Chapter 3: Counting the nights that belong to the two of us

Part 1

He alighted from the train to discover a town dyed in a pure white blanket of snow.

Toujou Basara could feel the chill of the cold morning air piercing through him as he stood on the platform.

It was a sensation that prompted him to stop in his tracks, before he looked up at the empty sky spontaneously.

.

…It’s a little like the winter air in << the Village >> here.

It was the place where Basara had once spent his days living in; surely it was covered in snow right now as well.

—His present location was distinctly different from << the Village >>, however.

There was a liveliness that came from the conversations and footsteps of the mass of passersby.

Such was the fate of a famous tourist destination. There were many other tourists who had alighted at this stop much like Basara did, creating a wave of people towards the ticket gate.

Stopping amidst the lively movement of the surrounding passersby made him feel as if though he had been abandoned.

“—What’s wrong, Toujou? We should be going too.”

Following that, a certain someone took Toujou Basara by his left hand.

A rather cheerful voice had preceded the gesture, letting out white breath more transparent and clear than the surrounding snow.

It was the all too beautiful school nurse—Hasegawa Chisato—who had invited him to this place. And in light of her arrival—

“—”

Basara became entranced yet again—much like the surrounding people that passed by them.

…She’s so beautiful.

Having prepared for the far colder weather of their destination, Hasegawa wore a white long coat and a warm, mutton fur scarf that day, an attire that was befitting of the snowy vicinity. No matter how many times he looked at her current form, it always appeared fresh to him—much more different than that of her usual self.

“What’s wrong?”

“Ah, it’s nothing… Sorry, let’s get going, then.”

Noticing Hasegawa looking at him with her head tilted to the side with a puzzled expression, he embarrassedly tilted his head downward and apologized, before he started walking with her to the ticket gate.

Today, on the third weekend of January, Basara had arrived here from Hasegawa’s invitation—few days after Basara and the others had returned from the Demon Realm.

The memories of some of the faculty have been altered via Maria and Zest’s magic, but they had shown restraint in doing so in order to escape the prying eyes of the Hero Clan.

 

They’d brought a special battery and chip for their phones, similar to Jin’s, and with it they’d  informed the school that they were caught up with some trouble while travelling overseas, and would inevitably return to school later than expected. Luckily, and as a result, they’d encountered no real problems with their teachers or classmates even as they returned to school a few days late.

There was but one exception, though—the likes of half-vampire Tachibana Nanao, who had worried over knowing that Basara would return quite late after embarking to the Demon Realm…though the gentle Nanao had let out tears of joy upon reuniting with an unharmed Basara at school.

Takigawa, in the meanwhile, who they had seen in front of the station the other day,  had also resumed his schooling at Hijirigasaka Academy, although he had returned to the realm before the sports festival had infiltrated the school at a different time from Basara and the others, and had promptly used the same method of memory alteration on the staff to clear their winter assignments and fabricate passing grades, solving the problem of otherwise being unable to advance into the next grade. Given that Takigawa had only worked at a bare minimum to perform the necessary evil of tampering with the memories of some of the teaching staff, it was something that Yuki and Kurumi had deduced that the heroes would not see as a grave issue.

And with that, after returning to their day-to-day lives, Basara had taken the time to head to the infirmary…to visit Hasegawa.

—Before he had gone to the Demon Realm, Basara had received some good advice to keep in mind from Hasegawa.

It was to keep a flexible mind and not be close-minded—because of that, Basara did not end up blinded by what was in front of him and was able to see the bigger picture overall. It was because of that that he was able to devise a plan to go for Belphegor before the decisive fight with Leohart, and see his plan through to the letter in the end.

In the end, her advice had proven to be a great aid amidst their dreadful journey, and Basara had gone to her to express his thanks—something of which Hasegawa responded by saying that he could fulfill a request of hers if he truly felt indebted to her.

“Hey, Toujou, let’s stay the night at the hot springs—just the two of us.” That was what she had proposed to him with a seductive smile on her face.

Ever since the sports festival in autumn, Basara had shared a secret special relationship with Hasegawa.

It was an illicit relationship, that of a male student and his female teacher, one that had transpired willingly on the condition that they would not cross the final line; a relationship involving a man and a woman. After the celebratory party hosted by the student council before Basara and the others had embarked to the Demon Realm, Hasegawa had forcibly invited Basara over to her apartment, whereby the two then proceeded to ceaselessly crave and lust for each other in her bedroom.

Having been met with a tearful Hasegawa’s pleading of how unbearably lonely she’d been during the winter holidays when they had been apart, Toujou had, of course, been unable to reject her; that was the reason why Toujou was at such a place today.

Part 2

The first thing the duo did after they went through the ticket gate was to head towards the tourist information center situated within the station grounds.

They weren’t there to ask for directions—they wanted to leave their luggage for temporary storage.  Immediately after they had paid for the service with a thousand-yen bill altogether and relieved themselves of their baggage, Hasegawa entwined her arm with his.

“Since we’ve come all the way here, we don’t have to think about what everyone else thinks, so…You don’t mind, right?”

She fawningly huddled herself close to Basara; the scent of her sweet perfume wafted in the air following the gesture.

“Y-yes… Of course not.”

These parts were filled with numerous hilly roads; as such, Hasegawa had opted for low-heeled boots over her usual high-heeled footwear that day. Her line of sight was thus lower than Toujou’s by a notch, and she would naturally trail her eyes upward whenever she wanted to gaze at him under such close proximity—something that made her charm all the more devastating.

A red-faced Basara nodded in agreement; a response that delighted Hasegawa, who then asked for a more intimate connection as she connected her fingers with his, wanting to holding hands as if they were lovers. And then the two left the building just like that—stopping right in front of the station.

“So where do we go from here, sensei?”

The prospering hot spring district would take thirty minutes northeast by train from their current destination. Of course, the surroundings of this station had many hot springs, as well, but perhaps it was better for them to say that this place was more so famous for being a tourist spot, given its world heritage shrines, the historical temple and matchless natural scenery. This was Basara’s first visit to this place, but he had some semblance of knowledge about it from rumours and news here and there.

The fact that they’d stored their belongings they had brought here for the trip beforehand indicated that Hasegawa did indeed have some places around these parts she wanted to visit—thus why Basara had asked her that question.

“Ah, right… There are a couple of places I’d like to go to with you, but before that,”

Saying that, Hasegawa took Basara’s arm and walked towards the right of the station—to a souvenir shop right by the station.

“First, let’s try some of the fried red bean buns around here; I  hear that they’re very good.” Hasegawa said with a smile.

A closer look revealed a conspicuously placed article featuring an interview regarding this famous spot on the shop. The female shopkeeper handed a single, packaged bun to Hasegawa, who had bought it with some small change. And then,

“Here, Toujou,” She said, steam rising up from the white package that held the fried bun as she inched it towards Basara.

“I’ll be helping myself, then…”

As Basara reached for the bun, however, Hasegawa responded by pouting a little.

“You dummy…Open your mouth.”

Witnessing her make such a request with her upturned gaze made Basara unconsciously swallow hard.

“—Or would you prefer it if I fed you mouth-to-mouth instead?”

It was only with that question that Basara finally relented and obediently opened his mouth, before she then placed the bun into it. The light, fragrant scent of the dish came first, and following that as he bit into it was the sweetness of the red bean filling encased in the crisp, crunchy texture of the fried dough, seemingly made with soya and other dried soy products.

“This is really good…!”

As Basara was impressed by the deliciousness of the bun, seemingly popular enough to be reviewed and publicated on television and magazines,

 

“Fufu, there’s some crumbs left over…”

As she said that, Hasegawa picked them up from the bridge of his lips with her fingers, soon after leaving Basara’s lips, she brought her finger to her own lips and kissed it lightly.

Perhaps it was because the two of them have come this far away from home and don’t have to mind what others think that Hasegawa wanted to enjoy the romantic atmosphere of being lovers to the fullest—something that Basara eventually realized, before professing, “Would you like me feed you as well?” To which then Hasegawa happily responded,

 

“Then, if you would please…”

With that, as she was handed the bun by Basara, she smoothly slid her right fringe over her shoulder and moving her mouth close, intentionally biting into the part of the bun where Basara himself had already taken a bite, before chewing for a few moments and downing it.  Hasegawa then stuck out her tongue and licked her lips coquettishly, a nourished smile surfacing on her face.

“Mmm…it’s really delicious.”

All she had done was eat the bun; why did it have to look so arousing? Part of the bun’s crust where Hasegawa had bitten into was lightly stained with the color of her lips. Hesitating to be honest with his embarrassment out of fear of annoying her, he proceeded to finish the remainder of the bun as if nothing had ever happened.

And then—suddenly, Hasegawa kissed him.

“—?”

It wasn’t a kiss on the cheek—it was a kiss on his lips. As Basara remained frozen in surprise, Hasegawa disregarded those around them and continued kissing him. And then, when she gently parted from him,

“W-Why did you do that all of a sudden…?”

“You responded as if you didn’t think much of an indirect kiss, so I’d wanted to see if you’d still be okay after a direct one.”

“…I’m glad you’ve gotten your answer, then.”

He was a student, and Hasegawa was a teacher; it couldn’t be helped that he was no match for her fundamentally. Even when there have been moments when he has taken the initiative when only the two of them are involved…

…No.

It was simply the fact that Basara had been played into Hasegawa’s palm as she’d wanted, wasn’t it?

In that way, Basara was able to be indulged by Hasegawa’s adult woman flexibility and charm, it’s something that he doesn’t have with Mio and the others, that’s why Basara, in front of that Hasegawa, would like to try how far would she let him go with his impulses, and in the process of that, how much pleasure and excitement, However, no matter how brazen Basara would become when he would throw away his mantle of reason, Hasegawa had always accepted him with a coquettish smile, answering to him happily.

“—So then, shall we get going?”

With that, Basara nodded in reply to Hasegawa’s words—and they began to move.

There was buses, taxis and rental cars as means of transportation around these parts.

When Basara asked what they were to do next, Hasegawa had opted for a taxi.

“While we won’t get lost with how recent cars have a navigational systems, as it is the weekend we won’t be able to avoid the traffic in tourist destinations.”

In the time they have, to know the best route to shorten the traffic time, and even on where to park, or even finding less crowded places, as well as knowing information that isn’t in the guidebook, are all things that a local driver would excel at.

“If we do have some spare funds left, it’s better to rent a taxi for a time, so we can enjoy our sightseeing.”

Having no objections to what Hasegawa had suggested, they booked a taxi among several that were waiting in front of the station till evening, as Basara and Hasegawa began their sightseeing around the area.

Before noon, they went to a lake situated in the west, and a large waterfall there for some scenery sightseeing. The winter lake stood a thousand meters over the sea, the mountain wind runs through the water’s surface, the trees standing by the lakeside that splashed with the water froze, it was a space, that looked completely like an icy chandelier.

The taxi they rented was driven by an old man, and once they said they wanted to go to this place, he had given them a good viewing spot for this winter—that is, for this day.

“It’s beautiful…”

Hasegawa murmured as she linked her arm with Basara’s, leaning in, Basara, who shared her line of sight, forgot how cold he was, captured by the beautiful sight in front of him.

“Would you like me to take a photo of the both of you?” said the driver. Surely, he had known other lovers he had taken here who he had helped remember the day. Saying that, Hasegawa, as if awaiting her chance,

“…Toujou, let’s take him up on his offer, shall we?”

“Of course, let’s take a picture.”

Basara had decided that during this trip, he would indulge Hasegawa in whatever she wanted to the best of his ability. With his approval given with a smile, Hasegawa happily took out her own phone camera, setting it up before handing it to the driver. And then, going over to Basara’s side,

“Thank you… Toujou.”

She murmured, in a small voice that only Basara could hear. So, in as if answering to her, Basara put his arm around her shoulder, and like that, pulled her close to him.

“—”

Hasegawa’s face turned to that of surprise for a moment, however, it quickly turned into a happy face, she leaned in close, her cheeks to his chest.

“—Alright, all set, and…”

They smiled as the driver said. And then, after they took the shot, he returned the phone and the Basara and Hasegawa on there could only be seen as lovers.

“…” “…”

The two of them, who looked at the photo together, when they looked up from the screen, they looked at each other at a very near distance. A picture is something that reflects reality. Seeing themselves in the picture, there’s a stronger consciousness of the other.

However, this time, the expression and feelings of Basara and Hasegawa in the picture had such a tremendous effect.

—So, with that, the atmosphere between Basara and Hasegawa changed.

“Sensei… This way.” “…Yeah.”

As they are far from home, it’s good that there’s no chance of anyone knowing them here, in the taxi, Basara held Hasegawa at the waist, Hasegawa leaned in without moving away. The driver, with his veteran discretion, did not talk to them about the scenery, leaving them to themselves in the back seat.

And then, they went to a waterfall known as one of the three greatest in Japan, to be able to get to the observation deck, they needed to take an elevator with a fee, the driver then waited for them at the car.

Heading to the elevator hall with the ticket, as it’s the weekend there’s a long line to the elevators. However, with one round, everyone to the front of them had come in… At the next round, tourists came pouring out of the elevator but it turned out that Basara and Hasegawa had the elevator to themselves.

So then—as soon as the door closed between them and the staff—

 

“Toujou, nn, chuu…”

Hasegawa, appearing teary-eyed, lunged at him and kissed him, as Basara assertively entwined his tongue with hers. As much as there may have been security cameras watching everything they were doing, they didn’t really care at the heat of the moment.

 

It would take 60 seconds for them to reach the observation deck— on the observation deck there were also lots of tourists.

Even so, as Basara held to Hasegawa’s waist with his right hand, his left hand brought down the zipper of her coat to mid-way, and then, slipping in, he fondled her breasts with no hesitation, Hasegawa then thrust up her waist happily.

“Aah… Toujou, chuu… Haah, Toujou… Nnn ♥”

She wanted a more passionate kiss from Basara. As Basara’s saliva trickled inside her mouth, Hasegawa erotically drank it all down her throat.

They wanted to go further beyond this if the situation allowed it; but then the elevator reached the observation deck,

“—Sensei, we’re here.” “Nn… I understand, let’s continue later.”

They reluctantly parted their lips from each other, and left the elevator as if nothing had ever happened.

—The giant waterfall they could see as they arrived at the observation deck, had the intensity of one of the three greatest waterfalls in Japan.

The waterfall, falling lively for around hundreds of meters, just like the previous waterfall at the lake, showed a special characteristic for the winter that welcomed them.

Behind the large waterfall, like it was a bamboo screen, were smaller waterfalls meant to flow as well but —due to the low temperature of winter it had frozen and spread, looking just like wings.

As they were charmed by the blue ice created naturally,

“Umm~… Excuse me, is it alright to ask you to take a photo?”

Suddenly, from beside them, a girl’s voice called out. Seems like she wanted to take the picture alone with her but as her group was too big they weren’t really able to.

“Then, here I go – I’m taking it.”

Basara said expressing the timing, clicking down on the shutter button.

Taking it a few more times to be safe, they then checked if there’s no problem with the photo he’s taken,

“Waah~ You’re good at taking pictures” “Really… Like a pro-photographer”

As the girls praised him, Basara said “Thanks…”,  feeling embarrassed, he bowed his head down.

…This feels quite nice.

Rather than just having had made someone happy, it was the fact that he had just been praised as having the same talents that his photographer father Jin had that made him happier all the more.

—It was then that Basara could feel that words traced on his back.

Even through his coat, he could still understand the words were “Cheater” and “Idiot”..

You’re still teasing me… And yet when Basara turned around,

…Eh…

Hasegawa was not smiling, however. She was definitely glaring at him with a dissatisfied look.

“…”

Her eyes delivered the same overbearing gaze in the elevator of Hasegawa’s apartment that Christmas evening, when she had told him something that she hoped he wouldn’t forget; that she, too, was prone to an emotion called jealousy.

“—”

Basara immediately understood his mistake, but there was no denying that he’d committed it nonetheless. Not saying anything, simply looking up at him, being sublimely cute… Without minding the tourists around them, Basara was driven by an impulse to embrace and kiss her right there. However,

“Ah, excuse me… Would you two like me to take a photo of you?” asked the girl,  as Hasegawa asserted herself by linking her arm around Basara’s.

And then the two of them got their shots, with their back to the waterfall, after viewing the beautiful winter waterfall one more time, the two of them went on the elevator to go to the ground floor. As expected, going down they can’t have the space alone, the elevator being packed.

“—Sensei, over here.”

Basara, not wanting Hasegawa to be touched by any other man, stood guarding her;

“…”

A gesture of which Hasegawa simply wordlessly hugged him in response. Then,

“Toujou… During this trip, you belong to me alone, okay?”

“…Yes, I’m sorry.”

 

As Basara held a sulking Hasegawa in his arms, he also sincerely apologised to her.

Before long, they reached the ground floor. It was around lunchtime when they returned to the taxi, and they asked the taxi driver to recommend a restaurant. After confirming their plans and desires after lunch as well their desired cravings for the afternoon, they took them to a soba shop that was reputable among both locals and tourists alike.

And then, in the afternoon, they were no longer visiting natural sights, but instead one of synthetic, man-made fine art.

They went to visit the Shinto Shrine, a site recognized as a World Heritage Site.

Part 3

Basara and Hasegawa had arrived at the area of the World Heritage Site with the largest population of tourists.

Although the taxi could enter the area known for its two reputable shrines and a temple, the taxi instead went over to the southeast by Hasegawa’s request—going around to the front entrance where one would need enter by foot, it stopped in front a vermilion bridge, deemed to be a very significant cultural heritage site. And after requesting the driver to circle around and wait on standby until the two finished their sightseeing and would contact him by phone, Basara and Hasegawa slowly began to walk across the bridge.

 

“—”

 

Though he’d already started to notice it on the way to the lake in the taxi, the more the two progressed through the bridge, the clearer the air surrounding them would become.

 

To begin with, this area was a ground that is said to have a “Shinto Shrine” with a strong spiritual power but, coming here he could feel the spiritual power increase furthermore. That moment, Hasegawa, who was walking beside him, asked,

 

“—Toujou, do you know the difference between temples and shrines?”

 

“Well, I do, somewhat…”

 

There were a number of heroes who were born with the ability to borrow power from spirits and divine beasts, so it was important to at least know the basics about it. Thinking about it easily “fundamentally, the one with Torii* is a shrine, the one with graves are temples”, but there’s a different, rough “distinction” between them. Therefore,

 

* traditional red shrine gates

 

“I have some knowledge about the various theories but… To put it generally, shrines are Shinto, whereas temples are Buddhist, so it is said that shrines are places where gods are more likely to live.”

 

And then,

 

“Temples are where one practice Buddhism, fundamentally; they’re not places where gods live in, they are places where monks and practitioners live…or something like that.”

 

Nonetheless, to say for the heavenly beings who bestow powers upon heroes from a long time ago live in shrines all over Japan wouldn’t be right either.

 

Naturally, shrines have many spirits there, and it is also said to be a place where gods had once descended upon. However, that is something humans would never be able to see, if it has to be said, they are conceptual beings and Basara and the others could more or less feel those beings. To say this in an easier way, these heavenly beings which had bestowed powers to their ancestors, as well as the spirits and divine beasts they borrow powers from, are “more human like/animal like” beings. What turned into demons were once expelled from heavenly realms. Thinking of the existence of their counterpart, it is easy to understand as that close to humans.

 

That said—though there are gods revered by Shinto and human-like figures of Japanese legends, there are also those with the same name of the Shinto Gods, that blessed weapons, such as that of Yuki’s Sakuya. This is, beings with roots in the cultural myths, belief and spirit, and in long history many people had been recognised by it, easily gaining spiritual power. In short, the “Konohana Sakuya-hime” of Japanese legends, and the spirit of the blade that Yuki wields, “Sakuya” is not entirely the same being.

 

However, the origin of the above being, is not completely unrelated either… So to say, having admitted an entire clan, there’s still a practical problem, to somewhat feel a hint of such beings in shrines, to preserve it so they don’t get ruined and destroyed in fight with demons or low level malicious spirits.

 

That is the same with temples, and although they are, as Hasegawa and Basara said, the place where monks live, the general case is it’s a place with important connections to the vein of the earth, like shrines, they often divide the task of protecting the earth, and so for those places and present to not be lost, they worked together to prevent the “Staining” of it.

 

That is the reason why when they fought Takashi’s group which wield “Byakko”, they fought not in mountains or forests with little people — but within a barrier in front of the train station.

 

Similarly, with the heroes from other countries, with the myths and beliefs passed on in their own areas, have reconstructed their own strengths and weapons, they shoulder the responsibilities of preserving their own churches, temples and historic ruins versus the demons.

 

In short, those heavenly beings do not generally step out of the heavenly realms, they have created beings who are able to fight demons in this human world, with spiritual powers, and power with surge of acknowledgement unlike other humans, the heroes who had been bestowed this by the heavenly beings. That being said, in the great war, they had shown their form to a portion of the heroes. Since the great war ended however, there had been no report of them being seen again.

 

So then, having crossed the bridge and a road for cars to pass through, they reached the mountain path that would lead them to the world heritage temples and shrines.

 

“So then, if there’s beings like gods… Who don’t appear to help humans and animals as they suffer, what do you think of that, Toujou?”

 

Suddenly, Hasegawa, who walked ahead of him, asked. Not wanting anyone below them to peek up her skirt, Basara saw to continuously walking right behind her; he was thus unable to tell what expression was she making as she said that, and he was unable to guess the meaning of the question. Even so—

 

“Hmm…This is a theory too but, if those beings exist, surely they also think of all sorts of situations. Perhaps it’s not something we realize, but there may be times they have protected and helped us.”

 

And that’s because… thought Basara. He lifted his head and gazed at Hasegawa’s back in front of him.

 

“There are times where humans unconsciously give aid and help amongst themselves, don’t they? That’s why…even if they don’t reveal their true forms… Surely they’re still watching over us and give us their aid without our knowing.”

 

They were like the heroes, too, in that regard—in a similar vein, they have protected the world from Demons and lowly, evil beings without humans’ knowing.

 

“…I see.”

 

Hasegawa didn’t turn around as she gave her reply in a low voice, simply looking forward.

 

“…You don’t think so?”

 

Noticing her somewhat gloomy reply, Basara asked, worried.

 

“No, it’s not that…I was just thinking ‘So that’s how you look at it’, that’s all…”

 

As she climbed up the stairs, she turned back to look at him, giving him a gentle smile.

 

That was, Hasegawa’s usual expression—that’s why, stroking down his chest in relief, Basara lined up with her, and Hasegawa linked her arm with him, once more, leaning into him. And at the same time,

 

“—”


Though he saw that Hasegawa’s lips did move slightly, he could not hear any words from them.

 

Part 4

 

The first of the World Heritage sites that they visited was a shrine that a general who lived through the warring period had dedicated to the gods for unification of the country.  It was a marvelous building set with feng shui and onmyou teachings, engraved with patterns of animals and magical beasts, the famous three monkeys and sleeping cat, furthermore, set on the roof at the inside of the shrine, with mysterious reverberating wooden clappers with a dragon on it, was a famous standing point, where the two of them enjoyed their sightseeing.

 

And then—they proceeded to visit a neighboring shrine next.

 

Walking through a path lined with cedars, they soon passed under the torii, they reached the grounds of the historical shrine, washing their hands and mouth with the ritual water,

 

“…Sorry, but please accompany me somewhere.”

 

She asked, and Basara nodded in agreement. This is a shrine for a “land inherited god”, and there was a famous story with an injured white rabbit regarding him.

 

…If I remember correctly, he was someone who had a mountain of children…or something like that.

 

Accordingly, there were six wives whom he made a hundred-eighty children with.

 

Six was a rather coincidental similarity between Basara and this particular god; even if they weren’t his wives, Basara still possessed a deep bond with five women; Mio, Yuki, Maria, Kurumi and Zest.

 

…And then there was…

 

There was Hasegawa, who Basara, too, also shared a deep bond with, and it would truly be six women—like that of said god.

 

However, other forms of research seem to claim that he had seven wives, and there had been plenty written on this, so perhaps it was a coincidence not worth thinking about.

 

While there are other tourists besides the two of them, it seemed to be comprised of mainly women and couples. As it was a god who had tied a bond with many goddesses, on top of being known to command the lands of this area, he was also known to relate to marriage. Wanting to enjoy their time as a couple, it’s possible that’s why Hasegawa took him here.

 

From there, together with Hasegawa, he lined up with her like a married couple at the inner sanctuary, where there was a marriage cedar tree. If he were to be truthful, there was a lot that he could wish for, but,

 

“—”

 

Hasegawa, who closed her eyes as she held his hand, made an earnest expression; noticing it, Basara simply wished for whatever Hasegawa wished for to come true.

 

So then—at the end of the lines of visitors, they encountered a party.

 

It was a wedding ceremony. A dignified wedding ceremony at a world heritage shrine like this.

 

The groom, with the priestess guiding, wore a decorated kimono, with the bride in white.

 

Right behind them, were their parents, continuing after them.

 

With that, Hasegawa watched them with a spellbound expression,

 

“How enviable…”

 

She murmured, leaning her body against Basara’s. There were a number of thoughtless words he could have used to reply her with; he did not want to reply irresponsibly, however, so,

 

“…Indeed.”

 

As Basara said all that he could muster, he tightened his hold on Hasegawa’s waist just a little. And then, as they gazed on to the wedding ceremony, and then, as seeing them back,

 

The groomed seemed charmed by Hasegawa. The bride, who noticed it, sulked as she pulled on his ear.

 

“—It seems that it’s over, so…let’s go, then?”

 

Perhaps it was pity to the husband who was berated for looking at Hasegawa.

 

Basara answered, far from that place, and Hasegawa too seemed satisfied.

 

“Yeah, that’s right… Let’s go.”

 

He replied with a nod, and then they left the shrine behind.

 

Afterwards, they went towards the other culturally important temple; however, they did not make it due to the winter closing time. As such, the two of them gave up on sightseeing, and went to the parking lot where the taxi they had hired was parked and waiting for them. They went over back to the first lake they had gone to.

 

It’s not because they had something they had forgotten to see. They were heading over to a building on the bank of the river.

 

“What an amazing place….”

 

Basara muttered, as he marvelled at the sight outside his window.

 

Going past the large welcoming gate was a wide spread of land of a famous resort company managed high-class inn.

 

In front of the building, there were already staff members, women waiting in traditional outfits, as soon as Basara and Hasegawa arrived with their taxi, the door was opened,

 

“—Welcome, thank you for coming in this cold weather.”

 

With a voice that didn’t miss a beat, she bowed down her head.

 

So then, paying the taxi their fee for today, they followed the figure of the staff who took them to a sofa and table at the lobby. As soon as Basara lowered himself on the couch, another girl poured them tea, together with the green tea served in an expensive looking set, was plentiful traditional sweets. However, they weren’t just there for tea, as evidence, a little after they drank their tea,

 

“Welcome—We do apologize for imposing on you, but if we could please have you check in?”

 

Upon that, Hasegawa was handed a leather-bound note and writing utensils.

 

And then Hasegawa, using it gracefully, wrote down their personal information.

 

Once she finished and returned the book, the woman bowed respectfully.

 

“Thank you very much. If everything is alright now, I will escort you to your room—This way, please.”

 

Saying that, she invited them to the inner side of the building. The Japanese styled building was covered in silence, and on the tatami covered floor of the hallway, only the sounds of their footsteps could be heard.

 

Before long, they were shown to their room. It was bigger than the Toujou house, a luxurious room. With two Japanese styled rooms, a living and bedroom. There’s also a bathroom, washing area and toilet, all in twos, it was easily a room for six.

 

So then, the two of them approached to sit on the floor cushions of the Japanese room, the woman who showed them to the room poured them tea. And then placing the hot water in front of Basara,

 

“Once again, welcome to this place again. I am this establishment’s manager,”

 

She said, bowing her head down with her hands on the floor. Upon seeing that proprietress,

 

…I’m glad I’ve been to the Demon Realm before this.

 

Having been received by Wildart in the Demon Realm, Basara was able to not feel intimidated with this particular head of the establishment. With that, Hasegawa who sat at the table not far from him, with composure,

 

“What of our belongings that we sent earlier?”

 

“Yes. They had arrived earlier, we had placed it over there.”

 

She said, pointing to the living room, Basara and Hasegawa’s belongings, which they had left at the train station, was placed there. The fee the two of them had paid was not just to leave their belongings—but also to have it sent to where they were staying.

 

Indeed—this trip was not a day trip. The two of them were staying here for the night.

 

“Um… Sorry to intrude by asking, but is today an anniversary of sorts?”

 

“Yes. Please let us spend it in that way.”

 

Hasegawa, who responded to the proprietress’ reservations, took an envelope out of her bag with a smile.  Surely, it was a gratuity tip. And when she laid eyes on the offer,

 

“That’s… I can’t accept this. All the services had been paid for in the lodging fees. We’ve already  received plenty from Hasegawa-sama.”

 

“That’s separate from that. If you’re confident in your service, there’s no issue in taking it. If you could provide us the best service possible, then it would be my pleasure.”

 

Hasegawa stated calmly, having the proprietress’ understanding,

 

“…So, I will receive this gratefully.”

 

She received the tip and put it away in her chest pocket, before returning to her serious expression.

 

“So then… As aforementioned, we will do our best to present to you our hospitality.”

 

Stated the proprietress, highlighting the inn’s features,

 

“—Please, enjoy everything at your leisure.”

 

Again, she bowed her head with her hands in front of her, and with that she left the room. With that,

 

“Fuuh…”

 

Basara finally took a breath as he observed the room. It was not just the size of it, the sight of the lake, with the sunset out of the window was top class. So then,

 

…I’d like to take them here one day.

 

He thought of Mio and the others back home.

 

As expected, they disapproved of him spending the night elsewhere.

 

He didn’t really mention Hasegawa to them; his relationship with her was already a secret from them, to begin with.

 

When Basara had said he wanted to rest from the fight in the Demon World and wanted to spend one night out by himself, Mio and the others were genuinely worried for his safety.

 

From their point of view, they couldn’t understand as to why they couldn’t have gone with Basara…

 

However—they sent him off without saying anything in the end.

 

Most likely, the words of Takigawa who they met the other day “your worry can’t shackle Basara too much, it’s no good, so throw it away” were engraved in them.

 

Given that they were restricted by the master-slave contract, Mio, Yuki and Zest couldn’t follow him secretly. Maria and Kurumi, on the other hand, weren’t tied by the contract—Basara could thus be informed of  their location.

 

…I have Sheila to thank for this.

 

Basara’s gaze fell to his phone.

 

Just as Mio and the others were perhaps worried for him right now—Basara valued them and was worried about them as well.

 

Understanding their feelings regarding the situation, among the souvenirs Sheila had given him was a special chip made from Maria’s magic and Kurumi’s dark element; putting it inside his phone would allow him to track their location like a GPS.  

 

He now had no doubts that Mio and the four others were in Tokyo. Checking the location on his phone, and they can also can tell each other’s location by the unblocked Master-slave contract, he had also e-mailed them while with Hasegawa.

 

Given that they knew about his location as well as having received correspondence from him, surely they wouldn’t be worried about him, would they?

 

As Basara’s mind drifted off to thinking of Mio and the others—

 

“—You’re still thinking about other women even while you’re together with me?”

 

Hasegawa, who rested her chin on the table, teased him.

 

“You went with Naruse and the others overseas during winter vacation. At that time, I thought of you all alone. Of course, staying with me like this, I don’t mind if you want to ease Naruse and the others by contacting but… Outside of that, please think only of me.”

 

Her spoiled request came with a seductive smile as Basara nodded and said, “Alright.”

 

And just as she’d said—during the time they would spend together, he would only think of her.
Part 5

 

There was still some time before dinner. To that, the two decided to check out the hot springs first.

 

Although a cypress open air bath was offered in their room, a large open air bath, in the end, was the inn’s real selling point. Although they had yukata in their room, the propritess had told them that there is also a changing room prepared for them at the large bath, and so they went as they were.

 

Perhaps due to the vastness of the building, they were expectedly enveloped by the silence of the interior.

 

“—So, later then…” “Yes…”

 

Saying so, Basara and Hasegawa parted, going to the male and female baths.

 

So then Basara, at the male bath curtains, took off his clothes in the locker room and placed it in the locker, putting the key wristband on his arm, opening the door and stepping to enter the large bath.

 

“…This is amazing.”

 

He said without thinking to himself. He looked over the massive bath, covered in steam, the bath and space was of a spaciousness he’s satisfied with. Even though it was already this large, there was also the open-air bath. The male bath seemed to be exclusive to Basara’s use only.

 

…It’s quite empty given that it’s the weekend.

 

It does seem like a high-threshold inn, perhaps the people who stay were few too. Or perhaps those others who stay here don’t use the large bath, but instead the exclusive baths in their own rooms.

 

At the Japanese-styled decorated large bath, while thinking of that, Basara lowered himself on the stool left at the washing area and began washing his body, suddenly – there was a presence from the locker room.

 

It seemed like there was another guest who would like to enjoy the large bath with Basara. Basara, patting down his chest in relief, began to wash himself, and before long, that customer too, entered the bathing area.

 

It was Hasegawa.

 

“Eh—?”

 

Unconsciously, a dumbfounded voice spilled out from him. However, this person, with her hair wrapped with a towel together with her body covered with a bath towel was without a doubt Hasegawa Chisato; and as that person discovered Basara in the bathing area,

 

“Did you wait long, Toujou…?”

 

With a gentle smile surfacing on her face, she stepped on the hot water of the floor to head towards him.

 

“W-Why are you doing this, sensei!? If any other guests come in-”

 

He did get the feeling that Hasegawa wanted to have a bath with him, but he did not think it would be in the large public bath instead of the personal ones indoors. And while he was happy for her thoughtful gesture, he absolutely did not want her naked figure to be gazed at by other men. However,

 

“Calm down. No one will be come in—Not any guests, nor any of the staff, as well.” Hasegawa said calmly.

 

“I’ve booked the whole place—for today and tomorrow.”

 

“This entire bath?”

 

You could do that? In response to Basara who had asked that question,

 

“That’s not all… The entire hotel.”

 

Hasegawa let that possibility leave her lips smoothly.

 

…Now that he thought about it…

 

It wasn’t just in the locker room or the bath. Since they entered this lodging, Basara had not seen a single other customer. And then, the proprietress had said when she was leaving their room — “Please, feel free”. Normally, it would have been “Please, do relax” or “Have a good day.”.

 

— However, the manager  had told them to ‘enjoy everything at their leisure”.

 

When Hasegawa handed her the tip, she also said she “had received plenty”, perhaps that wasn’t just lip service out of politeness,

 

…It couldn’t be.

 

To book up this high class inn on a weekend, how much would that even cost? Hasegawa who appeared in front of Basara, took off her bath towel, lowering herself to the stool right beside him, she began to let the hot water of the shower run over her body. Before the sports festival, after eating a meal from her, or during that Christmas eve, after he was pampered by her in her room, Basara had bathed with Hasegawa before and did all sorts of actions with her. Thinking of those times, Basara reacted unconsciously. With that, Hasegawa who noticed his condition,

 

“…Fufu, you’re fast.”

 

“No, this is…”

 

Saying that as he was gazed on with happy eyes, Basara’s words became muddled up, and then Hasegawa opened the cap of the body wash and let its content spill on her breasts. And then, to the point it spilled in the valley of her chests, she began rubbing her breasts against the other, her nipples lewdly standing up. Understanding what Hasegawa was doing,

 

S-Sensei…”

 

“If we don’t take care of that, we can’t have dinner… Leave it to me.”

 

As he called to her, she gave him a seductive smile as she turned to his back.

 

And then, she pushed her covered large breasts against his back, circling her arms around his body. There was still plenty of body wash remaining on her hand.

 

And at the next moment—Hasegawa’s hands stroked Basara’s enlarged member.

 

“Amazing… It’s all big, Toujou… Nn”

 

She said excitedly as her slippery breast slided against his back, and she moved her fingers lewdly to stroke his member. Unable to deny the truth,

 

“…A lot of stuff happened during winter vacation…”

 

Perhaps using the nutrition tonic given to him by Sheila in the demon world, Basara had grown bigger there.

 

Basara who was serviced by Hasegawa answered with a moan.

 

“Is that so.. So then tonight, I’ll make it plenty big”

 

As she said that with a voice laced with laughter, Hasegawa increased the speed of her hands.

 

“Ugh… Ah…!”

 

Basara whose pleasure was increased, put all his strength to his bottom half,

 

“Don’t hold back… Relax, let go.”

 

Her hot breath accompanied her whisper in his ears, and with that she increased the intensity of her hand movement—So, Basara allowed himself to indulge in Hasegawa’s words. He released the pleasure he held back in her hands. Not held back completely by Hasegawa’s hand, his semen also spilled at the top half of the long mirror near them. With that, Hasegawa’s face in the mirror was dirtied in white, the hand that stroked his member too became more gentle,

 

“Nn… Fufu, you let out a lot…”

 

Hasegawa said,with a satisfied smile. Admittedly slightly frustrated for her to have taken the initiative alone, Basara turned around slowly, and understanding his intention just then,

 

“Don’t give me that look…We’ve haven’t even had dinner yet.”

 

Hasegawa advised Basara to hold himself back for the time being, but she certainly wouldn’t mind it if he did otherwise.

 

So, Basara took Hasegawa’s breasts in his hand and gently caressed them,

 

“Aahn… ♥”

 

Just like that, a sweet sound spilled from her. To that Hasegawa,

 

“…You’re one to talk, given you’re like this as well, sensei.”

 

Basara extended a hand and naughtily pinched the pale pink tip of her nipples.

 

“— Fuaaan!”

 

Hasegawa’s sensitive body trembled just from that—that reaction from Hasegawa brought up Basara’s excitement, he moved his arm to draw her closer to him.

 

“Before dinner… Let’s both do it, just once.”

 

Hasegawa suggested with a seductive voice as she tucked herself in his arms.

 

“—I understand.”

 

Basara nodded, before he proceeded to amply help himself with the sensation of her butt and her chest.

 

His hand serviced her breasts and butt at the same time, Hasegawa who was already excited from servicing Basara had her pleasure increased — Her body that faced him, had her waist raise higher bit by bit, at this completely lewd movement, Basara sucked on her nipples and she came lightly. As she held onto him, her sweet voice of ecstasy echoed through the bath—and then, as she recovered from the sensation of the climax, sand as their gazes locked together—

 

“Haah… Toujou… Nn, Chuu… ♥”

 

With her eyes glistening, she leaned forward and kissed him. Basara, too, reciprocated her kiss, had somehow pushed Hasegawa down on the floor—It didn’t take long before the two of them entwined and shuffled their legs in an indecent fashion and proceeded to dreamily desire the other.  

 

Part 6

 

In the end—though they’d said they’d only do it once, they ended up going for it three times.

They knew it would be bad if they went any further than that; so, somehow managing to relieve themselves of their excitement, the two of them changed back into the yukata they had left in the dressing room and headed back to their room. The form of Hasegawa who had her hair up in a yukata, flushed from the pleasure of their bath, the nape of her neck slightly blushed pink,

…This is really bad.

With such an arousing sight in front of him, Basara’s head throbbed and he tried his hardest to calm himself down.

And then when they returned to their room, they were just in time for dinner prepared for them by the staff.

On top of the large table, a variety of delicious dishes was set out before them.

A pot of oyster and shabu-shabu, a platter of horse meat sashimi, a soft-shelled turtle steamed-boiled in earthenware teapot; a menu that, under normal circumstances, may have been too much for the average person, but for Basara, who’s used to a kitchen ruled by a certain Loli Succubus who makes food to draw on his spirit, he didn’t find the course too intimidating.

“It’s so luxurious…”

“We are obliged… Our chefs did their best for this meal.” One of the staff members said politely before bowing respectfully.

“Although we do apologise for the rather unsightly way we’ve served it on the table…”

And they’re apologising as well. As there was a huge number of food, as the staff said, it looked crammed on the table. With that, Hasegawa shook her head a little,

“Don’t worry about it… Even though you don’t have room service, you had fulfilled our request.”

On that, arranging to have this high-class meal delivered together with the next western food course was the wish of Hasegawa who wanted to treasure their time together.

—Then, after a short while, the food was served before them.

The food setting that was previously done face-to-face, was changed to side-by-side by Hasegawa’s request, when Basara asked for the aim behind that, “this way, it’s easy for us to eat together, and for our bodies to be glued together no?” Hasegawa whispered sweetly in his ears.

As the staff who finished preparing bowed their head and left, Basara and Hasegawa began to eat.

As expected of a high-class hotel—the ingredients were all first-class, and they had done their work diligently and to the letter. The flavourful high-class food turned into something delicious on Basara’s tongue.

And then, even with the knowledge on how this is bad manners, the two of them fed each other as Hasegawa wished, pouring Japanese sake into each other’s cups, Hasegawa was truly happy… She purposely displayed her breasts, pestering for a kiss, and when he answered that desire, Hasegawa’s expression made his heart happy too. So then after they finish their meal, Basara sat on the sofa of the western room with Hasegawa on his lap, he held her from the back as they rested. As they did that and they watched the view outside, Hasegawa brought her body sweetly to Basara’s.

“What should we do now? We can go to the bath in the room, or perhaps the outdoor bath again… Shall we try the female baths this time?”

She asked him, looking over her shoulders—Therefore,

“Sensei… Before that, there’s something I want to ask.”

“Yes, what is it?”

She prompted him good-naturedly.

“Yes—I want you to tell me what you know about my birth.”

With a calm tone, Toujou Basara cut to the chase in bringing up the matter that was left unsaid for all of today.

The request eliminated the smile on Hasegawa’s face. She narrowed her eyes just barely and said,

“—Did Jin tell you something about me while you were there?”

That was her only reply—a question. Thus, Basara shook his head lightly.

“No.  I heard about it when I met my old man at the Demon Realm, that my mother was the little sister of the previous Demon King, Wilbert. And how that I have one more mother aside from her.”

“If you’ve only heard that much, how did you arrive to the idea of asking me about it?”

Hasegawa’s tone of voice, which left no room for negotiation as the truth,

“To be able to reach my goal in the Demon Realm, I had to surmount those who would be much stronger than me… So I relied on this succubus, and she made me a medicine that stimulated the demonic blood in me.”

And then.

“When I drank it, a part of Brynhildr’s memories flowed into me. I’m certain that it’s the evil spirit that resides in the sword. At that time, when my demonic blood was being activated, Brynhildr’s synchronisation in the sword was probably raised to a higher condition.”

That was how Toujou Basara knew about that.

“Demon swords and spirit swords which are embodied with its users, the spirits or beasts that live inside them can make links and choose. But for me to use Brynhildr, it wasn’t the same as how Yuki was chosen by Sakuya.”

Because Brynhildr had seen that tragedy, she understood.

“At the time of the tragedy five years ago… I caused everything to disappear in my vicinity except for Yuki and Brynhildr as my power ran wild. However, the one I thought of protecting then was just Yuki, and I didn’t have any allowance to protect Brynhildr. Even so, Brynhildr remained without being erased, and that’s because she ran inside of me. So from then on, Brynhildr continued to live inside of me.”

And then there was the day of the sports festival.

“Since meeting Mio and the rest, fighting again, there are many times that my life had been in danger but at that time—with Sakazaki, it was so that I did die for a time. If I, the vessel, die, then Brynhildr inside of me should disappear. Realising that it was in a situation that put herself in danger, when I lost consciousness, Brynhildr manifested itself and defeated Sakazaki with my body… And then-”

“I see…”

Finally, somehow getting a hold of Basara’s words, Hasegawa muttered.

“The incident where I stopped the Brynhildr who went amok with your body—and my exchange with Ornis, while you were unconscious— you know about it.”

It was when Brynhildr took over Basara’s body, defeating and almost killing Sakazaki.

When Hasegawa had restrained Basara’s body that was overtaken by Brynhildr.

Basara was unconscious at the time, but—

…Brynhildr, that had been restrained all this time, was reawakened.

To return safely from the demon world, Basara getting stronger through Brynhildr was planned but,

“To think that rather than knowing from Jin, it ended up being revealed by Brynhildr instead….”

Sakazaki had then assumed his true form, as Ornis, and attempted to kill Basara. That was why Hasegawa had also taken her form as one of the Ten Gods—Afureia— and she was able to destroy Ornis with her real form and power.

The conversation she exchanged with Ornis then, to Basara who’s not aware of the situation, it must seem like a lot of fragmented bits. But, he should know, as he was a hero, the meaning of heavenly beings and ten gods.

Furthermore…

If he had learned in the Demon Realm through Jin that he had two mothers, it wouldn’t be odd if he was able to put together the pieces and arrive at the door of the truth. So then Basara must have realised—the door to the truth, and the key to opening it was all with Hasegawa.

Hasegawa let out a sigh as she shut her eyes; and when she opened them again, her expression became that of a bitter smile.

She could no longer lie to him—It was then that Hasegawa Chisato parted her lips slowly.

“…I’ve promised Jin that other than the case he talked to you about, it would be on my judgement to tell you the truth depending on the circumstances. However, in consideration to him as your father, if to respect him on that much is in your personality, after finding the truth from what he said, I think you wouldn’t push on it even if you find a way to… Going behind him to me like this, what’s with this change of heart?”

“Oh, that…well, if I’d learned about all this a lot earlier, I probably would have accepted what my father is doing for me and wouldn’t have done anything redundant or unnecessary.”

However, said Basara.

“The way I am now, though, there’s something  I have to protect… I have things I can never possibly give up on. Of course, I’m well aware that I perhaps may never be able to surpass my father on the battlefield. However, I don’t want to—and I can’t stand just to be someone that’s being protected by my father. So please, tell me.”

And that was Basara’s choice—his words of resolve to be independent of the protection that his father, Jin, had given him.

“Please tell me—Tell me why you said that I was the proof of living of the woman treasured more than anyone else back then.”

He asked her once again. So then,

“…How much has Jin told you?”

“He told me that it was during the previous great war of the Demon Realm where he’d met my mother—Demon Lord Wilbert’s younger sister—on the battlefield.”

 

The fact that he could trust such a simple statement from him really meant that Basara held a great degree of trust for Jin.

It was then that Hasegawa turned to face him again and began to add to the story with the details Basara wanted.

“This is what I have heard but… Your other mother is a demon woman named ‘Sapphire’, who served as a leader in the war, a most excellent commander, someone who was at the top in terms of her militaristic ability of those who battled at the front lines.”

Although that also meant that she must have been responsible for the deaths of many members of the Hero clan, Hasegawa skimmed over that subject and continued,

“She must have a great sense of responsibility… I heard when Wilbert started marching his army, she wanted a position at the rear guard.”

But it precisely due to that—that a destined meeting was born.

“At that time, Jin and his comrades had been spearheading the attacks on the demons… she and Jin had met several times and clashed.”

“They clashed… So that means-”

“Yes. The sister of Wilbert,  lauded as the strongest of the demons, managed to go head-to-head with Jin without putting on airs. And then at this time, she hurried evacuation of her men, and with Jin expectedly wanting to reduce the risk to his friends, the battlefield turned into one of the two of them.”

There, Hasegawa’s tone changed.

“However…. There was someone else who got in the middle of the two of them, who also fought on that battlefield.”

After a pause, she finally uttered “her” name.

“The one who would later be your mother, my cousin—Raphaeline.”

A being sent by the Heavenly Realm to watch over the previous war between demons and humans.

It was one of the Ten Gods before Hasegawa herself—Raphaeline.

“The holy sword Jin used during that war, Balmung, was secretly given to him by Raphaeline who watched over what had happened.”

But even as she helped one of the heroes, the peace-loving Raphaeline wanted to be able to reach a truce with the goodwill of Wilbert—so then, she intervened in the fights between Jin and Sapphire. On that,

“Due to their battle being on a knife’s edge, and as their fight was interrupted, Jin and Lady Sapphire had attacked Raphaeline separately.”

Raphaeline, who had simply made mere attempts at first, gradually grew emotional towards Jin and Sapphire, who just wouldn’t listen to her.

“—Before they realized it, it seemed like they were caught up in a large, three-way fight.” Hasegawa said, bearing a bitter smile.

Jin, revered by many as a god of war; Sapphire, considered to be on par with said god of war; and Raphaeline, one of the Ten Gods—the three clashed amongst each other. The match was fearsome, and as a result of the trio’s earnest fighting, a gigantic dimensional rift was formed, and they were swallowed by it.

 

“It was complex, the time in that dimension was an isolated space, and it was much like prison to them, after they quarrelled for a bit, they put their power together to try and escape.”

Hasegawa didn’t know how much time they spent there.

But for three of them, who had began to acknowledge each other, it wasn’t surprising for special emotions develop between them.

So with that, the three of them being together — faced their deeper problems.

“That space… It was the nest of the ancient dragon, Fafnir.”

Dragons were special living beings that exist outside of the heavenly beings and the demons.

And among them, Fafnir was among the strongest of the evil dragons, one of the most ancient of their race. And the territorial Fafnir, upon noticing Jin and the others on his turf, assaulted them to chase them away.

“—To speak of the results, it appear that Jin’s group was able to retaliate against Fafnir. However, having Fafnir fall caused a distortion in the space, and they were able to get a dimensional gap where they could return to their original world. However,”

There was an existence that deterred them from returning.

“There’s wasn’t just one Fafnir…”

The space where they have entered has a nest of Fafnir, and as they knew one of theirs was killed, they all came to them.

There were, in reality, 20 of them – As much as it wasn’t a large number on paper, it was also not an amount that the three could fight against.

And so they couldn’t escape through the dimensional gap to the world outside. If they do that, they wouldn’t be able to close the dimensional gap and let the Fafnir out too.

Just as Sapphire and Raphaeline gave up on escaping, as they’re about to close the dimensional gap, they were pushed out roughly—they were returned to their original world.

“Jin was the only one who didn’t escape.”

As to not let the rest of the Fafnir out, as Sapphire and Raphaeline escaped, Jin destroyed the dimensional gap and he alone was left in the dimension with the Fafnir.

The dumbfounded Sapphire and Raphaeline put their powers together to save him, looking desperately to open a portal to the space he was trapped in. However, even if they could make a hole in the dimension, to the space where Jin is at, they can’t quite open to the same time without his power that was there the first time.

“Still— the two of them continued to work together, combining their powers together.”

Raphaeline was able to detect the waves from Jin’s sword, Balmung, that she had entrusted to him and continued to track down the space, whereas Sapphire, with her great magic, discovered ways to twist through it.

“At the time, there was nothing about them being demons or heavenly beings; just a single desire in wanting to save Jin.”

Eventually, the two of them were finally able to find a way to the dimension Jin was in.

Immediately, they came running to the space that Jin was in, to confirm his safety.

Not knowing or caring what would happen to their lives.

“However… When the two of them finally got to him, Jin had defeated all the Fafnir.”

So Raphaeline and Sapphire, standing still and unthinking, was greeted by Jin with a smile and a “Yo, how are you?”. The two then were unable to hold back any longer.

“The two of them, as they took Jin back to their original space… The two of them both desired him together and tied the knot with him.”

As a result of their desire, Sapphire soon bore Jin’s child.

—But for a hero of the village and the sister of the Demon King to have a child together—the consequences would be disastrous if it were to be found out.  On the other hand, if they could raise this child well, he would be a beacon of hope for the next generation.

But Sapphire couldn’t return to the Demon Realm with Jin’s child.

“That’s why—Raphaeline took you, in order to give birth you in the Heavenly Realm.”

She who possessed the heavenly power of the Ten Gods would give birth to and raise the child. It would be their child, a child that belonged to the three of them, had it been done in such a way—and she was happy with that. So then the Basara in Sapphire’s tummy was transferred over to Raphaeline’s body, splitting the roles in consideration to each others’ situation, and as they finished discussing on this, they exchanged promises to meet again and they returned to their worlds.

Jin to the human world, Sapphire to the Demon Realm, and Raphaeline to the Heavenly Realm.

— Not long after that, the heroes and demons managed to settle on a truce.

Jin, entering the demon world secretly, and was able to work together with Wilbert and Sheila through Sapphire, and soon they entered a truce.

 

Everything should have gone well after that. However—one person had failed to fulfill their promise.

It was Raphaeline.

She’d lied to them, even if she was one of the Ten Gods… No, it was precisely because of her having such a high-ranking position that the notion for someone like her to bear a child—and with both demon and human blood in its veins, no less—was absolutely taboo.

Even so, Raphaeline gave birth to Jin and Sapphire’s child, after she spent a short while with him… Her crime was punished to the highest degree in the divine realm, having her memory completely wiped clean and her spirit frozen.

“I, along with two others, had sided with Raphaeline, but all the others were in favour of her receiving punishment… There was nothing I could do.”

As a result, Raphaeline’s spirit was taken from her body, and was confined in the Heavenly Realm forever —all in front of Hasegawa’s eyes.

“So it was then that I took you to the human world and entrusted you to Jin. Along with what had happened to Raphaeline, as well as her dying wish.”

Raphaeline understood the man that Jin was—and what he would do.

 

Had he known what was to happen or would have happened to her, she knew that he’d unhesitatingly rend through even the Heavenly Realm for her sake.

—It was just that there would be a great possibility they would lose their child if he were to do that—the child that represented their hope for the future.

That’s why she wanted him to take care of the child—to cherish the future where there would be no conflict between humans and demons and to always place that at the forefront—That was Raphaeline’s last wish. Hasegawa glanced over to Basara over her shoulder as she stated yet another truth.

“Toujou… Your name, ‘Basara’, was a name that was given to you by Raphaeline.”

This child from Raphaeline and the two others—Basara, ended up being entrusted to Jin, who could not see himself betraying her last, dying wish. Hasegawa could remember that moment clearly, however, when Jin had clenched his fist till it bled and how his teeth gritted so hard that she could almost hear his molars break to held himself back.

“After that… Jin went over to the Demon Realm secretly—in order to pass on Raphaeline’s dying wish to Lady Sapphire. She, who looked forward to meeting again in the human world and for the three of them to live together happily. She was simply unable to just accept a happiness of her own with Jin, choosing instead to live alone in the Demon Realm, isolating herself even from Wilbert. Perhaps she didn’t want to burden Wilbert with the dangers that would befall him how she had been connected with both a human and a heavenly being.”

At this point of the conversation, Hasegawa let out a sigh. She knew that this day would come, readying herself for such a day where she had to tell Basara the truth, such that she had even thought hard on how she would express this story to him.

Having completed one of her important roles toward him, she raised her head slightly.

“…”

To see the boy before her, who was the most important person to Hasegawa, and the thing that overflowed down his left cheek.

Quietly, Basara was crying. Seeing that, Hasegawa moved to embrace Basara without thinking. But, she resisted the urge to fully extend her right arm that had already reached out for him halfway through. Someone like her who had lied to Basara no longer had the right to do that. But there was still something she had to tell him,

“Even so, Lady Sapphire had promised Jin that she could immediately come for the both of you whenever the situation demanded it. And then—she had shown proof that her words were not lies.”

Said proof being…thought Hasegawa.

“Five years ago, after that tragedy… Jin, left the << Village >> with you, you were setting up your house in the city. At that time, you’ve met her, for just a while.”

“Eh…?”

Basara, who raised up his head to look at her, saw Hasegawa wearing a smile.

“It was as Jin was just leaving as a photographer. At the time, as you’re still recovering from the shock of what happened at the << village >>, unable to stand straight, unable to go to school, shutting yourself at home. Perhaps as she was worried for you then, Lady Sapphire was unable to take it anymore. It seemed like she wanted to go to you as soon as there’s problems at the << Village >>, but as a Demon, she was unable to enter the << Village >>. However, after you left, she was able to come visit you in secret. That’s why she took a human form, to check up on your condition. But, as your calmed down a little and she had to return to the Demon Realm, she used her magic to erase your memories of those moments.”

After that, it’s as you know, said Hasegawa.

“Jin went to the demon world to talk with Wilbert, they no longer knew where Lady Sapphire’s whereabouts.. But, there’s no need to worry. If Jin really tries, he should be able to find Lady Sapphire”

That’s why—And now, her role is over. Hasegawa’s gaze turned to face him.

“That is everything… that I can tell you.”

She hung her head weakly as she said that.

“That’s a lie.”

Basara, right before her eyes and with a quiet tone, made such a declaration.

Edited by JhiniusOperandi