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File 12799402144.jpg - (41.40KB , 609x453 , sakuya_in_the_rain.jpg ) [iqdb]
40624 No. 40624
[x] Politely ask if you can visit the prisoner.

I holstered my rifle and stepped out into the open. There was no reason to sneak around like a thief in my own house.

"Hello there," I said, smiling. "How are you two doing down here?"

As soon as the fairy maid guards saw me, they both bowed politely.

"Good morning, sir," they said in unison.

"And good morning it is, apart from the rain."

I smiled at the two as I walked toward the dungeon entrance. The one on the left blushed a bit and looked away shyly. 'How cute,' I thought. And I had almost made it through when the one on the right suddenly raised her arms and blocked my path.

"W-wait!" she stammered. "We can't let you pass through here!"

"Ah! That's right!" cried the other one.

Damn. Almost made it, too. I somehow kept smiling as I spoke.

"And why is that, exactly? Could you tell me?"

"T-These are special orders from Miss Sakuya."

"We can't let anyone but the chief maid pass!"

Hmm. Sakuya must have anticipated this move. And if that was the case, then perhaps I should use a different method to 'convince' these two to cooperate. I smiled a bit wider as I took a step closer. Both of them took a step back. Did they sense my dark intentions? Well, that wouldn't be a problem. They were already within my reach now. All I had to do was...

"Emergency! Emergency!"

Footsteps came from the staircase. We turned to see a third fairy maid hurrying toward us. I clicked my tongue in irritation.

"Tsk!"

The newcomer called out to us.

"Miss Sakuya needs all of the guards outside! It's an emergency!"

Then, she turned to me.

"She wants you to come too, sir!"

"Wha?"

Ten minutes later, I found myself standing outside. One of the fairy maids handed me an umbrella. I took it and slowly walked toward the gardens. To the left was the entirety of the fairy maid defense force. I could see Elena standing among the them. And to my right, I saw Meiling and Sakuya. They stood in the rain beside a tea table set. The chairs were covered with sheets so they wouldn't get wet.

"..."

No, that wasn't right. There were three chairs around the table. Each of them was covered by a sheet, but it was clear that none of the chairs were empty. I swallowed nervously as I realized that the there were blood-stains coming through the damp sheets. Even without a word, I understood.There had found three new victims.

"Oh no... huh?"

There was something else this time. Upon the tea table was a letter sealed with the crest of the Scarlet family. I understood immediately then, why Sakuya had called.

The letter was addressed to me.

What should I investigate first?
[ ] The letter.
[ ] The bodies.
[ ] The grounds.

>> No. 40625
[x] The Letter

I have a feeling that if we check the bodies the letter will disapear
>> No. 40627
[x] The bodies.
Oh ho, who's died this time?

>>40625
Alternatively, we may get dragged off for something after reading it. If we start with the bodies we can grab the letter and read it later.
>> No. 40630
[#] the letter

We will learn who died... I think remi, flan, and patchy... But I hope not...

If we leave the letter unattended, who knows what will happen to it?

Personally, I think we're heading for a bad end, though.
>> No. 40632
[x] the letter

It'll give context to everything else.
>> No. 40633
[x] The letter.
Obvious.
>> No. 40634
[x] The letter.

First it was Rumia. Mystia is all alone in the mansion. So the three here... Are Wriggle, Chen and Daiyousei.

I still think it's the Nine Squad. Cirno killed them all to prove she was the strongest.
>> No. 40636
>"She wants you to come too, sir!"
>"Wha?"
>Ten minutes later, I found myself standing outside.
****** ****** fffff... Oh god oh no Mystia...

[x] Call everyone here, including the hopefully-not-yet-fried caged bird
or if that's not possible,
[x] The grounds.
-[x] Pocket the letter either way

First of all, checking the bodies is almost completely useless... we get a lot of RAAAAGEE, info on who was killed and how they were killed.

The first is useless as it limits the MCs reasoning and just knowing someone was killed already gives us enough, the second can be learned by asking and it will save our MC some nightmares and extra tears, the third one might give us a clue about the killer but still, compared to the other options this one gives us far less of anything other than rage. Mental stability FTW!

The letter option is good and if possible I'd like to pocket it and go search the grounds. It was left there for us to read and we probably should, since it gives us quite a bit of info about the killer, but from past Umineko experiences... reading it while mad is bad.

Grounds seem like a decent option as long as there's a lot of us searching them in a group. Going solo is obviously going to get someone killed.
>> No. 40641
File 127998511939.jpg - (83.90KB , 640x480 , pocket_watch.jpg ) [iqdb]
40641
[x] The letter.

I slowly stepped forward and took the envelope from the table. At the back was my name, and at the front was the crest of the Scarlet family. There were no other markings. After breaking the wax seal, I pulled out the letter and started reading silently.

----------

Greetings to the Lord of Scarlet,

It has been some time since I have been in your house, so please allow my to reintroduce myself. I am the former chief engineer and chronomancer-architect of the Scarlet Family, (name unreadable). I am very glad to see that the daughters of Scarlet have been raised beautifully, and I hope to be employed in your service once more.

Please accept these gifts of good will and sincerity:
(name unreadable)
Rumia
Luna Child
Sunny Milk
Star Sapphire

Blood to satiate the heart, and Chill to calm the soul. They have all been prepared according the Master's tastes. I pray that you enjoy these simple offerings while I prepare for the second half of this wonderful harvest.

Please wait warmly until it is ready.

- The Watchmaker

----------

I turned to the bodies and carefully raised the sheets. My fears were confirmed. These were none other than the three mischievous fairies. But their eyes were no longer filled with childlike cheer. Instead, their faces were frozen with expressions of horror. And as I examined them closer, I saw that each of them bore a deep wound in the chest, as if they were struck with a large spear.

"Strange, isn't it?"

Sakuya appeared beside me. As usual, she remained calm and collected. But even I could sense something different this time.

"In the strictest sense, fairies cannot be killed. The concept of 'death' does not exist for these beings. Yet these three have clearly been killed. Their wounds show know sign of healing, and their bodies are clearly not resurrecting at all."

"... what could have done this?"

"..."

Sakuya turned around and called to Meiling.

"They will get cold if they stay out in the rain."

The gate guard nodded solemnly.

"Leave them to me," she whispered. "Miss Rumia, too."

The chief maid assigned five other fairies to assist. Together, Meiling's group began their grim work. To the rest, she began detailing new instructions for the mansion's security. They all listened closely and attentively. There was no laughter or cheer among any of the staff.

Sakuya then turned to me. She did not say it out loud, but somehow... I knew.

But still...
[ ] For now, keep silent and think.
[ ] Tell Sakuya about the letter.
[ ] Tell Meiling about the letter.
[ ] Tell both of them about the letter.
>> No. 40643
[x] For now, keep silent and think.
Show your cards only when you know everything.
>> No. 40644
[x] For now, keep silent and think.
>> No. 40646
($) tell sakuya about the letter.

She knows something
>> No. 40659
($) tell sakuya about the letter.

She knows something
>> No. 40660
>>40646
>>40659

Something's wrong here.
>> No. 40663
>>40660
That's the worst case of laziness I have ever seen.

[x] Tell both of them about the letter.

Somehow I don't feel Sakuya can be trusted. At any rate, as they are both the head servants, and they both have to deal with this mess, they both deserve to know.
>> No. 40664
[X] Tell both of them about the letter.

> Blood to satiate the heart, and Chill to calm the soul.
> Chill to calm the soul.
> Chill
> Cirno

...
>> No. 40666
[x] Tell them both

If Sakuya is the killer or in league with the killer she already knows that we have the letter so there is no drawback in telling her.

If she isn't the killer then she needs to know.

Meiling needs to know in any case
>> No. 40667
[x] For now, keep silent and think.
>Greetings to the Lord of Scarlet
Either the Watchmaker is greatly mistaken, or we are actually a big-name motherfucker. The only way I can see us being the Lord of Scarlet is being betrothed to Remilia. Hell, it seems like he even implies we are her father. Have we even talked to her, outside of that strange void-space?
>It has been some time since I have been in your house so please allow me to reintroduce myself.
Implies we are actually far older than we appear to be, to have employed this guy for a number of years, and than forgotten him. This guy clearly addressed this letter wrongly, there's no way this shit can be right.
Sage cause I'm late to the party.
>> No. 40668
Tied votes. Extending this choice for a bit, etc.

Don't worry too much in terms of a 'good end' or 'bad end', since that doesn't apply much in this tale. Rather, I suggest thinking more on how the plot and perspective is influenced with each choice.
>> No. 40669
> being betrothed to Remilia
I'm all up for this. Sage for not helping.
>> No. 40670
>>40667
We really do need to go and talk to Remilia.

We should go and see her after this, assuming that she is still alive
>> No. 40671
[x] Tell Sakuya about the letter.

Tie-breakan, knows somethingan, etc...
>> No. 40674
[X] Tell both of them about the letter.

>>40671
That wasn't tie-breaking, it made it a three-way tie.
>> No. 40681
>>40671
*thumbs up* lol...
>> No. 40682
[x] Tell both of them about the letter.
>> No. 40690
[x] Tell both of them about the letter.
>> No. 40700
[x] Tell both of them about the letter.

"Another cup of black tea?"

I nodded weakly. The little devil gave me a small smile as she poured fresh tea into my cup. Despite these horrible events, Koakuma still managed to show me a bit of hospitality. A light, yet somehow elegant breakfast of sandwiches and pastries lay in a tray before me. I took a sip of tea. It was warm.

"Thank you very much," I said. "You really shouldn't have bothered."

"Please don't say that. Your company is always welcome in the Voile Library."

"Are these your instructions from Patchouli?"

"That is correct," she said. Then, she lowered her voice a bit. "B-but even if it wasn't, I wouldn't mind at all sneaking you a cup of tea every now and then..."

"Is that so?"

Koakuma blushed a bit as I watched her. I turned to the side thoughtfully. And then, I sighed.

"There sure are a lot of fairies here. Is that all of them?"

The little devil cleared her throat, clearly relieved for the change in subject.

"Yes, it seems that everyone apart from those with Miss Meiling have arrived here safely."

"That's good to hear."

I took another sip of tea as I watched. The Voile Library was bustling with activity this morning. Sakuya had ordered almost all of the fairy staff to assemble here for safety. The fairies formed a clearing nearby and began to set up a make-shift barricade around it with emptied bookshelves. The books themselves were carefully moved nearby, forming little piles here and there. From afar, the place looked like a small fort built within a forest of bookshelves.

"Patchouli does know about this, right?"

"Don't worry. It was Miss Patchouli herself who suggested that we have everyone stay here. This place is protected by a number of magical defenses."

"And this way, we won't be picked off one by one, either. "

"W-well, that is true..."

A moment of silence passed.

"Where is the magician, anyway? I haven't seen her since I arrived."

"Miss Patchouli said that she needed to research something in the lower library. She said that it was really important."

"I see."

I munched on a sandwich thoughtfully. The maids trained in mansion defense now started patrolling the area. They were granted permission to wield weapons openly, so most of them carried swords or spears. But the most dangerous one among them was nowhere in sight.

"Huh? Where did Sakuya disappear to?"

"She said that she was going to fetch Miss Flandre from the basement."

"Alright."

That made sense. The mansion was far too large to search, and there were countless places where a murderer could hide. Right now, the plan was to get everyone safely inside the library. Once here, we could probably figure a way to drive the culprit out into the open. At least, that was what Sakuya hoped.

From our last conversation, the chief maid told me something odd. Lady Remilia had refused to leave her room. She was still in a bad mood, I guess. Even the chief maid couldn't do much against the selfish little vampire. Especially since the said vampire was also the Mistress of the mansion.

"..."

I turned to one of the windows. The rain didn't at all weaken from earlier. A disheartening sight. Then, I glanced at my watch.

It was almost 9:00 AM.
[ ] Head to the basement after Sakuya.
[ ] Visit Remilia's room at the second floor.
[ ] Have Koakuma lead you to the lower library.
>> No. 40702
[X] Have Koakuma lead you to the lower library.

Strength in numbers, huh?
Too bad it probably won't save them...
>> No. 40703
[X] Have Koakuma lead you to the lower library.

We probably won't be in time, but there's always hoping.
>> No. 40704
[x] Head to the basement after Sakuya.
bah
>> No. 40705
[X] Head to the basement after Sakuya.
>> No. 40706
[x] Visit Remilia's room at the second floor.
Do we ever actually get to talk to her at all? It's not like she's one of the meta world players but hey...

>Mistress of the mansion locking herself up in her room>meta world>dotdotdot
Smells like Umineko. And I like it!
>> No. 40709
[x] Visit Remilia's room at the second floor.
As the MC, and possible Lord of Scarlet, we have complete protection against the murderer. We just need to be careful of vagrant touhous, and crazy wolf creatures. That being said, its time to bother Remilia and get some answers.
>> No. 40714
[x] Have Koakuma lead you to the lower library.

But what if the murderer is already inside the library?
>> No. 40715
>>40714
So? It's not like we're going to see more than a shadow and a body if Patch is going to get offed. Which she is going to be regardless of us being there, and she'll probably leave a Hermione style clue which we can pick up anytime.

Either that, or she's going to be fine and find nothing important/not tell us what exactly it is... like Flandre did.

I say we go out and look for clues instead of trying to save dead people. This is not going to end by us overpowering the killer anyway... we have to solve this.
>> No. 40716
>>I say we go out and look for clues instead of trying to save dead people. This is not going to end by us overpowering the killer anyway... we have to solve this.

One problem with that.
Those dead people are our only way back once we're in the metaworld again. Unless you seriously believe we're going to be able to figure everything out in this round, we need a sufficient connection with someone other than Flandre and Meiling in order to get to the next round/chapter/route/whatever.

Can't really do that if they're a corpse, you know.
>> No. 40718
>>40716
Hard to say, but it's not easy when so much is out of our hands; such as Remilia being fussy or in her room so often. And that's on top of the other readers' fickleness/stupidity.
>> No. 40719
>>40718
This is just speculation, but I think the way the structure of this is supposed to something along the lines of a route/chapter per character, each revealing a certain piece of the mystery that you wouldn't or couldn't have seen in the other runs, with the final one becoming available after clearing all the others or fulfilling some other prerequisite.

Last time, we helped Flandre survive, but everyone else pretty much died. Seeing as how we're back doing this all over again, I think it's clear that if there is some condition for a final victory, just saving one or two residents while leaving everyone else to die simply isn't going to cut it.
>> No. 40720
>Seeing as how we're back doing this all over again, I think it's clear that if there is some condition for a final victory, just saving one or two residents while leaving everyone else to die simply isn't going to cut it.

Which is exactly the reason why we should either pick one character already or go exploring. Since we're obviously going to be doing this again regardless of how many people survive.

If anon is going to go around wagging his tail at every resident(or not) we meet, including the fairies, I say we're screwed. Focus...
>> No. 40721
[x] Visit Remilia's room at the second floor.

We really do need to talk to Remilia about the letter.

See what her reaction to this "Lord of Scarlett" is. We should also ask about the watchmaker.
>> No. 40722
Tied votes, etc.

Anon is now investigating. Please wait warmly.

"Koa, Patch, Koa!"
"Saku-Flan?"
"Remi, Remi, Remiii~"

>> No. 40723
[X] Visit Remilia's room at the second floor.

We all know alot of people are going to die in the end. The only question is how.

And who did the killing, I suppose...
>> No. 40725
>>40723
Thank you! Blame it on me if this fails...
>> No. 40746
>Lady Remilia had refused to leave her room. She was still in a bad mood
>Umineko references
She's already dead.

Interesting story. Just started reading it. Am I the only one who thinks we got the gun because we also got the vial and thus lost Restraint?
>> No. 40750
>>40746

inb4 we face Dragonmilia in an epic final battle that turns out to be a red herring because the killer is actually good and the blue-haired witch (Patches!?) that has been helping us is in fact more evil than Hitler and Stalin at a satanic conference combined.
>> No. 40751
Have no fear guys, next episode we get a detective.
>> No. 40755
>>40751

"<Good!>"
>> No. 40756
>>40751

Say it in red.
>> No. 40759
File 128037538691.png - (172.55KB , 350x499 , 57673e8a4bc98726ca46097eef98c30d.png ) [iqdb]
40759
>>40751
>> No. 40761
We've been over this before:

>>38207
>>38208
>>38209
>> No. 40773
File 128039936820.jpg - (89.54KB , 674x914 , cirno.jpg ) [iqdb]
40773
"Eye was... the culprit?"
>> No. 40774
Calling it.

[x] Visit Remilia's room at the second floor.
>> No. 40778
[x] Visit Remilia's room at the second floor.

"Wait! W-Where are you going?"

I had almost made it out of the Voile Library when someone called out my name. 'How inconvenient,' I thought. While I wasn't really trying to sneak out, I didn't want to complicate things unnecessarily. I turned around to see a familiar blonde haired fairy maid standing with her hands clasped together. She hastily cleared her throat when our eyes met.

"I mean, where are you going, Master?"

"Where am I going?" I repeated. "Interesting question. Perhaps I should ask you, instead: where should I be going?"

"..."

We stared at each other in silence for a moment. Elena lowered her head first.

"Forgive me, Master," said the fairy maid. "But I believe you should stay here in the library, where you will be safe."

"The library? Hmm. You may be right in saying that this is the safest place in the mansion right now. I can't really argue against that."

"So you'll stay here?"

I shook my head and smiled at her gently.

"I order you to stay in the Voile Library and protect the other residents until I return."

And with that, I closed the doors behind me and stepped into the hallway alone. I unholstered my rifle and held it ready in my arms. There was no clue to how powerful the murderer was, or what kind of magic techniques he could use. But even then, I moved on. This person killed my friend and three other innocents. I couldn't just sit down and wait until someone from the mansion was discovered to be the next victim. Just thinking about it made me shudder. No. This must end here.

I reached the staircase to the second floor without incident. The hallways were abandoned, but they remained well-lit. At least, the basic utility magic around the mansion was still intact. The thought of wandering around this place in the dark with just a torch or candle gave me the shivers.

Before long, I found myself standing before the door to Remilia's room. While I was certainly enraged at these murders, I wasn't enough of a fool to believe that I could fight back alone. If there was someone who could take back control in a situation like this, it was that vampire girl.

I knocked on the door softly. No answer. Then, I started knocking hard while calling out Remilia's name. Still no answer. I tried the handle, but the door was locked. That was strange. Was she ignoring me?

"..."

A chill ran down my spine. I couldn't understand why, but I felt absolutely certain that Remilia was in this room. And she wasn't answering.
[ ] Bang loudly on the door.
[ ] Try to kick the door open.
[ ] Carefully set the door on fire.
[ ] Blast the lock open with the rifle.
>> No. 40779
[X] Blast the lock open with the rifle.

I don't think Remilia is in this world any more...
>> No. 40780
[] secret 1000 bullet lock breaking barrage


What's wrong with remi? Aren't we her main playing piece? Or perhaps a certain someone else is in the room...
>> No. 40781
[] secret 1000 bullet lock breaking barrage


What's wrong with remi? Aren't we her main playing piece? Or perhaps a certain someone else is in the room...
>> No. 40782
[x] Blast the lock open with the rifle.

Going to be her that's not her. Or whatever is left after a vampire dies. Under other circumstances I'd say we'd be greeted with a rotting corpse turned around in a chair.

Maybe she's just a heavy sleeper and will be pissed to all hell we've woken her up and broken the lock on her door, to boot? Doubtful.
>> No. 40783
[x] Bang loudly on the door.
[x] Try to kick the door open.
[x] Blast the lock open with the rifle.
Start off with loud knocking, then go over to trying kick it open and finally get angry and blow the door out of it's angles.
>> No. 40785
>>40783

While shooting the lock will definitely cause a lot of noise, I think it would be best if we minimize the amount of loud sounds we make while alone and in the open (though I can't remember being attacked directly while by ourselves, so this may be a moot point). If Remilia was in there, and able to hear us, chances are high that she would've.
>> No. 40786
>>40785
Except we've just been hammering on the door and yelling, so yeah.

[x] Call an apology through the door. State that you're going to blast the door open.
[x] Blast the lock open with the rifle.

Being chewed out by Remi for being overly paranoid is fine. Also don't want to shoot her by accident.
>> No. 40787
[ ] Carefully set the door on fire.
Brilliant! Burn the mansion to the ground!
[ ] Blast the lock open with the rifle...
No... as I thought I'm going with this:
[x] Carefully set the door on fire.
>> No. 40789
[x] Blast the lock open with the rifle.
That damn door better not have any magical enchantments on it.
>> No. 40798
I believe that this is relevant here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acf5tQJZrwE
[ø] say a prayer for the lock
[ø] Blast the lock open with the rifle.
>> No. 40801
[x] Blast the lock open with the rifle.

The vampire was definitely in this room. I could feel it. Yet, something was wrong. After knocking and calling out several times, she had still not answered. In fact, I hadn't heard a single sound come from within her room.

"Remilia!" I cried. "If you're in there, step away from the door! I'm really sorry about this. Looks like I'm gonna have to blast it open."

I waited for a few moments, but still no reply. Then, I took a few steps back, raised the rifle and aimed it carefully at the door handle. The sound of the shot rang loudly along the hallway. But when I lowered the gun, there was no sign of damage. The handle didn't even look like it was dusty.

"What the -"

Did I miss? No, that was impossible! Not from this range, at least. I raised the rifle again and fired at the handle once more. My eyes caught sight of something flicker momentarily, but there was still no damage on the lock. Then, I tried aiming the rifle at the door hinges instead. Three more shots echoed loudly. Still no visible damage on the door, but I noticed something. There was a faint red flash of light each time I shot the door. And after every shot, it grew more and more noticeable.

"A magic barrier? How odd. Heh. Not like that can stop me for long..."

The barrier seemed powerful, but I could tell that the rifle rounds were damaging it. All I had to do was keep firing until the magic was broken. Then, I could easily blast open the lock. These were no ordinary bullets I carried. They were especially made to combat youkai, demons and other magical beings. I began to reload the rifle. Then, I raised it toward the door and fired.

Or so I had planned. I blinked in surprise. Someone was standing in the path of my rifle. I barely stopped my finger from pulling the trigger.

"Huh? Sakuya?"

The chief maid stared coldly at me as she stood in front of Remilia's room.

"What are you doing here? Explain yourself."

"I need to talk to Remilia. She's in there, isn't she?"

"And what is that weapon for?"

"She isn't answering the door at all! It's an emergency, so I just -"

"SLAP!"

My eyes widened in shock. I felt a slight sting upon my cheek. And when I turned to Sakuya, she was shaking in anger.

"How dare you!" she cried. "Raising a dangerous thing like that toward the Mistress! And after all that she has done for you!"

"W-wait! It isn't like tha... urk!"

She grabbed the collar of my shirt and glared at me with pure hatred.

"Out of my sight," whispered Sakuya.

The chief maid push me back with such force that I tripped over the books that were piled upon the ground. I took a few moments to stand myself back up. Wait a minute. Books? I paused for a moment and blinked. Sakuya was nowhere in sight, and I was standing somewhere in the Voile Library. I see. She must have sent me back here with her ability. Not that I wanted to, of course. But I guess this was more preferable than the dungeon.

I took a moment to examine myself. No injuries, and it didn't look like I dropped anything. And to my left, I saw Flandre seated by a tea table. Looked like she was enjoying some biscuits while conversing with Koakuma. Huh? Did the little sister even know what was going on?

Seemed like they haven't noticed me yet. Hmm...
[ ] Approach Flandre and Koakuma.
[ ] Find Patchouli at the lower library.
[ ] Quietly sneak out and find Meiling.
>> No. 40802
Hahaha. Oops.
Well, I guess we caught someone's attention.

[X] Quietly sneak out and find Meiling.
No-one should be left alone too long Isn't it sad Mystia? ;_; and we're doing such a fine job making a pest of ourselves anyway...
>> No. 40803
[x] Quietly sneak out and find Meiling.

We could always go back and try again.

I like pissing off the head maid.
>> No. 40806
>Isn't it sad Mystia? ;_;
indeed... she's probably dead by now ;_;... this sucks

[x] Quietly sneak out and find Meiling.
>> No. 40807
[x] Quietly sneak out and find Meiling.
>> No. 40809
[x] Find Patchouli at the lower library.
Last we knew, Meiling was on route to the library, so there is little reason to go seek her out.
>> No. 40813
[x] Find Patchouli at the lower library.
>> No. 40816
[ø] Find Patchouli at the lower library.
The darkest place is just under the lamp.
dead Mystia is dead;_;
>> No. 40817
[x] Find Patchouli at the lower library.

Don't be dead, Patches. ;_;
>> No. 40819
[x] Find Patchouli at the lower library.

>"How dare you!" she cried. "Raising a dangerous thing like that toward the Mistress! And after all that she has done for you!"
>"W-wait! It isn't like tha... urk!"
>She grabbed the collar of my shirt and glared at me with pure hatred.

Well that's suspicious.
>> No. 40822
>>40819

>"I am the former Chronomancer Architect..."

>Painting of the clockwork man we found the game before this one

>Sakuya's general association with time as well as her status as a servant, i.e. a being that does not move without previous orders, much like a clockwork mechanism will never start before being wound.

>Several signs of Sakuya acting different from how she usually is, as if possessed/trying to break from something's control. Particularly noticeable in the opening act, but also generally suspicious demeanor in the second game.

I posit that Sakuya is furniture created by the Chronomancer Architect to serve the current head of the Scarlet family. However, she is still bound directly to her maker's will. This means that no matter how loyal she is to Remilia, the Chronomancer Architect can wield her as a piece against both ours and Remilia's interests without Sakuya being able to put up resistance.

Indeed, the previous scene considered, it's quite likely that she might have already killed Remilia.
>> No. 40824
>>40822
that's it folks, we all got trolled by the "Chronomancer Architect" and Sakuya.
>> No. 40825
>>40824

Son of a FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-
>> No. 40829
>>40824
Hard to say at this point... but it's a possibility.
>> No. 40832
Calling it.

[x] Find Patchouli at the lower library.
>> No. 40833
File 128057862399.jpg - (80.12KB , 700x700 , patchouli.jpg ) [iqdb]
40833
[x] Find Patchouli at the lower library.

After passing countless rows of bookshelves, I finally arrived at a large staircase leading deep underground. I glanced over the side and saw that there were a number of floors. Koakuma said that Patchouli was somewhere down in the lower library, but she never mentioned where exactly the magician was. Maybe I should have asked her to come with me.

"Research, eh?"

Well, I had already come this far. I should see if I could find her, at the very least. I shrugged to myself as I started walking down the staircase. My footsteps echoed loudly as I headed down. I paused for a moment at each floor, observing if there was anything odd about the books and shelves there. But for the most part, I didn't notice anything apart from the fact that even here, the books are kept in pristine condition.

I lost count of the number of floors I passed. While I didn't search anywhere too deep when I checked, I felt like there wasn't any visible sign that Patchouli had been in those floors. So I just continued heading down the stairs until I finally reached the very bottom level. Even then, I still didn't really understand what kind of clue I was looking for.

"Hmm?"

Like the rest of the library, this place was also filled with shelves and books. But something else caught my attention. And at the very end of the path, I could see a large chamber door. It stood out for some reason, almost as if it wasn't really part of the library.

"Thud!"

Suddenly, the ground around me started glowing an eerie green. A strange circle of symbols and runes formed on the floor I stood on. And before I could react, several vines shot out from the ground and wrapped tightly around my arms and legs.

"Eh? W-what the hell!?"

I tried to struggle, but it was no use. The thick tendrils knocked away my weapon, and they were steadily tightening around my limbs. I was completely immobilized. And as I watched, one of them coiled around my neck and started to choke me.

"Gaahuurk! Guh! Urk!"

Then, I saw a familiar face float from behind one of the bookshelves. 'Help me', I mouthed. When she saw me, the purple haired magician dropped her book and gasped in horror. Immediately, she started chanting a command spell. A flash of green light filled the place. And when it died down, the vines and tendrils had vanished. I took a moment to catch my breath.

"T-thanks, Patchouli!"

"Haa... I'm... sorry... haa... didn't... expect... you... haa..."

Patchouli was breathing heavily, and her legs were shaking. Forgetting about my own injuries for a moment, I ran up and barely caught her as she started to fall.

"That's enough. Don't speak."

The magician girl smiled weakly at me, whispering a silent 'Thank you' as she closed her eyes and rested against my chest. I quickly carried her to a nearby reading chair and waited patiently for her to recover. Slowly, her breathing started to normalize.

Koakuma had mentioned before that Patchouli's condition had been steadily getting worse these past few days. This weather made it difficult for her to move around. Yet she continued her research alone at the bottom level of the library.

"..."

And she had set elemental traps around the area, as if she was expecting to be attacked...
[ ] Leave her here and return to the others.
[ ] Accompany her around the lower library.
[ ] Insist that she come with you back upstairs.

Optional:
[ ] Ask her a question. (Specify)
>> No. 40835
[x] Insist that she come with you back upstairs.
[x] You won't take no for an answer. If there's something she truly needs, you and/or Koakuma will find it for her.

[x] "What are you doing down here?"
[x] "These traps; you act like you're expecting somebody."
>> No. 40836
[x] Insist that she come with you back upstairs.
[x] You won't take no for an answer. If there's something she truly needs, you and/or Koakuma will find it for her.

[x] "What are you doing down here?"
[x] "These traps; you act like you're expecting somebody."

>I tried to struggle, but it was no use. The thick tendrils knocked away my weapon, and they were steadily tightening around my limbs. I was completely immobilized.
Tentacle raep~
>> No. 40837
[ø] Insist that she come with you back upstairs.
[ø] You won't take no for an answer. If there's something she truly needs, you and/or Koakuma will find it for her.

[ø] "What are you doing down here?"
[ø] "These traps; you act like you're expecting somebody."
>> No. 40838
[x] Accompany her around the lower library.

I won't let you do as you please, Frederica Patchouli Bernkastel Knowledge!
>> No. 40865
[x] Insist that she come with you back upstairs.
[X] If she resists, tell her to be on Guard for ANYTHING.

No point in sending someone else to a death trap; I personally suspect those traps are kinda for thieves wanting their hands on dangerous books.

[x] "What are you doing down here?"
[x] "These traps; you act like you're expecting somebody."
[x] "did you see Meiling at all? She said she was going here."
>> No. 40866
[x] Insist that she come with you back upstairs.

"Upstairs? But I'm not yet finished here..."

I shook my head and firmly held her hand.

"Four people have been brutally murdered, and we have no clue to who is behind these killings. I'm not leaving anyone alone down here. Especially you, Patchouli. You are in no condition to wander around like this. You should know that."

"Did Koakuma tell you that?"

"She is just worried about you. You shouldn't push yourself in this kind of weather. What were you researching, anyway?"

The magician paused for a moment. Her expression was unreadable.

"This curse is the inevitable result of several events in the past," said Patchouli. "And these events have been carefully chronicled in the records and memoirs that lie here in the old library. The key lies somewhere in this vast sea of information."

"Huh? You mean it isn't some random incident?"

"I must continue searching... for the truth."

Patchouli forced herself up and started limping towards a nearby reading desk. There were a number of thick volumes on it, most of them in French. She picked up one of them and began flipping through the pages once more. I sighed loudly.

"Don't you think that it is a bit too late for that?"

"..."

She did not raise her head from the book, but I was sure that she was listening. I took a few steps closer and pulled out something from my pocket and put it down in front of here. It was the same letter that I had found this morning in the rain.

"Read it."

Patchouli did not answer, nor did she look up at me. Instead, she calmly put down her book and took the letter in her hands. I watched as she read the entirety of its contents. Her eyes widened slightly at several parts, but she did not speak. And after she finished, she folded it and returned it to me. What she said next was something I didn't expect.

"That letter is a forgery. The handwriting and style is indeed similar, but I assure you that this was not written by the Watchmaker."

"Huh? How can you tell?"

"I've read almost all of his works."

The magician began moving several of the books on her desk, revealing a small black book. She quickly pocketed it. Then, she turned back to me.

"Let's go," she said.

"But I thought you wanted to stay down here."

Patchouli gave me the tiniest smile as she took my hand. Together, we began flying back upstairs. Neither of us spoke until we reached the main level. And in a few minutes, we reached the little camp that the fairy maids had formed. But there was something different. A large dining table was set at the very center, and it looked exactly like the one from the main dining room.

"Welcome back, you two. We've been waiting patiently, ehehe~"

Flandre Scarlet stood at the farthest end of the table. That place was usually reserved for the lowest ranked person, so this was a strange sight. On her left sat the servants. Closest to her sat Meiling, who looked utterly confused. Beside the gateguard was Sakuya, who gave me a slightly cold look. On the vampire's right sat Koakuma, whose face lit up immediately when she saw us. And after letting me down, the magician floated to the seat beside her familiar.

"What's all this about?" I asked.

The little sister smiled a bit wider.

"It is lunchtime, of course. Why don't you take a seat~"

I saw that there were three empty seats at the table.
[ ] Sit beside Sakuya, on the right.
[ ] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.
[ ] Sit across Flandre, on the other end.
>> No. 40868
>"Let's go," she said.
>"But I thought you wanted to stay down here."
>Patchouli gave me the tiniest smile as she took my hand.

Patchouli... Damn you...

So who were we supposed to woo this time again? I'm just gonna go with Flandre if everyone is going to vote randomly...
>> No. 40869
[x] Sit across Flandre, on the other end.

We've lost all hope with Sakuya, and sitting anywhere near her would be fucking scary.
>> No. 40874
[x] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.

As delightful as Flandre is to be around, we've just entered with Patchouli after getting some particularly helpful information from her. I would like this trend to continue. It also seems like we've spent precious little time with her thus far. It's a shame it seems so difficult to spend adequate time with more of the mansion's residents. I get the feeling we're not doing a spectacular job of forming bonds this time around.

>"That letter is a forgery. The handwriting and style is indeed similar, but I assure you that this was not written by the Watchmaker."

Things are getting rather convoluted, here. Who actually wrote the letter? What's causing Sakuya to act so strange. It could just be the weight of the situation is wearing on her, but I wouldn't put a bet on it. Putting aside whether or not Sakuya's actually being controlled against her will as some have suggested, we've certainly pissed her off. I'd like to stay as far away as possible, for now. Though, sooner rather than later, we'll have to get to the bottom of things. Something tells me (at least this time around, if not all along) Sakuya may be at the heart of this.
>> No. 40879
[ø] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.
>> No. 40880
[x] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.
Right... this then. Though, I think we had more chance with Meiling at the beginning, we've seriously been neglecting... well everyone. This may just as well be the last run...
>> No. 40882
[x] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.
>> No. 40883
[x] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.
>> No. 40885
[x] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.
>"That letter is a forgery.
Well, goddammit. Back to square one.
>> No. 40890
[x] Sit beside Sakuya, on the right.

Giving up so easily, oh well the moment the fairphiles started cropping up in this story was never a promising sign.
>> No. 40894
>"That letter is a forgery."

Then say it in red.

[x] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.
>> No. 40909
[x] Sit beside Patchouli, on the left.

After everyone was finished eating, Flandre suddenly clapped her hands together.

"That was a wonderful meal! Indeed, it was all very good! The staff has done an excellent job, considering the circumstances. You are as reliable as ever, Sakuya."

"It was no trouble," said the chief maid. "My only regret is that Lady Remilia was unable to join us."

"Yes, that was quite unfortunate. So in her stead, shall I begin the game?"

The vampire was smiling, but I sensed something slightly unpleasant.

"What game are you talking about?" I asked.

"Ehehehe~"

Flandre licked her lips and grinned even wider. And suddenly, she stood up and slammed her hands hard upon the table. The sound echoed loudly along the library.

"I hereby begin this assembly with my opening statement," said the vampire. "The culprit behind the murders is currently among those seated in this table."

A moment of silence and dead air. I was not surprised at all that the vampire already knew about the incident. Even if no one told her, she probably figured it all out from the movements around her. But to make such a bold accusation within just a few hours of the incident was unthinkable. There weren't yet enough clues to form such a conclusion!

"Presentation of evidence, if you please."

The little sister held her hand out toward me.

"H-huh? What are you talking about?"

"The letter that was found earlier. It was addressed to you, was it not?"

Did she already start an investigation beforehand? But even so, I had no idea what Flandre was planning. I frowned a bit as I pulled out the letter from my pocket and passed it to her. She took only a few moments to read it all.

"This was the so-called letter from the 'Watchmaker'? It's just as I expected! Ehehehe~"

"S-so it really was from the Watchmaker?" asked Koakuma.

"Of course not! Obvious forgery is obvious. Isn't that right, Patchouli~"

The magician nodded carefully.

"The handwriting and style are both slightly different."

"Exactly!" cried Flandre. "But that's not all. Just from this letter and the information I have gathered from the incident, another level of reasoning can be reached."

"Another level of reasoning?" repeated Sakuya.

The little sister folded the letter and returned it to me. Then, she sighed to herself.

"The answer is quite boring though. Isn't that right, Meiling?"

"Eh?"

"You are the culprit. And a careless one, at that."

The gateguard jumped a bit. From the empty look on her face, she was the most clueless person among everyone here. Poor girl probably didn't follow the conversation until this point.

"..."

Wait, what? Meiling was the culprit!?
[ ] Agree with Flandre's theory.
[ ] Challenge Flandre's theory. (Specify)
[ ] Keep silent on the matter.
>> No. 40913
"With just this much, this level of reasoning is possible for Flandre Scarlet. What do you think, everyone?"

>>40909

[x] Challenge Flandre's theory.

-"M-Meiling!? Meiling can't be the culprit! If she is the culprit, say it in red! You can't, can you? Here's why!"

-"Meiling doesn't have a motive to perform the crime! Meiling has been a loyal and faithful employee of this mansion for years! Even if she had a bone to pick with the victims, which is extremely unlikely, she would not have killed them, because she'd know that would harm the mansion's reputation!"

-"Meiling has no skill to commit a crime such as this! Meiling could have easily overpowered the victims, yes, but she could not have kept them silent, and definitely could not have created a forgery as exact at this, even an unsuccessful one!"

-"Meiling lacks the time to commit the murders or prepare the forgery! When she hasn't been around me, she's been guarding the gate! After the discovery of the victims, she's spent most of her time organizing the defense of the mansion, isn't that right, Meiling? Even in those short windows when she might not have been witnessed by others, she simply wouldn't have had the time to commit three murders, prepare a forgery, and still appear as innocent for as long as she has!"

-"The... the last reason may be a more emotional one, but it still holds validity. Meiling is pure and faithful! Her actions have always been directed toward the service of this mansion, and she has proved it time and time again measuring up against intruders, often more than one, while the rest of the servant crew offers her no backup! Moreover, Meiling is my friend, and I know her. I know Meiling is too loyal to have committed a crime such as this! I won't let you defile her honor with this charade for even one second! Meiling is not the culprit, you fake detectiveeeeeeeee!"
>> No. 40928
[x] Keep silent on the matter.
-[x] Ask why she thinks Meiling is the culprit
We should do this for now. We first need to hear Flandre's reasoning. After that, my vote is [x] Agree with Flandre's theory but not be sincere, for almost whatever reasoning Flandre comes up with. Gives the real culprit a sense of false security or if Meiling really is the culprit, puts pressure on her. My guess at the moment is either Patchy or more likely Koa did it. Remilia is probably dead and she's one of the game masters, Sakuya is way to obvious a culprit at the moment but i still suspect her to some point, Flandre...

You figured it out didn't you?

Flandre..., Meiling... AARGH now I lost my trail of thought! Anyway nothing is set in stone yet, but my main suspect at the moment is Koa.
Now that I think about it... we are also one of the suspects...
>> No. 40929
[X] Keep silent on the matter.
-[x] Ask why she thinks Meiling is the culprit

Meiling could have had a hand in it, but I don't think that she could actually pull it off herself as the chessmaster of all these events. If Flandre gives us her reasoning, then it can put a bit more pressure on her to confess...unless she's been told not to.
>> No. 40945
[x] Keep silent on the matter.
I can't follow Flandre's logic on this one.
And besides, everyone knows the killer is us
>> No. 40956
[X] Keep silent on the matter.
-[x] Ask why she thinks Meiling is the culprit

Honestly, I think the killer is Flandre herself. She has bit TOO much insight into things, as smart as she's proven herself to be. Who's to say that she hasn't been controlling the events going on. This IS a girl who can split herself into four, after all, has the capability to destroy anything and everything...coupled with the intelligence she's shown so far, and the level of insight she's gotten in this case, and it makes a pretty suspicious cloud over her as well.
>> No. 40958
>>40956
also Flandere has being around long enough to know about this 'Lord of Scarlet' business.

We should really ask about that sometime

[x] Challenge Flandre's theory.
by asking for her reasoning
>> No. 40959
Calling it early.

[x] Keep silent on the matter.
>> No. 40965
[x] Keep silent on the matter.

"You should have thought out your plan a bit more. To be honest, I am quite disappointed that the answer could be found this early in the story."

"I am the culprit!? W-what are you talking about, Miss Flandre?"

The vampire shook her head sadly.

"There are more than enough clues to prove this theory of mine. Does anyone care to challenge it?"

A moment of silence passed. I was still too shocked and confused to speak. Meiling was the culprit? How the heck did Flandre come up with such an absurd conclusion? Was this some kind of sick joke?

"If not, then I -"

"I object."

Those two words came from the person I least expected. Patchouli closed her book and put it down as she raised her head.

"I cannot accept this conclusion," said the magician. "First of all, I ask that you explain the basis of your opening statement. What makes you think that the culprit is anyone among us?"

"Seriously? That part is so simple, isn't it? Ehehe~"

Flandre giggled to herself, clearly amused. However, the magician just repeated the question.

"What makes you think that the culprit is anyone among us?"

"You, more than anyone else here, should already know this. But I guess I can explain, anyway. There are several facts that point to this conclusion, but let me stress upon three key points."

The vampire cleared her throat for effect.

"First is the nature of the incident. There have been no visible signs of break-ins, whether physical or magical in nature. If there were any physical signs of an intruder, Sakuya would have noticed it immediately. She had already made a sweep of the whole mansion this morning. And if an intruder broke in through any magical means, Koakuma and yourself would have sensed it. If that was the case, then you would tell us, wouldn't you?"

"..."

"Second is the murder itself. If you recall how the bodies were damaged, you would realize that all of them were killed instantly with one blow. The culprit must be someone who could successfully overpower Rumia and the others. Among those living in the mansion, none of the fairy maids have enough magical or physical power to defeat them in a danmaku battle, much less a serious fight. And if they attacked in a group, the bodies would be damaged in a different manner. After ruling out the fairy maid staff, we are left with the people assembled here."

"..."

"And that leads to the third and most important point. Do you all remember the letter that the culprit left? The fact that the person must be someone familiar with the Scarlet Devil Mansion is a no-brainer. That is clearly implied by the use of several special terms, such as 'Lord of Scarlet', 'chronomancer-architect', and 'Watchmaker'. Only those who have lived a considerable amount of time in the mansion would know this. However, the culprit also knew the full names of the first four victims, which implies that she was familiar with the area around here as well."

"So that means that the culprit must have been among those who lived here after the mansion was moved into Gensokyo."

"Exactly."

Patchouli frowned slightly and sighed.

"I concede that point. Explain then, why you suspect that Meiling is the culprit?"

"Think back carefully. How was the first corpse discovered? That morning, the gateguard was the only person outside of the mansion who carried a key to the greenhouse. Everyone else was still inside, including the fairy maids assisting Sakuya. And don't forget that there was no sign that the culprit forced her way into the greenhouse, whether through physical or magical means."

She was right. No one could confirm what the gateguard was doing before that point in time.

"I-I-I was guarding the gate!" cried Meiling. "That's the truth!"

"Then let's recall how the three fairies were found. You were the first one to discover them as well, weren't you?"

"Ah! B-but that's -"

"After Sakuya took that sparrow youkai to the dungeon, everyone but yourself headed back into the mansion. I confirmed it myself that not one single person witnessed your movements between that time and the time that you 'discovered' the second set of bodies."

"How did you confirm that there were no witnesses to Meiling's movements?" asked Patchouli.

Flandre smiled slightly.

"Oh, that? I simply interviewed each and every fairy maid and staff member that I didn't meet during the specified time period. Did you think that I was just playing around when I started bugging everyone in the Voile library earlier? I didn't bother asking you because Koakuma and a few others already confirmed your alibi."

"As for him," said the vampire with a nod in my direction. "He was with me when I led him to the dungeon."

I felt a slight chill. Did Sakuya just give me a dark look?

"And myself? Besides several witnesses, there is a clear reason why I couldn't have been the culprit. Here's a hint: it is the same reason that I can't step out of the mansion even until now."

Another moment of silence. It was still raining hard outside, and it had not shown any sign of stopping. There was no way that any of the vampires could travel in this weather, even with an umbrella.

"Therefore, it is clear that the only person who could have committed this crime is... YOU!"

Flandre raised her finger dramatically toward the gate guard.

"E-eh? W-w-wha? H-how? B-but!?"

Patchouli sighed and sat down resignedly. And with that, the assembly was over. Flandre, Sakuya and several other fairy maids escorted Meiling down to the dungeon. Koakuma excused herself politely and began assisting the remaining fairy maids with the dishes. And soon, only Patchouli and I remained at the table. She had a book open in front of her, but she hadn't turned a single page since she started. It was only then that I finally recovered from the shock and confusion.

"Wait a minute," I said. "What the heck just happened here?"

"A mistake," she whispered.

Suddenly, the magician closed her book and stood herself up. Patchouli pulled out a small black book and stared at it for a minute. Then, she replaced it in her pockets.

"Meiling is certainly not the culprit," she said. "And neither is Flandre. That much is certain."

"Huh?"

"I don't have enough evidence yet," said the magician. "I must continue searching the old library."

With those last words, she began floating away, presumably back to her research.

I paused to think.
[ ] Accompany Patchouli down to the lower library.
[ ] Sneak back upstairs and try to meet with Remilia.
[ ] Follow after Sakuya and the others to the dungeon.
[ ] Talk to Elena and Koakuma here in the upper level.
[ ] Head somewhere else. (Specify)
>> No. 40967
[X] Accompany Patchouli down to the lower library.

>"Therefore, it is clear that the only person who could have committed this crime is... YOU!"
Flandre, Flandre, Flandre, how could you overlook the fact that you have a time stopping head maid? All she needs is a second with nobody looking at her and she could have easily left the mansion and committed all those murders.
>> No. 40968
[X] Accompany Patchouli down to the lower library.
>> No. 40973
[X] Accompany Patchouli down to the lower library.
>> No. 40974
[X] Follow after Sakuya and the others to the dungeon.

Can't let this shit fly.
>> No. 40975
[X] Accompany Patchouli down to the lower library.

While the chances of something happening to the people who end up in the dungeon are... not insignificant, the fact that Patchouli has an idea or direction on what to look for means we should make sure (as best we can) nothing happens to her.
>> No. 40977
[ø] Accompany Patchouli down to the lower library.
[ø] Ask Koakuma and Elena to accompany the two of you.

inb4 all the fairy maids are murdered.
>> No. 40978
[ø] Accompany Patchouli down to the lower library.
[ø] Ask Koakuma and Elena to accompany the two of you.
>> No. 40982
[x] Follow after Sakuya and the others to the dungeon.
Persistence... Mystiaa~ ;_;
She might know something new and she's not one of the residents so we can trust her.
>> No. 40984
>>40982
Also Meiling... and we get some Sakuya time to try to get back on her good side.

Things tend to die when we leave them alone for too long...
>> No. 40985
Calling it.

Very <good>!
>> No. 40986
[x] Accompany Patchouli down to the lower library.

The magician paused before the staircase that led underground. Then, she turned around and offered me her hand. I took it without saying a word. Together, the two of us returned to the lowest level of the Voile library. This was the 'old library', as Patchouli called it. She led me back to her reading area.

"I shall continue searching. Please wait here for a bit."

"Wait here? Why don't I help you look, instead?"

"Can you read French? German? Latin? Egyptian? Aramaic?"

"Err... no, I don't believe I can."

"Then wait patiently. Your presence here is already more than enough to raise my spirits."

She said that without any hesitation. After giving me a very small smile, she left on her own, back toward the bookshelves. I watched her until she disappeared from sight. Then, I yawned. At a glance, I could tell that most of the books around this place were written in various foreign or ancient languages. But there wasn't any harm in looking around a little bit, was there?

"Ah! How about this one?"

I pulled out a thick book from the shelf. Upon the cover was a picture of a warrior wielding a great spear against a monstrously large wolf beast. But more importantly, the title was in a language I could understand.

"Fenrir and Odin," I read aloud.

With this book in hand, I headed back to my seat. And I began to read. The tale was surprisingly vivid in its description, and soon I found myself engrossed in it. Several minutes passed. And when I finally pulled myself away from the book, I realized that Patchouli had already returned. The magician was at her seat, examining a thick volume.

"Enjoying yourself?" she asked without looking up.

"Sorry about that. I guess I got too caught up in this story. Did you discover anything new?"

She gave me a small nod.

"Your arrival here was no accident. That much is clear now. You were definitely the catalyst for these tragic events."

"My arrival? Catalyst? What are you talking about?"

Patchouli sighed and looked straight at me. But before, she could say anything else, a deep rumbling noise filled the old library. We both became very much aware that we were no longer alone down here. The magician immediately closed the book in her hands and stood up. Without another word, she walked up to me and grabbed me in a tight embrace.

"I'm sorry," she whispered softly. "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry..."

"P-Patchouli!?"

I don't remember how long we stood like that. The calm and cool magician of the Voile Library had suddenly threw herself against me. My mind couldn't even begin to process her bizarre behavior. I was still dazed when she finally pulled herself away.

"Stand over there," she said. "Quickly!"

She seemed to be pointing behind a nearby bookshelf.

"Huh? Over here? What's going on?"

Despite that, I walked over behind the bookshelf as I was told. Then, I saw the magician pull out a smoky green orb from her dress. And it was only then that I realized that the girl's eyes were damp.

"You must survive this," she whispered. "For everyone's sake."

"H-hey! Wait a sec -"

"I leave it all up to you, now..."

Before I could say anything, Patchouli threw the orb and shattered it on the ground before me. A strange green mist engulfed my surroundings. I coughed as I tried to wave it away from me. And when the smoke cleared, I found myself standing back in my room. Alone.

"Damn it, Patchouli!"

I took a glance at my watch. It was almost 3:00 PM.
[ ] Return to the Voile library.
[ ] Head down to the dungeon.
[ ] Try entering Remilia's room.
>> No. 40988
[x] Head down to the dungeon.

Again... persistence~ I want some status updates. Meiling, Sakuya, Mystia. Before we go in, we should ask the guards who entered before we did. If the guards are still alive. Also, why would we be locking possible culprits somewhere where we can't see what they're doing? Isn't that kind of dumb? "Oh you're the culprit? Sure run around the mansion all you want just don't come in here."

It would be rather dumb to go back to where we were just sent from (especially since something dangerous is going on there...) and I don't want to get caught trying to enter Remilia's room again...
>> No. 40989
...Patches?

...PATCHES!?

;_;

[x] Head down to the dungeon.

I want to go back to Remilia's, but Patchouli's already stated that our survival is vital. We must proceed with enough caution to live through this, but with enough zeal to reach the truth. Starting at the dungeon might give us the clues necessary to unlock the secret of Remilia's room.
>> No. 40994
[x] Try entering Remilia's room.
The key to everything.
>> No. 41002
[x] Return to the Voile library.
Anything other than this is wildly out of character. Patchouli is in danger, and hes just going to shrug it off and say "Oh well?"
>> No. 41004
I think we should be able to take a hint. If porting and stay alive is not good enough then I don't know what is.

We've been in the library for hours not dammit! Let's do something different every once in a while...
>> No. 41007
[x] Head down to the dungeon.

If Patchouli won't let us be there, we can at least find someone else to go look after her. We might as well take care of things in the dungeon then.
>> No. 41011
[x] Head down to the dungeon.

Regardless of what we do right now, we need to try to team up with someone (possibly Detective Flandre, I guess Meiling is out of the question right now)fast and get to Remilia's room. I get the feeling if we go there right at this moment, we're going to be stopped again in a similar, if not far more harmful manner. Then again if this thing is some shapeshifter jumping from person to person (as multiple individuals have exhibited rather out of character behavior on various occasions throughout the story as a whole) I'm really at a loss. Hopefully my gut feeling that Sakuya was trying to prevent us from finding something was correct. Possibly relate this to whoever we end up finding. Also hoping my hunch that this is something exerting control over the mansion's residents is correct, instead of one of them willingly doing this (although it might make things a good deal simpler).

>hes just going to shrug it off and say "Oh well?"

More like he's following her own desperate and clear directive: Don't Get Killed. Rushing headlong into something while we're (at least as far as we know) relatively powerless is naive and reckless, not to mention counter-productive to the story as a whole. At best, since we've never been attacked directly (except for the Flandre-clone chokehold incident), we might save Patchouli at the cost of sending 'it' after another of the mansion's residents. Don't try to guilt-trip people, we all feel bad about this decision, or we should , and no matter how much we want to help, chances are we'd just get in the way. Let's use the time Patchouli very well may have bought with her life wisely, not squander it. Endgame is approaching fast.
>> No. 41013
[x] Head down to the dungeon.

From every last route we took, things really hit the crapper at 3:00 PM

3:00 PM is the time we need to beat.
>> No. 41042
[ø] Head down to the dungeon.
well, shit.
>> No. 41124
Calling it. Busy days were busy, etc.

Let's get on toward that happy ending, shall we?
>> No. 41125
File 128117842517.jpg - (133.64KB , 650x858 , meiling.jpg ) [iqdb]
41125
[x] Head down to the dungeon.

Outside, the clouds had become dark. The wind had been growing stronger since this morning. Heavy rain drops beat loudly against the mansion windows. This place was now engulfed within a great storm. And with this kind of weather, visitors wouldn't be coming for a while. The crashing thunder gave a bad feeling - that somehow, this place was now sealed from the outside world. No longer would anyone be able to leave this mansion. And no longer would anyone reach this place. Unless that person was blessed with a miracle.

I ran as quickly as I could, not stopping for anything. And before I knew it, I found myself before the dimly lit staircase that led down to the dungeon. It was hidden in an alcove, and if Flandre hadn't pointed it out to me earlier, I surely would have missed it. I paused for a moment to ensure that my rifle was loaded. Then, I made my way down the staircase.

"Damn it all," I muttered.

There was no one at the dungeon entrance. No guards were in sight, not even the two fairy maids who I met earlier. Did everyone return to the library? That didn't feel right. If they truly did suspect Meiling of any wrongdoing, then they couldn't just leave her here without supervision. I swallowed nervously as I stepped inside, alone.

Several minutes later, I was still wandering around the vast dungeon. This place was deep underground, so the sounds of rain and wind had been replaced with an eerie silence. There was no sign of Flandre, Sakuya, or any of the fairy staff. I had not met a single soul down here. Not until I heard it.

"..hic..."

The sound was faint, and I had almost missed it, had I not paused to catch my breath. With my gun in hand, I approached the source of the noise. There was nothing otherworldly or feral about it. In fact, I had a suspicion to who it was. And I was right.

"Uwaa... hic..."

Seated alone inside one of the cells was the mansion gateguard. I paused for a moment, and cautiously watched her. The poor girl sobbed quietly to herself in the darkness. There was no hatred or anger in her eyes. Just confusion, fear... and loneliness. She was no different from a misunderstood child, who had been accused of something she didn't do.

I tapped the bars of her cell lightly with my fingers. Her reaction was late, and she stared at me, dumbfounded. It almost felt like I had woken her while she was napping by the front gate. Very slowly, she mouthed my name. As if she was uncertain that I was really here.

"..."

My name? What was it, again? For some reason, it sounded like it had been ages since someone called me by my name.

An old memory flashed in my mind. Remilia led me out to the front gate, while Sakuya followed beside her with a parasol. It was a bright and sunny day, then. A girl clad in a green uniform bowed to us nervously as we approached.

"This is the front gate," said the vampire. "Visitors often come through here."

"A-ah! Lady Remilia! W-w-what brings you out here?"

"I see, and this person here?"

"That one is the gateguard," she said. "Now if you follow me here -"

"Ah, wait a second."

Without any shame, I nodded toward the girl in green.

"What is her name?"

Remilia stopped in her tracks and turned around, astonished.

"Her name? You mean the gate guard? Well, that is -"

The vampire paused for a moment, uncertain of how to answer. When Sakuya noticed, she cleared her throat and motioned for the other girl to introduce herself. The gate guard blushed furiously as she turned to me and spoke.

"Hong Meiling," she said with a bow. "N-nice to meet you!"

I returned her bow and spoke.

"Nice to meet you, too. My name is..."

Yes. That was right. She told me her name, and I told her mine. And with that, we acknowledged each other's existence. That day, we accepted each other as fellow travellers along this often lonely path. And even if the world ended this day, nothing would change that.

I blinked as I returned to the present. But I did not hesitate this time. Not when the truth was right in front of me.

"I'm breaking you out of here," I said.

I knew then, even without proof, that Meiling was innocent.
[ ] Search the area for the keys.
[ ] Blast the lock open with the rifle.
[ ] Carefully melt the lock away with fire.
>> No. 41127
[x] Search the area for the keys.
hmmmmm, no need to freak out. Staying calm always helps
>> No. 41128
[x] Search the area for the keys.

Not hearing our name reminds me further of this 'Lord of Scarlet' business.

Next playthrough we have to try and talk to Remilia before she locks herself in/is killed
>> No. 41143
[x] Carefully melt the lock away with fire.

Something different.
>> No. 41144
[X] Search the area for the keys.

Good thing we didn't use calm to buy that silver candle stick.
>> No. 41148
[X] Carefully melt the lock away with fire.

Very, very, very bad things are about to happen to someone.
Odds are, it will be to someone who we aren't with at that moment.
>> No. 41150
[ø] Carefully melt the lock away with fire.
>> No. 41151
Votes are TIED. But the truth cannot be reached without a DECISION. Step forward and CHOOSE!
>> No. 41154
>>41151
I'm 41128 and I'll change my vote to burn the lock
>> No. 41203
[x] Carefully melt the lock away with fire.

I pulled out the crystal vial from my pocket and glanced at it. The vial gave off a subdued glow, and it was pitifully small. Yet the tiny tongue of flame within it still flickered with life. Wait a minute. How was that possible? Even if it was completely sealed, it didn't show any signs of dying out.

"A-Ah!" cried Meiling. "W-why do you have that vial!?"

"Stand back."

After removing the cap, I held the open vial above the prison door lock. Very slowly, a single drop of liquid flame fell onto it. Upon seeing this, Meiling quickly stepped back against the farthest corner of the cell. I quickly replaced the cap and stepped a good distance back. For some reason, I felt that something was -

"FWOOM!!!"

The prison bars were completely engulfed in a great wall of flame. I couldn't help but shield my face from the sudden blast of heat and light. Then, I heard a violent hissing sound, followed by cracking and popping. I wrinkled my nose as the smell of molten metal began to fill the room.

"Meiling! Are you alright in there?"

"Y-Yes! Don't worry! I'm still fine, I think."

I couldn't see her very well through this fire, but I was glad to hear that she was unhurt all the same. And as I began to worry about the fire spreading to the rest of the mansion, it began to die all on its own, leaving behind a huge hole through the prison cell bars. I waited for a bit for the smoke to clear and the molten metal to cool before calling out for Meiling. She easily stepped out of the cell shortly afterward.

"Sorry about that," I said. "The effect was far more powerful than I expected."

Meiling narrowed her eyes at the vial in my hand as she approached.

"That flame... and that crystal vial. Neither of those things should be in the hands of an ordinary human. How did you come across such a dangerous artifact?"

I glanced at the vial for a moment. It gave off a faint warm glow. Now that I thought about it, I couldn't remember where I found this thing. Didn't I just pick this up while shopping at the village? Or perhaps, Remilia or Patchouli gave it to me for safekeeping. Either way, I couldn't pinpoint when I obtained this item. But for some reason, this did not feel at all strange to me.

"Dangerous artifact? Isn't something like this commonplace in Gensokyo?"

"You just burned through those magically enforced prison bars, which even youkai can't break. And not just that. You managed to completely shatter the spiritual and conceptual seals that prevent the use of magic within these prison cells."

"Well, that is..."

I only intended to melt away the lock on the prison door. The more I thought about it, the more confused I began to feel. But this was not the time to think about it. There were more urgent things to worry about.

"That doesn't matter right now!" I cried. "Something horrible is happening in the library!"

I shook my head and held out my hand to her. Meiling hesitated for a moment. Then, I gave her a gentle smile.

"I need your help. I can't do this alone."

Very slowly, she took my hand. And together, we quickly made our way out the dungeon and back to the Voile library. However, when we arrived...

"H-Huh? Where is everyone?"

Meiling glanced at me, but I couldn't give her an answer. Besides our own voices and footsteps, the library was silent. The little camp that the mansion staff had built was completed deserted. Not a single fairy maid was in sight. There was no sign of any violent struggle. Everyone who was here just vanished without trace. I had the worst feeling.

"Patchouli..." I muttered.

What was I holding in my hand right now?
[ ] Nothing. My hands were free.
[ ] The rifle. It was still loaded.
[ ] The crystal vial. It glowed a bit.
[ ] Meiling's hand. It shaked nervously.
>> No. 41208
[x] Meiling's hand. It shaked nervously.
>> No. 41209
[ ] Meiling's hand. It shook nervously.
>> No. 41211
[x] The crystal vial. It glowed a bit.
>> No. 41212
[x] Meiling's hand. It shook nervously.

You'll never make me let go of her hand, evil witch!
>> No. 41213
[x] Nothing. My hands were free.
>> No. 41215
[!] Meiling's hand. It shook nervously.
>> No. 41216
[X] Meiling's hand. It shaked nervously.
>> No. 41222
[ø] The rifle. It was still loaded.
We're holding Meiling's hand with our left hand!
>> No. 41226
[X] Meiling's hand. It shaked nervously.

It's 3 o'clock, time to die!
>> No. 41229
[x] Meiling's hand. It shook nervously.
Where the fuck is Mystia? We just went through the dungeons, and she wasn't anywhere in sight. Mystia confirmed for murderer. Isn't it sad?
>> No. 41233
>>41229
>>Where the fuck is Mystia? We just went through the dungeons, and she wasn't anywhere in sight.

Maybe it's because you saw her already?
At lunchtime.
>> No. 41247
[x] Meiling's hand. It shook nervously.

I led the way forward as I held her hand. Together, we slowly flew above the bookshelves and searched. A tray of tea and cookies left beside a neat pile of books. A half-empty picnic basket lying upon a blanket on the floor. A lace handkerchief dropped carelessly on a desk. There were many signs that there were people in this place not long ago. Yet, there was no sign that any of them were still here. It almost felt like we had entered a different world, one where the Voile library was completely empty of life. The only source of sound was the endlessly pounding rain from the outside. And that only made me feel more uneasy.

"Let's quickly check the lower floors," I said.

"A-Alright, but could you wait a second? Please don't pull me so roughly..."

"Pull you? What are you talking about..?"

We stared at each other for several seconds. I could tell that Meiling had noticed something. But I still didn't understand. Not until she finally spoke.

"Forgive me for asking, but how are you doing this?"

"Doing what?"

"Leading the way, I mean."

"Eh? What do you... wait... huh!?"

As an ordinary human, I had no capability to fly on my own. So naturally, I had to borrow some of Meiling's power and synchronize so that we could fly together. But even so, it shouldn't be possible for me to control the direction and speed of our flight. My eyes widened as I realized this. And in my surprise, I lost focus and let go of her hand. In that instant, I felt the effect of gravity return and I began to plummet down to the ground. She grabbed me before I fell.

"W-woah! How the heck!?"

The moment her hand touched mine, I stopped falling. She giggled a bit and shook her head.

"Let's just call that a fluke, for now. Do you mind if I lead the way this time?"

"Err... yeah. That might be a good idea.. ha ha ha."

Thankfully, Meiling did not ask me any further. Even if she did, I wouldn't know how to explain it. She probably sensed that and quickly dropped the subject. Well, it probably didn't matter. All I knew was that if I held her hand, I could fly.

"To the lower library, then."

We slowly made our way down. The sound of the wind and rain faded away as we went deeper underground. And in its place was an ominous silence. We could hear nothing but our own breathing. The place was clearly illuminated by the lower library lights. We had no trouble finding our way. But the air felt unusually heavy and stale. Even without words, we knew that something was wrong.

Meiling's hand began to shiver again. I swallowed nervously. We were almost at the lowest floor now. And as we approached the bottom, a disturbing sight came into view. The once neatly arranged bookcases of the library were in disarray. The lucky few were only tipped over, with their contents scattered all over the floor. Most looked like they had been tossed around the room like old toys, and their wooden frames were cracked or shattered. Some even look like they had been burned or ripped apart with sharp tools. Old memoirs and tomes were brutally torn to pieces, their loose pages scattered all about. The place almost seemed like a...

"Battlefield," whispered Meiling.

She tightened her grip on my hand as we surveyed the area. The old library was in complete ruin. And as we searched, I silently prayed that we wouldn't find anything. And I was right. We didn't find any 'thing' in particular. What we did find was much worse.

"Damn it, Patchouli!"

We had found the magician at the very rear of the library. A strangely shaped metal wand was driven straight through her chest, impaling her to the floor. Her head was tilted forward, so I couldn't see her face. One of her hands somehow remained on the wand, as if she had tried to pull it out. And her other hand was closed into a tight fist. Blood stained the floor around her. It gave the impression that she had died fighting.

"T-That's not all. Look!"

At the sound of Meiling's voice, I turned around.

"What the..."

Just a short distance away stood a single little tree. It had no leaves at all - just sharp, twisting branches. And upon the very top lay the body of a small girl. The growing tip of the tree had pierced ruthlessly through her belly. Even from here, I could see a short string of intestines hang out from the opening. The arms and legs were in awkward positions. Then, I saw it. An unmistakable pair of gem-filled wings jutted out from her back.

We had found Flandre, as well.
[ ] Examine Flandre first.
[ ] Examine Patchouli first.
>> No. 41248
[X] Examine Flandre first.

Hypothetically, as a vampire, Flandre stands a chance of still being alive.
>> No. 41253
[x] Examine Patchouli first.

>A strangely shaped metal wand was driven straight through her chest, impaling her to the floor.

>The growing tip of the tree had pierced ruthlessly through her belly

Seems as though they killed each other. This raises more questions than it answers. Which one attacked which first, and was it justified? We've encountered Flandre-copies before that were clearly against us. We have yet to do so for Patchouli, but that's not to say it isn't possible. Honestly, I'm not really sure WHAT the good vote here would be. I want to say this time is different, but as >>41248 said, Flandre has the highest chance of still being alive. Meaning that if she's the not-Flandre Flandre,, she may very well just be waiting to kill us. If so, it would be strange that her powers of regeneration hadn't kicked in sooner. Of course the same goes for Patchouli. This does not account for the fact that Patchy seems to be in one piece (relatively), something rather unlikely for any opponent defeated by Flandre, powerful as the witch may be. Decisions, decisions.

I really would like to think this choice is the right one, but if someone presents a better argument or reasoning, I'll change my vote accordingly. Hopefully I'm wrong on all counts, though even then two of our closest allies (excepting Meiling) seem to be dead.
>> No. 41255
[x] Examine Patchouli first.
>> No. 41262
[x] Check Flandere
>> No. 41263
>We had found Flandre, as well.
Goddamn, let us check on her first.
[x] Examine Flandre first.
>> No. 41264
[X] Examine Patchouli first.

>>And her other hand was closed into a tight fist.
Hmmm...
>> No. 41274
Tied votes are tied. Will wait warmly.
>> No. 41277
[x] Examine Flandre first.
>> No. 41285
Calling it.
>> No. 41286
[x] Examine Flandre first.

"Be careful," said Meiling. "I'll check on Miss Patchouli."

After giving her a quick nod, we split up to save time. I took a few steps toward the tree that had impaled the younger vampire sister. As a precaution, I pulled out my rifle and held it steady in my hands. Then, I took a glance at my watch. It was just past 4:00 PM. Horrible as the scene was, there was no sign that this tragedy was finished.

"..."

I climbed up a nearby pile of fallen bookshelves to get closer. And when I examined the body, all hope that she was still alive was lost. Certainly, she could have survived being pierced through the abdomen. But there was no way that a vampire would survive this kind of attack to the heart. Several twisting branches had somehow buried themselves through her chest like wooden stakes that had been hammered in.

Indeed, it was a gruesome sight. But I noticed something very strange. Despite such a brutal death, there was a look of peace upon Flandre's face. And if I blocked everything but her face with my hands, I could easily have thought that she was just sleeping. To borrow her own words, this was definitely something that 'didn't fit with the story presented'. Perhaps if I had her level of insight, I could come upon a sudden epiphany. But unfortunately, that wasn't the case...

"Huh?"

There was something that glittered from her dress. I apologized silently as I reached in to pull it out. Eh? Why was she carrying something like this? I blinked in confusion as I stared at the item in my hands. It looked like an ordinary ballpoint pen, but it had been broken in half. In its current condition, I probably couldn't use it to write anything.

I fished through her dress for a few more minutes, hoping that she had prepared some other clue or hint, but to no avail. And as I was considering what to do next, the ground rumbled loudly. I coughed as dust fell from the ceiling. Clearly, the sound had come from somewhere upstairs.

"A-ah! W-what was that?" cried Meiling.

"Something dangerous. We have to return upstairs."

"But how about Miss Patchouli and Miss Flandre?"

I quickly jumped off the broken shelves and landed near the gate guard.

"Those two will have to wait," I said. "We need to help where we can. There might still be survivors."

She nodded and took my hand. We quickly started flying back from where we came.

"Where exactly are we going? Do you have someplace in mind?"

"..."

At that point, there was only one place that came to mind.

"Remilia's room," I whispered.

We didn't meet anyone else as we travelled. The mansion halls were completely silent. And when we finally reached the second floor, I felt something wet drip on my shirt. Eh?

"Damn it all," I whispered.

I didn't even notice that I was crying.
[ ] Fear
[ ] Anger
[ ] Hatred
>> No. 41287
>[ ] Fear
>[ ] Anger
>[ ] Hatred
Oh great, asking how far towards the dark side we've fallen.

[X] Anger
At least anger can be focused into something useful.
>> No. 41288
Fear - we've been valuing calm, so let's stick with that.
Hatred - We don't have a tangible target. If it's like last time and we end up taking it out on Remi, there's no value to this.

[X]Anger
>> No. 41289
[x] Hatred

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
>> No. 41290
[x] Anger

I'd sure as hell be angry, though the question now is what or who to be angry at. My assumption that Flandre and Patchouli killed each other fighting may or may not have been incorrect. Maybe they were manipulated into fighting, or had their own abilities used without their consent. Seems more and more likely whatever we're dealing with has the ability to change shape. Or something of the sort. Creepy.


>"I'll check on Miss Patchouli."

>And her other hand was closed into a tight fist

Not sure, but I'll hazard a guess and say that she was holding onto something in that hand. Hopefully Meiling either didn't see it or didn't check for anything out of the ordinary (which seems a bit suspect, though it could be excused as grief or shock), and isn't hiding something from us. The item may or may not have been broken, but regardless we've moved on. This story has a way of making me more paranoid than I've been since a certain other story. I like it.
>> No. 41291
[x] Anger
Take all my anger, my sorrow.
>> No. 41292
[X] Anger
>> No. 41293
[X] Suffering
>> No. 41295
[X] Hatred

The best fuel
>> No. 41306
>>41290
I suspect we made the wrong choice there.
>> No. 41325
[x] Hatred
Someones murdering everyone this guy knows and loves, of course hes going to hate them/it.

>ordinary ballpoint pen
>[ ] A ballpoint pen. Its price is "Accuracy".
>Flandre makes crazy theories about Meiling being the murderer.

I have a feeling Patchouli also had an item. Something small enough to fit in her hand, obviously. Like, for example.
>[ ] A small compass. Its price is "Time".
>Patchouli actually figures shit out. She dies before she can tell anyone.

Though, I'm stumped on how this all ties into Meta-Remilia's cosmic chess battle with Hansel and the mysterious third party.
>> No. 41358
> Hansel

Would there be someone else who goes by the name of Gretel?
>> No. 41377
>>41358

It would have to be our younger sister, obviously.

We went to the SDM, and never came back to her.

But now, she will come to save us while using those grade-A legs to make certain we never look at another woman again.
>> No. 41378
[x] Hatred
>> No. 41427
[✝] Anger
>>41288
What he said.

>>41229
Sad indeed...
>> No. 41431
Calling it.

[x] Anger
>> No. 41432
>Where the fuck is Mystia? We just went through the dungeons, and she wasn't anywhere in sight. Mystia confirmed for murderer. Isn't it sad?

Even if this possibility pans out, will it be her solo (somehow), working with someone/thing else, or under the control of someone/thing else?
>> No. 41433
[x] Anger

From the shadows of the second floor hallway, a fierce wolf beast emerged. It ran straight towards us. I didn't even have time to raise my rifle.

"Watch out!" cried Meiling.

She jumped right in front of me and swung her leg in a great arc that reminded me of the crescent moon. Her heel left golden trails of light as it connected with the shadow creature's skull.

"Crack!"

The beast whined in pain for a moment. Then, it dropped dead on the ground. And as we watched, its form slowly melted back into the shadows. It left no trace that it had even existed, almost as if it had been just a bad dream.

"Damn it! It's those things again!"

"Again?" repeated Meiling.

"Yeah. Elena and I encountered them in the greenhouse while you were at the front gate."

"So it had started even earlier than I noticed..."

"Started? What the heck are those things, anyway?"

The gate guard had a serious expression on her face. It was very unlike her.

"Familiars," she whispered.

Before I could ask, she suddenly struck a combat pose. Several pairs of glowing red eyes approached us from the shadows. Some came from in front of us, and a few came from behind. We were surrounded. Without hesitation, I raised my gun and prepared myself. I understood immediately that we would have to fight in order to break through.

"There is no place for us to escape to, is there?" said Meiling. "I have nowhere else to go besides here."

"Doesn't look like it. But I'm not planning on abandoning our home."

"Neither am I."

I smiled grimly.

"It is settled, then. So why don't we give our uninvited guests the warm welcome that they deserve? It would be quite rude if we left them unattended."

Meiling laughed softly.

"Yes. That sounds great."

And with that, we began to charge through the hallway. Two shadow wolves emerged to intercept us. I aimed my gun at the one on the left and fired twice. The second shot hit right between the eyes, and the creature fell dead immediately. And as its corpse disappeared into the shadows, Meiling dashed forward and shattered the skull of the other wolf with a carefully placed punch. Three more creatures came running toward us. I turned around and emptied my rifle on the one coming from behind, while Meiling quickly dispatched the other two. Then the gate guard stopped running and waited as I reloaded my rifle.

"Are you alright back there?"

"Yeah. Just pray that I brought enough bullets."

We continued running through the hallways while fighting off the shadow beasts. Somehow, we managed to get through uninjured, though we did have a few close calls. And after what seemed like an eternal battle, we had finally made it. The last hallway toward Remilia's room was well-lit with chandeliers and candlesticks, so there were no shadows for these creatures to emerge from. We paused to catch our breath.

"Bang!"

Suddenly, one of the doors to the side burst open. Meiling and I both readied ourselves for another attack. But the person who emerged was no enemy of ours. A familiar little devil stepped out, holding her stomach with her hands and limping. My eyes widened in horror as I realized that she was bleeding from a large open wound.

"M-Miss Koakuma!"

"Koakuma!"

"Eh? Ah, it's you," she whispered.

I barely had time to catch her as she began to fall.

"Are you alright? What happened to you?"

Koakuma smiled weakly and shook her head. Even without a careful examination, I could tell that her wounds were most certainly fatal. She seemed to be aware of this as well, so she wasted no time.

"Miss Patchouli told me... to give you this..."

She motioned for me to come closer. I lowered my ear right beside her lips. Very slowly, she moved her face even closer. I could feel her warm breath. And before I had time to react, she gave me a soft kiss on the cheek. Then, she whispered three short words into my ears.

"Why did she..."

I turned to her, and she gave me one last smile before dying in my arms.
[ ] Stay silent
[ ] "Koakuma..."
[ ] "Patchouli..."
[ ] "It's all useless..."
[ ] "..." (Specify)
>> No. 41436
[x] "...REMILIA!"
-Burst into that goddamn room!
>> No. 41439
[X] "Koakuma..."
[X] "Patchouli..."

Both, why not.
>> No. 41449
[x] Stay silent
There's nothing else to say. Lets bust down that damn door and get some answers.
>> No. 41454
I have a very big, honest question for the author.

Is this mystery solvable?
>> No. 41458
>>41454
Only if you have love.
>> No. 41459
[x] Stay silent
“There are times when silence has the loudest voice”
“Do not speak unless you can improve the silence”
Why yell and attract god knows what to us?
>> No. 41461
[x ] "It's all useless..."
>> No. 41462
[x] Stay silent
manly tears
>> No. 41465
[x] Still tongue
[x] Burning eyes

THIS. MUST. END!
>> No. 41467
[x] Still tongue
[x] Burning eyes
goddammit
>> No. 41504
Calling it.
>> No. 41506
Nice
>> No. 41507
[x] Stay silent

I raised my hand. And very slowly, I tugged upon her sleeve. It was a very small, but deliberate movement.

"..."

The little devil used to do this to me all the time to get my attention. Then, she would remind me of something that I had forgotten or some task that I had to finish. Looking back, she never really had any real responsibility toward me. She was the magician's familiar, not mine. Yet, she would often go out of her way for me. Not in ways that easily stand out, of course. But with simple, everyday things like a cup of tea, or a tray of biscuits. Her acts of kindness were small and deliberate. Just like the way she would tug on my sleeve.

"..."

I tugged on her sleeve once more. However, Koakuma showed no reaction. I lowered my head and closed my eyes. Then, very softly, I held her against my chest. She was still warm to the touch. But there was no longer any heartbeat.

"..."

The rain continued to fall outside. But it was strange. Even if I was indoors, I felt something wet roll down my cheeks. Very slowly, a single drop fell down upon the floor. But it didn't make a sound. The only sound that could be heard in this final hallway was the unending rain that fell upon the Scarlet Devil Mansion. With a sigh, I carefully laid her down. Despite everything that had happened, she kept a small smile on her face.

"I'm... so -"

"Look out!"

Suddenly the silence was broken by Meiling's voice. And as I raised my head, I saw something coming toward me. It was a relatively small object, but it was flying at an inhuman speed. And it headed straight for my heart.

"Snap!"

I blinked. In front of me stood Meiling, who was in a combat stance. The object was only a few feet away when it stopped in mid-air and broke in half. I couldn't tell if she used her hands or her feet. Her movements were too fast for my eyes. So instead, I took a look at the object that now lay on the ground in two pieces. My eyes widened in horror.

It was a knife.

I quickly looked around. And as I feared, someone appeared in front of us. Her arms were folded as she spoke to us in a cold, indifferent tone.

"Tsk," said a familiar voice. "It didn't hit. How unfortunate."

"S-Sakuya? What the hell? Are you trying to kill me?"

"Yes. As a matter of fact, I am."

A moment passed as I stared in shock. Suddenly, she held a spell card in left hand. The chief maid began muttering something under her breath. But before she could finish the spell, a bright flash of gold filled the room.

"Chi Sign, 「Spirit Restriction Field」!"

The whole hallway was now bathed in a faint glow of gold energy. I didn't feel any different, and when I looked around, everything looked exactly the same as it was before. But Sakuya seemed to have noticed a significant change. She frowned slightly as she pocketed her spell card.

"An anti-magic barrier?" said Sakuya. "And it seems to be effective against my abilities, too. So you were hiding a powerful move like this. I wonder why I was never told of your capability to use forbidden magic."

"Lady Remilia made me promise," whispered Meiling. "I was never to tell anyone. Even you, Miss Sakuya. So please.. just let us pass through peacefully."

"I see. So the Mistress kept you as a hidden ace... is that it? Yes, that does sound very much like her."

Sakuya gave her a wry smile.

"So what are you going to do next? Do you seriously think you can defeat me with just this trick? Or perhaps you expect that 'ordinary human' over there to tip the scales to your favor?"

"We don't want to fight you," I said. "Please, Sakuya. Just let us pass and -"

"Silence, you dirty human scum!"

The chief maid gave me a dark look and grimaced. It was certainly her. Yet, I have never seen such hatred in her eyes. And before I could say anything else, she began walking toward us.

"How irritating," she whispered. "The cleaning never does end..."

She pulled out a single knife from her dress and smiled darkly.
[ ] Make the first move. Aim carefully and fire the rifle.
[ ] Let Meiling charge in first. Then, support her from range.
[ ] Wait for Sakuya to attack. Focus on defending yourselves.
[ ] Use a different strategy. (Specify)
>> No. 41508
[x] Wait for Sakuya to attack. Focus on defending yourselves.
Do not attack first, she probably expects this. Wait for the moment to arise and strike only then.
>> No. 41509
[ø] Wait for Sakuya to attack. Focus on defending yourselves.

god damn, what's going on here.
>> No. 41510
[x] Make the first move. Aim carefully and fire the rifle.
We must make the first move. The first to move is often the one who wins. Just injure her though... Don't get soft now if we don't come at her with the same attitude as she is we're fucked.

I'd come up with something more and I might change my vote later on but I'm a bit busy right now...
>> No. 41511
>>41508
Why would she expect us to attack first? I don't know about you but if for some reason somebody I know well attacked me I'd try to talk them down peacefully instead of charging them head on.
>> No. 41513
Ergh. Hopefully next round we can up Sakuya's relationship bars instead of... what it is now.

[ ] Wait for Sakuya to attack. Focus on defending yourselves.
>> No. 41516
>Ergh. Hopefully next round we can up Sakuya's relationship bars instead of... what it is now.

There's no point to it, I'd say. The evidence has already been presented - she's an opposing piece. We'd be best beating the crap out of her and trying to snap her out of our opponent's control long enough to extract info, than trying to be nice to what is, essentially, a mind-control zombie.
>> No. 41517
>>There's no point to it, I'd say. The evidence has already been presented - she's an opposing piece

An opposing piece, sure, in this round. That doesn't mean she necessarily will be in the next one.

In case you've forgotten, she helped us in the last two rounds, and even died to do it in one of them.
>> No. 41527
[x] Make the first move. Aim carefully and fire the rifle.
Remilia is still right behind that damn door. We don't have time for Sakuya's mind controlled shenanigans.
>> No. 41539
Calling it.

[x] Wait for Sakuya to attack. Focus on defending yourselves.
>> No. 41540
[x] Wait for Sakuya to attack. Focus on defending yourselves.

Sakuya approached us with a cold smile upon her face. There was an ominous aura about her, as if she was spreading her killing intent across the entirety of the hallway. Meiling clenched her fists tight and changed her combat stance. I took several steps back and aimed my rifle at the chief maid. She was our enemy right now. We didn't need words to understand that. Yet, I couldn't bring myself to attack first. And neither could Meiling.

"... heh."

Noticing the moment of weakness, the chief maid suddenly rushed forward and swung widely. Several knives came flying straight at us. Meiling stepped forward, raised her hands and twisted them in a spiral fashion. A barrier of many colors suddenly appeared in front of her, and when the knives struck it, they shattered into pieces. But soon afterward, we realized that Sakuya had vanished.

"Huh? Where did she -"

"Get down!"

I didn't have time to finish speaking. Something was flying straight at me. I barely had enough time to react. In the next moment, I felt it pass only inches from my head. If it had hit, I would most certainly be dead right now.

"Tsk. Missed again."

The chief maids voice came from above. We looked up to see her standing with her feet on the ceiling. Her face was expressionless, but there was a mad glint in her eyes that made me shudder. She raised her hand and snapped her fingers. Dozens of knives appeared out of thin air. My eyes widened in horror as they fell upon us like a rain of blades. There was no way to dodge such a large number of projectiles.

By the time I turned to Meiling, she had already began moving. Her heel began to glow once more with golden light. And then, she leapt right above my head and swing her foot in a great arc. I couldn't help but be dazzled by the grace and power of her movements. With that single move, Meiling easily broke through the chief maid's silver rain of death.

"Very impressive," said Sakuya. "Good to see that you aren't so useless, after all."

Meiling, who was now standing right beside me, looked up at the chief maid sadly.

"I don't want to fight you, Miss Sakuya. So please... won't you let us through?"

"Isn't that cute? But I can't let anyone through this hallway."

"But why? Why are you acting this way?"

"The orders of the Master of this house are absolute."

With that, she swung her arm widely once more, scattering knives in several directions. None of them were specifically aimed at us, but they were moving at an accelerated rate. And each time they hit a wall, they ricocheted without any loss of speed. My eyes could barely follow their movements.

"Dammit! How are we supposed to avoid these things?"

"We don't need to," whispered Meiling.

"Huh?"

"Increasing magic restriction level on this territory..."

The gate guard closed her eyes and whispered something under her breath. Once again, the room was filled with faint golden light. And when it dimmed, all of the knives suddenly stopped and fell harmlessly to the ground. Meiling sighed with a heavy heart and turned to Sakuya.

"Is this battle truly unavoidable, Miss Sakuya? If we go any further than this, there is a good chance that one of us will die."

"This is the only reason I have left to exist in this world," replied the chief maid. "I will fight you with everything I have. So please..."

For just a moment, Sakuya was lost for words. She lowered her head slightly, and when she finally spoke, it was but a whisper.

"Show me your true strength, just this once."

The chief maid landed on the ground, and this time, she only pulled out a single knife. And as we watched, it began to glow bright silver.

"Fight me with everything you have."

"B-but, Miss Sakuya..."

"This is my last request, Hong Meiling."

For just a moment, no one spoke.
[ ] Don't interfere.
[ ] Try to stop them.
[ ] Break the silence. (Specify)
>> No. 41542
[X] Break the silence. (Specify)
- [X]"'Master'? Who would that be? You've always called Remilia 'Mistress.'"


and she has, as far as I've checked.
>> No. 41547
[x] Don't interfere.
You do not get between last requests.
>> No. 41573
[X] Break the silence.
- [X]"'Master'? Who would that be? You've always called Remilia 'Mistress.'"

She doesn't seemed to be mind controlled. She's making last requests, almost as if she wants to be stopped. If she were willingly following her Masters orders, she wouldn't word things the way she has.
>> No. 41575
[ø] Break the silence.
- [ø]"'Master'? Who would that be? You've always called Remilia 'Mistress.'"
>> No. 41592
[X] Break the silence.
- [X]"'Master'? Who would that be? You've always called Remilia 'Mistress.'"
Other options suck and it's too late for a write in.
>> No. 41595
Calling it.
>> No. 41597
File 12820462943.jpg - (227.52KB , 1017x853 , miracle.jpg ) [iqdb]
41597
[x] Break the silence.

For just a moment, no one spoke. The two who stood before me showed no sign of retreating. I sighed sadly. It was a small chance, but I had hoped that they would pull back after I had stepped in. I even took care to avoid their vital organs. But instead, my plan had backfired. Here they were, fighting back with a power I've never seen. The head maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion was being forced back by a gate guard and an ordinary human.

Heh, what an embarrassing sight this must be. That silly girl actually managed to seal my powers. All I had left now was my speed and my skill with the knife. In this situation, she would most certainly defeat me. So then, shouldn't I just give up and tell them the truth?

"..."

No. This was my last chance to stop them. If I didn't force them back now, then even that last ray of hope would be lost. It was already too late for me. Even now, I could feel that subtle poison spread through my veins. Soon, I would lose even the will to finish this task.

I focused the last bit of my power into the knife in my hand. It shone with a bright silver light against the faint golden hue of the gate guard's barrier. This was my last trick and my final trump card. Without any doubt, this move would drive these stupid fools out of the mansion. And perhaps, they might just be saved.

Yes, if I could somehow manage that, then perhaps I might finally be forgiven.

"Have you said your prayers? Your final goodbyes? If not, then this might be your last chance."

"..."

With the most wicked smile I could muster, I glared at them with cold eyes.

"Then, this is the end. Goodbye, you fools..."

With that, I tightened my grip on the knife that now held my last trick.

"Wait. Before we start, let me ask you a question, Sakuya."

Just as I was about to rush forward, that inconsiderate man made a ridiculous request.

"..."

"You mentioned something odd earlier. That you were acting on the orders of the Master of this house."

I nodded slowly, not understanding where he was going with this.

"But that's strange. Haven't you always called Remilia, 'Mistress'?"

"... huh?"

My eyes widened in surprise. And suddenly, old memories began to flash in my head. Preparing Mistress' tea. Cleaning Mistress' room. Brushing Mistress' hair. Fighting off intruders while Mistress watched. Accompanying Mistress to the shrine. Investigating incidents together with Mistress. Preparing Mistress' extravagant parties. Standing beside Mistress during lazy afternoons...

How could this crude, obnoxious idiot notice something like that?

I turned toward him, and looked deep into his eyes. He did not have any aura of magic about him, nor did I sense any unusual spiritual power. Yet, there was something very familiar about the way he looked back at me. My head ached painfully as I tried to remember. Yet I withstood the pain because I was sure that there was something that I needed to remember. And for just a moment, something flashed in my mind.

"... no way."

Was there really such an impossible memory?
[ ] Tea and biscuits for two.
[ ] A shopping trip at the village.
[ ] Spring cleaning at the mansion.
>> No. 41599
[X] A shopping trip at the village.
>> No. 41600
[X] A shopping trip at the village.

Well, there goes the thought that Sakuya was trying to kill us out of her own free will.

Also, we're right about the 'Master' comment.

And damn it, Sakuya's going to die again.
>> No. 41601
>>41542

Ho. Awesomely done.

[ ] A shopping trip at the village.
>> No. 41603
>>41542

You, my good sir, truly have... love.

*commence background music*

[x] A shopping trip at the village.
>> No. 41604
[X] A shopping trip at the village.
>> No. 41607
[X] A shopping trip at the village.
>> No. 41608
[x] Spring cleaning at the mansion.
>> No. 41609
[x] A shopping trip at the village.

>>41608
Sorry but... where were you when we gave her that gift back in the Prologue thread?
>> No. 41611
[x] Tea and biscuits for two.
>> No. 41617
[x] A shopping trip at the village.
>> No. 41636
[ø] A shopping trip at the village.
>>41542
you sir...
brofist.jpg
>> No. 41651
[x] A shopping trip at the village.

I stood before this antique shop once again. There wasn't anything particularly unique or elegant about this place. It was one of many establishments along the main road of the Human Village. But ever since I first noticed it, I found myself passing by whenever I had the chance.

There were a number of items on display, but only one really caught my eye - a small hand mirror. It lay between an intricately designed music box and a strangely tinted pair of eye glasses. I felt a strong sense of nostalgia whenever I took a look. But for some reason, I could never bring myself to go inside and buy it. After all, it didn't really fit the image of the position I held.

"Ah, isn't that Sakuya?"

I couldn't help but sigh when I heard his voice. And sure enough, he was already running toward me when I turned.

"What were you looking at?" he said as he glanced behind me. "Find anything interesting?"

"I-It's nothing special, really. Just looking around..."

"Is that so?"

"..."

He raised an eyebrow, as if expecting more. I didn't say anything in response, so he just shrugged and changed the subject.

"Anyway, have you heard about the new cake shop that just opened?"

"Cake shop?"

"Yep. I heard that they have a number of fancy cakes and pastries. They even serve their own unique blends of tea."

"I see."

Interesting. I wonder if they had anything that Mistress Remilia would like? She did have a taste for European sweets, and it wasn't easy finding the ingredients.

"So then," he said. "Would you like to check it out with me?"

"Eh? What are you talking about?"

"The cake shop, I mean."

I stared blankly at him for a few seconds. He started to laugh uneasily.

"Ahahaha... well. Just forget about what I said. You're probably too busy, I guess."

And with that, he went off and left me before I could say anything. I frowned as I watched him disappear into the crowd. Well, it wasn't like I was really that interested, anyway. I still had some things to buy in the village before I could head back to the mansion. I really didn't have the time for such carefree activities.

"..."

The trip home felt lonelier than usual, as I had to stay longer in the village. But when I passed by the kitchen, I was in for an unexpected surprise. There was a small box waiting for me. It had a small card with my name on it, and inside was a cute little chocolate cake. Very slowly, I started to smile.

"... that idiot."

After that day, I was quite certain of one thing - our newest resident really was an idiot.

"..."

Today was no exception. I opened my eyes slowly to see a pair of idiots worry over me. Seemed like I had passed out earlier. The gate guard cushioned my head comfortably with her lap, while the other one glanced at me from time to time.

"M-Miss Sakuya? Are you alright?"

"Don't worry. I'm sure she'll be ready to attack us again after she rests. Right, Sakuya?"

I quickly got up and brushed the dust off my clothes. Then, I gave them both a small smile.

"... maybe next time."

For some reason, my head seemed to have cleared up a little.
[ ] I have to take them to safety.
[ ] I have to lead the way forward.
>> No. 41652
[X] I have to lead the way forward.

Can't get to the bottom of this by running away.
>> No. 41653
[ø] I have to lead the way forward.
remiria, get.
>> No. 41654
[x] I have to lead the way forward.
I can't help but feel the other vote is more than it seems.
>> No. 41660
[x] I have to take them to safety.
>> No. 41663
[x] I have to lead the way forward.

This is... the last riddle.

REMILIAAAAAA!
>> No. 41664
[x] I have to lead the way forward.
>> No. 41678
>>41654
I know what you feel and I hope OP is not going to screw us over since he knows we're going to pick [x] I have to lead the way forward anyway but to my defence as to why I picked this... ENOUGH BULLCRAPPING SAKUYAA! You're not throwing us out this time!
>> No. 41686
[ø] I have to lead the way forward.

Not repeating the last two runs.
>> No. 41712
[x] I have to lead the way forward.

The three of us ran down the final hallway toward the Master's room. We did not encounter any more obstacles as we moved. In a couple of minutes, we would reach our final destination.

"This way!" said Sakuya. "We don't have much time!"

"Where are we headed?" I asked.

"To the source of this tragedy," she said.

"You don't mean, the Mistress'..." said Meiling.

The chief maid nodded to her as she spoke.

"I've decided to stop running. We'll face her together, the three of us, and end this."

"This won't end without more bloodshed, will it?" said I.

"This fate has already been written. All we can do now is fight so that no more innocents are killed. Then perhaps, maybe I can..."

Suddenly, Sakuya stopped in her tracks. It only took a moment for Meiling and I to realize the reason. We had finally reached the end of the hallway. However, another hindrance had appeared. The door to the Master's room was completely encased within a wall of ice. The frozen barrier was easily several feet thick.

"How in the hell?" I muttered aloud. "What's going on here?"

"..."

The chief maid raised her hand and motioned for us to wait. Then, she pulled out a knife from her dress and threw it at the frozen barrier. Meiling and I gasped in surprise as the knife suddenly stopped in mid-air a few feet from the icy wall. The knife had suddenly been encased in ice, and when it finally fell to the ground, it shattered into pieces.

"Such a powerful barrier," said Meiling. "But cold manipulation shouldn't be enough to cause an effect of this level."

"... no, it shouldn't." said Sakuya.

"How are we to get through? Is there something we can use to pass through safely?"

"...huh?"

I realized that Meiling was looking at me. And then, I remembered what she mentioned earlier. Yes, that was right. I just happened to be carrying something that could be of use here. After a moment, I successfully fished out the crystal vial from my pocket.

"You mean, this thing?"

Meiling nodded solemnly. And the moment Sakuya saw it, her eyes widened in surprise. Then, she narrowed them with suspicion.

"Where... did you get that?" she asked.

"Sorry, I don't really remember. But is this really the time for an interrogation?"

"..."

Sakuya sighed, but she didn't say anything more. With the glowing vial in my hand, I stepped closer toward the wall. I had to be careful. If I got too close, I would probably end up as a human popsicle. But either way, we had to break this barrier apart if we were to go through. And if that was the case, then I had only one option...

"Uuuuuwaaaah!"

With a loud cry, I tossed the vial with all of my strength. For a moment, it felt like time had slowed down. All three of us watched in anticipation as the vial flew toward the frozen barrier. We watched as it reached the ice unhindered, and shattered to release its contents. The effect was instantaneous. We shielded our eyes as the unhindered power of fire was released upon the wall of ice. And when the bright flash of light had dimmed, we saw a great flame dancing all over the end of the hallway. The dangerous barrier of frost was easily reduced to steam as we watched. It almost felt as if the legendary phoenix itself had lent its power to crush this final obstacle. And as the steam cleared, we saw that the door to the Master's room was now within reach.

"Was that all our opponents could muster?" I said. "He he he... I almost feel sorry for them. They will learn first hand of what happens to those who oppose the Scarlet. Right, everyone?"

"I feel no joy from inflicting harm on others," said Meiling "But this is also my duty, and I will not back down."

"..."

No response from the chief maid. Puzzled, Meiling and I turned around. Sakuya was standing behind us, clutching at her chest. Eh? Was she hesitating? That wasn't like her, at all. I laughed a bit as I approached her with a smile.

"Don't be nervous, Sakuya. I see that even you have a human side to you, so maybe -"

I stopped mid-sentence when I noticed it. My eyes widened in horror, and my throat immediately went dry. An alarming amount of blood began to seep right through Sakuya's maid uniform. It seemed to be coming from a wound from her chest. Then, without any warning, she just collapsed.

[ ] I see no evil.
[ ] I hear no evil.
[ ] I speak no evil.
>> No. 41713
May be related:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT3PSxUYAno
>> No. 41714
Told you guys we should leave. Now the same thing is happening again.

[x] I hear no evil.
>> No. 41715
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/4932/the_origins_of_see_no_evil_hear_no.html?cat=7 I believe this may be somewhat relevant here... I think I'll abstain from voting for now... stuff to think through.
>> No. 41716
>>41714
By the way
>Now the same thing is happening again.
The same thing will keep happening again and again and again for as long as we don't solve it. I think we picked the better option that will help us solve it faster.
>> No. 41717
[x] I speak no evil.
The other two are like turning your face the other way when something horrible happens.
>> No. 41719
Hmm...
>[ ] I see no evil.
Walk away as if nothing happened or...maybe nothing did happen?
"If we do not hear, see, or speak evil, we ourselves shall be spared all evil." It's just a guess but this might be the option to fix this.
>[ ] I hear no evil.
This one is giving me some trouble... my best guess is that Sakuya tries to tell us to proceed without her but we try to help her anyway.
>[ ] I speak no evil.
We simply stay silent and do nothing like we did >>41433 with this option. I don't like this choice it implies we do nothing but stare at her which wastes both time and her life.

I'll take this one
[x] I see no evil.
just to balance it out for the rest of you.
>> No. 41720
[x] I speak no evil.
>> No. 41724
'When the Scarlet Moon reveals its light, no one survives.'

Wonder we all actually dead before the meta-chess began.
>> No. 41725
>>41715

Stop using ellipses like that. You are quickly becoming annoying.
>> No. 41727
Sorry. It's what I do when I don't want to end the sentence but have nothing else to say. I'll try. (Damn the temptation.. AARGH)
>> No. 41742
Calling it.

[x] I speak no evil.
>> No. 41744
File 128248918074.jpg - (10.05KB , 535x378 , broken.jpg ) [iqdb]
41744
[x] I speak no evil.

"What the hell?" I cried. "Where is her injury?"

"A-ah! I-I can't find the wound! There isn't any at all!"

"That's impossible! Where is she bleeding from?"

I knelt down to examine Sakuya myself. But I couldn't locate the chief maid's injury, either. All we could do was wipe off the blood that seemed to be seeping right through her skin. I tried putting pressure on her chest, but that didn't stop the bleeding. Damn it! Carefully, I tried shifting the position of her arms and legs, but that didn't help either. Argh! What was going on here? Her body seemed perfectly fine, and there were no visible wounds or bruises. But blood continued to drip from her chest. I became increasingly aware that her face was slowly turning pale white. I raised my fist and pounded on the ground in frustration. No matter what we tried, the bleeding wouldn't stop. Meiling began to weep as she gingerly wiped off some blood that had begun dripping from the chief maid's mouth.

"Miss Sakuya! U-u-uuu.. (hic)... uwaaaaaah!"

"Damn it all, Sakuya!" I shouted. "Didn't you already figure out the truth? Weren't you going to lead us to the culprit? Damn it, don't leave us like this!"

"...so noisy..."

Those words were whispered with great difficulty. For just a moment, I thought that she had recovered. But when I looked, she had only one eye slightly open. Very slightly, her head nodded. Immediately, both of us lowered our heads closer to her lips.

"The Mistress..."

We waited patiently, as there was nothing more we could do. Almost a minute passed before she found enough strength to speak again.

"She is... already..."

"Already?" I said. "Already what? What happened to Remilia!?"

"M-Miss Sakuya... Miss Sakuya? Hey Miss Sakuya!"

"..."

Meiling held the chief maid tightly in her arms and began shaking her as if she had just fallen asleep. But I knew then that Sakuya wouldn't ever open those eyes again. And very slowly, the gate guard realized this as well. Slowly, tears began to well up in her eyes. Meiling stopped shaking her body and cried out.

"No. No! Nooooooooooooo! Miss Sakuya! Wake up! Miss Sakuya! Miss Sakuyaaaaaaaaaa! Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Her cries and sobs echoed loudly along this final hallway. And as I watched her weep, I realized that my own vision had become blurred. I couldn't stop the tears that had finally began rolling down my cheek. This day had been a living nightmare. My friends and acquaintances were found murdered this morning. And now, four of those that I had considered the closest I had to a family had been killed.

I turned away from the others and closed my eyes. What kind of monster would commit such horrible murders? What did any of my friends do to deserve such punishment? Was this just someone's sick idea of a game? This was all just... too much to bear...

"..."

"BANG!"

Suddenly, the door to the Master's room burst open. And from the shadows within, I saw the hint of a smile.

"VERY GOOD! I had greatly underestimated you. Honestly, I had thought that you were just some useless background character. But to get this far unscathed, you have certainly reached far beyond my expectations!"

I quickly wiped off my tears and faced forward. The Master's room was wide open now, and I could spy a pair of red eyes and a toothy grin in the dark. The voice sounded like that of a young girl's.

"Now I understand why she gave you that title. It really didn't make much sense to me at the beginning, but now it all falls into place!"

"Title?" I repeated slowly. "What the hell are you talking about? And who the hell are you, anyway?"

"Hee hee hee! You really haven't figured anything out, have you, Lord of Scarlet?"

'Lord of Scarlet', she had said. The moment I heard those words, I understood. I pulled out my rifle and checked the chamber. It was only partially loaded, so I took a few bullets from my pocket to reload.

"Eeeeeeeh? Why did you pull out that toy, I wonder~"

"Click!"

Then, without a word, I took a step forward. One by one, the murder scenes flashed in my mind. Rumia in the greenhouse. Sunny, Luna and Star beside the gardens. Patchouli and Flandre at the lower library. Koakuma on the way here. And now, Sakuya as well. But I didn't care anymore. None of those puzzling murders matter at all, now that the culprit was right in front of me.

"Ah, I see! You want to play a game with me, don't you?"

A game? Is that all this is to you? Damn bitch... I'll kill you!

"But this hallway is far too dull. A poor place for a final showdown, don't you think?"

Kill you? No, that won't be enough. I'll rip out your eyes, stick my rifle down your mouth, and make you eat those words! Then after you're broken, I'll take my time to tear you apart the same way you did to my friends.

"So then, why don't we head inside? The party has already begun~"

I raised my rifle and fired five times at the shadows. But from the girl's laughter, I was sure that all of my shots had missed. I clicked my tongue as I pulled out five more bullets from my pocket.

"Watch out!" cried Meiling from behind.

But I didn't need that warning. I loaded only two bullets into the rifle. Then, I raised it, aimed, and fired twice in front of me. And with just that, two shadow wolves lay dead along my path. Their killing intent was enough to give away their position.

Without another word, I began marching into the darkness, reloading my rifle as I went.

[ ] "I'll kill them all."
[ ] "I'll KILL them all."
[ ] "I'll kill them ALL."
[ ] "I'LL KILL THEM ALL."
>> No. 41749
[x] "I'LL KILL THEM ALL."

"This is... the end. I... I won't let you get away with this anymore, BEATRICEEEEEEEEEEE!"
>> No. 41750
[X] "I'll kill them all."

Tranquil fury.
>> No. 41751
[x] "I'LL KILL THEM ALL."
Let's get this show on the road.
>SF09-sayu-01
>> No. 41753
[x] "I'll kill them all."
A mad man is a dead man. Quiet, calculating and deadly.

By the way nice choice of music. Mine's Final Anwser.
>> No. 41754
[†] "I'll kill them all."
>> No. 41755
[X] "I'll kill them all."
>> No. 41757
[X] "I'll kill them all."

It's the false Rumia from the first thread that ripped our heart out. And she remembers being Meta. This will be difficult.
>> No. 41759
[x] "I'll kill them ALL."
>A crystal vial. Its price is restraint.
And there it goes.
>> No. 41761
[ø] "I'll kill them ALL."
USM anon, don't ever stop being so awesome.
>> No. 41766
[ ] "I'll kill them all."

The ending.
>> No. 41769
[x] "I'll kill them all."
>> No. 41802
[X] "I'll KILL them all."

Emphasis on Kill is better than emphasis on All, methinks.
>> No. 41808
>>41802
inb4 anon murders Meiling
>> No. 41809
[x] "I'll kill them all."

After reloading once more, I raised my rifle toward the left.

"BANG! BANG! BANG!"

I fired three more times into the darkness. And as I continued moving forward, I passed by the corpses of three more shadow creatures. I clicked my tongue in irritation. These small fry were really starting to piss me off. Ever since I walked through the door to the Master's room, these things kept trying to ambush me in twos or threes. I couldn't even remember how many of them I had already killed.

"Damn this darkness..."

This passage was very poorly lit, and only a handful lamps and torches illuminated the surroundings. I could smell the dust and mold in the air. Unlike the rest of the mansion, this place didn't show any sign that it was maintained by the staff. In fact, I had the impression that I was inside one of those areas that had been sealed away long ago and forgotten. After all, this most certainly didn't look like Remilia's room.

"And damn that bitch."

She must have did some trick with the door. Was it some sort of spell or illusion? I had no idea how it was done. But I just shrugged that away and continued onward. All I knew was that the culprit would be at the end of this dark passage, waiting for me.

"BANG! BANG!"

I turned around and fired two more times into the darkness behind me. Two more yelped in pain as they collapsed. These shadow wolves were relentless. No matter how many I killed, they just kept coming. Meiling had called them 'familiars' earlier. If that was so, then perhaps I must kill their Master to put a permanent end to them.

And just as I was thinking that, a large pair of double doors came into view from the end of the passage. I paused for a moment to catch my breath. This was the end. I could feel it in my bones. There were no more obstacles, and I was sure that the culprit was just behind these doors. Once I stepped through, there would be no more turning back. And there would be no more escape.

I put my free hand on the handle and opened the door quickly. A large, well-lit ball room came into view. At the very center stood the silhouette of a young winged girl.

"You sure took your time. I thought you might have gotten lost on the way here~"

"..."

Without a word, I raised my rifle, aimed and pulled the trigger.

"Click! Click! Click!"

But nothing happened. Was the gun out of bullets? I quickly started rummaging through my pockets for ammunition.

"D-damn it!" I mumbled.

"What's wrong with your toy? Having any trouble? Ehehehe~"

The young girl turned around and stepped into the light. She smiled mischievously as she watched. I recognized the vampire immediately. Then, I began to understand.

"So this was your plan," I said. "You intentionally lured me here, alone. Then, you used your familiars to waste all of my bullets. I should have guessed that you were behind this intricate mass murder."

"Intricate? The plan was quite simple, really. And that's why it was so elegant~"

She raised her hand and snapped her fingers playfully. With just that, the rifle in my hands broke in half. A cold sweat began to drip from my forehead. I didn't take a single step back, bu that wasn't because I was feeling brave. If this girl really was behind all of this, then there was one thing certain. My chance of escape was now at zero percent.

"I guess I'm next then. What now? Are you going to decapitate me with your bare hands? Burn me to death with magic? Or perhaps you'll tie a weight to my neck and toss me into the lake?"

"Eeeeeeeeh? Haven't you figured anything our yet? You really are a silly sweet bun head, aren't you, ehehehe~"

The vampire giggled innocently as she stepped closer. And without warning, she ran up and gave me a tight embrace. The moment I felt her soft touch, all doubts my doubts had vanished. This girl was certainly the same Flandre Scarlet that I knew.

"Just a bit more," she whispered. "And, just maybe..."

"W-what the!?"

And just as suddenly, she pulled herself away and a malicious smile returned to her face.

"And now, the main event!"

She raised her hand and snapped her fingers once more. And from the shadows, someone was dragged into view. My eyes widened in horror as I realized that it was Meiling. Strange, shadowy tendrils were wrapped all over her body, binding her movement. Her mouth was covered as well, and she couldn't speak.

"Meiling!" I cried. "What the hell is this?"

"If you solve this riddle, then the gate guard will be set free. But if you fail, then I'll proceed with the last part of the ceremony. So listen very carefully now, because I will only say this once!"

Flandre turned to me with an unusually serious expression upon her face. And when she spoke, her voice was almost a whisper.

"At this point in time, there are nine named murder victims. Four of them were listed out in the letter that you have in your pocket, with one name that couldn't be read. Another four were killed after the letter was found. With these and all the other clues presented, who was the first person killed? Whose name was meant to be written at the start of the letter?"

I closed my eyes and thought back carefully...
[ ] Remilia
[ ] Flandre
[ ] Sakuya
[ ] Patchouli
[ ] Meiling
[ ] Koakuma
>> No. 41811
Ffffffffff
Back-reading time!

I'm guessing that the previous choice would have effected how recklessly we fought the familiars. Possibly with the 2nd and 4th being manic enough that we rushed past some and arrived with bullets left.

Not that it would make any difference against Flandre.
>> No. 41813
First batch:
_____, Rumia, Sunny, Luna, Star,

Second batch:
Patch, Flandre, Koa, Sakuya

That leaves us with Remilia and Meiling. The choice should be obvious but I have certain doubts about it. Why would this riddle be so easy for example. It may be just the writer messing with us by intentionally making it easy but even Flandre who we ourselves confirmed to be dead (by the way I think if we searched Patch she would be here right now) is alive and kicking. This should be thought through veery carefully.
>> No. 41815
>>41813
Nice break-down. And we saw Koakuma between the first and second batch.
Skimming back over the segment with the letter with hindsight, it's certainly within a controlled-Sakuya's interests and capability to obscure Remilia's name from the letter.
She certainly seems like the obvious choice. suspiciously so. Isn't paranoia a wonderful thing?


>but even Flandre who we ourselves confirmed to be dead (by the way I think if we searched Patch she would be here right now) is alive and kicking
Indeed if there's any 4-of-a-kind or fakes happening here, that totally throws a spanner in the works. There's no way we can conclusively remove Flandre from the list one way or another.
>> No. 41817
>>41815
We were the first person to see the contents of the letter, and Sakuya just recently died. Unless there is actual evidence for mind-fuckery, and she has actually been dead this whole time, she is out of the running.
>> No. 41819
[x]Remilia

Occams razor

We could spent weeks arguing with ourselves about who was the first to die.
Someone has to pick the obvious selection so I shall
>> No. 41820
[x] Sakuya
There is plenty of evidence for Remilia. Enough so, that I consider it a red herring. Factoring Remilia out leaves us with Sakuya, or Flandre. Everyone else has a rock solid alibi.
>> No. 41821
>>41817
Agreed. I simply meant that if anyone could have secretly obscured that name before we saw it, it'd be Sakuya. Which adds weight to said name being Remi.

Anyway
[x]Remilia

Anything else is too much like speculation for me. I know we have no evidence she's not perfectly fine, but we have evidence against it being any of the others.
>> No. 41823
[x]Mystia.
>> No. 41828
[x]Remilia
>> No. 41829
>>41823
;_;
>> No. 41830
>>41823
I don't think it's her on the list... she's MIA.
>> No. 41832
[x] Remilia
I am sure, show me what you got.
>> No. 41833
>>41823
That was my first choice ;_;
[x]Remilia
No use over thinking this then since it's going to win anyway. I can bang my head against a wall once it turns out we fucked up.

By the way I know it's kind of pointless since I already voted but since when has Sakuya been acting like when she attacked us? Maybe she was the first victim and has been controlled since then.
>> No. 41834
>>41833
>Maybe she was the first victim and has been controlled since then.

You have a point there. Notice how she suddenly died when she snapped out of whoever's control?

She was already dead
>> No. 41835
>>41834
>>41833
Damn. That's a pretty sound suggestion actually. I kinda like can see that.

The last time we saw Sakuya before Rumia's death(>>40407) was the conversation about the painting (>>40127). In which she refers to Remi as "Mistress", and Remi is already locked away.
In the immediate next update she's apparently busy and Meiling is acting evasive.

Ah hell, it's too late to go re-read all Sakuya's bits. Now it's going to be bothering me all night.
>> No. 41840
Sakuya is another good notion though I discarded it as it would somehow involve making the dead act human.

But after sleeping I realised that maybe a clockmaker could have done stuff to her corpse that allows movement.

So it is either sakuya or remilia
>> No. 41842
[x]Sakuya
Won't win anyway, but it's just so obviously wrong? that I have to try.
>> No. 41843
>>41835
SHHHIIITTTTT.
>> No. 41881
Next Thread: >>41880