The Let's Play Archive

Ryuu ga Gotoku: Kenzan

by Egomaniac

Part 27: CHAPTER 8: The Houzouin - [Part I]

Chapter 8 is a bit shorter, so this is the first of just two updates covering it. We learn what happened to Itou and where we should continue our search for the imposter.

Some historical notes:

I'll talk more about it next time, but the Houzouin appears in many stories about Miyamoto Musashi and is a real temple in the Nara area.

Chapter 8 is lighter on the sidequests than 7 was, so we'll knock them all out this update. This includes a bounty near the end, followed by a (very expensive) stint of weapon crafting. The results aren't really any better than the gear we already had, but we're switching up for variety's sake.

There are two contract jobs to deal with in Gion. For one we get a letter in the mailbox.

It's from the clerk of a brothel called the Kikuya and he says he needs Kiryuu to catch one of his girls who's always running away.

We'll deal with that in a moment, but there's someone else with urgent business waiting just outside the Tatsuya.

Master Kiryuu! Master Kiryuu!


My boss has an important request. Would you please come and meet him?

A job, huh? Alright.

We're teleported to somewhere else in Gion.

Thank you for coming, Master of the Tatsuya.

Sure. Did you have a job for me?

There have been some nasty fellows following me around lately. I'd like you to protect me from them.


They keep coming to my establishment, but they never have any money. Of course I turn them away. That's why they began threatening me. They always stand here outside the shop and cause a ruckus, shouting terrible things at me. It's bad for business.

I see. So you want me to chase them off the next time they come?

Yes, please. Protect me and my business. As payment.... how does 2 ryou sound?

Okay. I'll do it.

Thank you. I'll be inside.

And we get ourselves a nice little contract, all neat and official.

Less than 3 seconds later this jerkass comes running up.

I don't wanna hurt an old man, but you I got no problem killin'!


That was too easy. Two ryou just for that guy?

Eh? Who said there was only one? You've got more work to do. I'll be inside.

Yeah, there's a joke here that doesn't translate. Since Japanese pretty much doesn't use plurals, the old guy didn't indicate that there would be more than one thug earlier, and Kiryuu assumed it was. Now he's all surprised that there are more. I couldn't figure any way that wasn't ridiculously contrived and obvious to avoid saying "they" up above, so I just didn't bother.

Another guy comes running up.

I'm gonna make that old bastard let me see Hatsune-chan!


Ouch! Hatsune-chaaaaan!

You never told me there were two of them! Are you ready to pay up now?

What? That's not all of them. You've still got three left. I'll be inside.

At least the rest are all coming at once.

Let us in! We wanna see Matsukaze!

This should be the last of them. I'm really starting to hate this job.

No way....

Very good! Now that you've taken care of them all you can have your fee. Please, take it.

Received [2 ryou].

You're pretty crafty for an old-timer.

Ha ha! Thanks for your help.

Got 10000 Experience Points

Kiryuu may have been annoyed, but I count that as the perfect sidequest: Big money, big XP, insta-travel to the location, and three golden opportunities for face-punching.

While we're in the neighborhood we'll check out that other contract we got in the mail.

Just down in front of Gion Inari is the clerk who sent us that letter.

Ah, Master Kiryuu! I've been waiting. Did you get my letter?

Unlike usual, we can actually tell him we're busy now and postpone the job until later, but we won't be doing that now.

I got it.

You have to help me! Here's the contract.

I have a very bright and popular yuujo working here, but she's causing me a lot of trouble.

How so?

She's a surprisingly fast runner and she's always trying to run away. Every time I catch her and bring her back she just runs off again. The other day I found someone who would buy her contract out. Just as I went to get her I found she was gone again!

So you want me to catch her?

Yes, please.

There she is, in the bright pink kimono! Hurry and catch her!

But before Kiryuu can make a move, the girl runs away. We give chase.

I think I got away....

I found you.

Ah! Did you come to take me back there?

Come with me quietly now.

No way! You'll never catch me so don't even try!

And she's off again. Can't imagine why she'd be running away from a life of sexual slavery....

Kiryuu continues the chase, but she's much faster than he is. Of course, she never looks where she's going, so all you have to do is double back and she'll run right into you.

Not good enough!

We do this routine a couple more times around the same little block of buildings, until finally she stops in the road to talk to some guy.

Which shop are you from? Hey, why don't you come work at my place?

Huh? Don't bother me.

C'mon, we're just talking here. I promise you'll like it better than the shop you're at now.

I don't care. I'm running away anyway.

He notices Kiryuu.

Are you chasing this girl? Why don't you just buzz off?

Mind your own business.

Huh? Asshole! I'll teach you some manners!

He has some henchmen materialize out of nowhere, but they're no problem.

Are you alright?

You're so strong! Thank you. Now I realize....


One more time around the block.

Okay, I give up. I'll go back.

Listen. Someone has already bought your freedom. You don't need to run away anymore. This is your chance to get out of Gion for good.

Oh, I know all about that.

You do? Then why are you running?

Well, at first I really hated my work, so I always tried to run away. That's when I realized how much I just enjoy running. I liked it so much that I thought running away from this would be fun too.

I see.

You do? Because from where I'm standing she sounds a little loopy.

Now I don't have any more regrets. I can leave Gion with a smile on my face.

Did I say loopy? Because I meant fucking crazy.

You don't want to run away from this opportunity.

I'm so glad someone like you was the last one to chase me!

Ah, Master Kiryuu. She came back on her own. You did a great job catching her like that. Here's your fee.

Received [1 ryou].

Thank you again!

Got 1500 Experience Points

Not as good as the last one, but it was certainly a unique job.

Next we return to Rakugai....

....and pay a visit to White Snake Udon.

Is something wrong?

Hello, sir! What can I get for you?

I'm not hungry. You just look down today.

Oh, you could tell? Well, I am a little depressed. I've been running this shop for ten years, and I've always wanted to try making a new kind of udon. Lately I've come up with some new dishes, but I don't know how good they are. Would you mind taking a taste and telling me what you think?

He gives us three choices, but it doesn't matter what we pick.

Notice the health gauge. It's so bad it actually causes Kiryuu physical harm.

(There's sweet bean paste inside and it's so gooey in my mouth. It feels gross.)

I don't want to be rude, but I'm sure you could tell from my reaction. This is no good.

Don't worry, I'll try harder next time. Come back soon!

So now we have to leave and come back to try his dishes three more times. Finally, on the fifth visit....

....this one becomes available. Basically, it's "Awesome Udon", so you know it has to be good.

Eating it restores all the health we lost too.

(The blend of sauces is perfect, I could taste a hint of chili pepper. This is the best udon I've ever tasted!)

I can tell by your face that I finally succeeded! Thank you, sir! Now I can serve a delicious new dish to my loyal customers. Here, this is for you as thanks for your help.

Received [1000 mon].

From now on this will be our house special. Please come and dine with us again.

Got 3000 Experience Points

This sidequest requires completion of all the chili seller quests and the previous White Snake Udon one as well. Completing it unlocks the new dish "Yaki Udon" in this shop, which is the only entry on the food completion list that wasn't available yet, so we can fill that out at last. However, even though Kiryuu eats the dish as part of this sidequest, you have to actually come back in and order it separately for it to count. I did that, but there are still half a dozen entries on the list missing because there's one quite expensive restaurant in Gion that I don't want to blow money on until we've got more than we have now.

Anyway, let's leave the udon restaurant and head to the opposite end of town. On the corner near the Zanki Dojo there are two men arguing about something.

Hey man, which do you think it is?

Bit of a non-sequiter way to start a conversation.

Yeah, let's get an outside opinion on this.

What are you talking about?

If I say [the purest in Gion], you know what I'm talking about, right?

No. What is that?

You haven't heard of her? We're talking about Kouume!

The name literally means Red Plum Tree. Obviously a yuujo.

When someone says "the purest in Gion" she's the only one they could mean. She truly is as lovely as a plum blossom.

The name definitely suits her. When I walk down the street all the pretty girls follow me with stars in their eyes. There are so many that if I cross Shijou Bridge the planks almost buckle beneath us! Kouume deserves a great man like me!

Huh!? She already decided that she's my woman! Look at my powerful body! I've struck down so many ronin I've lost count! Kouume wants a strong man like me!


You wanna fight!?


So the two of them abruptly go.... somewhere.

In fact, we can find the first schmuck just up the road a few meters.

Hey, buddy. If I do this do you know what it means?

He raises his hand. It's supposed to be some kind of signal gesture.

We can tell him yes or no.

Sure. It signifies a vow.

Exactly! And Kouume, the purest in Gion, gave me that signal! Ha ha! A woman only does that if she's committed herself to a man. Kouume was blushing and acting so shy when she did it. Oh, I remember it so clearly. Hee hee! I can't stop giggling!

Oh, but I feel bad for Banta. But I guess he'll learn that you can't force love.

Banta is the other guy, by the way.

So now this guy disappears and we have to go find Banta. Easy enough. He's back down the street where we first met the pair.

Hey, you know what this means?

He gestures just like the last guy.

It's a vow, right?

Yep! Kouume did that to me! The purest in Gion is all mine. Ha ha ha!

He goes through exactly the same spiel as his friend.

But I feel bad for Yosaburou. Well, I guess he'll learn that all's fair in love, huh?

Back to the first guy.

Hey, it's you again. Ah, I'm so happy! Ha ha ha!

(Should I tell him about what Banta said?)

Yes, that's a great idea, Kiryuu. Let's go stir the pot some more.

About that....


(The dialogue box just spits out a ton of ellipses to signify Kiryuu retelling the story.)


Calm down.

Where's Banta!? Y'aaaaaaaah!

And he runs off again. Guess where?

I don't believe it! She made the same vow to us both!

No way!

She even said "You're the only one for me" on that day! And she blushed! Everything was just a lie!

She told me the same thing. Oh man!

I feel like I've been stabbed right through the heart!

So these two idiots run away yet again. This time we've got to follow them to Gion to make sure they don't kill anyone.

(They might hurt that yuujo!)

We'll find something going on just in front of Gion Inari.

Hey, Master of the Tatsuya! Are you here for business or pleasure?

Is Kouume here?

Aha, well that answers that question. You've got incredible taste, I must say. But I'm sorry to say that a pair of very passionate young men have just requested her at once! I'm afraid she won't have time for any other customers today, but could I interest you in our new girl?

(Damn! They're already inside!)

Sorry, but I need to get in there.

Whoa, even the Dragon of Gion is getting all worked up over her! Kouume is one bewitching woman!

Kouume! What's the meaning of this?

How could you do that to us?

Ah! Someone help me!

Hold it!

Huh!? Get outta here!

I'm gonna beat you into paste for getting in our way!


He's too tough!

You two should be ashamed of yourselves.

What? It's all her fault!

Yeah! She did this to us!

Idiots. This is Gion. The women here seduce their customers because that's what they need to do to survive.


If you fall for somebody's wiles you have no one to blame but yourself. You may be handsome or strong, but you don't have a clue about how other people feel. You're nothing more than a couple of children.


Oh Kiryuu, dispensing valuable life advice as always!


Thank you for everything, Master Kiryuu. You really saved us! Let me give you this for your trouble.

Received [3 ryou].

Um, Kiryuu-san?


Thank you for saving me.

I got paid. Don't worry about it.

When I saw you fight them over me.... I liked it!

This is for you.

She raises her arm in the same gesture the two men made.

A vow, huh? I'll pass.

What? But this vow of affection is only for you!


Got 1500 Experience Points

Well that was a wordy little sidequest, but it did give us a nice deposit for the Kiryuu Sword-Smithing FundTM.

Back to Rakugai.

You might have noticed in the shots from the last sidequest, but our old buddy Kintarou is also by the Zanki Dojo getting harrassed by some children.

Hey, what's going on?

This guy's stinky!

Sure is! That's why we call him "Bakatarou"!

That's what the sign on his back says. Remember that "baka" means "stupid".

Go back to the mountains, Bakatarou!

Ha ha ha!

(What happened here?)

We of course opt to chase the brats off.

Shut up and get out of here, you little monsters!


Are you alright?


(Did those kids do that to him?)

Kiryuu kindly removes the sign.

The sign's gone now. So what happened?

Awww.... I came down from the mountains because I thought I could help people in town. I thought maybe they'd be happy and nice to me. I saw a lot of people I could help and I really tried my best, but I kept messing it up. When I helped people move I dropped their stuff. When I took care of the horses I let them escape. When I helped the fishermen I ate too many fish. Everybody was right about me. I'm stupid! Stupid, stupid, stupid.


Kintarou goes running for the Forest Road. Well, we'd better go see if he's okay.

No sign of Kintarou, but there is this boy trapped under a huge log that even Kiryuu might not be able to lift.

Hey! Can you hear me?

It hurts! Owie!

Hold on! We'll get that log off of you!

(Damn! How am I going to do this?)


(I've got to do something!)

Like magic, Kintarou suddenly appears.

Leave it to me! I'll get this off, no problem!

Townspeople start to gather around.

Hey, are you okay, Kintarou?

What's going on? Kintarou?

Hey, Kintarou? Are you helping my friend?



Wow! You really did it!

You saved that boy even though we all made fun of you.


You're really strong!

Sorry about before. You're not Bakatarou.

Are you okay? You didn't get hurt?

I'm a little sore, but I'm fine.

That's a relief.

You're amazing, Kintarou!

We're so proud of you!

Let's play together later!

Wha-!? Really!?

Sure. As long as you're around we can feel safe.

I'd better be getting home. Why don't you come back with me, Kintarou? I'll cook for you as a reward for what you did today.

He turns to Kiryuu.

Thank you, sir. I should have believed you before. This is for you. It's a memento of my mother, but I want you to have it.

Received [Charm].

It's an omamori - the kind of little fabric amulet you can buy at shrines all over Japan. People these days usually pick them up during New Year's. Inside a pouch about the size of your thumb there's a scroll/prayer written by the priests (although you're not supposed to open the pouch) to protect you from various things. For example, some are specifically for safety while driving, which people tend to put on their key rings.

For Kiryuu, it's an armor accessory.

I feel a lot more confident now. Thanks again!

Got 1500 Experience Points

And we've seen the last of Kintarou, finishing his story arc.