|Louise & Yuka K.|
| Book: Be Careful What|
You Wish For, Chapter 3
|Written by||Vanishing Trooper|
Be Careful What
You Wish For
Be Careful What
You Wish For
Be Careful What You Wish For
Author's Notes: So here it is! Chapter three of the story. I've read the reviews and a lot of people have been wondering why I genderbent Yuka. This goes back to the first chapter. The Yuka in my fic is from a Gensokyo several centuries in the future, if you haven't noticed it yet. If you live that long, you tend to get bored with the same routines if you live in the same place.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Glances at the witches from Umineko.
That being said, Yuka stated that she wanted change in her life. Yukari decided to use the moment when Yuka was being sucked into the summoning portal to do just that…and troll.
Also, the dream sequence in the previous chapter is homage to both Sir Gabriel Blessing's The Hill of Swords as well as Touhou Five: Mystic Square. The six purple wings and the demons descending to the Garden of the Sun is a memory of Shinki and the residents of Makai from that particular incident.
Aside from that, nothing much to say except to enjoy the chapter.
I own nothing that would get me in trouble with the law.
"So…" Louise muttered as the two of us walked across the halls of the castle. I walked a step behind her and was once again using my parasol as a walking stick, my preferred use for it in small spaces when not in battle.
"So…" I repeated, the students who were in the way suddenly parted like lambs when confronted by a wolf. In the span of one day, my master went from the joke of the school to the harbinger of death. Granted, I was the one who was doing the harbinging but it was the thought that counted. Yes, harbinging is a word because I said so.
"…why are you following me, Yuka?" Louise said in a slightly nervous tone.
"Because I'm your familiar and partner, Louise." I simply said with a smile. Louise quickly spun around and held my arms while looking down on the ground.
"Look…I'm going to class. The stuff they teach there is probably very boring for a being as ancient and powerful as you so you don't really have to accompany me anymore if…you…don't…want…to. Umm…yeah." I raised a brow at her reasoning. True, the magic that they teach second years, of which my master is one of, might not bring anything new to the table for me but I wanted to observe all the same. You never know what you might pick up along the way.
"Nonsense, I am always open to learning new things. I'm sure that your classes can offer a different perspective on how magic works at the very least." I reasoned.
"Uuuu…" Louise let out before releasing her grip on me. She turned around and continued walking with me in tow. I must say that Louise has gotten much more comfortable in calling me by name instead of 'Familiar'. It took her a few days to be able to say my name with a straight face, or without butchering the pronunciation. Also, I have been seeing her appear in Mugenkan whenever she goes to sleep. Granted, she appears at random locations in the dream realm and she doesn't appear there every night. I'm still trying to figure out how to control her entry to my dream world but I can never detect her entrance into it, very strange.
After a while, we settled into a routine. I would wake her just before dawn, nose pinching is no longer allowed for some reason. Afterward, I would prepare her uniform as she stretches and blinks away any remaining drops of sleep in her eyes. I would wait for her outside while she prepares and trade small talk with Guiche and Monmon. Yes, I know her name is not Monmon but it is infinitely easier to say. They butcher my name, I butcher theirs. I must say, Guiche is much more skilled at growing flowers, roses in particular, than I had imagined. It seemed that it is an ingrained tradition in his family to be able to cultivate top-class roses as a rite of maturity. I traded notes with the boy and he seemed intrigued at the idea of using magic to help plants grow in places they normally wouldn't be able to. On my part, I came away with the system that his family had used to lace flower petals with spells. Those will be very useful later on. Monmon did her best to keep her patience as we discussed about flowers and the like but she usually gives up and heads back into the dormitory tower to fetch Louise. Dare I say that those two have become closer as of late? At the very least, Monmon has shown more respect and kindness toward my master though Louise was hesitant about Monmon's insistence of a tea party during the afternoons at first. My insistence on the idea was what convinced Louise to give into it. She enjoyed her time speaking with Monmon and it gave me and Guiche time to talk more about flowers, with Siesta chiming in every now and then.
I sometimes run into Tabitha and Kirche as well, though I try to avoid the latter if I could. After my duel with Guiche, the redhead seemed to start looking at me with lustful eyes. Understandable for a young woman her age but I was simply not interested, I was not Marisa. Sadly, Kirche once again shows that she cannot take a hint and continues her attempts to seduce me. The quiet girl, Tabitha, has become much more relaxed around my master and I, though her drake…Sylphid if I recall, was still dead scared of me. Then again, every other familiar still is. There isn't much to say about Tabitha aside from the fact that she clearly listens in on conversations even when deeply concentrating on her books. Again, like Patchouli but much more outgoing. As for the rest of the school…well, none of the students have tried to insult or belittle my master anymore. It has become more peaceful now because of it but don't really mind it that much. I have experienced this sort of thing before, the calm before the storm.
"Why is it that you've been following me to class so often now? A few days ago, you'd just be in the garden with Siesta during classes." Louise pointed out as we entered the classroom. The first time I did this was a sight to behold. It was always nice to hear the dead silence that came as soon as I entered a room. It warmed my heart to see that the children were as afraid of me as the 'killer golem' that Louise told me about one night, the stuff of nightmares for small magelings in this world I supposed. I had a hearty chuckle when Louise told me of the story. The killer golem was nowhere near as imposing as Alice's Goliath Dolls or the Moriya Shrine's Hisoutensoku. Louise still couldn't believe all the destruction that the battle against Hisoutensoku, when a wayward spirit possessed the giant construct, caused. Good times…
"I am currently trying to figure out an answer to a certain question and I require more information about this world's magic system before I can make any further postulations." I cryptically said, the question being 'what is Louise's element?' After the discussion we had post-duel, I became curious as to what my master's element was. She had said that she could not use any of the four base elements commonly found here, the only other possibility was Void and that has not been used in millennia. Add to that the theory that a mage's familiar should point to the mage's primary element and things get very complicated. I do not have an element per say but I can use manipulation of flowers or wield raw magical power to fuel my battles. This does not help to answer the question. If my abilities are to be the basis for Louise's element, then she would be either 'an element of growth and life' or 'a non-elemental magic type'. I would note that having an element of growth would be very ironic for my master considering her physical lack thereof.
"A question? What kind of question?" Louise asked as we both took our seats at an available area in the room, the rest of the class giving us some breathing space, though Guiche, Monmon, Kirche, and Tabitha were sitting behind us.
"Something that you will find out when the time comes." Was all I said before the teacher entered the room. She was a middle-aged woman wearing brown robe and had a witch's hat similar to Marisa's back in the day. As the lecture went on, I went over what I already knew as my master took down notes.
Instead of using spell cards to store, focus, and shape magical energy into completed spells, the mages in this world use some kind of foci instead. It can range from simple wands to staves, anything they can use to focus their magical energy into really. Guiche has already demonstrated that even rose petals can become foci for spells, very creative compared to most I've seen so far. In addition, a mage's power is directly proportional to how many single elements he or she can wield, the limit seems to be four. That is the reasoning for their mage rank system of dot, line, triangle, and square.
"Louise." I muttered as I nudged my master. She simply gave me a grunt, telling me to ask my question. This has been the thing between us during class, I would nudge her with a question in mind and she would do her best to answer it.
"Just to clarify, the application of magical elements by mages can be stacked for stronger spells, right? Does that include element redundancy?" I asked, Louise glanced at me for a moment before nodding.
"Yes, that is the basis for the stronger single-element specialists. Instead of adding a new element to their next level spells, they just add the same element over and over again to make it stronger instead of making a new effect." I had to suppress a grimace when I heard Kirche's voice answer the question and not Louise. I shook my head and simply ignored the redhead, opting to process the information instead. The stacking of elements would be similar to stacking spell cards to make stronger versions of the original spells. Examples include combining two Master Sparks to make a Dual-Spark or Final Spark depending on your use for it, that would be the equivalent of a line-class spell. A Final Master Spark would be a triangle class spell and a Twilight Spark would be a square class spell. Of course, the scale of magic power between this world and Gensokyo is completely different but the concept seems sound. I wonder what class of magic my 'Reflowering of Gensokyo' would rank as? Regardless, their concept of magic is very intriguing at least. I wonder what the top-tier mages are capable of? I wonder how long until they break by my hands?
"Now then, would you like to try transfiguring these stones into something else Miss Valliere?" The elder woman's words broke my train of thought as I felt my master tense up, along with the rest of the class.
"Umm…are you sure you want to do this Louise?" Monmon whispered to my master, her voice tinged with worry. I looked around and the rest of the students started hiding behind their desks, Tabitha opting to leave the room altogether.
"I'll do it!" Louise declared as she stood up and walked toward the front of the class where several pebbles were piled up on the teacher's desk. I glanced back when Guiche tapped me on the shoulder.
"You should take cover as well Mister Yuka." The blonde boy warned me right before he was pulled behind his desk by Monmon, Kirche hiding behind hers as well. I ignored them and decided to focus on my master instead. She has never tried magic in front of me since her 'silencing spell' when we first met. I was not paying attention at the time, so I didn't know the actual nuances of her casting. This time though, I planned to sit and observe my master through all of her casting process to determine what could be going wrong whenever she casts her spells. I leaned in closer when I saw my master begin the incantation. If her stories and the reactions of the class is to be believed, then the result should be a rather impressiv—
"Most intriguing…" I muttered, lost in my own thoughts, as I fell a step behind the silent Louise as we walked. We left the smoking remains of her classroom and the severely disoriented occupants in order for Louise to change her clothes.
"What is? My complete and utter failure at casting magic?" Louise sarcastically let out, I shook my head at her words. This girl…
"Haven't we already been through this? You are not a failure as a mage. If you were, I wouldn't be here." I reminded her. My words made the girl stop and spin around to look at me right in the eye.
"Then why can't I ever cast a spell properly?" She bitterly asked me. That is indeed the question.
"Tell me, what were you trying to turn those pebbles into?" I asked my master as I walked past her, prompting her to start following me instead. Always better to make her think of something else than let her wallow in self pity, no girl that summoned Yuka Kazami is permitted to feel sorry for herself.
"Brass…just like the professor did." She said, confirming my observations. Right up until the point where Louise let her spell out, everything was working fine. The gathering of magical energy, the focus of the magic to the tip of her wand, and the manipulation of it to the spell she wanted to cast, all were done correctly as far as this world's system goes. However, at the point of release, the spell simply…collapsed. As soon as the spell was cast, everything that held it together suddenly broke down and caused a violent magical reaction resulting in the explosion. The strange thing was, the explosion wasn't even harmful. All it did was dispense the energy it gathered into magical debris, soot in this case. Was Louise subconsciously sabotaging her own spells? That's not right. If that was the case, then someone in the teaching staff should have already noticed it by now.
"And what did you feel as you cast the spell?" I asked her while I opened the door to her room, letting her in first. The girl hummed for a few moments while I put my parasol on her desk and fetched a change of clothes for her.
"It was like any other spell. It felt fine until I actually cast it, then it felt…wrong." Louise explained as she removed her clothes to change into her new ones. I sat on the chair and mulled over the information, ignoring Louise momentary state of nudity. Spell Destruction? Was Louise simply overloading the spell at the last millisecond without anyone noticing? No, if it was that then the spell would have either fizzled out before it was fully cast or all the humans in the room would have died. Not Spell Destruction…but Spell Breaking, like in Danmaku battles. Strange, the only way for someone to break a spell is to either attack the caster until they can no longer maintain the spell or overwhelm it with their own. However, both methods take time and Louise's spell break was instantaneous. The only way you can do it that fast without killing anyone is by taking away something critical from the spell that would otherwise make it work. Going by that logic, the only way you can do that is by making small and subtle augmentations to the spell via Border Manipula- It can't be…can it? My little master is a developing border manipulator?
"No…I'm over thinking this…" I muttered before Louise's yelp caught my attention. I noticed that she was half-dressed and was looking at me with a very embarrassed expression while covering her chest with her hands.
"Yes? Is something wrong?" I asked with a raised brow, making Louise flinch and take another step back.
"W-w-w-what d-d-o you thing you're doing? Watching me undress while glaring at me with such predatory eyes? Y-y-you're not going to do anything to me are you?" Louise babbled. Predatory eyes? Oh…
"A misunderstanding…" I said while holding up my right hand, that didn't seem to convince her.
"I was trying to figure out what has been causing your spells to end up as explosions. I did not realize that I was looking at you with such…intensity while I was trying to unravel the mystery." I explained. The mention of me trying to figure out why she keeps failing at magic seemed to perk up her curiosity.
"And?" She suddenly leaned in closer, eager to hear my findings about her spell casting issue.
"And…I suggest that you get fully dressed first. You wouldn't want to catch a cold or have me watch you with 'predatory eyes' again hmmm?" I teased, making quotation gestures with my hands at the words 'predatory eyes'. The effect was instantaneous and my master quickly got herself dressed while I picked up my parasol and opened the door.
"The usual spot. I'll call Siesta for some tea while we discuss this." I told her before leaving the room. I checked my pocket watch and walked to the garden where Siesta was tending to the flowers during this time. When I arrived I found her speaking with another human, a male human noble who was at least twice her age. Judging by how the man was looking at her, it would seem that he lusts for her and that just won't do. I casually opened my parasol and walked toward the two humans.
"Greetings Siesta!" I gave her a hearty greeting, making both humans turn to me.
"Mister Yuka!" The maid exclaimed before looking between the noble and myself.
"And this is?" The man asked with a sneer.
"Oh! This is Mister Yuka, he's Miss Valliere's familiar." Siesta explained to the man, making his brow rise.
"Familiar? A commoner? And to a Valliere of all people? Surely you jest dear Siesta" The man said before laughing at me. Oh my…
"Um-um-um…well…t-this is Count Mott…and um…" Siesta nervously tried to introduce the man who was inching closer and closer to becoming paste on the castle wall.
"Palace Messenger and Count of Tarbes. Consider it an honor for you to even be able to speak to one such as I." The man known as Mott said with another sneer.
"Yuka Kazami. A pleasure, Count." I politely said while standing up straight and leaning my open parasol on my right shoulder. The man snorted at me before turning his attention back to Siesta.
"We will continue this later then. Till next time dear Siesta." Mott said before taking Siesta's hand and kissing the back of it, making the girl blush. He sneered at me one more time before going to the direction of the castle.
"Umm…Mister Yuka…that was…I mean…" Siesta babbled while making gestures with her hands as if they were visual aids or something.
"Pay no mind. My master and I have things to discuss, can you serve us some tea at the usual place?" I went back to the reason why I sought out the girl in the first place.
"Oh! Of course! At once Mister Yuka!" The maid happily said before trotting off to prepare our tea. I turned back to the direction where Mott disappeared to. You might be wondering why I didn't kill him in the onset of his insults. The reason is simply because, if I killed him, it would mean that he was worth killing in the first place. No, I will not waste my time with such garbage while I still have matters to iron out with Louise.
If he ever becomes a liability to my current lifestyle though…
"Well, what did you find out?" Louise anxiously asked me, completely ignoring the cup of tea in front of her. Siesta had to leave after serving us the tea and some pastries because of her other duties. The other members of Louise's little circle of acquaintances also had other business to take care of, so it was just me and Louise at the table.
"A few things but nothing final yet. I am not made for fine analysis so all I can provide are observations and conclusions based on my own experiences." I set the expectations to our talk before savoring the aroma of the tea. "Fine, fine…out with it then!" Louise quickly responded, eager to find out what conclusions I have drawn on. I took a sip of tea and gathered my thoughts. Where should I begin?
"Hmmm…first, I would like to point out what I noticed whenever you try to cast a standard spell." I stated, making Louise lean in closer.
"Yes…" Louise said, urging me to continue.
"Your spells immediately self-destruct at the moment of release." I clearly stated before raising my left hand in front of her before she could respond.
"Normally, that result is because the caster simply cast the spell wrong or put in inappropriate amounts of power. You however, do not violate either condition. I have observed you in class and you are very studious in your lessons so I highly doubt that you would make any mistakes in the theoretical aspects of your world's magic." I assured her. The unexpected praise made Louise lean back into her seat and stare at her cup of tea, her cheeks coloring slightly. This was the first thing I had to deal with. I had to make sure that Louise does not immediately assume that the failures were all her fault. She has been doing that all her life and it always made her stop thinking and exploring other possibilities. Louise's methods in casting were not wrong, it is just that something else keeps happening whenever she tries to use magic. "At the point of release of the spell, something breaks down the spell structure and causes violent magical reactions between the components. Normally, there should be a conscious effort in order to do that. Additionally, you had to have an intimate understanding of the underlying theories about each spell." I expounded. Louise was listening intently at my explanations while nursing her cup of tea.
"Wait…what do you mean about conscious effort and intimate understanding of underlying theories?" Louise asked. Good, she has started thinking.
"Conscious effort is simply what it says: It is the conscious desire to make the spell fail and acting upon it." This made Louise place her cup down on the table a little harder than one would normally would.
"I would never want any of my spells to fail!" Louise yelled out at me and I nodded in agreement while pouring myself a new cup of tea.
"Indeed. Even if it was unconsciously, I would have noticed that you were trying to sabotage your own spell. I found no evidence of the sort during your demonstration in the classroom. Besides, it takes something special for you to be able to destroy each and every spell the exact same way." I continued, making her raise a brow.
"What do you mean by that?" Louise voiced her wonder.
"That ties in to the second thing, having an intimate understanding of the underlying theories about magic. What that means is that you have an absolute understanding about how each and every one of your spells work to the point that you can dictate what element is needed to be added to another element and provide the exact amount needed of each to be able to create a certain spell. It is like memorizing all the recipes in a cookbook." I explained. Louise considered this for a moment before shaking her head.
"I have no idea how I could know all of that, half the spells I have tried to cast were first time spells for me. I simply did what I was instructed by our textbooks or teachers and they all ended up the same way." Louise said with a resigned shrug, I gave her a few moments to realize what she had just said. Her eyes suddenly widened when she made the critical realization.
"They all ended up the same way…" She muttered before looking at my smiling face. That's right Louise, don't stop thinking.
"Indeed. It is very difficult to make completely different spells fail in the exact same way. You can make fire spells go out of control and burn uncontrollably. You can make water spells spray liquid right in your face. You can make earth spells cause an earthquake instead of forming a pillar of stone. You can make wind spells produce tornadoes instead of a gale. However, it is extremely difficult to make them all result in an explosion, not just any explosion either." I said, making my master blink a few times.
"What do you mean? An explosion is an explosion right?" She asked and I shook my head in response.
"Regular explosions have the result of heat and fire as well as a shockwave from the sudden energy released. Your explosions are mostly non-lethal and produce non-elemental concussive blasts, the smoke that it produces is left over magical energy that was not converted to the correct kind of energy for the spell. Haven't you ever wondered why you haven't died or killed anyone with your explosions yet?" I asked an obvious question. Louise opened her mouth to respond but she quickly closed it started rubbing her chin with her hand.
"You know, I never really thought about that…." She admitted with a grimace. She was probably too caught up with her failure to notice it outright and I am sure that her classmates did not help the situation either.
"And now you are. The reason why your spells keep breaking is not because you are casting them wrong. It is not because you are deliberately destroying them either. It is because a phenomenon known as spell breaking keeps happening." I continued with the next point.
"Spell Breaking?" She repeated questioningly, unfamiliar with the terminology. "It is the act of deliberately destroying someone else's spell. In Gensokyo, this was the primary method to settle fights. Two combatants would duel and they would cast spells against each other and try to break the other's spell in the process. A contest of magical might, creativity, and nimbleness." I said, making Louise give me a 'what' look.
"Nimbleness?" My master asked with a tilted head.
"Would you be willing to simply stand there while your opponent casts magic intended to break your own?" I rhetorically asked Louise. I waited until she stopped grumbling to herself before continuing.
"I will explain the intricacies of Danmaku battles at a later time, you can be sure of that." I assured her with a warm smile. She smiled at me and nodded, such sweet ignorance.
"But what about when I cast Explosion for real? That gets cast correctly right?" She asked me with the same smile.
"Unfortunately not. It looks the same but it is still subject to the same effect as the others. Your real explosion spell is not lethal either, right?" I pointed out. Louise smile faded at my words and she once again started staring at her tea with eyes of self pity.
"Louise, this is no time to feel sorry for yourself. Haven't I said before? We are here to discuss why your spells keep failing. Once we find the heart of the matter and rectify it, you should be able to cast magic just like any one else amongst your peers." I reminded her with a smile, somewhat lifting her spirits again. Although the kind of magic my master will eventually wield could very well be like nothing her peers have ever seen before.
"Going back on topic…" I started while pouring my master a new cup of tea. "The reason why your spells keep failing at the absolute last moment is because spell breaks keep occurring whenever you cast them. The question now becomes…why?" I continued, making sure to pause for a few moments to let the words sink in and let Louise think about this herself.
"Because I'm using the wrong element? But that's impossible! I've tried all the elements and all of them ended up as broken spells!" Louise reasoned. Well, it was a start.
"You left out one more element." I casually said before taking a sip of my own cup of tea.
"I am not a Void mage." My master stated in all seriousness. I chuckled while shaking my head, Louise seemed to take offence to this and she stood up before she slammed her hands on the table.
"You don't have any proof that I am a Void mage!" She yelled at me, trying her best to intimidate me even though she knew better. She is brave, no doubt about that. "And you have no proof that you are not. Besides, you didn't let me finish. Being a Void mage is not the only possibility here." I explained. Louise sat back down and narrowed her eyes at me.
"What are you talking about?" She voiced her concern.
"You believe that you are not a Void mage even though you cannot control any other element, fine. Let us explore other possibilities instead. There are only three other possibilities I can think of as to why your spells will not work the way they are designed." I stated, holding up three fingers.
"You have discovered an entirely new element altogether." I stated before ticking down a finger.
"You need a completely different way of casting your spells." I continued before ticking down another finger. "Or…you have an ability that will allow you to become the most powerful being in this world." I concluded before ticking down the final finger. The revelation seemed to have been too much for the girl and she held the sides of her head with her hands. "By the founder…" She muttered to herself.
"We will have time to discover the true secret of your power. I suggest that you look into the Void angle of this and I will take care of the others." I stated while Louise was slowly shaking her head.
"So…it's between Void, a completely unknown element, developing a brand new casting style, or…what was the last one?" She asked me. Of all the times for her to start thinking…
"Something far too powerful for you to wield in your current state. It is a power that would allow you to shape the world as you wished. Don't think about it too hard at the moment, the other possibilities are far more likely than that last one." I stated in all seriousness, making Louise gulp. I know what power is when I see it and Border Manipulation is one of the highest there is. If Louise is a manipulator then she and this entire world are in a very precarious situation. I shook my head as I started to think the way she was moments ago, there are still other possibilities. Do not stop thinking.
"Regardless, I would like you to check the books in your library for anything about humanoid summonings. That should be your first clue to finding out more about the Void." I advised as I finished the last cup of tea for the afternoon.
"Why humanoid summonings?" My master curiously asked.
"Kirche stated that there hasn't been a human summoning since the days of your Founder Brimir so it is logical to think that it is the best place to start." I reasoned, my master nodding in agreement.
"Is that all?" Louise asked to make sure.
"For now, yes. Those are the possibilities I can see from what I've seen so far. Again, only the first three are the realistic ones so we will focus on those. Is there anything else you would like to discuss?" I asked Louise and she nodded. "Yes, tomorrow is the day of the void and everyone gets a day off. I want to visit the city and do some shopping and I want you to get yourself a sword." She stated and I very nearly gawked at her.
"You want me…to acquire a sword?" I asked to make sure that I heard it correctly. "Yes, at the very least it will offer some protection." She said while nodding to herself.
"Louise…you should already know that I don't need a sword to fight." I clearly said. I may have been a little too soft lately if she had already forgotten about Guiche.
"I know that! This isn't for your protection, it is for everyone else's." Louise clarified, making me raise a brow.
"A deterrent then?" I postulated and got my confirmation with a nod from the pink-haired girl.
"You are the familiar of a Valliere. I don't care if you are powerful, you should at least look ready to defend yourself and your master." She reasoned, making me smile and shake my head.
"Louise, I have never cared for what humans think of me. You should also know that I am more than capable of defending you and myself." I reminded the girl.
"I know that…I know what you are capable of, but other people don't. If they see a noble girl walking with someone who looks like a gardener of all things, they would think less of her. It might even tempt robbers or kidnappers to try their luck with me. Do you want to have to face bandit after bandit every time we leave the academy?" She stated her true reason. Human prejudice, something the Yama has had countless headaches over. Although…
"Is that even a question?" I asked her with a bit of an evil grin. A few bandits should serve as a minor change of pace from what has been going on as of late. Louise sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose at my response, she really should have known better.
"Look, we are going to the city tomorrow. You will help me with some shopping and you will get a sword while we're there, okay?" Louise asked with a hint of finality. It was not an order, but a request to her partner.
"Very well. I shall grant you that favour if you grant one of mine." I said with a warmer smile.
"Name it." She immediately responded.
"I am thinking of getting a straw hat. Think of me as being nostalgic, but the lack of hats here has unnerved me as of late. I seek to rectify that." I said with a smile. Louise looked at me with a curious expression before agreeing. Maybe I should get one for Siesta as well, it would be useful while tending the flowers.
"Surely you are not serious about this Louise." I stated with an obvious amount of apprehension as my master showed me our means to get to the city, a pair of horses.
"What do you mean? Riding horses is the best way to the capital short of taking a carriage or a flying beast. Sadly, we can ill afford to hire either one so we get to use the next best thing, unless you plan on making your master walk all the way there?" Louise noted with a hint of sarcasm. While I was glad that the girl has been opening up to me, thus becoming more candid in our conversations, the very idea of riding animals as a means of transport did not sit well with me. It just seemed so…backwards.
"Please don't tell me that the mighty Yuka Kazami is afraid of riding a horse." My master deadpanned as she looked flatly at me. I cleared my throat and shook my head.
"No, I fear nothing. I am simply a bit put off to think that you would resort to such…primitive ways of travel." I admitted with no small sense of distaste.
"Well excuse me, princess." My master once again took a jab at me as she rolled her eyes at my words, cheeky little thing.
"If you are so adamant about travelling to the city in the quickest way available then I should be able to help with that, come with me." I said while gesturing to a more open space inside the castle grounds.
"Now then, please hold this." I said as I handed my parasol to Louise, who held it in her arms like she did during my duel with Guiche. She raised a brow when I walked away from her and stopped some distance away. I closed my eyes and focused. I admit that I have not needed to use this in a while as I have never needed to fly faster than I leisurely do. I grunted as I felt them form before quickly opening my eyes when I released them from their bindings. Louise shrieked as she suddenly saw a pair of large dark green, nearly black, feathered wings spring out of my back. I noted with slight disapproval that I should have taken into account the damage the sprouting wings would do to my clothes. Oh well…
"Wh-wh-wh-wh-what in the founder's name are those!" Louise panic stricken voice yelled out as she pointed at my new appendages.
"Why, they are wings. Have you not seen them on flying creatures before?" I rhetorically asked.
"I know that! I've just never seen them on a human bei-" Louise started but… "I am not human…" I interrupted before…
"You know what I mean! Why do you even have wings anyway?" Louise quickly countered with a question.
"Funny story to that. I got these when I ran into a maid who was out shopping for her master, there were many explosions that happened during this span of time." I provided and Louise simply gave me another 'what' look.
"I'll tell you about it some other time." I assured her as I folded my large wings and walked up to Louise before picking her up in my arms.
"H-h-h-hey! Wh-wh-what do you think you're doing? Stupid familiar!" Louise suddenly started to protest as she struggled to get free, thankfully keeping my parasol in her hands..
"Tell me Louise," I started, making my master stop struggling for a moment before looking into my eyes.
"Have you ever wondered what its like to fly?" I asked before flapping my wings and ascending. Louise suddenly yelped in surprise at the sensation and curled up as best she could in my grasp. I smiled at the sight of my tiny master. Such a vulnerable child who managed to summon me. A child who had nothing of herself to believe in. A child who suddenly realized that she had the potential to shake the very foundations of her world in time. I shook my head at the strange similarities my past had with her present. Of course, Louise is no monster.
"Open your eyes, child of Valliere. Open them and witness the beauty of the skies." I said as I slowly flew higher, taking note not to go too high or too fast. My master heeded my words and opened her eyes.
"Huwaaaa…" Louise muttered with ever widening eyes as she finally realized that we were indeed flying in the sky. She turned her gaze down and shrieked before curling up closer me.
"I knew I forgot something…don't look down Louise." I belatedly warned the girl, who shot me a dry look.
"Don't look down, only look up and forwards." I suggested. My master turned her head to the horizon and I could notice the smile forming on her face as the wind flowed on her face.
"We're flying…" She said to herself in awe. I gently ascended when I saw some low clouds and flew close to them.
"Go on, touch them." I said. Louise turned to me for a moment with a confused look before seeing what I meant. She quickly adopted a wide smile before gently reaching out and touching the clouds.
"This is…amazing!" She exclaimed as she turned back to me with the biggest smile I have ever seen her have, a very rare smile that she must not have shown in a long time. It was at that moment that I decided that I much preferred a smiling Louise. Not that I would ever admit it to anyone…
The capital of Tristain was a rather large city in my honest opinion. Granted, it is the only city I have yet to see in this world but I believe my point would still stand. Louise began our shopping spree by purchasing various reagents for her spell work, something about doing some homework I believe. I tried to remind her of our earlier discussion, stating that she may not even need those in the practical sense if my theory is correct. My master would not hear any of it and insisted that it is still important for her to learn how the magic of her world works regardless if she really is capable of using a kind of magic that has not been used for millennia or magic that has never been used ever. I could not argue with the point she raised and simply decided to let her do what she wanted, you never know when all those volatile ingredients would come in handy someday.
After Louise's primary objective was completed, she had her reagents arranged to be delivered to the academy in the following days, she saw it fit to see to my request. Thus, we found ourselves inside a rather well stocked hat shop.
"I must say…" I muttered as I looked around the various headgears available in the shop. They had all manner of hats and even ribbons and other head accessories.
"They have a very nice selection." I finished as I took a top hat and tried it on, earning a snort from Louise. The attendant of the shop was a young woman who seemed to be in her late teens or early twenties. She was wearing a plain green dress and it seemed that she was not a noble from the way she carried herself.
"Thank you very much, we try to make sure that our shop has everything one could need. Are you looking for something in particular, sir?" She asked me as if I was a noble. I guess that being accompanied by a young woman from the magic academy made me seem like I was her guardian or something, an eccentric guardian from the awkward look the attendant gave me for a moment.
"Yes, do you have straw hats? Particularly ones with a wide brim and…" I detailed the kind of hats I wanted for Siesta and myself. I was trying to get a hat that was as close to the straw hat I had back in Gensokyo as possible. I admit, I would have been able to conjure up hats by the thousands if I wanted to, but I didn't want to go through the hassle of explaining to Louise that I made them in Mugenkan. I was not ready to tell her about that yet, nor was I ready to wake her when she drops in again. At worse, she might accuse me of stealing the hats, which would be utterly preposterous! Stealing would imply that I did not want the owner to know I had acquired the item in fear of being found out. I do not steal, I take.
"We have those kinds of hats in stock. Please wait here while I fetch them for you." The attendant said before going to a back room. I glanced around and saw Louise trying out various hats in front of a mirror. At the moment, she was trying on a black bowler hat which didn't really suit her. I looked around and picked up a particular hat and walked up to Louise.
"That really does not suit you, Louise." I said as I stepped into view. My master glanced at me before shrugging and removing the hat.
"I was just curious…" She said before taking off the bowler hat and returning it. I took the chance to put the hat I found on her head and grinned. The pink-haired girl touched the thing on her head before looking at the mirror and giving an 'urk'.
"Your faith is strong, Louise. Burn the heretics." I teasingly said as I grinned at the sight of my master wearing a red Commissar Hat that was two sizes too big.
"Very funny, making me wear a Germanian Military Hat. How'd they get this anyway?" Louise asked as she took off the hat and looked around at the various others. I gave a thoughtful hum as I wondered the same thing at the moment. I could see assortments of berets, witch hats, turbans, baseball caps, really…even things that aren't even supposed to be here like the head dress of a shaman. I glanced back at Louise who was eyeing a particular item. I walked over to the hat in question and raised a brow.
"Now this is interesting…" I said as I studied the hat. At a glance, it seemed like a western hat, a black leather hide cowboy hat to be precise. It had a black leather belt with a circular metal buckle that kept the top secure if needed. The brim was pointed at the front, which drooped slightly down at the end, but somewhat rounder to the sides and back, which was folded up by a couple of inches. I turned it over and saw that the underside was lined with frilled cotton like a witch's hat. It basically looked like a cowboy hat that was mixed with Marisa's old witch hat. I turned back to Louise and handed her the item.
"Try it on." I offered. She hesitated for a moment before taking the hat and putting it on, a perfect fit. The brim of the hat was enough to block out the rays of the sun without compromising vision. Louise looked at herself in the mirror and checked out how she looked from different angles. I stepped forward and shifted the tip a bit to the right side, making the buckle on top more visible if viewed from the front.
"I approve. It looks good on you." I stated with a satisfied smile.
"You really think so?" Louise glanced at me from the mirror as she tilted the hat a bit to the right.
"It really does, ma'am." We both turned to the voice and saw that the attendant had returned with my orders. I was satisfied to see that the straw hats she brought were up to my standard as I put mine on and looked at the mirror.
"So, what do you think? Do I still look like a gardener?" I said with a satisfied smirk. Louise huffed and gave me her own smirk.
"No, you look like a farmer now." Louise responded. Such spunk, my master has. "Will you take the three hats?" The attendant asked us expectantly. Louise and I looked at each other before she touched the sides of her cowboy hat.
"Take it. It really does suit you." I said with a warm smile.
"Okay, we'll take all three then." Louise said, much to the delight of the attendant. Louise paid for the hats, her own hat was much more expensive for obvious reasons, before we left the store. We were both wearing our newly acquired headgear so I only had Siesta's hat wrapped up.
"Why do you need two hats?" Louise asked as she adjusted her new hat with her hands, trying to find the sweet spot that would make it the most comfortable to wear.
"The other one is for Siesta. Think of it as a gift from a fellow flower enthusiast." I said simply, making my master raise a brow.
"Don't tell me that you are starting to fall for the maid." She asked. I blinked a few times before chuckling at what she was implying.
"Nothing like that, Louise. I am simply showing my appreciation to her dedication at caring for the flower garden at the academy. You know how I am when it comes to flowers, yes?" I explained and Louise nodded at my question.
"I harbor no such feelings for the girl, I assure you. I have never even felt that particular emotion yet." I admitted as we walked through the streets.
"Really? You've never been in love…ever?" She asked in surprise.
"Not since my birth as a youkai, no. I have never felt the need to feel that kind of thing, so I never really thought about it." I said while shaking my head.
"Well, there's a first time for everything." Louise muttered as she walked on a step ahead of me. A first time for everything, eh? I admit, coming from my experiences, such words are true. But love? I highly doubt it, especially considering I was female several days ago. Then again, nothing is impossible. I know that much from living in Gensokyo for so long. I shook my head of such trivial thoughts and simply continued to follow my master through the crowded streets.
"Are you sure this is a weapon shop?" I asked as we stood in front of a non-descript building. Louise finally got around to dragging me all over the place to get me a sword for 'protection purposes'. We had already tried other weapon shops but all their wares were far beyond my master's budget limit. We eventually made it all the way to the poorer part of the city and found this place.
"It has a sword and a shield on the sign, what else could it be?" Louise asked as she pointed at the wooden sign above the door.
"Point taken. Shall we then?" I asked as I opened the door for her. Louise walked inside, making sure not to get her hat caught on the door frame.
"Welcome custome-" The owner of the shop stopped mid-greeting when he saw us, probably not what he expected for those looking for implements of death.
"We're looking for a sword, one for him." Louise stated simply with her hands on her hips. The middle-aged man looked at my master then back to me. I tipped my hat to him as a greeting and he nodded back in acknowledgement.
"Anything in particular you are looking for?" He asked. I merely shrugged and Louise suddenly interrupted by asking for the best sword the shop had. I noticed the glint in the shopkeeper's eyes when he heard that and he quickly walked to the back room.
"The best in the shop!" He stated as he set the blade on the table. I heard my master give an 'ooohhh' of approval as she looked at the blade. I gave the piece of metal a cursory glance before silently determining that it would probably break if I swung it with any amount of force that I usually use with my parasol when in combat. I quietly smiled while squeezing the handle of my trusty parasol, which I was once again using as a walking stick. It probably contributed to my appearance of 'someone who probably has never been in a fight before'. Good, I always love the look on their faces when I finally let loose.
"Hand crafted by Germanian master alchemists! This beauty will cut through iron like a scythe through wheat." The shopkeeper proudly stated, my master nodding in approval and her eyes adopting a glint of its own. I sighed and shook my head at the sight.
"Amazing…how much is it?" Louise said the magic words and the man grinned.
"Three thousand new gold." The man replied, Louise's smile dropped at the price. It was once again far beyond the amount of money she had on hand.
"You could buy a mansion with that much gold!" My master shot back. The man took it in stride and shook his head before giving Louise a knowing smile.
"A fine blade is more than its weight in gold if you intend to use it to defend your life." The man stated as he nodded to himself sagely. Louise looked at the blade again, her hat blocking her face from my view, before looking back to me with an uncertain look.
"Well?" She asked me expectantly. She was probably going to try to buy the blade anyway if I had said yes. This was the last weapon shop we could find and it was late in the afternoon. If we tried to look for any more shops, we would be stuck here all night. Not good since Louise has classes tomorrow. I sighed and glanced at the blade once before looking at the man straight in the eye, my expression was completely serious.
"Too tacky, do you have something more practical? Something that would actually be useful in taking another being's life, human or otherwise?" I stated coldly, making the man flinch under my gaze. He cleared his throat before glancing away and eyeing the other weapons in stock. He glanced back to me s few times but he found that my gaze had not left him for a moment. He was starting to shift uncomfortably under my constant glare when I heard the sound of metal clanking together. I ignored it and kept my gazed firmly locked at the increasingly frightened man.
"Hahaha! Starting to sweat just by the man's stare? You're losing your touch!" Said a voice from the same direction where I heard the disturbance moments ago. I turned my head and saw that some of the swords were moving around inside a barrel. I raised a brow before approaching the blades.
"H-hey, don't just walk up to it." Louise cautiously said from behind me. I looked down at the barrel and blinked a few times.
"Something wrong, friend?" One of the sheathed blades said. Yes, said.
"This is a talking sword." I said as a statement and not a question since it was fairly obvious as to what it is.
"Seems like it…" Louise replied with a somewhat subdued voice, I am assuming that talking objects were not common here. I reached for the handle of the sword before pulling it out of the barrel.
"Easy there, partne-" The sword's words were cut off when I suddenly pulled part of the blade out in one smooth motion.
"Oowww! Watch it!" The sword said, its quillion acting as a makeshift mouth as it moved up and down as it spoke.
"Interesting…" I said as I inspected the sentient weapon. It was rusted over most of its edge, requiring much cleaning that I wasn't willing to perform. Still, a talking implement of death…
"I'll take it." I said with a particularly wicked grin that made the man, the girl, and the sword gulp at the same time.
"So…" The blade, Derflinger as it introduced itself as, spoke up as it was held by my master along with my parasol and Siesta's hat. We were flying back to the academy and the trip was mostly quiet due to Louise getting tired from the day's activities.
"So…" I repeated as I flapped my wings once to maintain our speed, Louise stifling a yawn.
"Why are we flying?" Derf asked, again, easier to pronounce than its full name like Monmon.
"Because it's faster than riding horses…" Louise managed to say before yawning. It's also safer for my master if she was already this tired.
"Right…but why is it that partner here can fly?" The sword followed up. "My name is Yuka, not partner." I stated, the sword making what seemed to be a grumble from within its scabbard. "To answer your question, I can do many things. This is simply one of those things." I answered. Derf didn't seem satisfied with the answer and slightly popped out of its confinement. How it managed to perform such a feat without any outside force is a question I intend to answer at a future time.
"I figured as much. You're…not human, are you?" The sword asked, even though it should already know the answer.
"No. I am a being that ill needs a sword. However, I will keep you as I promised my master that I would acquire a sword by the end of the day." I explained, Derf making a thoughtful noise before I grinned at the blade.
"Besides, this is the first time I have encountered a rusted over magical blade that could talk. A very interesting find at the very least." I added with the same grin I used before, making Derf quickly hide back into its scabbard.
I made my touchdown on the field in front of the dormitory tower. The sun had long since set and Louise had already fallen asleep during the trip. Derf and I had an agreement not to wake her as I carried her in silence to her room. I gently set my master down on her bed and she instinctively reached for her pillow and hugged it, uttering a 'munya' before she settled down. I didn't change her clothes since that might wake her, but I did put her new hat on the table and removed her cloak. I set both my parasol and Derf against the wall as I picked up Siesta's hat and reached for the door.
"Stay here and watch over my master, I just have something to drop off." I said before stepping out, not waiting for a response from Derf. I seriously doubted that a rusted sword could defend my master, magically sentient or otherwise, but it gave the blade something to do while I was away. I started walking through the halls with Siesta's present under my arm when I noticed Kirche's salamander peaking from the corner. I raised a brow as the creature repeatedly tried to emerge from its hiding place before cowering back as I continued walking in its direction.
"Yes?" I asked the familiar and it gave a panicked croak before scurrying away. I sighed at the sight and decided that it was probably another one of the redhead's childish schemes to try to seduce me. It wouldn't surprise me if she was in her room, clad in nothing more than silk laces, waiting for her familiar to bring me to her.
I managed to get to the area where the servants lived and asked for Siesta. The servants there either avoided the question or gave me vague answers at best and I was getting a bit irritated at the whole thing. I walked out to the garden in hopes that the maid was there. She wasn't.
"Siesta is…gone." A voice said from behind me. I turned and saw the head cook of the academy looking at me with a somber expression. He was a large man who loved to cook as much as Siesta loved to tend the flowers, though I didn't bother to learn anything more than that about him.
"Explain." I simply stated as I walked up to the man. He gulped before finally speaking.
"Siesta was taken away to Count Mott's estate this morning. They said that she was transferred there to become one of his personal servants." The cook explained, my eyes narrowing at the revelation. Count Mott…that man who was eyeing Siesta yesterday, he took her away? He actually dared to take something of mine? I smiled at the thought.
"Where is his estate?" I said with an ever growing sinister smile. The cook backed away a couple of steps from my reaction.
"It's in the village of Tarbes, he governs that region." The cook quickly stated. "Tell me how to get there…"
I flew through the night sky, on a straight line towards Tarbes. I flew high and I flew fast, the way that Aya does. The old adage that Yuka Kazami is the slowest youkai in Gensokyo is nothing more than a farce that I instigated on a whim. It was not that I could not move fast, it was just that I chose to move slowly. It was to lull the enemy into a sense that I was an easy target and it made it more satisfying to destroy them as they found that they couldn't even defeat the slowest youkai in the realm. Now, however, I have no reason to keep that image. I was not out to rescue Siesta per say, I was merely out for an evening flight and I just happened to head in the direction of Tarbes. While there, I would say hello to the good Count Mott and ask very nicely for him to allow Siesta to return to the academy. If he accepts, then there won't be any problems. I would give the maid her present and we should be back by dawn.
If he refuses…
I managed to reach Tarbes and easily found the estate of the Count in short order. It was hard to miss since it was the only building that didn't look like a hovel. I dove in hard and fast before flapping my wings once in a powerful motion that killed my speed immediately and allowed me to drop to the ground inside the premises relatively easily. Normally, that would have alerted the guards in the area because of the wind my wings kicked up. Sadly, I dove hard and fast right on top of a guard and subsequently crushed him from the force of the wind carried by my dive. I shrugged it off before retracting my wings and tossed the lifeless body of the guard down a nearby well before walking up to the front door of the manor. I made sure to check that Siesta's hat was undamaged during transit before I knocked on the large wooden doors. I waited a few moments and was considering on kicking the door open when I heard a clicking sound and one of the doors opened slightly.
"Yes?" A familiar voice asked from within the manor.
"Siesta?" I asked to confirm, the subsequent gasp from the girl proved my assumption. "M-m-mister Yuka? W-w-what are you doing here?" The maid asked, peeking her head outside with an embarrassed expression.
"I heard that the good Count Mott has acquired your services as of today, is that true?" I asked, wanting to hear it from her directly.
"…yes. As the Palace Messenger, the Count has a certain amount of influence in the kingdom. Getting a new maid out of a whim is nothing special for one of his stature." Siesta explained while avoiding my gaze. I made a thoughtful hum when I noticed something.
"Siesta, what are you wearing?" I asked and the maid gave a short yelp. She was about to close the door when I forced it open, nearly making the girl fall over. It was then that I saw that she was wearing a black, sleeveless French maid outfit. The whole thing was cut very short, leaving little to the imagination. I raised a brow at her attire and Siesta looked away in obvious embarrassment.
"I-i-it's not like he's doing anything wrong…" Siesta half-heartedly said. I sighed and removed the wrappings of her straw hat, trading it for the maid bonnet she was currently wearing.
"What?" She muttered as she touched the hat while I tossed away the piece of cloth in my hand.
"A gift, for a fellow enthusiast. It should shield you from the sun while tending the flowers at the academy." I simply stated. Siesta looked at me with a surprised expression before turning away and seemingly biting back tears.
"I…cannot go back." She responded.
"Yes, you will. Where is the count?" I asked while glancing around.
"No! You must not provoke the Count! You may have been victorious against Sir Gramont, but Count Mott is a triangle water mage!" The maid said in panic, sensing what I was intending to do.
"What is this racket about at such an hour?" Ah, there he is. The man himself said as he walked down the steps leading to the upper floors of his manor. He caught sight of me and Siesta and scowled.
"Siesta, what is that man doing in my home?" The man said in a threatening tone of voice, enough to make Siesta cower.
"H-he, Mister Yuka was just…I mean…" Siesta panicked as she tried to think of an explanation for my presence in the home of her new master in the middle of the night.
"I was simply here to make sure that my friend has acclimatized to her new surroundings, as well as dropping off a present." I politely explained to the man who was walking down the steps.
"I see. Siesta, go back to the servant's room." Mott commanded, making the maid give a very fearful expression.
"B-b-b-b-but…" Siesta started, I placed my hand on her shoulder and she turned to me. "I'll be fine. I'll just need to have a gentlemanly discussion with the good Count." I said with a smile. Siesta hesitated for a few moments before bowing to the Count and I and leaving. The only ones left there were me and Mott.
"So, tell me. Are you Siesta's lover?" The man asked. Why does everyone think that? "No. I am simply a fellow gardening enthusiast who would very much appreciate it if she would be returned to the academy post haste." I stated to the man with a smile, who simply scoffed at me.
"Do you have ANY idea who are you speaking to, mongrel? I am the Count of Tarbes! I am the Palace Messenger! I am a Triangle Class Mage!" Mott declared as menacingly as he could while whipping out a wand.
"I am well aware of who you are, my request will not change. Siesta will return with me to the academy, whether you want it or not." I responded.
"Guards!" The man said and a dozen armored men armed with halberds stormed in and surrounded me.
"I need not spend any effort with a commoner who is too stupid to realize who he is dealing with. Dispose of him!" Mott said before turning around and walking up the steps. I smiled as the dozen guards charged at me, twelve halberds ready to skewer me in the next few seconds. Too slow…
I moved between the gap the halberds in front of me made as they closed in before reaching for the heads of the two guards closest to me. I gave a murderous grin as I heard the sound of crunching metal when I squeezed my hands around the men's helmets.
I glanced up and saw that Mott had turned around, no doubt wanting to see me run through. The result was not what he expected. I used the two guards as flails, smashing their bodies' right into their comrades'. One of the guards tried to finish me with an overhand swing of his halberd. The blow connected to my head…and the blade snapped off and flew right into a wall where it stayed. I turned to the utterly horrified guard and gave him a smile before hitting him on the head with the body of the guard in my left hand. I dropped the lifeless bodies of the two guards on the floor and eyed the three remaining guards who were standing in a defensive position in front of Mott.
"Brave but foolish. Tell me…have you ever heard of a plant known as a body snatcher?" I asked the men who gave me confused but frightened looks.
"It was a common misconception that the plants were giant pods that trapped hapless victims underground while the plants made organic doubles of the victims. The doubles would track down and capture more victims of the plant to feed off of." I said as I folded my arms and leaned back.
"However, that is not true. That system would be too inefficient since it would take a substantial amount of organic mass and time to be able to make a perfect copy of the victim that the body snatcher just took. Instead, the real body snatcher is a tiny plant that is no larger than a dandelion seed. It would creep into the host's ear and make its way into the brain where it would take over all body functions aside from higher thought processes. This means that the host would still be fully conscious of his surroundings even though it cannot control its own body anymore, essentially becoming a prisoner in his own body. A very unfortunate fate…" I finished before smiling warmly at the men, who were still pointing their spears at me.
"Wouldn't you say so, Count?" I added before three icicles impaled the three guards in front of me. The men made gurgling sounds as they all gazed at the thick piece of ice running through them before expiring and crumbling to the ground. I smiled at my work as calmly walked up to the count and patted him on the shoulder.
"The plant will remain in you for a week. In that time, you will witness it ruin your reputation to your people and your peers. You will watch helplessly as it denies you all necessities for living. You will watch as your body continues to move even though it should have expired long before. You will watch as the plant slowly dies in your brain, giving you one moment of control over your body before your brain shuts down as well. Have fun." I stated as I walked in the direction where Siesta ran off to.
"Come." I commanded the body snatcher and it followed dutifully. I should remember to command it to dispose of the bodies after Siesta and I have left.
"Siesta, pack your things. We're going back to the academy." I stated to the surprised maid. I managed to find Siesta's room by asking the other servants there. The presence of their Count made them much more amicable than the servants at the academy when I asked them the maid's location.
"B-b-but what about the Count?" Siesta asked nervously as she clutched her straw hat in her hands.
"The Count and I have come to an agreement and he has decided to free you from your duties here." I stated as I stepped into the room with the body snatcher walking right behind me.
"Count Mott!" Siesta suddenly said before she bowed to her master.
"It is true, what you have heard. You are free to go back to the academy. Mister Yuka and I had a discussion about this and I felt that you would be more suited to serve at the academy." The body snatcher stated to the shocked maid.
"I will also provide a carriage for your return. Please accept it with my good graces." The body snatcher said before leaving the room. Not bad for a plant the size of a seed.
"The Count…he seemed…subdued." Siesta pointed out as she looked at me with a worried expression.
"I assure you, I did not strike against the Count. He and I simply came to an understanding about things." I assured her but she didn't seem convinced.
"I don't know…it doesn't sound like him to back down just like that…" Siesta was proving to be more perceptive than I thought. Then again, she tends to the flowers well, being perceptive is a given for someone like that.
"One can only look away when faced with one's mistakes." I stated with a smile. "What?" The maid responded with confusion.
"Something I read about once." I stated before helping Siesta pack. Hopefully, we would be back by dawn and Louise won't have to know that her familiar was gone all night. I'd better make sure that Derf and I are in agreement about that once I return.
Louise opened her eyes and found herself in the same sunflower field that she had dreamt about for the past few days. The grumbled a few times before standing up. This was the first time she actually bothered to stand in a dream so it was somewhat of a unique experience for her. She looked up and saw the endless night sky lit up by countless stars. Louise wondered for a moment why she couldn't find the two moons in the sky but simply shrugged it off. After all, this was just a dream.
She walked around for a while and noted that she was still wearing her school uniform minus her cloak and new hat. Such a dream she was having if she could notice those details! Louise eventually found a yellow brick road that seemed to lead to somewhere. She eyed it curiously before following it to where it goes. Along the way, she encountered a lifeless Scarecrow, a motionless golem made of tin, and a stuffed lion. Louise rubbed her eyes and shook her head, this was a very strange dream she was having.
She eventually made it to a large mansion that she had never seen before. She walked up to the front door and turned the knob, it was locked. The girl walked around the mansion and found that the back door and all the windows where locked as well, such a strange dream. Was this her mansion in the dream or someone else's? If it was someone else's, where did the owner go?