────You guys go and conquer a dungeon for a bit.
Ryou and Tomoe were understandably confused when Shinichi told them that.
After the students gathered at the inn and were told about the points they had to keep in mind, they were free to tour Kyoto.
However, Youko prioritized her public morals officer duties and preferred to watch over the students instead of touring Kyoto.
Yousuke accompanied her, though it was a mystery whether she dragged him along or he was doing so on his own volition to keep her in check.
The members of the Sports Chanbara club weren’t feeling well, so they opted to stay behind at the inn.
As a result, Ryou and Tomoe had to renew their plans.
It was then that Shinichi casually called out to them and told them to go conquer a dungeon.
“Well, I suppose a place like this could pass for one.”
Tomoe wryly smiled in acknowledgment when she saw the building before her.
It was a small building, but it was unusually void of people inside and outside.
With the barrier that kept people away, it was basically a small ghost town.
Moreover, precautions have been taken with the entrance in case of intruders, and the automatic door has been basically turned into a portal.
One that might just lead them to a labyrinth that would beguile them until the exorcist responsible finally had enough.
It was a building that looked ordinary at first, but really, it was overflowing with an unusual power.
“Yeah, even I can tell this place is weird… Aren’t they being too careless about this?”
Ryou knew that he was an amateur in the field that just possessed Spirit Sight, but he still criticized the techniques of the practitioner as such.
A criticism that Tomoe nodded to without hesitation.
“The scope is amazing, but it feels like that’s only because they have a lot of people. Power-wise I’d say it’s about lower-middle or maybe upper-bottom.”
“And we’re supposed to conquer this place without any equipment or skill from Garesto, huh?”
It was curious if they were given that handicap because the enemy was weak, or because Shinichi knew that they could fight despite it, but while either of those two possibilities would be good, Ryou felt it wasn’t that simple.
Perhaps, Shinichi was trying to get them to experience real combat with spiritual power.
It could also be punishment since he’s yet to find an answer to his assignment.
“Sigh… What do you think, Princess Tomoe?”
Either way, what was really terrifying was performing poorly.
Ryou was aware how little he knew about exorcists, so he turned to his childhood friend for advice.
“Just make sure to cover your whole body with spiritual power. If they’re just this many, you and I should be able to take care of them no problem. But─────Call me princess one more time, and I swear I’ll turn you into a puppet and make you dance weird in public.”
Despite calmly calculating the number of enemies based off of the presence she could sense, she didn’t forget to coldly reprimand him.
And from the chillness of her voice, Ryou knew she wasn’t joking.
As he quivered in fear, he quietly lamented how Shinichi could have the guts to say that to her face so frequently.
Ryou swore never to call Tomoe princess again. Apparently, the hierarchy that was decided in their childhood was not something that could be overturned so easily.
“So, what are we going to do?
Theory says to take the stealth approach and secure an entrance, so should we do that?”
Ryou changed the topic to cover up his fear.
Fighting class at the academy usually used a huge virtual space due to raybeasts and exoskeletons often being their virtual opponents.
That being said, interpersonal combat has been taken into consideration, so battles inside rooms were also a thing.
In such cases, the important point was to secure a route for reinforcements and escape.
“…No, there’s a trap by the entrance that responds to spiritual power. A normal person might not be a problem, but if we went through that, we’d get attacked simultaneously.”
Tomoe looked sharply at the front entrance and shook her head.
Ryou nodded and was about to ask what they should do then, but…
There was a trap by the entrance.
She was the one who said that, yet here she was approaching that very entrance.
Ryou panicked and chased after her, and when he heard Tomoe chanting, a chill crawled up his back.
“What are you doing!?”
She formed a hand seal by her chest and without hesitation swung down.
A blade of spiritual power that dwarfed her ran through the ground and exploded.
Ryou did not understand very well what happened, but he could still see that some sort of technique had been broken.
The portal jutsu had been broken without even having the chance to activate.
The exorcist maintaining that jutsu even seemed to scream, but that might have just been Ryou’s imagination.
“They’d notice either way if I got rid of the jutsu, so I figured I might as well go in with a bang. Anyway, let’s hurry!”
Tomoe raised the sheathed Kamunagi in a cry of triumph, while Ryou just shrugged his shoulders.
“Oh, yeah… I’d forgotten, but you were this kind of person, weren’t you?”
Ryou finally remembered that this ever reckless girl had gotten him into trouble so many times.
‘A trap in the way? No problem. Just blow it up!’ Even a certain queen would pale by the way she solved problems.
But of course, it has already been established that that queen didn’t actually say that famous saying.
“Now what? Are we just going to rush through this?”
“Obviously not. I wouldn’t want to be pincered at the stairs.”
One wouldn’t expect from the way the building looked outside how vast the floor area was just for the entrance hall.
They got in through such a spiritually bombastic measure that there was no way the enemy wouldn’t be aware of them.
There were people supposedly lurking before them, but they were obvious as far as the two were concerned.
“That’s why you should all show yourselves. Or would you rather I attack where you’re hiding?”
Tomoe pointed in order where the enemies were hiding.
In the next moment, the air grew heavier, and the enemies laid bare their strong hostility despite their opponents being children.
However, those ‘children’ took that hostility on as if it were a gentle breeze.
“What business might you have here, children?”
Five men released their jutsus and appeared before them to keep them from going any further.
The men resembled Yamabushi priests (mountain priests) and appeared to be in their thirties.
The voice their representative used was low and heavy to intimidate them, but Tomoe and Ryou were unfazed.
After all, the pressure behind that voice was just ten-thousandth the oppressiveness of the voice their master would occasionally use.
“By the way you’re dressed, you must be from the Katsuragi family. I’d heard you people were on the decline, but I see you’re up to no good too. Thanks to you, our Kyoto trip has been cut short,” Tomoe said.
“What did you say? What family are you two from?” One of the men said.
“I wanted to tour the city too, you know? …Are these guys humans or shikis?” Ryou said.
“Answer my question!” The man said.
“Unfortunately, they’re humans,” Tomoe said, as though to imply that they would have been able to go at them at full power no question if they were shikis.
As Tomoe tied Kamunagi’s sheath to secure it and make sure that it wouldn’t fall off even when swung, she held her beloved sword in the Seigan stance.
Ryou too covered his whole body in spiritual power and put strength into his fists and feet.
They never had any intention of listening to these men in the first place.