Causes and Effects
A god, a shinki or a soul can get impure through three ways as follows:
- When the god, shinki or the soul is attacked by phantoms;
- When a soul touches the blight mark and get infected; and
- When a shinki commits a sin.
Blight in general will cause the victim to go through a phase called “defilement” or "corruption" (不浄, fujou). However the appearance of the blight mark and the effect of it differ between a god and a soul or shinki:
- The blight mark for a god is shown as visible purplish-red mark with nothing else. If left untreated, the blight will spread all over his/her body, causing the god to degrade and eventually die.
- For a soul, other than the blight mark the wound will also appear phantom-like. Phantom’s eyes will appear on the wound and spread all over the soul’s “body”. If left untreated the phantom will feed on the soul, possessing and changing the soul into a phantom.
- If a soul or shinki touches a blight mark on a wounded god, the blight will infect them. The blight mark has no phantom eyes but if left untreated the eyes will appear, and the effect is similar to one directly attacked by phantoms.
- If a shinki commits a sin, the blight appears on both the owner god’s nape and the shinki’s back. While the shinki feels nothing, a red phantom eye will appear on the back each time a sin is committed. The god however will feel stabbing pain as the shinki’s name is linked with the god’s life. If left untreated or no action is taken, the god will die and the shinki will turn into a phantom.
Blight can be treated using the following methods:
- Blight mark without phantom eyes can be cleansed by washing it away using purifying water obtained from shrines or natural springs. This method only works for a god that is injured by a phantom’s attack or a soul that is infected from a wounded god.
- If the blight is caused by a shinki committing sins, the blight must be purified by conducting a purification ritual towards the offending shinki. This method while painful is the only way to cleanse both the shinki and the god owning it.
- Releasing the offending shinki’s name or killing it will cure the owner god, but doesn’t save the shinki. When the name is released the shinki will turn into a phantom.
- For a soul that is bitten by a phantom and received blight with phantom eyes, the only way to cleanse the impurities is by cutting off the phantom part of the soul. If the soul is totally consumed by the phantom, it must be killed. A soul cannot be purified through the purification ritual, and should a god want to take the soul as a shinki it must be cleansed from impurities first.
- In the manga, blight is written in Katakana as opposed to its actual word, 休み. This is probably because the word is used for a different context than the original meaning, which is “suspension” or “rest”.