A loud laugh echoed through the sea of trees deep at night.
It was a woman’s voice, overflowing with fighting spirit and crazy delight.
A fist struck out in high spirit. From a glance, the fist looked like it was just striking out carelessly, but its distorted the air and produced a shockwave that destroyed everything in its path.
Naturally there was an enemy on the path of that murderous shockwave.
An impact sound like a clash between metals thundered when the fist hit a cross guard of two very thick arms.
The one guarding had a huge body with total height of six meters. His two arms were thicker than log and harder than steel. There were five horns on his head and fifteen eyes. He was a huge oni with terrifying appearance――Shuuten Douji.
The oni of the strongest class radiated an overwhelming amount of mass and physical strength that obvious from a glance. That oni’s voice was in anguish. Both his arms creaked and his legs gouged the ground below him that was formed from hardened lava like a butter as he got pushed back, creating deep gutters.
「Coome on-, go all out!」
A roar of fighting spirit surged out from the five horned Shuten Douji. His right fist that was like a giant rock tore through the air.
Responding to that head-on was a woman’s fist that looked willowy and lovely.
The moment both fists collided, the air burst. It generated a shockwave in spherical shape, difficult to describe hard sound of destruction rang out, and the right arm of the five horned oni bent like origami. That arm was broken and bounced back.
It wasn’t a scream. It was even more yell of fighting spirit. The left fist struck out instantly without even an instant of pause.
「Admirable spirit ye hath there!」
It was responded head-on once more. As expected it was the five horned oni that broke again. Even though the physiques of the two sides were like an adult and a child, even though the sizes of their fists were like a rock and a pebble, his punch couldn’t win!
That worthlessness, that humiliation that came even though he was nothing more than a puppet whose mind was put in a binding, he changed them into fury as he persisted in his instinct.
He couldn’t tolerate it. That there existed another existence of him other than him.
His pride as the boss of oni wouldn’t tolerate a him that was superior than him no matter what.
That was why, the five horned Shuten Douji was enraged by the existence before him. Because he was a type of “Shikigami” that was shaped by a Taoist’s secret technique using his remain as intermediary, his peculiar instinct that was formed differently from the real him denied the fact that he was nothing more than an offshoot.
In a sense, it wasn’t mistaken. Because he was the one and only “Shuten Douji of the legend that was born in Japan” without any impurities mixed in.
The way of the world was always merciless. The cruel truth was thrust before him.
If fist was no good than next was leg. When he stomped on the ground like a sumo wrestler, a directed fierce shaking was formed. If the shaking hit something, the vibration would propagate and crush it, or at the very least it would stop the target’s movement.
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「That’s too lukewarmm!」
But it was so sad.
It was the existence that also absorbed similar legends from other worlds too that was the genuine thing. Because of that, the solidness of their existence was despairingly different.
The female oni who even looked lascivious from getting intoxicated with battle, the real Shuten Douji――Yaya no HIdzuki also raised her leg and stomped it on the ground.
The bottom of her kimono fluttered. The voluptuous thigh that could instigate a male’s carnal desire extremely was exposed. Her refined vermilion wooden clogs that was without any scratch raised a high pitched stomping sound, shaking the earth.
It was exactly the same special move. There was an overwhelming difference between their physiques and weight.
However, the result was one-sided.
The fierce quake that the five horned Shuten Douji unleashed was swallowed by an even greater quake. His six meters huge body was launched up like a joke. He fluttered in the sky together with his two broken legs.
Hidzuki stepped forward to press the attack with an enchanting smile tugged on her lips.
Two other huge onis rushed from her left and right. One of them was a part of Mountain Ooe’s big four――the blue oni Kuma Douji. The other one was the red oni, Kane Douji. They had two horns and face that looked exactly like oni mask.
「Ye two hath been reduced into really ugly me, so pitiful, pitiful indeed!」
She slightly bent back before headbutting back the fist of Kane Douji at her right.
The fist that was as hard as steel payed the sound of glass breaking and lost against Hidzuki’s forehead. Kane Douji was overturned backward from the impact.
Although, the pincer attack succeeded. Kuma Douji at the left landed a body blow at Hidzuki’s defenseless side with all his might.
Was that the sound of breath leaking out from her lung? Or else was it a laughing voice?
Even though the raw sound made it clear that Hidzuki received damage, the person herself wasn’t putting an expression of pain or anger on her face. There was only a smile of enjoyment there.
Right after that, Hidzuki’s left hand grabbed Kuma Douji’s arm and held him in place. She stepped forward with her pivot foot slightly sinking into the ground.
A full power attack had to be repaid with full power attack.
Her right fist that was fully pushed by centrifugal force hit Kuma Douji’s face. The attack that was swung down from diagonally above didn’t send Kuma Douji flying. His face was slammed on the ground with Hidzuki’s face still sinking into it.
The ground quaked for who knew how many time it was. The hard ground was blown away in a round shape. Kuma Douji’s face flew off in a state like a crushed tomato.
「Ye made the title of four heavenly kings cry!」
Hidzuki casually kicked away Kuma Douji’s headless body. Then right after that Kane Douji who had gotten of his feet slammed his body to her.
「Ahah, so ye still like sumo as usual!」
*DON-* Kane Douji grappled her with a sound that was like an explosion. Hidzuki’s feet didn’t even stumble. It was as though Kane Douji was slamming on a giant wall.
But, it seemed that he didn’t mind it. Kane Douji lowered down his waist heavily after that. It seemed that his objective wasn’t sumo, but to hold her in place.
The proof of that was the new oni who leaped forward from behind her in a superb timing. He swung down a snapped giant tree down like a club.
Hidzuki looked back at that from across her shoulder. However, she only kept watching with a smile without even trying to dodge.
There was a thunderous sound with the sound of destruction at the same time. *Crack crack*――it was the club that broke.
「My goodness, Ibaraki. Ye art also looking really ugly there.」
Ibaraki Douji. Shuten Douji’s right hand man and his second in command. There were many views about this oni. Some said that she was a female oni and Shuten Douji’s lover. Some said that he was his son. But as expected, this oni’s appearance was exactly like a two horned oni depicted in story.
Judging from Hidzuki’s pitying words, perhaps the real thing was a female oni as well as a beautiful one at that.
Ibaraki Douji tossed away the remain of improvised club in his hand. A large grin split Hidzuki’s face and she gestured with her finger tip at him to come at her.
Ibaraki Douji let out a roar of fury and drew back his fist. An ominous chilling aura was converging and compressed into it.
From appearance that fist was filled with a destructive power. That fist was slammed toward Hidzuki’s beautiful face mercilessly. A terrific thunderous sound of hitting flesh burst out. Grasses and leaves fluttered in the air and dust from the ground was blown away in a radiating shape.
But, as expected Hidzuki was unwavering. Her head only bent back a little. Her smile also was still unchanging.
「That’s a good fist!」
Instantly, a rough attack that didn’t contain even the slightest principle of martial art sunk into Ibaraki Douji’s solar plexus. His body bent into the shape of ‘[’, his stomach caved in the shape of fist, and his large body was sent flying deep into the forest like a pinball.
Hidzuki also tore away Kane Douji who was holding her down by knee kicking him to the air before she immediately pierced his stomach with an overarm stroke. And then he was swung around in that midair crucified state before getting thrown toward the five horned Shuten Douji who had just finished regenerating his limbs.
The momentum that was hard to believe coming from being thrown by such slender arm felt exactly like a cannon shot. Right after the impact, the two onis were sent flying together and mowed down the trees on their path.
「Hmm? I shouldst have destroyed their catalyst just now……」
Multiple roars overlapped.
Actually the remaining four heavenly kings――Hoshikuma Douji and Torakuma Douji had finished regenerating from when she pulverized their upper body at the beginning. Now they were returning here. From the presences, it seemed that it was also the same with Ibaraki Douji, Kuma Douji, and Kane Douji.
Hoshikuma Douji and Torakuma Douji ignored Hidzuki to head behind her. She chased after them with a thunderous stomp.
「To ignore yer leader like this, how cold art ye two!」
She caught up to them instantly and grabbed the head of the two from behind. Then she immediately threw them behind her.
Five horned Shuten Douji and Ibaraki Douji who had finished regenerating and returned caught them. Kane Douji and Kuma Douji also returned with footsteps that shook the earth.
Their fighting spirit hadn’t weakened. They had no sanity and put under control of someone else, however, it could be felt that they were delighting in the combat.
Seeing the offshoots of his subordinates like that made Hidzuki’s mood to improve even better. She laughed.
「It’s a pity that the free will of ye all art thin. Although, it hath been so long since I hath a big fight! If a fight is an oni’s glory, then come, come, cometh at me! Entertain me!」
Ahah, ahahahahahah!! A loud laugh resounded and the sea of trees was blown away at night by the storm of violence.
That storm was too brutal for human, no, even for apparition. It was a dangerous area that might smash one’s body and mind to bits just from the shockwave.
And most of all, it was hard to approach Hidzuki right now.
She was gleefully scattering around demonic aura. She wouldn’t back away no matter what kind of attack she faced. She would happily receive it before paying back right away with double the power.
An oni. She was truly an oni. This must be the actual meaning of the saying of strong like an oni.
Trees were sent flying. The uneven terrain and tree roots were getting flattened as seconds passed by. A gaping open empty space was getting formed in the sea of trees.
In the end, it was hard to say whether it was Hidzuki who was amazing that she could be fighting that peerlessly against multiple legendary high onis even if they were currently under biding, or if they were the one who were amazing that they could serve to at least put up a fight against the real oni boss as “Shikigami”.
Either way, it was a land of death for only oni where no ordinary human could enter――
「Hiiiiiiiiiiiiih. The barrier is breakinggg~~~!?」
「Shu-Shuten Douji-samaa-, please don’t overdo it with your playfulness-!!」
These two weren’t ordinary people in a fashion.
Claudia was desperately maintaining a barrier with her holy cross, while Hinata had been desperately calling out to Hidzuki since some time ago from inside that barrier.
Just now Hoshikuma Douji and Torakuma Douji ignored Hidzuki was also because of the instruction from “Shadow Monk” to remove the obstacles and the base at the shrine.
「Fuh, I’m also accumulating damage occasionally here!」
「Aa, mine beloved! Please forgiveth me! I’m, having fun!」
「You playful rascal! I forgive you!」
「Please don’t forgive her! Endou-sama! You almost let go of the binding just now because of her!」
At a slight distance away, there was Tamamo no Mae in the form of nine tailed fox being stitched on the ground. The lord pressed her down with a super gravity field there while Hinata was in the middle of preventing her from using her authority as well as exorcising her.
One time a pebble that Hidzuki fired like buckshot hit the back of the lord’s head that he fainted for a moment, one time the shockwave that Hidzuki fired blew him away, one time an oni that was sent flying crashed on him and almost turned him into minced meat. It was a fact that coincidences had almost dispelled the binding several times.
……Hidzuki-san, you aren’t thinking of wanting to eat my flesh in the middle of the confusion aren’t you? You aren’t thinking that right? Right? The lord couldn’t deny that he wanted to ask her that. Though he forgave her because he was in abyss lord mode!
「M-more importantly, my princess!」
「Hinata-san! Don’t be in a daze from that! The number of the common sense faction will decrease if even you turn strange!」
「Hah, y-you’re correct!」
It was great that the saintess and shrine maiden were deepening their friendship.
Hidzuki began taking on the onis once more. At the same time Hinata who guessed what the lord was going to ask her made a conflicted look as she opened her mouth.
「……My apologies. As expected from Tamamo no Mae, her status is too high. It doesn’t feel like I’ll be able to take the “binding”. I will continue exorcising her like this.」
Yes, Hinata tried putting Tamamo no Mae under her employ just like what she did with the “three tailed fox”, but it seemed that it was impossible.
Also she didn’t mention this but, the fact that Hinata’s protector, Kuzunoha had bad affinity with Tamamo no Mae also played a part.
Actually, Kuzunoha tended to consider Tamamo no Mae as an “audacious and ill natured vixen” with dislike. Tamamo no Mae also tended to consider Kuzunoha as “uninteresting and eyesore ill-natured vixen” with contempt.
Their opinion to each other, it was like……an uninhibited cheery girl who subsisted on part-time work with a diligent elite career woman.
There, Rana who was positioned at the northern part defensive line contacted them.
『This is Ranainferna! Different enemies that aren’t Shiki or apparition attacked! Their number is insane! It’s more than a thousand! The defensive line here is already broken through!』
Cold air was weaving in between the violent gales of the battle of onis.
Hinata gasped in surprise and turned her gaze there. Resentment toward the living was reverberating from inside the dark forest. What appeared from there was transparent people and animals……
「A swarm of ghost!? Animal ghost too!? I can’t believe they are using the resentment of the dead!」
There was necromancy technique of stuffing the thought of dead existence into the technique and gave them shape. If the caster used corpse, they would be able to create the so called jiangshi――an apparition of hopping vampire like in movie.
As expected it seemed the enemy couldn’t go as far as preparing a lot of corpses, but even just in the form of spirit, the ghosts were more than enough threat. They could steal the living’s vitality just from staying near them. If left alone, their target would lose any will to live and became an invalid.
『Most likely the rush of Ootakemaru and others were just a bait while sending this swarm of ghost is their real aim! That’s a magnificent tactic even though it came from the enemy!』
『The hole in our defensive line is only at the northeast theater! We’re continuing to hold back the Shiki and apparitions! We sent all of the injured to the shrine!』
A report from Karm also arrived. It seemed there was nobody who got swallowed by the ghost swarm. Although a swarm of things that took away vitality was extremely bad in this situation.
On top of that, the situation worsened even more.
A roar that was so loud it felt like the whole sea of trees was shaken thundered. At the same time, a localized dark cloud suddenly started to form above the sky of the sea of trees some distance away.
Right after that, lightning flashed. The thunderous sound followed a beat later.
A lightning fell nearby.
「Whoops, as expected from an oni god! I can’t hold back too much like this!」
The lord said that while getting cold sweat. Right after that, a huge body fell down with thunder and lightning behind him.
The impact of his landing pushed Hinata and Caludia who were going to use their technique to deal with the ghosts. They screamed 「Kyah」 as they tumbled.
「It’s you bastard ain’t it? You bastard is the real one right? I know it! This damned human, darting around like insects!」
Yes, the oni god that the lord’s clones had been facing――was Ootakemaru.
He had lost one arm and one eye. One of the horns that were his pride was also broken. There were even deep gashes and holes on his body. And most of all, his neck had been slashed until the middle.
But, he had greatly snapped that he paid no mind to them all.
Well, it was the lord who became his opponent. Of course he would snap. From the lord’s speech and action. He had snapped so much that he didn’t hesitate to do suicide attack as long as he could take down the abyss lord together with him――he succeeded to summon lightning just before his neck was chopped. It paid off and the attack blew up the clone.
Ootakemaru’s immense and thick demonic aura brought a bit of lull to the battlefield. The aura that distorted even the air stopped the ghosts and the onis of Mountain Ooe because of their instinctual wariness.
Ootakemaru’s gaze caught Hidzuki in the middle of that.
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「Yoo, Shuteen! I’m going to kill the human who trick――」
「I told you that it’s impossible, evil oni of calamity!」
「Hidzuki is certainly a beauty but, you put your unsightliness in display when your attention got diverted like that!!」
「Look at me! Say only my name! I am the oni killer who shall take thy head!」
「Daaaaaaaaah, annoying! This bastard keep popping out again again and again! In addition every single one of their action is just goddamn annoying!」
The clones that leaped out from the lord popped out even more clones from their body. This rapid increase in number made it even more annoying.
Also, the lord’s current “coolness depth” was Level III.
Previously his clones wouldn’t be able to produce clones on their own unless he was at the last depth Level V, but after going through repeated Abyssgatefication and deathly battles, right now his clones could produce other clones even when he was just at Level III, although there was limit to the number.
Ootakemaru roared after his conversation with Hidzuki was disturbed. Sword, lance, arrow……the authority to produce ice weapons accurately targeted the real body of the lord who was holding down the nine tails. They were fired.
「「「Be engulfed in abyss――”Severance Calamity”!!」」」
The ice weapons were swallowed into a whirling black gravity field.
「「「Sink into hell――”Calamity Sky”!!」」」
Ootakemaru was put under a super gravity field by three clones. He got pressed on the ground just like the nine tails.
「I told you this is annoyingggg-」
But, it seemed that a restrain of that level was insufficient against the oni god. His authority of “free flight” was an authority of gravity manipulation in the first place. He simply neutralized it and stood up.
In addition, the fact that he was unable to land a lethal blow at all even though his opponent was just a mere human, and also that action and speech that were just screwing around (the person himself was very serious though) only served to fan up his rage even more. The oni god finally snapped and fully utilized his authority.
「Comeee-, the dark clouds that steal the sun-!! Cover the mountain and trample the land with storm and firee!!」
That was the spell of the oni god. The secret technique to summon the dark cloud of disaster that didn’t allow the sun to shine and covered the land with ghastly air.
The moonlight was blocked. The dark cloud from before rapidly spread out. It covered the night sky in the blink of eye. Lightning flashed and wind and rain began to blow heavily.
「This is just troublesomeee. I’m going to destroy everything. With that only Shuten will remain behind right?」
In the end he was just an existence that was summoned by “Shadow Monk”. His connection to cross to this world was just the catalyst and the summoning technique, so naturally there was a “binding” put on him. Just the fact that he had a clear will like now was already shocking.
In other words, his power was far inferior compared to his real body in the fairy world. In addition, he should also be weakened by the technique of Hinata and Claudia before this.
Even so, he was still this powerful.
Even put under limitation, the oni god of legend caused such cataclysm.
Because of that, the lull in the battlefield was broken. The oni group of Mountain Ooe and the ghosts also started moving as though they had been reminded of their summoner’s order. A violent tornado also stretched out from the dark cloud, and rain of fire began to come down.
「On Kirikiri Unhatta!!」
Hinata’s voice was filled with piercing fighting spirit despite its youthfulness. It became a crisp and clear words of power that washed away the oni god’s ghastly aura. A moment of pause was forced on the apparitions.
「Claire-sama! Please put up a protection from disaster!」
「Tsu, understood! I will protect this battlefield by putting my title as the strongest saintess on the line! ――O lord, you built a fortress in preparation against enmity, for the sake of quell the enemy and those with grudge. I beseech you to invite your pious believers into the sacred palace that drive away the calamity!」
The holy cross emitted a radiance like never before. The full power barrier from the saintess who had stopped holding back became a spreading dome of light. That technique that was sublimated by artifact possessed an efficacy that wasn’t inferior at all anymore than the original “Holy Severance”.
The canopy of light blocked the storm, fire rain, and even lightning and didn’t allow them to reach the ground.
「Endou-sama! Shuten Douji-sama!」
Zenki (on trial) and Gouki (unofficial) faced the onis in order to protect their temporary princess.
It wasn’t just the five horned Shuten Douji. As expected, Ootakemaru was also regenerating already. Rather than because of their original ability, the regeneration must be because of the support from “Shadow Monk”. Even if their catalyst was destroyed, there was no doubt that the “Shadow Monk” could reform them back through their technique as long as they weren’t completely annihilated.
In that case, they only needed to destroy that technique itself.
Hinata’s hand that was forming sword seal four vertical lines and five horizontal lines and nine-character charm for warding off evil. Then with a flowing motion, the thumb and index finger of her loosely opened right hand connected with the thumb and middle finger of her left hand to form a hand sign――the sign of turning the Dharma wheel.
「The binding rope that allow no looseness, it won’t always be in an immovable heart. Om Bishi bishi Kara kara Shibari Sowaka!」
That was the dharma of immovable golden binding. It was an esoteric ritual to bind the harmful spirits like the dead human spirits and animal spirits and exorcised them.
Streaks of light ran through the forest’s ground like a spider web. It expanded with Hinata at the center and entwined at the thousand spirits of the dead unopposed, stopping their movement. It even became rope of light that bound the onis and nine tails.
But, it didn’t just end there as to be foretold by the vast willpower that ascended even further.
「Tsk, this is fucking ridiculous! Not only there was that western oni, now there is this little girl! Just what the hell is going on with the world of this era!!」
Ootakemaru had a look of rage. However, there was anxiety that couldn’t be hidden there as he roared.
Ice weapons flew every which way. His immense physical strength brought about pure destruction, but,
「Ku-ku-ku, allow me to apologize for my rudeness of saving my strength in battle!」
「But, there is not a single thing that I can give to you!」
「Just stay quietly in the fairy world while drinking sake!!」
The lord demolished his foothold using earth tonjutsu, swallowed his attack with “Severance Calamity”, and repeatedly bisected his limbs with blade of scorching heat.
Even though the physical strength between the two of them couldn’t be compared, the lord was simply more skilled. The numerous humane finesse completely stopped the oni god’s advance in its track.
Naturally, the nine tailed fox also had multiple clones applying “Calamity Sky” on her so she couldn’t make any move. As last resort he fired lightning attack randomly, but short swords that were enveloped in lightning tonjutsu served as lightning rod that blocked the attack.
「I hath a lot of fun. Ye all, let’s continue this later at the other side.」
There was no more roar that could be heard. The force of Mountain Ooe was losing their volume from getting gouged and sent flying by every attack of Hidzuki’s fists.
And then, all the other apparitions also――didn’t regenerate.
The willpower of purification that filled this place, Hinata’s willpower was crushing away the support magic from “Shadow Monk”.
There, the finishing blow was dealt.
「Kiitsu kiitsu tachimachi unka ――」 (Note: Yeah, I tried translating it and no luck. I found out that this is also a spell that appeared in Tokyo Ravens, but even there it was left untranslated)
The way the lustrous raven black hair and the pure white kariginu fluttered was indescribably mystical.
Hinata’s eyes that were closed for concentration snapped wide open.
「Kiitsu kiitsu tachimachi kant(Order)-!!」
The incantation that built a rapport with the origin of heaven and earth, the supernatural being that governed over vitality――Taiichi Shinkun resounded sonorously.
Hinata’s body that contained enormous amount of mystical power overflowed with terrific amount of willpower. A radiance that felt like it was overwriting the night into noon swept over the battlefield.
It was a radiance that swept away malice and miasma.
This time the spirits of the dead were washed away helplessly by the wave of light and vanished. Ootakemaru and other onis that had lost the power to regenerate with bodies that were covered in wounds were also given a lethal damage.
「I’ll never give uppppp, Shuteennn! Humansss!」
The apparitions fell apart as they vanished. Part of their corpse that served as the catalyst tumbled out from inside their body. They also crumbled as though they had been put through a heavy burden.
The battlefield near the shrine that was flooded by that many enemies had fallen silent with only the gunshots repeatedly ringing out from far away could be heard.
「Fuhaah, hau, hiu~」
The light popped and Hinata dispersed out the mystical power before she sunk down on the ground. As expected, it seemed she had used up considerable amount of power. Her gallant look was slackening down sloppily.
「Nfuuh, haa haa~――pigyaa!?」
There, Claudia who dismissed the “Holy Severance” also sank down on the ground――almost. The holy cross that she was unable to support fell on her. Her face was sandwiched on the hard ground. She let out a scream that was unbefitting for a saintess.
『It was Hinata-chan just now wasn’t it! Kuku, as expected from the woman that this “Abyss Cenicienta (Abyss’s first wife)” recognized. She has performed a feat that doesn’t disgrace her position as fifth seat! Be proud!』
「Translation, great job Hinata-chan, good girl! Something like that.」
「T-thank you very much, Claire-sama. But, umm, I somehow get it so……first you need to get out from being pinned down like that.」
Fuh, it won’t be that much of a hardship if I can do that with my own power……Claudia said to somehow maintain her dignity as the senior while her eyes were turning tearful from her pathetic state.
Hinata tried to push off the holy cross with all her strength despite her weary state, but her base power was no different at all from a little girl her age, so there was only her voice 「Uu~nn, uu~nn」 from doing her best echoing through the area in vain.
Unexpectedly, the one who first reached out to help with the difficulty of the strongest shrine maiden and saintess was,
「What art ye two doing.」
Hidzuki. She lifted up the holy cross lightly with one hand.
「T-thank you very much, Shuten Douji-sama.」
「Uu, my thanks.」
For some reason the lord who normally would help out immediately was standing some distance away looking like he was leaning on something even though there was nothing to lean on. He was crossing his arms with a stance of watching over the happening as he sighed fuh.
It seemed the reason for that was this.
Hinata’s instinct whispered the meaning of the word that she certainly heard just now. She lifted up her head with a taken aback look. Similarly, Claudia who also heard what Hidzuki said just now as a word with meaning was also looking dumbfounded.
「Mine name is Yaya no Hidzuki.」
She allowed them to learn her true name. Hidzuki mentioned her name while looking aside, looking like she was a bit embarrassed. It made Hinata felt bewilderment first before happiness.
「We still haven’t reached the resolution though……」
「Didn’t ye exorcise onis whose status equaled mine just now? Continuing the trial any further than this wouldst simply be redundant isn’t it?」
Apparently it was like that. Hinata who said “I can exorcise you. I’ll be watching you for my whole life” before this to Hidzuki was certainly not just giving an empty threat at that time.
And most of all, at this present time Hidzuki had recognized in her heart that she was a great character who was worthy to have Shuten Douji as her Zenki.
Seeing Hidzuki obstinately avoiding to meet her gaze from embarrassment made Hinata to feel embarrassed too. Her cheeks blushed.
Claire’s eyes darted around. She realized that she was also allowed to call Hidzuki with her true name, but she was vividly getting the out of place feeling 「Whaat with this atmosphere……」 that it was real awkward for her.
「Hidzuki-sama……I’m going to take a little rest in order to recover, so can I ask you to protect me during that time?」
「I am yer Zenki, princess. Be resolute.」
「T-then, cough――Hidzuki, protect me.」
「I swear that I wouldst not let anyone touch even a single hair on ye.」
The atmosphere really felt like what’s with this moood~. Claudia was asking for help with her gaze, so the lord turned invisible and quietly led her away.
「I know this! This kind of scene is what you called “precious” isn’t it! Daww, how precious!」
The words of Rana who had come back here without anyone noticing smashed the atmosphere in a good meaning.
「Ranainferina, you came back?」
Abyss lord tilted his head. Rana changed her atmosphere to a crisp one and reported.
「Yes, Abyssgate. I guessed that you might be exhausted now, so I’m her to increase the security.」
「You’re saying that my presence here alone is insufficient?」
「It’s for just in case. ……The wind is noisy. Most likely, they’re going to come.」
「Fuh, I see. Indeed, I myself thought that the wind is crying a little.」
Claudia covered her face. She couldn’t keep up with the embarrassing talk! Of course, Hinata and Hidzuki too!
But, it seemed the two’s fear was right on the money. A call came.
『This is Vanessa (Assassin team)! Reporting. Shadow Monk is showing movement!』
『This is Barnard (Saber 1)! It’s the same here, we confirmed a silhouette accompanying the apparitions!』
『K-Kousukee! Something came out hereee! A strange thing came out from the spring! Helppp!』
There was also reinforcement request from Emily. In addition,
「! I won’t let you!!」
The lord reacted to something. He instantly appeared behind Hinata and swung his short sword in a flash.
With that, *gin-* a hard metal sound rang out from empty space with sparks scattered. He couldn’t see anything but when he launched a spinning kick to the empty air, a faint voice 「guh」 of pain leaked out.
Something was there. The impact caused it to show itself.
It was a person dressed in black. He looked like a kabuki stage assistant dressed in black, with a mask covering his face. That mask had a pentagram drew on it in the color of blood.
An invisibility that couldn’t be detected until after he was just a moment away from attacking, and the fact that he was able to enter until this deep. It made everyone here to gulp. The lord put Hinata behind him and narrowed his eyes.
「So you are a practitioner from “Shadow Monk” huh?」
The answer was――given in the form of killing intent and assassin blade.
Northwest of the sea of trees, inside the forest near Lake Motosu, a “Shadow Monk” was making a grave expression behind his mask of blood colored pentagram. He was glaring at the center of the sea of trees.
『Everything is for the sake of the nation. For the motherland……no, the dragon……reviving the dragon is for the motherland’s sake……nothing is more important than the dragon’s existence……yes, everything is――――』
The voice was muttering foreign words.
That person who was the commander of “Shadow Monk” had several subordinates around him but……nobody paid any attention to his unusual state. Even the person himself didn’t look like he was aware of it.
It was only natural.
Everyone of them was in the same state and muttering the same words after all.
The subordinates obeyed the commander’s words like usual.
『Everything is――for the revival of the dragon.』
There was also nobody in this place who harbored any doubt toward those words.
The gong of the second round of the sea of trees defense battle was sounded.
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