Campione!:Volume 2 Chapter3
Chapter 3 - Arrival of a Devil King
The night of the strange hallucinations had passed, and the next morning had arrived.
Going to school at the usual time, Mariya Yuri packed with her a cellphone with an aluminum shell.
It was given to her last night from Amakasu for the purpose of emergency contact. When the phone began to vibrate in silent mode, it happened to be during the noon break.
The call display did not reveal the name of the caller.
Since the phone handed over was brand new, Yuri had not entered any information into it. Though she knew it was Amakasu's phone number, she was not familiar with how to operate it.
"Eh? What should I do?"
Yuri hesitated for an instant as the display showed Amakasu's number.
Perhaps it was some kind of urgent incident. Yuri happened to be outside the school building and was walking in the central courtyard. She picked up the call in a place where she could not be seen.
Since it was her first time using a flip open phone, it took a bit of effort.
"Hey, hey... I am Mariya!"
Finally ending her struggle with the phone, Yuri picked up with a tone of panic.
'This is Amakasu. How are you feeling over there? Did you make a lunchbox for him as suggested yesterday?'
"Of, of course not! Please don't joke around!"
'It's not a joke. Today's request for Yuri-san is to use all sorts of methods to get close to him. Let's a have a real strategy meeting later.'
The call ended.
What should one do to get closer to Kusanagi Godou? Yuri felt it was a tough decision. Last night, she felt quite depressed due to accepting this difficult mission.
"—Excuse me, Mariya-senpai, could that possibly be... a cellphone?"
Yuri turned to see the one greeting her, and found Kusanagi Shizuka standing there.
The younger sister of the current subject of interest, in addition to being the middle school third year student who was Yuri's junior in the tea ceremony club. This chance encounter gave Yuri quite a surprise.
"What, what happened? Everyone had been saying that senpai didn't have a cellphone until now? Didn't you say you had no interest?"
Shizuka was very surprised.
During club activities, whenever anyone asked about her cellphone number or email address, Yuri's negative reply was always "because I don't think I have any special need..."
"A necessary reason came up recently. It's also a lot more convenient for staying in contact with each other..."
Feeling that an excuse of convenience was rather sad, Yuri felt depressed as she answered.
In such a place she did not have an obvious reason for using such a full featured phone. In fact she was totally technologically illiterate and did not understand networks very well. Yuri regretted her answer as she spoke.
"Eh? Contact each other? With whom do you need to stay in contact?"
"Sorry, please don't ask any further because it is something I cannot answer in detail. My apologies."
Though she was talking to someone younger than her, Yuri was bowing her head down with full seriousness throughout.
Her identity as the Hime-Miko as well as the existence of the History Compilation Committee were absolute secrets. It would be best if she could muddle through this without issue.
"Could it be that... the other person wanted to keep it a secret?"
"No, not at all. However, cellphones are quite hard to use, right? But everyone seems to use them so easily, I really cannot understand—"
In response to her honest and frank answer, Shizuka suddenly felt apologetic and bowed her head.
"Sorry, Mariya-senpai. For you to be so troubled due to my Onii-chan—"
"Eh? This matter and Kusanagi-san—your brother— are totally unrelated—But then again, what is the commotion about?"
Brother—Unable to understand why Shizuka was apologizing on Godou's behalf, Yuri blinked.
"However, could there be any other reason? Wouldn't the most likely reason for a sudden need for a cellphone be for staying in touch with a boyfriend at all times... As for Mariya-senpai, the most probable candidate is... my stupid Onii-chan, isn't that right?"
Yuri thought that Shizuka was a rather clever child.
She was a girl with quick wits and had picked up all the club knowledge rapidly.
Yuri frantically tried to deny.
"No, that is not the reason. It is due to work, I need the cellphone for my work!"
"But Mariya-senpai's part-time job is being a miko. I've never heard of shrine miko having a need to be on call for emergencies. Even if you deny it, I know you are lying, but I understand! It's all my stupid Onii-chan's fault!"
Shizuka furiously scolded her brother with intensity.
Sigh, as the Hime-Miko, all sorts of emergencies have come up ever since the supernatural Campione appeared by her side... Yuri felt very gloomy that she could not reveal such things honestly.
"Starting from the last spring break, it was already very suspicious. Frequently staying out overnight! And then suddenly becoming so close with Erica-san and Yuri-senpai all of a sudden!"
"It's not due to Kusanagi-san, please don't get so upset..."
"Mariya-senpai just said previously that it has nothing to do with Onii-chan—but isn't it related to Onii-chan now?"
Truly, Shizuka was very smart and picked up what was carelessly revealed.
Her cute face might suggest otherwise, but she was very competitive in spirit. Furthermore, she was also much better with words, and Yuri felt an absolute disadvantage in trying to argue with this opponent.
"I get it, Onii-chan also seems to be carrying a cellphone lately, and was talking to someone last night. Since he had to hide in his room to take the call secretly, I'm guessing the other person was Erica-san."
"Eh? Is that so?"
Yuri innocently believed Shizuka's speculation.
Godou's actual caller was the Italian young man, completely unrelated to love and lust, but there was no way for these two to know that.
"Apparently, school is not enough, and they still have to talk so intimately by phone at home—if Mariya-senpai didn't have a cellphone, it would be very difficult to compete..."
"Eh, eh? Has things progressed to this stage already—!"
This news gave Yuri quite a serious shock.
She felt very concerned at the thought that Erica and Godou were doing things together outside of school.
However, what really needed vigilance were the impure relations between opposite genders outside of school, right?
Yuri felt ashamed of her shallow experience with the ways of the world.
(No, it is not too late to start now. To correct my own deficiencies... to achieve a closer relationship with Kusanagi-san than what E-Erica-san has!)
Yuri whispered to herself, and vowed to her own heart to improve herself.
Even though it was at someone else's request, if she agreed to it she will give it her best!
"Shizuka-san, I have a request."
Yuri suddenly lifted her head, and said seriously.
Feeling her spirit, the angry Shizuka began to calm down.
"Could you teach me how to use my cellphone? Though I already know how to pick up and dial calls, but I know nothing other than that."
"Oh, oh that, I don't mind."
As if crushed in spirit, Shizuka answered in a state of panic.
Unaware of her dominating power whenever she faced others with her stern and serious demeanor, Yuri felt it was a little strange but nodded.
"Actually your brother—Kusanagi-san—once told me his telephone number, but I am not sure how to use the contact list in the phone."
"Mariya-senpai, you don't mind giving your number to Onii-chan, right..."
"Also, I have another request. Could you tell me how to get closer to a boy?"
To Shizuka's shock, Yuri got more excited as she spoke.
"I have a need to establish a much closer relationship with your brother. This is not just for me, but for others around me as well, and for your brother's future. However, why this is necessary, I don't understand it at all."
"But, but, Mariya-senpai, I also don't have any clue..."
"Though I can't explain it very well, but time cannot be wasted any more. I really need someone who can be my teacher... I think if it's the smart Shizuka-san, you can definitely be a good role model for me. Please, lend me your strength."
Worrying was pointless, it is best to take action first—Yuri deeply bowed her head.
"Oooh? You are really asking for my help? But definitely, Mariya-senpai is much better than Erica... Ah ah, to think that you would be attracted to someone like my Onii-chan..."
Yuri kept her head bowed sincerely as Shizuka chattered on.
Soon after, Shizuka sighed deeply.
"...Mariya-senpai, about my stupid Onii-chan, is it really true?"
"Yes, it's true."
Yuri had misunderstood Shizuka's 'is it really love' question as 'do you really have to improve relations,' but neither of them noticed.
"An, an immediate answer... Well, if it's come to this, I guess a suggestion or two can be given... Just a little bit..."
Shizuka spoke extremely softly.
Hearing such a response, Yuri's eyes were like flashing lights, and she smiled naturally.
"Much appreciated! This feels like a bright light appearing out of total darkness!"
"Please, please don't show such a bright smile... It's just minor support."
"Yes? What is it? Shizuka-san?"
"Nothing. Ah, right, Mariya-senpai, do you have my Onii-chan's email address?"
Yuri showed a mystified expression at Shizuka's mentioning of a term she did not recognize.
"Email... address? What is that?"
"You really don't know what it is eh. Well then, I have a good idea, just go ask him directly in the classroom—let that idiot Onii-chan suffer the consequence."
Shizuka laughed "hoho" malevolently and suggested.
Unable to understand the intentions, Yuri felt troubled. However, it was not easy to find someone to give advice, so Yuri decided to go along with it.
In the classroom of the First Year Fifth Class, Erica and Godou were preparing to have lunch.
It was the lunch prepared by Erica—no, Arianna who played the role of the maid. Today, Godou brought his own lunchbox.
If he didn't make preparations, he felt like he was making trouble for others.
Arianna generously accommodated Godou's suggestion. By the way, Erica who had no intention of cooking anyway, kept a neutral stance and was fine either way.
At this time, unexpected visitors arrived.
"Hey, Onii-chan, can you lend this to me?"
Hearing his sister's usual voice from home, Godou turned his head around.
It was Shizuka in her middle school uniform, and behind her was Mariya Yuri.
"Ara. Isn't it Shizuka and Yuri? How rare for you both to be here..."
Erica spoke with all smiles.
Yuri simply nodded in response, while Shizuka greeted her with something like "Hello, Erica-san."
"Shizuka, is it really ok for you to come to a high school classroom?"
"I'm not certain, but there's no school rule forbidding it right? By the way, Mariya-senpai has a cellphone now."
A middle school girl who seemed close to Godou, plus the appearance of Yuri. The boys of the Fifth Class were busy listening in with an expression of "what!"
—Mariya, has a cellphone now?
—Idiot. Don't you know the last virtual girl's IT revolution blog?
—Damn it, the creature known as man truly has the ability to change women?
Subtly sensing their fury, Godou felt an ominous premonition.
By the way, Shizuka was smiling proudly. Yuri was surveying the changes in the surroundings. Erica was quietly watching everything with interest while saying "eh."
"Onii-chan, give your cellphone number and email address to Mariya-senpai. She wants to enter it right now."
"Ah? Didn't I tell her my number before?"
Yuri shyly lowered her head and answered Godou.
"My apologies, Kusanagi-san... I am actually bad with technology. Since I don't know how to operate it I decided to come here to exchange our information after discussing it with Shizuka-san."
"Well, it's actually quite simple, not difficult at all."
So, she is surprisingly unfamiliar with these things. Godou took out his cellphone.
Yuri also frantically extracts the silver phone.
"So, let's do it quickly with the infra-red then."
"Sure. So, does making calls have anything to do with infra-red?"
Did she even know how to send information using the infra-red? To Godou's suggestion, Yuri's hesitant face was full of questions.
...First, it's probably best to teach her the basic way to use the phone.
After reconsidering, Godou told his phone number and email address to Yuri and showed her how to send mail. He explained to her all she need to do was register the incoming mail and showed her how.
The two of them operated Yuri's cellphone together.
Without paying attention, the distance between them gradually shrank.
—Their exhaled breaths were almost reaching each other's faces. Though it was a delicate and beautiful face, it was also a nervous one as Yuri operated her phone clumsily.
Finally aware that she was a beautiful girl, Godou began to feel shy.
In the instant Godou turned his face away, his gaze met with Shizuka's smiling eyes full of challenging intent.
This fellow, what was she planning this time? By the time he discovered it, the boys' riot was about to begin.
"Ah ohohoh, Mariya-san, could you tell me what is your phone number!"
Nanami suddenly yells from his seat on the left near the front.
The boys in the class were making comments like 'secretly confessing with a serious expression that I actually find miko moe', or 'Mariya who seems to be working as a miko, please bury Kusanagi in darkness for the safety of all bathing miko.' It was impossible to pretend not to have heard such words of jest.
"Same here! I also want Mariya-san's phone number!"
"We will never let you keep such important information all to yourself."
"This is for the love of all the boys in the class! The opportunity is here."
"Go die, Kusanagi! We are the poor proletariat, and we swear we will oppose to the utter end the capitalist class who acquired their wealth through illicit means."
As Nanami's roars echoed across the classroom, the room was filled with the yelling of the boys.
Yuri felt surprised by the forcefulness of their desperation, and surveyed the surroundings with a look that approached extreme fear.
"Ah ah, this isn't looking good, Onii-chan. It's tough to be a popular boy."
The sister who came over with Yuri, the focus of attention, was speaking in a rather unfriendly manner.
"Shi... Shizuka, what are you trying to say..."
"Hmph. What a great important character to be so welcomed by the girls, but you need your medicine once in a while."
Dear sister, please don't create situations for me with these kinds of motives.
Godou prayed towards the sky in response to Shizuka's merciless words.
It was Yuri who spoke.
She seemed to have recovered from her shock, and spoke with a determined voice.
"I have no intention of exchanging phone numbers with anyone other than Kusanagi-san. None whatsoever. So please calm down and don't make a scene. Thank you."
Though her words were serious and polite, but there was a certain irresistible force to them.
The boys quieted down in an instant and the classroom became peaceful again. However, the entire class of boys angrily watched Godou with eyes of murderous intent.
—You again with all these fortunate happenings.
—This is truly another trial, go to the roof.
—Shot in the back on a battlefield, sigh.
Caught in a silent eddy current, Godou began to have cold sweat from the feeling of danger. Shizuka adds fuel to the fire by making comments like "Wow, such a bold declaration in front of so many people, it really must be true..."
In addition, Erica who was observing everything from the side was laughing to herself.
"Hey Yuri, though it's true that my Godou is quite attractive, but the other boys are really pitiful. They have already been watching Godou and my love life every single day, and so accumulated a lot of stress."
The gazes of the class immediately gathered upon the blonde Italian girl.
Maintaining an elegant motion, Erica began to project her voice as if she was the female lead in a performance.
"Since there's no rain today, let's have lunch on the roof then. Is that fine, Godou? We welcome Yuri and Shizuka to join us. Isn't it true for meals, the more the merrier, right?"
Erica hurried Godou and addressed the two visitors, then took lead by leaving the classroom.
Completely confident that her orders will be followed, she exited the classroom without turning back.
Truly, Erica's experience in this area was no joking matter. Whether as the speaker or as the listener, she had ample insight. Godou took his lunch bag out of his school bag.
Gesturing for his sister and Yuri to follow him, Godou ran after Erica.
"Feels like things have become more interesting, Godou?"
Erica's mood was great as she spoke after Godou caught up to her.
"...You're just having fun without concern for others. It's probably just you who thinks it's funny. Meanwhile I am being burdened by these strange troubles... Shizuka has also started to notice something is abnormal."
"Don't worry, no matter what that child thinks, she will soon understand the difference in power."
"Difference in power? What is that?"
Erica made a glamorous smile at Godou's question.
"No matter what troubles the sister-in-law or the secondary wife cause, the one with the most power is still me—Godou's first wife Erica Blandelli. Anyway, don't concern yourself with such trivial matters, for them to seek support is fine with me!"
"Don't say something like sister-in-law, where did you learn that kind of Japanese anyway!"
This day, what Godou brought was an ordinary lunch with rice balls and all sorts of pickles.
The salmon and the fish roe in the rice balls should be fine.
...Originally, Erica's situation was that she would comment with a subtle expression that eating dried plums and the like was a challenge to everyone except the Japanese. However, starting from some point, she started describing the extremely sour Kishu plum as "a fruit with an amazing taste," and even ate it along with the seed by shattering it with her teeth.
A girl with a well-developed body, who turned out to be someone who would eat anything.
This is probably the success of the elite education of the knights to better accumulate stamina in the body by avoiding picky eating.
She was now wolfing down the rice balls Godou made.
"Last time when I was having sushi at Godou's home, I wondered if this was something I could make myself? Isn't it just rice with some fish mixed inside, very simple, right?"
"If that's what you think, try it yourself some time."
Godou had never seen Erica cook anything other than instant noodles, probably since her primary concern towards food was the "eating" part.
"Those passes, really are troublesome."
To Erica's change of subject, Godou nodded at the expected response.
The sky was cloudy, and there were a few other groups eating lunch on the roof apart from them.
Next to Godou was Yuri eating her own lunch brought from the classroom, while Shizuka was having the sandwiches she had bought.
"So that's what Onii-chan was making in the kitchen early this morning... Really! You had to spend so much effort!"
Shizuka complained as she ate her sandwiches, while Yuri slowly worked her chopsticks at her mini-sized lunchbox.
In it was a small amount of rice, fried yellowtail fish with soya sauce, as well as fried egg and side dishes like spinach.
A few touches of tomato greatly enhanced the overall color, and looked very appetizing.
"...The content looks a lot less than what Godou made for lunch."
"Erica, don't speak so tactlessly and stare at other people's lunch with such interest. My apologies Mariya, please don't mind and continue eating."
"If, if you want to try, please feel free to pick what you like."
Though her tone of voice seemed slightly forced, Yuri spoke with a smile.
Perhaps she wanted to improve the initial rocky relationship she had with Erica.
As Godou thought to himself, the blonde girl beside him reached her hand out without hesitation.
Directly grabbing a piece of fried egg and putting it in her mouth, Erica's manners were poor but the motions of her hand was very elegant.
"Hmm, the taste is not bad. If you made it slightly fluffier with a more sticky texture then that would be my favorite style. If Arianna made it, it would have been perfect, but that's asking for too much."
"You don't know how to cook but you sure know how to talk."
As he commented about Erica, Godou also reached out to try some of the fried egg.
The fried egg with sauce was very delicious, and the skipjack tuna sauce was very enjoyable to the taste buds.
"Ah, this is really great. Is it Mariya-senpai's mother who made this? Unlike my own mother, this cooking is wonderful."
Her interest piqued, even Shizuka took a portion of the fried egg to try out, but the answer to the question shocked everyone.
"Ah, no. My mother didn't make this. I made it myself. It's wonderful that it suited everyone's tastes."
"Mariya's cooking is pretty good... Do you make your own lunch every morning?"
"Something like that, however since I used some of the leftovers from my mother's cooking last night, it doesn't really count as my own exclusive work."
"Well, still it's quite amazing. Compared to my house... it's very different."
Godou spoke extremely impressed.
And then he glanced at the younger sister beside him.
"What now, Onii-chan, your expression is saying something."
"Let me make this clear, Godou, the cooking that Arianna does is something prepared specifically for me the master. Don't forget that."
Shizuka was feeling indignant about her lack of cooking talent, while Erica was simply selfishly throwing out her own willful comment.
Compared to these two, Mariya seemed much more noble no matter how you looked at it.
By the way, it was completely different from Godou who had tried very hard to knead the rice balls with the appropriate amount of force.
"Once you get used to it, it doesn't feel so amazing right? If you'd like, I can share some tips on how to prepare food quickly."
"That sounds quite interesting. Thanks. If possible, those two should—"
Godou turned his head around to find Shizuka glaring angrily at her brother, while Erica was deliberately averting her gaze and staring at birds flying in the sky.
Yuri and Godou could not help but look at each other and smile.
'Hoho, lunch together at noon, good job! Though this is just a small step, but it will matter a lot in the future. Please continue doing your best like this.'
Yuri was talking to Amakasu on her cellphone in her room at the Nanao Shrine.
After returning from school, it was almost dusk. Yuri called Amakasu to report the day's results and to discuss some concerns.
'In the end, you went with cooking for him, and developing into a heart racing event of having lunch together. Looks like you have to continue working hard for this... Ah, did you look at the materials beforehand?'
"Yes, yes, I took a look."
Back at the Nanao Shrine after school, Amakasu had given an envelope to Yuri which seemed to contain reports.
In it were a thick stack of documents with a suspicious report title of 'The Difficulties of Approaching Males by Females Who Were Not Straightforward: Analysis and Solutions?'
'Those were just some hastily summarized materials prepared last night. How were they? Any reference value?'
"Are, are these written by Amakasu-san!? I seriously read all the lines and dialogues written in there, but that kind of method for expressing affection! How could one utter those shameful words!"
Recalling the content of Amakasu's special report, Yuri's face went red.
—Here, lunchbox. Last night I accidentally made too much, throwing it away would be a waste.
—Don't misunderstand! I definitely don't like you, there's nothing to it at all!
—You idiot brother, you don't understand how I feel...!
And so on...
'Hahaha, that's very important. Since ancient times, we Japanese have been very subtle in our ways of love. It should feel something like the case of Lady Aoi in "The Tale of Genji"?'
"Eh? It should feel something like that?"
'No no. That Genji had inexplicable attributes like Oedipus or lolita complexes which are no good. A normal male would definitely fall for the slightly older tsundere childhood friend who was the young mistress of a high class family and betrothed to him. Decidedly, Sakurano Youko was an adorable existence, but the current trend is towards older women fetishes!'
"I have no idea what you are talking about, could you please translate!"
This kind of idiotic conversation had no meaning at all. Yuri decided to change the topic.
"So, Amakasu-san, about the grimoire yesterday—"
'Ah ah, about that. Are there any concerns?'
"Yes, if it's possible, could you let me take a second look at that book?"
'...That I don't mind, however, is it related to you fainting yesterday?'
"Yes. However, I can't explain it clearly at this stage, but I seemed to have witnessed a strange hallucination at the time. Just to be careful, I'd like to confirm by having another look—"
Things would become serious if the name Sasha Dejansstahl Voban was mentioned.
Due to these concerns, Yuri only described things in a vague manner.
'Ah, I don't really want to be lectured by the shrine elders for the same thing two days in a row... Oh well, sure, after all we were the ones who involved Yuri-san in the first place. Since you agreed to assist us, I have no reason to refuse you.'
Unexpectedly understanding, Amakasu appended a sentence.
'Regrettably, I will be busy later so I will arrange for someone else to drive you there and back in my stead, please wait at the shrine for a little while.'
—Thirty minutes later.
Yuri walked down the stone steps of the Nanao Shrine and headed towards the shrine entrance.
Wearing her miko outfit, Yuri got on the locally manufactured sedan provided by the History Compilation Committee that was waiting for her. Since she intended to return immediately after using her spirit vision, there was no need to change her clothes.
After being shaken in the back seat for forty minutes, she finally arrived at the library in Aobadai.
After some polite words with the History Compilation Committee member who drove her here, Yuri got off and went to the entrance.
The building felt even quieter than yesterday.
Precisely because it was a library, having peaceful surroundings was natural. Was she becoming a little neurotic? With a slightly worried feeling, Yuri entered the library.
At the reception hall.
Yesterday, there were several bored History Compilation Committee members sitting around. This was to prevent unauthorized people from entering, by force if necessary.
However, all these people were absent. Did they all go on a break?
Yuri felt a sense of foreboding and anxiety as she continued onwards.
The spacious corridor, the reading room on the first floor, the stairs. There was not a single soul in sight.
Come to think of it, should there not be a guide to substitute for Amakasu? Furthermore, no one came to receive Yuri.
As if trying to dispel the sense of worry and loneliness, Yuri quickened her footsteps. She tried to find another person amongst the shelves and in the corners of the reading room that housed tens of thousands of books.
However, there was none. Yesterday there had been a few library staff, and Amakasu was present. However, today there was no one at all—
Hurrying to the second floor, Yuri felt relieved at the sight of a human figure.
"Excuse me, what is going on today? I felt surprised that there were no other people here..."
As she spoke her greeting, Yuri began to lower her voice.
Yuri discovered that the person was white, literally as white as snow—face, limbs, body, everything was white.
—Legends tell of a city which incited the wrath of God and all inhabitants were transformed into pillars of salt.
The person Yuri discovered was the same. The roughly thirty-year-old man was nothing more but a solid piece of salt now.
With intense fear, Yuri began to run.
Without any idea of where in the library she was, Yuri ran with all her strength.
—And then, she finally discovered.
Pillars of salt stood in the spacious reading room. No, there were between ten to twenty History Compilation Committee members who had been turned into salt.
Behind them stood a tall old man.
Yuri knew. The power to turn live humans into solid salt, the emerald colored evil eyes which changed the living into inorganic material. There was only one person in the world possessing such an authority.
"Finally found you, miko. It must be you, the one who had the strongest wolf's hallucination in this area through the [Wolf]'s book from unknown origins. It wouldn't have been possible without that kind of excellent talent."
That wise appearance was probably never forgotten. However, this was not his true nature.
Ferocious and hideous, with a violent and wild nature. The position of ruler gave him a very effective disguise to cover up those characteristics.
"How nostalgic, that face, I seem to recall seeing it before—this girl, what's her name, Kranjcar?"
The one the old man asked was not Yuri.
It was the one waiting quietly by his side, the girl with the slim figure. Her silver hair tied into a ponytail, a tense expression on her face, and a kind of rigid eastern European beauty.
"She should be called Mariya Yuri, Marquis. However, for the sake of obtaining one girl, isn't what you have done here going a bit too far?"
"Hohoho, the Milanese blue knight turns out to be surprisingly stubborn."
The blue knight—was quite an apt description for her appearance.
Long sleeved black t-shirt and miniskirt with frills. Black tights, a blue cape, and a jacket with blue and black vertical stripes—the description reflected these elements well.
Doesn't it feel similar to the red and black jacket that Erica wore?
"Heh, to be honest—I love conflict. Hunting is good, games are not bad, and I also like random violence. That's why, I just want to do as I like at this time, do you understand?"
The old man joyfully spoke to the girl who showed a slight dissatisfied expression.
"Hoho, by the way, I don't like dogs. Seeing obedient dogs who only try to garner favor makes me want to puke. I love wolves however, I love the way they bare their fangs as they try to resist. Without a certain level of ambition, it would be pointless to keep by my side. In other words, you are one of my favorite wolves, Kranjcar."
"The honor is all mine, Marquis."
He smiled at the rigid tone of voice and mannerisms, then turned his body to face Yuri.
"Miko, from now on you will belong to me, and become part of my property. Understood?"
The monarch possessing the evil eye and the power to determine people's life and death. The man who called forth evil wolves and ruled over violent storms. Sasha Dejanstahl Voban.
To meet the oldest Devil King once again after four years, Yuri trembled with fear all over her body.
It was at Aoyama in the Minato ward of Tokyo.
A grocery shop named Kogetsudou was located in a narrow street intersecting with the main street in Aoyama.
Within this shop sold all sorts of things from Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainland China, southeast Asia, and India. Even things from the northern and southern borders of Europe. The shop owner had a habit of buying all sorts of goods from everywhere and this resulted in them being piled high within the shop.
"So, that book really came from that place eh, so why did you put up such a dangerous thing for sale?"
Amakasu Touma spoke as he stared at a shelf near the cash register.
By the way, for some reason it was crammed with all sorts of booklets such as comics and the like.
"Those? They were rare resources passed down by some magi from who knows where, wouldn't it be a shame for them to go to waste? ...The sale at the auction was just about complete. It would have gone for a good price too, if it weren't for the unnecessary intervention of you guys."
The one answering was the female shop owner in a kimono.
Aged roughly twenty or so, and wearing Meisen silk with a simple cutting. The cashier was reading Chinese comics published in Hong Kong while receiving customers.
Amakasu did not know the original name of this shop and didn't care to find out.
She was the suspicious merchant who used the trademark [Kogetsudou] as an alias. A mysterious and very skilled wizard. Knowing these details were enough.
"Anyway, Amakasu-san, how did the appraisal go? We exhausted all avenues to determine its origin, and we are very interested in what kind of dangerous consequences came back with the results."
"Since it is classified information, I'm sorry I can't comment."
"Then, is that rumor true? Isn't there a girl with extremely acute vision amongst the current Hime-Miko? If we had someone with talent like that, then we wouldn't have so much trouble finding treasures."
"Well, what should I say, compared to that, what is the deal with that grimoire?"
Amakasu tried to evade Kogetsudou's questioning.
The very young but completely complacent woman and the indifferent young man exchanging information—these two were representatives of their respective factions.
The History Compilation Committee members are the 'official' organization for supporting wizards.
As for the 'commoner' wizards—they were the descendants of onmyouji and curse experts popular before the Meiji Restoration, and many of them secretly lived around Aoyama.
Kogetsudou counts as a central figure in that faction.
Perhaps possessing even more dangerous rare books than the werewolf grimoire, Amakasu's visit to the shop also included a hint to warn her to be careful.
"That, Amakasu-san, please wait a moment. I still have something else I want to ask, is that fine? If you tell me, you can have the thing you are currently reading for free."
"...If it's just the reward for some gossip, then it doesn't really matter. Let me check out the content first."
Amakasu replied as he continued to read the battle manga about the hero armed in steel and the iron-masked genius villain scientist time travelling in sixth century England.
"Then be my guest—Erica Blandelli, what is that kind of major character doing appearing in Japan?"
"She just came to study abroad, that's all."
"There was a massive electrical outage incident on the day that girl arrived. The History Compilation Committee members were all busy manipulating news sources and even interfered with things written on the internet."
"Coincidence, it just happened by chance."
"Destruction of buildings and the Shuto Expressway isn't just some kind of joke. Do you know how many tens of billions of damages occurred that night? ...And finally, the seventh Campione turning out to be Japanese, hasn't the joke gone too far?"
"...Well, all rumors, you can't believe everything you hear."
Admitting it's the truth to himself, Amakasu put the manga magazine away in his bag.
Looks like there was no need to hide from her the fact that Kusanagi Godou is the real thing. Furthermore, there was no meaning in trying to cover up the truth for those in the know. Moreover, if the source of these rumors became broadened, it may come to be useful.
"Then how about Liliana Kranjcar—the [Sword Fairy] coming to Japan, is it related to that? Will it develop into another major incident?"
"Liliana Kranjcar? From that Bronze Black Cross?"
Hearing a name he knew but did not expect, Amakasu's expression stiffened.
The two magic associations ruling over Milan's mage scene.
The Copper Black Cross—organization of the red devils, and the Bronze Black Cross—organization of the blue berserkers.
The former was represented by the young genius Erica Blandelli—the glamorous young woman deeply involved with Kusanagi Godou. Amongst those of the same age, it was said that only one person could rival this girl as her opponent.
Her name was—
"Our sources obtained the latest news that yesterday, Liliana and a gloomy old man arrived at Tokyo Narita Airport, did you know that?"
The owner of Kogetsudou smiled like a kitten.
At that moment, Amakasu's phone began to vibrate in his pocket.
"Thank you for your valuable information. Anyway, something came up."
Exchanging a few pleasantries with the shop owner, Amakasu left the shop and immediately picked up the phone.
"...Yes? Dejanstahl Voban?"
This name rendered Amakasu dumbstruck in shock, even more than when he heard a witch's name earlier.
Mariya Yuri had been kidnapped by Eastern Europe's Campione.
For an instant, Amakasu felt his mind freeze when he received the news from the Committee member. How could such a situation be resolved?
Amakasu could not help but look up at the sky and feel compelled to pray to God.
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