Part 18: Chapter 65 (Part 1)
Welcome to Chapter 65. This is probably the hardest chapter in the game.
Hard enough, in fact, that I turned down the difficulty to just Normal instead of Normal+.
Here's our team for the day. There's a few suboptimal units like Nitori, but even factoring that in I could probably have beaten this chapter on Normal+ given enough time. By the 4th aborted attempt though I just said "fuck it". Better not to delay the LP even more than it already has been.
BGM: Secret Mission!
...Hmm, what's the best way to do this...?
Hey, so when are you gonna surprise me?! C'mon already!
F-Fine! It's hard when they're expecting it, but I have my pride!
Wh-What? Did I surprise you?
Eek! And out front is a soba store!
Clarste posted:(This is a reference to Sanae B's route in UFO: Sanae responds to Urameshiya with Hai hai, Hyou wa Sobaya which is a hilarious pun, trust me.)
She's got you in the palm of her hand. But this is Koishi we're talking about, so don't feel too bad.
But anyway, let's play loot and kill next!
Wait, what?! Loot and kill?! I know I said I'd be your danmaku opponent, but that difficulty level sounds a bit-
Yay, sounds fun!
...Sounds like they're enjoying themselves over there. Okay, then let's continue our special training.
Listen, the most important part is the breathing, and the flow of ki.
In... and out!
Just breathing like this make my blood feel energized.
You should join us too, Reimu!
What, embarrassed? You'll never be a fine warrior of autumn with an attitude like that.
And I don't want to be. I'll train when I feel like it.
Haven't you been saying that and doing nothing but lounging at the shrine ever since the thing with Koishi?
If you don't keep up with your training, you'll be in trouble someday.
We can't find Meeko, and it's not like there's an incident going on, so what's the point?
Oh, right, didn't Shou say they were going to go rescue Byakuren?
I hear they're still making preparations back on the mountain. Once they're ready, I'm sure they'll invite us to help.
Someone walks in.
What a sorry state to find the youkai exterminating shrine maiden. What an idiot.
Oh, it's Nue. What're you doing here?
That's my question. What are YOU all doing here? Some weird dance?
It's not a dance. We're practicing Tai Chi.
This is part of our training. Boosting our chi is good for both health and danmaku.
Training, huh? Those girls over there look like they're just playing around though.
Cause we are! I think Satori's buried in a book somewhere though.
Ah, right, I saw both the bean sprout and blondie over at the library.
You went to the library? That's weird for you.
It was a favor for Minamitsu. She asked me to deliver a little message.
Wanted me to ask the magician over there to look into Makai.
Really? But I guess that's where Byakuren was sealed, right?
Does that mean they're finally ready to go rescue her?
Seems like it'll be just a little longer. They're all running around getting the boat ready and loading supplies and whatever.
I see. So that's why they need you to run errands for them.
But I'm surprised you'd actually be helping Shou.
I don't give a crap about that Hijiri lady, but this is Minamitsu's greatest wish, so...
Mmm... Sounds tricky.
Well, yeah, when you're a youkai as great as me, your life starts getting complicated.
Anyway, I'm done here, so I'll be heading-
No, wait, stay here! Help me!
Oh right, I never got to keep playing danmaku with you.
What are you talking about? I'm busy, so-
Yay! Let's protect Earth from the aliens!
C'mon, did no one ever teach you two to listen when people are talking?
Remi never listens to anyone!
Sis always says that to get by in this world, it's better to make people listen to YOU!
...They're hopeless. I've gotta do something before they-
What are you waiting for? C'mon!
Hey, Miss Alien, where do the UFOs come from? Here?
Hey brat! Watch where you're touching!
...Sounds like things are getting lively over there. Maybe I should do some warm-ups before they drag me into it too.
Oh, finally getting motivated?
I can't afford to slack off now that I hear we're going to Makai.
Wow, if YOU'RE saying that, Reimu, then Makai must be one dangerous place.
Minoriko, Shizuha, let's make sure we perfect our new special moves while we can!
Yeah! Let's show 'em our guts!
Border of Regular and Irregular Days
Please have some tea, milady.
Ooh, thoughtful. It's so quiet in here that I'm getting sleepy.
I hear there will be even more to research later, so I added something to help keep you awake.
Someone walks in.
Yo, I'm here. There's a book I wanted to see, so-
Huh, someone's already in my chair. This is rare, what's the occassion?
Oh, please excuse me. I didn't realize this was your special seat.
Nah, it's fine. You don't come up here often, right? I'll just sit wherever, so don't mind me.
'...Good, looks like everyone's busy with something.'
'Now's my chance to go borrow that grimoire I've had my eye on.' Please be careful, Patchouli.
...Is that what you were thinking, Marisa?
Satori, why you...
'I'd forgotten about her wonderful personality.' Why thank you, Marisa.
Looks like you've gotten some of your attitude back after dealing with all that.
Thanks to you. I can't remember the last time I had a pleasant day out like this.
And just look at all the books I've been missing out on by not visiting the surface.
It's always a pleasure to meet another book lover. I had no idea.
To someone who can read minds, trying to infer the feelings of a character in a book is just so mentally stimulating.
I believe that by practicing this skill, maybe I'll be able to understand Koishi some day.
Koishi, huh? I often see her on the surface lately, but I'm worried about her education. Is it your policy to let her run around unattended?
As long as she comes home every day, I intend to let her do whatever she wants.
I want her to discover things for herself.
A nice thought. And on our end, I'm just glad Flan has someone else to play with now.
Speaking of letting your eyes off of the kids, what about the one you brought, Alice? Is it okay to leave her alone?
Given her height, she could be buried under a pile of books, for all we know.
Good point. Koakuma took her to go looking for books, but...
Someone walks in and plonks down a giant pile of books.
Lady Patchouli, Miss Alice, I've brought the books you requested.
...Oh, they're back.
Thank you for finding them for me, Koakuma. And welcome back, Medicine.
You're carrying a lot of books there. Can you really read all those?
I'll be fine. I'll read all these in a flash and then I'll be all worldly like you, Alice.
Wow, I look away for a moment and suddenly you two are getting along like bees and honey.
She still doesn't really know how people do things outside the suzuran field, so she's been staying with me sometimes.
Alice is nice to Sue, and teaches me all kinds of stuff.
Like today. I said I wanted to know more about medicine, so she took me here.
Huh. Why medicine though?
...I see, so Eirin told you that she'd like to make medicine out of your poison.
Yeah. I want to show everyone how awesome Sue is!
You want to be useful to someone... In which case, I think studying the bonds of society will be a good opportunity for you.
Y-You can't just read my mind like that! That's cheating!
By the way, what books were YOU looking for, Koakuma?
Anything about Makai. Everything from treatises to grimoires. Even tour guides.
Shou asked us to do some research in preparation for the trip to Makai.
Makes sense. But wouldn't it be faster to just ask Alice? You're from there, aren't you?
Makai is enormous, so there are plenty of things I know nothing about either.
You're from somewhere else...? So you didn't always live in that house, Alice?
Yeah, she's a bona fide citizen of Makai. She used to be so tiny too. Not as short as you though, Medicine.
A little while ago she left her mother's home to come study magic in Gensokyo.
Parents, huh? Come to think of it, you've never talked about your past before, have you?
But if you have family there, why did you move?
There shouldn't be anything stopping you from doing magic research in Makai...
Part of it is that I wanted to be independent, but there was something I wanted to think about on my own.
You might even say my research into doll magic is part of that too.
Hmm... so you had a lot of reasons...
I wanna see where you grew up too!
Yeah, I've always wanted to go back to Makai someday.
I hear it's a dangerous place, so we can't let our guard down there.
But why not go visit? It'll be a good chance to test our strength.
I'd also like to test the new magic I'm researching once it's complete.
It seems like we all have our own expectations from Makai.
We haven't had an overnight trip since we went to the moon. We'd better start packing!
BGM: Bizarre Smile
Okay, gotta look both ways... Right... check. Left... check.
Phew... Good, no one's here.
Lately there are tengu and stuff all over the place, so I gotta make sure no one spots me.
...But there are more and more every day, so maybe it's just a matter of time until they catch me...
N-No! I can't be scared! Lady Makura says it'll be okay, so I just have to do what she says!
I think this is around where that hospital the humans go to is... right?
Sound of rustling.
Wah, someone's coming!
...And you should be able to find your way home from here.
Thank you, for going out of your way to guide us this far.
Not at all. You're the ones buying medicine from us, so I should be thanking you.
To be honest we don't even need the money, but I'm told this is another part of living.
You've got that right. You definitely can't be giving away stuff this valuable for free.
But thanks to you, our preparations for the journey to Makai are going smoothly.
Wonderful. Please let us known when you'll be departing.
I'm sure everyone will want to be there to see the moment you rescue your savior.
Good to hear. Naturally, we'd love to have you with us.
Now then, we had better be going.
They walk past.
...Phew, they left. They never left an opening that whole time.
But didn't they just say they were going somewhere? Maybe we can use that...
In which case, I'd better go make a few preparations myself!
Please be patient, Lady Makura, I'm doing my best to make your dream come true!
...Their various resolves aligned, time passed.
Preparations to go to Makai proceeded steadily...
And now, it is time for the pre-departure strategy meeting.
Border of Regular and Irregular Days
A large crowd is gathered.
Reimuuu! I want teaaaa!
Water for me! With a big ol pile of salt!
Get it yourself! There's a teapot over there somewhere!
...Geez, I can't believe I was actually looking forward to our first get-together in a while.
Everyone just excited because it's finally the day we go to Makai.
Some people seem way too hyped about it, but yeah, I guess we're all eager.
Too hyped? You mean-
How long will you sleep～♪? Til the Earth's final day～♪
I'm gonna meet people even stronger than me!
...True, their excitement is taking off in a pretty weird direction.
I don't mind if you're noisy, but at least take this strategy briefing seriously.
You're always so pragmatic at times like this, Reisen.
It's a good attitude to take when you're feeling nervous. We could all learn from that.
Yeah! So when do we eat these lunches we packed?
Bad Okuu! Bad! Those are for the trip!
Well, this is their last chance to relax. Let them get it out of their system.
I mean, once Lady Shiki gets here, fun time will be over in a snap.
Hello, hello, good work, good to see everyone again, and all that.
As you can see we're here on the surface as well.
Always glad to have more help. It's sounding like this won't exactly be a pleasure cruise.
The temple crew, Yukari, and the other big shots are having a meeting right now.
Someone walks in.
Hmm. I see everyone has already arrived.
Oh, looks like they're done.
It seems the conversation is in full bloom, but let's get started.
Anyone with a cup of tea, please put it down and listen carefully.
I'll leave the introduction to you, Shou.
Let's begin the strategy meeting.
BGM: Determination in the Chest
First, allow me to thank you all for gathering here today.
We set sail for Makai so we can save Byakuren Hijiri.
Hijiri is a pure-hearted person who is admired by many, human and youkai alike, but she is currently sealed in Makai.
Everyone, please lend us you strength so we can rescue her.
What's with all this formality? That's not what we're here for.
Specifically, she's sealed in a dimension called Hokkai, which is in Makai.
The seal has two parts: First we need the flying silo, ie: the Palanquin Ship, to open the door to Hokkai, and then we need the power of the pagoda to free her.
So the thrust of the plan is to get those two things to the seal.
Once we make it that far, we can draw out the power of these holy items.
I get the gist of it, but what kind of place is Makai anyway?
The rumors say it's pretty dangerous.
Alice and Patchouli are the experts here, so we'll turn the floor to them.
They step to the front.
...Okay, allow me to explain what you'll be seeing in Makai.
Makai is another Otherworld, distinct from Gensokyo, and as the name implies can be considered a world of Magic.
Please think of it as a harsh environment where the rules of Gensokyo don't apply. Even the air is filled with miasma.
An ordinary person would succumb within minutes, but we should be fine. With that in mind-
Hey, don't just skip past that part!
Now now, I'm worried about my health too, but I don't plan on leaving the boat.
Picking up where I left off, the miasma of Makai boosts the effect of magical energies.
That's why it's the best place to practice sorcery, and is even called the Holy Land of Magic.
But thanks to that, it's also the home to powerful monsters.
So as you'd expect, the people who live there are fairly cautious.
Marisa and I have been there before, but they aren't exactly good memories.
So, is there a shortcut to Hokkai or anything?
I wish there was, but I hadn't even heard of this place, and it wasn't recorded in any of the documents we studied either.
The seal is a thousand years old, and Makai is said to be infinitely vast.
Even I, who participated in the sealing, couldn't tell you precisely where it is.
So you're saying we'll have to search for the entrance to Hokkai after we arrive in Makai.
Yeah. Luckily, as the key to the seal, the flying silo should show some sort of reaction when we get close to it.
Surprising people as we stumble through Makai! Bring it on!
But now I'm getting worried. What if we lose steam on the way...?
Don't worry, we've made all sorts of preparations to prevent that.
Yeah, we've even done special training to polish up our moves.
...Hm, on that note, maybe we should discuss that in more detail, so we all have a better idea of our combat capacity.
Then we'll go first. We trained a lot and perfected our super move!
Who cares if it's spring?! Witness the golden gleam of autumn!
They're even worse than usual... I wonder what kind of act they'll show us this time?
It's not an act, it's a special move...
I've also mastered a new technique. What you've all been waiting for!
Really now? So after all that training can you finally do a throw?
Like the Boomerang?! Or the Home Run?!
No no no, you'd need to train with a three-man team for that...
Are you not going to speak up, Lady Patchouli? You've been doing so much research on the origin these past few days...
...It's still one last step away from completion. Unfortunately, I failed to meet our deadline.
Good work, everyone. I've also been doing some danmaku training.
They're the same techniques as always, but our power and accuracy should be improved.
Right, right, I hear the mountain youkai were working really hard to improve our combat strength too!
Oh? The mountain folk too?
Of course! Kappa are friends to good children everywhere!
While the tengu were scouting the area, I asked my friends to help out with the preparations.
The Palanquin Ship has reached its final stage! This is our power!
Final? You mean you gave the boat an upgrade?
We asked them to. It's the cornerstone of our strategy.
The centerpiece of it is its brand new weapon, a missile loaded with the flying silo's buddhist energy!
You've never seen such power! It could even blow the shrine right off the map in a single shot!
Wait, why use that example?!
However, the firing mechanism is especially sensitive, so it relies almost entirely on the autopilot.
So I can't use it when I'm in command then.
It's a bit of a shame, but I just like to keep my hand on the rudder, you know?
Mister Kourindou is used to working with the autopilot though, so I'm sure he could make use of it.
I'll do what I can, as the acting captain.
We also expanded the refrigerator and added a button to reheat the bath. Stuff like that.
Oh right, and there was that other thing we haven't told Murasa about yet.
We also added an spirit-powered booster, for use in emergencies. You know, just in case.
By using all of the ships spiritual energy, you can exceed its maximum speed for a few dozen seconds.
However, based on our calculations, it would be nearly impossible to use the rudder at those speeds.
It's for emergency escapes only, so please don't touch it anytime else.
Oh my, that sounds ominous.
...Okay, thanks for explaining it, but maybe we should cover the switch with glass then.
...And I think that's everything we needed to talk about before we go?
Then we should start gearing up too.
We'll be carrying out this plan immediately. Head to the ship as soon as you're ready to leave.
We don't know what will happen after we arrive. Be ready for an attack at any moment.
Back to Makai, huh? I hope nothing happens, but...
This is a trip home for you, right Alice? If you'd like to visit your family I'm sure we could-
No, I'm still just part way down my path. I have no plans to visit them.
Although I did send a letter about what we're doing, and it worries me that I never got a response...
Don't worry, it's not like they're going to forget your face. I'm sure we can talk our way out of any problems that come up.
But first we have to get to Makai. Don't let your guard down.
Successfully passed through the Gate. But these readings are all absurd!
This is the border between Gensokyo and Makai. Space is unstable here.
If you get flung out, who knows where we'll end up, so be careful!
I can see the exit, Murasa!
Roger that! Everyone grab onto something!
The Palanquin Ship descends.
Chapter 65: Mystic Voyage
Ow ow ow, that was some turbulence.
At least we seem to have gotten through unscathed.
We passed through the barrier between worlds. Be glad the impact was this minimal.
Is everyone all right?
Looks like it. Now, we have to check out our surroundings.
! Look at that!
The camera pans to the bottom left.
This ominous magic, and a sea the color of blood...
There can be no doubt. This is the miasma and monster-filled world of...
...They may both be called Otherworlds, but this place is nothing like Gensokyo.
D-Did you really grow up in a place like this, Alice?
So, Blondie, can you tell where we are?
This seems to be quite a distance from where I lived. Sorry, but it would be difficult for me to guide you.
Well, with any luck we're right next to Hokkai, but somehow I doubt that.
Okay, Captain, let's set out. We can look for the entrance while we move.
A bunch of enemies spawn in.
Eek! These scary looking creatures just showed up!
I'm used to seeing youkai by now, but these seem to have grown enormous due to the miasma.
Aw, they're so cute! You think they wanna play with us?
...They're not cute, and I don't want to play with them either.
But they do seem to be interested in us. They're excited by our otherworldly scent.
Ah, okay. Then they DO want to play.
We won't be able to search while being targeted by monsters. Let's crush them and move on.
All hands: this is a top priority deployment order!
The atmosphere here is similar to nighttime, so keep that in mind during preparation.
The Palanquin Ship (Rinnosuke) learned Buddhist Missile!
Meiling learned Rainbow Brilliance Palm!
Minoriko and Shizuha learned Double Aki Buster!
Minoriko and Shizuha learned Super Aki Sisters Kick Kai!
Youmu (re)learned 200 Yojana in One Slash!
Also a bunch of other moves got strengthed arbitrarily.
BGM: The Mother's Knit Together World
This positioning is mostly a holdover from Normal+, where I wanted to ignore half the stage and just go left.
So how is it outside, everyone?
...This miasma certainly is harsh to humans. I can feel it running through my body.
In which case, we can't afford to spend too much time out here.
Right, we need to break through the enemy formation as quickly as possible.
Wait, this is...?
What's wrong, Akyu?
I'm getting an incredibly high mana reading. But it's different from the monsters...
It's not a monster? Then maybe someone from Makai?
But who would have enough power to show up on the sensor...?
No, wait, that's-
Hey, don't tell me it's...
So that boat was the source of the dimensional warp then. It doesn't appear to be an adrift cruise liner, but...
Who is this feral maid then?
Stop being stupid, that's a maid employed by the god of Makai.
Employed by a god?! We're running into a big shot already?!
What are you doing here, Yumeko?
These outskirts have been terrorized by outlaws as of late. I'm on patrol for them.
But more importantly, what about you, Alice? If you're going to return home, at least send us word ahead of time.
I did send word. I sent a letter a little while ago.
We never received it. Perhaps the route was thrown into disorder by the recent disturbance.
You mean that disturbance you're patrolling for? I guess things are pretty hectic in Makai too.
But at any rate, this is the first I've seen of you since you left, Alice. I'm glad to see you're doing well.
So, would you all be Alice's friends then?
Oh, yeah! We're real close.
That said, we're not just here to visit.
We're here to rescue our savior, who's been sealed in Makai.
To rescue your savior?
Yes. To that end, would you mind telling us whatever you might know about a place called Hokkai?
We'll leave as soon as we're done, so we won't get in your way, Yumeko.
Actually, if you know where it is, could you just tell us?
...You're here to rescue a savior in Hokkai, is it? Now I understand.
However, I cannot allow you to do that.
Why not, Yumeko? You can trust these people, I'll vouch for them.
That's not the problem, Alice. You may not know this, but Hokkai is a prison for powerful monsters.
If you open the door and let those monsters out, all of Makai would be thrown into unfathomable chaos.
Sounds like our destination is somewhere pretty special.
So all we have to do is beat all those monsters up!
Indeed. We were prepared to do at least that much to save the Chief!
Ignorant tourists should stop talking before they make themselves appear even more foolish.
If you won't listen to reason, then I'll have no choice but to expel you with my own hands.
Now we're talking! I'd like to see you try!
A servant of god, huh? At least we won't run out of people to fight here!
Quick to excite, are we? Alas, you shall all be but more rust on my blades.
Victory: Defeat Yumeko.
Defeat: Alice or the Palanquin Ship are defeated.
Bonus WP: Clear the chapter in 7 turns.
Hurray, Koishi is here! She's focused less on survival and more on offense compared to her sister, though she has the same Auto-Alert gimmick thanks to her Mind Reader skill. The two of them also have a friendship PS, so they pair well together.
First of all, Merlin's here, so she grabs some hella EXP from MAPing my other units for Power.
Yay! It's a danmaku battle!
I'm suprised you can be so cheerful in a place like this, Koishi.
I'm sure she's excited BECAUSE she's in a strange new world.
Looks like there are plenty of things for her to fight here, at least. Just go along with her for now, okay?
Wait, aren't you moving a bit differently now, Koishi?
All danmaku is speech. Let's hear what you have to say.
Okay! You all taught me how to play, so I'll show you all the danmaku you want!
This beloved slaughter... doesn't it just bring tears to your eyes?
I've been playing with Normal+'s inflated HP values for so long that I forgot how nice it was to actually kill mooks in one round.
The first time a non-Koishi unit fights, you get some dialogue:
I didn't know bugs and doofy ghosts could get this big.
It's due to the environment of Makai, probably. Looks like their shells and jaws are especially well developed.
The carapace of these bugs repels danmaku, and the other monsters have their own special powers too.
Check the enemies' abilities and be sure to choose the weapons that will be most effective!
As we'll see momentarily, this is very good advice.
Most units are heading west as planned. Mokou is heading south for a special mission, and the 3 Fairies are helping out.
Ok so, here's the first entry in our "Makai Enemies are Assholes" series. This guy, Evil Eye Z, spreads a cross of danmaku with a No Entry effect on it. It's not a problem on this map, but it will be a problem later.
"hmm this bug is insanely accurate, he'd have 87% on Mokou had she not cast Focus, I bet that's it's main gimmi-
did it just take 0 damage from Shou's partner attack?
Luckily Mokou can handle it herself.
Keep this exact damage number in mind for later, by the way.
Hey look this one took 0 damage from Marisa.
"Makai Enemies are Assholes" Episode 2: These giant doofy ghosts have a Post-Movement MAP.
I wanna give a special mention to that, because "Post-Movement MAP" is the type of thing I'd give to lots of enemies if I was designing a shitty kaizo SRW romhack. It totally breaks the fundamental "attack-counterattack" flow of battle, which is also why FMW in particular has gone out of its way to never give the player good MAPs. Luckily Sanbondo aren't stupid assholes, so these enemies are used very sparingly, and their MAP is only 1 tile wide.
So I guess what I'm saying is, these enemies are a pain, but it could have been so much worse.
"Makai Enemies are Assholes" Episode 3: Makai Fairies. They honestly are not too bad at all. They're mostly the same as the Big Fairies from the rest of the game, with long-range weapons and lots of HP.
The main difference is their fan of danmaku, which has a -10% MP effect on it. This chapter is more of a sprint than a marathon, so it's not too bad, but you should watch out for it.
By the way, a new patch came out like 3 days after I recorded this chapter, so don't expect the next update to have english spellcard effects.
"Makai Enemies are Assholes" Season Finale: Makai Bugs.
fuck these things so hard i cant even
Ok so first of all they have a billion Armor, and an S in Air, and they're Large, so they're tanky as fuck.
On top of that, they have a unique barrier than negates all damage below 4000. As we've seen, it's surprisingly hard to break 4000 damage on them without expending serious resources - even Marisa can't do it.
On top of that, even if you get cute and use barrier-piercing weapons (Mokou has the Keystone equipped, granting all of her attacks this property) they have high Prevail levels, which kicks their defense up as they lose HP, making it even harder to finish them off.
On top of that, their attacks have a +80%(!) accuracy modifier on them, so they'll hit almost anything they aim at.
On top of that, their danmaku field cuts your movement by 80%, so if one flies right up next to you, you cannot run away. In fact, you probably couldn't run away even without that, because they also have 8 movement.
On top of that, they having fucking Break Power Limit, which isn't even a factor when fighting them, I just think it's hilariously excessive.
Oh, and on Normal+ they have 2200 Armor and 7000 HP, so all that stuff above (especially the Prevail levels) becomes even more of a problem. It would not be an exaggeration to say that these guys are the reason why I dropped the difficulty back down to Normal. They're not impossible to deal with, but they are such a pain in the ass that I couldn't be bothered.
If nothing else, the giant doof's counterattack animation is pretty funny.
This chapter really makes you appreciate your barrier-piercing attacks. It's a property that is mostly stapled onto big expensive finishers, but there's a few cheaper attacks with it sprinkled in. The Malice Cannon is a noteworthy example.
I hate you stupid assholes so much I'm going to have Parsee pound nails into you.
NO EXPENSES SPARED, DEATH TO THE BUGS
Anyway, by the end of the second turn they are, thankfully, mostly all dead.
On the second enemy phase, Yumeko begins moving.
hey guess what
She moves twice!
Anyway, at the start of turn 3, we get some dialogue:
So these are the animals of Makai? They've even tougher than we heard.
Plus we're still choking on all this miasma.
It's like working out at high altitudes. You could get some good training done here.
But we don't have the luxury for that.
If Hokkai is as dangerous as she says, we need to preserve as much of our strength as we can.
A formation of doofs, small insects, and my nemesis, spawn in.
Hold on, where'd all those come from?!
It's like a den of monsters. I bet they'd make for a thrilling article.
Do you really think this is the time for such casual banter? Return to Gensokyo, before you're seriously injur-
3 of the doofs are vaporized.
Wha?! Someone got them all in one blast!
That magic just now... I may have been somewhat barabaric, but that was executed perfectly.
That spell, it couldn't be...
Guess who wasn't in AoCF? posted:Hmph, that was a disappointment.
BGM:Enter the Aluren
Looks like this place is running out of monsters to fight.
I knew I'd seen that magic before!
Hey, isn't that Mima?!
Marisa and Reimu? Never thought I'd bump into you two in Makai.
Hey, I'M the one who's surprised. I thought I'd never see you again.
I'd heard you were going to Makai, but what an unlikely coincidence.
Hm? Is that you, Rinnosuke? What're you doing on the boat?
Well, whatever. If the Palanquin ship is here, you all must be ready to free Byakuren.
Huh? Mima, how do you know Hijiri?
More importantly, I've been looking for you, Mima.
God's maid, huh? Long time no see.
What are you doing all the way out here? Taking a walk?
Don't feign ignorance. Haven't you been indiscriminately attacking monsters around here?
Wait, attacking monsters...?
Don't tell me that the outlaw you mentioned earlier was...?
It's been good practice. Give your master my thanks.
Ha ha ha! I like it! I think we'll get along just fine, outlaw!
...I'm astounded. Do you intend to throw Makai into chaos once again?
Although if you'd like to be sent to Hokkai, I'm sure that can be arranged.
That could be fun too. Sounds like the monsters there would make for some great practice.
I mean, there's that little catch where you can't leave, but as long as you're strong it doesn't seem half-bad.
...Haha, that's ridiculous... but that's the Mima I know.
So how about this: if you help us out we'll take you to Hokkai. Sound good?
Wow, so the little chick thinks she can make a deal with ME?
Our cruise offers a full suite of amenities, you know.
And you won't even need a return ticket, since we'll just drop you off at Hokkai.
...Heh, looks like my little chick turned into a full-grown chicken when I wasn't watching.
But sure, sounds fun. I'm in.
Good grief, it's just one thing after another.
Sigh... How can I possibly report that our dear little Alice is associating with these sorts of ruffians?
I'm sorry, Yumeko. I didn't know about Hokkai, but-
But, nevertheless, you won't back down. Is that correct?
This will be a good chance, Alice. It's time to test how strong you've become.
Why don't you show me what you've studied in Gensokyo?
Mima confirmed for Brawl. Also she has a new attack, and it's incredibly edgy.
I specifically saved Merlin's SP to Rally twice now. That way Mima hits 130 Power, activating Ancient Moon and giving her weapons a damage boost. It also activates her Supreme skill, boosting her accuracy, evasion, and defense by 20%.
All useful boosts, since Mima will be soloing the entire southwestern part of the map.
I can't believe I ran into Marisa again so soon.
It's been so long since you saw her. Are you relieved?
Well, it's not like I was worried or anything, but it's nice to see that she's okay.
And it's pretty cool how she's combining her different strengths, isn't it?
Yeah. While you were gone, there was this huge battle she had to overcome.
And during that, Marisa never looked away from her own sky.
Heh... good to hear.
What're you two chatting about over there?
None of your business. Anyway, why don't I show you the results of my training in the Holy Land of Magic?
Burn my magic into your eyes!
On higher difficulties Mima can have some serious trouble here, but on Normal it's no problem at all.
So, Yumeko. I don't think she's quite the hardest boss in the series (she gets edged out by a later boss) but she's certainly damn close.
She has Double Act, so she already gets 2 moves per turn. On top of that, her Personal Skill Re-Attack allows her to, as long as she's above 120 Power, Support Attack herself. So if any of you were wondering how to make a lategame SRW boss hard, the answer is "give them 4 attacks per turn". It's actually even worse than that though, cuz you can't S.Defend an S.Attack, meaning that my "pair up squishy Reals with tanky Supers" strategy is completely null.
When I was trying to do this stage on Normal+, I found that she could easily kill most of my Reals (notably Alice, who is mission critical) in one hit, with no real way for me to deal with that since she's also very accurate. So, yeah, with everything else going on, dealing with Yumeko makes this probably the hardest stage in the series.
Btw, her default danmaku field boosts her accuracy (and defense) even further, and fittingly enough, it actually affects other enemies too. Letting Makai Insects sit in that field is a recipe for disaster.
You can Daunt her below the 120 Power threshold, and between Lunasa, Komachi, and Rumia, I've actually got a lot of casts of it. She has P-All to rocket back up very quickly though, so it's a temporary reprieve at best.
I see you have the courage to press on even in a strange land.
But you don't seem to be able to handle Makai's miasma yet.
Hey, now she's just showing off! You don't have to flaunt how unbothered you are all the time!
But we can't let our guards down. Yumeko's strength is top-class, even for Makai.
I've seen her fight huge monsters with only a single knife.
Well, she'd better be top-class, if she expects to keep up with us.
We've grown too, and we've got most of Gensokyo on our side.
I can only hope you aren't exaggerating.
Now allow me to show you the strength of a Makai maid.
A Sword Dance of Love and Mercy
Yumeko's theme is amazing, and her attacks are super stylish. Truly the ultimate maid.
I know we've practiced this danmaku a lot, Koishi, but...
But are we really doing this...?
Yeah! Orin and Okuu were said they were really looking forward to seeing it!
Although with everyone watching I'm geeting kinda embarassed.
I-If even YOU'RE embarassed, Koishi, how do you think I feel...?
You've gotta stop being so shy, Sis! Smile! Smile!
Uh-huh! Now we're ready to go!
C'mon, Satori! Now's the time for our...
D-Danmaku of the heart...!
This animation is so goofy, I love it.
Also has a really nice call-back to the end of the previous chapter.
Your sound is the sound of steel.
It's very orderly, but I couldn't mistake that sound for anything else.
What an interesting thing to say. I don't dislike that sort of modern art.
That artistic sense is something else that's inherent to you.
What a stern look. You'll miss your happiness like that!
I'm plenty happy.
Wow! No hesitation! But really though?
This isn't something to discuss on the battlefield. Stop joking around, I know you feel the tension as well.
This opponent looks tough. Time to rally my sisters and-
Relying on your sisters then?
Yeah. Isn't that, you know, normal?
Not for all sisters. Sometimes the younger ones have a hidden self-confidence.
The two of them are interesting, so it's a shame I can't let you meet.
Pretty sure she's talking about Yuki and Mai, who were the the stage 4 bosses of Mystic Square (though I don't think they were actually sisters in canon). They had a gimmick where you fought both at the start, then proceeded to fight you solo based on who you killed first. Yuki was all furious that you beat up Mai, where-as the normally-silent Mai was like "thank god that useless fuck-up is gone."
Anyway, on to the Enemy Phase:
Why do all these troublesome people pop up whenever Minamitsu goes ANYWHERE?
I mean, I'm only tagging along, but still.
With that attitude, you seem plenty troublesome yourself.
As a youkai of the unidentified, I'll take that as a compliment. I'm make you regret trying to provoke me!
A skilled, blade-using maid who knows Alice...
No doubt you're the one she mentioned earlier.
And who might you be?
Gensokyo's maid of the devil. It makes an excellent contrast with Makai's maid of god, wouldn't you agree?
Ever since I first heard about you, I thought I wanted to fight you someday. I wonder which of us is stronger?
Who knows? Care to test it?
Just what I was hoping to hear. Please enjoy my deceitless slight of hand.
Yes, and I'll be responding with blades and swords.
Luckily Nue Blue is very evasive.
I'm significantly less confident about Hatate's bulk.
And suddenly, blades everywhere! A maid's skirt sure is full of dreams...
Indeed, that's how it is.
Oh, you just acknowledged it like it's normal...
That's just common practice for a blade-using maid. If they can't do at least that much, then they're not even worth considering.
You say some interesting stuff. Forget getting permission, I'm snapping some pics!
The attendant of a god? This is a once in a lifetime business opportunity!
Take a look at this! For a limited time only, I'm selling this special medicine for stiff shoulders at CRAZY low prices!
C'mon, at least hear me out!
I'm close to a rather gullible individual. I can't take the one in a million chance that you'll reach her ears.
...I see. I'd better find this person while we're still in Makai then.
Good job not dying Hatate. Also cool blocking animation, you don't get to see that too often.
Also a bunch of enemies crash into the Great Wall of Mima.
They are summarily splattered for their trouble.
See that big doof with holding a Bomb? Mima (from the left) and Mokou (from the right) will be approaching it. We can get another Bomb from depleting Yumeko's initial lifebar, and we'll most likely be needing both.
Incidentally, Mima has the Chain spirit, which lets her take a second action as long as she kills a unit - basically the Eternity Exceeded, except it costs 50 SP. I don't use it often, but it can be useful when I have somewhere I want to get to quickly.
Meanwhile, Flandre and Meiling are getting the party started.
A tough guy from Makai! You look like you'd be fun to play with!
My job doesn't include babysitting.
But it does include patrolling, right? So if I start going wild, you'll have to stop me!
How selfish. But if want to be disciplined so badly, then I'll comply.
A calm mind, excellent technique, and a tempered body. Truly, you have the heart, skill, and body of a warrior.
What do hope to accomplish by praising your enemy?
My fighting spirit burns when I face an opponent who lacks in nothing.
I couldn't ask for a better opportunity the test to fruits of my training. Please ready yourself!
The left and right Flandres look very shocked that center Flandre fucking murdered Yumeko.
See? You lost the battle of the strongests!
Now do you understand our guts?!
Indeed, I understand. It appears you all have the strength I'd expect from Alice's friends.
Wait, can we back up? You've both been talking like you know each other, but what exactly is your relationship again?
Yumeko's watched over me every day ever since I was little.
To me, she's always been part of the family. I suppose you could say she's like my older sister.
S-Sister?! Blondie has a blonde older sister?! News to me!
But if you're family, then are the two of you really okay with fighting like this?
I've completely devoted myself to my duties as a maid. Such discretion hadn't even crossed my mind.
I'm sure you understand, Alice. And not only that, you feel similarly, correct?
...Yes. We have our own reasons that we can't back down.
What's this? Is it already time to ring the gong for yet another sisterly showdown?!
You should try it, it's really fun!
You two can't read the mood at all, can you?
...Good grief, I suppose I'll need to teach our guests some manners.
Correcting the guest's behavior is yet another duty of the maid hosting the party.
Yumeko: Activate Counter -Counter will always activate
If you've forgotten, Counter just lets you counterattack before you're attacked. Everyone has to be prepared for regular counterattacks anyway, so this isn't a big deal.
Where did that voice come from?!
Hello! I'm right in front of you!
! When did you get there...?
Hey Satori, there's a person here! Maybe we can ask her to guide us!
Guide? What are you saying, all of a sudden...?
Not that I mind guiding you, as long as it's back home to Gensoyko.
Cool, thanks! In return, I think I'll give you a one-way ticket to hell!
...You said you were the maid of the Makai god, but you seem to have a complicated relationship with Alice.
That eye on your chest... don't tell me you're-
Indeed, I'm a satori, capable of reading minds.
While you're harsh with everything, you're actually rather thoughtful, deep in your heart.
Whatever could you be talking about?
Don't worry, I don't plan to carelessly reveal anything.
But I think it would be for the best if you shared those thoughts with Alice.
...We're not having this conversation. I'll send you home before you speak another word.
"Satori almost spoils the plot" is a recurring element of her boss convos, it's pretty good.
How long has it been since we last had a match?
Not since you moved all the way to Gensokyo. I assume you now have strength befitting that resolve?
Although, to be frank, I don't see how your doll magic could possibly threaten me.
...It's not like I've been studying magic to beat you, Yumeko.
Then what are you saying? You'd already possessed power equivalent to the ultimate magic.
Are you going to tell me you have some lofty goal that you'd go so far as to seal that grimoire to achieve?
To me, there is nothing more noble. Although maybe that isn't something I can say when I'm still only halfway there.
But more importantly, today I'm just here to help Shou. So first I need to make you listen!
Always being swayed by the feelings of others. You haven't changed, Alice!
A magician from Gensokyo, is it?
Makai, the home of magic. It appears that's made you arrogant.
If you know where this is, then aren't you the one being arrogant?
There's no law that the birthplace of something must always be the best at it.
Feast your eyes on our own styles of magic, ones you'd never see in Makai.
This person is really good at performing with knives and swords...
But we won't lose when it comes to performance!
Take out the umbrella and the ball, Shizuha!
Wait, that's the wrong one, Minoriko! Weren't we supposed to unveil a new move here?
Oh, right. Force of habit.
I don't care which you do, but is this trick really all that impressive?
Obviously! Allow us to show you our true prowess, ranked highly even among the Myriad gods!
p sure that's a lie
Even in Makai, Lord Yatagarasu is doing great!
That eye in your chest... you seem to have a sun god inside you.
You're wielding incredible power, but can control your output...
Yeah, 'cause we always get along now! You wanna try touching the nuclear flame?
Yes, please. That would be wonderful in the colder seasons.
This swordsmanship! That agility! You're master class!
Perhaps by your otherworldly standards.
You don't seem arrogant either. But when it comes to dual wielding, I can also-
I hope you're not all talk. The true two sword style, arrived after severing bone one-handed.
When this attack hits it's pretty brutal. Looks kinda goofy with a barrier up though.
Eiki comin in with dat perfect hit/evade.
I lack jurisdiction to pass judgement in an Otherworld, but this is an excellent opportunity for me to impart a lesson.
Don't tell me you're the Yama of Gensokyo?
I am. This Cleansed Crystal Mirror will reveal your karma.
...I see. It's good that you're taking care of someone, but on the other hand you habitually use harsh words with them.
Indeed, you're a bit too strict.
I consider that my duty though.
It goes beyond merely stating the simple truth. By reflecting back and changing your attitude, your days will be spent better.
Before you decide how things ought to be, you should reevaluate with an open heart!
Wow, maids work hard in every world, huh?
Those who don't work, cannot live.
It's something of an exaggeration. But I need those who work with me to be conscious of that or there will be problems.
Good grief, when these loyal types are maids they get even worse...
This is a pretty good place to leave Yumeko at, since I plan on depleting this lifebar on the next turn.
As an aside, I love how dramatic her hit sprite is.
On the Enemy Phase, Yumeko takes a solid swing on Koishi. This is another defending sprite you don't see very often, by the way.
Unfortunately for me and my plans, Yumeko decided to flee from my main party to go after Mokou.
You look like the capable sort. It's times like these I'm glad I'm immortal.
Oh really? That's helpful.
What do you mean...?
Ordinary humans are so fragile. If you can't die, then it means I don't have to hold back. That's so much easier.
...You're welcome? But I don't plan on giving up my limbs without a fight.
I guess being a maid builds up a lot of pent-up stress.
So you won't be letting us through to Hokkai after all?
Hijiri is my savior. I'll gladly brave any danger to save her!
How repetitive. It's simply not allowed, and nothing you can say will change that.
I acknowledge both the strength of your feelings and the character of the one you're seeking, but it's just not that simple.
True to their dialogue, she didn't hold back, but Mokou's fine.
We're a bit out of position, but this Spell only lasts 2 turns, so we gotta move on.
So Alice knows people like this...?
Are you another friend of Alice?
Y-Yeah! But I guess it's more like we just live in the same forest...
Hmm. I see. Is that so? Hmm...
...I don't like the way she's looking at us. Like, she's judging us.
It seems I shouldn't make light of the power of otherwordly youkai.
We could say the same to you... you leave no openings at all. You've shown me complete mastery of the blade!
But this feeling. You're still hiding your true strength, aren't you?
Naturally. If that were all, how could I possibly work as Lady Shinki's maid?
Shinki, huh? Could you be referring to...?
Oh, right, that was her name. Yumeko's master, and the god of Makai.
I think she created everything in Makai, right?
Wha? Everything?! Even the rocks and the mountains?! Everything?!
Indeed, and not just the world either. Every resident of Makai was also created by Lady Shinki.
She is our Creator, an irreplaceable being. That's what makes Lady Shinki the god of Makai.
This is too much, I can't even imagine creating people and a whole world...
Not only that, it's no joke to say that she rules the world.
Yes. She really is amazing.
Even the peaceful life of its residents is thanks to her making that her top priority.
Um, so if you're from Makai, Alice, does that mean Shinki made you too?
In my case, no, but it's true that she's my mother.
You can explain later. Doesn't look like Yumeko's going to wait any longer.
A sharp eye, as expected. Now, the danmaku dance floor is already warmed up.
Flashing steel and midair twirls... I wonder, can you follow my lead in this blade dance?
Yumeko: Ability Boost (Enemy Consumption) -Raises Accuracy and Evade the lower the target's remaining HP and MP are. Ally: No Entry
This takes her already impressive accuracy and says "if you're missing anything, she'll hit you 100%", basically. The outer perimeter of the circle has the No Entry effect, and it's part of why I specified that you want to get the giant doof's bomb.
As an aside, the danmaku field itself kinda reminds me of something Youmu would make.
The Palanquin Ship bombs to open up a whole for the rest of my dudes to filter through.
Meiling's new finisher is very stylish, and also a solid OG Gaiden reference.
Since this is just Normal, a single Full Power Mode from Flandre/Meiling is enough to deplete half of Yumeko's HP.
God this animation is stylish. I really recommend watching her attack animations, if you're able.
Nue hasn't used any SP and doesn't really need to conserve it, so I can blow a chunk on Confuse to halve all enemy hit rates for the turn. I only really need my units to survive until next turn, so I might as well.
I haven't been mentioning it, but Lyrica and Merlin have been popping out for a bunch of guerilla concerts, much to my other dudes' benefit. They've gotten like 6 levels each just from that.
Well, it didn't wind up being either Mima or Mokou to do it, but we acquired the second bomb on this stage. As you'll see, this will be veeery important for Yumeko's third and final Spellcard.
One last little love-tap to set Yumeko up for next turn.
Been a while since we last fought, huh?
C'mon, you haven't forgotten, have you?
You've changed the way you speak, so I was wondering who you were.
Hey, we don't talk about that!
And weren't you the one who started sobbing when you lost?
Whatever could you be referring to?
...Fine, I get it. Neither of us will talk about the past. But anyway, we're coming through so outta the way!
You never learn, human. Rampaging through Makai carries a heavy sin.
You wouldn't happen to be that kappa called Nitori, would you?
Huh?! You know me?
Alice wrote about you in her letters.
I hear you've been a friend for her ever since shortly after she went to Gensokyo.
Oh, not at all, I should be thanking HER. Like, she lets us come hang out at her house and stuff.
...Her house in Gensokyo, hm. She's never invited us to visit...
But no matter. Allow me to test whether you're strong enough to be Alice's friend.
Wha?! How did it come to this?!
By the end of turn 5, we're basically prepared for the final stretch. Btw Hatate isn't in this shot because she got the hell out of dodge.
On the Enemy Phase, Yumeko decided she really hates Mokou. Luckily Mokou still had one Resurrection left.
The Prismrivers teach Yumeko how to party.
So you could even follow my lead through that.
It was a wonderful dance, but power isn't everything.
But don't get sloppy. There's no hesitation in her movements.
I doubt she'd flinch even we gave her a little beating.
Indeed, it's almost like she's treating her body as one of her weapons.
A weapon... Yes, that is my role.
I am a doll created by Lady Shinki. I am to act as her hands and feet. My body is devoted to that purpose.
So I fight without fear or doubt. You cannot break my will.
No way, you think of yourself as a weapon...?
There's not a trace of doubt in her heart. She has a conviction like steel.
The unwavering belief of a created being. That's what supports her.
But that's not all. I can also feel her loyalty to her master.
I'm sure she holds a deep respect for this Shinki person.
What are you-
There are those who would swear loyalty only to their creator...
These two unbreakable bonds are what you give you your strength.
...I don't understand you people. Why would you talk about your enemy in the middle of a fight?
Because we didn't come here to fight with you, Yumeko.
If we just talk this out, maybe we can figure out a way to safely open up Hokkai.
I won't deny your feelings, but I'm not in a position to affirm them either.
The protection of Makai isn't so simple a matter as to be moved by feelings alone, Alice.
Half-hearted mercy will only lead to tragedy. Someone needs to wield the blade.
And that's why I will be that blade. Lady Shinki's blade.
Yumeko: Ability Boost (Surrounded) -Raises Attack and Defense proportional to the number of opponents within 3 squares
If you do the standard "surround the boss" strat and don't have a bomb leftover, then say goodbye to your damage and hello to Yumeko's. There isn't a new attack to go with it or anything though, so she's just rocking Saber Dance as before.
Btw, her previous Spellcards were totally made up (since, like all PC-98 character, she doesn't have any), but this one's from the name of her theme.
The Palanquin Ship promptly bombs the field away, leaving Yumeko exposed.
By the way, since I didn't get a chance, here's their battle dialogue now:
So this is the Palanquin ship then.
Um, do you have any business with the ship?
...It made the voyage to Makai, so I was a little curious.
But more importantly, I strongly suggest you all board the ship immeidately and return to your own world.
We appreciate the advice, but that's not what the captain wants.
And as the crew, we'll be sticking to Shou's plan until the end!
Shou leads us off with her own brand of justice.
Might as well have Mima get in there.
So you were the outlaw tearing through Makai.
This is the best place to train magic, so I'll be doing as I please, thank you very much.
That black and white magician is your apprentice, correct? To think her mentor would be so ill-mannered...
I'm here for myself first, and for anyone else a distant second.
Plus, Marisa's not gonna be influenced by what she sees me do anymore. It's way too late for that.
So you're saying that it's precisely because you've recognized her as a successor that you will persist in this?
I can follow the logic, but a sin must be weighed as a sin.
Hmph, so you want a fight? Fine with me!
She wasn't in range to use any of her big flash attacks sadly. I really recommend checking out the New Attack compilation at the end of the update, Mima's new attack is muy bien.
Let's finish this.
If you're the attendant of god, you must be living the high life.
I bet you live in her palace, and they have like, dance parties every night.
But I would be working, not participating, so having that many would actually be even more troublesome.
Sure, just shrug it off, like it's completely normal! That's how great your position is!
I don't care how worldly you think you are, I'm gonna make you realize how differently the masses live!
Now, how far will my surprise techniques take me in Makai...
You're grading me?!
But maybe 3 points is actually the best score?!
How uselessly optimistic. It was out of 100.
If you wish to be a street performer in Makai, then go back and learn the basics.
*Sob* So not only youkai, they're harsh on performers too...?
Kogasa shows her what a real performance looks like.
Bonus WP acquired!
You've made it this far?!
C'mon, we came all this way to another world. We can't just let ourselves get kicked out right away.
Do you have an idea of our strength yet?
...Yes, I'll admit it. You certainly are strong.
But I cannot let you through.
Yumeko regains all her HP.
Gah, she's still going?!
I've half a mind to praise her for it, but at this rate we're due for an unsightly battle to the death.
We don't know what's going to be in Hokkai, so I'd like to save our strength for it, but...
Let's stop this already, Yumeko!
Alice moves northwest.
What's this about, Alice?
Let's stop this pointless fighting and try to talk to out.
You understand that we aren't malicious, right Yumeko?
Even so, I still can't risk Hokkai being unsealed.
If you make a single mistake, the monsters inside will be released.
If that happens, we'll do something about it, so-
What you're saying is naive. Is this what you left Makai to study? How to make friends?
If you've abandoned Makai and become a resident of Gensokyo, then-
You're wrong, Yumeko. I never abandoned Makai.
I went to Gensokyo because I had to think about something for myself.
Doll-making, was it...? I'm sure you got that from Lady Shinki.
But the question is whether that's really in your best interest.
No matter how much you imitate her, you will never have Lady Shinki's power.
...I know that. I never wanted more power. I just wanted to be like Mom.
Mom is the god who created all of Makai. But that's not the part that's most amazing about her.
What's amazing is how she's always thinking of her people, and how they all adore her back.
It's something more than simple creation. It's...
Anyway, I wanted to learn more about my mother by following her footsteps and creating.
That's what you were thinking...?
But even so, if you're siding with the Otherworld you left for then-
This isn't about Makai or Gensokyo! It's about my friends desperately fighting for something, so I can't just sit back and do nothing!
Alice moves right next to Yumeko.
I'm sorry, Yumeko. We can't stop here!
This is the magic I've polished all this time... and it's going to open our path!
Click here to watch!
BGM: Tied to Your Fingertips
Way to go, Alice!
Danmaku featuring doll and performer working together... The culmination of her doll magic.
It's the result of Alice's skill combined with the passion she put into her dolls. You showed us a nice performance.
...I see. So this is the magic you invented for yourself by leaving Makai.
Right. Even you, Yumeko, should be feeling that, so-
Yumeko regains her strength yet again, though not as much this time.
Just how much energy do you have?! Are you going to keep going?!
E-Enough already! You won't like it if we keep going!
She's right, even if you're Alice's sister, we've still got spare ammo back in the boat!
I see, so now they all cover for you. I suppose I should be glad that you've made good friends?
In deference to your courage, I'll ask again. Despite knowing the dangers, will you still head to Hokkai?
...Yes, we will. Saving Hijiri is our deepest desire, and we can't give up on it.
We won't cause any problems for you, Yumeko. You'll see. Just give me a chance.
You have nothing but ideals, but you're certainly stubborn.
Huh? You're leaving?
You're letting us go? That leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I simply wasn't fully prepared. I need to report this to Lady Shinki.
The next time we meet, I'll expel you from Makai.
...She believes what she says. Let's take this chance and keep moving.
Okay everyone, come back to the ship!
Everyone returns to the ship, which promptly leaves the area.
...Good grief. That naivete AND that stubbornness... Just who does she get that from?
To think she'd go so far out of sympathy for her friends.
...If their positions were reversed, I'm sure Lady Shinki would do the same thing.
She wanted to be like her mother, was it?
BGM: What's the Strategy?
Minor detail, but I love that they actually changed the background through the windows here.
Phew, we're back.
Never thought I'd be so grateful just to breathe normally.
Good work, everyone.
Seriously, that WAS work. First the miasma was thicker than I expected, and then we suddenly get a top-class warrior out of nowhere.
It was like an otherworldly baptism. I can still feel it washing over my whole body.
That's not even a joke, I still can't feel relieved.
That Makai maid hasn't given up either.
Let's just be grateful that she withdrew for now.
It seemed Yumeko was starting to feel something as she spoke with Alice.
...Are you sure about that? I've been scolded by her plenty of times before.
I can't believe she was saying all that to someone as reliable as Alice. It's like, she was amazing.
But even if she was a little harsh, I could see her as a good sister.
It might be fun to get scolded like that... My sister is more the naggy type.
Someone walks in.
Oh, you've already calmed down in here?
You're late, Lady Mima.
It was tough getting rid of all the miasma I had stuck to me before boarding the ship. We had to pour some concoction over it.
That's the bare minimum. If I breathe that stuff I'll be poisoned, you know.
Anyway, you're acting all cocky, but isn't it your fault that we ran into Yumeko out there? All that rampaging.
How was I supposed to know? And don't lie, you enjoyed that too, right?
You know it! I can't believe we ran into another battle maniac in Makai.
I'm Yuugi the Strong, one of the Four Devas of the Mountain. I wanna fight you.
You're calling YOURSELF 'the Strong'? Interesting.
Sheesh, I'm glad you get along, but take it outside please?
So that really was you in the boat then, Rinnosuke.
They're calling me acting captain now. But it's only for when Murasa is out fighting, so it's really in-name-only.
But still. You? In a group? Giving orders?
Don't tease me. I know I'm not suited for this sort of thing.
What's wrong, Marisa?
No, it's just, I never knew you and Mima were so close.
Or more like, can't you be a little more touched that you're finally reunited with your pupil?
Sorry, but I'm saving that for the moment your magic manages to reach the tip of my nose.
Hmph, always with a comeback.
Now now, you're both like that so why don't you three play nice now?
I'm sure you have a lot to catch up on, but we still need to decide what we're going to do.
Oh, right. For now, let's go over what we know.
It sounded like you were heading for Hokkai?
Yes, at first we were planning on taking our time searching for the entrance.
Yeah, that plan went south when Yumeko showed up to chase us off.
I'm sure she'll block the road to Hokkai, and if worse comes to worst the god of Makai herself might show up.
Yes. Once she hears Yumeko's report, she's defnitely going to take action.
Mom's- I mean, Lady Shinki's first priority is Makai's peace.
What, is that how you're going to treat your mother?
Think of her position. I can't let myself get used to calling her that in public.
C'mon, you can trust us. Just call your mom your mom.
But this Shinki lady is really your mom Alice?!
Yeah, that surprised me too. I never thought Alice would turn out to be the daughter of a god.
But in a certain sense, if Shinki created this entire world and everyone in it, then isn't it obvious?
I mentioned this before, but Mom didn't create me.
I was born outside of Makai. She's my adoptive mother.
...I was originally human. Apparently I wandered into Makai when I was very young.
Mom's the one who found me and raised me.
She didn't care that she'd never seen me before, or that I was a different race, she just took me in and cared for me.
Without Mom, I doubt I would have survived.
Wh-What's all this...? You were always saying you were urban or whatever, but you had a tragic backstory the whole time?!
So when you say that Yumeko is your sister then...
If I had to put it in Earth terms, I suppose she's my stepsister.
But that's just the past. What matters now is that Lady Shinki is my Mom, and Yumeko and the rest of Makai are my beloved family.
Wow, who'd have thought it'd be so complicated...
...So even you have had your share of hardships in life.
...Then maybe we shouldn't have gotten you wrapped up in this.
At this rate, you'll eventually have to fight Shinki and Yumeko.
It's not too late. If you don't want to go up against your family, you can always-
No. And I already told this to Yumeko: I want to help rescue Byakuren.
Actually, it's because I went and made that clear that I want to make this plan a success.
...Thank you. We'll be counting on you then.
But Minamitsu, we're still missing the important part: how are we going to find Hokkai?
If we don't have any leads, it'll take way too long to-
I know where it is.
I mean, not EXACTLY where is it, it's not on the map.
The entrance is in a space enclosed by rock, with these pagada-looking things around it.
I see... That does match what I heard from the master.
All you have to do is lead us nearby, and the reaction of the Palanquin ship should do the rest.
Thank you, Mima. This is huge step forward for us.
Save your thanks. I just hope we can actually rescue Byakuren.
But why would you go so far...?
You also knew about Byakuren's sealing, and even about the flying silo.
I'll tell you later. First I want to take a breather.
Whaaat? C'mon, just tell us already! What's the big deal?
That was a tough battle just now. It's important to get some rest when you can.
Plus, I miss living the good life. I think I'll have some of that tea.
...I see. Well, do what you like.
Was that a faint trembling I saw just now?
...No, it must have been my imagination. There is no light here in Hokkai.
There's a deep magicy sound effect here.
...This presence... Is there someone outside the barrier?
this line in quotes because I don't have a portrait with her face in shadows posted:How have you been, Byakuren?
How have you been, Byakuren?
That voice... is that you, Lady Shinki?
Thank goodness, my voice reached you. I can't see past the barrier from this side, so I worry every time I come here.
...I humbly thank you for deigning to concern yourself with one such as me.
I am honored to have the great god of Makai personally bestow me with her presence.
Please don't be so formal. I look forward to sneaking out to chat with you like this too.
I had only known you from the rumors, but you turned out to be such a kind person.
If only we could speak without this boundary separating us.
You're too kind. I have nothing but my own depravity to blame for being sealed.
But you gave everything you had to help those around you. How could those feelings possibly be depraved?
...That was after I cleansed my heart. Long ago, I practiced dark arts, and used both humans and youkai to fulfill my own twisted desires.
Even if I later realized the error of my ways and became someone who lives for others, it was always my fate to accept this punishment.
Please, the ruler of Makai mustn't feel such sympathy for a sinner.
I'm prepared to remain here for the rest of eternity.
Someone walks in.
So you were here after all, Lady Shinki.
You finished your patrol already, Yumeko? I expected it to take longer than that.
Oh, you're covered in dirt. Don't tell me you ran into that scoundrel?
I did, but that's not why I'm here. I exchanged blows with some visitors from Earth.
The infamous shrine maiden and magician. And... Alice was with them.
What?! Alice is here?!
...It appeared their goal was to rescue Lady Byakuren from Hokkai.
Then, they must be...
Yes, there's no doubt that they were working with Lady Byakuren's former colleagues who we've heard about.
I tried to stop them, but they were incredibly persistent. They were very strong-willed.
...Truly? Did they truly come to Makai for my sake?
But that would mean...
I knew this day would come.
You're important to them. I was sure they'd risk their lives coming here.
But if they break the seal of Hokkai...
Please don't say it, Lady Shinki.
...I can't possibly deny your wish to protect Makai.
So if, for that purpose, you find you need to expel them....
All I can do is pray that no one is hurt because of me.
But to think there are still those who would miss me, even after a thousand years...
It makes me happy just knowing that.
...Lady Shinki, let's return to Pandemonium and prepare to intercept them.
It's only a matter of time until Alice and the others arrive. Please sort out your feelings before then.
Yes, I suppose so...
...We need to protect the seal of Hokkai at all costs. For the sake of everyone in Makai.
See y'all next time, for Chapter 66!
-Chapter 65 New Attacks
-Alice's New Attack