The place looked just like your stereotypical traditional Japanese house, or one of those residences belonging to a samurai often seen in period dramas.
Of course, if one traced the history of this place, it would become apparent that it has never once belonged to a samurai family.
It just happened to be located in Kyoto, leading most people to suspect it to be a tourist attraction or a historical landmark of sort, but really, it was just a private residence.
Yet despite its eye-catching appearance and despite being one of the most famous properties in the city in terms of land and history, the people passing by didn’t so much as give it a glance.
“Now, what!? What are we going to do!?”
Within a corner of that residence, above a garden big enough to fit the gymnasium of a small school, were three girls hastily making their way on the porch.
“How are we ever going to explain this to Tomoe-sama!? She’s already dispelled our jutsu!”
“That was a jutsu the three of us came up with, yet all it could do was afford us 30 minutes!”
“That was also only because we managed to take her by surprise!”
These girls were dressed in the same black attire that Tomoe last saw.
Really, they were dressed in miko uniforms with black tints.
These three girls were the ones that put Tomoe and Ryou asleep, and they were also the ones that carried them here.
They had worn featureless black masks during the attack, but now, their faces were completely visible.
Indeed, these girls were none other than Tomoe’s friends from the Sports Chanbara club.
“So that’s the power of someone with the genuine bloodline… It’s so terrifying I can’t even become envious.”
“I know right! But what a terrible time this is, really! I can’t believe Mikoto-sama isn’t around!”
“Ryou-sama is still… Oh, no! He’s going to wake up in a few minutes!”
“He’s never been taught, and yet he’s unconsciously trying to break through our jutsu.”
The state of the jutsu was being transmitted to them in real time, and that made the girls impatient.
Tomoe had completely broken through their jutsu, while Ryou was on the verge of breaking through.
They knew their jutsu would last for only a short while, but this was still too fast.
Though they were headed for Tomoe, who was first to wake up, they didn’t know how much they were allowed to explain, or what to ask of her, or how to convince her.
───Nothing was going as they’d expected, so they were completely at a loss.
At the time, it seemed like the best course of action, but now it was apparent just how reckless they were.
What was ironic was that they had put Ryou and Tomoe to sleep because of their uneasiness, and yet now, they were running to Tomoe because of that same uneasiness.
What made this even worse was that they couldn’t contact their ever reliable direct superior.
They’d sent her a message, but it might take her awhile to return depending on how long it took her to solve the problem.
Fortunately, because of that the residence was mostly empty.
If not for that, it would have been difficult for them to act on their own and bring people from outside the clan.
Within the clan, they were closer to the bottom when it came to position, lineage, and ability.
There were just too little that they could do, that’s why they were positioned ‘outside’.
“They’re going to scold us, aren’t they?”
“Don’t be so fastidious, obviously both.”
Both their superior and Tomoe were sure to give them an earful.
Whatever their fate was, they would no longer be able to have their current relationship. In the worst case, they might even lose their home.
“The academy was really harsh, but it was fun too.”
“Stop it, you’ll make me sick… We messed up, I know, but that thing was just foul.”
“I know, but that guy was just too scary. We acted on our own, but we can’t just leave Tomoe-sama by his side…”
In that regard, they were unanimous, but as they turned a corner, they all heaved a deep sigh. The room Tomoe had been sleeping in was right in front of them.
They knew how bad her temper was, so their steps from here on became heavy.
Above all, their school life would come to an end once they opened this door.
“───As I thought, you were the ones who brought the impurities here.”
A voice filled with mockery spoke to them from behind.
There were no signs of presence until just awhile ago, so the three girls immediately leaped and turned around.
Each one of them formed a seal while holding a talisman, but the person that appeared before them was someone they knew.
However, this was not someone to be welcomed with open arms.
He had a noble face, and wore a worn but luxurious suit over his tall and slender figure.
He was in his early 20’s, but the way he looked down at them carried with it an intimidating aura.
The women of the clan claim him to be the most visually pleasing among their men, but that was as far as his appeal went.
It was not hard to see why.
That’s Michizane-sama to you. How dare a maid servant address me without an honorific.”
Despite the quiet tone of his voice, it carried with it unveiled contempt.
Indeed, there was a world of difference between the prodigious child of a core family like the Tsumori House and some girls from a long-defunct family with a faded lineage.
Be it in standing, authority, or ability, they were nothing at all like each other.
The glare he threw at them seemed to carry with it a pressure that displayed all of that.
In the face of that, the girls too would freeze normally, but…
“T-There’s no need for that!”
But for some reason, the three felt that that gaze wasn’t as powerful as before.
This was evident in the fact that the more timid of them retorted forcefully.
Meanwhile, Michizane, who was rejected so directly, stood petrified as he spoke even colder.
“…Did I hear wrong? Did you really just tell me that you don’t intend to show me respect?”
But even that sounded warm to these girls.
“No, you heard right. It’s true that we’re insignificant, but don’t misunderstand. We are directly under Mikoto-sama.”
“If it were the executives, the heads, or the senior members… We might indeed have to take on a humble stance, but there is no need to be humble to a young man who is only one of the candidates to be the next head of the Tsumori family.”
Perhaps because they have been treated with such high-handed contempt many times before, their resentment had built up, and one of the girls made that statement as though she were getting back at him.
But there was no way this man could have endured such insignificant beings suddenly talking back to him.
“…Well said… For a bunch of impolite rats that can’t do anything other borrow the authority of the Tsuchimikado family!”
“We’ll pretend as though you didn’t say that, but Tsumori Michizane
“This is Mikoto-sama’s residence. We didn’t hear anything about you coming here, and there is also no one to show you around. For you to come here on your own while the master is away, are you not the one who is impolite?”
Struck in a sore spot, his face twisted in humiliation.
He believed that some rudeness on his part would be forgiven as usual so long as he pushed a little.
However, it has been known since times of old that men would struggle against women in any war waged with words.
Until now, these women were too afraid to say anything, that’s why he could have his way.
When they finally stepped up, however, there was no way for him to win. Not to mention, there were three of them.
However, neither Michizane nor the girls knew that a man who couldn’t win with words would most likely resort to…
────An explosion of spiritual power.