Masahiro and Mokkun are left behind as Akiko is kidnapped by Keiko and taken away.
Masahiro: Damn, I missed out on EXP again. Mokkun, how’s your HP?
Mokkun: I lost a few points, but I’m fine; more importantly, what should we do next?
Masahiro: In order to determine that, we’ll need to use Flashback Combo Mode!
A couple of minutes of budget saving flashbacks establish that our heroes need to go to Kifune.
Masahiro: See, my dream was useful after all.
Mokkun: Get over it- I’m sick to death of hearing about that dream.
Whilst Masahiro and Mokkun set out for Kifune, Seiryu reports in to Seimei.
Seiryu: Seimei, Akiko has been kidnapped.
Seimei: Kidnapped? I have twelve- well, eleven- shikigami, and you just let her get kidnapped!
Seiryu: You were the one who told us to stay out of the active party so that Masahiro could fight and get more EXP.
Seimei: Yes, but that was last episode- it’s in the past.
Seiryu: Fine- I’ll go out and get some screen time for myself. I’m far better looking and more fashion conscious than Masahiro and Touda, anyway.
Seimei: Do not underestimate my grandson- he is the main character, after all.
As Seiryu leaves, Rikugou appears.
Seimei: Rikugou, if you go with them, you can have some screen time.
Rikugou: I am sorry, master, but I am committed to only ‘service’ you. I cannot contemplate the day when I will have to be HARD GAY with your grandson.
Seimei: That time will come; it cannot be avoided.
Meanwhile, Masahiro and Mokkun are having difficulty getting to Kifune.
Masahiro: It’s too far away- my stamina bar is already drained. I guess we’ll just have to wait around for some deus ex machina.
As if on cue, the Demon Carriage, Kurumanosuke appears.
(Kurumanosuke: Sorry, the catbus is on leave, so I am the only living vehicle available right now.)
Masahiro: Wow, it’s really amazing how everything works out for the main character.
At the lair of evil, minor demons gather around Akiko’s unconscious body.
Demons: Gwakaka, everything is going to plan!
As they get closer to her, however, they are repelled by the scented bag she carries. Shun and Gaku appear.
Shun: Stay back, nameless generics, and leave it to named characters like us. Shun and Gaku kill a minor snake demon and use its blood to taint the poison.
Gaku: Mwahaha, everything is going to plan!
Kurumanosuke stops at the barrier that protects Kifune, dropping off Masahiro and Mokkun.
Masahiro: It’s a shame we have to walk the rest of the way, but at least I’ll get more screentime.
Masahiro and Mokkun begin climbing Kifune mountain.
Masahiro: I sense evil here.
Mokkun: Well, there’s a surprise.
Masahiro: I can’t help but think back to what happened…Flashback Trauma Mode!
Masahiro once again recalls the time that Seimei left him alone at Kifune.
Mokkun: It’s all right, Masahiro- don’t you remember how I took you in my arms and ‘comforted’ you?
Masahiro: Yes, yes I do…that was the first time I spent the night with someone other than my grandfather.
Filled with renewed energy, Masahiro makes it all the way to the shrine. At the entrance, a priest lurches towards them.
Masahiro: There’s nothing suspicious at all about that grey-skinned man shuffling down the steps- he must be a priest sent to help us.
Mokkun: You idiot- he’s evil!
Masahiro dodges just as the priest fires an arrow at him, but as he tries to run away, a second priest with a sword jumps out of nowhere.
Masahiro: Oh no, they’re lurching slowly towards us, and Spirit Summons aren’t allowed to attack humans! How can I fight without Mokkun?
Mokkun: Relax- despite being rather energetic for the deceased, these guys are already dead. I can attack anything that’s in the Zombie class.
Undead Priest: Hehehehe.
Mokkun: Flame Dragons! Guren Mode! Charring Flames!
With a series of fire attacks, Mokkun/Guren defeats the two priests.
Masahiro: At last, some EXP.
Guren: Come on, Masahiro, we need to find the boss if you want to score more EXP.
Masahiro and Guren continue onwards, only to run into a squad of demons.
Guren: Masahiro, you won’t get much EXP from these random encounters. I’ll clear a path so that you can go on ahead.
(Masahiro: I don’t know if it’s safe to proceed without Guren, but as the main character I can’t afford to look too cowardly.)
Guren: Parting Flames!
Guren burns some demons in order to create a path for Masahiro.
Masahiro: Defensive Barrier On!
As Masahiro runs ahead, Guren falls to his knees.
Guren: Damn, my stamina bar is lower than I thought. Equip Spear of Flame!
Guren materialises a spear. Meawhile, Masahiro reaches Princess Keiko, who is hammering nails into a large tree.
Keiko: Gwakaka, hammering nails into this tree is the only way to grant my wish of becoming a carpenter!
Masahiro: Where’s Akiko?
Keiko: She’s up ahead at the main temple. You should go and rescue her- or are you afraid that you can’t manage it without your sidekick?
Masahiro: I’m sorry, but I also took on a mission to help you- and if I want 100% completion, I need to do that as well.
Keiko: Why can’t you just leave me here? I’m living a happy and fulfilled life here, hammering nails into this tree.
Masahiro: Input Spell Command!
Masahiro approaches Keiko whilst summoning a spell.
Keiko: Gwakaka, that won’t work! Everything here is under my control!
Masahiro: Cast! Blue Light Spell!
Masahiro chants his spell and throws a seal at Keiko. At the main temple, the minor demons are worried.
Demon: The priest is coming!
Shun: Don’t worry- I’ve had a look at his stats, and he’s only Level Two!
Guren approaches Masahiro and Keiko, who are both enveloped in blue light.
Masahiro: Ah, Guren, good timing. My level is too low to fight the demons at the main temple, so could you handle that whilst I finish this low risk exorcism?
Guren: I’m sorry, but as the main character you need to come and help me save Akiko.
Masahiro: I told you, I can’t go!
Seimei’s projection appears.
Seimei: Since I am more experienced than you, I’ll stay and finish the exorcism whilst you go and get that EXP that you need.
Masahiro: Why couldn’t you have come earlier?
Seimei: Honestly, you shouldn’t hang around waiting for deus ex machina; it’s more to happen when you’ve exhausted yourself.
Masahiro: Fine then, I’ll go.
Masahiro heads up to the main temple.
Seimei: Guren, you should go with him, for although Masahiro must learn to do things on his own, he needs strong people beside him for when he inevitably fails.
Seimei: Oh, and Guren, is your HP bar flashing red?
Guren: It’s nothing.
As Guren follows Masahiro, Seimei summons Rikugou.
Seimei: Rikugou, I don’t think Masahiro and Mokkun can manage on their own- can you go and be their third party member?
Rikugou: I guess I may as well do it for the screen time.
Masahiro, Guren and Rikugou make their way up to the main temple, where Shun and Gaku are waiting for them.
Shun: Gwakaka, we didn’t have time to get to the main fight today, but I promise that next episode will be exciting!
To be continued…