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A tale under the moonlight

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A tale under the moonlight

 

The library was old, and it smelled like dusty books and wet wooden book shelfs, the ambient itself was grim. A forgotten place for forgotten things, somehow, he fit it right in and at the same time he did not. 

Places like this were his usual hiding spot, humans and yokai alike who habit this kind of place were usually not as bad as the ones in other places, although that didn’t make them good. In this world, no one good would roam this kind of haunted forgotten places.

He found a good spot to sleep for the night, a little triangle formed between the wall and a bookshelf with some books in the floor, a perfect arrangement for hiding in a dark place like this. He moved the books out of the and hide what little baggage (if it could even be called that) he had and then put the books back in place. His mask and claws put beside him in case of an emergency.

He still has some food left from the yokai he scammed with his card tricks, although the yokai should have realized he was scammed, he is already too far away to fear for any repercussion.

He eat and is ready to sleep for the night when he hit a really old book with his foot. Cursing quietly, he got the dammed book. It was a strange one and he could say that, he had read a lot of different books throughout his short life and none felt like this one. It had the distinct emblem of the Ishida clan and the symbol of the yokai tribe Slippery merging together in the cover and whatever special power he had that allowed him to see yokai also allowed him to perceive the seal concealing the knowledge in the book.

He frowned at the strange book, not really getting the significance of the cover and then smiled to the challenge of getting its contents. He put the book away and for once, he had a pleasant sleep.

In hopes to undercover the book’s secret he decided to travel to the land of the Ishida clan, or at least, the most well know one, the land of lord Ishida Mitsunari. He smiles to himself, as his great intellect helped him find books that hinted to this lord having supernatural help to achieve greatness, he is so smart that by fact he knows it has some relation to the symbols on the cover of the book. Yep, he is pretty smart, even if he himself says so. And so, he was happily traveling in the train to his objective (with a stolen ticket, he did not have enough money to pay the travel anyway) when the book in his hands started to feel warm, almost as it was giving him a signal the path he was following is the correct one.

He continues to travel trying to avoid yokai and humans alike, unless there was something for him to steal or gain in a gamble. Eventually he came across with the old mansion of Mitsunari, and impressive castle in the top of a mountain, well keep for tourists to visit.

He got a ticket and entered the castle in a large group of humans. The tour itself was boring, the guide only providing information anyone could read in a basic text book, if this was a scam to lure tourist, it was well done.

Eventually they reached the castle garden, it was already twilight and the tour was ending soon with him not finding anything useful, so, when none was looking at him (which happens a lot) he snaked away from the group and the annoying guide.

Inside the castle was a lot less security than he expected and so he explored it at his heart content. When he was near the back of the castle the book started to feel warmer than before and following it, he came across with what he presumed was the lord bedroom. He searched for something that felt similar to the seal of the book or an object with the same symbol that the cover. Unable to find anything he sit in the centre of the room and took out the book. Suddenly a blue light and a circle of symbol appeared around him, he looked at it awe, never in his life he had seen something like this. When the light and symbols disappeared, he was left with the opened in the middle pages, the image of Ishida Mitsunari with a slippery yokai in a yukata appeared in front of him.

 

It was already night and his only source of light was the one of a full moon.

 

This is the tale of a shogun with ambitions not less to any other, one that ruled his land with fear and an iron fist, but even in all his greatness his glorious days seemed to come to an end as his skill at management his land did not match his skill in commanding in battlefield. Trying to avoid his imminent defeat to his enemies and the people he controlled trough terror he searched for different ways that could lead him to victory, eventually coming to a rumour in particular.

A kid in his town talked about a legendary sword which bestowed incredible luck to whom may wield it. Even if the rumour came from a mere kid, in his desperation the lord decided to follow the legend, only to end with the sight of a beautiful waterfall and a yokai. The lord decided to make the best out of this encounter and made a deal with the creature.

Inspirited by the yokai the lord started to win battles to his, the yokai and everyone else surprise.

Both, human and yokai joined in battle, aiding one another with strategies and by fighting side by side, with time the lord gained more power than before and, on the road, the yokai and the lord started to trust in each other not only in the battlefield, but also in more personal matters.

Some people speaks of the warlord who fell in love with a mystical creature he could neither touch nor see.

When the lord died so did the yokai’s happy days and some say that to this day the slippery yokai is waiting for his love one to come back to him.

The book continued to talk about the yokai's different actions to spread chaos and confussion, ending suddenly when the yokai meet a monk, the encounter itself was not described, only mentioned and the rest of the pages were simply blank, letting as a mystery the outcome of said encounter.

 

Some could say all this effort for a tragic and cheesy love story was not worth it, but he could not agree. Something in this story got his attention, the yokai without a name and the Ishida warlord whom trusted in each other and learnt to love one another, two things he has only read about in his life… love and trust felt real for the first time in his life. A feel of melancholy got hold of his heart as he knew this was not just a story. 

He took a decision.

Under the moonlight and with book in hand he decided to find out how the story ended by finding the only yokai who could tell him. With what little clues the book had about the yokai he decided his next destination would be the yokai and monk’s meeting place.