After tearing off the masks of the fake ascetics, Tuchigumo was welcomed by the villagers, and became the guardian of both the village and the shrine. Since then, together with Shigeharu and Fubuki, they defeated many demonic creatures, bringing peace to the villagers. It seemed that as long as they were there, the village would not be attacked anymore. One day, Shigeharu and Fubuki had to be away from the village for some time…
“Protect the shrine and the villagers while we are away.”
‘Leave it to me! You two be careful.’
Anxiety aroused among the villagers as they watched Shigeharu and Fubuki leave; while Tuchigumo was confident in itself that it must be able to keep its promise with Shigeharu.
One day, when Tuchigumo was dealing with the daily affairs in the shrine, screams of the villagers came from outside. Tuchigumo immediately rushed out to protect them, only to see the fake ascetics with a group of youkais attacking the village, attempting to seek revenge on Tuchigumo and the two Onmyō practitioners. Standing in front of the villagers, Tuchigumo signaled them to leave and charged up its youkai pneuma…
‘Darned rats! Leave immediately!’
“Where did the two ascetics go? Only this monster’s left here? Alright, I’ll fix you to vent my anger anyway!”
Facing Tuchigumo, the ascetics drew a strange magic circle. Not paying much attention to it, Tuchigumo charged directly towards the ascetics and youkais. Yet it fell into the ascetics’ trap, and was paralyzed by the magic circle! The more it struggled, the tighter the magic circle entangled it... The ascetics and youkai pounced on it, punching and kicking. Seeing Tuchigumo being unable to protect them, the villagers fled helter-skelter.
‘Shigeharu... I’m sorry... I failed to protect everyone...’
‘Don’t you think it’s a bit early to give up?’
An Onmyōji with a fox tail approached Tuchigumo with light steps. No one could see the weird Onmyōji except Tuchigumo. He put his hand on its head, and Tuchigumo felt a power similar to Shigeharu’s streaming into its body. The Onmyōji then disappeared like mist. Feeling its power greatly enhanced, Tuchigumo charged up its youkai pneuma again, and in a lash of its leg, Tuchigumo got rid of the tangle.
Upon seeing this, the ascetics and youkais fled in fear. The villagers walked out and cheered for Tuchigumo, who was exhausted after the battle. Finding that Tuchigumo was already asleep upon his return to the shrine, Shigeharu said with a smile, “You must be very tired, Octie. Take a good rest.”
As if it could hear what Shigeharu had just said, even in dreams, Tuchigumo smiled softly with joy.