Going slightly back in time.
After a bit of time passed since the defensive battle of sea of trees Aokigahara started.
Kousuke and others were tightly defending against the big swarm of “Shiki” and apparition while keeping their energy expenditure at minimum. At that time, inside the sea of trees near Lake Motosu that was located at the northwest of Mountain Fuji’s sea of trees, a single man dressed in black was holding his head at his wits’ end.
『Just what is going on……since when Japan become a nest of monster like this-』
His face and stature were unclear because of the black coat and the mask of blood colored pentagram he wore. His voice also sounded extremely neutral because a technique was used to mask it.
But, the voice that was talking in the main land’s language was shaking really hard. It was unknown whether the trembling came from rage, fear, or bewilderment though. In addition, it also felt like there was fatigue seeping out faintly from the voice.
This man was the supreme commander in the battle between “Shadow Monk” versus Japan――”Zhen Ying (True Shadow)”.
All the members of the organization were given the character “影 (Ying)” in their name without exception along with another character to differentiate their job. That was the reason he had a female name.
Normally he was the very definition of being calm and collected that even his subordianates wondered whether he had no emotion at all. But the subordinates around him were in the state of half bewildered and half sympathizing at Zhen Ying’s state.
Of course, all of them were wearing blood colored pentagram mask so their expression couldn’t be seen.
Now then, if asked what was the cause that made Zhen Ying who was entrusted with the command of wrestling control of a country and leading 200 casters ended up in such state……it went without mention.
『Report. ……200 “Shiki” has been dispatched. Should we add more?』
『Obviously. Don’t ease up on them.』
『But, five people are already rendered invalid from the use of the “Mirror”……』
『Even then do it! Their ammos and techniques and barrier should be limited! Use the Mirror to the limit!』
“Mirror”――that was none other than the reason why the “Shadow Monk” was able to throw overwhelming number of “Shiki” to the battlefield.
It was one of the secret treasure in the possession of “Shadow Monk”. It was an ancient foldable mirror. If a “Shiki” that was created beforehand was put into one side of the “Mirror” surface, the image would be reflected to the other surface and the “Shiki” there could be mass produced as long as the item user’s mental strength could last.
Furthermore, it had a secret technique where the “Mirror” could be magically connected to another mirror. With that it was possible to materialize the Shiki in another location using the world inside the mirror as intermediary.
This was the reason why Kousuke couldn’t determine the location of the Shiki’s appearance. Because the Shikis were sent through the small mirrors that were scattered everywhere in the sea of trees. Even locating them was difficult.
However, even though they continuously threw more than a hundred Shikis from every direction at the enemies without stopping――
『Why can’t they break through!』
Yes, they couldn’t break through.
『Even before that, my strongest apparitions all got done in with one strike right from the start! What the……hell is this……』
It couldn’t be helped because the opponent was the lord.
At the start of the battle, the apparition that the lord easily defeated as the signal of the battle’s beginning was actually none other than the strongest trump card that Zhen Ying possessed.
He hoped that the battle would be over by using that. Or rather he thought that his trump card could definitely do it.
『In the first place why! Why is there other forces than onmyouji here! Why is Vatican’s exorcists here!? Why is Britain’s special force here!? Why is bullet effective here!? And most of all that group of jokes! What’s the point wearing rabbit ears decoration in battle huh! And yet they’re abnormally strong! Where did they pop out from!?』
『P-please calm yourself Zhen Ying. Be composed――』
『I’m composed! I’m calmly cursing the absurdity of this world!』
That couldn’t be called as being composed though……the subordinate looked like he wanted to say that. That caused Zhen Ying to gasp as he returned to his senses and looked around.
Even his subordinates who were currently busy sending curses in desperation were paying attention to him.
No good. Absurd things keep showing up one after another, but I’m the supreme field commander of “Shadow Monk” in the battle against Japan. I got to show calm and unwavering figure to my subordinates. He thought as he cleared his throat.
『What of the remaining apparitions? How many of the enemies they have reduced?』
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『What, speak clearly.』
『Half of the apparitions still remained. The enemies number have been considerably whittled down……I think.』
『……Wait. What do you mean “I think”?』
『……The enemies that should have been defeated, they are already in the frontline again when I noticed……』
『…………It must be the onmyoujis who dispelled the curse. If several of the truly powerful like Fujiwara Hinata are excluded, the rests are clearly weaker than us. Perhaps they are using some kind of magical tool to assist their effort? If that’s the case then there is no way they will be able to keep it up forever right?』
『No, for some reason even enemies who got heavy injuries like torn limbs by Shiki or apparition are returning to the frontline in a healthy state somehow.』
Zhen Ying stamped his foot on the ground. To repeat, usually he was the very picture of calm and collected. Rather, he was a high ranked magician who was clad in an atmosphere of menace and gloom that was worthy of a residence of the darkness.
His subordinates never saw him acted like this……it couldn’t be helped that they unconsciously took a step back after seeing this.
『You aren’t telling me that all of them are immortal aren’t you!』
『……At the very least, it will be impossible to kill “that person” as long as we don’t take down the real body.』
Because no matter how many of him were taken down, the clones would crawly out from anywhere without end. His subordinate’s voice also sounded powerless.
『Zhen Ying. As expected, we don’t have any other option than a direct attack.』
『That’s out of the question. You understand right? We can’t leave any definite proof that our homeland is involved with this.』
Their first strategy of making a fixed match was already crumbling. To make their second strategy of waking up the “Dragon” and sending reinforcement to make the other side indebted to them a success, they couldn’t leave any proof of their involvement behind no matter what, even if everyone already heavily suspected them.
They were wearing mask of blood colored pentagram to change other people’s perception was also because the risk of going into direct combat was too high. It would be too horrible if by some chance one of them got captured. The best way was to use apparitions and magic to do remote controlled attack while hiding themselves. As long as there was no proof, they could leave the rest to their formidable diplomats later to slip away from any accusation.
『We’d be better off retreating rather than allowing the enemy to obtain proof. That’s the instruction from headquarters. Keep hiding with all your strength like now while attacking from afar. If it doesn’t work……we’ll retreat.』
『……We’re going to give up on a rich sacred ground like Japan?』
『That’s not something for us to decide. The headquarters, and consequently the motherland will be the one to decide.』
Certainly, Japan was an excellent sacred ground. To an abnormal degree at that.
China’s sacred grounds starting from Kunlun Mountains were top class, but a small island country like this rivaled them. Not just that, the sacred ground here was increasing in strength since several months ago.
It wasn’t because this was the land of the far east where the power of dragon’s vine flowed into.
It was as though this land was living creature that drew in dragon’s vine power to devour it.
This land was the greatest sacred ground that was growing even more abundant as time passed.
It was vexing. As a single practitioner, no, for all the practitioners, this land right now was a treasure island that made all of them droll.
They were the country’s shadow. A shadow would never move away from the main body and moved on its own. As befitting a shadow, they would only follow the real body the whole time.
If it was for the sake of their homeland, they would happily sip mud and dirtied themselves. Even if it was something that they thought to be mistaken as a human, they would kill their own feeling and offered their loyalty.
Even in this battle, if even the option of retreat was cut away from them, they wouldn’t hesitate to kill themselves so that no proof would remain behind. It didn’t matter even if they had to use extremely gruesome method like throwing themselves into the dragon’s vine or ordering their bound apparition to eat them.
Selfless devotion. Everything was for the sake of their homeland.
That was the absolutely unshakable principle of “Shadow Monk”.
『Don’t let up with the curses and “Shikis”. Order the apparitions to focus on long range attack. We’re going to whittle them down by maintaining our overwhelming quantity. It will be our victory if we can overwhelm the enemy’s capacity before dawn.』
Conversely, it would be their defeat if they couldn’t do that. After that they would retreat or commit suicide.
Zhen Ying made such decision following their plan at the beginning. His subordinates saluted him.
There, another subordinate came with a radio in one hand. Her looked somewhat gloomy.
Zhen Ying’s face behind his mask was twitching hard.
You got a bad news right! That’s it right! I don’t want to hear! He was radiating a thick intent of not wanting to listen.
He asked with a voice that was devoid of all emotions. The subordinate hesitated for a bit before reporting.
『Zhen Ying, Dao Ying (Reverse Shadow) contacted us.』
That was the name of the captain of the unit that was engaged with the mission to pollute the dragon’s vein in Kyoto. The bad premonition was swelling bigger and bigger.
It seemed that the call had been picked up, so Zhen Ying wordlessly held out his hand. His subordinate timidly handed the radio. Zhen Ying calmed down his feeling for a moment before speaking 『Report』 into the radio.
『Zhen Ying! Permission to retreat! The mission failed! It’s impossible to continue! We aren’t any match here! That child, that child is a monster!』
『Wait, calm down. Give me the detailed report. Who is this child? What do you mean by monster?』
『It’s a little girl! That’s-, that’s the returnee Nagumo Hajime’s-. Stolen-, all of our apparitions-. Not only that, even Japan’s youkais are gathering and working together-. Even though that child isn’t casting any magic or putting any binding, why are they all listening to her!? This is just like Hyakki Yakou! The swordsman guarding her is also abnormal! Her skill is inhuman! The curses were cut! Sh*t-, give us permission to retreat right away! At this rate even the choice to dispose ourselves will――』
*Pshew* The call was cut off. Suddenly.
As silence filled the area, even more additional blow came in the form of a multiple call. His subordinates all contacted him in fear simultaneously.
『Report from Shu Ying (Far Shadow). A sea of trees manifested in Britain’s sacred ground. They can’t even reach the temporarily nicknamed “Origin Sacred Tree” due to the thick mist and what seemed to be powerful apparitions. Their force is half destroyed.』
『Zhen Ying, a report. About the mission to win over the returnees using their relatives……Zhi Ying (Sole Shadow) and his men apparently has returned home without anyone notcing and, they……for some reason they rampaged in the headquarters while screaming justice. They have been apprehended.』
『N n e A A A e-』
A voice that sounded like the growl of an apparition came out from Zhen Ying’s mouth. His subordinates had never heard him made such sound.
Is he losing his sanity!? His subordinates wondered in fear.
There, even more report that gouged out Zhen Ying’s stomach came.
『Report from Ying Cong (Shadow Lesser). Our path of retreat has been cut off by Japan’s special force.』
『N n -』
『Fortunately their invisibility hasn’t been breached, so there is no loss of personnel but, as expected the terrain advantage lies with the other side. All the routes to reach our vehicles has been blockaded. Also――』
『……Our escape vehicles, or rather all of the vehicles that seem suspicios……umm……it seems that all of their wheels has been punctured.』
『They are doing that kind of act that is like a petty crime!?』
『Also, perhaps to mark the vehicles that seem to be particularly suspicious, they even drew anime character illustration on the front glass using spray……』
『They’re no more than a delinquent gang already-』
This is-, something like this-, is this the way Japan’s dark side operateee-!! Blood rushed to his head as he thought that. But, his stomach immediately sent him a griping pain in despondency.
My stomach, it hurts……someone, give me stomach medicine……
Zhen Ying wanted to make such complain but, however, he didn’t yield as someone who loved his homeland more than anybody else.
『N-not yet. This is still not over yet……』
He scolded his heart that threatened to break down and straightened his back strongly. He filled his voice with a dominating aura.
『The preparation to wake up Japan’s three great youkais?』
『It won’t be long.』
『And the ghost swarm?』
『Good, notify all forces! We’re going to violate the enemy camp itself with miasma and impurity. Muster all the mystical power you have!』
They had prepared the remains of Japan’s three great youkais just in case. It was a secret art, a special awakening technique that transformed the youkai as foretold in legend into “Shikigami” just as the caster imagined. The technique was being completed.
This was one of their trump cards. As long as the caster hadn’t run out of energy, it was possible for the Shikigami to regenerate super fast because in the end it was just a Shikigami that was patterned after the caster’s imagination.
In addition, they also used the secret art of wide range extermination, by killing human mentally through polluting their sanity and vitality.
As compensation, the caster’s own mind would be remarkably fatigued and their resistance against curse would be temporarily reduced drastically but……
In the current situation where all of their strategies had failed, it was unknown when the headquarters would issue the order to retreat.
And most of all, the enemy’s trump card that led to the failure of those strategies was just too unreasonable.
Their lack of information landed a fatal blow to them at this point. It wouldn’t be strange if right now, even at this very moment they would get annihilated totally due to unexpected combat force or attack that was completely outside of their imagination.
If he assumed the worst, then the time the three great youkais were awakened would be the time to attack.
He decided his course of action with such thinking. Then some time passed.
With focus, mystical force that was put under binding upon binding filled all the “Shadow Monk” members hiding in the sea of trees. It was then, the report that he had been waiting impatiently for came.
『The three great youkais are awakened!』
Roars burst out. Not only the three great youkais, even the onis who were their subordinates were also freed.
In addition, the extremely repulsive and powerful deadly curse of filth was also completed. The curse flooded toward the enemy camp like a tsunami.
And then――――――somehow they got easily exorcised.
Just by two magicians. An exorcist and an onmyouji. The exorcism was completed in an instant with a soul stirring light.
『Zhe, Zhen Ying?』
『The ghosts-!! Release them!』
Zhen Ying was silent for a moment, before the face behind the mask turned serious.
Something like willpower came out in large chunk from inside his body. He was feeling a horrible lethargy that made him wanted to fall on his knee even now, but rather than paying attention to that, his mind was feeling overwhelmed by the fact that he refused to accept.
About that, well, he wouldn’t say that the technique just now was the strongest magic of “Shadow Monk”, and the top ranking leader of “Shadow Monk”, particularly the expert class practitioner, his own master surely could also do the same feat of exorcism like just now.
Even still. If he was to be honest. What happened just now was a bit shocking.
Anyway, it was still not over yet!
A whole area was purified along with the curse that was launched by more than a hundred people. There was no doubt that the opponent was also exhausted! For sure!
He filled his mind with such feeling while observing the three great youkais and the ghost swarm attacking in waves.
The subordinates around him, and most likely the people positioned throughout the sea of trees were also similarly exhausted physically and mentally just like Zhen Ying. They would be in danger if the “Shadow Monk” side got hit with a counterattack curse at this moment.
(Push through……push through-. For the sake of the homeland! Victory!!)
Perhaps because of the fatigue from completing a large scale ritual.
He was putting on the air of an unwavering commander at the surface, but anxiety was welling up inside him to a mysterious degree.
Unpleasant thought, the worst possible development crossed the back of his mind. His heart felt constricted inside his chest.
――Everything is for the sake of the homeland
That principle had always lived in his chest until now. He had staked his life for that. If he was ordered to, then he would definitely carry it out no matter what he had to do.
That was why it was also fine this time, no problem.
Ain’t no way such offensive could be repelled.
There was even a strategy of sending water type apparition directly into the shrine using Lake Motosu’s underground water vein being carried out right now.
It would be alright……alright……
Even though he was persuading himself like that, anxiety and irritation were getting stronger inside him. His inability to erase them was truly odd.
The roars of onis and the thunderous sound of battle reverberated from afar.
Just what was taking them so long? They were legendary onis. Oni god. Although they were just the degraded version, there was also the white faced golden furred nine tail fox whose legend was well known even in his own homeland fighting together with them.
And yet, what were they doing……
No, don’t fret. They would definitely break through……
Could they win with just this against that abnormal group?
Why hadn’t the report of the enemy’s suppression come yet?
Even though they had to win no matter what for their homeland’s sake.
Even though he wanted to respond to his compatriot’s expectation.
If they could just revive the “Dragon”……
Because the revival of the “Dragon” was the only thing that could help their homeland……
The “Dragon”, had to be released, no matter what, the “Dragon”……
Those who got in the way of the revival, everything in their way was――detestable……
『Zhen Ying, the onis of Mountain Ooe don’t stand a chance. The nine tails are tied down, and even Ootakemaru are held down by Endou Kousuke’s clones.』
Zhen Ying slowly moved his face toward his subordinate who came reporting.
Without harboring any doubt toward the voice that was abnormally calm.
Without anyone noticing, the atmosphere around him had slightly turned stale, and yet he didn’t show any sign of noticing.
『Send out Huan Ying (Illusion Shadow). Erase Fujiwara Hinata.』
He gave out the instruction to send out the subordinate who was specialized in the most direct assassination with that mouth that said they wouldn’t do any direct combat before.
After the revival of the “Dragon”, Hinata should be placed at the forefront in order to exhaust the “Dragon”. He just ordered the murder of that necessary existence.
It was a contradiction. However, his subordinates also didn’t show any sign of questioning it.
『Zhen Ying. A contact from headquarters. The order to retreat has come.』
『We won’t retreat. This is for the homeland’s sake.』
――Erase all that in your way
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――Everything back to nothing……
――Return to the origin……
Something’s voice resounded inside his head. He wasn’t even clear at what the voice was saying but, he was very clear of what had to be done.
『We’re going out too. Even if we are annihilated, the revival of the “Dragon” must succeed no matter what.』
Yes, the revival of the “Dragon”.
Exterminate the descendants of the annoying clan that laid out the barrier.
That was the only thing that matter for the homeland.
For the, homeland……because the revival of the “Dragon”, should be the only thing that would bring benefit for the homeland.
The masks were hiding their face. It hid the true face of the Shadow Monks beneath it.
That was why, nobody realized.
How their eyes were all turning cloudy.
Their mind that was weakened from the large scale ritual ended up the same like the people who came here at the beginning for investigation. They were completely affected by the conception of the “Dragon”.
In addition, the combat of curses in this land had stimulated the “Dragon”, heightening that conception even more.
『Everything is for the “Dragon”.』
They didn’t even notice how their objective and their method had been reversed.
When the assassin blade of “Shadow Monk” approached Hinata who was sitting in exhaustion on the ground.
A pawn of “Shadow Monk” also infiltrated the shrine underground.
The river and spring of underground water that horizontally divided the deepest area of the shrine right in the middle. A grotesque creature that looked similar like an otter with green eyes came out from there.
It was said to be a drowned person who changed into a youkai and had the ability of transformation. In the legend it wanted to drag the living into water to be its replacement.
Emily who had been looking crazy from the gasmask & white lab coat she was wearing the whole time while doing her all to heal the wounded caused their expression to spasm as they watched her. When she went to the river to draw some water, her eyes met the eyes of Suirakuki who was glaring up from underwater.
The experience made her felt like her heart would leap out from her mouth.
……Perhaps it was just her imagination but, it felt like the Suirakuki also looked like its heart would leap out from its mouth, but there was no doubt that she was just imagining it.
The opponent tried to assault Emily with heart that was full of deep-seated grudge to drag the living into the water with it, but there should be no way that it unconsciously hesitated 「Human――not!?」 because of the creepy mask that was going *shukoo shukoo*.
In any case, thanks to the Suirakuki not leaping out of water right away, Emily could scream 「Kyaaaaaa――――」 while tumbling back to the front of the shrine.
And then she contacted Kousuke while mercilessly spraying out poisonous gas at Suirakuki that finally leaped out of the water.
The gas caused the Suirakuki to go 「-!? -!?」, and after a bit of time passed, it had stopped moving from vigilance but, the gas didn’t have any further effect on it.
The Hauria, exorcists, and special force members in here still couldn’t move because they were in the middle of being given regeneration treatment by the Arachne. Amidst that, there was one onmyouji who stood up somehow.
It was the next head of Tsuchimikado Clan――Tsuchimikado Takehiko.
He got an arm bitten off by an apparition of the “Shadow Monk”――by “Dorou”, a brutal man-eater monster with the form of a sheep with four horns. His regeneration had just finally ended.
His arm had just been sacrificed in order to summon his own apparition, a Tsuchigumo. The phantom pain and his state of anemia that he still hadn’t recovered from made him unsteady on his feet. Even so he stepped forward with stubbornness and pride.
His arm got bitten off.
The Arachne doctor team shot their string and swiftly recovered the patient. They hurriedly applied regeneration treatment. They looked like they wanted to say 「Why did Takehiko’s arm got taken right away?」.
In any case, the scene of a human almost getting eaten right in front of her eyes seemed to have caused Emily-chan’s mind to snap.
「Emily! It’s alright now! This one is here――」
A lord’s clone came running through a gate. However, the moment it moved to make a heroic pose while speaking a cool line, he screamed 「Nuoooooooh」 and leaped to the side before lying low on the ground.
The reason for that was,
*Ratatatatatata-* Because Emily-chan was firing an assault rifle randomly.
Screams and angry roars like 「Calm down missy!!」 or 「The bullets ricochet!?」 or 「Hyoee!? It grazed just now! My cheek got grazed seee!」 or 「Fuck!! My ass is shotttt!」 or 「Duckkk! Just duck!!」reverberated from here and there. It was a pandemonium.
*Crawl craw crawl* The lord crawled forward in high speed and rolled to the camp where the people were receiving treatment and there were covers to some degree. He raised his voice.
The one who reacted first was a small rabbit eared boy who was bleeding from his side.
「Big bro Aby!」
「Muh, Baltfeld! You’re wounded!」
「Heh, I committed a small blunder. Looks like even I have lost my edge.」
The rabbit eared boy who had lost his edge at his teenage years. There were a lot of parts that could be retorted at from his statement, but it couldn’t be helped because that was a line that he wanted to say at least once.
He was making a nihilistic smile. However, his rabbit ears were flopping down flat on his head while shivering. That was because he was the one who screamed from getting his ass shot just now.
「Forget about that big bro Aby, get big sis Emily to stop already! Next time my asshole is going to increase for real!」
「U-umu. Stop, umu. Gotta stop her.」
The lord glanced.
The gas masked girl in white lab coat was screaming 「Aaaaaaaa-」 while swinging around an assault rifle. Scary. She seemed to be wrong in the head no matter how he looked at her. He didn’t want to get near.
There was one more terrifying factor.
The assault rifle would immediately run out of ammo if it was fired in full auto but……
Each time that happened, Emily-chan would kick up a spare assault rifle that was kept in reserve with her foot and exchanged weapon. She continued to fire without pause with smooth movement. Her movement to load the first bullet into the chamber was also smooth. It was a movement of a veteran soldier that had been imprinted into the body. The lord couldn’t help but doubting if she was actually not panicking?
Though he understood the reason for that.
When the lord glanced at the special force member lying low on the ground beside him, he sent him a thumbs up.
In other words, it was like that.
Everyone of security bureau’s assault department, especially Vanessa had been training her daily.
Emily begged saying that she wanted the skill to at least protect herself using her own strength. The people of security bureau’s assault department starting from Vanessa would secretly give her lesson when they had free time. This was the result.
Let’s turn the Britain heroine of Abyssgate, Emily-chan to be a fighter heroine! Because, the other heroines all have rich personality! Don’t lose Emily! Emily-chan must be the winner! They trained her with that kinda mood.
Though right now, what was before their eyes was more a MAD Berserker rather than a heroine.
Even the cause of this, the Suirakuki was completely crouching down while covering its head with its arms.
「Aargh, to hell with it!」
「Ueeeeeeehn, Kousuke where are youuu―――」
Perhaps she sensed the rapidly approaching presence from behind. Emily-chan, she was firing the rifle with one hand while her other hand did a fast draw, or rather a fast throw of gas can to behind her.
「Just where are you heading at, Emily!!」
The allies had drank the antidote, and the lord was also just a clone so there was no problem, but it would be outrageous if she did this against a normal enemy. Really, just to which direction this genius professor-chan was heading toward.
But putting that aside, tackle!
At the same time he swept away the rifle and gas can and restrained Emily――not, he hugged her tightly while rotating midair to put himself below her.
He landed on the ground with his back to protect Emily while getting up quickly to send his words into her ears.
「It’s me, Emily. This one came to save you.」
The twitching Emily returned to her senses. When he relaxed his restraining――not, his hugging strength, she fearfully looked back. When she confirmed that it was the lord, a flo~ppy smile formed on her tearful face――the gas masked Emily looked like that. *Shukoo*.
「I was scareddd」
Yep, scary. You were. The lord tackled down that honest feeling of his to the depth of his heard and patted her head.
「Ah, that’s right! What about the monster!?」
「It’s already died for quite some time.」
He didn’t think that it was intentional but, the moment he brushed away the assault rifle, the last bullet by some chance splendidly pierced through the Suirakuki’s forehead. Scary.
「I see, it was scaryyy. You defeated it for me Kousuke!」
「Uu, muu. Well, something like that.」
New discovery. It seemed the lord could read the atmosphere even when in abyss lord mode. It was a fine play because Emily’s mind would only be thrown into chaos even if he honestly said that she was the one who did the killing.
「I’m sorry, even though you also have it difficult outside――wait. Kousuke, you used “this one” to refer to yourself just now! Besides your atmosphere is also……your depth level has deepened! This presence, it’s the presence of the deepest depth! Is it sop dangerous outside that you have to stop saving up magic power!?」
Emily’s “degree of understanding” was bitingly harsh. It seemed she could differentiate his coolness depth level just from the way he addressed himself and his atmosphere.
The lord sighed ‘fuh’ at such Emily and smiled.
「No? Rather, it’s the opposite.」
The wounded people who were liberated from the nightmare of a storm of ricochet also focused on him. In the middle of that, the lord twirled in place and turned his back on them to intentionally look back across his shoulder at them. After that he pushed up his sunglasses with his middle finger,
「The enemy made a bad move. There is nothing more tying down this one. This war is our victory!」
He proclaimed that.
.The lord covered Hinata behind him and faced the practitioner with a mask of blood colored pentagram.
The enemy’s expression couldn’t be seen. He didn’t even respond to the lord talking to him.
In exchange, astonishingly, the enemy’s form was slowly fading from view. It was as though he was melting into the surrounding’s scenery.
「A complete erasure of one’s form! It makes me feel intimacy with you! But, however!」
Too naïve! He said as his sword flashed. The lord’s short sword deflected a knife that flew from a completely different direction as though it came out from empty air.
「Abyss Style Earth Tonjutsu――”Sand Dragon’s Prison Castle (Be Embraced in the Abyss’ Devi)”!!」
The lord stamped strongly on the ground. Hidzuki’s technique was cool so he copied it without delay! However, he couldn’t create a quake so what was created was a bulging earth and sand.
Even so the effect was impressive. The formless assassin was showed his difference in level with the assassin who had form and yet considered as not existing.
A voice of anguish spilled out. It was a bark that sounded like a mix of a cow and a bird. The one other enemy in hiding had its form exposed.
It was a white tiger with a pattern on its forehead.
Perhaps it should be called as a mythical beast instead of an apparition. In the legend, it often got attached with human, but it was also said to be skilled in hiding itself.
But, it seemed that it couldn’t escape from the lord’s Presence Detection. It was desperately struggling to get away from the earth and sand that was covering it and immediately hardened.
At the same time, the assassin showed himself at Hinata’s side with Claudia at her opposite side.
“Huan Ying”――he was the greatest assassin of “Shadow Monk” who could turn himself invisible using Moukyoku’s power. However, even that advantage was neutralized with Moukyouiki itself being pinned down.
And then, the lord’s figure was already behind him.
The assassin didn’t even notice that the lord was standing behind him. He only noticed when a blade was pressed on his neck.
「We finally meet, Shadow Monk. I have been impatiently waiting for the arrival of this time.」
「How many of you are here? Why have you come out now? How many of you came attacking? Where is your hideout I wonder?」
“Huan Ying” persisted in his silence as though he didn’t know how to talk. He couldn’t talk in any other language than his native language. Therefore he would thoroughly keep his mouth shut during mission to avoid showing the involvement of his homeland.
In exchange, he took out a knife from his sleeve as though to declare that he didn’t care even if he got his neck slit and stabbed at the lord’s side――before he could,
「Kukuh, we people in the same trade have the same way of thinking aren’t we?」
Ranainfer――Rana grasped his wrist and stopped him. Also, Hauria was feared as head reaping bunny but, it wasn’t like they had assassination business as their occupation. She only said that because of the mood.
「You don’t have the right to keep silent. Right, Abyssgate?」
「Fuh, it’s as you say Ranainferna. It looks like the time has come for him to become a splendid villager too.」
「Surely he will cry in happiness. It will feel like he is reborn!」
「At the same time, he will carve it deeply into his bones!」
「「That when thy peer into abyss, the abyss will also peer back at thee!!」」
The lord and the first wife were having a lot of fun.
When anyone noticed, the enemy had already been tied with wire and couldn’t move. A five yen coin was swayed in front of his eyes while his captors were making stylish poses. It was a bit pitiful.
Because of the two’s conversation that began when she was just about to say thanks from being saved, Hinata’s mouth could only flap up and down wordlessly. Claire and Hidzuki’s hand patted her shoulders in consolation.
Amidst that, “Huan Ying” whose mask was about to be torn away was,
『Everything is for the sake of the revival of the “Dragon”!』
Yelling that and swallowed something. That thing that must be placed at the back of his mouth was the same like the man in black who threw himself into the dragon’s vein at Tsuchimikado’s residence.
It was a part of apparition――a cursed object. Such thing was consumed into his body.
Right after that, awful amount of miasma burst out from inside the body of “Huan Ying”. It whirled and the lord and Rana who were nearest to it fell into the sensation of feeling tehir heat, something important for any living thing to be taken away from them with great force.
「Both of you, get away from there! You’re being swallowed by impurity-」
Rana was taking distance away quicker than Hinata could give her warning.
As for the lord, he dealt a lethal wound before jumping back.
But, for “Huan Ying” that was getting off the rail from the framework of humanity, a lethal attack for human seemed to be meaningless already for him.
A shriek thundered. The surrounding nature was starting to decay from the overflowing miasma. The miasma robbed life force from all living things. It was a repulsive heretical magic among heretical magic that pollute everything.
「I won’t let you. ――On Shuciri……uu」
Hinata formed a sword seal with her hands as the shriek reverberated to perform the technique of curse breaking. But, it seemed to be too hard for her young body that was in the middle of recovering. She staggered with a pale expression and even her words stopped. Claudia immediately supported Hinata who looked like she was going to faint.
「It wouldst be fine if we smash him to pieces wouldst not it?」
「No, that will be pointless. The curse itself will still remain even if we destroy the flesh.」
Hinata shook her head at Hidzuki’s suggestion. Then,
「「On Shuchiri Kyararoha Unkensowaka!!」」
The mantra for pleading for protection toward Yamantaka Vidya-raja to destroy curse echoed from overlapping voices.
It was Fujiwara Taisei and Tsuchimikado Jounosuke. They heard that an apparition slipped into the shrine and returned here just in case.
「Hinata, I’ll suppress this impurity. You just focus on recovery right now.」
「Endou-dono! The Shadow Monks might be getting desperate! Those who got successfully repelled or neutralized also similarly sacrificed themselves and scatter out curses!」
That report was a bit different from their assumption. In Fukube’s assumption, the Shadow Monk wouldn’t pick any strategy that would enable their side to obtain proof of their homeland’s involvement but……for them to be this suicidal now, just what kind of change of heart this was?
The enemy’s offensive that should be called as a desperate suicide attack abruptly fanned up the sense of tension and anxiety――only at the Shadow Monk’s side.
Rana sighed ‘fuh’ and turned, then she her finger sharply pointed at the lord.
The lord also sighed ‘fuh’ and put one hand on his forehead, brushed up his hair while slightly bending backward with his other hand sharply pointing back.
「Suicide attack? Bring it on. It’s a godsend if they are launching an all out attack!」
Was it Moonwalk? The lord was divided into clones through smooth sliding backsteps. Those clones also performed the same steps to the side where one body appeared before another body appearing beside them. They were all lined up *zurararara* like people inside the opposite mirrors.
In addition, their number from those lines were similarly increasing to the left and right with squiggling motion.
「If the Shadow Monks are showing themselves, there isn’t any need for me to control my abyss anymore!」
「Snappy snappy! Abyssga~te? You’re real snappy snap!」
「It doesn’t matter what they are scheming, aa, here I proclaim! They have made the worst choice!」
「Kyaa――h! So cool! You’re shining the brightest right now-!! My darling?」
Lines of lords manifested in an instant in front of the shrine――200 of them.
Coolness depth――level V!!
The tension and clapping of Rana-san who was watching her darling getting serious from nearby after so long were overwhelming. It was as though the idol that she was a fan of finally came up on the stage.
By the way, the clones that were dispatched to every theater were also multiplying while making the same kind of posture and speech, so the members of the security bureau went 「He’s finally here, our Aby!!」, while Karm and others went 「Pay a close attention! This man is none other than the symbol of our next generation」. They were all cheering thunderously with excitement.
The exorcists were relatively sensible, so they were watching with wry smile. Even so, they were showing an expression of relieve because they were convinced that the fight was over already.
Of course, the onmyoujis couldn’t keep up with it. They were cringing from seeing the multiplication saying things like 「Eh, somehow he is multiplying even more than that time with us like cockroach though!?」 or 「The number is absurdly much more than when he fought us it feels disgusting-」.
「「「「「Now, Shadow Monks!」」」」」
「「「「「If you have the wish to sacrifice yourself」」」」」
「「「「「In exchange everything in your possession」」」」」
「「「「「Shall be offered to mine abyss!!」」」」」
*Dopah* With a force that was like a river flow that burst the dam and became a flood, the many lords rushed to the sea of trees.
Rana-san was hopping *pyon pyon* exactly like a rabbit while waving her hands. She saw him off with a wide smile while,
「So that’s Endou-sama when he get serious……my Gouki……」
「Wha-, goki you say……Hinata, I understand your feeling but, as expected that’s」(Note: Cockroach=gokiburi)
「Taisei-dono, you’re equally guilty when you say that you can understand her feeling. Well, I understand the feeling too though.」
「T-that’s a misunderstanding! I don’t meant that black and terrifying thing!!」
「Hinata-san. As expected I think you’re also equally guilty by the time you can understand what they are talking about.」
Such conversation was being secretly exchanged.
Either way, the “Shadow Monk” getting swallowed by the lord was a decided matter and just a matter of time.
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