The goddess Izanami had brought Yumiko to Yomi to teach Yumiko how to control her power. Though she had lived the life of an ordinary girl for seventeen years, Yumiko had inherited the strength of Izanami. With adept instruction from the goddess herself, Yumiko had learned, bit by bit, to draw out the bottomless power slumbering deep within her in a very short time.
She was currently in the middle of training to harness the psychic power once held by the ancient gods. Two rock walls, nearly perpendicular to the ground and separated by a gap of two meters, faced each other, towering up into the sky. Yumiko was floating in mid-air, weaving through the gap. Her white skin began to glow with a phosphorescent purple glow. With a boom like thunder, the glow increased in intensity. Yumiko, enveloped in that mysterious light and limned by a golden aura, resembled the smiling visage of the Miroku Buddha. Soon, as if she had transformed into a particle of light herself, the outline of her shape started to blur and become indistinct.
Silently, Yumiko raised her right hand. The clouds of light surrounding her body started to condense at the tip of her finger. Yumiko brought her arm down forcefully. As she did, the light fired from her finger like an arrow shot through the rock face.
An immense roar echoed and a brilliant blue pillar of flame flared into the sky. Yumiko watched the giant rock with an almost drunken expression as it slowly crumbled into nothing in perceived slow-motion. Suddenly Yumiko’s eyes clouded up, and she started plunging toward the ground some twenty meters below like a bird whose wings had been pulled off.
Mere moments before Yumiko would have struck the ground, an invisible power picked her up and brought her down slowly like a feather falling leisurely.
"What's the matter with you?" Izanami spoke harshly as she knelt next to Yumiko. "If this is the best you can do, I can't imagine when I'll be able to send you back to the human world!"
The goddess realized that Yumiko's eyes were trembling in terror, and softened her tone.
"You saw something, didn't you?"
"Yes. Someone close to me crying out, and the smell of blood..." Yumiko replied in a broken voice, her pale lips trembling, drained of blood.
"Was it Nakajima-kun's voice?"
"No....it was my mother's voice."
Yumiko looked up into the sky anxiously. Other than the sound of the wind blowing through the valley, all was silent. But Yumiko was sure that she had heard her mother scream.
"Izanami, could something terrible have happened to my mother?" Yumiko's voice was full of emotion.
Yumiko might have foreseen something in the future. There was also the possibility that her desire to return to the human world was subconsciously causing her to hallucinate. Izanami had trouble deciding whether or not she should return her charge to the human world.
With Izanami's direct instruction, Yumiko had gained mastery of her powers well enough to face off against demons on her own. But her mind was still that of a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl. Like what had happened today, if her determination wavered, it could have disastrous consequences. Furthermore, Yumiko was relying too much on her sense of sight when using her powers.
Still, her immaturity is not a problem that can be solved with just a little bit of short training. This girl's desire to return to Nakajima-kun is clouding her judgment. If she was with him, it might actually help fix her shortcomings instead.
Izanami smiled kindly at Yumiko."Do you want to return to the human world?"