Kimetsu No Yaiba Light Novel (Demon Slayer Light Novel) – Chapter 1 – One Winged Butterfly

Kimetsu No Yaiba Light Novel (Demon Slayer Light Novel) – Chapter 1 – One Winged Butterfly


Gotoge Koyohara: Everyone worked hard, this is Gotoge. The second novel is finished.

In order to let the contents of the stories be understandable to the third party, the story was written simply but it was no easy task. I have lots of respect for the author. The author was considered someone whose fingers will tangle up when she types long stories, gets upset and cannot resist screaming like a demonic kind of Z type* of person. At the same time she was also a H type*. Because she was used to grinding her canine teeth, she lost them and now she can’t pronounce her words properly. Please take care of your teeth.

(T/N: Z for Zekkyou or tragic scream. H for Ha-Tsuki or gritted teeth)

Yajima Aya: I’m so honoured to be able to write the second novel of Kimetsu no Yaiba. The book has finally come the fruition…..!

The illustrations are super cute.

Please read it!!


Himejima Gyomei was originally a tender man.

He raised children with no parents in a rundown temple and lived a poor but happy life. Every day, he would work his hardest in order to feed the children and he would not eat anything himself.

Never mind about hitting other people, he never even harshly scolded those children.

Himejima Gyomei was that kind of ordinary man who was delicate, foolish and far too kind.

That’s right……

Until….that nightmarish night—

*

Using his Nichirin blade which came in the form of a hand axe and steel ball linked together with chains, he sliced the demon’s neck and split the neck and demon’s skull apart.

When Himejima rushed over to the scene, the room had become a sea of blood.

The puddle of blood under bodies of the killed man and woman have mixed with the demon’s blood and gave off a choking smell.

Behind the body of the demon which was slowly disintegrating were two young girls.

The girl who did not look that old herself was protecting the younger girl desperately.

The two girls gave off the same aura, they should be sisters. They were trembling and crying non-stop.

The two girls’ hearts must be filled with “fear”.

Logically speaking, shortly after being rescued, the grief of losing their parents should rush in like a wave.

Right after that, they would realised their beloved people were killed and hatred would grow within them.

However, the hearts of these two young girls were just filled with utter terror. After encountering this lifeform of an unknown origin known as a demon, fear would have an overwhelming place within them.

(Perhaps in their eyes, I am also a monster……)

Just like Sayo did.

He lost a lot before and then he risked his life to protect that girl. However when other adults rushed over, she was so terrified that she shook and sobbed in front of them, saying:

–That person is a monster, that person killed everyone.

Never mind about the officers who rushed over, even the person involved, Himejima, did not know that “that person” who Sayo was talking about was actually a demon.

Himejima always believed that at that time, the girl was so scared that she became confused and somehow her memory became warped and thought that he was the monster. He will never forget the words that were said as well as that voice that was full of terror.

Children are extremely fragile……and cruel.

This thought controlled Himejima until this day.

*

“This is Himejima Gyomei-sama’s house, right?”

“……………”

HImejima originally thought that he would never see those girls who were safely sent to their relatives’ home ever again.

So he did not even ask for their names.

Honestly speaking, he never wanted to have anything to do with children anymore.

Furthermore, it’s been half a month since that incident, why are they looking for me now? Himejima could not help but be suspicious.

“Excuse us for taking the liberty of inviting ourselves here.”

The older girl bowed deeply.

“My name is Kochou Kanae and this is my younger sister, Shinobu.”

After the older sister introduced herself, he could feel the younger girl also lower her head stiffly.

“How did you know of this place…….?”

“A member of the Kakushi told us. Himejima-sama, you lent a helping hand and defeated the foul demon, yet we did not offer our thanks properly and I’m deeply apologetic about that. You have my utmost gratitude for saving us—especially for saving my younger sister.

The girl’s tone was gentle and her voice was extremely sweet and beautiful yet it was crystal clear. After listening to her, Himejima could not help but think of a flower blooming in the snow.

“Thank you for saving my older sister.”

After the older sister finished speaking, the younger sister followed suit and gave her thanks.

The younger sister was still of a tender age and she seemed to have a strong temperament.

“The funeral rites for our father and mother have been settled and there was almost no damage to their bodies so they have been laid to rest properly……………all this is thanks to you, Himejima-sama. We really thank you very much.”

The words of the sisters—showed their sincere thoughts. Thoughts regarding the grief they felt for their parents, their gratitude towards Himejima as well as their love for each other were transmitted over to him properly.

(Did they come here just to say this……?)

The trauma within their hearts have not even healed—

Himejima could not help but be moved but the pair of strong girls.

Yet on the other hand, he was afraid of getting involved with the two.

Even though they could say such pleasant words now, after time passed, they might blame Himejima for not reaching out earlier to help.

They might even place the blame for their parents’ deaths on him.

Children were these kinds of creatures.

So Himejima spoke coldly on purpose:

“It’s nothing much. Killing demons is my job after all.”

“Yes. The Kakushi told us about the Demon slayers as well.”

The older sister, Kanae’s tone became nervous at once and she turned her head to look at her younger sister.

The younger sister also looked back at the older sister and the two nodded their heads slightly at each other.

“Actually we came here because we have a request.”

“Please teach me and Nee-san how to slay demons.”

Shinobu interrupted her older sister and spoke.

“Please teach us how to cut off a demon’s head.”

From that determined tone, Himejima could feel with his mind’s eye the difference in their determination.

Compared to the older sister Kanae whose heart became determined by her deep grief and sadness, Shinobu’s was full of fury and hate.

The unadulterated hatred was instead unusually beautiful—

(How pitiful….)

Had there not been such a tremendous change in their life, this young child would be able to live a happy life enveloped in the love of her parents and older sister, yet now, she had to carry such burning rage and hate. All this was so pitiful and tiresome.

However, Himejima did not bother with the girls’ plea.

He could not rob these two children of their future because of a reckless decision.

And furthermore, Himejima’s scarred heart had long already rejected sympathising with the girls.

*

Himejima walked out of his house to prepare to chop wood.

He realised that Shinobu was there and frowned.

“……You’re still here?”

“Of course. You still haven’t agreed to teach us to slay demons.”

Shinobu angrily said.

Crack. Right after that, there was a sharp sound of wood being split open.

“I’ll take care of chopping wood, Nee-san can take care of laundry and cleaning. If it’s alright, we were thinking of also washing that kimono of yours, remember to change out of it later.”

“I don’t remember asking the two of you to do these things.”

Himejima said, obviously unhappy.

“Return home before it gets dark.”

“We’re already homeless.”

Shinobu said stubbornly. “We lost everything and we abandoned all that we had left so we already have nothing to cling on to. I only have Nee-san……”

Once she finished speaking, the girl continued to chop wood. This time, the sound was not as clean.

The axe that Himejima usually used was far too big for such a young girl.

“……Hand that to me for a while.”

Himejima took the axe from Shinobu’s hands.

The hand that he briefly touched was miserably small.

From her voice, where the voice came from as well as the sound of her footsteps, Himejima guessed that this girl called Shinobu was more petite than other girls her age and as expected, he was correct.

“Aim for the block of wood this way and go straight down.”

Himejima fell his axe on the round block of wood that was on top of the log.

In an instant, an extremely crisp sound was produced.

“Oji-san, you can’t see, how did you know where it was?”

“….I’m not at the age to be addressed as an Oji-san.”

After hearing Himejima’s words, Shinobu thought for a while and immediately changed to the way she addressed him: “—”Himejima-san then.” That serious tone of hers was very adorable.

“Did a demon cause that wound on your forehead? Does it still hurt?”

“………Just go home.”

Himejima ignored Shinobu’s questions and said icily.

A strange sense of anxiety and sadness gushed out from his heart.

“The two of you would not be able to kill demons.”

“What? Aren’t there women in the Corps? The Kakushi person said so, so don’t think that you can lie to me.”

“It’s true that it’s not as though there are no women among the Corp members but their numbers are far less than male Corp members and most aren’t able to pass the final selection.”

“What’s a final selection? Is it like a test? Don’t worry, Nee-san and I have good brains.”

“Even though it’s difficult now, you’ll forget all these sooner or later. Just be a normal girl and live a happy life. Find the man you like, have a family of your own and live till you have a face full of wrinkles—”

“How can I possibly forget!!”

Himejima was not done talking and Shinobu suddenly raised her voice.

Perhaps they were startled by Shinobu’s yelling; many small birds flew out from the nearby trees and the branches shook violently.

“I saw my parents killed before my eyes, you know?! Living a normal life is happiness?! Lying to myself and pretending to forget all this is happiness?! I don’t want that kind of happiness!! What difference is it from being dead?!”

“Demon slaying is a road of blood, it’s not that simple. Do you think your deceased parents would wish for their daughters to choose this kind of future?”

“At this point, no one knows what my father and mother wish for……!”

Shinobu shouted as though she was about to cry.

HImejima could not say anything.

Right after that, Shinobu added on:

“Then Himejima-san, can you do it? After the important people in your lives get killed, are you able to live on as though nothing had happened? Why did you join the Demon Slayer Corps? Why did you become a Demon Slayer?!”

After saying those words while gritting her teeth, Shinobu ran away from the direction towards the house.

Himejima could not call her in time.

He could only helplessly stand at where he was.

“Don’t worry, she’ll come back soon.”

At that moment, Kanae’s voice came from behind him.

Most likely the older sister heard the conversation between the two and worriedly came out of the house to take a look. Himejima turned around and Kanae quietly lowered her head, saying:

“Please forgive my younger sister for her rudeness. Actually that child also understands that Himejima-sama is really concerned for our safety……But she still can’t accept that emotionally……after all, that child liked attention since she was young. She loved our father and mother the most.”

“You need a certain kind of build to be a Slayer, no matter how hard you grill your sword skills, the amount of muscle you are born with will never change. Just strength itself is proportionate to how much muscles you have.

“……That, I understand.”

“You are taller so that’s fine. However even if that child becomes a Slayer, she might not even be able to decapitate a demon.”

“………..”

“And do you know what happens to Slayers who can’t kill a demon?”

After listening to Himejima’s words, Kanae painfully lowered her head.

A short moment of deafening silence passed then Kanae spoke.

“My father always said: If there is someone who was unable to shoulder their burdens, then bear half of it for them; If someone is troubled, think with him; If someone is enveloped by grief, then empathise with them.”

After looking at Kanae and Shinobu, one could probably realise—

The parents of the two must be extremely good people. Not only were they kind and honest, they were hardworking and they deeply loved their daughters.

However, this pair of parents were brutally killed.

And they could not even resist, the absolute power cruelly took away their lives.

“I want to save everyone. Whether they are humans—or demons.”

Kanae’s tone was sincere beyond compare and it was filled with the sadness of being powerless.

However, rather than sympathy, Himejima was filled with doubt. He could not comprehend the meaning behind Kanae’s words.

“You say….that you want to save demons?”

“The Kakushi person said before that demons used to be humans like us.”

Speaking to this point, Kanae paused for a moment and lifted her head.

“What pitiful creatures. They are human yet they eat other humans and they fear the beautiful sun rise. As long as I defeat one demon, people who could have been harmed would be saved and that demon can also escape that miserable life.”

“In other words….you want to save the demons that slaughtered your parents?”

“……Yes.”

“If those words are real then you are just insane.”

Himejima could not help but speak in a mocking tone.

(You want to save demons? They’re pitiful creatures?)

Himejima still bore a deep hatred for those evil demons who took everything from him. In fact, he would rather kill more demons.

The feeling of continuously beating that demon’s head was still left in his hands and most likely it would never disappear until the end of his life.

Until the day his heart stops, Himejima would most likely use this pair of hands to continue slaying demons.

(This girl……is too kind.)

If she was a normal person, this kindness was definitely praiseworthy. However if she wanted to continue living as a Demon Slayer, sooner or later, being overly kind would lead to her death.

“You should not become a demon slayer.”

“I want to protect the futures of others that have yet to be destroyed, just as you would give your all for our sake……just as how you protected Shinobu, I wish to protect someone who is precious to another. I wish to be able to put an end to this chain of tragic events.”

“And you’re not afraid that you or your younger sister would die?”

“…..—”

Immediately, Kanae fell silent.

Even if she was willing to sacrifice herself, it was likely difficult for her to allow her sister to walk down the road towards death.

Himejima also knew that he asked a despicable question.

However—

“We already made up our minds.”

Kanae spoke, her voice shaking.

“Shinobu and I promised each other that “We definitely will not allow others to meet the same fate as us”.

The girl’s tragic determination was upsetting. Faced with this girl’s unexpectedly stubborn attitude, not only was Himejima furious, he was even more irritated with himself for not being able to agree to their requests in a straightforward manner.

Himejima closed his sightless eyes and turned away from the girl.

After that, he swung his axe and chopped the wood.

A sharp clear sound reverberated to the surroundings.

In order to escape the Kanae’s piercing gaze aimed straight at his back, Himejima focused solely on chopping firewood.

*

The older sister was right, it was not long before Shinobu returned.

“I’m back.”

When Shinobu finished saying that, she pushed the vegetables and mushrooms she picked on the way back to Himejima without any sign of remorse.

“I wanted to say that dinner is settled, aren’t I nice?”

Himejima accepted the large pile of vegetables and mushrooms and frowned. Somehow, he had a bad premonition.

As expected, the two sisters have not returned home even when night fell. During this time, Himejima was actually really looking forward to the Kasugaigarasu to deliver a mission to him, yet today had to be the day the crows did not appear.

When the sun set, the temperature of the area fell as well. Just as Himejima was adding the firewood chopped by himself and Shinobu into the hearth, the fragrance of Miso and rice was transmitted over amidst the heat of the burning wood.

“Himejima-san.”

A young voice came from above his head.

“Dinner’s ready.”

“Sorry, we took the liberty of using the rice, miso and other things in this house.”

Kanae added on, feeling embarrassed, but it was too late for apologies at the moment.

Seeing that he had no other choice, Himejima could only sit with Kanae and Shinobu around the hearth.

The sisters had made cold mixed mountain vegetables, grilled trout, miso soup with mushrooms and rice balls.

Himejima suddenly felt deep sentiments, he did not know how long it had been since he ate with other people.

The firewood split open in the hearth, causing a cracking sound.

“It’s delicious.”

After tasting the miso soup, Himejima unintentionally said those words softly.

“Shinobu cooked that.”

Kanae happily replied.

“Shinobu is really good with her hands, from before, she always gathered all kinds of plants from our courtyard and imitated pharmacists and made medicines and she really managed to make a medicine.”

“Well, Nee-san is better in all other matters.”

Shinoby said, somewhat roughly.

From her tone, it was obvious that she was just feeling shy and it was not that she was really angry.

“Nee-san is our town’s top beauty. She can play the koto, do flower arrangement, make tea, there’s nothing she doesn’t know, the men in the town are smitten about Nee-san.”

“Shinobu, enough already.”

“If Himejima-san could see, he would definitely be shocked as well.”

“Alright, Shinobu.”

“But what I’m saying is true.”

“Seriously, Shinobu…….Himejima-sama, is there any kind of dishes that you prefer?”

“Fried egg? Braised vegetables? Or Tempura? Nee-san and I can make those for you tomorrow.”

Himejima allowed the two sisters to speak and did not interrupt.

The burning firewood in the hearth was extremely warm.

He was eating the same rice that he always did yet the taste of the rice balls made by the sisters was unexpectedly gentle.

Even the air in the room became light and clear.

Living with others was actually this warm.

Himejima thought back to the times when he was living with those children and quietly buried the remnants of those blissful times to the bottom of his heart.

–That night, he was startled awake several times by Shinobu’s screaming.

“Otou-san!! Okaa-san……!!”

“Shinobu….it’s alright, it’s fine already.”

“Noooooooooooooo—-!!”

“Shinobu, Shinobu……”

The older sister hugged her younger sister tightly, trying her best to console her.

“Demons……!! The demon….Otou-san and Okaa-san were….!!!”

“Shinobu…….Shinobu……”

Shinobu’s screaming and sobbing as though she was vomiting blood as well as the voice of the older sister calling the younger sister’s name kept circulating near his ears.

*

When they woke up in the morning, Shinobu was already completely back to her usual self. She and Kanae made breakfast and waited for Himejima.

The two sisters were adamant about not going home and this went on for three days. Himejima was almost at the end of his tether.

The sisters lost their beloved parents and the adult lost the children he raised with all his heart.

This was basically just a warped family role play.

If this kind of life continued, no matter what, he would start to feel empathy for the two. No, perhaps he already had feelings.

Because of that reason, once he thought that he was going to snatch a stable future from these children, Himejima felt an incomparable sense of fear.

“……Follow me.”

On the morning of the fourth day of this unusual life of cohabitation, Himejima asked the two sisters to head towards the back of the house after breakfast.

Over there was a huge boulder that Himejima used for training.

The boulder was almost as large as an adult man, perhaps in the eyes of the young sisters, it seemed like a small mountain.

“As long as you both complete the test that I’m going to give you, I will introduce you to a “Cultivator” who trains Demon Slayers.”

“Really?”

Shinobu said shrilly.

Kanae, feeling confused, asked:

“May I ask……what is a cultivator?”

“Exactly what the term means, they are people who cultivate swordsmen. There are a few “Cultivators” and they live in various places. They use their own methods to train swordsmen. Most of them were originally skilled slayers but were forced to retire due to various reasons so they put in their utmost effort to cultivate successors. As long as you train under a cultivator and survive the “Final Selection” at “Mt Fujikasane”, you can officially receive the position of a Demon Slayer in the Demon Slayer Corps.”

“Eh? Himejima-san won’t be teaching us?”

Shinobu’s voice had some displeasure.

Himejima could barely contain his laughter.

Never mind the times when this child was so angry that she threw a tantrum and then cried and screamed after having a nightmare, this child was really childish. Her ever changing tone showed her straightforward personality and lately, Himejima could not help but smile because of this.

He intentionally suppressed his feelings and said plainly:

“I have my own missions and I also have to train myself so I do not have the time to guide others.”

“You’re already this strong and you still need to train?”

Kanae interrupted a surprised Shinobu and replied:

“I understand, When we successfully pass this test, please refer us to a cultivator.”

“The two of you will have to follow different cultivators.”

“Eh……”

The uneasiness and fear of the two girls—especially Shinobu’s strongly transmitted over through the air.

However she quickly pulled herself together.

“Nee-san.”

“It’s alright.”

After Shinobu called her sister with a voice full of determination, Kanae nodded her head forcefully.

“We will survive the “Final Selection” and meet again.”

Himejima closed his eyes and he placed a single hand on the boulder he used for training. He felt the rough and cold surface of the boulder with his palm.

“What you have to do for the test is really simple. You just have to move this boulder. As long as you can move this boulder, I will acknowledge the two of you.”

Himejima also knew that the request was ridiculous, even he took a lengthy amount of time before he could move that boulder.

However, in this way, he could have a high-sounding excuse to relieve him of his burden.

As expected, just as the older sister was at a loss for words, Shinobu, who was beside her, retorted:

“Have you lost your mind? How is this possible? Tell me who can do this?!”

“I can push this and walk one-chou.”

(T/N: 一町or one-chou is approximately 109m.)

“Himejima-san does not count! You are as big as a bear after all! But there’s no way we can do it!!”

Facing Shinobu who was angry, Himejima lowered his voice and said:

“Do you think you’ll be excused just because you can’t do this?”

“Wh, what……”

“If you can’t do this, someone will die, someone who needs to be protected will be killed. In this kind of situation, can you still say such fake excuses?”

Himejima’s criticism made Shinobu lose her aggression and she became quiet.

“This has nothing to do with whether you can do it or not. Even if you can’t do it, you will still have to force yourself to do it. No matter if there is a limit to your strength, no matter what you have to sacrifice, you have to stake your all and complete it.”

Himejima’s tone was extremely strict.

“This is what it means to carry other people’s lives and become a Demon Slayer.”

“If you can’t do it, then return home now.”

Himejima turned around and left without saying any more.

During Noon of that day, the Kasugaigarasu sent instructions.

When Himejima went to inform the two sisters that he would be stepping out, the two were still in front of the boulder, even if it was fruitless, thinking of ways to move it.

“Please be careful, you must return safely.”

After listening to Himejima’s words, Kanae said those words and quietly lowered her head.

Himejima reminded the two over and over again that if they wanted to stay in this house, they must light the wisteria incense at night.

“Thank you. We will definitely light the incense.”

After promising Himejima, Kanae said in a somewhat stuff tone: “I wish you luck in battle.”

Shinobu, on the other hand, did not say anything.

She was standing next to her sister and looking in his direction, somewhat envious. Himejima could feel that air of anger yet one that was close to tears from behind him then he moved and headed for his mission.

It probably would not take a lot of time before those girls decide to leave.

Feeling disappointed and angry.

They may even bear a grudge against Himejima……

And the two parties will never ever meet again.

When he thought to this point, it was almost as though a large hole appeared in his chest. Cold wind blew through this empty hole.

Most likely, this hole would not close up in such a short period of time. However—

(It’s for the best…….)

Those two understood what the meaning of grief was, and in the future, they will become kind and strong adults.

He wished that they would be able to raise their own family properly and continue living.

No matter what, they must complete walking though the life that those children who were at the old temple never got to complete.

Other than that, he had no other request.

Even if that request was just to lie to his weak self……

*

When Himejima finished his mission and returned to the house he was long absent from, there was no one in the house. However he could feel the presence of other people behind the house.

(This presence……)

It can’t be—Himejima thought while going around to the back of the house only to find the two girls seated next to that boulder, completely exhausted.

That was Kanae and Shinobu.

The two seemed fairly fatigued and their breathing was clearly rapid.

Himejima rushed towards the two and only then did Shinobu notice him.

“Ahh, Himejima-san. Welcome back.”

Shinobu said in an exhausted tone.

Next to her, Kanae stood up shakily and just like before Himejima left for his mission, she quietly lowered her head and greeted him:

“Welcome back. It’s great that you returned unscathed.”

“The two of you….

Were always here? Just as he was about to open his mouth, Himejima suddenly realised that something was amiss and a frown formed upon his brow.

(The position of the boulder changed….)

Even though it was not as far as one-chou, the stone did indeed move. As he was unable to see, Himejima was absolutely confident in his other senses.

But how did they—

Noticing that Himejima was not saying anything, the girls looked at each other and smiled, feeling satisfied.

Shinobu held onto Himejima’s hand and gently led that hand to a rod like item that was sticking out from underneath the boulder.

Himejima realised the trick behind the entire thing at once.

“A lever…….”

“That’s right.”

First they dug out a sufficiently deep hole under the boulder then they inserted a rod that became the point of action and they placed a round log near the boulder to use as a fulcrum.

As long as they used the lever principle, even if the sisters did not have that much strength, they would still be able to move the large boulder.

“Did….you both come up with this yourselves?”

“Didn’t I say so before? Nee-san and I have good brains.”

Shinobu said in a pleased manner.

“However….sigh, even though we failed a few times.”

The small hands that Shinobu placed on top of Himejima’s hand was covered with mud, the blisters on her palm burst due to friction and even her skin became thick and rough. Most likely, Kanae’s hand was in the same state.

“So? Do you have anything to say?”

Seeing that Himejima still had not said anything, Shinobu spoke in an unhappy tone.

Shinobu’s tone and words were opposite from each other and it sounded like she was shrinking back.

“HImejima-san did not say that we couldn’t use a lever.”

She was likely worried that this old fashioned adult was going to make things difficult for them or he would cunningly go back on his words.

“A promise is a promise.”

“——-Ah, you’re right.”

After Shinobu’s provocation, Himejima’s jaw relaxed and he placed his hand on her head.

“I acknowledge the two of you.”

Once he finished speaking, Shinobu relaxed her small body which she had tensed up.

“Really?”

“Ahh.”

“So….you’ll help introduce us to a cultivator?”

“I will refer you two to a highly skilled cultivator.”

After Himejima made such a promise, Shinobu yelled in elation : “That’s great!” and Kanae breathed out a sigh of relief.

It was a rare moment as Himejima’s heart was filled to the brim with warmth.

“Kanae, Shinobu….both of you done well.”

This was the first time he addressed the two by name.

The younger sister became shy after she heard it while the older sister let out a steady smile.

The next morning, the sisters set off to their own cultivators.

*

“….Then I would like to trouble everyone to set the contents of your training and get your preparations done for it.”

After reaching a conclusion, the Pillars’ meeting was concluded.

Aside from Tomioka who left the meeting earlier, the others also gradually left the meeting room one after the other, Just then, Shinobu walked towards Himejima.

“Himejima-san.”

“What is it……”

“I am unable to participate in the Pillar training.”

She meant that she had something that she needed to do and it was of utmost urgency.

“Poison?”

“Yes.”

Shinobu calmly nodded her head. “It seems like it needs some time.” “……Is that so?”

Her tone was the same as usual.

She did not get nervous, nor did she get aggressive, in fact that was no sign of any change in emotion.

It was like the warm sun of spring, it was steady and gentle beyond compare from start to end.

It was exactly like her deceased sister.

After Kanae died, Shinobu changed.

After the death of her older sister, who was too soft to the point of feeling sympathetic for the foul demons that she was supposed to kill on sight—Shinobu completely imitated her actions, speech and personality, underwent gruelling training and finally climber to the position of a Pillar.

(If you did not do that….you won’t be able to live?)

How much of a struggle that must be…?

And how much of pain you must have endured.

Until now, Himejima still did not understand—

If the decision he made that day was correct.

The two young girls immersed themselves in training under the cultivators that Himejima introduced to them and in the end, managed to successfully survive the “Final Selection” and they reunited tearfully.

However, Kanae died a few years later and Shinobu lost her beloved older sister just like that.

Himejima also lost Kanae as well as Shinobu.

Shinobu used to show her anger at Himejima and did not bother to disguise her hatred for demons. However that girl no longer existed.

But Himejima did not regret his actions.

No, he could not regret his actions.

Regretting would mean denying Kanae’s heroic way of living as a swordsperson who carried out her duties all the way to her final moments.

At the same time, it would mean denying the feelings of Shinobu who intended to carry her dead sister’s will….

“Then I’ll excuse myself.”

Shinobu lightly nodded her head and turned her back towards Himejima.

In an instant, an indescribable feeling of unease rose up within Himejima’s heart.

Somehow he felt that he would never see this child again.

He looked at the small back that was shouldering many heavy burdens.

“—Shinobu.”

“………………”

Without thinking, Himejima addressed her the way he did when she was younger and the air that enveloped her became slightly turbulent.

Just for that short moment.

He felt that the one standing over there was a small girl who was about to cry.

However Shinobu immediately restrained her breath and she turned her head, saying:

“What is it?”

Don’t hurry towards your death—Himejima wanted to say that but in the end he swallowed those words.

They were really a loving pair of sisters.

The two of them cared for each other from the bottom of their hearts and they were kind towards each other and trusted each other. They saw the other person as someone more important than themselves.

In this world, there was no one with the right to stop Shinobu who only wanted to avenge her older sister.

“—No….it’s nothing.”

Himejima could only squeeze this sentence out.

“Himejima-san, you’re being strange.”

Shinobu smiled in a troubled manner.

The way she smiled was exactly like her older sister—

Himejima no longer stopped Shinobu from turning around and walking away.

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