Volume 5, Chapter 12: What I Wanted to Say, Part 1
Early in the autumn, I turned eight years old.
Recently, I’ve been a little busy after school. There was that practice, but mostly it was because I ate ramen in the shopping district and played with Misa. Also, when I explored the shopping district, I feel like the hoodlums were somewhat nervous recently. It’s strange.
I also heard Kouki-kun’s story by chance, but I get the feeling that it’s not going in a good direction.
Next is taking care of the animals in the breeding shed with Kako. Ouji-kun also helped.
Ouji-kun has completely stopped eating snacks, and has become quite slim. And hence, I heard that Ouji-kun’s parents wanted to see me.
…… Those parents who gave him that name? I was scared of that meeting, so I put it on hold. The excuse was that my body was still frail.
Was I really that weak?
Because it was cold out, I caught a cough while I was outside.
“……oi, are you alright?”
Onzada-kun, who had begun to train seriously, stopped his ki-training and approached me.
The final reason why I was busy was because I was learning how to use ki with Onzada-kun. Even though I was taught for a year, I still can’t do anything, so I often just observe Onzada-kun while taking a break.
“Well, it’s just a little cough?”
“It’s been getting colder recently… Since Yuzu’s body is weak, you shouldn’t make too much tea. See, your hands are becoming cold again.”
Ah, that’s just because I don’t have much muscle, and it’s cold out.
Onzada-kun was doing martial arts up until just now, so his hands when they held mine were still warm.
“Is Onzada-kun feeling warm? Your face is red.”
“Eh, it’s just that I’ve been moving around too much. Yours would be too, you know.”
When I let go of his hand, Onzada-kun threw over his jacket. And of course, I couldn’t catch it with my hands, and ended up catching it with my face.
“*bleh*, it’s quite sweaty.”
“Hehe, have some patience with me.”
Still, I borrowed Onzada-kun’s coat and put it over my shoulders. This time, I’ll value the contribution.
In this way, Onzada-kun began to train seriously beginning in summer, and I also felt his kindness. Even though I couldn’t master ‘ki’ after a long time, I was amazed but didn’t disturb him. I didn’t say that I wouldn’t come, after all.
Onzada-kun was a fifth-grader. As an 11 year old male, I understood that he was becoming a ‘man’ rather than a boy, but isn’t that too quick?
Onzada-kun who was kneeling calmly turned to face my voice.
“Nnn~…… What is it? Did you get into a fight?”
“……Something like that.”
When Onzada-kun returned to my side, he placed his hand on my head with a pop. He’s gotten taller.
“I will protect Yuzu’s future with my life. So be at ease.”
Of course I knew that he didn’t mean it that way, but this is kinda……
My face was red.
Also…… I think I heard the sound of a small ‘chain’ somewhere.
Onzada was feeling impatient.
Although it could be said that he was motivated, he, who had only practiced skills that looked cool as a child, made his parents very pleased that Onzada who had lacked ‘mental fortitude’ had begun to practice seriously, and his eldest brother who occasionally returned home regretted that he had spoken of the circumstances of the ‘other side’.
“Onzada, don’t overdo it. We still have nearly 20 years.”
“It’s alright, Brother. It’s not unreasonable.”
There have been groups in Japan that have defended the nation since time immemorial.
Destroying evil spirits and monsters that were the enemies of the world, readjusting the flow of the ‘ki’ of the land, they had protected Japan from ‘foreign enemies’ for more than a thousand years.
Buddhist priests. Exorcists. Spiritualists. Of the ones who had handed down techniques for exorcising the foreign demons since long ago, the largest religious organization in the country…… had no clear name, but was commonly called the [Oyama].
Approximately 30% of the shrines and temples in the whole country were connected to the [Oyama], and of them, a tenth of them were families that directly exterminated evil spirits, and Onzada’s family was one of them.
And when that [Powerful existence] was found under Tokyo, they used that power to more efficiently get rid of the evil spirits.
That existence was very sensitive to the things that could bring it harm.
Just like a little child……
Onzada’s elder brother also came to teach Onzada about that matter.
Because he wanted to know what kind of [Enemy] he was going to have to confront, and felt that sense of crisis, Onzada took even bolder actions.
“Good, this is fine.”
Changing into clothes that were easy-to-move in, they left their home at midnight.
Although Onzada was delighted about his progress with his serious training, as ever, he wasn’t making an excited face about his ‘ki’ training.
After all, it was difficult for a child to handle and easy for them to injure themselves, he honestly felt that one would be in danger of neglecting one’s studies if they seriously delved into it.
It was a hard truth, however, that to become a true priest of the [Oyama], one needed a certain level of education. The fourth son of Onzada’s family went to a good university and his parents were thinking of letting him get a regular job.
“…… It’s fine, for I know I am on the side of justice!”
Onzada said something that he would never be able to say in front of his parents absentmindedly.
He didn’t want to protect many people, just those few precious people.
For that reason, Onzada was planning on making a ‘prayer shop’ which would leave him relatively free.
“”Onzada’s House of Worship” ……or something like that.”
Even if he had grown, he was still a child like that.
Well, the reason why Onzada had gone out of his family home in the middle of the night was for the sake of training his battle skills.
Onzada realized himself that his ‘ki’ level was close to that of his older brother. The reason for that rapid growth was that ‘pseudo-ki’ that that female junior was using.
If anyone saw it, they would think of it as a failure, even she herself thought of it as a failure, but Onzada realized that it was close to psychic powers. To the degree that Onzada felt that there was ‘power’ in his vicinity.
Despite her cheek, it was easier to talk to that junior and it seemed that her mental strength was great, although she herself was weak. At first, he had only taught her ‘ki’ because he had let his guard down from her beauty, but now Onzada liked her as a person.
When his father and brothers used ‘ki’, they forged their hearts with training, keeping their hearts still with willpower, and controlled their ki. That was because it was a stable way of doing so and would cause fewer accidents.
However, how that girl used her ‘power’ was the complete opposite.
Rather than letting it run wild with her immature feelings, she let it run wild in a stable manner with her high mental strength. Even though it sounded unreasonable just saying it, it fit her perfectly on the first try.
Onzada listened to his brothers’ words, but felt that this power method suited him.
“……I wonder where it is.”
Onzada calmed his wandering mind and searched for that presence. Looking for the spirits of the land or a wandering ghost. They didn’t have the presence of a living being, but there were times where he could feel the flow of a gaze and their emotion.
While it would be especially strong if it were an evil spirit or a vengeful ghost, they were rare, so encountering one shouldn’t be common.
Although spirits weren’t visible to the normal eye, they were able to be seen by a person with strong ‘ki’. And by recognizing that it was ‘present’, it became clearer.
It was at the corner of the park. He didn’t know if the spirit had been in an accident or had committed suicide. It was a vague outline of a middle-aged male, but as it turned its dark eyes towards Onzada he recognized it as the spirit.
It wasn’t the first time he’d seen a spirit, but it was his first time confronting one, and hence Onzada felt a bit of cold feet.
“……You, did you want to say something?”
Until now, Onzada who felt that he had only seen spirits as something to ‘destroy,’ spoke to it.
Neither his father nor brother felt anything, they just got the exorcism done. What Onzada felt, although it might just have been his gullibility and childish sentiment, caused him to hesitate in doing so.
The gaze of the ghost tethered to the earth shifted slightly. Following the gaze, he found the flowers that someone had offered it withering, and a small sake bottle was visible.
“……Is it okay if I open it?”
Even though he asked, the spirit didn’t answer. Onzada opened the cap of the bottle of sake, and splashed it on the stone that the flower rested on.
“Is that okay?”
After being asked again, the spirit looked at Onzada.
“Can you even talk? ………*cough*”
Onzada made an unpleasant face and coughed unexpectedly when he licked a bit of the liquor. Seeing that the expression of the bound spirit seemed gentler than before, Onzada took a closer look.
“Is that enough?”
Onzada scattered the spirit with the ‘ki’ in his palm. There was no resistance…… at all.
Onzada didn’t feel any sense of euphoria at his first exorcism, and his mouth twisted with the taste of the remaining sake.
“Haah…… how bitter.”
On that night, Onzada exorcised another bound spirit.
It was the spirit of an infant with an indeterminate shape, that spoke about a fairy tale that was somewhat familiar, and then faded away even without being struck by ki.
Remembering the taste of the sake that he had licked a while ago, Onzada felt like drinking. He grimaced, since he was unable to do so as he was a grade-schooler.
Onzada was shocked by the realization of the truth.
“…… This was… not a practice battle at all, was it?”
He was slow to notice it.
And as he walked along looking for a strong presence, he saw something strange in the corner of a scrap bin.
Simply put, it was the form of a ghost of a glitzy woman. Strangely enough the outline was very clear and so was the malice.
Remembering his brothers’ words: that the number and malice of the evil spirits were increasing because of the [Evil], Onzada’s face turned green.
It was the kind of evil spirit that made him want to call out for his brother, but Onzada hesitated. It wasn’t that he was overestimating his own power, but that the evil spirit had collected other floating spirits and was eating them.
Because they were already dead, there was nothing he could do.
While thinking so, Onzada rushed out towards that evil spirit.
Screaming that, Onzada infused his fist with the ki of his ‘anger’ and drove it into the back of the spirit.
At the evil spirit’s ‘scream’, the scrap bin around it cracked and shook, bursting open.
“Are you serious………?”
It was a fairly powerful evil spirit. If this was just the influence of that [Evil], then just how much power would that evil have?
Onzada managed to dodge the evil spirit’s swipe, but the back of his hand that had touched it slightly was bruised.
“…… Is this a spiritual attack?”
He couldn’t help it. To say nothing of exorcism, with Onzada’s power, even escape was difficult.
At this point, the evil spirit was wrapped in a pillar of light by that voice.
The evil spirit screamed in agony.
A few meters behind the evil spirit, there was a black, diminutive shadow.
It was wielding a sword as large as it was, and, with a speed that even Onzada couldn’t follow, it slashed the evil spirit vertically down from the head.
To easily destroy that kind of evil spirit, he wondered if that sword was some sort of divine instrument.
That person who was wearing black clothing and whose face was covered in a black mask was even younger than Onzada, who was only in the fifth grade himself, and looked like a very young elementary schooler given their height.
And after glancing at Onzada who was dumbfounded, that black-masked person suddenly began to slash the floating spirits that were drifting around with the sword.
Every time it slashed, Onzada saw that something like light was being absorbed by the black covering, and he instinctively kicked them.
Onzada’s ki-loaded kick was caught by that large sword and spat an unusual spark.
Even knowing that that black-masked person was his savior, Onzada couldn’t overlook them.
“You, what are you doing?”
The black-masked person looked at Onzada oddly, and then nonchalantly swung the sword at him.
The two of them faced each other dead on.
At that moment,
The theme song of a certain old man played, and the two of them unexpectedly lost the tension.
“Wai-wait a moment”
After clarifying, Onzada took out his mobile phone with a red face, and his face changed at the email with no title and no content.
Onzada felt the anxiety that bound his heart as he looked at the mail.
Story Template:[Onzada’s House of Worship [Adolescence Arc]] added.
Next time, the malicious shadow that approaches Yuzu.
…… Should we be worrying about the protagonist?
Felt pretty melancholic reading the first exorcism the first time. It really drives home how heartrending being an exorcist must be sometimes in fantasy.