Well looks like this story is definitely gonna be shorter than AotD orz
Welcome to the land of discrimination. All will make sense later. Probably.
Also look who else is returning in this story hmm. We'll probs be seeing some Oina later too.
Ah, Nippon. This place was so nice when everything was normal. Just like the good old days. Not to mention that the coastline was beautiful at this time of day, an orange tinge appearing in the sky as the sun gradually started to set and the colour reflecting off the water.
Kaguya took a deep breath of the ocean air as she walked along the shore. Even though it wasn't that long since she'd last been here, the place seemed different. Better. Now that Nippon wasn't in any kind of peril, the sound of the waves lapping at the sand was soothing, and the sun was shining warmly once more.
Well, she couldn't stand around here and watch the sea all day. In a few hours the day would be over, and she still hadn't made it to the city.
She adjusted the bag that was slung over one shoulder, being careful not to damage any of the contents inside. Having nowhere else to go, Kaguya had been staying with her adoptive grandfather, Mr. Bamboo. He'd been more than happy to have her back after she'd left on her journey last year. Now she had offered to deliver some of his bamboo ware to the city so that he wouldn't have to make the long journey – he was getting old, after all.
It wasn't long before she noticed someone sitting alone by the shore. A young boy with black hair, who she knew looked familiar somehow…
"Hey… you're… Kuni, right?" she spoke up as she walked past.
The boy glanced around, somewhat surprised. He clearly hadn't noticed her. "Oh, yeah. Hi… erm…" he trailed off. "I-I'm sorry, I forgot your name…"
"Kaguya," she smiled. "What brings you out here? I thought you lived in Kamiki now?"
"I do," Kuni shrugged. "I came out here to see Kagu but… well, I was late, and she kinda got mad at me…"
"That sounds… pretty normal, actually," Kaguya admitted.
"Maybe, but… she seemed even more mad than usual," Kuni sighed. "I apologised but she just told me to leave her alone and stormed off."
"Oh, I see. Now I suppose you're waiting around here to see if she's calmed down in a while, right?"
"Yeah, pretty much."
Kaguya smiled, amused. "Well, I'll leave you to it. I need to get to—"
She broke off, glancing in the direction of the city.
"Huh? What's wrong?" Kuni asked, looking around, confused.
"Can't you hear that?"
The boy was silent for a moment, listening. "Voices? And they don't sound friendly."
"I wonder what's going on," Kaguya mused.
"I'll go check it out," Kuni decided, jumping up.
"No, no, it's okay. I can see from here."
"Oh yeah," Kuni realised. "You can do that seeing-everything thing, right?"
"Yes, but I can't do it if you keep talking to me."
Issun couldn't help but noticed how unhappy Ammy looked as they headed along the path towards Laochi Lake. She wasn't in her usual cheerful running gait, instead simply padding along dejectedly, her tail drooping.
To be honest, Issun didn't feel any better. He didn't want Ammy to leave again. Heck, the last time he'd left her alone she'd nearly been killed by a powerful demon.
Though, if he had been with her, he wouldn't have been able to do his job as a Celestial Envoy. Without everyone praying for her to win the fight, she might have actually died…
Ah, heck. I don't wanna think about this. He shook his head, trying to push the thoughts from his head. He couldn't worry about Ammy now. She was the sun goddess; she was one of the most powerful being in existence. She'd be fine. On the Celestial Plain…
Hurriedly Issun wiped his eyes.
The wolf tried to glance up at him, letting out a quiet whimper.
"What? I-I wasn't crying! Don't be crazy, furball!" he laughed half-heartedly, swallowing hard as he got a lump in his throat. "I just… just… let's keep going, okay?"
Letting out a quiet sigh, Amaterasu nodded.
A moment later they reached the gate to Laochi Lake – it was permanently shut due to the rusted hinges, but there was a large gap in the wall at the side that just about anyone could get through. As soon as they passed through the gap, Issun could clearly see the giant ark hovering above the water. The ice had melted completely since they'd last been here but that wouldn't change the fact that it would be difficult to get onto the giant boat.
The wolf glanced around, letting out a confused grumble.
Issun half-expected there to be the irritating sound of a flute on the breeze, but everything here was silent.
"Doesn't look like there's any way for us – I mean, you… to get on that freaky boat," Issun shrugged. "That prophet's the only one who can open the door."
Amaterasu continued looking around. Then she gave a loud bark.
No reply. No flash of light.
"Bah. Typical, the half-baked prophet is late." Issun grumbled. "Ah well, I'm not complaining. Let's wait around here for a while and see if he shows up. If he's not here in fifteen minutes we go back to Wep'keer, ok?"
Ammy lifted her head to look up at him and gave a half-bark in agreement.
If Waka was going to be late then there was no point waiting around here for ages; they might as well go and find something else to do. What if this was the last time Issun ever saw Ammy? He didn't want her to leave again. Not yet.
Waka hesitated outside the entrance to the city. At the moment the area was quiet, the only sounds coming from the bustling city nearby and the sea behind him.
He'd been meaning to check up on Sei'an and make sure everyone was okay, but now he was considering whether he actually needed to go into the city or not. The last time he'd been here was when the place was attacked by demons, and even then he hadn't actually gone into the city. As a matter of fact, he'd been trying to avoid people as much as possible for the past few weeks…
And besides, he didn't really fancy another episode of Abe trying to hug him.
Perhaps he could just teleport up to the cliffs surrounding the city again. There was a good view of the area from there.
He glanced around and jumped aside just in time as there was a flash of silver, a blade slicing through the air just inches from his arm.
"Excusez-moi, what do you think you are doing?"
He stepped back slightly. His attacker looked like one of the city's guards, judging by the outfit they were wearing. But if this guy was one of the guards, why were they attacking him…?
"I'm protecting the city from intruders. That includes filthy demons like you!"
"Demons?" Waka blinked. "I'm not—"
He didn't have time to finish his sentence as the guard swung the blade at him again. Quick as a flash, Waka drew his katana, blocking the attack and forcing the weapon away.
He narrowed his eyes. "I'm not a demon, but that doesn't mean I'll just stand here and let someone attack me."
This guy may have been one of the city's guards, but that didn't make him brilliant at fighting. After having to face the experienced swordsmanship of Tero, this man was practically a novice.
However, Waka didn't particularly want to get into a fight…
"Don't think I'm stupid enough to fool for your lies!" the guard snapped. "You're not human!"
For a moment Waka froze. He doesn't know that. He just for some reason thinks I'm a demon… mon dieu, what is wrong with this guy? "I'm not a demon and I'm not trying to harm anyone in the city. I suggest you just go back to your job and try getting some more sleep in future, it might help you think clearer."
"For the last time, I'm not a demon!"
The guard tried to attack him again. Frustration starting to get the better of him, Waka lashed out, metal clashing. His defence was so fierce that the guard's weapon went flying out of his hand and embedded itself in the ground nearby.
The second the blades clashed, Waka felt a twinge in his arm. Ow… I thought that was healed by now…
"Stop right there!"
Knowing that the guard was now unarmed, Waka glanced around to see where the voice had come from. Three more guards were racing up the path towards them.
Finally. It's about time someone came here to bring this guy back to reality…
"What's going on here?" the lead guard asked, glancing from the apparently mental guard to Waka.
"You need to employ better workmen," the prophet muttered. "This guy seems to think I'm a—"
"You two, apprehend this man. Or whatever he is."
Before Waka even had a chance to react, the two remaining guards grabbed his arms. He tried to break out of their grasp but it seemed that these guards were at least used to catching their prisoners…
"Laissez-moi passer! I haven't done anything!" he cried, though as he struggled to escape he only ended up getting an aching pain shooting up his arm. Ack… this is the injury I got in Kamui…I guess my arm hadn't healed as well as I thought it had…
"You've attacked one of our guards and are suspected of being a demon," the guard told him simply. "We can't have any of your type around here. You're a threat to the city."
"For your information, he was the one who attacked me," Waka persisted. "And I'm getting fed up of telling you people that I am not a demon!"
"You talk too much," the guard muttered. "Silence him."
Huh? "I don't understand. What the heck is going on here?" Why are the guards so insistent in believing that I'm a demon…?
"That is none of your concern."
Waka didn't have a chance to say anything, as suddenly something hit him in the back of the head and everything went black.