New to Shikigami Girl? Read more on the introductory page
The deafening sound of fire alarms rang throughout the building. We made our way through the raging blaze towards the exit. Kuzuha picked up the Ryusei Sword and sheathed it with her still numb hand. The members of the Judo club stumbled as if they hadn’t yet fully regained their senses. We couldn’t just leave them alone to flee for ourselves.
The pouring water from the sprinklers were like a violent rainstorm in the jungle. The fire was scorching our drenched bodies, but I couldn’t give up. My great grandfather walked through tougher situations on the battlefield while carrying an enemy soldier on his back, so I could do this, right?.
The fire was spreading much faster than I had thought. Haruaki must have placed flaming snakes around the hotel to block other people from intervening. The fire roared. The burning smell of smoke surrounded us.
It was Ryoya’s voice. She noticed us and rushes over. Her face registered no surprise as she saw me with Kuzuha and the members of the Judo club. However, it really wasn’t the time to concern myself with such matters.
“Did everyone evacuate the hotel?” I asked her.
“I think so, but Jasmine went back to the hotel saying she forgot something…”
“What is she thinking?!!”
I knew she was a bit crazy, but this was way too much.
I looked back to where we had walked through. The floor was already engulfed by the fire.
“Hey, I’m here!”
Over the fire came Jasmine’s voice. I could see her face over the flames, smiling fearlessly. Realizing her escape route was blocked by the fire, she declared-
“Great! Bring it on.”
Japan might be perceived as a country full of wonders and attractions. However, it has both good sides and bad sides like any other country, as the people who live in Japan are just humans. It has the same problems as anywhere else, including racial discrimination and poverty. There are always people struggling, and among those are people who tackle their problems head on and overcome them in order to keep on living.
Jasmine is definitely one of these courageous people. Her life must have been a series of struggles as a girl who is foreign, poor and without a family. The fire didn’t scare her. She stepped back and ran towards the fire at full speed.
“Jasmi-iine!” cried Ryoya.
She hopped, skipped and jumped.
Jasmine spectacularly jumped over the firing floor and rolled over from her momentum but stood up immediately.
“Let’s go!” he said nonchalantly, and we set off to escape from the burning hotel. After we left the building, Kuzuha suddenly froze, realizing that all the students who had already evacuated were watching us closely.
Kuzuha hesitated to walk forward, remembering her sorrow experiences of isolation from society because of the fear of her, a Shikigami invoker.
“Hey, have a look at this.”
Jasmine handed a partly burnt notebook to Kuzuha.
“I went back to the hotel to pick this up. You should read this.”
Kuzuha opened the notebook and turned the pages. It was filled with messages from the class.
“Let’s spend time together at school.”
“Although I fear Shikigami invokers, I want to meet you.”
“You should join our club.”
“What are you like?”
That’s what Jasmine and Ryoya were up to in the coach: collecting messages from our classmates to give to Kuzuha, the Shikigami Invoker who protects them.
“If you don’t want to come to school, that’s fine. We don’t want to force you. I just want you to know…” Ryoya began
“Humans aren’t that bad after all.” finished Jasmine.
Kuzuha closed her eyes and embraced the notebook.
A stir spread among the students. A flaming figure was rising from the burning building. It was Haruaki. He had finally transformed himself into a monster. Rather, this monster might be his true self.
“I’ll kill you! I’ll burn you all to death!”
Kuzuha opened her eyes, which were glowing red. She began chanting in front of students who were staring at her intently. I knew what she was thinking.
“I’m not scared of what people think of me, because I’m not alone anymore.”
The notebook turned its pages automatically. Each page flew up and folded itself into an origami figure. Countless origami figures flew around the flaming monster. Their speed increased rapidly.
“Shikigami Ranbu – Wild Dance!”
Kuzuha interlocked her fingers. The paper figures flew round at tremendous speed, creating a violent tornado, with the flaming monster was engulfed in the middle. The strong winds tore the flame apart and blew them out, as if eating the flames.
Suddenly, the tornado disappeared. The now powerless paper figures were showering down quietly. Haruaki was standing alone. He looked miserable, covered with soot and seemed to have burned out all his spirit. He fell to his knees and dropped his head.
Kuzuha and I observed him cautiously. Other students were also looking at him attentively. Haruaki was still frozen. I heard the roaring sound of the fire from the building and wondered when the fire engines would come
Haruaki let out a devilish laugh and staggered to his feet, using Muramasa to prop himself up.
“MUAH HA HA HA HA!”
He started laughing maniacally before pulling the sword and began to shout while brandishing it.
“I won’t be defeated – never! I’m the genuine Shikigami invoker. I can’t be defeated by a girl, a foreigner, a poor abandoned child or a crossdressing pervert. I’m the head of the Shinoda clan, the ruler of Japan!”
“Haruaki, drop the sword.”
As I said it, I heard a little girl’s voice singing from somewhere..
Kago no naka no tori wa
Itsu itsu dete yaru”
“Are you ordering me?”
Haruaki sounded annoyed.
“Yoake no Ban ni
Turu to Kame ga Subetta.”
It was the nursery rhyme.
“Drop the sword now and come here! We’ll get out of here together!”
“Shut your mouth! Shut up!”
Haruaki wasn’t listening to me, still in his worked-up state.
“Ushiro no Shoumen Da～re?”
The giant, poisonous millipede appeared from the raging fire of the hotel. It had re-grown its head and trapped Haruaki between its fangs. It flew away like a dragon and disappeared with the screaming Haruaki in his mouth. Everything happened in a instant. It was impossible to follow, even for Kuzuha.
I heard the sirens of fire engines in the distance.
The incident was never reported in the media. The Japanese government placed a strict information control to prevent any leakage, on the request of Kuzuha’s parents. I heard that the government would pay for the construction of an exact replica of the hotel. Some students resisted the gag order and secretly wrote about their experiences on the internet, but no one took them seriously. There are just too many supernatural stories and urban legends on the internet, so people thought their accounts were just another myth.
I still don’t know my real name or identity. Kuzuha blames herself but I told her, “Don’t worry about it. I still can stay with you, so thank you for that.”
Kuzuha nodded her head. She didn’t shake off my hand this time. When she realized that Jasmine and Ryoya were looking at us smiling, she jumped off from me saying, “Y-you foreigners have no manners!”
The incident changed Kuzuha the most. She picked up every paper figure at the scene and read the messages repeatedly. Their messages made her decide on one particular thing—
Morning arrived and it was time to go to school. Fude-san saw us off at the door.
“Miss Kuzuha, you don’t need to be so nervous…”
She made a wry grin at Kuzuha, but we knew she had a reason to be nervous.
Wearing a school uniform, attending an unfamiliar school, standing in front of a blackboard: she had never experienced any of that. Furthermore, it was her first time meeting the students since the incident during the school trip.
“I-I’m Kuzuha Komyo. I… er … I’m starting at this school today. Please… um … I’m happy if I could … become your…f-friend…”
Kuzuha introduced herself with her shaky voice.
“Nice to meet you all…”
She finished off faintly and bowed to her classmates.
No one said anything. I stood up and started to clap. Jasmine and Ryoya followed me. The students in the classroom followed one by one, clapping, until it turned into a full-blown round of applause with a standing ovation.. She fought back tears and showed us a beautiful smile.
The true story of Kuzuha and I had just begun.
Shikigami Girl: Part One
← Go to Shikigami Girl Chapter 9: Flame of Evil
Don’t forget to check out the Shikigami Girl introductory page for more information on the series, character introductions and more! ↓