365 Writing · Stories

Jin and the Solstice of Blood (Part 24)

It wasn’t too long before I reached my home, I had half forgotten about Chihiro whom I had left tied up. She was gone. But, I guess my skills in tying knots was lacking… My new cat was still there, though I saw he had gotten into the remainder of my food.

I suppose I should have been more worried about Chihiro escaping. However, she was the least of my worries at the moment. I grabbed the ritual supplies that Ikiru instructed me to bring, pet the cat who was rubbing up against my legs and purring and left again as quickly as I could. The storm was blowing so hard I was afraid it would destroy my little shack, but it seemed to remain steadfast as I looked back at it. Hopefully, it would still be there when I got back… if I got back.

The storm picked up even more as I wove my way back into the heart of the city. Ikiru said that a place of suffering and hardship was likely to have an entrance to Yomi somewhere, so I went for the very heart of the slums.

Naoshima had become so wealthy in recent years that it had attracted more and more people to it from all over the empire. This also meant that more and more people of all backgrounds began to gather here. No matter how much wealth a city had to offer, there would always be others who did not. This was the same for Naoshima, and the poor gathered in droves. Many were forced to live and take refuge in the sewers, living like animals in makeshift beds, often stacked upon each other. They said that hundreds died there every day from the terrible conditions. It was only once the stench became so bad that the surrounding neighborhoods could smell it that the city stepped in. Of course, their way of stepping in was to round of vagrants and kill or imprison them.

If there were an entrance to Yomi in Naoshima, it would be here.