Part 23: I've been battered, but I never bruise. It's not so bad (Story)Update IX (Story): Ive been battered, but I never bruise. Its 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. Youve seen it before.
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 cant 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.
Nar! Nar, you here?!
It was such a loud noise, how did you not notice?
Ive been pulling all nighters for a while now. But thanks to that, I finished deciphering the ancient texts.
Really?! What did you find?
Ah Well discuss that at the conference later. Itsuki, you will be joining, wont you?
Of course I will. Its 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. Im really worn out.
~Inn: Itsukis Room~
Ugh So tired Maybe its better that Narcisstes is waiting until tomorrow to explain what he found out Anyway, goodnight Mana Sleep time
Y-Youre too heavy!
Ah! What the hell was that?!
Ooo, seems like theres someone else under the covers. Fuehe, gettin down to business this early? Youre 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 wasnt trying to wait for you in your bed or anything.
*sigh* I know I know Youre 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 youve been pretty tired lately too.
Anyway, theres something I need your help with, Itsuki.
What is that supposed to be?
Its to celebrate the feats of Gods 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 Im not Isnt there someone else you could ask? Ive never done that kind of work before.
Lillith will be helping too.
Id be worried too.
Same here, but not for the reason as you two.
*More shaking starts happening*
*The shaking then subsides after a few seconds*
How often has this happened now? Its getting annoying
Its 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 Im going to pass. Im not exactly welcome among the townspeople right now
Youre still brooding over that?
*sigh* If thats what you want to call being blamed for all of this worlds problems, then sure. Im brooding. Whatever you want to call it, Im still not going.
Sorry I bothered you when youre so tired.
I know how you feel, Itsuki. Those people annoyed me too.
A tiny bit tone deaf with that comment, Mahiru. You might be a Gods 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 cant even begin to describe what Id do
Im not going to tell anyone, Mahiru. Besides, youd better make sure that you dont go crawling into my bed like that again. This is my room.
*Mahiru then leaves*
Mana, can you wake me up when its time for the conference? Ive got a feeling that Im 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 werent for me, would she have gotten dirty with Gods Gift?
Yeah, Itsuki sure looks like a man capable of getting down and dirty. Im 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 weve been doing so far.
Oh, right, the Ophiuchus Labyrinth isnt 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 its blowing its load early. The database doesnt have a ton of open spots left in the Main Events section. Im getting the feeling that the main plot is going to completely dry up once weve 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. Isnt our duty to simply enshrine its Star Offering?
We didnt tell you because these facts were only mentioned in the ancient texts. Its 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 isnt finished after enshrining the 12th Star Offering?
Correct. Doing so would only be a temporary solution.
I cant 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 hasnt 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. Im sure your mind is fraught with worry, but you must overcome this.
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! Lets 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 Buildings cafeteria doesnt 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 didnt 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 cant be trusted with sensitive information.
When the mission gets harder, youll face even greater pressure. Mirei understood that.
Apologies, Reone In retrospect, I should have at least told you.
Mirei also cant be trusted with sensitive information to be honest, but shes got a top level job in government so I guess theres no helping that.
Must be nice to have good friends like that.
What? Whats embarrassing about that?
*And then Narc arrives*
Hello, all. Heading to the tavern?
What are you talking about? Now isnt the time for drinks.
Thats not what I meant. I heard from Mahiru that Faruns tavern will be quite lively today. Our friends require assistance. Are you sure you dont 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.
Thats 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 havent even found the entrance to the damn place yet. Therell be plenty of time for hanging out with Mirei later on.
Mirei, shall we go? I do feel like having a drink.
Were not going as customers. I thought we were going to assist.
Dont be a buzzkill. Lets just go. Mirei, Itsuki.
*And so they did, for some reason. Honestly, Im still of the mind that the citizens of Granvania can go fuck themselves. They havent 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 Faruns tavern, which I think is a tiny bit misleading. Just a reminder: Farun doesnt own or operate that tavern, she just works there occasionally. I know that Faruns tavern can imply that its the tavern which Farun works at, but the usual connotation of the apostrophe s is ownership.
Augh Mahiru asked me about that yesterday! But Im busy with my deliveries, so I cant go! Sorry, Itsuki!
Its fine, Tarua. Good luck on your deliveries.
Im sure well find a way to manage not having the least popular Star Maiden with us.
Augh! Ill do my best! Give Mahiru my regards!
I will. Make sure to be careful on your route. Dont hurt yourself.
See ya later, everyone!
*And Tarua takes off She likes to run you know. Thats her thing. Also, her hair/horn things move around a lot in this scene are those actual ears?*
Shes 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. Lets hope some other jackass in Granvania doesnt come along and ruin that.
No, Mahiru. Nobody else knows. Relax.
Actually, Im pretty sure Narcisstes was the one that whatever. This is Mahiru Im talking about. For all I know there was some kind of cut dialogue where its mentioned that she got Narc to rope Reone and Mirei into things or otherwise popped up and did it herself.
Ive been waitin! Ya brought two today!
By the way, whats with the banner out in front?
What bout it?
Gods 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 dont 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, wheres Lillith? Isnt she helping out here?
Yeah, bout her Look over there.
You shouldnt go outside today. Though, I guess its too late for that, hahaha.
She just started tellin fortunes. Please help me out! Its too busy right now! My eyesre bout to spin with how busy it is!
You should be happy that business is booming.
Why? Its not her business. Unless it actually is and this has just been a massive translation fuckup that completely changed Faruns backstory and made her out to just be a temp worker.
Why, thank ya.
Well, Ill let you take care of this. Ill go outside to draw in customers.
Farun, what should I do?
Can I ask ya to help in the kitchen?
*Mirei zips off*
I dont like how happy Mirei looked about that.
Hm? Does Mirei know how to cook?
Lets hope so, because shes 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 Faruns choices of jobs for the other Maidens*
Aw right, everyone, lets do this!
Is there anything for me to do?
Oh, youre 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, Im 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.
I want ya to mediate those situations. Can ya do it?
Ill 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 Faruns cute little butt around?
[Customer B]: Hey, Dr. Reone! Youre 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, shes already drunk. Its been 2 minutes!
[Customer B]: Woohoo! Wh-Whatll ya do for me?
Treat me to a drink and. Ill. Tell. You!
[Customer B]: One rounda drinks for the lady!
She wont be able to do her job properly.
Reone, can I have a word? Why are you acting like a customer when youre supposed to be helping out?
I am helping out. Im contributing to the taverns sales, arent I?
Youre getting drunk, is what youre doing. Cant 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 dont get too crazy
Well then, time to resume my assistance.
[Customer B]: H-Hey, Reone, what about that little something?
Itll be a surprise next time youre in the hospital.
[Customer B]: But my healths the only thing going for me! I dont need to go to the hospital.
Dont 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 thatll land you in the hospital. Its all good. Itll 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. Shes supposed to be at the bar*
Guess we cant 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 taverns signature girl is touching me all over Ugh, blegh! Whats that smell?!
Oh, Im 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? Whered he go?
He went home. Your reading was right on the money, but
Seems like its too late anyway.
Did you want your fortune told?
Sorry, but Im going to pass.
Dont be shy. Ill make it free for you just this once.
Id rather not know about my future.
What?! Theres nothing you want to know about? Itsuki, do you not have any worries in your life? Though, I guess thats expected of the great Gods Gift.
Its not like that. Its more like I have so many worries that Id rather not make them worse by getting ominous warnings.
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.
Uh-oh Ack! Watch out!
NO! DONT DO THIS, GAME!
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 dont have any booze or snacks for you!
What? No reminder for Lillie that shes 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
Youre here to help, Lillie.
Official Itsuki calls her Lillith here. Even the translators cant keep the two of them straight.
So? Tch Fine, Ill tell you all a nice story!
[Customer A]: Hm? Whats 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 dont 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 thats made?
Huh, thats actually something Im 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?
Thats 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? Whats wrong?
Huh? You have to use something for it? What?
Stop it! You cant say that here!
Just who do you think I am, Reone?! You think you can stop me?!
*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 Id rather not know considering the reaction it caused.
Um Im so sorry Lillie caused you trouble
You mean the things I've been carrying around the labyrinths are made of that?
I know its surprising, but it is indeed true.
Settin that aside, weve 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 arent 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. Ill serve it to all the customers once Im done.
Oh, well that sounds good. I hope I can try some.
Ive already finished researching the taverns food and equipment. All thats 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, whats 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.
*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
Whats with this awful smell ? Hey, whered all the customers go?
Youre all colossal screwups. Now go home.
Phew Things rarely ever go your way.
Mahiru, dont 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 Gods Gift said after his 100th failure
That Gods Gift was a loser.
The legendary Gods Gift?
The Gods Gift who saved the world 1,200 years ago.
Hes like you, Itsuki.
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! Youre the legendary Gods Gift now!
Well, I dont know about legendary, but Ill definitely do my best to try and follow in his footsteps.
Ehhhh, yeah. So despite Mahiru and Itsukis newfound optimism, we probably know what the real fate of this Legendary Gods Gift is. Never heard from again almost never means Everything went great and the hero just didnt 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 Gods Gift died fighting that thing, or were going to discover that he was turned into the new 13th Phantom, like some kind of Final Fantasy X deal.
~Inn: Itsukis Room~
Oh, hey Shang. Weird to see you here.
I must speak with you.
Whyd you come without any of your guards?
Mana, leave us for a while. This is a rather personal matter.
All right. Just holler when youre done.
So what is this about?
Wow, just gonna drop that out of nowhere, huh?
Wait, so youre a Gods Gift?
Thats right. I was summoned to this world 100 years ago and saved it.
But if youre still here Wait, why didnt 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?
Im 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 games standards. Maybe not so much Mirei or Reone, but definitely Tarua/Collette/Lillith/Lillith/Yuzuha.
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 dont hate it.
Im not sure Probably not
I see You dont really like Granvania, huh?
Its 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 dont feel like Ive repaid them yet.
I see Thats unfortunate. The king would have loved if you stayed behind after your mission.
Why is that?
And thats it for this scene. That uh that was definitely something. Shang originally being from Sora isnt 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 hes forever a stranger in this world, despite how much he loves it. I mean
Wait a second 100 years ago? Do Gods Gifts also get the immortality thing that the Star Maidens get? Or is Shang immortal for other reasons? Theres no way hes 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.