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Chapter 1 – Night Parade of One Hundred Demons

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Author: Luo Jiang Shen Original Source: SFACG
Translator: Silva English Source: Re:Library

The dark night sky was illuminated by a shining moon.

A foggy mist shrouded the old and somber street situated on the eastern side of the tranquil Kamakura City. The street appeared devoid of any shadows.

Nevertheless, a youthful girl, seemingly from a distinct era, strolled along the worn, rock-paved road. Her feet were adorned with wooden sandals, and she carried a paper parasol while donning a purple kimono adorned with blue flowers.

The female body was named Lily, but why was it referred to as such? It was because the soul inhabiting this young woman’s body belonged to a somewhat handsome boy.

Both the delicate, beautiful female body and the soul of the boy were not of this world.

Lily possessed a well-defined face, and her pinkish skin suggested that she was a sheltered young woman. Her big, glittering eyes betrayed a hint of panic and puzzlement as she surveyed the old, gloomy world.

Despite the cold night wind, her small, delicate nose was still flushed. Her healthy-looking lips emitted a faintly visible breath, and the street was so eerily quiet that she could hear her own breathing.

Lily had no recollection of how she had arrived in this place, nor could she fathom how she had been transformed into a girl who wore the clothing of a bygone era. Furthermore, although it was chilly outside and she carried a parasol, it was not raining.

Lily knew for certain that she had once been a boy living in modern times, an ordinary senior high school student in S City. However, she could not recall her original name, so she referred to herself as Lily.

The moment she had awakened in this world fifteen minutes earlier, she had inexplicably known that her name was Lily.

Apart from her name, Lily could only recall living her life as a boy. Her memories felt as though they had transpired just yesterday, but it seemed like a distant past. It was as though her perception of time had been distorted.

Lily speculated that perhaps it was the ancient buildings surrounding her that caused this unease.

She pondered, “Could this be ancient Japan? Is it the Heian period or the Warring States era? Those are the only two eras of Japanese history that I am familiar with. Alternatively, this could be a different world that resembles ancient Japan.”

While contemplating her situation, Lily considered that if it weren’t for her genuine female body and the authentic kimono she was wearing, she might have mistaken her surroundings for a filming location after sleepwalking. Despite being an average boy in most respects, Lily possessed a sharp sense of art, particularly in national painting. She could tell at a glance that these buildings were authentic, and their craftsmanship and realism were not something a filming site could reproduce. Furthermore, the fresh atmosphere only strengthened her conviction that she had never been here before.

Growing up, Lily’s delicate and sensitive sense of aesthetics was seen as too feminine, so she never felt particularly proud of it.

Although Lily was not particularly masculine as a boy, she still had her own opinions. Despite being amazed and finding it hard to believe, she was currently deep in thought.

“Whether I have traveled back to Japan from a thousand years ago or to a different world altogether, my current circumstances remain the same: I am in deep trouble!”

A beautiful girl wandering alone in a desolate street at night was a recipe for trouble. Even in S City, known for its public safety, Lily would have felt uneasy, let alone in an unfamiliar world with an unknown civilization.

Although movies often romanticized the ancient era, Lily knew that it was actually a very cruel time in history. Perhaps it would have been better if she had ended up in a different world, where she could learn and understand a different culture.

Lily couldn’t see her own reflection as there were no mirrors in sight. Without a cell phone to take a selfie, she had to rely on her body features to infer her appearance. Her slender arms, pinkish skin, small feet, and attractive figure were all signs that she might be attractive. But she felt like her line of sight was a little higher than when she was a boy, frustrating her.

However, her physical attractiveness was the least of her concerns. Lily was defenseless and vulnerable, walking alone in an unknown and uncivilized world with only a parasol for protection. She desperately searched for any clues or weapons hidden in her clothing, but all she found was an old copper mirror inside the sash of her kimono.

A copper mirror?

Lily retrieved the large copper mirror from her waist and held it up to examine her reflection, but the mirror was so old and rusty that the dim moonlight barely revealed her face. She couldn’t help but feel pity for people from ancient times who couldn’t see themselves clearly. Deciding that the mirror might have some value, she tucked it back into her waist.

Lily contemplated her situation. “So this must be a poor era where the common people struggle to get enough to eat. But based on my clothing and this copper mirror, I must be the daughter of a wealthy family with a good social standing,” she reasoned. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any identification or knowledge of how to get back home.”

Lily continued her train of thought, “Regardless of whether this is ancient Japan or a different world, it’s still better than being in the underworld. While it’s dangerous to encounter strangers on the road, there should be some sort of government office around here. If I can find it and pretend to have lost my memory, they should at least provide me with some protection. As for what comes next, I’ll deal with it when the time comes.”

With her plan in mind, Lily made her way towards the main road.

As Lily continued down the path, she came to a wider street that was not paved like the previous one. Confused, she muttered to herself, “Huh? What’s with this place? The pathway earlier was paved with rock, so how come this avenue is not paved?”

She looked around and noticed that the street was surrounded by white walls on both sides. The walls had gates leading to courtyards, and lanterns were hanging from the gates. Lily peered into the courtyards and could see some trees and pavilions, but most of it was covered in darkness.

Lily thought to herself that ancient times weren’t like the movies. She realized that candles and oil lamps must have cost a lot of money, and questioned who would light up those lamps at this hour.

As the wind blew, it caused Lily to tremble slightly, feeling a bit uneasy in the dark and mysterious surroundings.

“Should I go and knock on their door? This seems like the household of a wealthy family. It should be safer with rich people, right?”

She quickly shook her head to disperse such thoughts, reminding herself that wealth did not equate to civility. In ancient times, strength was everything, and she was just a young lady. She didn’t want to risk being oppressed by force.

Despite her reservations, Lily knew she couldn’t stay hidden forever. She was in an unknown world with no food or water, and the chilly weather only made her situation more dire. The thought of starving or freezing to death on the street was too much to bear. Lily knew she had to find a safe place to shelter. Maybe a government office or somewhere similar would be her best bet.

As Lily gazed down the long street, she saw that it was enveloped in dense fog. Even with the moonlight shining down, she couldn’t see anything beyond a hundred meters. She had no idea where the road led.

Regret filled Lily’s heart as she realized she hadn’t paid enough attention to her grandpa’s survival films. She found herself in an unfamiliar world without any survival skills, unable to even determine which direction she faced.

Suddenly, a bone-chilling wind blasted straight into her face.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

The lanterns suddenly lit up on their own, casting an eerie orange glow around her. The light made it seem as though pairs of eyes were watching her every move.

Lily froze in fear, feeling cold sweat trickle down her back.

Suddenly, the sound of drumming echoed through the street, gradually growing louder and closer.

Boom! Boom! Don! Boom! Boom! Don!

The rhythm was ancient and simple, yet unlike anything Lily had ever heard before. Soon, lanterns began to sway towards her, one by one emerging from the dense fog.

The sound of a flute joined in, playing a melancholic tune that was both haunting and beautiful. The zither added to the melody, creating a strange yet harmonious sound that drew closer and closer to Lily.

“What is this music? Why would there be a performance like this on a cold night? And who is performing?” Lily questioned, feeling uneasy. Despite her doubts, she felt a sense of danger that made her legs feel like they were glued to the ground.

As the eerie melody continued, figures began to emerge from the fog, some appearing humanoid while others were unrecognizable. Some were incredibly tall, and others floated in the air, defying all common sense.

Lily’s heart pounded in her chest as she realized the danger she was in. The mournful tune inspired a sense of sorrow, but she knew that she had to flee.

However, her small feet wouldn’t obey her orders. She had never faced a life-or-death situation before and was completely overwhelmed. Her most significant pain was unrequited love for a senior female schoolmate, and she had never experienced financial hardship. As a result, panic consumed her.

The sound grew louder and louder, the beating drums and mournful melody of the flute pounded directly into Lily’s heart, pulling at her soul and causing her hair to stand on end. She was drenched in cold sweat from head to toe.

“I need to run! No matter where I am or what those things are, I have to get out of here! I can’t let them find me!”

Lily pinched her thigh hard, but her fingers felt powerless. She didn’t even feel any pain through her clothing!

Despite her efforts, her body refused to move. It was more terrifying than a defenseless man facing a fierce tiger in the woods! A modern person couldn’t handle this kind of distress!

Lily’s realization that she might not make it out of this world alive was overwhelming. “Am I really going to be killed by those things?” she muttered to herself.

Suddenly, a sweet and soothing voice interrupted her thoughts. “Don’t move if you want to survive,” the voice said. “Stay right where you are and don’t run.”

Lily was confused. Who was speaking to her? She couldn’t see anyone nearby.

The voice spoke again, as if it was directly inside her head. “Open your parasol slowly and hide under it. They won’t be able to find you.”

Despite her instinct to run, Lily decided to follow the girl’s advice instead of confronting the strange figures approaching her. She slowly opened her parasol, an action that seemed so simple but felt like an enormous task at that moment.

“I have to survive! I don’t even know where I am or what’s going on, and I refuse to die here!” Lily exclaimed to herself.

Suddenly, she regained control of her body, and her trembling stopped. She lifted her head, took a deep breath, and felt the cool night air brush her elegant long hair.

With determination in her heart, Lily lifted the dark purple paper parasol adorned with falling sakura petals.

The parasol unfurled with a whoosh, revealing its spotless white interior. The edge was tinted with a pink hue, and a beautiful sakura blossom was painted right in the center, looking so vivid and realistic that it felt like they were drifting in the sky. For a moment, Lily felt as if she was enveloped by the light of the falling petals.

“Just stay here, under the shade of the parasol, and don’t let any part of your body leave it. Don’t move, just stay as still as possible,” the voice reminded Lily.

From within the waning fog lights, a fox several times larger than a regular fox appeared. It was silvery white, with three tails sticking up behind its body, and its golden eyes were fixated on Lily.

Lily’s entire body trembled in fear.

“Stay still! The Three-Tailed Demon Fox has only detected the scent of someone ahead, but it can’t locate you. If you move, it will be able to see you,” the voice reminded her.

She clutched onto her parasol, resisting the urge to drop it and flee. Her heavy breasts heaved up and down as she gasped for breath. Sweat dripped down her forehead as she stood frozen in place.

The rhythmic tune grew louder, filling the air with an ominous energy. Lily felt as if she was on a dangerous and unpredictable journey.

Suddenly, a woman in an old-fashioned kimono emerged from the dense fog. Her complexion was pale and her lips were red. She held an ancient lute and walked towards Lily with unsteady yet graceful steps. Behind the woman, a three-meter tall bull demon with red fur and deathly pale tusks appeared. Lily had never seen such creatures before.

One after another, demons and ghosts began to emerge from the fog, each with a fierce and absent-minded gait. Lily couldn’t believe her eyes as she watched them approach her. She didn’t dare to breathe as the woman and demon fox walked past her, its enormous tails even brushing against her face. Thankfully, the demon fox didn’t seem to notice her.

But then, a blue demon with a large build began walking straight towards her. If she didn’t move, they would collide!

Lily’s heart felt like it was about to jump out of her chest as she stood frozen in fear.

“Stay calm and composed. Move slowly to the side, being careful not to draw their attention. Make no sound and keep your body within the parasol’s shade. Now, move!”

Lily had never practiced moving quietly, so she had to trust her instincts and move carefully to the side, her wooden sandals almost sticking to the ground with each step. Finally, she managed to dodge the blue demon without being noticed.

Lily was fortunate that her long legs allowed her to move just enough to dodge the blue demon. What surprised her even more was that her body moved unexpectedly well, despite not yet being fully accustomed to it. This new sense of balance and physical understanding was not something she possessed as a boy who didn’t engage in much exercise.

Suddenly, the blue demon stopped beside her, and Lily could hear its heavy breathing and smell its foul stench. The demon appeared to have detected something and turned to look in Lily’s direction for a moment before resuming its forward movement.

As Lily was about to breathe a sigh of relief, a cat-sized green lizard with a conical bamboo hat scurried past her leg with a clicking sound. This sent shivers down her spine, and she quickly covered her mouth to stifle a scream that was threatening to escape.

Lily’s eyes widened in shock as she beheld the strange and terrifying creatures that surrounded her. A lantern with a single leg hopped towards her, its enormous eye and long, thick eyelashes giving it a comical yet sinister appearance. The lantern demon’s tongue lolled out of its gaping maw as it leapt left and right.

The mere thought of being licked by that slimy tongue made Lily feel sick. A bear-sized raccoon dog wearing a bamboo hat followed behind the lantern demon, while a woman with messy hair and a serpent’s lower body slithered towards her. As far as her eyes could see, there were no less than a hundred different kinds of demons and ghosts parading in a drawn-out musical performance.

This was the Hyakki Yagyō, the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons.

It was her first night in this strange place, and little did she know that it was the 15th of July according to the Heian Empire’s lunar calendar. The girl from another world had just arrived in Kamakura City and found herself facing the annual monster parade that only occurred once a year.⌈1

Kamakura City was shrouded in a cold, underworld wind despite the midsummer season. Lily felt paralyzed, unable to stay in one spot yet unable to move quickly either. Despite her uncertainty, she relied on her instincts and carefully took one step at a time, avoiding collision with the hundred demons as she made her way to the entrance of an alley.

“You’re lucky you left the path before Michizane arrived,” a voice said. “Your untrained body wouldn’t stand a chance against Michizane, even with that sakura parasol.”

Although Lily didn’t fully grasp the meaning of the words, she knew not to move carelessly even in her current, relatively safe location. She remained hidden in the alley, stealing occasional glances from the corner.

Among the throngs of frightening demons, Lily caught sight of a bearded man wearing a Tang Dynasty official hat.⌈2⌋ He towered over the others, standing at least a hundred feet tall. Despite his slightly chubby frame, his black face bore a pair of piercing and tyrannical eyes that made Lily’s own eyes water. She quickly averted her gaze, not daring to look at him again.

“That’s Demon King Michizane,” the voice explained. “He leads the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons this time, all the way from the northeast demon gate. Everyone in Kamakura City locks themselves indoors tonight and doesn’t dare to come out. Even the night patrol warriors don’t dare to lay their eyes on Michizane, for doing so would bring great misfortune.”

Upon hearing these, Lily cursed in her heart. You should’ve led with that first!

The voice teased, “Little one, despite your lack of training and your appearance as a pampered girl, your composure and poise just now were impressive. Few men could have handled that situation as well as you did. Perhaps it is not misfortune that brought you to this world…”

As Lily sighed in frustration, she failed to notice Michizane pause and glance in her direction as he passed the alley. Something unexpected occurred as a sorrowful expression appeared on his fierce and unyielding face.

Following Michizane was an enormous ox chariot, the nature of the ox itself being unclear, whether it was a beast or monster. However, the chariot was magnificently adorned.

“The woman in the chariot is Hashihime, the mother of Prince Kohei. Ever since…”

Lily couldn’t focus on the rest of the story as she was still trying to process the recent events.

The demons and monsters slowly faded away, and the bone-chilling tone of the flute grew fainter until it was no longer audible. The temperature returned to its normal state, and the world around them seemed to go back to normal.

Lily stared at the distant light with a lingering fear, and the lanterns along the street silently extinguished, one by one. It was as if nothing had ever happened in the city of Kamakura, but Lily knew that she had just witnessed something extraordinary.

“I’m not sure how to properly thank you,” Lily finally dared to voice out her thoughts, “I don’t even know which deity you are. Could you reveal yourself so I may pay my respects? Also, about the training you mentioned…”

The silence persisted, and the voice did not reappear. Despite her best efforts, Lily was unable to elicit any further response.

As she stood alone in the moonlight, Lily felt a sense of unease settle over her. She wondered what other dangers and challenges awaited her in this strange and mysterious world.


  1. In case you didn’t know, the 15th of July on the Lunar Calendar is the Ghost Festival, and this needs a translation check: 这一天,正是这幅员万里的平安王朝,时历白河三年,七月十五日。 
  2. Image reference 
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