Characters: Natsume Takeshi & Tanuma Kaname
Series: Natsume Yuujinchou
O.C: Abe Akahana
Genre: Supernatural, Comedy
Theme Song: N/A
Date: 26th November 2012
Author’s Note: Snippet from a full length story
“Aka-Chan, take this to the neighbour.”
Footsteps thumped irregularly along the hardwood flooring. Seemingly the addressed was dodging boxes as she advanced for the caller. “I’ve just got chance to sit down and now you want me to brave that wilderness?” A young woman stood defiantly and pointed out of the open door into, well, wilderness that surrounded the back of the old traditional house.
An aged hand ran thoughtfully over facial stubble before pointing upwards as if its owner had just had a great revelation. “It’ll be a good chance for you to get to know the locals.”
The female glared at who could be no one else but her father. “Yes, I’m sure all the cool kids hand around in the forest behind our house.”
Rolling his eyes in dismay, the man wearing a worn green yukata picked up the hefty basket and shuffled over to the fuming apple of his eye. “If you don’t take this, you can clean the toilet.” A smirk twitched on his thin lips at his daughter’s horrified expression.
“Fine, but if they’re weirdo’s…” Pushing the strands of fiery red hair off her face, the teen begrudgingly took the out-held woven basket. “You’re on dinner duty for the rest of the week.”
“Take care~” The home owner waved the girl off happily only for her to snap her head around and give a disbelieving look.
“It’s too late for you to say that now…” She grumbled as she shuffled off down the dust path towards a small opening amongst the dense trees. “If I die, I’m going to haunt you forever.” The girl continued her tangent.
‘Aka-Chan’ had been walking along for some time now and yet she still hadn’t come to an exit. Even for a forest as thick as this, it was unnatural for so little sun light to pass through the canopy above. Oh well, it’s not like she was scared or anything…She’d lived in some awful places, after all. Then again, it had never been the places that tested her nerves.
“It’s a girl.”
“A human child passing through here?”
“Helpless little thing…It must be our lucky day.”
If it weren’t for the twigs snapping beneath the traveller’s feet, then you’d undoubtedly be able to hear her teeth grinding at the ignorance of the group hid behind a bush conversing. “If you think you can do something, come and try it.” The redhead spat, not even bothering to turn and see the shocked faces of the low-level yokai.
Some fifteen minutes had passed of Aka stomping through the thicket with the three curious yokai trailing behind her, debating aloud on the best way to eat her. “Carry on and I’ll get rid of you all.” She grumbled as she watched the crisp leaves crunch beneath her feet with furrowed brows and puffed out cheeks.
Suddenly, the girl verging on nineteen stopped dead in her tracks. Quieting her breath, narrowed peridot eyes shot around to find what was giving her the feeling of anxiety. From nowhere, a black mass thundered for the group of four, it’s gargantuan mouth open to reveal acidic like saliva gushing.
“Run!~” One of the yokai screamed as his arms flailed.
Obviously, the group ran. By this point, it didn’t matter whether you were a human or yokai, because when you’re about to be eaten, even enemies seem to team up in order to save their own skin. Speaking of saving oneself, that nuisance that had burst out of nowhere and disturbed Aka asserting her authority was getting pretty close.
“Take the human-Take the human!” One of the others grabbed the girl and tried to force her back in order to slow the monstrosity down.
“If you go back on our deal I’ll-” The sickly feeling you get when you’re about to fall on your face washed over the deranged female as her left foot got caught on a partially uplifted root. Squeezing her eyes shut, she held out her free hand and waited for impact.
“Lowly human!” The bone shaking roar brought the girl back from whatever give-up attempt she was planning.
‘The package!’ Her right leg instinctively outstretched and she was able to push herself off into a sprint again. Catching up to her previous acquaintances, she sent a smug smile to the ones who were sure she was as good as dead.
The black blur crashed through the thicket in a rampage.
‘Looks like I’m going to have to do it…’ Stupidly, the girl dared to look back and judge the distance. “Hold this.” She thrust the basket into the unknowing arms of the being beside her and then stopped. “Let harm come to it and it’ll be the end for you as well.” Roughly snatching a slip of paper from her inside pocket, she held it between her index and middle finger before biting her ring finger on the other hand to draw blood. In a single motion, she had scrolled down a strange symbol.
“Arrogant brat!” The rumble of the enemy yokai’s call caused the trees to tremble.
As the small strip of ivory paper shot up and hovered over the girl’s head, she held her arms out by her side with her palms facing outwards. Focusing on the rage heading straight for her, her mouth opened to speak and soon enough, words were uttered. “As the air that allows life to continue, the heavenly claws that dominate the unseen - grant me this Kami no Kaze; God of the wind….Fujin!” With a sharp clap, visible bands of violent air current sprang from the talisman and crashed into the dark yokai. In the few seconds that proceeded, the compressed air constricted the being and forcefully pulled the ayakashi into the parchment.
Finishing with a literal bang, the on-lookers were thrown back due to the explosion. Clawing to reach her prize, Aka snatched the now-crumpled paper before promptly flying through the opening and out onto the day lit road closely following behind her temporary companions. As the Kappa that held her package whizzed past, the girl kindly caught the flying yokai and placed him down on solid ground. “Thanks for taking care of that.” She patted his head once and took back her belongings. Aka ruffled her hair dismally and sighed. Now she’d dirtied her clothes, messed up her hair, had another unwanted problem on her hands, and still didn’t know where her neighbour’s house was.
“What a pain in the as-” She stopped herself midway when she noticed two boys and an odd white and orange pig staring over. “Y-yo…” She nodded nervously.
“The way you caught that basket was amazing!” The tallest of the pair, a boy with midnight hair, gawped.
“You can see them?” The second, a light haired boy, pointed at the gathered ayakashi and the girl shook her head.
“I don’t know what you’re on about.” She lied and set off walking.
“You were speaking to yokai!” He shouted abruptly.
Turning on her heals, Aka’s eyes narrowed as she advanced for the two boys. “You don’t happen to know where the nearest house is to here, do you?” She asked in an attempt to change the subject.
The two boys looked at each other cautiously before the animal cut in. “Don’t get involved with people like her. Let’s go.”
Apparently offended, the fiery redhead leered. “People like her? You have some nerve! What kind of yokai uses a form like yours by choice?” Sparks flew between the hot-head and pig-cat as if they were on the same level of stupidity but all the two teens could do were chuckle at the scene as the tension dissipated.
“There’s an abandoned place over there…” The dark haired boy pointed in the direction from which Aka had come from. “And I live over there at the shrine.” His direction changed slightly to the left. “My father is the Priest.”
Nodding once, the female smile gratefully. “Great, that saves me a job! Here you go.” She thrust the basket towards the taller boy.
“Don’t take it. It could be poisonous; I’ll test it!” The animal instantly went to inspecting the item.
“Sorry, I should have said sooner. I’m Tanuma Kaname, and this is Natsume Takashi.” The tallest of the pair bowed his head as he introduced himself and his friend.
“Abe Akahana. My father and I just moved into that ‘abandoned’ house over there.” She jutted her thumb in the particular direction and Tanuma rubbed the back of his neck. “I better get back anyway. See ya.”
The odd pig-cat murmured to himself as he chomped on one of the gyoza that had been packed for Tanuma’s family. “I’m sure we’ll meet again.”
Updated: 4th February 2018 – 19:42
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