There was a quiet village. Due to its secluded location, villagers rarely left which led to their self-sufficient lives. One time, an old man passed through the village. Feeling comfortable while communicating with the villagers, the old man decided to settle. The old man shared his knowledge on foreign matters with the villagers and as they seldom left their village, the villagers saw the old man as a storyteller. He not only taught them more things about the realm, he also added color to their dull life. One day while the old man was sharing another one of his experiences, a female scream suddenly rang from not far away. Everyone immediately ran toward the sound’s source to see what had happened.
When they arrived at the source of the scream, they saw a blood stained hut. Everyone inside was lying in a pool of blood with their clothing torn and their bodies covered in peculiar bite wounds. The first person to see this horrifying scene was a woman, who then immediately fainted. The other villagers began discussing this appalling incident...
“This is terrible...who could have done such a cruel thing?”
Fear in the atmosphere is palpable. Their lives were always peaceful and no one had ever tried to assault or kill anyone. It was their first time to witness something this horrible.
“Excuse me. Please make way.”
Just as the villagers were wondering what had happened, Oni, in his Onmyōji outfit, walked out from the crowd. He entered the hut and observed the crime scene. After contemplating for a while, Oni suddenly raised his hand and drew an unknown sign in the air. He then closed his eyes and placed his fingers on his forehead.
All that were present remained silent when Oni reopened his eyes and murmured, “Poor souls. They were all murdered by a youkai.” Upon hearing “youkai”, this unfamiliar word, the villagers were all shocked. They had never seen a youkai and had only heard of this creature from the old man. Oni crouched down and dipped his finger into the pool of blood while he summoned a two-headed snake. The snake sniffed and observed its surroundings before it suddenly darted toward the old man and wrapped itself around him.
“Hm, I never thought I could locate you this fast, loathsome youkai!” Oni said while pointing at the old man. The other villagers immediately stepped away from him. The old man helplessly looked at the usually friendly villagers and sorrowfully said, “No...It’s not...like that...listen to...me...” With a smile, Oni approached the old man and asked the villagers...
“This village has always been peaceful, no?”
“Come to think of it...incidents like this never happened before the old man arrived...”
Oni was only one step away from the old man: “And my last shred of evidence...” He took off the old man’s hat and continued, “...are these horns on his head!” All the villagers screamed in fear.
“I just want us to be friends...I’ve never hurted anyone in my life...” The old man’s words were overpowered by the villagers’ criticism. Oni then exchanged a glance with the snake. It contracted its muscles and then bit the old man’s arms and legs until it tore his body apart! The old man’s lifeless body then transformed into black smoke and gradually faded under the clear blue sky.
“That was terrifying! Who could have thought that a youkai had infiltrated our village...”
“Youkais are evil creatures. Do not believe what they say.” With that said, Oni left without looking back.
After his departure from the village, Oni returned to the Orient and spread a rumor about how a kind youkai was murdered by Humans. As the rumor spread, it became a heated topic among youkais, undermining what they had always believed — Humans and youkais can live together harmoniously. A smile spread across Oni’s face while he sat on the eaves of a house and watched as youkais separated into two parties: pro-harmony and anti-harmony.
The two-headed snake lying beside the adolescent suddenly raised its head as a red-faced Onmyōji with a pair of horns and tusks appeared in front of the adolescent — it was Douman Ashiya. Looking at the chaos among Humans and youkais, Ashiya could not help but break into maniacal laughter: “Good job! You didn’t let me down!”
“Thank you, master. So, what is my next task?”
“Go handle the Great Onmyōji’s disciples. Human-youkai harmony, huh? Humph! It’s ridiculous!”
After nodding as an acknowledgement, Oni departed, leaving Ashiya who was laughing at the sky. After he stopped laughing, Ashiya yelled, “Abe no Seimei! We still have unfinished business!”