While waiting for the futile stoplights letting phantom drivers through side streets, Brody Bray sifted through the discarded receipts, food wrappers, and other ephemera that littered the floorboards of the truck. Several crumpled receipts under the name John Blakely were from a place called "The Louisiana Bush Company."
"Who the hell pays with a credit card at a strip club?" Brody asked, making assumptions, "Who does that, John? I bet that's where you work out of. I bet that's where Caroline is."
The pudgy man, whose name was probably John, shifted his weight off of his back, the cord binding his limbs cutting his blood off from his hands and feet. The purple faced Probably John looked only mildly upset. "You know that?" he asked, "Is that all you have? You know for sure?"
"I know that if you end up in the lake, you won't make it out," Brody growled, "that's what I know for sure."
Brody braked hard to stop for yet another useless red light. "Frankly," he growled, "I don't care if you even know anything." The quick braking had shifted the man face down in an awkward lump. He was muttering something.
Brody pulled Probably John's head up by what little hair he had. "Come again?"
The fat man, struggling to breathe in this new contortion, began to shout, "You sick freak! Just let me out and I won't kill you."
And his were his talismans. Unless specially embellished with the brushstrokes for abstract concepts that were immortalized in the minds of man, the slips of paper were here and gone. Unleashed from his sleeves in swift, precise throws, the paper slips created barriers,(more) warded off the malign from rooms, and protected targets of the Mononoke.
Unlike his scales, which returned neatly into his box after he had found the Truth, Form, and Regret--and visions in gold... and Hyper's silver mane... and his sword released--the slips he had to replenish by hand. But per his practice, the recopying of mantras in ink over and over was meditative, so long as Hyper decided to leave him alone.
On one of their encounters after the Umibozu, Kayo lent him a hand. It was no surprise then that some of the talismans had subtle decorative edges, snipped as Kayo saw fit.
Kusuriuri painted them with the protection insignia all the same. He secretly got back at her by pulling open his scales box drawer. One by one, the Mononoke-radar items perched on every inch of the young woman they could fit on. A vulpine smirk made it's way to his painted lips as she flailed upon realization. (less)