|“||This is no different from you targeting a child to threaten Jinnai. No matter how many children you make, legitimate or otherwise, and no matter how many children you adopt, I will kill every last one of them. People often say they will curse someone to the very last generation of their family line, but I will make your generation the end of your line. …Now, what will you do? Will I be removing your entire clan’s organs or will you wash your hands of this so your family can survive? Choose whichever path you like. Nothing in this world could be more frightening than being haunted by an Aburatori.||„|
|~ Aburatori to a Yakuza leader|
The Aburatori is a relatively recent Youkai from the Tohoku region. However, its traits make it dangerous enough to overwhelm even other deadly Youkai. The Aburatori is a Youkai that disguises itself as a farmer and slips in with the other villagers working on the farms. The next thing they know, it’s already made its way in, kidnapped a child, removed their organs, pierced them with a skewer, and roasted the child over a fire. Its goal is supposed to be the oil from the child’s organs. It’s a Youkai without the lessons present in most Japanese ghost stories. It simply appears, simply abducts and simply kills.
The Aburatori first appears in a flashback told from Yukari's point of view, detailing her efforts to save Shinobu from a Package made using his traits. He would later reappear in the present desiring to obtain Yukari's ability to manipulate destiny, and once more when Shinobu traveled to the past to try and solve the original incident with Yukari and the Aburatori that had forced her to sacrifice her powers.
Powers and Stats
Tier: At least 9-B
Gender: Male | Male | Female
Classification: Youkai, Aburatori / Youkai, Aburatori, God
Powers and Abilities: Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Can produce an endless amount of skewers, Weapon Mastery (Expert at throwing skewers as a weapon), Spatial Manipulation, Teleportation, Killing intent projection, Immortality (Type 1), Self-Sustenance (Type 1 & 2), Resistance (Immunity to conventional weapons and damage inflicted by the normal laws of physics, some resistance to interference from history and destiny) | Time Travel and Time Manipulation (Can distort a timeline to rewrite it as he pleases by successive time travelling to the same point over and over), Absorption and Power Absorption via the aforementioned timeline distortion, Duplication (Can create a copy of himself in another point of the timeline), Acausality (Type 1) | Destiny Manipulation
Speed: Likely Subsonic (Can move much faster than humans and normal Youkai, can easily catch up to a moving vehicle), instant with teleportation
Lifting Strength: Superhuman
Striking Strength: At least Wall Class
Durability: Wall level, immune to conventional weapons and damage inflicted by the normal laws of physics
Range: Standard melee range, tens of meters with thrown skewers, Interplanetary with teleportation (It is said that distance is meaningless for him and he explained that he could escape to other planets should life on earth be wiped out by a meteor)
Standard Equipment: An endless supply of metal skewers
Weaknesses: None notable
“The Aburatori. It originated in the Tohoku region, but unlike other Youkai, it didn’t appear until the Meiji period. That makes it a newcomer. However, its traits make it dangerous enough to overwhelm even other Youkai. Isn’t that right?”
“It’s a Youkai that disguises itself as a farmer and slips in with the other villagers working on the farms. However, no one has ever seen its true form. The next thing they know, it’s already made its way in, kidnapped a child, pierced the child with a thick skewer for cooking fish, and roasted the child over a fire.”
“Its goal is supposed to be the oil from the child’s organs, but it isn’t known why it kills children to take their oil.”
“It’s a Youkai without the lessons present in most Japanese ghost stories. The story doesn’t teach you to go home before it gets dark, not to swim in the river, or anything else. The Youkai simply appears, kidnaps, and kills. This is a negative product of more modern times when the tradition of fear has been lost, but it’s a problem when people start spreading fear that has no countermeasure.”
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - Aburatori Lore|
“You can’t fight the Aburatori just because you have the power to kill. It doesn’t even matter if you have a connection to the Hyakki Yakou.”
“Its true essence lies in something other than strength. It simply appears, kidnaps, and kills. In other words, no one knows where it is. That’s what makes it so frightening.”
It was true the human police were unlikely to ever find the Aburatori no matter how long they searched. Not even cutting-edge unmanned security could stand up to the power of a Youkai that surpassed human knowledge.
A Zashiki Warashi had control over destiny.
It was something like a formless temptation. Just as TV ads, magazine ads, internet topics, and other such things created a large wave that caused the customers to choose a product, people would slip in the direction that was easier to understand or easier to move in and they would not even realize they were doing it.
But if you understood how that temptation worked, you could move against the tide and fight it.
Normally, there was no way to come across the Aburatori just from running around randomly. That was simply how the world worked. In that case, I only needed to continue in the direction I would normally never go. I had to move in the direction that seemed most out of place and that I felt the most reluctance toward. If I moved against the flow, I would naturally head toward the most unlikely destiny.
I would meet the Aburatori who I supposedly could never meet.
And I arrived at that destiny.
“Oh? What have we here?”
The hoarse voice of an old man stopped me in one corner of the Intellectual Village.
The full moon stood out to a strange degree in the blizzard.
At first, I thought it was a scarecrow standing in the center of a snow-filled paddy with no water in it.
This was the symbol of an oddity invading a farming village.
Like it was an illusion, the entire scene seemed cut off from the rest of the world. It almost looked like something from a hanafuda card.
This place was “complete”.
It was a place no one should have been able to enter.
No matter how much times had changed and no matter how much foreign culture had been imported, the Aburatori and I were surrounded by the pure scenery of “rural Japan”.
No one could encroach on this territory.
It was a transient alternate world.
And its ruler, the deadly Aburatori, stood in the center of that blue scenery.
“It” stood in a place that once was.
The rural scenery resembled what any Japanese person held in their hearts as a sort of sacred ground. All of them were born in different parts of the country, but seeing a single photograph of that place would make them feel nostalgic.
“It” stood in an already harvested paddy field at night.
As if ignoring the weather radar and satellites, white snow poured down on this one isolated area. The area seemed to completely transcend the timeline. The moon directly overhead was a full moon. Like a sun shower, the snowflakes falling from the night sky glittered bluish-white in the moonlight.
This was the scenery from that time and place.
To be honest, I didn’t remember where I had run or how I had done it. If someone told me to do it again, I probably couldn’t. In fact, I was born and raised in this village, but I had never before seen a place like this.
It may have been cut off from the rest of the world like a hidden village.
Or perhaps the terrain itself had formed a labyrinth.
I wasn’t a specialist like Hishigami Mai or Hyakki Yakou, so I didn’t know the answer. Fortunately, that didn’t matter. What did matter was that I had made my way onto the final stage.
It was an unnaturally perfect paddy field of the kind any Japanese person could immediately picture in their mind.
It was a snowy landscape that completely ignored the current season and weather.
“Only those with the same sort of power as me should be able to reach this distorted place. But come to think of it, you are the one who that Zashiki Warashi directly saved. Perhaps you two were treated as antipodal singularities, just with one on the active end and the other on the passive end.”
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - Aburatori is impossible to find by normal means, he can hide in some sort of small alternate world|
“Did this chance to meet me make you think you are somehow special? I am a variation on a deadly Youkai while you are a harmless Zashiki Warashi. The difference in strength is obvious, so there should be no meaning in a fight.”
One of the worst of the deadly Youkai would have no reason to react that way to a harmless Zashiki Warashi, so this was proof enough that I was not just a harmless Zashiki Warashi.
He wore a deeply dyed kimono that was kept short to keep mud off. He wore leggings to protect his legs. He wore a conical hat with a large eye pattern that covered both his head and his face. He was dressed just like a farmer, but the murderous aura enveloping him was different. He was one who abducted and one who killed. Anyone could tell at a glance that he was deadly and did not belong, but everyone would overlook him until the disaster had already occurred. He was a collection of malice that ranked at the top of even the deadly Youkai.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - An Aburatori is much stronger than a Zashiki Warashi, they are considered among the worst of the deadly Youkai|
“Because you are preparing for a fight. Those fish-cooking skewers in your hands are the symbol for killing children, aren’t they?”
His intent gaze dropped to the several dozen metal skewers spread out like a fan.
The Aburatori looked like a farmer hiding his face behind his hat and his arms and legs looked like tree branches. Every time he rotated, he scattered several dozen skewers like a shotgun. He seemed to have an unlimited supply because a few dozen more would spread out like a fan each time the old man moved his fingers.
While scattering countless skewers as if dancing, the Aburatori spoke in a voice that hurt the ears.
Orange sparks scattered and his smile seemed to grow each time the branch cutter knocked down a bullet.
“Wonderful!! A single scrape from my skewers is enough for me to take all your organs! Stepping on one of the skewers you have knocked to the ground would be fatal!! You are certain to lose your organs at some point, but your Youkai trait is allowing you to avoid that fate!!”
“You can never be saved,” whispered the Aburatori from so close that I could feel his breath.
Several dozen skewers spread out like fans in both his hands.
“No one can change what has already come to an end. That applies to the children of the past and for the one you call Shinobu.”
A moment later, a downpour of over one hundred sharp pieces of metal rushed toward my stomach from only a few centimeters away.
Those skewers were the symbol of killing children, removing their organs, cooking them over a fire, and taking the oil.
A single scratch would use the logic of the child organ trafficking Package to divide my organs up and pack them in plastic, and more than one hundred of them were flying toward me. As I could not defend or evade, it was plain as day what would happen.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - Aburatori can produce countless metal skewers. Anyone hurt by the skewers, even if it's just a scratch, can have any of their organs instantly removed from their body|
A distance of twenty meters was nothing to that Youkai.
He would appear, kidnap, and kill without anyone knowing. The concept of distance likely did not fit well with him.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - Although not demonstrated in this volume, the Aburatori is later shown to be able to teleport|
Once she saw the Aburatori, the Zashiki Warashi narrowed her eyes a little. She became strongly aware of forgotten pain, a lost part of her body, and the modifications Hyakki Yakou had made inside her.
Meanwhile, the symbol of abduction who was dressed as a farmer happily opened his mouth.
“I haven’t seen you since that incident, that child organ trafficking Package that was unleashed here in Noukotsu Village. You must remember. So how has Jinnai Shinobu-kun been since then?”
His words were unavoidable.
He was merely confirming something he already knew perfectly well.
It was the same as deriving pleasure from provoking and jabbing at the hurting hearts of a bereaved family.
The Zashiki Warashi remained silent for a while.
When she finally spoke, she did so slowly.
“I have no idea what incident you’re talking about.”
Tension filled the air like a thin thread had been grabbed on either end and pulled until it was about to snap.
However, her response had not been wrong.
A moment later, the Aburatori laughed.
She did not know what was funny.
She simply knew that not knowing was the right answer.
“Ha ha ha!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! I see, I see. That would be right for you. Yes. Yes, it would. That incident never actually happened. …I did wield my power in the past, I did target Jinnai Shinobu-kun’s life, and you did stop me. But it was not a child organ trafficking Package. It was an entirely different Package, wasn’t it?”
“Are you only here to ask the obvious? To be honest, I’m a little displeased that you’re still around.”
“Ha ha. Now, now. That was a surprisingly important question.”
The Aburatori laughed in absolute pleasure beyond the one-eyed hat.
“After all, I have surpassed the restrictions of time, so my power can interfere with both the past and the future. Technically, some humans assembled a Package to that end using my traits as a Youkai. Yes, as I’m sure you have guessed, I snatched their organs and took over the Package for myself.”
“Yes. I was first observed in a mountain village of Tohoku during the Meiji period, remember? I would elusively abduct and elusively kill. It seems my trait of killing without anyone ever seeing me was interpreted as teleportation or time travel. Did they call it the theory of relativity? Well, I don’t understand all the tricky details about time and space and whatnot, but those humans constructed a technique to that end.”
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - After hijacking a time travel package created by using him, the Aburatori gained the ability to travel through time|
“Calm down,” said the Aburatori. “This should be quite obvious. I have surpassed time and space, so you might think there is nothing I can’t do, but there is still something impossible for me. Has it come to you yet? It is your specialty, after all.”
“You don’t want to answer? Yes, that’s it. That’s exactly it. Even if I can surpass time and space, I cannot fight unavoidable destruction. Let’s say a giant meteor is going to hit in three days. What can I do? No matter how far back in time I go, I cannot change its course. And even if I escape to the future, I will only find an ice age after the destruction is over. And even if I try to escape through space, I have no guarantee there are any other planets as comfortable as Earth. See? I am still fragile. I may control time and space, but I am powerless in the face of overwhelming destiny. I am wholly powerless and that is terribly frustrating.”
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - The Aburatori explaining how he could avoid a meteor wiping out life on earth and escape to other planets|
“I want your power.” The monster licked his lips. “I want the power to not only bend destiny in my favor, but to create entirely new destinies.”
“Sorry, but I’m just a pile of junk now. You won’t find anything inside me.”
“I am well aware. And while those alterations were made by Hyakki Yakou, they have deteriorated quite a bit in the last century. Perhaps you could say they have been tainted by modern culture, but whatever the reason, I can no longer find the same level of skill there. Hyakki Yakou Prototype Ver. 39 Zashiki Warashi has been completely lost.”
“I will change the past. I will capture you during that fight before you were broken. That will truly perfect me. I will hold time, space, and destiny in my hands and I will become a being with no enemies.”
“Probably. I have repeated that fight fifteen thousand times now, but I always lose to you in some way or another. …But by redubbing that day again and again, the historical data has been torn to shreds. Before long – probably only two or three more overwrites – it will be unrepairable. Fact and fiction will mix together and I will have free control over the record of who won that fight. That is when it all begins and when it all ends. That is when I will gain everything I desire.”
“Now, how about I repeat the question? The meaningless dubbing will deteriorate the medium of your memories.”
The Zashiki Warashi in the red yukata suddenly vanished.
But the oddest thing of all was the Aburatori, that worst of the deadly Youkai standing in the center of the landscape.
“It” wore a conical hat with a large eye pattern that covered its head and face.
“It” was a woman with a glamorous figure and black hair that reached its ankles.
“It” was bewitchingly beautiful and wore a showy white yukata. “It” was terribly twisted.
“It” retained some vestiges of that indoor Youkai which only made it creepier.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 -The Aburatori can send a copy of himself to the past. By repeatedly going ot the past and repeating a scenario such as a fight he eventually becomes able to alter the past at will. For example, even though it was literally impossible for him to defeat Yukari in a fight because of her ability to manipulate destiny, he altered the past so that he won the fight and absorbed her and her powers|
“Oh, damn! So it finally got through. I’ve been calling and calling for three days now!”
I had skipped school to run around looking for that troublesome Youkai. If he had really been calling that much, there was no way I wouldn’t have noticed.
The static was terrible.
I wasn’t sure how much of it – if any – was getting through.
I stood in front of Odaiba’s Hachi TV in Tokyo. After hearing the details from the mystery freak, I had been visiting here quite a bit. I was meeting with Atou Minori-san who had once been my upperclassman and was now an assistant producer for a TV show.
As students, we had both pursued an Aburatori incident in our Intellectual Village.
We had been periodically comparing our memories of that incident.
At first, our memories had matched.
“Huh? Was that what it was? Oh, right, right. Now that you mention it, it was.”
It happened bit by bit.
“No, it was a child organ trafficking Package, wasn’t it? Y’know, it used that diet boom and the fake online store to sell those colorful skewers. And your nephew, Shinobu-kun, got wrapped up in it.”
I could tell it was changing day by day.
My former upperclassman’s memories of the incident were clearly being overwritten by someone. And little by little, the overwritten memories were sounding less and less out of place to me. I was beginning to wonder if my memories of the “actual incident” were wrong.
“We have looked though our records of past incidents involving an Aburatori or a Package using its traits.”
“Did you find anything?”
“We were nearly rendered unable to check the records due to a cognitive distortion. Without our Venom Clairvoyant, we probably would not have noticed anything was wrong.”
“Oh, you mean that black-haired blindfolded shrine maiden who ranks in your top five?”
“The worst cognitive distortion is focused on Noukotsu Village in mid-March ten years ago. Surprisingly, there are traces indicating it is related to Jinnai Shinobu and that Zashiki Warashi.”
“The cognitive distortion suggests that the Aburatori has at least begun to alter the past. Even the Venom Clairvoyant is having trouble predicting how long the past will hold up.”
“Some are saying the safest bet would be to perform an air strike on Noukotsu Village, the singularity at the center of the problem, but I am currently holding them off.”
“I guessed you would. The timeline is completely distorted there. It’s possible you might not even find Jinnai Shinobu and the others even if you searched all through the village. Even if you bombed the village off the face of the earth, it might not destroy the root cause, so it’s a waste of effort.”
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - After altering the past the memories of those involved with the original past slowly start to change and the place where it was changed experiences some distortions like difficulties to contact the exterior by phone, etc|
“Why…? The scenery…the snowy full moon…and the paddy field are…collapsing. They’re melting…away. Why is…the symbol of my power…the power to even…control destiny…melting away?”
“That employee has access to the video footage in the new backup storage, so he can easily tell which photos have been altered. Then he just has to delete those photos. And it looks like he made it in time. You no longer exist in any era of this world!!”
The Aburatori tried to shout something, but instead, the beautiful female jaw fell completely off.
The precipice of not being able to kill a Youkai with a blade or gun was gone.
The Aburatori was nothing more than a still-living rotting corpse that would fall apart and vanish.
The Aburatori was rotting away, so even a normal high school boy’s arm could reach inside. That arm could break through, push through, and sink deep down to drag something out.
“I came here to rescue that Zashiki Warashi. I didn’t care in the slightest about you!!”
Without hesitation, I thrust my arm into the stomach of the beautiful woman in a white yukata. I felt my arm piercing into rotten flesh as it sank further in. Soon, my palm felt a much smoother sensation. I grabbed it and forcefully pulled.
I saw a red yukata.
I saw the same glamorous Zashiki Warashi I had seen ever since I was a kid.
At the same time, the Aburatori in the white yukata burst to pieces like a water balloon.
So did the unnaturally vivid rural scenery.
First, Jinnai Shinobu and the Zashiki Warashi had compared their memories.
No matter how many times they had spoken, both of them remembered a child organ trafficking Package using the traits of an Aburatori.
The Aburatori was gone, but it seemed the definitively damaged historical information was not going to return to normal.
That altered past had become fact.
A certain incident had ended.
However, that did not mean the deadly Youkai known as an Aburatori had been defeated.
Like a stopped heart beginning to beat or a corpse having the breath of life blown into it, the beautiful woman in a white kimono let out a large breath. This happened below a metal bridge in rural western Tokyo where nature still remained. Like a heart massage, the vibrations of a train running by overhead shook the beautiful female body collapsed on the embankment.
“That was close. Far too close. If that had been my real body and not a copy I sent to the past, I really would have been in trouble. I would undoubtedly have been annihilated there.”
The “proper time” for the Youkai called an Aburatori was two days after the incident.
To someone who could freely move through time, the continuity of past, present, and future had grown thin. Having a past self injured did not necessarily mean receiving the injury in the present. The Aburatori would never die unless this “main body” was lost.
(I did manage to extract the Ver. 39 Zashiki Warashi by dragging it from the copy.)
A staticky noise filled the air.
The Aburatori blinked back and forth between being the beautiful woman in a white yukata and the wrinkled old man like a fluorescent light about to die.
(My power… I am losing the power to control destiny! Do I need to revisit that village and acquire it again!?)
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 04 - Even after Shinobu destroys the Package that gave Aburatori control over time and rescued Yukari from his crumbling body, it's revealed he only interacted with a copy of the Aburatori, the Aburatori's main body, which was in another point in the timeline, is still fine|
When he used his power, he broke through the three-dimensional restrictions and vanished in an instant.
Just before the Aburatori vanished, I grabbed his shoulder.
I hadn’t had a real goal in mind. I simply felt like I needed to see all of this for myself.
Thanks to that, I successfully hitched a ride with him.
It may have been similar to teleportation.
First, the Aburatori appeared at a completely normal farm road.
“What would I do? While it is cutting edge, this is essentially an insular village society. Unlike a metropolis, there are no crowds of unfamiliar people walking around. A suspicious person wandering around and searching for someone to abduct would stand out too much. Then what method would they choose? Tire tracks…?”
Next, he appeared at an intersection and looked around.
“Scouting out the terrain, learning the target’s routine, going over the actual method of kidnapping, and a practice run. They would need to stay in the Intellectual Village for quite a while, but I doubt they would use a lodging facility like an inn. So maybe a large vehicle that doubles as transportation and lodging. What vehicle would be able to drive around the village irregularly without rousing suspicions?”
Then he stood in front of a vending machine.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - Aburatori can teleport|
Not even the adults and paranormal Youkai had been able to find this kidnapper. With young Shinobu inside, an electric truck was driving around at irregular intervals to make sure no one suspected it. It was disguised as an ISP truck and the windows to the back were covered in metal plates.
A torrent of murderous intent had been radiating from the Aburatori, but as soon as he located that target, a clear directionality came over it.
That dark emotion became an invisible spear and accurately pierced through the van.
It had likely been over before it even began.
Before the Aburatori actually made his attack, the soldiers of a large criminal organization after the top quality Jinnai sake were bound like a frog being glared at by a snake.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - Aburatori's killing intent affects some yakuza goons inside a van|
But even so, the Aburatori kicked the van from the side.
The front half of the metal vehicle instantly tore open like a box of candy and shot out into the paddy field.
That was all the Aburatori said before approaching the van (Part B) that had finally come to a stop after rolling along.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - Aburatori kicks a van in half and sends half of it rolling along a field|
The flow of time briefly seemed to stop.
The Aburatori silently glared into the van.
“Wha-…?” said someone in the back seat.
There were three assassins left and one of them had a hand on Shinobu’s shoulder. But before the flow of time could return, the Aburatori’s hands moved in a flash.
A total of over one hundred metal skewers were released from his hands and filled the cramped van. The storm of steel covered every inch of the van except for the space taken up by Shinobu’s small body.
It all happened too quickly for any screams or shouts to tear through the world.
The Aburatori rushed into the van, grabbed Shinobu’s collar, kicked open the van’s back door, and burst out like a shell.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - Aburatori kills three yakuzas holding Shinobu hostage without harming him|
A single man groaned as he crawled out, but the Aburatori grabbed his collar and lifted him with one arm. He then slammed the man’s back against the ceiling of the van that lay on its side.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - Easily lifts a man with one arm|
That monster dragged his enemy behind the van where Shinobu could not see and spoke with quiet smile poking out from below his large hat.
“By the way, do you know what it is my skewer is stabbing into? Do you know what this flabby dark red thing is?”
“My specialty is children, but I still wouldn’t recommend upsetting me too much, youngster.”
“Aaaaahhh!? Wh-what…what organ is that!?”
Removing it had not killed him.
So was it his appendix, a kidney, or a piece of the highly regenerative liver?
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - Removes a yakuza's organ as torture|
He saw the Aburatori whose entire body was torn to pieces and whose breathing was so shallow it seemed on the verge of stopping.
His blood was closer to black than red.
Unable to stand, he had collapsed to the ground and had his back against the cabin’s wall.
He looked like a broken doll.
The voice was forced out through a throat that had been torn to shreds. It sounded like the Aburatori’s, but it contained a wet sound, like he was coughing up blood.
Even after all that, he must not have died.
His arms and legs had been torn off, his nose and ears had been ripped away, his eyes had been crushed, his teeth and tongue had been pulled out, his organs had been dragged out, his spine and pelvis had been removed, his body had been pumped full of venom and dissolved with acid, his nerves had been scorched with flames, his blood had been boiled, and his body was scattered everywhere, yet his soul had not been freed.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - Aburatori can survive extremely grievous injuries|
“It isn’t that rare an idea. Some Youkai are old gods that were brought down to that level. There are also foxes and tanuki that gained divinity from their popularity with the people. And if you look to a higher level, there is even a vengeful spirit that tried to destroy Kyoto but was raised to the level of a heavenly god. However, reproducing it with human techniques instead of relying on a miracle is another issue altogether.”
That was the Kaeshigami.
It was the phenomenon in which a feared being was transformed into a god. They became a being that was both feared and respected.
“If the Kaeshigami is completed, that deadly Youkai will be able to fully switch off his trait of indiscriminate killing. Or he can switch it on of his own will to gain power greater than that of a mere Youkai. Of course, it would be less about providing an allover power boost and more about using more detailed control to reduce the energy loss.”
“It’s true you might be a Youkai created from people’s desire for a monster that would get rid of their eyesores of children,” I said while pursued by the avalanche of death and carnage. “But doesn’t that also mean you’re absorbing the anger and hatred of those foolish parents?”
“You were created by gathering up all of those negative emotions. So if you weren’t here, where would those feelings be directed? Wouldn’t they be sent toward those parents’ children in the form of abuse?”
In other words…
“If you could evolve into something that could endlessly absorb parents’ hatred yet control it without going on a rampage of your own, wouldn’t that make you a guardian deity of children? You’d just be absorbing parents’ desire to abuse their children. You’d be calming those feelings before the abuse actually happened.”
A Kaeshigami was something feared by everyone but revered as necessary by everyone.
“More importantly, where’s the Aburatori? He turned into a Kaeshigami after traveling through time, so I doubt he would’ve been killed that easily.”
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - Aburatori was put through a Kaeshigami ritual by Hyakki Yakou. Ultimateñy completed by Shinobu, it turned the Aburatori into a minor god protector of children. This appears to come with a power boost, but no specifics are given|
“But the Aoandon herself can’t use that power to its fullest. She has someone with her for paranormal support, so she probably has something like a Package embedded inside her. If that’s removed, she’ll lose control of her power. Simply put, she’ll return to being a normal Youkai like all the others in the Youkai encyclopedias.”
“The core embedded inside the body of a Youkai…of your child.”
“With a Youkai that removes children’s organs, we might have a chance. Of course, we’ll only have the one chance.”
The Aburatori and I no longer needed words to communicate. All I did was swing my right arm horizontally and the Kaeshigami released a metal skewer with a synchronized motion.
The single skewer stabbed deep into the center of the Aoandon’s chest.
The blue Oni’s eyes opened wider than I thought possible. Time seemed to have frozen as I grabbed the skewer embedded in her chest and pulled back with all my might. With a sticky sound, a fist-sized pale blue cube came out. It was a collection of straight lines, a symbol of artificiality. It looked like a jewel, rather than an internal organ.
It may not have actually physically existed.
It may have been that the Aburatori’s ability to remove internal organs had given physical form to something like program code intentionally written inside her.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - The Aburatori used his powers to remove organs to remove the core of the Package supporting the Aoandon's powers|
“Leave it to me, boy.”
After an even more violent sound of sparks, Saiki Kazu’s model reappeared in this world.
We had no reason to wait.
After a great roar, the doll was utterly smashed to pieces.
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 07 - The Aburatori and the Succubus destroy a doll recreation of Saiki Kazu|
“Oh, honestly! Aburatori, you take care of the rest. Don’t let them gang up on my uncle. You have the power of a weaker god, so you can restrain them, right!?”
“I’m the guardian deity of children, you know?”
|~ The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village 08|
- Immortality: All Youkai have an immortal body since they don't have a concept of lifespan. Once they reach adulthood they stop aging completely, which makes it basically impossible to determine an adult Youkai's age from their physical appearance, as they could be several centuries old but still look young.
- Invulnerability: Youkai are immune to conventional weapons and physical damage that follows the laws of physics. They are also immune to natural poisons and to things like radiation. Even weak, harmless Youkai won't die if nuclear missiles were to pour down like rain. Additionally, Youkai have some resistance to interference from history and destiny.
- Spatial Manipulation: The Aburatori is famous for being capable of appearing out of nowhere, mix in with humans and disappear after kidnapping a child without nobody noticing. In fact, he's said to be basically impossible to find by searching for him, though this trait can be countered by the ability to manipulate destiny or probability (thus being able to use the incredibly small chance of meeting him) or by powerful enough beings like the Aoandon. This is rooted in his ability to manipulate space.
- Teleportation: By breaking through three-dimensional restrictions, the Aburatori is capable of instantly teleporting anywhere he wants. He can carry at least one more person with him during his teleports.
- Paddy Field: Both when the Aburatori was confronted by Yukari and when he was discovered by Shinobu, he was found at a strange snowy paddy field with no water in it. This scenery was described by Yukari as a transient alternate world ruled by the Aburatori. It's a place cut off from the rest of the world and its seasons that nobody should be able to enter under normal circumstances.
- Skewers: The Aburatori has the ability to produce an endless amount of metal fish-cooking skewers, which he normally uses as stabbing or throwing weapons, being capable of throwing over a hundred skewers at the same time. Anyone harmed by these skewers, human or Youkai, will be at the mercy of the Aburatori's power, as he can use the skewer to automatically remove any and all organs of the target. Thus, he can kill just by causing a small scratch or scrape.
- Killing Intent Projection: The Aburatori can project his murderous intent to bind his prey as a frog being glared at by a snake.
- Time Manipulation: The Aburatori gained time traveling abilities after taking over a Package that had interpreted his trait of appearing anywhere he wants without anyone seeing him as time travel. Now ruling over both time and space, he can freely travel to the past or the future. Due to being able to freely move through time, the continuity of past, present, and future has grown thin for the Aburatori. Killing or harming one of his past versions does nothing to him. The only way of truly killing him is to destroy his "main body".
- Temporal Double: The Aburatori can create and send a copy of himself to a completely different point of the timeline to act independently from the "main body". This was perfectly demonstrated when he began talking with Yukari in the present while mentioning that at the same time he was repeating their past fight over and over, trying to find a way to win and absorb her.
- Timeline Distortion: While even with his control over time and space Aburatori could not defeat Yukari and her ability to control destiny, by continuously traveling to the past with one of his doubles and fighting her he tore to shreds the historical data about who won the fight. After over 15,000 repetitions fact and fiction mixed up together, giving the Aburatori free reign over the record of who won the fight and how it ended, allowing him to win, absorb Yukari and obtain her power over destiny despite this being impossible for him to do otherwise.
- Destiny Manipulation: After defeating and absorbing Yukari the Aburatori gained her ability to perceive and control destiny. It's likely that this included the possibility of sacrificing those powers to create a new, previously impossible, destiny. As a side effect of the absorption, the Aburatori's appearance changed from an old decrepit farmer to a beautiful woman with long black hair in a white yukata, somewhat similar to Yukari, still wearing his iconic hat.
Key: Base & Kaeshigami | Time Travel Package | With Yukari Absorbed