After falling ill twice, being drained from work, and having otome-gaming drought – I thought that I should just throw in the towel for Getsuei FD (
for now) and move onto my beloved Jyuuzaengi sequel. So after loooong period, I have finally finished the post for the Common Route for Jyuuzaengi 2! I’ll add in additional content, if there’s anything else to add as I play other routes. Like my review for the first game, I’ll link up the correlations between the game and the historical novel it’s based on. Since this is a sequel, there will definitely be spoilers from the first game.
Chou Seihei narrates that it was near the end of the Han Dynasty. Possessing human bodies and cat ears, they, Maozoku, are said to be the descendants of the youkai, Kinme. As such they are detested by humans. Wanting to avoid the persecution of humans, they hid away deep in the mountains of Yu Shuu, quietly living their own lives. But one day, the unscrupulous hero in chaotic times, Sou Sou, appeared in their village and destroyed that peace. Wanting to make use to them, he chased them out of their village and they were dragged into the wars of humans – like that with Ryou Fu and En Shou. The result of that: the strong emotions of their leader, Ryuu Bi, who wanted to protect his clan, called upon Kinme’s curse that had been sealed for 300 years. He gained back the power and growth which had been robbed of him due to it, and his heart was also consumed by its evilness. And so he set out on the path to destroying all of mankind, but his clan risked their lives to stop him. Still, the curse remained and Ryuu Bi decided to accept it again, wanting to fulfill his role as their leader. As such, he returned to his child-like appearance and the battle of Kan To came to a close.
It’s been half a year since the Maozoku has been living peacefully in the mountains of Sou Sou’s kingdom, Kyo Shou. It’s modest, but compared to the grief of the daily battles it’s incredibly precious. As Ryuu Bi and Chou Hi are playing hide-and-seek, Chou Un is helping Kan U with the laundry. Ryuu Bi returns asking for help, and Kan U suggests for him to hide in the laundry basket. Soon after, Chou Hi passes by and asks Kan U if she’s seen Ryuu Bi. He quickly sees through her lie but Chou Un tells him not to trouble her. This immediately directs Chou Hi’s attention to Chou Un, questioning why he’s together with Kan U. While Chou Un casually replies that it’s only natural that he helps out since they’re living together, his words embarrass both Kan U and Chou Hi. It’s as if he’s implying that they are husband and wife! Not that Chou Un realises it himself. Chou Hi refuses to spell it out blatantly and dashes away out of embarrassment. Ryuu Bi emerges from his hiding place, as he explains that he was holding back his laughter just now. He decides to switch to another hiding place.
Chou Seihei returns from his routine check of the nearby villages, and reports that there’s nothing much. It’s unsure when, but their presence here has been found out by the neighbouring villages. Even if it was due to the curse, because of the battle of Kan To, the hatred for Maozoku has multiplied – including that for Ryuu Bi. As such, Chou Seihei would check routinely in case there’s any movement from the humans. He reassures Kan U, for it looks like Ryuu Bi’s condition has settle down. And fortunately or not, they are living in Sou Sou’s territory with his permission so that alone should restrict any movement. Still, there’s no telling what Sou Sou himself intends to do with them. Just then, they hear a commotion from the square and they are informed that by Chou Sosou and Kan Tei that Sou Sou is here with a small army – Kakou Ton included. Chou Seihei tells them to stay behind while he goes to talk to Sou Sou, so that they can protect Ryuu Bi in case anything happens.
I’ll go together with you: Kan U volunteers to join him, and so does Chou Un. (Her decision pleases Sou Sou immensely, no kidding.)
Sou Sou is happy to see Kan U, though she’s well aware that he can’t possibly be here just for that reason. But he admits that he’s been busy as of recently, so he did want to see her face – his words leave Chou Un speechless, of all people lol. As for the army, he had no choice as he’s on his way to attack Ugan territory which is towards the north side. He’s aware that their leader is sheltering the remains of the En family. Kan U wonders if he’s referring to En Shou’s relatives, and if he’s going to make use of them again. Kakou Ton angrily rebutts her, adding that they won’t need them either for their conquest of the South – Go. Sou Sou elaborates that after gaining En Shou’s Ka Hoku, his next target is Go. His words shock Kan U, but in his opinion it’s only natural for he plans to take everything. Go is a powerful enemy, so he plans to include them in his army. After returning from from his conquest Ugan, he’ll immediately begin attacking the south territory. He tells Kan U to prepare herself for then.
……: Sou Sou tells her not to glare so hard at him (yet his affection rises). He knows that she doesn’t want her people to fight, but she should know that she can’t go up against him either. That’s why she remains silent.
He adds that she’s a girl who can read the situation, so she knows fully well that there’s no merit in resisting for their lives are in his hands. He tells her to remember that and to be useful to him – after all he likes smart girls and wouldn’t want to be disappointed. He leaves with his men, as Kan U, Chou Seihei and Chou Un sink in the realisation that nothing can be done. Everything has always gone Sou Sou’s way, but Kan U doesn’t want it to remain like this.
A few days after Sou Sou and his army left, time continues to pass by uneasily for them, unsure of when he’ll return. 1 month, 2 months? Maybe even tomorrow, they’ll be heading to Go. But if Sou Sou happens to fail in his invasion of Ugan territory…Kan U holds her thoughts on that as it hurts her for some reason. Unable to sleep, Kan U goes to check on Ryuu Bi who is sleeping peacefully. She notes that it’s a full moon’s night. To her surprise, Ryuu Bi wakes up and remarks on how beautiful she looks in the moonlight. It’s been a while since she’s met the “true” Ryuu Bi.
300 years ago, there was a youkai, Kinme, which ravaged the lands. Maozoku was said to be its descendants, and thus discriminated by humans as a lowly clan. But in fact it was all a lie spread by the Han Emperor then. The truth is that they are the descendants of those who defeated Kinme. Upon stabbing its heart, its blood poured like rain and cursed them – causing them to possess beast-like ears and golden ears. And the one who stabbed Kinme, soaked the most in its blood, and hence most affected by the curse was Ryuu Bi’s ancestor, Ryuu Kou. Having to desperately suppress the curse within himself, Ryuu Bi’s body and mind remains that of a child’s. But on crescent moon’s night when light and darkness are of equal balance, the curse weakens and his “true” self can resurface.
But Kan U points out that it isn’t a crescent moon tonight, much to his surprise. Though he isn’t very sure, Ryuu Bi does feel that the curse has been gradually weakening ever since the day he accepted it again. Kan U remarks that perhaps they can meet in the day time one day, if that’s the case. Ryuu Bi never expected to be able to see the full moon in person, he’d always wanted to see it together with her. Hearing this, Kan U replies that they’ll get to see many other things together from now on too. But he admits that he’s also scared, upon knowing happiness. Ever since he was born, the curse has robbed him of his growth. So he’d long given up on happiness. Yet now, with the curse weakening, the time he’s been able to resurface is increasing. Things which he never knew or saw till now is now being granted to him. So he can’t help but wish for more. Still, in the corner of his mind he also thinks that everything could be snatched away again. It appears as though he’s now become a coward for happiness.
Hearing his words, Kan U wonders just how much Ryuu Bi has had to give up on. She tells him not to think that way. There’s no longer a need for him to bear the curse by himself, now for him to give up on happiness. Their clan will always be together, and everyone will become happy together. Ryuu Bi quietly agrees with her, stating that it would be the best wish and hopes it’ll come true. As he drifts off to sleep, his last words grip Kan U’s heart. His wish is for the Maozoku’s happiness. Even if Sou Sou calls them back to the battlefield, she’ll definitely make sure that they become happy. But immediately after this, they were caught up in an unexpected storm.
Kan U is woken up by a loud commotion, as she’s informed by Chou Hi, Chou Sosou and Kan Tei that they’re being attacked by the nearby villagers. Since Sou Sou is away and can’t directly restrict them, they’ve taken this chance to chase them away. (Kan Tei: So it was better for such a guy to be here rather than not be here! Pfft.) Kan U asks Chou Sosou and Kan Tei to ensure everyone’s safety, while Chou Hi goes to stop the villagers and Kan U goes to find Ryuu Bi. Outside, their village is on fire and she meets Chou Un and Chou Seihei. Chou Un calms her down, adding that they’re being outnumbered. Plus they’re regular people and not soldiers, so they can’t fight them. In other words, they can only run away. Even if they fend off this attack, it’s likely to happen again. And attacking back will only increase the hatred for them. It’s unfortunate, but the small happiness they’ve had for this short time has come to an abrupt end. Like Chou Un said, they can’t fight these villagers. In that case, Kan U wonders if it isn’t unreasonable for them to destroy their happiness. She can’t help but be filled with frustration and sadness.
Chou Seihei asks Chou Un to take care of the women and children, while he goes to find Ryuu Bi with Kan U. Chou Un promises Kan U that he’ll protect everyone, he won’t do anything to sadden her. Chou Seihei adds that even if they leave this place, at least they’re together. They’ll find a new place to start from scratch and live their lives out peacefully. Kan U agrees, and they split up. Soon she finds Ryuu Bi surrounded by humans, who identify him as their leader and the silver-haired demon. All the humans present, even the women, show killing intention towards Ryuu Bi. Before Kan U can step in, Ryuu Bi remarks in an annoyed manner at how they’re saying everything they want to. He casually greets Kan U. Though he’s happy to see her again, they’ll being interrupted like this. He’s not sure what happened, but he’s happy to be able to hold her like this again. As he hugs Kan U, the villagers question who is this changed Ryuu Bi. In return, he mocks them, declaring himself to the that silver-haired demon who killed thousands in Ka Hoku. Provoked, they agree to attack him at once and Ryuu Bi willingly takes them on.
But he’s stopped by Chou Seihei, who blocks his attack. He tells Ryuu Bi that they’re merely weak people being driven by fear. Killing them will only deepen his curse, and he doesn’t want Ryuu Bi to be trapped by it. After all, he’s their proud leader. He tells Kan U to escape with Ryuu Bi, and volunteers to remain behind to stall for time. He promises her to catch up with them, as she unwillingly escapes. Chou Hi comes by to save Chou Seihei, but the latter says that they have to block up the road first by exploding the cliffs. Chou Hi refuses, but Chou Seihei knows that he can’t make it so he’ll be the one to set off the explosion. Since young, Chou Hi has been a stubborn and hopeless idiot, but deep down he’s stronger than anyone else. He asks Chou Hi to see to his dying wish, to protect everyone in his place. He sure didn’t expect the worst of his disciples to be the one to see it through, but he knows he can do it. He forces Chou Hi to move on and carry his words out, telling him not to cry. A reluctant Chou Hi leaves without turning back.
Meanwhile, Kan U and Ryuu Bi catch up to Chou Un. They then hear an explosion, as Chou Hi arrives and breaks the sad news to them. They can’t let Chou Seihei’s sacrifice go to waste, and tells them to hurry on. It was a terribly painful night for them. To Kan U, Chou Seihei took her in and raised her as his own. He also made sure to look after everyone else, and is an irreplaceable existence to them all. Kan U quietly cries. His loss is great to them. But the cruel reality won’t even give them time to cry. Being chased away, they’re left with nowhere else to run to. Chou Hi tells everyone that if they return, they’ll just be attacked again. Plus Sou Sou will use them for his Go conquest. If so, they can only continue moving forward. Out of the blue, Ryuu Bi tells everyone to head for the South, much to everyone’s surprise.
The leader asks everyone to listen, as he admits that he was the one who killed Chou Seihei. Having killed someone important to him as a result of the curse, he plans to bear the burden of it. Chou Seihei told him not to lose to the curse, to remain as their proud leader. Truth be told he feels that he no longer is worthy of that, but he still wants to protect everyone as their leader. If they still think the same of him, he wishes for them to head south. He heard that the discrimination there isn’t as serious as the north. Moreover Sou Sou has taken over all of the northern territory, so they can only go south. Even if they escape there, surely fate won’t leave them be. But in order to confront that fate awaiting them, they’ll need a place they can live in. He directs their attention to the dawning sun.
Ryuu Bi: No matter how sad or painful the night is, dawn will break.
At the moment, it is hard to live in this world But surely the day will come when they can happily live. He calls for everyone to raise their heads and aim for their new home. As dawn breaks, everyone listens closely to his words – as if it were treasure. No one cheered at the end of his words, instead they quietly knelt down before him. No one objected to him, and everyone saw him as their leader. But Ryuu Bi looked down at everyone with an extremely kind and sad expression. Kan U couldn’t help but want to hug him. And so, they headed South. Ryuu Bi tells Kan U that it’s just like she said, he’s now walking in the daytime. It’s the first time he’s seen sunlight, and he finds it beautiful. The world is beautiful, but at the same time cruel. Elsewhere, someone reports of the Maozoku’s movement to a superior (Ryuu Hyou). Things are moving faster than expected, so it looks like they have to hurry too.
Chou Ryou wakes up in the castle of Jo Shuu. He senses no nearby battle, and wonders where Ryo Fu is. He quickly corrects himself, Ryo Fu is already gone. In that case, he wonders why he’s still here. He’s sure that his body had crumbled back then. Is it possible that Ryo Fu is still alive? In any case, he decides to confirm the current situation first. Outside, Sou Sou and his men pass by Jo Shuu. The area still has not fully recovered since the battle with Ryo Fu, and Ka Ku adds that they’ll need more time for that. Kakou Ton warns him not to use that tone towards Sou Sou, consider he’d just joined them a year ago. Ka Ku agrees, as he remarks that he didn’t know they placed emphasis on seniority over who is more capable or not. This annoys Kakou Ton even more, while Kaku Ka points out that nothing will gets through Kakou Ton’s head as it’s full of stones. He adds that he probably just has a deep grudge against Ka Ku since when they were still enemies he got caught in Ka Ku’s trap and lost. Kakou En tells them to stop making fun, while Kakou Ton declares that he doesn’t like Kaku Ka either. Kaku Ka acts disappointed for he’s taken a liking to Kakou Ton, only to make fun of him again.
Sou Sou tells everyone to stop, as he admits that battle takes one’s mind away from reality. He’ll need to do something about the recovery of Jo Shuu soon. Just then, everyone spots Chou Ryou in a distance. They soon learn of his situation, and Kaku Ka points out that he’s now free since his master is gone. He can do what he likes now. This idea troubles Chou Ryou, for he doesn’t know what he wants to do. Ka Ku remarks that it’s a waste to let him go, to which Sou Sou agrees. Though he may have been his master’s enemy before, anything can change in turbulent times so he offers Chou Ryou a place. However, the person in question isn’t paying attention as he realises that he wants to be with Kan U – the warm and kind-hearted Kan U who’s more human than anyone else. Ka Ku tries to make Chou Ryou realise his current position, but it clearly has no effect. Just then, a soldier reports to Sou Sou of the attack on Maozoku. There’s no telling what may happen now so Sou Sou immediately heads back to Kyo Shou. He orders everyone to follow him back except for Kaku Ka, whom he orders to lead the attack on Ugan. Once again, he invites Chou Ryou to join him. Hearing that they’re going to look for Maozoku, he obliges though he doesn’t know how long he’ll stay with them.
Meanwhile, the Maozoku continue to head South. It’s an arduous journey, for they have to walk the more dangerous mountain or forest roads in order to avoid public gaze. So the journey normally would have taken 2 days through the streets, but it’s taking them 5 days now. Despite them obeying Ryuu Bi’s words, they are plagued by uneasiness as to whether they’ll really find a place for them to peacefully live in. That day, a huge turning point for the Maozoku befalls upon them. 5 people appear before the Maozoku, none holding any weapons. Among them, a young man steps forward and introduces himself as Ryuu Ki, the son of Ryou Hou who governs Kei Shuu. Chou Un recognises Ryuu Hou, and everyone is shocked to hear that they’re being welcomed. Chou Sosou remains on guard, as he states that they must want to make use of them. Ryuu Ki explains that his father heard about their situation, and that they have no intention of hurting them. In fact, they are both descendants of Ryuu Kou, so it’s only natural that show respect. Long ago, Ryuu Kou once governed Kei Shuu. After defeating Kinme and getting cursed, they still were accepted in Kei Shuu. But the Han Emperor saw them as a danger and drove them away even though they were heroes who saved the world. They want to repay their ancestors’ sins now, and welcome the Maozoku to their home village. Though everyone is taken aback by the news and remain uneasy, they follow Ryuu Ki. They have nowhere else to go, and his words comfort them more than anything else after the difficult journey.
Ryuu Ki shows them to the capital, Jou You. But only Ryuu Bi, Chou Un, Chou Hi and Kan U are with him. The rest decided not to follow and it appears that the decision was correct, for the people are already staring at them. Ryuu Ki apologises, stating that the commoners don’t know the truth yet. Ryuu Bi reassures him, but to Kan U his face tells otherwise. The current Ryuu Bi probably doesn’t remember his own words from that night, but to see him smile and walk in the open as their leader makes her feel relieved. It’s as if seeing Ryuu Bi change makes her feel lonely. Ryuu Ki then shows them to his father. Shokatsu Ryou is seen rejecting Ryuu Hou’s offer to serve him again. Ryuu Hou doesn’t mind it, but just doesn’t want to see his talent buried. Kan U asks about the unfamiliar man, and Ryuu Ki explains that Shokatsu Ryou is an extremely talented man who has led a hermit life. As Ryuu Hou briefly introduces himself and Shokatsu Ryou, the latter questions on just how he plans to welcome the Maozoku. Ryuu Hou replies that he plans on giving them Shin Ya, which surprises everyone.
Um……is this also a rule?: Ryuu Hou doesn’t mean to force it on them, and says that they’re welcome to reject too. (Shokatsu Ryou seems pleased by Kan U’s remark.)
As Ryuu Bi asks if she doesn’t want a new home, Kan U shakes her head. It’s not like they have much of a choice. She doesn’t think of them as bad either. Delighted by her answer, Ryuu Hou decides to hold a banquet to celebrate that night, inviting Shokatsu Ryou along too. Everyone enjoys the celebration that night, except for Chou Sosou who still has his suspicions. While Kan U and Chou Hi understand his sentiments, they explain that everyone is tired from the journey and what’s important is that they’re together. Kan Tei tells Chou Sosou to take things easy, after all there are cute ladies here. Kan U remarks that Kan Tei never changes wherever they go, and that is comforting.
As Kan Tei disappears after the ladies, Ryuu Hou introduces his son once more. He plans to have Ryuu Ki move to Kou Ka (present day Yunmeng) to run it, as per recommended by Shokatsu Ryou. It’s an important area which joins their country to Go and hence been attacked numerous times in the past. Though Ryuu Ki has been sickly since he was young, he’s sharp so he’s sure he can do it. Hearing the word “Go”, Kan U recalls that it’s Sou Sou’s next target and if Kei Shuu is the neighbouring country. Ryuu Hou is in high spirits, as he remarks on how Kei Shuu will continue to prosper with Jou You as the centre, Ryuu Ki governing Kou Ka and Ryuu Bi Shin Ya. Of course things would be more perfect if Shokatsu Ryou joined him. Kan U thanks him and offers to return the favour. In response, he merely asks her to lend a hand if anything happens to Shin Ya. Unsure of the implications, Kan U agrees while Shokatsu Ryou looks on. Whether it’s a stroke of luck or an ulterior motive, they ended up moving to Shin Ya.
They left the banquet early to let Ryuu Bi rest. Later that night, Ryuu Bi goes to find Shokatsu Ryou in his “true” form. The leader reveals that he’s well-aware of the likelihood of having to battle Sou Sou with the current circumstances. Shokatsu Ryou appears impressed by this, and agrees that the offer was not purely out of goodwill. Kei Shuu is the connection between the south and north. So if Sou Sou’s goal is Go, Kei Shuu will certainly be drawn into war. So placing Maozoku here is a means of preparation for that, not that he finds anything wrong with Ryuu Hou’s judgement. Of course Ryuu Bi is unwilling, and in that case Shokatsu Ryou says that they are free to leave. The world isn’t that narrow. While that’s true, Ryuu Bi knows that they will no longer be left alone. They will eventually end up in the same situation. He seeks Shokatsu Ryou’s advice. The latter points out that he can offer none, if Ryuu Bi doesn’t know what he wants to do in the first place. Noting this, Ryuu Bi thanks him and says that he will think things through before coming again tomorrow. When he returns to the room, he watches over a sleeping Kan U. He apologises to her, knowing that it will sadden her.
The following day, Kan U gathers the necessities in town before leaving for Shin Ya. As expected, people are unable to accept their existence and she notes the people talking behind her back. She’s worried if they can live well here. She then notices a hooded man (Shuu Yu) staring at her, and he soon approaches her. He appears intrigued by her ears, questioning if they’re real as he speaks closely to them. This causes Kan U to draw back abruptly as she tells him to stop. Having confirmed that they’re real, he proceeds to kiss them instead. She screams loudly before breaking into a run, ignoring any of his calls. Her reaction only interests him further though. Meanwhile, Kan U wonders if that person is what you’d call a pervert. She concludes that you really do meet all sorts of people in the city. The man catches up to her, apologising for his earlier actions as he explains that he got happy when he saw her cats. Puzzled, Kan U can only wonder if he has perverted interests. He catches her in his arms, saying that he won’t let her escape this time. But Kan U hits him hard before running away again pfft.
Later, Kan U wakes up in the middle of the night to find Ryuu Bi missing. She spots him outside, and follows him as he heads into Shokatsu Ryou’s room. Not knowing what’s really going on, she remains outside. Inside, Ryuu Bi says that he’s found his answer after much thought and is here for Shokatsu Ryou’s opinion. After hearing that Ryuu Bi wishes to live peacefully with his clan, he remarks that it’s rather vague and he has no comments for such a childish dream. He adds that the leader is smart enough to already know what needs to be done. Ryuu Bi remains silent as he looks back sadly. Slowly, he replies that if they keep running away they will only end up being made used of. So if they want to avoid all that and continue to live peacefully, they’d need enough strength to fight. And for that they’d need a country of their own. Kan U appear surprised as she overhears his words. Ryuu Bi adds that Shokatsu Ryou is probably aware of the deeds he’s committed – killing many in Ka Hoku and even the person who looked after him since young. He may possibly do it again but he doesn’t want that. In order to protect everyone and to not be manipulated, a country is neccessary. Shokatsu Ryou remarks that he can’t just create a country. Of course Ryuu Bi knows that, and that’s why he wishes for his help.
The man laughs at his bold words, questioning if he’d been influenced by Ryuu Hou or Ryuu Ki. Ryuu Bi denies this. He merely heard that he was called a genius. And after their talk last night, he realised that Shokatsu Ryou is always looking at the world even though he remains in Kei Shuu. He needs someone like that, and hates how powerless he is. Shokatsu Ryou admits that despite living in isolation, he has continued to observe the movements of the world. For if one abandons knowledge, you’d just be trifled with. He noticed that Maozoku was in the centre of everything – the suppression of the Yellow Turban rebellion, the campaign against Tou Taku, the battle at Jo Shuu, the confrontation with Ryo Fu, and the battle of Kan To. And he believes that Maozoku will continue to hold the key. If they were to have their own country, surely the situation will turn into one like the eye of a typhoon (centre of a storm). Ryuu Bi chuckles in response, remarking that he’d have the chance to gain the world. Shokatsu Ryou remains quiet at his words, while Kan U realises that Ryuu Bi’s been consumed by evil.
Observe the situation for a bit longer: Kan U remains outside as the two inside continue their conversation.
Shokatsu Ryou realises that this was the Ryuu Bi who took over En Shou’s army. The latter confirms this, and adds that he’ll soon take over Kei Shuu by killing Ryuu Hou. It’s the fastest way to gain a country. After all, this place belonged to his ancestor Ryuu Kou. He invites Shokatsu Ryou to join him, he can draw out his full potential. Not that he has a right to reject, since he’ll just be killed. Kan U bursts inside and hits Ryuu Bi hard, as he’s taken aback and claims that he’ll kill the intruder. His eyes meet Kan U’s, and she tells him off. When Ryuu Bi fails to reflect, it earns him another punch as he comments on how scary she is today. Kan U forces him to apologise to a silent Shokatsu Ryou, and adds that committing evil will only come back at you later on. That was how he hurt himself. Having reverted back to his former self, Ryuu Bi apologises for his embarrassing behaviour. But his previous words did also come from his inner self, no matter how ugly they were. She reassures him that everyone has that side to them, even herself. But she promises to scold him if he ever does it again.
Kan U quickly apologises for interrupting, but Shokatsu Ryou thinks that it’s good that he got to see the bond between them. As much as it seemed like a third-rate drama. But it’s thanks to that that he now holds an interest in them. He agrees to serve Ryuu Bi, though he can’t fight on the battle grounds. Ryuu Bi is more than grateful to have him as their strategist. First, they’d need to make Shin Ya a firm base, for they never know when Sou Sou may attack. This surprises Kan U, but Shokatsu Ryou tells her not to tell anyone this for it’s merely a guess. And so, this was how Shokatsu Ryou joined them. But they would soon realise how different they were in everything and anything.
Ryuu Hou never expected Shokatsu Ryou’s actions, but he is also happy that the latter has come out of his isolation. Shokatsu Ryou apologises, but adds that it’s also beneficial for him. But Shokatsu Ryou reassures the older man that he won’t be scorned at for the older man has to think for Kei Shuu. He then requests for Ryuu Hou to dispatch 6,000 soldiers for them, which is surprising for the governor as he’d expected more. But Shokatsu Ryou says that it’s enough. On the way to Shin Ya, Kan U is suspicious of the additional soldiers. Are they going to be fighting? She still thinks that they should inform the rest. But as if having read her thoughts, Shokatsu Ryou glares at her before stopping her to one side. He reminds her not to tell anyone. When she tries to protest, he adds that he’s thought over this way more than her before making this decision. She just needs to listen to him. Kan U is unable to protest further and he remarks that she can win over him in terms of physical strength anytime. But he can pin her down with other methods. His words leave Kan U in a sour mood.
They arrive at Shin Ya a few days later. Ryuu Hou’s orders seem to have reached the people there so there’s no problem on the surface. But as expected the welcoming atmosphere is tense and awkward. Shokatsu Ryou judges that it’s better for them to settle in the northeastern area, keeping a distance from the people. He leaves the soldiers at the castle, lest anything happens. The humans fear them, while Maozoku still do not trust humans. Kan U is uneasy about the situation, but they can only live here. Chou Un remarks that what’s important is that everyone is together, to which everyone else agrees.
Meanwhile, Ka Ku reports to Sou Sou about Maozoku’s moving to Shin Ya. They all realise that Ryuu Hou has placed Maozoku there to guard against them, after all he’s a cowardly opportunist. Ka Ku adds that it’s troublesome with Shokatsu Ryou’s mind and Maozoku’s prowess put together too. Chou Ryou explains that he heard from Ryo Fu that Kei Shuu is “Ryuu’s land” aka the country which Maozoku’s ancestor, Ryuu Kou, governed. It used to be a place where Maozoku and humans coexisted. For them to return there after 300 years, perhaps they will form that bond again. Kakou Ton turns away this idea, but Ka Ku thinks it’s possible as Shokatsu Ryou is with them – and he’s a human. Sou Sou listens to all this with amusement, and announces that it’s time for them to head towards the South. First they’ll aim for Shin Ya by taking back Jyuuza, and then Kei Shuu. He orders Kakou Ton to lead the first battle there and succeed. He also wants to confirm if humans and Jyuuza did coexist there. A few days later, Kakou Ton leads an army of 100,000 to the South.
The Maozoku has returned to their peaceful days in Shin Ya, for they’ve kept their distance with the humans so there’s no big conflict. Still, Kan U remains worried about a possible attack from Sou Sou. Despite Shokatsu Ryou’s words, she still believes that everyone else should know. Later, Kan U, Kan Tei and Chou Sosou find Ryuu Bi in Shokatsu Ryou’s room. Chou Sosou wonders why this place has become Ryuu Bi’s favourite as of late, even visiting everyday. In return, the leader replies that Shokatsu Ryou knows everything. In fact, today he’s sharing why the stars can only be seen at night. Kan U can’t help but apologise, but Shokatsu Ryou doesn’t see a visit from his master as troublesome. He also finds them overly-protective, getting so worried when Ryuu Bi’s only been missing for a while. Kan U doesn’t think so, for they’ve always lived this way and will continue doing so. But the strategist remarks that Ryuu Bi is trying to change, and a guardian’s role isn’t just to spoil him. His words do not mix well with the rest, but he continues to explain to Ryuu Bi that everything’s for his sake – even if it means having to be cruel at times. Kan U wonders if they’re really spoiling Ryuu Bi that much. She also observes that Shokatsu Ryou’s attitude is totally different towards Ryuu Bi and her. She can’t make out his personality.
Shokatsu Ryou notices that she has something to say, but quickly stops her when she’s about to let slip Sou Sou’s name. He excuses themselves, but not before Ryuu Bi tells them to get along. As Shokatsu Ryou agrees, Kan U can only think of how much of a liar he is. Ryuu Bi leaves with Kan Tei and Chou Sosou, and Kan U questions how he thinks that they’re getting along. Shokatsu Ryou answers that it’s the truth that it’s most efficient for subordinates to get along, not that he likes her – especially her way of thinking with her heart. He dismisses her annoyance, returning to the topic beforehand. He sees no need to tell the rest, and no need for her to understand why so. While Kan U tries to reason that she wants to understand as they’re going to be on the same side from now on, he merely replies that with her level she’d fail to understand him. The current situation is the best. Lastly, he adds that Sou Sou has already set off for Shin Ya. A news which shocks Kan U. Later, Kan U encounters Chou Un in the midst of training. He invites her to join him. If you agree, this goes into the Intervention tutorial.
Back at Sou Sou’s side, he and Ka Ku discuss of how they reached the decision of 100,000 men. Apparently Kakou Ton only wanted 50,000 while Ka Ku had advised on 150,000. In the end, Sou Sou just took the middle mark which is a pretty half-hearted way of deciding. In any case, there are many uncertain elements including their own army – Chou Ryou. That’s probably the biggest reason behind Kakou Ton’s unhappiness. Ka Ku remarks that they’ve thrown the dice so they just have to wait and see the results.
The Maozoku are thrown into confusion when they hear the news of Sou Sou’s army arriving – 100,000 men at that. Shokatsu Ryou attempts to calm them down, calling for Chou Un to call for the 6,000 soldiers over from the castle and for the rest to prepare for battle. They are taken aback by his words. But he continues on, saying that confining themselves in the castle will do no good. Rather, they’d do better to make use of the advantages of this land – Hakubouha. Chou Sosou realises that Shokatsu Ryou long knew about this, and is angry that he kept quiet about it. The latter admits it, saying that it would make no difference anyway. They just need to listen to him. His words anger Chou Hi, and Kan U holds him back. Ryuu Bi then stands before them, asking for their attention. He has not spoken to them since the day they left for the South. He explains that he’s talked a lot with Shokatsu Ryou, including what they need to do in order to live on. Hearing this, Kan U wonders why he discussed all this with Shokatsu Ryou. Ryuu Bi wishes for them to believe in Shokatsu Ryou and in his capabilities. Everyone falls into silence when Ryuu Bi bows, and agrees to his wishes. They are merely believing in him. They decide to bet on this small chance, but Shokatsu Ryou corrects this – it will be a guaranteed success.
He explains that the enemy only knows the Maozoku are in Shin Ya, but not the fact that they are miles away the castle. As they lie in wait, Chou Un would lead 1,000 men to confront the army. But this is merely to lure them into the trap as they would pretend to lose. Kan Tei and Chou Sosou would wait with the Maozoku, ready to set fire to the trees and grass on the slope which they would have already poured oil on. When that happens, Chou Un can strike back to drive the enemy away. Lastly, Kan U and Chou Hi would lead 1,000 men each and wait in ambush. When Chou Un is chasing the enemy away, they would deal the final blow. With this, Sou Sou’s army of 100,000 would be finished off. This would’ve been enough if the general was a common one, but the commanding general is probably the experienced Kakou Ton. So he may realise that it’s a trap. Hearing his name, Chou Hi casually remarks that the war blockhead has come to the topic of conversation.
Shokatsu Ryou decides that they have to prepare another trap, one which would make Kakou Ton lose his composure – Ryuu Bi. If he were to see Ryuu Bi, who had taken over En Shou’s army, on the battlefield again, he would definitely give chase. Everyone objects to this, but apparently it is Ryuu Bi’s own wish. Ryuu Bi says that he wants to fight by everyone’s side, instead of always leaving it to them – especially now that he has a role he can play. Naturally, Kan U opposes strongly. But Shokatsu Ryou points out Ryuu Bi’s determination, and to understand that is also part of a subordinate’s duty. Ryuu Bi thanks Kan U for her concern, but he no longer wants to be protected all the time. He wants to mature with everyone else. Kan U can only give in. She’s reluctant, but even more so to not approve of his intentions. But she still finds it too dangerous and asks to go together with him. Shokatsu Ryou agrees to this, and says that Chou Hi will just have to work extra. When Chou Un lures the enemy in, Ryuu Bi and Kan U will appear and then escape further in. As for himself, he’ll be in the castle. Unfortunately Shokatsu Ryou has principle to not participate on the battlefield. He has already constructed the plan so it’s up to them now. Later, Ryuu Bi apologises to the strategist for giving him the role of the bad guy. The latter doesn’t mind it, but asks if it’s really okay for even he cannot guarantee Ryuu Bi’s safety. Ryuu Bi replies that he has already decided not to run away anymore. Hearing this, Shokatsu Ryou only prays for their success.
And so with this plan at hand, they decide to confront Sou Sou’s army of 100,000. At night, a nervous Kan U goes outside and sees the soldiers camping. Out of the blue, a hooded Shuu Yu approaches her which takes her by surprise. Though she labels him as a suspicious person at first, she later asks if he’s one of the soldiers. He weakly agrees, and instead remarks that a girl shouldn’t be out this late at night. She might get caught up with weird people. Kan U can only think of him as one of those weird people pfft. When he offers to see her back, she flatly refuses for she can very well protect herself. Shuu Yu asks if she plans to fight in the upcoming battle.
Of course: Kan U adds that the fate of the Maozoku’s is bent on this.
Shuu Yu admires the look in her eyes, recognising that she must have been through several battles before. He’s grown interested in her, and invites her to stay with him till sunrise as he wants to get to know her. His words put Kan U on high alert, as she warns him not to get any closer. She will destroy 3 of his 5 senses if she must. She takes this chance to escape and Shuu Yu notes that they will meet again in the near future – if she survives.
On the day of the battle, Kan U remains by Ryuu Bi’s side. Ever since that day, he has remained as his original self which has been the longest period. She wonders if the curse is weakening further. Ryuu Bi himself isn’t sure why, and asks if she will feel lonely if he’s no longer his child-like self. Before she can answer, he apologises for the weird question and tells her not to pay any mind. Meanwhile, Kakou Ton and Chou Ryou arrive at the castle. The latter is clearly excited, while the former sighs at his lack of tension. After all, he’s a vice-commander. Chou Un encourages the soldiers on, and they confront the enemy. They proceed as planned, though Kakou Ton and Chou Ryou grow wary for they see no Maozoku in sight. Just then, Ryuu Bi appears with Kan U. As expected, this triggers Kakou Ton to give further chase as he fights Kan U head-on. Watching this, Ryuu Bi quietly remarks that the role should’ve been his and not hers. Elsewhere, Shuu Yu tells a hooded Son Ken to watch closely.
Chou Un urges Kan U to run, but Chou Ryou interrupts them as he tells Kakou Ton that he has something to tell Kan U. As he politely greets her, he admits that he’s with Sou Sou now he actually has a request for her. As an irritated Kakou Ton watches on, Chou Ryou asks Kan U to become his master. His words shock everyone, and Kan U rejects him when she recovers herself. A soldier reports to Chou Un that more enemies are headed this way. Chou Un tells them to run while he stalls for time. 5 soldiers accompany Ryuu Bi and Kan U, as they escape from Sou Sou’s men which chased them like a winding snake. The sound of the horses’ hooves neared them, and 2 of the soldiers are shot by arrows. 2 of them decide to stall for time, while the remaining 1 continues on with them. Ryuu Bi questions why they are going so far for them, and the soldier replies that Chou Un said that this battle is the first step of Sou Sou’s conquest of the South. Sou Sou’s army is strong enough to have controlled Ka Hoku, so for Kei Shuu which has never seen war, needless to say they’ll be easily defeated. So they have to win this battle, in order to protect this country and prevent Sou Sou from trespassing any further.
The soldier is killed in the middle of his words, leaving just the two of them. Kan U realises that she won’t be able to protect Ryuu Bi if they are attacked any further. Seeing that there’s only a little distance left to the place Shokatsu Ryou pointed out, she tells Ryuu Bi to go ahead while she stays behind to create more time. He immediately protests, but Kan U answers that she wants to protect their fate and Ryuu Bi just as much. She hits the horse he’s riding, and it gallops away. Ryuu Bi becomes distressed over the situation. Over how powerless he is, over how he can’t protect anyone. If he were to lose Kan U, he has no need of his current self. As Kan U prepares to fight, she hears a voice behind her commenting on her brave figure. She turns around to see a grown-up Ryuu Bi, who continues to comment on how beautiful she is stained by blood. But he’d rather not dirty her hands and offers to kill the filthy humans. As Ryuu Bi delightfully tears the men apart, just like he did in the Battle of Kan To, the soldiers tremble in fear at the sight of the silver-haired demon. A distance away, Chou Ryou and Kakou Ton watch in surprise.
The soldiers try to escape, but it’s not easy for 100,000 men to retreat just like that. Some even kill each other just to escape. The smell of blood fills the air, and corpses start to pile. Kan U is left aghast. Chou Ryou points out that they only have so few men left, and at this rate everyone will die. Kakou Ton curses Ryuu Bi, as he orders his men to retreat. Far away, Shuu Yu observes that the retreat doesn’t seem to be due to the fire, and wonders what the cause is. Curious, he decides to side with the Maozoku. Not that he ever liked Sou Sou. But with this they’re in for a tough ride. Surely Sou Sou will get even more serious. Shin Ya won’t be able to defend itself any longer in the same manner.
In Shin Ya, everyone celebrates their victory. Though Chou Sosou and Kan Tei didn’t do anything, Chou Hi saw that there was fire. No one knows the truth. Immediately after Ryuu Bi attacked, fire soon spread wildly and swallowed up the corpses as if to hide them. And luckily, the enemy soldiers who escaped were ambushed by Chou Hi and his men as according to the plan. So only Ryuu Bi and Kan U knows what happened – and probably Shokatsu Ryou too. Before everyone, Shokatsu Ryou explains that he thought of countless outcomes and that today, the most ideal one happened. His words provoke Kan U, who questions if this is truly his ideal. Everyone else looks at her in surprise, and she excuses herself to head to where Ryuu Bi is. None of them have seen Ryuu Bi, for he’s resting elsewhere. Shokatsu Ryou reassures them that their leader is not hurt, and that he’ll probably be fine when tomorrow comes.
While Chou Un thanks Shokatsu Ryou, the rest admit his contributions but still haven’t forgotten that he didn’t tell them at first. In return, he says that only he could’ve formed the plan and there was no need to sow any seeds of uneasiness. But his words take on a different meaning when Chou Un understands it as Shokatsu Ryou carrying the burden by himself so as not to cause them unease. Hearing this, the mood turns jovial as they remark on how dishonest he is despite being an adult. They are reminded of Chou Seihei and think that he would’ve been happy to see them have one more comrade. Shokatsu Ryou doesn’t understand how they can trust him so easily, but the fact remains that they won. However they’d like for him to inform them beforehand next time. Shokatsu Ryou says that everyone in this clan is too good-natured for their own good and that they’d die in 3 days if he wasn’t here. Kan Tei cheerfully replies for him to help them then, and Chou Un says that he must be a really good person to help them. While the rest laugh in response, Shokatsu Ryou sadly mutters that he isn’t a good person.
At Ryuu Bi’s room, we see that he’s still in his adult form. He says that he’s feeling well, after all he’s in his original body. He’s sure everyone would be surprised to see him now. But surely it won’t be strange for him to walk beside her now. His last words confuse Kan U. But Ryuu Bi is soon reminded of how he’d killed thousands with his bare hands – again. When she tries to argue that it was all due to the curse, he denies this for he remembers everything vividly. The feel of human flesh tearing, the warm blood against his hands, the countless screams of terror. And the him who was driven mad by blood. Kan U saw it for herself, the ugly monster who kept laughing while killing. Shokatsu Ryou steps inside the room, commenting that to kill thousands is what war is – whether it’s done by himself or those under him. To win a war is to have thousands dead. He advises Ryuu Bi to come to terms with this, for he has chosen his path already – to create a country. The leader remains quiet, while Kan U questions just how much of a burden he plans to have Ryuu BI carry. She is well-aware that he had everything planned out precisely, but for what purpose?
Shokatsu Ryou answers that it was necessary for Ryuu Bi to regain his original figure, in order for him to lead them as a leader in such turbulent times, for them to live on. He did so in the Battle of Kan To. While there was no guarantee that it’d happen again, it’s likely due to his own life being in danger. Kan U is furious that this meant putting Ryuu Bi’s life in danger, and dragging everyone else into war. But Ryuu Bi informs her that it was his desire, and Shokatsu Ryou merely helped to plan for it. He also realises the truth in Shokatsu Ryou’s words. Kan U still doesn’t think that it was the correct way. Shokatsu Ryou challenges her words. If Ryuu Bi didn’t awaken in time naturally they would’ve chased their enemy away with the original plan. But that would definitely mean more sacrifices on their end. Would this be the correct way then? No matter his choice of words, Shokatsu Ryou stands by his decision of saving as many lives as possible on their end. In return, Kan U points out the great loss on the enemy’s side. The strategist merely replies that he made the plan so Ryuu Bi is not alone – he carries just as much sin as his master. Though Ryuu Bi knows that this won’t lessen his guilt, he’s thankful towards Shokatsu Ryou. He asks for some time alone.
Outside, Shokatsu Ryou notes that Kan U is still not convinced despite this being Ryuu Bi’s wish. He adds that to merely sympathise like she does will only step all over Ryuu Bi’s determination. Ryuu Bi has already decided to fight, in order to create a country in which they can all peacefully live in. This means that he wishes for the Maozoku to live on even if it means killing thousands. This is what it means, in these turbulent times. If they want to live, they’d need to get rid of others – especially being Maozoku, different from the rest. Pretty words alone won’t do, as the leader he’d need to come to terms with this reality too. Kan U understands this well enough, but for some reason her heart can’t catch up to her mind. She wonders to herself why he is able to do such a cruel thing without flinching. Shokatsu Ryou remarks that his duty is to strategise for that goal, and to guide Ryuu Bi towards it. No matter how reluctant one may be, someone has to do it. Kan U asks why he’s going through so much for Ryuu Bi, despite having just met and despite their differences. He mumbles something about being alike, but soon tells her to forget it.
At Kyo Shou, Kakou Ton profusely apologises and Sou Sou dismisses his failure. After all it wasn’t his intention to have Ryuu Bi chasing after them. As he contemplates the current situation, he realises that they had played right into the hands of the enemy. Ka Ku agrees, calling Shokatsu Ryou a monster to have not only won the battle, but also made use of their army of 100,000. Sou Sou sees that they’d just have to increase their numbers, and orders everyone to set out for Shin Ya once more. Each one of them, Ka Ku, Kakou Ton, Kakou En, Chou Ryou and himself will lead 100,000 men each. They’ll attack once more, with an army of 500,000 this time.
*Note: The common route differs slightly depending on which route you’re doing. In Shokatsu Ryou, Shuu Yu, Ryuu Bi, and Sou Sou’s route, Ryuu Bi awakens in his adult form. In Chou Hi, Chou Ryou, Kakou Ton, and Chou Un’s route, Ryuu Bi does not.
Finished…!! Well, just the Common Route for now but for some reason I feel incredibly accomplished. Honestly, the Common Route this time is shorter and quicker as you more or less know most of the characters, their pasts and their goals. Though perhaps my post may not have conveyed this as well, but there was a good dosage of comedy mixed into the seriousness of it all. Especially whenever Kan U encounters Shuu Yu lol. I might as well add that they included all that I wanted from the first game – a music section and CG scene replays. Plus they separated the Momozono system from the main game, so you can read the cute stories you unlock anytime from the main menu now!
I’ll be posting them in a separate post, probably together with the special routes.
I’ll playing in the recommended order by a friend, so I’m going to play Shokatsu Ryou’s route first. But do take your time reading as I have no idea when the next post will come…till then~