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Chapter 5 - The Scarlet Devil Mansion
Exa and Chrono stood in front of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Despite the huge size of the building, it seemed that only one person guarded it. (Note: The other guards - which you've seen in EoSD Stage 3 - are only part-time guards, only for situations when the SDM need every defensive force) That person was a girl in Chinese clothes and wore a beret.
- So, how must we enter the building? - asked Exa.
- Knock out that guard, that's simple! - answered Chrono.
- I don't think that that's so simple. We don't know how powerful she is. Also, even if we could defeat her, then it's almost obvious that we'll need to fight everyone in the mansion. A frontal attack is useless!
- Ok, what about flying in through a window?
- This building doesn't have many windows, and they're probably prepared for such sneak attacks.
- Do you have any better ideas?
- Let me think a bit...
A few minutes passed...
- I know it! Just follow me! - smiled Exa.
- I hope you have a good idea... - Chrono was not very amused.
Exa and Chrono went to the girl - who was called Hong Meirin, a youkai martial artist.
- Excuse me for disturbing you, I'm Exa Thundercloud, a magician from another world, and this is Chrono Megumi, he's skilled in shadow arts. I heard that here is the wonderful Voile Magic Library, which has all the books a mage needs. I hope it would be ok if we could go to the library.
- So... you don't want to beat me or mess with the mistress? - asked Meirin.
- No, that's not our intention.
- Thank goodness! You know, nowadays I'm used as a punching bag by everyone - by Marisa, by Reimu, even by our chief maid, Sakuya. - Meirin seemed relieved.
- Is that so?
- Yes, that's true. Even though I'm skilled in martial arts, my danmaku is not that great, so I'm easily defeated by them.
- I have an advice to you: if you're a good martial artist, use it to go near the enemy! As far as I know, danmaku is not very effective in close range. We're no danmaku users, but with some strategy, we could defeat two of them.
- Hm... maybe you're right.
- Ok, ok, but can you allow us to enter? - asked Chrono.
- Wait a moment, I'll discuss this with the others - and Meirin went to the SDM.
- I told you that my idea would work! - Exa winked.
- It was just pure luck! - answered Chrono.
The youkai girl returned.
- Ok, you can go in, Sakuya will escort you to the library.
- Thank you!
Exa and Chrono entered the building. It looked large from the outside, but it looks even larger from the inside. There were a lot of maids and other servants. After a short time, the chief maid appeared.
- Please, follow me - said Sakuya.
Our heroes realized easily that the mansion is not only huge, but has a very complicated structure. Orientation is difficult here.
But Chrono spotted something else, too...
- Something is suspicious with that maid. - he whispered to Exa.
- What are you talking about? - asked Exa.
- Look a bit more precisely!
- Hm... I don't understand.
- Why does a maid have such huge amount of knives?
- So, did you mean that? Maybe those knives are for cooking.
- Don't be so naive! She is armed and dangerous! Also, that guard mentioned that this maid uses her as a punching bag. She may be some elite guard... or an assassin.
- An assassin?
- Yes, probably she was hired by that mistress to eliminate the objectionable people.
- You're paranoid!
- I don't think so...
- Ok, this is the library! Just don't make a mess! - said Sakuya to Exa and Chrono.
- Thank you! - our heroes answered.
As they entered the library, they were amused.
- This is the biggest library I've ever seen! - Exa was so excited.
- But this a disadvantage for us, it's harder to find the book in such a large place! - Chrono sighed.
- Ok, I'll talk with the librarian, you'll have enough time to search.
Exa looked around a bit, and he found two girls - one is in clothes like she wants to go to bed now (pajama-like clothing and a night-cap) , and the other is a small devil-like creature.
- Excuse me! Are you the librarian here? - asked Exa to the girl with the night-cap.
- Yes, I'm Patchouli Knowledge, the librarian of the Voile Magic Library.
- You have a beautiful name, you must be very wise.
- Thank you.
- And I'm Koakuma, her assistant - said the devil-like girl.
- That's interesting, having such a creature as an assistant in a library? Most mages summon or call similar beings for attacking someone, or sometimes to charm the opponent.
- That's possible, but I have no problems with Koakuma doing her job.
While the conversation went, Chrono started to search for the book. It seemed that the books are sorted by the type of the magic.
' Air Magic... Animation Magic... no... Black Magic... Boundary Magic... no...' - Chrono went through the categories.
- From that huge amount of magic books, I guess that you're a magician, too. - said Exa to Patchouli.
- Yes, I'm specialized in the powers of fire, water, wood, metal, earth, sun, and moon.
- So, are you an elementalist?
- You can say that. - and after that sentence, Patchouli started to cough.
- Are you ok?
- Don't worry, I got used to it.
Until that, Chrono continued his work. 'Charm Magic... Demonology... Earth Magic... Energy Magic, that's it! Just a little bit more and... yes, I found it! The "Meister von Energie - Experte fokussierenmethoden"! Exa, I found it! - he showed the Lighting Mage the book from a greater distance.
- Hm... next time I'll bring you something that's good for your health, but now, I need to go! Goodbye! - said Exa to Patchouli.
Exa and Chrono left the SDM, and went back to Marisa.
- Well, here is the book you need! - said Chrono to her.
- Good, for this, you can get the Dispear! - answered the black-white magician.
Chrono and Exa said goodbye to Marisa.
- Yes, we did it! - Chrono was so happy.
- You know, I still have doubts about what we did. - said Exa.
- Why? We have the staff!
- But we stole the book, and tricked them...
- No problem!
Finally, Exa and Chrono got the Dispear. But is this really the end of the quest?
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