48. The Hero of Kamui Kotan
Deep within the forest surrounding the lodgings of the recreation event, Mizukami Uruka speaks to a female onmyou practitioner, one concealed within a signal blocking robe.
“There is nothing more to report.”
“I see, so 3 magicians of [The Order of Twilight and Dawn] have infiltrated Asahikawa in search of the [Fairy All Seed].”
“Yes, this is our conclusion based on our present information.”
The female onmyou practitioner reporting to Uruka is a practitioner of the Mizukami Clan responsible for overseeing the Asahikawa region.
“The movements for 2 of those magicians are being tracked. The whereabouts to the other 1, however, is unknown. Please be careful, Uruka-sama.”
“I understand. That said, thank you very much for collecting this information. For now, please continue to monitor those magicians. I shall do something about the Fairy All Seed.”
With nothing more to say, the female onmyou practitioner runs off into the forest.
“Fuu, while this is a complicated incident… I must preserver.”
Uruka organizes what she knows about the current incident in her head and reflects on how she should respond. It all started from an internal dispute within [The Order of Twilight and Dawn], a magical organization in England. One side is the moderate faction which prays for the growth and prosperity of humanity while secretly safeguarding against crises and decline. The other is a hawkish faction which desires to destroy gods and sinners who harm people while praying for new human evolution and possibilities.
The conflict of the 2 factions, each born from differing interpretations of the name, [The Order of Twilight and Dawn], created the foundation of the current incident.
“The hawkish faction stole the [Fairy All Seed] from the moderate faction, and in turn had it snatched away by someone during the middle of a transaction. Now both factions are looking all over for the [Fairy All Seed]…”
The Mizukami clan has close ties with moderate faction Owl is affiliated with and has been assisting in searching for the [Fairy All Seed]. It is for that reason Uruka is not only keeping close contact with practitioners and youkai of the Asahikawa region, but also investigating the movements of the hawkish faction all during the middle of the Recreation Lodging.
“Haa… How exhausting.”
Still, 2 other difficulties also exist for Uruka.
“Even if they say it’s so Uruna and Owl-chan can build up experience… I wish they’d take my difficulties into consideration too…”
Her first problem is in allowing Uruna and Owl gain experience. She has been told that the 2 of them are to resolve the present incident. That is both the intention of Tatsumi, the current head of the Mizukami Clan, and the strong request of the leader of [The Order of Twilight and Dawn], Owl’s father. The practitioners and youkai under Uruka’s command are being asked to refrain from acting save for emergencies.
“Until the ‘ascertainment of an emergency’ is too annoying. To begin with, how did Yuuki-kun get involved with this…?”
Her second problem is that Yuuki Kousuke is for some reason involved in the current incident. As Uruka and the Mizukami Clan’s practitioners both openly refused to cooperate with Uruna and Owl, the 2 of them set off to resolve the affair themselves. Because of that, the reason Kousuke became involved is only known between them.
Uruka has no way of knowing that Kousuke brought Urd forth from the Fair All Seed and that his doing so has removed the original cause of the incident from existence.
“I dispatched a shikigami to look into the reason, but for some reason I lost control of it…”
She had tried eavesdropping on their conversation with a reconnaissance shikigami in order to investigate what Kousuke has to do with the situation. However, midflight towards them, control of her bird type shikigami was lost and it flew off somewhere. She has no idea what happened and was unable to uncover the reason for his involvement.
“I get the feeling I heard, ‘I’ll be borrowing this shikigami,‘ but… I must have imagined it. I really am tired after all…”
Uruka recalls the animals she saw at the zoo and regains her peace of mind. She then makes full use of her cleared mind and determines her next course of action.
“Alright! I’ll watch Owl-chan’s movements as much as possible while also getting a feel for Yuuki-kun’s movements. I’ll also be looking into what he has to do with this.”
Uruka knows that the unique presence released by the Fairy All Seed can only be felt by the fairies being utilized by Owl. As such, she realizes that by observing Owl’s movements, she’ll be able to determine the location of the Fairy All Seed.
“Before that, first I need to do my best making earthenware.”
She is giving instructions to practitioners and youkai.
She is supporting Uruna and Owl.
She is searching for the Fairy All Seed and keeping track of Kousuke’s movements.
And she is also completing her duties at the school event and as the representative for her class.
Mizukami Uruka, secretly, the one most troubled with work by the current situation is her.
–There is no Noble Diamond here–
“We’ve arrived. There is something I need to take care of here.”
Kuro, Shiro, and Rin are brought deep into a certain mountain within the city. At first glance, it looks like a normal forest with trees spreading everywhere, but onto their eyes, something else is projected.
“Umu, what an incredible number of barriers.”
Barriers have been repeatedly set in the forest before their eyes. The outer layer consists of barriers with the effects of repelling humans and concealment. They are pilled on top of one another while the inner layer is made of a multitude of barriers with features for defense and automatic restoration.
The multiple layered barriers are so skillfully concealed that not even a mid-leveled practitioner would be able to discover the place. Also, their strength is enough that should they be discovered, they are too powerful to break through.
“I’ve been setting and readjusting these barriers for hundreds of years. They’ve influenced each other and have been influenced by the earth’s vein. Their strength has reached a level where not even I can control it…”
Wako makes a troubled smile at that which she created.
“Even if you are unable to control this, has there ever been a person who… No, I believe there is 1.”
“House head’s barrier also incredible–!”
Kuro, Shiro, and Rin all recall the figure of their master easily using a [Triple Barrier], a technique even several advanced practitioners would have trouble doing.
“I imagined as much when I heard you received the name Kuro and not Neko-kami, but you seem to have also chosen the path of servitude.”
Wako makes a sad expression with those words as she recalls the face of her master and the time they spent together.
Iwa, Koro, and Sei sympathize with her words and their expressions become gloomy.
Wako, Iwa, Koro, and Sei, they are youkai who yearn for their young, Ainu, master from the past.
“Time has gone by. I ended up losing myself a bit to nostalgia, but that isn’t what I meant to discuss with you. What I wanted to talk about is what this barrier protects.”
“What it protects?” (Kuro)
“Within here… the body of an evil god our master defeated is sealed.”
“Evil god? Body?”
“That is correct. Unlike you and I who are incomplete existences, this being truly elevated into godhood. In here is the body.”
“Something that dangerous is sealed here!?”
Having been revered as the Neko-kami, Kuro has experienced the realm of godhood and so can understand precisely what sort of existences gods are. Along with it, he also understands the danger that could come from its misuse.
Wako’s words that the body of one is sealed within make him feel an unusual sense of impending danger.
“As it doesn’t have its head, it won’t move around. Still, the danger that would arise from being misused is the same.”
Wako, also well aware of the danger it possesses, continues speaking.
“Not long ago, I felt someone meddling with these barriers. Soon after that, all of you appeared in Kamui Kotan. I assumed it was a diversionary tactic and had Iwo, Koro, and Sei intercept you.”
“That is the reason we were attacked?”
“That is correct. You have my apologies.”
Wako’s words satisfy Kuro and Shiro.
“As you were unaware of this place, I suppose your comrades couldn’t have been the ones meddling with the barriers?”
“Yes, I cannot detect a trace of them. I find it highly unlikely that our house head or any of the others have been here.”
Kuro, unable to detect the presences or scents of Kousuke, Near, or Urd, denies the possibility that he has accidentally interfered with the barrier.
“So that’s how it is. That means when you arrived in Kamui Kotan, someone coincidentally…”
Before Wako can finish speaking, Shiro becomes aware of an unfamiliar presence and caws out. Soon after, a sound reminiscent of glass shattering resounds. From a hole in the barrier appears an elder, red haired, woman.
“Hm? Who are all of you, de gozaru ka?”
The red elder haired, woman tilts her head as she looks around and voices her question.
“That’s my line! How in the world did you tear through this barrier…!!?”
Just as Wako finishes, she notices the elder, red haired, woman is holding a black sphere.
“Re- return that!!”
“No way, de gozaru yo. Getting this took a lot of work, de gozaru.”
The black sphere is covered with dark red, blood vessel like tubes and is pulsating by contracting and expanding on itself.
Kuro is a bit late in doing so, but he also realizes the truth behind the sphere being held by the elder, red haired, woman.
“Is that… the heart of the evil god!?”
“That’s right, de gozaru yo. It’s quite small compared to the body, de gozaru na. I suppose it was a small hearted god, de gozaru?”
The elder, red haired, woman, while laughing, gradually begins to transform into a man wearing a knitted cap.
The instant Kuro and Wako see his appearance, they are caught up in an odd sensation.
A young man who saved god and was resurrected housing the power of god in his body, Yuuki Kousuke.
The hero who was blessed with the power of a mountain god and defeated the evil god of Kamui Kotan, the master of Wako and her comrades.
The two of them feel hints of those two overlapping within the man before their eyes.
“Kuro, look pale-?”
“Wako-sama, what is the matter?”
Kuro and Wako, while hearing the words of concern from Rin and Iwa, do not remove their gazes from the man with the knitted hat.
“You are the famous Neko-kami-sama, the original Kyuubi-sama, and their wonderful companions, de gozaru? This…. is a bit unfair, de gozaru.”
“What do you mean by a bit? Bastard, I don’t know who you are, but quit running your mouth!”
Koro judges the man holding the evil god’s heart an enemy and sends jet black swords flying at him.
“The ability to let your wings assume the forms of swords, de gozaru? Except, if I use this form, it won’t work, de gozaru yo.”
The man instantly transforms into the elder, red haired, woman from moments ago and the swords soaring towards him turn back into black wings.
“This person has a special ability and she goes by the name of Flare, de gozaru. Her special ability is [Void], and it can nullify all techniques and special abilities within its range, de gozaru yo.”
“I see, so it is because of that special ability that you were able to break through my barrier.”
Wako glances to the side at the hole in her barrier and sees that it is automatically repairing itself. At the same time, she calmly analyzes why her barrier was destroyed.
“Correct, de gozaru. This special ability is very convenient, de gozaru.”
“If our abilities are no good, then we can just hit you directly.”
Iwa, having permeated into the ground to sneak up on the elder, red haired, woman, swings a fist at her. The woman transforms into a large, blond haired, man and easily catches Iwa’s fist.
“I’m pretty sure this person… is called Dius, a person with the special ability [Reinforcement], de gozaru. As I thought, this ability really is convenient, de gozaru na.”
“You can use the special abilities of the guises you imitate!?”
“It isn’t just special abilities, de gozaru yo. I can copy techniques, too, de gozaru. [Explosive Flame Fist].”
As the man replies to Kuro’s question, he transforms into a bald elder and blows Iwa away with an explosion from his fist.
“Iwa, are you alright!?”
“I’m alright. I avoided a fatal injury.”
Iwa responds to Wako’s concern while holding down his scorched right arm.
“That appearance… the former head of the Hinoyama Family!?”
“Correct, de gozaru yo. Well then, how about this person, de goza ru?”
With that murmur, the man’s appearance transforms into that of Yuuki Kousuke.
T/N: I’ve been so busy lately x.x)