Abyss Lord Chapter Three There is Also Love In That Kind of Shape
AN: This is mostly an exposition chapter. Also I forgot to allude Kousuke’s attempt to escape the other world using gate so I revised it a little. (TN: This revision is at the beginning of chapter 404)
There was someone. Talking to him from deep in the mist.
――Really, what a mean person ye are……
It felt like he could see a kimono sleeve faintly. Red dye that looked similar to blood and black lining which provoked a person’s uneasiness. And then,
(Red and white……red spider lily)
The pattern looked like that. He vaguely thought 「Aa, this dream again……」 inside his hazy consciousness.
――Even thoughst I’m this devoted to ye
The faint sound of gently rustling clothes reached him.
His brain that was wrapped in fragrant seductiveness fell into a feeling of numbness. He somehow thought 「I got to run!」 but his body didn’t react at the slightest because this was inside a dream.
――Ye havens’t even called for me
It felt like there was a faint irritation mixed in the sad sounding voice.
He became filled with apologetic feeling without even knowing the reason why, but at the same time, he also felt fear that ran through his spine chillingly.
His voice also didn’t work like his body. When he noticed, he was hugged tightly by a soft sensation.
A sweet scent invaded his nose. It made his head dizzy. Most of all, when it came to the softness of the gigantic twin mountains enveloping his head!
――Aa, my beloved. Perhaps I shouldst just
He was hugged really tightly. He couldn’t even lift his face to see the face of the woman.
The stiffness of his body naturally loosened up by the delightful sensation. He entrusted his body――
――Devour ye up
You can’t~~~, his instinct suddenly rang the alarm bell noisily.
He struggled desperately to escape from the breast prison, but he was hugged tightly by an absurd power and couldn’t move at all.
There was no other way, or rather he didn’t even have the leeway to be conscious of his action. He pushed the woman’s twin mountains from below to move them aside. But, those that far surpassed the size of his hands were like a slime. His hands only sunk with zero effect! At the end he also became unable to breath, this cursed breasts! Let goo! Let goo, he screamed in his mind.
――My name, will ye quickly calleth it?
She hugged him even tighter to convey her affection to him. He was sinking into the valley where it felt like he wouldn’t be able to escape anymore――
(I have someone who I have decided in my heart, it’s Ranaaa. Do your best me! Win, I’ll win-, take this-, thisss—)
A powerful voice that was filled with determination rang out.
Inside a running car.
He heard a dumbfounded voice from his side. Naturally. The opposite sex young man who was napping right beside her suddenly jumped to his fit while yelling something vulgar.
With that Kousuke woke up with a feeling of getting his hazy consciousness slapped across the face. The present situation was instantly beaten into his brain.
He was sitting on the back seat of normal passenger car. Hinata was sitting beside him. Fukube was driving.
The evening sun was shining in from the window. They entered the safe house and rested there last night. Currently it was the evening of the next day and they were on their way to a certain place.
He could sense dumbfounded glances looking at him through the rearview mirror as expected.
「Don’t misunderstand-, Hinata-chan!」
He needed to explain. Because, Hinata-chan was slightly drawing away from him. She was clearly creeped out.
「Ahh, youth, ku-ku-ku」
「Fukube-san shut up!」
Fukube who guessed that he must have seen a dream that was overflowing with libido was grinning widely.
「……Endou-sama, d-do you, like woman’s breasts? So much that you even dream about them?」
「By all means no!」
「Hah, could it be Endou-san, your preference lies toward man!? Are you targeting this ripe body of mine!?」
「I’ll sock your face later.」
Setting aside Fukube who was clearly making fun of him, Hinata who was subtly keeping distance from him wounded his heart.
「Endou-sama. Perhaps this is just a completely needless meddling from me but……」
Bewilderment, a bit of shame, a slight wariness. Hinata’s expression changed with dizzying array of emotions. But at the end her expression turned determined and she fixed her gaze on Kousuke as she said.
「I think being perverted is not good!」
「Thank you very much for the clichéd warning! I’ll be careful with my behavior!」
Fukube finally couldn’t hold back anymore and broke into a loud laughter. Kousuke sent him a resentful glance as Hinata was returning the distance between them like before, so for the time being Kousuke also leaned his back on the seat and sighed.
(I wonder why am I seeing the usual dream even at this kind of time.)
As expected, he didn’t remember the dream’s content as usual. But, for some reason this time he felt like the dream was slightly remaining in his memory.
It was familiar to him. It was hazy and unclear in his mind, but if he wasn’t mistaken, that coloring.
(In other words, the dreams that I’ve been seeing until now, is it that kind of thing?)
Due to the fragment of dream that he finally remembered, he was able to form a conjecture. Kousuke unconsciously patted the right side of his neck.
(No, but the world gap……still, if I remember right at the end she……)
Kousuke was sinking deeper into the sea of his thought, but Hinata’s voice stopped him before he could fully immerse himself. Her voice sounded a bit worried.
「Are you feeling unwell? Because Endou-sama didn’t sleep in order to keep watch……」
「No no, I’m fine. There is just a little bit in my mind.」
「Something in your mind……is it, about, the woman in that phone call?」
「Eh? A, aa~, yep, something like that.」
That wasn’t it but, even he himself couldn’t really explain about the dream, so he just went with Hinata’s guess.
Besides, it wasn’t like she was completely wrong.
Also about that, actually after that terrifying call, it would be horror if Emily did something like 「I’m, Emily. Right now, I’m behind you Kousuke」 to him, so Kousuke personally opened a gate and sent a clone to her.
The gate couldn’t be used at the other world, but as expected the cause must be an obstruction from the white fox. This time the gate activated properly.
And so, the clone went to the room in the Britain base where the previous clone was originally in standby. Waiting in that room was Emily whose eyes were lacking any highlight, Rana who was making merry 「It’s a new wife isn’t it!」, and Claire and Vanessa who were together with them due to some kind of circumstance. The clone explained the situation even through all the ruckus and somehow obtained their understanding.
As expected, the facts that Hinata was amnesiac and still al little girl were the biggest factor in avoiding a situation where they demanded “Show your face you thieving cat!”.
As one would expect, they couldn’t possibly interrogate a little girl who was in such a situation. And most of all, it was impossible that she was in Kousuke’s strike zone. Rather, everyone starting from Rana was sympathizing with Hinata’s situation and they even offered to help.
But, Kousuke refused their offer. Instead he left the clone at that place. After all the situation at the other side was also quite serious.
(Even so, an attack huh……ordinary person shouldn’t be able to perceive the place there, just who in the world, and how can they……haa, there are attacks everywhere.)
Indeed, this was certainly suspicious. He couldn’t help but feeling that the world itself was getting very turbulent.
(Well, Nagumo and others are investigating so it will become clear real soon. And the sanctuary also have barrier. Hauria clan is there. In addition a platoon from security bureau’s assault department led by Bernard and members of Omnibus like Aziz and others are also coming, so there won’t be any problem……)
As he was thinking that, he caught sight of Hinata making a conflicted expression from the corner of his eyes. No, if he had to say which, her face looked like she wanted to ask him something.
「What’s the matter Hinata-chan?」
「Umm……the woman in the phone call, her name is Emily-sama if I’m not wrong isn’t it? She sounded like she is really worried for Endou-sama.」
「It’s fine. I have explained the situation and convinced her that I’m alright.」
「No, that’s not it. I can feel that she is harboring extraordinary affection for Endo-sama, so」
「……Err, what about it?」
「Endou-sama too, when I heard your explanation about the relationship between both of you, I can also feel that Endou-sama doesn’t dislike her.」
Actually because Hinata was getting extremely flustered thinking that she had done something very rude in Kousuke’s call with Emily, Kousuke explained the situation to her, including his relationship with Emily. Naturally he had also explained about Rana.
And so, it seemed that Hinata was feeling something that weighed in her mind from that explanation.
「Even though Endou-sama has a fiancée, you won’t make the nature of your relationship with Emily-sama to become clear until now. Such attitude seem questionable……」
The powerful spear of words in the form of sound argument stabbed right in the middle of Kousuke’s chest.
Actually, there were still other women like Claire and Vanessa who were in the same position like Emily. What would Hinata think if she learned about them?
Kousuke felt like he caught glimpses of slight disappointment of 「Is this person actually loose when it come to woman?」 appearing and disappearing deep inside Hinata’s eyes. Was it just his imagination in the end?
The extremely proper words of common sense from such pure little girl, and her eyes, they made his heart hurt……
「Ha-ha-ha-. Fujiwara-san, please don’t bully him like that.」
「Oi, just what are you going to say――」
「It’s the fiancée Rana-san herself who is saying that she want him to have at least six more wives you know.」
「Eh!? I-is that so!?」
「Yes, yes! What an envious situation really!」
「S-so, there is also love in that kind of shape in the world……」
「You are taking one step further toward adulthood with this lesson.」
「Fukube-sama, I thank you for your teaching. Endou-sama. Please forgive me for saying such impertinent words despite my own shallowness.」
「I’m begging you please don’t bow your head to me……」
Hinata-chan was too pure. She was also too much of a good girl. Seeing her bowing her head genuinely at him was making guilt to well up greatly inside him!
Also, the dirty old man who sent him a dirty wink 「Nice follow up right?」 through the rearview mirror was strangely irritating.
In any case, Hinata was falling into deep thought about something due to the shocking new truth (?) of the world. So that she wouldn’t get strange influence any more than this, Kousuke tried to change the topic.
「More importantly, Fukube-san. Where are were at right now?」
「Let’s see. We will get out of Kyoto soon.」
「When speaking about Tsuchimikado clan, it’s a name that often show up in fiction and the like, but I completely thought that they are located in Kyoto.」
「When speaking about onmyouji, their image is completely about Kyoto after all.」
「In the first place, it’s also surprising that onmyouji really exist though.」
「It’s really nothing too surprising for me as someone who know about returnees though. Rather I’m feeling giddy with excitement.」
「Giddy……although we are getting targeted, the target here is rather Fukube-san and your colleagues. Why are you enjoying it like that?」
Kousuke reflexively looked exasperated. Fukube took out a case of candy that looked exactly like a certain pill shaped refreshing candy ((Fri○k) and stylishly shaking the case to toss some candies into his mouth before answering.
「Listen well Endou-san. The trick of being able to work for long is to have fun even if you have to force yourself. For example, even if it feels like a hole will open in your stomach, even if you want to abandon everything and go into hiding, laugh off all of it with stomach medicine in one hand. If not your mind will be wrecked you know?」
「Those candies that you keep eating after hearing that prisoner’s story, they are stomach medicine huh……」
「Smoke, sake, stomach medicine. They are the three sacred treasures of adult.」
「I don’t want that kind of sacred treasure……」
Fukube kept eating the candies so nonchalantly and also frequently that he thought they were candy he was using as replacement of unhealthy substance like smoke or alcohol, but the very sad fact was reveleaed. Kousuke’s face was filled with pity.
Three cases slid out swiftly from his sleeve. Then Fukube-san held them between his fingers in a stylish way too and held them out to Kousuke. He looked like a drug addict……pity was welling up even more from within.
「No, I don’t need it.」
「Is that so? I smell the scent of a pal from Endou-san though.」
「Stoppp! I absolutely won’t become a stomach medicine addict no matter what!」
He wondered why. He could imagine Emily-chan’s lovely smile in his mind. A smile that seemed to say 「Geez Kousuke, you can’t live without my medicine anymore aren’t you? Fufufu」. Terrifying……
「Fukube-sama. This isn’t something that I’m qualified to say due to what my clan is scheming but……please treasure yourself. If there is something that I can do, please don’t hesitate to ask anything.」
「……Thank you for your kind offer. But, just those words are enough for me.」
「Aah, Fukube-sama! Why are you crying!?」
「For someone like me, a child’s genuine kindness is hitting a bit too deep inside me.」
「What do you mean!?」
Hinata leaned forward toward the front seat in a fluster while Fukube was staring ahead with a distant gaze. Kousuke didn’t know about his private life, but it somehow felt like he was remembering about his own child. In the end, was his guess right, and was Fukube’s relationship with his kid going well when he was working nonstop like this……
Looking at how Fukube was staring at Hinata with eyes of nostalgia that were recalling the yonder day that would never come back again, surely it would be better to not allude any further about this matter to him.
Kousuke stared the exchange between the two while recalling once more about the information that they extracted from the captured man last night, so that he could sort it out before they arrived at the destination.
「You are gradually getting slee~~py. You are getting slee~pyy~~」
Such sleepy inducing exchange was going on in a room of the safehouse.
The five yen coin that was attached on a string was swinging ba~ck and fo~rth.
The young man who was kneeling on the floor with his hands tied behind his back was also swaying back and forth in the same rhythm.
Perhaps Hinata was also affected by that, she was also swaying ba~ck and forth from where she was watching near the wall. Beside her Fukube poked *chon* on her cheek and Hinata went hah and returned to her sanity with a blushing face.
「After you wake up, you will be reboo~rn」
「Becoming a villaa~ger」
「You will want to answer anythiinggg」
「Rather I want to answer right noo~w」
Right after he muttered that, the young man’s head dropped weakly.
Kousuke said 「Okaaay」 and clapped his hands loudly. Then the young man immediately blinked and opened his eyes.
「I am a proud villager. Now, ask me anything!」
Hinata and Fukube looked at each other.
「Umm, Fukube-sama. What do you think as a police?」
「Fujiwara-san, in this world there are also things that you are better off not seeing at all.」
「Is it really okay like that, mister police?」
Kousuke ignored the two who were whispering to each other with a tone like someone who had witnessed something really terrifying.
Because Kousuke himself thought that this was terrifying. After all the brainwashing artifact “Betting on the Pride of Villager” had completely transformed even the crooked real estate king into a philanthropic activist.
But, the effect was as extraordinary as it was terrifying.
「Thennn……first about Hinata-chan. Who is she, and why are you guys targeting her? Is her family safe? Tell us those.」
「Yes-, with pleasure!」
Hinata unconsciously came running from the wall. It was about her identity and family. She didn’t say anything, but it was clear how anxious she was.
Not knowing anything about herself was surely the same like walking inside darkness where you didn’t even know where the cliff was. It wasn’t something that a kid who wasn’t even ten years old could endure originally.
「Ohii-sama, no, Hinata-sama is the daughter of Fujiwara Taisei-sama, the head of Fujiwara House that is the main family of our Tsuchimikado clan!」
「Tsuchimikado, is it……」
Fukube slightly narrowed his eyes. Kousuke was also looking surprised hearing the familiar family name that often appeared in fiction.
「Tsuchimikado is a famous clan that often show up anywhere but, it’s not the actual main family?」
The young man nodded at Kousuke’s genuine question.
「Yes, originally it was our bloodline that was “Fujiwara”.」
「??? Sorry, I don’t really get it. What do you mean?」
「It’s a past story. When the Meiji government announced the abolition of the Bureau of Onmyo, the house head of that time ordered his right hand, the head of Fujiwara clan that is also the branch house to exchange their family name.」
It was unknown what happened at that time that they did something like that. Because after they exchanged their family name, the head of the fake Tsuchimikado clan had kept it a secret for generations.
「In other words, Hinata-chan’s original name is Tsuchimikado Hinata?」
「Yes. She is our true princess of the clan that is directly related to the lineage of Abe!」
So that was why. It seemed that was the reason they called Hinata “Ohii-sama”.
「You mentioned Abe……sure enough, you mean that Abe?」
The character that crossed his mind was as expected the super famous extraordinary onmyouji “Abe no Seimei”. Sure enough, the young man nodded to his question.
「Yes. Tsuchimikado clan itself is nothing more than a change of name that was done at Muromachi period by the direct descendant of Abe clan.」
「In other words, the strange technique that you fellows were using……」
「It’s onmyou jutsu.」
As expected, it seemed that onmyouji really existed. There were many things that he got curious about, but Kousuke urged the young man to continue to first confirm the safety of Hinata’s family.
「Well, it’s puzzling so just continue your story while referring to Hinata-chan as Fujiwara just like before.」
His speech and conduct was gradually becoming like Baito-kun must be because of a failure during the brainwashing procedure. It was troubling because the atmosphere was more or less serious right now…… (TN: Don’t know what is this Baito-kun reference)
「Taisei-sama and the rest, the practitioners of Fujiwara clan are all under the custody of Tsuchimikado’s main house.」
「And the meaning in not round-about way?」
「They are locked in isolated rooms with their mind bound.」
「In other words they are alive right?」
「Of course. We still can’t allow them to die yet.」
Hinata was relieved hearing that her family was safe, but the word “yet” pierced her with shock.
They were planning to take away the lives of Taisei and others despite calling them as the main family.
Kousuke understood Hinata’s feeling that wanted to vent her rage very well. But she herself was controlling herself. Seeing her praiseworthy splendid self-control, Kousuke had no excuse to waste time by asking unnecessary question.
He asked the young man in detail while endeavoring to be calm and composed. From his explanation, it seemed Hinata’s family who wasn’t a practitioner――people like her mother Chikage who was related to the family by marriage were left at Fujiwara residence and weren’t confined.
Apparently Fujiwara family was a family who managed a large company. If the people in command were gone, it would cause a ruckus in society immediately.
However, they had their mind bound in a half brainwashed state. They were also under watch.
「Fujiwara……big company……oops, well well.」
「It seems that not only Fujiwara-san is a “princess”, she is also a young lady of a wealthy family.」
Fukube was browsing something in his smartphone and showed his screen.
What appeared there was department stores that were opened in the whole country and super famous even in Japan. Their parent organization was an extremely famous great company even in Japan with headquarters located at the capital Tokyo. The company also ventured in various other businesses like tourism or foreign trade. The company even had economic influence in this country.
「Crappp. She is an Ojou-sama, a real deal even……」
「Umm, Endou-sama. The continuation……」
Hinata seemed to feel uncomfortable with Kousuke who was staring at her dumbfounded. She urged him to continue the interrogation with a conflicted expression.
「I understand now about the background of Hinata-chan and you guys. Now tell me your objective.」
「It’s vindication of our honor, and regaining our right that was unreasonably taken away from us.」
What does that mean? When asked that, in short, it seemed to be that kind of thing.
After the establishment of Meiji government, it seemed Tsuchimikado clan also got expulsed together with the abolition of Onmyou Bureau, but it didn’t end there.
It was the era of “civilization and enlightenment”, the westernization movement during the Meiji era. At that time when Japan was proactively absorbing western culture and advancing toward modernization, occultist factor was nothing but a hindrance. Even folk beliefs weren’t allowed in that situation.
Naturally onmyouji was also targeted. Due to oppression and boycott that were similar to witch hunting, Tsuchimikado clan was forced to convert to Shintoism.
In fact, it seemed that the onmyoujis at that time had tasted considerable hardships.
「Certainly, the strength of onmyouji was weakening with the passing of era. In this modern time, people who can use actual jutsu are only a handful even in the main house.」
Even so, onmyoudo was extremely powerful in scholarly fields especially astronomy. It excelled in reading destiny and the trends of age. It wasn’t merely occult by any means.
Why were they who had devoted themselves to the country had to accept that kind of treatment?
Those hardships and resentment, the pain of having their pride trampled, they still hadn’t forgotten them. Especially the elderly.
「And, how is it related to attacking Hinata-chan and her family?」
「We regained our power. It happened gradually since several months ago. The jutsu that we couldn’t use until now become usable, and even those who were originally capable of using jutsu grew in power to unprecedented degree.」
And that phenomenon happened the most remarkably in Fujiwara clan that was originally the main house.
That was why, they got the idea. They thought that they could do it.
「We will relinquish the name of Tsuchimikado and once more, make the clan become the center of the government.」
In other words, their objective was to make a comeback.
「Wow, I don’t know what to say. The revival of Bureau of Onmyou of the past is it……it won’t go that easily you know?」
Even at the present, the government was keeping secret the “mystery” that the returnees brought back, so Fukube’s exasperated expression was also natural.
But, here the young man sported an unpleasant smile completely unbefitting for a “villager”.
「We know. That’s why we are thinking to display our usefulness.」
「Even when Fujiwara clan got dirtied with this earthly life and forgot their duty, we Tsuchimikado will never forget! We never shirked our duty!」
「What are you……」
「Onmyouji truly exist. Then, their enemy naturally also exist, don’t you think so?」
According to the young man, many of the legends about sealed monsters all over the country were actually real.
Yes, the legends about youma were real. The seals on them were also real.
The young man said that Tsuchimikado clan had been secretly sending the people of their clan to the temple and shrines all over the country for many years to manage the seals all over Japan.
「In other words, you guys are going to release the seals all over the country and just like what happened at Fushimi, you are going to prove your usefulness so the government will hire your clan? But, that’s not a reason to attack Hinata-chan and her family.」
Oy, don’t put on air and spit out everything already. Kousuke said as he swung the five yen coin back and forth.
The young man seemed to gradually regain his former self, so he remade him into a villager again. As expected, perhaps he had some resistance due to being an onmyouji……it was dangerous to apply the brainwashing multiple time like this but there was no other way.
「Kuku, I’ll tell you if you really want to know.」
「Endou-sama, this person, his eyes are rolling in circles though. Is he really alright?」
「Eh, strange. His speech and conduct is turning chuuni. This is damaging to me too.」
「――The Great Barrier of Heavenly Star. Its destruction is none other than our objective.」
「Ah, wait a second. I’m going to return your behavior back to normal so don’t talk yet!」
「Endou-san. This guy looks like he really wants to make a pose. He is trying to remove the rope so much that his wrist might snap at this rate.」
「Yes, it’s the greatest barrier that Abe no Seimei interweaved, the perfect prison of the monsters-. Kukuh, you lowly peons can’t even possibly imagine it-. The other world to reach the shrine is already――」
「Calm down a little! That way is an abyss that you won’t be able to walk away from!」
Lo~ok here, it’s swayii~ng. Your behavior is gradually getting back to norma~al.
As the result of applying even more suggestion like that, this time the young man was regressing back to be an infant for some reason.
From there the situation was so hectic that they halted the interrogation for a moment.
The young man might have seen motherly aura from Hinata who had a worried look that he leaped at her while yelling 「Mammaa」. It was so disgusting that Hinata unconsciously slapped him with all her strength.
After that he was reduced into a pervert who discovered joy from being slapped by a girl.
This was bad! Thinking that Kousuke used an artifact that was enchanted with regeneration magic to heal him. Some time passed.
When he finally thought that the young man had returned back to normal, for some reason he changed into a justice man who would yell 「JUSTICE」 loudly in every chance he got.
It seemed that a character that he looked up to when he was a child or his ideal self or something was coming to the surface and got fixed in place……
Anyway, after listening to the continuation of the explanation, as they were thinking of how to deal with the young man, the young man got awakened to a sense of mission to stop his comrades who were scattered throughout Kyoto right now. He yelled 「Everything is for the sake of our princess! Now, I have awakened to justice-」 with a dramatic expression and ran out.
After that Kousuke took up the night watch role and they spent the night in the mansion.
Hinata must have been really tired. In the end, she continued to sleep until afternoon.
And so, Fukube went out first to go around giving a greeting to any related government officials while Kousuke was indirectly watching the justice young man using his clone.
Like that, they waited until Fukube returned, asked to be provided with a car, and then they started travelling to the destination.
Kousuke suddenly returned from those events last night and today to reality.
(That justice-san, I better do something about him later. Let’s ask for help from someone who can use soul magic. If it’s Ai-chan-sensei, will she do it without asking for compensation?)
Kousuke got a bit of cold sweat while he shook his head and pulled himself together.
「Even so, a great barrier that is covering the whole Kinki region huh……」(TN: Kinki region include Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Mie, and Shiga prefectures)
「It’s surprising. To think that other world is a prison that the honorable ancestor created for the monsters.」
Hinata had finished consoling Fukube when he noticed and sat back snugly on the back seat as she replied to him. Then he realized that the sun had mostly set. As expected from a road of a mountainous region, the surrounding was quite dark.
Fukube continued driving while very carefully watching the road ahead using the car’s headlight.
「An inverted pentagram that is formed from connecting Ibukiyama, the former Ise, Izanagi Shrine, Kumano Shrine, and Inner Ise Shrine huh. Their plan is really outrageous. I can’t believe that they are going to attack the cornerstone of the barrier that is hidden there and release the thousands of apparitions sealed in the other world.」
「That man said that the blood and jutsu of the people of Fujiwara clan who are the direct descendant of Abe no Seimei are needed to completely release that seal but……they will die if that is done. They are completely a sacrifice huh……」
In short, they wanted to make a fixed match. Existences that couldn’t be dealt with the common weapons, terrifying existences that the majority of people couldn’t even see. Then they would show that if it was them then they could deal with it.
Even so, although they didn’t mind if the apparitions spread to the whole country to some degree, it would be troubling if they ran rampant like in the Heian period.
And so, they would also undo the seals all over the country to obtain powerful sacred treasures while sparing “Ohii-sama” from being sacrificed like Taisei and others to keep her as their trump card.
Yes, Hinata was an excellent talent that could make that possible.
It seemed that she was the strongest onmyouji of this era who was even said to be the second coming of Abe no Seimei.
Hinata lost her memory because the current head of Tsuchimikado clan――Tsuchimikado Jounosuke, alias “the elderly nobleman” applied his jutsu on her.
「But, well, it’s a good news in a sense. The “vessel” that is held by this so called elder noble is it? It seems that Hinata-chan’s memory will return if it’s destroyed.」
It seemed there was that kind of jutsu. It was a jutsu that worked by comparing the vessel to Hinata, align them together, and then moving her memory to that vessel. Putting it another way, it was like doing cut and paste with Hinata’s memory.
By keeping Hinata’s memory and consciousness in his possession and returning them back to her when necessary, he planned to prevent Hinata from ever counterattacking while turning her into a puppet princess.
「But still, it’s really a convenient thing. Fujiwara-san, By passing the torii of a shrine that worship Inari, we can warp to anywhere in the country right?」
「If I can regain my memory, then most likely.」
It seemed the reason for why Hinata was called the strongest onmyouji was also because of that.
It was said that since she was even younger than now, she had been able to form telepathy connection with that white fox――the divine messenger of Inari Shrine, the supervisor of the Great Barrier of Heavenly Star.
She entered the other world also because she was able to do so freely as long as there was a torii of a shrine that was worshipping Inari.
In addition, that fox girl transformation――”divine possession” state was also something that she could perform.
Among the majority of Abe’s descendants who lost their power, Taisei and others were among the handful of people who could still use jutsu even if only for a bit. But if they used “divine possession”, it was said that Hinata would be at the level of even Taisei whose strength had magnified in the current time.
No wonder then. With the possibility that was available if they could obtain Hinata, it might only be natural for their ambition to be burning.
「You were in that other world too because you escaped to there just barely before they managed to completely put you under their jutsu huh.」
「It was a silver lining that they attacked while I was on the way to a nearby Inari Shrine after mister fox called for me.」
Most likely at that time the great barrier had been under attack by Tsuchimikado clan.
Although at the end they would have the blood and jutsu of Fujiwara clan to dispel the barrier, it would still be safest to weaken the barrier first.
Or perhaps one of their objectives was to move Hinata from a place with strict security.
Anyway, due to a perfect surprise attack in superb timing from Hinata’s relatives――the uncle and cousin that she trusted who had already fallen into the enemy’s jutsu, Hinata got hit by the jutsu of the elderly nobleman and his group.
But, the one they attacked was the strongest onmyouji of this generation.
While her memory spilled out and her consciousness almost cut off, she slowed down the progression of the jutsu and also launched a counter that stopped the opponent on his track.
Then she desperately ran away and leaped into a torii just before she completely lost her memory. That seemed to be the truth of the incident.
The practitioners of Tsuchimikado clan were at Inariyama was also because the enemies judged that place that should also be called as the headquarters to be the likeliest place for Hinata to come out. They had also obtained Hinata’s hair, so it was possible to specify her location with a jutsu using it.
「I wonder if you can’t communicate telepathically with that white fox is also because of your memory loss as expected……」
「It would be nice if that’s the case……」
Hinata looked a bit anxious. Fukube glanced through the rearview mirror while opening his mouth.
「Well, in any case, Fujiwara-san, we are counting on you. It won’t be a joke if people who can manipulate mind interfere with the government now that it is in confusion. If the top brass get suborned, an underling will me won’t be able to do anything.」
「Hm~, I understand that but……if it’s Nagumo, I think he’s going to demand compensation in this kind of time……」
「Is that the words of a hero! In the first place, this incident is also not unrelated with the returnees you know?」
「Uh, about that, I guess……」
It was troublesome because the returnees also weren’t unrelated with this.
Or rather, it seemed at the beginning the people of Tsuchimikado clan schemed to make the returnees come to Kyoto when they destroyed the barrier.
Yes, in other words this flood of apparitions is because the returnees did something! But it’s alright! We onmyoujis will do something about it! That was the kind of plan they were hatching.
The returnees had caused that much ruckus in the society and caused many occultist explanation to well up. Their existence was just perfect to be framed as a criminal of supernatural phenomenon.
Their plan was greatly going off the rail thanks to Hinata escaping, but due to some kind of fate, the one who actually took Hinata under his protection was one of the returnees……
「Endou-sama……I’m really sorry for everything my family has done.」
「This isn’t Hinata-chan’s fault at all right?」
「Right now just focus on saving your family and stopping Tsuchimikado’s ambition. Don’t let your mind wander to anything else.」
「I already find out that you are a young lady from super rich family after all, Hinata-chan. I look forward to the reward after this yeah. Kekeke」
「Geez, Endou-sama, really……」
Hinata finally showed a small smile from the fake evil act that Kousuke made.
Kousuke felt relieved seeing that. At the same time determination was also brimming inside him.
This girl must be in great pain emotionally, and yet she didn’t utter even a single complain and only felt concern for other people. He wanted to help her.
And then, he absolutely would make the bastards who tried to make use of them just for the sake of a shitty ambition pay.
「Hinata-chan is going to regain your memory. Your whole family will also get rescued. The idiots who run rampant are going to be punished by iron fist. Then everything will be solved with that. Easy right?」
「Oo~, as expected from the hero who is the pride of Britain. He will finally make his debut in Japan too eeh.」
「Fufu, that’s really a cool hero.」
While they were having such conversation, the headlight shined over a tunnel. After they passed the tunnel they would leave Kyoto prefecture and entered Fukui prefecture.
It would take around ten minutes until they arrived at the main house of Tsuchimikado.
They entered inside the tunnel. The lighting inside wasn’t really bright. It gave off a vague feeling of dreariness.
The length of the tunnel wasn’t much. But, the light from the car’s headlight was swallowed by the darkness ahead. Their conversation naturally stopped.
Fukube looked slightly nervous.
「There is……something. I can’t really describe it, but ahead from here……」
Hinata suddenly whispered those words. Wariness could be seen in her childish look.
Fukube slightly sped up the car without saying anything.
No matter what was there, it was simple logic that it was harder to aim at a target that was moving quickly.
However, it seemed that move was a bad choice in this place.
It was right at that moment. It was like when the thick curtain was dropped on the stage, a great amount of earth and sand blocked the entrance.
「Tsu, hold on!」
Fukube sharply turned the steering wheel. The car’s speed was too much that it couldn’t make it in time to stop. The earth and sand at the opposite lane was relatively fewer. Fukube saw through that instantly and turned the car over there.
Hinata almost slammed her head on the window due to the intense centrifugal force. Kousuke immediately hugged her to protect her body.
The car smashed through the curtain of earth and sand. They could feel that the car wheels rotated just for an instant.
Right after that they were assaulted by a violent power of rotation. The car’s body was spinning.
At the corner of Kousuke’s sight, the figure of Fukube controlling the steering wheel with astonishing handling was reflected.
It should be said as a kind of superb handling. It wouldn’t be strange for the car to topple on its side, and yet it finally lost strength and stopped moving without falling.
「Is everyone okay!?」
Fukube asked with a slightly rough breathing. But he wouldn’t take off his gaze from the tunnel. He removed his seat belt with one hand while his other hand was reaching toward his suit pocket.
「Hinata-chan, are you hurt anywhere?」
There was no problem.
But, he noticed immediately that a different great problem was standing on their way.
「……I wonder what is that. Is that an apparition thing?」
「The ground is squirming there……」
A lot of earth and sand were flowing. As though they were smoothly slithering on the ground. Something like human arms were also growing everywhere.
Most likely Fukube’s guess was correct.
After all, a man was standing on top of the tunnel with his hands forming the hand seal of sword.
It was a man at this forty with masculine face wearing a hakama.
「A, a, no way……that person is……」
The man got on a giant hand that was made from rising ground. He got down from on top of the tunnel.
Hinata looked shaken seeing his figure.
「Hinata-chan? What’s wrong? Is he someone you know?」
Hinata couldn’t even answer Kousuke’s question. She was staring at the man looking like she wanted to cry.
The man’s gaze suddenly caught Hinata.
His eyes were cold like doll. There was no emotion in them.
Hinata trembled as though she was stabbed. She spoke with a pleading tone while Kousuke and Fukube looked bewildered.
Fukube and Kousuke looked at each other. They unconsciously muttered 「Dammit」 in unison and looked up to the sky.
AN: Thank you very much for reading this every time.