"Where are we going?" Dinah Kirisame asked her parents.
The five family members, Shanghai and Hourai included, were walking towards a large cave behind the Hakurei shrine. Her mother Alice Kirisame, formerly Alice Margatroid, gave her daughter a smile. "We're going to visit my mother, Dinah," she said.
"Is that why Daddy doesn't look too well?" the young girl asked, pointing to Kirisame Marisa; the black-and-white witch did have a rather uneasy look on her face that she did her best to hide from her daughter.
"She's right; you do look a bit tense," Alice noted. "I thought you would've been used to visits to Makai by now."
"It's not that I don't like going to Makai," Marisa said. "It's just that your mother is really intimidating. She's always giving me this look that says ‘If you make my daughter mad, I'm going to torture you for all eternity' or something like that..."
"What's grandma like?" Dinah asked curiously.
"You've seen her before, though you probably don't remember." Marisa had a thoughtful expression on her face, as if trying to pick the right words. "She...she has this majestic air to her. She has six wings with red markings and she has all of Makai under her control. She..."
"She's not as scary as your dad is making her out to be," Alice interrupted, giggling a little. "She's really nice, so you don't need to worry. She loved playing with you when you were just a baby, so she's just as excited to see you."
"Speaking of your mother, I heard she's been seeing someone for a while," Marisa said. "Do you have any idea who it is?"
"That's another reason we're going to visit," Alice replied. "We're going to see who my mother is dating and see if she's worthy of my mother."
"Are you going to be the evil stepdaughter in this?" Marisa teased, earning her a light tap on the head from Alice.
As the five of them reached Pandemonium, they were greeted by Shinki's maid Yumeko. "It's been a while, Alice-sama!" she said happily. "Shinki-sama! Alice-sama and the others are here!" she called while hurrying off.
"Wow..." Dinah said as she glanced around the fortress. "It's huge...and still cleaner than Daddy's study..."
"Hey, that's not fair!" Marisa protested while Alice laughed. "You two as well?" Marisa scowled at Shanghai and Hourai, both of whom were nodding in agreement.
"Alice!" The voice of Shinki floated down the hallway followed closely by the creator of Makai herself. She was dragging someone with her, someone who seemed a bit less energetic about greeting visitors. "It's good to see you again!" she said as she gave Alice a hug. "Dinah! You've grown quite a bit since I last saw you!" Dinah had hidden behind her mother when Shinki had arrived but, seeing that kind smile, Dinah gave a small wave and returned the smile.
Marisa would've greeted Shinki as well, had her attention not been caught by the person Shinki had dragged along to meet them. Her eyes widened and her voice seemed to stutter a bit before she could finally speak coherently.