This place lay in complete darkness. Furi, a wind youkai, curled up in a corner like a flat balloon. It could hear the wind blowing outside the cave, but it could not feel it.
‘So boring...’ Furi murmured, but no one replied. In the past, it traveled around the realm with other furis. They enjoyed freedom but were unaware of the fact that they carried wind as strong as tornadoes with them. One day, when they were playing beside a village, they unintentionally summoned an immensely powerful gust of wind, sweeping away the entire village. Abe no Seimei happened to be there and immediately cast a seal to suppress the wind. After a fierce battle between Abe and the furis, Abe left one furi alive. He thought there would be no mercy in killing them all. Hence, he sealed the last furi in a cave and placed a tiny stone lantern at the exit to absorb its wind. Even to this day, the furi remained locked away...
‘So boring...’ Furi had uttered this sentence countless times. When it was about to fall asleep again, it was surprised to hear wind roaring outside the cave, so it raised its guard. “Boom!” Along with the sound, light and wind entered the cave before a figure appeared.
“Furi, I’ve been searching for you,” said an unfamiliar male, but before he could finish his sentence, Furi had already left the cave and was happily dancing in the wind. It then scanned the man and noticed that he was wearing an Onmyōji outfit. Rage filled the furi as it bit the man with all its might, but it was no match for the man — Shimmerlight blocked the attack with his bare hands. “There is no need to panic. Just listen to me...” He calmly continued: “I’m here to invite you to join me in saving all the mystical beings in this realm.”
‘Saving all the mystical beings?’ Furi hesitated as Shimmerlight reached out his hand: “I am willing to be your companion.” Upon hearing the word “companion”, Furi could not help but recall the days when it and the other furis played together and chased after the wind. A surge of emotions made Furi nod and agree to the man’s suggestion.
“Furi! Get that old youkai! He ate all of the village’s harvest!” “Furi! Seize the ascetic’s notes! It has youkai-harming theories written all over it!” “Furi! Catch that female youkai! She’s been enchanting others and hurting them!”
At first, Shimmerlight treated Furi politely like a companion. This did not change until they ran into other youkais in a village; Shimmerlight was arrogant and ordered Furi to attack or capture the youkais alive. Furi was still young to the world and it had been a long time since it last used its power, so it did not notice anything amiss. However, after a while, Furi noticed that every time they successfully captured a youkai or seized their treasure, Shimmerlight would wear an unusually sly smile. Things did not turn for the better and instead, Shimmerlight would exude evil pneuma whenever they won a battle. This raised Furi’s suspicion who began to consider leaving this companion.
“Furi! Cast a gust of wind to drive the youkai-serpent out of the cave!” Shimmerlight and Furi stood outside a cave. After taking a look inside the cave, he ordered Furi like he usually did, but surprisingly heard a firm “no”. Shimmerlight tried to persuade Furi, but when his attempt was to no avail, he glared at the beast and took out the notes that were previously seized from an ascetic. He bit his finger and used his blood to draw an upside-down pentacle on his chest. “All the youkais I’ve eaten so far were only minor ones. If I can eat the serpent, I will definitely be strong enough to rival Abe no Seimei’s power! If you insist on not helping me, I will have no choice but to eat you first and then I’ll deal with the serpent myself!”
The drawing on Shimmerlight’s chest radiated crimson light as his face gradually turned monster-like. Noticing that it was in danger, Furi hurriedly cast a gust of wind to attack him, but Shimmerlight used the tiny stone lantern to absorb its wind and power, rendering it powerless! He then leaped toward Furi’s chest and bit it before absorbing its youkai power. However, shortly afterward, Shimmerlight noticed that he was only absorbing wind; none of Furi’s actual power was channeling into his body, leaving him with no other choice but to retreat first.
“Why can’t I absorb your power?!” Shimmerlight bellowed. At the same time, the opening on Furi’s chest allowed it to draw wind into its body and transfer the wind to its power at will. It turned into a tornado and broke the stone lantern before sweeping Shimmerlight away into the cave. “W, wait! Argh!!!!” Screams of pain came from within the cave before a series of biting and chewing sounds.
Furi withdrew its power and climbed onto a tree, where it had a broader view. It allowed the tender wind to enter its chest. ‘I’ve lost another companion...’ murmured Furi. However, it did not feel sorrow this time and instead, it felt relieved that it no longer had to listen to Shimmerlight’s orders. As the tender wind resonated with the power in its body, Furi felt its power grow in an unbelievable speed, making it much stronger than it used to be. Furi now felt freer than before: ‘Maybe this is the feeling I’ve been searching for...’