Kuriyama woke up with a migraine. It felt like a horde of oni were dancing around inside of his skull. He blinked several times as light streamed into his eyes, which were slower to adjust than normal.
Sitting up, Kuriyama realized that he was inside of his fuuton. He didn’t remember getting there, but he must have gone to bed at some point. He shrugged. Crawling out of the covers, he clambered to his feet, stretched, and then made his way outside.
His barefeet padded along the wooden floor as he made his way to the private hot spring, where he planned to freshen up. After entering the changing room, he stripped and put his clothes into the hamper, and then entered the hot spring. He had noticed the other sets of clothes already present.
Master Orochi and his harem were already inside of the hot spring. Since this was a private hot spring, the normal separation of sexes didn’t apply. Master Orochi was being attended to by Hatsune the nekomata, the crow tengu Inase, and the two vampire ninjas Maya and Mana. Yatsuo was also present, but the lamia was busy swimming.
“Ah. Kuriyama, how are you feeling?” Master Orochi asked as he grabbed a bucket, filled it with water, and went over to the stool.
“I feel fine, My Lord,” Kuriyama said, dumping the bucket over his head. He grabbed the shampoo and squirted a dollap on his hand. “Why do you ask?”
It was a little unusual for Master Orochi to express concern over him; he’d never done it before. Of course, Master Orochi was not a cold man. He had given Kuriyama a purpose. That said, he generally didn’t treat people kindly unless they were female.
“Oh, no reason,” Master Orochi said with a wave of his hand. “I just wanted to make sure you were in top shape. We’ll be going after Kumiho soon. In fact, I have a job for you.”
“Of course, My Lord,” Kuriyama said, once more dumping a bucket of water over his head. “Whatever you need of me, I shall do my utmost to see it done.”
“Excellent.” Master Orochi smiled. “In that case, there is a person who I would like you to follow, a fox yōkai that I believe will lead us to Kumiho.”