Watanabe Kills The Great Spider
: Japanese Fairy World
During the time in which Watanabe was forming his plan to destroy the
onis that lurked in the Oye mountains, the brave Raiko fell sick, and
daily grew weaker and paler. When the demons found this out they sent the
three-eyed imp called Mitsume Kozo, to plague him.
This imp, which had a snout like a hog's, three monstrous blue eyes, and
a mouth full of tusks, was glad that the brave soldier could no longer
fight the onis. He would approach the sick man in his chamber, leer
horribly at him, loll out his tongue, and pull down the lids of his eyes
with his hairy fingers, until the sight sickened Raiko more and more.
But Raiko, well or ill, always slept with his trusty sword under his
pillow, and pretending to be greatly afraid, and to cower under the
bed-clothes, the kozo grew bolder and bolder. When the imp was near the
bed, Raiko drew his blade, and cut the oni across his huge double nose.
This made the demon howl, and he ran away, leaving tracks of blood.
When Tsuna and his band heard of their brave master's exploit, they came
to congratulate him, and offered to hunt out the demon and destroy him.
They followed the red drops until they came to a cavern in the mountains.
Entering this they saw in the gloom a spider six feet high, with legs as
long as a fishing-pole, and as thick as a daikon radish. Two great
yellow eyes glared at them like lamps. They noticed a great gaping wound
as if done by a sword-cut on his snout.
It was a horrible, nasty hairy thing to fight with swords, since to get
near enough, they would be in danger of the creature's claws. So Tsuna
went and chopped down a tree as thick as a man's leg, leaving the roots
on, while his comrades prepared a rope to tie up the monster like a fly
in a web. Then with a loud yell Tsuna rushed at the spider, felled him
with a blow, and held him down with the tree and roots so he could not
bite or use his claws. Seeing this, his comrades rushed in, and bound the
monster's legs tight to his body so that he could not move. Drawing their
swords they passed them through his body and finished him. Returning in
triumph to the city, they found their dear captain recovered from his
Raiko thanked his brave warriors for their exploits, made a feast for
them, and gave them many presents. At this feast Captain Raiko told them
that he had received orders from the mikado to march against the oni's
den in Tango, slaughter them all, and rescue the prisoners he should find
there. Then he showed them his commission written in large letters,
"I command you, Raiko, to chastise the onis."
He also allowed them to examine the gold brocade bag, in which it was
kept, and which one of the fair ladies of the court had made for him with
her own tapering fingers.
At this time many families in Kioto were grieving over the loss of their
children, and even while Tsuna had been away, several lovely damsels had
been seized and taken to the demon's den.
Lest the onis might hear of their coming, and escape, the four trusty men
disguised themselves as Komuso or wandering priests of the mountains.
They put on over their helmets, huge hats like wash-bowls, made of straw,
woven so tightly that no one could see their faces. They covered their
armor with very cheap and common clothes, and then after worshipping at
the shrines, began their march.