Chapter 14 The Strongest Onmyouji Heads to the Finals
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience! The time has finally come for the finals of the memorable First Teito Comprehensive Martial Arts Tournament!”
The MC’s voice rang out.
“The first of the elite warriors to face the prestigious finals is the —- Lamplog, whose family name Is no joke! This boy who has yet to show his trump card, how many drawers does he have! The young talent of the Imperial Academy of Magic, Seika lamplog!”
I go up on stage to the cheers of the audience.
The stage was clean after all the damage I had done to it in the morning.
I guess the box office probably didn’t allow for any more delays. It’s probably only a first aid measure since the foundation was smashed, but at least it looks undisturbed now.
“The second person is this swordsman who is —- unique, different, heretical and most unusual! What in the world is he! Where did you bring this guy from! The hidden ball of the Lugrok Trading Company, Kyle the Evil-Eyed Slayer!』\
A gray-haired boy appeared on the stage, climbing the stairs.
In his right hand, he carried a drawn sword. His left and right eyes, half-open, are of different colors. His ghostly atmosphere remained unchanged.
I wasn’t even sure if he recognized me.
I spoke to Kyle with a smile on my face.
“Sorry, I’m not your sister. Mabel lost to me in the semifinals.”
The boy muttered in an unexpectedly high voice.
The boy’s eyes widened just a little bit …… and he said.
“I’m in trouble….. this wasn’t the plan. Is she alive?”
“I’m glad to hear that. Good.”
Kyle said in a dreamy voice.
“Then I’ll be able to kill her properly.”
I exhale and say.
“That’s your sister.”
“Yeah, she’s the last of us, the last of our family.”
Kyle’s voice is emotionless.
“I’m being told to kill someone I care about.”
“I know your situation….. but I still don’t understand it.”
“What are you living for? Isn’t it to be happy? Does killing your precious sister help you achieve that goal? I don’t think you were deprived of logical thinking through surgery in order to be used as a soldier.”
“What does it mean to live for happiness?”
“Happiness is living. To live for tomorrow. For me, or rather for everyone at the training center, it was. It’s all about becoming stronger and following those who are stronger. I was able to undergo the surgery because I was the strongest. But the Lugrok Trading Company is stronger than me, so I still follow them In order to live. Is there something wrong with that?”
“You sacrifice your precious family in order to live…..?”
“That’s right. Happiness is to live. Family is nothing more than strangers.”
“You used to be different. Have you forgotten that?”
“Of course I remember, but now it feels right.”
“And that’s bad enough. Mabel will be sad.”
“I don’t understand …….”
Kyle asked me, his voice weightless.
“You have nothing to do with me or Mabel. Why do you keep talking about our situation?”
“Why….? Why not?”
I tell him, smiling.
“I’m interfering because I don’t like it. You should at least take care of your only sister. You follow the strong, don’t you? Then, after you lose this match, I’d like you to say a few words to Mabel and apologize.”
“……I still don’t get it.”
Kyle slightly clinked his right-hand sword.
“—- how could I lose to you?”
“It’s time to settle the score! The first Imperial Capital Comprehensive Martial Arts Tournament finals —- are about to begin!』\
The whistle sounded.
Kyle opened both of his eyes.
But before the evil eye could take effect.
I had already finished opening the door.
<<Vocation— Gobo no Night Blind>>
The thick fog drawn from the phase covers the arena in the blink of an eye.
“Oooh, is this Seika’s magic! I can’t see the stage at all!』\
“This is ……”
“It’s no use trying to rely on those eyes.”
I show him a smile as I catch Kyle from the front, blurred by the fog.
The Gobo no Night Blind is a misty ghost caught deep in the mountains of Emishi Ezo.
This demon, which causes those who enter the mountains to lose their way and become lost, applies a debuff to the cognitive abilities of those it possesses inside itself. The effect is limited to making it impossible to find one’s way home or distinguish the faces of those nearby, but it would be a hindrance to an evil eye user who exercises magic with his or her sight.
Well, the reason I put this guy out there is to hide him from the audience.
It seems that a person with that level of evil eye would be able to resist it.
The sound of a “thump”.
Kyle seemed to take a step forward.
The footprints that are carved with each step are unnaturally deep.
<<Phase of Fire and Earth—art of demon fire>>
The blue-white fireballs hit Kyle, but the boy didn’t seem to mind. The phosphorus flames bouncing around the area don’t even burn the clothes.
It seems that the magic of gravity has made him quite heavy after all.
“Then what about this?”
<<Phase of wood and gold —- Art of Mercury Vine Binding>>
Blackish vines erupt from under Kyle’s feet.
The heavy vines containing mercury wrap around and bind the boy, who is completely unresisting.
For a moment, I thought it was over.
Kyle’s shadow, which had been faded by the fog, suddenly darkened and began to twitch.
The shadow crawled up the boy’s body.
The next moment, it sliced through the restraining vine from the inside.
The shadow then branches out, crawls on the ground and rushes toward me.
The tip of the shadow snarled at me. It attacked me, trying to pierce me.
But that was the end of it. The attacking shadow couldn’t penetrate the barrier and it quickly ceased to exist—-
It was as if the attack and defense had never happened.
Kyle went one step further, silently.
There is no color of emotion there.
It’s sad to see him not reacting in any way.
I guess Kyle has no more excitement, tension, or fear left in him from the battle.
It can’t be helped. Let’s go with the original plan.
I pull out a piece of shikigami and open the door to the phase.
What appeared from the distortion of space was a —- bull-headed demon.
A muscular physique with black skin. The bull’s head, which is high enough to look up at, has sharp horns and a vicious look attached to it, as if it resents everything in the world.
I turned to Kyle and asked.
“Are you the perfect soldier now that you’ve lost your emotions?”
Dragging a thick gold metal club, the bull demon takes a step toward Kyle.
Then the boy’s footsteps stopped.
Kyle muttered vacantly.
The shadows under his feet began to squirm and growl and he attacked the bull demon.
The bull demon did nothing.
But nevertheless, the shadow could not penetrate the bull demon. It was blocked by something invisible and just crawled on the surface of the black body.
“I don’t think it’s wrong to feel fear.”
The bull demon takes another step toward the boy.
Kyle took his first big step.
He wields a one handed sword and slashes at the bull demon.
The sword was probably also quite heavy due to the magic of gravity.
With a mere swing of his arm, the demon smashed the sword.
Through the fog, there was a sign that Kyle was gasping for air.
It was the first time he had shown this gesture of slight agitation in this tournament.
The bull demon raised his gold club casually.
“Did you feel anything when you saw that?”
And the club swung sideways and blew Kyle away.
The boy rolls offstage and stops moving.
There was no offense or defense; it was an overwhelming difference in power.
“He’s not like you. He’s not a guy you can play gravity magic, shadow magic, or any of those tricks with.”
I looked at Kyle, who was lying on the ground and muttered to myself.
“If his fear remained, he wouldn’t have challenged such a reckless battle.”
I said to the bull demon, who came back at a leisurely pace.
“Hey, I hope you went easy on him.”
He nodded taciturnly.
He was as unsociable as ever.
Ushi-oni(bull demon) is one of the more powerful yokai that I have, though not as powerful as Mizuchi. (TN: Mizuchi is a kind of dragon yokai)
He’s easy to handle and I used him frequently in my previous life. He did a good job this time too. Incidentally, although his face is scary, he’s not angry.
After putting the bull demon back in phase, I rushed to Kyle, who was lying on his back.
He seemed to have fainted, but he was still breathing. It seems that he is not badly injured.
“……you really want to keep him alive, don’t you?”
I nodded at the sound of Yuki’s voice.
“Is it too naive?”
“It is. But…. Yuki is starting to think it’s okay.”
Well, what do I do from here?
For now, I’ll sneak him out …… and then it’s actually up to him to decide what he wants to do. If he insists on returning to the Trading company, I can’t stop him.
But if he has a desire to be free…… he’ll be able to do so. He can be a good adventurer, or he can even go into a caravan of some merchants as an escort and hide his true identity.
Even his emotions can return.
The human body will try to compensate for lost functions, just as a blind person becomes sensitive to sound. If he leads a normal life in which emotions are required, different parts of the brain may compensate.
Well, that’s more than what lies ahead.
I guess I’ll start by taking him to see Mabel. —-
I was startled by Yuki’s sharp voice.
Black patterns radiate from there, eroding into the face and body.
“Is this a …… curse?”
Immediately, I draw a shikigami to him and set up a barrier.
The erosion of the pattern stops eventually, faded and disappeared.
After a brief moment of relief,—- Kyle’s body began to shake violently.
His eyes widened in shock. The barrier must be working. So, when the erosion started, was the damage already done to his body?”
But …… I don’t know the details of the damage. The only thing I can think of is that his body is not in a good shape. I won’t be able to prepare a shikigami fast enough.
I won’t make it in time.
Kyle opened his eyes thinly.
He tells me in a gravelly voice.
“Apologize………… please……. tell her…. I want you to…”
Then I heard the boy’s last words.
Kyle’s strength drained from his body.
He was not breathing. The light has already been lost from the left and right different colored eyes.
The evil-eyed swordsman had run out of steam.
“Seika-sama… this is….”
Yuki muttered in shock.
The curse was something I had an idea of what it was.
Perhaps this was something the Lugrok Trading Company had done to him during his surgery.
To prevent them from becoming prisoners of war and giving up information. Or not to let the details of the surgery be known.
A curse to keep their mouths shut, invoked in the event of defeat.
“…… curse spell.”
Alone, the curse power seeped into my voice.
It attracts all the shikigami which were flying around me.
“Do you want to outwit me here with a spell……? Are you looking down on me…..”
The shikigami are arranged three-dimensionally around Kyle’s corpse.
Each is connected by a line of spell power and soon a magic circle of mysticism is completed.
ओम् अपाकरोति पदार्थ समुद्दिशति आधुनिक इष्टका—-“
I Chant the mantra, form a sign with both hands, and build up the art.
Curse a man and you will get two holes.
The person who has done this will not just die.
But first, this way.
Don’t worry. I’ll make it.
He’s only just died.
If I refer to the most recent timestamp on the soul’s structure, it should be enough to read it.
I was the strongest in my previous life.
I can do this easily.
I could even raise a dead person.
“That’s no good, Seika-sama! That’s too much!”
Yuki’s voice was urgent.
I stopped doing the spell.
Yuki was still insisting.
“You said so yourself! That’s dangerous! Did you forget why you were reincarnated?”
“Please reconsider! Are you so indebted to that person Seika-sama that you have to go to such lengths?”
I put down my hand that had been crossed over the —- sign.
The shikigamis scatter around.
The line of spells breaks and the magic circle collapses.
I stood there, speechless, in front of the dead body of the boy.
“…I understand how you feel.”
Only Yuki’s caring voice echoes.
“I know that Seika-sama is the kindest person —- of all.”