Kimetsu No Yaiba Light Novel (Demon Slayer Light Novel) – Chapter 2 – The Right Way to Recommend a Hot Spring
– Of course, there’s no way that I’ll be as fast as Zenitsu but I really want to thank you. Sometimes the bond between people can help to get us out of a tough spot and I believe that all that we learn from the Pillar training is sure to help us build a brighter future.
Under Tanjirou’s gentle encouragement, Zenitsu finally found his positive enthusiastic attitude. However under the Pillars “First Training” –that being the hellish training of the Former Sound Pillar Uzui Tengan, his motivation did not even last fifteen minutes.
“Oi! Why the heck are you dozing off?! Zenitsu!! If you have the time to take a nap, then go run, run till you throw up blood! Do you think you can win an Upper Moon demon like this?! If you slack off again, I’ll kill you!!”
Faced with this rebuke where even his name was used—or more accurately, he was having verbal abuse hurled in his direction—as well as the merciless bamboo sword that came down on him, Zenitsu was lamenting about his suffering.
(I mean I should get some special treatment, right? No matter what, we faced a demon from the Upper Moon together. Right? We battled together with our lives at stake, didn’t we?)
After Uzui had a deeper understanding of them, somehow it felt like his training became even more strict.
Inosuke seems to have adapted to Uzui’s training and he was racing on the mountain roads like a fish in water.
“Ugohhhhh!! Pig Assualt! Pig Assault!”
“You’re not too shabby, Pig! Everyone, another twenty laps! Zenitsu, you run thirty!”
Zenitsu’s ear piercing yell echoed throughout the mountains accompanied by Uzui’s angry roar.
“Didn’t you defeat the Upper Moon Six with that guy? Why is he always singling you out?”
“……About that….I want to know as well.”
When it came to break time, Murata, who was a senior swordsman he met once at the Butterfly Estate, gave him a sympathetic gaze and that made Zenitsu leak out blood tears while collapsing on the ground and rolling around.
“I hate this! I had enough——!I really want to go back and see Nezuko-chan! So she can heal my injured soul!”
“What? Agatsuma, could, could it be…. you already have a lover?”
Including Murata, there was an immediate uproar among the other swordsmen who were present.
But after they all stared at Zenitsu who was wriggling around and crying for a while—
“That’s not possible.”
They all said at the same time.
The tense atmosphere relaxed in a split second and all the unpopular males agglomerated with an unprecedented centripetal force.
“Un, it’s definitely not possible.”
“He’s probably making use of his delusions to alleviate the loneliness in his heart.”
“I know how he feels.”
“I have a fantasy girlfriend too.”
“Seriously? You have one as well?”
“She has Kochou-sama’s face.”
“Mine is Love Pillar-sama’s.”
“I like….that female successor from the Butterfly Estate the most.”
Everyone left Zenitsu alone and started talking among themselves. Zenitsu could not tolerate it and he got up, saying:
“No, I really have Nezuko-chan, you know? She’s waiting for me at the Butterfly Estate. Don’t you dare say that ‘m being deluded! I’ll get upset!”
“It’s alright, Agatsuma.”
“Don’t force yourself.”
“Do you want to eat this?”
“No no no, don’t talk to me with such a gentle tone, Nezuko-chan really exists! When I meet her again, she will definitely call my name and say, “Welcome back, Zenitsu”! I’m going to marry Nezuko-chan, feed her Unagi sushi every day, and I’m going to buy a punch of beautiful kimonos for her and the two of us will lead a happy and blissful life.”
“You’re right, Agatsuma.”
“Unagi is indeed delicious.”
“We’re always on your side.”
“Do your best!”
His seniors all had warm and caring gazes and this pushed Zenitsu closer to the edge.
“All you pieces of trash, break time’s over.”
Uzui walked over, knocking his bamboo sword. That overwhelming pressure made it difficult for people to imagine that this man had retired from his Pillar position due to his body being overburdened. Seeing that he was full of energy, it made people wonder why he even stepped down.
It was obvious that he took pleasure in toying with the younger generation.
“The rest of you continue going through the mountains till you collapse on the ground—Zenitsu, you’re going to undergo special training.”
The blood drained from Zenitsu’s face and he turned towards Murata and the rest for help.
However, the kind-hearted seniors who had said earlier that they will support Zenitsu turned around and fled like rabbits……
“Dig out a hot spring.”
Zenitsu had no idea what kind of terrifying abuse he was going to face and he was completely worried and terrified. What came next, however, was out of his expectations. He never would have guessed Uzui would say that.
Zenitsu returned the question.
“Excuse me, but I think I might have a bit of an auditory hallucination……”
“I’m telling you to dig out a hot spring, no food for you unless you finish doing it.”
Once Uzui finished speaking, he let out a yell and tossed a shovel over.
“……Ah, thank you.” Zenitsu stretched his arms out on reflex to get it. This shovel was weighty and had a significant mass.
After staring at the shovel in his hand for a while—
Zenitsu’s eyes suddenly grew wide and he yelled loudly again:
“Ahhhhhhh—-?! What nonsense are you talking about? Is there something wrong with your head? How can you just simply dig out a hot spring? It’s not possible, is it? Ahh, you’re trying to make things difficult for me on purpose, right? If it’s really like that, then pardon my impudence for taking my leave right now. Thank you for your care!”
After speaking all those words continuously in one breath, Zenitsu turned on his heel and his back faced the former Sound Pillar.
“Oh, is that so?”
However, Uzui, who should be furious right now, only replied in a nonchalant manner at this time. Not only did he not hurl any kind of verbal abuse over, he did not send his bamboo sword towards Zenitsu’s head.
(I hate this……what is this, even……it’s different from how I imagined it to be? That’s scary.)
Seeing that the other party did not give much of a reaction, Zenitsu became uneasy instead. He nervously turned his head only to only to see Uzui smiling with his eyes as though he had an ulterior motive. Even though he only had one eye, this man was still so handsome, it was maddening.
(T/N: Again, this ^_U, with an eyepatch)
“Such a pity, if a hot spring could be dug out, I was actually planning to make it a mixed bath.”
“Mi, mimimimimimimixed bath…….?!”
Zenitsu’s reaction was peculiarly agitated.
“Mimimimixed bath, you, you mean that? That legendary one……where men are women are in the same pool of hot water—”
Uzui nodded calmly like it was natural. “Mixed bath……a mixed bath together with girls.” Zenitsu was so moved that he was shaking, however, he quickly came back to his senses.
“Ah—is that so? So it was for such a thing.”
He suddenly became downcast and said:
“I almost got fooled by you. Even if you say that, there’s definitely only a bunch of stinky guys who participated in the Pillar training. There’s no meaning to bathing with only men.”
Zenitsu coldly finished his words and took a step forward again.
However when Zenitsu heard Uzui utter a name in a soft voice, he suddenly stopped his footsteps.
After calmly reciting the names of his three wives, Uzui let out a slight smirk.
“Those three are also here you know? You ate their cooking before, right?”
(Hinatsuru-san, Makio-san, Suma-san–)
Other than being blessed with good looks, the three of them who were ninjas had enticing bodies. Not only were they tall and slim, they had curves in all the right places.
“The three of them really love to soak in hot springs.”
“………………Any, anyway, in the end, they are going to enter the bath with their ninja-gi, right. Alright alright, I know. I already seen through your motives.”
Zenitsu desperately disguised the wavering within his heart and continued to show an eccentric attitude.
“Ah? How can you wear clothes into a hot spring. Whether it’s ninja or anyone else, of course they’ll be naked.”
In a flash, Zenitsu’s strong resolve crumbled into dust at one go.
Zenitsu suddenly got closer to Uzui as though he was about to grab the latter’s hands.
“Uzui-san!! No, Uzui-sama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Tengen-sama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“You’re too close!! So? Are you going to do it? Or do you refuse?”
“Of course I’ll do it, please let me do it!!!”
Zenitsu’s breathing was rapid and he shouted with bloodshot eyes.
If Uzui gave the command “Call me God”, he would probably do it.
(Bathing together with Hinatsuru-san, Makio-san as well as Suma-san….uhuhu.)
Zenitsu tightly held onto the handle of the shovel and while imaging an ideal that had yet to become a reality, he laughed stupidly without restraint.
That silly expression—could never possibly become popular with girls……
“Right. Tanjirou! I’ll listen to the sound and you can use your nose to find the hot spring’s smell—eh, Tanjirou isn’t even around!”
After Uzui disappeared, Zenitsu spoke like he was going on the attack as he turned to his right side.
However any sign of Tanjirou could not be seen, and only then did Zenitsu remember that his friend was not around.
During the fight against the Upper Moon Six, his friend suffered multiple fractures throughout his body and was quietly resting even till now.
He had a kind heart and with the personality of the eldest son, he had saved Zenitsu countless times in the past.
This resulted in Zenitsu to become naturally reliant on Tanjirou.
Once Tanjirou was not around……
“Oh dear. Who else can I look for….”
Whether it was looking for the source of hot spring or actually manually digging it out, he needed help.
(What’s most important is strength. I don’t even know if we can even dig up a hot spring on the get go in the first place.)
Other than that, it would be best if it was someone with good senses like him and Tanjirou.
When he thought to this point, suddenly the shrubbery nearby shook violently and with that, some sort of large creature jumped out from there.
“Pig Assault! Pig Assualt!”
What he originally thought was some kind of wild beast turned out to only be Inosuke!
Perhaps he did not run enough in the mountains. He was running with some kind of scaffolding on his back and on it was a large rock.
“What, it’s just Inosuke……Don’t scare me. You’re running in the mountains too? You actually have a ridiculously huge rock on your back. Speaking of which, can’t you go find the next Pillar already?”
“Ahh, I got the permission for that this morning.”
“Then what are you waiting for? Get going already.”
“I won’t be able to swallow my anger if I don’t make the God of Festivities pay an eye for an eye.” Inosuke clenched his fists. “At least let me give him a punch.”
(T/N: Inosuke uses the Japanese equivalent of returning an arrow 一矢を報いる. Chinese uses the same term)
(This guy still thinks that Uzui-san is the God of Festivites.)
Zenitsu thought impatiently. Even though he had already passed the training, Inosuke was still pushing himself to continue training. This kind of motivation made him annoyed.
Other than Tanjirou, Inosuke was also frighteningly enthusiastic.
It was not as though he was an extremely passive person, it was just that the other two were way on the other extreme.
“You are so strange, it’s almost like a disease.”
“So? What are you doing? Slacking off?”
“Who says I’m slacking. Uzui-san asked me to dig out a hot spring, saying that it’s some special training……”
Zenitsu let out a long sigh.
Inosuke asked back curiously and he pronounced it in a strange way.
(T/N: Hot spring is called Onsen in Japanese)
“Not Mon-sen, it’s Onsen (Hot spring).”
“What’s a Hot Spring? You said you’re going to dig so is it something like bamboo shoots? Is it tasty?”
“Eh? You don’t know what a hot spring is? It’s a hot spring, you know?”
“Never ate it before.”
“You know phrases like “an eye for an eye” and even those ballads that use special archaic words, yet you don’t know what a hot spring is. You really are so strange, it’s just baffling. Your existence itself is a mystery, it’s just so weird.”
“Stop rattling on and on, give it to me to eat already! You Don-itsu.”
“Wrong, it’s not a food. I’m also not called Don-itsu. A hot spring refers to hot water that comes from the earth, it’s really warm and comfortable. Also, you also can do mixed bathing—such happiness—the mixed baths of dreams—if I had to compare it to something, it’s like a giant bath house.”
“Konjac? How can you bathe with Konjac? Is your brain okay?”
(T/N: Mixed bathing is read as Konyaku in Japanese, which sounds like Konnyaku which is Konjac.)
“I don’t want to hear that from you! It’s not Konjac, it’s mixed……”
Zenitsu suddenly shut his mouth half-way through his words.
He quietly stared at Inosuke who was before his eyes.
His strength was on par with Tanjirou’s and he was a person….or should he say pig with keen senses.
Even though he could not say it was a pleasant surprise, there was no one more suitable than him.
Tanjirou was a good person, as long as Zenitsu asked, he would be happy to help.
Inosuke was not like that.
He was extremely self-centered and basically did not listen to anyone else.
If Zenitsu used the usual method of asking, most likely the other party would not agree.
Zenitsu thought hard for a while and finally executed the idea he had.
“Do you want to become stronger?”
“Ahh? Isn’t that a stupid question? Of course I want to be stronger, don’t lump me with a bum like you.”
Usually, Zenitsu would become frustrated by Inosuke’s attitude, but this time, he nodded his head continuously, agreeing with a serious expression.
“Then you should soak in a hot spring as soon as possible.” “Ah?”
Hearing Zenitsu say such a thing with incredible resolution, Inosuke tilted his boar head, confused.
“Why you get stronger by taking a bath? Have you finally lost your mind?”
“Don’t you know? Inosuke. Hot springs have different kinds of properties and the hot spring source within this mountain is said to have some ingredient that would “make you stronger if you soak in it”!”
“You said….an ingredient that would make me stronger if I soak in it?”
Inosuke swallowed his saliva with a gulp. It was obvious that he suddenly had a strong interest in this “Hot Spring”.
“There’s actually such a thing……”
“Ahh, of course there is.”
“If I soak in this, I can become stronger than the God of Festivities?”
“That’s right! That lousy old man would be nothing.”
“Even that Mismatched Haori?”
“Mismatched Haori? Even though I don’t know who you’re talking about ……you will definitely win that Mismatched Haori. So help me dig for one right now. Dig out a mixed bath—No, dig out the hot spring of our dreams!”
Zenitsu’s eyes sparkled and he loudly persuaded Inosuke.
Inosuke kept quiet.
For a moment, Zenitsu could not help but worry if his acting was too fake but a short while later—
“Alright, let’s dig to our heart’s content! Chuu-itsu! Follow me!!”
Inosuke’s shout that was full of fighting spirit echoed through the mountains before sunset.
With Inosuke’s “Perception” and Zenitsu’s “Hearing”—
Even with these two added together, looking for a hot spring source was definitely not an easy task.
After all, the mountain forest which Uzui treated as the training grounds was extremely vast and precarious, also, after finding a suspicious spot, they also had to dig deep enough or they would not be able to dig up any hot spring.
However, every time they gave it their all, it did not yield any results and the two quickly became discouraged.
“What’s going on?! There’s nothing at all!”
“It can’t be helped……this is the first time I’m digging for a hot spring.”
“This is so maddening——————–!!”
“Don’t lose your cool. Even though I can understand your feelings…….”
Who knows how many times they turned the soil over and wasted their energy……
Eventually, the mountains were dyed a fiery red and very quickly, night fell.
This time, Zenitsu started to really become depressed.
At that moment—
“Hey—–! Agatsuma~~! Where are you–?”
“Hm? That’s Murata’s voice.”
Hearing a familiar voice, Zenitsu quickly got up.
After waving energetically at the darkness in the direction where the sound came from, Murata and two others came over with large packages and similarly, waved in his direction.
“We’re really sorry for earlier.”
“Because Former Sound Pillar-sama was too scary………”
“Here, we snuck some food out, continue working hard after you’re done with this.”
The packages contained ten large rice balls.
“There’s ice water too.” “…….uu.”
After receiving the bamboo vessel, Zenitsu was so touched he was pouring tears and snot.
Earlier, Zenitsu was still slandering them behind their backs: “They said such nice words but in the end, they ran away in a flash. These heartless people can go to hell.” However they were actually good people.
Zenitsu gobbled the rice balls full of gratitude. Even though it was not made firmly enough, and the taste was salty, it was just right for their exhausted bodies.
Inosuke even stuffed two rice balls into his mouth at once.
“Ah—the rice balls are tasty.”
Other than rice balls, they also kindly added on large amounts of pickled radish and braised locusts.
“But, how did you all managed to sneak these things out?”
“Ahh, actually……we went to ask Suma-san. It’s easiest to talk to her after all.”
Suma was a gentle woman and her slightly bold personality was unexpectedly cute.
“Alright, quickly eat, after you eat, cheer up. Even though I don’t know what you’re both doing, there’s no way you can get anything done on an empty stomach.”
“……Thank you so much.”
Zenitsu thanked them again.
“No need for that.”
“We’re already comrades.”
Don’t lose to that Former Sound Pillar who has three beautiful wives.”
Afterwards, their kind-hearted seniors continued chatting for a while before leaving.
Even after the three left, Zenitsu was still in an emotional state for a while.
After finishing his first rice ball, he reached his hand out to take the last rice ball.
Then, a grumbling sound came from Inosuke who had ate eight rice balls.
Zenitsu unconsciously stopped moving his hand.
“You already ate so much, you’re still hungry?”
After saying that while looking flabbergasted—
“Why don’t I give this to you? My mind is full of mixed ba—hot springs, so I don’t have any appetite.”
Zenitsu showed his rare generous side.
However, Inosuke gave an unusual reaction instead.
“What are saying? That wasn’t me.”
“Eh……?But that sound just now—”
Zenitsu tilted his head, feeling perplexed.
This time the sound came from behind Inosuke.
Zenitsu anxiously focused his gaze and peered at the source.
There was an enormous bear standing in the dim forest.
The bear that had an injury on one of its eyes was definitely at least twice the size of the usual bears and drool was flowing out from the corner of its mouth.
“Calm down! I can take care of a bear of this size in a jiffy!!”
Even though his friend spoke with such confidence, Zenitsu, who was in a complete panic did not hear him.
“I’m I’m I’m I’m I’m not delicious at all!! Certainly not delicious! I’m serious! Inosuke is also just full of muscle, he will taste terrible! Ahhh——–!!”
Zenitsu scrambled across the ground and climbed up a large tree that was nearby.
“Hanitsu! That tree’s—”
Inosuke, who was in the midst wrestling with the huge bear, shouted loudly.
Zenitsu returned to his senses and frantically asked: “Wh, what is it?”, right at that moment, his vision suddenly started to shake.
“Insides are rotten all the way through.”
“Say these kinds of things earlierrrrrrrrrrr———!!!”
Zenitsu cried and screamed as he fell with the tree.
As Zenitsu got up, holding onto his shoulder—
Another scary sound travelled to his ear and it was obvious that it was the sound of some insects’ wings vibrating.
Zenitsu timidly turned his head towards the source of the noise.
There was a large hive on the branch of the fallen tree.
Thousands of angry giant hornets flew out from their broken nest.
Inosuke ignored Zenitsu who was screaming at the moment, saying:
“I’ll help you after I settle this bear, just slowly kill them one by one!”
“Are you an idiot?! Those are giant hornets?! I’ll die?! I’ll really die, you know?!”
“The male ones don’t have poisonous stingers, finish off the female ones first. But there aren’t much male hornets in the first place.
“As if I know which ones are female! It will be amazing if I did!!”
Zenitsu shouted with all his might and coincidentally, Inosuke tossed the bear away. Therefore, Zenitsu grabbed Inosuke’s hand and fled together with him away from the area.
“Ha—Ha—–Ha—–Ha—–……Ah……enough, I really thought I was going to die, luckily we got away. Nezuko, thank you for protecting me.
After running till it was completely dark out in the deep mountains at night, they finally managed to escape the bear and bees that were hot on their heels. Zenitsu could not help but squat on the ground and start gasping for breath, his shoulders heaving.
However Inosuke only roared at Zenitsu:
“Why did you drag me away?!”
Perhaps “Escaping” deeply wounded his ego, Inosuke was so angry, he looked like he could draw his sword and cut others anytime.
“Whether it’s bears or bees, I’m able to get rid of them! Don’t butt in!”
“Ah—is that so? Eh, you definitely have that ability, you are the king of the mountains after all. However, those are giant hornets and it was me who caused that tree to fall. If you got hurt or died because of me, that’s not good either, right?”
“That’s why I ran away with you. Alright alright, it’s all my fault. I’m sorry, I didn’t think that much.”
Just as Zenitsu said those words without much thought, Inosuke somehow stopped protesting.
“You spineless wimp! Don’t make me feel warm and fuzzy!!”
After a while, Inosuke lost his temper for a strange reason.
“Whether it’s Soujirou or you, every time you guys get the chance, you’ll make me feel the warm fuzzies! If you do that again, I’ll kill you!”
The strange thing was, the “sound” that came from Inosuke was definitely not one of actual anger.
His sound was hesitant and childishly stubborn.
(What is up with him? This guy is really so troublesome……)
If Tanjirou were here, he probably would be able to console Inosuke.
Zenitsu suddenly felt really exhausted and he simply laid down directly on the ground.
He could see many stars through the gaps of the trees.
He wondered how Tanjirou was doing. After talking with him, did his injuries get a bit better?
(He fought to the point that he had fractures all over his body……that guy is really amazing.)
If they managed to dig out a hot spring, would it be able to help Tanjirou’s injuries to recover?
If it was really that effective, he would really want Tanjirou to try soaking in it.
Just as he absentmindedly thought to that point, Zenitsu suddenly heard the fait sound of water.
He got up suddenly and concentrated on his ears to listen carefully.
He was not wrong.
There was something buried under the ground a distance from here.
Zenitsu looked towards Inosuke.
Inosuke felt his gaze and calmly nodded his head.
“You noticed it? Monitsu.”
“I, Inosuke……could that be.”
A blossom of hope grew in Zenitsu’s heart and he could not help but raise his voice.
“I actually noticed it before you did.”
Inosuke raised his boar head proudly.
“Oh, you two actually did well.”
Uzui was obviously particularly delighted and he stood in front of the gushing hot spring praising the two who were covered in mud.
Even though this hot spring was rather shallow, Zenitsu and Inosuke had to dig quite deep into the ground so the two of them were as dirty as moles.
The eastern part of the sky was starting to grow brighter.
“Wow, amazing, they actually dug out a hot spring.”
“Who knows how long it has been since we last soaked in a hot spring.”
“Wow~~~Tengen-sama, let’s all soak together?! Alright?!”
The three wives, Makio, Hinatsuru and Sumo all let out some cheers and from how they looked like they could take off their kimono anytime to get into the hot water, it seemed like they really like hot springs.
(Finally….Finally I can bathe together with three beautiful female ninjas……)
Zenitsu’s heart beat faster. If he got careless, he might get so excited that blood would spray from his noose.
“I want to get in first!”
Inosuke loudly declared to everyone else.
“Then I’m going to get stronger and finish you off! God of Festivities!”
“Ah? Get stronger? What are you talking about?” Seeing that Inosuke was striking a strange pose and pointing at himself, Uzui had a stunned expression on his face. “Is your head screwed on right?”
“I’m the one who wants to ask what you’re talking about. Won’t you get stronger from soaking in a hot spring?”
Hearing the conversation between Inosuke and Uzui, Zenitsu, who was day dreaming about the mixed bathing suddenly turned pale.
He had completely forgotten about his lie “Soaking in the hot springs would make you stronger” that he said to entice Inosuke into helping him.
“Ho, how about putting that question aside first….since it’s a rare change, let’s all soak in the hot springs together……..—”
Zenitsu tried to mediate the situation but Uzui said the sentence that dealt the final blow.
“How can you get stronger from soaking in a hot spring, are your brains fried?”
(Uwah……Damn old man! You had to say it directly! At least read the situation!)
Zenitsu hugged his head.
Inosuke quietly became rigid on the spot.
Zenitsu fearfully called out his friend’s name. In a flash, the pig’s eyes were shining.
“You bastard……did you actually lie to me?”
“Yi! No, It’s not like that……”
Hearing that his friend’s tone was filled with fury he had never witnessed before, Zenitsu cowered immediately.
“If it was really like that, I’m going to kill you right here and now.”
“No no! Inosuke! There’s actually some other matters that are deeper than the ocean here—–”
Zenitsu’s face turned ashen and he sweated profusely as he backed up.
Suddenly, something slipped under his foot.
“Hey, Zenitsu. The moss under your feet became wet due to the hot springs, it’s dangerous.”
Uzui’s voice sounded extremely far away.
Zenitsu’s vision shook intensely.
Zenitsu, who had fallen backwards, unfortunately hit a boulder with his head and he lost consciousness just like that……
“So this is what a hot spring is, it’s more comfortable than taking a bath.”
Inosuke let the hot water soak past his shoulders and thoroughly enjoyed the hot springs, completely forgetting that Zenitsu almost made him blow his top.
“Don’t soak for too long, you’ll get giddy.”
Uzui, who left the spring earlier, warned him.
“Noisy! Don’t order me around!”
After Inosuke finished talking, he swam around with many splashes.
Uzui clicked his tongue and scolded. However to Hinatsuru, it did not seem that her husband was that angry.
“Oh, Hinatsuru. How’s that idiot?”
“He hasn’t woken up yet. He did hit his head after all. We should monitor him here for now.”
Lying on the ground, Zenitsu was still unconscious. Occasionally, he would let out a moan, muttering: “Mixed baths……”, making people feel sorry for him.
“Where’s Makio and Suma?”
“They went back to cook breakfast for everyone. As for the hot springs, they said they will soak at a later time. Tengen-sama, you should also—”
As Hinatsuru hastened Uzui without holding back, the latter nodded lightly. He turned his gaze back at Inosuke who was playing around in the spring.
“I’m going to go back and train those trash. Pig, you can head for the next training area. Bring this idiot with you when you go there.”
“I’m going to beat you first before I go there! God of Festivities!”
“Hmph, you’re ten billion years too early for that.”
Hinatsuru used a damp cloth the wipe the sweat away from Zenitsu’s forehead while observing her husband’s handsome profile.
His good mood should not be solely due to the hot springs.
“Tengen-sama.” Hearing Hinatsuru’s call, her husband lazily turned his head around.
“What is it? Hinatsuru.”
“The hot spring was just an excuse, wasn’t it? Your real motive was to raise this child’s basic body strength, am I correct?”
“Yeah.” She thought her husband would deny it quickly but he actually admitted it honestly.
Hinatsuru was slightly surprised.
At least from what she knew, Uzui would usually not nod and admit to these kinds of things in such an open manner.
“Because this idiot is always finding the chance to slack off. Even though I never thought he would find that pig head to help, this pair of partners are pretty good.”
Hinatsuru looked at her husband who looked happy, as though it was her first time seeing this man.
–These three are my excellent “Successors”!
She thought back to the words her husband said in Yoshiwara.
For some unknown reason, at that time, she really wanted to cry.
Even though he lost an eye and an arm and had to retire from his Pillar position because of that, her husband never had a successor who could learn from all his experiences.
In the past, her husband carried the sins of being a ninja and kept killing demons to save people and in his final battle, he finally had these youths to battle alongside him, it made people feel comforted.
“…………If these children……really became Tengen-sama’s successors.”
When she came to her senses, Hinatsuru unconsciously muttered those words. Her husband looked in her direction with a surprised expression then smiled slightly.
It was as though his smile was saying that her words were complete nonsense Hinatsuru felt awful after seeing it.
“I’m not like Rengoku or Kochou. I’m not capable of nurturing others.”
Her husband’s tone was gentle yet obviously lonely.
Hinatsu felt that sometimes this person actually had a very delicate mind.
If he was not born a ninja who was forced to kill people from young. If he was a normal person who could live under the light of day—
This person would definitely be an extremely kind person.
(Dear, aren’t you already nurturing talents now……)
You’re using your own methods to train these youths who you fought alongside with, to let them be able to endure the increasingly intense battles that are yet to come, aren’t you?
The thoughts remained thoughts and Hinatsuru never said those words in front of her husband.
Before their last mission, they made a vow under the fiery red sunset.
When everything was over, everyone would walk under the sun and be a proper human being.
Even if someone was lost on the way, no one would hold any grudges.
But in the end, everyone survived and they were able to train these children who carry the future hopes of the Demon Slayers.
This was enough.
“Hey, you’re already dizzy from all that soaking. Get out now, moron!”
“Noisy……I said……I take orders from no one……….”
“……Uu……Mixed bath………my…….mixed bath…….”
After her husband finished speaking with a baffled expression, Inosuke, who was red through and through like a boiled octopus, groaned and choked out a response, even Zenitsu muttered a few nonsensical words.
“Ah, you’re all such a pain in the neck, go find Tokito already.”
Hinatsuru laughed slightly and closer her eyes.
Under her closed eyelids, she could see the three youths who have grown even stronger, their face full of smiles and beside them, her husband who was nit-picking their mistakes as their senior–