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Four stories never told about the Oni-Eater

by queasy 1 review

Almost five things that never happened to Haruka.

Category: Tactics - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Characters: Haruka - Warnings: [?] [V] - Published: 2007-01-10 - Updated: 2007-01-10 - 551 words - Complete

Four stories never told about the Oni-Eater

In the first story, he is never sealed in a stone to wait out eternity.

It is spring, and there is a woman waiting beneath the wisteria. She is lovely, she is gentle, she is patient. In her delicate hands she holds a bottle of sake, on her ruby lips is his name, and in her heart is courage. She wants many things from him, but asks only for his love. In that alone she cannot compel his obedience, but there is no need for her command.


In another story, it is summer, and a child is running through the deep, dark wood alone. What becomes of him no one knows, but the wood is full of hidden dangers - traps, wild beasts, youkai. No parents would have failed to warn their children away from the wood, but the child is an orphan, and no one misses him. It is better that he is gone, they say -- he belonged with the creatures in the wood anyway, always seeing strange things that no one else could see.

The tengu sleeps until his seal is broken by an earthquake, and wakes as a child, with no knowledge of his past or of the world.


Autumn comes, and in this story he wakes one red evening, to an outstretched hand and smile. "Wake, Haruka," says his master's voice, and he does, and, the voice continues, "Now name me," as leaves of red and gold fall down around them. It is not the best of all possible stories, but it is a happy one, and it is a long time before this story comes to an end.


His seal is broken in the midst of a hard winter in the next story -- the harshest in years -- after an ice storm that broke down trees and froze ponds entire. He wakes ravenous.

The one who broke his seal is an oni, a small, piteous creature, gaunt and half-frozen, crying its rage and envy to the wind. She beats at him with small hands, bites him when he grabs her arms. "It was your fault! It was you, it was always and only you he cared for, and now he is dead of wanting you. It's all your fault!"

Oni never make sense. They become oni because their passions have overcome their reason. He does not pay the wild accusations any mind, and she continues to rave and blame him as he breaks her bones to suck out the marrow.


One story does not begin with the breaking of his seal. When his seal was broken he does not remember. He knows only that he is ravenous. He has been moving about, away from the stone and using his powers, subsisting too long on pale human food, for reasons he cannot recall. He doesn't care. He is starving.

The oni pinned beneath him is not struggling. The oni's hands are gentle on his face, and the oni is whispering soft words against his ear. "All I wanted was to be strong," the oni tells him, bitter and hate-filled. "I thought that having you would make me strong. But it didn't. It made you weak."

Perhaps he knows the oni. Perhaps he understands the words. He doesn't care. He is starving.

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