Chapter 1: Prologue: Chase
Ever since the dawn of mankind there have been powerful beings, entities, made to resemble humans, gifted with mystical powers. Some became legends, others became myths. Some became blessings, other curses. Some were remembered through eons and generations, others became extinct. Many were afraid of these powerful spirits. But somewhere along the lines, the people found a way to live in peace and harmony with these beings. Some only asked for small favors, a temporary place to stay or some food and water. Others asked the people to build them homes where they could reside in and in return, keep watch over the village. So the people built temples and castles made to accommodate the spirits and make them feel at home.
Now, living amongst spirits wasn't always easy for everyone. There were tensions and disagreements, but they could be resolved easily. Well.. Most could. There were wars and fights between neighboring spirit tribes or even species. One of them was the spectacular, yet, rather amusing fight between woodland spirits and the water spirits. The little destruction they caused was immediately repaired by blooming flowers or watered crops. They came to an agreement and apologized to the three villages caught in their quarrel, who were quick to point out that it wasn't a big deal.
These types of fights happened frequently but didn't last long enough for the people to worry about them. Until that one night. Out of seemingly nowhere, multiple villages were woken up by the sounds of screams and the warmth of burning flames, engulfing their homes and lives. There had been rumors of provocation between two tribes, but nothing too alarming, but it seems like one of them took it a bit too far and sparked a match into an ocean of oil, setting all agreement to peace ablaze along with the lives of the people caught in the crossfire. Most didn’t know who had attacked them, but some after the chaos had told the tale of maniacal laughter, crazed eyes with immeasurable blood lust, sharp fangs and talons, and the most horrifying, glowing sharp and pointed horns.
The Oni tribe that sat next to Hokkeshu had attacked with the sole intention of burning the small village to ruins. Why? To unsettle the tribe situated at the opposite end of theirs. Hokkeshu was stuck in-between two immensely strong tribes and species of spirits, currently at war with each other for an unknown reason. Those that weren't killed on sight or in the middle, were taken hostage and kidnapped by the demons.
Villagers ran in chaos and panic, hurriedly grabbing their families and children and whatever good luck charms or precious memories they could before it were too late. One small kid, was running for his life along with his family, they had woken him up in such a hurry that he still felt slightly dizzy from the rush of adrenaline. Unfortunately, one second of Inattention was all it took for life to take a sharp turn downwards. He had tripped and fallen, losing His grip on His mother's hand. He quickly shot up to his feet avoiding the oncoming ones by a mere hair's width. He started scanning the crowd, desperately trying to catch even a glimpse of familiar clothing or hair. "M-mom..? Dad?" He whispered powerlessly as the rest of his people evacuated the hellish landscape. Caught up too deep in his own thoughts and panic, he didn't notice the tall figure slowly approaching him and looming over him. When he saw the gradual shadow of something get larger and larger behind him he looked over his shoulder, only to be met with a giant, intimidating Oni. He laughed as he dragged the dirtied pure metal club through the ground, parting ash and scattered splinters of burned wood. The small boy's eyes widened, backing away from the imposing figure while never looking away. The devilish creature laughed and lunged at the boy, lifting his club effortlessly, ready to slam it down upon him, smashing him to pieces. The boy closed his eyes and covered his face with his arms, bracing-
but the pain and death never came.
Instead, all he heard was a pained scream and the loud thud of something heavy hitting the ground. He reluctantly uncrossed his arms and shot a small glimpse at the body of the Oni, laying motionless on the ground. He gasped, not because of the corpse of the demon, but because of the creature standing in front of it, slowly standing back on its legs and panting. It slowly looked back to him, and he swore he could almost feel his fear slowly ebb away, as he stared lost into pure, ruby red eyes. Slowly, and carefully the creature crept towards the small shocked child. He flinched as a clawed hand slowly came to a stop before him. "It's alright little one, you're safe now." came a soft, yet strong female voice, as if coaxing him into a more calm state. "Where are your parents? Do you know where they ran off to?" He slowly shook his head still staring at her. "N-no.. I lost them while running.." tears began brimming at his eyes at the thought of his parents being lost or..Worse.
The hand carefully took a hold of his. The claws on each finger looking sharper than any blade he had ever seen, yet, the hold was gentle and comforting. " I'll help you find them back.- " The voice was cut off by a load groan and growl, looking behind the female spirit, They both saw the Oni slowly getting back to its feet. Looking enraged and crazed.
The woman shielded the boy behind her, hand still in hand. " But First let's get you out of here. " Without any more of a warning, she picked him up and held him close to her running away from the demon. The little boy whimpered as he felt the wind rush past him, the woman running at unhuman speed. As he opened his eyes to look behind them he saw the Oni giving chase, clearly not giving up on the idea of crushing the poor child. A sudden flurry of light sand colored fur filled his vision as he tracked their owner. At that moment he understood who or more, what the woman was. Sparing a glance to her head he caught sight of two pointed tips amidst her long wild sand colored hair. Lit up by the remaining flames he could see her more clearly. Pure red eyes, sharp fangs, pointed eyes, and a pair of tall pointed ears atop her head. Swaying behind her she dragged a heap of fur, which were starting to look more and more like tails. The boy gaped, wide eyed as he lowly whispered
At that comment, one of the ears swiveled towards him and one of her eyes caught his gaze as she slowly smiled.
"Pretty observant for a little kid like you." The boy slowly smiled feeling like everything would be alright. If there was a Kitsune here, that surely meant that more had come to save the village! He would be taken to safety and reunited with his family-
His thoughts stopped as the Fox suddenly dove to their left barely missing a hit from a club. When the dust settled they could clearly see that multiple Onis had gathered around them, circling them. The fox cursed under her breath and held the kid closer to her chest. Snarling at any Oni that dared come closer, her ears twitching in every direction trying to anticipate any movement from the ones behind them.
The taller and most intimidating one of the bunch slowly stepped forward. 'The leader.' the boy thought.
He slammed one of his clubs onto the ground, shaking the ash beneath their feet, his second club sitting on his back.
He stared at the fox, defiantly. Challenging.
"Now, now, now. What do we have here." it said leaning against the end of his weapon. The fox spirit snarls louder adding a hiss. The Oni grins at this and stands back up. "Now now little fox, we're not looking for trouble." it said, causing the others around to laugh and grin. The fox glares harder at him "And I'm supposed to gob that crap up after what you've done to this village?" she curls the boy closer to her.
They're running out of time, she knows it. It's only a question of 'when' until they decide to attack, She could probably take them on and take them down, but she wouldn't be able to fight while holding the small scared boy in her hands. 'Shit. If they charge I won't be able to protect him.' The boy could feel the tension in the air rising by each second and he could see his chances of survival getting lower and lower.
The sudden change in stance of the leader was enough to set off every alarm bell in the fox's instinct. Her ears moving faster searching for something, anything, any type of distraction, if even only a few mere seconds-
The group snapped their heads towards the distant sound of Onis and Kitsune's fighting, their screams and growls echoing.
Her eyes widening, and gripping the kid tight, by the time the Oni Leader turned back to them, the pair had disappeared.
The demon caught a last glimpse of them fading away through the smoke as she ran. He scowled growling and picking his club up. "Catch that damned Fox!!" he ordered. In a second, a large group of his men gave chase trying to keep up with the fast and nimble fox as she ducked and dove past debris and fallen remnants of houses and small buildings.
She smiled triumphantly, that distraction was just what she needed, and she could've recognized that sound among thousands of others. She'll have to thank her mate for creating the perfect escape, now she just has to put the kid somewhere safe. She faltered slightly as she felt said child shaking in her arms. Looking down at him she realized that the rush of the wind, the ash filled smoke, the adrenaline, panic, and the fact that he was wearing light sleeping clothes, meant that he was likely feeling sick. She finally crossed the border of the forest and laid him down onto the soft moss-filled ground. "Hey, hey kid, stay with me!" she urged shaking his trembling shoulders slightly. The boy felt tired, exhausted, he wanted to sleep. He started closing his eyes only to suddenly open them back up at the rough feeling of being thrown. His back hit a tree and he sunk to the ground, looking up he saw the Kitsune Standing in front of The Oni Leader. "you're gonna pay for that little stunt you pulled back there you damned Spirit!" He lunged.
She had just enough time to dodge and look back at the boy. Her next words seemed to wake him up and kickstart his adrenaline again.
So he did, he scrambled to his feet and ran deeper into the forest, blindly swatting at branches and leaves. He had no idea where he was going but he ran. He only started slowing down when his small legs began to hurt and he stumbled to the ground scraping his knees and elbow. He hissed in pain and sat up panting and catching his breath. Everything was quiet. The trees had gotten larger and taller, he couldn't hear or smell the fire from the burning village, couldn't hear the sounds of powerful spirits fighting, and somehow, that scared him more. He was all alone lost in the forest. No longer guarded by their village's guarding spirit, at the mercy of whatever was out here looking for an easy snack. He took in a breath and stood up, moving forward even if he was only walking. He felt compelled to keep moving, to keep going in a certain direction.
He walked for what felt like hours, basically sleeping upright, on autopilot, until his feet suddenly didn't feel the ground anymore. He barely had time to react as he was soon rolling down a hill, scraping against bushes and twigs.
He landed hard on his back. He could feel the faint warmth of something trickling down his head. 'Ah..I must've hit my head..' He tried to lift up his arms to check for blood, but they laid still at his sides, along with his legs who refused to move as well. He felt tears in his eyes, so this is how it ends? Escaping swift and quick death at a burning village only to die alone and painfully slow on the slight humid forest ground? A faint trickle of light caught in the corner of his eyes shook him out of his thoughts as he turned his head slowly towards the source.
In front of a wide and tall Gate, decorated with what seemed to be thousands of ribbons and lanterns, in front an old abandoned looking temple who seemed to have seen better days, stood a lone shadow.
He wanted to scream for its help, maybe it was a friendly spirit. A wandering soul. But all he could manage was a soft plea.
"H-help.." he softly croaked out, feeling his conscience slipping away. He blinked and suddenly felt a pair of arms lifting him up. He started to feel cold, only registering a soft lost sounding voice almost singing.
"Poor thing. Your fate came too soon.
Their wrath and their pride caused your doom."
He could feel cold against his back as he was laid down on some stone. The voice continued.
"But fear not little one, close your eyes.
Forget the flames and broken cries."
He whimpered weakly, feeling himself lose grip on. The shadow stepped closer and put their hand on his small chest.
"this isn't your end, rather a second chance."
He opened his eyes slightly, the cold air around him swirling with the sudden weird warmth in his chest, slowly flooding his senses.
"Now get up little rock,"
All he could remember before closing his eyes, before losing grip, was a bright flash of white,
"This isn't your final dance."
And the bright, glowing, Silver Moon.
Chapter 2: After The Storm
Chapter by KaiCreates
a peek into Hokkeshu's past after the war, its recent future, and the backstory of two small spirits.
Chapter 2!! Finally it's done! I've been getting a lot of positive comments and remarks about the fic, and it has really helped me finish this chapter! I've had to delete a part of it and rewrite it again for it to fit better but i'm really glad with the final result. I'm warning you guys already, this chapter is more heavy on worldbuilding aspects and backstories. Chapter 2 will probably begin the current timeline i have in mind for the fic!
From now on a swell, there will sometimes be end notes on certain chapters where i'll add some more side-info about Hokkeshu and more worldbuilding elements! But keep an eye open since some of these little bits of info might sometimes contain more than what you'd expect!
But without further ado, Here's chapter 2! Hope you enjoy reading it as much as i enjoyed writing it!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
A few Millenia after the great war between Hokkeshu's Oni and Kitsune tribe, the village had reached peace and prosperity anew. The mountain was now a very well known and visited tourist attraction, mainly for its myths and legends about spirits and other-worldly beings. The food and annual festivals were also a big plus. If you'd ask the locals about the mountain, they'd all tell you the same story.
Long, long ago, the village sat like many other in the bottom of a small valley, hidden away from sight and protected by the sacred forest circling it.
But on the night of the dreaded and horrible war, when many of the village's habitants had been slaughtered or taken, a miracle appeared.
As the few villagers left that had escaped the chaos looked up into the sky, a glow appeared right above the ruins of the village. Many would tell you it was a God, some would say it was a strong wandering spirit. No one knew or knows who or what it was, but the light suddenly dove towards the ground and created a blazing inferno around the wreck.
But the flames weren't normal. They weren't red or orange or even yellow, as the villagers looked on towards the golden white cyclone of flames slowly creeping back towards the sky in a spiraling shape. It almost looked like the heavens and earth were dancing together, spiraling into each other with nothing but pure harmony and ease. It was a truly mesmerizing sight. The people, Oni, and Kitsune alike, could almost forget what had just happened by staring at the incredible spectacle of light and shapes in front of them, before the sudden shake of the ground grabbed their attentions back onto reality. In the blink of an eye, the ground where the village sat upon raised itself higher and higher. All of the beings of the forest seemed to stop and look on now, the forest went quiet, the rivers stopped flowing, all life seemed to pause in that moment. After what both felt like a few seconds and a few hours, a gigantic mountain seemed to have just appeared. Standing tall and proud, atop of it the strange spirit appeared again and spoke to the beings of the valley.
Spoke of their curse
Spoke of their blessing
Spoke of a Prophecy
Spoke of how the mountain would now house every tribe of the Hokkeshu region.
Spoke of a new start. A new era of prosperity.
After the brief speech the villagers were led to the middle region of the mountain, not too high for there to be a lack of oxygen, but low enough for there to be a possibility to start farms and houses.
Slowly during the years and years of Hokkeshu's rebuilding, the other tribes that sat at the foot of the mountain started migrating onto it. And quickly enough, the mountain became what it was known for today.
Mt. Hokkeshu, the spirit Lair.
Famous for all of its spirit tribes and paranormal activities.
If you knew where to look, you could easily meet a few dozen different species while on a hike through the thick forest.
From the water spirits that hung around the flowing rivers of the mountain, helping it flow and spread water to the other villages and plants, to the woodland spirits who worked on maintaining and grooming all of the scared forest's beautiful coats of leaves. If you were to ask them, they might just tell you about how the forest is alive, a giant being who merely allows the habitants to live under its trees and protection. In return, they groom the forest and care for the animals and inhabitants. A fair trade.
These tribes tend to prefer the lower part of the mountain, although 2 or 3 water tribes have been reported at the top of the mountain, caring for the water sources. Around the middle ring of the mountain you could start to find human villages, who surprisingly are pretty modernized. The people have access to cable Tv, phone signals, and basically whatever a normal city could have. The only thing that changes, are the means. How could electricity even be available out here in the middle of nowhere? Well with the help of a few fae's and lightning spirits, it wasn't much work at all. All it took for their agreement to help, was a shrine for both parties. The lightning temple resides more at the top of Hokkeshu, where it tends to rain and storm more often, they love it there. Lightning often strikes the temple and if you listen closely, you could hear the cheers and joyous cries of Raiju's and electric spirits alike. On the other hand, the Fae's temple sat at the foot of the mountain, near the river. It wasn't a traditional temple like you'd expect, it didn't have a building to be exact. The temple was basically the whole territory of this luscious garden they built. Fae's preferred to tend to flowers and plants while also tending to themselves. At the foot of the river and mountain where the soil is rich and fresh, was the best option for them. They often trade food at the human villages for beautiful bouquets or jewelry they make from the ground's resources. If you meet one generous enough, it might even provide you with some beauty care. Now the human 'Villages' was where the tourists spent most of their time, obviously. But It wasn't uncommon for them to reside at some other tribes either. The water and flame tribe had recently come together to open a hot spring in-between both of their territories, where humans and spirits alike could come take a soak. But in the middle of all of this new hope and prospering peace between tribes, humans and spirits. No one had noticed the slow disappearance of not only two tribes, but majorly two species. The first to have been noticed were the Oni's. well known for their rage, bloodlust, but also general aura of being loud and imposing. The villages had quickly noticed the lack of noises and sound from them. Next, a few centuries afterwards only, was when people took notice of their guardian's disappearances. Kitsune's were normally secretive and tended to keep to themselves unless provoked. Back before the war, Hokkeshu and the Kitsune tribe had a strong bond where sometimes if you were lucky enough, you could catch a glimpse of a few beautiful men, and women walking the streets, ears and tails perched proudly and majestically. Nobody knew what had happened or where they disappeared to.
But as the years passed, the news eventually spread to the mountain about the rarities. Most countries and continents now faced the extinction of certain species of spirits. Be it because of human fear, greed, or misplaced curiosity. Fae's slowly started becoming more and more rare. And soon enough, most continents had almost none. One more reason why Hokkeshu became such a well known place. The mountain was the only reported place to date where so many different cultures and spirits co-existed in peace and harmony. It became known to humans as a beautiful touristic location, and as paradise to other small spirits or cryptids in need of a new home. But that didn't mean some species hadn't already gone extinct. Sadly enough, most had agreed that both the shrine and wrath spirits had gone too.
Until certain tourists started reporting weird sightings of beautiful looking foxes with multiple tails, and horned people peeking through the bushes and leaves of the woods. Which caused a lot of paranormal and mythical fanatics to come on a hunt with the goal of finding a living Kitsune or Oni. Unfortunately, fanatics and curious nerds weren't the only ones on the trail for these rare spirits. Hunters and 'Collectors' as most called them, were always on the hunt for a rare spirits or creature to easily sell on the black market or as a pet. But such was the disgusting reality of a world full of mythical beings. Some would do anything to get their hands on a nice stack of money. Which became the reason for the new law and rule of Hokkeshu and its tribes. During certain weeks of the year, tourists are allowed to come to the mountain for a small vacation, but other than then, the place is restricted to only the inhabitants. Festivals and local events are broadcasted through the villages themselves so people can still find pictures and videos of these amazing and colorful parties. Hokkeshu is rather calm all year 'round, except during the festival seasons, where the mountain lights up from the lanterns and comes to life with song and dance.
Which brings us to this instant, in the main human village of the mountain.
Where everyone, man, woman, child alike, are running around decorating the streets, painting patterns on beautiful clothes and masks, and making beautiful jewelry. But despite the obvious excitement filling the air, the place is calm and almost quiet, the breeze blowing softly, the children practicing their dances and humming their songs. Everything is peaceful and happy-
"sorry!- ah!- excuse me!- ow! look out! Sorry! Coming through!-"
Or at least it was pretty quiet. Some turned their heads towards the excited and nervous yells coming from down the street, the people barely had any time to think twice before a sudden small masked figure came barreling through the street, carrying what looked to be at least twenty different scrolls and other decorations. The children excitedly followed after them trying to catch the figure, but it was too fast. It was nimble and quick, flowing through the crowds with practiced ease. Soon enough after zig-zagging through alleys and streets, the small group came to a stop in front of a beautiful building. To anybody else, this might as well be a temple, judging by the ornate decorations and intricate designs carved onto the wood. But one look inside and you'd be proven utterly wrong. The figure took a moment to place the scrolls and decorations it was carrying, onto the ground to taking in a big gulp of fresh air. The children giggled and slowly crept towards the masked figure. They looked at each other, nodded, and put their small hands together before yelling out with all their strength-
"OYASUMI, STARRY CHEEKS!!"
The poor victim seemed to jump straight out of their skin before turning around to quickly chase the small troublemakers.
"I've told you guys time and time again to stop doing that! One of these days I'll have a heart attack!" They said running after the small children and coyly swatting at them with a scroll in their hand. The kids were having the time of their lives running around and laughing loudly as they were chased around before they started running back to their parents to help with preparations.
Before disappearing they all waved goodbye at their terrified victim, and ran off.
They waved back and let out a sigh, picking back up their stuff before entering their precious and treasured home.
No one is allowed into this place, except a select few. But the contents of this building would be enough to get any author or bookworm on this earth to drop onto their knees and cry. Walls as far as the eye could see, were lined with shelves upon shelves of books, scrolls, and charms. The masked figure made its way to a small desk in the middle of the massive room and dropped off all of the contents in his arms onto it. This wasn't no regular archive or workplace, no.
This is the famous and otherworldly Hokkeshu Library.
Said to contain every book and scroll ever written on this world, some legends speculate that long ago even the gods themselves would come to this place to read and write down their own stories and legacies. Books upon books, scrolls upon scrolls. A never ending sea of knowledge and pages.
No mortal being would be able to read every book in this place, it would take lifetimes to complete even a quarter of some of the tomes in the library.
Luckily enough though, the Library's Guardian isn't mortal, or at least not to the normal extent. Neither are they fully a 'Guardian' yet.
After placing the last scroll back into its rack, the masked spirit sighed and stretched themselves out, reaching for their mask.
When suddenly, a sharp sound resonating from one of the other rooms caught their attention. They froze and looked over to the source of the sound. One of the library's doors stood slightly ajar. Slowly, they crept over to it, conjuring a staff out of a small puff of smoke. They tried to peek into the room. Nothing, it seemed empty. Slowly they pushed the door open and took a look around Their eyes landed on a small tome that seemed to have fallen off of its place on the shelf. The figure let out a breath, the staff disappearing back into a puff of smoke. With a small smile under their mask they picked the book up and went to place it back into place, failing to notice the looming figure in the corner of the room, quietly moving with the steps of the figure, making sure to stay in its blind spot. Finally content with the placement of the book, the figure gave a solid small nod and turned to leave the room to go back to the preparations they had planned-
"RAAAAAAAAA!!" Came a sudden loud growl.
The young masked spirit jumped back, tripping over stacks of books while it desperately tried to move away. They were about to conjure their staff before they froze, hearing another strange noise coming from the sudden attacker. Laughter.
It was laughing.
Laughing In a very familiar voice.
Chaos erupted the very next second, books were being thrown around, tables overturned as the masked figure chased their visitor around with a broom. Some of the other residents of the library curiously peeked out of their own offices to take a look at the source of all this screaming and laughter.
"Stop doing that every time you visit! One of these days you're gonna end up killing me!!" it cried out frustrated. Throughout the whole chase, the bigger cloaked being never stopped giggling and laughing as it dodged most of the broom attacks.
One particular blow actually pushed him onto the library's ground as both parties took that moment to regain their breaths. After a few minutes of just breathing and small laughter, the cloaked figure sat up and reached for the other's head, pushing off their hood and ruffling their hair.
"sorry! You just much fun! Funny reactions!" The comment was met with a swift swat from the broom onto their head. "Ow! Alright alright I stop!"
A triumphant "humph!" was let out before the smaller of the two reached for their mask, pulling it off and repositioning it onto the side of their face. A galaxy of small stars and constellations sat on a pair of round and soft cheeks, as big round emerald green eyes stared at their familiar visitor, who was still sitting on the ground, their mask sitting askew, revealing the faintest bit of a really sharp grin.
"Well you better. Or next time it won't be the broom to teach you a lesson." the small Librarian huffed walking back to his desk to start setting up the preparations. The two very young spirits sat down at the desk as the small Tanuki spirit handed his friend one of the decorative lanterns. The slightly taller of the two smiled brightly under his mask, taking the lantern and inspecting the intricate details on it.
"You help out village?" It asked tilting his head while glancing at the green haired being. The latter nodded and without taking his eyes off of the current braid of red string he was working on, reached over to his visitor and pulled off his hood.
"Yup, the festival is happening in just 3 days, so we're all out helping out the best we can!" He said excitedly.
His desk partner lit up at other's joy and pulled off his hood. Two small yellow horns poked their way through red-tipped raven hair, as the small demon spirit sat beside the very happy Tanuki spirit.
The library knew that the small Oni always visited, but they didn't seem to mind. He usually kept to himself and roamed around until the little heir stepped foot through the door. Midoriya Izuku, a Tanuki spirit and heir to the Hokkeshu library. A smart and analytical young spirit, who spent his free time teaching the small Oni how to speak or write. Midoriya glanced at his desk partner, as he currently tried to nibble on parts of the lantern before spitting it out and rubbing his tongue to get rid of the awful metallic taste. There wasn't much that Izuku knew about the Oni.
They had met on a rainy day.
When Izuku made his way back to the village through the forest. He stopped when he had heard a small voice and decided to investigate. Through the leaves and bushes he had wandered upon a small spirit, laying on the ground. His eyes had widened when he noticed the small horns on their head. He felt a bit scared, and intimidated to be standing so close to such a dangerous kind of spirit. But the way the small demon shuddered in the rain and whimpered as the droplets landed on his wounds, had the Tanuki making a foolishly chaotic decision, and taking in the other spirit into the Library. The other scholars present that day all stood a good distance away from the pair. They all knew very well that an Oni wasn't a good omen in general, much less one to bring into a home. They were all terrified, Izuku could feel it. But despite that, he made his way to the main guardian's office, and knocked on their door.
"Come in." came a cheerful voice. Izuku took a deep breath before entering the room. The walls seemed to be covered in nothing but more books, the ceiling stretching higher than the eye could see. And yet, in that instant, the room couldn't feel any smaller to the small librarian. In the middle of the large study, stood a desk filled with scrolls and more tomes, a peak of golden blonde hair barely visible behind the books. "S-sensei? Could I talk to you for a second? It's rather.. Urgent." Midoriya almost muttered. At their apprentice's small nervous voice, sky blue eyes lifted from their current work to stare at the little green haired spirit, who stood avoiding all eye contact and fidgeting with the ends of their tunic. Toshinori Yagi, the current protector of the Library, and guardian of wisdom, stood up and walked calmly over to his disciple. He kneeled down to the smaller one's height and looked him in the eyes with a gentle caring smile. "Of course Starry Cheeks, what's wrong?" He spoke. Before Midoriya could get even a single sound out, screaming and yelling was heard from down the halls. They both turned to the door and ran out towards the source. When they arrived at the main study room, Toshinori couldn't believe his eyes. All of his disciples and scholars stood weapons ready, circling a small spirit who sat in the middle of the circle. He could tell that the small Oni felt terrified, probably from waking up hurt in an unknown and unfamiliar place. And seeing people armed around him probably wasn't doing anything to help. Calmly, Toshinori walked towards the circle. His scholars and followers slowly and reluctantly parted to let him pass. He stopped in front of the scared and hurt Oni. Even though it seemed hurt, it tried to let out a small growl, meant as a warning to stay back. Toshinori gave a small sideways smile at the little spirit's determination. He slowly put his hand forward, inviting him closer. "Hello there, My name is Toshinori Yagi, or All Might. Who might you be?" He tilted his head slightly. The Oni seemed to understand his words and glanced at his hand before slowly reaching for it. He held onto one of the fingers and looked up at Toshinori. After a few tries of only getting out a few sounds and small growls, he managed to form a half-decent sentence. At least it was understandable.
"K-Kiri.." It said lowly.
And still, one year after that night, the Oni keeps coming back almost daily to hang out with the Tanuki. He had learned how to make more complex sentences, although they still seemed a bit broken every now and then, he was making quick progress. It had caught even Toshinori's attention. So much so, that the guardian agreed to teach and tutor him as well whenever he could. It made Kirishima the first Oni to ever step foot into the Library, and the first to come back for tutoring lessons. Over that year, they learned to know each other. Izuku learned that Kiri was actually called Kirishima and that he came from a really well-hidden Oni tribe from the lower end of the mountain. Right behind Wallow's End. No wonder the tribe had remained undiscovered, no sane soul would dare to venture near that part of the woods. It is said to be filled with nothing but sorrow and dangerous wandering spirits of the undead.
Izuku shivered just at the thought that Kirishima could possibly live near there. But he also quickly learned that this Oni, wasn't regular Oni. For example, Kirishima showed a lot of excitement for learning new things, he always beamed with a smile and laughter that seemed to have been gifted by the sun herself. Even though it wasn't (Toshinori had asked her personally). By all means, this Oni didn't seem to be filled with immense bloodlust and rage, he seemed rather.. Docile.
Izuku was brought out of his thoughts by a sudden small braid of red string that was held in front of his nose. He blinked and took it in his hands before looking at Kirishima. The other beamed again and gave a toothy grin. "I help too!" He said happily. Izuku couldn't help but laugh, as he taught him how to properly braid the strings to form thick and resistant straps to use for the lanterns later.
Sunset had come too soon. It was time for the small demon to make his way back home. He bid the Tanuki farewell at the door, with a promise to come back tomorrow. He quietly and quickly made his way through the woods, knowing his path by heart. He skipped and ran and jogged calmly, softly humming a little tune that Sensei Toshi had taught him. As he thought about what he'd learn tomorrow and how he'd surprise Midoriya again-
Kirishima froze. He slowed down and looked around focusing on every small noise trying to find the source of that voice. It couldn't have been someone from the tribe, they usually avoided coming so far out into the woods. As he listened, he heard more shouting although it had significantly gone lower, he also picked up on the sound of running water.
Looking to his left, Kirishima headed towards the large river that ran through this parts of the forest.
He was careful not to slip on any of the wet stones, but he still ended up tripping and falling down the rest of the way, landing into a small bush. He groaned sitting up, when he looked onto the river. He had a clear hidden view from here onto the water. All thoughts seemed to leave his mind as he tried rubbing his eyes. He couldn't believe what he saw. There were about Ten of them. Beautiful men and women, sitting in the river with large pots that they were slowly filling up. There were five carriers, and five lantern holders. As everyone gathered up the water, the lantern carriers headed into uphill path of the mountain, lighting the way up. Kirishima was confused as to why humans came down so far onto the mountain to gather water, but as he looked among the carriers, he spotted kids about his age gathering back up next to their supposed parents. But what left the little Oni Wide eyes and open mouthed, was that one of them undoubtedly carried a big puffy ball of fur behind them.
A big puffy tail.
Kirishima felt entranced as he leaned closer to the bushes.
Right when the small figure started to turn around, he leaned closer.
He only remembers catching the most striking red eyes he'd ever seen, before they disappeared into the woods
And he fell into the water.
-Oni's don't talk much through common languages. They seem communicate through a language of their own that involves some sounds that most beings can't make. The reason why Kiri's talking seems so choppy and broke, is because Midoriya is teaching him. Later when he grows up, he learns to speak more fluently.
-Oni's are more well-known for their rage, wrath, and bloodlust. But despite all that, most seem to overlook the fact that Oni's are excellent warriors and hunters. They can zero-in onto a prey and listen for only certain sounds, and pick up only certain smells if they want. Kirishima is still small so he doesn't have much experience in the field. But he learns quick!
-Oni's and Kitsune's haven't actually gone extinct. The world only seemed to believe that since no recorded data about them ever came back up after the war. But both tribes have been living on the back of Hokkeshu Mountain, under the utmost protection and vigilance of the Forest itself.
Chapter 3: Festive Preparations
Chapter by KaiCreates
Hokkeshu is preparing for their big week.
The mood is quite artistic.
Oh God this chapter is long overdue! I'm so sorry for just disappearing like that! I've had to deal with a lot of stuff at once and got too demotivated to keep writing. The part I had first written felt forced and wrong so I rewrote it. But! On another news! There is now a dedicated place for updates about my works! You can follow @Kai_Creates on Twitter for regular updates and exclusive behind the scenes stuff! I added a little something recently that won't be seen just yet in the fic. But if you want a preview of it, feel free to head on over there!
And now, without further ado,
I hope you enjoy Chapter 2!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hokkeshu was as lively as ever. Wherever you looked, you could see the streets filled with people. Carrying smiles and decorations for the annual festival. Just like the previous centuries, the mountain and forest had been closed off to tourists and other wanderers. To ensure no one would try anything sneaky, multiple tribes and spirits volunteered to keep watch and roam the area looking for sneaky trespassers.
To an outsider, it may seem like a lot of unnecessary means and security for a festival that doesn't even last a whole week, but Hokkeshu's annual Moon Flower festival was the most well-known event across the whole world. Both mortal, and spiritual plains knew of the existence of the great event. During this celebration, many species and beings traveled to the mountain to celebrate and party. Even the quieter species came out to at least lend a helping hand. The Fae would take care of the flowers and most of the decorations, the Faun types would help around cleaning and dolling the forest up to look as beautiful as ever for the special occasion, the Lightning and thunder types would provide more light and make sure no storms would come disturb the night, and so forth for the other elemental types.
Everyone helped around and worked hand in hand in perfect harmony and calm.
"Sorry! Out of the way! Coming through! Sorry!- Agh! Watch out-!"
Well, mostly everyone.
Barreling through the streets, came the village's librarian. Famously known for being a nervous wreck and worrywart with a heart of gold. Said librarian had ran off earlier towards the library, carrying numerous rolls and papers. His long cloak drifting behind him, leaving a beautiful trail of greens and blues. On his face he wore his usual mask, a masterfully sculpted tanuki head that showed compassion, kindness and knowledge through the grains in the wood and the jade eyes behind it. Some of the villagers and beings laughed bidding him a good day before the Tanuki spirit sprinted by.
Just the usual.
Midoriya cracked a small smile underneath his mask as he slowed down to a simple jog.
He had grabbed a basket sitting beside the scrolls in the library and made his way back out.
Before he organizes his study, he has one last run to make.
He rushed through the streets before stopping at the entrance of a large old shop. He knocked on the wood of the door frame. From deep inside the shop, a gravely old voice could be heard. "Midoriya? Is That you? Please come in."
"Pardon the intrusion! I have a delivery!" Midoriya said, walking into the shop.
The walls were covered to and fro in large paintings, masks of all kinds, and cloths in every array of color imaginable with many motifs and themes.
The librarian clutched the basket a bit tighter to prevent it from falling to the ground. It wasn't particularly heavy, but the contents of it made it rather valuable. He stopped in front of a desk at the back of the shop, where an old man sat.
Many lenses of all sizes sitting atop his head with a small light next to him, his hands holding onto small tools and the wood of a mask still in progress. Midoriya always found it fascinating to see the man at work, able to make some scrap pieces of wood into small jewelry or pendants that always conquered the hearts of whoever saw them. The Faes and merfolk had a particular love for his works, always paying double for new pendants and necklaces.
He lowered the mask and his tools back onto the desk and pulled the lenses he was wearing, off his eyes before looking up at the Tanuki. He gave a soft worn smile before speaking in a tired voice.
"Midoriya, my boy, how are you? It has been a long time since your last visit I believe."
Midoriya gave a slight chuckle as he put the basket onto the desk carefully. "It has only been a few weeks I believe, Sir."
He looked around while asking "How has your disciple been? Any new masks or paintings?"
The old man laughed a bit as he stood up from his old worn chair, slowly turning away and opening a small curtain that covered a doorway. Even before Midoriya reached it, he could hear the sound of faint snoring. Upon looking through the door, he had to cover his mouth as to not laugh at the sight.
Sitting on a chair at a work desk, the light gone out a while ago, with a small painting in progress,
Sat a young man snoring and drooling a bit as dreams sweep him away further into a deep sleep.
The old man sighed and shook his head fondly.
"He told me he wanted to help out with the festival crafts today, so I tasked him to finish a painting of The Koi, but as I thought, he quickly fell to slumber." Midoriya smiled at the comment and walked back to the basket, carefully handling its contents. "Did you really put such a task on him? I mean, I Know he's talented, but The Koi are very hard to please sir." Midoriya said as he turned to the older man. Handing him the scrolls he had carried. He gave a hearty chuckle and put them down on his desk, starting to untie them.
"Of course not my boy. They have requested some very specific art pieces that I'll be finishing personally. My disciple had just finished every task he had for the day." The eldest looked behind, back at said young man who seemed to slowly be waking up. "I could read the exhaustion on his features better than I can read the stars atop this mountain. Even if he said he didn't feel tired, I thought a quick nap would do him good. He's worked hard the past few weeks"
Midoriya was about to respond when a sudden loud noise from the backroom startled him. The old man merely budged but gave a small smile as he spoke louder.
"Say, Kirishima, my boy! How's that painting coming along?" He spoke amused. A lot of rummaging could be heard, some vials ticking against each other and paper shuffling before a large mop of red-tipped raven hair poked its way through the small doorway.
"I-it's coming along just fine!!" Said Kirishima with a tint of red to his cheeks. He hadn't meant to fall asleep, it kind of just.. Happened.
He quickly noticed Midoriya, standing before the desk. The green haired man gave him a polite nod and smile that Kirishima reciprocated with a smile of his own. Midoriya turned back to old man and gave a polite bow.
"It was nice seeing you again Sir Gou, and you too Kirishima, but I have some more scrolls and books I need to organise back at the archives, so I'll be on my way for now." He said as he picked the empty basket up before turning to the door and exiting. Midoriya paused at the door and looked back once more, giving a sun-blinding grin. "Good luck with the festival prep Kirishima!"
And before the young Oni could answer, the Tanuki had already left. Only the very faint and already fading pitter patter of his fast feet against the stone road were left.
Kirishima yawned and smiled. Midoriya was always rushing left and right, even for no reason sometimes. The little spirit had a lot of energy to burn up.
A rolled up parchment hit him straight on the head, effectively bringing him out of his reverie.
"Ow! What the-" Kirishima yelped turning around, only to be hit by a piece of rolled up cloth. The old man laughed a bit and sat back down at his desk, going back to work on the mask. Kirishima picked up and examined the small piece of cloth. It clearly held something in it, considering the weight it had.
"It's for you." Came an old voice. The young apprentice looked up at his sensei. The man nodding towards the small package.
"Why don't you open it and see what's inside?" The old man turned back to his work, leaving a curious but also nervous oni to ponder over that thought.
But just like curiosity killed the cat, it too would be the end of any oni. The cloth was quickly pulled off and unravelled.
There was silence for a bit. Just the sound of the crafter's tools working.
Before a rather loud and excited sound left the tiny shop, confusing and slightly worrying some passer by.
It happened to come from the oni who sits staring at the object in his palms starry eyed, trying not to wheeze too hard.
He couldn't believe it, this must've been a mistake, there is no way that he would get something like thi-
A small paintbrush hit him straight on the head effectively cutting off his train of thoughts again. When he looked up he saw his master sitting still at his desk but looking him over with a serious stare. "Yes, It is in fact for you. You know just as well as me that the librarians don't do mistakes my boy. So instead of questioning, embrace the gift." He said before turning back to his work.
Kirishima stayed there frozen for a while before cracking a small smile. His mentor always had ways to help him out of his dark moments.
Master Gou, as most called him, is a sage and respectable man. Let alone an amazing artist and craft master. People come from all over the world to visit him and his craft shop. He paints breathtaking pictures and sceneries, crafts realistic and amazing festival masks, and creates some of the most beautiful cloths and robes anyone has ever seen. And somehow, He took Kirishima in as his one and only apprentice, to who he teaches the ways of his craft despite the oni not being as skilled.
Said man threatingly lifts up one of his brushes again and glares at Kirishima, sensing his dark thoughts coming back. The oni quickly smiles at him before stepping back a few feet to be out of reach of those lethal tiny weapons.
His attention is drawn back to the pendant he's been holding onto. It's a beautiful rose golden pendant, with a cluster of flowers embedded in a circle motif around symbols written in the middle. He's not really fluent in this tongue, but recognizes it as the Guardian's alphabet. A language that only a few people know. Midoriya had taught him a few words, so he understood what the symbols meant. They were more flowy and cursive than usual, but he could read out his name.
This pendant is a clear invitation to sit among the guardians during the festival.
And it had his name on it.
Kirishima Eijirou had been invited to participate at the Moon Flower Festival this year.
The oni held tighter onto the pendant and let out a few excited chirps and squeals as he closed his eyes and gave a small excited dance, hopping from one foot to the other. He couldn't believe it! He, an Oni, was invited to the event! This was awesome!
"Careful there boy, your excitement is showing." Master Gou said from his desk, without looking up. Kirishima quickly froze and looked back at his mentor in shock before looking himself over quickly. He let out a small "oh" when he understood.
His hands had grown a small bit in size along with his claw- nails. Those are called nails. His arms were starting to tint a bit of red as well. He didn't need a mirror to look at himself fully to understand that his hair had probably started to spike up again and tint red as well. He shook himself like a wet dog would shake his fur, making the small spikes and reds disappear and turn back to black. Both the master and the apprentice let out a calm sigh.
"You know, It's not that I don't enjoy seeing you this happy my boy. It's more that I don't feel like repairing my roof again today." Master Gou spoke amusedly. The oni's ears drooped a bit and a small bashful blush made its way onto his face. "I'm still sorry about last times.." He spoke quietly, avoiding his master's gaze. The old artist didn't like seeing his apprentice sad like this. A quick look around the room made him come up with a small plan and idea. He tossed Kirishima a small leather pouch, which hit him yet again in the head.
"Ow!" The oni yelped as he rubbed the sore spot on the side of his lobe. He glanced at the pouch and then at his master. The latter gave him a shrug and turned around to pick up his cane. "I'm going to rest for a while, why don't you go get some of the groceries and paints we're short on?" He said looking back to Kirishima. Having been assigned a task, The oni immediately bowed and gave a proud nod "of course sensei! Have a nice rest!" Kirishima said as he raced out of the small shop, taking a larger bag with him and rushing through the street. His sensei watched him almost trip and fall over his own feet before running again. The old man gave a light chuckle and shook his head slightly.
"He sure is something, isn't he?" Gou spoke, walking back inside his shop and slowly making his way over to his stairs. He stopped when his right foot set upon the first plank of wood. He looked back to the shop, and to the mysterious hooded figure standing there. "I wondered when I'd see you again in my shop. Would you mind we go upstairs to discuss over a nice cup of tea?" The old man asked the figure.
After a moment it moved forward, heading for the man. It stopped in front of him, as a quiet voice seeped from underneath the mask and hood it wore. "I would not mind." It said quietly, walking up the stairs. The old master followed, quietly hoping his apprentice wouldn't get into too much trouble.
Kirishima had successfully gotten himself into some trouble in the span of only half an hour. Or at least his master would call it trouble, He thought of them more as small little mishaps. When he arrived at the market place, He managed to bump into a few people, trip over a few chickens, scare off a few horses, and almost trip over his own feet. But despite all that, he arrived at his first destination. He knocked on the door to the quiet brush shop and entered.
"Goooooooood Morning!" He yelled out excitedly, jogging up to the counter to greet his friend.
A small laugh came before a voice said from somewhere around the back area, "More like Good afternoon, but hello to you too Kirishima." Ojirou said, peaking his head from around the corner. That got Kirishima to freeze and look at the clock on the wall that read 'Five pm'. The Oni jumped and quickly explained his purchase to Ojirou, who gladly got him the brushes he needed. He rushed out right after and continued his shopping routine. Next was visiting Hagakure from some custom dyed cloths and fibers, then Sero for the masking tapes and more fibers, and lastly, Kirishima headed to the market for some fruits and vegetables.
While he debated over which mango looked the ripest, his attention turned to the small crowd of people circling the middle of the public square. He quickly paid the merchant and wished them a good day before heading over to check it out. Upon a closer look, everyone stood around a small podium, protected behind ropes and charms with two guardians standing around it. A small patch of plants sat onto of a silk cushion for all to see. Kirishima's mouth dropped a bit in awe. Even if there wasn't anything too particular to see yet, the moon flower's bush had already started to sprout. Which meantsprouts only a few days, if not hours away from blooming fully and kicking off the week's festivity. The oni quietly thrilled in his throat, catching the slight attention of a few spirits but they all shrugged it off as white noise. He gave a last look and headed back to his master's shop with the groceries and materials they needed.
As Kirishima approached the door, a hooded figure stepped out. The oni slowed down his pace and his joyous mood dropped a bit. His instincts were on alert in case anything were to happen. His ears pointed up a bit and twitched trying to catch any sounds around him that could set him off. The tips of his hair started to change back into a soft wine red as his eyes tinted the same color. He observed the figure as they turned around and seemed to talk to someone inside the shop. Upon closer inspection it seemed to be Master Gou. Alive and well, and talking.
Relief washed over the Oni as the mysterious being left and his master noticed him. He turned fully to his apprentice and tilted his head a small bit. "Kirishima? You're back late boy, everything alright?" He asked walking over to him. Kirishima seemed to snap out of a small trance as he shook his head, reverting his hair and eyes. He gave a small nervous nod "I'm fine Master, just, who was that?" He asked looking down the misty part of the road where the figure left to. The old man looked in the same direction and gave a small shrug, a knowing smile on his tired face. "An old friend." was all he said before he headed inside. Kirishima soon followed. after they had cleaned up a bit and stored the groceries and materials away and bidding his master goodnight, kirishima headed upstairs to his room. He opened the small worn and old door. He cringed slightly at the loud creaking it gave back. He took off his day clothes, leaving on his baggy pants, and plopped himself onto his bed. It may be a bit old, and a bit small for his size, but he loved this bed and always refused to have it replaced. As he drifted off, a quick memory brought back a smile on his face as he close his eyes.
Toshinori didn't know who could help take care of the small Oni. He was ready to care for him himself but as the head leader of the library, he has too many things to take care of already. On top of that, compared to his other disciples, Kirishima was quite more...energetic, to say the least. The oni liked to read a bit, but if he stood still for too long, he'd start pacing and running around. He had started chasing the mice in the library for fun. Which was still a bit frightening to some when they saw a tiny red demon zooming around on all fours. The guardian sighed before looking to the building he had stopped at. A quiet whimper came from beside him. He looked down and saw the little oni, hidden behind robes and a hood. He squeezed its tiny hand a little and gave a reassuring smile, before they both walked into the small shop.
The small oni stood confused as his tutor called out to someone and argued back and forth with an unseen voice, coming from somewhere in the back. Kirishima didn't understand all of the conversation, but he could pick up on certain sounds and notes and weird thrills that Midoriya had taught him to recognize. He said they were called letters, and when put together, they form words. He focused a bit more, his tiny ears twitching as he tried his best to understand. He picked up words like, Oni, Guardian, and a few more. He startled when suddenly a man ran into the room, stumbling and holding onto his desk for support as he stared wide eyed at his mentor. The oni suddenly felt cautious and more nervous as he quickly sniffed the air. He couldn't pick up any bad smells, but he still kept himself alert. His mentor and the man kept talking, before he looked down at the Oni.
Toshinori held his hand on Kirishima's shoulder as he spoke "This is Kirishima, the Oni child I have told you about. He's really cal-" they were interrupted by a small growl. With wide eyes, both men looked down at the small boy who was glaring heatedly at the artist. A small continuous growl coming from his tiny body, causing it to shake slightly. Toshinori blinked and turned to Gou who making his way towards them. The air got tense as he crouched down to Kirishima's level. The smaller one growled louder showing off rows of sharp teeth in a snarl. Toshinori had never seen Kirishima act like this. The artist put his hand on the Oni's head and pat it gently as he gave a smile.
"Hey there little guy, are you hungry? I made some soup and there are some leftovers I'm afraid. I don't feel like throwing those away so would you like them?" He said. The small Oni relaxed at the mention of food and after giving a quick sniff, he darted to the direction of the kitchen. Both men sighed and Gou agreed to take care of the little red carnage of a spirit. That night, Kirishima got a bath to clean off all the flour and condiments he had managed to drop on himself while navigating the kitchen. His bed was comfortable and warm. The small child gave a yawn before closing his eyes and drifting off to a peaceful sleep.
-Oni's don't really speak with letters or words, but small thrills and noises. That's how Midoriya explained to Kirishima and taught him to recognize that certain tones and thrills together form a meaning just like with his kind.
-Master Gou is one of the village elders and an amazing artist. He teaches a lot of his techniques to Kirishima, which helped him become quite skilled in the craft!
-The Koi are a highly important family.(More details to be discovered next chapter.)
@Kai_Creates on Twitter
Chapter 4: Curious Dreams
Chapter by KaiCreates
Small dreams, preparations, and a sleepover
I can't believe this is actually going up, i am so sorry for not having updated this any sooner. I got stuck between immense writers block and my own dwindling mental health. But i'm back! And i hope you enjoy <3
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It was almost time.
The whole mountain moved and danced, alive and joyous for the occasion. The streets were decorated in colors, lanterns hung from every corner, laughter and cheer could be heard everywhere. Everyone wore their best robes and most colorful masks. Everyone was happy, everyone was here and everyone felt good.
Everyone except a certain apprentice who was still currently running around his small room throwing multiple robes onto his bed and trying them on before dismissing them. Kirishima looked disheveled and anxious as he tried to find the perfect combination of colors and patterns to wear. He HAD to have the perfect clothes.
"Oh dear. What Anemoi hit this household?"
Came a roughened voice from the bedroom door. Kirishima looked over his shoulder at his mentor. He glanced over the rest of his room taking in all of the carnage. His bed was a mess, his wardrobe was empty with all of its contents thrown around on the furniture and floor. He cringed a bit at the mess, his ear drooping slightly as he turned back to the old man who had started picking up some of the clothes. Kirishima moved along to help clean up. After a few minutes, the floor was visible again and Kirishima sat on his bed defeated as he sighed holding his head in his hands. Gou didn't like seeing his little prodigy under the weather. He thought for a bit before patting the oni's shoulder and telling him to wait for a few minutes.
Kirishima could hear him talking to someone on the phone downstairs, and not even ten minutes later, a flurry of pink rushed through his door to tackle him to the ground. He yelped in surprise, a sudden burst of color shading his entire body before he hit the ground. The figure on top of him was still giggling and chirping happily in a familiar tongue. Another series of clicks and chirps formed a sentence.
"Oh my god Kiri we gotta get you all cleaned up and ready for the party! Look at you! What are you even wearing? What-" the clicking and chirping went on as Kirishima sat up patting the pink haired Oni mix on her head as he answered with clicks of his own. "I know I know Mina. Could you help me out a bit?"
Said girl quickly sits up and immediately starts rummaging through his clothes and garments. Kirishima lets out a chuckle at her behavior. Mina and Kirishima have known each other for as long as he could remember. She's a well liked Oni among their village and she blends in well with humans and other spirits. An Oni mix of any kind is practically unheard of, but an Oni and Fae mix should be impossible. And yet, said half Yosei had managed to pick her way through his wardrobe and find some decent clothes that he could wear for the party. They weren't anything like the fancy robes Kirishima had tried picking out, instead it was a simple yet flattering ensemble of a nice shirt, some form fitting Jean's, a pair of his red sneakers, and a red cap with small horns on it (His personal favorite). They both spent the better part of the afternoon talking and planning out the night of the festival. Kirishima had gotten invited and decided to join his friends for the first time in centuries. Kirishima was never one for big parties or celebration so he never attends the Flower festival despite all the complaining Mina, Denki, and Sero put him through. Mainly the Fae mix and Raiju, who both act like children when left alone during such a bit festival. Which leaves Sero to supervise them and make sure they don't get themselves into significant trouble. When the sky started to tint more of an orange, both spirits decided to start moving. After talking to his mentor for a bit, Kirishima was allowed to go stay a night over in Wallow's End. He hadn't visited in a long time either. He couldn't wait to go greet his mother and the village.
Kirishima packed up his chosen clothes in a back pack and slipped on his travel shoes at the door, bidding a goodbye and goodnight to his mentor. Their walk through the forest was calm and peaceful. The forest kept them company as they talked and gossiped about all the new things happening for this festival. Mina also kept Kirishima up to date with everything happening in the different villages. Sero had been working a part time job, Kaminari was helping at the powerplant, and she spent her time travelling from ring to ring to cut and style hair and provide massages to clients.
If Kirishima had to be honest, he felt a bit jealous. Happily jealous though! He was very proud of his friends and being jealous of their happiness wouldn't be manly! But hearing everyone get jobs and work and do stuff made him miss them. He's been working with Master Gou ever since he was just a toddler. He's taught him many things and has even tutored him on the occasions where school didn't work too well. Kirishima's gaze stuck on the edge of the forest, he let his eyes glaze over a bit and a small memory peek through his thoughts..
"Kirishima? What happened?" The concerned voice of his mentor was all that the small Oni could focus on. He still sat on the floor of his bedroom, shaking and trembling causing small chirrups to leave his huddled frame. His mentor rushed to his side to hold him close. He kept whispering reassuring things that the small spirit didn't understand. Or didn't remember. All he could think about and remember was that he had been peacefully asleep in a dream when suddenly the world around him seemed to go up in flames. People surrounded him with pitchforks and torches. Their glares and sneers cut him deeply as they shouted 'Monster'.
He doesn't know why but he ran. He ran as fast as his small legs could carry him. People's screams echoed all around him. The feeling of intense fear the only company he had. While he ran, he saw another kid his age run towards the forest. He followed. He made it to the edge of the forest before something heavy knocked him onto his side. Yelling as he hit the ground, he clutched his right side that stung and burned from the impact. He tried to look around but he couldn't see anything. The world around him fading into black as he tried to breathe. He tried his best to open his eyes and he saw… A shadow? A figure standing over him, looking down on him. They were blurred and he couldn't see their face. It reached a hand towards him.
What's going on?
Why can't I breathe?
Where am I?
Why am I scared?
Why are my hands shaking?
Where am I?!
A broken yowl forced its way out of Kirishima's lungs as the sudden startle caused him to trip and crash to the forest floor. He sat up breathing heavily trying to catch his breath. He blinked and shook his head to rid himself of the sudden memory. Looking around he slowly saw the world come back like a faded watercolor painting. The tall trees covered in leaves, the sounds of the birds and bugs going about their day, the small almost unnoticeable sound of a river nearby, the dirt he clutches his hands in. Slowly his breathing slowed down and he felt a hand rubbing soothing circles on his back. Glancing up he saw Mina hunched over with a concerned look on her face.
"You alright Kiri? You suddenly up and blanked out on me for a while dude." She said with a calm voice. Kirishima took one more shaky breath before giving a small smile to his friend, patting her head softly.
"Sorry, I guess I must've gotten lost in another daydream. But I'm fine! Really!" He said standing back up and patting the dirt from his pants.
"Now let's get moving before it gets too late! Don't want mom to chew me out on the first day that I come back!" He said with a chuckle. Mina smiled back and started the conversation back up as they walked.
They eventually made it, although it may have been quite late. They both breathed a sigh of relief when they had been informed that Kirishima's mother was currently out hunting. Not that he doesn't want to see his mom, he loves her and he misses her a lot! But if she caught them travelling the woods at night she'd flip on them. Kirishima felt incredibly happy when he went up to greet his caregiver, they hadn't seen each other in a long time either. She told them all about what's been going on in the village, about the usual gossip and of course about his mom.
After talking a while longer, both of the young onis heaved a big yawn and decided to head to their bedrooms. Tomorrow he'd get to talk to his mom, and get ready for the festival that was due in two days.
He didn't get to sleep too much between dreams of fire and screams and the mysterious kid from the forest.
i thank you so much for making it through this chapter and reading. The next few are going to be sorta shorter and maybe tough to get through i'm sorry in advance,, until we get to the interesting part, they will be mostly like this. But i figured at least it's better than nothing.
Chapter 5: Information and Apologies
Chapter by KaiCreates
One big info dump to explain what has been going on the past 10 or so months and the sudden unannounced hiatus.
This is not a story update, so you are free not to read it and bypass it until the next update.
This 'Update' will be automatically deleted once the next chapter comes out.
The following text will mention panic attacks, mental health, suicide attempts and self harm. If reading this heavy venting can trigger your own panic or a shift in your mental health, then please take care of yourself and don't read. There will be a short summary of the text in the notes at the end.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Oh boy this is going to be a long one,,
But hello everybody, Kai (Kitsu) here with a much needed update that should have come waaaaaaay sooner than this. But hey better late than never. I would like to start this off with just
I should have updated you guys or at least given some more info on the sudden hiatus that happened instead of keeping you all in the dark like this. But a lot of things happened all at once, and this series of inconvenient events took their toll on me.
All of this crap started september 2018, and it's been going downhill ever since. I hit off my schoolyear with deadlines after deadlines when suddenly the school decided to mix up every class again. Which meant we got new classmates, new assignments, and new teachers. All of that paired together with the stress going on at home burned me out pretty violently. I just stopped everything. For multiple months i just didn't do anything. I stopped attending classes, i stopped drawing, and i stopped writing. The thought of doing anything like that kicked me straight back into a panic episode. It was horrible. For literal months, i couldn't get myself out of bed. It's a miracle i didn't starve or die of dehydration. I got anemic again because of not eating anything.
i don't want to write a whole biography on here, but all of that pretty quickly took my mental health by storm. I was in the worst mental place i've ever been in my whole life. Therapists didn't help either, and parents didn't seem to understand that i was unwell. While i tried to keep going forward with the smallest of baby steps, everyday i was taken miles back by the harsh words and comments from my mother and family. It was hell. But from time to time, i would get a notification, and read the comments left on my writing.
I can't possibly express how much reading your guys' supportive words helped me through <3
Though i would have loved to say that these words were enough to put me back into the creative groove and help my mental health back up, we sadly don't live in such a nice universe. Life just kept kicking me down harder each day.
Until somewhere around February. I had a big breakdown in front of my parents. It was horrible. The hospital was called, and at this point, i think my parents suddenly started to understand that what was happening with me was way more important and dangerous. Though it's kind of sad that it took 4 overdose attempts and me trying to jump onto the train rails for them to think "Maybe something's not right with our kid."
Once the Hospital was involved, everything went suddenly much faster. By the start of March i was admitted into a mental health center. The section i was placed into was for teens and young adults.
From there, i proceeded to spend 2 of the best months i had had in a LONG time. The other kids were awesome and sweet! We were also quite a few lgbtq+ kids. I met this super nice trans girl, these 2 trans guys who i talked to everyday and a bunch of others! We were all there because something was not alright with us, so we quickly bonded with each other. We were like one big family. When one person was sad or was having an episode, the whole section would jump in to help and call the nurses. I miss the center a lot especially the past few days. We also each had our own rooms! That was neat! I had my own bubble, i set up my tablet and computer and plushies on my bed and everything was perfect! I even had a corkboard where i could hang up stuff. I really liked that place lol.
So over the course of 2 and a half months i would eat healthy 3 times a day, do activities in the morning until noon, and somedays even go out in group to the city and walk around!
everything was going so much better! I was eating, exercising, and going outside! And i was also taking way better care of my personal hygiene! Taking showers and washing my hair everyday!
Watching my mental health switch so drastically in only 2 weeks, made the doctors there ask me about what my life out of there had been like. So i told them about the fights my parents had nearly everyday, my mother's substances abuse, my questions and dysphoria, and burnout. They kept a close eye on me for the first month and came to the conclusion that i'm just someone that works better when i have enough social interactions, but also have a space all to myself. One of the nurses called me an Anti-social-butterfly lol.
But back on track, everything was looking up. I even updated a chapter of this fic while i was there.
At that point, i felt strong enough to go face my school again. But we were close to the finals period. So the school told me i could just come in to get used to being back in large crowds (My school has a lot of students,, We're like 700 and yet the school ain't really that big yo)
I ended up asking for a request that might have seemed incredibly foolish and stupid. I asked the principal if i could still participate in the finals. They agreed, although reluctantly.
I had missed 7 months of school after all, and i only had a month left to study and catch up.
Long story short, i crammed as much info as i could lol, and then it was time to return home for summer vacation.
Saying goodbye to everyone at the center was really bittersweet. But they were super nice, and i'm free to visit them whenever.
Summer was..Quite stressful. I visited a friend in Italy. I came back home and everything started switching back to how it was before my hospitalization. Which was expected.
Rather quickly, September rolled back around and it was time to go get my results.
And against all odds, i passed.
I cried a lot while holding onto that tiny piece of paper.
I started my 5th year, now in digital art and design. And it's been great so far! The classes have been awesome, our teachers are perfect, and though i've been stressed and sick again,, i'm still trying to keep up with the fast pace of this year and finish projects and deadlines. While also dealing with problems at home.
oh and my birthday happened too hah, 18 years really do be wild huh? I absolutely do not feel like an adult though lmao
and here we are now, phew.
That was a lot of info,,
I don't expect anyone to actually read this whole block, but you guys deserved to know why i hadn't been updating. I'm going to start working again on my fics and i'll try to find a good and healthy balance between school work and my own works! I hope i'll keep writing more for you guys! I really missed it.
But thank you for reading this!
And i hope to see you on the next chapter of Under The Silver Moon!
From September 2018 till now, life has just been clapping my cheeks and not in the good way. Along with my mental health.
I had to deal with parents fighting, being hospitalized, a new school year, and turning 18.
I'm starting to do better but i'm still far from alright. Though i'm gonna be trying to work on my fics again!
Thank you for reading this, Thank you for your kind words and thank you for the kudos!
They mean so very much to me, and i read every comment with the biggest smile on my face
Thank you everybody <3