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Karasu - Part 1
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Upon a old, wooded mountain, there was once was a temple. The surrounding trees were knotted, yet proud. It was a well kept temple -- maintained and honored by a group of monks numbering no more than twenty. Their lives were quiet and filled with prayer and study.
Despite their peaceful nature, and despite their respect for the land and one another, the temple was never visited by the villagers from the foot of the mountain. It was a place mentioned only in hushes, in tales to frighten children and in stories shrouded with superstition. The monks, of course, were not human like the villagers were. They were ‘tengu.’ ‘Crow-demons.’ ‘Monsters.’
Shichi did not like to think of himself as a monster. Most of his time was spent gardening and studying herbal medicine. He had recently begun to practice acupuncture under the mentorship of an elder monk. Occasionally, he liked to indulge himself with a nap up in a tree, or perhaps a drink to loosen his shoulde