Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Not far away, Dong Zhi discovered a familiar object lying among the rubble. It was He Yu’s fluffy bear backpack. He ran over, took the bag into his hand, and opened it, hoping to find cinnabar and yellow paper. Seeing the contents inside, he was overjoyed. Using the method that He Yu had taught him, he scribbled on the yellow paper and drew sunlight talismans.
His hands trembled slightly, and the more he wanted to draw well, the more he couldn’t. Trying to calm himself down, he ignored thoughts like “that big spider is scary” or “He Yu is about to become a cauliflower”. Isolating himself from the outside world, he put the backpack on the ground and the paper on top of it, and sat cross-legged while holding a pen, no longer distracted.
The ground was still shaking slightly, as sounds from the dragon could be heard from time to time in the cave, and the thunder and lightning never stopped. It was inconceivable what kind of fierce battle was happening inside.
With Long Shen holding the tide, the dragon corpse wouldn’t be able to make any waves for now, but Fujikawa Aoi was an unknown variable. Lao Zheng would not be able to stop him, and if he wanted the dragon corpse, conflict was bound to rise between the two parties…
He Yu was anxious, but he had to brace himself to deal with Kitaichi Eiko, who was in front of him now.
“Does this little beauty have a boyfriend? Your Shinto sect doesn’t prohibit witches from falling in love, right? Japanese men are all so short. Do you want to consider this brother?”
He Yu flashed past the white silk that was spit out by the spider and drew out a short dagger, hiding it behind his backhand, as he moved towards Kitaichi Eiko. Although he had an aloof smile on his face, his intentions were quite the opposite.
“I remember you onmyojis can get married and have children, but as a witch, don’t you have to dedicate your life to Amatarasu*?”
*Goddess of the sun in Japanese mythology.
Even though she knew that He Yu was deliberately provoking her, she couldn’t help feeling irritated and said angrily, “Amaterasu is a woman!”
“Then you can also be a lily*!” He Yu said with a smile, and while the opponent was distracted, he aimed his dagger at her left rib.
*It’s a euphemism for girl love/lesbians.
Kitaichi Eiko quickly dodged, and with a wave of her fan, the spider quickly crawled behind He Yu, raising its sharp fangs, intending to bite into his back. If He Yu wanted to avoid the attack, he would have to abandon his offensive against her, but in this way, it would allow her some breathing room to flip her defenses into an attack.
He Yu’s chest was in agony to the point where he could no longer ignore it. He suspected that he would vomit blood and fall to the ground at any moment, and then it would be impossible to stop Kitaichi Eiko.
This little Japanese girl was so vicious. He just wanted to stop her, but she wanted to take his life! He was so angry like one buddha was born and two ascended to heaven* and the spider spiny limbs that were behind him had a fishy smell that only irritated him further.
*(一佛出世，二佛升天) It’s a metaphor for life and death but is also used as an expression for extreme anger.
At this moment, Kitaichi Eiko’s fan-swinging motion inexplicably stagnated. It was at this pause that caused the spider to sway and its figure to become a bit translucent. Seeing his chance, He Yu struck with his dagger, jamming it into her body.
Severe pain flushed through Kitaichi Eiko as she responded by kicking He Yu. He quickly avoided it and staggered back a few steps before falling on his ass. He laughed triumphantly and gave a thumbs up to Dong Zhi. “Good job!”
That was a close call just now. Any moment later, and it would have been too late to save He Yu. In a rush, he hurriedly folded the sunlight talismans into a triangle, tied them to two palm-size stones, and then tossed them at Kitaichi one after another. With the blessing of the talisman, the stone broke through her barrier and hit her, buying time for He Yu to complete his attack.
Kitaichi Eiko spurted out a mouthful of blood and the spider turned into a white mist, slowly dissipating. Not only was it difficult to manipulate two shikigamis, she also had to set up a protective barrier around her body, which had exhausted all of her spiritual power. Weakened, she collapsed on the ground.
Dong Zhi ran over to help He Yu. “Are you okay?!”
He Yu coughed, clutched his chest, and said weakly, “Originally no, but seeing that bitch in worse condition cured me instantly!”
Dong Zhi was rendered speechless.
Kitaichi Eiko stared at them both bitterly. “Cough, cough… My master won’t let you get away with this!”
He Yu rolled his eyes. “You can still speak harshly? The Japanese government wants you back, so just wait and beg to grandpa and sue grandma*!”
*(着求爷爷告奶奶) Metaphor referring to beg for help from others. The term derives from begging grandpa and suing grandma for money.
“Miss Eiko, are you alright?” The man in the jacket ran over, and when he saw Kitaichi’s state, he glared at He Yu, intending to extract vengeance.
“If you dare to touch a single hair, your two masters will not be able to get away from this!” He Yu sneered as he slumped to the ground, motionless.
“Stop!” Kitaichi Eiko shouted to the man, “Master is still inside. Go in after him!”
As she finished speaking, the ground shook violently and a roar burst from the cave, deafening everyone’s eardrums and causing their faces to turn pale.
The dragon’s roar in Dong Zhi’s imagination, which should be heroic and clear, as graceful as songbirds, and a little thick, was shattered in this moment by reality. A real dragon’s roar was not beautiful at all. The sound was deeper than a tiger’s and the soundwaves were stronger, allowing it to echo further, causing people to involuntary tremble and inflicting an impulse for them to kneel and surrender.
Before the man in the jacket could get to the cave, stones started falling one after another, and with another roar, the cave started to collapse.
“Master!” Kitaichi Eiko was in shock, struggling to get up.
“Oh shit! The dragon corpse is coming out!” He Yu said to Dong Zhi, “Hurry up, bring me my backpack! I have to set up a talisman array. You can help!”
Dong Zhi hurriedly prepared the yellow paper and cinnabar for He Yu, but as soon as he picked up the brush, he vomited out a mouthful of blood, startling Dong Zhi.
With another roar, the cave had collapsed.
“Mr. Fujikawa!” The man in the jacket shouted anxiously. As if in response to his cries, several figures flew out moments before the cave had completely collapsed.
Fujikawa Aoi was lying on the snow wolf, whose body was stained with blood and in feeble shape. Although it maintained its fast speed, its body was slowly dissipating. Fujikawa Aoi didn’t fare any better. His clothes were ragged, showing off many wounds.
Lao Zheng was dragged out by Long Shen. His whip had been broken and his state looked even more miserable than Fujikawa Aoi’s. Long Shen seemed to be in the best condition of the three. His clothes were almost all intact, and there were no visible wounds. He was frowning as he held a long black sword in his hand.
Though the timing wasn’t appropriate, Dong Zhi’s heart still skipped a beat, and he was stunned at such an inopportune time. These good feelings didn’t last long as the ruins collapsed around them like quicksand, as if some behemoth was struggling and tumbling below. Before Long Shen and the others could retreat to a safe distance, the monster roared from the ground and its huge head emerged from the ruins, roaring furiously, echoing like thunder, as if to arouse the power of yin and yang in the heavens and earth.
The monster didn’t have any flesh or blood, only bones. Everyone looked intently at it, discovering that it was a bone dragon, but its eyes were studded with two faint red flames. When it turned its neck around, there was none of that imaginary majesty of a real dragon, but an unspeakable terror.
“…This is the dragon corpse?” In the face of such a monster, not to mention Dong Zhi, even the fierce man in the jacket didn’t take half a step forward.
He Yu sighed. “It’s been sleeping underground for a long time. I don’t know what kind of wicked person would do such a thing, but he sacrificed to the dragon many blood essence and innocent souls to arouse the resentment that remained in its body after its death. It’s like adding the finishing touches to something. The two flames in its eyes are actually blood-soul wraiths that gave birth to its resurrection.”
A flash of inspiration hit Dong Zhi. “Then as long as you destroy two fires, you can suppress it?”
He Yu could only reply, “Easier said than done!”
The lower half of the bone dragon was still held beneath the ruins. It roared and churned, trying to escape, but Long Shen didn’t plan to let it succeed. The black sword in his hand vibrated slightly, making a low humming sound. Long Shen exerted force under his feet and ran towards the bone dragon. His gaze fell on the position where the scales once grew.
Naturally, as it was simply a skeleton, there were no scales there. However, the remnant soul still retained a considerable memory of its previous life, so while the scale didn’t exist now, it still possessed the memory of it being there, and if stabbed at such areas, the dragon corpse will still feel pain*.
*This is similar to the phenomenon of a phantom limb.
While Long Shen intended to attack the bone dragon, another person made his move. Fujikawa Aoi didn’t want to fight the bone dragon, but actually wanted to stop Long Shen.
When he got news of the bone dragon, he set off immediately, taking his disciples from Japan all the way to China, and even using the power of the Aso Consortium to pass through a special channel to avoid the eyes of the Chinese Special Administration Bureau authorities. He quietly came to Changbai Mountain in order to make this bone dragon his shikigami. If he could possess such strength, his status as a Japanese onmyoji would rise to great heights, becoming a national-level treasure onmyoji.
With this thought in mind, even if it offended Long Shen and the Special Administration Bureau, Fujikawa must at all costs capture the bone dragon. With a flip of his wrist, he pulled out three talismans from his hand. He chanted silently then threw them at Long Shen.
The fluttering talismans burned in mid-air, turning into three small fireballs that shot towards Long Shen like meteors. When they were halfway to colliding with Long Shen, a big yellow cat appeared out of nowhere and swallowed all three fireballs into its mouth with a single bite. It landed firmly on the ground, then meowed at Fujikawa Aoi, showing a mocking look.
Dong Zhi recognized it at once. It was this big yellow cat who had guided him when he was lost and took away his fish fillets. It’s just that now it seemed to be injured, its fur wasn’t as bright as before, and it walked with a limp.
Long Shen ignored Fujikawa Aoi’s small movements and continue rushing towards the bone dragon. The long sword pierced into the position of the phantom scale, causing the bone dragon to roar and twist its head violently, wanting to bite Long Shen, but its neck was caught by his backhand. He jumped on top of the dragon’s head, raised his long sword, and plunged it into the back of the bone dragon’s neck!
The big yellow cat hissed at Fujikawa Aoi, all its fur standing up, warning him not to make trouble.
He Yu frowned and whispered, “Not good!”
Dong Zhi became nervous. “What’s the matter?”
He Yu said quickly, “We originally wanted to keep the dragon corpse, but now it has merged with the resentment from the blood essence, so we have to destroy it. That old man who wants that dragon corpse to be his shikigami will definitely prevent us from doing it!”
As he spoke, Fujikawa Aoi had already summoned his shikigami, the snow wolf. The gray-white beast shook its fur, jumped up, and rushed towards Long Shen!
The sky was pitch black, revealing an eerie purple. As the ground trembled, ominous shadows shrouded people’s hearts, and the trees and plants were restless. The cloud surged from above, responding to the wails of the bone dragon as it swept over the entire sky, blanketing the entire world.
Lightning flashed, reflecting the side of Long Shen’s face. He grasped the bone dragon’s spine with one hand and firmly held the hilt of the long sword with the other, as if he was holding a winning lottery ticket. He inserted the sword completely into the bone dragon’s body, stabilizing his figure as if he were a rock.
Dong Zhi couldn’t help but shout be careful and the others held their breath as they all saw that Long Shen had no time to avoid the snow wolf that was about to violently attack! His heart was caught in his throat when suddenly a ginger-yellow figure shot towards the snow wolf like an arrow and bit into the snow wolf’s neck. The snow wolf clawed, subconsciously trying to throw the yellow cat off. Despite the size disparity, the big yellow cat didn’t show a hint of fear. It landed steadily on a stone pile and stared menacingly at the snow wolf. All its fur stood up as it hissed at the snow wolf.
Shockingly, the snow wolf seemed to be faintly afraid, as it took a few steps back. Everyone was stunned by the scene. Dong Zhi couldn’t help but say to He Yu, “This cat was transformed from a tiger, right?”
He Yu laughed, grinning so widely that he showed off a row of teeth. “Hehe! It’s more powerful than a tiger!”
He Yu’s my favorite character so far.
Goddess of the sun in Japanese mythology. She was born from the left eye of her father, Izanagi, who bestowed upon her a necklace of jewels and placed her in charge of Takamagahara (“High Celestial Plain”), the abode of all the gods.
She is the Queen of Heaven, the kami, and creation itself. Though she did not create the universe, she is the goddess of creation, a role she inherited from her father, Izanagi, who now defends the world from the land of the dead.
Amaterasu’s primary role is that of the sun goddess. In this position, she not only serves as the literal rising sun that illuminates all things, but also provides nourishment to all living creatures and marks the orderly movement of day into night.
The sun represents order and purity, two of Shinto’s most important concepts. All things in creation are ordered, from Amaterasu down to the denizens of Jigoku and other hells, and this order is reflected in Japanese society as well.