Mother had bared her fangs against the Shogun, who had been kind to her and who had given her a treasured sword.
In the end, the only thing that was sent back to the Mikoshi Clan was the tsuba of that blade which she had loved so dearly.
Mother's long-cherished wish was to overcome the destiny of life and death with her boiling passion.
She would make such contributions as to make an eternal name for the ever-thinning blood of the war-oni.
If she was engulfed by the pitch-black tiger-beast of sin itself, then she would tear it apart from the inside.
She would've proved her valor resoundingly under the Electro Mitsudomoe banner,
And she thought she could wash her bloodstained juunihitoe battle-garb clean.
But it was stained black in the end, together with her fiercely beating heart...
From then on, her eldest son, who should have inherited the family fortune, lived in seclusion in a village outside the city,
With naught but the mountain and wood as his friends — that is, until he met that girl...
"What a pain. Well, if you wish to abandon your past, allow me to give you a new name."
After hearing about his past, the girl who possessed jet black wings sneered disdainfully.
"Well, you shall be called Iwakura. 'The seat of rock.' A name that human words cannot harm."
"Come on, mortal in whose veins runs the blood of the oni, be glad. Smile a little!"
"You should know that names given by us Yougu [sic] Tengu are blessed with divine powers."
"Besides, the name 'rock' suits you — it certainly suits your mind and your muscles, that's for sure."
"Well then, when the cherry blossoms fall next year, let's have a duel here, 'Iwakura.'"
"Child of the oni, hone your swordsmanship and become a foe whom the Yougou Tengu would not be ashamed to cross swords with."
"Ah, yes! If you manage to touch me, you'll get to call your secret blade 'Tengu Victor'!"
"After all, if you get to that point, you'll have a sword that'll let you 'triumph over the tengu.'"
Surrounded by the black feathers seized by his onrushing blade, the man who stood on the cusp of becoming a swordmaster...
...Finally caught the girl who had been untouchable for so many years...
"Yikes, that was a close shave. Well done indeed."
"If your sword hadn't been broken by your strength,"
"I would've died here for sure. Well then..."
Teruyo, shall we change the venue for our duel next year?
There are a few place I know of where you can also see the scarlet sakura falling...
As he looked around at the small shrine he had destroyed, holding the tengu's trembling hand,
These words lay on the tip of Doukei's tongue even as he stared at the black feathers that he had sliced off.
"You did touch me, after all. I must admit that this is clearly your victory."
Victory has not been decided yet. Let's meet again next year, he wanted to say.
"Now, you sword can even surpass the speed of a tengu."
"I will never forget a single one of our duels in these past thirteen years."
"But as a Tengu, I have duties to the clan that I must fulfill."
"Thinking back, I changed your name in hopes that you might escape from the curse of the oni bloodline."
"With that war, non-human blood grows thinner and thinner."
"Ah well. We should not covet the happy endings that humans enjoy, after all. But you're different."
"You are now 'Iwakura.' You are no longer the 'Mikoshi' who shoulders the burden of oni blood."
"Goodbye, Doukei, and please forget me."
"Use your sword for the Iwakura bloodline... and open a path that belongs to the Iwakura alone."
In the distant past, when Seirai Island had yet to be shrouded by storm clouds, memories would rise and fall like breaths.
In the end, the elegant container that contained thunderstorms and tremors could not be handed over to the one to whom it was promised.
"Did you come to me because the string is broken again? You're such a headache."
"Other than your swordsmanship, you're just an idiotic old gambler, aren't you?"
"Hmph. Don't you look down on me. I learned my archery from a tengu, you know? It's pretty famous too."
"It's just that I'm too good with a sword, you know? That's why no one ever talks about my archery."
"Actually, now that I think about it, that's such a waste of good archery. How about I teach it to you, then?"
Once upon a time, you mended that idiot's broken seal cage, all the while speaking those harsh words..
Once upon a time, though you used harsh words to divert others, you could not help but smile faintly.
"Please. You're already a Hatamoto with important responsibilities. Why are you still running around looking for trouble?"
"And you're already married too, to a sweet wife no less. Why do you spend your days wandering and gambling, huh?"
The question was on the edge of your lips, but you were unable to ask, and you decided to never bring it up again.
If the Lady Saiguu had been here with you, she would surely have put it in a clever and merry way...
"It doesn't matter anymore. I gave myself a holiday, at least for today."
"Let's leave that whole shrine business behind and sneak off to the seaside, just like we did when you were little."
And so he dragged you to the harbor, where you watched the ships sailing back and forth, as if in a trance.
You listened to him talk about Teruyo of the shrine, and how she had inherited her master's beauty and skill.
You listened to him talk about his terrifying nightmares, in which he cut off his own head...
But you both knew that those were just words to hide the melancholy of adulthood.
Later, a long time later,
Overlooking the mossy reefs and the harbor where the two of you once had that quiet rendezvous...
For the gambler to win his bet again, for the sake of praying for his safety...
Once again, you dared to stand upon those heights, holding up the seal cage that you made with your own hands.
Bearing the hope of retrieving those memories, you gathered the power of thunder and lightning.
With his secret sword technique, Tengu Sweeper, Iwakura Doukei became the Kujou Clan's swordsmanship instructor.
He also received the title of "Douin" and founded a successful sword school.
As he headed off to take up his post at the Kujou Estate, Doukei, who had long learned how to drink,
Stepped into the branch shrine that had been utterly destroyed by his completion of the Tengu Sweeper.
Here, in the courtyard of this abandoned branch shrine, he had sparred with the Tengu of Yougou ten times in the last thirteen years.
He remembered his encounter of the black-winged tengu who had called herself "Teruyo of Yougou"...
Thirteen years went by like a dream
The scarlet snow flies through the shadowed pass like smoke
You have now gone afar
The Sacred Sakura petals fell then, too, as if they were snow from the sky.
The branch shrine had lost the god it worshipped, but it was still in a fine state.
Laughter as clear as spring water echoed between the mountains.
But never again would the two set foot in that desolate yard.
"I've been wondering, Sir Douin, could your sword actually slice through lightning?"
So said the young Kanjou Head, Hiroshi, while sheathing his blade. Douin replied thus, woodenly:
"How could that be possible? At most, I'd say that it could strike a Tengu in mid-air."
"That said, though, no one has ever brought down a tengu down before. Not even once."
"Is that so? In that case, where does the name of your secret blade, 'Tengu Sweeper,' come from?"
Seeing that Douin did not answer, the Kanjou Head who had built Ritou up said:
"Ah, if it wasn't for that old man Kujou making a move first, I would've loved to recruit you."
"With your sword, even Ako Domeki of Seirai would be no match..."
Cleaving through the storm clouds, that tengu had given him a new name and a new life.
She threw him the rusty blade and told him to strike her, a tengu, down.
And after his sword broke, these were her last words to him...
- The descriptions for this artifact set relate to some of the Amethyst Series weapons:
- Amenoma Kageuchi belongs to Iwakura Doukei, forged after he broke his blade fighting Teruyo.
- Katsuragikiri Nagamasa belongs to Mikoshi Nagamasa, who is not mentioned in this artifact set but is related to it by being Doukei's adoptive brother.
- Hakushin Ring is narrated from Kitsune Saiguu's perspective, who is mentioned in passing as "Lady Saiguu" in Storm Cage's description.
- The description for Storm Cage (Sands of Eon piece) is told from Hibiki's perspective, who is also the narrator for the artifacts in Shimenawa's Reminiscence, the other 4–5★ artifact set obtained from Momiji-Dyed Court.