“Sano’s attacker.” Eldan flipped pages. “It’s not in this book, but Michiko knew what I was talking about. A chuugumo is a kind of evil spider-youkai. Loosely translated, demon.”
Yamato call Change-spiders demons? Kerowyn smirked at her own surprise. Forgetting Karsites called Heralds Demon-riders, are you? And they’re the ones who really did summon demons.
Eldan stopped flipping, and nodded. “Inuyasha met something like it, called spider-heads.”
Yuck. Kerowyn grimaced at the swarm of furred legs; she had nothing against spiders, but anything that had distorted human heads for bodies couldn’t be good. The whole image reeked of menace. Gray threads of webbing were inked across the page, spinning out to ensnare the red-clad hanyou and a cute little redheaded kid with blue mage-fire around his hands. “Huh. And Kenshin said he’d never seen another human with red hair.”
“He didn’t.” Eldan smiled wryly. “Take a closer look.”
A cute little redhead with fox ears in his hair, brilliant green eyes, kit-sized fangs, and a golden foxtail. “Another Changechild?”
“Probably. But the story calls him something else.” Eldan shrugged. “A kitsune. A… good fox demon. If that’s possible.” He gave her a narrow look. “Can demons be good? We’ve mostly dealt with the demons out of Karse; usually Abyssal Plane elementals, and not too bright, according to Sejanes. Youkai seem to be a lot smarter. And some of them can look like humans. Of course, that’s probably because the Yamato are lumping Change-Beasts and Changechildren together, but… didn’t you say your grandmother met a demon that could do that?”
“She did. Almost died from it, both her and Tarma. It wasn’t just teeth, claws, and hunger; it could cast spells of its own. And it could think. Very messy. Thank the gods most mages aren’t damn-fool idiots enough to summon those up.” Kero shuddered; Warrl had passed along some very explicit images of just what Thalhkarsh had been capable of. Her grandmother trapped in another’s body, Tarma’s link to the Star-Eyed broken… brr. “As for whether a thing like that could ever change… don’t know. That one ended up warded into a temple. Never heard what happened to it afterward. The high priest seemed to think it ought to get the chance to try, though.” She frowned at the picture, looking past the familiar red outfit and sword. Black hair? “Eldan, if this is Inuyasha, why does he look human?”