Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate
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- Yamada no Goji is a minor nobleman of ancient Japan who has lost everything — except a single purpose: keep a promise to the woman he loved. In order to fulfill his vow, all he has to do is fight a horde of demons and monsters, bargain with a few ghosts, outwit the sinister schemers of the emperor’s court, find a way to defeat an assassin who cannot be seen, heard, or touched — and change the course of history. Fortunately, Yamada specializes in achieving the seemingly impossible, so he is sure in some way to succeed...if he doesn’t drink himself into oblivion first.
me while I redirect my business. As for Nidai, try the southeast gate. He often loiters there.” Kenji rose quickly and, at a near run, caught up with a bent old man who had just hobbled through the gate. “Grandfather, may I speak to you?” he asked in an overly loud voice. Kenji’s shout caused several pairs of eyes to turn toward him. The old man turned as well, frowning. “Yes, priest? What do you—” Kenji didn’t give him time to finish. In one swift motion he pulled a piece of paper from his
that my tired mind could hold. It was more frustrating than restful because all of my mental journeys, like a circular road, brought me back to the same understanding that had left Prince Kanemore and myself stranded earlier in the day: what had happened to Taira no Kei was simply not possible. I smiled ruefully. So then the girl is not dead. The smoke of her burning did not rise up the slopes of Mount Toribe, and her family did not mourn, and her ashes were not buried or scattered. None of that
__________. I have my men ready. Be sure their king stands aside as promised. His son will not be harmed, but once the foolish prince plays his part, we will play ours.—Sentaro The salutation of the letter was to Abe no Ginjo, the chief of the Abe clan. The clan which—for that past year—the governor of Mutsu Province had been charged to subdue without much success. Prince Kanemore could say a thing or two about the intensity of the fighting there. Granted, seventeen years ago that branch of the
and the elaborate roof. “Yamada-san, they are here!” I didn’t have to ask who “they” were. The first of the shikigami plummeted past, missing me by inches before it dissolved. If the body survived long enough to strike the flagstones, I never heard it, but then I wasn’t listening. I hauled myself over the top beam and landed in a crouch. I needn’t have bothered; the gap under the roof was quite tall enough for me to stand. Kanemore had two other lumbering shikigami at bay, but a third moved to
cannot see them, then neither can anyone else.” “I’d prefer at least one lantern inside,” he said. “It’s pitch black in there.” “And if something happened to that lantern, we would be even blinder than we are now.” Kanemore sighed. “As a tactician, I know you are right. Yet I would still like more light.” His hand was clenched around his flute. “So would I, truth be told. Yet I think we will be able to see what we need to see.” I hoped that was true, but if darkness was part of the nature of