“You dare look down on us!? Fine! We’ll give you a taste of pain, then make you spit out who’s behind you!”
As the five men assumed stance with their khakkharas, Ryou leaned forward.
He noticed from the corner of his eyes that Tomoe had taken a little step back, and it dawned on him.
“Don’t worry, I can tell from their stance,” Ryou said.
“Huh?” Tomoe said.
“I said it before, right? Everyone else is ‘slow’.”
Ryou intentionally turned to Tomoe just to assure her that there was nothing to worry about.
“Hah! You fool! I can’t believe you would look away during a—!?”
Ryou seemed to have left himself wide open, so one of men attacked, but he was easily blocked.
Ryou was turned to Tomoe just a moment ago, but before he knew it, his attention was back on them.
“That’s my line. What are you doing yelling when you’re trying to take me by surprise?”
Ryou pulled the man’s khakkhara, then he
It wasn’t until the man slammed into the wall much deeper in that he finally stopped.
As the man slid back to the ground, his eyes could be seen completely white, his consciousness gone.
“…Or at least, that’s what he’d say were he here,” Ryou said.
Tomoe didn’t look impressed though and just shrugged her shoulders.
The Yamabushi priests were shocked, but this sort of result was a given as far as the students of the academy were concerned.
Even without skills or fosters, Ryou’s Strength was AAA and he even had his spiritual power to assist him.
If he didn’t do his best holding back, that man would have been turned into meat paste already.
Ryou had already learned to fear that possibility, so he knew to control his strength.
Unfortunately, he still sent the man flying.
“No doubt about, it!”
It might have been because Tomoe was already used to fighting thanks to their training at the academy, or perhaps it was more because she could sympathize with Ryou’s remark that imitated a certain someone, but regardless, a huge smile appeared on her when she saw two more run at them from in front.
Indeed, it could be said that these men were able to shake off the shock from their comrade’s defeat quite quickly,
but alas, that would only be the case if Ryou and Tomoe were still the same as they were.
“I”ll start with you, little girl!”
When Tomoe focused on the man, his movements appeared to be in slow motion.
The trajectory of the khakkhara as it swung up and over her head, the step he took, the direction and movement of his eyes and arms, and even the movement of his lips to ascertain whether he was chanting or not. Tomoe saw it all.
While sparing enough attention for the other enemies, Tomoe dodged the man’s khakkhara by a hair’s breadth, leaving the floor to dent as it took on the full brunt of that attack.
Alas, it seemed that the person behind that had yet to notice that his attack had missed.
“They’re really slow.”
Tomoe stepped on the khakkhara, then swung her Kamunagi like a baseball bat, smashing the man’s jaw and knocking him unconscious, giving rise to a disquieting sound as the man’s bloodied face was laid bare to his comrades.
“We said you’re too slow!” Ryou said.
The first man to react quickly became unable to mutter anything meaningful, for Ryou’s fist was already lodged deep into his stomach.
There were two more enemies left, but they were too angry by the fact that they’d been beaten by some kids to focus.
“Don’t get distracted now.”
Before they could attack Ryou, however, Tomoe stood before them and forced them back with a sweeping attack.
They jumped back and turned their attention to her, but by then, it was already too late.
They were already within her range again.
They hastily swung their khakkhara in response, but their range wasn’t the same as a katana’s.
Though they were holding their khakkhara at the middle, they were too close to each other to use their weapons’ full length.
That was exactly what Tomoe was aiming for, but the men failed to realize even that.
They tried to get rid of Tomoe, but she was just too fast.
Whether they thrust or slashed or swung upward, Tomoe dodged, deflected, and swept everything away.
They tried to block with their khakkharas, but alas, the only fate that awaited them was
“…I can’t believe they’re so weak.”
Tomoe muttered as though their fate had nothing to do with her.
“It’s true that we’re a bit too fast, but in the end, they’re just basic practitioners. Their physical training is at most just on the level that a mountain priest can keep up. There’s no way a student from the academy could have lost,” Ryou said as he headed for the stairs.
Behind those words were his disdain for the exorcist clans, as well as his pride toward their own results.
But the expression he wore was opposite that because a certain someone actually went out of his way to prepare all this just to make Tomoe understand that.
“Ah, wait a moment! You may be strong physically, but it’ll be a problem if you get caught up in one of their jutsus, so you can’t go off on your own! If we mess up, Shinichi will never let me hear the end of it!”
“Hah? Don’t be stupid. I’m tougher than you, so you need to use me properly as a shield! If I don’t do my job right, he’ll get mad at me!”
The two childhood friends quibbled as they ignored the fainted men and climbed up the stairs.
There was an elevator, but it would be suicidal to jump into the narrow, enclosed space while the enemy was on the lookout.
That’s why they chose the stairs instead. Getting caught in a pincer attack was indeed a concern, but it was still the less dangerous option.
Being able to think like this was one of the boons of their combat education.
In fact, such knowledge had been drilled into them so much that they were leisurely enough to quibble.
“Umm, he said that the goal was in the president’s office, right? …Isn’t there a map of this place somewhere?” Ryou said.
“That would be the case if a lot of visitors came to this place, but…” Tomoe said.
They stopped when they reached the second floor.
They could make the decision to go up since they could see that the first floor was just the entrance, but they didn’t actually know much about this place.
They could tell from outside that it had five floors, but perhaps because the whole building was owned by one company, there was no information board. People also rarely visited, so there wasn’t even a simplified map of the area.
They looked around, hoping to get a general idea of the building’s structure, but the only thing they could see after climbing up the stairs was the wall in front of them, and the corridor stretching to the left and the right.
They could infer that there were several rooms lined up behind the front wall from how the corridor curved deeper in, but that was all.
“I can feel that a lot of places are being hidden, and this whole place is hostile, so sending my shiki is a no go. They’ll like destroy it before I can even check anything.”
“Umm, so in other words?”
“Let’s just search the rooms that fit the description.”
Ryou stood in front of the stairs and glanced at the corridor extending to his left and right.
He shrugged his shoulders and turned to his childhood friend.
“…In this situation?”
“That’s what our master wants!”
Tomoe angrily said as she threw a talisman toward the stairs.