Wednesday, November 23, 2022 @

Chapter 18, Part 2

 The white girl was trembling, but she gathered her courage and used her not-so-great youkai power to release a small foxfire. A fire so pale that even it could not kill a small youkai... but for a girl who had lived for so long, it was unacceptable to let the existence that had saved her for no reason whatsoever go unnoticed. So, almost impulsively, the girl took a reckless action without any odds...
 "Eh...? Gghh!?"
 The white girl reacted to the words that the monster fox muttered... and at the same time, she was kicked in the stomach and slammed to the ground.
 "Cough!? Cough... Ggghh... Ughhh...!?"
 The shock to her stomach made her teary-eyed and choked her. The weak girl crawls on the ground and vomits up her gastric juices, while the monster fox looks down at her with a cold expression filled with contempt and hatred.
 "You could have lived a little longer if you'd just stayed hidden. You're a fool. Have you forgotten your small, stupid head? Being weak is a sin all by itself."
 The great youkai was cold and cruel to her former self, who had no power and had done things beyond her means. Well, maybe that's not quite right. She was clearly furious and angry. She was filled with indescribable anger toward her younger self in front of her.
 "Ah... Aaaahh...!?"
 Kitsuri Shiroki stomped on the girl's head. If the floor had not been tatami, she probably would have bled. But even so, considering youkai's actions, it could be said that she went easy on her. If the monster fox in front of her had been serious, the girl's head would have been crushed by now. It was not because of youkai's kindness, but because of her cruelty.
 "You know, you're driving me crazy. Such a trembling, helpless, pathetic figure to look at."
 As if to spit it out, the monster fox with a limp hand describes her younger self in this way.
 "...A-Are you that hard to forget Big Sister Kurorei?"
 The girl asks in a trembling voice. The next moment, the monster fox with a blue streak on her forehead kicks the girl in the side.
 "What do you know about it!!?"
 The monster fox shouts. Weakness is a sin. This world is hell. More hell than hell. There are no good people... and only the wicked are condemned!
 That's why... that's why, at that time, we... to big sister...!
 The monster fox kicks her in the side again. The girl is slightly blown away by the force of the kick. She gazes at the girl as she moans in pain, breathing hard with eyes filled with malice, hatred, and a hint of envy.
 Oh, how hateful, how hateful!! I hate that carefree smile that doesn't seem to be touched by any malice! I hate that carefree smile that can honestly believe in people's good intentions. Above all, I envy that powerlessness, as if she is waiting for someone to save her! This world! This world is! This eternal world is! This world is not made to be so kind...!
 "Cough... Cough......"
 Coughing and crouching, the monster fox is so angered and humiliated by the sight of her young self looking at her with tearful, somewhat pitying eyes, that she finally loses control. This time, she goes all out. she'll kick her to death until she's minced meat...!
 "Die quickly, you disgrace...!!"
 "You're the one who's going to die...!!'
 At those words, the monster fox turned around as quickly as she could. At the same time she realized her failure. Yes, her own incarnation poses no threat to her, and yet she still hasn't stopped breathing the breath of the one she should be more careful and vigilant about...!
 As she turns around, the monster fox flings back two of her bitter sticks. But it was a complete diversion. The next thing she sees is a man in a hideous cloak coughing up blood, bleeding all over. And then she saw a shining dagger that had pierced through her own heart...
* * *
 In my pain-stricken consciousness, I saw a white girl who was beaten, abused, and wounded.
 "D*mn... it!"
 I gasp, spitting blood and clucking my tongue. It's not pleasant to see a young child, who was trying to protect herself, being beaten. No, it's not pleasant to see a kid getting hurt.
 It was the same at that time. Kitsuri Shiroki's incarnation... this incarnation constructed from the good and naive memories and souls of childhood brought misfortune to the orphanage, took the life of a talented former exorcist named Azuma Hibari, and above all, strengthened Kitsuri Shiriki, who leads the protagonist to a bad end in the original game. To be honest, keeping her alive causes a hundred harms and makes no sense. It would have been best to kill her while she still has no understanding and her ego is not fully awakened. But...
 (I'm an idiot. If I had moved at that time, none of this would have happened...!)
 The moment I saw her, I hesitated to kill her. Could I kill an innocent child who is much younger than I imagined? No, on the contrary, I couldn't stand by and intervene when I saw a group of gangsters attacking me. I regret my foolishness. If the novel had been true, she would not have been killed, and Azuma would have saved her.
 But what if the story deviates from the original one? I suddenly thought of such a thought when I intervened... which is also a foolish idea when I think about it. Even if it deviates from the original work, in this case it would only be a good thing. It would have solved a troublesome problem without getting my own hands dirty. But in the end, Azuma came upon me at the worst possible time, and I had no choice but to run away as fast as I could. And here's the result.
 "I'm not going to accept this!"
 Without knowing who I was blaming, I muttered to myself and literally mobilized all my remaining spiritual power to make a final attack. Fortunately, the dagger is intact. This thing is so thin and yet so sturdy.
 (Please hold on, my body...!)
 And I get up, bleeding. At the same time, I hide. I do this in order to delay the monster fox notice for a few tenths of a second, but she fox is so furious that she doesn't notice me until I'm about to stab her with my dagger. Just before the monster fox put an end to the girl, I said a few words of provocation to make her turn around so that I could aim at her heart and stab it right through.
 I felt it. I'm sure I stabbed her through the heart. In front of me was a monster fox, its face contorted in shock. She coughs out reddish-black blood from her mouth and raises her hand at me before collapsing.
 (Oh, this is not good.)
 With my whole body literally in tatters and my spiritual power balance at zero, there was no way for me to prevent the blow. In a few seconds, my head would surely be chopped off. I gasp at the prospect of death. But then...
 "You did well for a servant. Well. I'll take care of the rest."
 A thin, white arm caught the monster fox's blade. Her peach-colored hair was flowing freely, and a sweet scent tantalized my nostrils.
 Immediately afterwards, the foxfire that had been burning down the yard of the orphanage is blown away by the wind and extinguished. At the same time, all the other foxes that had been drifting in and out of the boundary also disappear. Hahaha, seriously. All of this in a moment?
 I smile through my cloak, and she gives me a mocking smile in return.
 "Well, it's time to pay your tribute. Shall I use your pelt to pay the tax?"
 With that voice, the monster fox is blown away. The dying youkai fox, struck by the back fist of the peach-colored girl... yes, the back fist of the girl with her bare hand, plunged into the earthen wall of the orphanage, making a sound that cut the air.
 "...y-you've done a fine job. Princess."
 I praise her as I fall to the ground, unable to stand on my legs and feet due to the pain and exhaustion. Still, it's really a feat of strength, and she's not just a power gorilla.
 "Oh, yeah. Thanks for the less-than-original compliment. Now, I have a lot to say to you but first let's get rid of this beast, shall we?"
 Kizuki Aoi, appearing out of nowhere with her fan outstretched gracefully as if she were the star of the show, declared this with a pleasant, yet deeply sadistic smile on her face.

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