Kimetsu No Yaiba Light Novel (Demon Slayer Light Novel) – Chapter 1 – Flower of Happiness

Gotoge Koyohara: My glasses have flown. Thanks for your hard work, this is Gotoge. The novel is completed! These contain short stories of Tanjirou and the rest as well as the Kimetsu Academy that I touched on a bit. I’m so happy that the characters In my work can be active on the pages of a light novel. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Yajima Aya-sensei who spent time writing these chapters. Please enjoy this novel~~


Kimetsu No Yaiba Light Novel (Demon Slayer Light Novel) – Chapter 1 – Flower of Happiness


A dignified and beautiful black Furisode would almost certainly complement his younger sister’s white skin.

Once she saw the luxurious gold laced obi, his younger sister who had toiled most of her life would probably frown and say: “It’s too much.”

Underneath that black hair that was combed into a Bunkin Takashimada style, would his younger sister have tears flowing out of her eyes……?

(T/N: That’s a traditional Japanese wedding hairstyle, one that is most representative of a typical Japanese bride)

Those tears would be full of joy, not sadness.

My sister is gentler than anyone else.

Even when she became a demon, my sister had yet to abandon the warmth she had when she was a human.

But I wish that you will become happier than anyone else—

*

“—Congratulatory words?”

“Yes……It’s a joyous occasion, a girl from the village is getting married.

Once she finished talking, Hisa’s already small eyes narrowed till it was as thin as a piece of thread.

(T/N: In case no one remembers, because I know I didn’t, Hisa is the old lady at the Wisteria house)

 

The house emblem that had a wisteria flower was proof of their service to the Demon Slayers without asking for anything in return.

It was said that families with this symbol do this as a way to show their gratitude to slayers who had defeated demons.

Therefore, slayers who have been injured during their missions were always searching for homes with the wisteria flower emblem.

Hisa’s home was one of them.

The group of four consisting of Tajirou, Zenitsu, Inosuke as well as Nezuko were staying there and recovering from their injuries sustained during their mission—it had been exactly ten days since then.

However, Nezuko, who was a demon, was always sleeping in her box which was made of “Cloud Mist Pine” in the daytime, so the ones who encounter the family’s members were mainly the other three……

Thanks to the careful care given to them, that being large amounts of exquisite cooking, fluffy sheets and soft kimonos and so on, the three of them, who sustained rib fractures around the same time, recovered quite a fair bit.

“The groom is from the family of the chief of the neighbouring village.”

“Congratulations to them.”

Tanjirou sincerely congratulated the newly wedded couple.

Hisa said with a slight smile: “If all of you do not mind, I would love for Demon Slayer-sama to also give your blessings……”

“Eh? Us?”

“Of course, it must be if everyone’s health condition allows……Please do not push yourselves.”

“Oh no, our bodies are fine already. But can we really attend?”

Tanjirou asked, feeling concerned. However, Hisa shook her head which was full of white hair.

Hisa said that tonight, everyone would give a bit of their blessings from where they were seated. Then tomorrow, at noon, they will send the bride off to the neighbouring village and then have a grand wedding at the groom’s home.

 

The bride was exceptionally gorgeous and the groom obviously came to her because of her appearance. However, since it was rare to have such good fate, the villager were also excited for them.

“If they can receive the blessings from Demon Slayer-sama……everyone will be delighted.”

“If that’s the case, then we’ll show our utmost respect. Right? Zenitsu? Inosuke?”

Tanjirou turned his head to ask.

“Un, of course—No, I mean we should. Giving our blessings is nothing like killing demons, it’s not scary at all, and we can eat delicious food as well as catch a glimpse of the bride’s beauty, it’s killing two birds with one stone—but, no matter what, she can’t be cuter than Nezuko-chan right? Oh, I know—I only love Nezuko-chan—please don’t misunderstand.”

Zenitsu replied and rubbed his hands while bowing on his knees after hearing those words.

“What’s congratulatory words?”

On the other hand, Inosuke was using both his hands to shovel manju into his mouth, at the same time, he used his head to roughly hit the side of Tanjirou’s waist.

(Ouch……)

Tanjirou grimaced.

And that (Zenitsu) was gross.

Now—or should he say these few days—this scene had become a habitual one.

Ever since Zenitsu knew that Nezuko was Tanjirou’s sister, his attitude changed and was exceptionally nice to Tanjirou to the point of flattery.

And what troubled Tanjirou about Inosuke were those head butts. Perhaps he was just using his own method to communicate with others but getting hit by a head all the time was getting unbearable.

If this went on, no matter how much time it took, Tanjirou’s ribs would not heal.

And that (Zenitsu) was gross.

“Zenitsu, do you have to talk in such a creepy way? Don’t offend the bride—also, Inosuke, congratulatory words are words used to bless the two people for their union. Ouch…….Inosuke, stop butting me with your head.

After advising the two indirectly, Tanjirou turned his head to face Hisa.

 

“We also want to congratulate the couple, please help us make arrangements.”

Tanjirou lowered his head.

“I should be the one thanking all of you……”

Hisa bowed deeply to the point that her forehead was about to touch the tatami mats.

“Please have your meal at my home tonight.”

She smiled while saying.

“Speaking of food that young people like, that would probably be meat……Unfortunately, I do not understand western cuisine……”

“—It’s fine, we have received a lot of your care already.”

Just as Tanjirou was frantically waving his hands—

“I want to eat that!!”

Inosuke pushed him aside and loudly shouted: “As usual! Old hag, cook that!! That thing!!”

“Oi, Inosuke!!”

“Don’t just say that, say the name of the dish properly.”

Tanjirou and Zenitsu both chided Inosuke in their own way, “Oh, you mean that?” Hisa nodded, a look of realization on her face:

“I see, it’s the one fried in flour, Tempura, right?”

“That’s right!”

“Alright, alright, I will fry a lot. Are there enough snacks?”

“Nope, bring that as well!! Listen up, it’s that alright?!”

“Alright, alright, the fried rice cakes, correct? I will get them now.”

Hisa answered calmly and then left the room soon after.

Perhaps it had something to do with her age, but every one of Hisa’s movements were extremely silent, almost no sound could be heard.

 

And just then, she also silently pulled the door close.

“….She could understand, Inosuke only said “that”.”

Zenitsu had a gaze that looked like admiration, yet seemed like he was flabbergasted, as he stared at the paper door that Hisa disappeared behind.

“Yeah—” Tajirou showed his agreement.

Meanwhile, Inosuke continued to chew on his manju without restraint, not listening to the two mumbling to themselves.

“You got to be kidding?! Wearing a kimono and having to stay in a house is basically torture, right?! I’m not doing this shit!! What do you think I am?! I am the King of the Mountains!”

When they first stayed here, Inosuke was throwing a tantrum, but now—even though he still went around shirtless—he seemed to have gotten used to living here.

At least he did not think it was torture anymore.

And most likely, the bulk of the reason was because of the owner, Hisa.

Ever since they visited this mansion, Hisa had never shown a hint of fear towards Inosuke.

Not only was she not afraid of the atrocious pig-headed appearance, she did not treat his weird actions as anything significant. Just thinking that the old lady took care of Inosuke as though he was her grandson, Tanjirou’s heart was briefly filled with warmth.

(I’m so grateful….)

He sincerely thought in his heart.

Not considering that they could get out of clean sheets, enter a warm bath house and other displays of warm hospitality, perhaps because the they bathed and ate from the same pot—even if Zenitsu was abnormally trying to curry favour with him and Inosuke keeps unleashing his head butts—it felt like the distance between the three of them shortened rapidly.

Most importantly, not only did those two not treat Nezuko with disdain for being a demon, in fact, they even accepted her.

This made him very happy.

Tanjirou thought in a relaxed manner.

 

“Hey, why did you eat all the manju?! Tanjirou and my share are there too, right?! You stupid pig!!”

“You’re so noisy, Hinitsu! If anything, you should blame yourself for being too slow!!”

(T/N: Hinitsu – fart-nitsu)

“It’s Zenitsu! Who is Hinitsu?!”

“Shut it, brat! This is my territory!!”

“Ah—is that so? Then I’m so sorry. What do you mean by territory any—Yahhhhh!!!!”

“Spineless wimp!! If you want to beat me then you’re a million years too early!! Wahahahaha!!!”

Zenitsu, who received a punch to the face, was rolling on the tatami, screaming while Inosuke’s beast like laugh echoed throughout the room.

(………)

Tajirou sighed lightly and immediately mediated:

“—Inosuke, you can’t hit Zenitsu.”

After Zenitsu (unreasonably) retorted Inosuke’s words and was mercilessly beaten by Inosuke, Tanjirou, once more, tried to get them to make up—

To them, this was a scene that they had become used to.

*

“Ah—The bride is so lovely~”

“The food is great, hic.”

On the way back from the bride’s home—

Listening to the two express their very different opinions of the wedding, Tanjirou remembered the bride’s youthful appearance.

The bride who still looked childish was really quite a beauty, it was no wonder that the person from the chieftain’s family would head straight for her beauty and ask for her hand in marriage.

 

Also that joyful smile definitely showed how blessed she felt.

Even the herons and numerous flowers embroidered onto her Furisode as well as that luxurious gold laced obi all pale in comparison……

“That person—”

“? What is it?”

“No, it’s nothing.”

Tanjirou lightly shook his head.

Might just be the same age as Nezuko.

When his mind wandered to this point, something tightened in his chest for a moment.

(Eh……?Why does my chest feel so heavy?)

Tanjirou tilted his head, confused, at the same time, he lightly repositioned the wood box on his back.

Kera kera kera…..suddenly a sound of nails scratching against the inside of box could be heard and Tanjirou who heard it, almost jumped.

(!!)

His sister, whom he thought was asleep, was still awake and this startled Tanjirou.

“But why would that woman wear those kinds of clothes.”

Inosuke asked himself.

“You can’t climb trees if you wear such a long kimono, and you can’t catch rabbits or birds too.”

He tilted his pig head slightly and expressed his deep curiosity.

“Sigh—that’s why I dislike country bumpkins.”

After hearing Inosuke’s naïve question, Zenitsu sighed.

 

“It doesn’t matter, it’s not like she’ll go into the mountains anyway. After today, she’s going to be the wife of a huge family, she landed on high branches and became a phoenix, get it? Because she’s pretty so she can marry someone rich, wear beautiful kimonos and live a sheltered life like butterflies and flowers.”

“Also, why does she wear such dark clothes? Doesn’t she know that she’ll be targeted by bees if she wears dark clothes in the mountains. Really, what’s wrong with those people, if it’s really a joyous occasion, why doesn’t she wear something a bit more brightly coloured? Just looking at her makes me irritated.”

“I already told you that she won’t go into the mountains. A black Furisode and Shiromuku all are a bride’s usual attire and it represents “I will not be stained by other people’s colours other than yours….” Right? Sigh—I also wish a girl would say such a thing to me. If possible, it would be the best if the other party is Nezuko-chan…….hee hee”

(T/N: Shiromuku is a traditional wedding kimono that is white)

Halfway through talking, Zenitsu took on a creepy high-pitched tone and spoke to himself without control.

“What is this guy saying?”

Inosuke spoke seriously in a soft voice.

“How gross……”

“I do not want to hear that from you!!”

Hearing Inosuke’s insult, Zenitsu became furious.

“What do you think? Tanjirou?!”

“—Eh?” Seeing that Zenitsu had turned towards him for backup, Tanjirou was stunned for a moment then in a vague manner, replied: “Ah—what should I say?”

Somehow he felt restless and distracted.

It was almost like something was stuck…….in the back of his throat.

“What’s up? You keep zoning out.”

Zenitsu spoke with concern in his voice and tugged on the sleeve of Tanjirou’s haori.

 

“Did something happen?”

“Are you hungry?”

Inosuke said while take large mouthfuls of the mochi he took from the banquet.

“He didn’t eat much during the celebration. There was so much delicious stuff too, what a moron.”

Inosuke finished the rest of the mochi in one mouthful and patted his own chest.

“You wait here, Senjirou, I’ll go back and get some leftovers!”

“?! No, you don’t have to!”

Only now did Tanjirou returned to his senses and he frantically stopped Inosuke who was going out of control.

There was no way he could let him return to the banquet and start looting the place like a mountain bandit, if not this ceremony to specially give blessings will be all for naught.

“No need to hold back, taking care of his minions is the boss’s responsibility.”

“I’m not holding back, also, I’m not hungry.”

“You’ll regret it if you don’t eat when there’s stuff to eat, you know? There’s meat that was this big?! And a large pile of fruits!!”

“I already said I’m really not hungry, Inosuke.”

Even so, Inosuke still could not accept his answer so in the end, Tanjirou had to lower his head and beg him not to go.

With much difficulty (or rather with much reluctance), Inosuke was convinced. Zenitsu, however, had a worried expression and he peered at Tanjirou’s face.

“What’s wrong? You have been acting a bit strange from just now?”

“! Strange? You’re saying I’ve been strange?”

“Un. There seems to be some strange “sound”.”

Tanjirou was taken aback.

Zenitsu had exceptionally good hearing, he could even tell how a person is feeling based on their “sound”, just like how Tanjirou could identify “smells”.

 

And he was saying that Tanjirou’s “sound” was abnormal.

Tanjirou was flustered and could not say anything to make an excuse.

“—I get it.”

As though he was promising that he would not share this to others, Zenitsu spoke softly, with an extremely stern expression and said:

“This has to do with Nezuko-chan, right?”

“!!”

Unknowingly, Tanjirou’s heart beat harder.

Seeing that Tanjirou was at a loss for words at the moment, Zenitsu could not help but nod.

He had a look on his face as though he saw through everything.

“Most likely you were thinking about the day Nezuko-chan gets married and you suddenly felt lonely.”

“……Huh?”

“However, Tanjirou, you can’t think like that. If Nezuko-chan meets someone whom she wants to marry, you should honestly give your blessings, this is for Nezuko-chan’s sake too.”

“………”

Zenitsu’s assertions deviated a bit from reality.

In Zenitsu’s mind, Nezuko, who was a demon, could get married like a normal person. To put it bluntly, Zenitsu did not even mind that Nezuko was a demon.

Even though Tanjirou felt a bit relieved by this, something was still off about it.

He kept feeling that he messed up a critical factor before that.

However Tanjirou did not know what that was.

 

Which was why he felt uncomfortable, like there was a bone in his throat.

–Un. There seems to be some strange “sound”.

–This has to do with Nezuko-chan, right?

Why does he feel terrified by these words that were said on a whim?

Tanjirou was deeply troubled, he lightly pressed his hand on the left of his chest. Ba dump ba dump……his chest beat slightly and Tanjirou quietly perked his ears and listened carefully.

However, he could not hear the “sound” that Zenitsu was talking about.

(Of course not, right? My ears aren’t as good as Zenitsu’s…….)

What was wrong with himself? Tanjirou furrowed his brows.

Zenitsu had already left Tanjirou aside and was talking freely about what it would be like when Nezuko gets married while Inosuke was endlessly talking about what dishes would taste great.

Just as Tanjirou was wondering how he should resolve the knots within his heart—

“Hey, Akari!”

Came a young voice.

“Of course you can’t. The sun’s setting, you’ll get eaten by demons.

“But Akari also wants to marry into a large family in the village just like Yutaka-neesan!! I don’t want to do so much work!!”

“No means no!!”

“Petty!! Nee-chan is a petty person! Petty old hag!!”

“What did you say?! I dare you to say that again!!”

Turning his head, he saw two young girls arguing by the side of the road.

 

One of them seemed to be about ten or eleven while the other was probably about seven years old? Seeing how the two of them looked alike when they were frowning and pouting at each other, they were very likely to be sisters.

(Yutaka-nee……Were they referring to the bride just now?)

Tanjirou approached the two. The younger girl noticed him and immediately grabbed the older girl’s sleeve.

“What’s going on? What are you two arguing about?”

In order not to scare the girls, Tanjirou squatted down and asked.

The older girl quickly glanced at Tanjirou and asked back:

“You’re the Demon Slayer who’s staying at Hisa-obaasan’s home?”

“Un, I’m Tanjirou. Are you two sisters?”

“Yes. I’m the older sister Akane, she’s my younger sister Akari.”

While her older sister was introducing herself, Akari shyly hid behind her sister. She poked her head out a bit and peered at Tanjirou and then hid quickly again.

Seeing that childish behavior, Tanjirou could not help but smile.

(Rokuta was the same.)

No, Shigeru, Hanako, Takeo—as well as Nezuko all went through this phase.

“Yutaka-neesan refers to the person who married into the other village right?”

While reminiscing about the nostalgic past, Tanjirou asked the pair of sisters.

“Right.”

“Let me tell you, Yutaka-neesan found an Onitoukuzu.”

(T/N: Onitoukuzu, literally translates to Demon Lamp Arrowroot)

Akari peeped out from her sister again and interrupted.

“—Onitoukuzu?”

 

Tanjirou tilted his head, confused. Even though he grew up in the mountains, this was the first time he heard of such a name.

“Is it a kind of flower?”

“Un, it’s a flower.”

Akari nodded her head hard and she extended her small fingers, pointing towards a mountain that was nearby.

“It grows in that mountain. If you pick that kind of flower, you can become a phoenix.”

“Become a phoenix? Ah, you mean flying onto high branches and becoming a phoenix.”

“That’s why Yutaka-neesan was able to marry into a rich family.”

The girl said delightfully.

“That’s just hearsay.”

Akane’s brows slanted downwards.

“This village had a saying from a long time ago “If you carry a flower which blooms under the new moon, then you can marry the your beloved person and live a life more blissful than anyone else”—Because Yutaka-neesan was lucky enough to have such good fate, the old folks in the village are saying that she found the Onitoukuzu. And this child happened to hear those words…….”

“I see.”

Tanjirou hit the centre of his palm, realisation dawning upon him.

“And it happens to be a new moon today—”

“……Yes.”

Akane nodded her head, feeling troubled.

“Akari kept saying that she must pick the flower and she wouldn’t listen to me……It’s merely a flower of fantasy.”

So that was why the two started arguing.

Even though the reason was extremely pure, it was already evening time. Once night fell, demons would start roaming around. No wonder Akane, who was the older sister, would worry.

 

Tanjirou peered at Akari who was clinging onto her sister’s back tightly.

“But it’s dangerous in the mountains at night, right?”

“Akari is already six years old.”

The girl who had a doll like haircut answered in a stubborn manner.

Even though he was laughing loudly inside his heart, Tanjirou persuaded the girl still with a stern expression on his face.

“It’s dangerous even for adults, don’t you know that?”

“Because demons will appear?”

“Yup.”

“Oh——…… are demons scary?”

“Yes, they are extremely terrifying.”

Tanjirou nodded his head seriously.

Akari thought for a moment then in a reluctant manner, agreed not to go into the mountains.

Akane let out a sigh of relief when she heard the answer.

“Thank you very much for your help.”

Showing her gratitude with a deep bow, she pulled her younger sister’s hands and said: “—Alright, let’s go home”

“What’s up? Tanjirou. Did something happen to those two girls just now?”

While Tanjirou was watching the two people walk away, Zenitsu approached him and Inosuke followed behind.

“What were you all talking about?”

“Ahh—”

Tanjirou told the other two the content of their conversation.

“Tch, how boring. It’s just a child’s nonsensical rambling.”

 

Inosuke did not seem interested.

“Oh~~It feels like that flower is quite fascinating.”

Zenitsu, on the other hand, muttered to himself, full of curiosity.

“Being able to marry the person you love and then lead a life which is more blissful than anyone else’s—how wonderful. But it’s really too much to say that you’ll fly to a high branch and become a phoenix.”

“Those are just rumors in the end, aren’t they? Zenitsu.”

Tanjirou quickly reminded Zenitsu, remembering his deep obsession with marriage.

After all, this man did cry and propose to a girl he just met on the street.

“Akane also said that it was a fantasy flower.”

“That’s not unusual, girls and the most unable to resist mysterious rumors that have to do with love.”

“! Is that so?”

“Un. Don’t girls like things like magical charms? Something like using flower petals to tell their fortunes. And it’s a flower that only blooms under the new moon, it does sound like something girls would really like—right, there’s a saying that making a wish under a new moon would make it come true so maybe this originated from that…….If that’s the case, perhaps there are a lot of legends that are not just pulled out of thin air…….”

Zenitsu had an all knowing expression, expressing that this flower might really exist.

“Zenitsu, you’re really knowledgeable.”

Tanjirou praised Zenitsu who had unexpectedly provided his insights.

“You! Even if you praise me, you won’t get anything out of it!!”

Zenitsu blushed furiously and with a “Ufufufu”, in a shy manner, he let out a disgusting laugh.

If one thought about it carefully, perhaps he had an ulterior motive and only made himself extremely familiar with matters of this nature to get on a girl’s good side. Regardless, Tanjirou still felt that it was something admirable.

(Really? So girls like these kinds of things.)

In other words—

 

(Nezuko as well……?)

Tanjirou’s squinted his eyes as he felt the cloud mist pine box upon his back.

(T/N: This (^_^) not (-_-). So hard to translate eye squint in English)

For a moment, the rich looking bridal outfit he saw earlier, the makeup that made people show affection, suddenly overlapped with Nezuko’s appearance.

His younger sister wearing a black based Furisode with a smile on her face—

Looking very happy.

And she appeared to be living a blessed life.

Once he thought of this imagery, the fog that was in his mind cleared up in an instant.

(……I see…….)

Tanjirou finally understood the reason behind the knots in his heart.

“Oi, both of you! Stop chit-chatting and let’s quickly return to the old hag’s house! The old hag fried a whole bunch of food that’s coated in flour and is waiting for us!!”

Inosuke, whose stomach was grumbling loudly, urged Tanjirou to move. Perhaps thinking about all the delicious food that he had not ate caused him to become hungry.

“Hurry, stop idling around!!”

“You still want to eat?”

“How much more do you want to eat?” Zenitsu had a hopeless expression and he turned his head towards Tanjirou who had not moved an inch from where he was.

“What’s wrong? Let’s go?”

“……….”

“Tanjirou?”

Tanjirou hesitated for a second.

 

“Sorry. There’s something I have to do. Zenitsu, Inosuke, the two of you can go back first.”

After saying that to the two, Tanjirou hurried off, chasing after Akane and Akari.

“Ah…Found them! Over there.”

As it had been some time since they parted ways, Tanjirou was originally worried that he might not be able to catch up with them. However the other party were just two young girls, together with his heightened sense of smell, Tanjirou soon caught up with them.

Two small figures were holding hands in a loving way under the setting sun.

“Akane-chan, Akari-chan! Wait—”

“?”

The two sisters turned their heads at the same time after Tanjirou called out to them.

They both showed curious expressions.

“Demon Slayer Onii-san?”

“What is it?”
“About that Onitoukuzu, can you tell me a bit more about it?”

Hearing Tanjirou’s words, the two young sisters blinked their widened eyes in confusion.

*

–That night.

“Ufufu……eh? Is it? This kind of thing……Hee hee hee….fu—fu—-eh? Hehehehe….Nezuko-chan, you’re really….Nghunghu….”

 

While Zenitsu was dreaming his sweet dreams, someone suddenly shook his shoulder that was not covered by his blanket in a violent manner.

“…..No~….so annoying….Ugh….the mood is pretty good now…..don’t get in my way…..Inosuke……gu……Ufufu…..it’s nothing like that……Shuu shuu…..Nezuko-chan is really cute……Ufufu.”

“………….”

Zenitsu turned his body, trying to get away from the annoying person’s hand, however, this time, now his cheeks were getting constantly beaten and Zenitsu who was still deep in his sleep frowned.

“Unnnn~~~What? Is it Tanjirou now? Nezuko-chan and I are professing our love to each other, you can stay away a bit too….Hu—Hu–….As I was saying, Nezuko-chan……”

Pa pa pa.

“From the first time I met Nezuko-chan, I…..Uhu….Ufufu…..That’s right….really……Shuu….alright? We’re destined to be together…..Ugunugu….”

Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa—

“Ah—!!Seriously! Didn’t I say you’re annoying?! You’ve been pa pa pa pa and hitting me all the way from the start!! What are you doing?! What do you want?! Are you trying to pick on me?! Do you all have some grudge against me—”

Finally Zenitsu opened his eyes and got angry at the person who kept slapping him.

However—

“?!”

The person looking at him was neither Inosuke nor Tajirou, it was Nezuko who had left her box, Once Zenitsu realized this, all his fury dissipated completely.

 

“Ne, Ne, Nezuko-chan? Is…….Is, Is something wrong? It’s the middle of the night……..”

Zenitsu bolted upright, completely flustered and his entire face was as red as a cooked octopus.

“Could it be that you want to see me? That can’t be……Ah, Ah haha….Ah, could it be that Inosuke was snoring too loudly?! Ha ha ha……That guy’s snoring is a real piece of work.”

Nezuko kept shaking her head and her glossy black hair swung along with it.

“Eh, it, it’s not? It’s not me is it?! Is it me?! My snoring was too loud?! Or am I grinding my teeth?! Sorry!!”

Zenitsu waved his arms around aimlessly, apologizing, however, Nezuko shook her head again then pointed frantically at the blanket next to Zenitsu and cried out with an “Uu…….”

Zenitsu looked at where she was pointing and stopped his unnatural arm movements.

“Eh? Huh? What about Tanjirou?”

After looking at the that blanket, Zenitsu raised an eyebrow, surprised.

The bedding where Tanjirou was supposed to be sleeping in was empty.

On a side note, Inosuke was sleeping like a log in the other bedding next to him.

Nezuko surveyed her surroundings uneasily.

Zenitsu finally understood what was going on after seeing her actions. She was actually looking for Tanjirou.

Nezuko left her box at night but did not see her brother so she woke Zenitsu up as she was worried.

(Ah—Nezuko-chan is really too cute……She really loves her brother……I’m so jealous of Tanjirou……But she didn’t ask Inosuke for help and looked for me instead……Ah, Nezuko-chan, I love you the most.)

Zenitsu was deeply moved and he let out an expression of infatuation.

“He must have gone to the bathroom, he’ll be back soon.”

“Uu—-Uu—–!!”

Even though he tried to comfort Nezuko but for some reason, Nezuko shook her head forcefully with a look of anger.

 

“Uu—–!”

“?”

Zenitsu felt that Nezuko was not being her usual self. He pulled away Tanjirou’s blanket and touched the mattress.

“Uh…….”

It was very cold. The icy feeling on Zenitsu’s hand caused the blush on his face to go down at once.

From that temperature, it was impossible that someone was just sleeping on it.

Zenitsu checked the room and then did he notice that Tanjirou’s squad uniform and Nichirin sword were gone. Instead, the kimono he was wearing earlier was neatly folded.

“? Where did Tanjirou go…….?!”

Zenitsu started to worry and he quickly pulled open the paper door that led to the courtyard.

It was pitch black outside so the starry sky looked especially stunning and beautiful.

“Right……today is a new moon.”

Then, the incident of the daytime suddenly crossed his mind.

After seeing the bride, Tanjirou’s “sound” became different from his usual.

There was a rumour that if you had the Onitoukuzu, you could marry your beloved person and be happier than anyone else.

When Nezuko was mentioned, Tanjirou’s heartbeat accelerated.

Tanjirou said he had something to do and then chased after the two girls. That time, the wooden box was swinging along on his back.

Zenitsu turned to face Nezuko.

 

“That guy couldn’t have—–”

Tanjirou treated the girl who was before him as someone who was more important than anything else in this world—and probably more important than himself. Right now, this girl’s brows were furrowed and she grasped her brother’s blanket in her hands.

*

An entire sea of stars was reflected in his eyes.

“—Uu….Uuuu……..”

Tanjirou collapsed on top of the damp soil.

He fell from a precipice that was higher than he thought.

Fortunately, the place he fell on was full of decaying leaves so Tanjirou did not have any serious injuries. However, he did pass out for a short while.

“………Ugh…….!”

As he was about to get up, Tanjirou could not help but let out a weak groan.

His entire body was in pain.

Especially his ribs. They were almost completely healed—if he were to fracture them again, it would be so embarrassing.

He would not have the cheek to face Hisa who had been taking care of him selflessly.

(….I never thought I would actually fall off a precipice.)

Just as he was feeling guilty of his lack of training, Tanjirou got up as gently as he could. Even though he was still aching, it did not seem like he fractured anything.

Just as Tanjirou breathed a sigh of relief, he heard the sound of branches and leaves rustling.

The reason behind his fall from the precipice had appeared.

Tanjirou looked at it and he broke into a smile.

“So you’re alright, that’s great.”

A wild boar that was about the size of an adult growled deeply and stared at Tanjirou furiously.

“Be careful next time, okay?”

Once Tanjirou finished talking with a smile on his face, the wild boar started to snort again.

A few hours ago—

In order to look for the Onitoukuzu, Tanjirou went up the mountain full of spirit, however it was unexpectedly difficult to find a flower in the mountains at night.

Even though he grew up in the mountains, these were not the mountains where he grew up in.

Walking on the unfamiliar mountain path and searching for a flower that may or may not exist required more willpower than he thought.

Furthermore, Akane and Akari did not have any artistic cells to speak off so the drawing that they tried their best to draw did not help at all. Even so—

“I heard that the leaves are a bright green and the edge of the leaves are like a saw’s teeth.”

“There are five flower petals and they are puffed out like this. Look carefully, it’s this kind of shape. No, no, like this. Ugh, this drawing sucks.”

“The flower is mostly crimson but sometimes there are red or white types….Other traits….ah, right, I heard that each flower petal is shaped like the eye of a pig, they’re really adorable. The smell? If it’s the smell then…..”

 

The shape of the leaves, the number of petals, the colour and so on—Just as Tanjirou was searching as hard as he could based on these pieces of verbal information, a wild board suddenly poked its head out from the grass.

The wild boar that amazingly resembled Inosuke was breathing quickly and its entire body let out a smell of anger.

Looking at it carefully, there was a fresh would near the boar’s foot and it was not a shallow one. That was probably why it was so agitated.

“You got injured? Come, let me have a look. It’s alright……Ah, no no, if you keep moving about, your wound will……!! Watch out—”

While he was comforting the struggling boar, the boar seemed to slip and fall off the precipice and Tanjirou immediately risked his neck to protect it.

–Which resulted in the current situation.

“Alright—this will do. Be careful in future, alright?”

Tanjirou smiled after he did some simple first aid on the wound sustained by the boar, which had calmed down.

The more he looked, the more it looked like a splitting image of Inosuke.

“Then I need to go look for the Onitoukuzu, take care.”

Tanjirou was about to leave but the boar used its teeth to clamp down on the hem of Tanjirou’s haori.

“Wa! What is it? Are you hungry? But this is a haori, it can’t be eaten.”

The boar growled and forcefully tugged on Tanjirou’s haori.

“Eh? You want me to follow you?”

“Grr———!!”

“Alright, I get it.”

In a flash, Tanjirou could understand what the boar wanted and he nodded his head.

The boar confidently led the way and Tanjirou followed closely,

After walking for a while, a small cave appeared deep among the lush green grass.

“……—Ah.”

A crimson flower bloomed next to the opening of the cave.

Tanjirou’s eyes widened when he saw it.

Bright green leaves, five puffy petals that all resembled the eyes of a pig.

A weak gulping noise came from Tanjirou’s throat.

“Onitou….kuzu………–?”

The flower petals that are covered with the night’s dew were delicately beautiful and they were shining as though there were stars within them.

*

That day when he lost his family in a single night—

When he knew that Nezuko was still breathing, Tanjirou was relieved beyond words.

He was so happy and that gave him a lot of salvation.

Perhaps Nezuko did not want to let her reckless brother become alone, so as a last-ditch effort, she did not mind becoming a demon.

Every time this thought drifted into his mind, strong feelings of sympathy and pity gushed out from Tanjirou for his younger sister and he shed tears several times over it.

Nezuko who have always endured from young.

Nezuko who was so gentle that it was almost tragic.

I swear that I would not let anyone take anything from you anymore.

I definitely won’t allow anyone to hurt you

Onii-chan will make you happy.

Whatever I could not give to everyone else, I will give them to you—

*

“……Areh? Is everyone……already awake?”

When Tanjirou returned to Hisa’s home, there was a huge disturbance happening in the room where all of them were staying in.

It was the middle of the night yet the lights were on and he could hear talking from the end of the corridor.

“So I’m saying that that idiot Tanjirou went into the mountains to find flowers! Yes, in the middle of the night in the mountains. If demons were to appear, it would be very dangerous right? I’m saying I’m going to look for him and you’re coming with me.”

“Ah, why do I have to find Kanjirou in the middle of the night? Can’t you go by yourself?”

“Because the mountains are terrifying at night!! I’m scared if I go by myself!!”

“Tch…spineless wimp. By the way, why would that idiot Tangorou go into the mountains?”

“I said he was finding flowers!! Listen to what others are saying!”

“Flowers? Why is that idiot Chotarou plucking flowers? Isn’t that what girlies do……”

“I guess it might be because he heard the rumours about the Onitoukuzu and wanted to give one to Nezuko-chan. That idiot Tanjirou.”

“What’s an Onitouwuzu? Some kind of food?”

“It’s Onitoukuzu! Didn’t those girls at the village talk about it in the daytime? You were at the side listening too, Inosuke, right? You were wolfing down rice cakes. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten?”

“I remember the rice cakes. They were delicious.”

“Idiot! Inosuke is an idiot!! You’re all idiots!!”

“What did you say?!”

(I’ve been called an idiot so many times….and Inosuke, the names are so wrong it’s ridiculous…..)

Tanjirou swallowed his saliva and anxiously pulled open the paper door.

“….I’m back.”

–Inside the room, Inosuke was tightly choking Zenitsu’s neck.

“?! Uwahh!!!What are you doing! Stop it, Inosuke!!”

Tanjirou frantically rushed forward to stop the scuffle.

“Let go of Zenitsu, Inosuke.”

“Shut up, Chojirou!! This guy is looking down on me!! If I don’t beat the pulp out of him, I won’t be able to take this insult!!”

“Didn’t I always say that there’s shouldn’t be fighting among squad members?! Let go now!!”

With a huff, Tanjirou pulled the two apart, with much difficulty.

“Tch.”

“Uuu….Tanjirou.”

Tanjirou consoled Inosuke, who was clicking his tongue, and Zenitsu who was grabbing onto him as though his life depended on it.

“—Anyway, where’s Nezuko? Is she in her box?”

Hearing Tanjirou’s question , his younger sister slowly poked her head out from under his blanket.

“……..”

“What in the world, so you were hiding here.”

Tanjirou’s face lit up and he cheerfully took out the flower that was kept carefully in the inner pocket of the squad uniform. Even though the flower was a bit bent, it had not withered.

Holding the dazzling flower in his right hand, he gently held it out in front of his sister.

“This is for you. It’s an Onitoukuzu.”

“……..”

“If you have this, you can marry the person you like and become happier than anyone else.”

Tanjirou said with a broad smile.

However his sister did not stretch out her hand for quite a while.

“?”

He did not know if he was overthinking things but Nezuko did not seem energetic at all.

Perhaps it was because he suddenly disappeared, so that made her worry. If that was the case then he really went overboard

Tanjirou purposely spoke in an even softer tone.

“Sorry, I made you worry. The flower’s pretty, right?”

“………..”

Nezuko’s focused on the flower for a while then took it from Tanjirou’s hand and stuck it in her hair.

Seeing that Tanjirou was smiling at her, Nezuko smiled as well.

Then she took the flower from her head and stuck it onto Tanjirou’s hair.

“….Um? Eh, Nezuko, that’s not correct. I don’t need this. This is for you–……”

When Tanjirou finished saying that, Nezuko’s smile faded and her brows tilted downwards.

(Ah….–)

He felt that he had seen that sad gaze somewhere before in the past.

The younger sister kept her gaze fixed on her older brother.

A “smell” that seemed like rebuke……

Yet seemed like pity.

“………….Sorry…….”

Tanjirou could not do anything at all, he could only look back at Nezuko’s eyes. Then, he suddenly remembered something that happened in the past.

“Onii-chan, don’t apologise. Why do you keep apologising?”

 

Tanjirou inhaled sharply.

Even though he forgot what exactly happened, that time, his younger sister showed her rare anger.

The younger sister had a stern expression, one that she rarely shown, on her face as she stared at the older brother.

That’s right—it was a cold day.

There was snow that chilled people to the bone.

He remembered that it was shortly after their father’s passing.

“We can’t be happy just because we’re live in poverty? It’s pitiful just because we can’t wear beautiful kimonos?”

The younger sister stared straight at her brother, rather than rage and impatient, it was more of a sorrowful “smell”.

Since it’s useless even if we gave it our all, then it can’t be helped. As a person….we can’t expect that everyone will have everything going the way they want it to.”

 

The Nezuko in his memories and the Nezuko in front of him were overlapping—

Seeing that his sister’s eyes were full of a deep sorrow, Tanjirou became agitated.

No.

That’s not it, Nezuko.

(I just….want you to be happy….that’s why—)

“Whether I become happy or not, it’s my own decision, what’s important is the “present”.”

 

The moment the words that his younger sister said before rang in his ears—Tanjirou felt as though a strong blow hit his head.

That’s right—

Because they were poor, his younger sister could not wear beautiful clothes, and she had to toil everyday, then their beloved father passed away and she could only endure for the sake of their younger siblings. Even though the older brother kept apologizing for this, his younger sister said:

Stop apologizing.

“If it’s Onii-chan, then you should be able to understand my feelings.”

 

(Ahh—–)

So……

Nezuko’s feelings were the same as his own.

No matter what, I want to turn Nezuko back to a human.

If I could, I want her to enjoy that bright period of time a younger girl should have.

And wish that a man she loved could stay by her side.

I wish that you’ll be happy more than anyone else.
There was not one day where Tanjirou did not think about this.

However, Nezuko had the same feelings too.

Just as Tanjirou constantly had his sister in consideration, Nezuko also thought about her brother.

So she wanted to give the flower of happiness to Tanjirou.

Nezuko, who was still alive now had a future, she was not some unfortunate girl.

Even though their family was killed, she herself turned into a demon and the road ahead would be a rough one, she had gained the acknowledgement of leader of the Demon slayers and became a member of the demon slayers. She gained companions who cared about her and there was even a man who expressed his affection for her, not minding that she was a demon.

(T/N: Waitttttttt, this is before that spider mountain arc…what acknowledgement.)

He was fighting for the sake of a happy future for his sister—

Tanjirou pulled his younger sister closer to himself and hugged her gently.

“Thank you Nezuko….”

Nezuko also hugged her brother tightly.

This solid weight and warmth caused tears to spill from Tanjirou’s eyes.

“Hey—”

Suddenly, Inosuke asked curiously:

“Why are you crying? Are you hurting somewhere?”

“Inosuke.”

Zenitsu, who was crying along with them, softly chided him saying:

“Don’t you know how to read the mood? If you don’t, at least keep your trap shut.”

“So? Why did Joujirou climb the mountain?”

“You……Didn’t you hear what I was saying just now? He went into the mountains to get an Onitoukuzu.”

See, that over there—Zenitsu pointed at the flower on top of Tanjirou’s head.

“But that’s not called an Onitoukuzu.”

Inosuke lazily said after glancing at the glower.

After hearing that tone as though it was not anything of significance—

“”…………..Eh……………?””

Both Tanjirou and Zenitsu let out sounds of exclamation at the same time……

*

“……I felt that there was a lot of disappointment yesterday.”

The next morning, when Tanjirou was sitting on a bench soaking up the sun while looking distracted, Zenitsu tried to talk to him, feeling anxious.

Meanwhile Inosuke was dashing around the centre of the courtyard while shouting “Pig Assault!!”

Next to Tanjirou was the box that contained Nezuko.

In the end, the flower plucked by Tanjirou the previous night was not the “Onitoukuzu” but the “Pig Eye Grass.”

As the flower petals were sweet and tasty, most of them were eaten clean by the wild animals. But for some reason, only wild boars do not eat this plant so there were plenty of them growing around the boars’ nests.

In other words actually the boar from last night did not understand Tanjirou’s thoughts and only wanted to invite him to its own nest as a way to thank him for helping dress his wounds.

By the way, aside from the new moon, the pig’s eye grass will also bloom when the moon is full and the duration of how long they bloom had nothing to do with what the night was like.

“It was because I said that the flower might exist, and girls would be happy if they received this flower, right? I feel bad that you did that.”

“—No, it was my own decision. Zenitsu, you’re not in the wrong at all.”

Tanjirou shook his head, smiling.

“Zenitsu, you said yesterday that my sound was “strange”, right?”

“Eh? Ah, Ahh….I did say that.”

“I didn’t really get it myself that time but after seeing how happy Yutaka-san—when I saw the beautiful bride, I couldn’t help but sympathise with Nezuko who can’t live under the sun.”

Not only could she not wear beautiful kimonos.

She could not live under the sunlight.

Furthermore, she would get injured as she gets wrapped up in bloody battles and he could not give her the joys that a young girl her age should be enjoying.

All this made Tanjirou feel immensely guilty, restless and at a loss.

“But Nezuko…….”

“……….”

Nezuko was not a girl who would gripe all day and night on how unfortunate she was.

Just like when she was a human, she strived to live in the “present””

More importantly, Nezuko’s “happiness” was decided by her own hands.

It may be becoming a family with her beloved and living till they were old and gray and yet, it might not.

In any case, that was not something that he, as her brother, should decide.

However, he determined that his younger sister’s “present” was unfortunate so he felt pity for her and tried to force “happiness” onto her……

“What I should be doing now is to defeat Kibutsuji Muzan and quickly turn Nezuko back to a human and avenge my family.”

“Tanjirou……”

Tanjirou looked straight at the other party and finished his words.

“——-I’ll do my best too.”

Zenitsu rubbed his nose and mumbled softly.

“Even though I’m scared……And honestly I’m really weak, I probably can’t help much and I keep feeling like I’m going to die…..don’t ever have any expectations of me….but I’ll do whatever is within my ability and put in as much effort as I can.”

“Zenitsu….”

“Really, don’t even think you can expect anything out of me.”

Zenitsu probably had little to no confidence and even emphasized that point once.

Even so, his thoughtfulness was comforting.

“Oi!! Stop lazing around and start running! Run until you vomit blood!!”

It was not just the courtyard, Inosuke’s voice echoed throughout the entire villa and in one shot, the sentimental mood in the air dissipated.

“In order to turn minion number three back to a human, we have to beat the demon’s boss right?! If that’s the case, we just have to get stronger!! Stop chit-chatting over there! You Bajirou!!”

“What minion number three?! What did you say to Nezuko-chan—”

Even though Zenitsu was angry, Tanjirou only smiled.

“Inosuke is right.”

Inosuke’s straightforwardness and determination was too dazzling.

“….We have to get stronger.”

“Right?!”

“What are you saying? Tanjirou, your fracture is not healed yet right? It took quite a lot of effort for it to be close to full recovery. And speaking of which, we came here to rest, why do we have to work out till we vomit blood? There’s something wrong with the intentions?!”

“Hey, my lackeys!! Hurry up and follow your boss Inosuke!!”

Inosuke’s energetic hollered overshadowed Zenitsu’s baffled complaints.

“At this time—

“The bride’s sedan is passing through!”

The rough voices of the village’s young men were carried over by the wind.

Tanjirou gently closed his eyes.

Yutaka looking youthful in her bridal clothing

Hisa’s warm smile.

Akane and Akari looking on with their eyes shining and their faces blushing slightly.

They were all playing out in front of his eyes.

“……-“

Tanjirou touched the box that was next to him and a sound that replied him from within the box.

The voice was weak but gentle.

Tanjirou broke into a smile and raised his head to look at the azure sky,

Today happened to be a clear sunny day without a cloud in sight.

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