12. Just Like a Compress
“Both sides, have come out, right~? Alright then, line up, line up—”
A glamorous beauty with flowing emerald green hair stands in the center of the venue that was setup for that event.
“That person, she is one point of the Five Great Onmyou Clans and the current head of the Koba Clan1. She will be serving as the referee for this match before god.”
The class representative’s little sister, Uruna-chan, tells me. This is the first time I’m hearing about Five Great Onmyou Clans, but judging from their names, the Mizukami Clan and Hinoyama Clan are also most likely members. Was the modern world always so amazingly fantasy like without my knowing it?
At any rate, she went out of her way to teach me that. What a kind girl.
“I don’t know what kind of guy you are, but the future of our clan depends on this match. I won’t forgive you if you drag us down.”
I take back my previous statement. Looks like she has a pretty uptight personality.
“Well then, well then, is everyone lined up~? In that case, put these on~. Make sure you properly place them on your bare skin, just like a compress. Ah, Kien-chan and Uruna-chan get 2.”
While saying that, she gives slips of paper cut into the silhouette of a person to each participant in the match. What is it?
“This is a [substitution tag]. They assume the injuries taken by those wearing them. By wearing one, even a mortal wound will be rendered moot.”
Eh, that’s incredible? It can even negate a death? As someone who has experienced death, I want this being sold to the general public no matter what.
“However, making one requires a head of the five clans to pour in spiritual power for a long period of time. As such, unless it’s for a special ceremony like a match before god, they aren’t used.”
Since they can’t be mass produced, they’re valuable? Although I probably can’t make one, I’ll memorize the technique for now. Fumu fumu.
That said, unlike imouto-san, the class representative is a kind girl.
“All-rig-ht! Is everyone ready~? Then, shall we get started?”
At a shout that’s free of tension from the referee, the two sides line up.
A brazen youth with red hair glares at the class representative with distain. Is that guy the Hinoyama head-sama?
Beside him is a glasses ikemen wearing a suit. On his waist is a Japanese katana, scary. But, upon getting a better look, the blade is pointed downward2. Is it not a katana but a taichi3 instead? The antique knowledge I inherited from my jii-chan4 has proven useful in a place like this…
Beside him, isn’t he that Kien person who was sent to the hospital after being attacked by a shikigami? Is it alright for him to be taking part in matches already? I mean, he’s staring at me really hard. He even has grim tattoos over his arms. This person is scary too.
“Uruka, if you properly admit to your mistake, I’ll let you abstain from this match. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“What are you saying? On top of attacking the neko-kami-sama, you came to us with a strange accusation. Also, don’t say my name so casually, Hinoyama-san.”
Ohh! What a satisfying blow! Hinoyama-san is faltering. That guy probably has feelings for the class representative. Either way, it’s detestable. I don’t like the way he’s going about it.
“Gaa haa haa ha!”
“Quit laughing, Kien! Hey, referee, start already!”
“Fufufuu, understood, understood~. In that case, back away a bit—, get some distance—.”
Since the arena has a circumference of about 50 meters, it’s quite spacious. Both sides put a bit of distance between themselves while remaining in a line.
I wonder if a distance of 10 meters is enough? Even though all this time has passed, I’m just now getting nervous.
“De~ar practitioners, barrier—.”
At the referee’s words, the arena is covered in three layers of a glass(?) like substance. I-Is this the so called barrier?! Some day, I’ll set on up too.
“The conditions for defeeat are, tearing the substitution tag~. If you get thrown out of the ring, it’s over—. Alright, start!”
“Flame, excess, ignite, wall [Flame Blazing Wall]!”
At the same time with the signal to start, the guy called Kien holds up a slip of paper and mutters something. Then, that slip of paper bursts into flames and a gigantic ball of fire appears.
The ball of flames is then thrown this way. So suddenly!?
“How surpris… ohh!?”
However, I understand his intentions after the ball passes. The thrown fire blazes as it continues forward, leaving a wall of flame in its wake. I’ve been completely separated from the Mizukami sisters.
“Your opponent is me. Please go easy on me.”
Standing in front of me is the onmyou master called Mitsurugi. Was he on this side of the wall the entire time?
“Manifest, [Three Sword Statue]!”
Ugeh, a violet warrior wielding two large taichi appears. It’s huge, close to about 3 meters tall. Is this that person’s shikigami?
“Sounds like they started over there too.”
When I listen, explosions can be heard from the other side of the wall.
“Well then, I too shall get started.”
The Mizukami sisters and I, while being separated by the flame wall, begin our respective battles.
—When there are Diamonds of Sin, the world shudders—
“Mizukamii~, isn’t this a big deal? What’s going on? Hey.”
The spectator seats of the dome are filled with people related to both clans. Among them, in a special seat prepared for the Mizukami Clan family head rests a glamorous and beautiful, languid, woman.
“Koba? Shouldn’t you be presiding over the match?”
“I’m properly keeping watch~. I’m the family head of [Tree], am I not?”
Tatsumi, familiar with her techniques, agrees with her claim.
“More importantly, what are you doing~? What?”
The Kobe Clan family head points at the match before god unfolding before their eyes and asks again.
“There’s no problem. I’ve contacted the former family head of the Hinoyama Clan. He should come running by the time this match ends.”
“Ara araa, you’re still as shrewd ever~”
An expression of ecstasy floats across the face of the Kobe Clan’s family head at Tatsumi’s capabilities.
“Except~ since this is you, couldn’t you have gotten in touch sooner?”
“You’ve seen through me. Nevertheless, this match will serve as experience for Uruka and Uruna. Leaving the Mizukami Clan to them when they can’t overcome this level of adversary would be a problem.”
“Fufufuu, aren’t you a caring otou-san~? But, that’s not everything, right?”
Tatsumi expression only slightly twists as he looks towards the Kobe Clan family head. It’s a gaze conveying the meaning, “Which of us is the shrewd one?”
The Kobe Clan family head shows a slight bit of embarrassment on her face upon understanding the message.
“That’s because~ on top of defeating Kien-chan, he’s an onmyou practitioner who has the neko-kami-sama’s favor. There’s no way you wouldn’t be interested in hi—m. In fact, I’m going through the trouble of refereeing for you~. All without a single complaint.”
“I am aware, and you have my gratitude. More than that, how is he in your eyes?”
Naturally, the one they are referring to is the onmyou practitioner who is shrouded in mystery, who attacked the Hinoyama Clan on his own, and who is deeply trusted by the neko kami. They are talking about Kousuke.
“His spiritual power, it’s something I can’t feel.”
“I thought as much. I investigated him when we shook hands, but I thought the same. I even suspected he might be a shikigami or an ayakashi.”
People who aren’t clad in their external spiritual power are rare. Some are those who are naturally born with a small amount of spiritual power. They are in a state where their spiritual power is being used to support their daily life activities. The others those capable of performing advanced spiritual power manipulation. Through their abilities, they are able to consciously conceal their spiritual power.
However, even among the family heads of the Five Elemental Clans, those with the ability to conceal their external spiritual power are few. The Mizukami Clan family head, Tatsumi, can do it, but it requires all of his concentration and can only be maintained for five minutes.
“I just can’t understand the significance in concealing his spiritual power and coming out in a match~.”
“For the time being, I’m going to pay close attention to his battle.”
The person himself is still unaware that of the Five Elemental Clans, two family heads have their eyes on him.
T/N: So, Uruna did a complete 180 this chapter. Last chapter she was fine leaving it all to the mysterious practitioner, now she’s telling him she won’t forgive him if he loses. Either her sister reformed her, or her personality is a piece of work.