Tuesday, May 9, 2023 @

Volume 6 Epilogue, Part 4

  In the confession just before their escape, they made a vow together based on a beloved foreign marriage promise they had read in books. Not knowing the formalities, They made the promise with a chant of rock-paper-scissors and a thousand needles, following the example of what they had seen.
 Of course, there's no real effective power to such a thing. It's an inferior curse, a child's deception, an empty curse. However, for her, the promise was more powerfully engraved in her soul than any other curse. It was a commitment that she would never forget, a connection, a vow... her sin that she committed.
 "Ah, forgive me..."
 Remembering all this, Hina mutters sadly. And then she hugs the back of his head and wraps him up in her chest. She holds him gently like holding a baby. She holds him tightly, not wanting to let him go, so strong, so strong...
 The man tried to make good on his vow. But it was foolish, reckless, and unreasonable to fulfill his selfish desires above all else. He lost everything as a price for his love for her.
 Now, what about her?
 She has not yet fulfilled her vow. Her true feelings for him are too insufficient. It's no good, it's no good like this. This is negligent as his wife. She must do more for him, serve him more, save him. So... so...
 "When the time comes, will you take my hand?" she asked, her voice trembling with anticipation.
 Then, Hina gave a distorted smile with various emotions inside. There is no answer. But she knows. She knows his answer. She is convinced that he will not betray her.
 "I see. That's right, isn't it?" she said, her voice soft with understanding. "Ah, I'm really happy..."
 So with words of gratitude, she is about to resume her act of proving her love to him. However, the reaction of the shikigami placed on the outer edge of the room stops her motion.
 Hina is frustrated with the messenger who called him out. She was disturbed for the time to confirm each other's love, and to celebrate him. It was natural. She would kill every single person in this house when the time comes, without exception, and she even thought of killing the messenger first... but she decided against it for the sake of his safety. She is a good wife who would kill herself for him.
 "...I'm sorry. It's a call from a troublesome guy. I'll be out of my seat for a moment. Don't worry, I'll be right back, okay?"
 Hina whispers gently into his face while looking at his face. There is no answer. But she kisses him on the forehead with a loving smile. Then she pulls the covers over him and gets up.
 Now, she had to take a bath. It was sad and frustrating and hateful to lose his scent, but it had to be done. She couldn't turn her back on him. Everything is for his safety. For that reason, Hina will accept any humiliation.
 "Good night, ◼️◼️......"
 She whispers behind him, looking back at him really reluctantly, and slowly closes the sliding paper door...
 The master of the room leaves, leaving the room in silence. And, as if on cue, the figure of a young woman in traditional Japanese clothing appears.
 Tiptoeing towards the sleeping man, the demurely elegant girl approaches his bed. With no hesitation or reservation, she sits atop his chest, naked as she was born, straddling him in a feminine posture.
 She peers down at his face, at his features worn and exhausted from unrelenting pleasure, and studies them with innocent curiosity.
 The little girl giggles at the sight of him. She looks at the unadorned figure without the slightest bit of surprise. After all, she had been watching him all along, witnessing every sin from the start.
 Yes, she was there from the start, from before anyone else realized it. She had always been in this room with him, observing everything that happened. It's just that no one noticed. No, no one could see it.
 She saw him when he ate, when he worked, when he trained, when he got dressed, when he went to the bathroom, when he bathed, when he slept. She was there, watching all of it.
 When he was reporting to the Onitsuki clan with Hina, when he came to Aoi who had just finished bathing, when he was overwhelmed in the graveyard, when he received his yun-shoku, when he met with the head of the servants and the assistant chiefs, when he was at home with other children and siblings, she was there, watching all of it.
 She was also there when he fled the mansion with Hina, when he was captured and taken away, when he was punished, when he was beaten to pieces by the servants' training, when he accompanied his master in drinking, even when he was half-dead and Aoi was giving him medicine by mouth.
 All this time and more, for so long, she observed him silently and unnoticed, without anyone noticing, giggling and mocking him in her innocent, mischievous spirit.
 And even now, she continues to watch him. To stare at him as he sleeps, to study his soul, and to smile in satisfaction at her work.
 In a way, everything was in her palms, as he steadily drifted away from the real world. No matter how he tried to deny or oppose it, nothing was going to change. Nothing at all. As long as she kept moving things along, he couldn't fight against fate.
 Zashiki Warashi- "座敷厄負納牢童子之呪 (Curse of Zashiki Warashi)," that spirit or evil spirit, grudge, that was her.
 What she controls is fate, to be exact, disaster. The forbidden technique is for the clan to sacrifice the youngest girl as the human pillar to bear the various misfortunes and curses that befall the clan and swallow them into herself to be sealed. The period is about one hundred years. After that period, the ritual is performed, and the mass of disaster is buried in the darkness within the hell.
 The previous four rituals became the foundation of Onitsuki's prosperity. However, the fifth ceremony performed the final repose, the attendees, including the current head at the time, all died out, and the method was also lost.
 Still, the insurance is there as long as she handles the forbidden technique, and because of the mechanism of the ritual, the child cannot direct her inner disaster towards the Onitsuki clan, nor can she leave the area of the Onitsuki, nor can she trick others, since even her existence is limited and her perception is blocked by the ritual.
 So, no disaster would be given to the Onitsuki clan.
 She didn't care. At present, she would never age, never mature, and with no one to know the details of the ritual in which she continued to accumulate disasters, no one would even recognize her existence. She was supposed to just be there, but that meeting was undoubtedly fate for her.
 "There," she can't even perceive herself without conviction. But he recognized her. And then he takes her hand. He asks her to play with him. He gives her sweets, and suggested they eat together. Even if there was a plan behind it, for her, who had been forced to endure loneliness for 200 years, it was a sweet and nectarous temptation.
 Therefore, for her, his attempt to flee from the mansion was truly a betrayal of her, and to make matters worse, the one escaping with him is from Onitsuki's direct line...
 So she felt jealous like a child, angry like a child, hated like a child, and sought revenge like a child. And afterwards she thinks. How can I get him back, how can I make sure that no one can take him away from me? She thought about it alone, thought and thought and thought, until she reached her answer.
 She thought. How do I keep him from being stolen, how do I keep him with me? Easy, just have him on her side. He needs to stray away from the world. If he does that, he should only play with her.
 That's why she did this. She poured all the bad luck into his fate, twisted his fate. She gave him despair again and again, grief again and again, hurt him again and again, tormented him again and again, and turned him towards failure again and again.
 And this is the result. This is how it is. The factor has already taken root in the depths of his soul, and his flesh and mind are gradually but surely detaching from human reason...
 'You can no longer return to your family. You will not be allowed to return to the 'world of humans'.'
 She won't let him escape. Won't let him go. Won't let him be stolen. Won't let him be taken away. She won't let anyone have him... Now, with her small palms she touches his cheeks as if imitating a baby chick.
 'You are mine, after all.'
 Purely, innocently, wickedly, selfishly, viciously, the sacrificial daughter declares. And then, she slowly lifts the corners of her mouth, squints her eyes, and puts on a big smile.
 In her mind, he has completely become an existence on her side, and he has been liberated from the destiny of his flesh. And then, she clings to him like she used to, playing together joyfully, without anyone getting in their way.
 'I'm looking forward to it. Let's play together a lot, okay?'
 Awaiting the day with excitement, the Zashiki Warashi child utters incantations imbued with love like curses.
 She was saying it with childish and cruel love...

Disclosure of Setting: 

Forbidden magic Zashiki Warashi- "座敷厄負納牢童子之呪 (Curse of Zashiki Warashi). This is a secret technique developed by the Onitsuki family, influenced by the Miyataka family and others. The curse is a fate manipulation curse that allows members of the family to become a vessel for the curse, accumulating "negative" things like curses, misfortune, and karma that befall the Onitsuki family. Once a certain amount of "negative" things accumulate, beyond what is humanly possible, it becomes necessary to replace the vessel with a new one every certain period (100 years).
By the way, the sacrifice suffers great pain, so it is best to use a child who lacks self-esteem and is easy to manipulate. They are tricked into believing that if they endure the torment for 100 years, everyone will accept them.
In addition, once the expiration date has passed, it is necessary to discard the sacrifice by saying, "You are an existence that should not be alive. Return to darkness!" and pushing them into hell.

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