A tale in the twilight
There was plenty of light when he entered the forest, although the book had been unclear about the location of the meeting place, he had been able to track down the place by crossing the information of the legacy of chaos of the slippery yokai with other history books. It was sunny as he arrived to an specific clearing in the woods, as he set foot in it he noticed the atmosphere was calm and serene, a bit too much for his liking. In places like this birds and other animals always made sounds, he took out his mask and claws and put them on. Just as he was ready to continue a figure jumped at him at an incredible speed.
With almost no time to react he put both hands in front of him, managing to block two set of sharp claws while being pushed back, almost losing his footing in the process. He looked in front of him to see an insect like yokai, a beetle like one, with brown carapace, black eyes and long stings and claws for feet, it looked like a deathwatch beetle, but more importantly, his face resembled the monk of the book. He smirked in satisfaction.
- You blocked that… impressive, for a mere human kid.
- Ja! A weak attack like that ain’t gonna do it, old man.
He was bluffing, old yokai, even if they were low rank, usually had high enough level to be a problem. The yokai seemed to raise an eyebrow.
- You call me “man”, that is unusual, people usually refer to me as “monster”. Tell me kid, do you know who am I?
- And why would I answer that? If you want an answer give something in return.
The yokai in front of him took a more relaxed pose before starting to laugh.
- Kid, you are not normal, I can say that much. You were able to avoid an attack mean to kill, you are able to see yokai and also have quite a mouth to accompany that attitude! Very well, you have caught my attention, I promise I will not kill you… yet.
He did not leave his guard down, not completely at least, he didn’t want to fight an unnecessary battle either.
- Then, I will answer your question and you will answers mine, we can see how this continues after. I know you are an old monk who tried to control a slippery yokai with the ability to control other yokai… and it seems he also has the ability to turn people in yokai as well – He said without hesitation.
- Mmm, how did you know that? Tell me, did he send you? I swear, as soon as he is free from that watch I WILL KILL THAT PATHETIC YOKAI.
The sound made by the yokai-monk was high-pitched and different animals started to run away at the sound, he covered his ears in slight pain.
- Hey man, clam down, I answered your question, it’s you who has to answers now, unless you don’t want me to tell you what I know. – He had to attract his attention back to him and that seemed to do the trick. Taking note about the watch thing he realised something, a well know legend of a certain yokai-watch that turns humans into yokai. Of course! He should have realised early, if this yokai-monk existed and the slippery yokai had the ability to turn humans into yokai, that meant, the monk somehow managed to impression the slippery yokai in the watch… that’s why the book suddenly ended, the yokai was no yokai anymore and was trapped in a very powerful prison. Knowing this and judging by the yokai-monk’s reactions, he only had one more question before things got heated up again.
- Do you know where the dark watch is?
The monk started to laugh, a maniacally sound that revered through the forest.
- And why would I answer that?
The monk attacked him once again, but as soon as he was ready to fight back a blue light similar to the one of the book, it appeared in front of him, the words of a summon where barely audible and while cursing and promising to kill him, the monk disappeared in the air.
He has baffled to say the least, he did get a lot of answers, but it did not lead him to any new roads, there was no way he could know where the dark watch was, it was an object of legend, a tale told in the twilight to scare children like him to get them back home for the night.
Just as the sky started to get dark, indicating night was coming soon, he decided to back to town. He did not want to sleep in the same forest that crazy monk live in.
As he walks through the city under a twilight sky full of pollution, thinking how in the world he is going to find a watch that only exists in rumours, he was hit by someone making him fall and hit the floor.
- Hey, watch it.
The person who hit him had a red t-shirt with a yellow star in it, he was probably a little bit older than him and had a strange watch (almost toy like) in his wrist.
- Forget it Keita, we have better things to do.
He opened his eyes in surprise, unsure from where the strange voice came from. The older kid made a nod motion with his head before smirking at him saying something rude and starting to walk again.
He got up, tired as he was and still a little bit surprised (he was usually able to see things others did not), he turned back and started to walk, then the book in his hand got warm once again and the pages shined with a weak light. He quickly started to search for a quiet place to open the book without “curious” people potentially wanting it, he found a empty and secluded alley, sit down behind some boxes and opened the book.
It was a surprise to see that some of the blank pages had words out of nowhere, he was not sure what could have possibly triggered this, but whatever it was he decided to do some reading.
The story continues right after the yokai and monk’s meeting, confirming his suspicion of the yokai being trapped in a watch and having the ability of turning people into yokai, but what was really interesting was the drawing of a familiar watch in the new pages, now he knew that older kid from before was the holder of the watch and by judging from all the stories of people despicable people being turned yokai by the dark watch, he probably deserves what was coming to him. Besides all that, he was impressed with the stories making emphasize in the yokai’s objective of making enough of a fuss so his lover could notice him and be reunited with him once more. The yokai, which the book referred as Whisbei, still believed in Ishida Mitsunari’s promised of coming back for him.
He wondered, how can the yokai can still trust the old dead shogun so much, that even after centuries of waiting he still trust his love one to come back. This tale makes him think a love stronger than death was more than just tales, but he found the yokai foolish for trusting someone that at this point, was probably never coming back. Still he found pretty funny all the mischiefs act the yokai did to turn people into yokai. He felt like he had find answer to end of the tale, but at the same time an incredible childlike curiosity he hadn’t felt in ages filled his heart and decided to search for the watch in hopes of making the yokai his teacher in the art of mischief, it was the only that reason and not that the yokai’s ability to love, the one he longed for the most.
The final seal of his prison was break and with it and incredible power was set free. The guard did not have time to escape the fury of his prisoner, whom for centuries had fight to get his freedom back. His crime? Being powerful enough make the king of all yokai fear the potential loss of his position. But he was not the only one paying for the same “crime” and neither was the only one getting his freedom back.
The group of S rank yokais breaking free from their imprisonment slaughter every single low rank yokai who was foolish enough to work at the prison with the promise of getting back to powerful yokai. Their guards, their warden and everyone else lost their life the day every one of them escaped their unjust imprisonment. And with his freedom back he could finally fulfill his promise to him.
Under a twilight sky the fox yokai went to the human world.