Part 16: Smuggler's Boat, part 1
Smuggler's Boat, part 1
Ah, there's nothing like a relaxing cruise.
And this is nothing like one. What graveyard did Kato rescue this heap from?
Yuri's fatal weakness: motion sickness. His badass image didn't only go flying out the window; it jumped off the top of a 20-story building, kicking and screaming like a little girl.
Are you all right?
Now leave me alone so I can die in peace.
But you seem a little better than before. At least you can talk now.
I-I guess... Oh, God, this isn't right! Do boats always...ROCK like this...?
Why don't you try going out on the deck? The fresh air might do you some good.
Yes, let's go outside, where Yuri can watch the ocean waves going up and down, up and down...up...and down...
Uh...yeah... Maybe I'll try that...
No, no! I'll be fine.
Through this section, you can NOT make Yuri move any faster than a slow plod.
She would make an excellent research subject. The young man, who calls himself Yuri, also wields unusual forces. In the future, our country must...
Hey! I thought you were a friend, you back-stabbing bitch!
...What about my future?
H-hey! hat are you doing there?! It's not polite to try to find out a lady's secrets, sonny boy!
It's also not polite to treat your friends like lab rats.
...Uuuurgh!... W-what's with the memo? What's it say?
What?! Oh...you mean...th-this?
Oh, ho ho ho! THIS ol' thing! It's just my...diary!! I thought I'd better write down each and every detail of this exciting adventure! Good idea, no?!
Don't you DARE throw up!!
Eeeew!! Gross! Don't SWALLOW it!!
Uurgh...I'm...I'm done for...
H-how filthy! How disgusting! Go lie down or something! Shoo! Shoo! You're starting to make ME feel sick, too...
Now, what's going on in the wheelhouse?
Hmm? Why's this locked? What're they up to in there?
Yes, but not to worry. The boat is sailing smoothly. You know, I didn't think we'd actually have it this easy. You're incredible, Lt. Colonel Kawashima! They really think we're their own personal couriers. So, from Shanghai, all we have to do is get them on the special charter and rush them off to Japan!
We can't let our guard down. These people butchered the soldiers on the Trans-Siberian Express.
Yes, well... I heard about that incident, too, but...
I can't imagine that the girl could be capable of such a thing. She seems so sweet...
I mean, just look at how she takes care of the young man who's been sick ever since we left port.
Finally! Someone in the Army that doesn't jump to conclusions in 30 seconds!
Hmm. It could have been him...that Yuri...that did the butchering. Kato...
I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to see the girl and her friends with my own eyes. I assume you've heard about the old man in Shanghai who continues to plot against our Army...?
Yes. I don't know the details, but Dehuai seems to be a warlock, with the powers of an Adept.
Correct. Thanks to him, we're having great difficulty gaining any measure of power in Shanghai. Hee, hee. He's a sharp old scoundrel, that Dehuai. They say he tried the ultimate Taoist magic fifteen years ago, and was about to blow Japan to bits.
Who knows? It could just be an exaggeration, something my father let slip when he was drunk. Apparently, a colonel in black ops was just barely able to stop Dehuai's ritual at the last moment.
I...I had no idea...
The bloated desk-jockeys we take our orders from don't have a clue about the size of this country. They know even less about the teeming varieties of people and ways of thinking here. This "Utopia" we're pushing... It's nothing more than a dirty trick shrouded in a cute name. Even I might be just another cog in the wheel of this scheme, helping it move ever onward.
"Even you"? That's quite an ego you have there.
The people here are victims of politics. All they really want to do is get on with their lives. It's no surprise this land would produce a warlock like Dehuai. At least he makes things interesting.
Lt. Colonel... What do you think the connection between Dehuai and Alice IS...?
Ah, forgive me for going on and on. It's just boring talk.
Not at all, ma'am!! I always like t-to hear your thoughts, Lt. Colonel!!
Drool a little bit more, why don't you, Kato?
...You're a funny fellow, aren't you? Fine, let's get back to the subject at hand. I've been tracking Dehuai for some time. Eventually, I learned of the girl he was so desperate to catch.
Is this... Alice?
...Yes. She has a unique spiritual power. Even Tsuji met his death when he encountered her. I wish to find out whether she will be a help...or a hindrance...to Japan's invasion of the mainland.
For someone who's supposed to be so smart, Kawashima can be amazingly dense at times.
A Shanghai offensive...so the Japanese Army can take the mainland...
Is that your real motivation, Lt. Colonel...?
Hee hee hee...
I worry about her, sometimes.
Oh dear. I've already learned one thing in this game: fog = BAD!
Urgg...! What's with the scowl, pops? Don't tell me you're throwing up from seasickness. Uck...
Heh heh heh. That would be YOU, if I'm not mistaken. Say, kid, are you feeling better now?
Well, he is (mostly) upright now.
And what do you make of this unearthly aura...? It seems to rise from the sea and permeate the boat.
Unearthly aura?! Ulp... Sorry, buddy... I'm dealing with some pretty earthly problems right now.
I love Yuri. Even when he's dead on his feet, he still finds time to be an ass to everyone he meets.
Hey! Watch it, will you? Do not soil my robes!!
Ew, he's doing it again.
Aren't we in Shanghai yet? How much longer will it taaaake??
Ha ha ha, we should be there by a little after noon tomorrow.
What?! I won't last that long, pal!!
Hey, kid, if you're going to kick the bucket, do it over there, will you?
Hmph, some help you are! Couldn't you at least have brought some medicine for this kind of thing?
You burned it all so you could fight the cat demon, remember?
Hrk... You and Miss Spy Genius are big meanies... Alice is the only one who really cares about me!
What is it about grown men that makes them regress to the age of five when they're sick? Yuri's normally at least functioning at the level of a 12-year-old.
Hmmm. Something is going on, I'm sure of it... The unnatural aura is growing more intense.
Rejected and dejected, Yuri slowly plods his way back to Alice.
Yuri, are you okay? You didn't come back. I was getting worried!
Yeah, I'm fine. I learned just how kind you are, Alice...and how cold the rest of the world is!
Aw, isn't that sweet.
You're still delirious from the vomiting, aren't you?
Whew. Zhuzhen and Margarete say there's something wrong outside, but...what could it possibly be?
Speaking of there being something wrong... Yuri, your disposition has changed since I first met you. It seems like you're changing more and more all the time. Maybe it has something to do with your powers...
I'm worried about you. It's like there's a dark shadow hanging over you...and it's getting stronger.
Oh? Well, yeah, my powers have just gone a little wild since I met up with you. And now I can fuse with more spirits. But hey, I say things are fine just the way they are.
The way they are...?
I haven't had any headaches lately. No mystery-voice, either. I must be doing something right. If you're right about the voice wanting to tell me something, and if what that voice says is true...
...Then I want to know whose voice it is! I've decided to protect you, at all costs.
And that's going to help you find out the identity of the voice how, exactly?
So, I'm fine with things the way they are.
But you know...
If...if I were to get devoured by the spirits inside of me that I've fused with...
This is, according to an interview I read somewhere quite a while ago, THE fear that all Harmonixers have to face and overcome. It's the reason why Yuri is restricted right now to only first level fusions. He's never faced down his fear.
If they take over, and I'm not myself anymore...you've gotta kill me, Alice. No hesitation.
...Oh, come on! That's not funny.
It's no joke...
Don't worry! You won't lose to those monsters, so it won't happen. I...I believe in you.
Hey, you two! Something's going on!
Oh, of all the bad timing...
What is it already?!
What's going on?
S-something big! You two had better come outside... Let's go!!
Who invited her along, again?
I think she invited herself...
Everyone is gathered near the bow of the boat, but we may as well loot while the looting's good. It should be noted that Yuri is walking normally again. The prospect of violence has reinvigorated him completely.
The boat's turning circles in the same place, over and over.
Yes!! There's nothing wrong with the motor, but for some reason the boat won't move forward. It's as if...as if the boat was being held by something underwater...
Did you check the anchor, chin-boy?
Haunted Voice: You should die...
What was that voice?!
It's Li Li...
H-here it comes!!
You first. ...oh, wait...
The mindless fish will pluck and poke at your rotting corpse, at your bulging eyeballs!
Here she comes, kid! So this was what was raising the hairs on the back of my neck...
There he goes. Hopefully, to look for his missing balls.
Tee-hee... So nice you remembered. I've been waiting for you...
Li Li, please, tell us what you want us to do! What can we do so that your soul may rest in peace?! What do you want from us?
Li Li never walks anywhere. She just fades out of one spot and into another, like a, well, like a ghost.
My friends are coming to greet you!
Sea Mother's Voice: On-tei-naa... Kai-zeu-chii-fuu-motsu-gyaku... On-tei-naa... On-tei-naa...
Heh heh heh. When did you get here, Sea Mother? You must have masked your presence.
You think you can suppress my spirit with your feeble "power"? Eeeyyaah!! DIIEEEEEE!!
Hit by lightning and she's still going. Sea Mother is a tough old broad, I'll give her that much.
You will not be made to suffer any more. Now, calm your spirit!!
Li Li, stop this!!
O-on...tei-naa... On-tei...naa... kai-zei...chii-fuu...
C-creatures of the deep, attack!! Drag these fools to the bottom of the ocean!!
I'd say it was the smell of burning old lady that did it.
Are you all right, Sea Mother? Why on earth did you do that?
That was an old-fashioned exorcism you performed just now, yes? Here, let me lend a hand. If it's all the same, why don't we place seals all over the boat to help Li Li's spirit settle down?
Master Zhuzhen! Are you sure?
Think nothing of it. At this rate, the ship's going nowhere for the time being.
Oh, would you two just fu-Ouch! What'd ya hit me for!
Sorry about that, sonny boy. I've got a terrible nervous tic. Oops! There it goes again!
Well, let's get to it, then. Hey, kid. I'm going to put up a seal here. Help Sea Mother rest until I'm done. And I imagine the monsters will be attacking, so I'll need you to buy me some time, too.
This is getting a bit long, so we'll just break here for now.
Next time on Shadow Hearts: Ghost-busting with geriatrics.
Smuggler's Boat, part 1, on Viddler