The True Form of Ushi-gozen: A Different Account

丑御前の御本地、異説


Sakata Kintoki:
Whew! I worked up a good sweat in the simulator today!
I’d rather go on an actual rei-shift and take Bear out for a spin.
Well, I can’t complain. Thanks a lot, Mash and Doc!

Dr. Roman:
Not at all, it was nothing. Come by whenever you want to fire up the combat simulator.
It’ll give us more chances the tweak the system, and Gudao can gain more battle experience.

Mash:
I’ve learned a lot, too. Thank you, Kintoki.
Nonstop battles against gazers and mega-size ghosts… It was a training session worth being a defender for.

  1. What a Golden day!
  2. Haven’t we been doing this a bit too long?

[1] Sakata Kintoki:
Aw, yeah! Until next time, Chief!

[2] Sakata Kintoki:
Ah… You’re right. I didn’t notice how late it was. It’s already midnight.
We can’t see outside from in here. The simulator only has two settings for day and night.

[2] Dr. Roman:
Sorry about that. We don’t really have resources to spare.

[2] Sakata Kintoki:
Hey, getting lost in the heat of battle is every man’s fantasy! I’d never get mad at you just because we finished a little late.

Minamoto no Raikou:
……..*sniff* Mother is sad, you two…
Not just Kintoki, but even Gudao… How could you…
Surely, you must have been swinging swords and axes in the fields and hills all day, playing until you forgot the time…
Mother will not scold you for being spirited and naughty… I love it. Yes, I love it!
You are so dear to me. I just want to caress you. Yes, truly… like this!♡

[Raikou hugs Kintoki]

Sakata Kintoki:
Wai- Don’t hug me! I’m not a kid anymore, Chief Raikou!

Minamoto no Raikou:
Hmph! What are you saying? You are still my precious boy.
The fact that you’ve played this late without telling me proves that… Do you know why I am so sad?

Sakata Kintoki:
Well, uh… Is it because I’ve been taking Chief Gudao everywhere?
I do feel bad for making him fight all day long…

Mash:
We’re sorry, Raikou. We kept him in the training simulator too long…

Minamoto no Raikou:
That’s all right, Mash. You don’t need to worry.
I’m sure he was just so taken in by Kintoki’s ferocity that he couldn’t bear to mention the time, right?
Kintoki has always been that way. He flashes a friendly smile at his friends, and drags them into his playtime.
Even the most stern of people eventually give into his charms, and before they realize it, they’ve been indulging in wild recreation all night long…
It is up to Kintoki if he wants to get hurt, but it is unbecoming of a samurai to inconvenience others.
It pains my heart to see this, as the one in charge of his education…

  1. You know your son well…
  2. Oh, is this leading into a Golden Lecture?

[1] Mash:
(Yes, Senpai. I think she’s demonstrating her maternity.)

[2] Mash:
(I-I think so, Senpai!)

Minamoto no Raikou:
Kintoki. Do you know why your mother is speaking to you this way? Do you understand? You do, don’t you?

Sakata Kintoki:
(Gimme a break, already! I always came home before midnight. I swore to Master Kaminari that I wouldn’t get into any trouble, too!)

Minamoto no Raikou:
Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki:
Gah. Ahh… Well… Um… Like…
It’s not that I don’t get what you’re saying… Sorry, or whatever…
Like, really sorry…

Minamoto no Raikou:
…Kintoki, can you say that while looking into Mother’s eyes?

Sakata Kintoki:
……..Sorry.
I’m very sorry for not being home by dinner time.

  1. Now I get it!
  2. So that’s why she’s mad!

Sakata Kintoki:
Yeah, I totally forgot. I was supposed to have dinner with Raikou today.

Mash:
Now that you mention it, you were working with Emiya and Boudica in the kitchen, Raikou.

  1. I didn’t know that.
  2. All the moms in the kitchen…

[1] Mash:
I try to help them when I have time, too.
The way to the hearts of the people you love is through their stomach! It’s a very educational classroom!

[2] Mash:
Yes, it does feel that way.

Minamoto no Raikou:
Listen to me, Kintoki, Gudao.
I am not angry because I haven’t eaten.
Of course, I am slightly upset. Just a little bit. Barely angry enough to chop a cutting board in three, so you can relax.
Ah, no, that wasn’t my point…

I took great, great care in making all of your favorite dishes, putting my effort into the work, pouring my love into the flavor, wondering if it would make you happy, hoping you’d tell me it’s delicious…
I was looking forward to it so… so… very much…
…How… How could you be so cruel to me…? *sniff*

  1. You made her cry! Kintoki, you made her cry!
  2. Awawawa…

[1] Sakata Kintoki:
Like hell I did! You’re just as guilty, Chief!

[2] Sakata Kintoki:
H-Hey, say something, Chief. This is making me look really bad…

Minamoto no Raikou:
*sniff* Silence.
You’re so cruel… Actually, I’m sure that you’ve both forgotten to eat all day, haven’t you?
Playing with rei-shifts… Playing with the simulator…
Playing with Experience Embers… Playing with Ascension materials…
Running wild on that “Bear” of yours…
Are you aware of your status as one of my Four Heavenly Kings, and my Master? Shouldn’t you take things a bit more seriously?
Well? Look into Mother’s eyes, and give me your answer.

  1. I’m terribly sorry!
  2. …It was just a one-time mistake.

[1] Sakata Kintoki:
Whoa, a full-blown bow!? Nice apology, Chief! Very brave of you!
Me too, Raikou. My bad.

[2] Sakata Kintoki:
Hey, don’t be like that, Master. That means I’ll be the only one apologizing!

Minamoto no Raikou:
…Good grief. You are both such children.
I won’t scold you for your playtime. But, now you must eat and sleep plenty. Do you understand?

Sakata Kintoki:
W-Well, I’m not actually a kid-

Minamoto no Raikou:

NO.

No, the one thing I will not allow my child to do is neglect his health. Kintoki, it seems that I will need to give you a firm lecture.
How about tonight? You will listen to Mother by your pillow until you fall asleep.
I will teach you what it means to be a child of my house. You will learn of the things you must absolutely protect. And, you will learn how much your mother loves you!

Sakata Kintoki:
Uh, I already know that stuff. I’ll pass. That stuff won’t stick in my head, anyway.
I’m tired from all this hard training. You can talk to me tomorrow, so just let me off the hook today!

Minamoto no Raikou:
………

How could you… I haven’t talked to you in such a long time, so how could you ask that of your mother…?
Do you hate me, Kintoki…? *sniff*
Please tell me, Kintoki… What did Mother do wrong…?
Did you not eat the rice balls I rolled for you… because you hate your mother…?

  1. You totally made her cry, Kintoki.
  2. No doubt about it, your son’s a thug.

Sakata Kintoki:
You’re taking her side now, Chief!?

Mash:
That’s true… Raikou made you dinner, and was waiting for you with Golden patience…

Minamoto no Raikou:
Yes… That’s right… *sniff*

Sakata Kintoki:
Fine, I get it! Lecture me as much as you want tonight!

Minamoto no Raikou:
…!
Really, Kintoki!? Mother is so happy! I’ll prepare plenty of things to tell you tonight.

Sakata Kintoki:
Ugh, seriously?

Dr. Roman:
Incredible. She’s treating him like a child, despite his unrivaled strength and mastery of Bear.

Mash:
I’d heard that Raikou was Kintoki’s mother figure, but it’s actually true.

  1. Even heroes are no match for their mothers.
  2. It’s like he’s at home.

[1] Mash:
Mothers reign supreme.

[2] Mash:
Yes, Senpai. It was a charming scene.

Minamoto no Raikou:
Oh, Gudao. Why are you talking like it’s none of your business?
After Kintoki falls asleep, it will be your turn.
Make sure you wait for me in your room without falling asleep. Do you understand?

  1. Y-Yes, ma’am.
  2. So it’s come to this…

[1] Minamoto no Raikou:
Hehe. Very good. Then, I’ll see you later.

[2] Minamoto no Raikou:
Indeed, it has. Then, I’ll see you later.

Mash:
Oooh… Your mother teaching you a lesson as you fall asleep… How very Japanese!

Dr. Roman:
It’s the privilege of the elderly… No, their responsibility, I guess.
It looks like Kintoki isn’t the only one she views as her child, Gudao.


Minamoto no Raikou:
…Are you still awake?
Very good. I’m sorry. It took some time for Kintoki to fall asleep.
He kept begging me to leave, which made me very sad… I thought I was going to cry…
Actually, I did cry a little…

In the end, my boy understood his mother’s feelings. I’m sure he will grow into a fine boy.

  1. That’s good.
  2. Good night, then!

[1] Minamoto no Raikou:
Yes. Now, it’s your turn.

[2] Minamoto no Raikou:
Not yet. Hehe, I just got here.

Minamoto no Raikou:
I don’t mind if you just keep lying there like that. I will just sit here next to your pillow.
Yes… Is this the first time you’ve slept this way?
When he was a child, I did this for Kintoki. They are distant, nostalgic memories, hehehe. To think I’d be able to do it again.

It is the cherished desire of every elder to watch over their children’s growth. Though, tonight, I am here to give you a lecture.
I am not here because I want to scold you for being naughty. Please understand that.
No matter what you do or how you act, there will always be someone who worries about you.
I just want you to know that. Please don’t make the people who are thinking of you feel sad..

  1. …Are you talking about yourself?
  2. You mean Mash, Dr. Roman, and the Servants?

[1] Minamoto no Raikou:
…Well, who knows?

[2] Minamoto no Raikou:
Hehehe…

Minamoto no Raikou:
Ah, right. Let me tell you a story.
I don’t mind childish mischief. You are adorable because you are so spirited.
But, if you only pay attention to yourself, and behave without concern for others…
You will surely make someone suffer. At times, you may even cause blood to be shed.

For example…
Once upon a time, there was a girl.
She was born as a heaven-sent child of Gozu Ten’nou, the Kitano Tenjin.
The girl spent three years and three months in her mother’s womb, before being born on the year, day, and hour of the ox.
The girl was named Ushi-gozen, and she was born with fangs, long hair, and eyes that gleamed like the morning sun.
In other words, she was a demon child. An oni had been born in the capital.

  1. Ushi-gozen…
  2. A demon child?

[1] Minamoto no Raikou:

[2] Minamoto no Raikou:
Long ago, that is what they used to call children born in abnormal circumstances.

Minamoto no Raikou:
She was inhuman, a child of oni. Her father ordered that the child be put to death, but…
Her mother took pity on the child, and entrusted the child to a temple in distant Yamato.

The girl was raised in secret, and she grew to become sturdier than any human, possessing godly power.
It came to her naturally. After all, she was a demigod, conceived when Kitano Tenjin came to her mother in a dream.
The girl was raised knowing nothing of her background. She was ignorant of her father’s name, and the power of her father’s clan in the capital.
When she turned fifteen, a messenger finally arrived from the capital.
The messenger said that her father wished for the return of his daughter.
Overjoyed, the girl returned to the capital. And then… she was given a new name.


[flashback]

Minamoto no Mitsunaka:
You are the eldest son of the Minamoto clan. Thus, you have been furnished with weapons and armor befitting your status.
You will endeavor to never bring shame to your family’s name. You will execute all bandits and rebels who dare defy the capital.
Prove yourself, and you may yet become the master of the clan.

Minamoto no Raikou:
…Yes, Father.
I shall faithfully enforce your laws. If you command it, I will even become an oni.

Minamoto no Mitsunaka:
You are no oni. You are my son. A son of humans, and the heir to the proud Genji bloodline.
Minamoto no Raikou is your new name. Never forget it.

Minamoto no Raikou:
Never. I, Raikou, shall strive to carry out the will of the Minamoto.


Minamoto no Raikou:
…The girl struck down numerous enemies, both human and inhuman. Many of the the foes she slew were abominations.
There were a great many of them. She killed them all. Not a day passed where she wasn’t soaked in the blood of the fallen.
She killed, killed, killed, killed, and kept on killing.
She obeyed her father’s orders, so that she would become the head of the Minamoto clan someday.
Before she knew it, in the heat of battle…

She found herself surrounded by trustworthy friends. She even had family that she loved like her own brother.

  1. Raikou’s Four Heavenly Kings!
  2. By brother, you mean Kintoki?

Minamoto no Raikou:
………

Friends. Family. They were truly… irreplaceable.
But one day, the girl realized something.
What was the point of all their martial exploits? Was it all for nothing?
Her friends sang her praises. Even her pupil gave her the brightest of smiles.
But… Once, she had been born as a demon child.
Could she truly rise to become the chief of the Minamoto? Would they really let her?
Would her father, clan, and fellow citizens of the capital recognize her? Would the humans accept her as one of their own?

  1. That’s…
  2. Her father is supposed to have recognized her.

[1] Minamoto no Raikou:
…They must have feared her. She was stronger than anyone.

[2] Minamoto no Raikou:
I wonder about that. On top of being a woman, she was born as a demon child.
If she had been male, if she had been a true and proper human… How much better would life have been? She always wondered.
She had come to understand. Unlike the peaceful confines of a country temple, she knew how terribly the humans in that melting pot of a capital feared disorder.

Minamoto no Raikou:
…The girl made up her mind. She would try to live up to her father’s hopes.
She would move on from purging rebels, and take her place on the stage of history.
To do that… she had no choice but to kill herself.
She would attempt  to cut out her abominable, demonic side, just as she once cast aside her name.

  1. Ushi-gozen.

Minamoto no Raikou:
…Yes.


[flashback]

Sakata Kintoki:
Chief! Are you listening, Chief Raikou!?
I can’t accept this! There’s no reason for us to travel all the way to these eastern reaches!

Minamoto no Raikou:
…What is it, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki:
There’s nothing but an empty wasteland around Asakusa River. Did the Genji head send you here for some reason?
I’ve never heard of any oni or spiders roaming these parts. And you…
You’ve been acting strange for a while. You’re… how do I put it… absent-minded…
I’ve seen you spacing out two or three times a day. That’s just odd.

Minamoto no Raikou:
Odd…?
Nothing is wrong with your mother. I am the next head of the Genji clan, and your loving Raikou.
…That is who I will always be.
That’s who… I have to be.

Sakata Kintoki:
Ah, hey, Chief! I’m not finished talking!


Minamoto no Raikou:
And then…
The girl fought herself, in an eastern province far from the capital. It began as deep meditation.
After that fierce initial bout, the demon within — Ushi-gozen — finally awakened.
Ushi-gozen split off from the girl’s body, and incarnated as an avatar of Gozu Ten’nou.

  1. Did they really split into two people?
  2. The clone technique…?

[1] Minamoto no Raikou:
Yes. Then, they killed each other.

[2] Minamoto no Raikou:
Yes, I’ve heard of that. You mean that technique that “ninjas” used in later tales, right?
No, this was different. One girl completely split into two…
And then they killed each other.

Minamoto no Raikou:
The incarnated Ushi-gozen was a raging demigod. She shook the heavens, roiled thunder, and cracked the earth.
The girl had decided to kill herself with her friends, in order to defeat this monster.

It was… very foolish of her.
In my stupidity, I knew this. I was headed for a foolish end, where I had even lost sight of myself.
I had acted without concern for others, and I hurt my beloved son…
The one child who I never wanted to suffer, above all others, was in such agony…

…*sniff*

I had never experienced such regret as a mother. He was so, so sad…
Truly, it was the hardest thing I ever did…
So, I swear that I will never make you feel that way…

…Oh, Gudao?
Oh, you fell asleep. How naughty of you to do that in the middle of a lecture.
But… perhaps this was for the best.
You didn’t have to see my shameful weeping. I suppose this means my lecture was a waste.
Hehe. You’re so adorable when you’re sleeping. Ahh, I want to poke at your defenseless face.
It makes me want to wrap you up and use you as a body pillow.
But… you must be tired from so much training. I’ll have to restrain my selfishness.

Sweet dreams, Gudao.


Sakata Kintoki:
I’ve been waiting, Chief. This time, I can’t do this alone.

  1. I think I was sleeping in my room…
  2. Ooh, it’s happening!

[1] Sakata Kintoki:
That’s right! You’re definitely asleep! Even now!

[2] Sakata Kintoki:
Yeah, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for!

Sakata Kintoki:
Masters and Servants are connected in their dreams. This is a dream. A damned violent one.
But it isn’t my dream. Well, maybe.
We’re in Chief Raikou’s dream.

What’s more, we’re at the place where Raikou fought her most powerful foe, the ox-demon.
All ox-demons are powerful, but this one is the biggest of the bads!
It’s Ushi-gozen, the incarnation of Raikou’s demonic aspect that she separated herself from.

  1. Speak of the devil.
  2. You’re here too, Kintoki, which means…

Sakata Kintoki:
I stopped her in the past. No, it might be better to say that things just turned out all right.
You see… Chief Raikou tried to kill Ushi-gozen, the embodiment of her demonic power.
But that’s a really vague way of describing it. It puts the cart before the horse. She wanted to “cut that side out,” but it was just herself.
What happens if you kill yourself? You die, of course.

  1. She… tried to commit suicide?

Sakata Kintoki:
Yeah. The Chief worried alone, and she suffered alone.
By killing the oni within her, she chose to die as a human.
…I was against it. She begged me to let her die, but I didn’t listen.
I told you about this before, didn’t I? I beat up Raikou to stop the fight.

  1. You told me.
  2. I might not have heard this story.

[1] Sakata Kintoki:
Yeah. Well, that’s how it went.
Ushi-gozen vanished. She never showed herself again.

[2] Sakata Kintoki:
It’s not a story I enjoy telling, but… anyway, I stopped Raikou from killing herself.
I begged her to stop this foolishness. I got down on my knees and cried, even.
In the end, Ushi-gozen was the one who gave in. My lightning shocked her into unconsciousness.
I literally knocked her out. After that, Ushi-gozen never came out again.

Sakata Kintoki:
But, things aren’t going that way this time. You have to fight, as Raikou’s Master.
You have to face Ushi-gozen, who sleeps deep within Raikou, to prove whether you’re worthy of Raikou!

  1. That was always the plan!

Sakata Kintoki:
That’s the spirit! I’ll help you with everything I’ve got!

Ushi-gozen:
I see. So it’s you. My new child.
You are to be praised for teaming up with Kintoki. But, hmph. This simply will not do.
Aren’t you a mere human? No matter how grand your mission to save the world or whatnot may be…
I expected you to be a hero who inherited supernatural or demonic blood, but you are little more than a child who has learned a few parlor tricks.
Raikou is so silly. A child cannot choose her parents, but parents can at least choose their children.

Sakata Kintoki:
Ha! You’ve got some nerve. I’d expect nothing less than extreme violence from Ushi-gozen, avatar of the great Gozu Ten’nou!
But you’re not that cool or Golden!
Underestimate this kid, and you’ll get burned! Our Master is a badass who bridges gods, oni, and men!

Ushi-gozen:
Oh, really? How remarkable.
A pleasure to meet you, human child. It has only been a short while, but how have you enjoyed cuddling with Raikou?

  1. What do you think?
  2. I don’t know yet.

[1] Ushi-gozen:
There is nothing to think. Hehehe.
Humans and oni will never get along.

[2] Ushi-gozen:
How honest. I don’t expect you to understand, though.

Ushi-gozen:
I will demonstrate to you what Raikou is. You will learn the terror of oni,  demons, and abominations.
Show me your might, child of Raikou! I, Ushi-gozen, command the thundering wrath of Heaven! If you are worthy, perhaps some of your ashes will remain after my embrace!
If so, I shall give you my love! I will shed enough tears for both Raikou and I!

Sakata Kintoki:
Ha, that’s sick. You’re one hell of a cool beauty! Here she comes, Chief!
Fight as hard as you can! Even if this is a dream, you’ll die if she burns you!
I dunno about Authorities or whatever, but most gods are scary-ass beings that don’t follow any rules once they get mad!

  1. Of course, full power!
  2. That’s not what “cool beauty” means!

[1] Sakata Kintoki:
All right! Let’s send her flying at full throttle. We’ll kick that suppressed will down a well!¹

[2] Sakata Kintoki:
Really! That ain’t Golden! You’ll just have to teach me after we get through this!

Sakata Kintoki:
Now, let’s kick some demon ass! My engine’s at full blast! Time to settle this with a Golden Drive!

[battle]


Minamoto no Raikou:
Oh, good morning, Gudao!
What a nice morning. I don’t know what it’s like outside, but the rei-shift weather is quite nice.
How are you feeling? You’ve been staring at me…
Hehe, even your half-asleep eyes are charming. Breakfast is ready for you.
Mash helped me prepare it. She’s a good girl, unlike a certain insect.

Oh, listen to this. Kintoki even helped me this morning!
Oh, dear. Oh, my! That boy is so… Mother is liable to break down in tears of joy!
In fact, I did break down into tears!

  1. I’m alive.
  2. Do you acknowledge me now?

Minamoto no Raikou:
Huh?
What are you talking about? I already recognize you as my Master.

  1. Good.
  2. It was a hard fight.

Minamoto no Raikou:
I don’t know what you’re talking about…
If I didn’t see you that way, would I be taking care of you like this? Don’t you understand?

Now, wash up and come to breakfast. I don’t mind fetching you some towels and hot water.
Over-protectiveness is a wonderful thing. If you prefer, I won’t hold back at all…

  1. In moderation, please!

Minamoto no Raikou:
…………Hehehe.


1. Originally a Japanese pun involving “id” and 井戸 (ido, meaning “well”)

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