"Just as I thought. It's especially bad here.
It's originally near the outside, but for the barrier to weaken this much...damn that youkai, what's she thinking...
This shouldn't have happened if Reimu's being vigilant about the border either, should it?
That Reimu, I heard she was staying at the SDM recently...So that's why she hadn't noticed? Damn, why me...
If something isn't done, something bad will happen...Is there anything I can do?
What's this? Looks like something from the outside world, but...
..Yes, with this..."
Let's Play Labyrinth of Touhou - Prologue
You ever had one of those days where you're lazily sitting back and sipping some tea on your front porch, only to have a black hole appear out of nowhere and suck up your house? Yeah, today was one of those days.
It's been about a month since Remilia asked me to resolve some sort of incident for her. I don't really remember what it was anymore; perhaps our fans can fill in those little details. Anyway, after helping her out, Remilia invited me to stay over at the Scarlet Devil Mansion. She never mentioned how long I could stay, so naturally I've been there as her honored guest for the past month. Let me just say, being rich is fantastic! You get all these cute little fairy maids to do your laundry and make you food and...well, the fairies are actually totally useless, but at least the one human maid can do all of that for you. Definitely beats that old dump I used to live in, that's for sure.
So this morning, Sakuya had the nerve to complain to Remilia about how long I was staying at the SDM. Wouldn't you know it, Remilia didn't even know I had been their for the past few weeks! Not my fault she can't keep track of what's in her own house. So she gets all indignant at me about mooching off of her and forgetting about my duties back at the shrine and whatnot, only for the most fortuitous of interruptions to cut her short. Well, perhaps "fortuitous" is the exact opposite of what I meant.
The entire mansion suddenly shook as though some giant catfish had fallen from the sky. The three of us rush out to look at just what was going on, only to see an enormous black mass appear in the sky above the mansion, sucking up everything in sight. Luckily, the SDM is nailed down to the floor pretty tight, but I'm sure some individuals weren't so lucky. Just then, that old shopkeeper Rinnosuke arrived at the scene and asked what was going on. Like I had any clue!
Once it was safe to return to the mansion, we were greeted by Marisa and Patchouli, who've been puzzling over the appearance of that strange thing above the mansion. Rinnosuke accused me of neglecting my duties to watch over the Hakurei Barrier or something, as if this whole thing was somehow my fault! Does he know just how boring it is to stare at a magic wall all day long? Then again, knowing how boring he is, he'd probably enjoy that. Regardless, Rinnosuke explained that the strange thing was a tear in the fabric of space. Or a portal to another dimension. Or something. I don't know, these things are usually left vague, aren't they?
Rinnosuke told us about how he had noticed that the Hakurei Barrier had been weakening recently, as evidenced by the appearance of more objects from the outside world at Muenzuka. He also came to warn us that Yukari Yakumo may have been behind this. I guess that makes sense, if the Hakurei Barrier is involved, but I just can't see that old hag doing anything but sleeping this time of year. Marisa came to report that several of the residents of Gensokyo have taken to venture into that strange portal in the sky, and suggested that we go investigate too. Sakuya, Remi, and Patchy may be interested, but I voiced my own objections. Am I the only one who thinks it's not the best idea in the world to just go waltzing into a black hole? And no, this is NOT just because I don't want to do any work.
After some physical coercing, I came to see it their way. But before we go do anything suicidal, I figured it was a good idea to go look around a bit. Marisa and I went off to check out a few things.
First stop was the Hakurei Shrine, which miraculously is still intact. As we arrived, I felt a strange presence, and was greeted by a woman with the most ridiculous piece of headwear I've ever seen (and I have seen a lot of ridiculous headwear). She introduced herself as Agasa Kaguya, the "goddess of leveling up". Well, I guess that beats "goddess of dead leaves". After forcing her to take care of the shrine while I'm away, she offered to perform a "level-up ceremony" whenever I've returned with enough experience points. What kind of level-up goddess requires experience points to level someone up anyone? Pretty sure I'll be seeing plenty of her later on.
Our other stop was at the nearby human village, at the home of Hieda no Akyu. After telling her about our plans to explore the strange space, she offered to keep a written account of all that we saw and did. How that will actually be of any use after a full-party wipe, I'll never know, but I did get to snag some scrolls and ink from her to write this narration. She still owes me for her portrayal of me in the latest volume of the Gensokyo Chronicles
Back at the SDM, Marisa and I decided by executive decision to use the mansion as our base of operations, over the muffled complaints of Remi. We also made Patchy give an explanation on the use skill points, not that I didn't know, but because I was afraid she'd feel unneeded and unloved if we didn't ask for her font of knowledge from time to time. This is the kind of thing main characters like me are intuitively aware of. Just be glad I didn't ask for a full tutorial.
All that was left was to make ourselves at home. We set off for the strange space first-thing tomorrow morning. Marisa said she'd go see if she could find anyone to help us out as well. Just as well: more people working means less work for me. And no, I am NOT lazy. Just...practical in my energy expenditure. Till then, I guess I wouldn't mind enjoying being bathed by the fairy maids, followed by a massage and a nice hot cup of tea.
Tomorrow better be a good day.
~ Reimu Hakurei