The Hayase Tengu

Kusui finds an ancient family tengu on her way to her family's shrine.

    There are three holy mountains in Japan: Mount Tate, Mount Fuji, and Mount Haku. These mountains are home to the three royal tengu familes. They are Nami of Tate, who rules forgiveness; Mamoru of Fuji, who rules Earth; and Sorano of Haku, who rules sky. My family, Hayase, is home to a long line of yamabushi who take care of Mount Haku, as well as the tengu that live there.

  Ever since ancient times, the Hayase family have taken care of Sorano of Haku, and recieved nothing in return. That is, until three-hundred years ago, when my great-grandmother, Ren, found a wounded baby tengu. From that moment on, the tengu, later named Yasuo, became the spirit familiar of the temple.

Rumor has it that Yasuo was once a member of the Sorano of Haku tengu family, and that they sent down Yasuo to protect us...

   My thoughts are interuppted as a piece of paper is thrown onto my desk. Who could have sent me this? I look up and around my desk... Hiroshi Yukio, the class rep, student council president, and all around good guy. I roll my eyes and take a look at the note. Yukio is a good guy, it's just that he's too good. He's so good, that no one believes there's a wretch behind that beautiful smile. Damn him.

  "Tan Ku; I heard the news about your family's shrine almost being burnt down. Would you like some help setting it back up again? A few friends and I would like to help. Meet me after school in the fifth courtyard. Perhaps, if it would make you feel better, we could do some private mingling with a few other girls later on in the evening. --Yuki"

   My blood boiled as I read the note. What does he think he's doing? That dog! I crumple up the note and shove it in my desk. I wait out the rest of the day with an angry face.

  As the final bell rings I rush to pack up my stuff and exit the class, the lockers only one flight of stairs and a hallway away. The routine set in as I clambered on my bike and rode it all the way home.

  "Kusui! Have you done your evening prayers?" shouted my father from the living area. I roll my eyes and make my way to the front door. "Good, good..." father says as I slip on my shoes and head to the shrine, a half hour walk from our home at the base of the mountain.

   A chill makes its way into me suddenly and I stop to look around. "Hello? ... Anyone there?" There was no response so I kept going up the tall stairs to the shrine, cursing the whole way up why I had to pray two times a day to some impossible tengu family. I doubt they're even real, these tengu. And even if they were, I bet the modern times drove them all away to extinction... not that they existed in the first place, right?

    There was a sudden brustle of leaves and I whisk around to see the culprut of the sound... to no avail. I quicken my steps to the shrine, thoughts of stalkers, rapists, and child kiddnappers blowing through my mind. I see something out of the corner of my eye and I twitch in that direction, only to see nothing. Am I going crazy? There's nothing around here. Of course not! And even if there were, surely it'd only be a small mouse or something... nothing like a tengu, right?

   A small flash of green jumps out of the trees and I do a diveroll out of the way. But the thing lands right where I once stood and runs its way to clasp onto my leg. As I focus on the small, green creature, I realize it closely resembles a tengu...

This beginning surely cannot have a desired outcome.

The End

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