Finally, it was the Tengu’s turn. The youkai waited with bated breath. He was their last chance and surely Tengu-sama would have something wonderful.
The Bakeneko had a turn, a monster dog with teeth that could bite through steel, saliva that poisoned and a howl that brought the dead from the earth. I set fire to the dead and when the dog rose it’s head to howl again, I had a dagger ready in my hand and slice of its heads. The Bakeneko hissed, feline whiskers twitching as his monster dog’s heads fell, one by one. Continue reading
The Nine-Tailed Fox did, dressed in her favored outfit of a human woman from the Heian era, with the kimono and head veil to demurely cover the lower half of her face. It was only the distinctly vixen slant of her eyes that gave away her sly nature as she smiled coyly at me, a cultured court lady with a flirtatious look.
The Parade dragged me outside the city borders into a large open space, away from the buildings, away from anyone who could know. But I recognized the place. This was the same place they’d found my parents’ bodies, my grandmother’s body. Maybe the youkai knew somehow, or maybe this was just a favored hunting ground for them. I could see the scene – I had been forced to look at it while Grandfather prattled about vengeance in my ear – and for the first time, I felt real grief. It was like their spirits were still here, watching and waiting for me. The youkai laughed at my tears, thinking it was from fear, even licked my cheeks and smacking their lips like it was fine wine. It didn’t matter, I wasn’t alone. Continue reading