“I actually feel bad for him now,” Tomoe said.
『Really? In that case, you should go ahead and give him his last rites. Ku ku, I’m sure it’ll turn into a habit.』The mask said.
“I’ll pass. I don’t have a rotten personality like you.”
『That’s fine too. 』
Despite being told his personality was rotten, the mask just laughed.
He even seemed to be aware of it and was glad that Tomoe didn’t share his peculiarities.
But because of that Yoshihisa became angry because he felt like he was being ignored.
“What the hell are you people talking about!? Look, you don’t seem to understand the predicament that you’re in, so let me make it clear for you. You’ve already lost! Even if you kill me, it’s too late for you! And this body is just a shiki. My real body is somewhere else, somewhere perfectly safe, so no matter what you do to my body here, I won’t feel a single thing, no itch, no pain, no nothing.”
Yoshihisa said proudly, but the mask just laughed, while the girl looked at him pitifully.
Yoshihisa was greatly shaken by their reactions, but then he realized something.
“Hmph, I see. You must think I’m bluffing. Very well, take a look at this!”
Yoshihisa raised up his hand, and a black shadow appeared from it.
Although it wasn’t as dark as the black mist of the white mask, it was indeed a dense body of evil ki, more than sufficient enough to harm life and curse people to death.
“Behold! The power of this curse will cover this whole land! Before its great might, all life will prostrate themselves, and turn into corpses that can only release malice!”
Yoshihisa laughed as he explained with glee.
Curse, hex, hate, grudge, resentment… All those words that could described such dense evil ki amalgamated to form into one human-made curse.
Something like that would indeed have the power to contaminate the land and those that live on it.
“W-What is that, ou, ue…!?”
When Youko saw that, an unpleasant feeling accompanied by chills attacked her, and made her want to puke.
“Youko!? I’m sorry! I didn’t know that thing was dense enough for normal people to see,” Tomoe said as she rubbed her friend’s back.
That was something hard to realize for those who could always see.
What’s more was that it seemed that the evil ki could affect humans without resistance just by seeing it.
That’s why Tomoe apologized and recited a short chant to exorcise the evil ki and erect a simple barrier in the area.
『…If you were always that tactful, you’d be able to make more progress.』 The mask said.
“What was that!?” Tomoe said.
She didn’t hear the mask properly, but she felt as though she was being looked down on.
“Nothing,” the mask shook his head.
Tomoe looked suspiciously at him for a moment, but she quickly moved on and casted a defensive spell on Youko.
Meanwhile, the mask stepped forward and spoke to get Yoshihisa’s attention.
『Unfortunately for you, nameless practitioner, we already knew that. The reason why I was laughing was because you’re completely clueless that you’re the only one left.』
“Ahaha, haha? …The only one, left? What do you mean by that!?”
『We’ve already destroyed everything your friends installed in the outskirts of the fields. That one you have with you is the only one left. I gotta say, though, your detection abilities sure suck. I can’t believe you actually didn’t notice that your allies’ shikis and those curses you’ve prepared have all been destroyed already. But then again, you are just a
Yoshihisa couldn’t see the expression underneath the mask, so it was all too easy for him to imagine the mask making a mocking face.
“What!? That’s, impossible!! Even if you knew about us beforehand, there’s no way the people from my family would be wiped out! …Hey! This is Yoshihisa! Can anyone hear me!? Someone say something!! Gramps! Where are you right now!? Stop screwing with me, say something!!”
Despite Yoshihisa’s disbelief, he still took out a charm and started frantically yelling.
The charm he’d taken out had a completely different mysterious pattern and characters than the ones Tomoe used, but regardless, no matter how much Yoshihisa yelled, no one responded to him.
And despite the lifeless face of his shiki, one could still see that he’d gone pale from shock.
“That’s a charm that let’s you communicate with other people that have the same charm. Of course, it requires spiritual power,” Tomoe said.
『I think I burned all those already. 』 The mask said.
“I’m sure. Although it is weird that you could burn them like that,” Tomoe said.
Tomoe was still glum about that feat.
Of course, the charms couldn’t possibly resist a pillar of flame as big as the ones he summoned, but he also summoned those flames from a distance that was clearly too far for human eyes to see. What’s more was that he summoned them simultaneously.
As someone learned in the spiritual arts, such a feat had already gone beyond what humans were capable of.
But then again, she did possess the ability to sense the evil ki across the same distance.
“No… There’s no way. This can’t be happening!”
Meanwhile, with no one answering his calls, Yoshihisa was finally starting to acknowledge that he was the only one left, but he still found it hard to accept, so it was up to the mask to give the finishing blow.
『If you still find it hard to believe, then how about I tell you what I saw? Like those cursed wooden boxes that you’re so proud of. Or that everyone other than you were wearing braided hats and wielded a khakkhara.』
“…Damn it all!”
Upon hearing that, Yoshihisa could no longer run away from the fact that they had indeed met the people from his family.
What’s more, given that they were fine, his allies’ fate also needn’t be said.
As well as the fact that their plan had been ruined by this mysterious mask, and how stupid he must’ve looked boasting and gloating about their victory.
“How dare you! How dare you ruin our plans!! Who do you think has been protecting this world all this time!? It was us! And now you think everything will turn out alright if you just treat everything lurking in the darkness like raybeasts!!?”
『And that’s why you wanted to perform a part in your own play, so you could have your vengeance and gain an even higher standing than you had before? You really are an ignorant young master… There’s no way things would go so conveniently for you! In the first place, what you’re saying is no different from a child throwing a tantrum.』
Society is the one that’s at fault; the government is wrong; the otherworld is to be blamed…
Why? Because We’re not people who deserve to be treated like this.
That’s why it’s okay to commit a crime like this.
Someone who thought like that could only be described as a selfish
Of course, if they were actually children, the mask would show leniency and just punish them a little, but…
『You’re no different from
Such people were no longer adults, but helpless fools.
“Tch.────Lightning Oracle, now!!”
It was curious if it was because he’d been treated as though he was a part of the common rabble that he looked down upon or because his whole life had been denied to his face, but in the face of the mask’s blunt provocation, Yoshihisa could no longer control himself, and he invoked a charm to summon a dark cloud and call a divine punishment upon the mask.
But as lightning descended from the heavens, the mask wove a chant from another world.
『Cut it down,
And in the next moment, a lightning in the shape of a blade swept through the air to meet Yoshihisa’s descending lightning.
The clash lasted for an instant, but the lightning that fell from the heavens was cut in a single stroke, and as it dispersed, the lightning blade struck the ground.
As though the lightning blade had fulfilled its duty, it too dispersed.
“Y-You repelled my spell with your own lightning!?”
“Ahahaha…. That guy’s a piece of work too for calling divine punishment on his opponent, but you’re the real deal, alright. You even went out of your way to block his lightning with your own lightning, wow,” Tomoe said.
Yoshihisa was shocked, but Tomoe was just fed up by the mask’s antics.
He could have just summoned an earth wall to block the lightning.
No matter how you looked at it, erecting a physical barrier was the surest way to block that attack, but the mask just had to use an attack of the same attribute instead. It might’ve been flashy, but it was needlessly difficult.
In a sense, it was a stupid plan that used more ‘power’ for no reason when there was a much simpler solution.
On the other hand, that also went to show how confident and skillful the mask was to be able to respond in that manner.
『Hmm… Perhaps, he can help me with an experiment.』
“What!? Damn it, what about this!?”
When Yoshihisa recited a short mantra, the shadows near him shook, and then they shot out like waves as fast as lightning to entangle the lower part of the black mist.
Then with his hands in a hand seal, he swung down with them in the direction of the mask as though to strike the ground.
『Alright, I’ll try saying the same thing too then, Cut.』
Yoshihisa had spoken firmly along with the movements of his arms, but the mask just casually said the word.
And yet, as the spirit blade released by Yoshihisa traveled along the ground, a black magic blade shot out as well and clashed with it.
As one might expect, that shock belonged to none other than Yoshihisa.
Because the attack he’d released with all his might was so easily canceled out by such a half-hearted attack.
“What was that?”
“Damn it! Just strangle him to death then!!”
Someone seemed to have asked a question, but there was no time to think, as the black shadows now sought to strangle the black mist.
At first, Yoshihisa must’ve just intended for them to restrain the mask, so that he wouldn’t miss.
But his efforts were in vain because there was no way that the mask would move in the first place. After all,
『You want to bind me, who is purported to be a black mist, with shadows? That’s a terrible joke.』
As the mask laughed, he released black mana.
And in the next moment, a great pressure descended on the area as a torrent of black mana dyed everything in it’s jet-black hue.
With the shadow binds unable to endure, they broke off and dispersed with the black power.
“C-Could it be? Is this really!?”
Tomoe seemed to have realized something upon sensing the ‘power’ up close, but Yoshihisa just stood there in shock upon seeing his spells broken one after another.
“…Y-You mean to say, that I, the heir of the proud Ootsu family, am merely equals with this incomprehensible specter!?”
It was curious if it was because of his