Chapter 54 – Oni Extermination 2
We got in Momi-san’s car again and proceeded down the mountain road. The training site was located beyond the Goken family’s mansion, further down the mountain.
“What is this?”
There was a vast flatland created by leveling the mountains.
It was much larger than I had imagined, as if it was designed for training for a large group of people.
And there were several huge blue tarps covering the vast land.
My father and Momi-san begin to carefully remove the blue tarp.
Momi-san finished folding the blue tarp and came back next to me, waiting near the car.
Momi-san explained everything to me without me having to ask.
“The type of formation that we draw directly on the ground is less effective when it gets wet. We had to put down blue tarps to keep them dry. The weather in the mountains is very unpredictable. Do you know that? It can be sunny like today, and then all of a sudden it starts raining.”
Oh, I remember my dad saying something like that when he was teaching me about the formations.
When I first heard that, I thought, “Of course, that’s only natural because the ink would blur.”
I, who solely practice controlling talismans because there are very few formations that I can practice in the courtyard, didn’t think of it right away at first glance.
I guess this is the difference between knowledge and experience, and this is what is missing when learning only in the classroom. Good lesson for me.
I know what the weather is like in the mountains, but let’s just be a kid and be surprised for now. This is the first time I’ve been in the mountains ever in this life.
“Yes, it’s true. Besides there is fog and morning dew in the mountains. Onmyojutsu, that controls water, would be more effective, but it is useless against a Shikigami.”
Some Onmyoji possess attributes based on the Five Elements concept of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.
It is like the famous affinity of a certain pocket-sized monster.
However, since Oni are Shikigami, not Yōkai, this principle of aptitude does not apply to them.
“What kind of attacks would work?”
“You’ll know that when you see the fight. Now, go see how your father is preparing for the fight.”
And so be it.
The battle of Onmyoji usually ends before it begins.
One must take a good look at the precious preparation scene.
“Reverse Motegi-Sakamogi-jin, right?”
“Motegi-Sakamogi-jin formation, right?”
A trench has been carved into the hard-trodden ground, and ink is being poured into it right now.
What my father is creating is a wood formation where huge spears of plants shoot up from the ground like reversed thickets.
No one knows where in the world these plants originate from and how they grow so rapidly to break through the hard ground.
Drawing directly on the earth has the effect of accelerating the spread of spiritual power, but it is too difficult to draw a formation with a brush on the ground with a radius of one meter, regardless of whether it is on paper or drawing it directly on the ground.
The Kyobe family prioritizes simplicity, and this type of formation is made by tilting a jug and pouring ink into a trench.
” I see you have to use a lot of ink.”
This ink, being generously poured, is quite pricey. My eyes widened as I picked up the receipt that had fallen on the floor.
Unlike the commercial ink I use for practice, the ink my father uses for his work is purchased from a specialized store.
Naturally, since it was the same store that sold my brush, the ink was also perfectly suited for Onmyojutsu and was sold at a much higher price than one would expect for a consumable item.
It is such s luxury… Well, now wasn’t the time to show our poverty.
Hmmm… pouring so much that it will overflow out of the trench, as opposed to when I drew a smaller version of it in the courtyard.
“Can the outlines become blurry?”
“Chipping is more of a concern.”
It would be a shame to have a dud in the middle of a battle because the formation was imperfect.
Even if the effect is slightly decreased, the priority must be to ensure success.
After finishing creating the Motegi-Sakamogi-jin formation, my father moves about 10 steps away and crouches down again.
There, as in the previous case, the trench has already been dug, and all that remains is to pour the ink.
This is what he has been doing for the past two weeks, I thought, as he prepared his setup.
Still, it is a ridiculously large formation. Compared to the Motegi-Sakamogi-jin formation, it’s unmatched. I have never seen anything like this…….
“Could this be Ama-no-Iwato?”
This is a type of ward used by Onmyoji who are in the rearguard.
According to the Onmyoji, there are many variations of Ama-no-Iwato, including non-material ones and ones made by raising the ground to create caves.
Onmyoji are generally in the rear guard, so this is a necessary feature.
Onmyoji who inherit the art of summoning are no exception.
Leaving the Shikigami to act as the vanguard, he would hide behind the wards and provide support from the rear.
This is a natural strategy, since if the summoner dies, Shikigami will disappear as well.
“Drawing on the ground means you’re creating some kind of a cave?”
“Physical warding works better.”
Although Ama-no-Iwato has a grand name, it often falls short of the name because its strength depends on the Onmyoji’s ability and effort. Even so, it is said that the strength of the warding is increased by imitating the folklore.
There are various forms, but it is said that the power of the warding can be fully demonstrated when a cave is made in the ground, as in the legend of Ama-no-Iwato*.
This makes it a more powerful defense than other types of wards.
However, this is a really time-consuming process and can only be used when you know in advance that you are going to fight an enemy and have time to prepare properly.