Upon seeing this, Hina's anger began to boil within her.
Her fury was directed towards everything in the world except him.
Everything that harmed him and any event that allowed it to happen was an object of hatred for Hina.
Her malice and enmity were burning brightly, and her hatred seemed bottomless.


 …And then, one of the perpetrators arrived on the scene.


 ”Huh!? Is that you, Hina…? B-but why are you here…?” The voice was filled with confusion and agitation from behind and she turns her heads to look the person.
The person was a fat man named Onitsuki Uemon, the leader of the Hidden Group.
He had received a message from Kibihagi and rushed to the scene, leaving his subordinates behind to catch up, and finally arrived at the scene as Hagikage dies.
However, Hina only pierced him with a cold gaze.
The only feeling she had towards him was hatred for what he had done to put her beloved in this situation.


 ”…You're late, uncle.
Unfortunately, everything has already been taken care of,” Hina calmly pretended to be calm.
She concealed her boiling desires and emotions like a boiling, seething lava.


 She knew that it wasn't the time yet.
Even if they tried to escape now, the family would send pursuers after them one after another, and the curses and malice placed upon him would not be lifted.


 The curse that Onitsuki put on him, the dreadful invasion of the earth mother goddess, and the parasitic spider soul are all the same.
It might be possible for Hina's fire to burn away those things that violate him in both body and spirit.
But it risks burning him.


 The danger arises because the curse is connected to him.
The line between the curse and him is blurred.
To put it in terms of a commoner's understanding, it is like radiation therapy for cancer.
Even if the factor can be killed, it may also damage his soul.
And the soul cannot be cured, which is even more so given the nature of Hina's ability.


 That's why she plays.
Even though she understands that it is a behavior that follows her annoying sister's performance.
Fortunately, there were also advantages to this side.


 ”…!? Wh-what happened…!? Why is my Lord here? …!? Ah, that's right! What about that servant?! What does he intend to do?!” Uemon was overwhelmed and dumbfounded for a moment, but he regained his composure and began to question her frantically.


 Hina, on the other hand, does not change her gaze.
It was cold and indifferent, no matter where she looked.
Even though she was standing in the fire, she was always cruel, indifferent, and emotionless.


 ”I had given advance secret notice of this,” Hina responded in a monotone voice.
“I came here in response to that notice.
There's nothing to be surprised about.”


 Uemon's tone was now more composed as he tried to understand her words.
“An advance secret notice…?”


 Hina's voice was still monotonous.
If there are any troublesome supernatural beings, let me know.
…Let's admit that it was a mission that was prone to taking credit for others' achievements.”


 Hina's words made Uemon's face turn bright red with anger.
He was furious.


 ”What kind of insult is this?! Are you saying we tried to take down youkai that we couldn't even match?! Don't make a fool of me…!!” Uemon exclaimed, his face contorted in anger.


 He then glared at the servant who was being held by Hina and shouted, “Bring that guy over here now!! He not only attempted to escape, but also injured my subordinates, and even helped a fugitive escape! Hah! That's right…!!”


 After looking around as if he just realized something, Uemon marched towards his target.
“Tch…argh!?” Iruka grunted as Uemon suddenly grabbed her hair.


 ”I-Iruka…!?” Tamaki cried out and sat down, holding her arm bone that was injured from the impact.
The two didn't have enough strength to resist.


 However, Tamaki pleaded with a trembling voice.
“P-Please stop! Don't do anything terrible to Iruka…!?”


 ”Miss Hotoya, please stop! I'll let it slide once, but it won't be forgiven the second time!!?” Uemon warned with a steely tone, his eyes locked onto Tamaki's.
Tamaki tried to help Iruka, but she was too scared to do anything under Uemon's intimidating gaze.


 That is how much she was pressured by Uemon's spiritual power.
Hina was neither moved nor interested in the scene.
She didn't care and even expected the events that would unfold.


 After all, there was no way her scheming sister wouldn't take any action.


 'Uemon, stop it.
The other party is not at fault in this case, is it?' A calm and collected voice interjected.


 As Hina's prediction, a simple crane-shaped shikigami appeared with its grace and a sweet voice that gave off a sugary impression.
Uemon was surprised by its appearance and the presence beyond that shikigami, as he hadn't even anticipated its participation.


 ”Is this…
mother, Madam Adviser? Why are you here…?” Uemon stammered in surprise.


 'Head of the Hidden Group, first release the hair you're grabbing.
It's insulting to Hotoya's young lady,' the crane-shaped shikigami instructed in a firm tone.


 ”But! This Ezo…!?” Uemon protested.


 The shikigami cut him off, declaring, 'There is a lot to discuss about that matter, and an explanation is needed to be given to the other party's family, so let's talk about it later.
But first, release your grip…
oh, and also, calm down the curse on that servant there.
There is no crime for which he should be punished.'


 ”Ugh, but…” Uemon started, but was silenced by the crane-shaped shikigami's stern voice.


 'Uemon,' she said, her voice authoritative and commanding.


 ”I can't agree with this! Madam adviser, what are you…?!” Uemon protested again.


 But before he could finish his sentence, the shikigami flew and approached him.
Then the crane stretched its long neck and whispered into Uemon's ear.
It was a small, small whisper.


 'This is my favor to you.
Don't be stubborn…
or is it okay for your future wife's to be humiliated by your blunder?' the shikigami's words were cold and indifferent, causing Uemon to feel a pang of fear.


 ”What!?” the shikigami's words were cold and indifferent, causing Uemon to feel a pang of fear.
It was so devoid of affection.


 Uemon knew it was a literal threat.
Uemon knew the sound of his mother's voice when she plotted.
The way she spun it when she wanted to bring others down.
Because of it, he broke into a sweat, hesitated in fear, and instinctively felt scared.


 …And above all, he understood the meaning of those words.
He distorted his face as he imagined the image of that young girl in his mind.
He no longer had the slightest choice.




 In silence, Uemon makes a gesture with one hand as if to tighten the sky, and the snake that persistently clings to the servant in Hina's arms vanishes as if in a mirage.
Next, he releases his grip on Iruka's hair with his other arm, and Iruka falls to the ground, and Tamaki rushes to her.


 The crane then bowed gracefully as it went to them.


 'You must be Miss Tamaki of the Hotoya family, aren't you? I apologize for the disrespect of a member of my family,' the crane spoke with a courteous tone.


 ”Eh…? Uh, yes?” Tamaki was speechless as she faced the crane that spoke human language.
She bowed in response.
In fact, it was just a simple formula shikigami, but Onitsuki's adviser, who was an expert of shikigami art, made it so precise and exact that it looked like a real crane even when someone stared at it with their eyes.


 'It is the first time for me to see you.
My name is Onitsuki Kochou, the advisor of the Onitsuki family.
I apologize on behalf of our family for mistakenly taking possession of your family's belongings,' the crane continued to speak with a polite tone.


 The crane then bowed reverently.
Tamaki was surprised and asked, “Mistakenly? Possession…
What does that mean?”


 'I will explain it to you later, but in summary, it was a request from a daughter of the Tachibana Trading Company.
She said, 'If I look closely, I can tell that she is not the criminal,'' the crane explained with a hint of regret in its voice.


 Uemon is about to say something, but the crane-shaped shikigami stops him with a glance and looks down at Tamaki again.
She stared at her silently.




 '…Although I know it's a busy holiday, would it be possible for me to meet with your father? I would like to explain to the lords of the village, so please introduce me.
…Hina,' the crane requested with a polite tone.


 After making this request, the crane turned to her granddaughter.
There, Onitsuki's dragon was already sitting on the ground, welcoming Hina while coiling around her.


 ”We are heading to the Onitsuki Valley.
I have already prepared a letter regarding the extermination squad, so there should be no problem,” Hina replied confidently.


 Hina answered without turning around, treading on the golden dragon's head without hesitation.
When she left the campsite that night, she had prepared a letter to instruct those who had been left behind on what to do.




 ”…Well then,” said Hina as she soared into the sky with the dragon.
The dragon's body moved like a fish or a snake, and it ran across the moonlit sky in a single bound.
In an instant, they disappeared…


where are you…” Tamaki's servant called out anxiously, her voice shaking.


which way is it…!” Another person murmured, their voice filled with confusion.


 Suddenly, the crane-shaped shikigami hears the cries of several people coming from the other side of the forest.
She looked around and saw the princess and half-youkai clinging to each other, her own child with a serious expression, and finally a fat spider struggling in the grasp of a hummingbird flapping its wings to take off while hiding.


 …As a side note, the spider was reaching out its hand towards its host with a (ノ´Д`)ノexpression without a care, regardless of the fact that the hummingbird was panting and flying with a wheezing sound.


 Anyway, from here on out, it's the job of the adults.
Kochou smiles coldly.
She couldn't trust her son or her granddaughter with this kind of work.


 'Well then.
There is a need for both haters and dirty jobs, huh? …Okay, hello, everyone, is it the whole Hotoya family?'


 The crane who had said such a thing was saying a leisurely greeting to the local people who appeared through the bushes shortly afterwards….








 ”…Looks like the dragon has gone, huh?” Kamaitachi said, their voice filled with relief.

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