Ibarakidouji had collapsed onto his knees in a sea of fire. His right arm had been severed, and now the stump bled profusely. While Ibarakidouji was not particularly passionate enthralled with warring, his ability was still among the best of the youkais. He had never had a battle so bitter, and defeat had been unheard of.
The Onmyōji of Douma walked before him, looked down at him, before saying, “You have been defeated. You should fulfill your promise to obey me.”
“Don’t be silly! I can still fight even if I have lost my right arm! I don’t need to obey despicable scum like you!”
The Onmyōji immediately conjured strange mystical power, summoning youkais to grip down on Ibarakidouji’s remaining limbs with their teeth. Ibarakidouji tried fighting them off, but their bite only grew stronger. Not only was his energy sapped, the pain had driven him to loud yaps.
“If you are willing to serve me, you would not only be able to preserve your remaining limbs. I can even build you a stronger right arm through jitsu.”
Death had always been accompanied by fear. To survive, Ibarakidouji had no choice but to serve as gatekeeper for the Onmyōji standing before him. While he did not do so willingly, he understood that at that moment, he was no match for his foe.
This did not change until a battle against the Great Onmyōji; it was then Ibarakidouji finally learnt hatred was what had truly caused the loss of his freedom. To ensure his life was carefree, Ibarakidouji let go of everything of his past, and resolutely decided to leave the Onmyōji of Douma.
Some time later, when Ibarakidouji was strolling along the streets of youkai territory the Orient, he suddenly heard a commotion ahead.
“You ran into me, scum!” yelled a youkai.
“Hey, what was that? A dog barking?” a youkai with a sake bottle in hand asked.
The youkai with the bottle had been encircled by other youkais. As they were about to start attacking, Ibarakidouji stepped forward and punched one of the attacking youkais square in the face, instantly dropping him on the ground.
“Ganging up on someone, eh? How despicable!” Ibarakidouji contemptuously glared at the encircling youkais
“Is this guy one of the scum’s companions?!”
“Dogs should better not bark; we are more than enough to handle you!”
Ibarakidouji and the youkai holding the sake bottle easily triumphed over each of their opponents. All of the youkais in the vicinity began cheering for them. It turned out that these defeated youkais were ruffians in the neighborhood. Everyone had already despised them; it was just that none dared resist.
“I am Shuten-dōji. You are not a bad fighter. Would you be interested in helping me become the leader of youkais?”
“This sounds fun. Then, I shall support you for the time being.”
Their handshake at the time cemented their future relationship. From then on, Ibarakidouji served as Shuten-dōji’s trusted right hand man. Their bond was like one of brothers; and on the battlefield, each would risk their life for the other. Yet, for reasons unbeknownst to Ibarakidouji, Shuten-dōji had become ruthlessly oppressive and mercilessly cruel. To his companion’s change in personality, Ibarakidouji had voiced his oppositions on numerous occasions, but all to no avail. Seeing his best friend spiral, becoming one so unfamiliar to him, Ibarakidouji refused to accept this change; he left in search of some way to restore Shuten-dōji...