“Sigh...If it goes on like this, the hostel will soon be closed,” the owner said helplessly as he looked at the account book.
The hostel was located beside the most prosperous street in the city. Initially, it was well received and packed with travellers. However, since some customers alleged that they were seeing Yōkai in their room, coupled with a series of bad things happening in the hostel, most of them had requested early check outs and left immediately. Soon, no more travellers stayed the night, and the entire business was in a slump.
While the owner was thinking of closing the hostel, its main door opened slowly. Platycodon, a purple-haired girl with a scroll on her hands, carried a basket and walked in.
Rarely had he seen a customer, so the owner greeted her with a warm smile. “Hello, are you staying overnight?”
Platycodon did not respond and walked straight to the second floor without even looking at the owner. Awed by the girl’s domineering attitude, he dared not stop her, but simply followed behind.
Platycodon stopped suddenly. “I’m staying in this room. Don’t bother me,” she said with a cold voice as she pointed at the room.
“B-but——” Before the owner finished his words, Platycodon entered the room and locked the door immediately. He heaved a deep sigh and murmured, “this room is haunted...Hopefully she’ll be fine…”
When Platycodon stepped into the room, she heard a shrill cry. However, showing no fear, she spread out the scroll on the floor calmly, remained alert and waited for her target.
The wind was blowing in gusts. In seconds, the scroll glittered; Zashiki Warashi, a little girl wearing a red kimono, showed up at the corner. She looked really painful, with her hands pressing her stomach. Platycodon believed that the cry she just heard was from this little girl.
“It’s alright. I’m here to help,” Platycodon said gently.
She came up to Zashiki Warashi and felt her pulse. After the diagnosis, she took out a few herbs, put them into a mortar, and ground them with a pestle. Then, she poured some water from a porcelain flask into the mortar and mixed it with the herbs. “Drink it,” Platycodon said as she handed it to Zashiki Warashi.
The girl noticed that Platycodon’s fingers were full of scars, which were scratched by branches when plucking herbs. These scars were the proof of her passion for being a doctor.
Therefore, Zashiki Warashi trusted her and drank the medicine slowly. After a while, there was a warm feeling all over her body, and the chaotic pneuma gradually returned to normal. As the pain disappeared, she finally felt relieved.
“Thank you, doctor.” Zashiki Warashi wore an innocent smile on her face.
“Not at all. Be Careful okay? Don’t eat human food again.”
The little girl nodded and then vanished in the air. It was already late at night. Platycodon fell asleep with a satisfied smile.
Next day morning, she walked out of the hostel in a good mood. Suddenly, two shadows swept down. Platycodon was brought to the sky right away——she looked up and saw two Tengu.
They came to a shelter of Tengu in a snowy mountain and dropped her off.
Their leader Ootengu said with arms crossed, “So, you’re the Yōkai doctor?”
Ootengu did not respond, pulled her up and led her to a room at the farthest corner. She saw Yuki-onna lie on a bed weakly.
“Cure her sickness, or I’ll kill you.” Ootengu commanded as he sat beside her wife, holding her hands. Platycodon checked Yuki-onna’s pulse and made a diagnosis.
“Could it be…” Closing her eyes and feeling the flow of Yuki’s pneuma, Platycodon could sense another type of energy developing in her body.
“I see,” she smiled.
“My wife is suffering. What are you laughing at? How is she exactly,” Ootengu frowned and asked unpleasantly.
“You wife is pregnant. Just take a good rest, and she’ll be fine.” Platycodon took out a herb and continued, “Drink a bowl of medicine every day. This herb can be easily found around here.”
Ootengu was excited about this sudden news. Yuki-onna and he were overjoyed and did not know how to react.
“Thank you. How shall I repay you? Just name it.”
“Give me a lift,” Platycodon said coldly.
She was not into any gold and silver. The only thing which could make her happy and satisfied was to save people. Ootengu smiled and escorted her out of the mountain. Afterwards, Platycodon continued her journey to save more Yōkai…