Chapter 4: His and Man-eater’s Affairs
30 minutes had passed, and Tooya finally recovered by himself. Still standing, Tooya started to calm his raging emotions down but he noticed that he couldn’t just stand still like that in this place.
“Fumu, you’ve finally calmed down.”
Tooya, who was tired of Kuroe still here, turned away.
“Why… Why you’re still in here?.”
“Of course I’m here because master’s order is always to be by you side isn’t?.”
Kuroe smiled. That smile made Tooya feel very annoyed.
“I know. You can go.”
“I mean go where you want to… I won’t go to school today.”
If he went to school just like this, then he really can’t face Rikka.
“Fumu, I see… … Then I won’t go to school either.”
Her words just made Tooya feel more and more annoyed. This made him stare at Kuroe.
“Aw… you dont have to stare at me like that.”
Tooya said impatiently.
“Okay then I’ll take my leave so please cheer yourself up master.”
“If I’m not at home then that means I went hiking.”
Kukuku, Kuroe laughed and jumped on the roof. And then jumping back and forth between the rooftops, in a blink of an eye she dissappeared.
“Come on you’ve got to move on your feet.”
Muttering, Tooya went home just like that. I didn’t know since when but, there was a man standing there. Wearing a suit, his age was in the twenties or so. At first glance he was a very typical office worker. The man exposed a gentle and generous smile, while looking at Tooya.
“Kamisaki… Tooya right?”
The man closed in, and asked.
“Yes I am, but…”
At that moment when Tooya asked that’s man .
A crisp sound ringed.
Suddenly Tooya let out a voiceless howl. He felt, a warm outflow. He still didn’t know what happened, and fell down.
Just, this sound was very familiar… There would be such a feeling.
A burst of red blood, spreading out from Tooya body on the ground.
“… … Fuu.”
The man breathed out. Like he has acomplished something that he was given to.
“You there, what are you doing?”
The man was startled, looked to the direction whence the sound came. On the roof there was Kuroe which was looking down here. Obviously her master was shot down to the ground, Kuroe didn’t look worried a bit.
“As you can see, I just shot him.”
The man raised his pistol as a weapon, while answering Kuroe. That man wasn’t wavering at all pointing his gun at Kuroe, he was calm and composed at heart.
“Compared to this I have a question to ask, when were you there? I clearly have confirmed that you left right.”
“It’s nothing, this is very simple.”
*Ton*, Kuroe jumped from the roof into the front of the man.
“After you confirmed my departure, I quietly came back. This distance is nothing to me.”
“Hahaha, so it’s like that.”
Although this wasn’t funny. But Kuroe smiled.
“I know that you’ve been tailing me all this time, so I got curious and set a little bait to lure you out. Then you’re hooked.”
“I’m really ashamed.”
The man saying that without a shred of fear, this made Kuroe laugh.
“You really dare say it, but you were also obviously aware of the hook. Even knowing that this is simply a bait to lure you out but still took the initiative. For what purpose did you do that?
The man didn’t answer, Kuroe didn’t care.
“So, who are you?”
Kuroe asked. Then the man saluted.
“Nice to meet you, I’m called Tanaka Keiichiro. I’m an inquisitor from The Order of the Black Magic in this country, my job is to exterminate a demon and youkai-like creatures.”
“I’ve never heard of such department.”
“Because this is country secret.”
Kuroe nodded. Because in this modern era all the supernatural thing is only fictional. In this case the department responsible for this one wouldn’t be on the stage wasn’t surprising.
“So.. why did an inquistor from that department came to kill my master? ”
“This is of course to, seal you.”
Kuroe seemed interested looking at Tanaka.
“We already sensed your presence ever since you broke out from the seal that day and your dark presence is also leaking everywhere. To be honest I don’t think I can defeat you, no… even if we mobilized all of this country inquisitors it’s still not enough to defeat you.”
“I think so too.”
Kuroe was confident with herself. Just because she was sealed for a long time that didn’t mean she didn’t know anything about this world. She had a power called “The Far-seeing Eye” that could allow her to look at the world outside, although the technology’d been already developing she still didn’t think the weapon from that developing technology could defeat her.
Only magic can completely defeat Kuroe, but.
“So… even the ancient magician didn’t know who and how to pick his opponent huh.”
“Just as you said.”
In the distant past, the youkais like Kuroe in Japan was eliminated. Which meant that the power to eliminate youkai had long ceased to exist. Unwanted technology would eventually be forgotten but the truth was there was still some magic that still passed down from generation to generation even now.
“Now there’s no powerful monster anymore. Our main job is to destroy the evil spirits and the evil conjurer that still existed in this era. We do not have the skills and experience to fight against powerful monsters like you.”
“Fumu, and then?”
“We already did a lot investigation about you for past this week, and we found something. According to the ancient record we found the way to re-seal you once again.”
“According to this record the only way to re-seal you again is to lift the contract that you have made with the contractor. If we succeed in doing that, then the seal will once again start to work and bind you again.”
“Like the ancient record said this was the only way to defeat you, we have no way to exterminate you. As long the contract is nullified our purpose will be achieved.”
“So, we decided to kill your master. As long you lose your master your contract will be nullified. You will once again be sealed right.”
He looked troubled. Tanaka shrugged.
“But, why aren’t you sealed?”
Well, Tanaka wasn’t expecting that the seal will immediately work after he killed the contractor. After all the opponent that he was facing was an ancient demon that has a mythical-like power. Even if she resisted a little then that was already inside his calculation, but the seal already succeeded once so this time he’s sure it will succeed again like the previous one. The seal was already in high level so once again Tanaka was confident that it will succeed and she would be sealed once more.
However. Kuroe hadn’t been sealed, she was still standing there, she didn’t use any magical power to resist the seal. She was standing still right there with a full of dark presence around her.
“That, you made two mistakes.”
Then Kuroe laughed.
“First is the seal. You just said that as long as the contract is invalid I will be sealed, but when I and my master set a new contract and that moment I won’t be sealed, that’s already wrong in the first place. Well, the ancient record that all of you researched is all messed up.”
“That… is really troublesome.”
Tanaka scratched his head. Now he could only do this.
“Well, don’t lose heart yet. There is no great mistake.”
“… You, you mean?”
“After the contract is invalid I will die. So I won’t be sealed again.”
Kuroe said faintly.
“When I set the contract my life and my master’s life will be linked together… So if master die I will also die.”
Hearing that Tanaka was very surprised.
“Eto… in other words that means.”
“Fumu, since I’m alive that proves master hasn’t died. This is your second mistake.”
“How can it be…”
Tanaka said as if groaning.
“Certainly that bullet that you shot has already pierced through master’s heart, moreover that bullet isn’t just ordinary bullet. A spell is embedded inside that bullet. If an ordinary youkai or demon had their heart pierced by that kind of bullet they’d surely die, but don’t you mistake something here.”
“We’re talking about a normal human here.”
‘Kukuku’, Kuroe laughed.
“Didn’t I said it? My life and master’s life are already linked together as one, in other words, if you want to kill my master you need a power greater than my power to kill my master. So… how can you do that while you’re alone?
Tanaka could only be silent… Only, looking at Tooya who fell to the ground.
At that moment, Tooya fingers started to move a bit. But he hadn’t yet fully recovered consciousness, so his body didn’t move. But that was enough to prove that Tooya was still alive.
“Sure enough he hasn’t completely accustomed to my power so the restoration is a bit slow at first. Since there’s my life transfer magic inside master it’s impossible for you alone to kill my master.
“… … It seems so.”
Tanaka readily admitted.
“You chose wrong. If you want to kill me with that kind of bullet the you should’ve shot it directly at me, and not to my master. If so, maybe you could kill me.”
“What do you mean…”
“It’s nothing, because I will definitely obey master… If master told me to die, then I would die.”
Tanaka looked at Kuroe in astonishment.
“Wont your master die if I do that?”
According to Kuroe, their lives were linked together.
“I just said, it was if my master died. The key to the contract lies with me, if I died before master then the contract would be voided… only I will die.”
Kuroe casually said these important things.
“So, what do you want to do? I think master will wake up in five minutes.”
Confused, Tanaka looked at Kuroe and Tooya… …then sighed.
“I’ll be heading back for today. Even if what you said is true, talking with him at this time will be pointless, I will postpone it until next time.
“You hurt my master and now you think you can simply escape?”
“If possible I hope you can let me go.”
I think it wouldn’t be enough… Ahaha, Tanaka laughed out.
“Well, you can go.”
Tanaka couldn’t help but gasping.
“I mean, it’s impossible for me to not let you go.”
“… … Really?”
Against the doubtful Tanaka Kuroe nodded.
“I’m indeed the master’s servant, but without his command I cannot act. Because master told me not to eat human so you’re lucky today. Aren’t you glad that you can escape with your life?”
“Ee, of course.”
This time Tanaka also nodded strongly.
“For now I’ll go back and report to my superior about your power and also about you and your master, that he couldn’t be killed. I should’ve looked at the situation more closely before acting rashly… …Forget it, I’ll think of coming to apologize to him sooner…”
Tanaka looked at Tooya for a split second, then looked back to Kuroe.
“Tell him that I’m sorry, also 『although we’d already started preparing to take an action to apprehend your contracted demon so you should enjoy your normal everyday life while you can. 』please convey it too him.”
“Isn’t that too fast? I mean you just wanted to kill us right?”
Tanaka looking at Kuroe with astonishment.
“Well that’s the only thing that I can say to you two.”
Tanaka without a bit of remorse, replied.
“Just like a man-eater.”
“… … That’s you right?”
Kukuku, Kuroe laughed again.
“This isn’t funny…”
Tanaka muttered hopelessly.
“Well, now there is no other way… Please pardon me.”
After that Tanaka turned, and walked away. He was really full of opening, Kuroe can kill him easily if it was like this but he didn’t have any intention of killing Tooya or Kuroe anymore. Since there was no need for vigilance, Tanaka was out of this mentality.
“Fumu, what an interesting guy.”
Kuroe said that after she couldn’t see Tanaka’s figure anymore, then Kuroe looked back at Tooya.
“Master, you’re awake?”
But Tooya’d fallen to the ground suddenly moved, slowly stood up.
At that time he started to notice the pain that ran across his body. Especially from his chest to his whole body… But then the pain slowly faded, so Tooya could immediately think.
First thing was to think about why he fell.
The sudden pain in his chest.
It looked like a gunshot wound.
Asking the man’s name.
… … Tooya immediately realized he was shot.
Then Tooya didn’t think『Why? 』.
‘Aa, even I’m not allowed to die.’
Tooya gave up.
Then Tooya kept listening to the conversation… …Up till now.
“… … Cough, cough.”
Tooya coughed up the blood that stayed in his throat. The blood stopped. The wound didn’t hurt, after standing up he could still hear the sound of metal landing. It was a bullet. Like when the wound restored it was squeezed out… …Tooya, finally had a『this isn’t a normal body』feeling.
“Better don’t touch it.”
When Tooya wanted to pick up the bullet, Kuroe stopped him.
“That bullet contains a lot of curses meant to kill. Although the power to kill master isn’t enough, touching it would still burn.”
Tooya retracted his hand and stared at the bullet. Even after Kuroe said that, Tooya didn’t feel anything by looking at that bullet.
“Let me handle this, for an ancient demon like me, this is nothing.”
Tooya looked away from the bullet and looked at Kuroe.
“When did you find out?”
Tooya began asking Kuroe what had happened.
“From the start.”
Kuroe readily answered.
“My master and I are linked by the contract that we made you know?”
..In this case, say that from the beginning.
“What is it?”
With little hesitation, Tooya spoke.
“If I ordered you to die… Will you really die?”
Kuroe immediately nodded her head.
“What just i said to that inquistor was true you know. I’m absolutely obedient to master’s command… If you ordered me to die, then I will soon die.”
『Why dont you try to command me』, Kuroe said with that a smile in her face.Tooya didn’t understand her at all.
Kuroe obviously knew what that meant, but still asked Tooya.
“Why, did you set such a contract.”
This kind of contract could lead the two of them to death. He thought that it was strange doing this contract, since it should give him more disadvantages than benefit, and there’s no room for negotiation, but Tooya felt that wasn’t the case.
“If I didn’t make a contract, then I couldn’t break out from that seal.”
Tooya couldn’t understand. Indeed, after making the contract she could make it to the outside… But there was no freedom. There was also a chance that she could die because she must absolutely obey her contractor. In this case why didn’t she just find another way to leave that seal and obtain a TRUE freedom, it’s a way better than now.
Kuroe was likely seeing through Tooya’s thoughts and said.
“It depends on the person who makes contact with me, and the thing that’s meaningless to master is meaningful to me. If for this you can’t afraid of taking risks.”
“… … This, what is this?”
In the end, what is the thing that make her go all way making a contract with me despite putting her life in danger.
“Staying around many people.”
That moment, Tooya still didn’t understand the meaning of these words.
“That… what do you mean?”
“Like what the words mean.”
“I want to stay around many people. And it’s not sneaky, but upright.”
“Why, do you want this…”
I’m not sure that’s a good reason for you to risk your very own life just to trying stay near many humans. Is there any good reason for that?
It’s not only because Kuroe is a man-eater but because she also have an absolutely overwhelming power like a monster. No matter how close Kuroe is to humans there’s no way Kuroe can co-exist with them peacefully, in the end what is the true reason and why Kuroe wants to live in the same world with human beings.
This time Kuroe didn’t laugh.
“Because… I like humans.”
With this sudden statement, Tooya got himself even more confused.
“This, what do you mean.”
I’ve said it many times. Kuroe is a man-eater… Maybe it was something else.
“Aa, I don’t like the taste of human beings.”
Kuroe immediately denied.
“If it comes to human taste I don’t feel anything. But talking about the taste, well it’s not that bad.”
“… … I didn’t ask you that.”
“Fumu, I see.”
“Then, let’s continue. In fact I don’t like eating human… Better to say, I love this race of mankind, this isn’t an exaggeration.”
If that was the case… so, don’t eat human.
“Humans, are interesting.”
“Inter, esting… ?”
“No matter how much I see a human behavior it never gets boring. To say what I feel… That is, the same feeling as when human feels fun looking at the animals in the zoo.”
Tooya felt this statement was an insult to all humanity, but talking from Kuroe’s perspective, human beings were all like that. But if that was the real reason why would Kuroe wanted to blend with humans, and that made Tooya understand it less and lesser.
“… … Only these?”
“Only these reasons?”
“You don’t get it?”
“… … Aa.”
Tooya didn’t think he would risk his life to go see animal in the zoo. And Kuroe had said that even if she was sealed she could still see the world with Far-see eyes power. If so, there was no need to risk going out.
“Seeing with Far see eyes and looking directly isn’t the same.”
This, is what Tooya could understand. It’s like watching a beautiful scenery on TV, but not going directly to that place can leave a different impression, not just from visual impression, but also for all the five senses.
“Even so… … I still don’t get it.”
Tooya still don’t understand.
“Well, humans are unable to understand it.”
“Well forget about it, the most important thing is, I’m a youkai. Youkai must eat a human, even if humans don’t acknowledge it, it’s a different matter but it’s not surprising if human reacts like that.”
This… Perhaps this was the case.
“I, was born with a lot of power. As long as I want I’ll eat anyone, those that came to kill me were all eaten without any exceptions. This is a fact that I always embedded in my heart.”
“What is that?”
Kuroe said from the deep of her heart with a boring voice.
“I don’t want to do anything. Because I was so strong I don’t need to put in any effort. If I like any other average youkai, who’s happy eating other human it would be good and appealing. But in my opinion the taste of human beings are not good.”
After listening to Kuroe words, Tooya felt a question.
“Like other youkais…”
“Aa, I’m among the youkai that was a very strange existence. A normal youkai must eat human in order to exist. To them it meant for survival and it was a must in order to live, but in my opinions that’s so boring.”
Kuroe said while feeling embarrassed.
“That’s why I wanted to choose the guy who didn’t like to survive and just stood still while receiving harsh treatments from the other. I wanted to learn about that guy and change myself so I can live with him and the other human being. If I do this it’s like killing 2 birds with one stone, I can become more like a human while observing them..”
“… … So, the contract was simply not necessary.”
Even if you didn’t make such a contract, you can also observe humans.
“It’s not like that… I’ve said many times, I eat human. If people continued to disappear then certainly someone would find the reasons for it right?”
So the time people went missing and the time Kuroe appeared would be the same.
“Kuroe, you can choose not to eat human… Since you don’t like eating humans right?”
Kuroe herself had said so many times.
But Kuroe immediately denied.
“Eating humans is the instinct of a monster… If I don’t eat I will be hungry. The hunger will drive me mad.”
Kuroe’s voice gave people a chill.
“In the past, there was once I didn’t eat anyone and after that I fell into a sleep-like status, After two months passed, when I recovered from it, I noticed that I had eaten all the villagers in that village.”
Even the powerful Kuroe couldn’t break free.
“At least one human per month, if I do that there’s no problem at all. If i do that within the time limit I think there’s no harm to it.”
So this was the reason for the contract price.
“Because I ate the whole village. After about three months, they were basically gone. But there was an apprentice magician that appeared in front of me and told me that he wanted to make a contract with me. At that time I was very surprised, that the guy came to make a contract with me.”
“That’s, like the contract between you and me?”
“He was a very interesting man. He wanted to show he was much stronger than the monster to make them his servant. I’d never seen someone like him, in general he’d certainly be killed.”
“But, you accepted it?”
Kuroe replied without hesitation.
“The price of contract is to eat a person every month. The content of the contract is absolute obedience to the master’s command… This is the condition.”
In a common sense, that kind of contract is still unacceptable.
“But I still accepted. In this case, there will not be any problems to stay by a human’s side.”
“But, still you eat human?”
“Fumu, I ate many kinds of human back then, I ate a magician. Magistrate and those two were basically the same. I also ate fugitives, condemned people, and many many more. The reason I ate them was because they were choosen by my previous master. So they can’t blame me for eating them”.
This was the main reason of the contract. It’s not for Kuroe who decides who she will eat, but the contractor is the one who decides the target. This is the way that she can be allowed to stay near humans.
“That kind of thing last for about 5 years or so. After that the emperor in that time ordered all of magicians to exterminate all of the youkais and demons, of course that includes the tamed one too.”
So to speak, Kuroe said this before that monsters existed long time a go, so in the modern times, there is no monster.
“But if that’s the case, why are you still alive?”
If that happened before she made a contract with a human, she should be able survive on her own. But for Kuroe, who have made a contract, she will die if ordered to.
Although in the end Kuroe was sealed, so it was also too strange.
“Because my previous master didn’t wish for me to die at that time. But he can’t oppose the government by himself, so that’s why he made this seal to save me from being exterminated.”
As a result Kuroe was forgotten by the surroundings, and lived till now.
“Why, didn’t that man kill you?”
“I don’t know.”
Kuroe gently shook her head.
“Maybe he took a liking with me, or maybe sometime in the future he wanted to re-forge the contract with me. Well, by looking from the seal, maybe it’s meant for re-forging the contract in the future. Since the condition of breaking the seal is by making a contract with a human being, if there’s no contractor then I can’t free myself from the seal and go outside after all.
Then Kuroe looked at Tooya.
“So, what now?”
“Want to kill me?”
Kuroe suddenly uttered these words, making Tooya speechless.
“I’ve said it many times, If I was ordered to die I would die. The nightmare pestering master would end too so isn’t that an attractive offer? You’re free to decide.”
These words were very attractive. Kuroe is a powerful monster. In having Kuroe as a servant, one can certainly dominate a country with ease. But Tooya didn’t want it. Because Tooya expected only one thing.
Although, This desire has been unable to achieve.
Tooya… … couldn’t achieve it.
“What is it?”
“Why are you telling me all this?”
Just say a word to kill Kuroe, if you didn’t say so… Clearly I wouldn’t know.
“It’s nothing, this is very simple.”
“If so, it’s more interesting.”
Kuroe enjoyed this risk.
“… … maybe you’ll die?”
“Death doesn’t matter.”
Kuroe said faintly.
“Death can free me from this boredom… this is also good.”
Then, Kuroe remarked, so Tooya made up his mind.
“Well then, what now?”
Kuroe asked again.
He laughed out.
Tooya replied with a smile.
“I won’t kill you.”
Kuroe was a little surprised, but Tooya soon began to speak.
“You want to ask why?”
Kuroe didn’t say anything, Tooya continued.
“Because, I need you.”
Tooya said so.
At this time Tooya and Kuroe made an eye contact with each other.
“You actually said you need me.”
Kuroe also laughed.
“Not because of contractual obligations, but from your own will?”
Kuroe, revealing a look in her eyes like it was saying “as I expected”
“Then, what does master expect from me?”
And Kuroe asked.
“Keeping a man-eater by your side, what do you want from me in exchange of keeping a sin of taking other human lives?”
Kuroe was waiting for Tooya’s answer.
Tooya slowly, said it out.