#20. Evil Masque
PHANTOM STREET #20
tl by danluffey
Phantom Street 
Cast of Characters
The 17th-generation "Mugen," and current owner of Mugen's Puppet Shop. He uses the "kuhou" skills he learned from his grandfather to do side work as a shaman. Currently he can only use three "kuhou" skills properly: flight, superhuman strength, and razor wind.
In the world of Japanese mysticism, tengu are known as creatures that consist purely of energy, who live alongside nature, yet are beyond what our human bodies can physically recognize. Normally, tengu are born from natural energy, but humans can also become tengu if they train themselves properly. This method of training is known as kuhou. Tengu possess the following abilities: flight, superhuman strength, telekinesis, mind-reading, invisibility, clairvoyance, water-walking, razor wind, spirit waves, and illusionary arts.
Hyousuke's grandfather. Several years ago, his soul was transplanted into this head. He taught Hyousuke both in puppetry and kuhou. Genzou possesses the abilities of clairvoyance, mind-reading, and illusionary arts, but he also has a few other tricks up his sleeve.
A sealist who can manipulate powered seals called "jufu." He makes his living by taking any sort of paying job he can get his hands on. He's been connected to Hyousuke for several years.
A childhood friend of Hyousuke's who trained with him in the mountains when they were children. She's a master of Kuhou who can use almost all of the possible abilities, and also runs a detective office. To Hyousuke, she's like an older sister.
The girl from the liquor shop next door who helps Hyousuke out part-time at his shop. She's in love with him.
Table of Contents
#20. Evil Masque
#21. Phantom Monkey
#20. Evil Masque
2: Long time no see, gramps.
3: Oh, Shiragami-san! I've been waiting for you.
4: Please, come inside...
6: This is my granddaughter, Yuuko. Go on, introduce yourself to Shiragami-san.
7: I'm Nanase Yuuko.
8: It's very nice to meet you.
1: So, what happened this time?
3: Shiragami-san... have you heard about the masked man?
4: Masked man?!
5: Oh, you mean the killer that's been in the news lately? What about him?
7: do you think about him?
8: Hmph... seems like the police are making him out to be some masked man to protect his identity.
9: I dunno...
10: Wearing a mask really decreases your field of view.
11: I can't see a real criminal doing it.
12: I've worn a noh masque once before... you can't even see your own feet in those things.
13: And I bet if you wear one at night, you become virtually blind.
1: Now, I don't know what kind of person the criminal is... but if he's wearing that mask, he must have some kind of superhuman powers.
2: About the mask... the truth is, it's a mask from my shop.
4: There was an illustration created from a testimony that appeared in the paper.
5: There's no mistaking it...
6: I wasn't very fond of it, and I was thinking of getting rid of it... but then, when I was out, my daughter sold it to someone.
7: I'm sorry!
8: But he said he'd buy it at the asking price!
9: That mask was something that people in our industry call an "evil masque."
10: An evil masque?!
1: When masters of maskcraft put all of their heart and soul into creating a mask, sometimes, their tenacity gets stuck within it. This is what gives birth to an evil masque.
2: In Yoshizaki, Fukui Prefecture, there exists a legend about a mask that had flesh attached to it. The mask is supposedly kept at Gankei-ji Temple.
3: So... who bought the mask?
4: Please ask my daughter about the details.
5: I'll do my best to help you, Shiragami-san! I'm looking forward to working with you!
1: You want me to be your mentor?!
3: I'm really interested in your seal art stuff!
4: Please! Pretty please!!
6: This isn't some game, you know.
7: I'm not going to tell you anything about the masked man until you say yes.
9: /She's a bit of a headstrong girl...
SFX: HO HO HO
10: /but please watch over her for me.
11: Why do I have to babysit his kid too?!
12: Stupid old fart...
1: Hey, kid.
2: Just out of curiosity... why do you want to learn about seal art?
2: Being able to control Jufu would be soooo cool!
3: It's cool, and you can make money doing it, right?
4: Just kidding. Eheheh... that was just a joke.
5: I have a real reason for why I want to learn.
6: The truth is, you already saved me once before, Shiragami-san.
7: Do you remember it?
8: I did?!
9: It happened
10: about three years ago...
1: /When I was still in middle school...
3: Someone... help...
5: What's wrong... are you OK?
7: Shut up! Don't make any noise!!
1: L-listen up! You even try and come near me...
2: and I'll murder this little girl!!
3: You don't know
4: when to give up, do you?
3: Are you
6: I'm fine.
1: Ever since then,
2: I've really looked up to you, Shiragami-san.
3: Umm... just for the record, I have no intention of taking on any disciples.
4: I thought you'd say that...
5: but I'm never going to give up!
SIGN: Doctor's Office
1: Hi there, Arimoto.
2: What's up? You've been in an unusually good mood lately.
3: Did something good happen?
1: The truth is...
2: I found a new hobby...
3: Hey, there he is!
4: You sure that's him?
5: That's his face. I'm sure of it!
2: are you?!
3: A week ago, you went to a store called Sharakudou
4: and bought an old mask, didn't you?
5: The owner of that store
6: asked me to repurchase it from you.
2: but I think you've got the wrong man.
4: It's no use playing dumb at this point.
5: That was a noh mask from the Nara Period.
6: A posthumous work by Katsura Kodou.
7: Kodou was a very famous mask artist,
8: but he was a womanizer, and ended up killing one of his girls after a love affair.
9: After that, he went crazy, and started putting on his masks, creeping around at night, and attacking women.
10: Of course, he was arrested, and died suffering in prison.
11: Lately, there's been a masked killer
12: stalking the streets, right?
13: I bet the mask just happened to catch his eye, and he picked it up on a whim...
14: Poor sap.
1: Woah there!
2: Hold up.
3: I have a witness, you know.
4: So unless you want me to tip the police, bring the mask to the park near here at midnight tonight.
1: How did it go?!
3: You're still here?
4: Isn't it past your bedtime, kid?
5: What? How dare you?!
6: I'm 17, you know!
7: I'm not a kid!!
8: Anyone who's never truly loved someone else is still a kid in my eyes.
1: I've been in love before!
2: Now what?
3: You people think you love people,
4: and think you're loved,
5: but it's just all in your heads.
6: You're just pretending like it's love to satisfy yourselves.
7: Because when things get inconvenient, your "love" turns to "hate."
8: In other words, you can only love yourself.
9: So what?
10: Have you ever loved someone, Shiragami-san?
1: Yeah, once.
2: A long time ago...
3: Let's go home, kid.
1: You're late...
2: Not bad!
3: No way...
1: You're not getting away.
1: Seal art
2: "Enbu." (*Flame Dance)
1: I thought you went home,
3: I... I'm sorry...
4: I was just worried about you...
7: Fine, whatever.
8: When you get home, tell the old man that the job's been finished.
9: He can deposit the payment into the usual place.
10: You're bleeding!
1: Did you get hurt, Shiragami-san?!
2: It's just a little scratch. It'll heal on its own.
3: Are you kidding?!
4: What if it gets infected?
7: That's better.
8: What's wrong?
1: You sure you don't need to go to the hospital?
2: Nah. I've never liked hospitals, since I was a kid.
3: Shiragami-san... I have a feeling you're going to die young.
4: I don't want to live to 100
5: and have someone change my shit-stained undies.
6: If I can live to 60,
7: I'll be more than satisfied.
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