But just one boy acted as though everything made sense.
“…Of course, she’d get mad. Whoops.”
As someone who had known her since childhood, Ryou understood very well the reason for her anger, and he swung his arms.
In the next moment, the remaining black-clothed men screamed as they sank before his spiritual power.
He didn’t know if he should be dismayed that they could be defeated in just a single hit, or praise their loyalty for trying to defend their master despite their weakness, regardless, he couldn’t just let Tomoe do all the work, or he really will get an earful later.
Fearing that, Ryou descended to the garden and started clearing the people down below to prevent them from getting in Tomoe’s way.
“You people are as disgusting as ever, huh! Trash left behind by the times!
The black-clothed men jumped at him in response, but he just beat them up with his bare hands.
Ryou was also angry about the inhumane things these people have done.
Messing with a dead person’s soul was not something that a person who has lost someone could easily forgive.
These people wouldn’t even let the dead rest.
“Y-You bastard! How dare you call our honorable selves trash!? Hurry up and kill that impolite monkey already! How long do you intend on allowing these low-lives to prance around before me!”
Michizane said as though in a rant, and the black-clothed men just nodded and immediately rushed toward Ryou.
One of them took him head on only to be kicked, while an ally took that opportunity to cut Ryou’s neck from a dead angle only to have his arms caught, hen be swung around to take down the rest of his allies that were trying to sandwich Ryou.
It was curious who it was that yelled in surprise, but regardless, Ryou had crushed more than ten people in an instant.
His eyes have also grown rapidly these past few days.
The black-clothed men certainly had good coordination, but as someone who has experienced ‘true cruelty’, their skills were still too shallow.
Being attacked from all directions just wasn’t as scary as being attack by Shinichi.
With him, there really was no telling where the attack would come from, but these guys’ movements were too faithful to the textbook, so they were easy to read.
And an attack that could be read wasn’t scary at all. Ryou dealt with the black-clothed men and made his way for Michizane step by step.
“Eek, w-why… Why can’t you deal with just one guy!?”
“Even someone without knowledge like me can tell. You forcefully took people’s souls and used them for your jutsu.”
Ryou’s one-sided beating of the black-clothed men mad Michizane scream out in fear, but Ryou had no intention of listening to him.
Ryou hadn’t been asking anything in the first place, but the way Michizane stammered, unable to offer a response, proved his fears true.
It was also the job of the exorcist clans to monitor that the flow of souls was normal, yet these people forced those souls to stay in this world and even outrageously used them for their jutsu.
“I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere that jutsus of that sort are forbidden. Moreover, the current Tsuchimikado head hates that sort of thing and rarely gives permission for it.”
It could have been from his mother or his childhood friend, a long time ago, or just recently, but Ryou was sure that he’d heard of it at some point.
That’s why when he asked if Michizane had permission to do so, Michizane grit his teeth and twisted his face.
The answer was written all over his face. These people haven’t changed one bit from the time Ryou was with them.
Because of that his disgust for them also appeared on his face.
“S-Shut up! I just used a jutsu befitting your lowly blood! Even if you people have inherited our blood, you have no right to say anything when you’re cowardly enough to use the toys of another world!”
Ryou was sincerely astounded by how lousy his excuse was, but while he was cleaning up the enemies, a snort resounded from up above.
“Hah! Unfortunately, for you!”
It was Tomoe who had just finished sending off the souls along their proper course.
She had gotten back down close to the ground and was glaring at Michizane with a cold gaze.
It was curious if she was still angry, or if she was planning on completely crushing him this time, but she openly scorned him and looked down on him, causing him to explode.
“──! Shut up, shut up, shut up!!”
Driven mad, Michizane recklessly used his jutsus.
Until now, he had refrained from his using jutsus out of fear of friendly fire, but with 90% of the black-clothed men gone, he decided to cast his jutsu through the gaps between them.
Alas, his spirit blade just bounced off Ryou’s thick layer of spiritual power.
That which Tomoe had labeled as ridiculous was an ironclad armor that couldn’t be broken by ordinary jutsu.
A pure and simple difference of ‘quantity of spiritual power’.
The powerful but irrational power afforded by innate talent that couldn’t be surpassed by training and knowledge alone.
That was a power that Michizane himself had been wielding until now.
“Damn it! Damn it all!!”
But he didn’t have any self-awareness and just stomped and raved.
For the past ten minutes or so, not a single thing has gone his way, as if his life up to this point had been a lie.
For a man who was born into a life where special treatment was the norm, it was simply too humiliating.
It was unbearable, but no matter what he did, the eyesores just wouldn’t disappear. He used his power, but it was crushed so easily by a boy and a girl. It was a vicious cycle of violent emotions.
But even as he laid bare his emotions, neither Ryou nor Tomoe so much as raised their brows.
Already, they were looking at him neither with hostility nor pity, and that pissed him off even more.
────It’s unpleasant! It’s frustrating!
────Power! If I just had more power!!!
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Michizane-sama.”
Amidst his boiling rage, the voice of a woman suddenly resounded.
It sounded just like a demon’s sweet whispers, but Michizane didn’t care and looked at her.
Tomoe and Ryou half-reflexively braced themselves and grew wary of the woman.
Kneeling before Michizane was another person in black clothing just like the rest of his subordinates.
But she gave off an intense sense of malaise that made them unable to move.
In the meantime, the woman presented Michizane with a long, thin object wrapped in cloth that she carried under her arm.
“Please use this.”
“It is what you’ve requested.”
“O-Ohh! This is!”
The woman gave just a few words, but Michizane understood and happily received it.
That object wrapped in a cloth, that seemed to have an history on its own, was raised up toward the heavens.
From the silhouette that could be seen through the thin cloth, the object seemed to be a sword.
“I’ve finally gotten it! A spirit sword worthy of my hands! With this, there’s no way I can lose to these low-lives!!”
Tomoe didn’t care about Michizane but was
Ryou also felt the same tugging feeling when he saw the cloth wrapping the object.
“I feel like I’ve seen that cloth before… Right, my mom said something about it before…”
“…Hey, hey, I don’t get it all that well, but I don’t think that’s anything good!”