Part 24: Just about the time youre thinkin its alright ~ Breakdown. Takedown. Youre bustedUpdate X: Just about the time youre thinkin its alright ~ Breakdown. Takedown. Youre busted
Song Title Reference: Shakedown by Bob Seger
No, were not done with this yet. We have effectively answered the Shang 120 years old rumor, but Mahiru doesnt know that. Plus theres still the Academy Founding Mystery, the Academy Vanishing rumor still hasnt been totally debunked, and Mahiru already signaled her intention to defy Narcisstes in the case of the Disappearing Headmaster. So its time for another round of rumor hunting.
Its so early Why are you here?
Fourth times the charm!
Oh come on, Mahiru really?
We got off pretty light last time. I dont want keep poking that beehive.
~Granvania Shopping Center~
Too bad, Itsuki. Apparently you dont get a choice in the matter.
I feel like another Mahiru cut happened here. We seem to be picking up midway through a conversation. A conversation that should be continuing back in Itsukis room because thats where it started, not the middle of the shopping district.
Listen, I never said that I dont think anything weird is going on in that room. I just hate being scolded for something you dragged me into. Besides, didnt you say you were going to wait for things to die down? What makes you think this time will be different?
There was something I realized after. Wasnt Narcisstes showing up like that a little suspicious?
I guess He did find us out almost as soon as we got in. What about it?
It seems Mana told Narcisstes about us.
Also Mana was obviously annoyed by this whole thing and has been attempting to drag Itsuki out of it, so you know, that seems like a pretty good motive for her to rat us out to Narc.
In any case, we need to be cautious around Mana.
Thats great Listen, can we stop somewhere and get something to eat?
Hey, are you even listening?
I would be able to listen better if I had some food in me. Come on, Collettes bakery is right over there.
Then how about we interview Collette while were at it? She really likes urban legends, so Im sure shell be happy to talk to us.
~Collettes Sweet Wheats~
Whats the biggest sleepyhead in the world doing up this early?
Its not by choice Mahiru is forcing me.
I see. So you two have been all lovey-doughy since dawn. How lewd! Dont come near me!
Still baking those bread puns.
We have no been all lovey-doughy. Besides, were customers right now, Collette. We want some freshly baked bread.
Oh, right! Well then, how about this fresh out of the oven croissant? Its [sic] flaky crust and rich honey butter taste make it a popular item!
Nice. Free items are fine with me. Well, gameplay free at least. Mahiru and Itsuki pay for it in a story sense, but our in-game cash doesnt change so Im considering it a freebie.
Also, Collette I know youre busy, but can we ask you some questions? Its nothing too difficult.
Yes, that should be fine.
We want to know about the Disappearing Headmaster rumor.
Thats one of the Seven Academy Wonders, right?
Neeheehee. Of course I know about that!
Normally, no one goes inside the headmasters room except Narcisstes.
You may be right. Thats because the headmaster can lock the door with his strong Star Energy. We arent able to open the door because of that.
Even Star Maidens cant unlock it?
Why the hell would Lillith be trying to get in there? Are you sure you dont mean Lillie? Because Id be surprised if Lillie didnt try and break in there at some point considering the grudge she apparently has with Narcisstes.
Wait, why was Lillith trying to get in there?
Because its forbidden is what I heard.
They are definitely talking about Lillie, not Lillith. Doing something shes not supposed to specifically because shes not supposed to is Lillies whole M.O.
So no one can enter the headmasters room except us Gods Gifts.
Master Detective Mahiru, ladies and gentlemen. We should be careful around Mana, she might leak out plans to Narcisstes, and then immediately afterward Hey Collette! Did you know that we can get inside Narcisstes office?! Isnt that cool?!
We were kicked out right away though
There must be a trap door inside that leads to a hidden room!
You think so too, Collette?
Neeheehee! This is exciting! Dont you agree, Gods Gift?
I guess. You seem the most excited about it, though.
Neeheehee! Of course!
You already used that pun! Stop stealing those, by the way. You swiped Itsukis mighty knead pun during one of your bonding events.
Right. Well, heres the money for the bread. Wed better go.
Huh, youre already done talking?
We have to check it out before the students come by. See you later, Collette!
Thank you for your patronage.
~Star God Academy Gates~
Hm? Is that Arie over there?
Good morning, Arie.
Mahiru, Itsuki. Good morning.
Do you always come to school this early?
Oh, uh, yeah
You know, recently I heard A suspicious person has been seen here in the mornings. Security is tighter. You be careful, Mahiru.
I think we all know who this suspicious person is. Looks like Narcisstes is ready for Mahiru this time.
But, you do have Itsuki with you. I guess you dont need to worry.
Oh no A s-suspicious person? We should be careful, huh?
Gods Gift, please protect Mahiru.
Mahirus strong. I wouldnt worry about her.
Please be sure to protect Mahiru.
Arie got weirdly intense about that. The other two options were I want to protect you, Arie and I know, I know No, Im not refighting Furiae in order to check what the other options result in.
I hope you take good care of me, Itsuki. Do you best at your work, Arie! Now, lets get going.
~Star God Academy Field~
Mahiru, doWait, is that someone else? Over there by the barn.
Its Sue. Shes holding a sheep in one arm and a goat in the other.
Good morning, Sue. Are you taking a walk?
I have to make sure they dont hurt the animals.
Ah, right. That must be tough Hang in there.
He clearly has you outplayed this time, Mahiru. Probably a good idea to back off at this point.
You two be careful. No one knows where this person could be.
Same goes for you, Sue.
Are you worried about me ?
Hehe, they do seem pretty trustworthy. Itsuki, were interrupting her patrol. Lets go.
A-Ah, right Well be sure to let you know.
*And then both parties go their separate ways*
Ugh I wonder if Sue suspected us?
Judging by that look she gave us, I would say theres a solid chance.
We cant dawdle here. Lets hurry to the headmasters room.
But of course, thats only going to motivate Mahiru more.
~Star God Academy Hallway~
Well, were here. You sure you want to do this?
The answer is yes, as Mahiru immediately goes for the door to try and open it.
Huh? The door wont open. But it opened so easily before!
Did he finally take my advice and install a deadbolt?
[***]: Aw right, ya two. Thats enough.
Man, we didnt even get inside the room before getting busted this time.
Oh, h-hey! Its the whimsical traveler!
An excellent guess! Its me, the beautiful an sexy traveler, Farun! But, what are ya doin here, Itsuki?
Mahiru made me do it.
Farun, why are you here?
Narcisstes asked me to pop by. A suspicious person has been seen in the academy, so he asked me to patrol.
Why did he ask the Star Maidens? We know that guards exist in this world, because Mana mentioned Shang-ri La not having his with him when he was in Itsukis room. Is the Granvanian Army made up of just a handful of guys or something?
But, its you two whore the suspicious ones here.
Game over, Mahiru. I think its time to call it quits.
No way! Theres no game over in my dictionary.
Really? I thought you were supposed to be the smart one.
Sorry, Mahiru. I was told to tell Narcisstes if I found anyone suspicious.
Id applaud Narcisstes on his precautions and having Farun as a backup to Arie and Sue, except
Farun, were both Star Maidens. Cant you let this slide?
Im pretty sure the headmasters room is off-limits.
But one of the Seven Academy Wonders is in here No matter what, we need to see whats inside.
Seven Academy Wonders?
Theyre like urban legends of the academy.
Yeah, Farun isnt exactly a reliable guard.
Probably a hidden door and room.
Whoa! That sounds like fun! I see, I see. In that case, no problem. Ill let this slide, so in ya go! To the hidden door an room!
Narcisstes really picked the wrong person for this.
Everyone in Granvania is terrible at their job.
But the door still wont open. We cant get in.
Of course. The door has a double seal on it.
Oh shit Hey, Mirei!
*Farun books it*
So, Mirei, this was your doing?
I was asked by Narcisstes to make sure you two didnt get in again.
Ahh, nice work Narcisstes. AMCP. Unfortunately Im going to have to withdraw my praise of you because you made a critical error in this contingency plan: Mirei is terrible with secrets.
Why are you being so secretive about the headmasters room?
I dont like the unknown. And I cant just give up in the middle of something.
I see. You have a good head on your shoulders.
*Mirei turns around and the screen briefly goes white*
What did you just do?
I opened the door. You can go in now.
Seriously, all you had to do was post a single fucking guard outside the room. Was that so hard? Im sure the Granvanian Knights could spare one dude. Not like we ever see or hear of the bastards doing anything of importance.
Are you sure about this, Mirei? You have a lot more to lose from this than we do.
Im researching Gods Gifts right now. I want to see Mahiru make her grand discovery. Ill protect my test subjects as they strive toward their goal.
Thank you, Mirei.
Besides Im curious as well.
Deadbolt. He could have prevented all of this with a fucking deadbolt. I can get one from the hardware store in town for like 20 bucks! But noooo, Mr. Fancypants over here with his fucking Star Energy seals and shit.
Okay, lets go inside, Itsuki!
I dont see anything out of the ordinary. I mean, not the kind of stuff were looking for anyway.
Hm? This bookcase can slide, cant it?
*Theres a rumbling as something moves aside*
Whoa This is
Theres no lever though. How does it open?
Then lets push it! If that doesnt work, well slam into it.
Okay. Lets do it. Might as well go all the way with this.
*The screen slowly fades to white and back to normal
Wow that opened a lot easier than I thought it would.
This is a high level Star Energy Seal passed on from generation to generation. This is one that can only be opened by Gods Gifts with a special Star Brand.
We did it! Famous detective Mahiru is now in service!
There are stairs. There may be something down there.
It looks like the Disappearing Headmaster case has been solved.
Sweet, lets go home.
The fuck is this?
What is it, Mirei?
This is a Star Energy Circle.
Should we know what that is?
Its a magic circle that absorbs peoples Star Energy and materializes it. Look, theres a materialized Star Fragment in the center of the circle. Star Energy Circles are forbidden by law. In this world
So you mean this circle has taken someones life energy to make this Star Fragment?
Jesus, weve got ritual sacrifice in this game? Thats a turn.
With a circle this big, it can absorb Star Energy within a one kilometer radius.
What the fuck, Narcisstes?! Thats some Full Metal Alchemist shit.
Why put it under the school, though?
The amount of Star Energy each of us holds is determined at birth. Its not an exaggeration to say that Star Energy itself is our life force. Our destiny is to live by consuming the Star Energy that is within us.
Therefore, it logically follows that this academy sees the students as a massive source of Star Energy.
But why? Why are these Star Fragments so important?
I dont know. Star Energy Circles were created long, long ago. They were made to gather Star Energy in case of disasters and other emergencies.
So this thing is taking the Star Energy of the students right now?
Mirei, cant you do something? Youre the descendant of a great mage, right?
I know what must be done. As a scion of the Star God, I command you! Seal your role for all eternity!
*The screen goes white briefly and when it fades the Star Energy Circle has disappeared*
Well, I guess this part of the mystery is settled.
No its not! Students lives are still being threatened!
Mahiru, leave the rest to me. Ill get to the bottom of this evil.
Well help you, Mirei.
No. This is most likely connected to the kingdom itself.
Im fairly certain that its too late for that, Mirei. Narcisstes is going to know exactly who was behind this as soon as he comes down here and finds his lifeforce-sucking transmutation circle thing is no longer there.
Not saying you didnt do the right thing. Ive gained a lot of respect for you for having the moral compass to shut this down without any hesitation (I admit, I was half-expecting Mirei to argue for keeping the circle temporarily active so she could research it). Im just saying that maybe you could have possibly snooped around a little first. You know, so that Narcisstes wouldnt get tipped off to the fact that someone knows what hes hiding. The next time he comes down here hes going to start on covering his tracks. He cant really afford to eliminate you (or risk the attention it would draw if hes evil), since youre a Star Maiden, but Im sure he can find a way to blackmail you into compliance.
Mahiru, do not get involved in this.
~Star God Academy Gates~
I didnt think youd back down so easily on that.
I dont want to get in her way. Besides, we still have more rumors to hunt down. Well leave this to Mirei and investigate a different rumor.
So that was fun. Apparently Narcisstes was overseeing the harvesting of lifeforce from the Academy students for some as of yet unspecified reason. Either hes outright evil and is secretly trying to aid in the revival of the 13th Phantom, or hes some kind of extremist that is hoping to use those Star Fragments to destroy it. Either way, we need to start keeping a more watchful eye on him.
Also the king. It might be hidden under his office, but I doubt this is Narcs personal pet project. Shang has got to be involved with it to some degree.
Thats it for the story portion of the update. It wasnt particularly long, so Im going to fill it out by including some of the next update (it was too big to all fit in one post).
-Special Events (This continues on in to the next update)-
Now that the calendar has moved into the Autumn months, we can finally take a look at one of those events that Mana keeps suggesting whenever we hit the tenth floor of a Labyrinth. In order to avoid confusion, Im going to refer to these events from now on as Japan Events. Japan Events are the ones that Mana learns about from Mahiru and then asks Itsuki to suggest to Shangri-La as something that Granvania could do. In contrast, Seasonal Events will refer only to the pre-established events that Mana has been dragging Itsuki to over the year (such as the Sports Festival and Maiden Camp).
Japan Events work slightly differently from Seasonal Events. Seasonal Events will trigger at the same time every year and involve Itsuki joining the Star Maidens in some kind of group activity. You are required to see the event the first time it happens, but every time after that Mana will give you a choice as to whether or not you want to participate.
Japan Events will only trigger when you select a Star Maiden to bond with. Unlike the group activities of the Seasonal Events, Japan Events are 1-on-1 affairs between the chosen Star Maiden and Itsuki. The events will trigger when you choose a Star Maiden to bond with during the season that the event takes place in. This means you have plenty of time to see all 12 events. Yes, I meant 12. So far, I havent seen any of these events happen for Alfie. Apparently Spike Chunsoft didnt feel like she was worth the effort for them.
However, Spike Chunsoft did put extra effort into certain aspects of this. Some of these Japan Events pay special attention to particular Star Maidens for some reason. Im not entirely sure this happens in other Japan Events, but when it comes the Autumn Festival there are noticeable differences between the heroines. After consulting with the thread on how I should handle this, it was decided that I should disregard the results of the Maiden Poll and just show off the Star Maidens that get special things during their Japan Events (where applicable. For events like Starmas, Ill figure out something else to decide on who we see).
In the case of the Autumn Festival, things match up pretty closely with the results of the last poll. Were missing Alfie, since she doesnt have a festival event at all. Also, Ruka doesnt get any special addition to her festival event, so shell be relegated to the summary section despite coming in 4th in the last poll. Meanwhile, Collette gets dragged up from the bottom of the barrel for this one.
Ill go over the summaries first, since I have space left in this update. If you only care about the unique stuff, then continue on to Special Events I: The Autumn Festival.
Well go through these by poll order, so that means we start with Ruka. Oh yeah, and Escaping the Orphanage is her Starmas Event its not as exciting/dramatic as the name might lead you to believe.
Rukas event has Itsuki helping her out with a festival food stall that shes volunteering at. She rebuffs him at first, although Itsuki points out that he doesnt think shell be able to handle customers given her hangups. She still refuses him. When Itsuki gets to the festival later, Ruka has gotten in over her head and asks him to help her by manning the register. Ruka is apparently worried that she might touch a customers hand when handling the change (which why? She told us that she can only read minds by touching foreheads). She tried to make the payment thing self-serve, but thats obviously not going to work because you cant trust people to take only the change they are entitled to.
Anyway, Ruka does a little bit of her self-pity thing and a little bit of her Tsundere thing. As thanks for helping, she offers Itsuki some fried noodles that she saved for him, then asks if he likes it and tells him that she can change the seasoning and stuff if he doesnt. Itsuki helps her finish everything up and Ruka continues doing more Tsundere things like saying Its not like Im happy were spending more time together or anything
Mahirus festival event opens up with Itsuki staring up at the sky and wondering about what Granvanias festivals are like (that makes two of us). Mahiru asks him for help with maintaining the flower bed. Itsuki agrees and says that they should go to the autumn festival when they are done. After finishing up with the flower bed, Mahiru tells Itsuki about what shes planting: a white and orange Granvanian flower called Autumn Powder. Mahiru then gets way too close while she wipes some dirt off of Itsukis face. Itsuki is a little shy about this, and Mahiru teases him about it while giving him the patented unfortunately timed screencap look, except its intentional on her part.
At the festival, Itsuki talks about how he helped to model it after the ones from back home. Mahiru says it feels nostalgic and offers to treat Itsuki since he helped out earlier. The fireworks then start going off. Mahiru, still wrapped up in her rumor hunting crap, says that shes always wondered if fireworks would look flat if you viewed them from the side since they seem to spread out as circles when viewed normally. Mahiru then drags Itsuki along into the forest to find out. In the forest, things get steamy as Mahiru and Itsuki comment on how its like they have a personal fireworks show going on since nobody is around (also that the fireworks are being reflected in a nearby lake). Mahiru blushes as she asks why Itsuki is holding her hand and looking at her silently
at which point Itsuki says that a bear is right behind her. Man-Eating Bear then roars and the two Gods Gifts book it back to the festival and escape the bear. Theres a little more talk about the flowers they planted, but thats about it for the event.
In Yuzuhas event, she mentions hearing strange music from somewhere. Itsuki asks if Yuzuha wants to check out the festival, but Yuzuha is hesitant because there would be a lot of people there. She eventually decides to go anyway. At the festival, Yuzuha is nervous, but plans on toughing it out. She spots a mask stall and eventually winds up picking out a fox mask since she thinks it will be easier to face the crowds with (no, you dont get to see the mask).
Yuzuha then spots a stall selling chocolate-covered bananas (so I guess in this reality the clerk got the recipe right. That'll make sense when you read Farun's event). Yuzuha tries it, then says she wants to try feeding the rest to Itsuki because she wants to try the say ah thing. After that, Yuzuha is glad that she could help Itsuki feel like he was back home, if only for a little while. Then Itsuki walks her back home and they say their goodnights.
Reone asks Itsuki if hes decided on a Star Maiden to ask to the festival and Itsuki says he came to invite her. Reone plays coy by saying that she figured Itsuki would have someone special that he wanted to invite. At the festival, Reone talks about how she loves junk food like the stuff at the festival. Shes about to ask Itsuki for recommendations, but instead makes a game out of it. The two split up to find the best food that comes on a skewer. Loser has to feed the other by hand.
Ten minutes later, the two meet up and the player gets a choice as to what food Itsuki brought back. I picked Frankfurt, because come on, its Reone (and Conception Plus) were talking about. Hell, Itsuki even thinks to himself I wonder what kind of food would satisfy Reone ?
I admit, TCG may have been on break when I was writing this part.
Anyway, despite me getting into this games mindset, Frankfurt turns out to be the neutral answer (the correct one was probably the chocolate covered banana, not that that is any less suggestive). Reone says that it does look good, but its a rather big and thick sausage Anyway, innuendo aside, Itsuki finds out that Reone brought back some canned beer. Itsuki points out that canned beer is not a food and definitely not on a skewer. Reone says she got distracted because she figured she could use whatever Itsuki brought back as a snack to go with it, forgetting that they had a competition going. Itsuki says its selfish and Reone admits defeat. She wants him to feed her what he brought though, considering that as a reward for him despite not being what they agreed to.
At this point I actually hunched over and chuckled because I imagined Itsuki cramming a Frankfurter into Reones mouth. Not in the gentle innuendo/sexy way that Conception Plus was trying to invoke, but in the jamming a sausage made entirely of pork and cased in sheep guts into her face kind of way. Also I got a bit of a dark laugh out of the idea that theres a chance the sausage was made from that pig that disappeared from Sues route. Anyway, thats pretty much where Reones event ends. She had fun and walks arm in arm with Itsuki back home.
Sue isnt excited to go to the festival because her animals cant go with her. Itsuki convinces her by saying that maybe she could buy gifts for all of them while there, like food for example.
At the festival, the two think about what foods to try. Itsuki suggests candied apples (the correct answer was probably buttered potatoes). Sue doesnt quite grasp the concept of apples coated in candy, so Itsuki brings her to try one. Sue is not impressed. Sue decides to pick up a bunch of non-candied apples for her animals and thats where the event just kind of peters out. Sue said she had fun and that she wants to do it again sometime. Its a very short event.
Lillith/Lillies event opens with Lillie demanding to know about the festival. Itsuki questions her motives, wondering if shes getting up to no good. Lillie denies it and then demands to be taken to it by Itsuki. At the festival, Lillie is examining the stalls and notices the target shooting. Itsuki immediately tells her not to think about aiming at other festival goers.
I got a good laugh from this moment, too.
They do target shooting, then look around some more. Lillie apparently keeps buying stuff from stalls, which is burning a hole in Itsukis pocket. Lillie then takes notice of a haunted house attraction. One of the workers playing the role of a ghost taunts Lillie a little and she decides to rush in on her own.
We then hear Lillie scream, then Lillith wondering where she is, then a Ghost wondering where the hell Lillith appeared from, then Lillith screams, then Lillie screams, then Lillith, and finally that is brought to an end when Lillith wanders out. Lillith asks if coming to the festival with Lillie was fun. Itsuki is non-committal. Lillith is jealous that Lillie got to spend the entire festival with Itsuki, so Itsuki suggests that they watch the fireworks together. The two hold hands when suddenly one of the Ghosts butts in and tells them to get a room. Lillith then passes out from shock because shes terrified of ghosts.