This is a rather short part, so it will be done in about two updates. HOORAY.
DUN DUN DUNN. We will finally see who the hell is that annoying shadowed figure.
"It's the Daidouji Factory, located in Fukagawa-Cho, Senju-Ku.
It is owned by Kiyoshi Daidouji, so it must tie in somehow. Business was fine for a while, but they've since gone bankrupt.
Kiyoshi did what he could, but I guess there was no way he could save the business.
The factory's closed down, and the land is up for sale to pay down his debt.
I assume he wanted to keep his factory... Until the very end.
Raidou, I need you to go to the factory and see if Kiyoshi is hiding out there. But, be careful.
Tae mentioned something...
I guess Red Cape's been seen around the factory. She was real excited, and flapping about going there to get the scoop.
I tried to tell her it'd be dangerous, but she wouldn't listen... Dames.
So, uh, do me a favor, okay? While you're looking for Kiyoshi, make sure Tae stays outta trouble too, wouldja?"
So the mission is this: A) Find Kiyoshi, or leads that will bring Raidou to Kiyoshi, and B)Keep Tae out of trouble. Sounds doable.
But first: A visit to everone's favorite old fart. Raidou needs to resupply.
"That's the good part. The bad part, on the other hand...
That constant rumbling, clanking racket from the basement... Can't he do anything about it?"
Well, he has transformed a basement into a cavern of enormous dimensions filled with strange, magical machinery. He's done enough, I think.
Unless the basement is not some sort of dimensional portal to somewhere else where Victor has his stuff, because if then, holy shit, hugeest basement ever.
More expensive clips, and a new type of bullet, that causes dizzyness.
These things. I prefer to sell them.
Time to visit Victor.
"Tje result is a brand-new process; a fusion method unlike any other! Steady yourself, for its gandeur may shock you!
It's a process to give swords demonic powers, known as... FORGE.
Remember it well! You can infuse your demon's powers to your katana.
If you want to know how it works, I would be delighted to give you a lecture on the subject.
There seems to be one small peculiarity, though. Perhaps I've tinkered with the machine to much, but it's become a little unstable. Keep that in mind from now on.
Forge, is it? You wish to know the forbidden process for fusing demons with swords? Transferring demon abilities to your sword can make it stronger.
Fusion between living demons and cold steel! Only I would dare to perform such a feat!
The sword's power will change depending on the abilities od the demon you fuste to it. Sometimes, the demon's power may even transfer over to you rather than your blade. However, the demon you use will be gone forever.
As Prometheus learned, power always comes at a price. Keep that balance in mind when attempting to Forge."
Then, let's forge.
This is currently, the best fusion we can get. Sure, Raiju gives a +14 instead of Orthrus' +12, but the net stat increase is lesser. And protection against elec would be less useful than the protection against fire, since the only Volt order demon that could be worth a damn right now is Raiju itself.
On the other hand, we'll be seeing some other Pyro demons in a little while...
New, glowy sword with demonic powers? Oh yes, I want it.
Not documented: Resummoning Orthrus since he is damn useful.
"Better hurry, cause pretty soon I'll be directing people to where it used to be, if you get my drift."
The factory. What lies in it?
Yeah, the factory. Let's see what's inside, damnit.
Nakamura doesn't use a cane, and we've NEVER seen Takeshi, he's bedridden.
So, who else could it be? Why, only Kiyoshi.
"That's right. Good detective work, Brian. This is Kiyoshi's cane, which means... he's probably in the factory. Let's check it out."
Hooray! More evidence.
WHO IS THERE?
Oh. It is Tae.
"Don't scare me like that, Raidou!
I didn't expect to see you here.
Huh? What I'M doing here?
Didn't Shouhei tell you? Remember I asked you to look into that Red Cape mystery?
Well, guess what! He's been seen near this factory, too.
Actually finding the monster who's been spotted all over town... What a scoop!
Don't worry, I came prepared....
Except maybe I got a bad tip.
I've been here for a while; so far, I haven't seen hide or hair of the Red Cape. It was awful nice of you to come all this way just to help me though, Raidou."
Well, that takes care of B)
"All that aside, don't these dolls look familar, Brian?"
Why, yes, they do.
"If you're looking for Kiyoshi, he's in the back room. However, I obviously won't let you get to him that easily. This time you'll get a taste of my power, along with the teachings of Kimon Tonkou!"
"The key to breaking that seal is hidden inside my Matrix Labyrinth.
If you want to meet Kiyoshi, you'll need to find all three shards!
Should you fail to get out alive, I'll take care of the lady for you. Heh heh heh."
Well, that is a challenge. Sure, a fetch quest, but a challenge.
And thus, it will have to be answered.
NO SHIT. LABYRINTH. YOU DO DESERVE TO BE CALLED NAVI.
"What do you suppose he meant by labyrinth? And what's the scoop on these weird dolls? Whatever's gone on, we need to find Kiyoshi. Let's go, Brian.
Looks like we need to do something about that seal.
This enemy party appears quite frequently in this area. The most dangerous ones are the Pyro Oshichi, since both the Azumis and the Raijus are easily dealt with at this point (around level 20 is adequate for this area, if not, just bring an Orthrus and you'll level up quite easily). The Azumis are gone in about two hits, and the Raijus make little damage. With the Orthrus fusioned sword, and an ORTHRUS, the Oshichis can do almost no damage, and you can easily pass this. They take the most punishment out of all the other enemies in the area.
They are also weak to Ice.
First, don't forget to raid the storehouse. Hee.
The dolls serve as teleports to the Labyrinth. Let's check it out.
One can find these guys all over the place. They are workers of the factory that got too curious about the russian dolls.
Yes. Russian dolls. MATROSHKAS or however the hell you spell that particular word.
No, it clearly is not foreshadowing about the Dark Summoner's identity, no sir. No relation at all.
"But... I like it here! How could anyone sit back and watch as something they love is taken away!?
I won't die... And neither will this factory!"
Yes, cheering up the factory workers does something. You'll see.
Green walls are Dragon Jaws, and thus, imposible to pass.
Red walls are either Shikimi no Kages, and thus, easily beaten, or Tainted Gates, that are passed with even more ease. Thus, the only annoying part of this place is that there are some parts locked. It is not all that bad, and right now, a good grinding place. Everything gives lots of experience here.
And again, to have an easy time around this place, one must have a Pyro demon. Yes sir.
Ice Shikimi no Kage. Weak against Mabufu. JACKFROST.
After beating a couple Okiku-Mushis, and giant Okiku-Mushis, the Blue Shard is in Raidou's possession.
In this part. Notice how he keeps the hat even in the map marker form.
Onis, weak against Electricit, but they LOOOOVE to just keep blocking all the fight long.
They are annoying, but eventually, they could be good allies.
Another level up!
And the exit.
More exploration is needed first, though.
"You remind me a bit of Mr. Daidouji. He's always willing to help, even when he's swamped with work. I can't take favors from someone so much younger than me. I can manage it myself..."
Motivating all the workers has an effect.
You see, I left Denpachi die, because what he did was quite an asshole move. He was not willing to let his sister go away. Kiyoshi's motive was (apparently) far more altruistic.
He CARES about his employees, and he wanted to save his niece.
Can you blame him?
Denpachi's reason was completely selfish. Kiyoshi wants not only to keep himself in a good position, but he despairs about the people udner him. If he goes down, he would have taken his employees with him.
Or maybe I just don't want to leave a single bit to be explored in this part, and the employees annoy me, dunno.
"Every one of these darn passages look the same to me. I just can't see a thing without my glasses."
That's what the automap is for.
"Yer still just a student. You aren't old enough to think about stuff like that. Heh... Just like Mr. Daidouji, who used to take me to bars, even though he wouldn't drink himself. Yeah, blowing a gasket won't do me any good... I should take it easy."
Now, this isn't such a good idea. WHY?
Turdak is weak against fire, and thus, when the oshichis attack (and they will, before the rest) he'll take a LOT of damage, and will take every other attack as a critical hit. Not a good idea.
Only that room isn't accesible from the lower left doll portal. Shame.
Time to go out, and check the next doll.
Another level up. Quite nice, actually. Good grinding place for this point.
The next doll brings Raidou to a different part of the Labyrinth.
More money! Yay! Would've preferred something usable, though.
"You're a normal joe, right?
Naw man, I didn't mean it like that. I just saw this weird red guy zip past at warp speed
That red cape of his was far out, though. I'll gank it next time he comes around."
Red... Cape? Could it be Kiyoshi?
Nah, Kiyoshi would not worry about a job. He would worry about the factory, or his niece.
This is YET ANOTHER red cape, then.
And it goes down with relative ease.
"What gives? Ugh... I'm achin' all over... "
"But, stay out of the warehouse. The company president is in there, and you'd get into trouble. Why don't you run along home and help your dad around the house? I need ro get back to work, see ya, kid."
Clearly, he is mostly unnafected by the Red Cape thing. Maybe he was just a recent infection or something?
"You just ran by me a little while ago, but it was a red you. Are you like, the rare black variant?"
Raidou Kuzunoha is not a pokémon, you dumb oni!
Next doll now.
Yet another level up. See? Good place.
That's what Raiju is for.
"You are right. Mr. Daidouji always said not to panic in times of trouble... You came here from outside, right? Okay... Then, there has to be a way out! Yeah! I'm all right now!"
Raidou is a force of inspiration.
And perspiration, maybe, that cloak must be real warm.
"Everywhere I go, it's walls, walls, walls!
Who designes this tacky labyrinth?
Honestly! If you ask me, somebody needs to be disciplined."
"Mr. Daidouji always used to encourage me when I made a mistake. And if you got here from outside, there must still be hope. Alright, I'll keep at it."
See? His presence serves to rekindle the candle of hope in suicidal workers!
He is just that awesome. I blame his hat and sideburns.
The cloak must have something to do with it, as well.
Hahaha. Hah. Hah.
That's what the evil bird is for. Remember: Having a balanced team (even if the dmeons may be underlevelled) always pays off. ALWAYS.
"Have you seen-ho my friend, hee ho?
We're playing hee-and seek, ho. But, I can't find my friend, ho...D-did they go hee-home without me, hee-ho!?
I'm lonely, ho..."
NO ONE but a monster would make a Jack Frost sad like that. MONSTERS.
Well, there is this Pyro Jack, and he is an asshole. SEE:
"You can't get hee-here unless you come from-ho the outside, hee ho. I'm safe hee-her, ho! But I'm getting tired, ho..."
Who ya callin' ho, ho?
Nice. Now the seal can be broken!
And one shall see what's behind the door in the next page.