Well this chapter 1 is like mixed version of first 6 chapters of WN, with some extra as well as some cut off stuff. Like the interaction that happened between Tenzo and Yuto, it’s not here and like so…
Chapter 1: Entrance Ceremony Preparation
Ryoichi and Hiroto are surprised by the words of Tenzo. It’s the first time for Hiroto to hear about Sendo.
“I know that you tried to drill the Domori Ryu’s swordsmanship techniques on Hiroto. Since I thought I could do it as well, I prepared various things for him when you’re not here. And now I’ve learned that this guy has talent. Ho-ho-ho-ho, that’s my Domori’s lineage. But the fact that he was supposed to know how to practice is a big plus.”
Hiroto will never forget the look on his father’s face as it was twitching.
(I didn’t know that at all, either…. what training is he talking about?)
Hiroto was just practicing as he was told. And the reason why he is so knowledgeable about Sendo is unknown. However, the young man knew that Tenzo always went out drinking with his shady “friends” and had a mysterious network of contacts.
“Dad………I’ve been thinking about it for a long time now. I found out that Hir0to couldn’t be a Spirit Sword Master.”
“Ryoichi, Hiroto is no doubt your own child and is the worthy successor as well. At any rate, let’s give him a try…..Oh, come on, don’t make that face. Kakka!”
Ryoichi closed his eyes and exhaled heavily, and moved his gaze to his son, Hiroto.
―― Hiroto received his father’s stern and gentle gaze and stared back at him.
”Hiroto …..are you okay with that?”
Hiroto has never heard of the Sendo. But he was worried, as a child, that he couldn’t get better, no matter how much he practiced, that he wouldn’t be able to fulfill his role as a member of the Domori family.
That’s why Hiroto trained relentlessly. He did not complain about the unspeakably excessive training. However, the fact that this did not make him stronger was too bitter for him. But if he didn’t have to be a spiritual swordsman to get the strength to be able to play the role of Domori like his father…….
“Dad, I want to learn about Sendo!”
Upon receiving Hiroto’s serious and enthusiastic words, Ryoichi looked into Hiroto’s eyes…….and then closed his eyes and nodded.
“……..I understand. Hiroto you can do what you want. I have to go over to the other side of the Demon’s Cave. I’ll be away for awhile but you should do your best, Hiroto.”
Ryoichi smiled and stood up to leave Dojo, another important role, [Makai], and left the dojo.(TN: Makai = Demon world/hell/Spirit world)
“Alright, it’s settled!”
After saying that, Tenzo got up and started explaining Sendo practice.
“Hiroto, an ability user, usually only possesses either spiritual power or magical power in their body. And it is almost 100% inborn. The root of their power is different, so they oppose each other. In other words, it is a common theory that it is impossible to have both spiritual and magical powers in one person.”
This was the first time Hiroto knew common sense among people with this ability.
“Eh… then I…”
“Listen, Hiroto, don’t think about all the trouble you’re going to have to go through. The path you are about to learn is one that can be learned by training to raise your life force to the limit. In other words, you can learn it from scratch. I don’t care if you have spiritual and magical powers or not. So you can train without worrying about it.”
“Uhhh… I see, I’ll do my best.”
“It is not an easy task to master the art of Senki, I must tell you. This is because the pursuit of the Senki(The way of immortal) is also a quest for eternal life. Most practitioners of the Senki, or Immortals and Taoists, have devoted their lives to mastering it, and some have practiced it for hundreds of years. Countless others have lost their lives along the way.”
Hiroto tightens his expression on the harsh story of Senki.
“That’s why Ryoichi said it wasn’t a half-hearted thing to practice. So, it’s good to keep in mind that the Sendo you’re about to learn is that kind of thing.”
Hiroto nodded his head with a strange look on his face, and despite being very young, he showed a look of determination..
“It’s a good idea to have a little help. I’m sure he has a lot of free time on his hands. Kakkakka.”
Thus, Sun Wei, a master of Sendo, was brought in as Hiroto’s teacher.
He looked like a drunken old man with a bent back and a cane. Who is this man? But when he was told that he was a close friend of Tenzo, he couldn’t help but be surprised.
However, since that time, Sun Wei taught him the power of the Sendo, a power that does not involve spiritual power, and up to the present day, Hiroto has devoted himself to the practice of the power, which is beyond words.
Hiroto exist the entrance and goes to the school gate. On both siders of the path leading to the school gate, there is a large sports ground, and athletic club members, including the baseball club, were practicing even on the day of the entrance ceremony.
(But I’m glad I learned about Sendo. If something unexpected happened in Demon Cave, I’d have to run for it as a member of Domori.)
This Demon’s cave, which has been argued repeatedly by Kouzo and Ryoichi, has been treated exceptionally among the dangerous properties managed by the Domori family, unknown to the world. They have protected the outer world from this cave. Hiroto has a lot of pride in his house about that.
The reason why he is thinking like this is because this is the first time he heard from his homeroom teacher, Mirei, that some of the Immortal Daoists also assisted the Domori’s in protecting the Demon’s Cave.
”Why can’t grandpa just tell me about these important things! Really, it’s just appropriate! Isn’t this supposed to be a super-critical matter? This. Oh … no way, he asked an acquaintance to pay my tuition fees as a stakeout! I mean, was it his intention to get me in here?”
The thought came to him, but Hiroto shook his head.
”No, no, no, then how come you’re really spending all of your living expenses!”
Actually, it was quite a lot of money. In fact, that amount of money was more than enough to cover the entrance and school fees and even the life afterwards.
When he was told that he didn’t have any money by the suspicious-looking Tenzo, Hiroto had an incredibly bad feeling.
However, even this grandfather, he thought.
That was…….. there were countless times when he got in trouble. Yeah, there were countless, but no, there were indeed countless, but this time, as expected, he opened his bank book and checked the remaining funds while reminding himself that this time, as expected (TN: this mumbling from the narrator is written as it is in raw).
……It was three yen.
After all, he was forced to live on his own, saying, “A man is on his own after fifteen.” Looking back on it now, I can’t help but think he was just trying to cut me off.
“That damn shit…”
The blood vessels in his forehead swelled up as he remembered the remaining money in his bank book as if it was a flashback.
(Also, it’s okay. I can’t help saying that it’s past… No, it’s not good! I can’t help it at all!)
Hiroto suppressed his anger and shrugged his shoulders, thinking that further thinking about it would not be good for his mental health.
As Hiroto walked along, just as his homeroom teacher, Mirei, had told him, he felt the holiness unique to high-class shrines and temples from the grounds of this school.
It will be impossible for even a little spirit or a monster to invade.
Hiroto was very thankful for it, because he is often attacked by spirits and others due to leaking of spiritual powers from his body.
(Well, at any rate, I guess I can put a lot of effort into my studies at this school.)
With that in mind, Hiroto walked with a somewhat heavy step. There were many things that Hiroto had to think about.
“I have to move during tomorrow’s vacation… and I have to find a part-time job soon.”
Since Kitsurin High School has enrollees from all over the country, there is a large student dormitory next to the school grounds.
As is customary, the day after the entrance ceremony, there was a dormitory entrance ceremony, which was closed to all but the dormitory students. Hiroto had planned to use that day to move out.
Hiroto walked while looking out over the athletic field scenery of Kitsurin High School, which spread out on either side.
(I could use this spiritual power freely… even as a swordsman, even swordsmanship could be used, and then more things would be different…)
――Hiroto stopped his legs after thinking so far, and clenched his hand. Then, he stands alone on the spot for a while, and then feels exhausted . The hard fist that he made with his own hands is like a fist against his past self.
And then……..at this time, a gentle gentle spring breeze calms down and shakes the blue-tinged hair of Hiroto.
――Am I over hearing? The smile on the face of a woman with the same indigo-blue hair as her own washes over her face at close range. Hiroto turned around as if in a huff.
There was … no one there.
However, as the wind left, the sinking and sluggish heart mysteriously calmed down, and Hiroto gave a small nod.ll.
”Yeah … that’s right. It was a waste of time to think about this kind of thing. You hated this kind of thing very much.”
When he murmured that to himself……..he started to walk as if he had regained his energy.
At this time, the high-pitched sound of a metal bat rang out on the ground to the right. The ball went off in a different direction than the baseball players had expected and flew over the safety net to a boy, who seemed to be a freshman, heading for the school gate.
The members of the baseball team, following the ball with their eyes, turned pale and shouted, ” Watch out!”, but the boy didn’t seem to notice.
As Hiroto walked, he huffed as he lightly brushed his right side with just his arm.
“Yeah, I have a lot of work to do! I have to pack and shop for the new place by the end of the day. About today, I will ask my Master about it later. I really don’t know what a hermit is anymore.
As for Master Sun, Hiroto’s teacher, he has been doing nothing but drinking with Tenzo these days.
――Hiroto hurried from the spot and headed towards the school gate.
“Ah, what? What about the new student just before? Wasn’t he really good?”
“He’s not here. Then I guess the ball didn’t hit the………oh, the ball”
The baseball team members rushed in immediately, they found a hard ball that had broken in half on the edge of the road and looked at each other, unable to figure out why.
When Hiroto left the school gate at a short run, he turned left, which was in the direction of home.
“Hiroto, where are you going? That’s not the direction towards the station.”
Hiroto suddenly heard a voice from behind him and turned around to see a girl he knew very well standing there with her back to the wall next to the school gate.
“That!? Matsuri-chan! Haven’t you returned yet?”
“…I’ve been waiting for you, now you’ re talking like that.”
Matsuri has her chestnut chestnut-colored hair fluttering in the spring breeze, while her eyebrows with good shape are slightly centered.
“No, I sputtered…. I’m sorry, you waited quite a while, didn’t you?”
“I’ve heard from Shizuka. You can’t have your homeroom teacher’s eyes on you from the first day of school.”
“It’s not like that… but I’ll be careful.”
When Matsuri laughed at Hiroto, she turned around and said, “Let’s go home.”
Hiroto watched Matsuri’s back as she went ahead of him for a short time, and then he ran up to her side.
Since the closest station to their home is the same, Matsuri must have intended to return home in the same way.
Hiroto had intended to walk the considerable distance home to save the train fare, but since Matsuri was waiting for me, I think I’ll just have to take the train home today.
The destination he was introduced to by the suspicious acquaintances had a different direction and the nearest station, but the distance to the school wasn’t much different than it was now, so they planned to walk to the school every day for the three years of high school.
As the two of them walked shoulder to shoulder for a while, Matsuri turned her head to Hiroto.e.
Speaking of which, Hiroto. Where is your new address?
“Ah, yeah. Did you know? It was right near Shijin Shrine.”
“I know that part. I went there in elementary school for a sketch show. It’s just out of town.”
“Yeah, yeah. I’m going to move tomorrow.”
“Yes… and Hiroto.”
It was unusual for Matsuri to ask this kind of question without any effort, and Hiroto tilted his head.
Actually, there was a reason why Matsuri was waiting for Hiroto. It was because Matsuri had a deep regret about Hiroto for a year, and decided to tell her about entering high school.
“Well…I don’t know if it’s too late now, but there’s something I need to apologize to Hiroto for…!”
“Ah, Matsuri-chan, it’s dangerous!”
As soon as Matsuri began to speak, Hiroto raised his voice and tugged on Matsuri’s arm. Then, from the blind spot of the crossroads where the two of them were about to enter, a group of youngsters on bikes passed briskly by.
“Hey! You need to drive carefully! You okay? Matsuri-chan.”
“Uh, yeah, thank you. It’s okay.”
Matsuri’s face flushed in surprise, but she turned even redder when she looked up at Hiroto, who was gripping her arm forcefully, up close and personal. Hiroto immediately let go of his hand, as if he had startled her.
“I’m sorry! It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, so I had to. So, um, what were we talking about?”
“Eh?? That’s… um!”
Matsuri’s words, which she had spent a week thinking about for today, completely flew off, and she rushed to wave another topic at Hiroto.
“Where did you go for spring break? Hiroto”
“Eh? Oh … about that..”
Hiroto smiled bitterly. Matsuri’s shoulders slumped as she waved off a different topic than what she had been thinking about.
However, she was sure to ask why Hiroto wasn’t at his parents’ house for the entire spring break, so she decided to ask him about it first, and then get to the point. Hiroto starts walking again and answers.
“Yeah, actually I’m looking for my father…”
Matsuri stared at Hiroto’s side due to his unexpected answer.
“Uncle Ryoichi? Is it not a training trip? And did you not say that you don’t know where he went?”
Matsuri turned to look at Hiroto walking beside her and asked why? That’s the look on her face.
Hiroto’s father was not on a journey of training. It’s true that he didn’t know where his father was, but he did know where he went.
It is the world on the other side of the demon’s cave in the secret management property of the Domori family [Demon World].
However, Hiroto told Matsuri that the truth was otherwise.
“I would like to report about my mother. I don’t think that he has any knowledge about that and I was not able to do it as well….”
Hiroto laughs as if it were nothing.
”……..So that’s what it was.”
Matsuri did not say another word. They walked in silence for a while.
Matsuri recalled the time a year ago when Hiroto and his mother had been involved in a terrorist attack in Shinagawa, and unfortunately his mother had gone missing.
She also remembers that right after the incident, when she went to visit Hiroto, who was not feeling well, and saw him in a completely changed state, she didn’t know what to do to react.
That was shortly after she rejected his confession.
At that moment, Matsuri felt a strong urge to do whatever she could for Hiroto. Her heart seemed to tighten up when she saw Hiroto laughing, forcing himself to laugh without strength.
(It had to be someone close to Hiroto, someone who knew him well…….. I had to be that kind of person… but I didn’t deserve it.)
Just before this, Matsuri refused to accept Hiroto’s confession. These circumstances allowed Matsuri to interact with Hiroto only as a student of the same dojo, as a classmate. She did not allow herself to do so otherwise.
For Matsuri, to be near someone, that’s what she needed to be qualified to be allowed to do.
Matsuri slowed down her walk and changed her position to just a little bit behind Hiroto, who was beside her. Then, so as not to be noticed by him, she shifted her gaze to the hand of Hiroto who had saved her earlier.
(If only you had always pulled me along like this, like this, as a matter of course…….then I would have supported you at that time by your side, and even now…….)
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Matsuri-chan, your face is red…”
Suddenly, Hiroto turned back to her, so Matsuri pulled back her outstretched hand on Hiroto’s arm and panicked.
(Wow, what am I doing…?)
Matsuri shakes her head and catches her breath, surprised at her unconscious behavior.
(Oh God! Why do I have to think about Hiroto so much? This is because you are so unreliable and I’m worried that I should follow up with you, as a friend. That’s probably true, and that’s why I did something stupid when you confessed to me, I had to apologize for that too.)
And so on, Matsuri thought, but for this clear-headed girl, there was no logic to it. Normally, if she were a normal woman, whenever something unexplainable happened to her, she would always dig down on herself until she was satisfied.
On the other hand, Matsuri………….. always did not delve into the matter only regarding Hiroto.
“Hiroto, what kind of class did you have? Think you can get it right?”
“Hmm? Yes, Ichigo is here too, so it’s okay. My homeroom teacher seemed strict, but……..”
“Be careful. You’re easily used for good by those around you.”
“Eh? Is that so?”
“That’s right, the only person who hasn’t noticed is you. You really are a good-natured person. If I’m around………not! You have to be a little stronger, Hiroto.”
“Uh, yeah, I understand.”
”Already………You should just put yourself out there more, Hiroto. If you did, the people around you would too…”
─ When Hiroto nods, Matsuri is whispering something. However, when Hiroto was preached by Matsuri, she felt nostalgic that she was Matsuri he knew.
Matsuri is very strict with herself, although it’s hard to imagine from her kind appearance and caring nature. For that reason, Hiroto knew that she would never cut corners in anything.
From the point of view of such a woman, he feels that he is lacking in some way.
(It was a long time ago now, but I couldn’t help but be rejected by Matsuri.)
Matsuri didn’t miss the change in Hiroto’s expression as she thought this, which clearly aggravated her mood.
Matsuri usually seems to be tolerant of those around her, and has a fair and impartial attitude, regardless of gender. For this reason, coupled with her pretty, comely and good-looking appearance, she has been very popular with both boys and girls since her junior high school days.
However………it is different with Hiroto. Whenever Hiroto has even the slightest bit of a withdrawn attitude towards her, she is in a bad mood like a natural reflex.
(You’re definitely thinking something stupid right now, Hiroto. Why don’t you have more confidence? Your self-esteem is too low. That’s why in that moment I had to accept… oh, God! It’s not like that! I can’t leave things like that!)
At this time, all of a sudden, Hiroto felt a strong and intense pressure from the side and turned around to see what was going on.
There’s Matsuri, who’s staring at him. Seeing that Hiroto turned his face immediately.
(Eh, what? Are you mad at me? Why? What did I do?)
Sweat started coming out of Hiroto’s forehead. He’s not sure why. He didn’t remember it at all but sometimes Matsuri has moments like this, so he pretended he didn’t see it for now.
When reaching the roundabout of the station, which is not so large, Matsuri talked to Hiroto, who was just looking in front.
“You’re moving out! Would you like me to help you with that?”
It’s not the way the person offering to help very much speaks, but Matsuri can’t help but be restrained.
”Oh that’s fine. It’s not much to pack, and I’m sure it won’t take long. ……..Besides.”
The words were so strong that Matsuri turned her entire body to the front of Hiroto as she stared at him. There was… Hiroto, who looked like a calm adult, and had a gentle, open smile…… her heart suddenly bounces.
What’s the reason…there was Hiroto, who looked like a calm adult and had a gentle, open smile. It was… Hiroto’s face that Matsuri saw for the first time.
“That kind of thing would be bad if your boyfriend misunderstood…….. And, you see.”
――Hiroto pointed to Shizuka Mito, who was standing under the stairs heading to the ticket gate of the station, playing around with her phone strap. Then, Shizuka raises her hand as if she noticed them.
“Ah… Shizuka, looks like she was waiting.”
“Well, Matsuri-chan. I have a few things to do tomorrow to get ready for the move, so I’ll see you the day after tomorrow.”
Hiroto laughed as if nothing had happened and turned away from the station.
“Hey, Hiroto! And I don’t have a boyfriend…”
――Matsuri hurriedly calls out to him, but instead of turning to her, Hiroto lightly waves his hand as he goes.
At that back view of Hiroto, Matsuri felt uneasy for no reason even to herself. In other words……………..it may be something similar to a sense of mourning and loss.
Then Shizuka came running up to her.
“Matsuri, you were late late. Hmm? Domori-kun?”
While saying this, Shizuka glanced at Hiroto, who was leaving.
”It looks like Hiroto is getting ready to move out. Sorry, I wasn’t expecting you to wait for me.”
“Yeah, fine. I’m just here on my own. I’m still curious. So, did you tell him about it? The fact that you lied about going out with that mysterious Katayama-senpai when he confessed his love for you.”
“What! You didn’t tell him? Hmmm … well, it’s hard to say, huh?”
“It wasn’t like that but I just couldn’t get the timing right.”
The two girls exchanged that and went up the stairs to the station’s second floor gates. In the meantime, Matsuri looks back in the direction of the shopping mall where Hiroto was headed, where Hiroto still looks like a full minute.
Hiroto seemed to be looking at the cheap shampoos lined up in front of the drugstore.
Watching Hiroto reminded Matsuri of the strong sense of anxiety she had felt earlier.
Then she realized what triggered that strong sense of unease.
It is probably because Matsuri has a keen observing eye towards other that she noticed it.
(Earlier………no, today Hiroto, he was behaving with me in the same way as the other classmates…….)
There is a building on the grounds of Kitsurin High School that is reminiscent of a Chinese Taoist temple called Taishan Temple. It is usually known as a place for meditation and practice of Zen meditation for the purpose of spiritual discipline for troubled students, and it is not a place that impresses students very much.
In the main hall of the dim temple, three old men were sitting and talking in a U shape.
”Tenzo. Is it good? To leave him alone…”
“Isn’t it better to leave him under us?”
“Sun Wei… I want him to open up his life by choosing his own path.”
“Well….things have changed a lot since we first talked about it. Isn’t that why we are here, because it’s dangerous?”
――Sun Wei narrowed his originally small eyes, but the expression on his face was gentle.
“Well, that’s fine, but that disciple’s constitution still cannot be cured. It’s a waste of a lot of spiritual power.”
“It can’t be helped… It’s like a side effect. If his mother hadn’t discovered his peculiarity before he was born, ….he wouldn’t be here today.”
“It’s because they managed to suppress one of them. However, it is said that the control of the spiritual power has become impossible because of that… A man of the Domori family… The bloodline of the spirit swordsman who freely manipulates the spiritual power follows.”
“Well, it’s okay. Somehow, it seems that he can only manage the sealing of the Domori family and the restoration of the barriers. That’s a great improvement in itself.”
“Well, all of them could shake the world. I can tell you that. Especially because that cave shouldn’t be known to anyone.”
“That’s what the Domori family is for. This is the birthplace of the Domori family and the reason for joining forces with the Sacred World. The Demon’s cave is the only place you mustn’t let anyone know about. After all, it’s the biggest and only hole that leads directly to the demon world…”
The other old man, who had been silent for a long time before them, opened his mouth like a soliloquy.
His voice was shaking and was weaker than the other two.
“It was tough at that time… A misunderstanding led to a wrong decision and I became serious for the first time in about a hundred years. The first generation of the Domori family…….I don’t want to kill someone like that again…….”
“How dare you say that….Gao…. After that, you and the first generation were the closest of all!”
“In the end, I sent one of my daughters out to be a bride. Even though the first generation already had a wife.”
“It’s awful…it was tough at that time. It’s been nearly a thousand years and I still can’t forget it.”
“Well, the Domori family came out of that magical cave. I think there was no point in misunderstanding. We didn’t know that there were people in the demon world that formed a society and a country.”
The Gao person himself is quietly consuming tea like other people. The two old teachers make a big sigh.
“… So, how is his sacred art now, from Sun Wei’s point of view?”
“It’s still uneven, but it’s not better than a hundred-year-class Taoist. When he went through Demon’s Cave and met Ryoichi this spring, he gained a lot of battle experience in the demon world. I mean… No, it’s not just that. It seems that he had a natural gift, and that there was a momentum of power due to his youth…”
“So when he’s over there… It looks like he’s taken up something else in the demon world.”
“I heard the story from Ryoichi. It must have been difficult for him at his young age.”
“About three years over there… is just two weeks here. It’s said that it took nearly two years before he met Ryoichi. Ryoichi also regretted that he could not meet him sooner.”
“Though the flow of time is different from this realm, it was good that the main stream of time was as it is because there was almost no growth of the body. Otherwise it would have been a fuss, he is in the growth period. “
“Sorry, Mirei. I’m sorry for causing you so much trouble as,too”
“…Master. I am grateful to him. I will do my best to return it.”
“You owe him?”
“Yes. He saved my life in Shinagawa a year ago. I forgot about him but…..”
Sun Wei’s long eyebrows furrowed.
“I am glad that Shirasawa’s daughter was there. If not, no one might have remembered him, except for old people. Fufufu, it’s the idea of Tenzo.”
“No, no matter how much Shirasawa’s pedigree that governs the wisdom of this world would have been impossible if she was not very aware of him. I made a match, but everything else was a coincidence. Well, when he used that ability, I did something a little unnecessary for Shirasawa.”
Sun Wei laughed lightly and fluttered the smoke tube.
“Ho-ho-ho. The three immortals are not so different from each other. You seem to like his grandfather’s position a lot more than I thought. You’ve encouraged Shirasawa’s awakening, even if only temporarily.”
Sun Wei drops the ashes from his pipe and seems to be enjoying himself wholeheartedly. Sun Wei knows that when people are as old as they are, they rarely discover anything new in themselves.
Tenzo showed a glimpse of a different Tenzo from the past. For some reason, Sun Wei was so happy that it was unavoidable
“Well, that’s what made me realize something unexpected. The one who touches him forgets about him, and the one who remembers him cannot forget him. And thanks to her feelings towards him, he is going to be remembered. Hohoho”
When she was laughed at by Sun Wei, Mirei’s face was slightly flushed. But she immediately retracted.
“Ohoo… Well, the problem will always follow us. Ryoichi has gone and settled down now, the other side………………the movement of the demon world. To that guy… the other power that sealed within Hiroto, don’t let him activate it or let it work.”
“But you have left even this up to him. In fact, the seal can be lifted at any time of his choosing.”
“…………. He’s… he’s no longer the man I can do anything about.”
Mirei Takano listens silently. Next to her, Soichiro Takano, the principal of Jin High School, mutters….
“Everything…..is decided by heaven. Everything will be done as Heaven intended…”