The boy never forgot that day.
How could he forget? No, he could never forget.


 It was the day that his unforgettable sin was engraved in his heart.


 ”Heyy!! Where are they!?”

 ”D*mn it! The search curse's no good! There are decoys everywhere!

 ”They're well-prepared! What cunning brats…!”

 ”How ungrateful is that brat…
after lying so brazenly before!”


 The house was in an uproar.
No wonder, since the eldest daughter of the family disappeared without a trace along with her caretaker.


 No, if that were all, they would not have made such a fuss.
There are countless shikigami inside and outside the residence, and not only the miscellaneous people, but also the hidden group people and the servants can be mobilized to pursue them.
Using the techniques of these Kizuki exorcists, it would be easy to restrain them.


 The problem was that the whereabouts of the two who had disappeared were unknown.


 It was an unusual situation.
It would be impossible for them to hide from the watchful eyes of the shikigami in order to escape from the residence, and with the search curse, it would be easy to find out their whereabouts no matter where they fled to.


 In this respect, the two were cunning.
Or, more precisely, the miscellaneous labor who bewitched Kizuki's eldest daughter.


 The curse of searching is a technique to locate a person or an object through a catalyst.
However, if beforehand the subjects procure clothes and other personal belongings by themselves as a way of breaking off ties, and then smear their own blood and bodily fluids on the personal belongings they have used as decoys, they can to a certain extent deceive the searching curses.
In fact, the only things found in the places searched by the curse of searching from one end to the other are their personal belongings covered with blood.
There was even a case in which a favorite brush or a small object was wetted with blood and strapped to the body of a caught rat or bird as a decoy.


 And the most crucial way of escaping from the residence was through a hidden passageway.


 The existence itself is not strange, although they have no idea where and when they found it.
In a mansion of exorcists with a long history, there are many hidden rooms and warehouses for concealing spells and other items in case of emergencies.
Some of them have been forgotten even by the inhabitants of the house over its long history.


 To top it all off, they bribed a child who lived in the house with sweets to receive the blessing of good fortune…
The result of all the careful, deliberate, and possible efforts was the current commotion in the house.


 Now, the boy was honestly amazed and marveled at the situation.
The boy understood the intelligence of the miscellaneous labor whom he loved like a big brother, but he also understood the fear of the adults.
Therefore, he was surprised and respected that such grown-ups were being stirred up so much.


 And at the same time, it was painful.
The Kizuki family was not an easy place to live for a boy who was a child of a concubine of a branch family, and whose father was one of the worst offenders in the family.
And after that incident…
the boy never knew when he might be killed.


 ”I hope he's okay….”


 The boy owes them both a debt of gratitude.
After all, they loved him and played with him, even though he was shunned by his family and treated as an outsider.
They were his friends, his brothers, and sisters, and his family.
He longed for them.
Even after the incident that his father had caused, neither of them ever distanced themselves from him or shunned him.
On the contrary, that man who was like a brother to him comforted him.
He can't tell how happy he was to hear that.


 That's why he thinks.
He hoped they could escape from this place and the grown-ups.
He sincerely hopes so.


 …Although he really wanted them to take him with them.


 ”Hey, you got a minute?”


 The boy who had been keeping these thoughts bottled up in his heart turns around at the words.
He gasped.


 He knew this young man, who was looking down at him, well.
He had two eyes of different colors, each with different powers.
The boy freezes involuntarily when he meets the young man who is the most likely candidate for the next head of Kizuki with a gentle smile on his mouth, but a cold gaze that gives him an unfathomable sense of oppression.


 ”Wh-What is it…?”


 The young man smiles again at the string of words the boy barely manages to spin.
And then, he smiles coldly.


 ”No, I remember you were good friends with Princess Hina and her little attendant.
As you can see, we're having trouble locating them.
I was wondering…
if you might remember where they are?”


 His tone was always polite and gentle.
To the boy, however, it seemed like an interrogation.
Being in the sight of the mystic eye means that he has the power of life and death in his hands, and in this situation, he cannot afford to choose any means.
And considering the boy's position…
it was practically a threat and an interrogation.


 ”You see, if you know something, why don't you tell this brother?”



 His tone was always gentle, and calm, but never demanding.
It was as if he was sure of it.
But the boy trembles.
Trembling with fear.


 After all, he had heard.
He had heard in advance where they would run to.
And the young man must have known what the boy was hearing.


 No, he knows surely.
The boy had heard that they would escape through an underground passage hidden in the floor of a closet in the mansion.


 So, if he didn't tell the young man, he'd be in terrible trouble.
The boy was sure of it.
Worst of all, he would mess with his head.
He would die.
Horrible, and terrible things would happen to him.



 ”Escaping through the hole in the west wall is a lie, isn't it?”


 He tries to tell the false escape route as he was told before, but is prevented from doing so by the young man.
The young man smiles gently at the terrified boy.


 ”I won't be offended, so tell me.
Where did the two of them say they were going to run away to?”



 The boy freezes as he is penetrated by the different shades of his eyes.
His heart palpitates.
His limbs tremble.
Scary, it's so terrible…
but even so…
the boy has no choice but to betray him.


 ”He said there was a hidden passageway north…
to the outside…”


 The boy spun the words as best he could.
He said the falsest words he could think of on the spot.
The young man looks down at the boy.
He looks down, as if scrutinizing, as if observing.
And then…


You've told me a lot.
Thank you.”


 With a smile and a friendly grin, the young man turns around.
A few moments later, as if the tension had been broken, the boy crumples to the floor.
Tears well up in his eyes in fear and relief, and he gasps for air.
His forehead was drenched with sweat.


 Even so, the boy still had a thin smile on his mouth.
He is happy that he has done his part, that he has helped the two people he loves like a big brother and like a big sister, and that he has been able to return the favor to them.
From the bottom of his heart, he rejoices.
And he hopes.
He hopes that they can live happily, and peacefully, in peace…








 Before his eyes, the boy is frozen by the horror of what is happening.


 He gasps at the sight of a child being pulled away bound by ropes.
The child must have been beaten severely before coming here.
His clothes are ragged and soaked with blood.
Bruises and contusions are visible on his limbs and face, and the bruises from the cuts are painful.
The boy knew him well as he was led away by the grown-ups with a sagging head and a limp body.


 ”Hey, what are you doing so lazy!? Walk quickly, you piece of sh*t!”


 As he is unexpectedly taken away, a miscellaneous man kicks him vigorously from behind.
It was one of the miscellaneous workers in the residence.
Due to the difference in size and age, his hands are tied, and he falls head-first to the ground, unable to defend himself.




 A small, biting cry of anguish escaped his lips.
The ground beneath his feet was covered with raw stones, which had caused several abrasions on his forehead.
As he struggled to stand up, he could see the blood from his forehead dripping onto the stones on the ground.


 ”Stop! Please, stop it!”


 Away from the house, Kizuki's grown-ups grabbed the princess's hands and held her down as she flailed about.
She had escaped from the house with him, and had probably been forced to change her clothes before being brought back here.
She was dressed in a brightly colored silk kimono, but her face was distorted with despair, as if she were at the end of the world.


Please don't do this to ◼️◼️…
it's my fault.
It's all my fault…
So, don't…
don't do that to him…”


 She bursts into tears, sobbing and wailing.
She desperately reached out her hands to him and pleaded with him, but no one seemed to listen to her words.
Instead, onlookers in the house whispered secretly as they watched the scene.


 ”My goodness, have you found her at last?”

 ”How dare you play with the princess? After all those years of being favored by the family, this is a terrible betrayal.
Was he born in the wrong family?”

 ”You're right, the lowly poor are always so cunning.
Blood is blood.”

 ”But well, it's good news for the other miscellaneous.
That brat was so obviously flattered and loved.
Now that I think about it, the kid was kind of weird.”

 ”I'm sure his colleagues will pay him a long visit before they execute him.
It's a good thing.”


 The workers in the house whisper to each other in secret.
They mock, scorn, amuse, or jeer at him, shaming the culprits of the recent disturbances with overtly negative sentiments.




 How did this happen? the boy asks himself.
The two of them have outmaneuvered the grown-ups so well that even the boy can see it.
Just yesterday, the grown-ups were just confused and confused left and right.
They were never going to find them.
how did they do it in just one day?


 It was so easy that it was almost mind-boggling.
Because a young man slipped out of the line that was taking him away as soon as he made eye contact with the boy.
He stopped right in front of the boy.


 ”You, I want to thank you.
Thanks to your report, we managed to catch them before they got away.”



 The boy was speechless at these words, which were spoken with no malice at all, but with complete gratitude and goodwill.
He did not understand for a moment the meaning of what was being said.
No, because he did not want to understand.


 What? What did he just say? What did he mean to him? Thank you? For what? Catch.
Catch who? The two of them? Report? Who? No, no way, no way, but it sounds like he's lying.
Wait a minute.
Impossible, no, no way…
no way…!!?


 The answer he came up with was too ridiculous, yet cruel.
Yes, the answer is simple.
If his words were not lies, then the boy was in fact right.


 …Yes, a false statement is not necessarily a false statement, is it?


 ”No way, it's a lie…”


 The boy mutters in a despondent way.
The young man smiles kindly at him…
Kizuki Shisui turns around before the boy can say another word.
He tried to say something, but all the boy could do was open his mouth to mutter.


 ”I won't forgive you…”


 The voice was strangely low, but reverberated with a seething intensity.
The boy, snapped back to reality, stiffens and turns his head fearfully in the direction of the voice.




 And the boy who was left behind noticed the gaze.
A cold, disastrous gaze that sent a chill down his spine…
and beyond it was a girl with long black hair.
The eldest daughter of the main family, whom he had looked up to like a big sister, twisted her face horribly and stared at the boy with the flames of hatred in her eyes.


 ”I won't forgive you…
Traitor, I won't forgive you…!!”


 The surrounding grown-ups quickly send sealing charms to the girl before the spiritual power overflowing from her whole body turns into the flames of annihilation.
The girl with the charms stuck to her hands and feet and all over her body falls on the ground as if she were hanging a lump of iron from her body, still staring at the boy.


 Her expression was too frighteningly angry for a girl who was not yet ten years old.


 ”No, it's not…

 ”…!! Put the princess under house arrest! Now!”


 The boy's words of defense were completely drowned out by the screams of one of the exorcists present.
She is led away by a group of people, but she still screams in a fury.
She yells.


 ”I won't forgive you…! I never ever forgive you! I'll kill you! I'll curse you! Remember, I'll kill you…
I'll definitely kill you!”


 If not for the charm, the words themselves would have become a vicious curse that would have cursed the boy and, on the contrary, cursed all the people around her.
It was such an intense rush of spiritual power.
It was so inefficient, so emotionally driven, that it made even the most seasoned exorcists break into a cold sweat, cowering those around them.


 The boy who was directly exposed to such hatred was even more shocked because the person was someone he respected and adored like a big sister.
It was so shocking that he let out a small scream and involuntarily turned his eyes away.
Therefore, there was no time for excuses or defenses and the boy was already filled with guilt and fear.


 Hearing the black curses of the girl being taken away, the boy looks at her in horror.
Even she, who was expected to treat him with care, was like this.
And now, moreover, the boy is literally scared to death to see the expression on the face of the only one whom he adores.


 And yet…
still the boy resolves to look at her.
No matter how much she hated him, no matter how hostile he was to her, he was willing to accept it.
The boy was so sincere, so kind, and so honest.




 However, that resolve is shattered when she actually looks at the other.


 Because, isn't it natural? What the boy looked at was not what he was prepared for, or what he wanted.


 He understands if he hates him, if he angers him.
But it is not those feelings that the man whom he loves as a big brother whom he has betrayed turns to him.
What he turned to him was a troubled, yet pitying, sympathetic, and above all, sincerely concerned look, as usual, without a trace of malice or hostility…

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