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Early the next morning, just before sunrise, a loud explosion outside shook the European-style mansion. Disturbing enough to even reach the cellar, where Flandre and Karin slept. It was always dark inside the mansion, plus the sun wasn't out yet.
Flandre was still asleep, while Karin (still in her nightgown) stumbled up the stairs rubbing her eyes, which were already used to the darkness by now.
"Geez, what's with that?" Karin mumbled sleepily. Though, just as she opened the cellar door, Remilia and Sakuya were there in an instant, startling the sleepy girl so much she almost fell down the stairs. She quickly grabbed onto the handrail.
"W-wha? Good morning, Izayoi-san, Remi-sama. What's going on?" Sakuya looked like she was prepared for this sort of thing though. She stated rather nonchalantly, "We're going ouside." Remi nodded. "To deal with a few problems."
The three of them walked through the endless-looking hallway to the front doors. The other maids milled about as they normally would, which made Karin wonder if she should have at least gotten dressed first. She looked down at her frilly nightgown.
At least it's warm...
They were now at the front doors. Sakuya and Remi looked at eachother, while Karin was lost in her own thoughts.
"Ready, Sakuya? "Let's go, ojou-sama!"
Sakuya opened the doors, and the three of them dashed outside. Well, at least Karin was dashing until she realized Sakuya was flying; once again, suprising her.
What else could she be capable of? Karin thought in awe. Well, her thoughts were broken by the sound of Remilia barking orders.
"Sakuya, you check front, then circle around to the left. I'll take rear and circle right. Karin-" She turned to me. "You can't fly?"
I shook my head. "No.." Remilia turned back. "Go check on the gate guard then. Yell if something's wrong, I'll be able to hear it."
Before I could acknowledge the order, she hopped and flew away like a bolt of lightning.
Sakuya looked at me for a moment. "You, be careful." I nodded, and she flew off on the opposite direction.
I ran down the path, only to stop five minutes later to catch my breath. How far was the gate?! I looked around, noticing that there was a thick green forest to either side of the path I was following. Not too unusual. I continued running, and when I stopped to catch my breath again, I was not thirty meters from the gate; it was open.
After I caught my breath again, I was approaching the gate when all of the sudden I heard a girl's voice.
"Hey, you!" It shouted at me from above. Or something like that.
"What about me? What about you?" I replied rather boredly. Seconds later, a red-haired girl in an interesting Chinese-styled dress appeared. Not really appeared, more like 'hey, let's jump down from this tree and land right in front of her'.
And, as I expected, she looked up at me before standing up straight. Oh, and her hair did that wind-flippy thing. With the wind and all.
"Well," I began, "Are you here to attack the mansion?"
The red-haired girl put her hands on her hips. "Hey, that's MY line!"
"Your line?" Being rather bored, I yawned. Of course, this irritated her.
"H-how rude!" the girl exclaimed. She held out her right hand, curling her fingers into a fist. "I'm Hong Meiling, the chief gate guard of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, and-"
"Oh, so you're the gate guard?"
"Are you still asleep? Open your eyes!"
I thought for a moment. "If you're the chief guard, then where are the others...?"
Meiling twiddled her fingers together. "I'd like to know..."
I assumed it was my turn to introduce myself, so I took a step back and curtsied, a bit awkward in a nightgown... "Takahito Karin. I'm a new maid." She seemed to relax a bit.
"Another maid? How many does she need?" Meiling thought out loud. "I should have been one," she added under her breath.
"What was that last part?"
Meiling yawned hugely. "Nevermind that last part. How'd you get here in the first place? I never saw you come in through the gate." I thought of a certain someone in the cellar.
"I guess you could call it magic."
Though, when I looked closer at Meiling, it seemed she was having a harder time standing. Strange. She seemed to have huge amounts of energy before I talked to her...
Meiling sat, yawning. "Gosh, I'm so sleepy."
Moments later, Karin was kneeling by the now sleeping gate guard Hong Meiling, shaking her. "Hey, some gate guard you are, sleeping on the job like that."
Meiling stirred, mumbling. "N-no...Sakuya..san...we can't...right now..."
Her eyes were still closed, but she was blushing.
"Hey, MEIRIN, we're being attacked!" Karin clapped her hands in front of the youkai girl's face.
Her eyes popped open. "Wha-?"
"Well, finally. You fell asleep while we were talking. Oh, and I lied."
I went looking for Remilia and Sakuya. Meiling stayed back at the gate to keep watch over things. Either that or she was too disturbed by falling asleep to even be near anyone.
When I did find them, there was an amazing scene before me. There, in a small clearing in the thick green brush, were a large number of armed soldiers, about twelve of them, and each of them were aiming at the couple.
"Hands where I can see them, ma'am! You vampires are going down today!" One of the soldiers donning a red beret shouted. "Hey, screw off or you'll really regret it!" Sakuya shouted back. The soldier snarled, cocking his rifle. "You, get on your knees, scumbag! I'll show you to talk to me like that!"
What happened next was too fast for my eyes to catch. Sakuya vanished, then reappeared moments later with all of the soldier's weapons in her arms. She dropped them at her feet. "The FUCK?" The red beret soldier's jaw dropped in disbelief upon using the obviously foreign expletetive. Sakuya reached somewhere and pulled out a handful of knives, with only one word.
She didn't need to repeat herself.
Later, over breakfast... "Explain." I mused. Flandre was awake for once, which was unusual.
"Nayamuchinite barunhifu," Flandre offered with a mouthful of food. Food flew from her mouth dangerously close to the other side dishes at the table.
Remilia shot her a glare. "Either talk or eat," she suggested. That shut Flandre up, now munching away in silence. I looked down at my plate, which was a western-style breakfast; the plate held eggs, toast with (probably) (I certainly hope it was, considering some of the food I'd seen Sakuya cook) strawberry jam on it, a small side salad and coffee. I started digging at the salad with my fork.
"So you wanted an explanation?" Remilia asked. I nodded, and she glanced at Sakuya, who took the hint. "Someone's bored, and someone in this mansion is causing her that boredom." Sakuya sipped her coffee.
"Right, and since she's so lazy she won't bother to go find who it is, and would rather just send stuff to take care of it instead," Remilia added.
"Like her shikigami!", Flandre chipped in before devouring her (oddly) red-tinted eggs and toast at the same time. That's not strawberry jam on hers...
"Shikigami? Those wizard familiar things?" I feel like a dork for knowing that, or something. Hey, those countless hours on the internet did me some kind of good, at least. Sakuya mouthed something to me, which I couldn't make out. She drew in the air with her finger, and I still didn't get it.
Sakuya looked a bit annoyed. "Ran and Chen, their names." she finally said.
"She named her familiars after COLORS?" I imagined some little girl naming her dolls after colors. Disturbing thought.
Remi gulped the rest of her coffee. "You wouldn't believe what that youkai's name is. Here's a hint, it's also a color."
I thought for a bit, then remembered a certain purple swirling void back at the mall...
"...Yu..ka..ri?" I gave a random educated guess before stuffing the toast in my mouth. So, it is strawberry...I'm saved.
"You're right, ze!" Flandre yelled.
"You don't have to yell, Flandre. Anyways, Karin, those...soldiers were not from Gensokyo. They used something and it left a big crater in the ground over by the side of the mansion, but luckily nothing was damaged." Sakuya set down her coffee cup and folded her hands together. "They're probably wandering around scared to death by the faeries and youkai now."
"That's modern military for you...they're only human beings after all. Though, I could tell they weren't supposed to be here."
"So, if you put two and two together, then the soldiers got here the same way you did."
"Through that purple thing? I remember I fell through one..." I finished my eggs.
"Yes," said Remi, "It's called a boundary. That youkai controls them."
"If she controls boundaries, then that youkai, er, Yukari, made a boundary at the mall?"
Sakuya rolled her eyes. "Not made a boundary." Remi folded her hands in front of her mouth, elbows resting on the tabletop. "Made a gap in one and dragged you through." "Ever heard of being 'spirited away'?" Flandre smirked. Not a good sign.
So, I get dragged from where I live to this...place...because of some bored youkai. Awesome, I'll go have a word with her.
"So, how would I go about finding Yukari?"
"She visits 'a certain shrine maiden' a lot...", Flandre said after she stood up. "Gochisousama deshita!" We followed suit. Flandre flew out of the door and down the hall almost like a bullet.
Remilia gave me an odd look, like she knew something about me but wouldn't say it. She flap-flapped off towards the living room couch. Kind of cute in a way.
Once Remi left, Sakuya turned to me. "We'll talk later. You clean this up first."
No complaint from me... that's a lie. This sucks. Where are all those other maids when you need them?
END Chapter Three
Kaorin: "omg I lost 1.9 chapters of this series! lol thanx shrinemaiden forums"
Sakuya: My, that's a shame. So, are you going to redo them or what?
Kaorin: "Of COURSE! Not before I go on a tour of Seattle first-KYAN!"
Sakuya: "No slacking off. *removes the brick from the top of Kaorin's head*"
I haven't worked on this in forever, so sorry. The most recent parts were lost in the forum, and in the long absence, I forgot where I was taking this story. If you remember anything about it, please let me know. In the meantime, I'll be taking the story in a new direction.