Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness

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Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness
Moribito II Guardian of Darkness.jpg
(Yami no Moribito)
Written byNahoko Uehashi
Illustrated byMakiko Futaki (Hardcover, Japan)
Yūkei Nakagawa (Bunkoban)
Yuko Shimizu (US)
Published byKaisei-Sha Publishing Co., Ltd. (Hardcover)
Shinchosha (Bunkoban)
English publisher
PublishedJanuary 1999 (Hardcover, Japan)
June 2007 (Bunkoban)
May 2009 (US)
Audio drama
Written bySatoshi Maruo
StationNHK FM Broadcast
Original runApril 15, 2007April 27, 2007
Written byNahoko Uehashi
Illustrated by
Published byAsahi Shimbun Publications
Original runAugust, 12, 2014December 13, 2017
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness is the second book in the Moribito series, a series of fantasy novels by Japanese author Nahoko Uehashi. It was written in 1999 and published by Kaisei-Sha Publishing Co., Ltd. in hardcover format and by Shinchosha in bunkoban format. The English translation was published in 2009 by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic. The novel follows the main character of the first book, Balsa, as she returns to her home country following the events of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. The title refers to the mysterious spirits known as hyohlu who play a large role in the book.


It has been a year since Balsa protected the egg of the Water Spirit from Rarunga. Balsa is traveling through caves in the Misty Blue Mountains on her way home to Kanbal. In the caves she smells a lantern and discovers the siblings Gina and Kassa defending themselves from a strange creature that Balsa drives off. It leaves behind a rare stone that is extremely valuable, luisha.

Balsa sends the pair on their way. Despite attempting to cover up the event, Kassa and Gina are forced to tell the truth to the clan chief, Kaguro, and his brother, Yuguro, a national hero and leader of the King's Spears, the elite generals of Kanbal. Yuguro sends soldiers to capture Balsa with orders to kill her on the way back. Balsa is staying with her aunt Yuka where she learns that the late King Rogsam blamed Jiguro for the death of his brother, King Nuguru, and Jiguro is a national disgrace. Yuguro became a hero because he claimed to have killed Jiguro. Balsa knows this is a lie—they never fought each other. While staying with Yuka, Balsa is captured and poisoned. She escapes and saves a strange creature from harm. In return, the creature brings help for Balsa in the form of the herder people and their chief, Toto.

As Balsa heals, the Giving Ceremony is about to begin. Kanbal is a poor land. Once every ten years, the Mountain King throws open the door to his realm. The King of Kanbal and the King's Spears descended into the mountain. They battle each other and the strongest becomes the Dancer. The Dancer faces the strongest hyohlu warrior of the Mountain King to gain the luisha that Kanbal needs to survive. Further details of the ceremony have been lost. The Giving Ceremony has been delayed many years and Kanbal is in danger of starvation. King Radalle and Yuguro are planning to use the ritual to conquer the Mountain King and take all the luisha. Toto of the Herder People tells Balsa that such an act would end in failure and ensure Kanbal's destruction and she must stop it. They recruit Kassa to their side and visit Chief Laloog of the Yonsa, the only one still alive who knows the truth of the Giving Ceremony. Balsa convinces him to break his vow of silence and Laloog drafts a letter revealing the truth of the Ceremony and begging the king to abandon the plan.

The Giving Ceremony begins and Yuguro defeats the others to become the Dancer. Balsa and Kassa emerge from hiding to read Laloog's letter and beg the king to abandon the plan as the hyohlu arrive. Yuguro convinces the king to ignore them and Balsa defeats him as the truth of the Ceremony is revealed: The hyohlu are the guardian spirits of the previous ceremony's human participants. The room is plunged into darkness and the strongest hyohlu appears: Jiguro Musa. Jiguro is about to kill Yuguro when Balsa challenges her foster father to battle. She completes the ceremony as the Dancer, the truth of the luisha is revealed, and Kanbal is saved. With her business in Kanbal concluded, Balsa decides to return to New Yogo and her friend Tanda.