The next morning, the pain had faded away. The burning heat that had always been there was gone as well. Kagutsuchi was stunned. He caught a glimpse of his hands, which had been covered in black chants! He immediately took off all his clothes. His skin was filled with black chants. He could not comprehend the situation; he only knew one thing—he had lost all of his spiritual energy…
        Kagutsichi strode out of his room and saw Amaterasu in the corridor. She was shocked by the black chants all over his body, ‘What happened? Are you alright?’ ‘Where’s my father?’ asked Kagutsuchi. He could not wait to question his father Izanagi. His gut told him his father was involved with the black chants. His unstable emotions worried Amaterasu. She insisted to go visit Izanagi with him..
        Izanagi was meditating. Kagutsuchi rushed to him angrily, ‘What are these black chants? Did you do this to me?’ He hoped Izanagi would deny the accusation. Izanagi kept his eyes shut for meditation. ‘Answer me!’ ‘Kagutsuchi, stop. We can ask him later.’ She tried to calm him down, but he pushed her away without listening, ‘Answer me!’
        Izanagi slowly opened his eyes and stared at Kagutsuchi, ‘The black chants were a seal from me.’ ‘W-what..?’ Amaterasu had no words. Kagutsuchi knew it, but his father’s confession still disappointed him. Izanagi stood up, ‘This seal clogs up your energy circulation. You’re practically an ordinary man now.’ ‘Why did you do that?’ cried Kagutsuchi. ‘Because you can’t control your spiritual energy. It’s the only solution.’ Izanagi’s emotionless tone enraged Kagutsuchi. He trembled in disappointment, ‘You’ve never trusted me once. I’m a mere monster in your eyes!’ He strode away into the mountain. Amaterasu nodded to Izanagi and ran after Kagutsuchi.
        Kagutsuchi stopped by a lake. His face was reflected in the water. He recalled every word his father had told him before. It was a pathetic and frustrating life after all. He threw his fists into the water, sending up sprays of water that soaked his body. Suddenly he felt a handkerchief wiping his face. It was Amaterasu.
        ’Wipe yourself dry. Stay warm.’ Amaterasu wiped his face. He could not help glaring at the black chants on his body. Now he had lost his spiritual energy, but looked more like a monster than ever. ‘Unbelievable. How could Father do this to me? He kept telling me about practice and meditation. These were all lies. He always regarded me as a monster born from black magic…’ whined Kagutsuchi. Amaterasu held his hands and smiled, ‘Maybe Master had his reasons. Don’t get upset so soon. Let’s think of the future. You’ve only lost your spiritual energy. There are plenty of things to treasure in your life.’ Her consolation offended him. He straightened up and raged, ‘It’s not you who got sealed with loads of chants and lost all your spiritual energy! Of course you wouldn’t care!’ Amaterasu was stunned. Her eyes turned red. Kagutsuchi looked at her propitious knot and her watering eyes; he did not know what else to say. ‘There’s no one I can trust.’ He turned around and left.
        Kagutsuchi hid himself in the study from dawn to dusk in search of a method to break the seal. He isolated himself from outside world completely. He looked day in and day out for a cure. One night, when he was reading piles of books, he heard footsteps approaching. Looking around, he saw his mother Izanami. He ignored her and continued reading, ‘I’ve got nothing to say to you. Please go away.’ ‘I’m here to share this book with you.’ He glimpsed the title—It was the book of black magic! ‘Mother, you…’ ‘Master black magic and you’ll be able to cast spells and fulus without spiritual energy. You might even find a way to break Izanagi’s seal.’ He gawked at his mother, and looked at the book. His hands gripped Amaterasu’s knot, and he violated the biggest taboo in onmyodo...

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