DARK MODE 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 @

Chapter 30, Part 2

 As soon as I was stabbed in the side, I knew that this newborn brat youkai had been trying to get an opening for us all along. Therefore, it was only natural that I was also looking for an opening for youkai as well.
 
 I could tell who was the most dangerous to the monsters in this place, and at the same time, it was also obvious who would attract youkai the most.
 
 That's why I had been waiting for an opportunity for a long time. With 'Ako Murasaki' as my 'bait', I was sure to get rid of the newborn baby. Fortunately, I knew that she would not be killed immediately because she was a woman. And I knew that although the monster seemed to have some wisdom, it was still a monster, cunning in its behavior, but at the same time arrogant and unaware of the fact that it could be caught flatfooted.
 
 If that were the case...!!
 
 "Shallow...!?"
 
 As I had been taking narcotic pills to cover up the bleeding pain in my abdomen, my dagger stab had not been able to pierce the monster's heart completely due to my own low physical strength.
 
 A moment later, youkai swung its tail like a whip. I read its trajectory just before it swung and tilted my head. But the left side of my neck is sliced open, and red blood spurts out. D*mn... Even though I'm already on the verge of anemia...!!
 
 "You son of a b*tch... Gghhh!?"
 
 I screamed in searing pain as soon as I pulled out the dagger for another stab. As soon as I pulled out the dagger, youkai's yellowish-green bodily fluids splashed out and burned my right arm. Apparently, youkai's blood is highly acidic.
 
 "Grrruuumble!"
 
 Youkai turned around and hit me. At the same time, I throw my dagger at it. But, it missed and the gorilla-sama's dagger lies at the end of the underground tunnel. The youkai then grabs my neck and presses me against the wall.
 
 "Ggh, Gghhh...!?"
 
 The monster approaches me slowly with its creepy, peculiar look toward me as my neck is being squeezed tightly. The long tongue that has been playing with Murasaki's body comes close to my face.
 
 The visual of the tongue is obviously for erotic games, but in fact, it is a ridiculous weapon that has a projectile speed and hardness that could penetrate a human head if it were to hit too hard. And this youkai was now trying to use its tongue as a clear weapon, unlike playing with Murasaki earlier.
 
 "No, stop it, you monster...! Sto— Aahhh!?"
 
 Trying to save me from being killed, Murasaki tries to get up but is struck again by the tail and falls to the ground. With a sniffle, youkai takes a glance at Murasaki and glares at me with a hateful look. Then, the grip on my neck tightens. I felt like I was about to suffocate.
 
 "Ggh... Don't... come any closer... Run away... Haa, please... get out of here..."
 
 Murasaki, who has been cut and maimed, lies crumpled on the floor, nearly half-naked, her face pale with despair, as she continues to mutter deliriously. Now, after giving me a cold stare, the monster opens its mouth wide as if it's been waiting for me, and tries to take a bite out of my head. But...!
 
 "Haha, I'm sorry, but... the law of the jungle is the law of the jungle, right?"
 
 Youkai, who was about to devour me, twists its head as if in doubt when I give it a wry smile, even though I'm supposed to be cornered. But it's too late...!
 
 The next moment, youkai turns its head as if in a panic when it realizes the murderous intent, and a silvery serpent appears from the side and bites it almost swallowing its lower body whole.
 
 ...no, it is not a serpent. It was a freestanding sword made up of countless small blades, overlapping each other.
 
 "Growwlllll!!?"
 
 The youkai was bitten by the sword, its body was twisted and tightened, and its entire body was cut open, spraying yellowish-green blood.
 
 The 'Nekiri Kubi Sogimaru (Neck Cutter (根切り首削ぎ丸))', one of the youkai swords passed down in the Ako family, was the most gentle and easy to handle of all the youkai swords in the family, and... its unique feature was that it did not depend on the user's skill level. But then, this is the "predatory form" of 'Nekiri Kubi Sogimaru (Neck Cutter)', the sight of it rampaging against youkai right in front of my eyes.
 
 
Neck-Cutter
 
 
 ...according to the setting, this youkai sword was originally just a sword. But as a result of the first head of the Ako family, who had a broken personality, cutting down numerous youkai with cruelty and persistence, this sword was bathed in blood and hatred, and directly inherited countless curses, transforming itself into a kind of kujuuku-jin (99 deities or spirits that are said to protect and guard the boundaries of a sacred space (九十九神)). Or, in this case, is it more like youkai-ization?
 
 Either way, the sword has transformed in a single generation, which would normally take a long time. There is no doubt that it was filled with such a grudge, and one day it finally awakened its ego as a youkai sword and attacked its master as a monster composed of countless blades, 'Nekiri Kubi Sogimaru (Neck Cutter)'... then, it forgot its master.
 
 After that, many times, sometimes at the time of the replacement of the master, the youkai sword suddenly revolted against its master, but each time it was forcibly recognized by the owner of the Ako family, who was a maniac, and finally it became quiet in the mode of giving up. Oh, how pathetic...
 
 However, the youkai sword, though seemingly pathetic at first glance, was in fact so powerful that no swordsmen or exorcists would be able to control it. Even if it sounds pathetic, the quality of the sword is actually good enough to be handled roughly by the Ako clan members and depending on the user, it has enough sharpness to cut down an average calamity youkai. Even the "predatory form" that is about to collide with youkai, the scales composed of countless blades would normally cause countless cuts if touched carelessly, and its body did not seem to mind even its highly acidic body fluid. Well, it may depend on the compatibility, but even the sword can win without its owner if it is a great youkai. And this fight made me think so.
 
 "H-huh...!?"
 
 Murasaki looked at the scene in front of her, stunned. Nekiri Kubi Sogimaru (Neck Cutter)' has left its master, who is in charge of suppressing and controlling its youkai energy, and awakens its youkai consciousness when it has been exposed to youkai blood. Murasaki seemed to be seeing for the first time the "predatory form" in which the sword is trying to increase its power by devouring other youkai to retaliate against the hateful Ako family one day.
 
 Well, it is just a youkai sword that even a mediocre Murasaki can hold down, isn't it? (I'm not saying that common exorcists can suppress it)
 
 (It did well...)
 
 Coughing through teary eyes and touching the tightness marks on my neck, I am relieved. Everything had gone according to plan.
 
 I'm not smug. With my skills, I'm limited to a few small youkai without preparation, and a few medium youkai alone with maximum preparation, traps, and surprise attacks. Even when I was against previous clam and fox, I would have died in a heartbeat if I had been alone in the true sense of the word. That is all I am capable of.
 
 How am I supposed to stop an unscathed youkai with most of my spiritual power gone, with no support from anyone, or even with a hole in my side, with my head spinning? Impossible. It would fail for sure. I don't even need to try. The result is obvious.
 
 The main purpose of my stabbing the creature in the back was blood. Then. when youkai counterattacked me, I naturally threw my dagger, which was covered with spurts of blood, toward the direction where youkai's sword was thrown away. As it turns out, the youkai sword, bathed in youkai's blood, automatically preys on its prey. But then, I didn't expect the blood to be highly acidic... D*mn, my right arm hurts...
 
 "S-servant...? You, your stomach wound is..."
 "Hey, guide! Where are you hiding? I know you're here!"
 
 Murasaki mutters something, unaware that her torn clothes are shifting, but I don't have time to answer her. No, seriously, you have a hole in your side too, don't you? ...My internal organs are unharmed, and I'm covering up the pain with medicine, but there's not enough blood, and it's starting to make me feel bad...
 
 "Y-yes. You're a great mister. You can handle a monster like that."
 "Help me stop the bleeding!! D*mn....I don't blame you if you don't smile and fool around...!!"
 
 I lean my back against the wall and click my tongue, out of breath. I can't ask a guide who has little or no experience in combat to fight a youkai head-on. Even if he dared to fight, he would probably only last a few seconds. It's a good thing he didn't run away alone and just hid behind a side street. But then again, he should have at least helped with medical care.
 
 "Hahh... Hahh... Hahh somehow, it's over... huh?"
 
 Clutching my side with a piece of cloth to stop the bleeding, I take a glance at the battle in front of me. It seemed that the end was near.
 
 Youkai lets out a roar that sounds like a scream. Its seemingly mechanical and physical body is supposed to be strong, but its whole body is already covered with cuts and blood. The lower half of its body was being wrapped, restrained, and tightened with a creaking sound like metal. The youkai sword, which resembles a giant snake, looks down at the youkai who desperately tries to escape with both eyes glowing red like a devil's fire. Then, with a gulp, it opens its mouth as if to swallow it whole. And then...
 
 "Growwwlll!!?"
 
 The youkai sword bites down on the head of the frantic youkai. With a grotesque grinding sound, the youkai's exoskeleton cracks. Youkai, realizing its own fate, violently attacked with a fierce and ghastly look, but its resistance was in vain, perhaps because its strength was too different from the others. It seemed only a matter of time before the monster was devoured by the youkai sword, which was gradually being hunted down like a snake.
 
 "I-Is this the end...?"
 
 Although she was shocked by the shocking sight of her own youkai sword devouring youkai alive in front of her eyes, Murasaki somehow managed to speak. Rather than speaking the truth, she seemed to be wishing for it to be over. But...
 
 "No, not yet..."
 
 I muttered quietly at Murasaki's words. I wasn't sure. But I couldn't believe that the cunning youkai in front of me would end like this, and I knew that this world was not this sweet, and more than anything else, I understood the bad luck and the lack of precision of the person named Ako Murasaki. So...
 
 "Growwlllll...!!! Spew!!!!"
 "Huh...!?"
 
 A moment later, a shadow is spat out from youkai's mouth toward Murasaki, but before it reaches her, I pierced it with a dagger thrown with great force, and it fails miserably. Only a few drops of translucent saliva stuck to the shadow and splashed onto Murasaki's face, stopping her from thinking for a few seconds. Then, she immediately understood the situation and slowly turned her head in my direction, her face turning pale.
 
 "...well, it's important to assume that anything may happen, right?"
 
 I was talking to myself, holding the hole in my side where I had felt severe pain from the projectile I had just thrown, and saying this to myself. But it was a lie.
 
 After all, I knew. One of the ways of death for a girl named Ako Murasaki was to die instantly by being pierced through the chest by youkai's vomit from its mouth...
 
 (...I mean, the creators of this game must be crazy to have prepared ten different death scenes of her in these underground tunnels alone, right?)
 
 I was literally gasping for air as I looked up to the heavens and took a deep breath, suddenly thinking about such an out-of-place thing... 

The original illustration => here 

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