Volume 6, Chapter 11: The Malicious Presence, Part 2
“……Come with me.”
Said Onzada-kun as he walked ahead of me, and I followed him out of Takamine.
I contacted Kako via email to take care of my bags, and, walking out with my coat while hiding the burned cuff, I felt cold for a moment.
“……… Put this on.”
Said Onzada-kun as he threw me the blazer he was wearing.
And of course, I didn’t manage to catch it and caught it with my face instead…… so embarrassing.
Just how long have we been walking…… About 30 minutes? In the meantime, I wasn’t getting bored because both Ouji-kun and Kako were sending me mail, while Onzada-kun didn’t say anything more than in the beginning. Onzada-kun was also sending e-mails.
We arrived at a shrine that I didn’t recognize.
Although it was old, there were people around, so we couldn’t have a secret conversation.
“Yuzu…… Are you the [Evil] presence……?”
Onzada-kun turned back to face me after coming all this way to where he lived. But……
“I’m sorry, that’s a bit too abstract of a question for me to answer.”
When I told him so with my normal tone of voice, Onzada-kun scratched his head and stared at me a little.
“You, are you the [Evil] existence that has come to destroy humanity?”
Ah, I see, so you thought so because you’d seen me.
Hmm……? That’s right, they said that Matsuri was surrounded by the scions of famous temples. Well, maybe Onzada-kun was told something strange.
“What are you!”
“Ah, I’m a Demon.”
When I disclosed it, Onzada-kun choked.
“When I thought of telling you, I was thinking of making the really bad joke of [Ah, Bear], but I realized that Onzada-kun would take it seriously, so I said it properly…” (TLN: Ah, Bear => A, Kuma => Akuma => Demon)
“I understand what you said, I’m not an idiot!”
Anyway, it was getting difficult to keep deceiving people, and either way I’m going to be in a bad state if I don’t get my memories and power as a Demon back soon.
“A Demon…… there’s no way that exists!”
I’m kind of glad to hear such a normal response.
“Neither Onzada-kun’s ki, nor Yuuki-kun’s magic is considered normal, right? But Onzada-kun knows that it exists.”
“That is…… That means, you’re not “Yuzu”……?”
“I am absolutely the real Yuzu. But rather, I’m the second incarnation of “Yuzu”.”
It seems that Onzada-kun doesn’t really understand what my brief explanation was.
“I have the memories of “Yuzu” up to around 15 years old……… Would you believe me if I said that? That I had died at that time because of my illness……”
“I think that I was born again as a [Demon], but I don’t remember it well…… When I realized it, I had already become “Yuzu” again, and so I began to live normally.”
“Wa-wait a minute, if you’re being Yuzu for the second time…… Uh, aren’t you a Demon now?”
I slowly shook my head at Onzada-kun’s misunderstanding.
“No, I only regained the power of the [Demon] after that kidnapping incident. It’s still not complete. Because the memories of me being a Demon are still murky, it seems that my body protests at containing the power of a Demon.”
“…… what do you mean?”
Looking at the eyes of Onzada-kun staring back at me, I told him the truth.
“I think I will die again. ……Without even reaching the age of 15.”
“I, have actually been in poor health this whole time……? I thought that the disease had onset early, and originally I thought that I would not have gotten truly ill until I hit the age of 12, but recently, it’s been getting worse faster.”
“…… St-stop joking! Aren’t you alright!”
“It’s only because I’ve been forcibly moving myself with Demonic power…… Onzada-kun, are you worried for me……?”
“Of course I am, you fool!”
I got scolded. But, to get so angry, Onzada-kun is still clearly my ‘friend’…… But anyway, given the situation.
“Well then, a second time, a return to the past…… To be sealed in the past……”
“Wait a minute, Onzada-kun. I heard something amazing there……”
“Nn? …… Ah, that’s the [Prophesy] about the appearance of the [Evil] ten years from now, and with the 12 Period Hourglass, the past evil… ”
“Onzada, that’s it!”
When I suddenly spoke up, I realized that I had been surrounded.
There was about 10~20 of them. To not notice that there were so many, it seems that I’ve haven’t been very sharp. …… Well, Onzada-kun didn’t notice either, though.
I was done in…… When I looked around carefully, there were no ‘normal people’. This was clear to me given that there were only people with good physiques.
“…… You really do love to push your luck. You were moved by your emotion easily. Come over here now!”
“Why are all of you here!”
“You and that girl were under watch. I thought that when you encountered her true colors you would understand, but you talked too much.”
Onzada-kun was despondent at realizing that he had been used by his elder brother. Still, I guess that there was still some familial affection?
“…… What are you going to do with me?”
Were these people going to do ‘something’ to me? …… But what was in the past was sealed in the past by the future? If that’s the case, I wonder if the people now have been changed some way or another?
As I cut in, Onzada-kun’s brother turned a vigilant eye towards me.
“…… You are the [Evil] presence? Incomplete and not yet fully awoken. Our role is to… before you fully awaken…”
That voice that cut in, where have I heard it before……
“Miko-sama!? It’s dangerous, why did you come here.”
“I came to see where Yuzu would die! Since you all forced me to become the Miko by all means, and I don’t know what kind of bear she is, so just listen to what I say!”
Ooh…… it’s that idiot. There’s an idiot.
Matsuri, that was dragging around an entourage of pretty boys…… is also a shrine maiden? I don’t really know, but that [Existence] that kept bothering me, seemed to be recognized as something that wasn’t just some wild monster.
But at least, I managed to get some positive confirmation. If I managed to awaken completely, I would be able to break the seal.
While Matsuri was squawking noisily, and I was contemplating that existence, it seems that Onzada-kun managed to recover his spirits and whispered to me:
“Yuzu…… You’re not doing any evil with the Demon power, right? ……Don’t look away.”
Because his expression was so serious, I instinctively ‘averted my gaze’.
Jokes aside, I too whispered back to him.
“Hey…… aren’t Demons normally a part of this world?”
“Like how wolves hunt livestock, or like how small animals feed on grains. You understand?”
“……………So in short, you are the Yuzu I know?”
I don’t know. It seems typical of Onzada-kun, though.
“…… Are you going to die?”
“As it is, yes. But if my memories were to return……”
“Then, I will protect Yuzu until then. …… I promised.”
“……… Thank you.”
This person sure speaks lightly. “Besides, help should come soon. I managed to persuade them to come using Yuzu’s name.”
“Listen up, okay, just kill Yuzu quickly!”
Matsuri’s voice sounded out again as we were talking.
Onzada-kun’s older brother and his colleagues, while looking saddened, set up their staves, and began to channel their ‘ki’ as per usual.
Every one of them seems to be stronger than Onzada-kun. I think that I might be able to win if I went at my full power, but with my physical condition at the moment, I don’t think I can keep Onzada-kun alive while sustaining my full power.
Suddenly, a voice cried out, and a wind storm blew into the quiet shrine from the forest.
It’s not just a gust of wind. It was a magical wind that was filled to the brim with magic power. There were those who had been torn apart by what seemed like invisible blades, and those of them who were hiding in the shadow of the trees were blown away into the air.
I defended Onzada-kun and myself by constructing a [Magic Barrier] with the spirit language.
Being able to do such things, there was only one person.
“Yuuki-kun…… that’s reckless.”
He was the only person that could have been called by Onzada-kun for reinforcement, among the people I knew.
What were you doing to make Misa this worried, you…… But this magic, since it couldn’t be resisted without magic power, have some people died?
“……Since my brothers are demon exorcists who live on the battlefield, they should be fine, but what’s the meaning of involving Yuzu?”
Ah, was it not alright?
Onzada-kun looked anxious, though I thought that it was clear.
“Oooi! You, attack this way!”
As Onzada-kun shouted out, a boy wearing a black mask appeared with a very distinctive ‘presence’ from the shadow of a tree.
“Nn? What’s wrong? He’s…”
At that time, Yuuki-kun unexpectedly released a tremendous magic power and a rippling killing intent.
It was a shout that sounded like he had unleashed something he was suppressing.
It was after all…… that ‘presence’……
The people who had been attacking me for a long time had all had ‘desires’ and ‘malice’ within their hearts, and so they had been possessed.
Desire and malice were used simply because they were the strongest and simplest feelings that people had, but some people had some pretty strong [Negative] emotions.
Those feelings, like ‘rage’, or ‘hatred’……
There’s a tremendous energy in sustaining such emotions. Of all the people in the area, the only one a ‘rage’ that was this strong …… was him.
“Yuuki-kun…… were your feelings used?”
Next time, the [Hero] who’d trained his power in multiple worlds faces Yuzu.
The stakes keep raising, we’re getting back to good ol’ classic Yuru from here on out. Let’s enjoy the ride.