9. Even Though I Just Want to Live in Peace
It’s been 3 days since then. The wound I received from misunderstanding Mizukami-san calling me out for a love confession has completely healed. At the same time, no one is talking about it. From what I’ve heard, a dark organization that has existed since middle school known as the [Mizukami-san Fan Club] seems to have crushed the matter. As soon as they confirmed it wasn’t a love confession, they flawlessly manipulated the information to wipe out all rumors and make them disappear without a trace. If I truly had received a love confession, then what was erased might have been me… I’ll engrave this on my heart.
Meanwhile, I have discovered something new while doing some heavy labor early in the morning.
“Fumu, young people sure are strong now a days.”
“No, no, there’s no way everyone is like this?”
The washing machine my grandparents left behind broke and today was the day my new one arrived. I call it new, but it’s the one my parents were using. Still, it gets the job done just fine, so there’s no problem.
As for the old washing machine, I requested for a collection company to take it. Meanwhile, I set off to install my new my one, but… what is this? Styrofoam? It’s so light.
“This too, absolutely, is thanks to kami-sama…”
“No, it’s nothing.”
I recall kami-sama’s words, “Your honorable self’s current body will be empowered.” This unmistakably comes from that. Even so, a washing machine weighing close to 40 kilograms is as light as styrofoam… Kami-sama, you over did it.
“House Head truly is full of surprises. Even though I am unable to feel any spiritual power from you, you are able to use shikigami. Furthermore, you possess such superhuman strength.”
The black cat mutters such as he watches the white crow peck at the tv for food.
In the end, the white crow didn’t disappear even after 3 days. Or rather, even after all this time, there are no signs that he will disappear.
I look at the tv program schedule and decide I’ll tune in to the musical program airing tonight.
“Seriously, I’m surprising myself too, even though I just want to live in peace.”
I’m grateful I was given the ability to do various things, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything in particular I want to do. I have absolutely no interest in being famous. Instead of losing my freedom to annoying publicity, I’d rather look for manga and light novels without worrying about the public’s gaze. The fulfilling otaku life was made for me.
“To have no desire other than a life of peace, I approve.”
“To be told that from a cat is an honor.”
While making such chit-chat, the black cat and I finish breakfast. I had ham and eggs with instant miso soup. The eggs, being only half cooked, were runny.
As for the black cat, he had cat food. He grumbled complaints at first, but after trying a bite, came to happily stuff his cheeks with it. I’d have been troubled if he didn’t like it. That 1.5 kilo bag cost me 4 thousand yen after all.
“That’s right, I’ll be going out for a bit today.”
“You’re going out? To a cat congregation?”
“That isn’t today, they are every Wednesday.”
I was just joking. Are there really cat congregations?
“Instead, I’m off to assess the affairs of my former residence. Thanks to House Head, my physical condition is flawless.”
“Hey, hey, you’re not going to get injured again, are you?”
“There is no need worry. I never fall for the same trap twice. Even if they try it, I’ll win.”
A trap? He wasn’t ruining the neighborhood fields, was he? Then, was this a sudden act of divine providence? I guess it can’t be helped if he doesn’t reflect.
“Well, be careful.”
—Diamond of Sloth—
The place and time change to just past noon at school. Before the afternoon classes started, Mizukami-san made preparations to to return home in a fluster and left.
“Ahre? Mizukmi-san left early?”
“Seems like it. How strange.”
Doesn’t look like Ishida knows anything. Or rather, she left without saying a word to anyone, so no one has any idea why.
“Isn’t it Kousuke’s fault? Back when Mizukami-san asked for you, didn’t she say someth… hii!”
Several of the boys in class glare at Takikawa. They are members of the dark organization. Is this how the rumors started? How scary.
“For now, I wonder if I’ll be able to give it my all studying again today, too.”
Today also passes in tranquility.
—Diamond of Envy—
“Mu, Mizukami Uruka? My apologies for leaving my shrine unattended.”
On a small mountain in the city stands a golden shishi1. He is the guardian of the land, the strongest and most renowned youkai, the neko kami.
That mountain is filled with the onmyou practitioners of the Mizukami Clan. They all gathered upon learning of the neko kami’s return. Of them all, the next Mizukami Clan head, Mizukami Uruka, is the most delighted.
“Neko-kami-sama, I’m relieved that you are safe.”
“Tatsumi? I too was worried about you.”
Pushing his way through the gathered practitioners is the present Mizukami Clan head, Mizukami Tatsumi2. Deep, dark, circles can be seen underneath his eyes. They reveal just how far his anxiety ran.
“Tatsumi, what has happened during my absence?”
“Reporting, to be honest…”
Although it hasn’t been admitted to, the recent attack on the neko-gami-sama was conducted by the Hinoyama Clan. Furthermore, a temple belonging to the Hinoyama-clan was attacked by a mysterious shikigami, and the Mizukami clan is being suspected of being behind it. Now, with the truth of those cases on the line, it has been decided to settle them with a match before god.
“The shikigami from that attack, was it truly not from any of you?”
“Of course not. The most outstanding shikigami user in the Mizukami clan is my daughter, Uruka, but not even she has the strength to defeat Kien-dono in battle. Furthermore, that was a reconnaissance shikigami. It would have been impossible.”
“Kien you say? You mean the master of that Bomb Oni?”
“The very same.”
“He was defeated by a reconnaissance shikigami?”
The neko kami stares at Tatsumi in doubt. Soon after, his expression completely changes as he releases a sigh, “Haa.”
“Do you know the appearance of that shikigami?”
“I observed the assault through the eyes of my shikigami. Battling was a shikigami with the appearance of a white crow.”
The neko kami is astonished by the report Mizukami Uruka gives of the battle she observed. Yet despite his confusion, his expression shows comprehension.
“Neko-kami-sama, were you able to understand something!?”
“Umu, that shikigami…”
The neko kami closes his mouth upon speaking that far. He recalls his words, ‘even though I just want to live in peace.’
“No, apologies. It was nothing.”
“Is that, so…”
The neko kami gazes at the discouraged Uruka and opens his mouth.
“Do you seek that practitioner?”
“Yes… at this rate, we of the Mizukami Clan will lose the match before god. As such, I hoped to ask for the cooperation of that practitioner.”
Uruka explains that the 3 participating in the match against them will be the Oni Bomb user, Kien Gouki; the shikigami user with power comparable to Kien, Mitsurugi Yuuen; and the Hinoyama Clan’s current head, Hinoyama Gou.
The Mizukami Clan is a faction that advocates coexistence with youkai, establishes relationships of friendship with cooperative youkai like the neko kami, and protects people. For those reasons, their combat experience is far too lacking when compared to other factions. Furthermore, since they develop relationships of cooperation, they are unable to even utilize youkai at the ability of a junior magician. As for the Hinoyama Clan, it is a faction that specializes in combat. They built up their position by destroying youkai who harm humans. Should factions with such backgrounds compete against one another, the results can be seen without even needing to think about it. The Mizukami Clan will not be victorious.
The golden shishi ponders the matter for a moment and comes to a conclusion.
T/N: I’d like to point out that this chapter name drops twice~