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The inside of Marisa's house wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, it was worse. It seemed like the piles of random objects covered every piece of furniture in the place just to make enough room to walk around. In the living room, a stack of books reached the ceiling without any support. I was sure to keep away from it as it looked ready to fall from the slightest disturbance. Even the chairs and tables were covered with dolls, charms, and other assortments of strange things. Only the bed was clear of junk. There was a plus side to the house though. It was warm. The winter chill was chased away with an unknown heat from inside Marisa's house. I looked around to find the source but my senses kept leading me back to the walls themselves.

"Hey! Ya hungry?"

Marisa came out of her kitchen with a steaming pot of curry. Now that she mentioned it, I did feel a little hungry. As I tasted a little, I realized I tried this exact curry before. In fact, it was less than a week ago at Reimu's shrine. And back then, it was cold.

"You didn't happen to be at the Hakurei shrine a few days ago, did you? And cook this exact curry for lunch or something?"

"Yeah? Oh, lemme guess, you were there later and she fed you the leftovers without even heating it back up."

"Yeah, she did. Is she that predictable?"

Marisa just laughed and didn't answer, leaving me to wonder exactly what she was laughing at.

There wasn't much to do after dinner and when it came time to sleep, Marisa went into her bedroom, locked the door, and ignored me when I knocked and asked where I was supposed to sleep. I ended up sleeping on the floor fully clothed.

I woke up to the sound of knocking. When I opened my eyes, the sun was just showing itself above the horizon. Marisa, somehow already fully dressed in her usual black clothing, went to answer the door. In my drowsy state, I was unable to make out the voices speaking to each other so I got up, rubbed my eyes, walked to the door.

"...maybe if we ask Kourin?"

"Rinnosuke? He knows what everything is called, but never what they do though."

A girl wearing a simple blue dress and a red hairband in her short blonde hair was talking to Marisa. And she was showing holding something that looked a lot like it might explode if lit.

"Hey... I'm not sure, but I think that's a bomb..."

The two girls looked at me. To be more specific, Alice, the girl who was visiting, looked at me and then to Marisa with a shocked face while Marisa just looked curiously. Alice timidly asked something that started with "Are you two..." but was quickly drowned out by Marisa's much louder and energetic voice.

"What's a 'bomb'?!"

I really wondered what Alice had asked, though I probably had a good guess. It was definately not a good idea to let rumors like that get started. However, not answering Marisa could have worse implications that I would really rather want to avoid.

"It's a weapon that explodes... like... uh... when you fought Huziwara no Mokou and she used Hourai 'Fujiyama Volcano'? Remember that?"

Now both of the girls were just staring at me. Again, Alice spoke first. She had started to ask, "..did Marisa...", but was again interrupted by Marisa.

"I remember that... but why do you know about it?"


"Uhhh... because... Reimu told me?"

They looked at each other and again I wondered what Alice was trying to say. I really hoped it wasn't what I thought it was. So far, there hadn't been a chance to correct that impression.

"Well anyway, I think we should take it to Kourin just in case. But before we go, why don't we eat something?"

As Marisa was in the kitchen, Alice and I sat across the messy table from each other awkwardly. Marisa had cleared the table before we ate last night, but somehow, things were already piled on it. I suspected that many of the things in her house moved by themselves. Maybe that was why the house was so messy. And if that were the case, Alice, with her animated dolls would have an even messier-


Alice had started talking and broke my train of thought. She was still holding what I suspected was a bomb which made me uneasy. I looked up and saw that she was blushing.

"What exactly is your relationship with Marisa?"

Oh thank God, I can finally clear this up.

"I'm more of a slave than anything else," I replied in a low tone, making sure Marisa didn't hear me.

She looked visibly relieved. Then, sort of sympathetic after I said I was a slave. Marisa appeared right after with a pot of some sort of rice porridge. I took one look at it and recognized it as one of the dishes I hated the most as a child. But at the same time I was hungry. I sighed and started eating.

Kourindou was only about 5 minutes away by flight. Of course, with my fear of heights and inability to fly, it was an excruciating 5 minutes. It was just about the same as my other two flights, except that I restrained my wild screaming to inside my head. Oh and to stay in midair, I held onto the end of the broom with one hand and held Alice's hand with the other. And Alice was blushing again.

The first thing I noticed when I entered the store was that it had electricity. There were sliding doors installed, though there were no sensors and had to be opened manually, and light fixtures. The second thing I noticed was that this shop had the most random things lying next to each other. A teddy bear was on display next to a Swiss army knife and a frying pan. And the third thing I noticed was the proprietor, a tall and skinny man with silver hair and glasses.

"Welcome to Kourindou. Oh, Marisa.. and Alice. And do I know you? Those clothes were bought here were they not?"

I looked down at my dirty grey T-shirt and blue jeans.

"Uhhh, no...."

Rinnosuke looked at me funny as if to say, "That's gotta be a lie," as Marisa went right down to business.

"Anyways Kourin, we came here to ask you about this thing Alice found. This guy-" she pointed to me "-says it's a 'bomb' which is used for blowing things up."

She grabbed the thing from Alice's hands and dropped it carelessly on the counter. The proprietor examined it and in a second identified it, "It's a 'firework'. It makes pretty designs in the sky... like spellcards, but it's less deadly. I believe you use it like a spellcard and declare it before releasing the spell inside..."

I laughed.

"So it's just a firework? I was worried for a moment. I mean I knew it was an explosive, but I thought it was a nuke or something."

The other three looked at me quizzically. Well, if they didn't suspect it earlier, what I said definately gave away that I wasn't from Gensokyo. Whoops... but Rinnosuke still seemed totally clueless though.

"Hmm, you seem to know quite a bit of the outside world for an average human."

Now was as good of time as any to make it blatantly obvious and say it aloud. And probably confirm some suspicions too.

"Well, you see, that's because I'm an average human from the outside world."

Awkward silence... Rinnosuke was probably going to go crazy from meeting an actual human from the outside... He was extremely interested in the technological world after all. However...

"That's certainly unexpected... Well, is there anything else I can help you three with?"

I looked around the store.

"I'd actually like to look around a bit..."

I walked off to examine the items on sale. Marisa and Alice were talking to each other while looking around at the merchandise. They hadn't really said anything when I revealed my origins, but that hardly surprised me. They probably already thought I was too weird to be from Gensokyo. I proceeded to walk around and noticed that the shop was actually fairly small, but it was crammed full of random items such as old TVs, broken bicycles, and even a coffee machine. In one pile labeled "Entertainment", I found a Dreamcast with two controllers. Digging around some more, I found some interesting games. And then I realized I had no money. Darn.

"Hey! If you don't hurry up, we're gonna leave you here!"

I looked in the direction of the voice to see that Marisa was already walking out the doors with Alice close behind, looking back to see if I was coming. For a split second, I seriously considered staying. But who was I kidding? No money for the Dreamcast, and no way to get it back home even if I could buy it. I ran off after the two magicians. Right before the doors swung back in place as I exited, I heard Rinnosuke's voice call out.

"Please come again!"

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