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Backstory

        Izanagi and Izanami brought Kagutsuchi to a city. While they rested in a hotel, they overheard a conversation between two men…’Humph! This fulu doesn’t work at all! It might’ve even brought me bad luck! Look at these wounds!’ The injured man seemed frustrated. He described how he got scammed by a fake psychic who sold him that fulu.
 
        Izanagi could not ignore his tragedy. He stepped to the man and asked, ‘May I take a look at your fulu?’ ‘Suit yourself! I was about to throw it away!’ The man gave it to him without hesitation. Izanagi inspected it thoroughly. It had the man’s name on it and was slightly damaged, but he could feel the remaining spiritual energy inside. Whoever wrote this fulu possessed an enormous amount of spiritual energy. Izanagi gawked in admiration. Izanami placed the fulu on her palm. They stared at each other, and asked the man where he had obtained the fulu...
 
        They followed the man’s description to a village in the woods. Unlike other villages, it was populated with foreigners, who came a long way to buy fulus there. They walked along the long queue to the center of the village, where a girl accompanied by a taoist was writing fulus rapidly. The taoist yelled, ‘Get a customized fulu here! Fulu writing burns spiritual energy, so queue up to buy one before she’s out of juice!’
 
        Izanagi approached the girl and snatched the fulu she was writing. An immense amount of energy gushed out of it! As she took out another fulu to write on, Izanagi scolded her, ‘Stop. You’re doing harm to the people.’ His warning stunned the girl, who then froze in panic. The foreigners queuing nearby stared at Izanagi. The taoist nervously ran to them and said, ‘You jerk! Don’t talk nonsense! We sell charmed fulus. How can that cause any harm?’ ‘We’re Onmyōji, who specialize in spiritual energy, spells and things like that. The spell you’re applying to the fulus is called 'Word Spirit’. It affects the subconsciousness and can even control the mind of the person whose name gets written on the fulu,’ Izanagi showed the crowd the damaged fulu, ‘This fulu brought injuries to a man.’ The place was filled with uproar blaming the taoist and the girl. ‘I-I knew nothing about it! The girl wrote the fulus! It’s all her fault!’ Taoist shirked responsibility and ran away with a bag of coins.
 
        The girl gaped at the people blaming her. In her panic, she lost her strength and fell to the ground. Instead of helping her up, they punched and kicked her furiously! Kagutsuchi pushed the crowd away and stood in front of the girl, ‘How could you beat an unarmed little girl?’ Her sobs came behind him, ‘I-I’m sorry...I…didn’t know...I did it only to earn money for my brother and sister…’ Silence descended upon the crowd. They spread out as if nothing had happened...
 
        Kagutsuchi helped the girl up. She smiled at him, ‘Thank you.’ Kagutsuchi blushed and turned away. Izanami gathered spiritual energy to heal the girl’s wounds. The girl praised, ‘Amazing! How’d you do that?’ ‘It’s a spell of healing. We bear a part of the responsibility for your injury.’ ‘It’s getting dark. We’ll escort you home.’ Izanagi was worried the people might harm the girl, so he offered their company. On the way, Kagutsuchi chatted with the girl. Izanagi and Izanami walked behind them. The girl’s name was Amaterasu. She lived with her sister, Tsukuyomi, and her brother, Susanoo. She knew nothing about what was written on her fulus. She did as the taoist said for coins in return. To make a living, she had no choice.
 
        Amaterasu’s siblings threw themselves into her arms the moment she stepped through the door, but shrank away again when they saw the new visitors. Amaterasu guided them to the living room. Under the bright moon, they accepted her invitation to stay the night. At midnight, freezing wind broke in through the gaps in the walls. Amaterasu gave her blankets to her sister and brother. The cold kept her wide awake.
 
        She heard Kagutsuchi moaning painfully. He got out of the bed and hobbled outside. She followed him and found him kneeling on the ground with both hands glowing. He grunted as if enduring pain. ‘Are you alright?’ She wanted to move closer, but he yelled at her, ‘Don’t come any closer! I’d burn you up!’ She was shocked, but she kept pushing forward, and crouched next to him. Her hands performed a mandra she had learnt from Izanami. Kagutsuchi’s pain was gradually relieved. His blazing flames softened into a gentle fire. Amaterasu held his hands and said softly, ‘Your fire is warm.’ ‘It’s the first time I’ve heard that.’ They stared at each other and smiled. Izanami and Izanagi watched them through the window. Amaterasu’s talent and enormous spiritual energy surprised them.
 
        Later Izanagi and Izanami accepted the siblings as disciples. Amaterasu had found herself ‘a new home’.

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