The Story Retold (Side A)
As long as you are there,
even if the whole world is against me,
everything will be fine...
So I thought
"Yes, that's how I thought. That's how I've aalwaaays thought~"
The little vampire swayed, her head lolling from side to side like a broken puppet. Her gigling sound filled the air. After a while, her giggle stopped and she raised her face to the artificial sky, gazing blankly into the distance.
"Hey, hey, do you want to hear a story? It is a story about a little girl and a monster."
The deep red figure sang and closed her eyes, as if in remembrance.
"Once upon a time, in a far far away place, there was a huge kingdom. That kingdom, you see, was said to be a very beautiful and peaceful place, but then one night, as the scarlet moon rose, the kingdom drowned in a sea of blood. And then, emerging from the deep red scenery, were a little girl and a monster."
She smiled and raised her hands, holding an invisible figure from her past. Yes, she could picture her on her grasp perfectly; her small and seemingly fragile body, her pale white skin, her jet black wings, her soft lavender hair. Letting out a soft laugh, she started to move her feet. One-two-three, one-two-three. Her mismatched steps soon turned into a quiet dance, a waltz matching with a tune that only she could hear.
"The little girl and the monster had lost everything; no place to shield themselves from the sun or rain, no souls to listen to their sorrowful tale. They have lost everything, everything but one another. And everywhere they go, people would run and hide, because everyone was afraid of the monster. The monster was very very sad, but despite everything, the little girl stayed by the monster's side, holding its blood red claws as they walked hand in hand. Every time the monster cried, the little girl would stroke its head gently and said, 'We will definitely find it, the place where you don't need to be a monster; where people will accept you as you are. Our very own Wonderland. ' "
The dance grew faster as her voice echoed in the quiet room, and she could see the illusionary figure smiled as they danced across the jet black scenery.
"But alas, it is just a dream. A ridiculous dream of a foolish little girl."
The waltz came into an abrupt stop, and the soft touch on her hand melted into nothingness. Yes, everything is just an illusion. A dream; the most basic magic that everyone could cast on themselves, a fragile spell that would break as soon as you opened your eyes. And what was waiting for her beyond her closed eyelids were the sickening smell of bloods that couldn't seem to be washed away, and the same suffocating darkness that had been burnt to the back of her mind.
But even then the smile on her face didn't falter; it stretched even wider, and she opened her eyes.
The figure twirled one more time, the crystals on her grotesque wings jingled as she did; her piercing red eyes caught sight of a pair of wavering blue orbs in the distance, and she slowly came into a stop, extending her hand to the shivering figure of a human girl cowering on a corner.
"One day, when the little girl has grown up, she gave up her silly dream. And then, left all alone in the tattered world was the monster, dreaming of the girl and the happy days that would never come. The end. What a dreadful end; don't you think so too, Sakuya?"
The girl didn't answer. Izayoi Sakuya froze, her eyes glued on the tormenting figure in front of her, her back against the cold metal door. Her right hand rested silently in her pocket, sweating profusely as she touched the cold surface of her pocket watch. The silver-haired girl swallowed hard, trying not to break down under the overwhelming fear, because if she did, even just a bit, she knew that it would be the end. What would await for her then, is only death. But how long can she hold on?
"Hey, Sakuya~ Why won't you answer? Oh, oh! Or do you think the story hasn't ended yet? Let's see, the little girl grew up and met a handsome blue-eyed prince. A young prince who she thought she had lost long time ago, the one who returned from the land of the dead himself just to be with her~"
What is she talking about? What is this story? Questions after questions filled her head as Sakuya listened on, staring as the vampire giggled to herself once again, amused by her own tale. Little that she knew, another figure was lurking in the dark, watching them intently.
"No, no, you're wrong, Flan~"
The pitiful human girl didn't have time to dodge as swarm of bats rushed toward her and she instinctively held her arms up in defense, shielding her face, but instead of fangs and claws tearing her skin, she felt a strong grip on her wrist, and another grabbing her chin roughly, forcing her to face right into the very core of her nightmare. Pinning her from behind was the same blonde vampire, or perhaps, her exact copy as the girl could still see the avid storyteller from the corner of her eyes, smiling innocently.
"Hello, Flynn. Have you come to hear my story, too? And what do you mean that I'm wrong?"
"Your story sounds interesting, Flan, but you have to revise it. Because you're completely wrong about the blue-eyed prince; he's dead, right?"
"But if he returned from dead just to meet her, won't that be romantic?"
What are these two? Are they twins? Are there even more of them? The human girl thought silently inside her head as her heartbeats pounded in her ears, trying to stay calm despite everything. The vampire could snap her neck in any second, and she had no way to run, so she could only wait for a chance to escape. It was Flynn's turn to giggle as she felt the girl didn't struggle under her grip, and she smiled widely.
"That's where you got it wrong, Flan. The prince never returned! Oh, and this girl, she is not Sakuya."
"Meiling. Wake up."
"Guah! I'm sorry, I'm not sleeping Sakuya-chan—eh? Patchouli...sama?"
"Um, is there something wrong?"
"Have Sakuya gone out today?"
"Well, she did went for a little shopping but she returned around half an hour ago."
"Did something happen?"
"...Meiling, how many hours left until Remi's wake up call?"
"Umm, I'm not sure, but maybe around three to four hours?"
"So there's still time. Tell the maid fairies to substitute your gate duty and meet me at the library at once."
"Wait, what's going on? Don't tell me, Sakuya-chan is..."
"I'm still not sure, but there's a high chance that she's with her now..."
The trembling voice of the girl sounded very weak, barely above whisper, but it was enough to catch the vampires attention. The girl shouted.
"I am Sakuya! Izayoi Sakuya!"
The first vampire was stunned from the sudden outburst, while the other maintained her composure, snickering loudly.
"See? I told you you're wrong; she's not 'Sakuya'."
The human girl gritted her teeth, glaring at her captor despite all her fear.
"Are you deaf? I told you, I'm—"
"Now then, it's trivia time~"
She didn't have time to finish her sentence as she was suddenly twirled and shoved away, a hard wooden material stopping her fall before she hit the ground. The girl soon found herself sitting on a chair, the two vampires sitting adjacent to her, each wearing their own expressions as they watched her every details; the one on the left, which she believed to be 'Flan', was frowning and seemed rather dazed, while the one on the right, 'Flynn', still had that huge cheshire smile on her face. Well, whatever game they are planning now, she would take them on. But huh, isn't it strange? She couldn't do anything but shivering in fear before, so where did this determination coming from? The answer is simple.
'I am Sakuya, Izayoi Sakuya. It is a precious name that milady gave me, and I won't let them say otherwise.'
A simple and childish reason, but then again, she is a child, is she not? Then it's fine. The tiny little chief maid of Scarlet Devil Mansion, would become a child and play this game. As if she could hear the girl's thought, Flynn laughed and clapped her hands in excitement, before reaching for her pocket to retrieve a deck of cards.
"A pretty fun game 'The Unmasking of Sakuya' is about to begin~ Are you ready, miss-claimed-to-be-Sakuya?"
The little girl let out a loud 'hmph' and sat upright, as if challenging the vampire, and the vampire let out a chuckle, handing the cards to her counterpart.
"You can shuffle first, Flan. Go ahead."
Flan did as she was told, shuffling them in her hands and took one out, but as soon as she got a good look on the card, her frown deepened.
"What the—Flynn? What is the meaning of this?"
"I'll tell you later. Would you please show us the card?"
She seemed to hesitate a bit, before sighing and flipping it for all to see.
"...the jack...of clubs..."
So it's the Jack of clubs.
The Jack of clubs...
So what about it?
Where's the question?
"Now, onto the question."
The card has no meaning!?
The human girl technically shouted in her head while the other vampire simply sighed, probably used to her counterpart's abstract way of thinking, and tossed the chosen card away.
"First question: Who are you?"
The girl blinked, before puffing her chest in pride.
"Haven't I told you before? My name is Izayoi Sakuya. I'm the chief maid of Scarlet Devil Mansion."
What does she mean by that? The little girl stared dumbfoundedly as the vampire once again clapped, and she could see the other vampire still frowning.
"Hey Flynn, didn't you say she's not 'Sakuya' before?"
"The game is just starting Flan, so sit still. Shuffle the cards again."
"Eh? But there's no meaning to it."
"Of course there is; I've memorized every question that is symbolized by each card. Isn't it fun?"
What a very roundabout way to do it, the human girl sighed to herself. But she had no room to protest, so she simply sat obediently on her chair, waiting for the next question. Her right hand silently reached to pocket watch again; this was the perfect moment to run, but a part of her was so stubborn that she decided otherwise. Besides, even if she escaped their sight she couldn't leave the room by herself, so there's no meaning to it; she would just make these vampires acknowledge her as 'Sakuya', as the chief maid of Scarlet Devil Mansion, and let them take her outside later. She would definitely win this game.
"Question number two—"
Queen of hearts.
"From whom did you get your name?"
Another question that she knew perfectly the answer. The silver-haired girl huffed and answered swiftly.
"From the mistress of the mansion where I work; milady, Remilia Scarlet."
"Another correct answer! That's impressive, miss impostor!"
"Onto the next question."
Will this cocky vampire ever listen? The girl gritted her teeth as she clawed on her skirt, clearly annoyed instead of scared by now.
Another card; King of diamonds.
"Now, the real game begins. Question number three: When did you get that name?"
"When I start working under the mistress, around five years ago—"
The girl flinched as she heard Flan shouted on top of her lungs and stood, knocking her chair over, a perplexed look on her face. Right then, she knew, something had gone wrong.
"Now, shall we move on to the last question? I'll shuffle this time."
Flynn took the cards from the other vampire, shuffling them skillfully on her palms before taking one out.
The last card; Ace of spades.
"Now the ultimate question, tell me—"
The vampire rested her chin on her hands, smiling from ear to ear.
"Who is Sakuya?"
The little girl took a deep breath, before answering in a clear voice.
"Of course, it is me."
"I'm not talking about you, Izayoi Sakuya, I'm talking about the real chief maid of this mansion. The original owner of the name 'Sakuya'."
The little girl froze; once again, her fear returned from the back of her mind, and she stuttered. The original Sakuya? What is she talking about?
"Ah, but it's okay if you don't know about her; she has died more than 200 years ago anyway."
Died? 200 years ago? She clenched her fists in anticipation, trying to stop her trembling.
"You see, we met this human long time ago; her name is Sakuya, and she have power to govern over time. She's supposed to be the chief maid of Scarlet Devil Mansion, but alas, an unfortunate 'incident' happened and she lost her life. But then several hundreds of years later, someone with the same name, the same power, and the same looks appeared; how can it be possible? Of course, you're probably related to her in some way, maybe her long lost descendants or sort, but even then, how can you find your way here? Isn't it too much of a coincidence? But how about this—"
Flynn stood and walked closer to the frozen girl, stopping only a feet away from her, whispering into her ear.
"What if we put someone who can manipulate fate into the picture?"
The power to manipulate fate?
"I see now, Flynn! She's not Sakuya, but was made into Sakuya!"
Made into... The girl slumped into her chair, eyes widened in disbelief. Her life, her trust, her pride; all of it, they're just lies? Was she nothing but a puppet controlled by an invisible string called 'fate'? Just who...who have such a terrible power? The vampire in front of her snickered and backed away slowly, before turning her attention to the other vampire.
"And who has power to control fate?"
No. It had to be a lie. The human girl clutched her head and squirmed, closing her eyes tightly. Milady would never do such thing!
"Yep, that's right, Flan! So can you revise the story for me?"
"Oh yeah, let's see. Hmmm, how about this: the little girl grew up, but over time, she's gone insane from staying with the monster for too long. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. Driven by her madness, she took in a boy, a certain boy who looked so much like the young prince she'd known a long time ago, and then she raised him to be her prince charming, all the while letting boy believed that he's indeed a real prince. And then, playing the role of a captive princess, she let the blue-eyed prince 'rescue' her from the monster and they live happily ever after. The end! How about that, Flynn?"
The overjoyed vampire clapped her hands and laughed, but her counterpart didn't seem to agree, putting on a disgusted face.
"That's not the right kind of ending, Flan; it's a story about the little girl and the monster, not about her and some prince charming."
"Eh? Then what kind of ending do you want?"
"Well, how about this~"
Flynn smiled once again and whispered sweetly to Flan's ear, before earning an identical smile from her. Mirroring each other perfectly, the two vampires turned toward the human girl.
"The monster killed the fake prince and take the girl back, then they live happily ever after~ "
The two figures crept closer, eyeing the girl with hungry eyes, but the girl didn't move; her body lied motionless on the chair as the two vampires clawed into her shoulder, whispering to her both ears.