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Backstory

        Kagutsuchi inherited his parents’ extraordinarily strong spiritual energy. It was so strong he could not control it. Ever since he was born, his leaked energy would set things around him on fire. Flames did not hurt him, but the turbulence of spiritual energy did.
 
        Izanagi regarded the fire as the consequence of black magic and brought Kagutsuchi deep into the mountains to teach him meditation in hopes of strengthening his willpower, which would be essential to suppress the influence of black magic. For a long time, Kagutsuchi spared no effort practicing spiritual energy control and meditation to no avail.' Izanagi began to lose faith, so did Kagutsuchi.
 
        One day, Kagutsuchi had one day free of practice. A holiday was hard to come by. As he pondered how to kill time, Amaterasu packed up to go out. He asked, ‘Grocery shopping?’ ‘Yeah, I got to buy ingredients for dinner.’ ‘I’ll keep you company.’ Kagutsuchi grabbed the basket from her. She smiled radiantly, ‘You’re such a gentleman, as always.’ Her pretty smile made him blush and he turned his face away. ‘Aren’t you preparing for dinner? It’s getting dark!’
 
        They strolled through the market. Dusk was falling, which was the perfect time to prepare for dinner. Kagutsuchi walked in the front and made way for Amaterasu. He saw a shop selling Daifuku—Amaterasu’s favourite treat. He turned around excitedly but realized she was gone! He searched for her nervously, walking against the flow of the crowd. At last he found the red figure he was familiar with... ‘What the heck were you thinking? Just tell me if you had to walk away!’ She kept smiling, ‘I knew you would find me.’ Her innocent face mmade him forget what he was saying. He sighed instead, ‘Alright then...What did you buy?’ She giggled, ‘You’re about to find out.’ ‘Humph! You just love acting mysterious. Let’s grab the groceries and go home!’ He gripped her hand through the crowd. He could not see her face, but he felt her warm hand holding his tight. Kagutsuchi put on a bright smile.
 
        As Kagutsichi enjoyed watching Amaterasu’s interactions with the hawkers, he was hit with an abrupt. He lost all his strength and dropped the basket. It was the sign of an energy leak. Bursting energy here would kill thousands of people, so he endured the pain and limped to a quiet place.
 
        He reached a silent alley. The leaked energy burnt everything around him. Flames surrounded him in the blink of an eye. ‘Stop...Make it stop...Dang it…’ Kagutsuchi cried painfully. His frustration only worsened the leak. The blazing fire attracted an audience. Some carried water to help Kagutsuchi, but it had no effect against the fire of spiritual energy.
 
        The people could not withstand the burning heat anymore and left. As white fulus scattered, Amaterasu descended from above with her hands performing a mandra, ‘Break!’ Spiritual energy swallowed the fulus and killed the fire...People around applauded, but all she cared was Kagutsuchi’s condition. She wanted to pat his shoulder, but it was burning hot. ‘Kagutsichi, it’s over. Don’t worry.’ She gave him a soothing smile. He stared at his burnt hands. Years of practice had led him nowhere. A sense of defeat filled his heart, ‘Leave me alone…’ He left Amaterasu behind and walked away.
 
        Later at night, Kagutsuchi went back to his room. A propitious knot and a note lay on his bed, ‘Your fire was warm as usual.’ He knew it was Amaterasu even without her signature. His sadness vanished. He clutched the knot in his hands and slowly fell asleep. Moments later, a shadow opened the door and walked to Kagutsuchi…

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