Kimetsu No Yaiba Light Novel (Demon Slayer Light Novel) – Chapter 5 – For You Who Does Not Smile

Kimetsu No Yaiba Light Novel (Demon Slayer Light Novel) – Chapter 5 – For You Who Does Not Smile


Every time the bamboo trees, that seemed to extend into the clouds, bent with the wind, the entire bamboo forest rang out with a delightful, indescribable sound.

In the midst of sparring, one could see the endless sky peek through the gaps of the bamboo forest.—

*

“We should take a break soon.”

“Yes.”

The Water Pillar-Tomioka Giyuu’s training was within this thousand year bamboo forest.

The Pillar training started with the former Sound Pillar- Uzui Tengen, and the duty for being the last trainer was taken on by Tomioka. However until now, it seemed like only Tanjirou had reached this place.

Even so, Tanjirou also only just arrived.

In fact, he coincidentally encountered the scene of Tomioka fighting with the Wind Pillar- Shinazugawa Sanemi. Tanjirou stepped up to stop the fight but he got clocked in the jaw by Shinazugawa and passed out for fifteen minutes.

(Shinazugawa-san was really angry….)

If this went on, Genya reconciling with him as siblings would be a mere fantasy.

Just as Tanjirou slumped his shoulders listlessly, a bamboo tube appeared in front of his eyes.

“Thank you very much.”

Tanjirou took the bamboo vessel that Tomioka quietly and over and drank the spring water that was sufficiently cold. The cool spring water slowly quenched his parched throat.

Just when he finally became comfortable—

“I wonder if Shinazugawa-san likes his red bean paste smooth or mashed?”

(T/N: Koshian – smooth red bean paste with the bean skin removed, Tsubushian – mashed red bean. Not sieved.)

Tanjirou struck a conversation with Tomioka who was seated next to him.

If it was last time, Tomioka would surely ignore the such question without uttering a word, however he actually replied this time.

“….I like mine smooth, but I think Shinazugawa seems to like the mashed variety better….”

“Ah, I know right. My grandma used smooth red bean paste when she makes Ohagi all the time so I’ll definitely vote for smooth bean paste but I feel that Shinazugawa-san seems like the kind to like the mashed kind better.”

“But just in case, the next time I visit Shinazugawa, I’ll bring both kinds.”

“Wah, then we don’t have to worry about it!”

“….Let’s eat Ohagi tonight.”

“I’ll make it!”

The two talked about Shinazugawa and Ohagi for quite a while.

(It seemed like Giyuu-san cheered up.)

Even though he still can’t tell what the other party was thinking, but his personality seemed to have become more cheerful and he spoke more.

(Is it because we competed in a Soba eating contest which made him open his heart to me? If that’s really the case, then that’s great.)

Should we compete in eating dango next time?

Or maybe Udon?

Just as Tanjirou was letting his train of thought run away—

“How were the previous Pillar trainings?”

Tomioka asked softly.

“Was it harsh?” “Yes.”

Tanjirou’s eyes were shining brightly.

“But I’m really happy about it. Everyone is really amazing, when they were training, it was like roar—sha sha sha, pong! Pi pa—”

“……Why were you forbidden from coming into contact with Shinazugawa?”
For some reason, Tomioka showed a distant gaze and coldly changed the topic.

“Ah, that’s because I made Shinazugawa-san agitated and then it became a real bloodbath. I even dragged Zenitsu and the other Corps members into it…I’m reflecting on it though.”

“I make Shinazugawa angry a lot as well. And even more, he’s angry most of the times.”

“Has Shinazugawa-san always been like that?”

Tanjirou asked.

Tomioka nodded his head and then mumbled without showing any expression: “Now that you mention it, I had been forbidden from coming into contact with Shinazugawa as well.”

“Eh? You as well? Giyuu-san? What happened? Did you two argue?”

Even though he knew it was an incident from the past, Tanjirou still became anxious.

Just his own conflict with Shinazugawa caused such devastation. Looking at the sparring session earlier, who knew what the result would be if those two fought seriously—

Tanjirou was so terrified that he dared not think more about it.

“Were, were they alright? I mean the buildings…and the people in the houses and the town….”

“No, we didn’t argue, it’s just Shinazugawa losing his temper on his own. Aside from Shinazugawa, the rest were not acting right that day….”
Tomioka simply brushed off Tanjirou’s worries and looked up in the sky, distracted, not even looking at the bamboo forest.

The blowing wind messed up his spiked up fringe.

Tomioka squinted as though he was looking towards the sun.

“I remember it was—”

*

“—What is going on? Himejima-san.”

A rough voice rang out from a room in the Ubuyashiki manor that was incompatible the idyllic courtyard just outside it. That voice said impatiently:

“You actually called us over when there isn’t a Pillar meeting? How do you intend to settle this?”

“It’s an emergency situation.”

Even when Shinazugawa was staring straight at him, Himejima did not flinch.

The Stone Pillar, Himejima Gyomei not only had a strong and burly body, even bears would turn tail and run when they saw him and he had the wonderful reputation of being named the strongest within the Demon Slayer Corps.

Other than having extraordinary skill, he was considered a senior within the Corps and in addition, he was the oldest Pillar so it was always him who lead the others.

“It is Oyakata-sama’s will and not my personal whim to gather everyone.”

Himejima answered calmly as such and Shinazugawa clicked his tongue before distancing himself from his comrades. Since even Oyakata-sama’s name was mentioned, he probably had nothing more to complain about. Shinazugawa was immensely loyal to Oyakata-sama, more so than any other normal person.

Of course, this applied to everyone that was present….thinking to this point, Kochou Shinobu suddenly knitted her brows. Not all the Pillars were present.

“Himejima-san, I don’t think I see Tomioka-san.”

“You don’t think? Don’t say it in such a round-about way, Kochou. That man isn’t here. Even if that guy doesn’t plan to ever show up, I don’t find it surprising at all.”

Iguro Obanai responded to Shinobu’s question. Who’s the one who’s actually speaking in a round-about manner? Then again, he usually likes to rattle on with his words.

“That man is extremely self-centered, he probably said something like “Do whatever you want, it has nothing to do with me”.”

“What….that asshole.”

Shinazugawa had completely accepted Iguro’s explanation and blatantly showed his dissatisfaction towards Tomioka.

“Shinazugawa-san, all those just now were just Iguro-san’s speculations.”

Shinobu mildly interjected. It was so sad that he could get angry from someone’s imagination.

At this moment, Himejima finally opened his mouth to answer Shinobu’s question.

“I asked Tomioka to come here fifteen minutes later.”

“What is the meaning of this? Himejima-san.”

“What? Don’t tell me we’re making some kind of decision in his absence?”

Shinobu finished speaking, feeling surprised, and Uzui who was standing by the side lazily joked. “I see. So we’re finally going to fire the Water Pillar who can’t coordinate with others.”

“Uu, that cannot be allowed!”

Rengoku Kyoujurou who was just silently crossing his arms earlier suddenly shouted without warning.

“We cannot do such sneaky things behind his back! If you want to do it, then do it openly and make your complaints to Tomioka directly! Don’t you agree, Tokito!”

“I don’t really mind either way.”

Muichirou, whose name was suddenly mentioned, said in a distracted manner. Those eyes that were like marbles looked out of the opened paper door and were staring straight at some small birds that were playing in the wide courtyard.

“I’m not that close with Tomioka-san anyway, I’ll probably forget him in no time.”

“I agree. We don’t have to fire him, I’ll just blast him out.

After Shinazugawa said that, he cracked his knuckles making popping noises. Iguro also said:

“I agree as well. That guy has no sense of teamwork.”

“Ehh~~? We can’t do that! Everyone has to get along.”

Mitsuri looked around at her comrades, at a loss.

(As expected of Tomioka-san. He’s more hated than I imagined.)

Now what shall I do about this? Just as Shinobu was pondering, there was suddenly a loud clap. A sound that sounded like something snapping rattled their ear drums.

“Silence.””

Himejima lightly clapped his hands.

Just by doing that brought chills down people’s spines and the goosebumps that formed on their skin did not disappear for a while.

In the midst of the silence, Himejima swept his sightless gaze over the people present.

“The reason why I gathered everyone is not to fire Tomioka. It’s merely a wish that everyone would think of a way to make Tomioka, who is going to show up later, smile.”

After hearing this unexpected declaration, it seemed like only Tokito was indifferent.

He continued to stare at the tiny birds that were in the courtyard and was completely uninterested in everything that was at his current location.

On the contrary, Shinazugawa questioned Himejima again, extremely furious.

“Ah? Make Tomioka smile? Why do we have to do such a stupid thing?”

“Because that is Oyakata-sama’s wish.”

Himejima finished those words in a monotonous tone and started to describe what Oyakata-sama, that is Ubuyashiki Kagaya, said to him before

*

“—The situation is like that.”

“He wants to see Tomioka’s smile…is that so?”

Shinobu tilted her head in confusion.

“Did Oyakata-sama really say that?”

“Yes. Oyakata-sama realised that Tomioka had never smiled and said to me: “How glad I would be if I’m able to see Giyuu smile from the bottom of his heart.”

“Now that you mention it, I don’t think I ever seen Tomioka-san smile….what kind of expression would he make if he smiles?”

“Even though I never seen that guy smile either.”

After hearing Mitsuri’s words, Uzui lightly raised his chin and pointed towards Muichiro who was gazing at the courtyard by himself. “Why did he single out Tomioka?”

“That’s true….”

Shinobu nodded in agreement.

His—Tokita Muchirou’s expressions were similarly frighteningly cold.

This youth witnessed the death of his only kin, that is his older twin brother, at the hands of a demon and he himself was so severely injured he was almost dead and even lost his memories. Other than the times when he was killing demons, he would be like a hollow puppet. It was not known if it was because he had a younger brother of a similar age, Rengoku tended to show concern for Muichirou on his own initiative but it does not seem that the latter showed any signs of opening his heart to Rengoku.

In this kind of situation, it was slightly strange to only mention Tomioka.

Himejima seemed to be of the same opinion.

“I had the same question myself….”

He frowned slightly and spoke.

“However, Oyakata-sama said that as long as Tokito remembered his real self, then he would definitely find his own smile. However, Tomioka would rather turn back on his path and continuously force himself into despair.”

“—Force himself into despair?”

Shinobu mumbled.

No wonder that happened.

Even though it may be limited to this generation, but every Pillar had their own way of doing things. With the exception of Rengoku, Mitsuri and Shinobu, the Pillars are not considered people who got close to others.

Tomioka and Tokito were especially expressionless but Himejima, Shinazugawa and Iguro were not exactly that likable either. Though Uzui could not be considered especially cold, he tended to do things at his own pace.

Even so, if one just simply looked at the relationship between the Pillars, everyone got along decently well. Perhaps this was the result of the Pillars’ self-proclaimed responsibility of carrying the Demon Slayer Corps.

However, only Tomioka was different.

In Shinobu’s opinion, he was a bit too wilful and in addition, he was a man of a few words so he easily got into fights with Shinazugawa and Iguro and there were even a times when he got into conflicts with Uzui and Himejima.

This was most likely what Oyakata-sama was worried about.

(So basically—he wants us as fellow Pillars to show more concern for Tomioka who has isolated himself.)

This thoughtfulness was definitely Oyakata-sama’s style.

However, probably due to Himejima’s straightforward personality, he interpreted those words completely at face value.

How am I supposed to explain this? Just as Shinobu was extremely troubled—

“We just have to make Tomioka smile right? This is Oyakata-sama’s wish! I, Rengoku Kyoujurou, will definitely lend a helping hand to assist in this endeavour.”

Rengoku got up aggressively and declared that on the spot in a loud voice. Shinobu almost fell out of her chair. There was another man here who would accept all requests.

“….About that, Himejima-san, Rengoku-san, I think Oyakata-sama did not exactly mean—”

Shinobu tried to explain the situation euphemistically, however Mitsuri stood up as well and she declared, her face flushed:

“I will work hard as well! I also want to see Tomioka-san’s smile and furthermore, this is also for Oyakata-sama!”

She put her palms together in front of her chest, both her eyes sparkling.

“No, Kanroji-san….Like I was saying….”

“Outstanding determination! Kanroji!”

“Rengoku-san….”

Rengoku clapped Mitsuri’s shoulders and at that moment, Mitsuri held both her cheeks while smiling happily, her face blushing even harder from embarrassment. Iguro looked at the scene and immediately forced himself between the two.

“Since Kanroji has the intention of helping, then there’s no way I can’t help. Even though I have no motivation of making Tomioka smile.”

“Iguro-san! Really?”

“Alright, then let’s all work hard together! Iguro! Kanroji!”

“I know already, Rengoku. Don’t get so close to Kanroji.”

Shinobu could not help but grab her head.

Even Iguro got stirred up and came into this and now the situation completely became a literal problem. Mitsuri was formerly Rengoku’s successor, even though she moved to her own style due to having her own way of doing things, the two still had the relationship of a master and disciple for some time. So in order to stop Mitsuri from getting moved by her former master, Iguro agreed to help without thinking.

–At this time, Shinazugawa roughly got up.

“Tch. If it’s for something as trivial as this, I’m going back. If you all want to play, then go play on your own.”

Saying those words while gritting his teeth, Shinazugawa turned around, preparing to leave the meeting room.

Looking at the back that had the character “殺” on it, Himejima called out:

“……Shinazugawa, do you have the intentions to go against Oyakata-sama’s will?”

Hearing Oyakata-sama’s name, Shinazugawa stopped dead in his tracks.

“If you are prepared to trample on Oyakata-sama’s wishes, then leave at once.”

“…….”

“I will not stop you, you may do as you wish.”

Himejima’s tone was especially calm yet it carried a sense of coercion that could not be put into words.

Shinazugawa restrained the raging fire in his heart for a while before finally returning to his seat in an unruly manner.

“Everyone please put your heads together on what to do to make Tomioka smile. However, I am not skilled in bringing smiles to other people’s faces, so do not consider too much and express your own ideas.”

Himejima said to the rest in a serious manner.

No one protested.

It seemed like other than Shinobu, everyone had misunderstood Oyakata-sama’s intentions.

Seeing this rare meeting start to unfold before her eyes, Shinobu had already reached the stage of detaching herself from the situation.

*

“Pardon my intrusion.”

“—Yo, Tomioka, you’re really slow. Whatever, quickly come in.”

After Tomioka, who was long overdue to arrive, slid open the paper door and showed up, Uzui turned his head in a relaxed manner to greet him. A difficult to describe expression appeared on Tomioka’s face after he silently surveyed the interior of the room.

I can’t blame him. Shinobu could not help but feel a sense of sympathy for Tomioka.

There was not supposed to be a Pillar meeting today, yet the Pillars were gathered together and for some reason, having an arm wrestling contest. Anyone who witnessed this sight would be perplexed—even she herself was not an exception.

Three desks were placed in the centre of the meeting room, three competitions between three groups, Muichirou against Mitsuri, Shinazugawa against Iguro and Himejima against Uzui, had just ended.

Just to mention, the one who suggested an arm wrestling contest was Uzui,

Of course, this contest was not a serious one. Perhaps Uzui wanted to let Tomioka win this contest and use that to make him happy. The method was simple but not a bad one. For Uzui who believed in making things flamboyant, this was on the contrary considered an extremely reasonable plan.

Uzui lightly swung his right hand which was slammed down by Himejima.

“That old man Himejima is really strong, you should try to challenge him flamboyantly.”

“……Excuse me, I’ll be taking my leave.”

Tomioka came back to his senses from his confused state and finished saying those words monotonously before turning and preparing to leave.

Shinobu quickly grabbed her comrade’s haori sleeve.

“You’re still just the same as before, Tomioka-san. Improving the friendship between Pillars is also something important.”

“Then the rest of you can improve your friendship on your own, it has nothing to do with me.”

“If you went back just like that, other people are going to say that Tomioka Giyuu is afraid of Himejima Gyomei and ran away with his tail between his legs. Are you alright with that?”

Hearing Shinobu say those words, a slight dark colour formed on Tomioka’s brows.

Actually, Tomioka was unexpectedly competitive. Shinobu knew this well so she provoked him intentionally.

“Alright, do your best, Tomioka-san. I will cheer for you.”

Shinobu pushed Tomioka’s back with all her strength as she smiled and just like that, she brought him to the centre of the meeting room where Himejima was waiting.

Uzui got up to give up his seat to Tomioka while Rengoku who was next to the desk flashed his pearly white teeth,

“Then I, Rengoku, shall be the judge! The both of you must show your manliness and carry out this competition in a fair way!”

Himejima made a sound in reply then Uzui called his name in a nonchalant manner: “Himejima-san.”

Even though Uzui did not seem to say much but the meaning he was implying was probably “Find a chance to lose”.

Himejima also nodded, understanding his intention.

Tomioka, with an expressionless face, grabbed Himejima’s hand – one that was almost like a boulder, that was supported on the desk.

Then……

*

“……What is the meaning of this?”

Shinobu lowered her voice as much as possible and questioned Uzui.

The original plan was to fake this arm wrestling contest and let Tomioka win to make him happy—and if luck was on their side, he might even smile.

The result, however was that Tomioka was instantly crushed by Himejima and even lost to Uzui, Rengoku and Shinazugawa in a row straight after that. Never mind about Uzui who had a very different physique from him, Rengoku and Shinazugawa’s body size were not that much different. Even though Tomioka just barely won Mitsuri, who was a girl, this was not something that would make anyone smile.

Shinobu glanced over in Tomioka’s direction and he was in his seat with a blank expression.

“Uzui-san, why in the world did you win?”

She added on, chiding Uzui in a soft voice and Uzui said in an impatient manner while scratching his collar bone:

“I’m not wrong. Since old man Himejima won from the start, I can’t actually lose on purpose, right?”

“Himejima-san as well, what were you doing?”

Shinobu turned and questioned Himejima and Himejima mumbled in a low voice:

“I see that this arm wrestling contest actually had this kind of intention……”

“You….didn’t know?”

“….Namu.”

Himejima silently clapped his hands together and prayed towards the sky.

If that’s the case—then why did you nod in such an earnest manner when you heard Uzui call you?

Just as Shinobu was grabbing her head and howling in her heart, Uzui, who was behind her, lightly placed his elbow on her head and spoke as though the entire situation was none of his business:

“Kochou, don’t get angry because you’re at the bottom of the league.”

“I’m just baffled by this, I won’t get angry at something like that.”

“But you have no strength at all. Don’t you think it’s better if you train more? What’s that soft jelly arm going to do?”

“It’s not as though one only depends on strength in actual battle.”

Anger rose up to Shinobu’s hand and she pushed away his hand with a smile on her face. Just then Mitsuri leaned close to her energetically.

“Don’t worry, Shinobu. It’s my turn next.”

Even though Mitsuri’s voice was not loud, she was obviously full of motivation.

“Kanroji-san.”

“Even though I’m like this, I’m actually really good at making people laugh. Leave it to me.”

After Mitsuri finished speaking, she forcefully slapped her hand against her ample bosom.

Her face was red and a pleased colour shone from her eyes. She was full of confidence—she was pretty much the personification of confidence itself.

“Every time my younger brothers throw a tantrum, it’s always me who would make them laugh. It probably happened dozens of times already.

“Throw tantrums….was it?”

A peculiar phrase made Shinobu frown.

(Right, Kanroji-san’s brothers seem to be—)

A strong sense of a bad premonition rushed through her heart and Shinobu recalled their ages which Mitsuri mentioned before.

“To,mi,o,ka-san.”

However, Mitsuri had already went to Tomioka’s side and then—

“Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle~~~~~~!”

She reached her arms out towards Tomioka’s waist and started to tickle him.

“Are you going to surrender? Are you going to surrender? If you don’t surrender, I’m going to continue tickling you~~”

“……….”

“Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle~~~~~~~~~~!”

(Kanroji-san…..)

A distant gaze appeared subconsciously on Shinobu’s face.

Tickling a person all over definitely can make someone laugh, especially children who loved being tickled the most.

If it was Tanjirou or Inosuke and the rest, they would probably laugh loudly—Inosuke might even get angry and say: “Stop! You’re not allowed to make me feel warm and fuzzy!” –Zenitsu might even be so delighted that he’ll roll all over the ground exclaiming: “Uwahhh! I’m in bliss!!”

However, the other party was in every sense and form, an adult male.

And it was Tomioka—

“Ah……so, sorry.”

As expected, not only did Tomioka barely crack a smile, he even looked repulsed—no, he looked scared. Mitsuri suddenly came back to her senses when she saw the situation and she moved away from Tomioka, her face and ears beet red, before squatting down on the spot in a depressed manner.

“………I’m so….so sorry……………………….I……really want to disappear……..”

Mitsuri felt so ashamed that she was about to cry.

Iguro quickly stood out to hold her up.

“Tomioka……….do you even have a shred of humanity in you……”

He glared at Tomioka fiercely with hate in his eyes. “You actually trampled of Kanroji’s praiseworthy efforts, I will never forgive you for the rest of my life.”

Iguro was so angry that his voice was shaking and a lot of veins started appearing on his temple.

Seeing that he looked like he might draw his blade any time, seems like the order to make Tomioka smile had already been tossed to high heavens.

Just then, the paper door was suddenly pulled open which made an unusally noisy sound, breaking the tense atmosphere.

“Don’t worry! Iguro! Kanroji! Leave the rest to me!!”

The one who appeared behind the door was Rengoku Kyoujuro who had left the meeting room at some unknown moment.

He walked into the room with high spirits and there was a pair of glasses no one had seen before perched upon his head—Shinobu felt dizzy for a moment when she saw him.

“Tomioka! Have you seen my glasses? I was looking for it from just no, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere!”

“………It’s on your head.”

Tomioka said softly. “Rengoku, not only have your eyesight gone bad, did your brain become stupid as well?”

Rengoku was frozen on the spot for a moment.

“Uu,”

After letting out out a pondering sound……

“Nope!!”

Rengoku suddenly shouted loudly.

“No matter how many people there are, there’s no way to make Tomioka smile!”

(…………No, Rengoku-san….even I felt that was too ridiculous.)

Shinobu resisted the impulse to make a rebuttal……

“Do you even wear glasses in the first place?”

She opened her mouth to ask.

“No! I can even see things clearly from thirty Hitoma* away. This was something I bought for this!”

(T/N: One Hitoma is approximately 1.8 metres.)

Rengoku replied with an amazingly bright smile.

Even though the joke he prepared messed up in the end, he did not seem to mind at all.

Also, this person does not know how to talk softly.

So it seemed like only Iguro, Muichirou, Himejima, Shinazugawa and Shinobu were left. However Iguro had become the personification of hate, so never mind about making Tomioka smile, he probably wanted to kill him. And Muichirou did not have any motivation in the first place while Shinazugawa was not even under consideration.

Himejima also said that he was “Not good at making people smile”, so he could not be depended upon.

In reality, only she was left.

Shinobu looked at Tomioka’s unmovable cold expression.

(I have to make Tomioka-san smile……)

Can this person really smile? Just as this disrespectful thought appeared in her head, Shinobu suddenly had a flash of inspiration and she let out an “Ah.” From her mouth.

No, no. If it was just to make him smile, even Shinazugawa could do it.

–There’s still that.

In actual fact, Shinobu had seen Tomioka smile in a dopey manner before.

That time, he was eating……

After surveying the entire meeting room, Shinobu approached Shinazugawa who was so impatient it looked like he would explode anytime.

“Shinazugawa-san, Shinazugawa-san.”

“Ah? What?”

Even though her comrade was glaring at her with bloodshot eyes in a hostile manner, Shinobu still went close to his ear and whispered: Salmon braised with daikon.

“Tomioka-san likes eating salmon braised with daikon the most.”

“Hah?”

“He would definitely smile after eating that.”

Even though Shinobu had a smile on her face, Shinazugawa glared at her as though he wanted to kill a person.

“Are you kidding?”

“How could I? I’m not joking, it’s true. So please invite Tomioka-san to eat salmon braised with daikon.”

Facing Shinobu who had held back her volume from start to end, Shinazugawa let out a yell and bristled up in anger:

“Hahhhhhhhh? Why do I have to do something like that?! Kochou, why don’t you just invite him yours—”

“This is all for Oyakata-san.”

Shinobu unleashed her ultimate skill and Shinazugawa was silenced at once.

Shinobu took that chance to continue speaking:

“Think about it. Shinazugawa-san, if you successfully make Tomioka-san smile, you have no idea how happy it would make Oyakata-san. He would definitely smile at you and say: “Thank you, Sanemi. You are such a wonderful child after all.”

“Ugh……”

Shinazugawa’s eyes widened.

He kept quiet for a while and then turned his head towards Tomioka.

Shinobu also looked in the same direction.

Tomioka was still looking at some unknown thing and had an expression where no one could read his thoughts. Perhaps he never had such an intention, but it would just make others think that he was looking down on them.

And just as predicted, just looking at Tomioka’s face caused both of Shinazugawa’s hands to shake in fury and the blood vessels near his temple were also throbbing.

However—

“He….hey, Tomioka.”

Perhaps it was for the sake of realizing the wish of Oyakata-san who he respected as though he was his father, Shinazugawa opened his mouth in the end.

He was so angry that his voice was trembling and went higher pitched and perhaps rage filled his head so much that a faint smile appeared on the corner of his lips. This amount of effort was really touching.

“La…… later, do you want to go eat salmon braised with daikon together?”

“No.”

Tomioka answered at once.

(…….Tomioka-san.)

You really are—

Shinobu closed her eyes.

The sound of Shinazugawa’s blood vessel bursting was amazingly crystal clear.

“I had salmon braised with daikon just now.”

Tomioka continued saying but it was unfortunate that it quickly got covered by Shinazugawa’s beast-like furious howling……

*

“So such a thing actually happened.”

“Yeah.”

Facing Tanjirou who mumbled in amazement, Tomioka lightly nodded his head.

Tanjirou let out a sight. This was the first time he heard about anyone describing the Pillars interacting with each other.

And one of them was even Rengoku Kyoujurou. Thinking of that person’s energetic figure, a warm feeling enveloped Tanjirou’s chest.

(I should write to tell Senjurou about this next time.)

Just as Tanjirou was thinking as such, Tomioka muttered softly, saying,

“Now that I recalled this, I still don’t understand why Shinazugawa was so angry.”

Tanjirou tilted his head and pondered for a while……

Then he clapped his hands together hard.

“Shinazugawa-san must have really wanted to eat salmon braised with daikon with you, Tomioka-san.”

“Shinazugawa….with me?”

Tomioka seemed a bit baffled.

“Yes! So he was got upset when you rejected him.”

“I see….”

After hearing Tanjirou’s deduction, Tomioka thought for a while and then said:

“After making up with him with the ohagi, the next time I shall try inviting Shinazugawa out and ask him if he wants to eat salmon braised with daikon together.”

“That’s a great idea! The two of you would definitely be able to get along better.”

Tanjirou smiled, vouching for Tomioka’s success, then a faint blissful expression appeared on Tomioka’s face.

Seeing the faint smile appear on the unexpectedly youthful face, Tanjirou also became happy.

The Tomioka now would be sure to get along with everyone else—

He wisheed for a day when Tomioka can show his smile amongst the Pillars.

(T/N: Probably when he dies and reunites with the dead Pillars and other loved ones. Sob.)

Even though Tomioka had a very clumsy personality and spoke so little that it was pitiful, he was actually an immensely kind person. If one could see him show a blissful smile while being surrounded by his comrades, who knew how happy it would be.

(I really wish Rengoku-san could have seen this…)

No, he wished that Rengoku could laugh and smile with Tomioka as well.

Remembering the sun like smile of the one who had already passed, Tanjirou could not help but feel a sourness in his nose.

“Tanjirou, it’s almost time to start.”

“Yes!”

Hearing his senior fellow disciple urge him, Tanjirou sniffled and quickly stood up.

In any case, he had to work hard and become stronger.

To the point….that no one would ever be lost again.

Feeling the strong wind that also carried the fresh smell of bamboo, Tanjirou held onto the handle of his wooden sword with both hands tightly——

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