Kaidan: The Rengoku Legends - Futarimae, The Odachi Spirit

Created for 5th Column for our project; https://kaidanuniverse.com
In the daytime, she would gather moths in jars. At night, he let them out one by one into the fire. They might have been siblings, might have been lovers, their love waxing and waning with the moon. His skin was patterned with leaf marks, hers milky-pale and hairless. No one knows what they were.

Years went by, each as full as the last. He gave himself to the moon, harsh and ever changing, she to the wood, growing old and young and old again. They lived between the world of men and the world of the spirits, belonging to neither one nor the other, living on petals and tree sap, walking where burned moth wings littered the ground like fallen leaves.

They say in their last years they had lost of themselves so much they had become the same, locked in an embrace long enough their skin had melded, as though unable to recall to whom it belonged. They died upon a thin blanket of leaves, their bones intertwined like willow-roots, as the moths flew through their eyes and empty rib cages.

From within their child crawled, out of their empty bodies.It crawled to the nearest river and was swept away, only to be washed up on a battlefield. It was slain many times there, its essence hacked apart and apart again, constantly reborn among a sea of blades and blood, rebuilding itself from limbs.

This battlefield stalker hunts that which was lost. Among the chorus of dying breaths, the half-spirit seeks the love of the moon and the wood, and through slaughter it calls for its parents. When war comes to Ikaiguchi, it rises from the killing fields, always hunting, as bodies fall like the wings of moths.