44. Kamui Kotan
We finish going through the museum and the bus takes us to our next destination.
“Next… is the Asashi yama zoo?”
“I’m looking forward to that!”
The class representative responds to my casual comment on the spot. Surprisingly, her excitement is quite high.
“Onee-chan loves animals. Whenever it’s time for an animal program, she will forcefully change the channel.”
Uruna-chan secretly tells me that complaint. She and Owl-chan are in the seats in front of me. From the museum, we started acting with our juniors.
“The bus will stop at the east gate. We can take a short cut through the small animals building on our way to the monkey building… except, since it’s a short cut, everyone else will probably be there too. For that reason, we may be able to avoid the congestion by smoothly going around to the owl house and from there seeing the forests for the Hokkaido deer and the wolves…”
The class representative, seated beside me, carefully develops a plan while studying a map of the Asashi yama zoo she printed herself. She may have been looking forward to it for a while. The color of her eyes is completely different.
“Do we also have to eat lunch in the zoo?”
“That’s what’s written in the schedule. Looks like we’re having venison cutlet!”
“That’s… gonna take a bit of courage.”
In the seats across the isle from us, Takikawa, Aihara-san, and Ishida are coming up with plans for lunch. As lunch falls during our zoo trip, each team has to appear for it.
“Ah, it’s visible, desu!”
When I look out at Owl-chan’s words, I see the zoo entrance.
“That’s the Asahi yama zoo?”
We seem to have reached our destination.
–Please imagine the noblest of Noble Diamonds here–
“Ah, can see—”
At Rin’s words, Shiro, from atop of Kuro’s back, looks down at the landscape spreading out below. There are man-made objects such as the national highway and bridges along with extensive mountains and various beautiful trees. It all flows past them like a powerful river.
“We have arrived. This is the region that makes offerings to my old friend, Kamui1 Kotan.”
While Rin and Shiro are at the best part of taking in the sight, a flock of crows rise from a section of the forest.
Kuro immediately notices something off about those crows. Despite his barrier, the crows are flying straight towards them.
“Associates of Shiro’s?”
Shiro answers, “They aren’t crows I know.” while shaking his head.
Then, as the appearances of the approaching crows become more distinct, Kuro and Shiro frown.
Not only are the crows missing eyes and legs, their bones and internal organs are also exposed. No matter how they looked them, they are corpses. The rotting smell they give off as they approach make Kuro, Shiro, and Rin scrunch their noses.
“Fumu, we should take this as someone’s attack.”
Shiro agrees with Kuro’s words.
“Before anything else, shall we judge their response? Rin, could you cut them?”
Rin, nodding to Kuro’s words, grabs the snow white kodachi at her waist. Immediately after, from a draw that exceeds the speed of sound, all that remains is a sound reminiscent to the ring of a bell.
The bisected crows fall to the ground as they return to being unmoving corpses
As the scope of the slash only extended to the flock of crows, no harm continued to the forest past them.
“Too dangerous! No way I can hold out against more of that!”
“You stupid idiot, don’t talk.”
Kuro and Shiro do not miss the voices that cry out from the flock crows after Rin’s attack.
“Shiro, can you pull out those voices from that flock of crows?”
Shiro responds with, “Naturally.” and blasts a soundwave at the battalion of crows. That wave continues on and extends to the forest behind them.
Shiro answers with, “There is 1 giant and a large crow within the flock. There is a woman in the forest behind them.” At the same time, he plunges into the flock of dead crows.
“Rin, after Shiro drags out our enemy, I shall stop the remains of the crows. During that time, can you defeat the crows?”
“In that case, I request it of you.”
Immediately following Kuro’s instructions, a large black crow and a one-eyed giant appear from the flock of dead crows. Then as if chasing after them, Shiro too flies out of the flock.
“What’s with that white crow!? It came up to us in an instant and blew us away!”
“It seems to have the ability to emit shockwaves through spirit power. That I can’t defend against it even with my permeation is going to be troublesome.”
At the black crow’s grumbling, the one-eyed giant responds while analyzing Siro’s ability.
“They appear to have been safely brought out. Well then, I shall put the remains of the crows to a halt. [Pesudo Capture]!”
The flock of dead crows, stopped by Kuro’s capture, are cut into scraps of meat by Rin’s slashes and drop down into the forest.
Up in the air, Rin rides atop of Kuro’s back while Shiro is on standby in the sky. At long last, the massive black crow and the one-eyed giant are the only one’s remaining.
“The dead crows Sei was manipulating didn’t do what they were supposed to!”
“Koro, stop it. Don’t ridicule my brethren of the forest who cooperated with us even after death.”
The black crow rebukes the one-eyed giant called Koro for his abusive words.
“Well then, who are you? Why did you target us?”
“Haa! That’s my line! Invading my anego’s2 territory while stupidly emitting such a massive presence. Who are you bastards!”
Without listening to anything Kuro says, the black crow transforms each of its wings into sharp, black swords.
Kuro, feeling something from the black crow’s words, speaks after some careful consideration.
“I shall be your opponent. Shiro, Rin, can you refrain from helping?”
With that, the curtain between Kuro and the strange assailants unveils.
T/N: Here’s the chapter, enjoy~