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Backstory

        A rich merchant was pacing in the living room. His attendants watched him moving back and forth silently. Recently numerous peculiar phenomena had happened in his mansion—a ghost flame in the kitchen, the sound of marbles dropping from an empty room, floating light dots in the backyard...Many attendants quit in fear of the unexplainable. Later, the rich merchant’s business declined. He hired a taoist to investigate these supernatural events.
 
        ’I paid her to come today. Where has she been? The clock’s ticking!’ yelled the merchant. His attendants looked at each other in silence. Moments later, the door opened and a youthful girl strolled into the mansion, ‘I don’t like your attitude! Is that how you beg for help?’ ‘You...are the taoist I hired?’ He eyed her warily. He couldn’t believe this young girl was actually the most famous taoist in the region. The girl did not answer. She looked around the mansion and whispered, ‘Strong youkai energy shrouds your mansion and it’s coming from the treasury. Did you buy anything weird recently?’ Her question shocked the merchant because no one except himself and his butler knew about the treasury. He felt ashamed for looking down on her earlier. ‘Bravo, Miss Taoist. I apologize for my ignorant question earlier. I hope you don’t mind.’ “It’s nothing. Just call me by my name, Kushinada. Oh and, take me ‘there’! The situation is getting worse by the second…”
 
        He told her about every weird event that had happened so far and the treasure he had bought recently. She just listened. Kushinada followed them to a secret chamber deep under the mansion. The butler unlocked the heavy metal gate, lit the fire, and stepped away anxiously. The butler asked with a trembling voice, ‘A-anything else I can help you with?’ ‘I’m good. Close the gate and leave.’ ‘I'm counting on you.’ The metal gate closed slowly.
 
        As the metal gate sealed shut, Kushinada looked excited. She whispered to herself, ‘Ghost flames? Floating dots? Those were all my spells. The sound of marbles dropping was just water dripping. He was being paranoid.’ She opened her exoricsm bag and smiled, ‘I wonder which items I should take.’ She inspected the treasures and pretended to be exorcising by screaming chants and trampling to make it more believable for the merchant and his butler waiting outside.
 
        The merchant and his butler heard the sound of brawling coming from the treasury and thought there must be a powerful youkai in the mansion. Suddenly the treasury became silent. When they put their ears against the door, Kushinada pushed the door open carrying her ragbag. ‘The youkai has been exorcised. These few items have been haunted with its resentment and must be cleansed as soon as possible.’ ‘Take them, take them. Do what you have to as long as it helps.’ Looking at his sincere face, Kushinada tried her best not to burst into laughter. He trusted everything she said without a doubt.
 
        Several days later, the rich merchant and his butler visited her. At first she was worried they had found out what she did. Instead, they offered her a job…
 
        ’My business is steadily recovering after you cleansed my mansion. Nothing weird has happened since then. Thank you.’ ‘It’s my duty.’ The rich merchant nodded to his butler, who then unrolled a painting. It was a round golden youkai with shadow and mist. She asked, ‘Is this…?’ ‘I heard this youkai had the ability to bring wealth. Bring it to me and I’ll reward you handsomely.’ ‘Ability to bring fortune of wealth...Got it. I accept your offer.’ The merchant was relieved, ‘I’m counting on you.’ After they walked out of the door, Kushinada stared at the painting excitedly, ‘A youkai that attracts wealth...My time has come!’
 
        Kushinada travelled around to gather information.It was said that this youkai specialized in water spells and someone has seen it in the neighbouring city. She followed the rumor to that city…

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