The Let's Play Archive

Conception Plus: Maidens of the Twelve Stars

by Psycho Knight

Part 23: I've been battered, but I never bruise. It's not so bad (Story)

Update IX (Story): I’ve been battered, but I never bruise. It’s not so bad
Song Title Reference: Ordinary Day by Great Big Sea

After the boss, Itsuki walks up to the big bolt in the floor and does the thing where the Star Offering is replaced or whatever. Mana then says that the number of impurities in the Libra Labyrinth will decrease. You’ve seen it before.

~Stardust Labyrinths~

Things are going as usual back on the surface as well. Still a bunch of shaking and roaring from whatever horrible monstrosity is lurking underground/deep in the Labyrinths.

Dammit! It keeps getting worse!

Guh! I can’t stand this.

*The shaking finally subsides after a second or two of Itsuki and Mana standing there*

So this is because of the Ophiuchus Labyrinth, right?

We need to report this to Nar.

~Palace Laboratory~

Nar! Nar, you here?!

It was such a loud noise, how did you not notice?

I’ve been pulling all nighters for a while now. But thanks to that, I finished deciphering the ancient texts.

Really?! What did you find?

Ah… We’ll discuss that at the conference later. Itsuki, you will be joining, won’t you?

Of course I will. It’s sort of important.

The conference is tomorrow.

*And then Narc disappears off screen. Either he wandered off or he dropped where he stood and fell asleep*

I should go back to my room and get some rest too. I’m really worn out.


~Inn: Itsuki’s Room~

Ugh… So tired… Maybe it’s better that Narcisstes is waiting until tomorrow to explain what he found out… Anyway, goodnight Mana… Sleep time…

Y-You’re too… heavy!

Ah! What the hell was that?!

Ooo, seems like there’s someone else under the covers. Fuehe, gettin’ down to business this early? You’re a brave one… Wait… Mahiru?

Why the hell are you in his bed?!

Why the hell are you in my bed?!

W-Wait, what? Oh… I must have fallen asleep here. I-I wasn’t trying to wait for you in your bed or anything.

*sigh* I know… I know… You’re here because you wanted to talk to me about something, right?

Yeah… I need a favor. When I came in here, it was empty. I got sleepy while I waited…

Looks like you’ve been pretty tired lately too.

Anyway, there’s something I need your help with, Itsuki.

What is that supposed to be?

It’s to celebrate the feats of God’s Gift. I hear the alcohol will be cheap.

Oh, AWESOME. More Underage Drinking PSAs are on the way. God damn was I really missing those. So much.

The tavern is going to be much busier than usual tomorrow. So can I get you to help out?

Uh… I’m not… Isn’t there someone else you could ask? I’ve never done that kind of work before.

Lillith will be helping too.

I’d be worried too.

Same here, but not for the reason as you two.

*More shaking starts happening*

Another earthquake?!

Again?! Why?!

*The shaking then subsides after a few seconds*

How often has this happened now? It’s getting annoying…

It’s probably going to keep getting worse as I keep going into the Labyrinths.

Anyway, are you going to help out at the tavern?

Sorry, but I’m going to pass. I’m not exactly welcome among the townspeople right now…

You’re still brooding over that?

*sigh*…If that’s what you want to call being blamed for all of this world’s problems, then sure. I’m brooding. Whatever you want to call it, I’m still not going.

Sorry I bothered you when you’re so tired.

Sorry, Mahiru…

I know how you feel, Itsuki. Those people annoyed me too.

A tiny bit tone deaf with that comment, Mahiru. You might be a God’s Gift too, but that asshole was specifically singling out Itsuki while saying that the Star Maidens were faultless. Maybe this would have landed better if there had been any indication that the people in Granvania were lumping Mahiru in with Itsuki as well.

The reason I bring this up is because trying to pull the “I know how you feel” card with any of the Star Maidens is usually the worst option, despite the fact that Itsuki is also an orphan and relates to loneliness.

Oh, and one more thing.

If you do… Oh, I can’t even begin to describe what I’d do…

I’m not going to tell anyone, Mahiru. Besides, you’d better make sure that you don’t go crawling into my bed like that again. This is my room.


*Mahiru then leaves*

…Mana, can you wake me up when it’s time for the conference? I’ve got a feeling that I’m not going to be waking up on my own between now and then.

*Itsuki then flops down and passes out on the bed*

Oh, that Mahiru… If it weren’t for me, would she have gotten dirty with God’s Gift?

Yeah, Itsuki sure looks like a man capable of getting down and dirty. I’m sure his lifeless husk would have been all over Mahiru if she had made a move.

Shut up, Mana.

~Palace Throne Room~

The reason I gathered everyone here today… is because we have new reports on the Ophiuchus Labyrinth. I have deciphered the content of the ancient texts… and discovered a rather critical part. There is a “13th Phantom” in the Ophiuchus Labyrinth.

No duh. You think the Labyrinth that caused the Star Chaos is just sitting empty?

What differentiates this phantom from the Impurity Gods?

According to the texts… The 13th Phantom is the harbinger of Impurities unto this world. As well…

In other words, to calm the “Star Chaos”… We must prevent the revival of the 13th Phantom.

Sounds easy enough. Run in to a Labyrinth and kill the biggest thing there. No different than what we’ve been doing so far.

Oh, right, the Ophiuchus Labyrinth isn’t a secret anymore by the way. We had to keep that secret from the other Star Maidens for all of 1 Labyrinth.

This game really seems like it’s blowing its load early. The database doesn’t have a ton of open spots left in the “Main Events” section. I’m getting the feeling that the main plot is going to completely dry up once we’ve been through the Summer Labyrinth for the first time. It sort of feels like we were meant to clear the labyrinths season by season, which would space out the story more, but Mana clearly told us that we should be switching labyrinths. So…

We only learned of the existence of the Ophiuchus Labyrinth the other day. Isn’t our duty to simply enshrine its Star Offering?

We didn’t tell you because these facts were only mentioned in the ancient texts. It’s existence was mere fable until now.

Wait, so does that mean… You found out where the Ophiuchus Labyrinth is?!

After the earlier earthquake, it appeared apart from the Stardust Labyrinths. A reading of an even more powerful Impurity has been detected from within. The Star Search Energy proves it is not within the other labyrinths.

Oh, great. I like the sound of that. Starting to get flashbacks of the 25 floor final dungeon of CII.

It may very well have to do with the impending revival of the 13th Phantom.

So that means my job isn’t finished after enshrining the 12th Star Offering?

Correct. Doing so would only be a temporary solution.

Granvania sucks.

I can’t believe this…

You must stop the revival of the 13th Phantom at all costs.

But the Star Energy reading comes from even deeper than the other labyrinths. The entrance to that level still hasn’t been found yet.

Our task for now is to find that entrance. Itsuki, until then… you must enshrine the Star Offerings as initially planned.

We will notify you of any information we receive. I’m sure your mind is fraught with worry, but you must overcome this.

Meeting adjourned.

So in summary: We have learned basically nothing new. We already knew there was an Ophiuchus Labyrinth and the fact that there is some strange super monster down there is nothing surprising considering that the thing keeps roaring every time we pop in a Star Offering.

Great work, team.

~Star God Academy Hallway~

Hm? Some people are fighting.

Looks like Reone and Mirei.

This sounds juicy! Let’s take a look!

*Shifting over to Mirei and Reone*

Why did you keep quiet about something so important?!

We already discussed this. The existence of that labyrinth was not proven.

Neither of those things gives you the right to classified information, Reone. Just because you work in the SIS Building’s cafeteria doesn’t mean that your friend in MI6 is obligated to tell you everything about national security. In terms of Security Clearance levels, Reone is maybe one level above the other Star Maidens, at best.

I didn’t want to agitate you all with unproven theories.

Did you really think that would cause a panic?

Reo, just stop right there.


Especially since you have such a strong sense of responsibility.

”Also because you are a notable alcoholic that frequents bars and therefore can’t be trusted with sensitive information.”

When the mission gets harder, you’ll face even greater pressure. Mirei understood that.

Apologies, Reone… In retrospect, I should have at least told you.

Mirei also can’t be trusted with sensitive information to be honest, but she’s got a top level job in government so I guess there’s no helping that.

Must be nice to have good friends like that.

What? What’s embarrassing about that?

*And then Narc arrives*

Hello, all. Heading to the tavern?

What are you talking about? Now isn’t the time for drinks.

That’s not what I meant. I heard from Mahiru that Farun’s tavern will be quite lively today. Our friends require assistance. Are you sure you don’t want to help them?

I am, but Itsuki is probably going to insist otherwise.

…I guess we should.


Reone and Mirei, you should go as well.

But I still need to analyze the labyrinths…

The Impurities of the new labyrinth will be stronger than ever.

That’s also an important duty as a Star Maiden.

I think figuring out more about the super labyrinth is higher on the priority list, Narc. We haven’t even found the entrance to the damn place yet. There’ll be plenty of time for hanging out with Mirei later on.

Mirei, shall we go? I do feel like having a drink.

We’re not going as customers. I thought we were going to assist.

Don’t be a buzzkill. Let’s just go. Mirei, Itsuki.

*And so they did, for some reason. Honestly, I’m still of the mind that the citizens of Granvania can go fuck themselves. They haven’t shown themselves to be very deserving of parties and celebration so far*

~Granvania Shopping Center~

To the tavern that Farun works at.

They keep saying “Farun’s tavern”, which I think is a tiny bit misleading. Just a reminder: Farun doesn’t own or operate that tavern, she just works there occasionally. I know that “Farun’s tavern” can imply that it’s the tavern which Farun works at, but the usual connotation of the apostrophe “s” is ownership.

Augh… Mahiru asked me about that yesterday! But I’m busy with my deliveries, so I can’t go! Sorry, Itsuki!

It’s fine, Tarua. Good luck on your deliveries.

I’m sure we’ll find a way to manage not having the least popular Star Maiden with us.

Augh! I’ll do my best! Give Mahiru my regards!

I will. Make sure to be careful on your route. Don’t hurt yourself.

See ya later, everyone!

*And Tarua takes off… She likes to run you know. That’s her thing. Also, her hair/horn things move around a lot in this scene… are those actual ears?*

She’s full of energy, as always.

Oh? Did you all come here to help?

Yeah. I changed my mind. Sorry about that. I think I was just tired and stressed out yesterday.

Nice to see that Itsuki is getting out of his funk. Let’s hope some other jackass in Granvania doesn’t come along and ruin that.

No, Mahiru. Nobody else knows. Relax.



Actually, I’m pretty sure Narcisstes was the one that… whatever. This is Mahiru I’m talking about. For all I know there was some kind of cut dialogue where it’s mentioned that she got Narc to rope Reone and Mirei into things or otherwise popped up and did it herself.

I’ve been waitin’! Ya brought two today!

By the way, what’s with the banner out in front?

What ‘bout it?

God’s Gift and Star Maidens are meant to be sacred! You just ruined it all!

I… Hold on, that was Mana saying that, right? Our Mana? The one that unceasingly makes skeevy comments about the Star Maidens and Itsuki? That Mana?

Oh, please. I don’t wanna hear that from ya, Mana. Who cares ‘bout that? Business is boomin’ right now. I thought it was a great line to draw in the crowds!

By the way, where’s Lillith? Isn’t she helping out here?

Yeah, ‘bout her… Look over there.

You shouldn’t go outside today. Though, I guess it’s too late for that, hahaha.

She just started tellin’ fortunes. Please help me out! It’s too busy right now! My eyes’re ‘bout to spin with how busy it is!

You should be happy that business is booming.

Why? It’s not her business. Unless it actually is and this has just been a massive translation fuckup that completely changed Farun’s backstory and made her out to just be a temp worker.

Why, thank ya.

Well, I’ll let you take care of this. I’ll go outside to draw in customers.

*Mahiru leaves*

Farun, what should I do?

Can I ask ya to help in the kitchen?

*Mirei zips off*

I don’t like how happy Mirei looked about that.

…Hm? Does Mirei know how to cook?

Let’s hope so, because she’s doing it.

Reone, can ya come with me to serve alcohol?

You got it. I know all about alcohol.

*Reone takes off. I really question Farun’s choices of jobs for the other Maidens*

Aw right, everyone, let’s do this!

Is there anything for me to do?

Oh, you’re a guest today, Itsuki.

Wait, but Mahiru asked me to help out.

Hm… But what should I get ya to do?

Dammit, Mahiru… *sigh* Well, I’m here now, so I would rather help out if possible.

Aw right… Oh, I know! Itsuki, can I ask ya to be the bouncer? People sometimes have a little too much fun when they drink. Trouble arises pretty easily.

Aww yeah!

I want ya to mediate those situations. Can ya do it?

I’ll do what I can. What should I do during the peaceful times, though?

Whatever ya want!


*And then Farun takes off*

Whatever I want huh… Not a helpful suggestion. Starting to think I really should have passed on this.

Just wait and see for now. How about you chase Farun’s cute little butt around?

[Customer B]: Hey, Dr. Reone! You’re working here too?

I just felt like drinking today.

[Customer B]: Oh, you. If a Star Maiden asks, I gotta oblige.

Haha… It really is the Star Maiden Exhilaration Day. I can give a little extra something for the customers who treat me. What do you say? Want a little something from me…?

Oh god, she’s already drunk. It’s been 2 minutes!

[Customer B]: Woohoo! Wh-What’ll ya do for me?

Treat me to a drink and. I’ll. Tell. You!

[Customer B]: One round’a drinks for the lady!

She won’t be able to do her job properly.

Reone, can I have a word? Why are you acting like a customer when you’re supposed to be helping out?

I am helping out. I’m contributing to the tavern’s sales, aren’t I?

You’re getting drunk, is what you’re doing. Can’t you at least try and practice moderation?

I know, I know. Are you that worried about me?

Yes. You got wasted during that welcome feast at the palace and had to be dragged off.

Haha… You remembered that? How embarrassing…

Anyway, just don’t get too crazy…

Well then, time to resume my “assistance.”

[Customer B]: H-Hey, Reone, what about that “little something”?

It’ll be a surprise next time you’re in the hospital.

[Customer B]: But my health’s the only thing going for me! I don’t need to go to the hospital.

Don’t worry about it, dude! Reone is going to stay the same age for the next 120 years and eventually your drinking will lead to liver complications that’ll land you in the hospital. It’s all good. It’ll just take a while for you to cash in that reward. Also you might be dying when it happens, but whatever.

Oh, too bad.

*And Reone disappears off screen… somewhere. Her portrait moves to the left side of the screen, as if she walked right past Itsuki, so hell if I know where she went. She’s supposed to be at the bar*

Guess we can’t rely on Reone. Maybe we should force Lillith to help out.

Better than watching Reone get drunk again.

*Over by Lillith*

[Customer C]: T-Two at once? Wh-What should I watch out for?

Well… Let me try to tell that fortune…

*Farun comes flying across the screen*

[Customer C]: Whoa! My clothes are drenched in booze!

So despite Farun saying “That was close”, she actually did spill booze all over that guy.

Sorry, sir! Lemme wipe ya down with this towel!

[***]: *rub rub* *rub rub*

[Customer C]: Wow, the tavern’s signature girl is touching me all over… Ugh, blegh! What’s that smell?!

Oh, I’m sorry! I used the same rag I wiped some spilled milk with!

Oh god, why would you keep carrying that around with you?!

[Customer C]: Th-This is terrible! That stench is all over me! I better go home and change!

Um… The reading says to watch out for the dancers at the tavern. Hm? Sir? Where’d he go?

He went home. Your reading was right on the money, but…

Seems like it’s too late anyway.

Did you want your fortune told?

Sorry, but I’m going to pass.

Don’t be shy. I’ll make it free for you just this once.

I’d rather not know about my future.

What?! There’s nothing you want to know about? Itsuki, do you not have any worries in your life? Though, I guess that’s expected of the great God’s Gift.

It’s not like that. It’s more like I have so many worries that I’d rather not make them worse by getting ominous warnings.

Oh, really?

Then why not help out at the tavern?

Yeah, Lillith. Stop with all the fortune-telling and help out with the tavern. Start being nice and flaunt your sex appeal to the customers.

Please don’t.

Uh-oh… Ack! Watch out!


Son of a bitch!

Looks like she flipped at the worst possible time…

Mana! Where are my snacks?! I need my snacks to go with booze! Hurry up and bring ‘em!

Oh, quiet. I don’t have any booze or snacks for you!

What? No reminder for Lillie that she’s not old enough to drink? Nothing at all? Fuck you, Conception Plus. You constantly do it to Itsuki, but when Lillie talks about it you stay silent?

Look at all the other customers enjoying themselves…

You’re here to help, Lillie.

Official Itsuki calls her “Lillith” here. Even the translators can’t keep the two of them straight.

So? Tch… Fine, I’ll tell you all a nice story!

[Customer A]: Hm? What’s going on?

[Customer B]: Lillith is gonna say something funny!

[Customer A]: Awesome! Stop playing pranks and entertain us!

The customers I can sort of forgive, because I don’t think the Lillith/Lillie twin personalities thing is common knowledge.

All right! Perk up your damn ears and listen! You all know what a Star Offering is, right? You know how that’s made?

Huh, that’s actually something I’m curious about. You may proceed, Lillie. Just this once.

[Customer A]: Not… really, no.

[Customer B]: Hey, I know. You create it with Star Energy, right?

That’s right. But, do you know the materials used in it?

[Customer A]: Well, what is it?

That Lillie… Is she really going to say it?

What? What’s wrong?

Huh? You have to use something for it? What?

Stop it! You can’t say that here!

Just who do you think I am, Reone?! You think you can stop me?!

Lillie, stop!

*The screen then slowly fades to white for a moment and I guess some time passes*

Looks like most of the customers are gone.

What the fuck are… Nope, never mind. I think I’d rather not know considering the reaction it caused.

Um… I’m so sorry Lillie caused you trouble…

You mean the things I've been carrying around the labyrinths are made of… that?

I know it’s surprising, but it is indeed true.

Settin’ that aside, we’ve got nothin’ to do now.

Maybe I should go check in on the kitchen, then.

*We go to check on Mirei*

Itsuki, what happened?

Uh, yeah. Some things were revealed that probably should have stayed secret… The point is, there aren’t many customers here anymore. Anyway, is there anything I can do to help you?

We have fewer orders, so I have nothing to do either. I was just about to try making this recipe I created for some snacks. I’ll serve it to all the customers once I’m done.

Oh, well that sounds good. I hope I can try some.

I’ve already finished researching the tavern’s food and equipment. All that’s left is to present the results of my research in the name of cooking. Spirit of fire, burn your being to give me your crimson soul.

Watching mages cook makes it look so grand…

Is she cooking, or is she summoning Captain Planet?

What exactly are you making, anyway?

Only the Star God knows.

Shit! Everyone take cover!

Mirei, are you all right? Something really stinks in here.

Hey, what’s this smell? I can smell it all the way out here!

Hm… Perhaps I made a mistake in the seasoning proportions…

Way ahead of you, Mirei.

Wait, what?

*The screen goes white again and I suppose another tiny time skip happens*

Oh, this is gonna be bad… The entire tavern smells worse than a pigsty…

Now all the customers are gone…

What’s with this awful smell…? Hey, where’d all the customers go?

You’re all colossal screwups. Now go home.

Phew… Things rarely ever go your way.

Mahiru, don’t let it get you down. Nothing ever goes well the first time.

Mirei, was that an invitation to highlight your blunder?

Pot calling the kettle black, Reone.

What do you mean? The legendary God’s Gift said after his 100th failure…

That God’s Gift was a loser.

The legendary God’s Gift?

The God’s Gift who saved the world 1,200 years ago.

He’s like you, Itsuki.

But he…


You mean he went back to his own world, right? Itsuki, it really does sound like we can go back once we fulfill our mission. Good luck! You’re the legendary God’s Gift now!

Well, I don’t know about legendary, but I’ll definitely do my best to try and follow in his footsteps.

…Ehhhh, yeah. So despite Mahiru and Itsuki’s newfound optimism, we probably know what the real fate of this “Legendary God’s Gift” is. “Never heard from again” almost never means “Everything went great and the hero just didn’t feel like going back to reunite with his friends or say goodbye or anything like that.” No way in hell that he beat the 13th Phantom and just went back to Sora.

Either Legendary God’s Gift died fighting that thing, or we’re going to discover that he was turned into the new 13th Phantom, like some kind of Final Fantasy X deal.

~Inn: Itsuki’s Room~

Oh, hey Shang. Weird to see you here.

I must speak with you.

Why’d you come without any of your guards?

Mana, leave us for a while. This is a rather personal matter.

All right. Just holler when you’re done.

*Mana leaves*

So… what is this about?

Wow, just gonna drop that out of nowhere, huh?

Wait, so you’re a God’s Gift?

That’s right. I was summoned to this world 100 years ago and saved it.

But… if you’re still here… Wait, why didn’t you go back to Sora?

I told you before. I love this world. I left my regrets behind in Sora.

Why the hell would you want to leave Sora and come to this place? Granvania sucks.

Oh… riiiight. 100 years ago. World War 1 had sort of been raging for the past four years and killing over 20 million people and wounding another 20+ million on top of that. Also World War 2 would break out 20 years later and kill another 70+ million, making "The Great War" look like a skirmish by comparison.

Also, user Skylight reminded me that the Spanish Flu was also raging around the same time, which ended up killing 40+ million people on its own...

Never mind, you made the right call, Shang.

I see… Hold on, does that mean you can also make Star Children?

I’m glad they put this in to erase any possibility of even a theory that this could be an alternative in case something happens to Itsuki. If there was even a possibility that Shang could do the Classmating ritual with the current Star Maidens, that would be incredibly creepy, even by this game’s standards. Maybe not so much Mirei or Reone, but definitely Tarua/Collette/Lillith/Lillith/Yuzuha.

Itsuki, I…

What’s wrong?

No… That is all I wished to say. That we are both from Sora. I must take my leave now.

*And Shang makes a quick exit. Mana then returns*

You two done?

Hey, Mana? Do you love this world?

Well, I definitely don’t hate it.

I’m not sure… Probably not…

I see… You don’t really like Granvania, huh?

It’s not that… I promised Mahiru that I would get her back home, and I also owe her family a lot. They took me in after my parents died in an accident. I don’t feel like I’ve repaid them yet.

I see… That’s unfortunate. The king would have loved if you stayed behind after your mission.

Why is that?

And that’s it for this scene. That… uh… that was definitely something. Shang originally being from Sora isn’t a huge shock, but it is still kind of surprising that he would just come right out and say it like that. I also feel kind of bad for him considering the world he escaped from and the fact that he’s forever a stranger in this world, despite how much he loves it. I mean…

Wait a second… 100 years ago? Do God’s Gifts also get the immortality thing that the Star Maidens get? Or is Shang immortal for other reasons? There’s no way he’s 115+ years old on a natural lifespan.

Oh well. Questions for later. Next time: Ugh... yeah, Mahiru is going to drag us along for more rumor hunting. Also we take a break from the story and spend several updates doing Bonding stuff and also seasonal events.