17. I’ll Sleep Some More
Standing on a Sapporo station platform are an intimidating, middle aged, dandy of a man and a glamorous beauty with a somewhat exhausted expression.
“Koba, for what happened… My apologies.”
“Yeah, for real.”
The reason for the Koba Clan family head’s exhaustion is the collapsed roof of the Tsudomu. The existence of onmyou practitioners is not something the world can know about. As such, all of the practitioners at the venue came together to restore the roof of the Tsudomu. Of everyone there, the most active was the Koba Clan family head with her [Union1] technique. With that technique, she rejoined the parts of the roof reassembled by the practitioners. Everything was linked together by her. She restored the roof to the same way it was before it had collapsed.
Incidentally, there were no witnesses to the roof of the Tsudomu collapsing thanks to a people clearing barrier that had been erected.
“That technique, it won’t hold for long. I’mma going home, but after this, y’all do your best, kay.
“Yes, we will figure something out afterwards. That said, Koba, you’re speaking with a bit of an accent?”
“Wha! To- To start with! That’s exactly why~ I’m going ho—me!”
The glamorous beauty hurries onto the train bound for Hakodate.
“Even then, for such an onmyou practitioner to have taken residence here, how dreadful for you, ~Mizukami~.”
The Koba Clan family head tosses those words at the Mizukami Clan family head, Tatsumi, as if to tease him. Naturally, the onmyou practitioner in question is Kousuke.
“It’s not dreadful at all. I didn’t sense any malice from that person.”
“Even though he brought the roof crumbling down at the match’s venue?”
The Koba Clan family head laughs at Tatsumi as his expression darkens.
“Fufuu… well, that shikigami caused quite the fright~. But more than that, the neko-kami-sama, wouldn’t you agree…?”
“That… I feel the same.”
The Koba Clan family head laughs again, this time at the uncertainty showing on Tatsumi’s face. After that, she is on her way back to Tohoku.
—Diamond of Celestial Sin arrives and wages war on the Diamonds of Sins—
A small shrine has been placed in the garden.
“For now, I guess I should make an offering. How about cat food?”
“Instead of offering it to the shine beside me, just give it to me.”
I remove the lid and hold it out. Musha musha, the cat starts munching out of the bottle at full speed.
The reason why there is a small shrine in the garden is because Kuro became my contracted spirit2 and has come to live here. If someone an ayakashi takes a liking to grants a name pleasing to the ayakashi, it seems that the ayakashi will serve the person as a contracted spirit. In Kuro’s case, even though he tried to show indifference to the name I gave him, he seems to be quite happy with it. So much so that he became a contracted spirit without any protests.
“My apologies, but I would like to remain in this house,” is what he said, but as far as I’m concerned, I don’t mind at all.
As for the small shrine, he seems to have been unable to settle down without it. Furthermore, he apparently carried it over from his main shrine.
“Hm? What’s wrong?”
The little girl tugs at the hem of my shirt.
I see, you want to eat early?
“Kuro, let’s head back inside. You can take your time finishing up there.”
“Mu, apologies. I was unable to endure and started eating first.”
Back in the living room, the crow lines up the side dishes I bought at the supermarket. I then pour barley tea into our cups or saucers. I’m being sensible.
“The preparations entrusted to me ended up being a bit poor. At any rate, for the match before god ending peacefully, to the little girl who came to live with us, and Kuro becoming my contracted spirit… Kanpai3!”
Ahre? Did the crow just chirp? Well, I guess that’s fine?
As I watch the girl play around with the crow, I enjoy a silly conversation with Kuro, and the night wears on just like that.
—The Diamond of Pride mounts a resistance against the turned Diamonds—
In a distant memory.
“What’s this? Have you been injured?”
An elder passing by discovers an injured and collapsed cat.
“Now then, to patch you up… There, you should be alright now.”
The collapsed cat approaches the elder and expresses his gratitude.
“You’re surprising affectionate.”
“What’s that? You want to travel with me?”
The elder shows a somewhat troubled expression, but soon looks back at the cat.
“If it’s just for a bit, it should be fine.”
“A name? It can’t be helped. Let’s see… It’s a bit simple, but how does [Kuro] sound?”
—The former Diamond of Greed takes up a katana—
“……Mu? A dream?”
Kuro, while rubbing his eyes, gets up. Although he can’t remember the contents of his dream, feelings of longing and loneliness overflow from his heart.
“Uugh… how unpleasant…”
Upon turning around, he finds the white haired little girl and the white crow using a groaning House Head as a pillow. At the same time he sees that sight, his overflowing emotions clear up some.
“I suppose I’ll sleep some more.”
Kuro uses the groaning House Head as a pillow and once more drifts to sleep.
T/N: And this is the official end of the first arc! Next is an intermission of sorts and then comes arc two.