Thursday, May 4, 2023 @

Chapter 83, Part 4

 "How can I calm down?!" Tamaki shouted, her expression distorted as tears flowed from her eyes. "After all, I don't understand... I don't understand anything that's been happening since earlier."
 Then, Tamaki continues to cry and sob like a child. "No. I can't... I don't want to do it... it's impossible. I'm not a real shrine maiden. Even if you say that... I can't do it."
 Tamaki was crying hysterically, which was understandable given that she was a sheltered girl caught up in a situation she didn't understand, panicking. However, unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury of dealing with her whining endlessly.
 "Why is this happening... I just want to..." Tamaki muttered, her voice filled with frustration and despair.
 "No! I don't want to listen!!" Tamaki snapped, her voice rising with anger and desperation. "I don't want to hear anything..."
 "Just listen to me!!"
 The curses and youkai-ization that were eating away at my body were eating away at my spirit, which led to my yelling. Tamaki's voice stops, as if she has never been scolded before. She looks at me, startled and frightened. Afraid. Fearful. Seeing her like that, I cluck my tongue inwardly, thinking I've failed.
 But in a way, my fears may have been unfounded. After all, right after she was frightened, her eyes were on my arm. Yes, the arm that was bleeding from Iruka's bite...
 (Hey, hey. Is she worried about me...?)
 At this point, I couldn't help but smile wryly. Come to think of it, it was the same in the shrine. She was born in this world, after all...
 Despite my criticisms, this main character is kind. I felt guilty for forgetting that... but still, I spoke up.
 "Miss, there's nothing to be ashamed of in being afraid," I spoke gently to Tamaki as much as possible.
 She was trembling and crying, but also scared and couldn't answer me. That's okay. I continued to speak to her in a gentle tone. "Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Being scared and failing are things that everyone does."
 With my understanding of her current stress, I pointed it out to her and offered encouragement, "I understand that you're scared right now, Miss. You're afraid of losing a friend and being hated by a friend, right? I understand, that's a very scary thing."
 Feeling like I was on her side, I spoke as her ally, trying to comfort her in her moment of fear.
 Even though the white spider is a stupid brat, it was voluntarily exercising its authority, its divine power. Surely, the white spider was not doing the Awa dance without understanding the situation. If so, there is only one reason why Tamaki's prayer was not answered: the content of Tamaki's prayer was wrong.
 No, perhaps that is not the right word. Rather, her prayer was not fully understood in her own mind. It was something underlying.
 Tamaki probably thinks it's her fault that her friend was hurt. She blames herself for it and struggles to admit it. That's what confused the contents of her prayer. Her multiple thoughts are tangled up and she's even afraid of praying itself.
 After everything is over, she's afraid of Iruka's anger.
 ...That's why I pretend to empathize with her. I whisper sweetly and irresponsibly like a devil.
 "But there's no need to be afraid," I reassured Tamaki.
 "Wh-why...?" Tamaki finally responded to my words, weakly. In a tearful, trembling voice, she listens to my words.
 As expected of the protagonist, she's straightforward and helpful. It wouldn't be surprising if she were still crying and shouting. That was convenient.
 "She, Iruka, is here because she is not here for malice or hostility..." I trailed off, interrupted by a sudden sharp pain. "Ugh!?" I groaned.
 "It must have felt strange for you too, after she came her, didn't it, Miss?" I asked Tamaki, my voice strained with pain.
 I suffered from the pain of my body transforming into a youkai, but I said it all, determined to get through to Tamaki.
 That's right, Tamaki probably had doubts about Iruka's declaration as the wolf boy to warn the villagers. That's why she followed Iruka here to find out the truth. She wouldn't be foolish enough to chase after him unarmed after receiving a murder threat ...Right?"
 Seeing Tamaki's small nod of affirmation, I feel relieved inside. Then I explain further, holding on to the pain.
 "If she hated you, she wouldn't have come here," I say, my voice strained with emotion. "And that's what she did earlier," I add, my tone growing more insistent.
 "Earlier...?" Tamaki asks, her voice hesitant and unsure.
 "If she hated you, she would've attacked you not me."
 That was a half-truth. In fact, youkai's behavior is so wildly animalistic that it's hard to judge. Me and Tamaki, the reason why Iruka targeted me first is probably a coincidence. But... it's enough to fool the protagonist for now anyway.
 "Iruka won't hate you. So there's no need to be afraid," I say, my voice softening with reassurance.
 "B-but...," Tamaki stammers, her voice quavering with fear.
 "If you're still afraid, I'll apologize to Iruka with you. I owe her too," I say, my voice gentle and conciliatory. "Besides... wouldn't it be easier for us to apologize together than alone?" I suggest, my voice hopeful.
 "Together...?" Tamaki murmurs, her voice barely above a whisper.
 "Yes, together." I added to Tamaki's reluctant expression at the end, and she looked at me. I observe Tamaki's reluctant expression at the end, and she looks at me. I am sure I am not mistaken that her expression softened a little.
 The scenario writer said so in the fan book, so I am sure. Hotoya Tamaki is a person who is strong at heart and weak at the same time.
 So I comforted and encouraged her. I urged her to stand up and get through this situation. I know I've done a terrible thing. But still... show me what you've got, you're the protagonist after all!!
 "Apologies... together, to Iruka..." Tamaki murmurs, her voice trembling with nerves.
 Tamaki, who continues to mutter nervously while I scoff inwardly, looks at Iruka once. Iruka snarls and glares at her, but Tamaki doesn't look away. She looks at her friend as she is, honestly.
 Then she takes a deep breath. She calms herself down and looks at me after a few moments of deep thought... with a different, more forceful look than before.
 "You're not lying to me, are you?" Tamaki questions, her voice now tinged with suspicion.
 "...Well, I can't guarantee it, you know?" I reply, my voice apologetic.
 "...It's not adding up," Tamaki says, chuckling at my pitiful words.
 Tamaki touched Iruka, whom I had pinned down, and stroked her feral head. Even as Iruka growled, she showed no fear. She was no longer afraid.
 "God of Spider, I apologize. Please, once again, grant my wish as a shrine maiden," Tamaki says, her voice respectful and bowed respectfully to the white spider at her feet. 

 The stupid spider responded with a response like '(*´∇`)ノ' type of reaction. It seemed to say, "Alright, sure." Obviously, this guy did not have the dignity of a god, even if it was a low-ranked one.
 And this time Tamaki was slightly smiling at such an attitude of the spider. She had the luxury to smile. She immediately straightened her posture and clasped her hands together. She offered a prayer, layer upon layer.
 Unlike before, the change occurred immediately. I felt a mysterious heavy pressure that I could not feel the first time. But more than fear, there was awe. Something great and powerful seemed to be there.
 "This, is..."
 Iruka had stopped growling some time before. I gulp as well. I instinctively knew that what was about to happen was indeed something akin to a miracle.
 'It's not that big of a deal. It's the same as the higher spiritual arts youkai jutsu. Just a limited alteration of the concept. The only thing is that the divine power is purer for the world in terms of the 'quality' with which it is endowed, so it has priority over the spiritual power youkai power, that's all.'
 The hummingbird shikigami boasted in a bored tone. She explained the facts of the miracles and the sacrament of divinity in a simple manner. However, even after understanding this, I still could not help but be struck by what was happening in front of me.
 Now, out of nowhere, a wind was dancing. The wind was blowing around Tamaki and us. Tamaki, however, continued to pray as if she didn't notice anything, and as if in response, the white spider that was dancing foolishly in front of us was emitting light, which became stronger and stronger.
 And soon after, the white glow spread out to engulf the whole area...

Q:Why did the spider start dancing?
A:Because the spider is an idiot child who thinks Iruka is the little sister.

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