| ◯５面ボス 新帝の盃
Taira no Humikado
|〇 Stage 5 Boss — The Vessel for the New Emperor|
Taira no Fumikado
Ability: Something like transferring souls
A long time ago, they lost both parents due to a political power dispute in the "Capital"
and was raised by their single grandfather.
Fumikado decided to sacrifice their body as an expression of gratitude to help their grandfather to realize his wish.
This wish was to resurrect the "True Emperor".
As an alchemist, he used the body of an oni that he hunted. He added to it the Fumikado's blood,
the vital energy and some special qualities from a lot of other living things to manufacture a new life-form.
Since this new body was young and small, Taira transferred their own soul to it and kept stimulating,
developing and training the flesh of the new life-form for many months and years.
When the body was completed as a "vessel", their grandfather had already passed away.
Fumikado continued his plan with their comrades and vowed to realize it on their grandfather's tomb.
They continued to work on the "vessel", planning to improve its physical and spiritual strength,
by relying on the force of an "heirloom" that would be transmitted through various generations.
However while this plan was being executed, they lost an important and trustworthy partner,
and the plan entered in an impasse.
—————One dark night, there was a faint moon floating in the sky.
Now, there is a strait with gentle waves in "Mugenri".
Regardless of being day or night, since it was gloomy the entire year, it was known as "The Gloomy Strait".
There, the light of the sky barely touches the land due to the influence of something like a heavy fog or a mirage.
To escape from the hands of assassins sent by enemies,
Fumikado decided to go across that strait.
In order to avoid using a big ship to get across, they went to a place near the harbor in the night
and hired a free boater who was eating sea urchin.
"Did you come from the 'Capital'?"
In the conversation between them on the boat, the boater tried to break the ice plenty of times.
"Hey, there used to be a lot of guests taking this boat some time ago...
but did you see that on the harbour? That biiig sailing boat?!
It's called a 'ferryboat', isn't it?
Since that boat appeared here, the customers have almost disappeared.
After that, did you know that they even made a great bridge there?
It's been one month since,
and I was only carrying things like baggage and letters.
Consequently, the number of people in this job started to decrease too,
it's already impossible to get enough food with only this job..."
Even without being asked to do so, the boater kept on talking attentively.
For a long while, it seemed they had more free time than they knew what to do with.
"Hey, one dream of mine was to become a pirate,
but I couldn't get sailors or anything else I needed."
Traditionally, sailors should be prepared to listen to the grumbles of their clients,
but instead of that, they were revealing all of the problems with their own job.
"If you were to retire from the job of boater, what would you do after that?"
When Fumikado asked that question, they smiled slightly as if thinking "I was waiting for you say that,"
then the boater retrieved a thin flute from their pocket made of bamboo.
"Going for the art path, I see."
Even with that they still looked like a person without integrity on their work or their hobbies.
"If you aren't in any rush may I play one song for you?
Don't worry, it won't add any extra cost to your toll.
Since the plans were already delayed, there was no special reason for Fumikado to be in a hurry.
Lately they were starting to feel irritated,
so it'd be better to calm down a bit.
Therefore, they asked the boater to try and play a song.
They accepted the request happily with a proud smile on their face.
"So... just one song..."
Their voice trembled a bit with a mix of confidence and tension.
Fumikado wondered if they were used to playing for other people....?
———It was a song that they had never heard of before.
There were a lot of notes that sounded a bit off but it wasn't discomforting.
It was like the sake's bitterness, with time such bitterness became good.
It was a taste that only a person who had been through a lot of bitter experiences could understand...
The darkness of the night, with only the two of them there to listen to the water surface's timbre,
while their boat was being swallowed by the waves.
However they weren't feeling this kind of sensation.
They thought that it was a good idea to ask their name and express
their gratitude in a proper way after listening to a good song.
After doing an awkward face, the boater answered their question and surprised Fumikado.
This happened because the name "Fujiwara" is a very special name in Mugenri.
Moreover it was Fumikado's "Enemy's" name.
After a little pause Fumikado said their name as well,
and the boater was also surprised after hearing it.
Then they remained in silence for a moment.
—————That night was a rare night with a clear sky.
There were few clouds and nothing that could resemble a mirage.
Far away in the direction of the shore there were small lights mounted along the shoreline.
But those lights weren't able to reach them,
only the lights of the stars were able to trace their silhouette.
Even with their eyes already accustomed to the darkness of the sea,
the exaggerated lights from the capital that was even further away were making it hard to see.
The ship's bottom was shaking with the waves breaking on it in a well-defined pattern.
Its sound was like an announcement of a change.
That pleasant pulsation persisted for a long while.
And there was no need to make it certain between the two of them.
Fumikado recalled one item from their heirloom in their hands
and handed the "Saeda" over to the boater.
They were looking for a better place for that flute.
And that place was with anyone but themself.
It seemed that their soul was being taken away from their body when they asked the boater to try to play the Saeda.
Its timbre was able to make the sea waves shiver.
Small ripples spread around the boat,
and a thin fog rolled in.
They took off their hat.
If handled by the correct person,
would tools be able to release so much power?
"So, what were you doing in the 'Capital'?"
This time again, the boater was the one to break the ice.
"...In order to fulfil my plan, I was looking for a certain informant."
"An informant huh? So, did you get the information you wanted?"
"Soon, a big hole will be opened on the inside of the barrier,
and it seems all sorts of things from the outside will flow in.
Particularly, among those a great number of spirits will flow in, filling up Mugenri."
"Ho, that will be a big problem for those at the shrine,
I heard they were new guys or substitutes or something."
"That's none of my business.
What I'm thinking is, why don't I use those spirits for something?"
"Heh~. So, how is it? What's your current situation?"
"......I've just now collected the needed pieces."
That was the meeting between Taira no Fumikado and Fujiwara no Iyozane.
"Steady as she goes...."
Fumikado didn't know of Iyozane's past, who murmured so,
but they somehow understood their feelings.
Then Iyozane's boat, without a sail,
had finally started to receive favorable winds after receiving a sail named "Fumikado".
—————Here is the Gloomy Strait.
The eastern sky thus became a bit brighter.