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...Looks like they're already done baking.
Did I make too many? I've never made this many before, so I'm not sure what to do with them all... I haven't tried giving sweets to Orin or Okuu before, but maybe they'd like them?
Well, they've adopted a human form, so I'm sure they can eat the same foods as us.
Koishi steps into the kitchen.
Satori, did you just make some cookies?
Yes, perfect timing. What kind do you think they are?
Hmm, I dunno... Just kidding, they're rose cookies! And you're worried that you made too many.
Correct. It was pointless to try to make you guess, wasn't it? Maybe I'll ask Orin and Okuu if they want some next time.
Oh? What are you two doing in the corner like that?
I keep telling them to come eat with us, but they never listen.
But c'mon, we're pets. It's just not right for us to be eating at the same table as you two.
Plus, you shouldn't be feeding us something as nice as that...
Don't worry yourselves over that. Think of it as a celebratory gift for being able to speak now. After all, you're part of our family too.
Not that we weren't always chatting in our heads back before you took those forms anyway.
Welp, time to dig in!
(Wow, these are great! A little bit burnt though.)
(Talk with your mouth please. Orin and Okuu are here.)
Am I missing something between you two?
It's nothing. Here, help yourselves.
Really? Okay then...
(It's so nice to have all of us sitting around the table like this.)
(What's gotten into you all of a sudden?)
(Oh, I was just thinking that we never had moments like these back on the surface. Moving down here really was the right decision.)
(...Yeah. Your feelings are a whole lot gentler than they used to be.)
(What about you? Is there anything you don't like about life in the Underworld?)
(Yes, you. It's already been quite a while since we started living here, but I'd still like to know.)
(...Don't worry. There's nothing like that. You really like it down here after all...)
(True, because as long as we're down here we'll never have to hear those voices ever again.)
(We've finally gotten used to life here.)
(As long as the Underworld is for no one but the despised, I'm sure there's a place for us here. It'll be a shelter for our hearts.)
(As long as we're here, we can live together with our pets, forever.)
(Here in the Palace of Earth Spirits, forever...)
quote:Palace of Earth Spirits
Music: Bizarre Smile
A crow flaps in.
Oh no, I can't afford to lose focus now. I'm still in the middle of work...
I'm sorry, did I forget it was teatime? Orin and Okuu haven't been showing up lately, so it completely slipped my mind.
...What?! Youkai from the surface are coming here though the back tunnels?!
Are you sure you're not mistaken? They've gotten this deep?
...Understood. I'll go see for myself then.
Invaders from the surface? What could be going on here?
Satori strolls off.
(...N-No way! The surface folks are coming HERE?! But I placed some vengeful spirits to lure them to the Ruins of Blazing Hell! All they had to do was go the front way!)
(Well, there goes my whole plan of getting the humans to fix it for me without Miss Satori catching on!)
(I've gotta steer them towards Blazing Hell, whatever it takes...)
quote:Palanquin Ship - Bridge
Music: What's the Strategy?
I'm still not picking up any youkai on the scanner. There are no reports from our scouts outside either. It seems to be quiet around here.
Ever since as we left the entrance to the Old Capital, we haven't seen a single youkai.
It seems this back alley really is rarely used.
If this keeps up, we'll be at the Palace of Earth Spirits in no time. That said, the investigation itself may not go so smoothly...
You've already met these people, right Marisa? What exactly happened back then?
Well, they took me prisoner. Roughed me up pretty bad too. If it weren't for Koishi, Alice, and the rest I might not have gotten out alive.
Koishi? What'd she do?
She's the one who let Marisa out of her cell. Though perhaps it was more on a whim than out of any sense of benevolence.
Ever since we first met, I've felt like it's been impossible to pin her down. Though now I can sorta get where that weird feeling came from. I mean, after hearing what Yuugi said.
You're right. I never even imagined that she wasn't aware of her own actions.
Maybe it's not our place to interfere, but should Satori really be leaving Koishi to her own devices? She might be related to the incident by accident somehow.
Doubtful. I've been keeping an eye on her movements.
Oh yeah, didn't you say something about how you were interested in these sisters, even before we came down here? How do you even know them? Aren't they Underworlders?
They're old acquaintances, from before they moved to the Underworld. Though it might be a bit difficult to explain succinctly.
Wouldn't this be a good time to fill us in? We'll be meeting them soon enough, so I'd like to know what kind of people they are.
Very well. The Komeiji sisters are the rulers of the Palace of Earth Spirits, from which they manage the remaining vengeful spirits of Old Hell.
And I was the one who gave them that job.
The two of them were youkai who used to live on the surface. But when the need arose to manage the spirits of Old Hell, I entrusted them with the task.
Was this voluntary, or...?
Moving to the Underworld was quite an attractive proposal to the Komeiji sisters. At the time, they were quite disliked, even on the surface.
But the power to read minds turned out to be perfect for controlling vengeful spirits, who don't speak verbally. So in exchange for offering them a safe haven, I had them seal away the dangerous spirits.
I see, so they were just the right women for the job then.
So people hated them just because they could read minds? They didn't even do anything bad. I feel kinda sorry for them...
I really don't think I could ever be comfortable knowing my thoughts could be overheard though.
Well yeah, that's why they ended up without a place to belong on the surface. Not that they could help it. That's just what it means to be a satori.
There's no easy solution, huh...
Well, it was a long story, but that's my relation to the Komeiji sisters. Because staying at the Palace of Earth Spirits was part of our proposal, they've been on my mind ever since.
I understand your position, but I don't see how they could be behind the incident. Perhaps we should expect them to be having some sort of trouble.
Actually, wouldn't it be disappointing if we came all the way down here and it just an accident?
Anyway, we'll know for sure once we get there. Let's go get ready, we'll be there any minute now.
Yo, looks like you stopped playing. Nice work.
Now then, time for a little drin-
Hold it, didn't you say you were going to meet up with me after this?
Oh, Parsee. Yeah, of course I remember our promise.
It looks like you actually did but... don't tell me you were planning to show up drunk?
Me, or alcohol. Which one's more important to you?
Oh come on, what kinda question's that?
Sorry, but I'm a little busy over here. Hope you guys have a good break.
Sheesh, who are you even talking to?!
Okay, okay, just give me a sec.