It was considered rather superstitious to believe that unfortunate events occurred exceedingly during a blood moon. The world of Earthland was boiling with arcane powers that tipped the scale of power forth and back on a constant basis, and anything could happen at a moment’s notice. Humans, non-humans, any sentient and non-sentient organism accepted this as a way of life, for which they managed to live so long. But there were outlines to this secured way of life… such as the sudden, unprovoked slaughter of officials at an ancient Shinto shrine.
Sightings were only from nearby civilians. The officials were almost singled out among the crowds present at the temple dedicated to a divine incarnation of Princess Kaguya. It was a typical exhibition of the temple to the Midijin folk of today, who held the ancient gods in high respect despite the changes in time. Midi loved tradition, after all…
But the moon was greyish white. What occurred after the sudden arrival of it was said to have been so ferocious, so tremendous that it altered the weather itself. A single figure sliced the temple’s roof in half. It all came crashing down, killing a few visitors. The priests present panicked and attempted to call for the guards, the armed Samurai present, to aid – and then, spray flew up in the air. Spraying vapor of blood created a sickening mist – priests and Samurai alike were turned to paste by the grinding sound of a blade colliding with the wind itself. The vapor from their splattered blood was said to have been so much that the air turned crimson, and the view of the moon turned a shade of red that night.
All of this death caused by a singular entity clad in a wide, white haori with a black gi underneath. Long, black hair was associated with the entity as well, albeit the big haori and the hair made it difficult to determine their sex or any other physical characteristics. However, the entity carried a blade red as blood, redder than pepper, a sickening shade of red.
And the blade highly resembled the blade of a certain, other Midijin swordslinger. A rather famous one at that… and rumors began to spread like a wildfire.
The sighting of a colossal, blue serpentine dragon was also food for rumors. Cloudy skies revealed its shadow traveling across the heavens, bearing with it heavy downpour as Minazawa was reached. Mura was understandably pissed all the way off – while reception back in Fiore still considered him a hero on all rights, Midijins didn’t know any better… and they were the prime victims of these murders. The rumors told of a person whose description and prowess matched his, so… could it have been Mura all along? Who knew him well enough to say otherwise?
Mura hadn’t managed to leap off Sei-chan’s draconian back and land his feet on the streets of Minazawa before being swarmed by arcane Samurai. “Wait! I’m here to find the real mass murderer! It’s not what you think!” Mura tried to quickly cut the bullshit and make things clear to them, but without tangible evidence, the Samurai couldn’t trust him fully… not quite yet. They were dealing with a God of Ishgar, and no safeties were too much against a threat like him. Midi knew of their representation among the 10 Wizard Saints too well… and yet not quite well enough.
“We have orders to apprehend you as best we can, Kenshō Mura…!”
Mura always felt so nostalgic about his home country, but to think that these feelings of homesickness would be drowning under dread like this was torture in and of itself. Even the way his name was mentioned was a mixture of confusion, pain and memory of old times. “… I don’t get it. Apologies, but your haori…” One of the Samurai would point at Mura’s orange haori – worn and battle-scarred, it was a sign that he wore it often. “Don’t you always wear that one?”
“Narakima! Don’t be fooled by a mere change in his wardrobe – take a glance at the scabbard on his back!”
All the other skeptical Samurai turned to dreaded fury once they glanced over the blood-red scabbard. That sword was notorious for one thing and one thing only – blood. “It… no, you b-b-bastard… after all you’ve done for us…”
“What the hell are you on about, you guys?!”
“YOU DON’T HAVE ANY RIGHT TO TALK! I DON’T CARE HOW POWERFUL YOU’VE BECOME, THERE’S A LIMIT TO THINGS IN LIFE AND YOU’VE BROKEN ONE OF THE MOST HALLOWED OF THEM!!!”
“I thought the Gesshoku was stolen and disappeared with the late Daimyō 10 years ago, b-but if it’s in your hands, then everything makes sense…”
“Y-You succumbed to its whisper, too?! I’m sorry Kenshō-san... but you’re too dangerous to be left ALIVE!!!”
At the end, Mura could never forgive himself if he spilled innocent blood – especially that of Midijin blood. He sought refuge with superhuman speed, escaping the charging eyes of the Samurai, and found himself in hiding near the temple of Tsukuyomi, one of the two big temples of Midi’s capital. Tsukuyomi, the moon, and Amaterasu, the sun. Two siblings, male and female. The dark and the light. These two embodiments meant the world to Midi… and Mura was hiding near one of their temples as if a criminal, despite everything he’d sacrificed for all of Earthland. Midi was synonymous with old wounds, aching scars under his skin, but he had to endure for the better of all.
It was soon to be Tsukimi, the Moon Festival. Mura had an inkling, but it was impending doom that awaited them… and yet, this taste of blood in the air would answer a lot of questions. What was wrong with his sword, Gesshoku? Was it cursed? Was he under its spell without realizing it, or… was he being framed by someone? Was this all a setup?!
Who was behind these killings? Why at temples only? If the pattern was solid, then… Tsukimi would meet a grievous end. Minazawa’s main street was tilting downwards, coated in stairs and raspy stone for foothold. Paper lamps held up in the air, booths raised in high spirits, people tried to live their lives as they always had and celebrate what they always enjoyed. Tsukimi, Tsukimi…
There was a metallic taste of blood in the air. Mura had used the distraction of preparing for the festival to enter Tsukuyomi’s temple, but it was getting dark, and the moon above granted only dim lighting inside the hall. Tsukuyomi loomed around him, as if visibly alerted by the intrusion of an evil force of nature… but Mura was a kind spirit and a valiant hero, albeit his standing around made him come off as timid and confused?