Let's Play Labyrinth of Touhou - Chapter 9
Salutations. My name is Alice Margatroid, and I'm not in a very good mood. Can you tell by my profile picture?
China may have spent her time complaining about how she got the most boring floor to cover, but I get the most frustrating one. Mere words could not express the indignation that I now feel, but I'll do my best to convey it.
I guess I'll admit that at the very least, Floor 7 looks pretty, and has very nice background music playing from somewhere, but that's hardly any compensation for the torture that we've had to endure here. It certainly is an eerie change from the nature stroll we've been having thus far.
Right at the start, we come across our first obstacle. The stairs to the next floor are not far from our starting point, but once again a magic sigil obstructs our path. Only this time, there is no monstrous creature for us to slay to unlock this sigil. Oh, it's much worse.
If it was only some sort of hideous beast for me to take vengeance upon, I'd have no problem with this place! But alas, a far worse fate awaited us. To say that this place's puzzle was annoying would be an understatement of the highest magnitude.
This floor was riddled with countless magic circles that transported us from one place to another. Each circle was indistinguishable from the others, making it impossible to guess where we'd end up until we've already passed through it, especially since many of the portals are one-way. To make matters worse, it's not much of an exaggeration to guess that half of the teleportation circles are one-way trap portals that drop us back to the very start of the floor. Each time we step on such a trap, my anger only grows. And amid this ridiculous teleporter maze, we are somehow suppose to locate special switches to unlock the original sigil. Just what kind of sadistic monster came up with this?!?
For example, only one of these portals leads to a new area. The remaining portals dropped us right back to start. Yes, this is what I meant by "sadistic". Who could have come up with this? Eirin? Yuka? Some sort of drunk guy with glasses?
To make matters worse, Reimu has been keeping a map of each floor thus far, but in her laziness she never bothered to record how each portal is linked. This makes our normally helpful map practically useless.
That indolent shrine maiden! If I were in charge of this, such a problem would have never cropped up! Of course, everyone here is unwilling to to let me lead after that whole debacle I put them through back on Floors 3 and 4...it was an honest mistake, I swear! Even the best of us can come to incorrect conclusions...
While we struggled for what felt like hours in this irritating maze, we were beset by all sorts of new enemies. While most were easily dispatched by our faster allies, these creatures have since grown far more threatening if left unvanquished. One misstep or failure to promptly eliminate a foe, and we stand to suffer a crippling magic drain spell, or even extremely powerful magic such as the dreaded Ether Flare.
Of course, for a mage of my caliber, such spells could hardly defeat me. Still, many of our more magically incompetent allies were less fortunate. A pity, but not unexpected for this rabble.
Perhaps my greatest surprise was that we were not alone in this forsaken labyrinth. Out of all the people I know, perhaps the last person I expected to see in such a bafflingly complex place was none other than that slacker shinigami, Komachi Onozuka.
Komachi informed us that several dangerous evil spirits had escaped her watch and wandered into the strange space of Gensokyo. While she has captured a few of them (or so she claims), she implored us to go and capture the rest of the spirits that escaped to Floor 8. Yeah right, why would we bother doing that? Let her clean up her own mess!
Surprisingly enough, Komachi was not the only interloper here. One particularly eccentric kappa gave us a rather unexpected shock.
The normally shy Nitori Kawashiro attacked us out of the blue with some sort of new technological weapon. She was no match for our seasoned forces, though, and we demanded an explanation for what she's been doing.
As to be expected from such a short skirmish, she quickly disappeared off with her camouflage device before we could detain her further. I expect this won't be the last we'll see of her. That irritating brat! I'll be sure to roast her well when our paths next cross.
Well, after an immensely frustrating search for the switches (of which I'll spare you the details), we eventually managed to locate them.
The stairs to Floor 8 were but a stone's throw away from the other side of the magic sigil. So was that it? Hardly! Of course, there just had to be yet another challenge in our path. Did anyone expect otherwise for this hapless party of ours?
An enormous chimeric monster emerged and immediately blasted us with a scorching torrent of flames. While its initial assault was remarkably strong, it seemed to have burned up much of its energy in its attempt to finish us off with a single strike.
I relished the opportunity to finally vent my frustration against a formidable foe. So long as we were prepared for its powerful flames, we could survive the most brutal moments to take advantage of its weaker spells in between each wave. You insolent beast! This is your price for putting me through this hellish floor!
Ahem, my apologies. That was rather uncharacteristic of me.
Upon our victory, we were greeted by yet another visitor. The not-as-lazy shrine maiden from the Moriya Shrine, Sanae Kotiya, has apparently also been investigating this space. Of course, that's not too unexpected; she's certainly not as slothful as the red-white one, even if she is a naive newbie here in Gensokyo.
Sanae gave us some interesting information. It seems she's spotted the Eientei residents in this strange space, and suspects that their actions may be quite significant. According to her, this wasn't like the previous incidences of random youkai just fooling around in here. The mistress of Eientei, Kaguya Houraisan, and her caretaker Eirin Yagokoro, are not ones to act without a plan. If they're involved in this business, then it's necessary to assume they're plotting something big, just like that incident with the moon some time ago. This news is certainly important for us to keep in mind as we venture onwards to even more treacherous floors.
Finally, someone does something useful for a change! And yet, Sanae still refused to come with us on our quest, saying she wanted to check out some things on her own first. I questioned just how wise it was for her to go so deep into this dangerous place alone, but she paid no heed to my warnings. I guess I was a bit too hasty to praise her common sense.
This has truly been too long of a journey today, and I really must get some sleep now, or my mood will never improve. With this, I bid you all farewell.
~ Alice Margatroid