How Youkai Hakkai Got His Limiters


In the High and Far-Off Times, O Best Beloved, youkai Hakkai had no limiters. He had sharp pointed ears, and sharp pointed teeth, and sharp pointed claws, and a very deep cut in his belly, but how he got that is Another Story. He ranged up and down the corridors of the Hundred-Eyed Demon's castle wailing and shrieking, partly because the very deep cut in his belly hurt him hijjusly, and partly because he wanted his nice round ears and his nice straight teeth and his nice smooth fingernails back.

But as he came round the bottom of a circular staircase, he ran slap into a plump and pretty young woman with a cigarette in her mouth and a can of ooloncha in her hand, starting to go up. "Bikkuri!" the woman said, startled. She looked at youkai Hakkai more closely. "Ah, neat," she said. "That vine leaf pattern's a nice touch. I like it."

Youkai Hakkai gave a youkai wail like a ferocious beast's. "Oh," the woman said. "You don't?"

"I'm a man," youkai Hakkai mourned. "I'm not a youkai. I don't want to look like this. Ohh what can I do to become a man again?"

"Anhh," the young woman said. "That's a problem. Once you change forms I don't think you can change back again."

At this youkai Hakkai sat down on the circular staircase and put his shaggy head between his taloned hands and wept great rolling youkai tears. "Oh dear," the woman said, sitting beside him and patting his shoulder, for she was a kind person at heart. "Please don't take on so. I'm sorry, but you're a youkai now, and a very hot one too, *I* think. Isn't that good enough?"

"No," youkai Hakkai said.

"Oh." The woman sounded unhappy and a little hurt. She put the ooloncha onto the step above, ground the cigarette out on the step below, and looked mournfully at Hakkai. "I thought it was a nice plot point myself. You really don't like it?"

"I really don't," youkai Hakkai said. "I'm dying of this cut in my stomach and from grief and despair, and I want to die in my own body."

"You're not really dying, you know," the woman said. "I mean, someone will find you and rescue you and you'll move in with him and be the first and last man he ever carries to his bed. Isn't that good enough?"

"Not if I look like this," youkai Hakkai said. "Who'd want to carry a youkai with fangs and talons and pointed ears to their bed?"

"Anh," the woman said, much struck. "Not Gojyo, certainly. No buracon there, at least not canonically." She chewed her lip and lit another cigarette as she considered the matter. "I can see this is going to be a bigger problem than I thought. Cause if people can't pair you with Gojyo that only leaves Sanzou and he's already on his way to becoming the series slut. What'll we do?" She looked at youkai Hakkai with troubled eyes.

"If you can't change me back, can't you at least make me look normal?"

"Oh!," the woman said, and her face brightened. "Well, maybe I could. There's this neat idea Yuki Kaori-sensei used in Angel Sanctuary that I always wanted to try." She pulled the tab from her tin of ooloncha and bent it between two fingers. "There," she said, affixing it to the edge of youkai Hakkai's ear, and leaned back to view the results. "That restrains your youki. It'll make you look human."

"It will?" youkai Hakkai said dubiously. He didn't feel different at all.

"It will in my settei," the woman said. "But one alone is dweeby. Three's more kakkou ii- one down and two up." She rummaged in her bag, and after taking out a portable CD player, five CDs, three packs of cigarette, a keitai denwa, a case of Coptic markers and the controls for a Playstation 1, she found two more tins of ooloncha. She gave one to youkai Hakkai and kept the other for herself. They ripped off the tabs and put them in youkai Hakkai's ears, and suddenly he wasn't youkai Hakkai any more, but a very badly wounded Cho Gonou. He groaned in pain and terror and the overwhelming agony of what had happened to him, and went stumbling out of the castle into the dark rainy night that would make him hate rainy nights forever after. Hurt and bleeding he made his way down the mountainside and into the outskirts of a little village, where his strength gave out and he fell face forward into a muddy puddle. Before his sight went dark he seemed to see another form bending over him, long red hair wet in the rain. Someone kill me, Cho Gonou thought at the form as he slipped from consciousness. I don't want to live if I have to do it with ooloncha can tabs in my ear.




Dec '02