6. Gah, the Fortune Slip Buildiing!!
In a certain temple in Sapporo City,
“Kien-sama, you have come a long way to grace us with your presence.”
“Che, cause you bastards are useless, I had to annoyingly come all the way out here. Like hell I wanted to come, shit!”
Greeting the onmyou masters as he arrives is Kien Gouki1, the head onmyou master serving the Hinoyama Clan. Possessing the power to match an oni with a single horse, he is also their most talented onmyou master. In terms of annihilation, it’s even said that he is second to none amongst all onmyou masters.
“What’s with having me come all the way to Hokkaido just to look for a cat? I’ll remember this, Mitsurugi!”
His reason for coming to Sapporo was to search for the missing neko kami.
Onmyou practitioners, save for combat specialists, are below average. For someone like him who’s forté lies in transforming an entire region into a vast vacant lot through his annihilation, searching for the missing neko kami in a residential area is clearly not suited to his duties. Regardless, Mitsurugi Yuuen selected him for that mission after careful consideration. By placing Kien in an environment where he cannot earnestly cut loose, he’ll be kept from rampaging while being forced to use his head. Furthermore, by sending him with his self-centered and self-righteous spirit, he’ll blast motivation into those on the same mission as him.
In line with Mitsurugi’s beliefs, the self-conscious onmyou masters all feel Kien’s impatience. As a result, they pick up on an unusual phenomenon.
“That’s… a recon shikigami!”
Upon casually glancing up towards the sky, a white crow is seen soaring over the temple.
A recon shikigami, Kien makes an expression reminiscent of a beast finding his prey upon hearing those words and gives instructions to the surrounding onmyou masters.
“Perfect, make a barrier!”
“While this is my first time seeing such a form, that shikigami is most likely of a Mizukami Clan practitioner. If we make a barrier, the link with that shikigami will be severed and the practitioner will realize we are intending something.”
“You’re saying that now!? With the neko kami missing, they’ve already decided to suspect us! That shikigami is proof!”
Kien points at the white crow with that explanation. His words are persuasive and the onmyou masters begin creating the barrier as instructed.
“Once the connection is broken, I’ll bring it down before it disintegrates. Afterwards, identify the practitioner from the remains. We’re going on a raid.”
“We- We obey.”
Infiltrating another faction’s temple with a shikigami without permission is a clear declaration of war. There’s no helping if it gets attacked.
“The barrier, is complete!”
A practitioner shouts out and a transparent barrier surrounds the temple grounds, enveloping the white crow within it. The disconnected crow hovers in place as it switches over to its automatic operation.
Reconnaissance shikigami have no combat ability. As such, they are often given the command to, “disintegrate upon having your connection severed,” should that ever happen. With that, practitioners can get by without being identified. Gouki’s technique, however, doesn’t allow for that outcome. During the small gap that exists between shikigami switching over to their automatic operations and enacting their disintegration commands, he charges a talisman with spiritual power and releases it at them.
Such a talisman presently ignites in the air, transforming into a gigantic flame bullet that collides against the white crow. The crow is enveloped within an explosion that creaks the surrounding barrier with the shockwave that bursts forth.
“Che, I was too irritated and messed up.”
The assault on the reconnaissance shikigami was clear overkill, prompting the surrounding onmyou masters to shut their mouths. With the spectacle they just witness first hand, no one wants to act in a way that will spoil Kien’s mood.
Kien himself, having released the technique, is so frustrated at having destroyed all traces of the spying practitioner that he’s on the verge of exploding.
That’s when 1 of the practitioners notices something strange.
“The- There’s a… white crow!”
Everyone there reacts to those words and turns to stare at the lingering fumes from the explosion. The smoke gradually clears and there floats an uninjured white crow.
They observe for a short while, but the crow shows no sign of disintegrating. On the contrary, his gaze, emanating with hostility, is locked on Kien.
Kien isn’t able hide his shock, his eyes are wide open. Then, with the smile of a wild beast, he chants a technique. “Ain’t this fun! Flame, release, multi, bullet, [Endless Flame Wall]!”
His cluster of talismans scatter across the air, each one transforming into a scorching fire bullet locked on to the white crow. The flame bullets break up into even smaller pieces as they advance closer to create an uncountable number of tiny flame bullets. Then, just like that, the crowded minuter flame bullets transform into a wall of flames that leaves no room for the white crow to slip out of. Impact is inevitable.
Nevertheless, the expectations of the practitioners are betrayed by the white crow’s conduct.
The white crow doesn’t avoid the wall of flames, he charges straight into its center. Then, by emitting his own spirit power, he’s able to generate a shock wave that breaks through the wall.
“I see now! So you blew away my explosion by slamming spiritual power at it!”
Kien had no intention of taking down the white crow with that attack. In order to determine how the white crow was able to get by with taking no injuries from his flame bullet, he utilized an inescapable attack. While the white crow may be uninjured, his plan can be called a success.
“If you’re gonna blow them away, then I’ll just knock you down with overwhelming power! Flame, cannon, destruction, entice, roar, [Destructive Flame Homing Bullet]!”
A flame bullet containing a preposterous level of heat transforms into a bullet of light and flys for the white crow. Judging that intercepting the attack is impossible, the crow avoids the light heading towards him. However, the light changes its trajectory and chases after the crow.
“That guy won’t disappear until it hits its mark! So, what are you gonna do now?”
The crow’s speed greatly exceeds that of an average shikigami. Regardless, the light bullet’s speed exceeds that of the crow’s. The distance the crow has put between them is gradually decreasing. Despite that, he doesn’t become flustered as he watches the light bullet drawing closer from behind. In the next moment, he releases a wave of spiritual power from behind himself.
“Wha- you can shoot it off from behind too!?”
The wave of spiritual power emitted from the crow’s back slows the light bullet. Afterwards, he accelerates. Kien isn’t the only one unable to hide his astonishment at the speculate, none of the observing practitioners are.
A reconnaissance shikigami possessing the ability to utilize waves of spiritual power as an attack is something none of them have ever heard of before. Furthermore, that one also has the ability to accurately judge the situation and respond accordingly on the spot. That means the shikigami possesses a processing power comparable to those of advanced combat shikigami.
Everyone there has been astonished by the various facts that exceed their understanding of reality. Even so, they will continue being astonished by the continuing revelations.
The white crow releases waves of spiritual power from behind himself at the chasing light bullet yet is unable to pull away. He drops straight down with the light bullet right on him and lifts back at the last second. The light bullet crashes into a building.
“Gah, the fortune slip buildiing!!”
The bitter wails of the temple’s chief priest echo into the sky.
A defensive barrier has been deployed in one corner of the grounds. Within it, the non-combatants huddle together as they watch the battle. The chief priest, having seen the fortune slip building vanish before his eyes, has collapsed onto his knees.
“Hahahaha! That’s the first time anyone’s ever avoided my [Destructive Flame Homing Bullet] like that! Incredible! Come, Perforate2!”
Despite the chief priest’s desires, Gouki invokes even more destruction.
The air behind Kien’s back distorts and an explosion bursts. Then, as he clads himself in that explosive flame, an oni materializes.
“Tha- That’s Kien-sama’s subordinate demon.”
“The explosion oni he only summons when he gets serious?”
“Everyone, get clear!”
The onmyou masters flee into the barrier the non-combatants are taking refuge in.
Kien Gouki is utilizing his subordinate demon, [Perforate]. As the appearance reveals, it is an oni youkai that manipulates explosions.
Just like Kien, its forté lies in a vast range of attacks. Furthermore, from both of its hands, its legs, the mane on its back, it can release explosions from every part of its body. Once it rampages, the surrounding region will transform into a sea of flames. As such, whenever Perforate appears, everyone in the surrounding area is obligated to evacuate.
The chief priest, having discerned the true nature of that oni, stares at empty space as tears pour down his face.
Together with Kien’s cry, Perforate roars at the white crow. That roar, which even goes as far as to shake the barrier, is received by the crow without any effect. He remains still in the air. Then, he raises his beak as if wanting to say something and provocatively looks down on Kien and Perforate.
On that day, a legendary battle that will be passed down among onmyou masters for generations is born.
T/N: I keep hearing Kien’s voice as that somewhat high, yet a screechy, guttery growl, voice anime characters sometimes have.