Chapter 1:

The Oniken

"For what better motivation is there than revenge?"


Aokigahara

The Sea of Trees

The silence of the forest was crushing. Even more so due to the darkness that stretched out in every direction. It was night, but even if it had been day the thick trees and foliage overhead would have prevented much sunlight from reaching through. For anyone who dared traverse the dense forest it was necessary to have something to mark their way back, less they become lost among the trees forever. It was a place that few dared to tread. It wasn't just because it was easy to get lost, but because of the others rumors and stories about the forest known as Aokigahara. According to the tales it was also a place where the spirits of the dead roamed freely and the demons of the underworld lurked in the shadows, ready to devour any living person they came across. For that reason humans rarely came there. There was no reason for anyone to traverse the forest anyway as there were much more preferable paths to take that would allow them to pass it completely and still reach their destination. Surely it was a place that no one would willingly enter.

Yet despite that, a single figure made their way through the thick trees.

A slim figure shrouded in a cloak made their way through the trees. The darkness of the cloak they wore almost caused them to blend in with the darkness and they would have vanished completely if not for the paper lantern they were using to light their way. Carefully they stepped over overgrown root and rocks as they made their way through the silent forest. Every now and then they would pause as if trying to get their bearings before seemingly resolving themselves and keeping in the same direction. The silence was crushing, almost suffocating, yet the figure carried on stoically. Even when they thought they heard a low growl or felt like something was watching them from the shadows, they continued to move. After all, they had come here for a reason. The tales had said that deep within the forest was a particular shrine, locked away from the outside world in this sea of trees. That was where they were headed.

A sudden gust of wind came out of nowhere, ruffling the figure's cloak and extinguishing the light in their lantern. The forest had been still and devoid of even the slightest breeze before that, so something about this gust was clearly unnatural. The figure lowered the lantern slowly, keeping calm even though most people would have panicked at the strange event. They had come too far to get scared and run away now, especially since their goal was so close. Taking a deep breath the figure spoke in a low voice.

"Please….I'm just passing through."

It was the voice of a female. Pleading, almost shaking as she asked for safe passage. For a moment nothing answered, but then from the shadows of the forest a blue light began to approach. The figure watched silently as it got closer, not daring to make a move or turn her back. Once the blue light was only a few feet away from her she was able to see what it was. It was another lantern, only this one wasn't being held by a person. A single wide eye stared back at her over a long tongue that hung down like a banner. A Chochinobake. It appeared she had run into one of the forest's inhabitants and thankfully it didn't seem to be a violent one. Bringing her hands up, she clasped them together as if in prayer before bowing her head respectfully.

"Chochinobake-sama, if you could light my way in place of my own lantern I would be grateful."

She humbly made her request to the animated lantern, not willing to disrespect even the weakest demon in this forest. The Chochinobake's single eye stared back at her silently as its tongue continued to hand down. Had it heard her request?

"Ah!"

She couldn't help but give a small gasp. The moment she raised her head the animated lantern had moved forward to lick her face. The warm dampness of its tongue was slightly unnerving but it didn't seem to have been a malicious gesture. Turning around the lantern began to float away slowly as if beckoning her to follow it. Spirits rising as the demon decided to help her she began to follow it swiftly while making sure not to trip on anything underfoot. With her new guide she continued to make her way deeper into the forest. She pulled her cloak closer around herself as if to try and protect her from the surrounding darkness. For even with her new guide she couldn't shake the feeling of the malicious eyes that were watching her from the shadows…

After what seemed like hours of walking with only the Chochinobake's light the guide her, the floating lantern finally stopped. She paused for a moment, thinking that it had run into danger, but when she looked past its light she saw why it had stopped moving. In front of them was a large clearing amongst the thick trees, allowing the moonlight to shine down and illuminate something. In the center, at the base of a tree larger than the others, was an abandoned shrine. The overgrown roots of the tree had twisted around the decrepit building, penetrating into it like the tentacles of some otherworldly creature, making her stomach churn as she looked at it. It was still standing despite the state of unrepair it was in though it must have been at least several centuries old. Even from here she could feel a dark aura extending from it. It was an aura that was different from the uncomfortable atmosphere of the rest of the forest. One that was overbearing and thick, like a poisonous miasma that would kill anyone that had gotten too close. The Chochinobake refused to go any further, indicating that not even a demon wanted to approach the shrine.

There was no doubt about it…This was the place she had been looking for.

"My sincerest thanks, Chochinobake-sama."

Bowing her head, the girl thanked the animated lantern again. It turned its single eye towards her blankly before moving in. This time when it licked her face she didn't gasp, and a small smile even crossed her face. As if that were its way of telling her to "be safe" the Chochinobake turned around and floated away. Soon its blue light was lost among the thick trees, leaving the girl alone. No matter, now that she had found the place she was looking for she didn't need it anymore. Finding her way out of the forest would be a different story, but for now she knew what she had to do. Turning back to look at the shrine she tried to quell the feeling that was building in her stomach. Once she entered the shrine there would probably be no turning back. But she had resolved herself to whatever her fate may be when she had first decided to come here. She would do anything to accomplish her goal…

…Even if it meant becoming a demon herself.

With a deep breath she stepped into the clearing, heading towards the shrine with her face shrouded by her cloak.


Within the darkness of the shrine a single pedestal sat in the center of the main room. Perched on top of it was a solitary sword. It was not as long as the typical katana, yet at the same time not as compact as a wakizashi or tanto. Instead it seemed to strike a midpoint between the two which made it look like it could be wielded without having to worry too much about the weight or length, even when indoors. A piece of the roof was broken allowing a ray of moonlight to coincidentally shine down on it. Despite this, however, the light seemed to be absorbed into the deep blackness of the sword's lacquered sheath rather than actually illuminate it. It was….unnatural. That was the only word for it.

"How boring."

Although the shrine was empty, a voice mused to itself in an irritated tone. There was no one around, so where had the source of the voice come from? The only thing in the room was the lonely sword.

"How boring."

The voice repeated once more. How many times had he said the same thing? Locked away in this darkness for several centuries it was all he could do was voice his boredom in the darkness of the shrine. Though he did not have eyes, he could still see. Though he did not have ears, he could still hear. Though he did not have a mouth, he could still speak. And most importantly, he could still think. But without an actual body to move him he could only sit there in the darkness, and that was the worst possible fate he could think of for someone like him.

Yes, the voice was coming from none other than sword itself.

How many nights had passed where he could do nothing but sit there in the darkness and the crushing silence? He couldn't remember the last time he had seen another living thing, and not even the demons of the forest dared approach the shrine because of what lay within. It was boring. So dreadfully boring that an eternity in Hell would have been preferable at this point. The only thing that had kept him from shutting off his mind completely was the burning desire to escape the shrine. He was still "alive", and no matter how long he had to way wait before he could walk the world again he would not give up.

Not until he had tasted blood once more.

"Hm?"

But what was this? From outside the shrine he could feel a presence approaching. A demon? No, it didn't quite feel like their sinister aura. But if that wasn't it then who could it be? Surely a human had not made their way here. Not once since he had been imprisoned had a human ever made it this far into the forest to even get close to the shrine. For the first time in years he felt a sense of anticipation and curiosity building within him. If he could breathe he would have been holding his breath as the door to the shrine slid open slowly.

"Oh ho…"

He chuckled silently in amusement as he saw the figure in the shrine's doorway. Illuminated by the moonlight he could make out their outline. Even though they were wearing a cloak he could notice the unmistakable curves of a woman, and the feeling of lust began to build up within him along with his anticipation and excitement. More than that, however, was his curiosity. Who was this girl who had managed to brave the horrors of the forest to reach his shrine? He watched as she looked around slowly before stepping fully inside and closing the door behind her. Silently she walked forward until noticing the pedestal and the sword mounted on it. Her expression was hidden by her cloak's hood, but by the quickness of her steps it was obvious she was excited. She began to get closer to the pedestal with eager steps, but before she could come within ten feet of it, a low voice stopped her cold.

"Do not come any closer."

Her body went stiff at the voice. Looking around quickly she tried to locate the source, but this was the only room in the shrine so it didn't take long to confirm she was alone. The only other thing in the room was the sword in front of her. She turned her attention back to it as her heart beat in her chest rapidly. Swallowing the saliva that had built up in her mouth, she reached her hands up as lowered the hood of her cloak slowly. The gentle face of a young girl was revealed. She couldn't have been older than 20, but the look in her emerald eyes spoke of more maturity than that. Her brown hair had been cut short so it framed her face without getting in the way of her eyes, but a small part in the back had grown long enough to be pulled into a ponytail which reached down to the small of her back. The light orange kimono she wore with its pattern of leaves gave the impression of autumn, though the bottom part had been slit on either side to expose her white thighs and allow for better movement. It was tied shut by a black obi, in which a small tanto had also been secured. Sode pads reminiscent of a samurai's armor had been stitched onto the shoulders of the kimono, but they were so thin that it was a wonder how much protection they'd really give. She did not take another step as the voice had instructed, but she continued to look at the sword with relief and hope swimming in her eyes. Was this what she had been looking for?

"Is this…are you the Muramasa?"

She spoke the name of the sword in a whisper, like simply saying it would result in her being cut down. She had heard legends of the supposedly cursed blade and its power to cut down anything from human to God and even the ruler of Hell itself. A sword that once drawn could only be returned to its sheath once it tasted blood, and would drive the wielder to murder or even suicide to sate its thirst. That was the blade known as the Muramasa, and according to the legends that wasn't all. It was said that it was possessed by the murderous spirit of heinous criminal known only as the Oniken. No one dared to seek out the bloodthirsty blade and the spirit that haunted it….until now. Silence filled the shrine as the girl held her breath. When it felt like she was about to burst, the same low voice from before spoke again.

"What are you here for, girl?"

The voice sent a chill down her spine. Though it wasn't loud it carried a demanding tone behind it. Was it the Oniken speaking to her or the Muramasa itself? No matter, it had asked her a question. If she were to fulfill her goal then she needed to answer.

"My name is Chizuru Ashikaga, I-"

"I did not ask for your name, girl. I asked what you came for."

The voice cut her off sharply before she could finish her introduction, sounding irritated. It seemed that when it asked a question it wanted an exact answer. Resisting the urge to snap back, Chizuru kept her voice respectful as she bowed her head towards the sword.

"In order to take back something I've lost, I need power. I've sought out the Muramasa for that very reason. If you are indeed the blade spoken of in legends, then please, I require your assistance."

The sword hummed silently to itself in amusement at her words. She was the first human to approach him in centuries and it seemed like he wasn't going to be disappointed. But what on earth could such a gentle looking girl need a cursed sword for? He had an idea but his sadistic personality couldn't help but make him ask it out loud.

"And what, pray tell, would you need a blade like this for? If you've heard the legends then I'm sure you know of this blade's bloody past. Is that a curse you're willing to carry?"

The voice asked in a mocking tone. Instead of getting angry, however, Chizuru clenched her fists and looked up. The look in her eyes weren't those of a scared or unsure girl, but rather one burning with resolve, determination, and another emotion that made the sword tremble with delight: Hate.

"I am. I need your power because there is someone I absolutely must kill."

A shudder of delight would have run up the sword's spine if he had a body. The Gods must have been smiling down on him indeed if they were sending a person like this to discover him after so many nights! He could not feel pure bloodlust emanating from the girl's body, but given time he was sure it would blossom into that. The look of hate in her eyes said it all.

"Hmhmhm!"

The sound of deep chuckling filled the shrine but Chizuru remained standing tall. If the sword didn't take her seriously, so be it, she would just have to show it how determined she was. Once its mocking laughter finally died down it addressed her again.

"Not bad! Not bad at all! Tell me, little puppy, how far are you willing to go for this goal of yours?"

It was unclear if the sword was genuinely asking about her motivations because it cared or just wanted to know to satisfy its own sick amusement. Regardless she answered without hesitation.

"As far as it takes."

Her answer was met with more laughter as the sword's words seemed to echo around the shrine like a wave.

"Perfect! Superb! If the world has wronged you then crush it with your own two hands! That is the way of the Oniken!"

Her eyes widened as the blade confirmed it to be what she was looking for. It had referred to itself as the Oniken. There were no more doubts. It went further to confirm this as it spoke again.

"Your search has not been in vain. As you suspected this blade is none other than the cursed Muramasa. And I am none other than the spirit sealed within it…the Oniken!"

Chizuru had to suppress a smile, afraid to let her true emotions show on her face in front of this sword. The spirit within the blade, however, made no effort to hide his delight.

"That look in your eyes….very well! Chizuru, I will lend you the powers of the Muramasa, and with it, my skill and knowledge as the Oniken! In exchange you must do something for me!"

She kept her face blank at his demand. She had expected it wouldn't be as easy as simply taking the sword and leaving the shrine, not if the legends were to be believed. Of course the spirit within the blade was demanding something in return. She listened to its request quietly, an uneasy feeling boiling in her stomach.

"For centuries I have been bound to this blade and locked away in this shrine. Unable to move. Unable to kill. I long to be in the outside world and taste blood again. Grant me that wish and my power is yours to wield as you see fit! Promise your soul and body to me and the Muramasa until you have achieved your own ambitions!"

The sword's desire for blood was sickening, but expected. After all the spirit known as the Oniken was said to be feared in both heaven and hell for his ruthlessness and bloodlust. It was said that he cut down both humans and demons alike before becoming a demon himself. Whether or not this was true she didn't know, but everything else had been so far so she didn't doubt it. Even if it meant becoming a monster like the Oniken, she would not turn back now! The voice seemed to have been expecting this as it spoke again, this time in an unexpectedly gentle tone as if it didn't want to scare her off.

"In that case, step forth and take the Muramasa in your hand."

Almost automatically she moved, crossing the distance to the pedestal quickly. She reached out slowly before grabbing the sword, a chill running up her arm and covering her entire body as she felts its heavy aura. Something deep within seemed to pulse rhythmically like a heartbeat even though it should have just been cold steel.

"Draw it."

The voice beckoned once more. Again she felt her hands moving on their own as she grabbed the blade's handle and slowly removed it from its sheath. Freed from its sheath she was finally able to look upon the Muramasa in its full glory. A blade as black as the shadows around them with an edge of pure red. The air around the blade itself seemed to scream in horror as if asking her why she would draw such a thing. She couldn't remove her eyes from the sharp edge of the blade, not even as the voice spoke. Though this time instead of emanating from the sword, the voice seemed to whisper in her ear like someone was standing right next to her.

"Now….seal our contract by offering up your own blood."

Her hand twisted to turn the blade around to the edge was resting against her wrist. Stop. Stop. The word repeated itself in her head but for some reason she couldn't stop her movements. In a quick movement she dragged the edge against her skin, wincing and gasping in pain as it sliced her flesh cleanly. As expected a thick stream of blood began to leak out and coat the blade. Instead of staining it or dripping to the floor, however, she watched in amazement as the red liquid was absorbed into the cold steel. The voice sighed contentedly in her ear like a starving man who had just eaten his first meal in days. The blade continued to "drink" her blood as it pulsed like a beating heart. Finally the voice spoke again.

"That will do for now. Don't want you to bleed to death after all."

At his words she removed the blade from her wound. Not a single drop of blood had escaped the Muramasa. Before she could lose any more blood or start feeling faint, Chizuru tore a piece off of her cloak and used it as a makeshift bandage to stop the bleeding. Once she finished she reached to pick up the Muramasa again, but as she grasped it she almost fell over as a sudden sensation filled her head. In her mind she could see countless images of things she had never seen before. Stances, positioning, footwork, techniques for attacking, techniques for defending, techniques for when you were surrounded, techniques for fighting alone, counters, last resorts. The influx of information made her dizzy but just as she was about to fall over it suddenly stopped, leaving her head spinning with the new knowledge. Sweat beaded on her face as she used the Muramasa to remain stable as she clutched her head.

"What…?"

The work leaked out of her mouth as she slowly regained composure. In response the voice chuckled in her ear.

"The contract is complete. As promised all of my knowledge and techniques as the Oniken are now yours to wield. That is, if you can handle them."

There was that mocking tone again. But as she calmed down and had a chance to think she remembered his words. Nothing about her felt different physically, but in her mind she was seeing sword techniques and stances she had never heard of. If what that spirit was saying was true…did that mean she could use the Oniken's skills now?

Her thoughts were interrupted by a sudden rumbling that shook the shrine. As Chizuru looked around with confusion the voice spoke.

"Not a moment too soon. I didn't think the inhabitants of the forest would sit by forever when a human was around, even if you are in my shrine."

The voice was surprisingly calm despite the impending danger. Chizuru could feel an ominous force closing in on the shrine from all angles.

"What's going on?"

She questioned as she gripped the Muramasa protectively. She had never wielded in serious combat before, but for some reason she felt confident.

"The denizens of the forest hunger for human flesh. If you don't wish to perish before you can get your revenge, then wield my skills are your own!"

The voice urged her on. In the same moment there was a crash as something came bursting through the wall of the shrine and heading straight for her. Her body moved with speed she never knew she had as she dodged to the side quickly. Jamming the sheath of the Muramasa into her obi alongside her tanto, she took the blade in both hands before slashing upwards at the arm powerfully. It cut it in half like it was made from bamboo and there was a terrible screech from outside which must have belonged to the arm's owner as the bloody stump withdrew. Just like with her blood earlier, as the blood of the demon coated the sword it was absorbed into it as the voice laughed.

"Excellent! Don't stop now!"

The voice roared with sadistic delight causing her to shudder. Such bloodlust…it seemed like the legends were true. She hardly had time to be disgusted. Grotesque shapes of demons of various shapes and sizes were pulling themselves through the hole that had been made in the shrine and moving to surround her. If she wanted to get out alive she had no choice but to fight.

"Let the feast begin!"

The voice of the sword's spirit cooed in her ear as she took one of the stances she remembered flash in her head. With a determined look she moved forwards towards the demon horde.


"Yes! Yes! More! For so long I have hungered for the taste of blood! Let me drink until my heart is content!"

As Chizuru danced her deadly dance through the swarms of demons that assaulted her, the voice roared in her ear with dark enthusiasm. With each foe that was cut down by the blade, blood was sent flying through the air and coating the ground in its deep crimson. Yet the blood never stayed on the blade for long. Any of the life liquid that coated the sword was drawn into it just like before. Like an animal lapping at a pond for water, the Muramasa "drank" the blood quickly. And the more Chizuru cut down, the more the voice laughed in pleasure. It could not take the pleasure of cutting down the enemies itself, but through Chizuru it could still bathe in delight as the edge of the sword sliced through flesh and cleaved bodies in half. All the while the voice continued to speak. They were not taunts or boasts as usual, but instructions.

"To your left! Remember to be aware of your blind spots! There! Step forward with your right foot and then strike! Don't keep your arms so stiff! Bend your elbows as you swing before following through!"

The voice barked advice as Chizuru continued to cut down their attackers. She may have had all of his knowledge and skill but she was still getting used to it. It would take a bit more time before all of the movements of the Oniken became second nature to her. The voice's coaching was effective, however, no matter how harsh it sounded. Under his guidance and with the Muramasa in hand, he was certain that there was nothing in this forest that she could not take down.

After what felt like hours she finally paused. In reality only a few minutes had passed, but dozens of bodies lay around her, cut down by the dark blade she had wielded. She was panting lightly, more from adrenaline rather than fear. But with that was a sense of disbelief and disgust as she saw the dead bodies. Even if they had been demons that were attacking her…had she really done all this? In the brief pause as she surveyed her deed with unease, the voice chuckled.

"What's the matter? Don't you agree that slaughter is the best exercise after hundreds of years?"

The voice did not attempt to comfort her. She had shown that she was willing to do what it took to survive. If he was lucky, then perhaps his aura would begin to rub off on her even without the Muramasa's influence.

Once they were outside the voice sighed in contentment at leaving the shrine once more. "If only I could find the ones responsible for putting me in such a place in the first place. Alas, they are probably dead of old age by now. No matter...Once I'm free I'll chase them down to Hell and make them pay for their ignorance." The voice sounded completely serious in its words, ready to chase down the souls of the dead for its revenge. The statement made Chizuru curious. The legends didn't say much about the Oniken's past or life, just how much of a monster he was. So hearing him speak about it was interesting. The arrival of more demons brought them back to attention. Without waiting for instruction this time, Chizuru stepped forth to cut down a demon that jumped at her with a horizontal slash before stepping back quickly and swinging the blade upwards, dispatching another one. The voice hummed with amusement as Chizuru managed to defend herself without instruction this time.

"Not bad. Of course those are my skills you're using, but being able to process all of that knowledge at once so quickly is impressive. Or maybe you've actually been a homicide expert all along and didn't know it? Hmmhmmhmm!"

The voice chuckled as it went back to its usual dark humor and teasing.

"Finish it. I still thirst for more blood."

The voice ordered as the demon the girl had cut down early flopped helplessly on the floor. There was no mercy, only the desire to kill some more. Before Chizuru could carry out the finishing blow, however, something else beat her to it. Chizuru jumped back quickly as something large suddenly slammed into the ground where she had been, crushing the felled demon into a bloody pulp. She looked up to be greeted with the fierce gaze of a large Oni with blue skin. It growled down at her after looking around the clearing and seeing the dead bodies of the other demons.

"A mere human did all this? And a girl, no less!"

The Oni snorted in disbelief. Chizuru said nothing but merely continued to hold the Muramasa tightly. Her body was feeling heavy and tired out from her movements from earlier. She wasn't exactly out of shape but it was clear she wasn't used to this kind of action. Aside from that something else seemed to be draining on her. The Oni blinked its red eyes as it noticed the sword she was carrying.

"That old sword did this? What's more you seem like you're about to drop dead yourself. How shameful!"

It snorted mockingly.

"Foolish creature. How dare you underestimate the power of the Oniken!"

The voice leaked out in a cold whisper. If it had a body it would have not hesitated to put this Oni in its place. Yet the demon had a still not used to such strenuous activity and movement and the Muramasa's aura was constantly draining on her. It would be some time until she could wield the sword naturally without getting tired out. She seemed to have noticed this herself and her eyes were slyly darting around the clearing looking for an escape route. Even with the Oniken's techniques she wasn't sure if she could handle a demon of this size without more training. After all, just because she knew how to do something didn't mean her untrained body could actually pull it off. As she thought about her options the Oni gave a low growl as it looked down at her. Her skin was flushed and her kimono had been slightly torn in several places. What's more he had a good view down her chest because of his tall height.

"I've forgotten how alluring human women could be. I usually just gobble them up without question."

His words made Chizuru's spine tingle. With his large body and muscles he could hold her down easily if he managed to disarm her, and she knew there was no way she could fight an Oni off if she got pinned. She had to think of something. Taking a breath she came up with the only thing she could think of as she looked up at the Oni, trying not to let any fear or uncertainty show on her face.

"In that case…let's play a game."

Both the Oni and the sword's spirit were shocked at her words.

"Do not waste words with fools! Strike this cretin down now!"

The voice demanded wanting her to end things before she became even more tired out. The Oni didn't seem to be able to hear his words and instead looked down at Chizuru with curiosity.

"Interesting. And what kind of game do you have in mind?"

Chizuru forced a small smile on her face, thankful the demon was listening to her instead of just attacking. This was a gamble, but with the Muramasa and the Oniken's knowledge she felt that she could do it. If she failed here then there was no way she could take her revenge on that person anyway.

"We'll play tag. If you can catch me then I'll surrender and give my body to you. But if I can make just one cut on your face then I win and you let me go."

At the mention of Chizuru's deal the voice suddenly snarled.

"Do not offer up your body so readily! You belong to ME now!"

The voice was strangely offended at her offer to the Oni. Before the voice could protest any more the Oni laughed loudly.

"Bwahahaha! Tag, is it? Very well then! But if I catch you I shall do as I please until I grow tired of you and eat you!"

He accepted her terms as he licked his lips and patted his belly. It didn't seem like he was going to play fairly though.

"Move!"

The voice shouted a warning. The Oni had grabbed its steel club and had swung it downwards to crush to girl as she jumped back. The force of its blow was strong enough to make the ground crack sending bits of debris and rocky chunks scattering everywhere. Thankfully he missed, though it seemed like he was just toying with the girl at the moment.

"Listen carefully, foolish wench. You absolutely cannot lose. I will not allow you to disgrace my style!"

The voice spoke with none of its playfulness from before, fully serious as the "game" between the girl and the Oni began.

"Don't try to approach him directly. He may be big but his movements are surprisingly fast. You should be able to outmaneuver him in this forest."

The voice began to give advice as Chizuru distanced herself, using the trees as cover. Thanks to the Oni's large body it couldn't follow her as quickly through the trees. To make up for that, however, it was swinging its kanabo around and smashing anything in its way. With that kind of strength even a glancing blow would be fatal. Though it seemed that the Oni's objective wasn't to kill the girl. He needed her in one piece if he wanted to have any fun with her should he win.

"Running away is disgraceful...But for now it's all you can do until I can spot an opening."

The voice tsked in disappointment, pride hurt at not being able to deal with things on its own. All Chizuru needed was to score one cut on the Oni's face. The voice would have rather taken the damn thing's entire head off, but it wasn't sure the girl would be up to the task. The longer she went on the more tired she was getting. Eventually the Oni would catch up and then there would be no more running.

Hoping to buy more time Chizuru ran deeper into the forest, the sound of the Oni crashing through the trees echoing after her…


Youkai appearing in this chapter:

Chochinobake: A possessed paper or wooden lantern. Usually depicted as having one eye and a large tongue hanging from an open mouth.


A/N: Yeah, this is a reboot of one of my older stories from years ago that I lost the original draft for. Suddenly had an urge to write it again though. I change cravings like people change underwear. Be sure to review and tell me what you think!