After deciphering the haunted hotspring guesthouse, Kushinada and Susanoo had taken several suspected cases of the fortune youkai, but none of them were related.
This time, they heard a sudden business revival for a tea house in the town. Kushinada, believing that this might be a lead to the fortune youkai, and set off to the tea house with Susanoo.
Susanoo: Wow! This caramel apple smells so good! Would you like to get one?
Susanoo: Hey, you haven’t been talking to me for a whole week. Haven’t I said that I’d take the responsibility? Why are you still mad at me?
Kushinada: Stop mentioning that night! Silence doesn’t mean that I’m mad! I...I...I was just thinking of what to do if this isn’t related to the fortune youkai again!
Susanoo: It’s okay if this isn’t related. We can keep searching.
Susanoo stroked Kushinada’s head while he was talking with a smile. As this gesture brought a warmth to her heart, Kushinada lowered her head immediately to hide her blushing cheeks.
Kushinada: The tea house is over there. Hurry!
Arriving at the tea house, all they saw was an opened door with no one inside. Meanwhile, there was a demonic aura exuding from the inner area——
Kushinada: It must be the fortune youkai! Show yourself! Wait, you are not...
Zashiki Warashi: Who are you two!? Don’t break the tea house!
Susanoo: She’s just a cute Zashiki Warashi...Business thrives whenever there is one. Looks like this has nothing to do with the fortune youkai.
Kushinada: But...shouldn’t the tea house be full of guests? Why is no one here even not the owner?
Zashiki Warashi burst into tears as soon as she heard Kushinada’s words. She held Kushinada’s hands and said,
Zashiki Warashi: You two are taoists, right? Please help me...No! Please help the tea house and the old man!
Kushinada: Can you tell me about the kind of help you need?
Zashiki Warashi: I met the tea house owner when I was homeless. Not only he took me in but took care of me! Meanwhile, the more and more guests came to the tea house and the old man became happier everyday...
Kushinada: But what happened then?
Zashiki Warashi: Youkais came to mess us up as our business thrived. The old man got sick last night because of the over-exhaustion just to deal with them...
During the conversation, Zashiki Warashi cried again as it reminded her of the old man’s kindness.
Zashiki Warashi: I’d do anything just to protect my beloved one and my home! Please help me!
Susanoo: “To protect the beloved one and her home…”
Susanoo: Alright! We’ll get rid of those vicious youkais for you!
Kushinada: Ugh. You never do things without benefit. Why would you——
Susanoo: They’re here! Get ready to fight!
Petty Youkai: We mess this place up because we’re jealous of their happy life. We’re sorry. Please show us mercy!
Susanoo: Is it fun to ruin someone’s family?
The petty youkais were all intimidated to shiver. Susanoo had been a laid-back man and rarely showed his anger. Yet this time, Kushinada saw his fists clenched tighter and tighter.
Kushinada: “Right. Family is his bottom line, for that reminds him of his broken family and how powerless he was.”
Kushinada: “No wonder he would agree to help. Why couldn’t I think of it?”
Holding Susanoo’s fist, Kushinada’s warmth brought his sanity back. Then she took out a few fulus and wielded them, pretending to attack them.
Kushinada: Get out of here! If you dare to mess around again, I’ll capture all of you and sell you to the slavery!
Petty Youkai: Alright! We get it! We won’t mess around again!
Scared, all youkais fled the scene.
Zashiki Warashi: Thank you very much! What can I do for you as a payment?
Susanoo: We don’t own a guesthouse——Ouch!
Kushinada: Well, do you know the whereabouts of the fortune youkai?
Zashiki Warashi: The fortune youkai? Oh, he’s a good friend of mine!
Kushinada: I knew you wouldn’t know...Wait wait wait! Your good friend!?
Kushinada: No wonder we couldn’t find the fortune youkai. Turns out he has already fled to another town.
Zashiki Warashi said that the fortune youkai had fled to another town as soon as he knew that taoists were coming after him.
And now Kushinada and Susanoo were travelling on a freight carriage to where the fortune youkai was.
Zashiki Warashi: If you two discover the fortune youkai, don’t be too harsh on him. He’s very shy.
Kushinada was glad that they had helped Zashiki Warashi as she thought of her reminder. If they hadn’t done so, they would still be in a blind search.
Susanoo: Hahaha! I can’t stop laughing whenever I think of your surprised face——Ouch!
Getting punched in the stomach by Kushinada, Susanoo moaned painfully, who appeared to be a totally different person from that youkai-fighting night...
Kushinada: “Despite his playful attitude, I guess he actually cares about what happened to his family.”
Susanoo: What’s with the strayed mind? Are you thinking about something?
A sudden call for help caught their attention. Looking to the sound source, they saw a girl get kicked out from a clinic, who was still grasping someone’s leg to beg.
However, not only that man wasn’t moved but he kicked her!
Doctor: We will never ever treat your father!
As the doctor slammed the door, the girl began to weep out of despair. At this moment, Kushinada went over to lift her up.
Kushinada: Come on. Let us go to your home and take a look at your father.
Girl: ...And you are?
Kushinada: We are taoists who happened to have some medical knowledge. Maybe we can help your father.
Girl: ...Thank you very much!
On the way to the girl’s house, Kushinada and Susanoo got to know that her father was a merchant who had been healthy. And this sickness just hit him out of the blue.
It didn’t take them too long to arrive at the house. When the door was opened, it unleashed a noxious smell that resembled the rotten corpse.
Kushinada: Ew...The smell...I wanna puke...
Susanoo: This is...worse and more difficult than I imagined.
As Kushinada and Susanoo looked at the dark hallway, they saw nothing but heard the sound of countless bugs crawling...
Girl: My dad’s room is at the end of the hallway. Please come with me...
The closer they got, the intenser the rotten smell and the crawling sound were, making them itchy all over the body. Kushinada’s palm started sweating nervously——
Kushinada: W-Why are y-you holding my hand!
Susanoo: Don’t be scared. I’m here.
When their fingers locked together, Susanoo’s warmth encouraged Kushinada. Although the unknown enemy was lying behind the door, she felt no fear at all.
Pushing the door open, Kushinada saw a man lying at the center of the room, who appeared to be the girl’s father.
As they stepped forward to look closer, the man was panting in agony. When Susanoo pulled off the blanket, he saw a lot of black marks on his body, as if bugs were eating him alive.
Susanoo: This isn’t good...Did he receive anything like a gift or something?
Girl: Yes...A man gave my dad a luxurious box last week, but the man said that the box must not be opened.
The girl took out a black silky box tied by a golden string. Taking the box over, Susanoo held it close to his ear, which sounded like something was moving inside.
Susanoo: “Just as I expected, a poisonous magic.”
Susanoo untied the string and opened the box carefully...A foot-long black centipede was crawling inside!
Just when Susanoo was trying to grab the centipede, it slipped away one step faster and crawled into the man’s mouth! Next second, the man opened his eyes and stood up——
The girl went over as she saw her father in pain, but he lifted her off the ground by grabbing her neck!
At this moment, Kushinada created multiple light spheres with fulus, blinding the man to let go.
Girl: No, I ain’t going anywhere! I’ll stay with you no matter what you’ll become!
Kushinada, who seized this chance, stuck a few fulus on the man and poured the spiritual energy into him.
Next second, the man vomited an extensive amount of bugs, and the blood-stained black centipede eventually.
Susanoo killed it with his sword, which vanished into black smoke. The moment when the centipede was gone, the rotten smell spreading in the air disappeared too.
Although the man fainted, the black marks on his body were recovered.
Girl: Thank you very much! My dad wouldn’t survive this without you two...
Kushinada: The poison in him hasn’t completely gone yet. He must be cleansed by fulus.
Girl: This...Please help my father! I...I will pay you!
Kushinada: Relax. I’ll help, but this guy won’t stay behind. He got his own business to deal with.
Kushinada: Haven’t you been missing your family? Stop hiding it!
Susanoo: “Right...I can’t escape anymore. I need to save Tsukuyomi just like how the girl saved her father! I need to protect my own family!”
Susanoo: “But...I promised Kushinada to find the fortune youkai together and protect her…”
Kushinada smacked his cheeks as if she had read his hesitation.
Kushinada: I’ll be here waiting for you. So, get your butt on the road! Don’t you come back without reconciling with your family!
Susanoo: “Haha. This woman knows me too well. Looks like I won’t be able to get rid of her for the rest of my life.”