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...Mmmm, ugh...

Satori wakes up.

...It seems I've overslept a little. But then, lately I haven't been sleeping very well.

If I remember correctly, I should be expecting guests toda-

*yawn* Good morning, Satori.

! Koishi, when did you get back?

Huh? I don't really know, but it looks like I borrowed your pajamas.

You looked like you were having a nightmare. Did something bad happen?

...No, it's nothing like tha-

Somebody knocks on the door.

...Who is it?

Orin walks in.

Miss Satori~. The guests are about to arrive but the preparations aren't done ye-

Oh, Orin. Good morning to you too~.

Meow?! Miss Koishi's here too?

Thank you, Orin. I only just woke up.

I'll head over entirely, so please prepare some tea.

Got it. I'm not the biggest fan of hot water though...

Orin leaves.

...Well, Koishi, I'm awake now so I have to change my clothes.

Breakfast will be ready soon, so you should eat with-

Satori, are the guests Underworlders?

Well, yes. There's a couple things they want to talk abou-

No matter who I talk to, I just get bored. Everybody hates us in the depths of their hearts.

Don't worry, the guests today aren't those kind of people.

...Um, Koishi, if you're interested you can-


...She already left...


Palace of Earth Spirits

...So Miss Satori should be here soon.

Sorry about makin' you serve us tea and all.

Orin walks away to prepare tea.

...Sheesh, did we come here too early in the morning or something?

C'mon, this far down there's not much difference between night and day. And hey, aren't us Old Capital folks drinking all the time anyway? Both sleeping and awake.

That's just you. This is why oni are-

Satori approaches.

Sorry for the wait. Welcome to the Palace of Earth Spirits.

Yo, you're late. Sorry for botherin' you.

So you're here as well, Yuugi Hoshiguma.

This isn't my kinda thing, but I guess I'm tagging along.

We came here for- Wait, I don't have to say it out loud, do I?

Right, you came to talk about Koishi.

That makes this quick then. There's a rumor about her going around the Underworld.

This is sudden, but what exactly has your sister been up to? She's started acting really weird, so we'd like you to just tell us already.

I see, so she's started acting oddly...

Yeah. I mean, you're all getting along here in the Palace of Earth Spirits, right? But your sister's always wandering around all over the place.

One moment you think she's there, and the next she's gone. And when you try to talk to her it's not exactly what I'd call a conversation.

And word is that she's lost her power as a satori.

...I see, so a rumor like that has been spreading under my nose.

It's true, Koishi has closed her third eye, which she needs to read minds.

...! You mean like that eye of yours...?

So all that stuff she's been doing lately is because of her closed eye?

But... how? And why? A lot of youkai are worried about what she's up to in who-knows-where.

I see...

Neither I, nor Koishi herself, know the answer to that.

Huh? What does that mean?

...By closing her third eye, Koishi obtained the power to control the unconscious. Thanks to that power, no one is aware of her movements.

...I get it, so that's how she just pops in and out of nowhere.

However, because of that, she isn't aware of her own movements either.

Hold on here. You said that pretty casually, but isn't that a huge deal? If she can't tell what she's doing, doesn't that mean she's not in control of her body?

You're right, so we have no idea where she's going. She might even be going to the surface...


...Y'know, I don't mean to be rude, but shouldn't you have been keeping a better watch on her? If something happens, everyone in the Palace of Earth Spirits will be-

It's all right. This is between the two of us. I know more about Koishi than anyone.

...Fine. If you insist, I'll stay out of this.

But just keep in mind that we're worried about this too. This is something that could affect the entire Underworld, so keep us in the loop.

Yamame and Yuugi make their exit.




Music: What's the Strategy?

...Phew, I wonder if that's enough fuel for today?

Is there anything else I can do...? Umm, I feel like there was something.

Orin walks over.

...Good work, Okuu.

You too, Orin. Wait, you're so worn out! Did something happen?

Yeah, some big shot oni and an Underworld youkai came to the Palace. Yuugi Hoshiguma of the Four Devas, and the Earth Spide-

Yabame Kurodani!

YaMAme. Seems like they were worried about Miss Koishi too.

It was about Miss Koishi?

Yeah, looks like they don't know about her power over the unconscious. So they came directly to ask what's been going on.

Right, because Miss Satori knows everything.

...Honestly, I can't tell what Miss Satori's been thinking lately. She's been treating Miss Koishi like nothing's changed, but she can't read her mind like she used to.

When it comes to the mind, having it be closed should be the most painful thing possible, but...

...No matter how many times we ask, she always just tells us it's fine. But because of the thing with Miss Koishi, Miss Satori doesn't smile like she used to.

For someone who's always forgetting people's names and stuff, you have a pretty good memory for the strangest things.

Right, anything that has to do with Miss Satori or Miss Koishi.

...Hey, Orin. If I had a special power too, do you think I could be more useful to those two?

Huh? Where did THAT come from?

But don't you use your power to control spirits to help out Miss Satori? I don't have anything like that... I hate not being able to do anything.

You idiot, didn't Miss Satori give us both the jobs best suited for us?

...Plus, I know better than anyone how hard you work, without overdoing it.


Then, I'll be getting back to work too. Later.

Orin walks off.

...Orin said all that stuff, but I still hate being like this. Just a little while ago, we were all living happily together, so why...?

...Underworld crow.


What's going on? I thought I just heard a voice from somewhere...

So you're called Okuu? I'm speaking directly to your mind.

Sorry we can't meet face to face.

H-Huh? Is someone here?

We are gods. We have come to ask something of you.

Gods? Like, in heaven? And you came to talk...?

Well, something like that. It's fine if we keep this casual.

So anyway, I want to ask you something. What do you think about people with powerful abilities?


Utsuho is dumb enough I feel fine with letting her parrot people.

Right. For example, the power of the sun that shines on the surfac-

Hmm... I don't get this complicated stuff, but I guess I envy them. If I had the power to do stuff, I could be more useful.

...So you want to be useful? You seem to have a generally altruistic heart. And while you have no special powers, your spiritual capacity is quite large.

A fresh mind in an empty body. Actually, you're perfectly suited to be a vessel.

Hey, so why are you asking all this weird stuff?

You're right, let's cut to the chase and ask the most important question.

Okuu, do you want power?


Yes, you have the potential to take on the ultimate energy, that which supports all of creation. And to illuminate this world as a subterranean sun.