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Carefully, please. Proceed carefully.

I know, I know. I'll try not to run into any rocks...

I never thought we'd be coming back to the Underworld like THIS. I'm surprised the path we used to get the surface is still useable too.

This place is close to the surface, so I bet no one ever bothered to come plug the hole.

But this place is even darker and more depressing than I expected. I'm sure that reflects the personalities of the youkai who live here.

I hope we can just finish up down here and get out before we run into anyone.

Well, this is a surprise. I would have expected you two crow tengu to be jumping with joy over the chance to interview new people.

I briefly considered it, but ultimately it's not a good time for that.

Now that we're breaking the noninterference pact, we should remain on our best behavior.

You seem to be stepping on tiptoes around it, but is this noninterference pact of yours really so important?

Of course, we aren't very well informed about what exactly the Underworld IS, either.

...To put it simply, the Underworld is an underground world isolated from the surface. Its origins can be traced back to when the oni all left the surface en masse to settle in the ruins of Hell.

All of them? Does that include you too, Suika?

Yeah, I guess. This place was supposed to be a new home for the oni. But nowadays it's just a nest for all the hated youkai.

And who might those be?

There are all manner of them. Those whose powers cause them to be detested, as well as those whose very existence is shunned. The one commonality they share is that they find it difficult to coexist with mankind on the surface.

Whether through their power or by instinct, their mere presence on the surface would cause harm. Had we not segregated them, Gensokyo's continued existence would be in jeopardy.

I see, so it was a means of crisis management. Very prudent.

But isn't that reasoning biased towards the surface dwellers? I'm sure there must be some youkai with good in them in the Underworld too.

Maybe so, but at the very least the noninterference pact was a mutual agreement from both sides.

Are you claiming it WASN'T just Gensokyo unilaterally expelling those it deemed inconvenient?

I couldn't say how the Underworld youkai feel about the issue, and I have no intention of making excuses for it. However, I'll admit that, as a result, we have been unable to establish cordial relations.

So you didn't have any other options then? Must be tough being the manager.

It certainly is...

Anyway, that's the sort of dangerous place we'll be trespassing in. We'll need to be even more vigilant than usual.

If we run into any Underworld youkai, allow me to negotiate first. Be sure to convey that to everyone we have out scouting.

Roger that. I hope morale doesn't drop from the cold though...


Palanquin Ship - Deck

Music: Border of Regular and Irregular Days

Brr, it's freezing...

For crying out loud, isn't this where the hot spring was coming from? Shouldn't it be warmer?

Hey, there's a bat flying around over there!

Where, where? I wonder what kind of lasers it shoots.

...Settle down, you two. We're not here to play.

Why not? It's the first time we've been to the Underworld.

The sounds really echo nicely down here. I bet it would great nice to sing.

I can't believe I never thought of that! An all-natural music venue~!

Good grief. Something tells me that won't be happening.

Don't forget to keep an eye on your surroundings. If this is a trap, then it's likely that we'll be ambushed.

Right. Just a bit further and the cave should start to open up.

You're awfully well-informed. Oh right, didn't you come down here before or something?

Correct, although at first we were just lost and didn't realize that this was the Underworld. By the time we noticed, the local youkai has already laid their eyes on us and we ended up fighting.

Hmm, I'd heard about their viciousness through the grapevine, but it sounds like it's really true.

So, what were the monsters you saw like? Were they wearing skulls on their necklaces or brandishing sickles and chains?

What exactly are you imagining...?

Well, I've only heard stories about the place! I've never actually seen it for myself.

It wasn't spiked pauldrons and leather or anything. It was actually pretty normal. I mean, sure, the first ones we met were a bucket youkai and an earth spi-

An earth spider named Yamame. You gotta be careful around her!

Oh, is it someone Nitori knows then?

The earth spiders used to live on Youkai Mountain way back when. They would pollute our river and stuff. They're dangerous!

A spider youkai, huh? I guess they have bug youkai down here too. So what kind of youkai was she? Since we're both bugs, then maybe-

She's not the kind that makes many friends. She possesses the power to control diseases. According to what I've read, she can freely inflict incurable infections.

Ew. Yeah, no thanks...

...But still, I'd like to meet her at least once. Since we're down here and all. Even if her power is dangerous, maybe she'll listen to what we have to say.

True, since some of us met her before and came away healthy, I'm sure we could at least talk-

No way. Who knows what she'll do to you if you let your guard down?

We've never gotten along with the earth spiders. And I can guarantee they hate us right back.

You're right, that really makes this complicated.

If we do run into her, do whatever you like. But don't forget why we're down here. Focus on figuring out where the vengeful spirits are coming from. We've still gotta clean up that mess.

True, that's another reason to stay vigilant.


My, it seems you've stopped playing.

I suppose it's fitting that a lowly Earthling like you would abandon all hope and fall to your knees here. In the end, you possess naught but a brief and foolish life... Nothing more than an infinitesimal accumulation.

If you understand that, then never even think of laying a finger on the princess again.

(Not good, Master's switch's been flipped...)

(Shhh! Pipe down or you'll have to deal with it!)

This is where I shall bid you farewell, mere Earthling.