“Eh? A contest?”
“Umu. Soon, a grand competition among onmyou practitioners will be held. Would you like to attend?”
Upon returning home, the black cat said something strange. A contest, between onmyou practitioners?
“I can attend despite being an amateur? Even if you say I can do onmyou, aren’t crows the only thing I can make?”
I look at the white crow who is appreciating the music program with high spirits.
“No, being able to make a shikigami like that is plenty. Nevertheless, don’t force yourself. You won’t die, but you could hurt yourself. In exchange, I’ll reward you as much as possible if you participate.”
From the phrase, “onmyou practitioner,” I can confirm that the black cat really is a youkai. Still, a contest? Ignoring that I don’t need the black cats reward, I’m interested in the competition in of itself. Even though I don’t want to stand out, I’m curious about what other kinds of onmyou techniques are out there.
“I really won’t die?”
“Umu, you have my word, should anything dangerous happen, I’ll put a stop to it with all my strength.”
I can’t depend on him. But still, I should be able to participate if its safe. That said——
“——Can I participate with a pseudonym?”
“Not a problem.”
Alright, I’m going!
—Diamond of Lust—
“Onee-chan, isn’t this enough?”
“No, not yet. The white crow I saw back then, this is no where near his level.”
At the temple of the Mizukami Clan family head, 2 girls are zealously training their techniques. The shrine maiden garments they’ll be wearing for the important upcoming competition are already in tatters. The intensity of their special training is clear to see.
“Didn’t the neko-kami-sama say he would bring that crow’s lord? That’s why, onee-chan, it’s fine not to keep at it this hard.”
“Uruna1, what are you saying? Even if that’s okay, we can’t leave the problems of our house to others. Furthermore, the match is going to be a 3 on 3 team battle. No matter how strong that person is, won’t we lose if we drag our feet? Because of this, it’s no good unless we both go at it with all we have.”
“……If onee-chan says so, I understand.”
The woman being called, “onee-chan” is the talented woman who serves as Kousuke’s class representative2, Mizukami Uruka. The girl with her who resembles her greatly but with a younger looking face is Mizukami Uruna. She is Uruka’s younger sister.
Uruka and Uruna possess top class ability among the practitioners of the Mizukami Clan. As such, both of them will be representing their clan during the upcoming match.
“Now, we still have a ways to go!”
From the temple garden, which one would expect to be peaceful, sounds of the two vigorously practicing their techniques echo far and wide.
—Diamond of Gluttony—
Since then, 2 days have passed. The match is this evening, but right now I’m extremely flustered.
“Tell me sooner if it’s such an important match!”
“A-apologies. I was only thinking of inviting you and forgot to explain the purpose of the match.”
This cat, it really does look like he forgot. Due to him saying an amateur like me could participate, I thought it would be something like a fun gathering of amateur onmyou practitioners. Instead…. it’ nothing like that. Apparently, 2 major onmyou factions are having an important duel with their dignity on the line.
“So, why am I representing one of the factions!?”
Each faction has chosen 3 practitioners to participate in a team battle, and I was selected to be 1 of them.
“U-umu, I have a deep relation with one of the representatives, the Mizukami Clan. When they said, ‘We will lose the match at this rate. Are you acquainted with any excellent onmyou practitioners?’ I remembered House Head.”
No, no, what does that even mean?
I’m not the slightest bit an excellent practitioner. All I can make are crows. To begin with, I only learned onmyou techniques exist last week.
“I truly apologize for forgetting to tell you. That said, don’t worry about being a representative. Having you participate in a war for us is unreasonable. Even if you lose, no one will complain.”
If he’s going to say that… Well, my agreeing without asking for the details was also bad. If I don’t have to worry about anything, then going might be fun. I’m sorry for everyone in the Mizukami Clan, but it’s not my problem if I lose.
“It’s time to go. Are you ready?”
“Yeah, as ready as I’ll ever be.”
I placed importance on ease of movement and put all my essentials in a waste pouch. I now put on the disguise given to me by the clothes dispensing black cat. It’s a noh mask with a sleepy expression.
It’s a special tool for inhibiting recognition? Apparently, it inhibits others from taking note of my body size and the sound of my voice. Therefore, with this mask on, no matter how much someone else observes me, the only impression they will have of me will be of my sex. Furthermore, it is transparent from my point of view of looking out from inside of it. There are no obstructions to my vision. This is the ideal tool for those wishing to remain anonymous.
“I shall take you to the venue. Climb on.”
With those words, the black cat grows as he’s shrouded by darkness. Upon reaching the size of a large car, he turns into a golden shishi.
“How surprising. Is this your true appearance?”
“Umu, it is. At any rate, you don’t seem all that surprised.”
“Yeah, I’ve had a much more mysterious personal experience.”
Kami-sama did resurrect me. Ohh, déjà vu. Thinking about it, back when I first met the black cat, we had an exchange like this too.
“Fuhahahaha! Well then, shall we get going!?”
“Is riding on your back really okay? You won’t mind if I hold on to your fur?”
“Umu, not a problem.”
Hm? How are we going to get there from here? Is he going to run? I get the feeling that if a cat this huge runs through a residential area, we’ll end up getting slowed down by having to maneuver around everything instead.
Immediately after, the golden shishi dashes across the sky.
Thus, my screams echo across the neighborhood that night.
T/N: So, when authors do name drops, do they come up with the title first and then find a way to fit it into the chapter?? Or do they write the chapter first and then pick out a phrase that best encapsulates what the chapter is about??