy tan…coveralls, is that the word? Not even her favorite green hat with the star on it was on her head, letting her wine-red hair flow down her back, tied up in a quick ponytail.

“Morning, Mei~. I was afraid you’d gone back to sleep on us.”

She smiled. “No, no, hardly fitting for a groundkeeper of all people, especially at this late hour. I have to keep up with your admirable work inside, after all.”

Sakuya waved her hand humbly, her cheeks reddening just a little. “Don’t, please, it’s not all that good. I’m just keeping Remilia content, that’s all. You know how critical she is because of my...talent.”

“Ahh, yes, quite true, quite true. I don’t envy your workload, that’s for sure.”

“And I don’t envy your hours,” Sakuya retorted, flashing a bemused grin.

“Well, you know…” Meiling trailed off and looked at the rising sun, like she was remembering something. “…after so many years, you begin to realize how much of your life is lost to sleep. And Remilia insists on it, since I’m capable. But I forget myself.” She hung the hose up on a nearby peg and then kneeled down in front of me, her face warm and full of compassion. I liked that face; it reminded me of what my mother’s face might have looked like, if I would have even had such a thing.

“Are you my new student, friend?” she asked me.

“Yes, Miss Mei—umm, I mean Miss Hong Meiling.”

“Please, you can just say China; I understand my name’s confusing. A simple name will make it easier for us both.”

I nodded. “Yes, Miss China.”

“Are you here to learn about grounds-keeping, then?”

“I’m here, to…learn, anything that you want to teach me.”

She nodded. “A good answer. You should always look to learn more that just what’s offered. And, may I ask, why do you want to learn? Everyone has a reason for wanting things. What’s yours?”

It felt like a big question at first, but then I remembered Sakuya asking me almost the same thing just a few days ago. Collecting my thoughts, I repeated the answer to Miss Meiling. “Well, because…I want to understand things. This is all such a big world, and I’m just a really small fairy in it. I don’t know anything about anything, but…I want to. I want to know more, I want to know things like what, and why, and how. And, the only way I can find out are to ask people that’ve been here longer than I have. So today, I guess…that’s you.”

“Well,” she commented, standing back up, “I won’t say I know everything about everything, but…I know some things. And soon, I hope you will too.” She returned her focus to Sakuya, who quickly shoved away her computer pad again. She did like to fiddle with that contraption an awful lot.

“Has Miss Remilia given any specifics on the young lady’s instruction?” the guard inquired.

“The same as usual. Show her the grounds, make sure she’s familiar with all the work. Teach her…whatever it is you teach her, I guess. Take as much time as the two of you need. Now, she’s one of Flandre’s Seven, so it’d be nice if you…umm…” Sakuya trailed off, for some reason searching for the right words in her palms. I felt a little splash of time magic go off, but before I noticed any kind of change, Meiling interrupted.

“I understand, Sakuya. Combat?”

“Only as much as she’s comfortable with. Remi hinted at something, and she said Patchouli—“ Another small alarm beeped at Sakuya’s waist, and she snapped her fingers. “Nngh, that’ll be the soup. Look, don’t overdo it, Remi has high hopes, and I’ll check back if I can find the time. Sorry I can’t stay longer, bye.” And with that smattering of parting words, she vanished back to parts unknown.

“Well, that’s that, for now,” China mused, looking at the red mansion walls to the west. “Here, please come inside with me. I’d like to wash up and change before we start our day off.”

Stepping gingerly back across her flowerbed (or, her stepping, me flying), the two of us entered her home. The inside proved to be as warm and friendly as the outside, with lots of light from the wide windows and roof window above. There’s a name for it besides roof window, no? I forget at the moment. The furnishings were minor in the open great room—just a few chairs and end tables, one couch, a fireplace and a bookshelf in the corner—but I appreciated it for not being so very cluttered like some of the lounges in the mansion. Lots of wood in that house, of all colors and styles…I’m still not quite sure how I feel about wood in furniture. Yes, it’s a part of nature, once living and now no longer, but it’s not as if the tree has vanished or been destroyed, just…well, being used. Is it all right to use a part of nature for something different, something more “practical”? I’ve searched for the answer myself, but I just can’t make up my mind.

The groundskeeper let loose the hair from her ponytail and headed for what I could see was the washroom. “Please, feel free to make yourself comfortable. As long as you learn from me, treat my rooms as your own. Within reason, of course,” she added, smiling. Was that supposed to be a joke? I never remembered China for her wit; I don’t recall her making very many jokes in my time with her. She was much different from Sakuya in that respect; more calm and composed, more friendly, but more serious as a result, I suppose. No one person can be everything to everyone, at least I never found one that could be.
>> No. 29612
Choose one of [these], and then choose one of (these).


[ ] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
[ ] I know she wanted be to be comfortable but…I couldn’t help it. I was a maid, and more importantly, I was someone who wanted to help. As I glanced around the room, I saw several spots that I thought could have used a little tidying.
[ ] Seeing Meiling walking to the washroom made me realize I hadn’t had a wash in a while, either, and I did want to feel nice for such an important day. She wouldn’t mind if I joined her, would she…?

( ) There were ideas bouncing around in my head that I wanted to ask my new teacher, but I didn’t want to disturb her, so I stowed them away from later and just waited patiently.
( ) I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way. (If this, choose some questions or make a write-in/write-ins).
--{ } “I was wondering, I mean, when Sakuya mentioned about your hours…does that mean you, umm, don’t, sleep?”
--{ } “So, umm…do you have any plan for today?”
--{ } “Did you say…combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”
--{ } “Are you and Sakuya good friends, then?”
--{ } “I don’t wanna pry or anything, but…do you like working here?”
>> No. 29613
[x] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
--(x) I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way.
--{x} “Did you say…combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”
>> No. 29615
[x] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
--(x) I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way.
--{x} “Did you say…combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”
>> No. 29623
[x] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
--(x) I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way.
--{x} “Did you say…combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”
>> No. 29625
[X] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
(X) I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way.
--{X} “Are you and Sakuya good friends, then?”
--{X} “Did you say... combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”
>> No. 29626
>>29611
>>ponytail
>>Hong Meiling

You have made me happy.
>> No. 29643
[~] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
--(z) I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way.
--{e} “Did you say…combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”
>--{x} "...Did you and Sakuya talk about something she didn't want me to hear? Something about me being 'one of Flandre's Seven,' whatever that is, and then the magic."
Refraining from adding this last, just yet. Should we let it slip that we heard that?

I'm assuming "Flandre's Seven" means Flandre has a different maid for every day of the week, or something. Or maybe she's one of only seven to survive or have gotten along with her?

>>29611
>She returned her focus to Sakuya, who quickly shoved away her computer pad again. She did like to fiddle with that contraption an awful lot.
How much do you want to bet she's playing Tetris on that?
>> No. 29644
>>29643
Pretty sure it was stated explicitly that Flandre has a maid for every day of the week, and we're Friday. Besides, nothing in the narrative indicated that they were trying their conversation from us. I think the time magic was just Sakuya taking a minute to think of the right word.
>> No. 29650
[x] I know she wanted be to be comfortable but…I couldn’t help it. I was a maid, and more importantly, I was someone who wanted to help. As I glanced around the room, I saw several spots that I thought could have used a little tidying.


--{x} “I was wondering, I mean, when Sakuya mentioned about your hours…does that mean you, umm, don’t, sleep?”
--{x} “Are you and Sakuya good friends, then?”
>> No. 29651
[x] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
--[x] I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way.
--[x] “Did you say…combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”
>> No. 29669
[X] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
(X) I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way.
--{X} “Are you and Sakuya good friends, then?”
--{X} “Did you say... combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”

It's good to see Meiling finally done right. First by Owen, then by Tepes. I'm looking forward to future updates.
>> No. 29678
[X] I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”.
(X) I couldn’t help asking my new teacher a question or two, just to get them out of the way.
--{X} “Are you and Sakuya good friends, then?”
--{X} “Did you say... combat? Exactly what would we be doing?”
>> No. 29705
8 votes for the couch
1 vote for tidying

Of the 9 votes:
5 for the combat question
3 for the combat question and the Sakuya question
1 for the sleep question and the Sakuya question

Winning options will be the couch-sitting fairy asking about combat and Meiling’s relationship with Sakuya, then. Probably jut a short update tonight since I’m tired, but better than nothing. Writing now…

>>29644
Yeah, this guy/girl’s right.

>>29669
Well, I got a lot of inspiration from Owen’s new short in my own right, so I don’t really deserve much credit~. But thanks for liking my China, and I’ll do my best!
>> No. 29706
>>29644
>I think the time magic was just Sakuya taking a minute to think of the right word.
Given how not-with-it Sakuya seems to be, this is sadly quite possible.
>> No. 29714
>>29706

Everyone is so hard on her...
I mean, if you think realistically, it's not like she could really be a "perfect elegant meido". Nothing is perfect.

But, either way, I think we can all agree that this is probably the most "canon" representation of Sakuya yet.
>> No. 29717
>>29714

Sakuya is perfect.
>> No. 29721
I floated over to the long, sturdy couch and sat down, trying to relax. It wasn’t really that hard. China was right; her house definitely felt like it could be “my own”. It felt a lot nicer than my boring quarters down in the cold basement, and even though I laid down to rest there every night, I never really felt any kind of sentimental attachment to those rooms, anyways. I don’t think many of us did.

“Do you…mind if I talk to you while you wash up?” I asked meekly before she closed the door.

She turned back and smiled at me, tilting her head ever so slightly. “Not at all; we should get to know each other better, after all. Have you washed yet today? The bath’s big enough for two.”

I was certainly glad the couch was between us so I could hide my blushing face behind it. “Oh, no, that’s, that’s okay, you go ahead. I’m sure y-you enjoy your privacy, bein’ human and all that.”

She shrugged, letting out just the faintest whisper of a sigh. “That’s very considerate of you. Thank you. Though…I wouldn’t really say I’m a human anymore.” Before I had a chance to ask her what that meant, she had already stepped inside the room and half-shut the door, leaving enough room for us to keep speaking, though I kind of had to shout over the running water of the tub.

“What do you mean, you’re not human anymore?” I wondered aloud to her. “I mean, you look all human and stuff to me, even though you’ve got that kinda magiky feeling on you, kinda like Miss Patchouli. Is that what you mean?”

“I think so,” she spoke back. “I suppose I don’t really know how it happened to her, but for me, I just…kept going, I suppose. I kept living, kept training, kept on getting stronger; over time I just started to feel…different. Not all there, you might say. As if a part of me had moved onwards to something bigger, pulling the rest of me along with it. In any case, a normal human wouldn’t be able to live through centuries and still look as young as I do now.”

Five centuries? She must have been as old as Remilia if I remembered my numbers correctly, perhaps older. It was always difficult for me to think of my fellow residents’ lives in ages and dates; power and wisdom had always held more importance to me than hold old someone was. And my superiors certainly held more power than any of us fairies; probably even more than all of us combined. You had Patchouli with her magic books and spells, Sakuya with her time control (invincible in a fight if you ask me), the vampires with their…well, whatever it was that vampires did, and China with…ummm…

Wait…hadn’t Sakuya said something about combat to her? As in, me learning it…?! I bit my lip, and started to get a little nervous. Learning how to fight?! But, why? And, what good what it do? I was just a puny little fairy; even that assassin human from that most important day threw me down without a problem. What could I possibly do?

“Umm, Miss China? Did you and Sakuya say…combat? Exactly, uhhm…what would we be doing? And…why?”

I couldn’t see her anymore from all the steam leaking out the door (probably for the best), but I could still hear her voice clear as a bell. “Oh, that? Please, try not to worry about that. We’ll start slow at first; forms and stances, balance, that sort of thing. It’s almost like dancing, really. One day, if you’re ready, I can teach you the beginnings of martial arts; fighting with no weapon but yourself. Sakuya told me to make you comfortable with anything I’d teach you, first. But all the same…You may have noticed, but this world we live in, well, it’s not perfect. There are good people, and there are also bad people. Lady Remilia’s life has been filled with both, and though she is strong, no one can protect themselves completely. It’s always best to talk, to negotiate and reason, but some days…some days you will have to fight. And on those days, you must be ready to fight back, to protect what’s important. Do you understand?”

Yes, yes, I understood well…too well for a fairy. I could still remember that night, that woman, that feeling of the knife in my hands, and on her ankles. I didn’t like it—no, I hated it!—but I knew. I knew that I had to. Sometimes you have to hurt the bad people, because if you don’t, then all the good people will get hurt. And if you’re one of the good people…well, you can’t let the bad people win. I nodded my head solemnly and gave China a quick “Yes” before letting the subject drop. This was going to be hard…but I wanted to do it. I wanted to learn more, to understand more. Even if it was going to be the hardest thing in my life. I wasn’t going to be afraid.

“So, umm…Are you and Sakuya good friends, then?” I continued, changing the subject to something a bit more cheery.

It took a little bit before China answered me back. “I’d like to think so. We’ve been a part of this mansion for, oh, ages it seems. We’re two sides of the same coin, Sakuya and I: me tending to the outside, and her tending to the inside. Our lives don’t connect as must as I’d like due to that, even after so long, but you can hardly serve the same mistress side by side for as long as we have and not be friends. It’s…It’s a relationship that’s hard to put into words, I’m afraid, partly due to our long history. But, yes, we are good friends.”

A moderate silence filled the cabin, broken every now and again by the churning bathwater. I wanted to break it with something, but as I searched my wandering mind for another topic, China brought up one of her own.

“Little lady, may I ask you a question, now?”

“Wha? Oh, yes, please, go ahead.”

A slight pause. “I’d like to ask you…what you think of Lady Flandre. Who is she to you? What is she to you? What do you think of her?”

What I…thought about Flandre? Even after having all weekend to think that fateful Friday over, it was still a devil of a question for me to answer. I guess, I thought she was, well…

[ ] …like a sort of wild beast tamed. In her heart of hearts she was unstoppable, uncontrollable, but she had grown to learn what it meant to be more than power and rage. Or, at least, she was learning.
[ ] …just plain insane, mad beyond hope, or at least beyond my small power to help her. She was deep, deep and tangled, too much for a fairy like me. I could, and I would, try to grow close to her, but she was something I’d never really be able to unravel.
[ ] …exactly like she appeared to be: a child. I knew she was centuries old, but age and experience don’t always go hand in hand, even if they usually do. Her mind was young and playful, even if it sounded imposing when she talked. All she needed was a few good teachers.
[ ] …a prisoner, a prisoner of herself. I had seen things I didn’t understand, and things she might not have either, but…I had this feeling. She was mad, but the madness was a cage, a chain around her mind, and she had lost the key.

Sorry if the options don’t seem very good; I try my best to give you a good range. You can always mix them up, I guess~
>> No. 29730
[x]My good friend.

simple is best.
>> No. 29742
I know how I feel about this...but I don't know how exactly to put it into a response.

It's like

Well, in the same vein as >>29730, that we want to be her friend, but something beyond that. Something about how she needs a friend, someone who will treat her as a normal girl.

Someone help me out, here.
>> No. 29748
[x] My good friend.

This is best. It just needs to be fleshed out.
>> No. 29753
Well, we've only seen her X times... Can we really call her a "good friend" yet?

[x] ... she was... someone who I wanted to become closer to. No less.

For your consideration.
>> No. 29754
>>29742 here

[x] ... she was... someone who I wanted to become closer to. No less.

That works for now.
>> No. 29756
[x] ... she was... someone who I wanted to become closer to. No less.
>> No. 29757
[x] ... she was... someone who I wanted to become closer to. No less.
I concur we cannot tell her we are friends if we only met her once---
>> No. 29758
[x] ... she was... someone who I wanted to become closer to. No less.
>> No. 29759
[X] ... she was... someone who I wanted to become closer to. No less.
>> No. 29783
So tired...just want the weekend to come already. I don't feel like writing tonight.

"Want to be closer to" is winning over "a good friend" 6 votes to 2, by the way.
>> No. 29825
...she was…someone who I wanted to become closer to. No less. There was so much I didn’t know about her, so much I didn’t understand…and so much I wanted to. I still didn’t know if I wanted to be a friend to her, or if she’d even let me; being a friend is a big responsibility, and I’d never had a real close one before. But all the same, I was her maid through and through. I wasn’t going to back down; I wanted to keep going, to keep learning from each other.

“I think…that I want to get to know her better. To me she’s something I don’t understand. Maybe I’ll never know just who Flandre is, China, but…I want to try. And…I’m not afraid to try.”

“You’re not afraid to try…but are you afraid of her?” she continued.

“I…don’t, know. I think I might be, but then, sometimes, I think I might not be. I guess, well…I’m afraid of the things she can do, but…I’m not afraid of her. Most of the time, I bet she’s just trying to be a good girl.”

“Mmm…did you hear that from another one of her maids?”

“Well, n-no, Miss China,” I answered, a little confused. “I don’t even know who her maids are. All I hear are rumors and guesses, but I’ve never heard anyone say anything like that.”

I could hear some more splashing as China got out of the tub, letting the water drain out as she complimented me. “You’re a smart little fairy for thinking like that all by yourself. Brave, even. I can honestly say I haven’t met very many like you, who can say those things about Flandre after just one day. And you’re perfectly right; she’s a good person at heart. She just…well, she’s just had bad luck, in more ways than one.”

I smiled as I thought about her words. Smart, she…she called me smart. But, I wasn’t smart at all! All I did was say what I thought. Don’t you have to think to be smart? Plan out all the pros and cons and do a lot of equations? Patchouli, now she was smart. Me, I was just…me. And bravery…is that really all it takes to be brave?

As the washroom door creaked open, I glanced China moving from the bathroom to her own quarters, torso wrapped up in a thick emerald towel. I quickly turned away and blushed, even though I hadn’t seen anything indecent. It wasn’t embarrassment I felt, though, more…envy, I guess the word is. China just looked so…strong, so beautiful. She wasn’t like all those “supermodels” in some of the movies I had seen. Those women were all curves and hair and giant breasts, silly things that looked nice enough but wouldn’t help them do anything around the house. China, though…she had muscles, and grace, and balance, and everything I didn’t have, and would have wanted to have. Why did I have to be so weak…?

The next few minutes passed by in silence as the groundskeeper dressed back up in her green uniform with the divided skirts. I had heard from someone that it was a “Chinese-style” uniform; was that where she got her nickname? I wondered that for a good while as I followed Meiling on a few of her errands, signaling some of the night-shift fairies to return back inside and switching them with new ones. For the next hour or so I was privy to the same routine I had experienced for years, only on the other side: getting daily work orders. Very calmly my teacher ushered the newly-awake fairies around the grounds, giving them instructions and showing them where to find supplies. It was nothing new for me, but I guess I hadn’t realized just how many fairies actually worked outside; I lost count around eighty or ninety. The Sun was already well on its way around the sky by the time China’s supervising slowed to a trickle, and she finally had time to focus back on me.

“Well, what do you think so far?” she asked me. “You’ve done a lot of this before, haven’t you?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I guess Sakuya really knows how to shuffle us around…or maybe it’s just me that always gets shuffled around. I guess this isn’t that hard, really, but…there’s just so much of it. So many fairies to take care of…”

“That’s what it means to have ‘responsibility’, little friend. It’s not much different from working like normal, but you have to take care of those under you as well. You have to show them the way, correct them if they stray, and above all else, keep them safe from harm as long as you watch over them.”

“I-I…I don’t think I’m strong enough to do that, Miss China. I don’ know nothing about protecting and leading and all that.”

“And that,” she told me, placing a hand on my shoulder reassuringly, “is why you have a teacher to help you. Even I was taught how to work and protect when I was a child, when I knew nothing, just like you.”

I nervously moved my own hand from my side to rest on top of China’s. Hers didn’t shake like mine did…it wasn’t all bony and thin like mine was…it wasn’t weak, like mine was. I was little…but little’s a lot when you have a big friend.

“Th-thank you for being my teacher, Miss China,” I told her, looking into her motherly blue eyes, blue like the sea. “I…I wanna do my best to make you proud of me.”

She rubbed my shoulder and smiled back at me. “You’re most welcome, young one. And I hope that you’ll be an even better student than I was for my own master. Now…are you ready to start learning for real?”

I nodded, and she gave me a nod back, looking to the rising sun.

“There are four things I want to teach you in our time together. Three are what my job actually is: guarding the gate, keeping the grounds, and defending our Lady. The fourth…is something special: knowledge and wisdom. Things you won’t easily find in a book, but things any soul should know, especially for someone who wants to understand the world better. How long they take…well, that’s up to us to decide.”

[ ] Guarding the gate; well that sounded simple enough, right? Best to start with something easy.
[ ] Hey, keeping the grounds, I knew how to do that! How much harder could doing it with “responsibility” really be? Like China said, it’s really not that much different.
[ ] I thought I knew what “defending our Lady” really meant. Fighting…hurting others to protect those you cared about. I was scared to try it, but…I had to be brave. I couldn’t be afraid to learn.
[ ] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.
>> No. 29826
[ ] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.
>> No. 29827
[x] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.
>> No. 29828
>especially for someone who wants to understand za warudo better

[x] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.
>> No. 29829
[X] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.
>> No. 29830
[X] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.
>> No. 29832
[x] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.
>> No. 29841
[ze] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.

This seemed like the wrong one to go with first, but learning to understand will hopefully allow all the subsequent lessons to take root more firmly.

>>29825
>Most of the time, I bet she’s just trying to be a good girl.”
And now I'm imagining Flandre dressed up like Sanae.
>> No. 29849
[x] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.

This is our main goal.
>> No. 29851
[x] Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.
>> No. 29872
Understanding…she was offering me a chance to understand better? I didn’t know how it was going to work, but I didn’t care. I trusted her to make it work.

“I’d like to learn how to understand better, Miss China. Can we do that first? It’d probably be a lot easier in the long run.”

She made a sort of funny face at me; I couldn’t really tell if is was a smile or a frown. Maybe it was both at the same time. “Yes, yes it would,” she told me with a motherly tone. “But, you see, the first thing to understand about understanding is it’s not really something you can just sit down and teach. It takes time, like anything does. I can speed up some parts, but…well, I’m sure you can work out that growing up isn’t an easy thing to learn.”

I nodded respectfully. I hadn’t really thought about that kind of problem, but she was right; I had heard that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and whatever Rome was, it probably took a long time to build.

“I understand, China. I just…you know, thought I should ask.”

“And it’s good that you did; now I know where your priorities lie. Come, let’s walk for a while.”

We started to amble around the grounds, not aiming for any real destination. China grew rather quiet for a time; perhaps she was thinking of what to say? Eventually she stopped and kneeled down next to a stray dandelion flower close to the wall.

“Here, tell me,” she asked drawing my attention to the plant. “Why do you think Remilia asks us to pull up dandelions from the lawn?”

I scratched my head. Why…? “Umm, because she…doesn’t like them?”

“Now why do you think she doesn’t like them?”

“Because…uhh…she, doesn’t like the, color? I mean, she likes red, not yellow.”

“Then why doesn’t she plant red flowers all over the whole lawn?”

These questions, they were…what were they? They kept getting harder and harder, I didn’t understand what they meant. And China wasn’t even telling me if my answers were right or wrong. Were there any right answers?

“I, I-I, uhh…I don’t, know, why. I’m sorry,” I ended up stuttering, hanging my head. China reached out her hand and brought my face back up, consoling me with her calm gaze.

“It’s okay; you did fine. She doesn’t plant flowers just anywhere because she, like many other humans, enjoys order over disorder. She likes thing to be exactly where they should be, looking clean and perfect, not all messy. And she has us pull up the dandelions because she wants things her way; she wants her mansion to follow her rules, not someone else’s. She knows what she wants, and so she wants it that way. And because she’s strong and has people like you and me under her, she can usually get what she wants.”

I tried to process the information. Wants what she wants…order not disorder…I kind of knew what she was saying, but I didn’t really understand yet. I asked her, “But…why? Why does she want things like that? I mean, I don’t like the same things she likes. How come?”

It was her turn to think for a while. “Because,” she said, “humans are selfish, as are many creatures. They like to think of themselves first, before other people. They want to be happy, and they think getting what they want will make them happy. Remilia, you, me…We are creatures not exactly human, living in a world of humans; it’s only natural that over time we’ll start to act the same. You, you haven’t been influenced by this world for very long yet. I hope you never will.”

She sighed and leaned against the wall, watching the distant fairies mow the lawn of the soccer pitch with care. She looked…troubled, I thought. Had I asked a bad question just then?

“Humm, that’s the problem with understanding things, little friend,” she mused, surveying her grounds. “The more you understand, the more things you discover…both good and bad, both easy and hard. I want to tell you that all is right with the world, that everyone is basically good on the inside and that everything is for the best, but…well, after five hundred years, you begin to lose that idealism. All I can tell you is what I know, and what I’ve experienced. What you decide to believe is all up to you.”

I sat there, looking at that single dandelion, listening to Meiling’s teachings. So this was understanding? For some reason it felt a lot worse than I had imagined. Selfishness and influence, good and bad, I knew the meanings of the words, but only then had I really started to think about what they meant in the big picture of things.

“That sounds really sad, you know, China?” I commented. “This understanding stuff isn’t what I thought it would be at all. Does that mean I, I should just stop trying? Just go back to being a good maid and all that?”

She shook her head, but didn’t really seem to contradict me outright. “That depends on whether you’d rather be sad, or ignorant. But being sad over the world…that’s a waste of tears. Your world, your future is whatever you make of it. So make it a good one.”

I rubbed my eyes, half-expecting to find tears there, and smiled weakly. “Th-That thing you just said…isn’t that from a movie or something?”

China smirked and ruffled my hair. “Back To The Future, Part 3. I go to the movie nights too, you know.”


Choose one of [these], and then choose one of (these).

[ ] Later that day…
[ ] The next day…
[ ] One week later…
[ ] Two weeks later…

( ) …found me sitting on the high wall with China, looking down the lonely dirt road that snaked up to the gate.
( ) …found me in the back of the orchard with China and a few other fairies, checking up on the growing fruit.
( ) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.
( ) …found me high up in the library, reading through a book with China’s guidance.
>> No. 29876
[X] The next day…
-(x) …found me sitting on the high wall with China, looking down the lonely dirt road that snaked up to the gate.
>> No. 29878
>>29872
[X] One week later…
(X) …found me in the back of the orchard with China and a few other fairies, checking up on the growing fruit.
>> No. 29880
[x] Two weeks later…
(x) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.

"Show me your determination, Fairy!"
>> No. 29881
[x] Two weeks later…
(x) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.
>> No. 29883
[X] One week later...
(X) ...found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.

>>29880
inb4 we start with Tai Chi.
>> No. 29884
[x] Later that day…
(x) …found me in the back of the orchard with China and a few other fairies, checking up on the growing fruit.

If there's a time skip right now, then what have we been doing in the mean time? I thought we'd just follow everyone for a day until we settle for something?
>> No. 29885
[x] Two weeks later…
(x) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.
>> No. 29886
[x] Two weeks later…
(x) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.
>> No. 29887
[x] Two weeks later…
(x) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.
>> No. 29888
>If there's a time skip right now, then what have we been doing in the mean time? I thought we'd just follow everyone for a day until we settle for something?

That's not how it works. Our training under China is just that; it's not an apprenticeship. We continue to perform our duties as Flandre's maid on Fridays over this. When China thinks we have no more to learn, Sakuya will ask the fairy who she wish to study under next, while still going about your pre-established duties. Ideally, the fairy will learn something from everyone, and in doing so find her own niche in the mansion.
>> No. 29889
[X] One week later…
(X) …found me in the back of the orchard with China and a few other fairies, checking up on the growing fruit.
>> No. 29891
[ ] Two weeks later…
( ) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.
>> No. 29894
[x] Two weeks later…
(x) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.
>> No. 29895
[x] One training montage later…
(x) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.

I'm imagining The 36th chamber of Shaolin with the Rocky theme playing in the background.
>> No. 29897
[z] One week later…
(e) …found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts.
>> No. 29904
For Part 1:
7 votes for two weeks
4 votes for one week
1 vote for Next day
1 vote for later in the day
1 vote for training montage

For Part 2:
10 votes for martial arts
3 votes for orchard
1 vote for wall

Two-week timeskip joining the battle already in progress, then. Time's tight tonight; might just be a short update.

>>29884
Yeah, my bad~ I had said that at first, but then decided you'll follow one person until they think you're fine to move on for now (probably a few weeks or so). Basically what >>29888 said, it makes more sense that way.
>> No. 29906
Two weeks later found me in a secret and secluded corner of the hedge maze, doing my best to keep up with China’s martial arts. It was confusing for me to think about, trying to do something she had probably done for centuries already. I felt like such a small bug in comparison to her skill. But, I suppose even the smallest of bugs have their purpose in Nature.

The two weeks had passed by quicker than I had expected, and less grand than I had imagined. Many of my days with China were the same as the first: showing all the workers where to go for the day, then watching the gate and wall in between circuits around the grounds to see if any of my cousins needed help with anything. It was boring work, living like China did day after day, but our conversations were what made our time together special. She really felt like she knew where I was coming from with all of my questions, and with all the questions she asked me. She never really forced or pushed me to answer her any certain way, and, come to think of it, she never much said that ‘this is right’ or ‘this is wrong’. She just…told me things, and let what would happen afterwards happen.

Fridays with Flandre were going along all right, too. I think she had scared herself over the shocks she had given me the first time, and was much more reserved for the next two sessions. We didn’t even leave the room those times; just sort of sat around and did much of nothing. Flandre read a lot, books that were in some other language I think, and she’d often take an hour or two to sit down and type at her video-computer-system, or whatever those things are called. Fortunately she didn’t make me try and learn anything on that; I was left mostly to read as well, or just plain sit around, since I couldn’t ever find enough things to clean that didn’t below to her “system”.

But those new training sessions that had started a week before with China, when I finally plucked up the courage to start learning…those were different. I kept hearing them be called “martial arts” in the movies, but for all the art China showed me I couldn’t see anything martial about them. She said we would start slow, and we did. Very, slow. Even with my small mind and cautious approach to life I thought we were going too slow. Wasn’t I supposed to be learning combat? Then what was all this, this…dancing, about?

It was early that day, early early. As in, the sun wouldn’t be up for another hour early, and we’d already been out there an hour to boot. A solitary lantern was our only light aside from the azure glow of the sky above us, turned a shade of green from the tall hedges surrounding China’s little hideaway of solitude. I could hear her deep breathing, and my own as well, trying to focus our bodies on peace and serenity, or something like that.

I didn’t get it. This “Tai Chi” I was supposed to be learning…this was meaningless! In over a week, all she had taught me, all she had even talked about was how to stand, how to walk, and how to focus your mind. Where was all the fighting, all the ways to stop an intruder from getting into the mansion? I mean, I knew China had told me, “To learn how to fight, you must first learn how to not fight,” but she hadn’t told me why yet. Yes, I was too afraid to ask my teacher the why just yet, but…no, no, I remember now. That was the day I had had enough, the day I had actually talked back to her. The shame…the horrible shame would come later. But not then. Then was the time for me to vent my frustration.

Slowly but surely I stopped trying to balance on one foot and calm my mind like she had told me. I turned to her, and asked her a question as sweetly as I could, even though I was still challenging her authority.

“China…I don’t get this. Not at all! All this standing and walking, what’s it all supposed to mean? I want…I want to try and learn something useful, like how to fight an intruder! I wanna be brave and strong like you, but this stuff…? This stuff doesn’t help me none!”

I saw China return to two legs as well, and she sighed. It was…it was a very sad sigh, I thought. She put her hand to her chin, thinking…just thinking. I knew I had said something bad, but, well, I didn’t really care then. I had told her I wanted to understand. But this…I couldn’t understand this.

“Defend yourself.”

Wait…what? It took be a few seconds before I realized China was flexing the fingers of her left hand, and I could see her worm her feet more firmly into the ground. She wasn’t really going to…was she?

She was.

Within a half-second she had dashed upon me, a firm palm ready to push me backwards into the brick wall. I had only moments to decide what to do; perhaps not the smartest choice at the time, but it was all I could think of:

[ ] Block and fight back. This was a fight, wasn’t it? The best defense is a good offense, right?
[ ] Stand firm. I remembered that you were supposed to take a strong stance against the ground so you wouldn’t be pushed around, right? At least I could show her I wasn’t afraid.
[ ] Take the hit. I was too weak to actually win against her; I’d get hurt no matter what. Maybe if I just rolled with the punches it wouldn’t hurt as much…
[ ] Take to the air. I was a fairy, after all. All’s fair in love and war, or something, right? I thought I should use anything I had to my advantage.
[ ] Dodge away. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me.
>> No. 29907
[B] Block and fight back. This was a fight, wasn’t it? The best defense is a good offense, right?
>> No. 29909
[X] Block and fight back. This was a fight, wasn’t it? The best defense is a good offense, right?
-[X] Use the movements from what little Tai Chi I had learned. China said this was a martial art, right?

Tai Chi's popular image is of slow, meditative movements, but its is intended to be practiced both slowly, in order to learn proper technique, and quickly, as a soft-style martial art. A few weeks isn't long enough for us to have come anywhere close to mastering either, but at least we'll show that we've been paying attention.
>> No. 29910
[x] Dodge to the side, so as not to end up crashing into the brick wall behind me. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me. No, she still had more reach and leverage... but at least I wouldn't be cornered anymore.

I'd have her do a Bagua circle-sidestep, but that'd be entirely too... meta.
>> No. 29911
x] Dodge to the side, so as not to end up crashing into the brick wall behind me. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me. No, she still had more reach and leverage... but at least I wouldn't be cornered anymore.
>> No. 29913
[x] Dodge to the side, so as not to end up crashing into the brick wall behind me. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me. No, she still had more reach and leverage... but at least I wouldn't be cornered anymore.

KICK PUNCH IT'S ALL IN THE MIND
>> No. 29914
[x] Dodge away. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me.
>> No. 29915
[x] Dodge to the side, so as not to end up crashing into the brick wall behind me. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me. No, she still had more reach and leverage... but at least I wouldn't be cornered anymore.
>> No. 29916
[x] Dodge to the side, so as not to end up crashing into the brick wall behind me. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me. No, she still had more reach and leverage... but at least I wouldn't be cornered anymore.
>> No. 29917
I'm getting RAN flashbacks here.

That is a good thing.
>> No. 29919
[x] Dodge to the side, so as not to end up crashing into the brick wall behind me. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me. No, she still had more reach and leverage... but at least I wouldn't be cornered anymore.

maybe try to see in her movements the "dance" that she was trying to teach us? if so maybe we could dodge it a little better....
>> No. 29958
[x] Dodge to the side, so as not to end up crashing into the brick wall behind me. I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and used size to my advantage she couldn’t keep up with me. No, she still had more reach and leverage... but at least I wouldn't be cornered anymore.
>> No. 29968
>>29917

The lack of updates is giving me some bad flashbacks.
>> No. 29969
>>29968

Not dead. Bunch of friends came from out of town and replaced my normal boring sit-in-front-of-a-computer weekend with a fun spontaneous we-are-going-to-do-this-and-it-will-be-great weekend. Kind of kills the drive to write.

Will try to get a few updates in this week and the next, but they'll be sparse for a while. No writing today, but definately tomorrow. Wait warmly, etc.

>>29917

Thanks~ I sure hope I can live up to RaAN's standard. Except now I'm all sad. Ran, why'd you have to leave us... ;_;
>> No. 29970
>>29969
>Ran, why'd you have to leave us... ;_;

Somtimes wonder if he actually visits the site to check how sad we are. It only makes me even more sad; I miss him so much.
>> No. 29983
7 votes for dodging write-in
2 votes for blocking and fighting
1 vote for normal dodging.

Sorry for the unexpected seven minutes back there. Writing now.
>> No. 29986
Dodge to the side. With that wall behind me, I needed more space to move. I wouldn’t be able to actually fight back at China, but I was a lot shorter than her, and lighter too. Maybe if I stayed low to the ground and…no, no, it was silly to think like that. She still had more reach and leverage on me, not to mention centuries of skill...but at least I wouldn't be cornered anymore.

Frantically I burst my tiny body to the right and tumbled across the ground, narrowly avoiding China’s powerful thrust. She wasted little time and swept one of her long legs out for me. I tried to flutter upwards just to avoid falling flat on my face, but my head was so dizzy from everything happening so fast. I just wanted to get away, to not have to fight right now, to say I was sorry.

No, no, I couldn’t think like that either! She was testing me, wasn’t she? To see what I’d learned so far? But, but I hadn’t learned anything yet, nothing like what I needed right then. I got back to my feet just in time to see her dash towards me again, so I dodged to the left like befo—no, she saw me. Her arm reached out and connected softly with my shoulder, setting me off balance and landing my back on the grass. She placed her foot squarely on my heaving chest and flashed me a rather disappointed look.

“That was very rash of you, little friend,” she told me, folding her arms.

I squeezed my eyes shut, not wanting to look at the slight frown on my teacher’s face. A stammering, “I-I’m s-so-sor-ry,” was all I could manage.

“Why did you lose?”

“You’re, you’re too strong…t-too fast, and too b-big. I don’t know anything about anything yet, you know lotsa stuff.”

She pushed on my chest a little. It hurt…not because it actually “hurt”, but…oh, I don’t feel like explaining it. I think you understand. “No,” she answered simply. “My attacks on you were sloppy and unfocused, purposefully; any street brawler or amateur in the world could have done just as well, or better. I’ve already taught you what you would have needed to defend yourself well enough.” She took her foot off of me and helped me back to my feet, brushing the dirt off of me and sighing.

“Perhaps, hmm…The reason you lost is because you learned, but did not understand. I think I am to blame for that. It’s been so very long since I taught a fairy like yourself the arts of Tai Chi; I’m afraid I’m a little out of practice.”

“You’ve taught other fairies this kind of stuff before?” I asked. Did that mean…I wasn’t alone?

She nodded. “Yes, yes, it shouldn’t be a big surprise, really. Once every now and again, a fairy comes around like you who wants to learn, to understand, to get something more out of this world. It’s not unnatural; every creature in the world has questioned if there’s something more out there for them, I expect. Though lately…well, we haven’t had that many. You’re only the second since the beginning of this century if I recall. I’ve talked to Lady Remilia about it but...” She trailed off and frowned. Was something the matter? Whatever it was she just shook her head about it. “Ahh, it’s not important right now.”

She sat down on the ground and crossed her legs, motioning for me to do the same. For the longest time neither of us said anything, and aside from the faint rustling of hedges bending in the breeze, the air was silent as the grave.

“Tai Chi,” she finally began, “is about balance. In the land this art comes from, they call it Ying and Yang. A meeting of good and evil, order and chaos. To practice Tai Chi is to practice the balance of your body and spirit. Likewise, to defend with Tai Chi is to defend with balance: meeting the hard with the soft, the fast with the slow. I will show you.”

She reached out a hand and told me to try and stay as stiff as possible. I nodded my head, and she pushed against my shoulder, lightly at first, then harder and harder until I was really getting tired just resisting her, and felt like any second I’d give up and collapse. She let off and nodded. “Now this time, do not resist. Let me push you.” I nodded again, and as she pushed I let my shoulder get moved back further and further. It felt wrong at first to just give up like that, but unlike before it didn’t take any effort to get pushed, and eventually China was pretty much leaning right over my lap as she kept pushing my shoulder away. Embarrassed at how close we were getting I scooched away a little, nearly causing her to fall face-first on the grass. I couldn’t help but smile as she pushed out her hands to stabilize herself.

“Do you see?” she asked as she sat back up. “When you resist an attack, meeting force with force, you wear yourself out, and like an old branch you will soon snap. But when you move with the attack, and meet the hard with the soft, you create harmony. You keep your balance, and cause your opponent to lose theirs. A stone may be more intimidating than a wisp of cotton, but when dropped from a mountain, it is the stone that will break first. In a battle it is not merely she who spills the most blood that wins, but she who holds onto her strength the longest. Thus, if you seek only to defend what you want to protect, as we must do, you can win a battle without even striking back once. Do you understand?”

I thought I did, though I wondered why she hadn’t just said that a week ago. Still, there was something… “I think I do, Miss China, but what does standing and walking have to do with balance and defense?”

She smiled bemusedly and ruffled my hair. “Such a simple one, you are, and yet so complex. The link is balance, my friend. You need to learn balance, in how you hold yourself, and in every move you make. When you begin to lose your balance, you begin to lose your battles. That’s how you lost your fight with me. You dodged, but your dodges had no balance, and so you fell.”

I nodded, thinking about what she had told me. Balance, so much balance…but I suppose there’s balance in everything in the world. There’s always something out there to match something else, a “Ying” for a “Yang”, like China had said. I hope I’m using those words right…I never did really look to far into that sort of stuff.

A sound slowly began to intrude on our silence, a slight humming followed by heavy breathing as one of my cousins whizzed by overhead, passed us by, noticed us, then turned around and addressed China quickly after a hurried bow.

“Miss China, Miss China!” she squeaked urgently, “Sakuya said you need to come to the library right away! Miss Patchouli, she, she hurt herself again!“

At the sound of Patchouli’s name China shot right up and her face became serious. “An accident, or was she experimenting again?”

“I, I don’t know, Miss China…but I could feel magic around the library, though. It didn’t feel…happy, is that a good word?”

“Unhappy magic…? Patch, why do you do this to yourself…All right, where in the library?”

“Th-The basement, in that one place with all the old musty books. You know where that is, right?”

The groundskeeper nodded, then turned to me. “I’ll need to take care of this right away. Do as you wish until I get back; it may take some time.” Without waiting for my reply she had found a foothold on one of the hedges, clambered up to the top of the wall, and ran away out of sight with the maid close behind.

[ ] Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and I was curious to boot, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them.
[ ] Well, since I had some time to myself, I felt like I should try and practice all that Tai Chi balance stuff by myself. Maybe I’d get a better hang of it now.
[ ] I didn’t really know what else to do, so I figured watching the front gate was as good a place as any to pass the time.
[ ] All that training had made me tired and sweaty; I needed a bath.
>> No. 29987
[ ] Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and I was curious to boot, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them.
>> No. 29988
[ ] Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and I was curious to boot, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them.

Oh no! Patchy!
>> No. 29989
[x] Well, since I had some time to myself, I felt like I should try and practice all that Tai Chi balance stuff by myself. Maybe I’d get a better hang of it now.
>> No. 29990
[x] Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and I was worried about Miss Patchouli, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them.

MUST. HELP. EVERYONE.
>> No. 29991
>a “Ying” for a “Yang”
I can understand this misspelling when you use the compound word 'yin-yang', but I've never seen anyone split the two up and still misspell 'yin' as 'ying'.

[X] Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and I was curious to boot, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them.
>> No. 29992
[B] Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and I was worried about Miss Patchouli, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them.
>> No. 29993
[x] Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and I was worried about Miss Patchouli, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them.
>> No. 29997
[ze] Well, since I had some time to myself, I felt like I should try and practice all that Tai Chi balance stuff by myself. Maybe I’d get a better hang of it now.

Keep at it, dammit.
>> No. 30000
[x] Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and I was worried about Miss Patchouli, and curious to boot, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them.

You can learn things from a crisis that you'd never experience otherwise.
>> No. 30003
>>I completely missed that; didn't even think about it. Guess I'm as oblivious as our fairy is to these sort of things.

What?
>> No. 30004
4 votes for being worried about Patchouli and following.
3 votes for being curious and followed.
2 votes for practicing Tai Chi.

To the library, then! Writing in about an hour...

>>29991
I completely missed that; didn't even think about it. Guess I'm as oblivious as our fairy is to these sort of things.

>>30000
And /sdm/'s long-awaited 30000 GET finally arrives...in my thread, no less! Hooray!

EDIT: Linked >>29997 up there when I should have linked >>29991. I'm such a circle-nine.
>> No. 30005
>>30003

>>30004

TIME PARADOX!

Seriously, what happened there?
>> No. 30006
>>30005

He deleted his old post and made a fix'd version, complete with and "EDIT" note.
>> No. 30007
Unhappy magic? That sounded important, and so did Miss Patchouli getting hurt. I started to get worried about just what was happening, and curious to boot, so I fluttered up over the hedges and began to follow them. China sure knew how to move fast; she was already past the hedge maze and dashing for the mansion’s side door, the fairy behind her straining to keep up. They were too far ahead of me to actually “follow”, but the maid’s mention of “old musty books” told me enough to find the place by myself.

Across the lawn, into the red hallways, turn right into the library, no time to marvel at the rows of wisdom contained within, another right-left-right to the stairs leading to the basement level…Mistress Remilia’s house never really was built for a servant to get from here to there very quickly, at least not when you wanted to get there quickly. It didn’t happen very often, of course—us fairies never really have need for such speed in our everyday lives—but when it did, you certainly wished things could have been built a little better.

It wasn’t hard to find the open door that led into Patchouli’s more private archives of possessions, the things she considered too important or too rare to be left out in the open. I’d been there maybe once or twice, but only ever under Patchouli’s personal supervision, and I recall her being very particular on all the things I wasn’t allowed to touch. It was lit only by candles, and very few of them at that, so I tread carefully next to the wall, following the sound of voices coming from the distance.

“…been killed trying…hearty. What was she thinking?” said a muffled voice that sounded like China’s.

“Obviously she wasn’t thinking, Mei,” responded another, Sakuya’s this time.

“Or perhaps she was thinking too much. It looks like she was attempting a new incantation or something of the like.”

“Yeah, are those…what is that, some kind of summoning circle?”

The back corner of the archives came into view, a much more open space than normal, and the air smelling of smoke. China and Sakuya stood over an unconscious Patchouli, glasses askew, her turtleneck sweater and dress slacks looking like they had just caught fire only a few minutes ago, and the skin underneath them very red and cracked. I could see black scorch marks on the floor and walls, and a side of a nearby bookshelf was dripping wet from a hastily extinguished fire. The was some smudged writing on the floor where the burns hadn’t blackened it; looked very much like a spell-type pattern of some sort. Was that the “summoning circle” Sakuya had mentioned?

Sakuya glanced in my direction and nodded to me, but put a finger to her lips in silence and returned to the matter at hand. “You can heal her back, can’t you?” she asked the gate guard, bending down towards the librarian.

China carefully lifted her into a sitting position against the wall and took a good look at her injuries, running her hands over the pale woman’s skin. Her face looked very serious.

“Somewhat,” she replied, repositioning Patchouli’s glasses on her nose. “Miss Knowledge has never been the strong type to begin with, you know, and she’s used up an alarming amount of her energy on this spell, whatever it was. I’ll adjust what of her chi I can to lessen the pain, but it’s a poor substitute for natural healing as weak as she is now.”

As China wrapped a hand around each of the librarian’s burns in turn, I watched in awe as the inflammation slowly died down, and old burnt skin flaked off to be replaced by fresh pieces. I couldn’t really call it a “miracle” I suppose—none of the wounds went away completely—but I was definitely amazed. I’d never known that China could do something like that, whatever “that” actually was. Healing? I wondered just how it worked.

The color returned slightly to Patchouli’s face, and her eyelids flickered open. Her mouth sported a weak smile, and she coughed.

“I—ehouff, ehouff—I, did…it. It…worked.”

“Did what?” Sakuya asked nervously, supporting her shoulder so she didn’t simply topple over. “Patch, what did you just do to yourself?”

“Summ…ahhnng…Summoned, a creature, a creature from…another world. Another plane of existence from ours. It exists…it exists!”

“Summoned?! Do you mean there’s some spirit creature running around the mansion right now?! Remilia, she must…we must find it at once!!”

Patchouli made an attempt to stop the maid, but she had already vanished from our sight in the blink of an eye. The girl sighed and shook her head as China moved closer, must calmer than Sakuya was.

“No, it’s not, not here anymore. I couldn’t hold onto it; it returned to it’s own plane before I could stop it…didn’t know how…Seems that it didn’t quite like being summoned, heh.”

“Miss Knowledge, are you all right?” China asked. “There looked to be an awful lot of fire in here.”

“Exuberant. Please, help me up…I need to record this. Must record everything…it’s a breakthrough!”

The two women got to their feet, the violet-haired one barely even standing by herself and practically being carried by China. My teacher looked at me with care. “My friend, you didn’t have to come down here; I’d just wanted to you rest yourself outside.”

“But, I…I was worried. Unhappy magic, it sounded…bad. I just wanted to make sure everything was okay, Miss China” I replied, hanging my head just a little.

“Well, I think it’ll be okay now. I just need to get Miss Knowledge here back to her bed; she’ll need to rest for a bit I think,” she added, looking at Patchouli as she said it, who frowned back at her.

“Meiling, no…I can’t be resting, this is important! My first true breakthrough at summoning an extraplaner being! Don’t you see, I need to analyze this all!”

“What you need is a proper sleep. I’ve used what little energy you had left to soften your wounds, but you’ll be taking it easy for a few days.”

The librarian’s face looked quite downcast as she and China hobbled out of the room. As they passed near to me, Patchouli’s eyes brightened a little bit, and she spoke up once again.

“Meiling, this fairy of yours…she is the competent one you spoke of, yes? I have use of her if I’m to be shackled to my bed. May I?”

Wait…Patchouli wanted to take me away from China now?

[ ] But I hadn’t learned nearly enough yet!
[ ] It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.
[ ] Well, the lady sure looked like she could use the help. And she had even called me competent!
[ ] Frankly, I felt ready for a switch. China would always be there; I could come back to her later.
>> No. 30008
[x] It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.
>> No. 30009
[X] It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.
>> No. 30010
[x] But I hadn’t learned nearly enough yet!
>> No. 30011
>>30007
[X] Well, the lady sure looked like she could use the help. And she had even called me competent!

Time to put what we've learned about balance into practice, maybe even impart some of that onto Patchu
>> No. 30013
[x] It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.

Meiling has been placed in charge of us for the time being, so it is her decision. This is all part of being a good soldier servant.
>> No. 30014
[B] It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.
>> No. 30015
>>30007
Oh god that outfit YES.
Princess Tepes, I love you so.

When they mentioned the spirit thing gone loose, I first thought it was a reference to House of Leaves, but then it's mentioned this is her first attempt, so I don't know what's going on.

I also wondered if it might be Koakuma that she was trying to summon. Has she appeared in this story at all?
>> No. 30016
[x] It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.
>> No. 30017
[x] It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.
>> No. 30021
[x] Well, the lady sure looked like she could use the help. And she had even called me competent!

We can take some time off from training to stay with her until she heals. Meiling doesn't need us, Patchy does. Especially if she hasn't summoned Koakuma yet, who else would be there for her?
>> No. 30023
[x] Well, the lady sure looked like she could use the help. And she had even called me competent!
>> No. 30025
[X] Well, the lady sure looked like she could use the help. And she had even called me competent!
>> No. 30026
[X] It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.
>> No. 30027
7 votes for waiting for China to answer.
4 votes for going along with Patchy.
1 vote for not going along with Patchy.

Calling the vote now so I can write if I have time. Expect seven minutes to occur for a while; take it easy for a while, I guess.

>>30015
Turtleneck moe~

Touhous really need to wear more outfits. Those frilly dresses must get boring after a while. Plus there’s a certain appeal to modern casual too.
>> No. 30031
File 124665063139.jpg - (131.54KB , 643x854 , 56f341b07f0160b4e6db6adc1be78d74.jpg ) [iqdb]
30031
>>30027
Well, it's not about the turtleneck, so much as that's what Rider's casual clothes are, too.

Come to think of it... Rider, too, has long purple hair, is quiet, and likes to read.

And one glance from either of them makes me hard.
>> No. 30033
>>30031


Fuck.
>> No. 30307
It felt too soon, I supposed, but perhaps China would be a better judge of my progress. I waited for her response.

“She’s not a tool to be passed around, Patchouli,” she answered sternly, repositioning her weight on the poor magician yet again. “She’s a living being just like you and me, and currently in the middle of a lesson, for that matter.”

“Ahhnngg…that’s not entirely fair to either of us, Miss Hong. If I recall, she’s been your pupil for fifteen days now; quite a long time to be studying the exact same thing for a fey spirit. One must be well-rounded in one’s knowledge, no? I assure you I wouldn’t neglect my duties towards her as an instructor. Regardless, I can’t allow my research to be inhibited by this bed rest.”

China looked at her friend skeptically. “Then why not another of her kin? I’m sure Sakuya could find you a proper nurse without much trouble. I’ve an obligation to teach this child just as much as you do.”

“Knowledge,” Miss Knowledge replied, tapping her temple with a pale finger, “is an important factor within servants, both in those that have much, and those who have little. I need someone right now who knows much, but not too much. The junior—ehouff, ehouff—junior fairies know far too little about my work, and far too much superstition of it instead, making them unsuitable for such an important turn in my studies. The senior fairies are aware of my work, and what they think it entails, which is danger and pain for them. I know they inwardly shun me for it; it is no great secret from Sakuya’s ears. Their fear is born of intelligence, yes, but it is no more useful to be than that born of ignorance. What I need is a middle ground. Someone learning, but not quite yet learned. You understand my plight, yes?”

“Hardly. I’d be a liar to say I knew what spells you scribe these days, and likewise what sort of assistants are needed for what spells.” China looked into the eyes and face of the librarian, looking so weak and childlike in her arms despite them both being women full of years. Her face lightened. “But happiness, Patch…I can understand that. It’s a rare sight to see you smile like you did when you woke. If it’s as simple as this, I won’t deny you your happiness.

“Little one,” she addressed me, shifting Patchouli’s weight so she could turn towards me in those narrow hallways, “are you comfortable with this? Do you trust Miss Patchouli with your learning for the time being?”

I shrugged. “I, uhh…I trust you to trust her, I guess. I mean, you’re my teacher and stuff right now; I’d think you’d be the better one to ask yourself that, aren’t you?”

“A good answer. Very well, if you trust me, then I’ll trust you. Keep close to Miss Knowledge for the time being, then, and treat her as you’ve treated me these few weeks. However,” and this she said both to me and to the pale magician, “I’d still like you to meet me Thursday and Saturday mornings for further lessons. Most importantly, do not let Miss Knowledge walk about or attempt any more complex magic for several days. She needs her rest”

Patchouli raised an eyebrow. “I am not so—ehouff, ehouff—foolish as that, Meiling.”

China followed suit. “Nor am I, Patchouli. I’ve known you to overstep your limits more times than I’d like to count, and you’d best be sure to not let it happen on my little friend’s watch. Or am I going to have to oversee your recovery personally?”

The woman coughed as she sighed and waved a limp-wristed hand at us both. “As you wish, as you wish,” she droned, committing herself to her inevitable fate of bedrest. I wondered what it would be like, though, taking care of someone as grand as Miss Patchouli Knowledge in her bed. Would she have me fetch her books and odd scientific instruments? Or would it be no different than looking after Flandre, the librarian stuffing her nose inside a tome all day and hardly wanting for anything from me? Considering how young the day yet was, I’d surely find out soon enough.

As I fluttered in front of our small procession to pull open the door, an unexpected force burst it open from the other side, sending me tumbling into the other two, China’s quick balance the only thing saving all three of us from ending up on the cold floor. I saw a bed-headed Remilia staring back at us, swathed in a pink nightgown and eyes even more red than normal from what seemed like just a lack of sleep

“Where is it?!” Remilia shouted at no one of us in particular. “Where’d that demon of yours run off to, Knowledge? I swear if you’ve let that thing loose in my mansion I’ll—“

“—Gone,” Patchouli interrupted, if a little too softly to be overheard by Remilia, who continued to shout a string of warnings and threats at the girl. “I couldn’t…Remilia, if you will just listen for a moment—“

“I oversaw the building of this house over a century before you were even born, Knowledge! And I’ll not have it destroyed by some abyssal creature you’ve called—“

“My Mistress, it’s okay!” I tried to announce, but was likewise ignored by the frantic vampire.

“—be removed from this house unless you solve this mess—“

“Miss Remilia, I am trying…I think you are overreact—“

“Don’t give me your excuses; you think I’ve forgotten that explosion back in fourty-seven?!”

“It’s not her fault, Mistress! She just made a mis—“

“Why are you all just standing here?! Sakuya’s already got a third of the mansion looking for this thing, and here you are making excuses?!”

It was China that finally put some sense into Remilia, placing a firm hand on her shoulder and looking our Mistress right in the face, only speaking when Remilia had had her fill of shouting at us.

“Remi,” she said, like a mother to a child, “Remi, calm down. There’s no demon anymore; Patchouli could only summon it for a few seconds before she fainted and it returned to its own world. Patchy’s fine, she just needs some bed rest for a while. Everything’s okay. No need to panic.”

I could hear Remilia hypervet…hypoventro…breathing like a wild wolf as China tried to calm her down, which seemed to work but made the mistress look no less like she wanted to strangle someone.

“You’re positive the demon is no longer here?” she asked.

Patchouli nodded, once again readjusting her glasses. “Without a proper contract between it and myself, it would not have the compulsion to stay in our plane. At least, this is the shared hypothesis of the authors I have read thus far. Seventeen seconds, actually; I thought I was doing quite—“

Remilia ignored the rest of Miss Knowledge’s explanation and sighed, covering her face with one of her hands.

“One moment, please…”

She spun around and walked into a more open area of the library, still within view of us three. China started her forward progress again, and I decided that I should help try and support Patchouli with her; the poor girl looked like she could faint again any at any minute.

“SAKUYA!! SAKUYA, GET DOWN HERE, I NEED YOU!”

I wished my arms weren’t wrapped around the librarian at the time, because I so very much wanted to plug my ears from Remilia’s shouting. As her words echoed through the spacious levels of the library, Sakuya appeared like a flash beside our Mistress. Remilia took one frowny look at the head maid, then kicked her in the left shin.

“Ahh-aoooww! Wha…?”

Remilia crossed her arms across her chest, then kicked her in the other shin.

“Next time, I expect you to get your facts straight before you come to me, little girl.”

I knew it wasn’t funny at all, but as much as I looked up to Sakuya as a role model and a superior, I couldn’t stop grinning.

Chapter Complete.
>> No. 30308
I laughed at the end. Hah! Poor Sakuya...
>> No. 30312
Wow. Remilia is kind of a bitch.

I still laughed, though.
>> No. 30329
>“Knowledge,” Miss Knowledge replied, tapping her temple with a pale finger, “is an important factor within servants, both in those that have much, and those who have little. I need someone right now who knows much, but not too much. The junior—ehouff, ehouff—junior fairies know far too little about my work, and far too much superstition of it instead, making them unsuitable for such an important turn in my studies. The senior fairies are aware of my work, and what they think it entails, which is danger and pain for them. I know they inwardly shun me for it; it is no great secret from Sakuya’s ears. Their fear is born of intelligence, yes, but it is no more useful to be than that born of ignorance. What I need is a middle ground. Someone learning, but not quite yet learned. You understand my plight, yes?”

I can only imagine that Patchouli is going to be a poor teacher, if she thinks that learning necessarily puts us farther away from being useful as a servant. I hope she's just being hard on herself, otherwise I imagine the fairy is going to have a terror of a time under her.
>> No. 30340
> ...I couldn’t stop grinning.

FFFFF-
>> No. 30363
>>30312

I imagine Remi is one of those who wish to sleep at 4am.

I know I would be mad if someone did that to me without just cause.
>> No. 30458
chapter 2?
>> No. 30476
>>30458

Been playin' too many vidja games lately; every time I got up to write I just stared at the screen. I'll try and get something this weekend, and hopefully by then I can start regular updates again.

And this'd be Chapter 3, actually. 1 was Flandre, 2 was China.
>> No. 30568
I was certainly grateful that I didn’t have to be part of the aftermath of Remilia’s annoyance. While China and I moved Patchouli over to her room on the second floor, I could hear Remilia’s raised voice from halfway across the room, and Sakuya’s too before long. I felt really bad for her, imagining that I could have easily been in the same place as her, and probably had been once upon a time. I mean, all she had done was warn our Mistress about a threat before she had all the facts. I wasn’t really sure what summoned spirits can do, but I imagined they’d be quite dangerous if no one stopped them. Sakuya should have been thanked for reacting so quickly, not gotten yelled at because there was nothing wrong. But then again, Sakuya always seemed to be getting reprimanded by Remilia, from what I heard from the other fairies. It must be hard for her, being in charge of all us little ladies and having to keep us all organized. That “responsibility”, stuff China was talking about, I guess. Sakuya sure must have a lot of responsibility, then.

As I helped get Miss Knowledge up the stairs, I could see some of my cousins flitting to and fro through the library shelves, chattering amongst themselves about looking for an invading demon. China and I did to best we could to spread the word that there was no demon to worry about, but it’s hard to say if anyone really heard us; I know that if Sakuya had told me to find some demon-thingy, I’d be pretty distracted myself. Perhaps you would as well, for that matter.

I’d never been in Miss Patchouli’s room before; I wondered what it would look like. What do scientist’s rooms normally look like, anyways? Full of potions and microscopes and lab coats, perhaps? Or am I confusing that with their laboratory? I didn’t have to wait long; eventually China brought us to a door in the center of the library’s second floor, which I once again held open for her. I couldn’t help but take a quick glance around the room before returning to the ladies’ side, and I suddenly wished I hadn’t.

The, the…the rows...the rows! Rows and columns, rows and columns, straight lines, perfect measurements, rows and columns…why me, why me?! Patchouli expected me to tend to her in her bed, for days? Surrounded by, by…this?!

Miss Knowledge’s room was actually two stories tall, and felt even taller since it was all just one big open space more or less. Since she could float around the air like us fairies (I’d always wondered about that; she didn’t have any wings, after all), it seemed that she’d practically ignored gravity when she placed the furniture. Bookshelves and dressers would be stuck to the wall five meters above my head with absolutely no way to get to them expect by flying. There were a few ledges that were reachable by ladder, and a simple pulley lift that rose to a walled off area (probably her “bedroom” within the room itself), but other than that it was all about levitating from place to place, taking advantage of every square meter of wall space.

But everything—everything—was in rows and columns. Every aisle-way between furniture was exactly the same distance from everything else, all the bookshelves were aligned precisely with one another, even the chairs were high-backed and perfectly square so they’d line up with their respective tables. That in its own right was intimidating enough for me, but Patchouli’d taken it one step further by keep everything in pristine and perfect order. Not a scrap of paper or single sofa cushion was out of place that I could find.

I wanted so badly to run away. It was like stepping into an alien spaceship and seeing a culture that wasn’t at all like you were familiar with. And if I’d have been alone in that room, I would have. But first off, China and Patchouli were blocking the door, and second of all, I was trying to be braver. I guess being braver means doing things you don’t always want to do. Still, I sat there shivering with my hand on the doorknob long enough for China to get concerned.

“Something wrong?”

“Th-uhh, the…This room is r-really weird, M-Miss China. It’s so…tidy.”

“Ahh, that. Yes, Patchouli sure likes to keep things on order. A little too neat for any of us, though. But don’t worry; neatness isn’t going to kill you.” She motioned me over to the lift, where I nervously joined her as it wheeled its way up to a small cubicle of a space where a plain white bed and dresser were jammed into a corner. The librarian had fallen asleep sometime during our walk over, so China removed her shoes and carefully tucked her under the clean sheets. So peaceful, just lying there…She was rather shorter than Sakuya or China, and with her face calm and dreaming like that, I’d swear she didn’t look a day over twenty, if that.

Once safely in bed, China told me to wait nearby while she took care of a few things before coming back. I nodded meekly, trusting that I couldn’t really get into too much trouble with just a sleeping girl in such a “perfect” room.

[ ] Too perfect, though, too perfect…I couldn’t stand it! I had to untidy something!
[ ] Fluttering down to pick up a small footstool, I sat down by Miss Knowledge’s side, keeping her company.
[ ] Well, she wasn’t going anywhere…I figured my fellow searching maids needed my help more that Miss Knowledge.
[ ] Curious, I browsed the book spines on a nearby shelf, looking for something I might understand.
>> No. 30569
[ ] Curious, I browsed the book spines on a nearby shelf, looking for something I might understand.
>> No. 30575
[x] You're hyperventilating. But you have to get through this on your own, because it wouldn't due to have seizure while Miss Patchouli is bed-bound and the door is closed.
-[x] There has to be something irregular, something asymmetrical. Maybe not all the lines on the ceiling are flush with the walls? Maybe an unevenly cut floor tile?
-[x] Trace the surfaces: Tiny bumps in the wood or brick or metal. Uneven drying of varnish and paint.
-[x] The books. Letters are not symmetrical. Misstruck formatting. Yellowing. Rough paper. Uneven wear. An odd number of pages.
-[x] The grain in the wood of the furniture! Imperfect! Curvilinear! Organic!

[x] No wonder Miss Patchouli thinks the fairies hate her! But you can fix it. You'll get a plant from the garden and put it in a pot. Potted plants help sick people recover, anyway.
-[x] Ask Miss Patchouli which is her favorite flower--no she's asleep. What could it be? Begonias? Daffodils? Daisies? Geraniums? Irises? Lilies? Pansies? Periwinkles? Petunias? Snapdragons? Sunflowers? Roses? Tulips? They're all hypoallergenic.
-[x] Ask around; see if maybe China or Sakuya knows. If you do see Sakuya, apologize for laughing at her misfortune, and that she should feel free to kick you in the shins any time she wants to.
-[x] If not, you'll just have to pick one out yourself from the garden. You have the appropriate training from when you were working in the garden.

[x] When Miss Patchouli awakens have tea and some easily digestible food prepared for her, as well as telling her what the current date and time is.
-[x] After giving her a moment to collect her bearings, ask her how long a fairy has ever stayed in her room before.
-[x] Explain to Miss Patchouli that fairies likely avoid her not because they're afraid of her or dislike her, but because highly artificial, symmetrical environments like this make them physically ill. It's only natural for them to avoid anyone associated with a place like this.
-[x] "That's why I got you a plant! I can water it of course. I don't know what to do about sunlight and fresh air though..."

Patchouli should take the bait, few are unwilling to show off their trademark abilities to a willing audience. But that's a ruse to get her involved in something that might help her in a more lasting manner: Horticultural therapy. Taking care of something that is alive can be transformative.
>> No. 30576
[ze] Something like >>30575 but without so much of the initial psychosis.
>> No. 30577
[ ] Too perfect, though, too perfect…I couldn’t stand it! I had to untidy something!
[ ] Nothing drastic. Just enough to make it less... perfect.
[ ] There! That candlestick is good! (unlit of course)
[ ] Gently tip the candlestick onto its side.
[ ] Rejoice!
[ ] Oops. Quietly.
>> No. 30578
>>30576
Sounds about right.
>> No. 30579
[X] >>30575

Excellent long write-in is good.
>> No. 30592
[X] >>30575
Love the write ins!
>> No. 30594
4 votes for wall-o-text
1 vote for being curious
1 vote for Miss Fairy, in the Bedroom, with the Candlestick~

Huge write-in is huge; let's see if I can get all of that in just one update; might have to split some of it into the next one. Writing now...
>> No. 30596
>>30594

Hooray!
>> No. 30600
As my eyes flitted nervously around the room, seeing nothing but the furniture making grids and charts, I tried to reason myself out of the little frenzy I had worked myself into.

Shh, calm down, calm down; you're hyperventilating. You have to be brave; you have to get through this on your own. It wouldn't due to have a seizure while Miss Patchouli is bed-bound and the door is closed. This room…There has to be something irregular, something asynem…assm…awesome-metrical?. Maybe not all the lines on the ceiling are flush with the walls? Maybe an unevenly-cut tile somewhere?

Little by little I edged my way away from Patchouli and started to trace the little lines in the surfaces of the tables and walls and such with my finger. The wood, all the wood…it wasn’t all straight! It might have been cut straight, but when I looked close enough, it took on a whole new life of its own. The grain weaved and waved within the chair I hovered over, creating the tiniest of uneven ridges in the surface. I could see the knots in the wood where branches once grew outwards. Imperfect…organic…natural.

I breathed a deep sigh of relief; I was free! All that time in the mansion, away from the forests and living things, it had caused me to forget just how much of nature was everywhere if you started looking. Humans and half-humans (whatever it was you were supposed to call people like Patchouli or Remilia), they tried to take nature and make it work for them, make it nice and straight and perfect. But that simple chair just shouted back to everyone how you can’t tame nature no matter how hard to try. Wood is wood; it’s not like metal or stone that’s all flat and square. And I bet if you look really hard at a rock even that will look all bumpy up close.

I gave that chair a little pat on its top. I wanted to thank it for making me remember, but…well, even I know that chair’s can’t talk. Trees sometimes can it you really wait a long time, but chairs, they…Anyways, I felt much better after that. I started to inspect all the other little things within the room, looking for imperfections. I found little wrinkles and bumpy bubbles in the paint on the walls, tiny gouges in the sides of the tables where chairs were accidentally slammed into them, cracks in the wooden floorboards…the bookshelves were the best of all. I began to look past how the books were all lined up in order by alphabet or whatever, and saw how the heights were all uneven, the bindings were all worn differently…the letters themselves weren’t symmetrical. It made me think…I guess language isn’t really that perfect in its own right. You have to make noises you wouldn’t normally make, or draw things you wouldn’t normally draw.

I must sound so silly to you, spending so much time just proving to myself that the room wasn’t perfect, but I can’t help it; it’s just how I think. Trees don’t grow in straight rows or have square trunks, and rocks aren’t just naturally flat and polished like floor tiles. I lived out in the wild for centuries, and I was part of the wild long before then. It’s just really hard for me to get used to all these hallways and walls and “order”. Maybe its like if you left you home and went to some far-off country. You feel out of place, you feel like you don’t have a clue how things work there, or why the local customs there are what they are. Even after so many years in Mistress Remilia’s house, I still sort of felt that way. Sometimes it made me wonder why I was even there, but then again, where else would I go? That mansion was as safe a place as any for my and my cousins in a world of computers and jet planes and scientific explanations to everything.

But still, no wonder Miss Patchouli thinks so many of the fairies hate her! It’s not just all those weird magic experiments she does (though those scare the living daylights out of me too…when I hear about them), it’s all this order and perfection! If she keeps her room so straight, she must be trying to do the exact same thing with her life and her studies. Personally I didn’t know much about what Patchouli knowledge did; for the most part I was more of a “hallways” maid that only ever saw Sakuya on a regular basis. But I’d never really enjoyed my scattered days in the library, and now I’d finally pinpointed why.

But I could fix that. If I’d figured out how to keep myself calm and understanding around the librarian’s rooms, perhaps I could start going in the opposite direction and show her how to better understand us fairies as well. I could give her a little growing thing to take care of…a flower from the garden, maybe? Normally I’m against uprooting plants like that, but I figured that Patchouli needed a flower right now more than the garden did. I didn’t really know what she’d think of it, but maybe if I was lucky it’d show her that something doesn’t actually have to be all calculated and useful to be pretty. Did Patchouli even care about things being pretty? Neat, yes, but pretty? The first day with her was as good a time as any to learn.

I made to ask Patchouli what her favorite types of flowers were, but…nope, still fast asleep in her bed. Well, perhaps it’s just the thought that counts. I then made to leave the room and go to the garden, but…no, what if she woke up? I was supposed to be there in case she wanted anything; she was supposed to rest, wasn’t she? Then again, maybe she wouldn’t wake up for a while. I just didn’t know. Undecidedly I paced around the room (or floated, rather), thinking about how best to go about with my little act of kindness.

Maybe…

[ ] …no, no, I should stay right there. Flowers were nice, but I was supposed to be working. I could always get her a flower later, I supposed.
[ ] …I-If it I was just gone a little bit, it’d be okay. I didn’t really know what kind of flower to get anyways; I’d just have to pick something that felt right.
[ ] …Maybe Sakuya could help me out. She’d be able to get me a nice flower in no time at all! Now if I could only find her…
[ ] …China, she was the gardener, right? She’d know just what to when it came to flowers. Now if I could only find her…
[ ] …I could, I c-could…use a telephone to talk to Sakuya, couldn’t I? I mean, it’d mean I didn’t have to leave the room and could still get a flower for Patchouli. If I could just remember how it worked…
>> No. 30601
[ ] …I could, I c-could…use a telephone to talk to Sakuya, couldn’t I? I mean, it’d mean I didn’t have to leave the room and could still get a flower for Patchouli. If I could just remember how it worked…

Be brave little fairy!
>> No. 30608
[ ] …I could, I c-could…use a telephone to talk to Sakuya, couldn’t I? I mean, it’d mean I didn’t have to leave the room and could still get a flower for Patchouli. If I could just remember how it worked…
>> No. 30609
[x] …I could, I c-could…use a telephone to talk to Sakuya, couldn’t I? I mean, it’d mean I didn’t have to leave the room and could still get a flower for Patchouli. If I could just remember how it worked…

I really want to see how the hell she's going to explain this to Sakuya.
>> No. 30610
[X] ...I could, I c-could…use a telephone to talk to Sakuya, couldn’t I? I mean, it’d mean I didn’t have to leave the room and could still get a flower for Patchouli. If I could just remember how it worked...
>> No. 30611
[x] …I could, I c-could…use a telephone to talk to Sakuya, couldn’t I? I mean, it’d mean I didn’t have to leave the room and could still get a flower for Patchouli. If I could just remember how it worked…

Me too, i want to see it too
>> No. 30612
[X] ...I could, I c-could…use a telephone to talk to Sakuya, couldn’t I? I mean, it’d mean I didn’t have to leave the room and could still get a flower for Patchouli. If I could just remember how it worked...
>> No. 30641
[x] …Maybe Sakuya could help me out. She’d be able to get me a nice flower in no time at all! Now if I could only find her…
>> No. 30661
6 votes for telephone
1 vote for find Sakuya

Fairy maid vs. technology, Round 2! Writing now.
>> No. 30663
…I could, I c-could…use a telephone to talk to Sakuya, couldn’t I? I mean, it’d mean I didn’t have to leave the room and could still get a flower for Patchouli. If I could just remember how it worked…

Cautiously, as if stalking some violent animal, I searched around the room for Patchoui’s telephone. Where do you normally put a telephone, anyways? On a desk by the computer? On the wall next to the door? I tried to remember where Flandre kept hers, but their rooms were so different it wasn’t of any help. Perhaps I didn’t really want to find it in the end…No matter how smart and trained I got in the mansion, I felt like I’d never really accept technology like a human would.

The telephone ended up being on Patchouli’s nightstand; not a bad place considering how much time she must spend in bed. My hands shivered as I picked up the polished black…it’s called a receiver, right? This phone wasn’t like Flandre’s, which was small and didn’t have a cord; this was more the kind of phone I imagined when I thought of a phone. Older, more elegant. I liked this phone better. Placing the earpiece up to my head, I chewed my lip a little as I tried to remember what to do from there, the humming of the dial tone buzzing in my ear.

What had Flandre said again? Press the little green button? I looked at the keypad, but…no, no green button! They were all just the same pearly color! No, no, can’t panic, mustn’t panic…I was smarter than the phone. I was smarter than the phone! Maybe…maybe this phone just worked differently. What were the buttons for Sakuya again? I remembered I had to spell out her name with the little letters, so I tried that first. S-A-K-U-Y-A. The dial tone disappeared, replaced with just a crackly silence. Flandre said that if it rang, that meant I did it right. So I waited.

And waited.

Just as I was getting worried I heard a short ring. I was just about to breathe a sigh of relief when I heard a beepy little noise thing on the other end, and some monotonous (that’s the right word, right?) lady voice said, “We’re sorry; your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please hang up and try again.” I frowned. Guess I didn’t do it right after all; I hung up and tried again.

How many times I poked at that phone I lost count. It didn’t take long for me to realize I definitely didn’t need a green button to punch the numbers and letters in, but I still couldn’t get to talk to Sakuya on the other end. I racked my brain and twirled a lock of hair around and around my finger, trying to remember those letters. “Star Star” came to mind, and I recalled that Flandre had said to push the star-type key twice before Sakuya’s name, but then why didn’t it work? ✱✱SAKUYA, ✱✱SAKUYA…I made absolutely, positively sure that each and every letter was the right letter; maybe my eyes were playing trick on me. Nope, nothing.

I slumped down on my tiny stool next to Patchouli, sniffling away a little tear. I’d just wanted to get her a nice flower for her room…something to bring a little life to her dead and organized quarters. Why was it so hard for me to even do something nice like that? I wished technology hadn’t even been invented; at least then I wouldn’t have wasted so much time with the phone. I probably could have gone out to the garden myself and picked a flower by then. She wouldn’t have woken up when I was gone, I’d be there for her to see the flower when she woke up…

No, no, I couldn’t be a sad little girl! I was supposed to be brave and grown-up and stuff! China and Sakuya and even Mistress Remilia, they all said I had what it takes to have “responsibility”! But…but I had to prove to them I could solve tough problems, things like making phone calls!

I thought and thought…(What’s the secret of the phone numbers? Why do they work? It’s probably because each and every person has their own special number…I just forgot what Sakuya’s was. But it had Sakuya in it, what am I missing?! I wish someone were here; Flandre could have told me. But I can’t leave the room to go ask her; that’s the whole point of the phone! I wonder if I could call her on the phone to get Sakuya’s number…no, that’s just silly. I don’t know her number either. Unless…would it just be something like ✱✱FLANDRE? It couldn’t be that easy, could it?)

As stupid as it sounded, I couldn’t think of a better idea. Hadn’t someone somewhere said that “insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”? I didn’t want to be insane, but dialing the same number ten times sure felt like that to me. And anyways, I felt like the telephone wasn’t really that scary any more. Confusing and frustrating, yeah, but…well, it wasn’t hurting me, and I wasn’t hurting it. Picking the receiver back up, I took a shot in the dark and punched up ✱-✱-F-L-A-N-D-R-E. And…

It rang! Yes, thank the stars and sea and sun and anything else that was big and powerful, it rang! I couldn’t even keep control of myself and jumped up into the air with excitement. I was making a phone call, all by myself! I didn’t care how many times it rang, because each ring just keep congratulating me over and over again, like an angel getting its wings.
>> No. 30664
“Mmrrgrffrrllanndrulluhh?”

A voice on the other end grumbled something back to me. Was that Flandre? It sounded all thick and mumbly.

“Y-Yes, um, this…Is this Miss Flandre’s phone number?” I stuttered back, the elation of my success helping me to conquer the odd fear of talking to someone I couldn’t see.

“Guhh…Izz six-fidteen, an’ thazza stupid queshon,” the voice slurred back. “You call me, why yoo gotta know mye nummer?” Yes, that was Flandre; I could recognize that frank tone of hers even cocooned in a blanket of morning grogginess. I guess it was pretty early.

“Oh, umm…sorry, I didn’t know it was that early. I’ve been up for a while already.”

“Who izzis? How’oo get thizz nummer? I tol’ you never too callme at work! Iza houze on fire? No I don’ care ‘at you mizzed up yur’ timezones. I’ll hava small two-toppings…mrruh, mushrooms and pineapples. Twenny quid? Thazz high-way rubbery! Stuppid Blues Brothers highway chazzezene…”

I don’t think I need to tell you that Flandre wasn’t quite awake yet. Then again, she pretty much sounded like that even when she was wide awake. Hoping that most of what she said was pure gibberish (which had served me well in the past before), I tried to steer the topic back on track.

“Umm, yes, that’s nice, Miss Flandre. Anyways, uhh…this, this is, umm…me, calling? I mean, I’m that one fairy! The one that looks after you on Fridays? Do you remember?”

There was a pause on the other end, followed by a long drawn-out “uuuuuuhhhhhhmmmmm” from Flandre as she tried to connect the dots in her head. I felt kind of bad, really; I’d woken her up from sleep. I know I didn’t like it when Sakuya kept sneaking into my room to reset that alarm clock. I swear I turned that thing off before I went to bed!

“Oh!” the girl finally answered, seeming a little more awake now. “Oh, you! You’re Friday! Hey, you mind if I call you Friday sometimes? ‘Cause, you know, you fairy-types don’t really have names I can pronounce, but that’s just all confusing. I get tired of sayin’ ‘Hey you!’ all the time, you know? I call all my little maids by their days. I don’ really think it bothers ‘um much, but then again you can never tell, you know? Anyways, hey Friday! Friend, girlfriend, person-friend, what’s up? So we’re talking on the phone? That’s cool. I don’t get to talk on the phone a lot; not many people to talk to around here. You want to talk, then? Tuesday’s not here yet, so that means I can say whatever I want and it won’t bother nobody! Isn’t that great?”

[ ] “Actually, Miss Flandre, umm…I just wanted to know, do you have Sakuya’s phone number? I wanted to ask her something.”
[ ] “Actually, umm…do you want to help me out with something? See, I’m trying to get a flower for Miss Patchouli…”
[ ] “I guess I can talk for a little bit if you want.”
[ ] “Well, uhh…what do you want to talk about? Because I’m kind of, working right now.”

Optional add-on vote (a simple yes/no vote here)
( ) “…and I’d really rather you not call me ‘Friday’, Miss Flandre. It sounds weird.”

Two girls talking on the phone? The possibilities are endless!
>> No. 30665
[ ] “I guess I can talk for a little bit if you want.”

And soon our little fairy gets side tracked talking to her friend.
>> No. 30666
[x] “I guess I can talk for a little bit if you want.”
didnt the fairy have a normal name already? or am i confusing the various concurrent fairy stories?
>> No. 30669
[ze] “Actually, umm… Oh! If you can tell me what Sakuya's number is first, then sure, I guess I can talk for a little bit if you want.”

Two for one.
>> No. 30670
[x] “Actually, Miss Flandre, umm…I just wanted to know, do you have Sakuya’s phone number? I wanted to ask her something.”
[x] Be sure to apologize for waking her before you hang up.

...Though she's probably always content to have someone to talk to.
>> No. 30671
>>30666
Sera - Fairy Maid In Gensokyo (working under Patchy; working Koakuma under the sheets)
Kazuki - Fairy on Scarlet Lake (shota fairy that bawled out Reimu)
?/'Friday' - A Fairy's Tale (the story you're reading)

tl;dr, No, she does not have a name.
>> No. 30673
[x] “Actually, Miss Flandre, umm…I just wanted to know, do you have Sakuya’s phone number? I wanted to ask her something.”
[x] Be sure to apologize for waking her before you hang up.
>> No. 30674
[X] “Actually, Miss Flandre, umm…I just wanted to know, do you have Sakuya’s phone number? I wanted to ask her something.”
[X] “Actually, umm…do you want to help me out with something? See, I’m trying to get a flower for Miss Patchouli…”
>> No. 30675
[x]Talk to Flandre for a while, tell her you're helping Patchouli today.

Maybe she'll come visit.

And then:
[x] “Actually, Miss Flandre, umm…I just wanted to know, do you have Sakuya’s phone number? I wanted to ask her something.”
[x] Be sure to apologize for waking her before you hang up.
>> No. 30683
[x] Talk to Flandre for a while, tell her you're helping Patchouli today.
[x] “Actually, Miss Flandre, umm…I just wanted to know, do you have Sakuya’s phone number? I wanted to ask her something.”
[x] Be sure to apologize for waking her before you hang up.

I like it. Even if we can't get Sakuya on her phone, there's a chance we can get Flan to cover for us.
>> No. 30692
2 votes for talking to Flandre
2 votes for just asking Sakuya’s number
2 votes for talking to Flandre about Patchouli’s flower, then asking Sakuya’s number
1 vote for talking to Flandre after asking Sakuya’s number
1 vote for asking Sakuya’s number, then mentioning Patchouli’s flower

It’s really hard for me to sort out what’s winning or not here. It’s a three-way tie, but some of the votes could count towards two different options. If I split up the votes into parts, “Asking Sakuya’s number” is in the most of them, but just going with that doesn’t feel right.

I’d like to keep the vote open a few more hours to see if any tiebreakers come up, but if not, I’ll just do my best and write what I can.
>> No. 30693
[ ] “I guess I can talk for a little bit if you want.”
>> No. 30694
>>30693
I think she was talking about new votes.
>> No. 30695
Well, that's good enough for me. Talking on the phone it is. Writing now...
>> No. 30698
“I guess I can talk for a little bit if you want,” I answered. It seemed like a bad idea, really, combining two things that confused me so much together like that. But at the same time…I guess I felt like if I could feel comfortable talking to anyone on the phone, it would be her. Sakuya or China or Miss Patchouli, they were, well, they were my teachers! I just wouldn’t feel right having such an impersonal conversation with them like that. Flandre though, she felt more like a friend, a person I could talk to without feeling weird, or a person I could make mistakes around without feeling ashamed. Was it…wrong, to think of my once-a-week charge like that?

“Hey, awesometastic!” Flandre exclaimed out of the earpiece, quite a bit too loud for my tastes. “Because that’s what I want right now, you know? So, umm…I guess we’re still talking on the phone or something? Yeah, that sounds about right. Unless I’m wrong; maybe I’m dreaming! Hey, that’d be pretty weird, you know, if I was talking to you on the phone from my dream? I wonder how that would work…”

“I…I don’t think that would work at all, Miss Flandre. I don’t know a lot about phones, but that just doesn’t sound right.”

“Hmm? Yeah, you’re probably right. I’m just sayin’, you never can tell, can you? When you’re in a dream, it always feels real right up until the end. But it doesn’t matter anyways, because if this is a dream I’m still talking to you, and that’s what I wanted to do anyways, you know?”

Trying to ignore the flaws in her logic (at least I assumed they were flaws), I made a small effort to get our conversation back on track. Then again, what kind of track did a conversation on the phone normally take? Perhaps it was just like this, two people talking about nothing. I didn’t know, I was just focusing on understanding Flandre’s sentences for the most part.

“I guess. But in any case, umm…Did you want to talk about anything in particular? I’m kind of new with these phone call things; I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do.”

Flandre chuckled from the other end, and I could hear some rustling that sounded like bedsheets shuffling around. “Hmm hmm, but that’s just it; you’re not supposed to talk about anything! You just talk, that’s all. I’m pretty bad at talking, but I’m still pretty good at talking just the same! I bet you already know that, though, don’t you?”

Bad at talking yet good at talking? Sounded like Flandre through and through. “Yes…Yes I do. In that case, umm…h-how have you been? I guess I haven’t seen you since last Friday, and we didn’t really talk much then, did we?”

“Ahh, no, sorry ‘bout that,” she answered, sounding a little dejected. “I’m still, you know…sorry about what happened that first time. I wouldn’t want to break you by accident if I get all mad n’ stuff, nobody wants that. I wonder where that Mr. Nobody lives; he must be really popular if everyone uses his name all the time. But anyways, yeah, this is new for both of us, an’ I don’t want to scare you or nothing. I just do sometimes. But you’re not scared now, right? I can’t hurt you through the phone, not even by accident, because I don’t know how to send power surges through phone lines yet!”

I chuckled nervously, trying to ignore that little “yet” she’d tacked on to the end. “Heh, well, umm, to tell you the truth, I’m still a little scared of these phones. Not because of you, Miss! They’re just…different, I suppose, and different things can be scary.”

“Yeah, I hear you. I don’t trust different things either; trusting what you don’t know anything about would just be stupid! That’s how people get backstabbed by the shady mercenary in movies, you know? But hey, Little Miss Friday, you know…if you never try new things, you’ll never have any new things. You’ll just be old, old and boring. I don’t like old and boring; it’s too old. And too boring. We’re in a world of new and exciting! NEW AND EXCITING!

I had to hold the receiver away from my head to avoid getting deafened by Flandre’s excited shouts, and was half-expecting Patchouli to wake up from all the noise. She didn’t, but that didn’t make her voice any less loud. That girl sure knows how to keep you on your toes, that’s for sure. Which, at that time in my life, was just what I needed, even if I didn’t exactly want it.

“So, where are you right now?” she asked me out of the blue.

“Oh, I’m, uhh, in Miss Patchouli’s room. China said I’ll be working under her for a while.”

“…She burned herself out again, didn’t she?”

“Well, she…wait, what? Burned out? Well, it looked like she caught on fire, but—“

“No, no, no-no-no no no, not like that! I mean what I say and I say what I mean, and what I mean to say is that she was trying some new magic that burned away all her energy, didn’t she? She wouldn’t let you sit around in her room and talk on the phone unless she was sleeping and you were just like sitting there by the bed watching over her, twirling your finger around the phone cord ‘cause you’ve got nothing else to do with your free hand.” My eyes drifted over to my left hand, where…well what do you know, she was right. My finger was twirling itself around the spiral cord. I hadn’t even noticed that! Felt a little creepy, actually. “Yeah, she’s always doing that; it’s not really that funny, but I think it is. See, that’s what happens when you try things that are new and exciting! Doesn’t it just make you wanna build a better mousetrap? So what was it this time? Trying to turn straw into gold? I keep telling her she’d need to train a fairy to do that; it’s one of those fairy-tale kinds of magic. She’d be in deep once she sacrificed her firstborn daughter, though; she can’t guess the name of a fairy who doesn’t have one!”
>> No. 30699
I vaguely recall something Sakuya had once told me about spinning straw into gold, but I couldn’t pinpoint anything. Was it a joke of some kind? Then again, everything Flandre said seemed to be a joke “of some kind”. Perhaps if I managed to live for as many centuries as she did I’d begin to understand them, but I pale to think about what kind of person I’d be after so long an exposure to her.

“No, nothing about gold, Miss Flandre,” I answered. “She said she was trying to…uhhmm, summon something? A demon or a spirit from another world, maybe? I don’t really know, I got there after everything was already over. I could ask her for you once she wakes up, if you’d like.”

“Ooo, so our little Patchouli’s finally playing with matches now, is she? Summoning’s a pretty big deal, I’ve heard. Can shoot yourself in the foot real fast if you don’t know what you’re doing. I mean, Dr. Faustus knew what he was doing and he still shot himself in the foot! So yeah, Patchouli? Thin ice, girl, thin ice. Does this mean school’s cancelled tomorrow?”

I looked over at the sleeping librarian. “Well, China said she’s not supposed to get out of bed for a few days, if that’s what you mean.”

“Ehh, I don’t really know what I mean,” she responded ambiguously. “That works, though.”

It was then I heard a door creak open down below me, and footsteps clack along the wood floor. Suddenly nervous shivers ran through my body. I…was I even allowed to use Patchouli’s phone?

[ ] I couldn’t afford to take any chances! I whispered a hurried goodbye to Flandre and hung up, trying to act as calm and nonchalant as possible.
[ ] Thinking fast, I tried to act like someone had called the phone, and I was just answering it out of courtesy.
[ ] No, no, calm down. I’d just called to ask for Sakuya’s number anyways. I could just ask Flandre quick before I took up any more time.
[ ] I quickly stopped myself from getting too anxious. I wasn’t doing anything wrong; just calling a friend! Surely the new person would understand if I explained myself.
[ ] Well, in any case, I wasn’t going to be rude to Flandre. This new person would just have to wait until we finished.

I was going to have Flandre call Faustus the “Worst, Summoner, Ever.” Unfortunately, the episode Comic Book Guy first said that line in didn’t air until February 9,1997. So close…
>> No. 30700
[x] I quickly stopped myself from getting too anxious. I wasn’t doing anything wrong; just calling a friend! Surely the new person would understand if I explained myself.
>> No. 30701
[X] No, no, calm down. I’d just called to ask for Sakuya’s number anyways. I could just ask Flandre quick before I took up any more time.
>> No. 30702
[X] No, no, calm down. I’d just called to ask for Sakuya’s number anyways. I could just ask Flandre quick before I took up any more time.
>> No. 30703
[X] No, no, calm down. I’d just called to ask for Sakuya’s number anyways. I could just ask Flandre quick before I took up any more time.

Such attention to detail, with the last bit with the Simpsons and all that...
>> No. 30704
[x] No, no, calm down. I’d just called to ask for Sakuya’s number anyways. I could just ask Flandre quick before I took up any more time.
>> No. 30705
[X] No, no, calm down. I’d just called to ask for Sakuya’s number anyways. I could just ask Flandre quick before I took up any more time.
>> No. 30721
[X] No, no, calm down. I’d just called to ask for Sakuya’s number anyways. I could just ask Flandre quick before I took up any more time.

Sensible option
>> No. 30722
6 for getting Sakuya's number quick.
1 for explaining yourself to the new person.

Time to do what you came to do. Writing now...
>> No. 30723
No, no, calm down. I’d just called to ask for Sakuya’s number anyways. I could just ask Flandre quick before I took up any more time. There was nothing wrong with just asking for someone’s phone number, right? After all, it’d be important for me to remember things like that for later on. Overreacting, as always.

Quickly I brought our conversation back around and asked Flandre what Sakuya’s number was. At first all she did was flat-out laugh at me, but eventually she managed to get some words out in between her giggles.

“So, wait wait way-hey-he-he-hee! You, hehe, you kn-know my number-her-her and not he-he-he-hers?! Ha-ha-ha-how’d you manage tha-hah-hah-hahaha! I mean, that?”

“Hey, it’s not very funny!” I told her back, feeling a little insulted. As miffed as my voice sounded I was trying to keep it to a whisper; hopefully I was succeeding. “I just got lucky with yours, it was just your name! But star-star-Sakuya doesn’t work, I’ve tried it a dozen times! Please, Miss Flandre, I just want to know what her number is! I don’t have much time!”

“Well, that-t, hee hee! That’s bec-c-cause it’s star-star Sakuyaaaah. Not plain ‘ol Sakuya! It’s got two A’s, you know!”

“What? Why’s it need two A’s?”

“Because…” said a suddenly new voice behind me, “Phone numbers always have to have seven digits. ‘Sakuya’ only has six letters.”

“Ch-China!” I stuttered, surprised to see the redheaded groundskeeper standing right next to me, a plain little smile on her face. My own, however, grew rather red. “I was just…just asking Miss Flandre for Sakuya’s phone number! I couldn’t figure it own on my own. Am I, I mean I’m allowed to use Miss Patchouli’s phone, right?”

In response she ruffled my hair with her free hand, the other holding a basket with medical supplies and such in it. “Calm down, little one; of course you’re allowed. Really I’m surprised you got this far by yourself; over half the girls here won’t even touch a phone, let alone try to call someone on it by their own free will. That’s Flandre on the other end, right?”

I nodded. “Do, do you want to talk to her?” I asked, holding the phone out to her. “All I wanted was to get Sakuya’s number, really.”

“I wouldn’t mind a few words with her; thank you.” She took the receiver from me and sidled up closer to the end table, giving me a peek inside the basket. It looked like mostly ointments and bandages; probably for Miss Patchouli’s burns. I could hear half of Meiling’s conversation, but without Flandre’s questions and answers it seemed very jumbled.

“Good morning Miss Flandre, this is Meiling. Feeling well?......No, I think she’s fine now, unless you want to keep going……Yes, I think that’s the case, more or less. Of course, we’ll have to ask her properly when she wakes back up……Ahhh, no Flandre~ you don’t have to come to school today~……Don’t get your hopes up; she won’t allow herself to sleep that long. Though whether she’ll have time for you when she does is different; she’s in one of those moods……I…Flandre…Flan, don’t…I am older than you, though……Yes I realize that’s unimportant; you were the one who brought it up……I wasn’t going to……Oh?......Mmm, yes, all right, I’ll be sure to pick some up, then……Yes, I will. Have a good day……Yes, goodbye.”

China hung up the phone and sighed, looking at me. “We’re in the same boat, you and me, trying to understand everything that makes up our little Flandre. I think she said it best when she quoted one of her books at me a few years ago: ‘You can learn all there is to know about me in a month, and yet in a hundred years, I can still surprise you.’ Well, it’s been more like five hundred years to me, and I still can’t quite put my finger on that woman.”

I sighed back and nodded as China kneeled down next to the librarian’s bedside, taking out the burn ointment from the basket. “Do I have any hope of getting to know her then, China?”

She looked back at me, an eyebrow raised. I couldn’t see what exactly was going around in her head, but from her quizzical face I thought it must have been something big. I really did want to know, though. If she hadn’t found out in five hundred years, with her cool head and clam affection, what could I possibly do?

“I think there’s always hope, for anything that you do,” she answered me, resting a hand on my shoulder. “After all, the smartest humans in the world can work for years trying to understand something one man may discover by accident. You never know what may happen in the future, if you try. And personally…I think you’ve got a much better hope of it than I do. I can go for months without seeing her, and even after so long we’re really not much closer than next-door neighbors, of a sort. I’ve never really tried very hard, you see.”

“Mmm,” was about all I could come up with at the time, and China gave me one more reassuring gaze before getting back to treating Patchouli’s burns. Not really knowing how to treat burns myself, I really didn’t have much to do at the time.

[ ] But I was curious, at least, and edged closer to see exactly what China was doing. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’d need to know this if Patchouli ever “burned out” again.
[ ] Waiting patiently on my stool, the time between us passed in silence until China had completed her work.
[ ] I got up from my stool and floated around the room, seeing if anything interesting caught my eye to help pass the time.
[ ] There was a question or two I’d been meaning to ask China about, though, and since we weren’t doing anything else… (choose one or more options from below, or do a write-in)
--( ) “How did you heal Patchouli’s burns before? I didn’t know you could do stuff like that!”
--( ) “You said you’ve been here for five hundred years…What was it like before? Way back in the beginning?”
--( ) “Umm…not to be a bother, but would you mind helping me with something? See, I’ve been thinking about getting a flower…”
--( ) “So what happened to Patchouli exactly? All this stuff about demons…that’s kind of scary.”
>> No. 30724
[X] But I was curious, at least, and edged closer to see exactly what China was doing. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’d need to know this if Patchouli ever “burned out” again.
[X] There was a question or two I’d been meaning to ask China about, though, and since we weren’t doing anything else...
- {x} “So what happened to Patchouli exactly? All this stuff about demons...that’s kind of scary.”
- {x} “Umm... not to be a bother, but would you mind helping me with something? See, I’ve been thinking about getting a flower for Miss Patchouli...”
>> No. 30726
[x] Use that telephone to talk to Sakuya. Have those flowers delivered.

No use getting sidetracked.
>> No. 30727
[d] But I was curious, at least, and edged closer to see exactly what China was doing. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’d need to know this if Patchouli ever “burned out” again.
[a] There was a question or two I’d been meaning to ask China about, though, and since we weren’t doing anything else...
- {z} “Umm... not to be a bother, but would you mind helping me with something? See, I’ve been thinking about getting a flower for Miss Patchouli...”
[e] Use that telephone to talk to Sakuya. Have those flowers delivered.
>> No. 30728
[x] But I was curious, at least, and edged closer to see exactly what China was doing. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’d need to know this if Patchouli ever “burned out” again.
[x] There was a question or two I’d been meaning to ask China about, though, and since we weren’t doing anything else...
- {x} “Umm... not to be a bother, but would you mind helping me with something? See, I’ve been thinking about getting a flower for Miss Patchouli...”
- {x} "I was thinking lavender... amidst flowering stems of... patchouli. I think the mix of pinkish-white and purple suit her, respectfully."
[x] Use that telephone to talk to Sakuya. Have those flowers delivered.

Both are used in aromatherapy for their relaxing effect. They also match her color scheme.
>> No. 30729
[X] But I was curious, at least, and edged closer to see exactly what China was doing. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’d need to know this if Patchouli ever “burned out” again.
[X] There was a question or two I’d been meaning to ask China about, though, and since we weren’t doing anything else… (choose one or more options from below, or do a write-in)
--(X) “You said you’ve been here for five hundred years…What was it like before? Way back in the beginning?”
--(X) “Umm…not to be a bother, but would you mind helping me with something? See, I’ve been thinking about getting a flower…
>> No. 30730
[x] But I was curious, at least, and edged closer to see exactly what China was doing. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’d need to know this if Patchouli ever “burned out” again.
[x] There was a question or two I’d been meaning to ask China about, though, and since we weren’t doing anything else...
- {x} “Umm... not to be a bother, but would you mind helping me with something? See, I’ve been thinking about getting a flower for Miss Patchouli...”
- {x} "I was thinking lavender... amidst flowering stems of... patchouli. I think the mix of pinkish-white and purple suit her, respectfully."
[x] Use that telephone to talk to Sakuya. Have those flowers delivered.

Giving Patchouli patchouli? Sounds good to me.
>> No. 30731
[x] But I was curious, at least, and edged closer to see exactly what China was doing. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’d need to know this if Patchouli ever “burned out” again.
[x] There was a question or two I’d been meaning to ask China about, though, and since we weren’t doing anything else...
- {x} “Umm... not to be a bother, but would you mind helping me with something? See, I’ve been thinking about getting a flower for Miss Patchouli...”
- {x} "I was thinking lavender... amidst flowering stems of... patchouli. I think the mix of pinkish-white and purple suit her, respectfully."
[x] Use that telephone to talk to Sakuya. Have those flowers delivered.
>> No. 30737
Some number of votes about watching China while asking about the flower proposal. Writing now, but there’s a few ideas I have for this scene I don’t want to screw up, so the update won’t be ready until tomorrow. I’m also going to modify the write-in a bit to accommodate for our fairy’s personality; she’s not exactly a botanist, after all.

Patchouli for Patchouli~
>> No. 30740
>I’m also going to modify the write-in a bit to accommodate for our fairy’s personality; she’s not exactly a botanist, after all.

You assume due to their connection with nature and her experience in the garden, she'd at least know the names of some common plants.
>> No. 30766
>Patchouli for Patchouli~


PATCHOULI FOR THE PATCHOULI GODDESS, PATCHOULI FOR THE PATCHOULI GODDESS, PATCHOULI FOR THE PATCHOULI GODDESS!!!
>> No. 30782
But I was curious, at least, and edged closer to see exactly what China was doing. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’d need to know this if Patchouli ever “burned out” again. I thought that maybe she was lucky she’d lived as long as she did, if taking such magical risks was considered “ordinary” for her. But perhaps such is the life of all magicians and scientists, no?

China had moved back the thins sheets of the bed and was removing the woman’s burnt clothes to get a better look at her wounds. Her undergarments had luckily enough remained intact from the fire, which saved me a fair bit of awkwardness; you humans do have such odd rules on when and where it’s considered proper to see someone unclothed, or to be unclothed yourself for that matter. I’d never really figured it out myself, but then again, I’d never really worked up the courage to ask anyone that would know. China might, though…No, no, that wasn’t the right time for such silly things. Patchouli was what was important right now.

Her burns were a fair bit worse than her clothes had suggested. Though China’s odd healing magic from before had done wonders already, the librarian’s normally pale skin was red and inflamed all over, like a patchy sunburn, and there were still some blistered wounds that hadn’t quite gone away. The groundskeeper looked carefully at the worst of the burns before taking out a bottle of creamy ointment and carefully dabbing it over the blisters.

“That stuff, is that to make the burn heal faster?” I asked, feeling a little foolish.

“I wouldn’t exactly say faster,” she replied, still focused on her job, “but it does help. Skin helps keep germs in the air from getting inside of you and causing an infection. So when the skin burns off, it’s much easier for the wound to get infected. At the same time, a burn dries out all the moisture in your skin. This kind of cream helps put some of that moisture back, and protects against any infections. Though, of course, there’s different ointments for different strengths of burns; you might recognize this other kind here…”

She motioned to another bottle still in the basket, full of a green goopy substance. It definitely seemed familiar to me, and as I moved closer to look it over…Hey! I, I knew that one! That plant picture on the bottle, I’d seen that before, in the garden or somewhere! Oh, what was the name again…Aloe! That’s right, it said it right on the bottle, “Aloe Vera Medicated Gel”.

“That’s right…aloe vera works really well for burns, doesn’t it?” I mused as I pondered over the bottle. To see something familiar like this being used by humans…it felt good. Like maybe they hadn’t totally forgotten about nature. It’s a harsh claim to make, I know, but it was hard for me to forget why I was living inside Mistress Remilia’s mansion rather than back in a free forest.

China nodded as she switched to the aloe gel, massaging it carefully into Patchouli’s inflamed skin. “Well enough for Remilia to keep it well-stocked, at the least. I’m sure ‘science’ has come up with a better ointment for things like sunburn, but…well, I’m sure you can sympathize when I say there’s something relaxing about a more natural remedy.”

I nodded silently, watching as Meiling took a few strips of soft gauze and bound up the worse parts of Patchouli’s skin with care. She really did feel like a kind of mother to all of us. I mean, Sakuya was our boss and all, and Remilia was her boss, but still, China always felt like the one person in the mansion who would be there to pick us up and dust us off if we fell down.

“Umm... not to be a bother, but would you mind helping me with something?” There was a question I’d been meaning to ask her about, or anyone for that matter, and since it looked like she was done with her bandaging, I just wanted to get it out of the way. “See, I’ve been thinking about getting a flower for Miss Patchouli...”

“Oh? That’s quite thoughtful of you. I dare say this stuffy old room could use a flower or two.”

“Yeah, that’s, that’s what I thought too. Plus it’d…it’d make it a lot easier for me to stay here, with a flower around. I don’…don’t do well with…all these…rows…” I trailed off, still a little ashamed of my weakness for Patchouli’s overwhelming organization. I could only hope that I’d get used to it soon, or stressing over Patchouli’s nude body would start to seem normal by comparison.

China sat down and leaned against Patchouli’s bed, saving me the effort of constantly craning my neck upwards to make eye contact with her. “Now now, there’s no shame in being nervous of new things. It’s good to have a little fear in your life, to give you some self-control. So long as we don’t let those fears rule us, of course. But anyways, did you have any kind of flowers in mind? I’m sure the garden can spare just about anything you could think of.”

“Well, I was thinking, umm…Patchouli seems to like purple things. You know, since her hair’s all purple and she wears purple clothes all the time. So I guess maybe a…Purple? No, no wait…Lavender. Lavender, that’s the name of the flower, isn’t it? I’m sorry, I get names mixed up sometimes.”

“Yes, lavender’s the right name. A fine choice; I think she’ll enjoy the scent. That is, if she hasn’t magically grown an allergy to pollen by now, hmm hmm~”

I managed a nervous grin at her little laugh. “That was, that’s a joke, right? I mean, she’s not really allergic to flower pollen, is she?”

“No, no, I’m sorry; it’s just a little joke between me and her. A bad place for it; my mistake. So, lavender. I’m sure there’s some in the garden we can get for her.”

“Well, there’s, umm…” I stumbled about with my tongue, trying to find the right words for this request; it sounded so silly to even ask, but… “I was thinking of another flower, too. It’s kind of…Ohh, this is going to sound so stupid…”

“Mmm? Don’t be shy.” China seemed genuinely interested now, so of course I had to finish.

“Well, I was reading about, about flower names one day…just curious, really…and I found something kind of…Well, I was just thinking. Couldn’t we give Patchouli…patchouli? I mean, it’s her…her name, an’…an’ all that, plus I heard it smells really good, and it’d look really pretty with the lavender. I think it’d be really nice, is all…”

“That’s, that’s…” A pure smile worked its way across China’s face, and the I could see just the faintest gloss of tears well up in her eyes. “That’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in a long time. Patchouli…No, no, I won’t say it…not my place…But I think those flowers will do her more good than you might imagine, little friend. I’ll run and get those for you at once.”

“Mmm, but, couldn’t we just call Sakuya? I mean, you’ve probably got things to do, and it’d be no problem for her, wouldn’t it?”

She brushed one of her joyful tears away as her smile changed to one of amusement. “Ahh, yes, Sakuya…Well, I think it’d be best if we don’t bother her for a while. Remilia’s not exactly…’pleased’ with her after her little mistake. I’ll just leave it at that for now. And anyways, it’s still quite early; there’s nothing I’d rather do right now than pick some flowers for Patchouli. But I’d better hop to it; no telling when she might wake up, after all. Is there anything else you need for the moment?”

[ ] I shook my head. She was right; better get those flowers before Miss Knowledge woke up and the surprise was ruined.
[ ] “Well…I wouldn’t mind a little something to eat.”
[ ] “Could you, umm, I mean, do you know of any good books I could read while I wait?”
[ ] “I guess…maybe a pencil and paper? I don’t really know why, but maybe I’ll think of something.”
>> No. 30783
[X] I shook my head. She was right; better get those flowers before Miss Knowledge woke up and the surprise was ruined.


Expediance!
>> No. 30785
[X] I shook my head. She was right; better get those flowers before Miss Knowledge woke up and the surprise was ruined.
>> No. 30786
[x] I shook my head. She was right; better get those flowers before Miss Knowledge woke up and the surprise was ruined.
>> No. 30789
[ze] I shook my head. She was right; better get those flowers before Miss Knowledge woke up and the surprise was ruined.

FTD China~
>> No. 30791
[X] I shook my head. She was right; better get those flowers before Miss Knowledge woke up and the surprise was ruined.
>> No. 30792
[x] I shook my head. She was right; better get those flowers before Miss Knowledge woke up and the surprise was ruined.

>>30789

FTD? For the day...?
>> No. 30793
>>30792
If you don't recognize that acronym, try this one: JFGI.

[X] “I guess…maybe a pencil and paper? I don’t really know why, but maybe I’ll think of something.”
>> No. 30794
>>30793
Kinda harsh, there, pricko. It's not exactly a household acronym.

Do look it up, though, Millenia.
>> No. 30795
Uh. 'Kay.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=FTD

Fucked to death, fastest time of day, first to die, for the draw, fixin' to die, fuck the dumb.

I'm guessing for the draw, but...
>> No. 30796
>>30793

Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis?
>> No. 30797
File 124923005699.png - (6.90KB , 150x136 , Logo1910.png ) [iqdb]
30797
http://www.google.com/search?q=FTD

facepalm.hong
>> No. 30799
I've never heard of FTD either. And if >>30797 is what it really meant, that was not obvious at all. Most of us don't keep random-ass flower delivery services in our lexicons.

...well, at least I hope not
>> No. 30800
>>30799

It more well known in the late 80's early 90's.

If you were born after then, then it's understandable that you might not have heard of them.
>> No. 30801
>>30797
is correct.

Now does it make sense?
>> No. 30803
>>30800

Dude, I'm 26. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it has less to do with age and more to do with the subject matter.

Can't really go up to a bunch of nerds and reference an obscure flower delivery service (and it is obscure, because any flower delivery service would likely be obscure to most of us) and expect them to get the reference. That and making a reference as an abbreviation that's dangerously close to an existing one?

That said, after a google search, I did vaguely guess that the flower thing might have been it, but it felt like a stretch. Just, in the future, try not to sound like everyone else dumb for not getting it, 'kay?

Jeez, I didn't come off as an ass being bothered by this did I ?
>> No. 30804
File 124930004339.jpg - (40.81KB , 318x234 , just_fucking_google_it.jpg ) [iqdb]
30804
>>30803
it is the first, second, third, fourth, and sixth google results for "FTD", even the sponsored links are all about flowers, we are asking Meiling to get flowers and bring them back, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SOLVE THIS.
>> No. 30809
Okay, how about I say it a little less nice this time:

Maybe you should refrain from acting like a fucking asshole just because people didn't get your "clever" little reference. If people have to google your joke, that's a pretty good indication that you failed.

Now can we please just move on? Or do you feel like making absolutely certain everyone knows that it was a clever joke and they are totally dumb for not getting it?
>> No. 30810
File 124936296617.jpg - (14.42KB , 423x297 , U mad.jpg ) [iqdb]
30810
>>30809
>> No. 30812
Ugh. Going through a little slice of hell in my life right now, and I don't feel like trying to write a nice slice of life story during said hell; you probably wouldn't like that either. Need to take a little break from THP until this clears up. The new thread'll be up whenever I start writing again.

Hey, I hate it just as much as you guys do, especially considering how slow /sdm/ seems to be right now.
>> No. 30813
>>30812

Don't worry it's better that you clear your head before writing, or else we might end up with something like ASSM's ending.
>> No. 30824
>>30813

What was wrong with ASSM's ending? Other than the fact that Owen wrote it.
>> No. 30825
>>30824

He let Higurashi influence him heavily so as a result he railroaded the story to its particular ending.

I learned from that is that writing is best done with a head clear of such influences. Thus it'd be best for this story's writer to take a break until his/her head clears lest the story ends up tainted or twisted by his/her mindset.
>> No. 30826
>>30824
>Other than the fact that Owen wrote it.

That's a bad thing?
>He let Higurashi influence him heavily so as a result he railroaded the story to its particular ending.

I don't know, I think we still could have avoided it.
>> No. 30827
>>30826

There was also Anon's mind boggling decisions, but what I learned from that story is

A) Nothing worse that could happen to a story than Anon going in an absurd direction.

B) Write when your head is clear lest you let something influence your story in a way you later regret.
>> No. 30830
>>30813
I think ASSM's ending will remain unique to it by merrit of being the kind of story it was.
>>30827
While Anon was indeed quite moronic with many decisions (let's hug the enraged Flandre lol), the story suffered from Owen's ability (or lack thereof) to impress upon Anon that Remilia was pure evil and that Nathaniel was definitely trustworthy. Those were two very important plot points that would have enabled Anon to make better decisions, and I doubt many were convinced of them until after the story ended.

Anyway, looking forward to this story starting back up. I love the quirky little narrative style the fairy has, and the characterization of the /sdm/ crew is very refreshing. Every scene with Meiling or Flandre is guaranteed to be supremely enjoyable.
>> No. 30831
>>30830
>Remilia was pure evil and that Nathaniel was definitely trustworthy

I think there was more than enough sings telling us to trust the man. Anon was just too stuborn, even when it was completely safe and after much plot exposition, Anon still refused to trust him.
>> No. 30844
My original point was to tell the writer to go ahead and sort things out lest they end up ruining the story.
>> No. 30853
>>30831

I still maintain that even after seeing the entire picture, Remilia still doesn't seem evil to me, except for what she did at the very end. Literally no indication, even with the benefit of hindsight. Nathan being trustworthy on the other hand, did have some merit.

That and I think most readers considered the "lol Remilia is just pure evil" option, but then realized that would have been profoundly stupid, and uninteresting. I guess you could say we "fell for it", but I still maintain that the idea was so cliche and boring that none of us actually thought he'd do it. Jokes on us I guess?

Also: The part with second-personality Sakuya at the end was some of the most confused writing I've ever seen. Served no purpose other than to give us false hope. It would have been neat to see the idea go further, but it was like what? Two, three posts that she was "on our side"? Then suddenly "haha guess wut! just trollin' u!"

... sad thing is despite all that it's still one of the best stories on the site.

/rant
>> No. 30855
>>30853
>I still maintain that even after seeing the entire picture, Remilia still doesn't seem evil to me, except for what she did at the very end. Literally no indication, even with the benefit of hindsight.

Yeah, honestly, she was one of the more sympathetic portrayals of Remilia I've seen until the sudden heel turn. She displayed less and less hostility and guardedness as time went on, to the point where she was snorting into her wine glass at our revelations about Cirno. Her revenge against Nathaniel seemed like justified comeuppance after he blew her head off.