A figure slowly descended from the sky: he retracted his giant wings and walked into a cave. Once, he had been so short and his wingspan had been so small; now, he had to retract his wings and slightly lower his head just to move inside the cave. However, he was not the only one who had changed with time...
Inside the cave were lifelike human-shaped ice sculptures. Their faces were twisted in pain, as if pleading for mercy. Every time Ootengu saw the sculptures, he could not help his sympathy pouring out for them. The sculptures had all been Humans at one time or another. They fell in love with Yuki-onna but they were deemed disloyal and hence frozen here. Walking to the depths of the cave, Ootengu saw Yuki-onna enchantedly caressing a sculpture’s face. Though she did not turn, she knew who had come...
“This, is the perfect existence...It does not betray me; it obeys me without question.”
“Does this truly make you happy? Truly happy from the depths of your heart?”
“I do not know...I do not know!”
Yuki-onna dashed to Ootengu, grabbing his collar and started crying.
“I just wanted that ‘feeling’. Why can I not seem to feel it?”
Not only did Ootengu not know how to ease her angst, he also did not know what it was that she wanted. Just then, noises from outside the cave attracted their attention...
“A lot of men went up the mountain and never returned...”
“This time we’ll definitely find that murderous monster! We’ll kill it to ensure our safety and let out our hatred!”
“Hey, look! There is a cave! Could that be the monster’s lair?”
Hearing them, Yuki-onna trembled. Panic stricken, she said worriedly, “What should I do...? They are coming to kill me...Did I do something wrong?”
Ootengu held her hand and whispered tenderly, “No...It is the people’s fault. You did not do anything wrong. Worry not. I will always stand by you and protect you. Just leave it to me.” Upon finishing his words, Ootengu turned to the exit after signaling Yuki-onna to stay inside.
Ootengu knew that it was a reprehensible path of no return, but he journeyed down it without regret. All he wanted to do was to protect her, the only one for him...
Ootengu flew above the people and yelled at them, “Human imbeciles! You know there is a monster here and yet, you still dare come and boast of killing it? Here I am standing before eyes. Let’s see what you can do!”