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Literature / Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness

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Balsa Yonsa visits her native kingdom of Kanbal to confront her Dark and Troubled Past, where she had to flee with Jiguro Musa for their lives due to Prince Rogsam's treacherous plot. After a mystical encounter with a hyohlu, the titular Guardian of the Darkness, she uncovers the true depths of the conspiracy going on even after Rogsam's death.

Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness (Yami no Moribito in Japanese) is the second book in the Moribito series of Japanese fantasy novels, written by Nahoko Uehashi. It has been adapted into:

  • The second season of a radio drama, written by Satoshi Maruo and broadcast by NHK FM Broadcast in 2007.
  • A manga series illustrated by Yū and serialized in Asahi Shimbun Publications' magazine Nemuki+ from 2014 to 2017. It received scanlations by Lovely Strange Dark in 2018.

Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness provides examples of:

  • Family Theme Naming:
    • Jiguro Musa and his brothers, Kaguro and Yuguro, are three syllables with the last two ending in -guro.
    • Kaguro has a son named Kahm and a grandson named Kahmuro.
  • Glowing Gem: Luisha, the most precious gem in Kanbal, is described as "glowing blue like the water at the bottom of a deep spring".
  • The Great Serpent: It's revealed at the end of the Giving Ceremony that the Mountain King is a giant water serpent from Noyook.
  • Little People:
    • The Herder People are shorter than even Kassa, who is the shortest of his peers.
    • The Titi Lan are a race of humanoids tiny enough to be known as the Ermine Riders.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The finale reveals the hyohlu, the titular Guardians of the Darkness, to be the ghosts of the previous participants in the Giving Ceremony. Only the strongest spear-wielder among the present participants can lay them to rest as the Dancer, turning their souls into luisha to feed the people of Kanbal.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: During the Giving Ceremony, the Mountain King gifts the people of Kanbal with luisha, the gemstones on which their economy depends. Based on the myth about him, Yuguro plots to conquer his land and steal all his gems. However, the myth is only a pale metaphor, and to anyone who's seen the reality, this plan is utter nonsense.