A mysterious girl, a ghost, and an ancient treasure...
The Anasaka Ghost
Part One: Haunted
During a dark night in a creepy forest, the clouds cleared the moonlight, the crickets jumped, and the animals rested for a silent night. The closest city from this forest was Kyoto, the legendary, cultural, and former capital of Japan. But that was at least one hundred kilometers away. The wind blew softly rattling the trees.
Kyshi, a man whispered as footsteps approached. He referred to a young man, barely twenty years old, leading a group of hikers into the forest. Their flashlights glowed all around them as they entered. Each of them wore a badge insinuating that they were members of the AADT (Ancient Architectural Discovery Team). They secretly hunted at night to get results before other teams do.
Kyshi, the same man called again. How far ahead?
Kyshi looked at the map in his hands and estimated about seventy-five meters more. His flashlight twinkled, then blinked out. The other team members flashlights also went out. A large huff of wind blew and knocked the map out of Kyshis hands. They were lost, deep in a deserted forest where no one could help them.
A sudden flash of light blinded them, but faded soon after. A glowing figure stood before them, her dress and hair danced with the wind. Her eyes were covered by her bangs, but to Kyshi alone, her eyes were visible. Her kimono was torn and dirty and she hung a sign of death on her face.
Leave this forest, she said in a soft tone. You must leave this area and never come back.
Who are you? You cant make us leave, Kyshi yelled at the ghost.
Oh really? she said as the leaves started to circle her and her hair blew upwards covering the moonlight and waving at the sky. She floated up and charged towards them. They ran, but a few older men were left behind. She quickly grabbed some leaves and threw them. The razor-sharp edges of the leaves cut through their skin and they died instantly.
The remaining ran for about twenty minutes; five more were lost on the way. She grabbed more leaves and was about the strike the remaining four people when they ran out of the forest and found themselves at the west side when they have entered from in the north. The spirit was not behind them; it couldnt leave the forest.
The four collapsed on the ground, panting heavily for air. When they finally regained their breaths, they found that they were lost. A flash of thunder from a distant cloud frightened them and they ran for cover with the heavy rain charging behind. A cavern seemed to be the best hiding place for the night. As they descended with their flashlights into the dark deserted cave, there was a light from another source, from within.
Who are you? a voice came. The light glowed on a girl. She was pale and was a lot like the ghost. Kyshi recognized her eyes as the same as the spirits.
Im Mitsukaru Kyshi, he introduced himself. Eight of our people died in the forest by a ghost.
I see, she said and then led them deeper into the cave. She gave them food and allowed them to stay for the night. She said nothing of the ghost and Kyshi was afraid to ask her.
The next morning, Kyshi woke up. There were four bowls of soup on the table. The girl was nowhere in sight. They gathered their things, ate the food, left a thank you note, and left the cave.
The whole day was spent walking through the forest. There was nothing unusual, just trees, trees, and more trees. Could there really be nothing in this forest?
Noon came and hunger struck the travelers. A deer drank from a pond nearby. Kyshi slowly drew out a small knife. He threw it with precision and accuracy in the deers direction. The rapid knife was about two inches away from the target when a hand went up and grabbed it. The deer ran way; the girl saved it.
Leave the forest animals alone, she said.
Its you again, Kyshi said. Can you help us?
I helped you, I warned you, and now I must leave you, she then left them alone.
Night fell; the forest was dark and creepy again. A hush of wind blew and the ghost came again. Why havent you left? You will all die now, she yelled angrily.
The four started to run but froze in their steps. Her leaves cut through and killed the three other team members. Kyshi stood there frozen. She deeply cut his right arm. The blood dripped onto the forest ground. I will have fun destroying you, Kyshi, she said. She took one leaf and charged it at him.
A whistle from behind him froze the ghost. It then disappeared. The spell was broken, and he fell on the forest ground unconscious. With his last gulp, he saw the girl standing before him and then it all went black.
He woke up the next morning with bandages covering him. He was injured in more places than just his arm. He identified the place as the same cave he was in before. The girl came in; she brought him some fresh herbs and warm water.
You met the ghost didnt you? She asked.
Who are you? Whats with this ghost? he asked.
You are here to find the treasure, arent you?
Yes, he said hanging his head in shame.
Ill tell you, since you are lucky to survive the attack, she said, My name is Seito Anasaka, after Queen Anasaka, who lived in this forest three thousand years ago. She is buried here with lots of treasures that would be very valuable today. Many groups like yours come to find it, but the Anasaka ghost killed them all. She is the spirit that guides the night. She will let no one pass.
Really, so no one in the past has been successful?
No, she said, then reached for a purchased train ticket and handed it to him. Go home and never come again.
That afternoon, Kyshi went on the train and wondered what to tell the boss about the others. Should he come back? What was the girl doing here? Whose ghost was that, the queens or the girls? The ghost did look a lot like her, or could they both be the queen herself? This ancient myth will be proven real. He must wait for another chance.
Part Two: Secret
A year later, Kyshis family wanted him to get married. One girl after another, he disliked them all. He still had a mysterious feeling for the mysterious girl he had met. She was not like the city girls; she was cold, hidden, and almost ghost-like. He spent days wondering about the situation a year ago.
The next day, he went to the Peoples Directory Center for the city and rural area of Kyoto. Good morning. Can I have a directory for the Seito family? he asked the lady.
Seito, she repeated while searching on her computer. There is no family name of Seito in these records.
Thank you, he said, while heading towards the doors.
But wait, there is a record, but it is from 1980, she said as Kyshi was suddenly filled with delight. Seito Anasaka, is that who you are looking for?
Yes, he replied.
But, Im sorry, she died that year. Thats why we dont have a record of her.
Who were her parents? he asked.
It doesnt say. She lived in Kyoto until she died when she was 3 years old.
Kyshi sighed, Thank you, youve been a big help. He then left the Directory Center. What was Kyshi getting himself into? Was there actually some uncanny power at work here? Did he have the guts to find out?
The next day, he took the train to the forest were he first saw the girl. He did not dare enter the forest; he just walked around it, into the dark cave. The sun was still shining outside; therefore Anasaka was not home. He made himself comfortable and waited patiently for her while thinking about all the strange acquaintances they had last time.
He almost fell asleep sitting there. When the sun set over the flaming horizon, her shadow appeared at the entrance of the cave. Kyshi, she said in surprise. Why are you back?
She startled him and he sat up straight, dusting himself. I want to know the truth. Are you really dead?
Whats it to you? she said arrogantly.
Ive never dealt with supernatural beings before, and you seem to be hiding something, something I should know.
Go away, she turned, heading out of the cave. Just then, he grabbed her arm. They stared at each other for a long time. He looked into her dark eyes, deeper and deeper. Slowly an image started to appear. A girl lay dead on the ground while spectators hovered around. A small boy was in the crowd: him...
He gasped and moved away. Youre the girl.
Yes, she said, so you remembered our acquaintance sixteen years ago. Kyshi did not know what to say. She walked into the room and sat down. Kyshi sat down as well. She then began her story seeing that there was no way he would leave without the full explanation. I am a reincarnation of Queen Anasaka. This all starts from her reign. Her parents ruled a very peaceful kingdom back then and the Princess Anasaka was the joy of their lives. One night, a secret organization of bandits came to the palace to steal the sacred Seiryu crystal, which was said to be the bringer of peace and prosperity. The Queen and King tried to protect it, but were killed in the confusion. They risked everything to save it. The crystal was hidden with Princess Anasaka, who was hiding in the servants rooms. When she grew up, she became a wonderful Queen. In honor of her parents, she built a protective temple, where the crystal was to be kept. This was also to be her tomb when she passed on.
When the temple was done, her kingdom was invaded by the same organizations once more. She escaped to the temple at once to use the powers of the crystal. She put on a good fight, but accidentally it was grabbed by one of the bandits. And because the crystal was connected to her at the time, she died instantly.
Immediately, her body was protected by a glass shield and the city turned a forest. The bandits, her people, and buildings all turned into lush tall trees. The one with the crystal escaped with a few others. They never came back again.
She paused for a second.
Wow, Kyshi said sadly, I never knew something this shocking and magical happened here. Its amazing. Where do you come in and what about the crystal?
Be patient, she said, Ill tell you. She then got some tea and took a sip. A thousand years later, Queen Anasaka reincarnated herself into...well...me. I was to find the crystal and bring it back. But when I was created, a shadow appeared. There was an error in the process and she was created. She is a dark shadow of me. She guards the forest at night, killing all that enters it. I left the forest, thinking that the ghost will take care of it and I went all over Japan. Appearing in each city as a small child, and dying. Then I would be born into another city. For the last two thousand years, I have done that. By now, I have searched each city twice. I came back to Kyoto in 1980. But my time there was short lived. One night, while I was walking though the dark streets, thieves were robbing a home nearby and I thought they could be the bandits. I was in the form of a three-year-old, and they stabbed me.
Wait, does this mean you have magic? Kyshi asked.
Of course, how do you think I have survived all these thousands of years? Anyway, in the morning all the people of Kyoto came to see the poor little dead girl. I couldnt just walk up and leave. Everyone would have seen that. Thats when I decided to use you, an innocent little kid. I controlled you telepathically, making you bring a written will. It said to bury me in this forest. This way I can spring up again and people will stay away because of the ghost. Ive been here ever since.
So, is that why the ghost didnt kill me? he asked. Because I helped you escape?
Well, the ghost kills everyone. But thats why I helped you.
Wow, its been a long night. I have learned plenty and even some things that I wish I hadnt.
But the crystal is still out there. Hidden with the ancient bandits. I will keep looking.
Let me help you, he said. This is something that I want to take part of.
It will be dangerous, but you seem to be lucky. So welcome aboard. Well leave tomorrow. Try to get some sleep. She then walked out of the room.
Part Three: Sorrow
The dew dropped off of the dying petal. The light struck the water drop, bringing rainbow colors to the soft forest ground. It then spattered all over the ground. The light scattered as well. Then the colors disappeared as the dew was taken into the soil. Anasaka watched, wondering about the day ahead.
Anasaka, Kyshis voice came out of the cave. Oh, there you are.
Look, Kyshi, she spoke in a ghostly tone. Look at the damp forest ground. They were lives once: my people. And yet, I have betrayed them. I spent a century looking, not knowing exactly where and exactly how. Im useless. Oh, Queen Anasaka, Ive failed you. She broke down. He quickly held her up. Dont bother helping me. Go, take on your dream, and dont waste your time with this fairytale legend. Mankind has long evolved from the magical past, you wouldnt possibly understand. Kyshi looked around, not knowing what to say best.
There was a ruffle in the treetops. A branch broke and two corpses fell right before them. No, she yelled, covering her eyes. More innocent victims. The ghost is getting stronger. I must be on my way.
Im coming too, he chased after her.
No, this is my destiny, she said.
At least let me take you to my great-uncle's temple, he said. He studied myths and legends in college. Its on Oshigato Mountain, not far from here.
Temple of Oshigato... she thought.
Yes, you heard of it, he asked.
Yes. She then gestured, as if lifting air. They rose from the ground and flew towards the ancient mountain. Upon arrival they met Kyshis great-uncle.
Kyshi, what brings you here? he said with a smile.
Oh, hi, Great-uncle, Kyshi said. This is my friend, Anasaka. We were wondering if we could ask you about something to do with myths and le...
Wait, Kyshi, she suddenly demanded. I sense something. She turned around sharply. There stood a twenty foot gold statue of Buddha. She stared at it intensely. The statue cracked, it split right down the center. Oni... she whispered. Inside the statue was a gargantuan stone carving of Oni, the demon. What is this? she yelled at Kyshi.
What, how could this be? Kyshi then looked at his great-uncle, who was about to have a heart attack, shaking his head as he trembled.
Wait, she yelled. Look at his right eye. The jewel sparkled. It then moved out of the eye slot and floated down into Anasakas hands. Her eyes were glued to the shining jewel. Within a name revealed. Mitsukaru... she whispered. Kyshi, she looked at him with worry and disbelief in her eyes. You are the descendent of those ancient bandits. Her hands then moved on its own into a position in preparation to attack. No, she yelled. Stop, Seiryu crystal. Dont destroy Kyshi.
It was too late. It blasted out golden light. After the light dimmed, Kyshi stood there with blood all over, panting hard. Kyshi, the crystal dropped from her hands. She ran to him, ripping her dress to help heal the wounds. Im sorry, Im so sorry. He turned his head, seeing his dead relative.
He hugged her. Dont worry. This is nothing compared to the decades of pain and suffering that my ancestors have cost you.
I better send you back to Kyoto.
No, he said. I want to fight with you till the end. I must do it; my family owes it to you.
Please dont. I dont want you to get hurt. I love you, Kyshi. Although my life has been meaningless up until this point, I dont want the only thing that matters to me to get killed. Ive seen what this dreadful legend has done. The ghost kills, the crystal hides, and the useless me standing alone in the rain.
I love you, too. Thats why I want to spend every moment we have together. I want to help you; I want to see you happy for once. Let me come with you. He held her tightly in his arms. A tear dripped down her face and landed on one of his wounds. It healed instantly. Lets go, Anasaka.
She stood up. The crystal was still on the ground. Kyshi, can you please take the crystal? Im afraid it will take over my body and attack you again. Its way too powerful. Theres no border to its power. Kyshi nodded and picked it up. The next destination was the forest where this whole nightmare started and was soon will end.
Anasaka, Kyshi asked. Whats the significance of Oshigato Mountain anyway?
Its the hind out of the bandits, I guess. Actually, I came here a few decades ago. It was held by some force field. I couldn't get near it. Someone probably put it up using the crystals magic. They flew into the red sunset, holding hands, and with stronger hearts.
Part Four: Destiny
At dawn of the next morning, Anasaka and Kyshi prepared for the long day ahead. They stood outside the forest as the wind blew hard. Queen Anasaka, she thought to herself. I am here. I have achieved my goal; I will not fail you. They walked into the dark forest.
After a mile of hiking, Anasaka suddenly sensed something from behind. She turned around, but it was gone. Kyshi, she said. I feel anothers presence. They stood back-to-back, looking all around for any strange movements.
Suddenly, a burst of white came charging at Kyshi. He fell, losing the crystal. It landed in front of Anasaka. She just stood there and watched as the ghost hovered over him, strangling, punching, and cutting. She grabbed for a large leaf. The edge reflected the rays of the sun into Anasakas eyes. Kyshi, watch out! She rapidly dived for the crystal. With determination, large beams of light shot out and blasted the ghost to the other end of the forest.
She stared at it as it danced with golden sparkles. How was I able to control it this time? she thought to herself. Does it react with my will? Does this mean that I really wanted to kill Kyshi back then? She held it to her heart.
Um...I could use a little help here, Kyshi startled her.
Oh, Im sorry, she went to help him up, are you all right? He nodded. Thats went they realized the stone temple stood in front of them. The temple. It must have been revealed when I used the crystals magic.
But how are we going to get in? he asked. A small beam of light shot into an opening of the temple. Never mind.
Following the guiding light, they walked directly to the tomb. It was a large open area with light coming in from the ceiling. Everything was made of pure gold and the walls were beautifully decorated. We did it, Kyshi, she hugged him. We finally did it. Her eyes were full of color and a smile came across her face. The crystal should be placed on the tomb. Thank you for everything.
There was a loud bang on the wall, followed by another. Then the wall cracked and the ghost appeared. Bandit, you must die. She looked at Kyshi as she gathered her powers. Anasaka quickly used the crystals magic. The two powers evened out and blew up in a puff of smoke. You! the ghost said angrily. Get out of the way. Dont you know the bandit is among us?
I wont let you hurt Kyshi, she said. How are you able to survive in the broad daylight anyway?
If the blood of a bandit is within this forest, I will destroy it no matter light or night. Besides, what do you have with this mortal anyways? As soon as the crystal is back in place, you will disappear too.
She was shocked. Its true. Ill never be able to stay forever. Kyshi... Her eyes were filled with tears, and sorrow came upon her. She tossed him the crystal, Do it now! End this nightmare.
But you will leave, he said softly.
Just do it, she yelled. The longer you stall, the more pain I feel. The ghost started attacking him again. Without the crystal, Anasaka had to use all the power within her to keep the ghost back. Do it, Kyshi. It is my destiny. Please do it. Her power collapsed and ragging razor cuts were seen. Bleeding with pain, she looked at Kyshi. He muttered the words, Im sorry, and placed the crystal in its rightful place. There was a large glow of light. The ghost vanished a second later, but Anasaka was till there. He ran to her, comforting her as much as possible.
You did it, Kyshi, she said with a faint smile, you completed my goal. How can I ever thank you?
He held her close, Dont say this is goodbye.
Im sorry, it is my destiny. Thank you... She closed her eyes and her body slowly broke into small particles and flew into the air. A distant voice called out; I will always be with you, and the last of the particles evaporated.
He stood there, in the golden ruins. The sun had shown brightly through the opening. An image of Anasakas face appeared and then faded in the light. Anasaka, he whispered. He then looked at the crystal, thinking. Suddenly he grabbed it. A light came out, forming the ghost. Bandit, she yelled. He held the crystal in his hand and ran as fast as he could. The ghost chased him, throwing leaves whenever she could. He dodged all of them and ran on, panting for breath. Finally he reached the opening. He looked back; the ghost was out of sight. Light gathered in the crystal, particles attached and Anasaka appeared.
She opened her eyes and immediately she was overwhelmed with joy and ran into Kyshis arms. Kyshi, I cant believe its you. A second later, she turned serious again, But what about the crystal, and the ghost, and this whole legend? Itll start all over again.
It doesnt matter to me, he said, as long as I have you. She moved away from him, thinking if there were any other possibilities. She then grabbed the crystal in her hands. What are you doing?
She smiled at him and then focused her mind. Using its power, she created a force field around the forest, making it invisible to mortal eyes. She tossed the crystal in the air and blasted it with a beam of red. The crystal split into pieces and then into particles that blew away in the wind.
Kyshi came up to her and held her in his arms. As the sun set across the horizon, their hearts glowed with hope. Was the legend meant to be like this? Anasaka thought to herself. Is this truly my destiny?...
Shortly after, they got married. They lived a normal life filled with love and compassion. They reminded themselves contently of the greatest adventure of their lives, but told no one else. Anasaka opened a successful jewelry store and never had to use her magic again. Kyshi became head of the ancient architectural division of the largest company in Japan. They never forgot the love they had for each other and lived happily ever after in the legendary city of Kyoto.