After our dubious exchange with Rao, we headed back to the Dragon Palace's throne room, where the queen was overjoyed to see us.
You thought we wouldn't be? You thought that dragon was going to eat us, didn't you? Admit it!
What kind of losers do you think we are? Do you really think we'd come back without it, lady? Watch and learn, naysayers!
Look at that. It even has its own place among the...throne room decorations.
Why are you so surprised? You're not secretly trying to bump us off, are you? Was killing the Water Dragon part of your secret plan all along? ARE YOU IN CAHOOTS WITH THE DEMONS?!
Okay, now that I got the Issun-suspiciousness out of my system...
Oh? Are you just speechless because you thought we'd get eaten?
Uh oh. Harness the power to take over the world? I knew it!
Oh, right. This isn't Fox News. Carry on then!
Yeah, that, uh...didn't end so well for him.
He's pretty much either dead or going even more insane from the pain of digesting...uh, himself from the inside out.
...Sorely regretting ever eating the Fox Rods? Or actually, probably regretting he had a stomach at all...
Come on, Issun, just spit it out already!
Why were we asking about this? The Water Dragon already told us.
...transform into a Water Dragon?
Right, right. Can you skip to the important part now? Why are we even here?
So...the King is dead; long live the Queen?
So you won't hold us responsible for the Water Dragon's death? Thank you kindly.
She might have shed a tear in this scene, but it's hard to tell since, you know, everything's underwater.
Oh, that? We handed it off to the first person we met after we got back. Who totally wasn't acting all suspicious at all. No, ma'am. We wouldn't just lose the Fox Rods like that when pretty much everyone is looking for them!
Well, yeah. But we had to fight those goofy foxes first.
She told us about her power reaching its limit with the Fox Rods in her possession, which isn't suspicious at all.
But who are we kidding? She could have cackled maniacally and twirled her mustaches and we still would have given them to her.
Well, we wanted to keep it for ourselves, but Rao insisted...
We know. That's why we wanted to keep it for ourselves.
Oh, I'm confident she won't turn out to be something horrible in disguise.
That's why we gave it to Rao! She's totally trustworthy because-
The Dragon Orb's going all crazy! Somebody stop it before it does something useful!
Revelation of what? That we were totally right to give the Dark Instrument to Rao and she and Himiko are holed up in the palace right now figuring out where Oni Island is?
I'm pretty sure he died like an hour ago at this point, but whatever.
Someone that looks like Rao running up the steps of Ankoku Temple...
Rao running with something really big behind her...
Something really big looking down at Rao...
Rao looking up at something big...
Rao looking scared. Oh, this is very, very bad.
WE GOTTA LEAVE RIGHT NOW
FATE OF THE KINGDOM IS AT STAKE
NO TIME TO EXPLAIN
ISSUN, STOP EXPLAINING
So it was basically a case of getting to Ankoku Temple as fast as possible. We hopped a ride on Orca from the Dragon Palace to the shore, but from there we just had to run. Along the way we stopped at the entrance to Sei-an City, where we got some unfortunate news from a soldier.
Uh oh. This is bad! We have to keep going!
There weren't any shortcuts we could take, so we had to run all the way down Ryoshima Coast on foot. The music was the same music from when we gave Kushi a ride to the Moon Cave. It's good music and works for the scene, but at the same time, it feels a little lazy. Maybe if they'd changed it a little between uses.
And when we got to Ankoku Temple...
Rao? Why do you look all ghostly?
WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO TALK ABOUT BOOBS RIGHT NOW YOU IDIOT
She seemed to want us to follow her, so we did. Around the back side of the temple, we saw her again...
...Yeah, she's a ghost. We're already too late for something.
And then she floated over to the rock wall behind the temple...
...and then did her ghostly thing and disappeared.
Since Issun is an idiot, he apparently didn't notice the whole "YOU CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH HER" thing.
Clearly she's a ghost. Try to keep up!
So we moved a little closer to the wall and...
GASP! A secret passage!
Clearly whatever killed Rao did...
Clearly we're going to have to check it out. But does this room have to be all evil and red?
SHE'S DEAD, YOU MORON.
Being the great explorers we are, we hopped down the well...and found something ominous.
A body? Whose could it possibly be?
You don't say.
What a surprise.
Stop talking so I can look at the clothes!
Those are Rao's clothes. I guess we really were too late...
Feeling decidedly less heartened, we continued through the mysterious underground passageway and eventually found a ladder. Where could it lead?
I'm not even going to think about how exactly we got up the ladder.
Bwuh? Himiko's palace? Well...okay then.
In case Rao has to do an emergency prayer meeting or something, I'm guessing.
Since it seemed to be a pretty big hint, we went inside the palace and found...this.
Oh, this is very bad.
Very, very bad. And who's that lurking next to one of the columns?
We're too late for Himiko too.
Rao? Or rather, "Impostor Rao," since we just saw your dead body in the tunnel?
How do we know you didn't do this, impostor?
I should mention she did a good job of trembling and looking afraid. Too bad we saw right through her!
Probably the one we saw in the Dragon Orb?
You're in league with them? You're about to confess?
Sorry about the blurriness.
Let me guess. You're their leader in disguise.
Definitely the leader in disguise.
Good, good. Now twirl your mustaches and cackle a couple of times. Alternately, start petting a white cat.
Well, clearly she was wrong.
Because she's an impostor and you're an idiot?
Of course...but her killer is standing RIGHT THERE...
Shut up and lemme at her!
YOU'RE A FRAUD!!!
I'm trying to reveal your traitorous nature!
No! Now be evil so I can tear you apart!
Are you going to turn evil now? Is that your evil babbling?
And then there was a closeup of Rao's face and it showed her eyes turning all red and evil, but it happened too fast to get a picture. Damn!
I told you she was evil! And Issun is still a moron!
See those evil red eyes?
Not cunning enough, unfortunately for Himiko.
Bait? Well, he did eat us, but it didn't do anything...
You were there. You could have confiscated it for some made-up reason!
So you're saying you underestimated us?
As one does when faced with immeasurable evil...
Don't hate us because we're awesome!
Yeah, well...we...we'll think of something! Jerk!
We'll get there and defeat you if we have to swim there! It can't be that hard to find! Half the time we can see it from the shore anyway!
I have to admit it was a good plan.
That doesn't explain how you got past the lava. I guess that'll just remain a mystery, huh?
She's rotting at the bottom of that well! Haven't you been paying attention?
Yeah, about that...clearly I shouldn't have given it to you, so if you could just hand it over...
Give them back! I need them so I can use them to kick your ass!
But you just said I was cunning...
Well, yeah, in retrospect that was a really bad idea...but still!
And I'm going to be the one who destroys the Dark Lord once and for all. Actually...if you're a Dark Lord, why do you still have giant boobies?
What a bizarre drawing. I get that it's a lady with a fox face, but why does it have wings? Confusing.
Okay, wow. I think Issun's just won the award for Slowest-on-the-Uptake Ever!
I like how now she's Evil Rao and has a fox face, but the rest of her is still all woman.
Also, I guess the insect wings are part of her outfit. I must have missed that before. Well, it's still weird.
If I'd been here she wouldn't be dead, bitch!
Hey! Don't touch that!
And then she shrunk it down really small and swallowed it. Well...at least she didn't stick it in her cleavage, I guess.
About that time, Issun finally figured out what the revelation from earlier really was - it was showing how Evil Rao killed Good Rao and took her place. Yeah, yeah, we already figured that out.
She had boobs, and that's all it takes to fool you.
So we fought Evil Rao for a little while. I can't remember what exactly she did, but eventually we hurt her enough to make her cough up the crystal ball.
Woo! Well...maybe we could use it anyway?
If only it were that easy...
See? She's got something up her sleeve...
Not sure what's going on here...
Oh, I get it. She's dropping the boob disguise and reverting to her usual form.
Uh...what is that thing, exactly?
Well, now that you mention it...
Why don't you kill us, then?!
Oh, there we go.
Here's a bad picture of Ammy flipping out of the way of a huge fireball.
Not so powerful now, are we? What a chump.
Whatever. You're a hack! Get out of here and take all your...whatever-those-are-that-totally-aren't-phalluses with you!
That only encourages us to try harder!
You do that!
This is like you're reading straight off of the Evil Overlord List. You know that, right?
Mustn't forget the evil laugh, of course. I like how we still don't know the Dark Lord's name. He's just the Dark Lord or ???.
And then the monster was gone, leaving only us, a dead Himiko, and the crystal ball. Well, we're pretty much screwed here.
And with that, I've reached my stopping point for this week. Check back next time to find out how hope isn't lost after all! Hint: The King of the Dragonians is dead. But there's still a Queen of the Dragonians.
Until next time, heroes!