Miyato kenshin stood in apprehension like one of Pavlov’s dogs when he heard hollow moan of bamboo from the front of his store. Miyato’s daughter sheien had made a wind chime out of bamboo to hang in front of the family medicine shop. The chimes would ring before someone entered the shop. This day Miyato was sick with anxiety because was expecting a visit from Lokisan Susanoo.
Miyato’s son Ryu was sitting beside his father, he had found solace in absent mindedness. Slowly Ryu would drag his gaze perpendicular to the bamboo rods that it was made up of. When his father stood, Ryu followed the example. The father and son glanced nervously at each other trying to enjoy the last white clouds left in the sky. We knew our white sky would soon be dark with storm.
When Lokisan ducked into the shop he didn’t bring thunder and lighting, but it was undeniable that shade he brought about by his presence. Lokisan stood in the entrance, smiling at the two Kenshins as they bowed for him.
Lokisan rose his arms out to the sides with his palms facing the two in a friendly gesture. “Mr. Miyato, how have you been?” He let spoke gradually letting each word ring as if it were read from poetry. Without waiting for a response he started to move along parallel to the medicine counters.
Along the periphery of the room there were counters and shelves holding all sorts of medicines. The kenshin family lived near the base of mount Takao, they collected and understood rare natural medicines that came from the summit. The family was legendary for their craft and had amassed quite an attractive collection. Lokisan enamored the family’s large selection, and despite his practiced demeanor he stomped around noisily in excitement, floor creaking beneath his gate. He would go to one side of the room pick up a mound of turquoise colored powder to let it stream down through his fingers, then quickly rush to the other side to flick a frilly blue spotted fungus growing on a log.
Miyato spoke up and announced that the fungus Lokisan had been ogling had the power to prevent unnecessarily sweaty hands. The announcement seemed to heave Lokisan out of his lul. Lokisan turned and moved towards Miyato and his son. Ryu with a clenched jaw pushed his tongue firmly against his front teeth to avoid making a face or twitching suddenly. Lokisan said to Miyato “maybe I should get some then, I wouldn’t want your daughter to have to tolerate my slimy hands.” And then he reached forward and rubbed his palm on Ryu’s shoulder. While pinching the boy to the back of his chair for Lokisan starred at Ryu’s father. Ryu sat in silence staring at Lokisans chest. Lokisan knew he wouldn’t hurt the boy, he rubbed off his sweat to express his power. The Kenshins could show any disrespect to the son of a Daimyo because it could cost their lives. After retracting his hand Lokisan stood above the two men. He stood there like a reptilian waiting in the sun for its blood to warm.
While the three sat in that brief moment of silence a dark aura seemed to surround Lokisan, as if he was sucking the light out of the air around him. He threw his head back and let out an unnecessarily loud guffaw. The two kenshins looked up at him with venomous hate in their eyes.
Lokisan came to the Kenshin store often, he was wealthy and had developed several different drug habits. Drugs Lokisan take start out as recreational but quickly turn into medicine for his addictions. As a frequent customer of the Kenshin, Lokisan became acquainted with the family more than they would have liked. Lokisan became infatuated with Sheien and made his father arrange that they get married.
After stifling his laughter Lokisan thrust his hand into his kimono and pulled out a fist sized hemp bag. He tossed it onto the table and the contents spilled out on the counter in front of Miyato. The sac was full of Opium, a dangerous drug that was rare in Japan because it did not grow natively. Lokisan announces in calmly “I want more.”
Miyato looked up confusedly and sputtered about how he did not have more and that Lokisan had just spilled a fortunes worth on the counter. Lokisan looked at him wide eyed and shouted “No old man, I need MORE! MORE! MORE! This is not enough for me I need something stronger. “
Miyato was frightened and bewildered by the man’s request. Miyato had not personally used opium himself but he knew from people that used it, that it was supposedly the strongest drug in Japan. Miyato stood up placed his hands on Lokisan’s chest and told him reassuringly that he might have just the right stuff, he then went rummaging about the back room of the store.
Lokisan and Ryu were left alone in the room while Miyato searched. Leaning forward to whisper into Ryus ear, Lokisan says quetly “Very soon. Very soon I will take your sister from you.” He leaned back to stand up straight and look at Ryu. Ryu was silent, biting his tongue because he knew a retort was unnecessary. Ryu hated Lokisan and despised his presence. Ryu also knew that Lokisan would not be a problem in his life. The Kenshin’s were clever and would have preferred to be deep sixed than allow sheien to marry Lokisan.
Lokisan leaned down again telling Ryu that his sister would be nothing more than a slave for the rest of her life. Ryu smiled and told Lokisan that he hoped she would serve his family honorably. The sound of his father in the back room brought Ryu a sense of confidence. Ryu knew that he and his father were moments away from nailing Lokisan into his coffin.
Miyamato rushed back into the room holding a large scroll of hemp paper. He splayed it out on the counter and pointed to a dot on the map. He explained to Lokisan that the dot he pointed at was an island a few days off the coast of Japan. Miyamoto looked deep within Lokisan’s eyes and told him that what he sought was atop a mountain on that island. He told Lokisan that at the peak of the mountain there are purple and golden colored mushrooms that will give immortality to anyone who climbed to the top and consumed them.
Lokisan believed miyamato’s story and left the very next day sailing for this mysterious island with one of his father’s naval vessels. But Lokisan would never stop sailing because the islands were just day time mirages. Lokisan would sail forever, always believing that he was on the brink of immortality.