Part 26: Chapter 69 (Part 1)
Welcome to Chapter 69! nice
Firstly, a small announcement. We released the beginnings of a patch, which Nook is curating here. At the moment it just translates items and spellcard effects, but it's a start.
Truly, such power.
By the way, our entire party is pre-decided for this chapter.
Now let's get into it!
BGM: Border of Regular and Irregular Days
Dear Mom and Yumeko. Are you doing well?
I can't believe it's already been a week since we met in Makai.
Nothing in particular has been happening, so you could say things have calmed down,
but I'm trying to live each day to the fullest. I want to be able to look back on my life without regret.
Speaking of which, today some friends came over to-
Ooh, so we're your friends then?
H-hey! Stop reading over my shoulder.
Yeah, stop it Elly. Just let her write her letter.
But why does Blondie get to ignore us when we came all this way just to hang out with her?
Back me up, Nitori. Aren't you bored? No one's even talking!
Nah, I'm doing my own research...
How about you stop bugging people and try reading a book or something?
It's so boring at home when Yuuka's not around, but I guess coming to visit YOU was a mistake, Blondie.
That'd be a little more convincing if your mouth wasn't stuffed with cookies.
...So neither of you two have seen Yuuka recently either?
I heard from Medi that she hasn't seen Yuuka since she said farewell back in the flower field.
Yeah. We're already used to that though. I wonder what she's up to right now?
Anyway, it looked like you were writing a letter to Shinki, right Blondie?
If you're already homesick, you can always just go visit her, you know.
You're right. But while I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss her,
Mom told me that she'd always be watching over me from afar.
I want to respect that by doing as much as I can on my own.
You're pretty amazing, Alice. But if that's the promise you made with Shinki, then-
Huh. Sounds like someone's here.
You're right. But I'm not expecting anyone...
Maybe it's some fairy prank?
On the other hand, it could be someone who got lost in the forest.
Alice opens the door.
BGM: Secret Mission!
Wow, so this is your house, Alice?
It's wonderful. So many dolls, and you have all these adorable decorations.
I see your tastes haven't changed since you were a child. But it's certainly tidier than I expected. Well done.
I take it you won't mind if I bring in our luggage, Alice.
W-Wait! What are you two doing here?
...I guess it's still too soon to say it's been a while?
Oh my, you have company. Hello there.
...What's going on? You never told me you'd be coming.
Tee hee, did we surprise you? Then it went just as planned!
I worked all night to clear up my schedule for this, you know.
I don't mind, but... didn't you say you'd watch over me from afar?
U-um, well! There are very complicated reasons for this!
You mean you missed her, right?
That's half of it. The other half is that she wanted to say hello to Lady Byakuren.
So we're half-right, at least.
That reminds me, everyone's talking about Byakuren these days, even on the mountain.
About how she's going to bring humans and youkai together.
Yes, exactly! She's even remodeled the temple where Shou used to live for that.
Uh, how would you know that? Don't you live in Makai?
Oh, because we're... what's the word... penpals! We've kept in touch since she left.
And then she asked me if I'd like to come visit. *giggle*
So as soon as you read that you dropped everything and came here. Wow...
So that's what happened. In that case, let me show you the way to Byakuren's temple.
You two don't know your way around Gensokyo yet, after all.
Thank you. We were planning to stay for two or three days.
So we need a place to stay, but I'm a little anxious about the Human Village, so...
Don't make excuses, I'm sure you were planning to stay here from the beginning. Well, it's a little cramped, but make yourselves at home.
Thank goodness, Lady Shinki. Shall I take in the rest of our luggage then?
First, I'll need to clear that desk over there.
Oh? Is that a letter?
It appears so. And it's addressed to us.
Wow, that makes me so happy! I've been keeping all your letters, you know. I keep them in stasis with magic.
Hey, do you remember that scarf you knit me when you were little, Alice? I still have it. I put it in-
S-Stop! We can reminisce about that sort of thing later!
I knew she was cheerful, but she's almost as annoying as US.
I think even I'm no match for THAT. Look at how well she controls the mood...
But hey, that's the warm and fuzzy nature of family. ...I think.
Anyway, why don't we all show you around Gensokyo with Alice? After a little break.
Really? Thanks, I think I'd like that.
BGM: Border of Regular and Irregular Days
So, this was in this morning's Bunbunmaru Newspapers.
Let's see here...
Shocking! A mysterious new priest leads a youkai temple!
An exclusive interview with the head monk! What will this new power bring to Gensokyo?!
Wow, you've got the whole front page.
Yes... I thought it would be rude to turn down her interview, but...
I certainly never expected to be included in a feature like that.
Well, a temple that accepts youkai is practically unheard of. I imagine you'll be the talk of the town for a while to come.
Akyu said she wanted to cover this too. She even invited me to host a discussion, as a local youkai expert.
clarste posted:(SoPM without Miko would suck, tbh)
Didn't Shou start holding Buddhist services at her old temple too?
Yeah, and thanks to that we've been popular with both humans AND youkai.
As a novice who's yet to achieve enlightenment, the response has been a truly humbling experience.
Humbling? Yeah right. Your massive popularity is all the proof you need.
Then we can't let out religion fall behind either, now can we Reimu?
Don't care. If you wanna go around advertising or whatever, then knock yourselves out.
I get bringing Murasa and Ichirin, but what's with the crowd of weirdos?
Hey, that's rude! I'm not a weirdo!
Kogasa's been hanging around the temple lately.
Not that any of the sutras have rubbed off on her.
Hey, it's not like I joined the temple! I'm just there for the humans!
Just by being there, my chances of surprising someone have gone way way way up!
Just so you know, Miss Koishi is different. She was personally invited by the priest.
Koishi has the power to act entirely from her unconscious mind. But if you think about it, that's one of the deepest goals of Buddhism.
I thought I'd like to get a better grasp on the characteristics of their species, to better serve our own training.
Huh. What about her sister then?
Satori was invited too, but she said it didn't suit her. She told me I could do what I want.
Eh, she's always been one to overthink everything.
But frankly, anyone who just joins the temple without thinking is crazy, if you ask me.
What about you then? You're always at the temple.
I'm different. As a great youkai, I've got a duty to make sure she isn't just trying to pull a-
Oh, but if you joined the temple anyway, wouldn't it have been better to join as a priest?
Let me finish!
...As you can see, it's been quite lively at Myouren Temple.
But this is just the beginning of our efforts to bring equality to both human and...
Someone walks in.
Wow, quite a crowd here.
Oh, Keine. And Mokou too. What's the occasion?
...Something urgent came up that I wanted to speak with you about.
And with Kanako and Byakuren here, that saves us some time.
But what is it...?
I've got a bad feeling about this. Don't tell me something happened in the village?
Unfortunately, yes. Black sheep youkai have been sighted in the village.
Black sheep youkai... you mean, Meeko's familiars?!
Is that true, Keine?!
It is. I haven't seen them myself, but I've heard directly from villagers who have. There's no doubt.
It's not just one or two either, people've been seeing 'em all over the place.
...Gotcha. If we've got all these sightings happening at once, this can't be a coincidence.
So they're up to something then.
Excuse me, but what's this about sheep...?
Oh yeah, we never really told you about this, Hijiri. There's this group that's been causing trouble for a while now.
And one of them uses black sheep youkai as familiars.
They've been quiet lately, but it looks like they're finally showing themselves.
So is the village all right? If they're attacking like before, then-
That's the strange part. They don't seem to be doing anything.
According to the humans who saw them, they're just sitting quietly in the shadows.
And as soon as they realize they've been spotted, they vanish.
That IS strange. I mean, we know they've been planning something.
But even if they haven't done anything yet, we can't just ignore the problem.
Which is why I thought we should go around letting everyone know.
Gotcha. We can give you a hand with that.
Heck, we might even spot some sheep on the way.
Yeah, first we'll need to see them for ourselves so we can-
What's the matter, Reimu?
...Looks like we won't need to go looking for them after all.
Get out here! I know you're there!
Reimu needles something.
Th-They were right here?!
Chapter 69: Ill Omen
Hey Reimu, it looks like it-
Yeah, it ran over there!
The black sheep moves down...
And a bunch more spawn in.
Speak of the devil!
So it wasn't just the village? They've even infiltrated the shrine?
Shoot first, ask questions later!
I don't know why they bother with this screen. It's not like you can move anyone around. That being said, take note of the flashy thing in the pond up top.
So these are the youkai we were discussing then.
There's no sign of Meeko herself though.
We shouldn't let our guards down, but this might be a good chance to get a feel for how they fight.
Let's pay attention and make sure we do this right!
Victory: All enemies defeated.
Defeat: All allies defeated.
Bonus WP: Clear the chapter in 5 turns.
Pretty simple, although with enemies on every side doing it in 5 turns can be a little tricky.
Danmaku effects in english, how very sugoi.
The Reimu/Marisa team has a date with the pond, so they'll be covering the northern enemies.
Mokou/Keine and the Moriya Gods are handling the western sheep.
The black sheep have their annoying barriers, so it's worth taking note of what barrier-piercing attacks you have. Often a weaker attack with that property will out-damage stronger attacks that don't, as is the case with Suwako here.
The Nue/Byakuren duo has enough fire power that they can reliably handle all of the eastern enemies themselves.
Everyone else needs to head south pretty fast.
Reason being, this map is quite tall, so we need to project damage on the southern enemies pretty fast to get the Bonus WP.
At the start of round 2:
I wonder... what are you all up to?
It's just a familiar, it's not gonna know anything.
But if we can speak to them, why shouldn't we be able to ascertain their motives?
Speak to it, huh... Like you did with those monsters in Hokkai?
Not happening. If they're anything like my familiars, they don't think on their own.
Trying to pull something stupid like again will just get you killed.
Yeah, stupid. You're just way too trusting.
Plenty of the youkai joining your temple have ulterior motives, you know.
Huh. For someone who hates Byakuren so much, she sures watches out for her.
Yeah, maybe she could work on her language, but that's Nue being nice.
Sounds like she's realized that Hijiri isn't an enemy.
She's gotten to know her true character after living in the same temple.
You should follow her lead too, Orin. Come listen to a sermon some time.
What? Why me?
C'mon, I've seen that look in your eye when you come to the temple and see the graves.
N-No! I wasn't planning on stealing the corpses or nothing! I was just there to pick you up, Miss Koishi...
Can we just leave it at that? We ARE in the middle of a battle.
Although I'm a little worried that all of your reckless behavior might start to disillusion Byakuren...
Oh no, this just shows how carefree these youkai's lives are. It's simply proof of their contentment.
Protecting this peace and freedom is exactly why we must fight.
And there you have it. No need to hold back on these chumps!
I like how FMW is referencing SoPM here, minus the "Byakuren constantly gets dunked on" part.
Reimu moves to the shiny.
This pond is just a hot spring now, huh?
Did you release that turtle you used to ride on here, Reimu? Or something like that?
Pretty much. Sometimes I stop by to see how he's doing, but I wonder where he went?
Wait, this presence!
The screen explodes in light.
...You finally found me.
I, Genji, have been watching everything you've done, master.
I know that, without me, you've gained many companions and resolved many incidents.
...But you're not the only one who's mastered the art of flying and can fight splendidly.
As an old man, I had thought I should stay retired and let you handle things on your own, but-
Eh, guess it was nothing after all.
Huh?! You CAN'T hear me?!
...But maybe that's for the best. My era is over. Showing up like this was but a whim of fate.
But I will always support my master from the shadows.
Acquired "Genji" as an item!
Genji's pretty dope: S-rank in all terrains and +2 Movement! Can't complain about that.
A bunch of sheep get kicked.
There's still quite a few enemies down south. Luckily, it won't be as much of a problem as it might appear.
Start of turn 3:
They aren't running or anything, but it's a little creepy how they're just staring at us.
Yes, they also don't appear to have any particular goal here...
Maybe they're just attacking in response to our own danmaku?
Who cares? We still need to exterminate them.
What is it, Mr. Nyuudou?
Someone incredibly powerful is approaching. Although it feels a little familiar...
This magic, don't tell me-
I've finally found you, Byakuren.
BGM: Ain Soph Aur
Thank goodness. So this is the Hakurei Shrine then?
The path just kept going and going. I was starting to think we'd gotten lost.
That's because when we told you it was east, you started heading towards the sunset.
Like I said, why didn't you just say 'go right' then?!
Whew, she's hard to deal with. I've never seen anyone go exactly the wrong way so confidently.
Mom isn't so great at directions...
Wait, is Shinki terrible at everything but creation and magic?
Shinki and Yumeko...? What are you two doing here?
Hello, Reimu. I heard Byakuren was opening up her temple, so I came to say hello.
But when we visited the temple on the mountain, they told us you'd come to the shrine.
Oh, I'm sorry. We must have just missed each other. I never imagined you'd be here so soon.
Oh, there's no need to apologize. On reflection, we may have been a bit hasty ourselves.
But more importantly, what's going on here?
It's Meeko's sheep... So she's finally showing herself?
What happened, Marisa?!
Long story short, they were hiding at the shrine.
But not just the shrine, I hear they've been seen in the village too.
No way! That's serious!
That about sums it up. Sorry, we can explain the details later.
Oh my, it seems we picked quite the time to visit.
My apologies, you must have traveled so far. Do you mind waiting until we settle this matter?
Of course I mind! If a friend's in trouble then we're helpng out.
That's all right with you, right Yumeko?
Indeed. There's no reason to hesitate in a situation like this.
That said, maybe it would be wise to refrain from any especially... showy uses of magic.
I know, I know. I'm both a mother and a god, after all.
I love how Shinki's wings block her partner when she's in front. She's the most expensive unit in the game at 4.0 Cost, which is cool. Less cool is that 4 Movement though.
I want to demonstrate something amusing here. See how most of Yumeko's spirits here have a Square next to them? That means you can cue them up to cast a bunch of spirits at once - a nice time-saving feature. The one she can't is Devote, which restores 50 MP to somebody. Since you have to manually target it, you can't automate it. Makes sense, right?
The reason why I bring this up is because...
Shinki's such a generous god, literally all of her spirits are cast on other people .
On top of that, see those white-ish squares around her? That's a benefit of her Curtain of Prayers PS. Anyone in the radius takes 500 less damage from all sources. She's a very supportive god.
So these fluffy things are Alice's enemies?
I don't know where they come from, but they appear to be familiar-level youkai.
They may be cannon fodder, but please be careful regardless.
I could say the same to you, Yumeko. Don't push yourself to the breaking point.
...A team of both Shinki and Yumeko, huh? This trash won't know what hit 'em.
I'm so pleased to be able to fight on your side though.
Me too, Byakuren. I hope we can continue to be good friends.
But that's all the more reason to get this settled quickly.
I'd say "nothing up my sleeves" but you can't see them with these giant wings in the way.
It looks like Meeko and her master are making their move.
Are we okay? Didn't they say something happened in the village too?
I don't care what they throw at us, we can't let them do do as they please to our Gensokyo.
Oh my, you sound so reliable, Alice.
Do you think she doesn't need us to protect her then?
...Y'know, you DO seem a little different lately, Alice. It's like, you're more... centered, or something.
I'm my mother's daughter, after all. I can't just let myself be protected forever.
(Right. Someday I'll be the one protecting HER.)
(And Mom's the one who gave me the confidence to think that.)
In case you missed it last chapter, Alice learned her final spirit, Love. It casts all of Cheer, Bless, Prayer, Rouse, Devote, Trust, and Attune on a target - very nice.
Here's how we look at the end of Turn 3.
Nothing else happens in this chapter, and the rest is just mopping up stragglers, so...
That's all of them!
Yes, I don't see any more of them in hiding.
Thank you very much for helping us, both of you.
Oh, no need to thank us. We're just here to-
Oh no, what happened to that bouquet we brought to congratulate her?! Was it ruined in the fight?!
I made sure to set it aside. Don't worry.
Thank goodness! Just what I'd expect from you, Yumeko!
She's like a completely different person in battle. She's so composed while fighting, and so... not at other times.
But, well, I sure am glad she's on our side.
That aside, do you suppose you could explain what's going on here?
Yeah, what's happening? This is all so sudden.
Good idea. We should probably give ourselves a chance to cool down after the fight first though.
Let's go take a seat in the shrine.
BGM: What's the Strategy?
We got rid of the familiars, but Meeko herself never showed up, huh?
So what were those sheep doing here?
I can't tell if they actually did anything, but something definitely seemed off about them.
So... what exactly happened before we got here?
I could tell that those sheep have been causing trouble for Alice, but that's about it.
I don't know much about this either. Would you mind explaining?
Hmm, this will be a good chance for us to summarize everything that's happened so far.
Those black sheep youkai are the familiars of someone who's been hostile towards us.
A sheep youkai called Meeko.
And her master is a youkai named Makura Muwatari.
So Meeko and Makura...
Seems like they hate any new technology or ideas getting into Gensokyo.
So far they've tried to take away Utsuho's power of nuclear fusion and attacked Nitori's bazaar and stuff like that.
With brute force? How awful.
Obviously we tried to track them down, but without much luck.
Until just now anyway, when they suddenly started appearing in the shrine and the village.
Understood. So that explains your surprise.
So I take it you know very little about your enemy then?
Pretty much. We've only ever fought Meeko so far.
But we are learning more about them, little by little.
First of all, it sounds like they're both youkai originally from the outside world.
That probably explains why they hate technology so much.
Plus, they have the power to mess with people's dreams.
Before, they used to help us resolve incidents by showing up in our dreams.
We split up when we couldn't agree on how to handle things.
Oh, really? What a shocking twist!
Oh, right, we never told you any of this either, Kogasa.
But it's true that we don't know anything more than that.
We still have no idea why the sheep are showing up.
That really worries me. Until now they've always had a clear target they were attacking, but this time they just stared at us in silence...
And you said the ones found in the human village were just hiding in dark corners too.
So they're just sitting there, not doing anything?
I think they're up to no good!
A reasonable guess, but we haven't seen enough of them to say for sure.
Best case, this is the worst that happens, but I wouldn't count on it.
Yes, I agree.
Why the long face? Stomach ache?
No, my stomach's fine, I've just got a bad feeling about this.
How do I put this...? It's like there's something sinister in the air.
Could you be a little more specific? Or are you, like, literally picking up evil radio waves?
This is simply Lady Shinki's divine intuition.
I agree though. This whole situation makes me anxious too.
From what you've said, this Makura Muwatari is likely acting based on some ideal of hers.
I very much doubt a youkai like that would send her minions here without a plan.
Yeah, up until now she's always had some ugly trick up her sleeve.
I think it's only natural to be worried, but at least this time we were lucky enough to notice beforehand.
Our best bet at this point is to be ready for anything.
Indeed. I'll ask the tengu to be extra wary.
And I'll return to the village and gather up eyewitness reports.
Then we can ask the Underworld youkai to-
Don't forget us! We can talk to the humans who come to the temple to see what the word on the street is.
...This wasn't the best time to visit was it? I'd hate to get in the way.
Do you think there's any way we could help?
This is Gensokyo's problem, you don't need to worry about it.
You're a god, so I'm sure you're already busy enough with Makai.
Thank you, Suwako. But I'm worried about the people here.
Oh, I know, I can just extend my vacation here.
What do you mean?
It means she wants to be on standby to help out at a moment's notice.
But on that note, what about your job in Makai?
It'll be fine! I'll just make a body double to handle the simple tasks.
...That sounds a little fishy to me, but if you wanna help then you're always welcome.
In any case, I'd love to have you stop by the temple today. We don't have much to offer you, but you're very welcome.
Ooh, I've always wanted to try a meal made from only tofu!
...Anyway, we're finally getting somewhere with the whole Meeko thing.
This time, let's make sure we catch her and drag this Makura lady out of hiding!
Yeah! I don't care what she's planning, we'll be ready for her.
We've resolved all the other incidents so far, and this'll be no different!
...Since then, sheep familiars have been spotted in all parts of Gensokyo.
Always sitting quietly in the shadows.
While this is unsettling, they have yet to attack anyone.
However, the incident had already bared its fangs.
In this moment of peace, all sorts of feelings were expressed.
In humanity's [Dreams]...
Maybe Chapter 70 won't take 2 months to come out next time, who knows?