16. What the? The Internet Fee?
“Haa! Where am…?”
“Hinoyama-sama, have you awakened?”
Hinoyama Gou opens his eyes and discovers he is in a room for 3 at a general hospital. On the bed next to his sits Mitsurugi Kouen. He is peeling apples with a well practiced technique.
Hinoyama stares at the apples presented to him with doubt. All of them have been cut into the shape of rabbits. That stated, the fact remains that he is hungry. With a reluctant expression, he eats the apples.
“Mitsurugi, you… were you injured?”
Hinoyama worries such at seeing Mitsurugi in hospital garments.
“No, thanks to the [substitution tag], I am uninjured. I’m only receiving a thorough examination for caution’s sake.”
“So it’s like that? That’s great.”
Hinoyama is relieved at Mitsurugi’s words. Yet, upon remembering the reason he’s in a hospital room, he gets flustered.
“That’s right! The match, what happened to the match!?”
The Hinoyama family head has no memory of what transpired from midway through the match. This is because he fainted upon being blow out of the arena by the shockwave of the Dragon King’s charge.
“To my regret…. we lost the match.”
“What was that!?”
Mitsurugi gives a brief explanation. He and Kien both challenged the shikigami summoned by the masked practitioner, but their substitution tags crumbled from a flying slash. Furthermore, the slash cut through the triple barrier and the venue’s roof, bringing it down on everyone.
“Impossible! I refuse to believe this the same as Kien losing to a white crow!”
Even so, Hinoyama refuses him. The reason is because he knows of and trusts in the strength of Mitsurugi and Kien. Mitsurugi, understanding that, continues.
“Hinoyama-sama, I have made a mistake in your education. Let us receive our scolding together.”
Hinoyama makes a blank expression at Mitsurugi’s words, but quickly picks up on the meaning. The hospital room door is kicked open and in stomps an elder with an oni like expression.
“Jii-chan? Wrong! This, foolish grandchild!!”
The elder’s fist explodes against Hinoyama’s skull at being called, “Jii-chan.” His name is Hinoyama Hiroshi1. At 80 years of age, the hospital bed creeks from the powerful ojii-chan’s fist. Despite having been forced to retire due to illness, he had been the family head for decades before being succeeded by the current family head. For the current head, he is a hero who once supported the Hinoyama Clan.
“Wh-Why is ojii-chan here for!?”
“The Mizukami boy contacted me. You, for an idiotic reason, called for a match before god!”
Once more, his fist explodes.
“Oww… moving on, to get here so fast from Tokyo, how did…”
“The Mizukami boy introduced me to a good hospital. I’ve been here recuperating for almost half a year now.”
Once more, his fist explodes.
During the middle of the conversation, the phrase, “half a year,” gave Mitsurugi a feeling of discomfort. Then, upon reaching only one answer, he admires the ability of the current Mizukami Clan head.
“I was shown a video of your match before god. The masked onmyou practitioner… there’s no need to compare. The Mizukami sisters, on the other hand, were energetic enough that they even gave Kien a fright. As for you, what did you accomplish?”
Hinoyama Gou, having been unable to do a single thing, recalls his unsightly appearance outside of the venue and drops his head.
“Well… this may be a failing on my part, too. With you being my only successor, I may have been too strict with your upbringing. Furthermore, I forced you to assume the position of family head much too young.”
The former family head murmurs such while making a sorrowful expression.
“Hiroshi-sama, this matter is also my responsibility. As an educator, I lead Gou-sama down the wrong path.”
“That’s true. Our faction will recognize Gou as the new family head with this… may have been your belief but attacking the neko-kami-sama was going too far. Needless to say, that also goes for the match before god.”
The former family head, Hiroshi, continues speaking to the two who are hanging their heads in shame.
“But well, this match can be a learning experience for everyone. Gou, correct your superficial way of thinking. That includes thinking a woman you’ve fallen for can be won over through your power. Using the Hinoyama’s authority just for that is outrageous!”
“I- I understand, ojii-chan…”
Gou bows his head as he speaks those words.
“Mitsurugi, your loyalty is splendid, but you cannot just abide by the claims of the family head. From now on, don’t make this mistake.”
Mitsurugi sincerely bows his head at having his heart pierced by Hiroshi’s words.
“And now, Kien. You insist on fighting too much. Use your head a little.”
“Geh! You noticed me?!”
From behind a closed curtain, Kien, who had erased his presence, cries out in shock.
“Mitsurugi, Kien… line up!”
Both of them have a fist explode against their heads.
—Diamond of Sloth… was too lazy to be slothful and force everything on the world to run a marathon—
A night has passed since the match before god and I haven’t slept a wink.
“Mu, seems like the mail has come?”
“Hii! …I-I’ll go check!!”
I rush over to the mailbox and it- it’s a bill!!!
“…What the? The internet fee?
Damn, that made me jump.
The reason I’m this scared is because last night, during the match before god… the shikigami I summoned collapsed the roof of the [Tsudomu]. My mind blanked at that and I can barely remember a thing from until I got home. I’ve heard that I won the match, but… to begin with, I was up all night terrified I’d be sent the repair bill. Actually, I’m still terrified.
“Calm your self. Tatsumi says he will do something about it. You have nothing to worry about. Furthermore, no one knows House Head’s true appearance. A bill cannot be sent to this house.”
“Yeah, I guess that’s true…”
If it does get out, I could do something like an incredible technique.
“At any rate, everything is fine. Even if Tatsumi is unable, I will do something about it.”
What to do… I got it! How about acrobatics!? I could earn money for the repair bill by doing acrobatics! No doubt, a golden shishi balancing on a ball would make a killing!
“No, wait, ain’t that indecent!?”
“What are you talking about? For the time being, calm your self.”
The crow picks up on my strange behavior and brings me barley tea.
Fuu, for now, I’ve settled down.
Incidentally, my little girl-sama who demolished the tsudomu snatched the remote from the crow and changed the channel of the TV in the living room to a cooking show. She, just like with the crow, shows no signs of disappearing. How strange. Maybe I should go with the black cat and ask the class representative’s father someday.
“There is nothing to worry about. While this outcome might not have been within our predictions, we are the ones who requested your participation in the match. The responsibility for this falls to Tatsumi and myself.”
“Re-Really? …I understand. Sorry, I lost my composure.”
That’s right. If I think about it calmly, it should be as the black cat says. Still, on the possibility this does come to be my responsibility, maybe I should find a part time job? No way my pocket money will be enough for this.
“There could be nothing better than you understanding. Well then, I should start heading back.”
“Eh, heading back?”
“Yes, to my original shrine.”
Ah, I got used to him and forgot. That’s right, the black cat has a place to return to.
“Right… stay healthy. I’ll do shrine visitations every now and then.”
“Umu, I’ll be waiting.”
The crow somehow looks upset too. He was summoned the day after the black cat came to this house. He has spent the same amount of time with him as I have.
“Do not be so saddened. This is not a parting from the world.”
“Yeah, that’s right”
But I’m still a bit lonely.
“Before I go home, would hearing it once be okay?”
“Hm? Hearing what?”
“House Head’s honorable name, I would like to properly hear it.”
Now that he mentions it, I’ve never introduced myself once since we came across each other!
“Sorry about that, I never even noticed. Yeah, time to fix that… I’m Yuuki Kousuke, nice to meet you.”
“Yuuki Kousuke… That’s a good name.”
I’ve forgotten the reason, but I think my mother wanted me… to help others and have good fortune2.
“Black cat’s name, is it Neko-kami?”
“No, neko-kami is a title others arbitrarily refer to me with out of respect. It is not my true name.”
Ahra, so it’s like that?
“My true name… I feel as though it were long ago, but I have already forgotten it.”
“In that case, can I call you be the name I like?”
“Umu, if it is House Head, then I will not mind.”
But even though I said that, I’ve called him black cat so much, I can’t really move away from it.
“Then… it’s a bit simple, but how does [Kuro3] sound?”
The black cat… no, that’s wrong. Kuro suddenly sinks into silence.
“No, my apologies.”
“Eh? What happened?”
“Since I was not aware of it, I didn’t notice… Truly, my apologies.”
…Eh? Like I said, what happened?
T/N: His name is to help others and have good fortune. Well, Yuuki helped kami-sama and was blessed with becoming a WN protagonist. He then helped a girl from his school and made an ani-manga friend. Most recently, he helped the black cat and brought a stadium roof down. For the most part, it looks like he’s living up to his name just fine.