“────You want me to look for a missing child?”
After fully savoring the commotion and the bath, Tomoe returned to her room and spent the time until dinner chatting with her friends from her club, but then Shinichi dropped by.
They panicked because of what they were discussing, but Shinichi didn’t seem to mind and just asked everyone other than Tomoe to leave, then he made that request to her.
“It should be a trivial matter with your power. As much as I’d love to admire your figure after bathing, unfortunately, there’s no time.”
Shinichi smiled and brazenly checked out her figure.
Her hair was tied up in a different style than usual and her skin glowed. Her exotic appearance and her yukata, which she wore with familiarity, painted an imposing yet comfortable appearance, fully displaying the loveliness and unique appeal of a girl her age.
“Can’t you talk without all those unnecessary remarks!?”
Tomoe inadvertently took a step back and embraced her body despite knowing full well that this was the reaction Shinichi was looking for.
“Ahaha, sorry about that, but there really is a missing child. The proprietress’ son hasn’t come back yet. She couldn’t make up her mind whether to watch the inn or look for the kid, so I offered to help her out. I’m free, anyway,” Shinichi said as he folded his hands and pleaded for Tomoe to help.
Tomoe looked at him with suspicion, but she wasn’t as displeased as she acted.
Because of her upbringing, there were few instances where her power was required, so she was happy that someone was asking for her help.
Especially, when the person asking for help was someone so strong.
A complacent smile surfaced on her as her cheeks loosened on their own.
“Sheesh, it can’t be helped. But it’s a bit much to look for him without any information.”
“Don’t worry, I came prepared.”
Shinichi supplied her with the information she needed before she could say anything else.
That included several recent photos of the missing child, a simple written profile written on paper, and a cap meant for kids.
“All the Information you’ll ever need, and even his personal belongings which he might have a connection to. I have his hair too.”
Shinichi asked if that was enough, and Tomoe nodded, albeit with a twitching face.
Shinichi had come too prepared. Tomoe couldn’t help but wonder what he said to get all this, but she kept herself from inquiring and just reached out for the paper first.
She glanced at the contents and memorized everything, then with familiar movements folded the paper into a doll.
Tomoe could tell that it was written by the boy’s mother. That bond would become a path that would lead them to him.
She also imbued the boy’s hair with spiritual power, then formed a hand seal and used it to create a Katashiro – a ceremonial paper doll. She bound it to the child’s hat with a jutsu.
Tomoe curtly said, and Shinichi immediately opened a paper map of Kyoto city.
Tomoe took out a talisman and wrote the character for ‘Search’ on it, then she held it in front of the doll.
The talisman disappeared as though it was sucked into the doll, then it got up on its own and started walking.
After wandering around on the map for a few seconds, it suddenly started moving in a straight line, then stopped at a certain place and collapsed.
“Huh? There? But that’s not a place a kid could cover on foot,” Tomoe said.
“So it appears the subordinate branch of the Yamagi Group really is related…”
Tomoe was confused, but Shinichi just nodded upon looking up the place on his foster, then he quickly stood up.
“Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. I’ll be going then,” Shinichi said.
“…Hey, will you be okay on your own?” Tomoe said.
Shinichi turned around by reflex, but Tomoe’s gaze was nailed on the map and her expression couldn’t be seen.
Tomoe could tell that this wasn’t just a normal missing child case. After all, Shinichi brought so many things with him, and he was even relying on her powers.
That’s why she figured he was likely facing a problem on his usual level.
He didn’t say anything, but she still indirectly asked if he needed more help.
Shinichi was taken aback for a moment, but he smiled when he realized how thoughtful she was being.
“You’ll make for a good bride.”
“What!? Y-You can’t fool me with your tricks!”
She had been expecting a simple no or yes, but Shinichi went in a completely different direction.
With her face beet red, Tomoe raised up her head and yelled.
She had kept her head down because she was afraid he would see through her and realize that she wanted to go with him, but his response had already made her forget that.
“Ku ku ku, I know. Don’t worry. It’s enough if I know the place. You’ve done enough for today, so just rest up. That’s a part of training too.”
Shinichi knew that he’d been running her around the whole day.
That’s why he told her that and turned around, but she stopped him.
“Okay, but what if they move the kid?”
“If they move the kid through some method, would you be able to find him?”
If it happened right in front of him, he probably could.
But if the kid were to be moved while he was on the way…
Even Shinichi shouldn’t be able to know what’s happening in a place he can’t see.
Tomoe didn’t have a good grasp of Shinichi’s ability to gather information, but she did know that he came to her. Perhaps, he couldn’t find the kid himself, or perhaps he was worried, but regardless, she appealed to him indirectly, and Shinichi’s smile turned into a frown.
“…I take back what I said. You’ll make for a good mother.”
Tomoe’s triumphant face stupefied Shinichi.
Apparently, she was planning on tagging along from the start.
Shinichi did manage to narrow down the location on his own, but he couldn’t find the precise location.
There was also no guarantee he’d be able to secure the kid if they moved him even though Shinichi could use the security cameras throughout the city.
That’s why Tomoe’s power that could pinpoint Kouta’s location was still necessary.
He was usually the one dragging her around, but now she could poke him at a sore spot. Shinichi was impressed, but her end game was still weak.
“How is that any different?”
While Shinichi subtly changed his evaluation of Tomoe, she frowned in confusion.
“A good wife understands how a man stands, while a good mother also understands how a man moves.”
Good wives and mothers could respect their man’s will and pride while also having the ability to execute their own plans.
Or at least, that’s how Shinichi saw it.
Regardless, he believed Tomoe had the right aptitude.
As someone who was still just a son, she was not an opponent that Shinichi could contest.
“You can come if you want, but you’ll have to get ready in 40 seconds.”
He could have just said no, but decided to let her come instead.
As he immersed himself in the pleasant taste of defeat, he told her that that was as long as he would wait and headed outside the room to wait for her.
But Tomoe eyed him suspiciously.
“You just wanted to say that, didn’t you?”
“Ku ku, so you found out.”
Tomoe just sighed, while Shinichi looked back at her with a mischievous smile.
“Good grief, you’re always messing around,” Tomoe shook her head.
When he left, she took out a bunch of talismans from her chest.
On them were the results of the fortune-telling of her club before Shinichi came.
They wanted her to tell the fortune of a certain person, and they were quite persistent about it despite messing around.
Tomoe usually turned down requests when it wasn’t the person himself asking, but Tomoe was curious herself, and she also wanted to know their luck for this trip, so she gave it a try.
“…How am I supposed to interpret this?”
But the result was completely unexpected, and Tomoe found herself sighing again for a different reason.
She didn’t have enough tools or information about her target to perform the true Divination method, but her original talismans could do a decent enough job fortune-telling. All she needed was the name and face of the person, and she should be able to figure out roughly whether the person has a good omen or a bad omen.
When her talismans were lined up, the characters would appear, and she would figure out the result through their sequence and position.
Although she wasn’t always right, she was proud of her success rate.
She could even get better results by narrowing down the target even more and specifying a period of time.
Yet even after all that…
“This is a complete mess.”
The result was so wrong that she could give it a stamp of disapproval.
──Neither good nor bad.
──No problems will occur.
──No trouble, but no blessings either.
There was no way that could be true, so Tomoe tried it again, but the result just confused her even more.
Neither tragedy nor joy awaited ‘him’ in life.
No mountains or hills, a life with no bonds. He would live a slow life and die of old age.
A normal life with no drama, though it was hard to tell whether that was fortunate or unfortunate.
But though the days since their first meeting did not number many, she knew for a fact that such a thing was impossible.
“Whose fate is this supposed to be───────Shinichi?”
Tl Note: Changed Yamamoto to Yamagi. Also, last chapter was full, and this is a full chapter too. Author said he’s releasing shorter ones for awhile.