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Official website of Science Fiction and Fantasy Author Carol Hightshoe

A Story of Inyudo

How the Kappa Stole the Tidal Jewels


Late one night one of the troublesome kappa looked down on the island of Japan and smiled in that mischievous and somewhat scary manner only those who are up to no good can smile in.

“It has been many turnings of the seasons since these people have seen a change in their fortunes. For too long has Fuku Riu favored them and now they no longer understand the blessing they are receiving.”

The kappa spoke to his kindred and together they developed a plan to change the fortunes of the people of Japan. The kappa would steal the Tidal Jewels belonging to Ryujin, the Dragon King, and use them to cause a tidal wave to strike the island of Japan. It would not be enough to completely destroy the island, but would remind the people to give thanks for the blessings the gods had bestowed on them. Being only a minor demon, the kappa only saw things in absolute terms. The gods had blessed the people of Japan after the devastation they had suffered during their last war. They had rebuilt and were now a wealthy and powerful people. Wealth and power that many of them seemed to take for granted—forgetting that Fuku Riu, the luck dragon, had blessed them and luck could change on a whim.

The kappa and four of his kin descended to the Evergreen Land beneath the sea and came to Ryugu—the palace of the Dragon King Ryujin. The crystal and coral palace was immense, but they were determined to find the Tidal Jewels. Of the five kappa, one went directly to the throne room of the Dragon King while each of the others went to the cardinal wings of the palace: North, South, East and West as none of them knew where the Tidal Jewels were kept.

The first kappa came to the Winter Hall and paused at the beauty of the falling snow. Forgetting why he was there, he began playing and cavorting in the winter playground-throwing snowballs at imaginary enemies.

The second kappa came to the Hall of Spring and wandered among the cherry trees with their pink blossoms, entranced by the music of the nightingale that filled the hall.

The third kappa came to the Hall of Summer. There the warm night breeze and the songs of the crickets lulled him into slumber.

The fourth kappa came to the Autumn Hall and was soon dancing among the beautiful multi-colored leaves of the towering maple trees.

The fifth kappa came to the great hall of the Dragon King and stopped at the entrance. Ryujin was sitting on his crystal throne and there on the arms of the chairs were the Tidal Jewels. He watched as the Dragon King glanced up at the image of the moon that was on the ceiling of the palace and carefully stroked one of the jewels. The kappa closed his eyes for a moment and let his senses feel the magic. It had been the high tide jewel Ryujin used. This was the one the kappa wanted, but how to get it away from the Dragon King.

The kappa glanced around the room, which, as expected for a dragon, was cluttered with treasures and trinkets collected for millennia. He had heard a rumor Huchi had given Ryujin her ring made of fire to guard his palace. With that ring, the kappa knew he could distract Ryujin and then steal the Tidal Jewels.

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