Part 24: Chapter 68 (Part 1)
Welcome to Chapter 68.
Here's our team for the day. Alice and Shou are force deployed, though we can still give Alice a partner. People seemed pretty interested in the SDM Katamari, so we're bringing most of them, and we've got most of the UFO crew too. Murasa didn't get in, but since we had 1.0 Cost leftover, I decided to toss her in the boat just because.
We live in a cruel world, so I also got Nitori instead of the other Aki.
By the way, here's something fun. As of this exact chapter, you can finally get someone up to WP Level 10. Aside from the obvious upgrades, what happens if you do?
Well, for showing your incredible dedication to your Waifu, you get some serious perks. For starters, that unit gets ALL of the following bonuses:
- Max SP +100
- EXP, PP, and Money x1.5
- Max Power +30
- Double Act(!)
That last one is pretty damn insane, but that's not all! You also get TWO of the following bonuses:
- Item Slot +1
- Damage x1.1
- Range and Move +2
- 50% MP and Ammo Regen
- 20% SP Regen
So obviously you take the SP Regen and then either the Range/Move or the MP/Ammo, depending. Regardless of what you pick though, your OTW (One True Waifu) will be a totally invincible monster capable of snapping the rest of the game's difficulty over her knee. Since I enjoy actually having a challenge, I'll be refraining, myself.
With that out of the way, on to the update itself!
Chapter 68: A Bond of 1000 Years (Part 2)
BGM: GET SAINT BACK
Ah, the world of Hokkai is filled with light.
Is the darkness of Hokkai clearing up...?
I'd been praying in the darkness for so long, resigned to accept whatever punishment I deserved.
But now, after seeing this light, with its unimaginable kindness and warmth...
Wait, is that...?
...Yes. I'm sure of it.
Murasa, Ichirin. And Shou...
I heard your voices from within the seal.
You really came so far, just for me.
Yeah! I'm so glad you're okay, Chief!
Aren't you the ones who've been in danger though? You braved so much, just to get here.
What are you saying?! We'd face any danger, for your sake!
Just being able to see you like this again is reward enough.
We all came to help too.
...And I've heard all your voices as well. Thank you for lending Shou your aid.
Eh, we've been buddies for a while now. Anyway-
I'm sure you've got a lot to catch up on, but can we save this for later?
I have an idea of the situation. Allow me to join you.
This is the first time we've met face to face, isn't it Byakuren?
It is as you say, Lady Shinki.
Huh? You two know each other?
Lady Shinki has been kind enough to come chat with me while I was sealed, from time to time.
Even through the barrier, her kindness has been my emotional support.
Well, color me surprised. Never figured Hijiri would be best buds with the god of Makai.
At first I'd only planned to meet with you once, but after speaking with you I changed my mind.
But I never imagined that this would result...
You should all know what's going to happen now that the seal's been broken.
Hokkai has been thrown into disorder, and the rest of Makai will soon follow.
Still not seeing much disorder, to be honest.
We'll be leaving quietly now, so can you consider the case closed? Pretty please?
Unfortunately, I can't allow that.
Gah, more giant Evil Eyes?!
They're smaller than the one from before, but there are so many of them!
...Powerful monsters are being awakened. The balance of Hokkai certainly sems to have been disturbed.
Correct. And this is merely the beginning.
So what do we do about it?
All I know for sure is that if we do nothing we'll be monster food!
Here's how we're deploying. Nothing special, just distributing our heavy hitters to handle each of the four corners.
So all those Hokkai monsters we were fighting before were just a small fraction of them.
They probably WOULD cause a mess if they all got out.
Byakuren, I know this is unreasonable, but I have a request.
A request? For me?
Please, you must allow yourself to be sealed once again, so that you may serve as the foundation of Hokkai.
You mean you want her to seal herself?
Yes. If Byakuren returns to her seal, then the balance should be restored. I'm sure of it.
H-Hold on! We're here to take Hijiri home, not to watch her get sealed again!
We finally saved her, and now this...?
I understand your feelings, and I know what I'm saying is selfish.
But please, for the sake of everyone in Makai.
For a god to be be bowing her head like that...
She's telling the truth. She has no hostility towards us at all.
Far be it from me to deny your love for Makai, Lady Shinki.
I too have long felt that I should simply accept my punishment, and remain sealed here.
What are you saying, Chief...?
These people still yearn for me after over a thousand years. Even though I've been unable to help them.
They've been through so much to unseal me, bearing untold hardship just to shine a light on my future once more.
I owe them so much. How could I possibly repay that debt? How could I fail to even try?
...I see. So that's how you feel then, Byakuren.
I knew you were a kind soul.
But please understand that regardless, we can't let you go.
Yes, I understand that perfectly well. Yet still, I wish to go home with Shou.
If you plan to stop me, then I will resist with all my might!
All right! That's what I'm talking about!
Good thing this whole trip wasn't totally pointless, huh?
There are so many things I have to tell you. Ever since the day I sealed you, I-
I feel the same, Shou. But please, we can talk once we've escaped safely.
Try to think about how we're going to bring the light you've brought me back to Earth.
BGM: Holy Resistance
The light I'd given up on, and the ideal of equality between human and youkai...
This must be the form they've taken to illuminate our future.
What brilliance. How noble yet dauntless.
It's finally time...!
Victory: Defeat Shinki.
Defeat: The Palanquin Ship, Byakuren, Shou, or Alice are defeated.
Bonus WP: Capture all of Yumeko and Shinki's spellcards.
To commemorate the occasion, Byakuren and Shou hit max power right from the start.
Incidentally, "max power" for Byakuren isn't your standard 150, but instead 180, thanks to her PS Emotional Skyscraper. Once we can actually buy her skills, that'll be going up to 200(!) with Break Power Limit.
Incidentally, her stats are pretty solid, with good HP, MP, Mobility, and Armour. You might recognize that as being "all the stats", which will be a recurring theme for Byakuren.
But of course, you want to know about her attacks, right? Well, you'll be happy to know tha-
Well, if you've only got 1 attack, at least 3000 base attack is decent I guess... too bad about the 6 ammo... but hey, at least it has Barrier Pierce...
Let's give her a test run!
I can't even remember the last time I fought.
I may be unarmed, but I should be able to manage if I can borrow some magic power.
No way, not happening. Even YOU'D be at a disadvantage unarmed.
Hand 'em over, Shou.
Right. Hijiri, these are-
Are those my old vajra...?
They'd been stored in the temple ever since you left.
We knew you'd use them again someday, so we kept 'em in tip-top shape.
Oh, how thoughtful of you.
So these, too, carry your feelings for me. Then I have no choice but to respond in kind!
Face these vajra, infused with both magic and dharma!
Byakuren's attacks were improved!
Strongly recommend checking out Byakuren's attack videos. This Literally a Gundam Beam Sabre has a great sound effect.
Shou might've missed, but...
Byakuren sure didn't.
Here's my Byakuren impression: "Don't mind me, just gunna crit for 10k with a basic attack, nbd"
So what about those new weapons of her's!?
Well I mean, 4000 base attack is incredibly solid! As proven, she can hit really hard! Who needs variety when you have damage, right?
By the way, the attack she used there was her new one, despite the fact that she attacked a bat from 5 tiles away with her initial weapon's range. Kinda goofy, but I'll take it.
Most of the first turn is just spent making a dent on the enemies where we can, without overextending. We need to be prepared for the bosses to come, and unlike Shou and Byakuren, the rest of our crew has to build up power.
These King Evil Eyes yes that is their name are seriously freaky. They also have a ridiculous amount of armour and HP.
They ALSO also fire orbital lasers out of their eye. Which, by the way, has a freaky sound effect when it looks around.
Moving on, Shinki and Yumeko don't move during turn 1.
Byakuren receives many challengers, whom in turn receive many
Lots of bats step up, and are swatted away. They mainly rely on evasion to survive, and I budgeted some SP on Strike for them.
Byakuren can dodge just fine, but she doesn't care even if she gets hit, thanks to her Magician-standard barrier.
ow my eye
that hurt as much as that time i got an eyelash stuck in there
On turn 2, I'm leaving the King Evil Eye in the northwest to Marisa and Flandre, so...
Byakuren takes a ride on the Yamame Hellstring Express down to the southwest.
ow my eye
Byakuren's dodge sprite is also very good. Looks she's telling these doofs they can't see her, cuz her time is now.
By the way, the King Evil Eyes are supposed to have a danmaku field that deals 700 damage to you every turn you're in it, but for some reason it doesn't work? Inbetween recording this chapter and typing up this update, Sanbondo released the final patch for this game, so maybe they fixed this, but I doubt it.
Very big, very gross. Also very profitable. 24000 yengoldollars is more than even Yumeko is worth, so if you've got Luck/Blesses to spare, it's worth cashing in on the four of these guys on the map. Otherwise, they take so long to kill that it's almost worth ignoring the bottom two.
Ignoring the southern enemies isn't totally viable though, since the giant doofs down there will move up and harass you with their MAPs. Between them and the Four Kings, there's a shitload of HP to chew through this chapter, before you even get to the bosses.
Hell yeah Nitori, earn your keep!
Another reason not to ignore the Kings is that the NW and SE ones are carrying bombs, which you miiight want for the bosses. Maybe.
Starting on Turn 2, Yumeko begins moving.
And she still gets Double Act! Sugoi!
Let's finish what we started earlier.
I don't care to have another discussion of who's right and who's wrong, not this late in the game.
This is merely a clash between irreconcilable positions. And I respect Lady Shinki's wishes more than anything.
Now that her boss is here, she's even more stubborn than last time.
But we couldn't ask for a better opponent.
...My steel will cut through even that determination. I'll slice you into ribbons!
Nitori receives the double-tap of death, but since I had her defend instead of counterattack, she barely escapes with her life.
At the start of Turn 3, there's a conversation. I'll link to this again in a bit, but you can see this next part in video form if you'd like.
So this is the power the great sealed magician, Byakuren Hijiri, huh?
She'll fight the god of Makai without even a second thought. She's just what I hoped.
That voice... you must be Mima.
My deepest apologies for not greeting you earlier. I take it you guided Shou and the others here? If so, then I must-
Stop right there with all the formality. I came here with them because I wanted to, nothing more.
And anyway, I'm not the one who broke your seal, it was all these girls.
Right, so I was saved by humans and youkai working together...
Explaining everything would be a long story, but it will suffice to say that what you see before you is no illusion.
Please, see for yourself how strong Gensokyo has become.
...It seems Byakuren joining them has raised their morale.
Indeed. It would be difficult to seal her again with such spirited resistance.
Which leaves us one option!
Yumeko moves in.
Oh no, she's already this close?!
En garde, Lady Byakuren!
Byakuren gets repeatedly poked.
She closed that distance in the blink of an eye... So she was still hiding a trump card.
Not to mention, a magician's body isn't as sturdy as other youkai. It's dangerous to have her in melee range.
The Chief's specialty was originally close-combat through body enhancing magic.
But those spells are complicated and take a long time to chant!
Yumeko won't give her a chance!
No matter how skilled the magician, once I've sealed your incantions you're as helpless as a kitten.
Resign yourself to your fate, Lady Byakuren.
...It's time to use the Sorceror's Sutra Scroll.
I didn't spend a thousand years in Hokkai doing nothing.
Even in darkness, I kept chanting sutras and spells. Eventually that took the form of a scroll that I keep with me always.
Don't tell me she made a magic item...?
Watch out, Yumeko!
Sorceror's Sutra Scroll, activate Auto-Chant!
(If you didn't click the previous link, be sure to click here!)
What speed and power!
Using magic, she's made her flesh as hard as steel, and pushed her five senses beyond their limits.
That's not even playing fair... Amazing, you really have abandoned your humanity!
A power surpassing human wisdom, you mean?
But it's a fiendish power, one that can even be called heresy. It's precisely because of that, that you-
I won't deny it. But this time I've sworn in my heart to only use this power for others.
I made sure not to underestimate you, but still, to think you were this strong...
Keep your distance for now, Yumeko.
You can't think of Byakuren as just another magician.
Both her strong determination and her feelings which have stewed for a thousand years... all of this is a part of her magic.
But that doesn't mean we can just let her-!
I know. But attacking her recklessly will only get yourself injured.
Be patient. That's why I'm here too.
Yumeko backs away...
While Shinki steps forward, and deploys a GIANT danmaku field.
Yumeko of all people backed down so easily. Her training must have been quite thorough.
Shinki DOES have the dignity you'd expect from a god.
She spread out her danmaku too. The real thing starts here!
Then I'll just have to use my full power as well.
Feel free to use the magic I invented in Hokkai in battle as well.
A face to face showdown with the god of Makai, huh? Things're looking up!
Let's brawl, fair and square!
Byakuren gained the attack Devil's Recitation!
Byakuren gained the attack Superhuman "Byakuren Hijiri"!
Byakuren gained the Super Mode transformation!
Just like any good Super Saiyan, Byakuren takes a while to power up. This is her full(ish) moveset. I'll talk about "Super Mode" later, since now's not a good time for it.
By the way, it's somewhat belated, but uh...
Enemy: Final Accuracy +50%
That "final" part is the keyword there. Yumeko will always have a 50% chance to hit you at bare minimum. Quite nasty, especially since she's fairly tanky, kinda far away from most of our units, and extremely dangerous.
This gets amplified by Shinki's own giant danmaku field, reducing all damage dealt to enemies by a flat 750. It's big enough to cover all the northern enemies, so it's a good idea to prioritize killing them fast. It'll also make killing the Kings even more annoying.
Mima was previously focusing the the NE King, but taking out Yumeko is my top priority. By the way, she doesn't have anymore pre-battle dialogue with anyone.
I'm not really sure how this consitutes "blocking" but I'll take it.
By the way, the fact that it's "Final Accuracy" also means that, even if you cast Alert, Yumeko can still hit you. It's Very Rude.
There's a visual effect for Shinki's Divine Wall reducing your damage. Pretty nifty.
Sadly, I couldn't finish off Yumeko, so...
I thiiink Yumeko's own spell effect is applying to her Support Attack twice? So she basically has perfect accuracy on the follow-up.
please do not kick my eye
These guys have 35000 HP, in case you were curious. For reference, Yumeko has 42000.
RIP Satori, if only Alert actually worked on Yumeko.
And then I rammed Yumeko with the boat and she exploded.
I can't believe you stopped my blade!
That's right, Unzan. Let's show her that we'll stop anything if it's for the Chief.
...Your morale is high. But I don't plan to fold here either.
No, Yumeko. Stand down.
Why?! I can still fight!
I appreciate the sentiment, but you've already fought more than enough for one day. Now it's my turn to give it my all.
But I exist only to serve you, Lady Shinki! If you won't use me here, then when?!
You keep saying that Yumeko, but that doesn't make it true.
You exist for yourself, and no one else. I, on the other hand, exist for everyone.
That was decided the moment I created all of you.
Understood. Once you've made up your mind, nothing can change it.
...I'm no match for you.
Alice. You said you wanted to be like Lady Shinki, didn't you?
Then this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for you. Be sure to observe how she fights.
How Mom fights...
You need to see for yourself who your... no, who OUR mother is.
All right! We got rid of the maid.
But stay focused, the only one left is Shinki.
There's no need to hesitate, my dear Alice. I have faith in you.
I'll accept all of your feelings.
In addition to 52k from beating her, Yumeko drops a 20k bonus and a bomb. You're honestly safer killing her than running away, but the rewards are appreciated.
By the way, once you kill Yumeko...
Looks like I need to step in...
Shinki starts firing off her MAP on her first turn for the rest of the chapter. And yes, her "first turn". Expect almost every major boss from here on to have Double Act.
The King Evil Eyes are finally polished off, which just leaves moving in on Shinki's position.
I took my sweet-ass time with it, and finally started the assault on Turn 18.
As a complete and total aside, did you know every unit naturally regenerates 5 MP per turn? Definitely has nothing to do with my previous statement, but I thought you should know.
So you've made it this far.
Once we beat you, we can finally get the heck outta this crazy place.
Both sides were down to fight, so no hard feelings, okay?
True, we've already said what we needed to. All that's left is a clash of wills.
...This is getting weird. Wouldn't this be easier if we all just hated each other a little more?
Just don't get shot down while you're distracted by something stupid like that.
Even if she's showing no hostility, she's not pulling any punches.
Perfect! Why don't we see for ourselves just what kind of power it takes to rule over Makai?
...I'll accept all of your feelings, and then stop you.
For the sake of Makai, and everyone living here.
BGM: Ain Soph Aur
Ain Soph Aur is a term from Kabbalah roughly meaning "The Infinite Light", the means by which all things exist and occur. I'm massively oversimplifying, so look it up if you're interested.
As we'll see, "lots of light" is a recurring theme with Shinki. "Really pretty attacks" is another.
The Queen of Devils versus the Head of Makai. Truly, the ultimate showdown.
I see you're a vampire, but you're a Queen as well?
Don't think about it too much. It's just natural for the strong to declare themselves queen, isn't it?
Power is everything. When I win, I expect you to hand over Makai to me.
Power is everything... I see. I once met a youkai who said the same thing.
But I will not surrender Makai. Even if you are stronger than me.
Hmm, I wonder who it was that said that
Ah, yes, Gensokyo's maid. I heard a little about you from Yumeko.
That girl is top class in Makai. If you were able to fight with her as equals, then you must be quite something yourself.
You honor me. I take pride in being the devil's maid.
But a maid's job isn't just to fight, is it?
For now, my mistress's interests lie here. Going along with her desires is to itself the job of a maid.
Long time no see, Shinki.
Yes, I heard you were the outlaw rampaging through Makai.
Figures you'd jump to that. Look, all I'm saying is that if you're advertising yourself as the Holy Land of Magic then you'd better expect to put up with this stuff.
Your crime is a serious one. Don't expect to be forgiven.
The circumstances are unusual, but I'll judge you myself.
Great, just the words I was waiting for! I don't care if you're a god or a squirrel, power is everything!
And that's why I'll never allow you in Makai!
So this is Alice's mom then? Uh... H-Hello.
Oh my, you're so tiny, yet so polite.
Don't call me tiny! Alice told me to say hello to people I've never met!
So you're a friend of Alice then?
Um... yeah. She told me to stick with her if I was having trouble outside the suzuran field.
She's nice to Sue too, and she makes me clothes and candy and...
It's so wonderful how you show your gratitude like this.
Alice is so lucky to have met someone like you.
Shinki is basically a kindly old grandma.
What a sinister power you wield. It's the opposite of creation.
Tee hee hee, yup. I can break anything!
Don't use it rashly. I'm sure you know what that power means.
I know there are things that are important to you. If you broke them, then you'd be the one who's sad.
Wh-Why'd you have to go out of your way to tell me that?!
What's wrong with you, this fight is so weird...
I, Hong Meiling, will never lose as long as I have something to protect!
And you're willing to give all of yourself to protect that determination.
Huh? You can tell?
It's obvious at a glance. You must have kept a lot of people safe behind that back.
And that's why you're so unafraid of getting hurt...
I wouldn't be able to do my job if I were. I won't back down, even against the god of Makai!
When you're a god, even your basic attack is pretty.
If I may humbly ask, you're both Alice's mother and the god who rules Makai...?
Oh, so unlike the other one, this shrine maiden knows how to respect the gods.
I spend my daily life around them, so I get the chance to study them from close up. I see both their good parts and their amazing parts.
And as a god, I'm happy to hear that. I could never find the time to properly look after Alice, so it's been so hard for her...
You think you've neglected her, Shinki?
Yes. After all, I could never do anything special for her.
I'm sure Alice doesn't see it that way.
That's because she's a good girl. She's always helping me out with everything.
I like that "good parts and amazing parts" bit. Sanae is such a suck-up.
Even with my clairvoyance, I can't see the edge of this world. And you created all this?
Oh, are you trying to say it's too big? That I'm spoiling them?
No. That's not even.... Anyway, how do you control all this? I get the impression it needs constant oversight.
Yes, I can only manage it thanks to Yumeko and the other girls. You know, with patrols and licensing procedures and the like.
Hm, you don't seem like a dictator. And I can tell that's not just for show.
But I guess there's only so much I can learn about Makai's social structure in the middle of battle.
So that's the famous Hijiri then? She really does wear the mask of a saint, huh?
But if she was trying to help the humans, then no surprise she got sealed.
Stop that. You shouldn't say things like that.
Hm? What's it to you?
Byakuren's been through so much. But even after everything caught up with her, she still tried to save others.
To dismiss all that as 'no surprise' is just too cruel. Please, don't say that.
Y-You're our enemy, right? Why're you taking her side?!
If it weren't for these circumstances, I know we could've been good friends. That's no lie.
...Just what I needed, another brown-noser. Damn that Hijiri...
This is the Chief's friend, so I better not say anything too rude.
So how do you know Byakuren then?
Way back before I met her, I used to be human. Then I met Unzan and... things happened. Eventually I was accepted as a youkai.
But the Chief could understand both of us so well. Both me, who used to be human, and Unzan who was pure youkai.
I see. So you followed her because she was someone like you.
Well, I've always been a little feisty, so maybe she was the only who could handle me.
Anyway, I came here to pay back my debt to her, and you're in the way. Let's do this, Unzan!
I've always thought Ichirin's backstory was rad.
Makai is outside my jurisdiction, but it never hurts to be polite.
The Yama of Gensokyo? I've heard you love to give lectures.... Don't tell me you'd even come after a god?
I hadn't intended to, but if that's your wish. Let's begin.
Creation and Control. You have two heavy duties, but you attempt to bear them both alone. Sometimes you even give up things of your own for them.
That's an admirable sense of duty, but sometimes you keep away even those who would worry for you.
Indeed, you overlook yourself too much.
Don't worry, if it ever gets bad, even I'll complain.
I meant that you need to repent. Simply taking your mind off your worries isn't likely to improve anything.
It doesn't matter if you're a god. If you wish to lead a better life, allow yourself to be judged here!
Eiki's lecture corner is probably my favorite recurring bit.
I can tell by looking: you never take breaks, do you? God of Makai must be one rough job.
It's my duty. Not to mention I have Yumeko and the others helping me.
I getcha. You're the boss, so delegate whenever you can, right? Makes sense.
If I ever get promoted, that's what I'm doing, no question.
So I'm guessing you think about this at work too?
Whoa there! Can you just pretend you never heard that?
These two conversations could not possibly contrast harder.
Circumstances aside, I finally get to see your face.
Thank you for everything you've done for me, Lady Shinki. However, I-
Please, don't say it. I knew this day would come, and it's no surprise that you'd react to their feelings this way.
I've also been resolved to fight you if necessary.
...Then I'll have to thank you for that resolve too. But I wish to repay my debt to Shou!
I'll resist you with everything I have, even the magic I learned here!
This was supposed to have been settled when we knocked the pagoda into the darkness...
...You already know how I feel. How you choose to respond is up to you.
I'll return with Hijiri, and then...
...I realize that I'll never quench your determination, nor can I save you from the sins in your heart.
All I can do is accept your feelings. Because I can never compromise the safety of Makai.
I see even Gensokyo has all sorts of magicians. You seem more mature than the black-and-white one, or even Mima.
Thank you. That means something, coming from the leader of Makai.
Incidentally, I've been meaning to ask you. If you created everything in Makai, does that mean you created magic itself too?
No, just the place. Magic was developed through the efforts of the people living here.
I see. Then I suppose I can't discard the work of Makai so easily.
It'd have been worthless if it were the creation of a single person. Magic is itself the accumulation of time and knowledge.
...It seems our strength is no different from the magicians of other worlds.
Weren't you next to Shou earlier...?
We're not done saving Byakuren. And I'm told my Master's justice lies beyond even that.
So that's why I'm helping them out in battle. Among other things.
You aren't just master and servant, are you? You're bound to her by a strong trust.
...I've known her a long time now. I plan to keep watch over to the end.
Moving on to the enemy phase...
Shinki can fire her MAP in any direction she wants, so don't think you can abuse those "safespots". They're basically a trap.
Ok so, Shinki has a very interesting gimmick. She automatically casts Mercy and Strike every turn. That means she has a 100% hitrate on anybody without Alert, and if she'll kill you, she just knocks you down to 10 HP instead.
Now, that second part makes it sound like this boss would be really easy, but...
If it procs on her first turn, then on her second turn, she can cherry tap you. So uh...
FYI, you can be killed even with Mercy on if you're at 10 HP.
Creating life isn't the same as immortality, right?
Yes. An immortal is but one life. I can't create the same life over and over again.
Huh. Then I guess I should count myself lucky for having this body?
Excuse me, are you trying to say that one long life is worth any more than countless shorter lives?
Who knows? I'll leave the big questions to the gods, like you. I'm only human.
Hm... are my techniques really gonna work on the god of Makai?
Blobbity blobbity boo!
Eeek! What was that?!
Wait, it worked?!
What is this?! What's going on?!
Huh?! What?! You're surprised?!
Wooow! That was the best meal I've had in ages! I'm so glad I came to Makai!
You're strong. So you didn't merely overwhelm my poor little Yumeko.
If you think I'm the same girl you fought way back when, think again.
I've done a lot of growing and made a lot of friends since then.
But don't let your guards down. That can't have been the true power of the god of Makai.
She's a being who both created and controls an entire world.
Yeah, she's the one who created this creepy place.
I just want everyone to live in harmony, I really do. Hokkai was created to help achieve that.
Those children with too much power would never be able to get along with the others outside the barrier.
Couldn't you just have, you know, not made them? Or forced them to obey you or something?
Every child born deserved to be born. If the strong exist, then so must the weak.
All I can do is take those lives into my care and help them fully realize themselves.
So you refuse to set any restrictions on what life ought to be. An admirable philosophy, for a creator.
That's both my own wish, as well as the role I must play.
That is why I fight.
Ｃｒｅａｔｉｏｎ 「Ｄｅｍｏｎｅｓｓ Ｇｏｓｐｅｌ」
Enemy: 30% HP Regen Enemy: Wide Barrier -Reduces damage by 750
Ostensibly Shinki is meant to cast Mercy and leave her followers to finish you off. In my experience, she doesn't really need the help. Anyway, Koishi can't contribute much with her sister dead, so I have her cast Confuse to halve enemy hitrates for the turn.
Shinki won't stop MAPing you, which is a real problem if you take too long. Luckily I have lots of spirit-based healing, but it's going to run out fast if I don't kill her asap.
You're a friend of Hijiri's, so I should greet you politely.
So you're also here to rescue her and pay back a debt?
Calling it a debt feels a little shallow, honestly. She saved me.
If I hadn't met her, I'd probably still be stuck on the bottom of the sea, killing endlessly out of some pointless grudge.
But your devotion to her has become a pillar of support for her too.
And I'm sure that won't change, even after this.
If you mean after she's sealed again, then save your breath. We're all going home together, and that's final!
The regular crew have their own convo:
I'd heard the stories, but this is the Palanquin Ship then?
Well, I hear it was originally the flying silo left behind by Byakuren's little brother.
He must have been quite powerful to leave behind an artifact of this scale.
I don't know the details either, but apparently it started Byakuren on her path to power.
As for what happened afterward, or how she started studying magic, I have no idea.
Anyway, we can't afford to let this boat sink until it gets its head priest back. Steer carefully, Akyu.
Shinki's attacks are so pretty.
Shinki seems to target units she can do the most damage to, which make Alice's dolls excellent bait.
"that was also me"
Just ocurred to me that I haven't shown Shinki's stats. 1900 Armor, L Size, and her Divine Wall barrier. This god is tanky as hell.
Since we're never going to see it, here's Marisa's dialogue:
I never thought the human girl from back then would have continued practicing magic.
Whoa there, don't start with the whole human magic is just a quackery thing again.
You do know that this is the homeland of magic, right? Even your teacher, Mima, has come here to study it.
That's just how she does things. And I do things my own way.
And what I make on my own ain't quackery or anything else. I'm just gonna show you a sky Makai's never seen before!
Oh wow, how long has it been since we fought, Alice? And have you ever seen me get serious?
Do you think you could you show me the magic you went to Gensokyo to study?
Show you my magic...?
I mean, when you left home I was so curious what you were studying, but I never got the chance to ask.
...Of course. My goal, who I want to be, has always been clear.
It's been years. I'm sure I'm closer than I was then, I have to be.
I may not look it, but I am a little proud of my magic. Were you able to learn anything from watching me?
Yeah, I was. Let's find out if I've made any progress, Mom!
In a similar vein, here's Satori's:
...So you're feeling such sorrow precisely because you understand Byakuren and Shou's feelings.
But even so, you have the strength of heart to keep protecting what's truly important to you.
Are you... reading my emotions?
Yes. Everyone here is fighting for the same sorts of simple, emotional reasons that you are.
...What wonderful people. If we hadn't met like this, I'm sure we'd have been great friends.
And they all feel the same. And you should understand what it means that they're fighting you anyway.
Was that a voice just now...?
...Oh no, I must be hearing things. Yumeko will say I'm spacing out again.
Eek! There it was again! Where's it coming from?!
Heheh. You have your hair tied off to the side. Can I take it?
No, you can't take it! What's with this girl?!
To think you'd repel my children...
Tee hee hee, that was a fun game of tag!
Moooom! I want seconds!
Did you think really that trash like that would even slow us down?
Apparently not. I suppose I can't afford to be frugal with my magic then.
Shinki's magic, huh? Now this I gotta see.
Do all you magicians have an idea of how strong she is then?
More or less. She's not the ruler of the Holy Land of Magic for nothing.
I've only felt her from within Hokkai, but even that was enough to convey the scale of it.
Wait, so you even felt it through the barrier? That's crazy.
Indeed, it was a great power. Incredible strength, but supported by a deep compassion.
I even used it as a reference when thinking on how to use my spells.
Living for the sake of others... Complete selflessness. But is it really possible to live like that?
You wouldn't understand yet, Sanae, but when you give life to something, you can't only think of yourself anymore.
That's enough chit-chat. She's starting something!
...The bonds of life form the trunk of a tree, with its branches stretching out without interruption.
Rooted in nothing, reaching to infinity!
Ｇｒｅａｔ Ｍａｇｉｃ 「Ｄｅｖｉｌ＇ｓ Ｏｒｉｇｉｎａｔｉｏｎ」
Ally: Attack All -If an attack hits the front unit in a pair, the back unit will take the same damage. Ally: Movement -2
So, Byakuren's own Devil's Recitation was based off an attack Shinki had back in Touhou 5. In reference to that, Sanbondo gave it a very similar name: in Japanese, it's 魔神創誦 compared to Byakuren's 魔神復誦.
Well, it's time have Byakuren shift into turbo.
Byakuren Gold has even more jacked stats.
Her downside is she only has 2 attacks, and that second one will detransform her and cost 20 Power, to boot. Luckily, her Super Mode's "basic attack" is actually pretty ridiculous. Much more importantly, she has a totally different set of spirits in this mode, including Fury, which I want.
Afterimages with mass!
This is around the point you need to start really laying down the hurt. I've honestly barely even touched FPM for most of the game, but you really need the damage output for lategame bosses.
Seriously you guys, you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't watch Shinki's attack video.
Sanae doesn't want to be shown up on the "moving so fast you blur" front to Byakuren, but... man, FMW2 animations pale in comparison.
So you endured even that magic.
Somehow. That was really flashy though!
The power of creation and the power of magic... Are we witnessing the true nature of the god of Makai?
With just those two combined, creating the world and ruling it would be a snap.
You're right... What incredible power...
Huh? You're surprised too, Alice?
Come to think of it, have I ever fought so seriously in front of you?
I'm so sorry you have to see this side of me, Alice. You must think of your Mom as a savage now.
I-I don't! How could I ever think of you as-
Speaking of, I know you're fighting your daughter and all, but if you're a god, could you try to act a little more... godlike?
I think behaving in a way befitting your station is another duty of those in power.
But is my position really so high-and-mighty?
I can only be a god because of everyone else, after all.
What do you mean...?
All the people directly supporting me, as well as those who think fondly of me...
They're the ones who've taught me why I'm here, and what I should be doing.
True, it's your relationships with those around you that truly test your intentions.
sidenote: Byakuren's portrait is dynamically updated to be glowing gold here, but I
And wanting to live for others has strengthened that will even further.
Isn't it the same for you, Byakuren? Your conviction is far stronger now than it was when you were first sealed.
But no matter what happens, my duty to protect everyone is absolute.
I will not lose.
Ally: Attack All -If an attack hits the front unit in a pair, the back unit will take the same damage. Ally: No Entry
El Kanaph is hebrew for "God Wing". It's also the name of an attack from Date a Live, apparently. As for the spellcard, it's the same basic effect from before, but...
It's an even bigger, stronger MAP!
Please, let this be enough...
In honour of this sacrificial doll, here's a Nitori conversation:
You're Alice's mom, right? Nice to meet you!
That strange dress... you must be that friend Alice wrote about in her letters.
Thank you for getting along with her so well in Gensokyo.
Oh, not at all. If anything, she's the one who's always giving me a hand.
But I'm so glad I got to talk to you, Shinki. Once you talk to your friend's parents, it's like, BAM, you're like best friends now.
Is that how it works...?
Sure does. Today's a little bad, but I'd love to come back and hang out some time.
...You're so kind, and so optimistic. I can tell that you and Alice have been helping each other out all this time.
I'd love to take our time and talk. Maybe some other time.
And the Akis as well:
If that's the god of Makai, then... Do you realize what this means, Minoriko?
Absolutely. It means that if we defeat her, then all of Makai's autumn will be ours!
You're not conquering Makai. I won't let you.
Oh no, we're completely helpless against her reasonable arguments!
Okay, then let's turn our thinking around. Let's talk business.
We're the experts here, so let us handle all your autumn needs here in Makai! We can start as soon as next year!
Act now, and we'll throw in a dozen sweet potatoes and a swanky autumn leaf case!
C'mon, Shinki, are we doing this or aren't we?!
W-Wait, hold on! I already said no!
The Akis are not very good businesswomen. They should leave it to the pros.
Even with her Personal Skill, Remilia still can't outdamage the UFO crew. I guess that's an unfair comparison though, they're all pretty busted. Compared to the rest of my units, Remilia's been pulling her own weight very well, so I can't complain.
Alright Tewi, now's your time to shine!
So all I gotta do is make a good impression with the god of Makai, and I'm set for life!
That expression... Are you plotting something wicked?
Wouldn't dream of it! I'm just a humble pharmacist, trying to make a living. Well, maybe I'm a LITTLE famous back home.
Anyway, I happen to have just the thing for stiff shoulders. And for today only, it's for a special, special price.
What, really? There's a medicine for that?
And the more you take, the better you'll feel! But it works best if taken along with a professional shoulder massage.
Ooh, I'll have to try that. Could you mark me down as interested, for now?
(Like taking candy from a baby. Now I just have to get her to fork over the cash before this battle ends.)
So you're Shinki? So you're the one who made Hokkai too, right?
Why do you ask?
You seem nice enough, but you locked away all your undesirables in another dimension. The hell?
...These children are especially difficult to please. If you knew that they'd fight with the others, could you live with them?
Not impressed. But... I guess it's better than just spouting useless platitudes.
And hey, maybe I'm just naturally inclined to take their side. Seeing how I've been hated all my life.
And with that, that's everyone's prebattle dialogue.
No way, even that spell wasn't enough to defeat you...?
Ooh, does this mean we're winning?!
See?! Even the god of Makai is SURPRISED to see us doing so well! It never fails!
This fight is already decided. Isn't it about time you threw in the towel?
I'm sure plenty of people here would hate to see you get hurt.
...I acknowledge your strength. Your feelings have clearly come across, and your bonds aren't to be taken lightly either.
No way, the pressure increased even more?!
So even after all this, she still hasn't the slightest inclination to back down.
Man, she may be our enemy but that's pretty amazing of her!
This isn't the time to be praising her, Lady Suwako.
I know, I know, but her absolute desire to protect her people actually feels pretty good, you know?
That's what makes her a mother.
Yeah. The people of Makai are all her children, right? So she wants to protect them, no matter what.
In order to do that, she'll endure any pain, and become as strong as she needs to be.
For those not familiar with Touhou, Suwako is one of the few canon mothers in the series, with Sanae being her direct descendant.
...The strength of a heart that wants someone else to be happy, expecting nothing in return. A pure devotion.
I suppose you'd call it... Love.
But Murasa and the others have their own feelings too. You're not going to let Byakuren be imprisoned again, are you?
Of course not. We have our own thousand year old feelings!
We've already experienced being separated from her... So never again! No way, no how!
We've spent a long time hesitating in the darkness, unable to see a path forward, but...
But now we have a light in that darkness.
Hijiri, the light that will shine on our future! One that we will definitely take back to Earth!
...Bonds so strong they shine. There are no words.
But I too am willing to give my life for something.
「Ｍｏｔｈｅｒ Ｇｏｄｄｅｓｓ ｏｆ Ｍａｋａｉ」
Ally: Purify -If Shinki's attack reduces the frontline unit's HP below 3000, the team will be forced to retreat.
Yep. Shinki's final, ultimate ability is "asking you politely to leave".
Lots of damage gets piled on.
This attack is 90 seconds long, and would not look out of place in a modern SRW.
Byakuren, would you do the honours?
We also get a Makai Grimoire. Same deal as a regular Grimoire, but it bossts your Max MP by 150 instead of 70.
Yay! We won the danmaku battle!
With that much damage, it must be hard to stand, even for her.
Still going at it, huh? But at this rate, what's the point?
Aren't all those monsters gonna escape and rampage while you're stuck here fighting us?
Yeah, didn't you say the balance had been destroyed by undoing the seal?
Wah! They showed up right on cue!
And the huge versions at that! Doesn't look like they're headed this way, but...
They forced open a gate...? It seems they're trying to escape Hokkai.
If they're powerful enough to warp space, then what will happen when that power is unleased outside...?
Please, stay here! If not, then neither you nor the people outside will remain unharmed!
Hey, are you okay?!
Why aren't you fighting back? With your power, this should be a piece of cake.
How could I raise my hand against a child?!
What are you saying, at this rate you'll-
...Shou, take care of things here while I'm gone!
All of you, stop this at once!
What do you think you're doing? Aren't you ashamed to attack Lady Shinki like that?
...I know how you must feel, the pain of being locked away in the darkness and being unable to live as you want.
But this is how Lady Shinki's been protecting you. I know you understand that. You know how she feels.
This is the last time I'll ask. Stay your hands. If Lady Shinki is hurt, then you'll be the ones to regret it.
If you wish to take out your feelings on someone, then take them out on me!
The portal closes, the the Evil Eye Sigmas leave.
Huh? The monsters all left?!
She talked down those huge eyeballs...
They didn't seem like the sort who'd listen to reason...
Yes, I'm just as surprised as any of you. But I moved on instinct.
I'm sure the combination of Shinki's heartfelt affection and Byakuren's sincere plea got through to them.
It appears her ideals of equality are more than mere talk.
They're both so ridiculously kind-hearted. Together, it's just absurd.
But thanks to that, the monsters are behaving themselves. And I don't see anyone else acting up either.
So can we say that all's well that ends well?
...Yes, when the children return home, balance will be restored to Hokkai as well.
It might just be possible to resolve this without sealing Byakuren.
BGM: Border of Regular and Irregular Days
...It seems something just happened over there.
I felt the presence of monsters, but they suddenly disappeared.
! Someone's coming!
...So should we take a break here then?
Hold on, I'll make something for us to sit on.
Don't push yourself, Mom. You're still injured from earlier.
Oh, Yumeko. So you were waiting for me nearby?
Of course I was. More importantly, what happened just now?
I thought I felt some titanic Evil Eyes appear, but then they left quietly...?
Shinki and Byakuren chased 'em off.
What do you mean?
At first they were going wild, but Shinki stood in their way.
Then Byakuren gave them a lecture and they started behaving themselves.
Who would think to try that on monsters...?
They may have been desperate, but they're living beings too, no different from you or me.
I placed my faith in Lady Shinki's kindness having gotten through to them.
I think you're about the only one who could think that way, Chief.
Thank you for being so gentle with them, Byakuren.
...I find this all very hard to believe, but if Lady Shinki says so, then it must be true.
Yes. And thanks to that, it seems the balance of Hokkai has been restored too.
So given that the monsters of Hokkai will remain calm even if we do nothing,
there should be no reason to seal Byakuren anymore.
Yes, you can consider my request retracted.
If even the most unruly of my children can be reasoned with, then there's no need to strengthen the barrier.
In which case, I see nothing wrong with leaving Byakuren unsealed.
...Thank you so much. If you're pardoning her, then we can return to Earth with pride.
I can't even begin to imagine how many thanks it would take to repay your kindness.
Oh, don't worry about it. Thanks to this happening, I've learned something new about both you and the children.
...But there's still one problem remaining.
Wh-What is it? If there's anything we can do, then-
When Alice goes home, I'll be so lonely again. Won't you think of your poor mother?
I know you've been sending those letters, but it's been so long since we last met face-to-face.
And we've all been so desperate these last few hours, but I really just wanted a chance to sit down and chat..
But I know your friends are busy, and I have my own business to clean up too, so...
Oh my, Yumeko. Why the scary face?
I'm not angry, but perhaps you should've considered the situation you're in.
Look, we got that you're supposed to be all-loving and everything, but still.
O-Oh, no! Look, I relaxed, so it all just slipped out!
If that's what you've been thinking this whole time, then that's even worse.
And there goes all the dignity you've built up.
Now now, her real personality has its charms too.
But if you go right back to work, then you won't be able to have a leisurely chat with your daughter.
If there's anything I can help with, please let me know.
Yes, we're the ones who trespassed in your world. At the very least, we can make sure we're not being a bother.
I'd feel horrible if we just wrecked your fields and left.
You concern is unnecessary. We have no intention of blaming any of you for this.
But we can at least take a look around Makai for you, just in case.
Actually, aren't you exhausted after all that, Shinki? No one would mind if you took a little breather.
Yeah. Does it hurt anywhere?
My, Alice's friends are all so considerate.
I mean, you're so beat up. It has to hurt.
And if you're hurt, you should talk to Alice or Eirin.
The doctor I can understand, but why Alice...?
Whenever my arms comes off, or my clothes are ripped, Alice always fixes it for me!
She's amazing! Just as amazing as you, Shinki!
Oh my, so my little girl is all grown up now. To think she'd already have people looking up to her like that.
Medi, your body is different. I can't fix my Mom like that.
Really? Then I guess it has to be Eirin.
Thank you. Don't worry though, being tough is all I'm good for.
But you're so kind for such a little girl.
D-Don't call me little!
So anyway, we're going on patrol around Makai?
We can meet up with Alice later. I'm sure they have a lot to talk about.
No, I'll go with you, so-
An urban witch to your dying breath, huh? There's nothing wrong with having a family chat, y'know.
Once again, you have my sincere thanks for taking care of me all this time, Lady Shinki.
I'll never forget what it was like to hear your kind voice in the darkness.
You too, Bykauren. I'm so glad I got to meet you.
We could send letters, if you like. I know they'll reach Gensokyo.
The crew flies off.
There they go. I never imagined the day would come when we could see you off like this, Alice.
Yes, me neither.
Not to mention your friends going out of their way to give us this chance. You're very lucky to know them, Alice.
...I'll have to thank them later. But I have something I want to ask you too, Mom.
Oh, what could that be?
I have plenty of things I would like to ask YOU about, of course. Like what you've been up to since you went to Gensoyko.
Or that danmaku battle today! I was so happy to see how much you'd grown.
That's not it, Mom. Actually, I was thinking the exact opposite.
I thought I had grown since I left Makai...
But once I saw you in battle, Mom, I lost all my confidence. Am I really good enough?
What do you mean by that?
BGM: The Dream is Here
...I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought this up so suddenly.
But all this time, I've been wanting to be more like you, Mom.
I've admired you ever since I was little. The way you created Makai, and how everyone loves you.
I thought there was something special about you, something more than just your incredible power.
And that if I could figure out what that was, I could get a little closer to you.
...I only started doll magic because I wanted to know how you felt as a creator.
I said I wanted to go to Gensokyo because I thought I had to do it by myself, alone.
True, I've gotten better at controlling dolls, and I am proud of that, but...
Seeing you today just made me think that I'll never reach you, no matter how hard I try.
...Never reach her? Why would you think that?
Because I don't have that same strong will you do!
Even in Gensokyo, my heart was still in Makai... And even as a magician, my feelings are are always being swayed like a human's.
...Plenty of youkai have told me this, but everything I do is half-hearted.
How could I ever be like you Mom? When I'm so... me?
...I'm sorry. I'm just whining, aren't I?
No you're not. I couldn't tell you felt like this from any of your letters, so I'm glad we could talk in person.
But you have nothing to worry about, Alice.
Didn't we speak through danmaku today? All of your friends are so kind, Alice.
Even that Medicine girl. She was honestly worried about me from the bottom of her heart.
That's true, but what does that have to do with-
She was a doll youkai, wasn't she? She wouldn't have any way of even knowing what pain was.
But she asked me if I was hurting anywhere.
I'm sure she learned about the pain of others because you were so kind to her, Alice.
Not to mention the way you were fought so seriously today, on behalf of others. You didn't think twice about devoting yourself to helping them.
Aren't both of those things the same strength you feel from Lady Shinki?
I'm sure you inherited that strength from our mother, because you're more sensitive to love than most.
So you shouldn't feel embarrased to be swayed by the feelings of others. If anything, you should be proud of it.
...And while I'm flattered that you think so highly of me, and a little embarrassed honestly, I'm not as strong as you think.
I just do what I can, to help who I can.
And what I wanted to tell you is that I think you're doing the same, Alice.
I can't tell if I'm saying this well, but I want you to be proud of who you are, Alice.
I wasn't able to do anything special for you, but you've grown into such a kind girl.
...No, Mom, I've still got a long way to go before I can match you.
After all, I only just now realized something so important. Even though you've been teaching me all this time.
It sounds like you're feeling a little better though.
Anyway, if you're ever feeling troubled, then just say something. You should be sending us far more letters than you do.
Oh, so you think so too, Yumeko?
...Well, from Alice's perspective, I AM her sister after all.
Thank you, Mom. And you too, Yumeko. I used to think I shouldn't let you pamper me, but in the end you saved me after all.
I won't think of myself as half-hearted anymore. I'll try to keep being considerate of others until the day I can be like you, Mom.
Yes, have confidence in yourself. I know your kindess will bring everyone happiness.
Love is something you're given, nurture within yourself, and share with others. That's the source of your kindess.
And whenever you're in trouble, always remember that we're on your side, Alice.
I don't know when we'll meet again, but...
But I'll always be cheering you on.
Sidenote: After this chapter, Alice learns Love as her final spirit.
In the skies above Gensokyo...
BGM: Secret Mission!
Look, you can see the moon!
So we're finally back on Earth. It was a short trip, but it feels like it's been ages.
Ah, so this is Gensokyo then.
No need to be nervous, we'll show you around.
Please, have a seat. We saved this one for you.
You all look so happy. I'm glad everything worked out well.
Yeah, it really did...
Huh. I figured you'd be homesick, but you look... refreshed.
Maybe I am. After that heart to heart with my Mom you all let me have, I feel like starting over.
But your family seemed so nice, Alice. We've gotta go visit them again some time.
I like Shinki! She was so nice! Just like you, Alice.
Thank you, Medi. Is that how you see it then?
Too bad about Mima though. Didn't you want to stay in Hokkai?
Sheesh, I can't believe they banned me from it forever.
I just wanted to fight some monsters. They're so close-minded.
Um... That'd be a pain for them, no matter how you slice it.
But this isn't a bad chance either. Might as well stick with you girls for a little while.
Look forward to seeing a whole lot more of my magic from here on out.
...Hm. Okay then.
Do what you like.
What's with those dull reactions? Did you even hear me? I'm joining the crew!
While you're a great asset in battle, we never know what whim you'll act on next.
Plus you're rude, are a bad influence on Marisa, and-
Hey, at least I'M happy you're here, okay Mima?
You're so quiet, Byakuren. You've hardly said a thing since we got here.
...Oh, please excuse me. I've simply been captivated by the scenery.
It's been a thousand years, after all. I know that feeling well.
...It's a bit late, but allow to introduce myself. I am Byakuren.
It's only thanks to everyone's assistance that I can finally see the sky like this, and it reminds me that-
Too stuffy! Save that for later!
And if you really want to give a speech, you should do it over a toast.
No, but, I don't drink, so-
Afterparty aside, there really is no need to be so formal.
We don't need a speech from you, so feel free to get some rest. You must be exhausted.
Thank you very much. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to see the temple.
Hmph. Already acting like she owns the place. Even though this ship is nothing like it was back then.
Hee hee, this'll be fun!
...What part of this looks fun to you?
Oh, there's a girl hiding over there glaring at me like a cat...
Oh, so that's where you were, Nue. Get over here, we want to introduce you to the Chief.
This is Nue, the friend I was telling you about.
So you're Nue then. A pleasure to meet you. I hear we'll be living together in the temple, so I hope we can get along well.
'A pleasure' my ass. You know I'm a great youkai, right? You think you can just play buddy-buddy with me too?
Let me make this clear: this ship is my turf! You got that?!
Even her threats sound like a cat, huh?
But now that the head priest is back, won't you be converting the ship back into a temple?
It's been proving itself pretty dang useful like this, so we don't mind keeping it this way for a while.
Be that as it may, I plan to resume activities as the Myouren temple.
Although that may not be necessary, if humans and youkai can live in harmony so easily these days.
Cooperating like we do is still the exception. It's a bit more complicated for the rest of Gensokyo.
So I think your ideals will still seem fresh to the people here, Byakuren.
That said, it's not like anyone's out there hunting down witches for using magic. Feel free to take a look around at your own pace.
Yes, I think I'll do that. I want to see this with my own eyes, and explore it with my own feet.
As for the future of the temple, I'll need to discuss that with Shou.
...Where is Shou anyway? Haven't seen her for a while.
You're right. I thought she had all sorts of stuff she wanted to talk with the Chief about.
If you're looking for Shou, I saw her with Nazrin in the main hall of the temple.
What's she being all shy for? You'd better go see her before we land.
Yes, I will.
Shou, can I put this box in the closet?
Yes, please do.
Pitter-patter of, I assume, brooms being put away.
Whew, I guess that's most of the clean-up done.
I can totally get frantically cleaning up now that the owner's back, but it wasn't THAT messy, was it?
It's about sorting out her feelings. By taking care of her surroundings, she's putting her heart in order too.
Putting my heart in order... Yes, I suppose so.
Huh? You seem pretty down for someone who finally got their savior back.
Didn't you say this was your deepest wish? Shouldn't you be, like, cheering?
...I believe you said earlier that you'd wanted to come to terms with all your sins once you'd saved Byakuren Hijiri.
Although the manner by which you make that black and white for yourself is up to you.
So everything was all for this moment then?
People walk in.
...So this is where everyone was.
What brings you here? I thought you were enjoying the scenery from the bridge?
We're about to make our landing, so I came to get you all.
I want you both to be there when I take my first step into Gensokyo.
Taking a first step, by your side...
What's the matter, Shou?
I appreciate the sentiment, but I can't do that.
I'm not worthy to stand by your side again.
...After sealing you with my own hands, I lost sight of my justice, and forgot what I should have been doing.
I was unable to guide either humans or youkai, and I left Murasa and Ichirin to rot in the Underworld while all paths seemed closed to me.
In the end, the temple was abandoned, and for a time I had lost everything.
...Is that what happened after I was sealed?
I know it's not what you wanted to hear, but it's all true.
...All I accomplished was sacrificing you to save myself. And by living on, I've continuously commited that same unforgivable sin.
I betrayed both your trust and your ideals, and wasted away centuries without even trying to save you.
...But in the end, didn't you come to Makai for me? That's-
That's just because I met Reimu and the others, and a bit of their courage must have rubbed off on me.
But when I decided to save you, that's when I realized where I could find the justice I sought.
Justice...? What do you mean by justice?
Hijiri, please judge me.
None of my sins can be atoned for on my own.
When I'm judged by your hand, Hijiri, this long journey will finally come to an end. That will be my final justice.
And what remains will be my one salvation.
So you've never forgiven yourself, even after a thousand years.
But for your judgment to be your salvation...
...She must have hidden this determination deep within her heart.
For her, this is the only path, and this conclusion her only desire...
Please, Hijiri. If it's by your hand, then-
I understand your feelings, Shou. But I can't judge you. How could I, when I've been unable to help you this whole time?
Instead, do you think you could help me search for a new path, together?
A new path...?
...To think my careless words gave you such a cruel burden to bear these thousand years. I'm the one who made you lose sight of your way. It was my sin.
In which case, won't you let me atone for that by clearing a new path to the future, together?
If there's anything I can do to save you, Shou, I want to do it.
Are you saying you... forgive me? That you won't judge me?
If you can accept that, then I hope you can forgive yourself too.
That's my only wish. That's the only thing that could atone for my thousand years of being of no use to anyone.
Forgiveness instead of judgment, huh? So that's how she thinks.
However, Shou Toramaru isn't the only one who needs to forgive herself. That would remain unbalanced.
If you say you're going to walk together, then shouldn't you forgive yourself too?
Right. If you think you couldn't help anyone, then all you have to do is help them now.
If you keep looking all depressed like that, then Shou's just gonna keep worrying about you.
To forgive myself... When I was alone in the darkness, I never even considered that.
Forgiveness is merely a matter of your own feelings. In the end, it changes nothing about your karma.
But as long as others are beside you, they can give you the strength to take that next step.
Of course, for all you know that next step will be more difficult than any you've ever taken.
Which is why accepting your sins and moving forward takes far more courage than accepting your judgment and closing your path.
With everyone by our side, I know it's possible. So... Hijiri...
Please, walk with me down this new path, one that no one's ever taken.
I... We need you.
I should be the one saying that. I want to be needed, to become your strength.
Please, allow me to walk by your side once again.
...All right! That takes care of that! I don't wanna see any more frowns on either of you! Everything's settled, forever!
Sheesh, you never change, Elly. But still, it's strangely reassuring this time.
But I guess that means I'm still stuck watching over you, Master. Sucks to be me.
Hey, you're smiling! I saw that!
But anyway, we've almost arrived, so let's get back up to the bridge. With a smile!
You're right. Everyone must be waiting for us.
Please excuse me, but even as I was meaning to look towards the future, I suddenly found myself reminded of the past.
I had resigned myself to cutting off all ties to my past life, but here I am, walking alongside you once again.
...I'm so glad I met you.
You're my light, each and every one of you!
Sidenote: Just like Alice, Shou learns Courage as her final spirit after this chapter.
BGM: Bizarre Smile
Lady Makura, Lady Makura!
Huh? The lights are out. Are you sleeping?
...Meeko? Please, come in.
Whoops, did I wake you up? Sorry for shouting like that.
I don't mind. In my slumber, I found myself remembering all that happened before we came here.
An era where dreams had no value. A world where I wasn't needed...
But if our plans go well, then we can ensure that the same thing never happens here.
So if you were calling for me, I assume you're finished with our preparations?
Yeah! I sent everyone all over the place, just like you told me!
We're ready to go whenever you give the word!
Good work. Then I suppose we won't need to hide for much longer.
Let's get this started. Could you turn the light on, please?
The screen fades to white.
BGM: The Dream the Sheep See - Labyrinth of Nightmares
...Our chance has arrived.
We can finally make the dream I arrived at after so long into an eternal reality.
Your dream is my dream, Lady Makura! I'll make myself useful no matter what!
...Thank you, Meeko. I know you will.
Dream will envelop reality, and we'll bring peace to the hearts of the people.
Now, let us guide them. Let's show them the reassuring nightmare that will lead this world to peace.
And let's change them. Change everyone's dreams...!
FYI, we didn't hack the game to put that text in, it's always in English.
That's it for this time. See you next time, for Chapter 69!