Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Chapter 4: Storm
Even though Mikoto and Takeu came to visit him in the dead of night, Ogami-san, the Island Chief, greeted them in a very gentlemanly manner. When they asked him about the possible religious motifs of the mass suicide thirty years ago he showed them the island archives, and when they asked him if there are any old ruins on the islands, he took out the island maps and showed them to the sisters. He even took his time and told them about the island history and folk tales going as far as the early Edo period.
It was late after midnight when his stories have ended. He offered them that they could stay the night and leave first thing in the morning, and Shiratori sisters agreed.
Of course they were worried about Sui, but when they returned to the inn in the morning everything was fine, the amulets were working, the futon was nice and tidy. Upon seeing that, both Mikoto and Takeru let out a sighs of relief.[Her fever seems to have fallen. Her breathe is also a much calmer……] [I wonder if this is the work of the amulets. I just hope her condition will stay stable from now on.]
Takeru looked out the window, her face full of worry.[The typhoon is fast approaching. At this rate we might wait for the reinforcements from the Headquarters even longer than we expected. But can we really do it on our own?]
The blue and clear summer sky, so beautiful yesterday, was now covered with a thick veil of dark, stormy clouds that were moving fast throughout the sky. The larger and more stable ships were still sailing but the smaller ones were already anchored in the harbor, filling it to the brim almost entirely. Not only it would be hard to receive any kind of backup, but right now even escaping from the island would be virtually impossible.
Takeru was slowly starting to regret that the three of them didn’t leave the island yesterday when they still had the chance to do so.[What’s wrong? Why are you worried, Takeru? This simply means that we need to do everything that is in our power while we’re still here, right?] […… I suppose so.]
Managing to calm down with those words, Takeru switched her mind back to the work mode and took out the island’s map from inside of her pocket. Thanks to Ogami-san’s help, they managed to pinpoint about forty four possible checkpoint throughout the map that were worth investigating.[I thought so yesterday, but upon seeing this right now…… So many.]
Said Mikoto while frowning her eyebrows while looking at the map that was now spread across the floor. Takeru was also frowning, but her expression was way more serious than her younger sister.[Every single of those locations has a potential of being a youma’s nest, Sister. Not to mention that rumors aren’t making our job any easier, or area of search any smaller. That is why……]
Holding a red pen in her hand, Takeru drew two large circles around the certain areas of the island. She basically divided the area of search into two parts.[Since we don’t have that much time on our hands, let’s do this. We shall divide the checkpoints into two categories. First, the group A which has a high possibility of containing a nest within itself. Next, the group B which seems to be related to youma appearances. There are also places that can fit both of those categories, five in total, and for the sake of investigation we are going to call them C.] [Ugh, my head is hurting from listening alone.]
Mikoto crossed her arms in front of her well-developed chest, looking not all that convinced.[You decide where to look first, Takeru. I’m going to be your bodyguard.] [Right, so, the first place we shall investigate are those rocks marked as point fifty one on the map.]
They started their investigation from the point that was furthest to north-east on the island, which was a small rocky beach, and then they moved west towards a small cape, checking out every single checkpoint they encountered on their way. So far, there were no results. Then they reached a certain point where the detectors started to show some slight response, gradually intensifying their signals as they were getting closer and closer.[But that…… Isn’t that basically the ghost trail here?]
Right in front of the Shiratori sisters, there was the old school building that Mikoto and Sui purified from ghost activity a night before yesterday. Moving slightly to the south, they reached a steep and rocky cliff from which you could see the place where Sui got attacked by youmas.[It’s not that unheard of that ghosts tend to appear in the same places youmas does. Have you seen any youmas during the job, Mikoto?]
Mikoto rubs here arms vigorously, trying to warm herself up, while her uniform was being blown on the strong wind. The sun was hidden behind a thick veil of clouds, but the temperature was not all that low. Mikoto was shaking because she was afraid that ghosts might still be lurking in here somewhere.[The response is not coming from the campus itself, but it’s fairly close to it.]
While correcting the glasses on her nose, Takeru slowly walked alongside the school’s wall towards the thick forest that was right next to it. Because of the strong wind that was blowing here, they had to use less reliable methods of locating the signal than the good old five yen coin charm. Right now Takeru was using the paper talisman with bright markings as means of detecting the youmas wavelength pattern.[Look, no response from the school building. It seems to be coming from somewhere around the west slope of the cliff. There’s another checkpoint around there.]
As the sisters started to leave the school grounds and approaching the forest, the markings on the talisman grew brighter and brighter, until they finally became burning hot. Finally they reached the edge of the land and they could go no forward anymore.
Before the talisman lit on fire, Takeru discarded it and pulled out a new one. It led the sister towards a huge rock that was slightly to their right. According to Ogami-san’s stories, it was one of the island’s famous landmarks. When the sisters gout around the rock, they could see two rectangular rocks being placed at the sides of the huge rock, creating something of a doorway of sorts. The height of the entrance was about the same as Mikoto’s height. There was something ominous about that place, and a foul aura could be felt from inside of the space in between them.[Mikoto, keep “Raikou” at the ready.]
Urged by Takeru’s words, Mikoto took out the staffed black cat toy from her pocket and squeezed her hand around it. Concentrating her power, she sent her ki into the toy, triggering it to change forms and forming a long katana. Usually “Raikou”, the demon slaying sword would be kept in another dimension, because of the huge amounts of magical energy it needed to manifest itself and be wielded properly.
That black cat stuffed toy was the key to removing the seal to the other dimension.[––––––Thou art the corridor that connect spaces between the boundaries.]
The whole forest got rustled suddenly as the gentle winds started to blow. The waves of spiritual power began to gather around Mikoto, creating a vortex of the entirely different nature than the incoming storm.[My Liege, Thou art the lightning that splits the day from the night.]
Mikoto opened up her left hand, and the black cat stuffed toy began to glow with a bright light. The bright sparks began to fly in the air in every direction from the source of the light. A raising thunder roars through the air, and the raising winds were causing the girls’ skirts to flutter strongly.[Heed my words! By the blood of the Shiratori I order you! Respond to my call! Respond to the sacred covenant! By the name of Mikoto…… Shiratori Mikoto!]
Inserting her right hand into the vortex of light, a long and thin line began to form. Grasping the light that would become the handle of the sword an pulling it out, the light shakes and dances around Mikoto’s hands as the clouds gather above her head.[Manifest! Sword of Exorcism –– “Raikou”!!]
ROAR! There was a loud roar of thunder and the whole island shook at its foundations. The flash of light that descended from the skies has now formed a single Japanese katana in Mikoto’s hands.[What do you want to do, Takeru? We break in all at once?] [Yes, let’s do just that. Youmas should not be at the peak of their power right about now. But if you deem that the situation has developed to be too dangerous for you, retreat immediately.] [Roger that!]