31- VisitorMature

"Well, dammit," Nytahl growled.  "Now we have to wait for him to get better again."

Raitoguchi sighed, "He shouldn't have challenged Sekuroku-san.  Though, I suppose it wasn't a fruitless venture.  I'm sure you taught him something?"

Sekuroku smirked, "Yes, but that doesn't give you the right to call me 'sensei.'"

Raitoguchi bowed, "Of course not."

John leaned back against the wall, "So.  What do we do while we wait for him to get back up?"

"Just rest, I guess," Raitoguchi sighed as he sat down.

The others followed suit, and soon they were all relaxing as they waited for their companion to revive.  Taito crawled into Raitoguchi's lap and curled up into a ball to sleep.  Kalton watched it uneasily.

It hadn't been too long that they were sitting there before the sound of yet another body was heard approaching the room.

Sekuroku smiled, "I sense the presence of a divine."

Raitoguchi looked up as the said "divine" entered and made his way through the company to the samurai and gasped.

"M-m--  Okuninushi-sama!  When...?"He stammered as he quickly bowed before the god.

The company stood, except for Sekuroku, who just sat and smiled up at the god.  Okuninuchi gently ran his hand along Raitoguchi's back and had him stand up.  When he was standing before the god he frowned at the obvious dissatisfaction spread across his face.  


Raitoguchi's face snapped to the side as he was backhanded by his master, and blood began to trail down his face from a wound made by the gesture.

"You..." Okuninushi growled.  "You deliberately disobeyed me!!  Raitoguchi!  How do you expect me to trust you after this!?"

The samurai bit his lip to prevent the tears in his eyes from falling.  He fell down to his knees and rested his forehead against his god's feet.

"F-forgive me, Okuninushi-sama...  I...  I could not foresee the path that I would take...  I could only move forward...  I wasn't expecting--"

"Enough!  I will not hear your excuses!"

Sekuroku smiled and raised his chin defiantly, "Oh come now, Okuni-kun.  You can take it easy on him just a bit.  After all, you aren't the only one fighting in this war."

Okuninushi turned on him violently, "No one ever gave you permission to call me by that name!  Keep your mouth shut, Betrayer."

Sekuroku raised his hands in defence, "Don't lose your temper."

Okuninushi turned away, "Anyway...  Taito, why didn't you keep them on track!?  I sent you to him for a reason, you know!!"

The fox jumped up and in a puff of smoke turned into a human with eyes so slanted that they seemed shut, "Oh, come now, Master.  I did my best.  But there was nothing I could do against shadows...  And anyway, they have an onmyouji who saw me and confused my nine tails as separate demons.  I had to lay low, you see."

The other members of the party stood in their surprise.

"I-it talks!?" Nytahl said with confusion.

John shook his head, "Is it a fox or a man?"

Kalton's eyes narrowed, "It's a demon...  It shouldn't be here..."

"He's not an onmyouji," Raitoguchi objected.  "He's a priest for another god.  He can see youkai as well as monogatari."

Taito snorted, "Apparently he thinks they're the same thing."

"You practically ar--"

Okuninushi held up his hand, "Enough.  I've heard enough.  I have much work to do with you, Raitoguchi.  If you would rather do it here, then fine.  We can have it that way.  I suggest you get comfortable.  Taito, go ahead and rest yourself.  There's no reason for you to stay in hiding anymore."

The fox protested, "I can't go into my true form here.  I'm simply too big."

Sekuroku smiled, as if the fox had just told a joke.

Okuninushi smiled as well, "True.  Then play us some music from your biwa as I work."

The fox frowned and produced the insrument, "Fine..."

He sat and started playing music as Okuninushi had Raitoguchi strip from the waist up.  A mark was on his back with scratchy characters written over a symbol.  The god started to whisper in his own tongue and the mark lit up.  Raitoguchi was becoming visibly tired as the god worked.  Sekuroku smiled knowledgeably as he spectated the ritual.

***Author's note:  "-san" is a respectable honorific that can be used universally. "sensei" is "teacher".  "-sama" is an honorific used for those one respects greatly.  "Okuni-kun" is a nickname for Okuninushi.  "-kun" is an honorific most commonly used for a close friend that is male.  "No one. . . name!" "Okuni-kun" would be disrespectful since Sekuroku is obviously not Okuninushi's friend.  And "onmyouji" is a person practicing "onmyoudo".  They are known for being able to see "youkai" or spirits.  A "monogatari" is a demon.

The End

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