Welcome to the Wonderland
"There's a distortion on the barrier."
"Really? Well, let's see~ Hm, hm, hm~"
"Oh, lookie here~ Seems like we get another newcomers~"
100 years ago, Gensokyo—
I woke up in a jolt, eyes wide open and breath hitching in anticipation; my gaze found the same dark ceiling I had known for centuries, and I quickly sat, holding my head as countless questions found their way in.
That bright blinding light, was it the space-manipulation magic that Meiling mentioned? That means I'm in the wonderland now?
How long had I been out?
I glanced around my room, only to find that I was alone. Wait. Alone? Uh-oh. I jumped to my feet.
"Flynn... Flynn! Flynn, where are you?"
This is bad, had she left already?
"Let me explore the place to my heart content for a day, then I promise to listen to what you say from then on."
Well, I had agreed with that but I wasn't stupid enough to let her out on her own. I started to look around my room, looking everywhere, anywhere, hoping that I was mistaken and she was still somewhere in this room, hiding and laughing at my worry. But no, nowhere. I started to panic.
"This is not funny, Flynn! Come out!"
Silence answered me and I gritted my teeth in frustration. I returned to my search, and this time I threw everything that got in my way in hopeless frustration, turning my room into a wrecking mess.
Then I found it, that mirror figure of mine, hidden under the bed. Her small body curled into a ball, and I could hear her sobbing softly. Wait. Was she crying? I approached her carefully, eyes narrowed in confusion. I gulped and poked her softly, trying not to provoke her.
She turned at me, and once her eyes fell on me, her sobbing turned into a full out bawling and she lunged at me, sending me falling to my butt. What in the world? My mind was still in daze from the aftereffect of Patchy's magic, and the fit of frustration and confusion didn't help; my head started to throb and I held it again, trying to straighten my thought.
First of all, I had to make sure what happened to Flynn. Because whatever making the blob of madness bursting into tear couldn't be any good than her, and I could assure you that she herself was very very dangerous. I tried calling the crying replica that was hanging on my torso as if her life depended on it, but no response. Nothing but a sniffle. I shouted on her ears to make sure she had heard me, and she answered me with a louder cry; I covered my ears from her outburst, cringing from her loud voice.
That's it, I give up. Maybe I better let her be and checked on Onee-sama and the other instead. If she had dropped the idea of exploring the wonderland, that's even a lot better. And no, don't look at me with that face, Flynn. No matter how hard you cry and apologize, I'd ever forgive you after everything you had done. I huffed and tried to release myself from her, ignoring her pleading face. Her grip was so strong that it was almost ridiculous; I didn't know she could be this clingy. As I struggled with her arms, I finally realized the little patch of paper on her hair, tied to her ribbon in a floppy manner. I blinked and took it on my hand, opening it. It was letter, and I squinted my eyes to read the crappy handwriting. Somehow, I had a bad feeling about this.
Finally awake? U fu fu, you're really out cold that I got bored waiting for you. So I set out without you. This is part of the deal, so don't be stingy, okay? But just exploring by my own is boring as well, so I thought up of something fun!
Let's play a game, Flan. A simple game of tag.
If you can find me before the night run out, you win. I will give up and never to bother you again. But if you can't...fu fu, you'll find out later. It won't chage our previous agreement so I will still listen to what you say from this day on. And guess what?
P.s: In case you're wondering, that pathetic crybaby is another replica of yours. She was born from your sadness, from when you thought you had killed Remi back then. Don't worry, she's still young and will disappear once you get far enough from her. But keep it up and we'll make a four of a kind!
That explained everything. I sighed and threw the paper away, prying my other replica off me.
"Listen, uh, Flynn the second. I have to go. Be a good girl and stay here, 'mmkay?"
I was relieved that she obeyed and nodded slowly; I smiled at her and stood, dusting my skirt off. Putting my hand on my hip, I looked around my messy room and gulped. Onee-sama would be mad at me if she see this.
"And uh, get Meiling to tidy this room up before Onee-sama got here—"
What now? I quickly turned around, facing the steel door of my room.
I covered my ears from the deafening voice; it sounded like something big was clawing at the door, trying to pry it open. My replica flinched and clung to my torso in fear once again, but I kept my calm. Even though how strong the door was, it wasn't locked. So whatever was clawing on it must be very stupid that it didn't know how to open a door; you supposed to pull it the other way, not pushing on it.
"Looks like a lost puppy found it's way to the mansion."
BAM! BAM! BAM!
Meiling must be slacking again. I shook my head and raised my hand, searching for its 'eye'.
"Sorry, little puppy. I have no time to play with you."
"This is despicable, we have to stop her at all cost!"
"Now, now, calm down. If you act rash you'll only lose your life."
"But the village—"
"You can always erase that history, right? And I have send someone to stop her, someone specializing on youkai extermination."
I tiptoed myself out of the mansion, looking here and there for any sign of a certain gatekeeper. Surprisingly, she was nowhere to be seen; she's really slacking off, huh? I stretched my arms and took a deep breath, tasting the outside air after what seemed like forever, and I unconsciously hummed in joy, letting my gaze fell to the beautiful blue lake in front of the mansion. Yes, we got a lake now. How great is that? Maybe this wasn't all that bad. But still, something felt off.
It's true that I didn't check the throne room or the library, or anywhere that Onee-sama might be since I wanted to catch Flynn without getting her involved, but somehow I was sure that she was nowhere in the mansion. How? Let's just called it sisterly instinct. And there was no sign of Patchy and Meiling either. Well, I was relieved that they didn't catch me going out, but still, where are they? And the mansion was thrashed by some wild youkai as well; how could they just let it happen? Are they playing prank on me? I pouted and kicked a nearby pebble, sending it plunging to the water.
Wait, I had no time for this. I had to find Flynn, and fast. As if in cue, a loud explosion was heard from afar, and I smiled. Jackpot. I stretched my wings and took flight to the open sky, something that I had never done before; it felt great, the feel of the wind washing my face and entering my lung. I wondered if Onee-sama enjoy flying as much as I do. And since we already reached this wonderland, that means I could fly as much as I want, right? Maybe I could ask her to fly around together sometimes. Not just that. We could finally do many many things together from now on. Just thinking of that made my heart feel all warm and I manuevered the air in excitement.
"Wait, I need to find Flynn now!"
Actually, I didn't care that much since she would come back by the end of this night anyway, but I still hate losing. So I tried to focus on the task on hand and quickened my pace, reaching for the source of the explosion. But what was waiting for me there was another nightmare.
The huge smile on my face quickly faltered, replaced by horror.
Blood. Blood. The land was blanketed in red.
Countless dead bodies were impaled on long spears, as if put in display; it was a devil's massacre.
Even as a vampire who feed on blood I didn't enjoy this cruelty. I clenched my fist until my knuckles turned white, closing my eyes in agony; that Flynn, I should've known. I was drowned in my own thought, cursing that blob of madness and myself. Suddenly the sound of soft crying voice entered my ears and I reopened my eyes.
There was a little girl, crying, clinging to the bodies of what I believed to be her dead parents. The memories of my own dead ones flashed in my eyes and I unconsciously descended to the ground, approaching her. I raised my hand, reaching for her, not to clench her 'eye' or anything like that, just to know that she was real and not the illusion my deranged mind just made. She flinched as she noticed me, shivering. Well, the killer of her family had the same face, so I couldn't blame her. My small hand met her hair and she closed her eyes in fear, but as I did nothing but petting her head, she finally reopened them. I smiled, and finally, she returned my smile shakily. The both of us stared at each other in silent mourning, and in a moment of impulse I hugged her tightly.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I couldn't stop her. I'm sorry... But at least you should—"
I could never finished that sentence; sharp claws pierced my torso, running through my chest and that girl on my embrace. I let go of her body, and it fell lifelessly to the ground. I was still alive but not her. Not a human like her. I held my throbbing head.
"No... no...no, no, NO!"
The sound of roar and growl drowned my scream, and I turned my face toward the source of the voice. There were youkai, of all size and form, emerging from the dark woods and gathering around the dead bodies; the smell of blood must have lured them here. The one that was stabbing me raised its claws once again, hitting me square on the face and sending me to the cold ground.
Why? Why is this nightmare still here? Isn't this place supposed to be a wonderland?
My eyes fell to the dead body of the girl beside me, and I started to feel tears forming on my eyes.
Where are you, Onee-sama? Please put an end to this. Please...
It was pathetic, because however strong I was I would still end up looking for her help. I tried to hug myself for some sort of comfort, ignoring the sound of flesh tearing and bone crunching around me. Those youkai were a having a feast of the lifetime, but for me, it was just another nightmare. I saw some approaching me; I didn't care, but as their blood smeared claws reached for the dead girl instead, I finally raised my face from the ground.
"Stop! Don't touch her!"
I knew she was already dead, I knew it was pointless. But still...
Those youkai ignored my plea and started to swarm around the dead body. I clenched my fangs and shouted on top of my lungs.
"I said don't touch her!"
There was a loud splat and soul-breaking screams, then red rain fell from the sky.
Ah yes, this is a wonderland. The rain had to be of different color. I giggled and let them washed over me, drenching my body in the color I like the most.
"You're right, Flynn... What a fun game you have..."
"So that is the vampire, huh? She looks nothing more than a little girl."
"Oh? The tengu have reported that she effortlessly turn some average youkai into pools of blood, y'know~"
"Tch, fine. I get it. You guys are never like what you seem, I won't let my guard down."
"Fu fu, thanks for the compliment."
"Whatever the case, I'll leave this one to you then, miss shrine maiden~"