To save Izanami, Tsukuyomi and Kagutsuchi from the book of black magic bewitchment, Izanagi opened the book with Amaterasu’s encouragement, hoping to seek a way out from it.
Izanagi brought the box that sealed the book to Amaterasu. After exchanging a gaze, he ripped off the fulu and took the book out carefully.
Izanagi: I’m opening it now.
Amaterasu: What...What happened? Why is the book blank? Now we’ve lost all the leads...
When Izanagi opened the book——not a word was seen. It was completely blank.
Izanagi: Don’t be panicky. Speaking of black magic, I have a friend who has a deep study on it. Let’s find him first! Maybe he knows something about this book...
Izanagi and Amaterasu started packing up for the trip shortly, planning to visit the taoist institute where his friend was.
Just when they were about to set off, Inari asked to tag along but got carried back to the house by Amaterasu.
Amaterasu: Inari, stay home and look after the house for me. We’ll be back soon.
Izanagi and Amaterasu hit the road, while Amaterasu kept looking back at Inari until her figure was too far to be seen.
Izanagi: If she means that much to you, why don’t you take her with you?
Amaterasu: We don’t know what we will have to deal with on this trip, and it might be life-threatening. Plus she’s a naughty one. If something happens...anyways I just can’t let her come along.
While Amaterasu went on the trip stress-free, Izanagi looked behind discreetly. Nothing was there, but he sensed Inari’s spiritual energy…
Then he took another look at Amaterasu, who felt nothing at all. Izanagi found this interesting and smiled a bit.
Izanagi: “Looks like you still have a lot to learn, my apprentice.”
Izanagi and Amaterasu went to the taoist institute to find his friend who had knowledge about the book of black magic. When they were about to enter the institute, some taoists stopped them.
Taoist: Who are you? What do you want here?
Izanagi: We’d like to ask your master about this book——
Izanagi took out the book of black magic during the speech. The moment the taoists saw the book, all of them became hostile.
Taoist: You...You’re carrying the forbidden book! Heretic!
Principal of the Institute: Stop!
The principal managed to shut all taoists up by a simple glare. Then he went over to greet Izanagi like an old friend.
Principal of the Institute: Sorry about my rude students.
Izanagi: No. It’s good to stay vigilant.
Principal of the Institute: What’s with the visit? Is it something important?
Izanagi: With your wide magic knowledge, I was wondering if you knew this book...
The principal’s face turned grim as soon as he saw the book of black magic in Izanagi’s hand.
Principal of the Institute: Let’s talk inside.
The three of them sat down facing each other. Taking the book over from Izanagi, the principal opened slowly after a moment of hesitation.
He wasn’t surprised when he saw an empty book, but he asked calmly.
Principal of the Institute: Did someone acquire the black magic it contained?
Principal of the Institute: The author of this book is a junior fellow of mine. He’s good at sealing demons with writings, and he helps a lot of people.
Principal of the Institute: When he fell in love with a girl, they moved to a mountain village. Years later, we received a box and a letter mailed by a villager there, and the letter was written by my fellow...
Principal of the Institute: He said that he had sealed an evil spirit inside the book, and we must not open it. Later on, the book was stolen and had been missing until now.
Izanagi: Any idea where your fellow lives?
Principal of the Institute: The village should be around this mountain, but you need to ask the residents nearby for the exact location. Sorry that I can’t help much.
Izanagi: No. It’s enough for us to know the origin of this book. Thank you.
After an overnight stay in the institute, Izanagi and Amaterasu resumed their trip, arriving at a town. Yet they got no information about the village.
As the nightfall came, the two rented a room in a guesthouse. Inside the room, they unpacked their luggage while the guesthouse assistant was making their beds.
Amaterasu: Does that village even exist? It’s been years after all...
Izanagi: Possible. Plus the exorcism incident might have already scared away all the villagers.
Guesthouse Assistant: Excuse me...About the village you’re looking for, is it located in the forest nearby?
Amaterasu: You know that village?
Guesthouse Assistant: I heard that my granny was originally a resident of a village nearby. Then something horrible happened and she left for good.
Izanagi: Something horrible? Mind to share with me?
Guesthouse Assistant: I don’t know too much about it, but I can take you to meet my granny.
Guesthouse Assistant: Granny, they’re the onmyōji I’ve mentioned before. They’d like to ask you about the village.
Granny: The...The village?
Izanagi: Yes. Do you know the author of this book?
As Izanagi was taking out the book, he didn’t notice the frightened look appeared on the granny as soon as she heard about “the village”. When she saw the book, she was freaked out to mental collapse.
Granny: I DON’T KNOW! I DON’T KNOW! GET OUT! GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!
Izanagi: If she hates to talk about it that much, let’s not force her. Let’s leave first.
Amaterasu: I ain’t going anywhere! I...I’ve missed a lot already...And I won’t give up on this precious lead!
As Amaterasu was done speaking, she turned around to knock on the door while begging.
Amaterasu: I know that you must have been through a lot of traumatizing things there, and you don’t wanna remember them again...
Amaterasu: But I must go there, or else I couldn’t save my beloved ones! So...I’m begging you...please help me...
Izanagi: “Amaterasu has grown up a lot indeed.”
At this moment, the door was opened slowly by the granny.
Granny: So it’s about your beloved ones...Alright. I’ll tell you.
Granny: It was a village with a small number of residents, where everyone was living a peaceful life. One day, a taoist moved in with his pregnant wife.
Granny: It was supposed to be a good news, but the woman was too weak to carry the baby. Everyone advised her to do abortion but she refused.
Granny: One day, the woman suddenly became strong and healthy, while several infants and children went missing.
Granny: I was also one of them, and I never expected...I never expected that she made medication out of the hearts of infants...And that was how she became healthy...
Granny: I thought I’d die too. Luckily she gave birth before she killed me...My gosh...I fainted at the moment I saw that monstrous baby.
Granny: When I woke up again, I was in the arms of the taoist while his wife and the baby were nowhere to be seen.
Granny: Few days later, the taoist hung himself. Since then, I left the village with my parents and never heard of it, but I believe that it still exists...
After listening to the whole story, Izanagi pondered as he stared at the book of black magic.
He realized that the taoist was the one who made the seal, and the “demon” that used to be contained in the book was his wife and baby...
Izanagi: “I can’t imagine how devastated he was when he made the decision...Is this also how our ending will be like?”
Amaterasu: Master, you and mistress will never end this way. We just need to talk things out, for we’re family!
Izanagi: Right. We’re family.
Izanagi and Amaterasu smiled at each other. No matter what lied ahead, they had faith in their bondings that were strong enough to conquer any barriers.