Short story about Momiji
While Saito was out shopping in Japan, Momiji was pondering while munching her onigiri.
Is it really safe now?
After all, the man who is supposed to protect her at any rate is not in this world now.
Of course he would be back soon, but until then, would some stranger attack and push herself to the brink of death?
After the first onigiri was finished, she stretched her hand to the second while thinking.
But it seems that this strange place, despite its constant battles, has the generosity to accept myself as a youkai, Momiji thought.
What came back to mind were the other humans who had praised herself when she became adventurer, and people who had ears and tails that resembled her own features and were called beastmen.
They recognized and accepted her as part of this world, despite her unknown origin.
Then maybe this world would be a safer place than before. The cowardly youkai came to this conclusion.
Unlike the days where the way to survive was to keep running away, hiding, and running away again, it fell like that every new day is waiting for her.
“Hmm~. Then I think it’s not a bad idea to enjoy this new day to the fullest.”
Although she didn’t plan to part with the onigiri man who saved her life and is a benefactor for her, but Momiji thought it’s okay to enjoy free time until he come back.
This expectation filled Momoji’s chest.
Holding a half-eaten onigiri and a few new onigiri in her hand, she was obviously alone in the human town, but she did not hide her figure, not even her ears and tail, and walked freely on the road.
The town felt fresh.
There were stalls full of fruits in shapes never seen before in Japan, or bottles containing liquids that felt a little bit of magical power, and many people selling weapons.
In addition, because the tail of her two-tailed self is very rare, there were many beastmen who said “Celestial-sama” and treated her kindly.
At first, she thought that there was something behind the kindness and she was wary of it, but it was nothing more than just greeting, these two tails are the objects of their faith.
Really, that’s all.
“Huzzahh!! This world is much easier for me to live in. When onigiri man comes back, I should thank him for his help.”
While gorging on the fruit that she got from beastman who offered to her, she walked aimlessly on the road.
Walking here and there, she came to a place where there were no traces of people.
The atmosphere of this untouched place was a bit bad.
The cowardly youkai who was sensitive to scents and atmosphere immediately understood the nature of this place.
This place seemed to be dangerous, so it was best to turn back.
However, just as she was about to turn back with that thought, the area suddenly became noisy.
“Hey, wait a minute, kids!”
“Who’s gonna wait, stinky peddler! You guys never going to catch us!”
“Brother, I can’t run anymore, I can’t run!”
“Liz!! Get a grip, Lizz! We’re almost to a busy place, and once we get there, those guys can’t follow us anymore!”
Momoji, who was good at reading mood, understood the situation in an instant.
It seemed that big man was trying to kidnap the siblings for a certain purpose, as if he was targeting the orphaned children who had no one to turn to.
The sight of them reminded Momiji.
A long, long time ago, she was chased around by humans like that in Japan, running away.
Then when her mother, who was a Nine-tails, was captured and sealed by the humans, she was sealed as well, and spent a long day of suffering.
Therefore, the cowardly youkai, Momoji wanted to help the siblings.
Of course, she wasn’t thinking about going in to save them with fight or anything like that.
Although she had now become a two-tail and gained power, she was ultimately an amateur at fighting.
Plus, even if she defeat that person, things won’t end here, right?
Humans are creatures that live in groups.
If you defeat that person, the next person might appear to take revenge.
Considering that risk, it would be foolish to choose the “fight”, the only option was to run away.
As far as running away was concerned, Momiji is a professional, a superb one, and no one could be better than her.
It would be a piece of cake to hide them from that big man.
“Let’s see, let’s use a youkai technique that I haven’t used for a long time~”
First she immediately cast youkai magic to create illusionary space around her.
The the path you thought is on the right is on the left and that you are moving forward, but actually you are moving diagonally, it’s an illusion that hinders perception.
However, if this the case, the siblings will also get illusioned together and lose their way.
At first glance, it seems to be a very excellent spell, but unlike when she was alive alone, she recognizes the difficulty of not being able to designate the area of effect, which is a problem.
“Eh? Brother, the road meanders and bends!”
“Damn, what’s going on here! What’s going on?”
As expected, the two of them seemed to have lost their way and began to stray left and right with the trafficker.
“Here, kids, let’s go this way. You’ll be able to find your way around with me leading the way, so take my hand.”
“What? A beastman girl?”
“Who the hell are you? Could you’re one of them? You’re trying to trick us?!”
The sister seemed to simply curious, but the brother was on guard, so he refused to reach out.
The sister’s physical strength has reached the limit, coupled with the fact that she usually doesn’t eat well, causing malnutrition.
The brother hid her behind his back to protect his sister.
Although she didn’t know the details, Momiji, who was about to starve to death when she came out of the seal, could understand that it was a painful thing.
But maintaining the illusion all the time was troublesome and tiring, so she decided to hurry up and escape with the two of them.
“Oh, there’s no other choice. Then I will give this onigiri to you two, so you can cheer up now,.”
She divided the onigiri and handed it to the brother and sister separately.
The brother swallowed spit on food that he didn’t see for a long time, while the younger sister, perhaps because she was too hungry to hold back, immediately puts it in her mouth.
And then the change came suddenly.
“……Oh my God! It’s amazing! Brother, I’m full after one bite!”
“Huh? No way…. Hey, it’s true!!”
The convenience store’s onigiri (120 yen including tax) instantly restored the two kid’s severely diminished physical strength and added a little fat to their emaciated and haggard bodies.
Although it was a phenomenon unimaginable to ordinary people, Momiji thought that such a phenomenon could occur in a different world and accepted the change without thinking deeply about it.
If Saito knew about it, he would start to think deeply about it in comparison to the previous examples, “Sure enough, the effect is abnormal.”
“So, you’ve got your strength back, right? Then, hurry up and get out of this illusion and just grab my hand.”
“Ah, um ……”
Momiji left the scene with the brother, who was in a state of inattention because of the overly unexpected events, and her sister, who was in high spirits.
Then after a short walk, back down the road the way they came, there was no longer any sign of the trafficker.
“You can live freely now. And if you ever have any more problems, you can consult with the beastmen. They are gentle and kind, if you treat them kindly, they will respond with kindness. If you tell them the name of Two-tailed Momiji, they will at least listen to you, even if they are a bit difficult.”
“Why… why did you go to such lengths for us?”
“It’s nothing, it’s just a whim. A whim. See you next time.”
After saying that, she left the scene as if she was just doing the right thing to do.
In the end, she thought she heard “thank you” from the brother and sister, but the youkai didn’t pay any attention to them, and she wandered around the open-air shopping street again to find things and melted into the town…
Later on, the two siblings were employed to work under a beastman in a restaurant, and one day an item called “Momiji Onigiri” would appear on the menu of that restaurant, which is another story for another day.