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37913 No. 37913
Post #89


“Do you really think that’ll make it better?” I asked her skeptically.

She shrugged, lips turned upwards in a little smirking smile. “Well, yes… but better doesn’t mean perfect, does it? Just give her time, like you did with Miss Herod, remember? Perhaps she’ll cool off.”

It was my turn to shrug. “Ehh, I sure hope so, because losing my arm wasn’t too ‘cool’.”

“I had wondered about that, but it didn’t seem to be bothering you. You grown into quite the strong lady, haven’t you Fran?”

“Ehheheh… Growing, maybe. Four months isn’t that long, you know.” I held back my inevitable blush.

“Far shorter than even you know, as well.”

“Oh!” That little comment sparked a sudden opportunity for me to change the subject. “Speaking of which, did you know it’s Ms. Knowledge’s birthday today?! She’s a hundred years old now!”

That elicited yet another smile from China as she folded her arms inside her billowy sleeves. “Ahh, yes, I did think it was coming up, but she plays it so tight to the chest it’s always been hard for me to tell just what day it falls on. She treats it like it’s not a big deal, but you know what? Deep inside I know it’s important to her. She’s… not like me. She holds on to her humanity like it’s the most precious thing she has left in the world, and every year it’s like she loses one more piece of it. There’s no doubt in my mind that’s why she picked today to summon her little devil.”

I continuously bobbed my head, Meiling’s words just confirming the suspicions I’d already formed in my mind. It was really something quite sad to think about, though, Patchouli’s humanity. Vampires didn’t die, fairies didn’t die, whatever China was didn’t die, Sakuya had just sort of stopped aging altogether… could I really say the same for Patchouli? The groundskeeper’d told me our doctor could keep herself immortal with her Philosopher’s Stone; I could only hope that she would last as long as the rest of us would. The thought of any of us being lost to death… I didn’t want to think about it.

I rubbed my increasingly-sleepy eyes. “Well, I think I should probably get to bed; Monica’ll be wondering where I am if she isn’t asleep already. Thanks for listening, China.”

“The same to you, Francesca. I hope your arm gets better soon.”

“Yeah, it shouldn’t take too much longer I don’t think. Have a good night!”

My body shivered as the comforting warmth of the fireplace left me and I walked back out into the chilly night. A nice night; I’d have enjoyed experiencing it more if I would have expected me to last more than a hour before I fell asleep, and half than seemed more likely when I thought about it. Fighting sure does take it out of you.

Normally I’d have taken the long way through the mansion to get back to my room, but right then it was late, I was tired, I had wings, and we did have a window for more than one reason. The only real problem I encountered as I took to the air was trying to find the little thing. The mansion wasn’t a nice square shape, after all; in fact from up high it almost looked like a little bat! But I knew we were somewhere on the north wall, so it only took me a few tries before I found a room with a tiny lamp illuminating a tiny fairy’s pink head covered in not-so-very-tiny blankets.

I fluttered into the room carefully, in case Monica had already fallen asleep. Leaving the window open to let in a breeze, I tiptoed over to her side and looked at her. So sweet… Even after living with for weeks now, I couldn’t get over how cute and soft she really was. Innocent, I believe is the word I’ve always preferred. My good hand gently stroked her hair before I turned off the light, and I gave her a soft kiss on the forehead as well.

“Good night, Monica,” I whispered.

“…mmmnmm… niiighh, Fffraaahh… cohhh, cohhmm bahhh, shafffe~…” She must have just fallen asleep; those were the words she’d said to me before I’d left to meet Remilia. I smiled and tucked the rest of her blankets up to her chin.

It was an odd feeling really. As I stripped off my fighting clothes, my mind couldn’t help but wander back to “her”, sitting in the basement just as bare as I was, planning on doing heaven-only-knew what with the rest of her night. Did she even need to sleep, or would she just stay up all night stewing in her hatred? And Patchouli; perhaps she’d manage to puzzle out a good solution overnight as she slept. For that matter, maybe even Remilia might think of one; the two winged women seemed so similar in their heated spirits the mistress has just as good of a chance figuring out what made the little she-devil tick.

I rolled into my own bed, thoughts wandering aimlessly from “her” to Thérèse to body-shifting in general, rolling over to Remilia’s vampiric scarlet mist, then Sapphire’s, then of course our little stage production, which brought it all back full circle to “Verit” and Patchouli. The last thing I remembered before drifting off into the strange beyond of unconsciousness was paradoxically:

What should I get Patchouli for her birthday?


[ ] But her birthday is over…
[ ] It’s the thought that counts…
[ ] For the girl who knows everything…
[ ] I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all…
[ ] Diamonds are a girl’s best friend…
[ ] Here there be dragons…
[ ] When you’re in hell, only the devil can help you out…


Author’s Note – Felt like doing a cryptic vote tonight; I’ve heard they’re all the rage with the kids these days. Each phrase corresponds vaguely to a gift. By all means if you wish, create your own cryptic phrase as a write-in; just be sure to tell me what gift it means!

And yes, the phrase IS important. You’ll see.


>> No. 37914
[x] When you’re in hell, only the devil can help you out…
>> No. 37916
[x] For the girl who knows everything…
>> No. 37917
[X] I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all…

I take it most of these are actually asking other residents for advice.
>> No. 37918
[x] It’s the thought that counts…

Cryptic Choices only work if it makes sense; it's annoying when people do it just to be 'cool'.
>> No. 37933
[X] I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all…
>> No. 37945
[X] I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all…

>>37918
Speak for yourself. Even at worst, they're just fun versions of the 'pick a number' votes that abounded in earlier CYOAs.
>> No. 37950
>>37945
Even those were annoying, since those were due to the author being too indecisive.
>> No. 37953
[x] For the girl who knows everything…
>> No. 37969
cryptic is not the same as random numbers when you can actually understand the choice, it makes you think a lot but some people get it.

[Ñ] I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all…

not that I can decrypt these, of course...
>> No. 37974
>>37969
When Fell did them in the game, they could be translated more often than not, not so much with the copycats.
>> No. 37981
[x] I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all…
>> No. 37982
Well, if people are having trouble decrypting the choices, here's my attempt, which follows my theory of most of them are asking for advice:

>[ ] But her birthday is over…
A card

>[ ] It’s the thought that counts…
Something handmade

>[ ] For the girl who knows everything…
Ask Patchouli herself

>[ ] I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all…
Ask Sakuya

>[ ] Diamonds are a girl’s best friend…
Ask Flandre

>[ ] Here there be dragons…
Ask Meiling

>[ ] When you’re in hell, only the devil can help you out…
Ask Remilia
>> No. 37984
[x] When you’re in hell, only the devil can help you out…
>> No. 37986
[x] Here there be dragons…
>> No. 37994
[x] When you’re in hell, only the devil can help you out…
>> No. 38006
[X] I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all…
>> No. 38007
Well, got back late from work, and I've got personal junk to deal with tonight, so I think I'll be taking the day off of writing. Sorry everyone.

As an additional note, the cryptic vote is really just a joke thing I threw in because I really didn't know where to end the update for the time being. Wasn't trying to be cool or anything, and it looks like it's really not that fun in retrospect, or at least not for this story. Can't blame me for trying, though.
>> No. 38021
[X] Diamonds are a girl’s best friend…
>> No. 38098
[x] Here there be dragons...
>> No. 38105
6 for greatest riddle
3 for devil-hell
2 for dragons
2 for knows everything
1 for diamonds
1 for counting thought

I suppose tons of diversity is to be expected with a cryptic vote. I don’t think I’ll do it again, though; AFT is just too light-hearted and character-driven for mysteries to do it any good. Ahh well, live and learn. Writing a short update now.

I’ve also officially started working on one of the numerous shorts I have on my “To Write” pile. It’s not technically related to AFT, but then again, it’s not technically unrelated either. I’ll let you be the judge there when it gets done, but no telling when that’ll be. For it to make more sense in pseudo-relation to AFT, I might just have to hold off posting it until after something specific happens in the story.
>> No. 38118
[x] “Well, it was kinda… weird, Mon’. I’ll just tell you the important parts.”
-(x) “Do you mind if I stop by Patchouli’s room first; get that out of the way?”

I think Fran dreamt about an absurd parody of Marisa (Marisa having gigantic curves?)
>> No. 38124
>>38118

I thought it was Koakuma as Batman (Batwoman?): cityscape, running from rooftop to rooftop in a tight black suit with cape, and then there's the winning vote. "I will help you solve the greatest riddle of all", the mother of all riddles: who is Batman? (a quote from Batman Beyond)
>> No. 38129
Wait a second, September 2, 1996 is a Monday. Isn't Monica supposed to be with Flandre right now?
>> No. 38139
Resubmitting this update to fix some continuity errors. Apologies for the inconvenience, and thanks to >>38129 for catching it so quickly.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Do you ever find yourself slipping into dreams that aren’t actually dreams? It makes no sense, but dreams hardly ever do. I mean, you’re sitting around, perhaps lounging on a couch listening to music or watching the clouds float by, and then slowly you’ll start getting all these random thoughts and images in your head, like they were put there by magic. You’re still awake, so they can’t be dreams, but… where did they come from? They’re just as bizarre as a dream should be, and pop into your head just as mysteriously, but according to the “rules” it’s not a dream.

Well, whatever those “things” are, I found myself in the middle of one shortly after waking up the next morning. I distinctly remember laying on my back, staring at the canopy of my four-poster bed, experimentally testing my good-as-new arm. And then, suddenly, I distinctly remember spontaneously thinking about a series of fantasies that felt like they came from my head, except I’d never have thought of them without a good reason to.

The scene was a darkened cityscape, window-lighted skyscrapers fanning out in all directions. A metro line ran circuits back and forth, squealing and rattling with every slight turn the track made. Across the rooftops ran “her”, the mysterious she-creature I knew nothing about and yet knew all too well. Her gigantic curves and pale skin were wrapped in a tight black suit, and a cape fanned out behind her like wings. Gracefully she jumped from rooftop to rooftop, the buildings getting shorter and shorter until she ran through not a city but a forest, disappearing into the trees as my pseudo-dream-view approached Remilia’s familiar mansion.

I saw myself in Patchouli’s room, the both of us reading books with pencils in hand. She seemed to be reading a sort of mystery novel—“And Then There Were None”—and kept making notes on a pad of paper next to her. I on the other hand was just poking at a crossword puzzle, unable to make one iota of headway beyond the amazingly coincidental entry of “U. N. Owen’s author?”, which thanks to Patchouli’s self-said musings I had caught the answer for. Giving it up for the moment I walked out of the room and took a stroll through the library. Though it made absolutely no sense, my “dream” self took no notice to the fact that every row of books I passed had a Flandre looking through the shelves, in widely varying attires. As I was about to exit the room, the Flandre in the last row looked at me, and somehow I stopped ignoring the weirdness all around me to realize that this Flandre had silver hair. And then… I was back in my bed, which is where I’d been in the first place.

Personally, I felt inclined to blame the coffee.

Was any of it supposed to mean something? Frankly I didn’t have any more clues than I’d had crossword answers, and my only real idea was that perhaps that was the sort of stuff Flandre had to deal with day in and day out. Not like that helped matters any, but at least it was something. I made a note to stop by her room sometime that day and see if I couldn’t get a translation.

Any more futile analysis on that sudden daydream of mine would have to wait; Monica came through the door not long after I’d puzzled out that I couldn’t puzzle anything out. She was already dressed and ready for work, which though quite impressive for her made me feel incredibly lazy.

“Oh, Fran! You’re up!” she exclaimed, closing the door behind her and bouncing onto her bed, smiling. “You’ve been a sleepyhead all morning!”

I rubbed my eyes. “Wha…? I’ve been asleep all morning?”

She shrugged. “Well… maybe. I don’t really know. Maybe not all the morning. But you were asleep when I got up, at least!”

“Mrrrhh… That’s not surprising. Why you gotta get up so early, anyways?”

““It’s Monday, remember Francie? We all gotta get up early on our days, y’know. And anyways sleeping’s no fun!”

“But I like sleeping. It makes my brain not hurt.”

Another shrug. “Maybe if ya’ didn’t think so much you wouldn’t hafta worry?”

Had I been awake enough and out of my blanket I might have reached over to Monica and ruffled her pink hair into her eyes as a bit of teasing punishment. As it was I just stuck my tongue out at her and made a half-hearted “nyeh”, which she matched with one equally harmless and twice as cute. I rolled out onto the side of my bed and sat up, scratching my hair. Just like any morning it was as thick as tar and simply not worth it to straighten, in my opinion. Monica had offered to try and brush it once before, but all it ended up getting us was a lot of frustration, a lot of hilarity, and a broken hairbrush.

“So, d’ya at at least check the board for me, Miss Early Bird?” I asked lightly.

“Mhmm; you’ve gotta do all the laundry today.” She pouted before adding, “I’m glad it’s Monday; I don’ like doing the boring ol’ laundry.”

“Aww, come on, it’s not that… wait. How much is all?”

“All is… all, I guess? Not really sure; there was a little note saying Sakky’d help you. Oh, and another one saying don’t forget to visit Ms. Patchy. D’ya know what that’s all about?”

“Oh, yeah, that; thaaaaaawwwhht’sss about last night,” I answered, unable to hold back a yawn.

Her eyes grew wide at that remark. “Oooo, last night! Was it fun? I wanted to stay up and wait for you but… I got sleepy. M’sorry.”

“Ahh, don’t worry about it. I know how boring waiting can be.”

“Soooo… what happened?”


One o’ these:
[ ] “Uughh, not now, Mon’, I’m too tired. And shouldn’t you be going over to Flandre’s soon anyways?”
[ ] “Well, it was kinda… weird, Mon’. I’ll just tell you the important parts.”
[ ] “Lots of stuff. Fun’s the wrong word though; more… exciting, I guess.”

One o’ these too:
--( ) I figured I might as well get started on the laundry
--( ) I figured I might as well check up with Patchouli first and get that out of the way.
--( ) I figured I might want to find Sakuya first and see just what was up about that laundry.
>> No. 38142
[Ñ] “Uughh, not now, Mon’, I’m too tired. And shouldn’t you be going over to Flandre’s soon anyways?”
--(Ñ) I figured I might as well check up with Patchouli first and get that out of the way.
>> No. 38150
[X] “Well, it was kinda… weird, Mon’. I’ll just tell you the important parts.”
--(X) I figured I might as well check up with Patchouli first and get that out of the way.

Give her a quick overview so she won't be late. If she wants the play-by-play, it'll have to be when we're less busy. Also, Patchouli wants us before noon, and only Sakuya knows how much laundry is all of it.
>> No. 38158
[x] “Uughh, not now, Mon’, I’m too tired. And shouldn’t you be going over to Flandre’s soon anyways?”
--(x) I figured I might as well check up with Patchouli first and get that out of the way.
>> No. 38168
[X] “Well, it was kinda… weird, Mon’. I’ll just tell you the important parts.”
--(X) I figured I might as well check up with Patchouli first and get that out of the way.

Is the dream reference to something?
>> No. 38177
[x] “Well, it was kinda… weird, Mon’. I’ll just tell you the important parts.”
--(x) I figured I might as well check up with Patchouli first and get that out of the way.

Nice dream. It's tantalizing and seemingly portentous while giving absolutely nothing away.

No Remilia option yet, and that's who we need to see about Patchouli's putative birthday present. So unless Sakuya's offer of 'help' is nuanced, then we might as well take care of our prior engagements.
>> No. 38179
>>38177
You can do write-ins too, you know. If you don't see a Remi option, make a Remi option!

Anyways, just found out that I have to come back in to work again tomorrow too, which totally ruins my plan for staying up late and writing at a leisurely pace. Guess you all get another day to vote and stuff; I'll be back again tomorrow night.
>> No. 38180
>Mon’
You are now reading all of Francesca's dialogue in a Jamaican accent.
>> No. 38183
>>38180
I'm imagining Fran fresh from inhaling some of Meiling's special incense.
>> No. 38188
>>38177

Can't delete, incorrect password, etc.

>>38179
>If you don't see a Remi option, make a Remi option!

It's early morning, so she should be pretty tired right now. This would be the only chance to catch her before she falls asleep. Otherwise we'd have to wait until the evening, meaning the hours between when we get done with our duties with Patchouli and when we speak to Remilia would be wasted. Given it's already a belated birthday gift, but I think she needs some cheering up while she's dealing with her own partial failure in the summoning (i.e., the permanency rune) as well as a very combative demon when she really wanted just to talk to one.

[x] “Well, it was kinda… weird, Mon’. I’ll just tell you the important parts.”
--(x) Go help the Mistress prepare for bed (putting on her nightgown, brushing her hair, removing her make-up, etc.). If Sakuya or another fairy is already helping her, ask Remilia that she be relieved so that you might take over her present duties.

OK, Sakuya is probably folding laundry, but the idea of Fran so frankly ignoring the chain of command is pretty funny, something Remilia would get a big kick out of.

>>38180
>You are now reading all of Francesca's dialogue in a Jamaican accent.

Irie mon'. One love.
>> No. 38238
4 for giving Monica the basics
2 for not telling Monica anything

5 for heading to Patch
1 for heading to Remi


We'll go with simple explanation + Patch, then. Sorry about the update lag, but work was just getting too tiring for me to do much of anything afterward. AFT happiness should only ever be attempted with a clear head and light heart.

>>38124 caught the reference; mad props man/girl! As for the "dream" as a whole, it makes as much or as little sense as you want it to. You can ignore it as some silly thing in Fran's head that means nothing, or you can try to pick it apart and desperately try and find a Moryia Shrine conspiracy inside; both modes of thought are equally beneficial. And by that I mean this black bar makes you assume that I have something to hide.

>>38180
I lower my eyelids in your general direction while making a slightly audible groan. After putting my palm to my face, I reluctantly give you a thumbs-up.

>>38183
Cocaine is a helluva drug; just ask Flandre.
>> No. 38253
I massaged my eyes a little, getting the sleepiness out of my eyes. “Well, I’m not gonna lie, Mon’; it was a little weird. You might not understand most of it, because I really don’t either.”

She shrugged again. “Jus’ tell me the important parts, then! You’ve been talking about this Professor Patchouli sun-mooning stuff all month!”

“Well, technically last month, but who really cares about that?” I chuckled, inwardly sad that I cared enough to even mention something like that at all. “Anyways, it started with… well, a play, actually.”

“A play?”

“Yeah, you know, like on a stage with actors and stuff? Mistress Remilia was waitin’ with me and Tullie and Teresa and Saphy in the theatre, but she got bored and made us all put on a play for her.”

“Oooo,” she replied, eyes sparkling like the little kid she was. “What was it about? Oh wait wait, don’t tell me! Vampires?”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Heehhhhh… Yeah. But she had a good reason, really! I had a lot of fun with it, though; I think all of us did. See, Remilia made me play a monster—I know, right?—and I really didn’t know what to do at first. But after a while you just get used to it and it turned out really cool! I think you’d really like it, Monica.”

“Ehehehhhh… I, I don’ know… I’d, I’d be too embarrassed, Francie… I think m-maybe I’ll just stick to, uhh, to video games. Miss Flandre says I’m getting a lot better, y’know?!”

“Heh, sure are. You can at least win if she goes easy on you, which is a great lot more than I can do. But anyways, after that we went down to the basement with Dr. Patchy, and she’d set up like a summoning circle, with stars and weird scribbles, you know? Yeah, so we all had to stand inside it and be sort of a… a something or other, I really don’t know how to explain it to you. But I told you ‘bout those windows, right?”

“Uhhhhmmm… no~?”

“Ack, well, uhh… It’s like, Ms. Patchouli opened up a window in the floor, and you could see this weird world on the other side. Then she opened up another window in the air, except that one was a door, okay? So when you open a door, a person goes through it, like a spirit or a devil or something.”

Monica had slowly wiggled to the edge of her seat now, little hands held close to her lips in anticipation. “A, a devil? B-but, tha’s dangerous n’ things, right Francie?” she asked nervously.

I tried to calm her down before she got to that point where she’d just end up buzzing around the room like a crazy housefly; you might smile, but it’s impossible to catch that kid once she gets like that. “Don’t worry, Mon’, don’t worry; Patchouli knows what she’s doing. We got the whatever-thingy-thing-it-was all safe and sealed up downstairs; she can’t hurt anyone.”

“But… but I’m downstairs today! It’s gonna get meee!” she squealed timidly.

“Monica, Monica, calm down. You’ve got Flandre to protect you, remember? She’s way scarier than anything Ms. Knowledge can think up.”

“Oh… Oh, I… I guess that’s right. Thanks for re, reminding me~”

I hopped off the bed and rubbed her on the shoulder as she sniffled away a little tear. I knew that inside I was probably still just as unsure about what the head residents did as she was, but she needed someone close to her to look up to. I might have not been the best big sister in the world, but I was really the closest thing to one she had. And even if we were both lost in this complex world… well, at least we’d be lost together.

I threw on my maid uniform quickly and kept my “little sister” company until we hit the second floor. I figured that I might as well check up with Patchouli first and get that out of the way, before having to tackle the pile of tedium that was eventually going to be the laundry. We said our little farewells and parted ways, after which I slipped open the door into the ever-peaceful hall of Knowledge.

Walking through the rows of books started to give me strange, chilling flashbacks of that dreamlike “vision” I’d had as I was laying in bed. What was that all about? The little devil running around a city like a superhero? Patchouli and I studying mysteries before seeing a dozen different Flandres? And why did the silver-haired one decide to look at me? I wondered if maybe it had something to do with asking myself what I should have gotten Patchouli for her birthday, but if this fantasy was supposed to be some kind of answer, I had a feeling Patchouli was going to get a pretty lousy gift. Plus her birthday was the day before anyways, but… ehh, details.

“Entrance is permissible,” the librarian sounded as I rapped on her door. She was lounging on the couch as she often did, dressed in her lilac nightgown as she often was, reading a book as she even more often did. Though before she set it face-down on the coffee table I managed to catch the title: “And Then There Were None”. What a strange coincidence, I thought. I wondered what the odds were…

“So, uhh… you wanted to see me, right?”

“I did. Have a seat if you wish.”

I sat, trying not to worry about the book for now. The good doctor looked like she’d barely gotten any sleep; she wouldn’t have been up all night researching where she’d gone wrong, had she…?

“Again, I’d like to thank you and your kin for your assistance last night,” she commended peacefully. “Your bravery was most admirable.”

“Ahh~ Just doin’ my job, you know.”

“Indeed. And I’d like you to continue doing your job for just a short while longer. You’ve aided me with your simple comments for nigh on four months, exactly as I’ve asked, and now that the summoning is complete I believe you may finally return to your regularly-scheduled workload. I spoke with Miss Sakuya about it; I believe she wrote a note concerning it on your assignment board, did she not?”

My mind clicked as I realized perhaps that’s what Monica had meant about Sakuya helping me. “Ahh, yeah, I think so. But wait… you’re, letting me go?”

“In a manner of speaking. I shall always value your input as a fellow co-worker, but after this meeting I’ll no longer require you to aid me on a daily basis. I’ll need to be dealing with the results of last night’s experiment myself for a time, and I do believe I’ve kept you all to myself for quite long enough; Sakuya was beginning to wonder if she’d ever get a chance to teach you anything properly.”

“Ahh, okay, well… Well, thanks for teaching me at the same time, and you’re certainly welcome for whatever help I was! I mean, I don’t really think I did much, but… I guess… never mind, I don’t know what I was going to say anymore.”

“Understandable. But… on to the business at hand.” Flicking her hand out she levitated a number of books from different desks in the room, stacking them down on the table and putting her reading glasses back on. I thought some of them looked familiar from her summoning research, but it felt like there were a few new ones now.

“I’ve been researching possible theories on just what it is I managed to bring into our mansion last night. Checking the creature’s behavior and appearance—both before and after its full binding—against the books I used for extraplanar reference in the first place, I’m fairly confident it’s some sort of minor devil, though I’ve not yet ruled out the possibility of a succubus or some form of djinn. Its plane of origin is equally debatable depending on the species, but I highly doubt it’s “true Hell”; perhaps a sort of lesser hell, but a truly neutral parallel plane isn’t outside the realm of possibility.”

I grew confused. “Umm, well that’s, that’s nice and all, but… will that help us? I mean, you said yourself you were sorta flying blind through this whole thing; who knows if she’s form any sort of book at all?”

She adjusted her glasses for no real reason (which of course meant that there was reason). “Indeed, Miss Friday, indeed. Its, or her if it makes you more comfortable, classification is really a quite subjective matter, as I’m working in a realm of reality without absolutes or truths that I know of; all I know is what I can observe, and observation does not bring with it labels.”

“Yeah… I know…” I replied, wishing that there’d be some more magical land than this one where everything you ever needed to know about anything was plainly labeled in easy-to-read stickers. “What’re you going to do, then? I mean, you can’t just ask her, can you? ‘Cause she doesn’t want to talk to us, you know that. And anyways, it’s like she said. She says we don’t care about her, so she’s not going to care about us.”

“She does not care because she has no incentive to care,” Patchouli responded quietly. “She believes this world to have nothing of value for her. Her only compunction is to return to her own world as quickly as possible, but my… unfortunate error has potentially robbed us of the leverage of either reducing or extending her duration her for good or poor behavior, respectfully. Obviously I have no intention of killing myself to accommodate her, which leaves us at the proverbial stalemate.”

I nodded my head quietly, thinking along with her. This was definitely a problem, and a far worse one than Sakuya bringing Flandre a new video game only to discover it was “region specific”, whatever that meant. I offered my naïve advice like usual, and like I’d been doing for the last four months. Useless, yes, but Dr. Knowledge had told me it often opened her mind to other possibilities.

“What about that other thing she said?” I postured. “That, uhh… go fuck yourself? I don’t know what it means, really, but… can we do that?”

The professor’s eyes dulled as she cleared her throat. “To fuck, in layman’s terms, is a very vulgar way of saying to have sex with. In the modern day it’s often used as a catch-all expletive with no literal meaning. In Englsh-speaking countries it’s rather taboo and highly improper; I advise never using it out loud.”

“Oh… Ooooooohhhh…” I answered, slowly coming to a rather awkward and embarrassing realization I often wished I would still have been too naïve to come to. “I’m, I’m sorry I used it, then. So when she told you to… that, meant… ooohhh.”

“Indeed.”

“So… I guess that doesn’t help us either, then.”

“No… and, yes.” She took off her glasses and set them aside; I always liked those glasses to a sort-of soapbox when talking with her. Or was it a lack of a soapbox? I get the term mixed up a lot; you know what I mean though.

She continued. “The creature mentioned not having been on Earth in over one hundred years. Considering how incredibly irked it was at us all, the fact that it used no modern vulgarities in its rants is substantial proof of this. But while ‘fuck’ was still vulgar in the 19th century, it still exclusively meant ‘have sex with’ at the time. I’m fairly certain, then, that when it yelled that not altogether flattering phrase at me, it was literally telling me to do just that. As in, it was something it wanted me to do.”

“But, that…” What was I supposed to do in a situation like that? Talking about expletives and sex and things that I only knew because the very person I was sitting with had told me before? My cheeks were getting noticeably more pink. “That, uhh, doesn’t, make any sense. Isn’t mast-uhh, I mean… ‘that’… that’s the kind of thing she’d call, uhh, depraved?”

“Masturbation, Miss Francesca. You may call it as it is in my presence; I’ll not be offended. Science is above such petty things.”

I rather meekly nodded. “Well, yeah, okay, but… still, isn’t it? Why’d she, tell you to do something she said she hated about Earth?

“I am… still working on that paradox. It’s not impossible that she merely lied about her last position on Earth to spite us, though why she’d see a need to when the truth is more stark eludes me. I don’t suppose you have any theories?”


[ ] “Nope, I don’t have a clue.”
[ ] “Maybe… she was trying to prove some kind of point?”
[ ] “Maybe… she just wanted to see if you’d do it?”
[ ] “Maybe… she doesn’t actually hate it after all?”
[ ] “Maybe… her kind of race likes to contradict themselves?”
[ ] “Maybe… she doesn’t think mas… masturbation is really that bad?”
[ ] “Maybe… the people I’m telling this story to in 14 years will have a good theory?”
>> No. 38255
[X] “Maybe… she was trying to prove some kind of point?”

My personal theory is that either the devils are watching Earth and keeping up with the culture or devils that have recently returned pass on what it was like, so any of them that get summoned don't suffer from culture shock. But I doubt Fran could believe a crazy theory like that.
>> No. 38256
[x] “Maybe… the people I’m telling this story to in 14 years will have a good theory?”
-[x] Due to the context (said after the easiest and probably only solution) it's pretty safe to say that the way she used that word was meant as a 20th century insult. Therefore, either she lied when she said she wasn't summoned in that period (unlikely, since she doesn't have a reason to do so) or they do have some contact with earth in their realm"
--[x]Anyway, you should tell her that she should try masturbation anyway. Although I admit that my reasons have less to do with the weakness of my arguments and more with the fact that I want you to write about it. My apologies, Mon' amie.
>> No. 38257
[x] “Maybe… she was trying to prove some kind of point?”

I think it was due to a mix of spite and "You want sex so bad, use your own hand!"
>> No. 38258
[x] “Maybe… she was trying to prove some kind of point?”
>> No. 38262
[X] “Maybe… she was trying to prove some kind of point?”
>> No. 38280
>“What about that other thing she said?” I postured. “That, uhh… go fuck yourself? I don’t know what it means, really, but… can we do that?”

Ahahahahaha!

Anyway, I think Koakuma's intense antipathy has less to do with Makai (or wherever) being a paradise, and more to do with traumatic circumstances of her earlier summonings. Still, it doesn't hurt to cover all your bases.

[x] “Maybe… the people I’m telling this story to in 14 years will have a good theory?”
-[x] If she used the word in the 20th century sense, meaning as an insult, then either she lied when she said she wasn't summoned in that period (unlikely, since she doesn't have a reason to do so) or they do have some contact with earth in their realm.
-[x] Or she truly meant it in the literal 19th century sense, meaning that what she was summoned for something unsavory and she was telling you to 'fuck' yourselves rather than a foregone alternative (i.e., attempting to fuck her).

Let's see how many times Fran uses the word 'fuck' in the next update.
>> No. 38281
Possibly relevant information: I'll be writing in a few hours hopefully, so any of you who haven't voted yet get those opinions in! I'll be counting the two current write-ins as the same for the purpose of the vote, so it's still got a chance to come from behind and win the day.

This post may or may not be deleted once I actually start writing.
>> No. 38282
In that case, vote changed.

[X] “Maybe… the people I’m telling this story to in 14 years will have a good theory?”
- [X] If she used the word in the 20th century sense, meaning as an insult, then either she lied when she said she wasn't summoned in that period (unlikely, since she doesn't have a reason to do so) or they do have some contact with earth in their realm.
- [X] Or she truly meant it in the literal 19th century sense, meaning that what she was summoned for something unsavory and she was telling you to 'fuck' yourselves rather than a foregone alternative (i.e., attempting to fuck her).
>> No. 38285
I think it's better than any of the alternatives.

{“Maybe… the people I’m telling this story to in 14 years will have a good theory?”
- {If she used the word in the 20th century sense, meaning as an insult, then either she lied when she said she wasn't summoned in that period (unlikely, since she doesn't have a reason to do so) or they do have some contact with earth in their realm.}
- {Or she truly meant it in the literal 19th century sense, meaning that what she was summoned for something unsavory and she was telling you to 'fuck' yourselves rather than a foregone alternative (i.e., attempting to fuck her).}}
>> No. 38288
[X] “Maybe… the people I’m telling this story to in 14 years will have a good theory?”
- [X] If she used the word in the 20th century sense, meaning as an insult, then either she lied when she said she wasn't summoned in that period (unlikely, since she doesn't have a reason to do so) or they do have some contact with earth in their realm.
- [X] Or she truly meant it in the literal 19th century sense, meaning that what she was summoned for something unsavory and she was telling you to 'fuck' yourselves rather than a foregone alternative (i.e., attempting to fuck her).

I'll take it; she did imply that previous summoners forced themselves on her in >>37553. Or maybe she knows others who've been summoned more recently.
>> No. 38301
5 for the write-in
4 for proving a point

Hey hey, the underdog finally won a vote for once! Awesome job, people! Writin' now and all that jazz.

>>38256
>Anyway, you should tell her that she should try masturbation anyway. Although I admit that my reasons have less to do with the weakness of my arguments and more with the fact that I want you to write about it. My apologies, Mon' amie.
C'est la vie. I don’t have any illusions about where some of you readers are coming from; it’s perfectly understandable. Though considering I’m one of those nervous inexperienced writefags who doesn’t exactly know how I’ll handle explicit stuff and would most likely end up giving you a cleverly disguised fade-to-black scene even though that’s horribly clichéd and you deserve better, I don’t know how much help I’d be there. But if it’s for the good of the story… meh, we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.

>>38280
Ahahahaha indeed. I’ve come to realize that as absurd as some of these scenes are, Francesca’s character just opens up so many possibilities for comedy that a lot of protagonists don’t have access to.

>Anyway, I think Koakuma's intense antipathy has less to do with Makai (or wherever) being a paradise…
Well, specifically she said it was a paradise by comparison to Earth. Her own realm could suck in its own right, but in her eyes the worst of her world might still be better than the best of theirs.

>Let's see how many times Fran uses the word 'fuck' in the next update.
I am unofficially compelled to respond to you with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Wd-Q3F8KM
>> No. 38311
>I am unofficially compelled to respond to you with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Wd-Q3F8KM
I'll see that and raise you this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXT0gOk1Ogw

Two years too early for movie night, unfortunately.
>> No. 38319
Author's Note - Took the second part of the write-in in a slightly different direction, but it amounts to the same thing in the end, and I think this way flowed better.

****************************************************************************

I scratched my head, thinking out loud slowly. “Well, hmm… okay, so, either she meant ‘fuck’ for real, or she didn’t. And if she didn’t that meeeeans… she must know about nowadays swear words, yeah?”

“Your reasoning is sound. Continue.”

“Thanks. And, so, if she didn’t mean it like sex n’ stuff, how’d she know how to use it…? You said maybe she lied, but… no, no, that can’t be right. I mean, okay, she could be lying, and hate us all and think us ‘depraved whores’ or whatever deserve to be confused, but that’s not really mean, it’s just… stupid, I guess. So, hmmm… How could she know what it meant…?” I scratched my pinky finger back and forth against my chin, searching for something that sounded plausible.

Finally drawing upon some inspiration from my own life, I suggested, “Well, what if… what if somebody else told her? Like, a friend from back home? I mean, if you think about it, that’s how I found out about ‘fuck’ just right now, isn’t it?”

Patchouli nodded her head. “An astute observation, Miss Friday; yes, I’d considered that myself. Though, if you’ll pardon my scrutiny, it’s a hypothesis that is impossible to verify, and thus holds very little scientific value. While it’s certainly likely, I still find it lacking, especially considering were this the case, the creature’s vocabulary would have definitely included a number of other noticeably-absent expletives.”

“Such as…? No, wait… I probably shouldn’t know them, should I?”

“As you live under Miss Remilia’s roof, no, you should not. I’ll most likely get into trouble just for letting you know about fuck, but she’s disapproved of far worse things from me. One must learn to not sweat the small stuff, as they say.”

“I know, I know,” I replied, sighing. “Remilia wants us all to stay as pure as the day we came here; trying to stop us from turning into humans or something.” Patchouli shrugged but said nothing, crossing her legs and bobbing a slippered foot up and down nonchalantly.

I started thinking again… Was there another explanation? The whole “really knowing about the twentieth century” road seemed pretty much like a dead end now… what about the nineteenth century road? She said “go fuck yourself”, right? But then that actually meant, “go have sex with yourself”. And then that could just be shortened to a very curt way of saying “Go masturbate”, I reasoned. But it was all just a big riddle to me, and I was horrible with those. I decided to start thinking out loud again.

“Hmm, what if… what if, what if it was just her not caring? Like, she was saying, ‘I don’t really care what you do anymore; you can go fuck yourself for all I care.’ Well, except… then, why didn’t she just say that? Unless maybe, she was too mad to say more…?” I looked at Patchouli for some kind of conformation for or against , but she’d slipped into flipping through here stack of books, so I was back to just flying blind, like her. Perhaps it was better that way in the long run, really.

“All, right, okaaaay… so, hmm, maybe… maybe the problem is there is no problem? Like, we’re getting all confused at her telling us to do something we think she doesn’t like, but she actually doesn’t mind it? I mean, maybe masturbation isn’t that bad of a thing; it’s not like it’s technically lust, right? Except, well, no… maybe it, is? Maybe you’re… lusting after, yourself? All right, I don’t understand that at all. That’s not gonna work.

“What iiiiif… what if she just wanted to prove a point? What point, though? Umm, maybe the point was just to see if we’d listen to her? Maybe if we actually listened to her, she’d listen to us? But we did listen to her, didn’t we? I mean, well, not really, since I didn’t do what she said. But I didn’t know what it meant; you can’t blame me! Then again, was she even talking to me?”

“No,” Patchouli responded out of the blue, nose still in a book. “She was talking to me. And I did listen in that regard, as a matter of fact. It didn’t help matters with her that I could see.”

I felt one of my eyebrows subconsciously raise itself. “Wait, you—“

“I did.”

“But, umm, that’s, uhh—“

“Stay focused in the task at hand, little one; your train of thought thus far has been sound.”

Well sure, that was easy for her to say! She wasn’t the one who suddenly had to try and not think about any number of unsavory images in my head that I only just understood enough to know that they distracted the living daylights out of me! And of Patchouli… It’s maddening what a few little words and a spoonful of imagination can do to a girl, or several spoonfuls in my case. I really don’t think I need to tell you what was going through my mind right about then; I’m sure your own imaginations will suffice.

I tried with great difficulty to get back to business. As expected, it only went downhill from there. “Okay, okay, umm… no, don’t think about that, let stick with the devil girl. Oookayyy, yeah. Back to thinkin’ ‘bout the smoky redhaired creature-ma-bob. I can do that. Where was I…? Oh, yeah, I was on… that. Maybe let’s not think about that right now. Why else, why else… Maybe, she needs sex for food? Wait, no, then why’d she ask us to… that’s just stupid. Gah, come on, Fran, you can think of better ideas than that! Like, umm… come on, there’s gotta be something! No, stop thinking about that, she told you not to! And that doesn’t help either! Aaaagghh, I can’t take it anymore; I’m tired of all this ‘fucking’!”

My unintentional curse-that-wasn’t-a-curse died quickly in the lonely room, having no one to offend, and I smacked my forehead against the coffee table a little more painfully than I’d have liked. It was too much for me; how was I supposed to understand the motivations behind sex, whether it was with yourself or a million other people? A fine devil this one had turned out to be; “her only weapon is her tongue” indeed.

However, Dr. Patchouli lowered her book unexpectedly, looking at me with a hidden face but contemplative eyes. “…Say that again, please?”

“Wha…? I didn’t say anything; just that word I probably need to stop saying now.”

“No. No, I want to hear exactly what you said.”

She was serious? Well, I could see that she was for whatever reason, so I sighed and resuscitated back, “I said ‘I’m tired of all this fucking.’”

The librarian cocked her head and began staring at her pile of books, eyes darkening and glazing over. She began mouthing words to herself and shaking her head ever so slightly. I could tell she’d hit on something, but… what? I hadn’t said anything. Had I?

After minutes of this, she suddenly stood up, grabbing the pile of books she’d brought and stuffing them into her carrying bag again. “That could be the key… A key, at the least.”

“Key to what?” I asked desperately, her reasoning skipping over mine by a mile and then some. “Miss Knowledge, I don’t understand! What did I say?”

She turned in my direction, but looked over my head rather than at it. “You said what the creature may have been saying all along: it is tired of fucking. It is tired of being commanded and manipulated by others to do things it cannot resist. Perhaps It hates this world not because of what it is, but because of what the world makes it do.”

“Well, yeah, but you knew that already, didn’t you?”

“I knew… I did not understand. I think now I may. And I think now I know how to respond.” She slung the bag over her shoulder and made for the door hastily. As her hand rested on the doorknob she looked back at me, no smile or her face but still definitely showing a sense of satisfaction. “Miss Francesca, once again, thank you for speaking your mind. You are more of a help than you know.”

I was too stunned with the entire situation to give a response before she closed the door and left me there. What had just happened? I’d said nothing important, she’d pulled something profound from it, and suddenly she was gone? She must have without a doubt possessed an infinitely stronger mind than mine, and likewise put it to much better use.


[ ] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
[ ] Whatever she planned to do, I certainly wished her luck. As for me, I needed to get started on that laundry; Patchouli’s meeting had taken plenty of time already.
[ ] Feeling like I needed to make good on my “promise” to Monica, I figured I could pay her a visit quick; the laundry room was in the basement anyways.
[ ] I’ll keep reminding you about write-ins, you know.


Five times, six if you count her thinking the word too.
>> No. 38321
[x] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
1+1= Succubus?
>> No. 38322
File 127537005395.jpg - (99.58KB , 592x444 , 2398745.jpg ) [iqdb]
38322
[x] All this time with Pathcouli had reminded me that I still needed to do something about her birthday present. so I decided to visit Ms. Remilia. Although I knew Ms. Sakuya would be bothered about me not arriving for duty right on time, I think she'd understand if it it was because of Remilia and Patchouli.

As super awesome as laundry is, surprising Patchu with a super awesome gift after her newly enlightened encounter with the little devil should be pretty awesome. Furthermore, Remi and Patchu parted ways on a particularly nasty note. While Patchy doesn't seem to be concerned, Remi strikes me as one acutely concerned about the well being of her fellow mansion residents and, very especially, her close friends.

>a dozen different Flandres? And why did the silver-haired one decide to look at me?

A rare display of all the voices in Flan's head, with a special quest appearance of that other little sister some of us are speculating on? Quite nice~
>> No. 38323
[x] All this time with Pathcouli had reminded me that I still needed to do something about her birthday present. so I decided to visit Ms. Remilia. Although I knew Ms. Sakuya would be bothered about me not arriving for duty right on time, I think she'd understand if it it was because of Remilia and Patchouli.
>> No. 38328
[x] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
>> No. 38329
[x] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
>> No. 38330
[x] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.

Way too curious to pass this up.
>> No. 38331
Additional quick note here: I was tired and I forgot to add a sub-option to the "follow Patchouli" vote, since this could actually be important. If you're voting for "follow Patchouli", please also choose one of these sub-votes:

--( ) But what if she didn't want me following her? She didn't say anything one way or the other, so... I figured maybe I'd just tag along until she told me not to.
--( ) Was I supposed to be following her? Perhaps it'd be best if I was sneaky about it.
--( ) I didn't WANT to be sneaky about it, but at the same time... Well, I figured I'd ask her first, but creep along from a distance even if she said no. This was too important to pass up!

If you've already voted, please link to the post that's yours and add in the sub-option. Thanks, and sorry for the hassle.
>> No. 38334
>>38321
--[x] I didn't WANT to be sneaky about it, but at the same time... Well, I figured I'd ask her first, but creep along from a distance even if she said no. This was too important to pass up!
>> No. 38335
[ ] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
--( ) I didn't WANT to be sneaky about it, but at the same time... Well, I figured I'd ask her first, but creep along from a distance even if she said no. This was too important to pass up!

I think she is about to offer her the best gift ever... FREE WILL.
>> No. 38340
[X] All this time with Patchouli had reminded me that I still needed to do something about her birthday present. so I decided to visit Ms. Remilia. Although I knew Ms. Sakuya would be bothered about me not arriving for duty right on time, I think she'd understand if it it was because of Remilia and Patchouli.

Yeah, I think Patchouli is going to use up her command seals remove some/all of the wards on Koa as a show of respect. Either way, she can tell us about it later, hopefully over belated birthday cake.
>> No. 38341
[x] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
--(x) I didn't WANT to be sneaky about it, but at the same time... Well, I figured I'd ask her first, but creep along from a distance even if she said no. This was too important to pass up!
>> No. 38342
[x] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
--(x) I didn't WANT to be sneaky about it, but at the same time... Well, I figured I'd ask her first, but creep along from a distance even if she said no. This was too important to pass up!
>> No. 38350
>>38340
>she can tell us about it later
In cold, clinical terms, yeah. Don't you want to really see how she reacts?
>> No. 38352
{But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
- {I didn't WANT to be sneaky about it, but at the same time... Well, I figured I'd ask her first, but creep along from a distance even if she said no. This was too important to pass up!}}
>> No. 38354
I wonder what this very lonely Patchy fantasizes about.

[x] But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness compelled me to follow. When she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre.
--[x] I didn't WANT to be sneaky about it, but at the same time... Well, I figured I'd ask her first, but creep along from a distance even if she said no. This was too important to pass up!
>> No. 38356
8 votes for tailing Patchouli, all with the “ask first but follow anyways” subvote.
3 votes for asking advice from Remilia

I guess I’m not really surprised; of course the protagonist should go to where the action is. Writing blah blah blah, blah~

>>38311
This sounds like a so much more hilarious movie now. And I’d rather not think about the number of crazy things Remilia would do before she’d ever allow The Big Lebowski to be shown in her theatre. But I’m pretty sure a number of them would involve the word “shitfaced”.

>>38321
>1+1= Succubus?
I think the equation would be more like X + Succubus = Yes, for all values of -∞ ≤ X ≤ ∞

>>38322
I am consciously neither confirming nor denying the existence of any kind of so-called “guest little sister”. This statement is henceforth very plainly and actively taking no stance on the matter. There is absolutely no cause to believe either for or against any such theory. I cannot guess how you could possibly misconstrue this paragraph and think of anything else, as it is very direct and simple. Have a great day~


>>38335
>>38340
It’s not like it was that hard to guess; AFT is all about happiness and positive thinking! Except when anyone remembers that the world doesn’t believe in them anymore. ;_;

>>38350
>In cold, clinical terms, yeah…
So cold they burn.

“Hey Patchy, what are we gonna do tonight?”

“I believe you’re well aware of that answer already, PinkyMonica; I sometimes wonder why you continue to ask it. We will be doing the same thing we have been working on for the last six months’ worth of evenings: attempting to create a worldwide peace dictated by a panel of the Earth’s most intelligent beings, one of which I shall plan to be, and enforced appropriately.”

>>38354
Me saying anything here might be a bad idea.
>> No. 38357
Wait

Hang on a minute....

>>38139 describes a dream, but according to >>28387 (post #6)...

>I’ve heard that when humans sleep, you have dreams, visions of wonderful worlds and odd sensations. I wonder what it would be like to dream, myself; I’ve never had one. No, fairies don’t dream; we remember.

So, uh, she learned to dream? Or was there something in between I missed? Or is it just an error?
>> No. 38359
>>38357

From Post #90:
>Do you ever find yourself slipping into dreams that aren’t actually dreams? It makes no sense, but dreams hardly ever do. I mean, you’re sitting around, perhaps lounging on a couch listening to music or watching the clouds float by, and then slowly you’ll start getting all these random thoughts and images in your head, like they were put there by magic. You’re still awake, so they can’t be dreams, but… where did they come from? They’re just as bizarre as a dream should be, and pop into your head just as mysteriously, but according to the “rules” it’s not a dream. Well, whatever those “things” are, I found myself in the middle of one shortly after waking up the next morning.
>> No. 38360
sounds like Fran's tapping into Flan's dreamwave length, and as a result picking up on a certain someone's signals.
>> No. 38361
>>38354
You mean while masturbating? In all likelihood, her long-dead husband. So, uh, yeah. ;_;

On a more cheerful note, she might also enjoy dressing up in leather and "convincing" her old colleagues to accept her theories.

>>38356
>And I’d rather not think about the number of crazy things Remilia would do before she’d ever allow The Big Lebowski to be shown in her theatre. But I’m pretty sure a number of them would involve the word “shitfaced”.
As long as you're taking suggestions for side stories, something along the lines of "MST3K with fewer robots and more vampires" might be fun.
>> No. 38362
>“No,” Patchouli responded out of the blue, nose still in a book. “She was talking to me. And I did listen in that regard, as a matter of fact. It didn’t help matters with her that I could see.”
>I felt one of my eyebrows subconsciously raise itself. “Wait, you—“
>“I did.”

Above and beyond the call of duty.

The demon does derive some benefit from this arrangement. Even if it was forcefully taken out of its home, now it will never have to fear being summoned for those purposes again (so long as Patchouli lives, presumably). This gives the future Koakuma a plausible MO.
>> No. 38365
>>38361

I expected something silly.

Why am I crying?
>> No. 38366
But hold on, what was she going to do? Talk to the devil some more? Or would it be something more… compelling? My curiosity mixed with a good amount of nervousness urged me to follow. After all, when she got like this she could be as bad as Flandre. Worse even; at least Flandre didn’t know what she was doing most of the time.

I put my hand on the doorknob to follow her, but then stopped just as she had. I wondered suddenly… What if she didn’t want me following her? I mean, she didn’t saying anything one way or the other. And I didn't want to be sneaky about it, but at the same time... Well, I figured I'd ask her first, but creep along from a distance even if she said no. This was just too important to pass up!

By the time I exited Patchouli’s room, the woman was almost out of sight down the first flight of stairs. Biting my lip in just a brief moment of nervous hesitation, I signaled out to her. “Umm, wait, Patchouli? Do you mind if I come along; I mean, I kinda care about her too.”

The professor stopped, her hand on the stair-rail, but didn’t turn to look at me. Her response was very to-the-point. “Please don’t; there are some things I must deal with alone.” She didn’t wait for me to respond, and disappeared down to the first floor.

Well, I tried, but I wasn’t going to be stopped; after all, hadn’t she said that I wasn’t her personal servant anymore? So technically I didn’t have to worry about what she said so much anymore! I hopped into the air to silence my footsteps and cautiously whizzed over to a different stairwell to reach the basement, making doubly-sure I wasn’t going to be caught. Considering the two stairwells were on opposite sides of the library, I had no trouble getting to the basement and sneaking up on top of one of the tall bookshelves overlooking the summoning circle.

Patchouli seemed to have gotten down there only a few seconds before me, because I just managed to catch headwing-girl’s opening greeting of, “Back with more already bitch?” as I flattened my stomach against the dusty bookshelf, inching my eyes over the side like a worm. I sure hoped that those two cared enough about each other to not care about a little stow-away. Just in case, though, I made a solemn promise to myself that I wouldn’t butt in or even make a peep of noise. I wasn’t supposed to be there, so I’d act like I wasn’t. I’d just find out what “tired of all this fucking” really meant and shoot over to the laundry room before anyone had to worry about where I’d gone.

Patchouli didn’t respond to the greeting, instead thumping her bag down on a nearby table and pulling out an old tome. She flipped through it frantically, stared at a specific page for a while, then flipped to another one and stared at that instead. From my vantage point I couldn’t make out anything, but I doubted it would have helped it I could have. The redhead didn’t seem to care one way or the other, and returned to lying flat on her back as she tries to stare over the round mountains on her chest.

The professor walked with great purpose over to a sooty sigil on the ground, holding her tome open with one hand like a minister. “Ward of Transport; prevent the being within from moving outside the pentagram,” she announced as she held her other hand low over the character. “Dissolve.”

The sigil seemed to pulse and expel a sort of light into a realm only creatures like me could see. After a few seconds, the black lines simply faded away, the wood floor as flat and polished as if it had never been written on. “She” moved to a sitting position, draping her arms across her knees.

“Bout damn time,” she commented as she stood up, walking away and testing the limits of her newfound mobility.

Again, Patchouli didn’t respond, but simply moved over to another sigil right next to it. She chanted again. “Ward of Transport; prevent the being within from moving outside the mansion walls. Dissolve.”

“Oh, goody goody; I get to see your little blue skkyyyy. What a bloody honor.” Obviously she could have cared less.

The next sigil. “Ward of Transport; prevent the being within from moving outside the exterior lawn walls. Dissolve.” And the next. “Ward of Transport; prevent the being within from moving across a body of saltwater. Dissolve.” And the next. “Ward of Transport; prevent the being within from moving from a body of saltwater to land. Dissolve.”

By now the girl was just sort of staring at her skeptically. “God damn it, bitch; redundant to all hell and back again. You really are just some incompetent slut, aren’t you?”

Still no response; Patchouli moved over to a slightly different part of the star now, and continued with her dissolutions, picking up the pace. “Ward of Contact; prevent the being within from touching a living physical creature. Dissolve. Ward of Contact; prevent the being within from touching a living magical or spiritual creature. Dissolve. Ward of Contact; prevent the being within from touching a non-fastened inanimate object.”

“Changed my mind; the hell with incompetence, you’re just damn insecure, girl.”

“Yes, I am. Ward of Subjugation; prevent the being within from vocalizing upon a command impulse. Dissolve. Ward of Subjugation; prevent the being within from moving upon a command impulse. Dissolve. Ward of Subjugation; prevent the being within from manifesting magical force upon a command impulse. Dissolve.”

That caught a turn of the head from the devil-girl. “Ehh? The hell?”

“Ward of Compulsion; compel the being within to answer a direct question upon a command impulse. Dissolve. Ward of Compulsion; compel the being within to speak the truth as it perceives it upon a command impulse. Dissolve. Ward of Compulsion; compel the being within to perform a physical task upon a command impulse. Dissolve. Ward of Compulsion; compel the being within to perform a magical task upon a command impulse. Dissolve.”

The girl took a cautious step towards Ms. Knowledge and placed a hand on her hips. It was hard to tell, but it looked like she was raising her eyebrow. “What… the hell game are you playing at?” she asked, her acidic tone turning a little more basic.

“Ward of Harm; prevent the being within from weakening the structural integrity of an inanimate object. Dissolve… A game with no rules, friend,” she answered, taking her eyes away from her all-important runic characters to look at the girl clearly.

She didn’t believe it. “Every damn game has rules. What the hell makes you think you’re any more special?”

“Ward of Harm; prevent the being within from causing the sensation of pain to a physical, magical, or spiritual creature. Dissolve… I am special because I do things other people will not do.”

She took another step closer. “…Why?”

Patchouli had gotten to the point where she no longer needed to look at the floor to dissolve the runes, or even speak the whole incantation; the chant has become little more than a whisper. Her every focus had turned to the pale-skinned girl from the beyond, who was hardly more than an arm’s reach away. I’d suddenly become amazingly aware of how quiet the room was, dead silent save for the two of them talking; I’d even stopped breathing altogether (a little trick I’d finally picked up courtesy of Miss Thérèse).

“Because, friend… words are cheap. Prevent the being within from drawing the aether of a spiritual being; Dissolve… Because I finally realized that I can sympathize with you. Prevent the being within from drawing the blood of a physical or magical being; Dissolve… Because a dear friend of mine gave me a birthday present I couldn’t give to myself: the answer to the riddle of a request I asked you last right. Prevent the being within from causing a living being to lose consciousness; Dissolve… Because I know what it’s like to have a mistress telling you what you can and cannot do, without even getting a chance to defend yourself. Because I hate being told what I cannot do. Prevent the being within from deconstructing a spiritual being; Dissolve. Because it’s the only damn language you’ll understand. Prevent the being within from taking the life of any living being save its own summoner; Dissolve. And… because it is the only thing I can give you that you actually want.

”High Ward of Summoning; prevent the being within from taking the life of its own summoner. Dissolve.”

And she struck.

The black blade was off her head and in her hand within half of a blink of an eye. Her human arm had dissolved, returning to its familiar form dark claw wreathed in a gaseous miasma.

The swing collided with an invisible barrier, held up effortlessly by Patchouli’s free hand.

The second cleaver sprung to life, sailing viciously for the professor’s unprotected left side.

She swung her hand around to deflect the blow like the first; too slow. A shallow red slice appeared through the lilac fabric. Her book dropped to the ground and another one levitated itself from the table.

Both weapons swung back, up, and down in tandem, threatening to cleave the woman in twain.

They were met by a shower of silvery sparks as Patchouli held their edges in her glowing hands, pushing them away and taking a step backwards. The arriving tome began flipping through pages of its own accord.

She ran up and thrust her massive black elbow into the doctor’s stomach.

Patchouli stumbled and fell to the ground, painfully spitting up blood. The floating book flopped around pitifully like a bird with a broken wing.

The cleavers returned, offset a half-second from each other.

She pitifully held both hands in front of her, powering another barrier. She bled freely down her lips as she continued to cough.

The devil began to dance an acrobatic ballet of death over Patchouli, cleavers and now a scythe-like tail striking from all sides at once.

My teacher thrust her hands out in a daze, pushing the attacks back as she struggled to get to her feet. Her palms had begun to drip blood.

A black scythe sliced a drifting piece of paper in two, which had torn itself from the book and burst into a flame that hadn’t burned it at all. Its demise was followed by its extinguishment.

Patchouli stumbled about drunkenly, now limping from a deep gash in her leg. Her hands were clutched close to her chest in pain, but a wispy bubble of a barrier had formed around her that seemed to push the blades off course like a magnetic field.

A gout of dark red flame traveled from the girl’s hair through her arm and out to the professor, bypassing her shield. Her sleeve and purple locks began to burn.


[ ] Don’t just sit there Fran; help!
[ ] Run for help… run for help… had to run for help!
[ ] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
>> No. 38367
[x] Don’t just sit there Fran; help!
>> No. 38368
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!

If anyone comes now, Koakuma will think this whole exercise was just another trap. As painful as it is, we just have to trust that Patchouli knows what she's doing here.
>> No. 38370
>Because I know what it’s like to have a mistress telling you what you can and cannot do, without even getting a chance to defend yourself.
This sentence. This is the most important statement to consider in this vote. Patchouli is giving Koa a duel against her summoner for her freedom. This is not something to interfere with. To do so would bring the ire of both parties.

[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
>> No. 38372
>Well, I tried, but I wasn’t going to be stopped; after all, hadn’t she said that I wasn’t her personal servant anymore? So technically I didn’t have to worry about what she said so much anymore! I hopped into the air to silence my footsteps and cautiously whizzed over to a different stairwell to reach the basement, making doubly-sure I wasn’t going to be caught. Considering the two stairwells were on opposite sides of the library, I had no trouble getting to the basement and sneaking up on top of one of the tall bookshelves overlooking the summoning circle.

This is Fran's rationalization for following Patchouli and it will be her rationalization for interfering here. Patchouli can't have it both ways, to say Fran's services are no longer required, but then to tell her not to interfere with a problem that Remilia would want to witness and know every detail of, Remilia who Fran is chiefly the retainer of.

[d] Don’t just sit there Fran; help!

When the vampire hunter was attempting to force her way into Remilia's chamber, Fran didn't sit idly by or call for help. She took action, and when that action got rewarded by a knife in the gut, Fran didn't scream or wait for herself to bleed out, rather she hamstrung the assailant. Again when Sapphire was fighting and losing against the hunter, Fran again did not run and get help, nor did she sit on the sidelines, instead she cut the foe's ankle again and got a face full of buckshot for it. Even after this, Fran aggressively engaged the demon--suicidally so, if the grenade and a lost arm is any indication.

We should seek more than a reckoning between Patchouli and Koakuma. We did fight and injure her, and were involved in her capture, and if Koakuma is to become a member of the household, she must get along with not just the principal residents, but the maid staff as well.

This might seem to damage Fran's relationship with Patchouli, but I think it will be better in the long run, if Patchouli is to really respect Fran, rather than treat her as a disposable resource. The inevitable post-fight argument will also show Koakuma the power dynamics in the Mansion: There are expectations and orders, but the servants still have their own free will which they exercise at their own discretion.
>> No. 38373
>A gout of dark red flame traveled from the girl’s hair through her arm and out to
Fuck yeah Vermillion Akiha.
>> No. 38375
[x] Don’t just sit there Fran; help!

Francesca the Intefering.
>> No. 38376
>>38373
But she isn't as flat as Suika
>> No. 38378
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
>> No. 38380
>>38372
>if Patchouli is to really respect Fran, rather than treat her as a disposable resource.
But she already respects Fran. Just look at their interaction these past few updates: Patchouli listened to Fran even while she babbled on, and gave little in the way of orders. That's an unusual master/servant relationship to have in just four months. If anything, Fran will risk losing that respect by intervening, since Patchouli may view it as a lack of faith in her own abilities. Notice that Patchouli has made only one attempt at attacking; she should be able to attempt more, but she might not be able to use her best spells if she has to worry about hurting an ally.

You want to show Patchouli you care? Be there for her to lean on at the end, not fight her battles for her.
>> No. 38381
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
>> No. 38382
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
You did. Let her do her thing.
>> No. 38384
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
>> No. 38386
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
>> No. 38388
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
In an otherwise horrible month, this little fairy's tale is a beacon of light! i really enjoy it.
>> No. 38391
[x] Don’t just sit there Fran; help!

I think they would understand. Like what Koa said. Fay do, whatever fay want.
>> No. 38392
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
>> No. 38394
[B] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn't!
>> No. 38395
{Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!}
>> No. 38405
11 for staying put
4 for running to help

A promise is a promise. Princess Tepes who was Gorden Tepes sister was one day an bedroom, typing, on a computer. She got an email from her brother that said, that “ANONS, AND PEOPLES, ARE CONVERSING THIS PLACE!”

>>38361
>spoilers
Why u do this? ;_;

>As long as you're taking suggestions for side stories, something along the lines of "MST3K with fewer robots and more vampires" might be fun.
You, I love~ Brilliant idea; all I need to do now is find a thematically-horrible low budget piece of crap and the rest should just about write itself. I’m open to suggestions.

>>38362
>Above and beyond the call of duty.
All work and no play makes Patch a dull girl.

>>38365
Because it’s sad.

>>38373
Suddenly, Neko-Flan rams your ankles with a jetpack.

>>38388
Always a pleasure, sir. I hope you’re referring to May as the horrible month, though, because June being horrible in only a day and a half would be depressing.
>> No. 38407
[X] Wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t!
>> No. 38410
Wanted to help… I so wanted to help, but… I promised! I promised I wouldn’t! I wasn’t supposed to be there! But Patchouli, what if she was going to—NO! I had to trust her! She had to have known what she was doing! I could only help her now by not helping her; it was the only way.

The professor quickly summoned the floating book towards her and tore out a page. I saw her mouth moving frantically as her lips continued to spit up blood. She grasped the page with her good hand and slapped it at the flames, the parchment suddenly spraying out water as if a tiny waterfall was contained within the little scrap. With another coughing incantation she tore the page in two and slapped it on her hands, the paper somehow unraveling and molding itself into a pair of bandage-like gloves.

Her adversary continued to lash out with her otherworldly fury, blades like a food processor mixed with the dark fire that wreathed all three of her arms now (when she’d grown the third I couldn’t tell). Patchouli’s bubble wavered like a flag in high wind, but it looked like it was holding the attacks back, if just barely. Somehow a demonic kick shoved its way through the aura and sent the doctor stumbling backwards again, but she was back on her feet within seconds and the next kick was met with a solid wall of invisible force, one that no longer wavered like a gas.

All the while Patchouli kept flipping through her tome, tearing out different pages and setting the afloat next to her. Her mouth never stopped moving except when a bandaged hand wiped away the red spittle on her lips. The devil’s attacks seemed to be slowing, though whether because she was getting tired or because she was opting to attack with less frenzy and more force, I couldn’t say.

And then, it was Patchouli’s turn.

Seemingly without effort she pinched one of the floating pages which set the thing ablaze, and flicked it forwards. The devil-girl’s third arm suddenly became enveloped in a thick sea of orange lava, something its owner didn’t appear to enjoy.

Patchouli wasted no time; a second sheet now rippled like the surface of a lake, and with an easy toss another of the girl’s arms became ensnared, this time in an aqueous blob that seemed almost like some kind of liquid ice. A third sheet became as bark, and encased the last of her foe’s arms in a heavy tree trunk.

With a growl “she” whipped her scythe-tail like a lasso, slashing it forwards in an unpredictable arc that curled behind the librarian and aimed for her back. A useless gesture, now; Patchouli’s fourth page unraveled itself into heavy links of chain that wound and rewound themselves until the natural black of the tail could no longer be seen behind the steel.

“Do you—ehouff, ehouff—yiel-ehouh-held?” she asked raspily, sounding a dozen times worse than she actually looked, which really wasn’t that good in its own right.

The creature growled, struggling to move with so many of its limbs trapped by the weight and power of Patchouli’s spells. It strained against the bonds, but not a one of them so much as loosened. Summoning its strength back together, it attempted a mighy roundhouse kick to the professors chin. Two seconds later found the same kicking leg thudding to the ground harmlessly, trapped in a gigantic lump of clay and rock. Undaunted it tried a low sweeping kick with the other leg, which was subsequently trapped in a shimmering golden film that shone like the sun.

“Ehouff… now?” Ms. Knowledge asked again as the girl lost her balance and toppled backwards to the ground, six appendages sprawled out like a star.

She continued to struggle against the various elements which held her down, but to no avail. The lava still flowed like burning molasses, not harming the floor one iota. The gel-like water still rippled with every fuitile movement of the arm and cleaver it encased. The trunk still sat immobile and boring on the floor. And I was still impressed with how simply Patchouli had managed to not only gain the upper hand, but how she’d done it with six different techniques. There had never been much room on a day-to-day or even week-to-week basis for me to see just how skilled any of my superiors really were, so when I finally did, it was pretty exciting.

In a desperate last-ditch attempt a dark tentacle burst out of the devil-girl’s stomach, reaching for Patchouli’s face. She slapped it away as if it were a fly, wreathing it in an equally-shimmering silver barrier to match the gold that held her leg. Patchouli wiped the blood off her mouth again, looking horribly weary but still resolute.

“I belie—ehech ehhehh—heve, that the fight is mine, friend. But—ehouff, ehouff—if you wish to go again, I’ll be—hehhhaacchh—happy to oblige.”

The girl’s chest heaved up and down as she looked at her bonds, pain and frustration etched deeply onto her face. After the echoes of Patchouli’s coughs subsided, I watched as the expression on her face changed to… a smile?

“Hehh… Hell no, girl, hell no. You can’t summon worth a shite, but damn if you aren’t one hell of a little mage. Nah, game’s over; I lost.”

The professor nodded, satisfied. “You’ll forgive me fo—houhck, houhh—or not immediately letting you up… I may have a death wish, but I—ehouff—I’m not an idiot.”

“Ehh, your words, not mine.” Despite her bonds the girl’s appendages slowly and smokily slunk back to normal, the inhuman newcomers dissolving into nothingness. She sighed happily. “Heehh… you don’t even know how long I’ve been wanting to do that, you crazy bitch.”

“I’m assuming since some time in—ehheck—the last millennium.”

“That and then some. Plus the last fool who had the gall to remove the damn High Ward didn’t get his shield up in time; dead in one.”

Patchouli shrugged her shoulders, a slight smile creeping up her face as well. “I assume you ar—ahhaayyheeack—are slightly less resentful now?”

The girl shrugged back, or tried to shrug with the weight of two giant cylinders of magic pressing her arms and shoulders down. “You’re not afraid, kid; that’s something different. I’ll humor you for today; most likely kill you in the morning.”

“You will try,” she replied, smirking with her unintentionally blood-red lips.

“Damn. Touche.”

Patchouli sat down wearily, taking an additional page from her book and creating another magical bandage for her leg. I carefully crept back out of sight, seeing that the two of them had appeared to have settled their differences in their own strange way, and looked like they’d just be talking about this or that now.

It was all just so interesting to me, so ingenious. Patchouli had taken my completely random statement out of context and used it to puzzle out the key to this devil’s heart: free will. Living for centuries as a slave, never being able to do what you want, being forced to do what you don’t want… I wondered if maybe she’d gotten to the point where she’d even started to look down on being forced to do the things she did want, if only because she was forced. And even when you go back home, it’s only an inevitable matter of time before you’re a slave again… It made me wonder just when the last time was that this girl’d had a master who’d done for her what Patchouli just had.

But that was their business now. Mine was the laundry, and if Sakuya didn’t hear from me soon I’d probably start understanding a little too well the good and bad things about free will.



Maybe Chapter Complete? Lolidunno, one day I’ll fix them

You want the next update to take place…
[ ] Right where the last update left off.
[ ] Later the same day, before the laundry’s completely done.
[ ] Later that evening, after Fran’s done with work.
[ ] The next morning.
[ ] Several days later, when Koakuma’s a little more acclimated.
>> No. 38412
[x] Later the same day, before the laundry’s completely done.
Some fairy time is good. I can't wait to see Remilia's reaction now that Koa is free.

Also,
>most likely kill you in the morning
And then Patchouli was the Dread Pirate Roberts.
>> No. 38413
[x] Later the same day, before the laundry’s completely done.
Out little Fairy has grown so much...!
>> No. 38417
[X] Right where the last update left off.
I want to see what Sakuya has to say to Fran when taking her under her wing.

>>38412
>And then Patchouli was the Dread Pirate Roberts.
I was thinking the same thing when I read that.
>> No. 38418
[X] Right where the last update left off.
>> No. 38419
[X] Right where the last update left off.

I don't even have to think about these time-skip choices, especially when it comes to AFT. More story = more awesome, with virtually no exceptions.
>> No. 38421
[x] Right where the last update left off.

Damn, Patchy's got skill.
>> No. 38423
[X] Right where the last update left off.
>> No. 38424
[Å] Later the same day, before the laundry’s completely done.

This is my favorite ongoing story on the site. Thank you for writing and keep up the good work Tepes.
>> No. 38437
File 127556583661.jpg - (1.32MB , 1643x1923 , e0de77a7b277659c5ebff9e2c5134bae.jpg ) [iqdb]
38437
[x] Right where the last update left off.

Sakuya time!

This story is pretty close to knocking Memoirs of a Vampire out of the number one spot in my all-time favorites. Don't ever stop.
>> No. 38440
>>38419

Quick Note: It's note like timeskipping actually makes you lose out on parts of the story. It just means that the few scenes that were probably going to happen anyways for the sake of the plot lol plot will happen in a different way. In the context of this vote, pretty much anything is going to lead you to Sakuya-time anyways. All I'm doing with the optional timeskips is giving you a choice as to what kinds of scenes you'd like to see, as well as cutting out potentially boring exposition scenes that I doubt many people care about.
>> No. 38444
[x] Right where the last update left off.
>> No. 38463
[X] Right where the last update left off.
>> No. 38468
[X] Right where the last update left off.

Why not? It has been the little things that give this story its charm.
>> No. 38470
9 for right after the last update
3 for later the same day

No timeskip confirmed, then. Have to go to my little sis’s softball game soon, so there’s a good chance of either a smaller update tonight, or no update until tomorrow.

I’m actually taking the “MST3K with vampires” idea seriously now, and I think I might even end up writing it before I finish the other short I started. Still working on how to make it fun for you readers at home though; I’ll probably have to deviate a little from the classic “respond to the bad dialog with out of context comments” since without the movie behind it those riffs would make no sense, and I doubt many of you will bother buying whatever horrid film I end up using. Still open to suggestions on bad movies, by the way, and I’ll probably put up a preliminary list of “finalists” sometime in the future. And by “finalists” I mean whatever bad movies I can find lying around my parent’s house or in the Big Box Mart bargain bin.

>>38412
>And then Patchouli was the Dread Pirate Roberts.
I would have worded it differently to avoid the direct reference, but I was tired.

>>38421
Jack of all trades,
Master of some;
Inevitably better
Than a master of none.

>>38424
You’re most welcome, as always. Without you people cheering me on my “work” wouldn’t be nearly as good.

>>38437
At this point I guess I’m just going to have to accept that I’m doing something right; thanks for the accolade!

I hate to break it to you, though, but eventually this fairy tale is going to stop. A continuous story with no plan or aim for an end is just asking for disappointment when life comes and whisks the writer away forever. It’s always been a joy to write AFT, but when I look back on it I’d rather have written a good story that ended than a great story that never did.

>>38468
Truer words never spoken.
>> No. 38477
>>38470
And there is a sort of ending point: The present when Present Fran finishes her tale.
>> No. 38481
File 127561809417.jpg - (24.00KB , 450x485 , sage_lrg.jpg ) [iqdb]
38481
Yeah, I'm just going to take the day off. Update sometime tomorrow.
>> No. 38526
So yeah, I was about to post another lame excuse for not writing today because I was lazy, and then I figured, no, because that would be lame. So I'll get something small out within the next hour or so.

Because once you tell yourself it's okay to stop, you'll never stop trying to keep stopping. Word to the wise, fellow writers.
>> No. 38527
I was greeted by the metallic hum of automatic washers as I entered the mansion’s laundry room. There were plenty of machines to go around, of course, but there were just as many folding tables and shelves of miscellaneous cleaning supplies or rags other other things nobody really cared about. Personally, I enjoyed the old-fashoined contraptions like the funny washoard and the wringer-outer-thinger with the crank, but that’s just me. And of course me being me, I’ve never trusted electric things. Oh, I’d stopped being afraid of them finally, but I always sort of eyed them warily ever since. Sort of like saying in my head, “Don’t try anything funny, Mr. Washing Machine… I’m onto you.”

I was the only one in the room for the time being, but it looked like there were plenty of baskets of clothes to go through. It’d been quite a while since I’d had to do laundry, though; were you supposed to sort them by color, or size? How much soap did you use again? And wasn’t there something important about the temperature of the water? I sure hoped that the promise of Sakuya helping me came through; screwing up my own clothes wasn’t so bad, but I’d just feel awful if I screwed up everyone else’s too.

Fortunately in my meandering around the room I found one of Sakuya’s familiar notes on the top of a running wash machine:

Fran,

Have no idea when your getting here, I started the first load. Sort clothes while you wait; BY COLOR! Should be there before youre done.

-Sak


Always short and to the point, those notes of hers. Made me wonder why she didn’t bother to spend just a few more seconds making them sound nicer, though. I mean, she had the time to do it, after all. And didn’t the word “you’re” have an apostrophe in it?

I had no reason to worry, though; Sakuya was Sakuya, always busy. She’d told me enough to get started, and so started I got. Rather than sort clothes standing up like the tall person I definitely wasn’t, I just figured hopping onto a table and digging through the baskets like a toy chest would be simpler for me.

It quickly became apparent that “sorting by color” was going to become a lot harder than it needed to be. Obviously the number-one item the mansion went through a lot of was cleaning rags, but why was it that half of them needed to be white, a second half or them needed to be red, and a third half of them needed to be taupe, beige, ecru, tan, or whatever that light-light-brown color is supposed to be called? I’ve heard you invented “khaki” to add to that list recently too. I’d just best not get started on human’s redundancy; it’ll only make be frustrated and realize that fairies are probably just as redundant in different ways. Talking too much comes to mind, but I just feel better when I blame that on Flandre getting inside my head.

And yes, by the way, there were more than enough rags to make up a whole three-halves.

Another little frstration I’d started to encounter is trying to sort the colors of the maid uniforms. Of course the bluish-greyish ones could go into their own pile, but what about the red ones? I mean, did I need to put them with the red rags and red towels? The color seemed a little off… and they had white frills, too! Maybe I should have put them in the white pile instead? In the end I just settled for setting them off to the side by themselves. I was probably worrying too much; no doubt Sakuya’d just end up throwing the whole mess in as once or something like that.

As I neared the end of the sorting, something disconcerted me a little more than the fact that Sakuya was late, though: the noticible lack of a gigantic pile of uniforms. Sure, there were plenty there, but for dozens and dozens and dozens of fairies’ worth of outfits shouldn’t the pile be taller than I was? Then again, we probably did laundry a lot; I bet that was only like a fourth of them or something. I hadn’t seen “important” things yet like normal-sized clothes for people like Patchouli or Meiling, either; plus knowing Sakuya she must have had a nice system of rotation to make her life easier. Or harder unintentionally; in the end it probably amounted to the same thing.

One by one the washing machines slowed down and stopped as I finished up the color sorting; not a bad job if I did say so myself. I looked at the forelorn machines, then at the door. Still no Sakuya… Why was she always running late? Seriously, after four months of paying attention to her I’d just come to the conclusion that the only thing her little schedule did was tell her that she’d always be off it.

[ ] But still, I didn’t quite trust myself with those machines all on my own; most likely manage to set the water on fire or something.
--( ) I figured I could waste some more time sorting those clothes just a little bit nicer.
--( ) But I DID trust myself with a washboard! Who cared if it took longer; I sure didn’t.
[ ] I figured I knew enough to puzzle out how to work a washer and dryer; enough to pass the time before Sakuya got there, at least.
[ ] Maybe… Maybe it was a test! Patchouli’d said Sakuya was going to start training me or something; what better way to test how I’d do than to push me off on the deep end and observe from a time-stopped world?
[ ] I figured I might as well go find a telephone and call the head maid up; technology WAS useful in that regard.
>> No. 38528
[x] But still, I didn’t quite trust myself with those machines all on my own; most likely manage to set the water on fire or something.
--(x) But I DID trust myself with a washboard! Who cared if it took longer; I sure didn’t.

Don't want to dye all those nice, white dresses.
>> No. 38529
[x] Maybe… Maybe it was a test! Patchouli’d said Sakuya was going to start training me or something; what better way to test how I’d do than to push me off on the deep end and observe from a time-stopped world?
>> No. 38530
[X] I figured I might as well go find a telephone and call the head maid up; technology WAS useful in that regard.

Remember to add an extra A when dialing, like a whining Remilia calling for her.
>> No. 38534
[X] I figured I might as well go find a telephone and call the head maid up; technology WAS useful in that regard.

We only really need her to demonstrate once; then she can get back to whatever she's doing.
>> No. 38535
[X] I figured I might as well go find a telephone and call the head maid up; technology WAS useful in that regard.
**SAKUYAA was it?
>> No. 38538
[X] I figured I might as well go find a telephone and call the head maid up; technology WAS useful in that regard.

Sounds good.
>> No. 38539
[x] I figured I might as well go find a telephone and call the head maid up; technology WAS useful in that regard.

Responsible fairy is responsible.
>> No. 38540
[x] Maybe… Maybe it was a test! Patchouli’d said Sakuya was going to start training me or something; what better way to test how I’d do than to push me off on the deep end and observe from a time-stopped world?
>> No. 38542
[x] Maybe… Maybe it was a test! Patchouli’d said Sakuya was going to start training me or something; what better way to test how I’d do than to push me off on the deep end and observe from a time-stopped world?
>> No. 38543
[x] Maybe… Maybe it was a test! Patchouli’d said Sakuya was going to start training me or something; what better way to test how I’d do than to push me off on the deep end and observe from a time-stopped world?
>> No. 38544
>Maybe it was a test!
I'm not clear what course of action this vote leads to. The rest of them cover asking for help, trying it on her own, and avoiding it, so what's left?
>> No. 38545
>>38544
That still means she’ll do it on her own, but she’ll assume she’s being watched, so perhaps she’ll do an even better job! Or worse, depending on if the pressure gets to her.

Anyways, sorry, but I’m going to have to take another day off tonight to spend some time with the family; the vote is NOT called yet! Update tomorrow, I promise!

But I might as well have you help me out while you wait. I’ve think I’ve narrowed down the possible movies for “Mystery Vampire Theatre Some-Thousand”. I tried, but I just can’t find the kind of utter rubbish the MST3K guys riffed on, so I guess you’ll have to settle for some slightly higher production values. They’ll all be equally hilarious to write in-character commentary for, so I figure why not have you folks vote on it? Here’s the list:

[ ] Deep Blue Sea - A 1999 monster film about genetically-engineered super-sharks running swimming loose in an underwater research facility. Supposedly they were just trying to cure Alzheimer’s. Contains Samuel L. Jackson and L.L. Cool J.

[ ] Dungeons & Dragons - The infamous 2000 fantasy film vaguely based on the beloved tabletop RPG. The stereotypical and racially-diverse party of adventurers must find a supposedly-legendary rod that will overthrow the iron-fisted ruling class of mages. Contains a villainous Jeremy Irons.

[ ] Them! – A black-and-white 1954 thriller about gi-ants and the subsequent investigation of why they exist and how to destroy them. It’s a period piece. Contains actors who are probably dead by now.

[ ] Conan the Destroyer – The worse-than-sub-par 1984 sequel of the already sub-par Conan the Barbarian. Our hero leads a ragtag group of adventurers across a fantasy land to save the princess and hopefully bring back his dead love interest from the last movie. Contains a younger and longer-haired Arnold Schwarzenegger.

[ ] Kull the Conqueror – Basically a spiritual sequel to the movie above, except made 13 years later and lacking a big-name star. Some random barbarian becomes king by accident, and also there’s a revived demoness trying to destroy/rule the world. Contains nobody you care about.

[ ] The Sword and the Sorcerer – A 1982 mindless fantasy action piece. The good guy has a sword. The bad guy is a sorcerer. Supposedly contains “atrocity-a-minute” action scenes. Somehow this became a cult classic. Contains even less people that you care about.

So there you have it; vote away for great justice. Telling me your opinions/suggestions on the matter would be cool too; I’d hate for this idea to bomb horribly.
>> No. 38546
[x] Conan the Destroyer
Fuck yes.
>> No. 38547
[x] Conan the Destroyer
>> No. 38549
[X] Deep Blue Sea

>Maybe… Maybe it was a test!
Does anyone really believe this? We haven't felt any time magic used, which we've been able to do in the past, and besides the fact that Sakuya doesn't have time for this sort of thing, what we've seen of her personality doesn't suggest that she's of a shrewd and calculating sort that would pull something like this.
>> No. 38550
[x] Conan the Destroyer

Flandre making an Arnold impersonation please.
>> No. 38553
[x] I figured I might as well go find a telephone and call the head maid up; technology WAS useful in that regard.

We should really go and see what Sakuya has to say before going off on our own.
>> No. 38556
[ ] Dungeons & Dragons

Fantasy seeing how humans see fantasy. This is a must.
>> No. 38562
[x] Dungeons & Dragons
or
[x] The Sword and the Sorceror

I think these contain the largest amount of mockable ridiculous bullshit possible.
>> No. 38564
[X] Dungeons & Dragons

>Them!
Unlike the others, this isn't sub-par. It's considered one of the best sci-fi movies of the fifties.
>> No. 38569
[s] Dungeons & Dragons
>> No. 38572
[x] Dungeons & Dragons
>> No. 38583
[p] But still, I didn’t quite trust myself with those machines all on my own; most likely manage to set the water on fire or something.
--(f) I figured I could waste some more time sorting those clothes just a little bit nicer.


[j] Dungeons & Dragons
>> No. 38586
6 votes for using up all of Sakuya’s minutes
4 votes for scoring an A+ on the test
2 votes for not trusting technology

All righty then; fone call incoming in several-ish hours.

In other news, looks like Dungeons & Dragons is a clear winner for bad movie night. Just picked it up at the local movie store; it’s a crying shame they don’t have worse movies, really. Note that I’ve never seen this movie before, so luckily for you a lot of the girls’ commentary will be pretty authentic. Probably going work on AFT until Post #100, then take a few days off to work on the short. If it goes well I might do Conan too just for kicks.

By the way, I know it’s a little late, but I’d like to thank >>38280 and the others who voted with him/her for helping me out with Koakuma. I’d had a justification for her behavior planned out which was similar, but after reading your posts I realized that this was a better angle to tackle the situation from, since my way would have just been a little dry and lacking substance. It’s a good thing I’ve got you all watching my back when I need it watched; thanks much!

>>38477
As unfortunate as it is, I’ve no intention of going that far. One, because as it’s been said before, AFT thrives on the little things; to get to the present day, I’d have to go through game after game of actual plot and canon material, which would stop making AFT little. And two, because as a writer I know I won’t last that long.

>>38528
Sakuya’ll fix them; she has to deal with Remilia’s blood stains, after all. Patchouli’s too, for that matter.

>>38549
You are smart and observant.

>>38550
I recall her doing that once before, actually. Somewhere in the Bomberman scene, I think.

>>38556
This is actually an interesting point. And now I’m visualizing Flandre going online in 14 years, finding this story, and forever being caught in an infinite recursive loop.

>>38564
True; I knew it was when I posted it, but I figured it’s dated enough to poke fun at.
>> No. 38587
File 127585853970.jpg - (222.75KB , 800x554 , infinityroop.jpg ) [iqdb]
38587
>>38586
>infinite recursive loop

Is that so?
>> No. 38589
I figured I might as well go find a telephone and call the head maid up; technology was useful in that regard. Granted, I probably could have just wandered around the halls shouting “Saakuuyaaaa!”, but that was something Remilia did, not me.

Not every room in the mansion was guaranteed to have a telephone, of course, but a lot of the servant areas had them, so I scouted around the laundry room for something I could use. Being a larger room with plenty of places to hide a little piece of machinery, it took some time, but before long, success! There was an old black rotary phone plugged into the wall near the door. I’d never specifically used them before, but I’d seen them around and knew you just had to pull the wheel around on the hole you wanted to dial. ✱✱SAKUYAA had become a commonplace number to me by then; I really had nothing to fear about phones, any…more…

You know, when you pick up a rotary phone and stick out your finger to dial up something special, you quickly realize that rotary phones don’t have a star key.

I playfully smacked my head against the wall; of course. Of course it would have to be something like that, wouldn’t it? As a small consolation I was no longer young enough to lose my head and break out in a cold sweat, but a lack of panic still didn’t fix the phone. I tried dialing just plain old “SAKUYAA”; obviously it didn’t work. Sticking out my tounge, I looked over the phone a bit. Hmm… the “0” position said “Operator” underneath it instead of letters. It was worth a shot: 0-0-S-A-K-U-Y-A-A. Ringing?

Ringing!

“Yes, what now Mistress?” Sakuya’s weary voice asked.

“Umm, no, I’m not Remilia; I’m Francesca, Sakuya. I was—“

”Ahh, damn!”

A third of a second later, I felt Sakuya’s “timely” presence as she ran through the laundry room door, straightening her bonnet. I looked at the receiver, shrugged, and set it back down. Guess the phone call had worked, in its own strange way.

“I’m late, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Sakuya apologized fantically as she pushed some strands of silvery hair back behind her ears. “I’d written it down, too! But then my PDA ran out of batteries, and the mistress kept calling me over and over, and—“

“Sakuya, Sss—hey, Sakuya, it’s—stop, it’s okay!” I tried to get a word in edgewise over her steam of apologies and excuses, but it didn’t seem to do much good. “I, I just wanted to know how to use the washer and dryer!”

“—And after I’d promised that I’ll help you out and show you around today, too! Ooohh, Remi, why do you have to keep doing this to me?!”

Seems I was doing no good; I had to wait for her to calm down and just sort of nod my head for a while, offering consoling words. Our sorry little Sakuya… confirmed by China to be even older than Patchouli, at yet sometimes I felt like even Monica of all people could be more mature than her. After a bit of shoulder-patting and taking a little “time out” in her own secret world, she was doing much better.

“Ahh, dear, I’m so sorry for that, Francesca,” she apologized again, though much more intelligible this time. “Honestly, I always look like a nervous wreck around you!”

“Oh, don’t worry, that’s okay. I mean, we’re all just trying to do the best we can do, right?”

”Trying,” she replied as she issued another sigh. “But enough of that. You said you needed help with, uhh, the washer and dryer, yes?”

I nodded. “Mhm. I mean, the clothes are all sorted like you asked, but I didn’t want to mess up anything, you know? I figured best to be safe, I guess.”

“Yes, always best to double-check, even if you don’t think you have the time to. You always have time to double-check, Miss Fran. Now, let’s see here… Yes, that’s sorted out quite well; good job.”

“Thanks, Miss Sakuya. I didn’t really know if the reds were supposed to be in the same pile or not.”

“Oh, for the most part it doesn’t matter. Just remember: cold water for colors, warm water for lights. Cold and colors both start with C, and the sun gives warmth and light. That’s how I remember them, anyways.” I nodded again; seemed easy enough. She opened up a finished load and explained each step to me.

“Now, okay, this load’s finished, so it’ll go into the dryer next; I’ll get to that in a minute. To set up the washers here you need to check the temperature, right here? So it’s set to medium warm right now—hand me a basket of rags, will you? So the temperature’s just fine, and then there’s the water level. Ehh, looks abouuut a… yeah, that’s a large load, so go ahead and turn the dial to Large. Now you can put the detergent in first, but you shouldn’t. So go ahead and just stuff all those rags in there—don’t worry if they’re lumpy, they’ll even out—then we keep the detergent over here. You’ve got the lines here for measurement, so, like, this line is for the large-sized load. Go ahead and splinkle it in there all evenly, just like that, close the lid, and then turn the dial to Normal Wash. And that’s that.

“Now, of course, that’s just rags; we don’t care about rags. If it’s whites—here, bring that basket of towels over to this one here—if it’s whites, we bleach them too. See, here’s an extra spout that you can pour bleach into, and that’ll keep the towels nice and bright. Oh, and don’t forget to set the dial to Soft Wash for the uniforms; they’re delicate so—“

“Sakuya?” I interrupted imploringly, making her trail off mid-setence. “Sakuya, look, I… You know I’m just going to forget all this if you tell it to me; I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”

She stood there just sort-of frozen, one hand on the Setting dial and the other gripping a towel. Those midnight blue eyes of hers just sort of looked at me blankly, a bewildered look on her youthful face. “Oh, wh-what? But, aren’t I supposed to… tell you how it’s done?”

I tried to put a grin on my face as I rubbed my forehead. “It’s not that, Sakuya, it’s just… It’s a fairy thing. When you talk too fast, you’re just speaking a different language. It’s like trying to understand Flandre, you know?”

“Oh… Yes, I, I forgot about that… You girls always seem to put such a bright face on it most of the time…”

“Well, we like to be polite, too. But can you just… Can I just ask the questions when I need help?”

Sakuya began blushing, turning away to try and hide her embarrasement. “Of course, of course; I’m sorry. I just… I’m always working so fast, my mind never likes to stop. I’ll, uhh, I’ll be working over here, then; the Mistress wanted some of her dresses ironed out, anyways.”

She blinked away to snatch the aforementioned dresses and set up a large ironing board not too far away from me. I sighed at the whole matter and just started switching out the washed clothes for the dirty ones. Didn’t look like it was going to take all day to me, and if all I was doing was just waiting around for the machines to finish, it looked like I’d have plenty of time to myself. Or time between myself and Sakuya, for that matter.



Here’s some choices. Vote for some, vote for all, write-in more, I don’t care; it’s more fun than watching clothes dry.

[ ] “You said you’ll be teaching me stuff. What’ll we be doing?”
[ ] “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
[ ] “What’s the deal with Mrs. Natasha?”
[ ] “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
[ ] “China said you and her were friends, but… Well, I was just wondering what you thought.”
[ ] “China said you knew how to play Mahjong from back in Japan.”
[ ] “So, umm… How long have you been here?”
[ ] “Time-stopping must be hard, huh?”
>> No. 38590
File 127587448876.jpg - (130.08KB , 800x540 , fallout too (because really why not).jpg ) [iqdb]
38590
[X] “China said you knew how to play Mahjong from back in Japan.”
[X] “Time-stopping must be hard, huh?”
[X] “You said you’ll be teaching me stuff. What’ll we be doing?”
[X] “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
[X] “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”

Beaking the ice first, then the interesting questions. Mahjong question first because
I can't stop imagining the SDM crew drawn in Akagi style.
>> No. 38591
File 127587584251.jpg - (511.41KB , 800x741 , relevanttothisstory.jpg ) [iqdb]
38591
>>38590

But... that's not even a winning hand.
>> No. 38592
[x] “You said you’ll be teaching me stuff. What’ll we be doing?”
[x] “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
[x] “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
[x] “China said you knew how to play Mahjong from back in Japan.”
[x] “So, umm… How long have you been here?”
[x] “Time-stopping must be hard, huh?”

Skipping the third because it seems redundant and the fifth because Meiling and Sakuya are definitely friends.
>> No. 38593
[x] “You said you’ll be teaching me stuff. What’ll we be doing?”
[x] “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
[x] “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
[x] “China said you knew how to play Mahjong from back in Japan.”
[x] “So, umm… How long have you been here?”
[x] “Time-stopping must be hard, huh?”
>> No. 38595
[B] “You said you’ll be teaching me stuff. What’ll we be doing?”
[B] “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
[B] “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
[B] “China said you knew how to play Mahjong from back in Japan.”
[B] “So, umm… How long have you been here?”
[B] “Time-stopping must be hard, huh?”
>> No. 38597
[x] “You said you’ll be teaching me stuff. What’ll we be doing?”
[x] “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
[x] “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
[x] “China said you knew how to play Mahjong from back in Japan.”
[x] “So, umm… How long have you been here?”
[x] “Time-stopping must be hard, huh?”

Living two days in one is hard on the nerves.
>> No. 38598
[x] “You said you’ll be teaching me stuff. What’ll we be doing?”
[x] “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
[x] “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
[x] “China said you knew how to play Mahjong from back in Japan.”
[x] “So, umm… How long have you been here?”
[x] “Time-stopping must be hard, huh?”
>> No. 38620
5 votes for some stuff
1 vote for some other stuff

Writing some stuff now, then. I hope you don't mind if I reorder them a bit to make the conversation flow better. Since it's been a while since I've written a lot of my Sakuya, and since it contains some border-skirting on her backstory, I might not get it done tonight. We'll see, though.

By the way, I watched Deep Blue Sea today for the fun of it, and it actually turned out to be less of a bad movie than I thought. Good thing it didn't win, I guess.
>> No. 38622
[x] “You said you’ll be teaching me stuff. What’ll we be doing?”
[x] “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
[x] “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
[x] “China said you knew how to play Mahjong from back in Japan.”
[x] “So, umm… How long have you been here?”
[x] “Time-stopping must be hard, huh?”
>> No. 38623
File 127596085421.jpg - (262.06KB , 700x679 , 1255624.jpg ) [iqdb]
38623
>>38620
>and it actually turned out to be less of a bad movie than I thought.

That's awesome. Deep Blue is a guilty pleasure of mine. Maybe it's because of Sammy J and LL Cool, maybe it's the somewhat plausible pseudo-science that forms the basis of the story, maybe I just think sharks are cool, but for some reason I enjoy the movie. Actually, I just love how ridiculous the helicopter crash was and the absurdity of what they do to the dude on the stretcher.

Anyway, looking forward to more perfectly elegant ditzy fun Sakuya (second in my heart only after wise sage China).
>> No. 38642
Well, I took a longer break than I’d intended to, but I’m better for it; I caught a brainstorm while working in the yard today, and it’ll make Sakuya a much stronger character in the long run, I think. Like I said, I’m trying to remember exactly how I wanted her to feel, and characterization is key in this story. I’ll have the update out in a few hours.

>>38623
That pseudo-science was way to “pseudo” to be science, but it makes up for it with copious amounts of the more-mainstream SCIENCE! we all know and love. Sam Jack and LL Cool made that movie three times better than it would have been.

Ditzy fun Sakuya is always fun, if not always quite so ditzy.
>> No. 38643
>>38642
Better than the "Perfect Elegant" Ice Queen fanon's prone to pumping out. I do suspect that's a joke on Remilia's part.
>> No. 38644
>>38643
A more pertinent inside joke than you might realize; that's part of the aforementioned brainstorm I just had. Shutting up now.

Also cutting the update off short tonight. Justified reason is because I don't want Fran to push too hard if that's not your intent. Unjustified reason is because I'm lazy and want to watch a movie instead.

*************************************************

“You know… we never get to talk much, do we?” I asked rhetorically, putting a lump of wet clothes into a nearby basket. “I feel like that’s my fault somehow.”

She shrugged. “Well, I don’t really think it’s anyone’s fault, it’s just… Well, you’ve been busy with Ms. Knowledge, and I’m always busy, so there you go. And you didn’t really have much need to talk to me before, did you?”

“Not really, but that’s no one’s fault either.”

“Touché. Well, I’m here, you’re here… Let’s talk.”

“Are you sure? I mean, I don’t want to be nosey or anything…” I looked into the washer for a while, remembering the several times China had told me Sakuya liked to play things pretty close to the vest. She was no calculative Patchouli or spurnful Natasha, but still… her spirited-yet-spacy attitude had its own pitfalls, I supposed.

“No, don’t worry about it. It’s nice to hear other people’s voices. I spend so much time by myself, after all… it gets so quiet sometimes…” She trailed off, and like me stared into her ironing board.

“Time-travelling must be hard, huh?” I commented. “Or, time-stopping, rather.”

She sighed. “It’s… an adjustment. It’s not just like snapping your fingers and everything you’ve been worrying about just freezes; that’s the easy part.”

“I don’t understand.”

She sighed again and set her iron down, thinking. “It’s like… Awwhh, it’s so hard to explain. I’ve just… I’ve lived my whole life like this, you know, poking at the fabric of time and space or whatever Ms. Patchouli wants to call it. Slowing down time isn’t any harder than breathing for me, it’s just… how it is. Stopping it took a little practice, yes, but what doesn’t? Of course, then you have to get used to things like pulling other stuff into the time-stop with you, and don’t even get me started on things like gravity, but… I just, it’s hard to explain, and I’m no good at it.”

I nodded, trying to focus on measuring detergent and her at the same time. I spilled a little over the edge of the cup; good thing I’d held it over the machine. “It certainly sounds hard to me, Sakuya.”

“But you know what the worst part is?” she asked lamentably, not really expecting an answer, and me not giving one. “The worst part is that it’s… it… oh, nevermind. I’m sure you don’t need to hear me whining.” I’d have pressed the matter gently, but I’d felt her mess with time right after she stuttered, so perhaps it was a sore subject, and not exactly the best one to start our conversation on.

“All right, all right… sorry I asked. So, uhh… you said you’ll be teaching me stuff today, right? We could talk about that.”

“Yes, we could talk about that,” she replied more cheerfully, picking up her iron again. “What do you want to know?”

“Well, uhh… what’ll we be doing, I guess?”

“Oh, this and that. I had a list all written up for us, but like I said, my PDA ran out of batteries, and I’m just hapless without it.”

I scratched my head. Always on about that device of hers, wasn’t she? “You know, you could always use paper. Paper doesn’t need batteries.”

“Oh, well, I did, but then the mansion was just full of old notes to myself; I felt like I was turning into Miss Flandre!” She giggled quietly to herself, a sentiment I’m sure we all shared. “The PDA really is convenient for putting all my notes into one neat little pile.”

“Except when it doesn’t work,” I observed, “then your convenience isn’t very convenient at all, is it?”

She stopped ironing for a few seconds and just sort of stared at me with that same spaced-out face she’d used before after I told her to stop talking. Some sort of moment of self-realization, perhaps? She time-blinked again and went back to ironing, but said nothing.

I gave her my two cents; not like she could buy much with it, though. “I just think that maybe you don’t have to use something new just because it’s new. If somethin’ causes just as many problems as it solves, why bother? Paper’s fine, and at least you know it’ll never let you down, right?”

She chewed on her lip, uncertain. “Well… that may be, but… I just never found a way to make the paper very efficient.”

“Did you ever talk to Ms. Patchouli? I bet she’d know just what to do; she’s good at that stuff!”

“Oh, I-uh-I, I could never do that! This, this is my job, and the mistress says doing it alone helps build character; God knows I need it. Besides,” she added as an afterthought, looking down again, “The doctor’s just as busy as I am; I don’t want to trouble her with my problems when she’s got her own.”

I frowned a little, though trying to puzzle out the dryer by myself didn’t help matters. It was so… sad, almost; she sounded like me! Too stressed about the little things, and yet too bashful to ask for help… but how had she not gotten any better over the years? That’s something that goes away with experience, right? At least, I hoped it did. But best not to jump to conclusions; Sakuya was complicated, after all.

“Hey, uhh, how many minutes do I set the dryer for?”

“Hmm? Oh, ninety’s a good number. Don’t forget to throw in a static sheet, too.”

“Delicate, Normal, or Heavy?”

“What’re you drying?”

“Umm, bedsheets, mostly.”

“Normal, then. Guestroom bedsheets would be Delicate, but we only change those once a year.”

“Gotchya. Say, you know… Patchouli’s not usually that busy. I mean, if she’s snippy at you then yeah, but even when she was studying she had time to tell me about little things. Things like, uhh… stuff, and… stuff.”

“Stuff?” she asked enigmatically, folding up a beautiful red and gold dress of Remilia’s.

It was my turn to blush now. “Oh, like, uhh, the names of countries, and ummm how to use a computer, and… sex…”

“Oh, I see… wait… Patchouli?” Sakuya rasied an eyebrow at me, smirking quirkily. “Since when did… seriously, Patchouli?! How the devil did you get her to tell you something like that?!”

“I… asked?”

She giggled girlishly. “Well, heh, I sure hope she didn’t sugar-coat it, for your sake; always a tricky little subject, no matter what kind of creature you are. Why’d you want to know, anyways?”

I shrugged. “I just wondered about why clothes were so important to everyone, and one thing led to another, I guess. But that’s not really a big deal; what were we talking about again?”

“Hmm… oh, yes, what I was going to do with you today. In all honesty… not much, I don’t think. Nothing that’s much different from what you’ve done before, at least; you’ve been working here for eight years, after all.”

“Have I been?” I question curiously, never quite knowing the number myself. “I never really kept track.”

She smiled pleasantly. “I don’t really either. Remilia does, though, so I checked with her this morning. Yup, eight years.”

“Mmm…” I hummed, making a mental note to remember that. “So, uhh… China told me you know how to play Mahjong.”

“Oh, caught her playing solitaire, did you?”

“I suppose. She said it’s a tricky game, but maybe we could play some day together? The tiles sure look beautiful.”

She chuckled. “Hmm, you say that now; wait until you discard into her daisangen, then tell me they’re beautiful.”

“Daisangen?”

“It’s Japanese; for Mahjong it means ‘Great Three Dragons’. It’s a very rare hand. If you get it, it’s good. If someone else gets it, it’s bad. Meiling tends to get it more often than she ought.”

Another mental note went into my brain: “Do not discard into China’s Great Three Dragons”. Hopefully by the time I sat down to play I’d remember what in the world that meant. And then I’d probably be so focused on that I’d just lose even worse a different way.

“I’ll keep that in mind, Miss Sakuya,” I replied, starting yet another dryer; washing clothes this way was actually pretty boring once I’d gotten the hang of it. “Will you teach me how to play good some day?”

“Play well, actually. And yes, I certainly will. So long as you promise to be on my side of the great Japanese rules vs. Chinese rules debate, okay?”

I rolled my eyes, smirking. “Well… I wouldn’t want to promise that; I want you both to be happy!” That got a good laugh out of her, which just sort of made me laugh too. Though, I just hoped she wasn’t laughing because what I’d suggested couldn’t ever happen.

“China told me you came from Japan, by the way…” I added softly, testing the waters on another potentially touchy subject.

A time stop came out of the blue, and I could hear her taking deep breaths after the interval was over. “Yes… Yes, I’d expect the conversation would have shifted that way with you if you two were talking about Mahjong. It’s only natural…”

I edged along cautiously, remembering that China had said this was a sore subject for her. “I’m not trying to make you uncomfortable or anything, Sakuya, I’m just… trying to talk about things to pass the time, you know?”

Another time stop; I really wish I knew how long she was taking between the magical freezing and thawing of the world. She spoke calmly, even though I could tell she was edging along just as cautiously as I was. “No, I, I understand. I know you’re curious, fairies always are, and you’re the kind of fairy who loves that question of ‘why?’, aren’t you?”

I nodded without responding outright to the question. “So, uhh… do you mind if I ask what Japan was like?”

“Japan was…” She Stopped again, this time her eyes a little red as if she’d just gotten over crying. “Japan was a long time ago… It’s not something I remember very well. I was young back then, and it’s been almost, ohh… hundred-seventy-some years now, I guess. It’d take a while.”

“Sakuya, you…” I hesitated, wondering if what I was about to say should be said at all. It wasn’t that big of an assumption, but… what if it was wrong? It’d be just like all those movies where the lady asks the other lady if she’s pregnant when she’s really just fat, and then there’s that really awkward silence with the blank look and the angry stare…

Sakuya wasn’t pregnant, though. Probably.

“Sakuya, you know… You, don’t have to lie to me. I know Japan is touchy; China told me. If you don’t want to talk about it, just say you don’t. Just say… ‘Hey, Francesca? Shut up.’ Miss Flandre told me once that it’s real easy to say. Well, easy for her maybe—“

“Hey Francesca?”

“Shut up?”

“Yes, that.”

We both shared an uneasy smile, but I was pretty sure there was no harm done. In the few minutes of silence that followed I finished up loading the laundry into their respective washers and dryers, giving myself a satisfactory nod as I surveyed the “army” of obedient machines. I was glad simple things like these didn’t cry or hide secrets or have issues with self-esteem. They did one job, and they did it without having to worry about anything else. A bleak existence, perhaps, but they knew their place in the world.

[ ] I figured it wasn’t really worth it to press my luck with more touchy questions; if Sakuya wanted to talk about them, she’d do it.
[ ] I still had (one/more than one) question left for the head maid, and it looked like she wasn’t quite done with her ironing just yet.
--( ) “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
--( ) “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
--( ) Something else you want to add now?
>> No. 38647
[x] I figured it wasn’t really worth it to press my luck with more touchy questions; if Sakuya wanted to talk about them, she’d do it.
>> No. 38648
[x] I still had (one/more than one) question left for the head maid, and it looked like she wasn’t quite done with her ironing just yet.
--(x) “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
--(x) “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”

Finishing off the rest of the questions. Nothing more about Sakuya's past though.
>> No. 38650
>>38647
You forget that this Sakuya is something of an airhead.

[x] I still had (one/more than one) question left for the head maid, and it looked like she wasn’t quite done with her ironing just yet.
--(x) “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
--(x) “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
>> No. 38652
[x] I still had (one/more than one) question left for the head maid, and it looked like she wasn’t quite done with her ironing just yet.
--(x) “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
--(x) “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”

Consistent updates really make my day.
>> No. 38660
[x] I still had (one/more than one) question left for the head maid, and it looked like she wasn’t quite done with her ironing just yet.
--(x) “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
--(x) “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
>> No. 38661
[X] I still had more than one question left for the head maid, and it looked like she wasn’t quite done with her ironing just yet.
--(X) “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
--(X) “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”

I can see this potentially triggering another little nervous breakdown like the one she had with Meiling, but I want to know.
>> No. 38664
File 127608493125.jpg - (366.49KB , 1024x768 , 75f2d6e660ed6b4aaf896ebb94f22f71.jpg ) [iqdb]
38664
This hurt my heart.

[x] I still had (one/more than one) question left for the head maid, and it looked like she wasn’t quite done with her ironing just yet.
--(x) “How has Miss Remilia been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”
--(x) “Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing right after she was captured?”
>> No. 38667
6 for more questions
1 for no more questions

Yeah, pretty much expected this, but can't blame me for trying. Writing cute things at some point that is earlier than 9 PM EST like I usually do.

>>38652
I'm inclined to say "lol consistent", but then I realized even if I slack off and only update every other day that's still better than a lot of the other stories here. Isn't it sad?

>>38664
And that picture hurt mine.
>> No. 38670
File 127610131672.png - (330.74KB , 768x1074 , a350e0314dd6b15bad17d79d6dcac108.png ) [iqdb]
38670
>I was glad simple things like these didn’t cry or hide secrets or have issues with self-esteem. They did one job, and they did it without having to worry about anything else.
>> No. 38672
File 12761150589.jpg - (127.26KB , 467x641 , why don't you ever visit me?.jpg ) [iqdb]
38672
>>38670

Why u do this? Now the only thing I can think about is lonely washing-machine youkai moe.

;_;
>> No. 38673
The pause in our conversation seemed to have cooled the mood back down again, and it looked like Sakuya wasn’t quite done with her ironing just yet, so I tested the waters once more. Really, I knew I was being too paranoid about all this; everyone in the mansion was really just one big family anyways, and it’s not like anyone really tried to keep secrets from anyone else. It just seemed like a sort of “We’ll tell you but only if you ask us” system, and for a girl like me there always seemed to be plenty to ask about.

“So, hey, Sakuya? Whatever happened with the whole Mrs. Natasha thing the night was captured?”

“Pssh; oh, that,” she replied, shaking her head bemusedly. “That’s nothing but a bad joke now, I suppose, those kinds that hurt your funny bone just listening to them. Remilia might have a twisted sense of humor after her fancy, but it’s not quite that dry yet.”

I screwed up my face, sitting myself on top of a dryer. Didn’t exactly liked how it wouldn’t stand still, but there was a certain niceness to the vibrating hum. “I don’t understand. It didn’t seem like a joke back when it happened.”

“Oh, well, not then, obviously, but it is in hindsight.”

“Do you mind if I asked just what happened?”

She sighed, tapping her fingers across the length of the iron. “Well, ahh… it’s really just a string of good-luck-bad-luck, I suppose. Vampire hunter infiltrates the mansion and tries to kill the mistress. So like, oh, that’s bad! The Mistress likes her ego being stroked and is flattered that someone cares enough to kill her. So like, oh, that’s good! Vampire hunter is a rude little prick that won’t cooperate once caught. So like, wait, that’s bad! The Mistress locks her up and has all the time in the world to butter her up. So like, ahh, that’s good! Vampire hunter escapes, somehow…” Sakuya trailed off for a second or two, ground her teeth, then flickered her little time-switch off and on again. “So oh no, that’s bad! Brave little girls we’re so lucky to have with us catch her and bring her back.” She smiled at be cheerfully, bringing my blush back again.

“That’s… that’s good, right?” I asked her.

The maid nodded. “That’s good. Mistress yells at everyone everywhere for letting her escape, not catching her sooner, being airheads, disrespecting her blood, you know, mean things like that.”

“Oh, well, that’s bad!”

“Ms. Patchouli and this cute girl I sorta know go into her room the next day and get her talking, which the mistress wasn’t ever able to do.”

The blush refused to go away. “That’s, heh, that’s pretty good, I guess.”

“Then Ms. Patchouli starts crying, Mrs. Natasha starts crying, everyone runs away all sad and depressed.”

“Ohhh, yeah… that was bad.”

“So then the cute girl talks to China—that’s good—then China tells me sad things—that’s bad—but China makes me feel better—that’s good—and then we both go together to talk to Miss Remilia.”

“Umm…”

“That’s bad.”

“Oh… how bad?”

She thought about that one for a bit, looking at her two index fingers as she tried to gauge how bad “bad” actually was. In the end she held them up about a hand’s span away and replied, “Ehh, ‘bout this bad, maybe?”

“Oh, okay. I mean, that’s not that bad. I mean, it could have been this bad!”

“No, no, you mean it could have been this bad!”

“Hey, no fair, my arms aren’t that long, Sakuya!”

“Long enough for me to do this~” In a flash she was kneeing right behind me, tickling my armpits with childish glee.

“Ahh, ack, Sakkiieeheeheehee~!” I squealed, too busy squirming from her playful assault to try and slink away. “Nohoho faaair~! Tha-ha-ha-hat’s cheeheeheeheeating!”

“All’s fair in loving war, little miss Fran; didn’t Ms. Patchy teach you that~?”

“Heee, ahhnnn, it’s love and war!”

She kept at her little game for close on to a minute, somehow ending us both underneath one of the folding tables and full of residual giggles. It was a presently different side of her I hadn’t had a chance to see, really; she’d always been the hard-working scatterbrained-supervisor type to me. Maybe she just needed to talk to people more? It eased my heart to see her messing around like that; it’s not something I thought Patchouli or even China would have done. I really didn’t care that she wasn’t an elegant boss like Remilia was; she was our boss, and our boss needed to know how to reach out to the little people. What better way than acting like a child again?

“Haahhhnn, thanks, kid,” she sighed happily, straightening her hair back behind her ears again as she rolled into a sitting position. “I needed that.”

“Always happy to help, Sakuya. You know, you really shouldn’t work so hard so much; your brain’ll go crazy! Even Patchouli knows that you gotta take a break and rest sometimes.”

“I know, I know… I take plenty of breaks, don’t worry. I’ve got all the time in the world to rest, you know.”

I frowned. “Well, yeah, but… it doesn’t feel like it’s helping much. Maybe you should take more real breaks, like in the real world with real people, yeah? Stopping time all day can’t be very healthy. Maybe it’s like… uhh, you know… like gettin’ knocked unconscious. I mean, yeah, you’re sleeping, but it doesn’t feel very good. Does that make any sense?”

She tussled my hair playfully. “More sense than you’d expect, Francine. Remi wouldn’t like it, but I’ll think about it. Come on, let’s get you up.”

She pulled my hand up and returned us both to the world of not-under-the-table. I brushed a few pieces of gravelly dirt my skirt had picked up back onto the ground and wiggled my toes back into my left shoe. “So… what happened with Remilia, then?”

“Ahh, the same thing that always happens, I guess. We told her the bad news, she got all hostile and shouted words that you wouldn’t understand. Natasha was sort of… the end of a dream for her, really. She’d always wished that there were still vampires and vampire slayers out there, like back in the old days before she was even born. She wants to be important, like I’m sure you know; she just wants attention, even negative attention. Because… ahhh, I don’t know, because maybe it means she’s still alive, that she still means something to the world… I guess. So maybe our Natasha Herod means her wish didn’t come true, even though if sorta did.”

“Ohh… that’s bad.”

She nodded, staring at the other dryers for some unknown reason. “Yeah… that’s bad.”

“So, why’s Mrs. Herod still sticking around here, then?” I wondered out loud.

Sakuya shrugged again as she threaded Remilia’s freshly-ironed dresses onto coat hangers. “Oh, our mistress’s being stubborn, maybe. Doesn’t want to let go of the ‘last vampire hunter’ or something. Sad, really; the woman seems like she’s got a good heart, even if she doesn’t like any of us. I’d let her go myself, but… well, I’d never hear the end of that, as you’d expect. She wants her treated like an honored guest on a tight leash. Not sure how that’s supposed to work myself, but I just follow orders.”

“Yeah… gotta follow Miss Remi’s rules, I s’pose.”

“Unfortunately. One moment; need to take care of a few things.” She disappeared for the moment, giving me a chance to stack up all the laundry baskets and put them into the corner for now. It was spooky, really, going from being with people to being all alone in the blink of an eye. I couldn’t imagine what it must be like for the maid herself, living half her time in a world with no movement, no noise, and no life at all except herself.

“Speaking of, uhh, Miss Remi,” I continued once Sakuya had returned, “how’s she been taking the whole devil-summoning thing?”

The silver-haired maid winced, and not exactly playfully. “Ehhck… not good. I wasn’t there, but, I heard that creature said some pretty awful things?”

“Got all hostile and shouted words that I wouldn’t understand,” I replied, mimicking my superior.

“Yeah, that.” She folded her arms together and tapped her fingers concernedly on them. “See, the mistress is perfectly fine with dirty little jokes—I’d tell you stories, but I’d just feel horrible poisoning your mind with them—but anyways, if she even suspects that someone’s being serious with lewd insults like that, it’s like an act of war to her. She won’t accept it from her own sister of all people; her honor is serious business. Plus you remember how she, uhh… how she got the… the first time Ms. Knowledge tried something like that.” Sakuya rubbed her shins reflexively.

I observed a moment of silence for the “serious business” before chiming in again; I hadn’t exactly forgotten that I’d more or less laughed at Sakuya back then. “Yeah, I… I know. But, uhh, listen, the devil-person’s doing a lot better know, and I think Patchouli found out how to make it behave. Maybe she should give it a second chance today.”

“No kidding, huh? Well, I’ll believe it when I see it. Not, uhh, not like I’ve had much experience with devils anyways, so I’m not really sure what I’ll be seeing.”

“A little girl with pretty red hair, wings on her head, and really big boobs.”

She squinted at me skeptically. “I… don’t think I want to believe that.”

I shrugged and tried to play along for the fun of it. “Okay, I lied, it’s actually a big smoky monster with three arms, a scythey tail, and really small boobs.”

“You’ve… been hanging around Flandre too much, haven’t you?”

“It’s… kinda my job, you know.”

“Well, my job is to sweat the small stuff so Remilia doesn’t have to.” She took out her silvery pocketwatch to check the time. Whatever time it was (Lunch time? Cleaning time? Game time?), she nodded at the watch and put it back in her pocket.

“That’s a nice watch, by the way” I commented, always enjoying old technology. “I like it. Is it special or something?”

“Special in its own way, I guess. It keeps good time; can’t fault it for that. It’s eleven-thirty, by the way; probably should see if Mrs. Herod wants out soon. Of course, Remilia’ll be wanting lunch soon, and I suppose I’ll need to check on this devil of yours—or Patchouli’s, whatever—not to mention the three dozen other jobs on the list, but you don’t need to worry about those now.”

[ ] “Why don’t I need to worry about them? I mean, if you teach me I could help you out!”
[ ] “I guess, personally, I wouldn’t want to keep Remilia waiting. I mean, she’s already frumpy, right?”
[ ] “You know, maybe if we can get the devil-girl on Remilia’s good side it’ll cheer her up.”
[ ] “Mrs. Natasha is a person too, I guess.”
>> No. 38674
[x] “Why don’t I need to worry about them? I mean, if you teach me I could help you out!”

A bit of help goes a long way.
>> No. 38675
[x] “I guess, personally, I wouldn’t want to keep Remilia waiting. I mean, she’s already frumpy, right?”
>> No. 38676
[X] “Why don’t I need to worry about them? I mean, if you teach me I could help you out!”

>[ ] “You know, maybe if we can get the devil-girl on Remilia’s good side it’ll cheer her up.”
I can't see this ending in anything but more profanity and kicked shins. I would go for it just to watch it fail hilariously, if not for the fact that Sakuya would probably take the brunt of Remi's resulting anger.
>> No. 38677
File 12761184303.jpg - (1.68MB , 1600x1200 , 25321a1ac6953762e21a0ca778022a5a06871619.jpg ) [iqdb]
38677
>I mean, she’s already frumpy, right?”
So want to see Sakuya's reaction to describing Remi as "Frumpy", but

[X] “Why don’t I need to worry about them? I mean, if you teach me I could help you out!”
Do want to help out.

It seems rather too early to expect the big-boobed, three-armed scythey lady to act civil around Remi, even if she's had some manners beaten into her.
>> No. 38678
>>38673

[x] “Why don’t I need to worry about them? I mean, if you teach me I could help you out!”

THIS IS THE BEST SAKUYA
>> No. 38679
[x] “You know, maybe if we can get the devil-girl on Remilia’s good side it’ll cheer her up.”
>> No. 38680
>>38678
I agree. She's kind because that's the most effective way to treat fairy underlings... but also because she actually is.

[x] “I guess, personally, I wouldn’t want to keep Remilia waiting. I mean, she’s already frumpy, right?”
>> No. 38682
File 127613471497.jpg - (89.76KB , 700x700 , c0daab3a6ffee5136ee777227c4445fc.jpg ) [iqdb]
38682
[x] “Why don’t I need to worry about them? I mean, if you teach me I could help you out!”
>> No. 38685
[x] “Why don’t I need to worry about them? I mean, if you teach me I could help you out!”

You need some drywall blasted or some ankles shivved, we're your girl.
>> No. 38725
File 127620693546.jpg - (567.24KB , 500x412 , oh no.jpg ) [iqdb]
38725
6 for helping out
2 for making Remi's lunch
1 for pitting devil against devil

Wrote half the update this morning when my internet went down; writing the rest now.

>>38676
How I would have loved to write the hilarious failing, though it wouldn't have failed as badly as you'd have thought. But Sakuya needs a helping hand too.

>>38678
THANK YOU; I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE YELLING ABOUT.

>>38682
Monica! Why did you dye your hair, and where did you find that giant coffee pot~?

>>38685
>drywall blasted
Just as long as you patch it back up when you're done. Picture related?
>> No. 38748
“Why don’t I need to worry about them? I mean, if you teach me I could help you out! Many hands make light work, right? Haven’t you been saying you’re always so busy?”

“Oh, well, yes I am, but that’s normal,” she answered, growing slightly defensive. “I mean, I’m used to it; you’re not. They’re not hard jobs at all.”

I pushed onwards despite the fact; I knew I’d get nowhere with her if I tried to be as polite as she was. “But they are jobs, aren’t they? DIdn’t you say before that stopping time doesn’t make the work get done any faster? And no offense, Miss Sakuya, but you never really answered my question before. What were you planning on teaching me today?”

“Well… uhh, th-things,” she stuttered, rubbing her neck bashfully.

“Things like the things you just told me not to worry about?”

“Umm, no, not exactly those things. I mean, like them, but little girls like you don’t need to worry about boring stuff like that…”

“Sakuya.” I stood up to my full height, for the little bit it was worth, and put my hands on my hips in an attempt to look authoritative. “I’m not a little girl anymore. I know how to tie my own shoes and make my own bed. I know what death feels like, and I know what it’s like to wish you were dead. I know where babies come from, and I know the meaning of the word ‘fuck’. I think I can handle some of your chores.”

There she went again, sharing at me with those glassy unresponsive eyes. Was she even listening to me? I waved my hand in front of her face to make sure; okay, she batted it away. She was fine. Sort of.

“You… You know what fuck means…?” she asked in a daze.

“Patchouli. That devil’d used it a few times, so she told me what it meant.”

“Oh… ‘Kay. If you’re sure—“

“Sakuya,” I interrupted, rolling my eyes. “Just tell me what to do.”

She sighed, blinked away time again, and resentfully held out a piece of paper with a bulleted list. “Well, all right, customer knows best. Keep up with me; I don’t have much time left for you, so we’ll just start with some of the basement chores for now.”

And off we went. Sakuya moved like a woman with a purpose, charting a straight line from one job to the next. The balls in the gymnasium needed to be filled up until they were nice and bouncy; the bicycle pump was in the cupboard. The floor in there needed to be dust-mopped; couldn’t forget to clean the big duster when I was finished. Check for scuff marks on the walls and floors too; she showed me where the cleaner was in the laundry room. The armory was a mess after rummaging around it last night for weapons; had to make sure everything was hanging in its proper place. The furnace room was getting pretty dusty, but don’t fool with Patchouli’s magic machines unless she’s there with you. The railing going down to Flandre’s room could be scrubbed and polished with brass cleaner; I knew where to find a flashlight if it was too dark to see. Don’t forget to take the laundry out of the washers and dryers; fold the dry stuff and sort it, too. Here’s a pager for me; don’t call for her unless you get really stuck.

“Is that enough teaching for you, Miss Friday?” she asked me as she cracked her knuckles, waiting for the lift.

“Well, less teaching and more doing, but that’s how us fairies like it.”

“Good to know. I’ll be upstairs, then; good luck!” She patted me on the shoulder and shut the lift door, watching me disappear as she raised higher and higher to the floor above. A very nice lady, Sakuya; just someone who reached a little too far, I thought.

I figured that the best way to help Sakuya was to first do the things that were easy but took a long time: dusting and polishing, age-old staples of mine. For a while I wondered why another one of the fairies couldn’t do simple jobs like this, but I figured that after all there was a lot to do around the mansion, and we did tend to get distracted a lot. Plus Remilia would be Remilia. But did she even use the gymnasium or furnace room?

I needn’t try to regale you with over-glorified retellings of sweeping cobwebs out of dark corners and running a dust mop over a gym floor. Trust me; I’d last about thirty seconds before just giving up with all the gilded imagery and violet prose or whatever color it’s supposed to be. Flandre could go on for hours about it, but fortunately for me I’ve lasted this long without managing to turn into her.

The furnace room was a rather interesting experience, though; I’d never been in there before. I suppose it looked just like any other furnace room should, with boilers and giant riveted metal columns and things that looked important, but the feel of the place… It positively reeked of magic. I wasn’t sure exactly what kind, but I could guess. Patchouli’d mentioned the night before about all the mansion’s power being drawn from Lady Flandre’s spare energy crystals, or something like that. Those “magic machines” probably harvested the energy somehow, converted it back into nice little bottles of lighting so Flandre could play her video games and Sakuya could charge the batteries on her PDA. I could see why I wasn’t supposed to mess with them; blowing up the house wasn’t really my job.

I’d grown used to the spiral stair down to Flandre’s room by then, but it was still spooky. Just one old chandelier at the top of the stairwell cast strange shadows on the rough stone walls, and it always felt even colder than usual in there. You’d think that Flandre would have had someone at least slap a coat of white paint on the walls in over two hundred years, but who knew, perhaps she liked being the scary monster at the bottom of the spooky cave. The brass railing was crusted with old brown age and grimy dust; I barely would have known that it was brass if Sakuya hadn’t told me. With soapy bucket and scrub brush in hand I got to work going over the whole thing with the normal cleaning stuff before I worried about the bras polish.

It was going quite well—I was maybe halfway down to the bottom—when the familiar sound of Flandre’s squeaky door broke me out of my cocoon of inner thought. Blue plaid lounge pants and so-called “wife beater” aside (I’d feel very sorry for a theoretical wife of Flandre) she moved with a purpose and barely even acknowledged my presence.

“Oh, good morni—“ I started before getting cut off.

“I’m a figment of your imagination; talking to me only proves that you’re insane.”

“Ooooo… kay?”

She darted up the stairs without another word, making me of course a little curious as to her errand. Then again, perhaps she was a figment of my imagination after all. I went back to scrubbing for a few seconds before realizing that Flandre was supposed to have an escort if she was leaving the room, wasn’t she?

“Flandre, wait, come-come back here! You’re not s’possed tah’ leave”

I could hear Monica’s worried voice emanate from the door below, and I looked over the railing, hoping to see her face looking back up at mine. I didn’t get her face, though; I got Flandre’s as, she… darted up the stairs again…? I looked up at the open door above me, and then at Flandre coming up the stairs from below. Had she just flown back down to the ground to mess with me? There was certainly little enough light to pull such a trick off.

“Did, you just—“ I started before getting cut off again.

“Ssshhhh… Be vvveeewwy, vveewey qwwiet. Eye’m hunting wwabbits.”

“Ooooo… kay?”

And then she was gone again like she’d gone not ten seconds before. Classic Flandre, through and through. I remembered one Friday when she was fully convinced that I hadn’t shown up for work that day and spent the next fifteen hours completely ignoring me. That… was a very odd day. I learned some interesting things about Flandre that day. To date I still don’t know if she was being serious or not.

Wait… her pants weren’t green before…

Monica continued to peal. “Flandre, whah, what are you doing?! Ahhh, this doesn’t make any seeeense!”

Flandre darted up the stairs from below, breaking me out of the cocoon of my inner thought. Brown plaid lounge pants and so-called “wife beater” aside (I’d feel very sorry for a theoretical wife of Flandre) she moved with a purpose and barely even acknowledged my presence.

“You, n-no… you were just—“ I started before getting cut off again.

“I don’t remember askin’ you a god-damn thing!”

“Ooooo… kay?”

No… This, made, no, sense. She’d gone up the stairs… gone up the stairs again… up the stairs again… different-colored pants… What, was…?

“F-Francey!”

“M-Monica!”

We stared at each other from three meters away, my body not really working in exactly the way I’d wanted it to. My tongue wasn’t cooperation very well now either. “I, s-s-saw… what, was… thh, thh…three…?!

“She’s, she’s still in her room!” Monica shouted frantically back at me, pointing into the young mistress’s chambers. Her hair looked positively awful, sticking out unevenly on all sides like static electricity that couldn’t make up its mind. “Th-there’s… th-th-three just ran, ran out and she’s still in her room!”

“What’s going on?!” I cried, knuckles white like the snow as I gripped the railing.

“I don’t know, I don’t know! She was, j-just talkin’ to herself and then th-there’s all this red dust ‘round ‘er and now there’s a whole lot more of her! Francey, what’re we s’possed to do?!”

[ ] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
[ ] “Go chase after the other three; you’re faster than I am! I’ll go down there and find out what’s going on!”
[ ] “Call somebody! Quick, call… call (insert helpful person here)!”
[ ] “Break the fourth wall! The readers will help us, right readers?!”
>> No. 38751
[X] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”


WIFE BEATERS
>> No. 38752
Flandre has learned Four of a Kind.

[X] "Bomb! The real one will turn into a bat!"
Oh wait, Fran and Monica don't have spellcards.

[X] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
Monica has problems with one Flandre, much less three.
>> No. 38753
[x] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
>> No. 38758
[X] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
[X] “Call somebody! Quick, call… call Sakuya!”
>> No. 38760
[X] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
[X] “Call somebody! Quick, call… call Sakuya!”
-[x] "Flan's made an incident of herself!"
>> No. 38765
>-[x] "Flan's made an incident of herself!"
This seems famil... oh, right.
http://dizzy.pestermom.com/?p=thcomic49
>> No. 38795
[X] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
[X] “Call somebody! Quick, call… call Sakuya!”
-[x] "Flan's made an incident of herself!"
>> No. 38798
[X] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
-[X] “Call somebody! Quick, call… call Sakuya!”
>> No. 38799
[X] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
[X] “Call somebody! Quick, call… call Sakuya!”
-[x] "Flan's made an incident of herself!"

I can't resist that line, I must say.
>> No. 38819
[beard] “Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!”
[versus] “Call somebody! Quick, call… call Sakuya!”
-[moustache] "Flan's made an incident of herself!"

Sounds like a plan.
>> No. 38824
9-vote unanimous count for going after the three, plus having Monica call Sakuya. Not exactly sure if I want to work in that extra little quote or not; out of context it makes absolutely no sense since they're not in Gensokyo, but maybe I can throw it in somehow. Writing some now, but I’ll probably end up being lazy again and not finish until tomorrow morning.

>>38752
>[X] "Bomb! The real one will turn into a bat!"
Touhouhohoho.
>> No. 38833
>Writing some now

Hooray!
>> No. 38851
“Stay there! Monica, you stay there, lock the lock, ask… the, the Flandre in there what’s going on! I’ll find the other three!” After a brief pause I added, “And go call somebody! Call, uhh, call Sakuya!”

“Are you gonna be all right?” she asked frantically.

“Fine, fine, just… don’t worry are let’s figure this out quick before something bad happens!”

She nodded her head and dashed back inside as I flew up the stairs. Four Flandres… but, it wasn’t… how? She wasn’t a fairy, and even Thérèse couldn’t manage that. It shouldn’t be possible… vampires couldn’t do that… could they? A new wash of panic came over me as I realized just how little I actually knew about what those creatures could do, my mind poisoned with too much popular culture. I felt a subconscious flash to that not-a-dream with rows upon rows of them all wearing something different… that wasn’t, supposed to come true, was it? Four was more than enough; one was more than enough!

Breaking out into the basement hallways, my mind breathed a very small sigh of relief as I realized that “Flandre”—or perhaps the Flandres—didn’t seem to be attempting any sort of escape; in fact that appeared to be preventing it. The brown-panted copy had slammed the door to the first floor shut and was guarding it with her life, the blue one had done the same with the door to the library, and the green one was pacing back and forth in front of the elevator, essentially sealing all exits to or from the entire basement. A few of my cousins that were unlucky enough to be wandering around the hallways quickly darted into the nearest room they could find, whether those were their quarters or not.

With the hallways’ better light I noted one or two odd differences about “them”. For one they looked noticeably shorter than normal; almost as small as Monica herself. For another, none of them had “the wings”, the only real thing separating Flandre from being mistaken from just another girl (red eyes notwithstanding). But whether they were illusions, vampire magic, living dolls, ghosts, or some horrible part of my brain going completely mad, in every other way they were Flandre through and through.

“Lift’s clean, unless she already got out,” the green one mumbled to herself as I peeked around the corner at her. “Wouldn’t put it past her, she’s slippery. Fish out of water, never at home because home’s where the heart isn’t. Flandre, you see her go into the lift?”

“Shut up; I can’t listen if you don’t shut up!” Miss Brown snapped back.

Another voice I assumed was Miss Blue shouted from the other half of the basement. “You both shut up; she’ll hear us!”

“She can hear us whether we talk or not, little girl, what’s it even matter?”

“But I’m older than you…”

“Oohh, by three seconds, amazements!”

“People die in less than three seconds, you know—“

“I DO KNOW! Why the bloody, bloody hell would you possibly think I don’t know?!”

“Blood tastes like metal, and salt. Both of those come from rocks. Rocks to ashes, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”

“Oh go suck on Patches’ neck why don’t you?”

“You know, like, the last time we tried that she was in bed for two—“

“THERE IS NO WE! God, I’m schizophrenic enough without having to refer to myself in the third person! It’s undignified!”

“We are not amused!”

“Can we all just shut the hell up, please?”

“I’m not even going to attempt to calculate how long ago I was European royalty.”

“Four hundred seventy-nine years, six months, twenty-one days, if you count today.”

“…we were keeping track of that…?”

“Well, I was. Not so sure about you.”

“Touché.”

In the midst of the mayhem I approached Miss Brown Plaid, trying to get a word in edgewise. What was taking Monica so long? Shouldn’t Sakuya have been here by now?

“Umm… are you, Flandre, Flandre?” I asked, rather weirded out by the fact that I now had to look down at her to see into her eyes.

She gave me a quirky, tilting-headed look. “That’s a possibility. I think can think of some others.”

“I am not Flandre?” Miss Green suggested.

“I am twenty-five percent of Flandre?” the unseen Miss Blue added.

“I am, therefore I think?” Miss Green postured again.

“I am a liar for assuming that I’m even capable of philosophical thought?”

“I am!

“I am what?

”I, AM, IRON, MAN!”

“I’m Batman.”

I’m Batman!”

“I’m Spartacus!”

I’m Spartacus!”

“I am Spartacus!”

“I am Spart—“

“Spartacus!”

“Spartacus am I!”

“I, am, Spartacus!”

The halls rang with the joyful shouts of the three of her, proclaiming to absolutely no one who cared that “I am Spartacus.” If they/she meant to be sneaky in… well, whatever it was they/she had planned, they/she certainly wasn’t doing a very good job. Weren’t. One of those; my head was pounding enough from Flandre’s shouting and Flandres in general without having to worry about theoretical grammar.

“Okay, okay, I get it, you’re Flandre!” I shouted over their proclamations, trying desperately to make myself heard so they’d quiet down.

”You’re not Flandre, I am!”

“No, I’m Spartacus!”

”I’m Spartacus!”

“For the first time, you are not Spartacus! No one knows who Spartacus is; that’s the whole point! And why am I ignoring the little Fran-doll like this?”

I looked behind me and found the fourth Flandre walking out of the stairwell, sounding none too happy with the other hers. Interesting that the “base” Flandre with the wings would actually have white lounge pants and a plaid wife beater. Monica was shadowing right behind her, looking none too confident.

“She… she blew up the phone!” Miss Pink cried at me, grabbing onto my wait once Miss Plaid had walked by. “She said it was s’possed to be a, a closed room or something! I tried… I really tried…”

I petted her hair soothingly, myself just happy that I had something else to focus on besides the physically-schizophrenic vampire. “Don’t worry; we’re fine. I’ve got this pager Sakuya gave me—“

“No you don’t.”

It just wasn’t fair. The very second I grabbed Sakuya’s pager out of my pocket Flandre stated at it and blew it to pieces right in my hand, covering Monica’s hair with plastic debris and sending her squealing with fear. She clutched me even tighter, probably wishing she could just crawl into my pocket herself and curl up in a little ball.

I looked at Miss Plaid, then at Miss Brown, not really sure if it was “proper” to address one or the other. “Why… Why are you doing this, mi’lady?”

“Closed room,” Miss Green answered from down the hall. “No way in, no way out.”

Miss Blue began singing a chilling little tune, still as out of sight as ever. “Ten little indian boys, went out to dine~ One choked his little self and then there were nine~…”

“And magic just screws up every closed room ever,” Plaidwings continued seriously. “You bring Sakuya down here and you’ll open up so many holes in the swiss cheese the tenth indian’ll have choked his little self on it.”

“Eight little indian boys, traveling to Devon~…”

“But why?” I asked again. “Closed off from what?”

”Her,” all four of them answered in perfect unison, a not altogether wholesome chorus to hear. ”She’s here. Now.”

“Wh-who…?” Monica asked, face still buried in my vest.

“Her”
“Kay.”
“The goddamn bitch.”
“The spy.”
“Just some lonely kid.”
“Kay kay.”
“My girlfriend.”
“Just… her.”
“The sister of my sister’s sister.”
“My conscience.”


All four spoke at the same time, giving a string of unending answers I could barely sort out. Apparently since I didn’t have a response ready within two seconds she assumed I wouldn’t give one, and kept going.

“She’s in the basement; I know she’s in the basement!”

“We’ve got her this time.”

“No way to run away except the way she always stays away aways from.”

“Less rhyming, more finding.”

“That doesn’t rhyme.”

“Half rhyme’s good enough—“

“It’s more than half.”

“Less than full!”

“You’re not helping.”

“Neither are you!

“Gaaah, shut up shut up shut up! The only reason you’re here is to block the doors; I’ll kill you all!”

“Or I could just kill you and steal the wings; does it really matter who’s who?”

“You’re not my real mother!”

“A rose a rose by any other name—“

“I am not starting that again!”

“Give me one good reason why—“

“YOU STAY BY THE BLOODY LIFT! SHE’S GOING TO ESCAPE!”

”Who?!” Monica asked desperately, as confused as I was but holding onto her composure a lot worse under the bevy of voices that assaulted our ears. “Who is she? Miss Flandre you’re, n-not making any sense!”

”She is she! What part of this do you not—“

“She’s… real, I know she’s real. Can’t… can’t prove anything—“

“You ever wonder what would happen if the voices in your head weren’t in your head?”

“Make the voices go away, make the voices—“

“Why she keeps coming back like a lost kitten—“

“I wonder what von Hartmann would say—“

“Talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity, you—“

“SHUT… UP! ALL OF YOU JUST SHUT, THE HELL, UP!!” And just like taking the needle off a record machine, there was silence. Plaidwings Flandre crouched down on the ground, holding her head in both hands and hyperventilating something awful. It was… pitiful, to watch, that littler-than-little girl who was older-than-old, literally arguing with herself and just trying to make the voices go away. To have to deal with a battle like that every minute of every day… I think I had a small taste of what living in Flandre’s shoes felt like.

Slowly, very, very slowly, Plaidwings started talking again, as she even more slowly staggered back to her feet. “She… she is… this, thing. Comes, into, my room, and… watches. Watches me, watches you, just… watches. You, can’t see her… no, no, it’s really hard… really hard to see her. She hides. Hides in… inside your head. But, but but but… We got her. She’s down, here, somewhere-somewhere. Sometimes… sometimes it’s a trick; she talks, though the walls, but not, not this time. She’s here, I know she’s here, and I… I can find her. I want to find her. She’ll let herself be found. But she doesn’t want to be found. Not… usually.”

“Is this, umm, that, that same voice from befores?” Monica queried, most likely referring to the dinner party we’d had so long ago. Personally I was surprised she’d remembered.

Plaidwings nodded. “Y-yeah, yeah… But… Can’t leave the doors open; she’ll, she sneak out. Have to pay attention… if you don’t pay attention, your attention gets played, and then poof, no more Miss Nobody. Just one, I’m just one… big basement, big cellar… How’d she get out of my room… Why’d I leave that stupid door open…?”

I looked at Monica, and she looked tearfully back at me. “What do you think?” I asked her.

She wiped her eyes and shrugged. “I, I dunno. I think maybe, she’s looking for her friend? Except, guess the friend’s invisibuhbull or some kind of somethin’. And maybe, not really her friend if she’s tryin’ to catch her.”

“Sounds about right to me, Mon’. Even though there’s way too many things wrong with all this.”

“Heh, y-yeah… But why are there four of them?”

“I have no idea right now, Monica. But I figure if I start questioning it my head’s just going to start hurting.”

“Sooooo… what do we do… now?”



[ ] “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend.”
[ ] “Well, you do whatever you think you should do. Today’s your day after all. I’ll be in the stairwell cleaning if you need me.”
[ ] “I don’t know about you, but right now I just feel like resting in Flandre’s room right now; I’m sure she’ll be fine.”
--( ) “Stay with her though, just in case. Don’t worry; I know you can do it!”
--( ) “Care to come along? Might be best to just let her work this out herself.”
[ ] “I think, just go back to Flandre’s room for now; maybe clean up that phone she broke. I’ll deal with this here.”
--( ) By “deal with this” of course I meant play along with whatever game I’d gotten caught up in.
--( ) By “deal with this” of course I meant try to calm Flandre down, get her back together, and get her back to her room as soon as possible.




Author’s Note - Huzzah! Glorious milestones! I didn’t think it was going to take this long to get to #100, but I finally made it. Important note here, I’m going to put AFT on hold for a while to write a few AFT-related shorts instead, the first of which is that Mystery Vampire Theatre Some-Thousand I’ve been so adamant about.

Once again, thanks so much for reading, and helping me get this far already!

>> No. 38852
>“We are not amused!”
>“I’m Spartacus!”
Oh, lord, I laughed hard.

>“And magic just screws up every closed room ever,”
Oh, you.

[X] “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend.”
The inmates are running the asylum; may as well go along with it. Also delicious Koishi.
>> No. 38853
[plural] “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend.”

Looking forward to the intermission.
>> No. 38856
[X] “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend.”

>”I, AM, IRON, MAN!”
I played the song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwxYmbGiVR8) immediately after reading it. Though who is scarier, Flandre or the iron man described by the song?

>>38852
>The inmates are running the asylum;
But she always was, it's just that few people noticed. And now I want to see a Batman: Scarlet Devil Mansion game.
>> No. 38857
[X] “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend.”

This update was made of awesome and epic.
>> No. 38860
[X] “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend.”

Would this imply Koishi some how found her way outside of Gensokyo? Since from what I heard it's far easier ending up in Gensokyo by accident than ending up outside of it.
>> No. 38865
[x] “I don’t know about you, but right now I just feel like resting in Flandre’s room right now; I’m sure she’ll be fine.”
--(x) “Care to come along? Might be best to just let her work this out herself.”
>> No. 38866
[x] “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend.”
>> No. 38874
[X] “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend.”
>> No. 38892
Sneaky saged update:

Ending up spending a good 8 hours today slowly watching though all 100 minutes of Dungeons & Dragons, pausing it every 20 seconds in order to write down another snarky comment. I'd intended to just watch it through once and then think about it, but honestly the stuff I came up with on-the-spot ended up being so hilarious I couldn't stop. I'll work on the post-production tomorrow and most likely have it up for you later in the evening. Until then, here's a little preview for you~


Flan: Yes, what about the dwarf?! This movie is pointless without him!

Remi: “Oh no, a forked road! If only I’d traversed a maze recently, I’d know how to deal with this!”

Saph: This plot progression was getting boring anyways; let’s try a new one.

Flan: Dungeons and Dragons; where elves are famous for using crossbows.
>> No. 39296
Been having a bit of writer's block with the short I had planned, so I figured rather than force myself though it I'd just get back to AFT proper and stop wasting time. “Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend” won, obviously, so I'll get that update out to you later this afternoon.

Sorry for being lazy, but better to write when one has motivation to do so, I suppose.
>> No. 39297
>>39296

You've been updating so much recently it's about time for you to take a break. Take it easy~
>> No. 39299
>>39297
>better to write when one has motivation to do so
>> No. 39302
>>39297
The easier you take it, the harder it is to really get anywhere. There’s miles to go before AFT sleeps. But I definitely enjoyed that little break; thanks.

************************************************************

“Well, I guess weee… help her find her friend,” I suggested.

Monica looked at me skeptically. “A-Are you sure? I mean, you remember what Miss Remi-ilia said that one time… We’re not s’possed to, uhh, en-curr-age her. What if the voices aren’t real?”

I looked back at her quite seriously. “…What if they are?

“Well, oh… I, guess…” She bit her fingernail, questioning her own question. “Francie, I don’t know how to look for invisible girl voices.

“I don’t either. But she does, I think.”

Together we turned to Plaidwings Flandre, who appeared to have somewhat gotten her other three-quarters into some semblance of order; by that I mean she was no longer arguing with herself. As much. At that point in time.

“Hey, Flandre? If you want—“

“I heard ya’s; you’re wasting time,” she butted in, shifting her eyes every which way. “It’s a game… It’s a game to her. Watches, watches and waits, waits to see if you can win… Maybe she’ll go easy on you if you’ve never played before… or she makes it harder and makes your head hurt.”

Not worrying about the ever-present rambling, I pressed onwards. “Well, then just tell us what you need help with. I mean, if it’ll make you feel better, that’s what we’re here for.”

Flandre shugged, and Flandre shrugged as well. “Good times. Flandre, you stay here. Flandre, you stay by the lift. Flandre, I don’t need to shout because I know you can hear me; you stay by the biblioteca.”

“You don’t need to talk because you know I can hear me!”

“Ignoring that.” And, ignoring that, she unceremoniously picked Monica up by the waist and started carrying her over her head like a doll. “Time to get back to work, Pinky.”

“Nyaaah~! P-P-Put me down, I’m gonna fall!”

“You’re made of rainbows and sunshine; no you’re not. Fran Kenstein, you’re with her.”

I raised my eyebrows and motioned between the multiple “hers”. “Uhh, which her are we talking about right now?”

“Don’t say her, don’t say her, don’t say her, don’t say her!” Miss Green repeated over and over.

“The her I’m carrying right now,” Plaidwings clarified, ignoring “her” ramblings. “You’re C-Team. I’m B-Team. In 1972 the A-Team was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit; we couldn’t find them.”

Miss Brown interjected. “I refuse to pity any number of fools, whether or not they’re a definite article!”

“Ignore that, kids; it’s all in my head. Or, your head. A head that should not be worried about.”

I dutifully followed the Monica-carrying Flandre over to the end of the south hallway, trying my hardest to not worry about heads and voices, like she’d told me. In retrospect it felt like Monica had a far easier job of that than I did, because I simply had more things in my life to worry about. For a girl like her, the only thing she needed to worry about was if Flandre was going to hurt her, and I knew she knew that was something you just always worried about but nothing ever came of it. And if it did, well… death’s not really the handicap it used to be.

Flandre set “Pinky” back down onto the ground and shoved me into position next to her. Glaring at us critically like some sort of fashion designer observing the fit of a dress, she grabbed both of our hands and forced us to hold them together.

“Umm… you could’ve just, asked us to hold hands, you know,” Monica commented.

Flan shoot her head slightly, peering at the ceiling behind her. “No… no, not, not good enough. Can’t trust my eyes… trust my hands more. It’s easy for eyes to lie… hard for hands, though. If you don’t trust anything else, trust that you’re, still holding each other’s hands. Are you still holding each other’s hands?”

Both Monica and I looked at our clasped hands and nodded. It was a nice feeling, holding Monica’s little hand. Odd, since Flandre clearly had other plans for us, but… nice.

I felt pretty justified in asking another question. “Can I ask, Miss Flandre… what, who are we looking for? And how?”

She bit her knuckle, thinking hard as she kept swiveling her head around every which way. Was she seeing something we weren’t. Suddenly she clamped her eyes shut, hard enough that a pair of tears almost began to well up at the sides of them. “Oooohh, you, you’re making this hard already, aren’t you? Cut the head off the snake, kay? Got news for you… I already cut my own head off long before there was a snake at all… but you already know that, don’t you?”

“Uhh, no, Flandre, I don’t know that.”

“Not, not you… her. She… she still thinks, heh, she can worm out of this without us, knowing.” She smiled mischievously, eyes still tightly sealed. “If she really had wanted to leave, she’d have left before I’d gotten the idea to seal her in. No, no, all a game, all another test… Pray she goes easy on you.”

I could feel Monica huddling closer to me for support, and I tried my hardest to stand tall for her sake. “Just… Why don’t you just tell us what you want us to do, Flandre. If she, or whoever, is trying to hide, aren’t we wasting time?”

“GET ON WITH IT!” a far-off Flandre yelled, followed by a repeated chorus of the same phrase that eventually died off. Our copy waved her hands in front of her face, as if trying to swat away bugs or ghosts. Her movements were become twitchy, erratic… I sure hoped she knew what she was doing, because even after her explanation I still wouldn’t.

“Yeah… yeah, okay, listen now. I… no, nevermind. What we’re dealing with is a… thing. I forget her name; no, she never told me. Kay. That’s all she ever said. ‘Kay.’ She’s, yeah… funny. Gets into the part of your head your head can’t get to and makes fun of it. Makes you… think things, you didn’t know you thought. Makes you… see things, you didn’t know you were seeing. Hear things you don’t actually hear… it’s annoying. Sub, conscious. Id Ego Superego, or whatever; does it really matter? Maybe she’s standing, right, right behind me. Do you see anyone there?”

I leaned over a little, but saw nothing; just the boring hallway I’d seen for years. “No, there’s nothing there. Should there be?”

A pause was followed by an actual tear that trickled down the miniature lady’s cheek. “See, that’s… th-that’s the worst part. You don’t know. Is she there? Is she not there? You don’t know, and you’ll never know, because she’ll just hide in all those places that you don’t know. Hide, right in plain sight. Right in front of your face every day, and you might never see her once for all your life. You’d be, you’d… surprised, if you knew the number of things your, your mind takes for granted each and every day… But I, I don’t. And she don’t either. Maybe… that’s why she, keeps coming back…”

“But, but then how’re’we supposed to find her?!” Monica squeaked, as bamboozled as I was about all this talk of seeing or not seeing and hiding where there’s no place to hide. “I don’t understand any of this, not one bit! Ohh, I’m gonna mess everything up!”

“Not, if… If, you just, pay, attention… I’m, I’m trying to make this easier… So hard, to concentrate…” Seemed she was losing her composure again; the other Flandres had begun to start chattering again.

“Just make it easy for them—“

“They’re more harm than good why’d you bring them into it—“

“She’s getting away—“

“No she’s not no she’s not she can’t walk through walls she’s just another person don’t stop paying attention to that door—“

“It’s simple; you look and make sure you’re looking—“

“Breathing is no longer a free action—“

“Shut up shut up I had this under cont—“

“Never did no you never did, you never will, the way things are are the way things are are the way—“

“I… want… to… talk… to… them… you… are… NOT… helping… me…”

“We’re you, you’re not helping yourself—“

“A little late for that advice now don’t you—“

“Which one of me is actually her right now…?”

“This part~”

“Lies, we’re all her, because she never existed, she’s all in your head—“

“No… she’s… not! I know that, she’s real, don’t tell me she’s not. She knows things I don’t… says things I wouldn’t say—“

”Think you wouldn’t say, but maybe it’s just a part of you you never knew you had in you—“

“That’s the point… that’s the point… your subconscious is her conscious. What you don’t think about, she thinks about… You’d never really know you had it in you until she told you, would you?”

“No one… can do that, to herself… She has to be real…! Has to be… has, to… to be…”

Our Flandre over the course of the argument had sunk progressively lower and lower to the ground, by now on her hands and knees, and was crying in earnest as the voices continued to squabble. I hadn’t wanted to interrupt her, but I’d begun to realize by then that there was really nothing to interrupt. This was just any normal person debating pros and cons inside their heads, something perfectly normal that we all did. Flandre just, sort of… was doing it a little differently.

“Can, can you hear me, mi’lady?” I asked, placing a cautious hand on her shoulder. Almost as if by magic, the voices stopped as soon as my fingers touched her, and I instinctively drew them back.

“No, don’t… I mean, yes, I can hear… Don’t let go. I, I like to know that, someone else exists…”

I obliged, gently resting my palm back onto her shoulder, rubbing it a little for comfort. “I, I exist, Miss Flandre. I think therefore I am, right? That’s what you told me?”

She smiled, bringing an arm off of the ground to wipe her tears away. “Yeah… yeah. Thinking’s harder than you think, sometimes, ‘specially with her around, but… I know you’re real.” She moved back into a cross-legged sitting position and told the both of us to sit down as well. “All right… all right, I can do this. We can do this. Gotta make it easy for you to understand…

“Kay knows how to manipulate your subconscious; that’s like, the part of your brain that does things and thinks things without you even realizing it. That’s why she’s so hard to find. See, people, they, they take things for granted. Important things, like eyes. You use your eyes so much, you just expect them to work right all the time. But, like… If there’s a big crowd of people in a moviefilm, do you know how many there are? What if there was one more than there really should be? Or one less? You’d never know. That’s how Kay hides, see. You look down this hallway, and your brain tells you you’re going to see normal things, like random fairies walking around, or Sakuya being busy, or maybe nobody at all. You don’t expect to see anything different, and so you don’t, even if she’s—“ In mid-sentence the woman suddenly jumped up and flailed her arms around behind her, rolled across the ground and jumped up to touch the ceiling, before walking back to us and sitting down again. “—standing right in plain sight.”

“But, if, let me get this straight, if our brains won’t let us see her, then how do we see her?”

She shrugged like the problem was no big deal. “Easy. You look. If you’re not looking for her, you’ll never see her. But she only hides in your subconscious, see, not your conscious. If you know you’re looking for her, she can’t hide anymore. Then she’s just like you or me. Get it?

“No,” Monica responded bluntly, though I was begin to understand the situation a little better. I couldn’t trust my brain, but I could trust my eyes, maybe? Granted your brain controls your eyes, but… Oh, what did it even matter? Fairies don’t have brains anyways; we’re just girl-dolls filled with magic-stuffs. And rainbows and sunshine, apparently.

Flandre massaged her temple in slight frustration. “Then, you’re… Never mind. Forget everything I just said. You know what? A friend of mine came to visit for a while; we’re playing Hide-And-Go-Seek! Boundaries are any door I’m guarding. Find her before I do and you win a prize~ Ready three two one and go now. ONOMATOPIEA!”

“…Did, any of that mean anything to you, Francie?” Monica asked after Flandre had slunk away to some other part of the basement.

I shrugged. “Enough sense that I think maybe we’ll do more good than harm in helping her out. You still got my hand, right?”

“Well, yeah, see? How’re we supposed to look when we’re stuck together like this, though? D’ya think we can let go now?”


[ ] “Mmm, yeah, I think so. It’ll be a lot easier to play Hide-And-Seek that way, don’t you think?”
[ ] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
[ ] “Well, probably, but… I mean, do you really want to? I kind of like holding your hand, Mon’.”

One of these too:
--( ) The trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up.
--( ) It was three seekers versus one hider… Splitting up meant “Kay” wouldn’t have a chance.
--( ) So much paranoia and uncertainty… couldn’t we just ask “Kay” to play a different game instead? I hated seeing Lady Flandre like this.
>> No. 39309
[x] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
[x] ,I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’

(y) The trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up.

And now I must go back and re-read all the parts where Flan has said 'Kay'
>> No. 39310
[x] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
[x] ,I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’

(y) The trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up.

If we are supposed to make our eyes see what we usually wouldn't see, it helps if we take it slowly.
>> No. 39311
[x] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
--(x) The trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up.

Search and Destroy
>> No. 39313
[X] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
[X] "I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’."

(X) The trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up.
>> No. 39314
{“Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
- {"I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’."}}
{The trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up.}
>> No. 39315
[x] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
[x] ,I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’

(y) The trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up.

I'm seriously starting to get major Koishi vibes now, which only seems to make more questions than it answers, really.
>> No. 39316
[x] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
[x] ,I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’

--( ) So much paranoia and uncertainty… couldn’t we just ask “Kay” to play a different game instead? I hated seeing Lady Flandre like this.

I don't think being thorough will help. That only works if your target is hiding in place, but if "Kay" is moving around then it will just give "Kay" a lot of time to see us coming. And we can't split up if we aren't letting go of Monica.

So... process of elimination I guess.
>> No. 39319
[x] >>39316
>> No. 39323
[shock] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
[the] ,I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’

--(monkey) So much paranoia and uncertainty… couldn’t we just ask “Kay” to play a different game instead? I hated seeing Lady Flandre like this.

This made my day.
>> No. 39326
[x] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
[x] "I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’."
>> No. 39331
Yay, more Tepes! My day is now at least 4 times better.
This was vaguely disturbing, but with all the awesome and humorous references we love. Very nicely done!

[x] “Ehh, we’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about.”
-[x]I kind of like holding your hand anyway, Mon’

[x] The trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up.

Although I want to help poor Flan, it feels like this is somewhat beyond our fairy. Acknowledging that the Flan's are discussing a stream-of-consciousness seems like a step forward.

Hopefully we'll at least provide her some amusement, rummaging around under chairs for a subconscious-dwelling being.
>> No. 39440
Status update: Got stuck doing mountains of yardwork yesterday and today, so I'm totally beat right now. Currently I'd just rather chill and watch/berate a little more of Conan the Destroyer for MVTSK.

AFT update sometime tomorrow.
>> No. 39476
>>39440
>AFT update sometime tomorrow.

Hooray!
>> No. 39487
>>39309
And now I must go back in time to edit the story so there’s a lot more innocuous slips of “Kay” than there actually are right now.

>>39315
The question is really no longer if Koishi is in AFT, but why she’s in it, and more importantly what kind of personality she can have that will still fit the Tepes mold of “Stick to vague canon while embellishing awesomely and also remind readers that classic fanon is overdone.”

>>39323
On the 101st day, Princess Tepes made more of the same. And Anon saw that it was good.

>>39331
Indeed; subKonscious moe shOuld always bI vaguely diSturbing but awesHome and lovIble!

>>39476
I really do wonder if you’re the same guy in every story. Regardless, your service is appreciated.


*********************************************************

“Ehh…” I thought about it for a few seconds, but decided it wasn’t worth it. “We’d better not. Flandre said we’re supposed to trust each other or something. I think she knows what she’s talking about. I mean, we sure don’t.”

She nodded back to me. “Yeah, that… none a’ that made any sense to me. ‘Cept the last part. And we can still do a good job together, right?”

“Sure enough, Mon. Plus, I… I kind of like holding your hand anyways.”

“You… Well, I kinda like holding your hand too, France!”

Sharing a friendly little hand-squeeze between us, we got to work, if you could really call Hide-And-Go-Seek “work”. The hallways were of course a horrid place for anyone to hide, and the wingless Flandres definitely had it under control. The rooms, though… there were dozens upon dozens of them, not to mention the lounge, bathroom, laundry room, that giant closet full of junk behind the gym… this could take a while. But the trick with Hide-And-Go-Seek is to look smart, right? That meant slow but steady, leave no stone unturned, and a bunch of other old words smart people made up. And with Monica and I together, that meant we’d be twice as steady.

Flandre’s strange advice was still at the forefront of my mind as we started the slow process of knocking on a room door, entering it, and going through it top to bottom, one after the other. Find her by looking… but it couldn’t be that simple, could it? It didn’t sound simple at all. Flandre was mentioning all these things about… subconsciousness, and hiding in plain sight, and double-negatives and manipulation of the mind… how could a person like that possibly be found just by looking for her? Did I have to believe that I was looking for her, just like Thérèse believed in whatever it was she needed to to do whatever it was she did? Because if that was the case, I wasn’t going to be finding much of anyone at all.

“Kind of boring, isn’t it?” I asked out loud as we looked through maybe the tenth empty room. “It’s like cleaning, only more confusing.”

“Nah, not really. ‘Cause the more you know where she isn’t, the more you know where she is! Plus you know she’s gotta be somewhere! How long has it been since you played Hide-N-Seek, Francie?”

“Hoooo… longer than I thought, maybe. But this isn’t just normal Hide-And-Seek, remember; you need to pay close attention. We’re looking for a magic girl wearing magic camouflage, you know.”

“Aww, you worry too much, cousin! Come on, have fun! Under the bed?! Nope! Under this bed?! Nope!”

I had to hand it to Monica, she had a point. Worrying about things was only going to make this tiresome and a chore, when it was supposed to be exciting! After all, this was some girl that maybe nobody except Flandre had ever even seen before! That was a pretty cool little thing, there. And Flandre had mentioned a prize for finding her, too… I sure wondered if she’d thought far enough ahead to pick something interesting out for it. Ahh, to be a child again…

Bedroom after bedroom passed by uneventfully, Monica’s energetic hand dragging me along for the ride; I still couldn’t get over how fast she was, and it was only my larger hand holding her back most of the time. Despite all the optimism and spunk of my “better half” though, I couldn’t stop pondering over the pickle of “Kay”. A wandering, invisible unknown who toyed with Flandre’s mind… either she was a genius for getting Flandre’s attention so definitely, or she was just as insane as the vampire herself. And was she supposed to be her friend, or her adversary? I racked my brain for any notable slips when Flandre had said the word “Kay” as if she was talking to someone… Would it have even been possible she’d visited Flandre on a Friday and I hadn’t even known? My skin crawled at the very—

“H-hey, F-Fran! I, I think I saw something, over there!”

Monica pointed towards a corner of the hallway frantically, jumping up and down. I strained my eyes in the same direction, and… no, no, I couldn’t see anything.

“Well, what did it look like?” I asked.

“I dunno, but c’mon, it might be getting away!”

Once again I let Monica lead this crazy dance of ours, floating above her like a balloon as she dashed down the suspicious hallway. Turning the corner in question, we saw… nothing. Nothing except Miss Green still guarding the lift entrance.

“Flandre, Flandre!” she shouted, trying to get the guarding girl’s attention. “I saw a something, just now!”

“What did it look like?!” she replied hurriedly.

“Uhh, black, maybe! Just a black circle, I think… yeah, yeah, that was it!”

“Hat…” she whispered back to herself, resting her hand on her chin, the choral multitude of Flandre starting up once more, albeit as more hushed whispers.

“She’s in the hallways… mobility…”

“Why’d she let a fairy see her…?”

“Did she let herself get seen at all…?”

“I like that hat…”

“Can’t be sure, I didn’t see anything…”

“Never sure except you’re sure you’re not sure…”

“Cat in the Hat, Kay in the hay with a needle and a fiddle and a cow jumped over the moon…”

“Thought she was in my room…”

“Saw a beanbag squish differently; trick again?”

“I’m inclined to believe that the purple cat sitting on the bed is my fault, not hers…”

“Stop messing with the tint knobs, Kay, it takes forever to fix them and that’s why you do it because you hate me don’t you?”

In the meantime I kept swiveling my head around, searching for something, something that looked out of place. What was Kay even supposed to look like? She could look like anything and I’d never find her; maybe she looked like a fairy and I’d already passed her by in one of the occupied rooms we’d searched! She could—

Silver hair.

Right there, across the hallway we’d just ran down. A wavy patch of silver hair. I turned back to Monica, who was busy pointing again.

“Monica, I saw—“

“Green hair!”

“What? No, no, silver hair! Over—“

“Over there! By the stairses! Wait, you saw something too?!”

“Back the way we came! It was right—“ I turned back again; gone. I’d only seen it for a split-second, but, it was there! Wasn’t it?

“No, it’s gone again!” Monica cried, blinking her eyes and rubbing them with her free hand. “But it was there! Minty-mint hair, Frandre! Uhh, I mean Francie!”

I looked her right in her sparkling eyes. “You’re sure you saw something? Because I’m sure I saw something too. We can’t both be right!”

“One-a us’s gotta be right, right?! Come on, I saw her the first time; she’s getting away again!”

I could hear Miss Green mumbling to herself over Monica’s pleads. “You break ‘em you bought ‘em, Kay?”


[ ] “No, I know what I saw! We gotta go this way!”
[ ] “All right, if you’re sure you’re sure… let’s go your way!”
[ ] “Let’s just split up; we’ll find out who’s right right away!”
[ ] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!
>> No. 39488
[x] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!

Logic < Cute
>> No. 39489
[X] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!

Maybe it's a trick. Maybe it's not a trick. Maybe it's a trick where she knows you know it's a trick, and so the trick is tricking you into thinking it's a trick when it's not a trick, and that's the greatest trick of all.
>> No. 39491
[x] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!

I'm pretty sure that none of the remaining options are right.
>> No. 39492
[x] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!

NYAAH!
>> No. 39496
[X] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!

This can't possibly go wrong. For Koishi.
>> No. 39499
[x] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!
>> No. 39521
[x] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!

You put that in there on purpose, didn't you?

NYAAH.
>> No. 39523
[B] “No, wait…” Maybe, it was a trick! Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US NYAAH!
>> No. 39531
Dear [insert politically-correct way of addressing unknown multitudes],

I [insert apologetic adjective] must tell you that I have to [inert way of saying break without using hiatus] until [insert vague statement about end of weekend] because of [insert stock excuse that reduces down to lolreallife]. [insert quick summation of relationship with acquaintances] came by so we could go to a [insert “conventional” annual social gathering] for the next [repeat vague statement about end of weekend] days, and I just [insert additional excuse for not writing]. [Insert kind plead] wait [insert temperature adjective] until [insert aforementioned end of weekend].

[insert postscript intro], if anyone knows [insert vague statement about anime paraphernalia] that I should be [insert synonym for searching] for at the [repeat “conventional” annual social gathering] that would be [insert synonym for humorous], [insert something that makes sense].
>> No. 39532
Dear Tepes, I'm looking forward for
[x] your return
[ ] beat you to death with my bares hands
and I'm only hoping that you'll never
[x] drop this story
[ ] call the police
because your story is
[x] awesome
[ ] pure bullshit.

[x] Get better soon.
[ ] Drop dead easy.
>> No. 39534
>>39531

Now all your posts are voiced by GladOS. Sexy, psycho GladOS.
>> No. 39540
>>39534
Damn it, now I'm going be unintentionally appending "...you monster." to every post.
>> No. 39559
>>39531
I don't have any suggestions, but you shouldn't be going to a con in the first place. Wretched, horrible things, they are.

You never feel completely clean after it's all over.
>> No. 39674
Update, you [insert misappropriated offensive racial slur].
>> No. 39684
>>39674
Been a while since I’ve gotten told that, but it’s cool, I deserved it. Picked up [insert nostalgic N64 game] and have been busy playing the pixels out of it for the last two days. It’s out of my system now. Writing some tonight and might be able to get the update out tonight as well. …You monster~

>>39489
But by that logic she’s not behind you at all, and so this way you lose good day sir. …You monster~

>>39521
Are you saying you’ll vote for whatever option has a cute onomatopoeia behind it? This sounds like a manipulative force I’ll exploit once and then get bored with as I wander off to something more interesting. …You monster~

>>39534
Who told you this? This isn’t part of the story at all! You’re not supposed to know, know, know-ow-ow-ow-w-w-w-w crrrrzt—Synapse Psychology Center for Mental Enrichment. …You monster~

>>39559
Don’t worry; it was a small, local thing. No registration fees, no big names, just a handful of classrooms with various shows, some presentations I didn’t care about, a vendor area that I bought some nostalgia at for a good price, and cosplayers that, while not exactly good, at least weren’t bad. I really just went there to meet up with some university folks and hang out for a few days. I thought we could put all of our differences behind us. Science had nothing to do with it.

…You monster~
>> No. 39686
Well played, Kay, but now I am behind you!
>> No. 39687
File 127787319199.jpg - (161.48KB , 624x400 , 2056650.jpg ) [iqdb]
39687
>>39684
This update made my day. You're awesome
>> No. 39699
“No, wait…” I whispered to her suddenly, thinking the puzzle through. A trick… maybe, it was a trick! Maybe we were actually both wrong… Maybe Kay was really… RIGHT BEHIND US—

“NYAAH!”

Without thinking I suddenly flipped around and lunged at the seemingly-empty air behind me, unintentionally dragging Monica along with me. She wouldn’t hide under my nose any longer; I’d seen through her game!

…The basement carpet was really rather thin. It also tasted much worse than I thought carpet should.

“Fran-awwwahh-what are you-ouff!” Monica blurted out as she crashed onto the floor beside me, coming up equally empty-handed. I could here a Flandre snickering in the background.

“Unnngh, I thought, maybe it was a trick, and she was behind us all along,” I replied, rolling my head out of the threadbare carpet.

“Why couldn’t you’a just told me? Ouwwh, that hurt…”

“Well, I mean, unnnph, I figured that she’d… move, or something, if I said it out loud.”

“She’d move either way,” Flandre butted in, shaking her head wearily at the pair of us. “It’s a game, but that doesn’t mean she’s not good at it. Standing behind you only means she’s got something to prove—“

“Which she doesn’t since she’s proving it right now,” another added in.

“Also can’t read surface thoughts; that’s conscious—“

“Sister! Kay, I know you have a sister! I’ll lord that over you for the rest of your life!”

Together Monica and I helped each other up, then sighed as we looked at the lamentably-empty hallways. “Well, guess neither of us are right now,” Monica commented. “I was so sure I’d seen hair, though…”

“I don’t think seeing is the problem, Mon’. The question is, is what we’re seeing really real? I don’t think it’s very hard for some brain-lady to trick simple girls like us, after all.”

She scratched her head and peered back into the hallways. “But, no, wait… Wouldn’t, umm, it be the other way around? ‘Cause if we don’t use our brains a lot, there’s less brain to trick, or something?”

“That… I, don’t, really know. Flandre didn’t do a very good job explaining.”

“If I pretended that I didn’t hear that, it wouldn’t matter because I wouldn’t resent you if I pretended that I did! Also vice versa!”

Monica pointed a thumb in the plaid-panted girl’s direction and screwed up her eyebrows, asking me a silent question. Without even worrying about it I simply shrugged and raised my palms upwards in silent response. Just one more thing to add to the list of things Flandre wouldn’t resent.

“What’re we supposed to do now, then?” she asked.

“Well, I guess just… keep doing what we were doing before. She’ll show up again eventually, right?”

“I dunno… I think that invisible girl is breaking the rules.”

“Eh? How do you mean?”

“Like, she’s not staying in one spot like you’re s’possed to in Hide-N’-Seek! She’s running around and playing tricks on us!”

“But we don’t know she’s running around at all. We just think she is. Right, Flandre? Flandre…? Are you even listening anymore?”

I meandered back over to Miss Green, who seemed to be staring at the distant ceiling again. Whether or not she was even listening was debatable, and whether or not she could even hear me at all was more-so. I thought about tapping her on the shoulder, but… no, probably not the best idea when she was like that. I doubted there were really any best options in dealing with her period, but waving my hand in front of her face at least seemed smarter than tapping her.

“Is that you… Kay?” she wondered aloud in a lilting, detached voice. “Don’ worry about me; I’m just busy contemplating the futility of the kids’ mission. They’re standing right over there, you know; can they see you? Probably not. Get your hand out of my face, Kay, you’re not proving anything…”

“Umm… I’m, not, Kay, Miss Flandre. I’m me. Francesca. You know? Miss Friday?”

She shrugged. “Meh. You would try to sound like her after just meeting her today. Oh wait, that’s right, you probably already know aaaalllll about her, don’t you? You know all about everyone here, don’t you? Damn peeping Tom-anda. You’re not fooling me, though, you know I don’t take anything at face value, not even faces. Why am I even talking to you, you’re not real. Was that hand Francesca’s hand just now? Probably. Should I talk to her now? Probably. Don’t really want to though; I’ll just make them both sad if I tell them I was wrong, shoulda kept them out of it, stop looking she’ll turn up eventually, I was having one of those senior moments, just go back to being innocent and having fun. Am I aware that they’re right there listening to every word I say making this conversation with my head utterly moot and rendering futile the illusion that I am in fact detached from reality? Well, I still know how to make a reference to Star Wars, so I’ll have to go with yes, for now.”

Flandre turned back to us, eyes returned to their “normal” state of semi-clarity. She waved a hand slowly at us. “Oh, no, sorry, I wasn’t listening, I was busy being schizophrenic. Those weren’t the droids you were looking for, by the way; you can go about your business.”

I raised my eyebrow at her. Really? “I, don’t think you’re a Jedi, Miss Flandre.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right. I am too, though; those pieces of hair you saw probably-most-likely weren’t Kay. Also she’s probably-most-likely not the kind of jerk who stands right behind you while she messes with your head. Watching you eat the carpet was pretty funny for what it was worth, which is about one point seven cents since my thoughts are worth more than a penny but less than two cents.”

“But… you thought she was behind you that one time too, didn’t you? Isn’t the best trick the trick you know is right there and tricks you anyways?”

Her eyes dulled rapidly, melting my face with laser beams of pure skepticism. “I am insane. Why the hell would you ever think anything I do is a good idea?”

I bit my lip slightly, trying to come up with a good retort. Ten seconds or so passed without one coming to my head, at which point Monica saved the day with one of her own.

“You’re not that insane, Flandre,” she replied cheerfully. Well said, little cousin, well said.

“…Maybe,” she answered back, sticking her thumb out sideways in a show of vague dispassion. “That was a fun game. Let’s not play it again sometime. Come on Pinky; it’s time to try and take over the world again.”

“Wait… we’re, done? But, what about that Kay girl? She’s still down here, right?”

“She’ll turn up eventually. She always does. My guess is that finding her would just make your life worse somehow. I hang around with the wrong crowd; you don’t want to grow up to be like me, do you?” An anti-climatic end to a very climactic interlude, I thought. Flandre the Green ferried Monica back down to her room, promising every step of the way that she’d be good and wouldn’t cause trouble, leaving me somewhat dazed and confused.

That was it? We saw vague hints of something, and then Flandre was just giving up just like that? What about getting the better of a trickster? What about proving that invisible people aren’t as all powerful as they think? What about getting peace of mind? For all the energy Flandre had put into this, she’d stopped caring awful quick. Granted, this was Flandre we talking about, the woman who had spent an entire day convinced there was a hidden coded message in the digits of pi before turning her scratch paper into confetti and never speaking of the incident again.

[ ] Well, I wasn’t going to give up! I knew there was something strange in this basement, and I was curious enough to find it!
[ ] I really felt like I should give it ONE last try… even though I pretty much knew “Kay” wasn’t going to answer if I called out to her. But perhaps it’d put my mind at ease, if nothing else.
[ ] It was a fun little diversion, but I really did need to get back to Sakuya’s chores.
[ ] For now, I felt like joining the other two in the bedroom for a while. Just for a while.
>> No. 39705
[x] Well, I wasn’t going to give up! I knew there was something strange in this basement, and I was curious enough to find it!
Determined fairy is determined. Also, fuck you Koishi, you're making things worst for flan.
>> No. 39706
[ ] Well, I wasn’t going to give up! I knew there was something strange in this basement, and I was curious enough to find it!

Let's discover Koishi's black secret.
>> No. 39708
[x] Well, I wasn’t going to give up! I knew there was something strange in this basement, and I was curious enough to find it!

Never give up.
>> No. 39710
[x] Well, I wasn’t going to give up! I knew there was something strange in this basement, and I was curious enough to find it!
>> No. 39724
So...frustratingly...close

[x] Well, I wasn’t going to give up! I knew there was something strange in this basement, and I was curious enough to find it!
>> No. 39725
[x] Well, I wasn’t going to give up! I knew there was something strange in this basement, and I was curious enough to find it!

we are gonna find something, flandre is not crazy!
>> No. 39736
[X] I really felt like I should give it ONE last try… even though I pretty much knew “Kay” wasn’t going to answer if I called out to her. But perhaps it’d put my mind at ease, if nothing else.
>> No. 39738
[X] For now, I felt like joining the other two in the bedroom for a while. Just for a while.
>> No. 39754
6 for never give up/never surrender!
1 for diplomacy
1 for bedroom sports

That was fairly predictable; no one even noticed the subconscious hidden cute onomatopoeia I’d tacked on to the end! Another lame thing where I write some now, get tired, and finish in the morning.

>>39705
It’s one of those love-hate relationships.

>>39725
>we are gonna find something
Well I wouldn’t go through all this trouble and NOT have you find something! That’s dickish and pointless.

>flandre is not crazy!
…Let’s ruminate on that one for a bit, shall we?
>> No. 39761
>>39754
>It’s one of those love-hate relationships.
That might be, but she could help so much to restore Flandre's mind and yet she spends her time making her more crazy and desperate. As lonely as she is, Flandre ill needs a friend such as her.
>That was fairly predictable
Why did I lol'd.
>> No. 39766
>>39761
It seems Koishi has no idea of what effect it has on Flandre or anyone else in the area.
>> No. 39775
>>39761
>>39766
I find it rather funny, actually. You say this, but you haven’t even met her yet. Judging a girl’s character with fuzzy rumors and Flandre ramblings leave something to be desired.

**********************************************************************

Well, I wasn’t going to give up! I knew there was something strange in this basement, and I was curious enough to find it! Maybe if it was just me, Kay would let down her guard and try something a little more risky just for the fun of it. In hindsight I supposed that she could have also just snuck through the now-unguarded doors upstairs and out into the wilderness, but I tried not to worry about that possibility, at least at first.

The basement seemed a lot more peaceful now that I didn’t have a Flandre hanging over my back, or a Monica to watch over and protect. Just me by myself strolling along, doing whatever I could do with my own two hands and one brain. Puzzles are more rewarding when you solve them by yourself anyways, right?

Massaging my hands together, I gave my eyes a good rubbing to focus anew on this strange hunt of ours (or perhaps just mine, but I still considered Flandre with me in spirit). Trust nothing… Anything you see or hear or smell could be a trick. After all, when you stop to think of how much your brain does without you realizing it’s doing it, and then imagine some trickster girl who knows how to mess around with all that… well, it’s actually quite a scary feeling. After all, who can say that any of this is even true? Maybe, just maybe, Kay’s fooling around with my words right now, and nobody even knows it’s happening. If you’re not paying attention, and if it sounds right at first passing… well, just about anything’s possible.

Makes you kind of hope she’s not some sort of megalomaniacal super genius with the whole world on a string, doesn’t it? Then again, if she is, we’d never know, would we?

But I didn’t know enough to think about things like that yet. All I knew how to do was squint and peer closely down each and every hallway, altering my viewing angle here and there. Would her magic camouflage make a mistake if I kept switching perspectives? Left eye closed, now right eye closed, now crawling on the ceiling looking down, or on the floor looking up. I’d lived in this basement for years; how hard could it be to find something that didn’t quite belong? Flandre had said something about my ears being more reliable than my eyes, too. It was certainly quiet enough down there to give it a try, but I didn’t really hear any sort of rustling or footsteps, or even quiet breathing down my neck like you’re supposed to feel in all those horror films.

I kept telling myself that I’d eventually find something if I just kept at it long enough, but after slightly less than “long enough” had passed, I began to get worried. At least with Hide-And-Go-Seek you know where you’ve looked already, and plus you know you’re looking for someone at all. But if she’d already left the basement, or even gone to Flandre’s room, what was the point? Or she could have easily been hiding in the giant storage closet not even Sakuya really had really managed to put much order to; tons of little places to sneak away to in there. In the end, I realized that I just didn’t know about “Kay”. Did she want to hide, or to be found? Did she prefer to be with people, or be alone? Was she the kind or person who cheated, or bent rules, or did she play fair?

“Flandre was probably right…” I whispered to myself after sitting down for a spell in the laundry room again. It felt better just voicing my concerns along, I thought; make them easier to sort out, especially with some brain-girl running around. “She shouldn’t have said anything. I mean, I knew she wasn’t going to explain it very well in the first place—she never does—but I should have known known. Can’t let it go now though, I suppose; spent this long on it already, might as well see it through.”

”There’s something called quitting while you’re ahead, you know,” the familiar little conscience-like voice in the back of my head whispered to me. ”Cutting your losses, stopping short, words that mean things to people, you know?”

“Well… yeah, yeah, but… Don’t know. I don’t like to be a quitter…” I just sort of mumbled back to myself; I knew what I meant, after all. Though taken out of context, I suppose saying something like that make me look like Flandre.

”Then stop quitting and start starting. It’s really pretty easy, Fran.”

“Enngh, but… my head hurts. I looked, I didn’t find anything!”

”Then give up and do something else. It’s really pretty easy, Fran.”

“I know, I know… Sakuya needs my help too, and, yeah… Flandre can take care of herself. She’s a grown woman, after all… I guess…”

”I wonder about that prize, though… Prizes can be pretty fun!”

“Oh? Oh yeeeah, the prize… Nah, that’s just a joke. Even if she remembers… bet she does, her brain works like that…”

”You’re wasting time, Fran. Better just get back to helping Sakuya and let Kay sort herself out.”

“I’m, I’m not wasting it, though… Spending it, yeah. ‘M doing stuff with it…”

”Why are you just moping around? You’re not a sad little girl, you’re you! Don’t you remember how you got this far, by being curious?”

“That’s a point… yeah, yeah! What does it matter, anyways, it’s all about not worrying about the mights and maybes! Doing stuff because I want to try it out!”

”That’s the spirit! Don’t worry about Kay, and try out doing stuff for Sakuya!”

“Right, I… wait. No, I got that backwards. Silly brain, don’t be like Flandre; she’d get angry~”

”Mmm, guess you’re right; switch those around. I’m thinking too hard about this.”

“Yeah, but, you know, Fran? You gotta think hard. That’s what Flandre said, right? Pay attention and you’ll find who you’re looking for.”

”Looking’s boring. Cleaning for Sakuya means she’ll stop being sad!”

“Why… why do you keep saying that? Who’s side are you on, anyways, me-voice?”

”What? Your side, ‘cause I’m you, yeah?”

“You keep changing my mind for me, though…”

”Minds do that. They think fast so you don’t have to. Or something”

“That… doesn’t sound, very, right… What’s that even mean?”

”We’ll understand it later, when we’re more mature.”

“No, something’s not… wait. Wait. Something’s… not… right, here…”

Now I might never know how to make up my own mind at the best of times, but I knew I didn’t argue with myself just for the sake of played some pointless form of Devil’s Advocate. Something was rotten here… could it have really been that? Kay messing with my mind? After all, it sounded enough like me, but still… wait… since when was I wearing a hat?

My hands felt up on top of my head the moment I thought I saw a dark brim obscure my vision. That make no sense: a hat was there when there should have been hair. I took it off and looked at it; just a simple black hat with a wide brim and a cheerful yellow ribbon tied to it. Looked real, felt real, even smelled real… with the simple exception that it wasn’t my hat, and I hadn’t been wearing one. Flipping it over curiously, I noticed a handwritten note stuffed into the ribbon:

OH NO, IT LOOKS LIKE I’VE BEEN FOUND OUT.

Kay. In a flash I had stood up and was peering into every corner of the room. She was here! And this was her hat! The hat Monica must have seen before! I shot up to the ceiling, circling the room furiously like a frantic housefly. I knew she was here, knew it, she wasn’t supposed to me able to hide if you knew she was there! Suddenly realizing Flandre was right, I bolted over to the door and slammed it shut. Nowhere to run now!

“Kay? Kay, I know you’re in here now!” I shouted triumphantly. “You can’t hide anymore; I know where to find you! And I know you’re real, too; I’ve got your hat right he—wait…”

I DON’T THINK YOU’RE PAYING VERY CLOSE ATTENTION.

The note hadn’t said that the last time… had it? I rubbed my eyes and checked every single letter one by one. It had definitely changed. But… when? It’d only been twenty seconds from the time I’d first read the note, and I hadn’t even sat still! Except for, when…

I flailed my arms every which way around me; she must have just changed it, not seconds ago! She was right there! Right next to me, and still a million miles away! “Kay! Stop messing around, it’s not funny!”

No response. Keeping one eye on the door, I slowly crept away from it, jabbing the air in front of me with the hat. My feet made no noise, my breath had stopped; if she was supposed to be writing these messages one right after the other, I’d have to be able to hear it! Where was she? Someplace easy to hide, easy to creep up and put a note on, the…

I FIND IT RATHER FUNNY, ACTUALLY.

“Gaaah! How are you doing that?! I’m paying attention, I really am! You’re not supposed to be able to sneak up on me if I’m paying attention! And—“

The ribbon on the hat was green. Not yellow. Most definitely a solid, emerald green. I triple-checked: no sunshine yellow at all. In a fit of frustration I yanked the note and ribbon off the hat and stuffed the thing on my head, sitting down on the ground with a purpose. Let’s see her fool with her silly hat now!

I waited. I watched. I listened. In front of me, behind me, to the sides of me, above me, even below me. I could feel the pressure on the hat on my head, hear it rustle ever so slightly against my ratty hair. I could even smell it; a faint odor of damp charcoal, I thought. Where was she? This was maddening… Why couldn’t I see her? I wasn’t leaving anything to chance, nothing to the subconscious where Kay was supposed to dwell. I’d cemented every little piece of the shelves and folding tables and stone floor into my mind; she didn’t have anywhere to hide, so where was she hiding? On top of the cupboards? Under a laundry basket? Right past the corner of my eye in plain sight? Somewhere… had to be somewhere… I wasn’t crazy. Flandre wasn’t crazy. She existed, the hat proved it! The hat was real!, wasn’t it?

“I don’t think I really approve of you tampering with my hat like that. Did not anyone tell you to be thoughtful of the belongings of others?”

A voice. Her voice. It was a lilting, breathy sort of voice, the kind one might associate with airheads and princesses from another planet. And it was emanating directly to my left. My neck snapped around to where I’d heard it; this was it, she’d blown her cover! But… nothing. I saw no one. I heard no one. I got up and walked over to the countertop where the voice had come from, felt every inch of it with my eyes closed and hands open. How could I not find her?

The hat was gone. I hadn’t felt a thing, but just like that, the hat was gone. I whipped my body around the instant I’d noticed it, thrusting my hands forwards in an attempted grab, but of course it was already too late; she’d slipped through my fingers yet again. I’d begun to figure it out, slowly: she used distractions. She did something unexpected and let me notice it. Of course my mind would instantly focus on this new thing and ignore everything that was really important, letting her slip away unnoticed. I had to hand it to her, it was brilliant. I was too curious for my own good, and all she needed was one second of my inevitable distraction to hide once more. She knew me better than I knew myself… but of course, she could probably read my mind.

“You’re really quite bad at this. The vampire probably would have found me as soon as I’d given her the hat.”

The bodiless voice was above me this time, on top of a rack of cleaning supplies. It took every ounce of my willpower to not look up. Can’t look up, don’t look up, if I look up she’ll run away again. She’s not up there, it’s a trick, she’s somewhere else entirely…

Clunk.

I couldn’t stop myself from looking this time, but this time was different. Predictably all I saw was the infamous hat sitting down on a washing machine, yellow-ribboned once again, but I’d heard. I’d heard the sound of the hat being dropped down on the metal surface. The sound of Kay dropping it there. Very, very carefully I tiptoed over to the hat, keeping a weather eye out for suspicious things at the edges of my vision. It was definitely the same hat, and the same yellow ribbon tied in a bow. No note this time, though. My left hand hovered over the top of it. Should I pick it up? Should I leave it there? This hat was the only link I had to my enigmatic tormentor, and yet she’d proven she could take it away as easily as she could give it back. But I was catching on. I was figuring it out. And maybe the next time she tried something, I’d catch her in the act once and for all.

“It’s a rather lovely hat, in my opinion,” Kay commented emotionlessly, sounding like she was standing right behind me, maybe even leaning right over my shoulder. “That’s why I wear it when I go out. I wonder if you think it’s some kind of trap. It’s so interesting to not know things like that, wouldn’t you say?”

[ ] At this range she couldn’t possibly escape; I jabbed an elbow backwards before the question was even out of her mouth. “Gotchya.”
[ ] I clamped my eyes shut; don’t let her fool you this time. If I turned around with a purpose and opened my eyes knowing without a doubt she was there, she’d be there, right?
[ ] Ignore it… just ignore it. I didn’t want to worry about it anymore; just let Kay do whatever she wanted to do. I really needed to get back to work, after all.
[ ] I wondered… Maybe Kay just wanted someone to talk to? Maybe she was just a little shy. I didn’t need to actually see her to talk to her, did I?
[ ] I tried to act casual. Picking the hat up, I…
--( ) …held it out over my shoulder. “My hair doesn’t like hats very much; you can have it back.”
--( ) …turned around and held it out in front of me. “If it’s a trap, maybe you should wear it first, then.”
--( ) …put it back on my head. “I think it’s a nice hat too. Maybe I should go see what Miss Flandre thinks of it.”
[ ] Write-ins are fun when fun things are imminent. Rewording the above Fran-quotes is cool too.
>> No. 39777
[x] I wondered… Maybe Kay just wanted someone to talk to? Maybe she was just a little shy. I didn’t need to actually see her to talk to her, did I?
-[x] "So, are you? Shy. I mean."
Koishi can't read minds, but what the hey.
>> No. 39779
[x] I clamped my eyes shut; don’t let her fool you this time. If I turned around with a purpose and opened my eyes knowing without a doubt she was there, she’d be there, right?
>> No. 39780
[X] I tried to act casual. Picking the hat up, I…
- (Y) …held it out over my shoulder. “My hair doesn’t like hats very much; you can have it back.”
>> No. 39781
[ ] I clamped my eyes shut; don’t let her fool you this time. If I turned around with a purpose and opened my eyes knowing without a doubt she was there, she’d be there, right?
>> No. 39786
[x] I wondered... maybe Kay just wanted someone to talk to? Maybe she was just a little shy. I didn't need to actually see her to talk to her, did I?

This makes me wonder if Kay hasn't closed her third eye yet. Not to mention how she got outta Gensokyo, or if she's even been there yet.
>> No. 39787
[X] I tried to act casual. Picking the hat up, I…
--(X) …turned around and held it out in front of me. “If it’s a trap, maybe you should wear it first, then.”
>> No. 39794
>>39786
She only gained access to the subconscious after her 3rd eye closed. If I had to reckon, she's well and beyond that particular event in her life by now. If I had to guess, at this point she's looking for/found a sympathetic soul. Flandre might just be a godsend to her; someone whose consciousness and subconsciousness are as equally balanced as hers(?); someone just as embroiled in the mess that is an existence between the rational and the insane.

But our dear Francesca would hardly have any insight to as much. She is, however, a remarkably inquisitive (and uniquely intuitive) little fey spirit:
[x] I wondered… why me? She must have come to meet Flandre, so why was she talking to me and hiding from Flandre?

Is she afraid of what Flan would do to her? Is she afraid of what Flan wouldn't do? Kay's decision to frequently, and indiscreetly, interact with Flandre has me more puzzled than anything else.
>> No. 39804
[x] "I'd rather know why you want me to focus on you without showing yourself. Is it just for your own amusement, or do you want someone to talk to without having to show your face? If you want to talk, let's talk, otherwise, just leave me alone. I've let you distract me too much from my work."
>> No. 39814
[x] I wondered… why me? She must have come to meet Flandre, so why was she talking to me and hiding from Flandre?
>> No. 39815
[x] I wondered… why me? She must have come to meet Flandre, so why was she talking to me and hiding from Flandre?

Group outing to the underground soon?
>> No. 39818
[x] I wondered… why me? She must have come to meet Flandre, so why was she talking to me and hiding from Flandre?
>> No. 39835
Gonna be oot and aboot with the family for Independence Day today and tomorrow; might get an update, might not. I would have written yesterday, except the votes still seemed a little inconclusive. Looks like the "Why me?" write-in is standing out, though, so I'll get to it when I can.

>>39786
>Not to mention how she got outta Gensokyo, or if she's even been there yet.
You act like the Border's sooo hard to break. Don't worry; I've thought this through. The Wiki article on the Hakurei Border mentions the barrier isn't foolproof and youkai slip though it all the time. Also, Koishi's official ZUN profile states "She became a youkai who wandered to and from aimlessly... Even her older sister, Satori, is unable to read Koishi's sealed-away heart, and doesn't really know where she goes or what she does there. Just like a pet cat, she leaves and returns and leaves again according to her own whims." Combined with her subconscious-hax, it wouldn't be very hard for her to either poke a hole in the Border undetected, or just stroll right through the Shrine Gate itself.

>>39794
You're a cool person. I'll leave it at that for now.

>>39815
Replace "soon" with "eventually", and then replace "eventually" with "at some point before 2010," then yes.
>> No. 39866
>>39835

You don't even have to justify it that way since Hell isn't even in Gensokyo. Gensokyo just has an access point to it.
>> No. 39882
>>39866
It is part of it since it's the OLD hell. I doubt Yukari and the other folk of Gensokyo would just NOT seal old hell due to all the particularly dangerous youkai in it. Higan/Current Hell is what you're thinking of.

Also about the barrier/border, I believe far more people come in than youkai come out
>> No. 39906
E-E-E-E-E-EPIC FAIL

Can I get an admin to delete this horrible accident?
>> No. 39909
File 127830482694.gif - (788.78KB , 247x166 , 1276040747234.gif ) [iqdb]
39909
>>39905
>>39906

Second time today /sdm/ has made me lol.
>> No. 39916
Francesca's thread got hijacked.
>> No. 39947
Status update again. I might as well fess up to the fact that I've been playing too many of those vidja games over the last week, which is why the update pace has been sluggish. Trying as hard as I can to get back into the groove.

Trying to make the next update a bigger one since we've had enough beating around the bush with that mysterious girl called Kay who's identity is obviously a big mystery and no one knows what to expect. I just want to have a good, uninterrupted scene where I can take care of some requisite plot and write some fun dialog. Written some already, writing more tonight, but I doubt there'll be a post until the afternoon-ish. Thanks for putting up with my lame justifications you'll probably say I don't need to make.
>> No. 39949
>>39947
Indeed you don't, but status updates are nice. Thank you.

Waiting warmly~