|Flight of the Scarlet Devil-Child|
AT TOP THE FOREST OF MAGIC
All who have stood against the might of the Scarlet Devil Mansion have fallen.
It began when Remilia Scarlet, head of the Scarlet Mansion, finally decided to put in motion her ambitions of conquering all of Gensokyo and take control of the Great Hakurei barrier, which separates Gensokyo from the rest of the outside world.
The first to fell where the ones who would give her the greatest trouble of them all; the Hakurei and the Moriya shrines both were quickly subdued before they could mount a defense. Next came the Youkai mountain and the Bamboo forest to stomp out the oni, the tengu, the kappa and Entei. With all major factions subdued and passage to the surface blocked off to the Underworld and Makai, all that was needed to achieve total victory was to take control of the owner of the Hakurei Barrier and arguably the creator of Gensokyo herself.
There was no real brilliant strategy to Remilia's plans of domination. All she was doing was essentially put all her eggs in one basket; her sister Flandre.
Flandre was not a well known resident of Gensokyo. While everyone seemed to know and recognize the name, very few had actually seen her and even less had the distinct horror of facing her in battle. Because of a total lack of experience dealing with the girl, many residents were completely unprepared when Remilia simply sic her on them.
This was the fate of Yukari's forces of Youkai and oni that were attempting to protect her, an entire army of demons and demi-deities, decimated by a small girl wielding a giant flaming sword, the legendary Laevateinn, cleaver of worlds.
As all seemed to be totally lost and with Yukari backed into her last legs, the great old Youkai decided to break one of her own personal rules. She would put a resident of Gensokyo somewhere else.
Where else? It didn't matter! Anywhere but here! Anywhere so that Flandre wouldn't have to be her problem anymore.
As Flandre made a dive down from the sky cleaving her way through the last line of Youkai defense, Yukari opened a gap right in front the small vampire tricking her into falling into parts unknown, even to Yukari herself.
"Oh! Crap!" Was all Flandre seemingly managed to blurt before being swallowed by the multi-eyed gap.
But Meiling owed Remilia Scarlet. She was in the young vampiress's debt. And so she said nothing. Whenever asked about her unusual quiet, she would say there was nothing wrong. She remained the steadfast guardian of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Even if she wanted to be anywhere else.
Countless attempts to break into the mansion, to stop Remilia before she took over all of Gensokyo, had been repelled. But Meiling. None would leave when asked. And none of them wanted to danmaku batle, either. This was serious.
It was that last battle, the one versus Yukari. Meiling would have stayed at the mansion, but she got a horrible feeling. A feeling that Flandre needed her to be there. So she'd done the thing she had never, EVER done, in the history of her life at the Scarlet Devil Mansion. She abandoned her post at the gates. She had just found her way to the site-- following the trails of destruction-- when she'd seen the portal open and swallow up the mistress's younger sister.
Without hesitation she'd flown directly into the portal, trying to grab hold of Flandre before the portal closed. But no, she only just made it into the portal before it closed. All she could do was try to reach Flandre, try to pull the smaller girl close to her, to protect her from what might await them as best as she could...
Flandre played very rough.
But when one does engage in so much rough and tumble, there is bound to be some injuries. Despite all her power, Flandre was unable to pull herself free from the the gap youkai's portal and she was sucked inside the many eyed darkness, spinning and cursing. Before a dark cloud could overtake her senses, Flandre could feel the familiar warmness of her nanny, and Meiling's voice calling for her. Out of reflex, the younger Scarlet sister reached out and hugged her loyal guardian close. Whatever fear of the unknown she felt when spiraling down to another dimension was gone. Everything was okay now. Meiling was with her. Everything was okay.
And then, all went silent and black.
Seeing up in the night was a tear in reality itself, total darkness with a multitude of red eyes peering about in a frenzy were gazing down to the city of Twisted. The gap in reality held only for a full second before it close up again, as quick as it had opened, having done its intended business.
Two figures were spat out from the tear in reality and they plummeted down from the sky to the park. It would be a relative small fall but it would no doubt hurt once they landed on the park's grass.
As soon as Meiling saw the other side of the gap opening, she tensed, preparing for the fall she knew was about to happen. She tried to shift them as they're spat out of the portal, so that whatever they were about to hit, it would be she who hit it first rather than the injured vampire. To be something of a landing pad for Flandre, so to speak. No matter who hits first, it's likely to hurt either way.
When they hit, she yelps in surprise and pain. Still, as soon as she can, she's checking on Flandre, to make sure she's all right. "Mistress Flandre?" The catch lights in her eyes seem to waver in her eyes as she tries to check exactly how badly Flandre is injured. She hasn't even bothered to check their surroundings yet. Flandre is all she's concerned about at the moment.
Sensing that they are longer where they should have been before, Flandre curls up reflexively and clings harder to Meiling in an attempt to hide from the sun. It takes her a couple of seconds to realize she isn't burning up though, and only when she opens her crimson eyes does she manage to bother in answering her nanny. "I'm okay I think." Flandre sounds composed again, she's no longer trembling as she was all the way down.
The blond vampire skirts a very fine line between helpless child and horrible destruction monster, there are times when she's only a frail thing clinging to her nanny's skirt, and there are times when she actually acts her age and takes a more dominant role. Probably because she had spent the last few days obliterating everything in her path, Flandre decides to not cling like a child onto Meiling for once and looks around, only starting to get up when she realizes there are no enemies for her and Meiling to contend with for now.
"Meiling? Where are we?" She doesn't remember ever being to a park like this in Gensokyo, though then again, Flandre didn't get out much.
As for where they are? Meiling looks around. "Er... th-this doesn't look like the mansion grounds..." Obviously not. Then, after a long moment spent looking around, hoping the scenery will line up with something in her mind, she finally admits, "I... don't know, Mistress Flandre."
Though she still smiles to the smaller girl. "Let's find out, hm?" She speaks like it's a game, an exploration game. Playing like they used to do before Remilia's ambitions took them both down a dark path. Hopefully they haven't gone too far down it.
Once the two of them back on their feet, Flandre dismisses her hyper destructive wand so she has her hands free to grab on to Meiling's qipao, probably reverting to her more immature persona. Hey, she can't hold the act of being a total monster indefinitely, Flandre doesn't have that kind of concentration power.
But as stated before, Flandre felt at ease when she was falling down an inter-dimensional portal and she feels at ease now in this unknown place, as long as Meiling is with her, she knows everything will be fine!
"Okay!" She chirps back in answer as Meiling smiles down to her, and suddenly its back like they were playing hide and seek in the mansion's gardens. "I hope there's candy around here!~"
Candy! Yes yes, candy! Candy, the eternal companion of the young, particularly if the child is eternally one, like Flandre is! That said, Meiling chuckles. "We'll try to find you some, Mistress Flandre. You probably should eat soon anyway, since you used to much energy." That said she starts to walk down the path that looks like it leads out of the park.
"Yeah.." The small vampire agrees about feeding with a forlorn sigh, bending over just a bit to put some pressure on her empty stomach. "Those youkai have pretty nasty tasting blood." She complains, having no doubt tried to feed on the demons she was killing earlier to little avail.
Following along with Meiling hand in hand, Flandre manages to put to use her vampiric senses and smells the general vicinity as if she were some kind of blood hound. "Meiling! I smell humans nearby!" She exclaims all too happily, much like a girl smelling fresh pastries being baked. "And some other weird stuff... not youkai I think..." Weird.
"Are we even in Gensokyo? It doesn't feel like Gensokyo to me."
The note of humans nearby gets a blink. Humans? "Where are they, Miss Flandre?" Humans means civilization, and civilization meant cities! As for being in Gensokyo? Meiling pauses, frowns a little, in concentration. "...N-no. No, I don't think this is Genokyo." Suddenly she looks concerned. "We're not on the other side of the Barrier are we? Aaah, I hope not..."
"That-a way!" The girl points down the street leading out of the park and towards the city. "I can hear many heart beats in that direction, and lots of yummies too! But also the weird people that I've never smelled before." Vampire senses are just that well enhanced that even a naive creature such as Flandre can tell there's lots of activity close by.
The notion of being outside the barrier draws a look of pouty concern from the young looking vampire. "You mean in the place where we were before sis moved us all to Gensokyo?" Even if Flandre has been a shut-in for most of her prolonged life, she was still dimly aware there was an outside world beyond the walls she called home. "Hnn...I hope not, I don't want to be locked in the basement again."
And that's when it finally seems to hit Flandre. If they aren't in Gensokyo, then that means her sister can't reach her, and if she isn't here, then she can't jail her again. "Meiling..." The girl whispers with sadness to her voice. "Would it be mean if I said I don't want to see my sister again?"
"She made me do bad things, didn't she?" Deep down, Flandre knows she was being used.
Flandre asks about the outside world, and Meiling nods. "That was the human world. We have to be careful, then, if that's where this is." And then Flandre hits the crux of the matter. Meiling can't hide her wince. "...Yes, she did," the red-haired woman admits softly. But then she adds quickly, "I'm sure there was a reason! Lady Remilia wouldn't have started it if she hadn't thought there was a reason. Maybe the was tired of all the others being so rude and trying to force their way in where they weren't wanted. Or showing her disrespect. There had to be a reason, even if we don't know it!"
Whilst she wonders that out loud and Meiling reminds Flandre that maybe there was a reason for all of Remilia's seemingly reckless actions, the younger Scarlet rubs the back of her neck. "Hmmn.. maybe.." She sighs. "I won't deny I would have liked to rule Gensokyo along with sis. That way I could run around all I want!" Her enthusiasm wanes and she gives Meiling a knowing look, her real maturity peeking out from that childish facade she carries with her all the time. Flandre really is quite old despite her appearance, and sometimes she does act her age. "But I don't doubt sis planned to rule Gensokyo all for herself and just put me back in the basement. She's always been... really bad at sharing, you know?"
Then her childish smirk returns. "Besides! I got the feeling I was the only one having fun while playing that game!" And she would too, those youkai and oni certainly didn't seem to enjoy getting mutilated by the dozens.
"Hey, Meiling!" Flandre pauses as she catches a strangely familiar scent. "It smells like Aya and Suika were here recently." She definitely smells a tengu's feathers and also someone that smells of lots of booze and dirt around here.
And there, as Flandre notes Remilia being bad at sharing, Meiling nods. "That's true. But maybe she just doesn't know how?" As for Flandre's 'game'? Meiling visibly sweatdrops. "Ehehe... n-not, I don't think they were," she agrees.
However, she looks suddenly confused as Flandre mentions Aya and Suika. She had no reason to doubt Flandre's words; the young miss had always known these things by scent. "Did they come here too?"
Though about Aya and Suika, it's safe to say that Flandre really doesn't know. She can't make the distinction of Aya and Suika's scent over 'people that smell like Aya and Suika'. In her broken mind, its inconceivable that two people would smell alike, since she knows so few people personally. "I think so!" It's what she ends up saying to Meiling. "They were standing right here and then Aya went that way." Flandre points to the city. "And Suika went that way." She points in the other direction. Just who could she possibly be talking about anyway? Guess we'll never know...
It's true, it's a stretch that it would actually be Aya and Suika. But if there are people LIKE them here, maybe they haven't gone as far as Meiling thinks. So Meiling nods. "Let's follow Aya for now. If there's a city, she'll know some people there that we can go ask were we are."
Thankfully Flandre is quite the mercurial... well... person, since she's not really young enough to be called a kid. She brushes her eyes and beams happily up at Meiling when she encourages her to follow the Aya smelling person. "Okay!" She chirps and grasps her nanny by the hand. "Let's go tengu hunting!" Indeed..
Tengu hunting? Meiling isn't so sure about that. If it's not Aya, it might be one of the tengu that haven't come to the conclusion that fighting is bad. Which means it might attack them. Yes, it, because despite not having ever seen one, Meiling is aware there are males. But still. There's no other way to go but to the city, really. Flandre couldn't stay out here. She needed food, and more than that, she needed shelter.
So Meiling nods, with a reassuring smile, and takes hold of Flandre's hand. "Okay! Let's go say hi~!" With that she begins to lead Flandre towards the city. thugh she appears to be carefree, she is keeping close watch. Nothing would harm Flandre on her watch...