Meiling and Patchouli sat at the door as Sakuya flew off...
"Erm... Patchu, what do we do now?" Meiling tilted her head.
Patchouli sighed. "Other than stay inside and keep anyone else from going outside-"
One of the maids ran outside. "I'm joining my friends I don't care if it means worshipping some creep!"
Patchouli and Meiling paused as the maid ran off.
"... That's really kind of strange," Patchouli noted
Meiling nodded. "Yeah, voluntarily giving yourself up because your friends have? Weird... Patchouli, it's the moon rays that are having that effect on people, right?"
Patchouli nodded. "Well, that's obvious."
Meiling paused. "But I was outside when the flash happened and was not affected. Then again, I was in the shadows and didn't look right at the moon..."
Patchouli nodded. "So?"
Meiling thought. ".. So isn't it seeing the rays that's having that effect?"
"... Yes, what's your point?"
"Couldn't we go outside if we blindfolded ourselves?"
Patchouli paused. "... Two brilliant insights out of Meiling. I'm starting to like this moon already."
Meiling froze. "Don't say that, Patchu! I don't wanna be some sorta zombie slave to some girl none of us even know!"
"... So being a zombie-slave to someone you did know would be better?" Patchouli smiled with exaggerated malice.
"Ermnouhsouh..." Meiling tapped her head. "Oh! I wonder what would happen if we pulled someone out of the rays! Say, Remilia-sama!"
Patchouli thought. "... Can't hurt to try, honestly..."
Meiling looked around. "But what to use as a blindfold..."
Patchouli calmly took two steps towards Meiling and grabbed her hat with one hand.
Meiling looked up. "Wait, Patchu, please don't steal my-"
Patchouli pulled it down over Meiling's eyes.
"... Patchouli-sama, you're a genius!"
Patchouli sighed. She was only getting lucky. Should have known.
Remilia turned towards the door as it opened, revealing an arm-waving, hat-pulled-over-eyes, very slowly walking Meiling. "... Meiling, what are you doing up here?"
Meiling immediately stopped, turning towards her mistress. "I'm saving you, mistress!"
Meiling stepped towards Remilia, bumping into one of the maids, who quickly stepped out of the way. "From the false moon making a zombie out of you!"
"... What? Zombie? Meiling, what are you talking about?"
"Mistress, please come inside, it'll become clear then!"
"... Why should I? the moon's beautiful, really." Remilia turned to one side to look back towards the red moon. "It's most interesting, I don't see why you're not-"
Meiling crashed into Remilia just then, at enough of an angle to spin Remilia so she landed face first, as Meiling's hat caught on Remilia's wing and she went sprawling, face-up, her eyes wide-open staring at the moon.
Remilia shook her head. "Wait... What... Who's Kaguya?"
Meiling looked up to the sky. "Kaguya is mistress of all Gensokyo... She is good... All serve Lady Kaguya..."
Remilia froze, turning slightly towards the girl. What is she TALKING about-
Then a shout broke her thoughts. "Remilia-sama! Don't move! Keep your eyes in the shadows!" Patchouli was down the stairs from the door, and would have been barely visible to anyone.
"... What? Patchouli, what's going on?"
"I'll explain in a minute. For now, please come back inside. Crawl so your eyes stay in the shadow of your head."
Meiling just kept looking up, a dull happy look in her eyes. "Patchouli... You should come up here and bask in Kaguya's light- wait Remilia-sama don't drag me what'd I do wrong this time?!?!"
Remilia crawled, holding one of Meiling's ankles, dragging the chinagirl with her as she cleared the door, then moved down a few steps. "Now, Patchouli, can you tell me WHAT in Vlad's name is going on-"
Patchouli calmly took Meiling's ankle out of Remilia's hands, dragging the door guard further in, until she was no longer seeing the moon's direct rays.
Almost instantly, Meiling's look changed from a spaced-out happy look to one of intense fear, and starting to speak at a really fast clip "Remilia-sama it wasn't me speaking there don't punish me please-"
Remilia sighed. "Downstairs. Now."
Remilia calmly poured herself a cup of tea. "So... What we know so far, again, just so I'm totally clear?"
Patchouli nodded. "Koakuma, can you sketch these notes out, please?"
The Succubus nodded. "Yes'm."
Patchouli took a standing pose. "Witness Testimony: Patchouli Knowledge: Red Moon Effect. Sakuya, you, and about half the mansion's staff were outside watching the moon. Meiling happened to be in the shadow of the moon at that immediate point in time. The moon flashed and turned from it's natural, vampire-empowering full and white, to gibbous and reddish-pink. Anyone who sees, even at an incidental glance, the direct rays, not filtered by glass or other filtrating circumstances, immediately starts seeing a figure known as Kaguya as the high mistress of the entire realm, as if hypnotized into believing such."
Koakuma held up one hand as she frantically wrote with the other. Patchouli stopped and let her servant finish, then continued, "Those brought in from the rays remember fully what happened while under it's influence, but cease actively thinking of this 'Kaguya' as mistress, with... Varying results. You wondered what was going on, while Meiling panicked when she realized what she'd been saying would probably anger you. This, combined with Meiling showing her normal, lazy attitude-"
Meiling pointed at Patchouli. "Objection! That's mean!"
Remilia waved a finger at Meiling. "But true. Continue, please.
Patchouli paused, realizing the game reference had just paid her back in full. "... Er, leads me to suspect that behavior outside of the viewpoint shift is otherwise unaffected a few seconds after exposure. You kept enjoying the moon, as have most of the maids, and the two actively affected I asked still perceive you as immediate leader, though when I told one you weren't effected - not noting you HAD been effected, but WEREN'T right now - one immediately moved intending to bring you under the moon's light."
Remilia sighed. "So my own servants will turn on me enough to bring me under control then act like nothing happened. Joy."
"Well, as long as you stay inside, when they come in they'll mostly return to normal... However, there are worrying counter-cases to this. Cases where people who were exposed weren't effected, and cases where people who came in didn't return to normal."
Meiling froze. "Erm are any of them in here now?"
Patchouli shook her head. "No. The maids still inside have locked the effected individuals in closets and such for safety... I'm not sure how much longer before the others come in and we're overpowered, but still..."
Meiling breathed out in immense relief, Remilia glaring at her for interrupting.
"To wit, Sakuya Izayoi did not show any signs of being effected, and went off to investigate the source, taking fullest advantage of this freedom. Koakuma was technically effected when I explicitly asked her, but, true to her nature, doesn't really care in the slightest, just as she doesn't show much respect to your authority within the mansion."
Koakuma raised a hand, interrupting, "Thus why I'm gladly taking notes that could be used against Kaguya-sama. Authority figures suck."
Remilia sighed exasperatedly, putting a hand in her face. "So people who don't respect authority are less likely to be effected in behavior, and certain people just flat-out ignore the effects..."
Patchouli nodded. "Yes... And that leads to my unfortunate conclusion..."
Remilia nodded. "We are not safe."
"Exactly. There is a chance the moon will go stronger and start effecting us through glass, or the effects will reawaken in anyone effected spontaneously or at this Kaguya's command. Right now, our best hope is that Sakuya can break this false moon - I suspect this would break it's hold as well, freeing everyone."
Remilia sighed. "And we all just twiddle our thumbs until then..."
Patchouli sighed. "And if she fails, then we can only hope this girl is a good leader."
Koakuma looked up. "This isn't the first time Sakuya's gone out alone and saved Gensokyo. I'm sure she can do it again."
Meiling nodded. "She'll do it somehow!"
Remilia nodded. "For Vlad's sake I hope so."