“Youkais are evil beings! What’s wrong about enslaving them?”
“Youkais have their grievances. What we should do is to lead them back onto the right path!”
“What big talk for an Onmyōji who has command of Shikigamis! Would you call your relationship with them one of exploitation as well?”
“The two relationships are different! Commanding is to let them willingly work for you. They are treated with respect; they are like my companions. But you, you force them to work for you by manipulating their grief and weaknesses! Do you know of their pain and their desire for freedom?”
“Hmph! And you think your Shikigamis do not want freedom?”
Suddenly, Myoudouki and Zendouki pulled the Onmyōji’s left and right arms from his sides; Yatonokami thrusted its katana through his body; Hajikamiio opened its crimson mouth and tore into his lower body; and Katawaguruma choked him with her delicate hands...
‘What are you...doing?’ The Onmyōji could not believe what was happening.
‘You have separated us for so long and ruined our matrimonial bliss. How dare you say you treat us with respect?’
‘You took my freedom. I once lived a carefree life in the lake!’
‘I do not willingly work for you; I am simply waiting for the chance to wreak my revenge!’
‘I can finally be free!’ Flames spread from Katawaguruma to the Onmyōji, instantly igniting him.
The Onmyōji awoke from his dream. Immense pain shot up his chest. He clutched his chest but it did not alleviate. Since defeating Douman Ashiya, the Onmyōji had been suffering from myriad nightmares; the pain in the chest had also escalated. Even though the Onmyōji felt something was amiss, he failed to found any assuagement. All he hoped was that this would end with his death. This was the only thing left he could do for his disciples.
In a shrine not far away, an angry soul of the diseased laughed hysterically, his hand on his face. Though his outfit was one of an Onmyōji, he had a monster’s face. He exuded peculiar power and was surrounded by youkais’ souls. Maybe because he was annoyed, he casually grabbed one of the souls and put it in his mouth.
Douman Ashiya once was one of the leading Onmyōjis who helped people expel youkais and other evil. However, when he learnt of an Onmyōji more powerful than he was, Douman started to study evil-jutsu, hoping to surpass him. But he was too obsessed with power and his sanity was eventually consumed by such power... He forgot his original intention as an Onmyōji and started enslaving youkais. Later, he challenged the Great Onmyōji to a duel but was comprehensively beaten. The battle also cost him his very life. Discontent with the failure, Douman became more extreme. His words became curses while his mind manifested itself into an enraged soul. Douman’s sole aim was cursing them to death — those who took everything from him...