BTOG 136 – Master Kokuyo(Obsidian)

“Stop, you red-robed oni.”
“N?”

Although there were some detours, I finally arrived at the oni village.
Excited, I went to the gate and was stopped by a firm voice.

The owner of the voice slowly descended to my position from above. I didn’t notice her at all. Was she standing on top of the gate?

“A demonic aura is leaking from all over your body. There’s no way I will let you pass the gate.”

Her voice was like that of a grown woman, but the person in front of me was a girl shorter than me, wearing a black kimono.
She was looking at me with a very sharp gaze. I don’t know why, but she seems to be very wary of me.

“That’s unusual. Especially for Kokuyo, the gatekeeper to say that much.”

In contrast to her confusion, Meguru said this in a light tone.
She’s been in the oni village for quite a while now, so it’s no surprise that she knows her.

I wonder if Kokuyo{Obsidian} is her actual name, that’s a name very fitting for her since she’s a girl with beautiful black hair.

“Yes, I’ve been keeping an eye on the village because there was a sign of youki{demonic aura} I could not ignore. Do you know each other?”
“That’s right, she’s Kohaku apprentice.”
“What?”

The girl froze for a moment and then turned her gaze to me.
She observed me from the tip of my hair to my toe, then she lost herself in a moment of thought and nodded as if she was convinced of something.
She then relaxed her guard.

“…so that’s how it is? That’s reasonable.”

Wait, since when did I become Kohaku apprentice?
And that one word is enough to convince you?
I’m not sure what [youki] means in the first place. Does she mean I’m a cheerful… youkai? Umm, well… oni is a type of youkai; I wonder if she meant it like that. {tln, also cheerful youkai is a word play}

“Pardon me for my rudeness. I’m Kokuyo. I heard about you from Kohaku-sama.”
“My name is Sukuna. Nice to meet you.”
“Sukuna, welcome to the oni village, and let me welcome you as our new friends.”

The sharp gaze she had earlier was completely gone, and Kokuyo welcomed me with a warm expression.

“Sukuna, did you come here to find a way to break the curse?”
“Yes, that’s right.”


====.

Now it was around three o’clock in the afternoon.
After somewhat avoiding unnecessary trouble, I walked through the oni village guided by Kokuyo.
I just realized now, but… everyone seems to dislike my polite language, don’t they? It’s not that I want to speak stiffly either, and I’ve been using only polite language when I was working as a part-timer.
I’m glad she didn’t mind it, though.

By the way, I parted ways with Meguru at the entrance of the village because she wanted to go report her quest.
I can only thank Meguru for guiding me here, but when I told her that, she laughed and said, “You’ve given me more than enough just by defeating that boss.”
I had a hunch that I’d be around this village for a while, and I hope we can fight together again in the future.

And by the way, the reason why Kokuyo is with me is because of the curse that is eating away my entire body.
The erosion of the Kishin. A something I gained as a side-effect of having used a dead skill, this curse greatly restricts the use of status and skills.
Apparently, this curse is spreading [youki] that Kokuyo mentioned earlier to a frightening degree.
Especially to oni folk, this curse will give them terrible pressure that will affect my surrounding daily activities.

“That’s probably the reason why you weren’t attacked by any monsters on your way here. The monsters in the vicinity of this village are very sensitive to magical energy.”
“I see. So the cause of the change is me.”

Was it a good or bad thing?
Well, it’s good that I don’t have to be vigilant about any anomalies that will happen anymore. If something like true dragon attacking again, it would be really bad.
Let’s return to the topic at hand; currently, there’s nothing I can do about this curse, and it’s doesn’t seem that they will ban me from the village.
Even so, there was a possibility that it would cause stress to the residents, so Kokuyo suggested that I get a bracelet called the [Hozuki Armband]{Oni’s light armband} that would suppress the youki.

She said that it would suppress the youki to the point where I could walk around without causing any problem in the village.

She also adds that she has no idea how to break the curse.

“In the first place, information about Kishin herself is a sensitive subject in this village. But the old-timers of the village may know something about it…”
“Well, I hope to at least some kind of clues.”
“You are also blessed by Kishin. And I’ve heard that the equipment you wear is proof that you defeated the red wolf, and above all, the curse is the power of the Kishin herself. I’m sure the village chief will be kind to you.”
“I do hope so.”

Just in case, I’m currently equipping a title that will increase the affection of the oni tribe NPCs.
I still don’t know if it is effective or not, and the village’s residents still stare at me because of my youki… I wish I could get better sooner since I don’t want to be treated like something weird.
But even if I equip the bracelet, it cannot completely stop this leaking, but it will considerably reduce the flow of youki.

From what I see, Kokuyo is someone who’s earned the trust of villagers. The residents’ faces twitched when they saw me, but then they looked relieved when they saw Kokuyo next to me, so my title may not mean too much right now.
She is only about 130cm tall, but her presence is immeasurable.
I know from Kohaku that age and look didn’t match for the oni folk. Is it possible that this Kokuyo is much older than Kohaku?

“Sukuna, I heard that you inherited [Oni no Mai] from Kohaku-sama?”
“Oh, yeah. That’s right.”
“A little while ago, Kohaku-sama returned home, which is rare for her. She told us with great joy that she had taken her first apprentice. We were very surprised to hear that she’s been known as a loner in all these years. No one could imagine that she will take someone as her disciple.”

Her words were filled with kindness as if she were a parent watching over her child. I could tell that she cared about Kohaku.
And then I remembered, Kohaku had once been expelled from her hometown.
The cause was the rage she unleased, and she destroyed half of the village in the process.
Eventually, they reconciled, and now she is traveling to the outside world in search of the key to unlock the Kishin seal.
And after assessing the many oni tribes, she found the key: us, the players, who traveled from the otherworld.

By the way, she stationed herself in the city of beginning during the event. Perhaps she was there to protect the people.
Now that I mention it, I don’t know what Kohaku usually does.

“Um, Kokuyo. I don’t know what Kohaku does in her daily life. She is a princess of the oni tribe, right?”
“Yes, that’s correct. She is a direct descendant of Kishin, or more accurately known as the Kamiko(Miko) {god’s child} clan. She truly is a person with noble blood. “

I see, so she’s literally a God’s child with God’s blood.

“Fufufu… She has been mischievous since he was a child. by the way, I was the one who taught Kohaku-sama how to fight.”
“Heee… Kokuyo is my Grandmaster then?”
“That’s right, in a way, Sukuna is my grand apprentice. Kohaku-sama was the first of my pupils to reach the [End Ceremony] and earn the title of master. She was my disciple for a short time. I think that was about five years… But she does come to see me from time to time. I guess disciples are always so cute, aren’t they?”

She smiles lovingly as she talks about Kohaku. It must be nice to know that the disciples you loved so much still remember to show their faces to you.

The art of [Oni no Mai] is learned depending on the STR value. If we only consider this setting, it is inevitable that Kohaku, whose level-up bonuses are all focused on STR, will be the fastest to master Oni no Mai.
Though that was not the same case for the [End Ceremony]
And although we know the number of STR we need to learn up to [Fifth Form – Douji no Kata], the [End Ceremony] remains a mystery.

Kohaku told me once. The [End Ceremony] is a mirror of your life.
It seems that Kohaku’s [End Ceremony] manifested as a one-hit kill utilizing her immense STR value, but what kind of technique does Kokuyo have? I was a little curious about that.

“This is the village chief’s residence.”

Kokuyo’s voice startled me.
Without realizing it, we had walked quite a distance from the gate and had arrived in front of a large mansion gate.

“The village chief, huh?”

The head of this oni village.
I was really looking forward to meeting him, to see what kind of person he is.

====.

Tl note:
[Hozuki Armband]{Hozuki = Oni’s light, light as in ray of light}

Ok, we need to talk about [Youkai]
I can lazily translate it as a ghost/spiritual being, but I choose not to do that since this will affect the meaning of many words of my translation.
I believe most of my readers understand what youkai means, but let me elaborate it a little for those who do not.
Youkai, or some people may call ghost/devil/spiritual being, is actually a correct interpretation of it. While youkai leaning towards evil, many folklores sometimes portray them as neutral beings; some of them are good, others are bad. Some are mischievous others are wise.
It is also not entirely wrong to call them spiritual beings, except… there’s always an exception for that too. Oni, for example, were often portrayed as a savage tribe, much like an ogre, while they are similar, but in fact, are not the same. You can read a further explanation about oni in wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oni
But in the end, they also belong to one type of ‘youkai’ while not being a spirit or ghost. So, there you have it, the border between spirit/monster/ghost is too vague with the word ‘youkai’. It’s odd to force adapt it to the English word.
I think I have blabbered a little bit too long, but… what I want to say is… it’s troublesome to change native words since it will change their meaning too much. So I will leave youkai as youkai.

edit 1: comment is working now… and it means my battle with spammer has begun, give me a few days to resolve this…

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3 Responses

  1. rooislangwtf says:

    Thanks

  2. Kitsune says:

    Thanks for the chaper~

    I do wonder if going to the village will really cure her, or if she just get’s told to go to the shrine at the edge.

  3. golden skeleton says:

    thank for the chapter

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