Chapter 64:

Volume 3: Prologue

Nephalem


Yōkai were an unusual species. There were many different races of yōkai: fox spirits, nekomata, bakeneko, yuki-onna, inu, tsukumogami… the term yōkai was made from the kanji for “bewitching, attractive, and calamity” and also “spectre, apparition, mystery, and suspicious.” In layman's terms, yōkai, or ayakashi as they were sometimes called, were anything that dealt with ghosts, phantoms, and strange apparitions.

This wasn’t just relegated to Japanese yōkai either, for, although the term originated in Japan, it had since spread throughout the supernatural world to refer to all supernatural beings. Vampire, werewolves, mermaids, lamias, gorgons, pegasus, phoenixes. Any creature that was neither human nor god nor demon and had supernatural powers was considered a yōkai.

Orochi, as he liked to call himself in this day and age, was a yōkai. If one were to ask him what kind of yōkai, he would only respond with a smile and say, “a powerful one.”

He sat in a comfortable chair, lounging. Outside of his window was a perfect view of a beach. White sandy shores. Blue water. Several gorgeous women, his harem, frolicking around outside. Some were human, but there were also a number of yōkai mixed in.

Variety was the spice of life.

There wasn’t much to do in this day and age. With the advent of technology, humans no longer had reason to fear yōkai. Disappointing. Ultimately irrelevant. He no longer cared about humans. His primary concern was discovering the location of Kumiho, of whom he’d lost track of after his underlings had destroyed her village several years ago.

Orochi turned his head when knocking echoed from his door.

“What is it?” he asked.

A male voice came from the other end. “I have news, My Lord.”

“Indeed? Come in, then.”

The door slid open and in stepped a male nekomata with dark skin, yellow eyes, and a stern expression that bordered on emotionless. He wore a white kimono that contrasted with his skin and trailed down to his ankle. A black obi was tied around his waist.

“Kurayami,” Orochi greeted his underling. “If you are here, then does that mean you’ve discovered Kumiho’s location?”

“We have, My Lord.” Kurayami knelt before him in a bow of subservience. “While she remains illusive, her last known location is Okinawa. I doubt she has moved from there. A powerful barrier surrounds one of the more remote islands, leading me to believe that is where she’s hiding.”

“Kumiho always excelled at creating barriers,” Orochi mused as he stroked the tan shroud that he had decided to use as a scarf.

He thought about what he should do with this information. Dare he outright attack the barrier and break it down? He was sure he could… but no, Kumiho’s barriers were top notch. The only reason he’d even been able to break the last one was because he’d tipped off the Catholic Church about the yōkai village she had created. However, the Church had discovered that he’d used them. They wouldn’t let him use them again.

“Very well,” he said at last, standing up and tightening the sash holding his robes together. “It looks like we are going on a trip. Let the others know.”

“… Yes, My Lord.”

Orochi paused at the hesitation in Kurayami’s voice. This young nekomata was one of his stronger underlings. Of course, the reason for that would have probably shocked a few people. Not even Kuriyama was aware of the reason for his current level of strength.

“Do not worry,” he assured the boy. “I’m positive your sister is with Kumiho.”

“Yes, My Lord.”

Kurayami nodded, eyes remaining affixed to the floor. It was a proper showing of deference and subservience.

“Now, let us be off.” Orochi clapped his hands to signal an end to the conversation.

“My Lord.” Kurayami stood up and followed him out of the room. He walked on Orochi’s left and exactly four paces behind him, just like a bodyguard would—not that Orochi needed a bodyguard who was weaker than him.

As he wandered down the ornately decorated hall of his mansion, a smile pulled at his lips.

'Okinawa, huh…'

It looked like he’d be getting a vacation along with Kumiho. That was like killing two birds with one stone. How lovely.

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Here is the prologue for volume 3. Before you read, I feel like I should once again state that this is a raw, unedited story. There are probably a lot of grammatical mistakes since I didn't edit it. I hope this does not quell your enjoyment of the story. Please remember to like and share this story on twitter and facebook if you enjoyed reading it. Thank you! (^-^)


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