For the strength of the spell used to keep the raven shaped island cloaked, it wasn’t particularly impressive once revealed. It was just another tropical island amongst many. But to Lei, looks are always deceiving. There had to be something to make this island home to a Yokai Guild. It was only a matter of time before she found it. Letting Rai ride on her back briefly to avoid touching the water, they cross the beach into the forest beyond.
“Stay close Rai. We don’t know if any Yokai are still around.” The Staff of Nirvana shone in her hands ready for use.
“This place is creepy.” Rai’s tail was rigid and his ears moved to scan for noises that didn’t come. “I can’t hear anything and all I smell is that nasty ocean.” Getting on all fours he sniffs the ground before jumping and climbing up a nearby palm tree.
“Anything?” Lei asks.
“No.” Rai replies, letting go of the tree and landing firmly on his feet.
“Thanks for trying. Maybe there’s another clue in the legend.” She stops to skim the legend once more for anything of value. “First clue would be that it’s a Yokai Guild.” Lei thinks to herself. “Yokai were once originally people or objects that were transformed and molded by the Astral Plane rather than Aetherial energy. They primarily existed in areas populated by Myurkyurians so being here is way outside of their normal behavior. Not that them forming a Guild wasn’t the first sign they were outliers. They’re also primarily nocturnal but if the cloak can be dispelled in the day that means there’s a way to find this no matter the time.” Her train of thought stops when she notices Rai wandering forward alone. “Rai? Where are you going?” She calls out but receives no response. “Rai!” Once more she gets no response. “Damnit Rai…” She sighs under her breath before following after him.
Lei reaches for Rai and picks him up by the scruff of his neck but stops when she realizes something was off. The air felt cold and her body was heavy. Even her eyesight was somewhat distorted with every movement creating an afterimage. Without realizing it she had stepped into the Astral Plane. Straight ahead of them stood Sanzoku Yokai Kakurega accompanied by a peculiar haze. Rather than a small shack or even a mansion, the Guild was a massive castle of shining gemstones. Rai stood at attention with his ears skyward and eyes focused.
“W-what’s going on?” She struggles to remain standing. The Astral Plain was disorienting to the unprepared.
“Ooooo shiny.” Rai admires the massive castle that now stood in front of them. Trelza were far more sensitive to the Astral Plane and his body adjusted to it subconsciously. While Lei struggled to regain her bearings he felt no different.
“I’m gonna scout ahead Lei!” Before Lei can give an answer he’s already making his way to the guild.
From the outside, Sanzoku Yokai Kakurega was a massive castle with layered floors. Each layers roofing was slanted downward and created a series of triangular windows between floors. Compared to standard castles it was far more vertical than it was expansive. All effort being focused on the singular central building giving it the appearance of a square tower. The main gate was too high for him to climb alone and the door too heavy to push open alone. In the past, the Guildsmen would no doubt have had the watchmen open this for visitors. It’s not long before boredom sets in and Rai gives up searching for a way in.
“Leeeeeeeeeeeeei what’s taking so long?” He whines, wondering what was taking his sister so long. Rai jumps to his feet when he hears and feels the front gates get pushed open. On the other side stood Lei.
“No fair! How did you get in first?” Lei simply replies by pointing to a massive hole in the wall of the outer gate to his annoyance. Rai was far too focused on the allure of the castle itself to notice more about the wall itself. “Cheater.” He pouts.
“You still get to say you got here first.” Now that she had her bearings the Astral Plane felt no different from the Physical Plane. Albeit talking still created an echo.
“Hmph, I don’t talk to cheaters.” Rai frowns.
“Rai.” He ignores her and crosses his arm.
“Come on, we still have a job to do.” She says petting him before heading deeper into the front yard. When Lei snuck in to surprise Rai she didn’t take the time to fully investigate. Now she could properly examine the clear signs of battle that littered the yard. Despite the main building itself remaining pristine, whatever happened outside was likely the cause of the Guilds decline. There were no weapons or skeletons to be found on the surface. However, to the west stood a sizable mausoleum the size of a house. But to reach it you had to pass a graveyard littered with unmarked graves. Did they run out of space in the mausoleum or was this part of the Guilds downfall she thought to herself. She approaches the closest grave and notices the unusual sizing. Yokai came in all shapes and sizes but none of these were larger than Rai.
“If your will is too weak your mind will be destroyed and your body will wither. But if you succeed in taming the bloodlust your muscles will grow exponentially.” Lei recites to herself. Perhaps these outside graves were where people who failed to master the Savage Crown were buried. It’d explain why the mausoleum was so large, those who could master the Savage Crown would likely be placed inside. This would also explain the damage to the outside.
Perhaps they weren’t attacked at all. They simply couldn’t control their own relic and everyone paid the price. Lei’s thoughts are broken by Rai murmuring to himself. “Find something Rai?”
“Look.” He points at a sign at the top of the Mausoleum written in Myurkyurian lettering.
“The Manly Mausoleum? At least they’re consistent.”
“Gonna cheat your way inside?”
“Ugh, let it go Rai.”
“This is going to be a long day…” Lei sighs under her breath.