58 Should an enemy that sneaks attacks you also take advantage of you?

Part 1

MC's POV

After pinning the blame for the destruction on the man, I used my ability to glance in the direction I sent him flying. He got stuck deep into the mountain and a cave-in occurred to the hole he had made using its body. However, I doubt that it would be killed like that, when I punched him, he had hardened his skin and I could feel the strength I out being weakened by a great deal. If I had not used Tamamo's technique, I shudder about the possibility of fighting him by myself.

(Fufu, you can praise me, you can praise me more! This Tamamo made something amazing after all!) Tamamo exclaimed.

Hearing Tamamo's voice coming from my head, I smiled wryly. This technique she made was similar to the possession spells I had read about before. In those cases, the caster of the spell takes over the body of the victim, although it requires that the victim have a fragile state of mind or to have their guard down, because if the victim has a high defense, they could counterattack the caster by trapping them inside their inner world, pushing them out of their heads or even harm them if they are adept enough with mental warfare. That said, Tamamo combined the knowledge she acquired about a certain clan that lived in these lands long ago, before traveling abroad due to persecutions, they were the harmonixers and they were capable of fusing the souls of monsters they defeated, although that altered their shapes making them seem like the very same monster they slew... it seemed that they could not do it with every creature as there was a limit, but it still was overpowered in my opinion.

"I know, you are amazing, great girl." I praised her.

(Kuhh! That praise lacks enough enthusiasm, love, and spirit, but this Tamamo will forgive you on account of this being the first time you do it. It is only because I am such an understanding woman!) Tamamo mumbled.

Shaking my head, I glanced backward. Thanks to the pressure I was releasing, or rather, Tamamo was carefully controlling, those eye-like creatures were unable to move, the exorcists under the command of the five great clans and an oni-kin, if I judge by his looks, he should be a Kishin, a rather powerful race that was similar to the Oni, Japanese demons. Nonetheless, I could not witness his full might. According to a story that Kaa-san once told me, all of the Kishin were taken to hell and are managed by the Enmas, it seemed that they committed a terrible sin, far worse than what onis like Shuten-douji did before being almost wiped out. Their strength was restrained when they came to the human world even now, just in case they became violent.

In Yasaka-san's case, something seemed to be happening so hurried off. Yasaka-san, who had turned back to her human form was holding Amagi-san, her friend whom I met today. Both were back in their human form so it must be something serious. Nonetheless, I had to deal with the creatures who might harm anyone I knew. Slightly nervous, I recalled the damage I did with one punch and thought that I should hold back a bit to avoid friendly fire.

I leaped slightly and the world around me changed completely, it took me a second to adapt to the sudden change in my surroundings. Surrounded by those creatures, I extended my hand to the closest one to my left. I had a cute kitsune guard in front of me and smiled at her to reassure her, but she turned red and fainted with an infatuated look. I was curious about her reaction but I put a stop to any unnecessary thoughts a focused on cleaning up the creatures. After grabbing the eye-like thing, I planned to tighten my grip before throwing it at another one... but it was crushed under my grip. Yikes.

"Aren't they quite weak?" I wondered aloud.

Shutting down that nonsense, I blamed my sudden gain of strength, my improper way to measure the danger level could be fatal. Nonetheless, I did not stop my actions, I punched the next one close to me, and my actions were repeated over and over, but the number did not seem to decrease.

(Nora-san, look over there. That is an altar, it should be the reason why they are increasing. There is a great number of the gazers surrounding it so it must be why no one else has destroyed it. That said... it is continuously doing it nonstop, what is powering it up? No, is it someone instead? I can't feel or see anyone though...) Tamamo's voice in my head sounded a little at a loss.

Recalling that attractive woman, I guessed that it was her the culprit. However, if she was aiding the man, I was not sure why she was not directly intervening. Was she not his ally? No, she is powering the altar so they must have some kind of relationship. Was she not suited for direct combat? Something tells me that I would suffer quite a bit if I went with that kind of mindset. The only thing I can think of is that she is waiting for something, bidding her time. Their objective had to be Tamamo, but she had not made her move for a reason.

"Tamamo-san, can we do the thing we discussed before?" I asked.

(Leave it to me! Tamamo-chan will show you what a reliable kitsune can do!) Tamamo-san spoke full of fighting spirit.

Smiling at that, I took another look to see if anyone I knew was in trouble. Suzaku-san was standing up and seemed to be feeling unwell because she had reddened cheeks. Looking at her in worry, our eyes crossed and she reddened further. I tactfully looked away when she almost fainted again. She is truly an Otome. Directing my eyes everywhere else, Musashi-san was still unconscious, but it seemed that Ei-san had properly held her and with the help of Raikou, they were dragging her to the youkais' camp. Kasen-san almost tripped because she kept staring my way and I was not sure how to read to that. Recalling certain voices filled with worry I heard before, I looked around for my light. Inside some sort of barrier, Kuroka-chan and Shirone-chan waved at me full of vigor, no, wait, they are calling for me.

(I think I am set to go! Just call out softly the spell you want, I will do the casting and take care of making it work!) Tamamo-san spoke full of spirit.

"<Fireball, Fire Rain>" I mumbled.

Following my words, I extended my hand forward and I heard Tamamo's voice chanting a spell, soon enough, fireballs formed around me and with a wave of my hand, they flew away, targeting the eye-like enemies. Since they were close enough, the impact came quick, not only did the fire burn them to cinders in a matter of seconds but the ground also got scorched quite a bit. It made me wonder if it was still the beginner youjutsu technique I used, but recalling how the fire shot cast by Sera-tan in the canon caused humongous damage, the potential of beginner techniques was absurd in the hands of mighty people. I guessed that Tamamo restricted the strength so no friendly fire occurred. That said, I did erase every creature but more were being spawned.

Furrowing my eyebrows, I tried to look for any possible trap around the altar they were spamming from but found nothing. My eyes drifted to the absurdly sized sword that Kasen-san grabbed with ease and the wooden box she picked up, but the sword was something that made my eyes go wide. For some reason, I had a faint memory regarding it, like I had seen it before, was it in a game? Argh, I can't remember very well. It is like when I saw Artoria for the first time, I felt like I had seen her before, although I never mentioned it because it sounds like I am picking her up. She would be furious if I acted like I was flirting with her. That said, the more I try to remember, the more that the memory eludes me. Almost like there is a missing piece, so I better leave that for another time.

Nonchalantly strolling to the altar, I kept destroying the creatures that popped out. The place was oddly silent for some reason, not even a pin dropping could be heard. Midway, I considered my options so I pulled the broadsword that Kasen-san left in my care. Holding it in one hand, I approached the altar and before I could extend my hand to see if I could make it stop, an angry roaring, like one from a beast, reached my now kitsune ears, reaching this place at full speed, the transformed man I had sent flying was about to get here. I thought that usually in animes, this is where the characters get away without destroying the object they were seeking.

"YoOu wWon'T ddEstroY iIt!!!" The man shouted.

Shrugging my shoulders, I was about to ignore him and destroy the altar before he reached this place but then I had an epiphany. My mischievous mind decided what I should do next.

Ignoring his existence completely, I left my back wide open. His enraged look did not seem to be faked so he lunged at me when he saw the opportunity, making me smile, thus before he struck his claws sideway on my back, I took the altar, wondering how something that could be lifted with one hand was so troublesome, I threw it in the claws way while I easily sidestepped away. However, before the claws completely struck, my instincts kicked in and I jumped a great distance away, landing in front of the youkai camp, just in time to interrupt Yasaka-san who was looking at Kasen-san with an unfriendly gaze. I was not sure what my instincts tried to tell me, but I called out the mirror and held it in front of me. A prompt decision after I saw Raikou-san and Ei-san creating barriers that covered everyone gathered here, the exorcists included. I only planned to cover the youkais but noticing that they went as far as to protect them, I put the mirror between the two camps.

What followed after getting ready was something akin to an explosion, or rather, it exploded but it was not like you would normally expect, instead of fire, it was flesh that was sent flying, pieces of flesh and black blood. They got stuck in the barriers made by Raikou-san and Ei-san.

"(Hubby, I think it was insightful of you to not destroy it carelessly. In the future, allow me to create a barrier around it to avoid damaging the surroundings.)" Tamamo's advice and odd way of calling me entered from one ear and went out from the other one.

My lips kept twitching as I watched the places where the flesh fell start to melt. I glanced back and Raikou-san and Ei-san had sweat running down their faces.

To think that being mischievous saved me, from now on, I will follow my heart and be as mischievous as possible. However, after inward vowing that, I saw my female acquaintances shuddering and looking at me with a myriad of emotions. I briefly wondered why, but perhaps they are cold, it is getting windy these days and their outfits are not that good at retaining heat.

A huge lump of flesh was wriggling in the explosion location and soon it turned into a mud-ish liquid that took the shape of the man. He looked hurt, but the fact that he could still stand up after my blow and the explosion was a testament to his hard-to-kill status.

"HeHhe, yYouU CcanN't KkiLll Mme!" The newly formed man smirked.

Perhaps thinking that my lack of reaction was a display of fear and helplessness, he spoke in his annoying tone like he was trying to make us more scared. Nonetheless, I was just momentarily speechless at his capability to shape itself back. It reminded me about a certain slime I once read, but I could not be certain if they shared physical similitudes.

This guy has way too many attributes.

"Nya!? Shirone-nya, this guy has too many attributes-nya." Kuroka-chan's voice reached me despite being inside the barrier.

"Character development was messy, I feel bad for him, when characters have too many attributes in games, they get nerfed." Shirone-chan commented.

"(...I thought that I was quite an odd one, but hubby, those two sure are something else.)" Tamamo-san retorted.

Oh, shut it. You and I are no different from them.

Inwardly retorting to Tamamo-san, I glanced at Kuroka-chan and Shirone-chan, the bigger cat turned bright red and played with her hair as she sent me some shy looks, while the smaller cat blushed but took out her camera and started to take pictures of me. Their behavior baffled me, but noticing that they were alright, I sighed in relief. Ignoring their quirks, I turned to Yasaka-san, she looked fine so no problem there... that said, the woman lying on the ground beside her looked in a poor condition.

"(Kuhh! Tamamo-chan won't lose to that woman! I can still grow up hubby! This Tamamo will aim to double her chest size so she could fit your tastes!)" Tamamo-san's nonsense was perfectly ignored by me.

Amagi-san was the name of the woman, she had long brown hair, purple eyes with red pupils, along with some fluffy nine-tails and ears. Her outfit consisted of a red, dark purple, and black kimono. Surprisingly, despite being Yasaka-san's friend and being a kitsune with a stunning figure under her kimono... she did not show her cleavage. I was honestly stunned when I met her since there was the case of Sora-san who was Yasaka-san's friend and she had a lewd appearance. Despite my inner thoughts, I ignored the man's words and headed to check upon Amagi-san. My actions enraged the man who started to attack the barrier crazily, but the mirror began acting against it, probably upon Tamamo-san's orders. That bought me time, although I looked at Raikou-san and the rest for their support.

"Please, buy me some time if he breaks the barrier." I mumbled.

"Anytime." Kasen-san replied happily.

"Of course!" Raikou-san spoke louder like she did not want to lose to Kasen-san, no, wait, she is glancing at the pink-haired woman while sticking out her outstanding chest.

Is speaking louder something to be proud about?

Shaking my head, I was about to get closer to Amagi-san but two figures stood in my way. One had long brown hair and dark red pupils, despite her age being close to Kuroka-chan's, her body looked vixenous and already showed a bit of her cleavage. That said, she was still not at the level of being able to charm men. The other figure had short white hair that reacher her shoulders, blue eyes, and a fox and a similar figure to the other girl. They both had nine-tailed from the same color of their hair and their outfits were kimonos that combined white, black, and the color of their respective eyes. Their names were Akagi (brown-haired) and Kaga (white-haired). The two girls seemed ready to pounce on me the moment I moved one bit.

"I can help her, you know?" I muttered in a kind tone.

"Grrr! Amagi-nee-sama does not need your help!" The brown-haired girl, Akagi-chan, snarled.

Silent but sharing the same sentiment, Kaga-chan, glared at me.

It seems they still dislike me. I can't blame them, when I met Amagi-san, she got rather attached to me so that made them jealous. It must be because of my tails, they are peerless-tier in regards to their softness, charming onee-sans in Urakyoto easily. I am not known as Nora the soft-tailed cat for nothing.

"You two, give him some space. Other than Saya, he is the only one who can help Amagi-nee-sama to wake up, or do you want to wait for days until she can get up again?" Yasaka-san gently chided the girls.

Instantly, their ears dropped sadly and their looks softened. Begrudgingly letting me pass, I patted their heads when I passed. I heard some growling but it softened with my headpats.

Heh.

Headpats for the win.

After arriving at Amagi-san's side, I came up with a simple diagnostic after checking her status. As I had suspected before when we first met, her sickly status made her body rather frail. Right now, she was lacking rest because of overusing her ki, so I can only nurse her using mine.

Injecting Ki, or rather, just sharing my ki with her was not difficult since I currently had an overflowing amount thanks to the shared pool of ki from Tamamo-san. Thus, I began passing her ki to replenish her while nursing her body to hasten her recovery. Keeping an eye on the guys that continuously hit the barrier, I questioned why he stayed instead of running given the difference in strength, but given that their target was Tamamo-san, I could not figure out how he planned to take her down with his level, no, I almost forget the curse he used before.

"(It was a curse made to corrode rational thought, so I am guessing that they planned to turn me into a mindless beast. Tamamo would be pretty much unguarded after coming out of the seal, in fact, you should've noticed before. Despite my powers, I did not try to run. My body is kind of sluggish after so many years of being sealed so my transcendent senses are not working very well. Only a freak would be able to use his full strength after going what I went through.)" Tamamo-san explained.

Hmmm, I did wonder that but a certain detail is bothering me. Didn't you say that you could not read my mind...?

"(Ahem, really now? Did I say that? Tamamo has just left the seal not long ago so her memory is not the best, tee hee.)" Tamamo's image of playing dumb by tilting her head and using a fist to knock herself lightly came to my mind.

Inwardly imagining her, and my hand flicking her forehead, I soon heard-

"(Mukyu!)" Tamamo's cute reaction to my mental attack was heard.

So it worked huh.

"(Our married life only begun and you already started hitting me, this is domestic violence! That said, being subjected to a violent and wild side of you does not sound bad at all...)" Tamamo's voice sounded a little excited.

Rolling my eyes, I opted not to reply. This gal is a toughie, I need to level up my retorting skills to deal with her. Back in my nursing, I was able to notice that Amagi-san's eyelids were about to open.

"I... what...?" Amagi-san's gentle but confused voice reached me.

However, before I could reply, I was shoved aside by two people.

""Amagi-nee-sama""

Akagi-chan and Kaga-chan rushed past me after pulling me and almost jumped on Amagi-san, tears were about to run down their cheeks and their worry was easy to notice.

Sighing, I shrugged my shoulders and stood up. Yasaka-san's gentle gaze contained gratitude and I felt like flirting with her now that I was grown up. However, I had another matter to deal with. Despite the cracks formed on the barrier, neither Raikou-san nor Ei-san called out to me. Beads of sweat covered their faces, but they still held on.

"This is all for the sweets! This is all for the sweets!" Ei-san's weird chant was caught in my ears.

I ignored it.

"A mother is always reliable! A mother-" Raikou-san equally strange chant reached my ears.

No matter what, I will not retort to that. That was scary, I mean, this lady went from wanting to be a big sister to my mother in the period of time I met her. No matter how hot she is, accepting her as my mother is absurd.... is it? No no, Nora-kun! Stop glancing at that part that the sweat made stick to her body. Even if the shape is beyond Y-

"(Heh, I think I see how to make this work...)" Tamamo-san's strange mumble made me look away.

I felt like some sort of dark plan had begun forming but I had no proof. Before jumping to fight, I glanced at the catgirls, but they were no longer in the barrier. I saw Shirone-chan drag Kuroka-chan who looked extremely unwilling to Yasaka-san's side. Just as they reached her, a new translucent barrier was made that covered them and Amagi-san, Akagi-chan, and Kaga-chan. Then, after doing a series of hand signs, another barrier that covered the youkais' camp was created.

With my worries taken care of, I leaped in the direction of the man. Just when he was about to hit the barrier again, I positioned my body in midair to greet him with my knees. My sudden appearance startled him and he wanted to evade it, but he was unable to do it because he was midair, and he lacked the means to do so, or so I thought. He turned into smoke, and I passed right through him.

Blinking in wonder, I landed and turned to look at the man. I readied my sword and turned his way before leaping and smacking the smoke, but I failed to connect a hit. The mirror that was no longer protecting the barrier returned to me and adjusted in my waist using one of the strings used to decorate the mirror.

No matter in which direction I swung my weapon, I failed to hit anything so I took a step back and stood ready to attack.

"HhehheHeE NoOo mMatteEr HhoW StTrOOng YoU BeCOOMe, IFF yYou Ccan'T hIT mMee..." The man left the phrase half-finished but his meaning was obvious.

His earlier physical form was easier to fight, now I can't do a thing to it.

Fighting nonphysical creatures is a new experience.

"(The Sacred Treasures should be able to aid you. The sword is capable to cut even incorporeal beings, the mirror will reveal their true form and the magatama who deals with the soul should help with that which your hands cannot grasp.)" Tamamo-san's advice came timely.

Oh, my savior! So you can tell me how to do it? I got to here so they should help me kill this thingie.

"(Tee hee, I only read about it... I am not sure how to make them work.)" Tamamo-san's words made me want to knock her head a few times.

Useless!

Thankfully for her, before I flicked her forehead mentally, something flew my way along with-

"Break that over your weapon!" Raikou-san's weird statement made me tilt my head, just in time to evade the smoke that morphed into a claw. "Mommy will be there soon! I will finish this barrier and she will take care of everything!"

I missed my chance of counterattacking after blanking out from her statement.

Damn it woman, are you here to help me or to distract me?

"(How about starting to look at her on the face when you stare at her?)" Tamamo-san's slightly angry retort reached me.

It can't be helped, I thought that Yasaka-san had no peers. Is it something humanly possible? No, wait, they are both not human, and speaking of which, Kaa-san planned to take me to a hidden village of the so-called cow women once, but things came out and it never happened.

Taking a few steps back, I focused on evading and observing, occasionally swinging my weapon at the smoke. I wanted to use the thing I was given but it would attack me every time I tried to use it.

"Nora-kun! There is no need for that bead! The sword! Put enough Ki and-" Kasen-san's voice explained.

"What are you trying to make him do!? Kasen, you treacherous Oni, you better do not feed him lies or I will not stay here doing nothing!" Yasaka-san rebuked the pink-haired hermit.

I was quite surprised, this was the first time I saw Yasaka-san displaying such blatant hostility towards someone. Nonetheless, Kasen-san has been good to a cat like me, it is thanks to this sword that I could save Rossweisse-san so I opted to follow her directions. The transcendent senses had been allowing me to pay attention to the reactions from the peanut gallery while easily evading was a big help. No matter what, I was still faster than the man so it was easy to avoid him.

I could not see its expression but I could imagine him having a vicious expression as he tried to injure me deeply, but being unable to land a blow made him angrier so the number of attacks increased. I was wary of the fact that he used only physical attack until now, but he soon materialized at a very close distance. I briefly wondered if he had gone insane, but I had to stop my counterattack before it was even done because I noticed a certain shine in his eyes. Relying on sheer speed, I took two steps back, while the world around me seemed to slow down. Despite the slow movements everyone had, above the eyes of the man, a reddish light formed a sphere before shooting beams using those points as the origin. He was located slightly above me so his head was leaning down when he attacked, the beam, laser, or whatever came crashing down on the ground before leaving a deep hole. I could've moved my head closer to the hole to see how deep it reached to get an idea of how dangerous the attack was, but I was more into the idea of whacking someone so I struck the man, sending him into that very hole.

"Tamamo-san!" I shouted while extending my hand toward the hole.

"(Geez, call me, Tama-chan, with love!)" Tamamo-san complained but she did her job.

Almost like a fire pillar had erupted from my hand, it caused the hole to be burned thoroughly. I did not stop attacking, but soon, a shadow flew from the hole. I was about to chase, but the shadow attacked me by throwing a magic spell in my direction. A magic circle with an ominous design appeared and a ball of darkness flew away. I stopped the fire attack and was about to evade it before it reaches me, however, it blew up midair. Black smoke soon spread out and I ended up exhaling a bit of it. Feeling a bit of pain, my nose soon started bleeding. Rather than poison, it was an acid gas. Like mist, it spread around, so I feared the worst.

"Tama-chan! Let's gather all this in one place!" I mumbled.

"(...!!!)" Tamamo-san was frolicking and I could tell because we were somewhat connected.

I leaped in the direction of the people and before it reached them, I did a swinging motion. A green magic circle appeared on top of my sword and the mist was blown away. Sighing in relief, I relied on my body's self-healing abilities and the damage from the acid was repaired in a few breaths.

Nonetheless, my earlier attacks seemed to have affected the man, or at least, they hit him. His slight charred figure and the broken left arm proved my words.

Honestly, with the firepower that Tamamo-san should be able to pull out, turning this place into a sea of fire wouldn't pose any difficulty, but the bystanders would turn to cinders as well. I don't want to bet how much Yasaka-san's barriers could how before they broke down. That said, I feel anxious to send them away. I can roughly feel the ruckus from where I am, and I am unsure if that woman who came with the man will capture them to use my acquaintances as hostages. Besides, I get the feeling that I should not fight them without anyone to provide support. Despite my current strength, alarm bells keep ringing whenever I focus on that coffin. Although I was not sure what that coffin was about, I was honestly mystified by the fact that the lady holding it winked at me whenever I looked at her, and she would check me out enough to make me aware of her stare. Her reactions are so strange, I once glanced at her and raised my eyebrow in confusion, she exceedingly alluring licked her lips and blew me a kiss. That woman was definitely a shotacon.

"I'LL KkiLll yYou! Nnot OonlY yYou bBut tThoseE beHinD YoU aS wWelL!" The man roared.

Oh?

The man, no, the future meat paste started to angrily point at me with his claws.

Not only did my ki leak threateningly, in my surroundings, but it caused a wave of dust to raise. The barrier behind me made weird noises, some ki got absorbed into the sword in my hand and I felt some changes around it, no, I did not feel anything, but rather, the ground under my feet sunk slightly and it was when I noticed that I was heavier by quite a bit, however, I ignored such a thing and kept my eyes on the man who was pushed back a few steps. I was tempted to turn him into meat paste, but I took a deep breath, even if I tried to do it, he could just change into smoke. Glancing down while I considered using the bead or how to even use the sword, I noticed fire spreading from below my feet. It was then that I sensed my demonic energy leaking as well. I was about to make the blue fire go away before I recalled a slight detail.

"You better pray for this to not work..." I mumbled before I leaped forward.

Unable to react to my speed, the man tried to turn into smoke but his figure was forced into physical form after my sword, which was covered in blue flames, struck him. I had used a horizontal slash that blew him far into a patch of trees, but he did not have the time to crash into anything before I dashed after him and hit him with a downward strike.

I swear that I honestly did not think that I would cause that. All responsibility for this must be shared justly between Tamamo-san, Yasaka-san (my guardian), and me.

"(Oi!)" Tamamo-san's retort reached me but I ignored it.

I mean, who would expect that my strike did not only crush the man but cave the ground, made a huge hole that was five meters deep and caused cracks to spread for who knows how far, not to mention, my strike caused what I will deny with all my heart, a mini earthquake on the area, successfully causing some people to lose their balance.

You know what the worse part was? The man had turned into a viscous liquid form after taking the hit and got splashed everywhere. However, the liquid soon started to gather to form the man again. He looked exhausted and there was an obvious caved-in wound, but he was still in one piece. That blow would've shattered him completely, yet-

"You are such a cheat character... are you one of those pay-to-win guys?" I could not help but ask.

"(Isn't he closer to a GM at this point? He is would've died if he did not assume liquid form. While the fire was threatening in that shape... that hit was strong enough to shake the ground, his actual level is not that high, he is relying on those strange abilities to survive. However, I am certain that he will die if you continue pilling up damage like you are doing.)" Tamamo-san muttered.

"WwhAt aRe YOu!? YoU sShoUld nNot BE aBle to HitT mE, yYou dId nOOt usE tHe BEad! THat FIre, WhAt iS iT!?" The man asked in a cautious tone.

He did not try to attack me but warily stared at the flames covering the sword. I briefly considered how to deal with him, if he turns into different states, managing a good hit will be difficult unless my speed exceeds his change, however, it is not a slow process. He managed to slip away when he turned into smoke and tried to continuously attack me.

Ignoring him, I dashed forward once again, this time being careful to not strike the ground.

Part 2

3rd Person POV

Minutes went by and the was continuously damaged, despite his best efforts to avoid getting physically hit, the oddly shaped sword did not allow him to get away unscathed. After angering the newly transformed boy, now a young man, the sword grew heavier and was even capable of harming him in his incorporeal form. Not to mention the fire now covering it, such a thing caused him incredible pain and it was only because he was used to pain that he did not groan, but he could feel his soul burning with every hit.

After breaking the ground like before, Nora avoided hitting the ground, but that did not lower his threat level for the man. Nora had begun fighting rather clumsily, afraid of his own strength, he gave Tamamo the order to hold back as much as possible to avoid damaging one bit of the fur from his important people, which caused him to basically ban any spell that surpassed the basic level. Nonetheless, the ones he used had to be considered and carefully weakened so no mishap happened. Thanks to this, and the fact that Nora had been having trouble fighting the non-physical form of the man, made the transformed man underestimate Nora greatly. He had assumed that Nora's strike, when he first transformed, was the best he could do and his whole transformation and pressure were just a cover to intimidate him. However, the continuous damage he was receiving did not diminish, but it even steadily raised.

It was a tricky situation for him, he was constantly receiving damage, but his partner for this mission did not bother to support him.

He knew that her job was far more important and accomplishing it was her duty, but he was going to get cornered soon. If that happened, they might be unable to get the nine-tailed beast for their machinations, the punishment will be severe and the 'gifts' granted to them might be even taken away. That would be a punishment that was close to a death sentence since losing the interest of the pope will be your doom. No one who was deprived of their gifts was said to have survived, except-

"You sneaky bastard!" Nora spoke in annoyance and the fire covering his sword grew in size, enveloping a large area.

Thanks to that, the man took heavy damage after changing into his non-corporeal form. To mitigate the damage, he changed into the liquid form to avoid the next hit of the sword, and while his actions prevented him from getting hurt from the blow, the fire still damaged him.

"AarE yYou nNot goNNa doO aNythinG!?" The man angrily shouted.

He tried to ask his partner for support through his words, but no reply came back. He only got an apathetic look from the young woman he was working with. His overgrown teeth grinding against each other harshly, making an annoying sound that was heard clearly from several meters was his response. The rage was easily read if you studied the man's expression and he developed some hatred for the woman as well as the young man in front of him who pushed him this far. Since he was basically been left to fend off for himself, he could only risk it and use one double edge move to hold on. It might be very well something akin to suicide for those who have not received the baptism from a high-ranking member of the cult or lack the qualifications to accept the grace of their lord. However, there were always exceptions-

"(If you distract him, I will make my move. His transformation is beginning to show signs of instability.)" The young woman's voice was heard inside his head.

Noticing that, the man cunningly smiled and was about to make a sneaky remark but he had stayed in his physical form long enough for Nora to spin midair to suddenly kick him, and using the spinning motion, Nora connected a hit using the sword. Somehow, the man felt the weight of the sword getting bigger during the fight, and he originally thought it was a mistaken perception, but he couldn't have been any more wrong. His teeth shattered when the blow hit his chin and he got thrown into a tree, but it was not enough to stop him so his body destroyed one, two, three... Three trees were destroyed, but the man could not celebrate. The reason why he was stopped in place was not because the inertia had been low, but because the tree looked different, it was much larger and robust, and he might've been a little confused from the hit, but the tree was growing in real-time. The regular trees around him were at most, five meters, but this one was almost double of that and it kept growing.

The man could not even groan since Nora immediately appeared in front of him and swung his weapon madly. Each blow caused the tree to break apart somewhat, but it kept growing and repaired itself. However, the man did not have such a stroke of luck. Repeated blows assaulted his body and he had to change forms multiple times to avoid being killed. Nonetheless, it was not like the damage became zero, he would soon reach his limit.

Thinking about his options, the man recalled that he had an easier time when there were more people close to him. Nora had been restraining himself to avoid friendly fire, but the man could use that to his advantage. Thus, during the time Nora was about to pull back his weapon to attack again, concentrated his energy to shoot rays from his eyes. It caused Nora to hastily crouch to avoid the attack, and the man managed to slip away using that chance. Becoming a wisp of smoke allowed him an easy escape, but it only bought him a second, and he already knew that it would be meaningless in front of Nora's speed if he did not use it wisely. In the space he would cover with a couple of steps, Nora had regained his bearing and launched an attack. Changing his plan, the man took out another seed from his pocket dimension and swallow it after taking physical form. To diminish the damage from the hit, he hardened his skin to the limit and that layer of defense crumbled before the might of the blow. He almost shattered into pieces and cracks formed all over his form as he sent crashing close to the earlier peanut gallery.

The man heard someone clicking his tongue and groggily stood up to see Nora looking at him from a higher position with cold eyes.

"I would've honestly proposed that I would allow you to escape if I had not fought with you. You are too dangerous, what the heck is with your cheat abilities." Nora complained. "Even one of those hits would've taken my remaining 5 cat lives. Yet you took a beating without dying... don't tell me..."

Raising his disfigured face, the man expected Nora to show a fearful expression for his potential or grow, but instead, the cat, now fox, muttered a sentence that left him baffled as the seed started to affect his body.

"You are one of those super masochists that power up every time you beat them up...?" Nora sweated nervously and he even took a step back. "You are insane..."

Thankfully, the seed started to change his body and raise the resilience of every part. Otherwise, the man would've died from high blood pressure. That sentence infuriated him as much as it baffled him.

He initially thought that Nora had been backing away as a result of his sentence, but he could see him sneakily moving to cover the peanut gallery behind him as he would stare at his changing figure.

His overall size grew to an average of four meters, his extremities grew thicker and muscle soon filled up his arms and legs. However, there were other changes to the man's figure. The sharp teeth and his chin that were broken from the beating soon recovered and became even more threatening, the same could be said to the rest of his wounds. They were sealed and his body was modified to make them disappear. His power did not grant healing abilities but rather modifying and repairing ones. He could not heal under the effects of the seeds and might take days before healing spells began working on him. He will need to be nursed carefully when he returns to their cult's location. His life will be hanging on a threat for a while, but it was always better than dying. The last change came from the tentacles he had sacrificed on the altar had grown again and they even increased in numbers and size. Before, he had a pair of tentacles, but now he had more than six, and they were as big as the log you would get from the trees he had crashed into before.

It was a painful process to have your flesh change so much, but the man held back his pain by imagining the cruel things he would do to his enemy. He would grin evilly every time it happened so his visage looked more terrifying. It made Nora more alert and he did not attack at once. His strength grew greatly, but using his special abilities will be harder. Nonetheless, he needs to make an opportunity and this will end, that way he could undo the transformation and reduce the demerits he would suffer.

"Tama-chan, prepare the spell you told me about. The Absolute-wipe-out-of-certain-death will be the only way to kill him." Nora muttered. "You create a barrier, and I will do the actual attack. I won't hold back so do your best! What is it? You want a reward for working hard? Alrighty, I will pull off my best tail petting on you. Huh? Why are you sounding scared all of sudden, it is just my humble hands doing their best, is it no good? Yosh, since you have agreed to it, I will even use aroma oils and add a full body massage. I think you deserve more after being sealed for so long... Huh? Why are you asking for mercy? My massages are not that bad, I will put my 100% efforts into you!"

Despite the weird naming, the man could not help but react. The now nine-tailed youth in front of him spouted nonsense every time he opened his mouth, but there was nothing more dangerous than giving a crazy man great power. It was basically what he was seeing. If this youth was speaking the truth, naming sense aside, he would be in big trouble. Thus, he pushed himself past his limits, and after putting his all into his legs, he leaped in the direction of the youth who was making hand signs.

For a moment, he thought that he would get ambushed while midair, but Nora only sidestepped to avoid him.

"<Gathering in one place...>" Nora chanted.

Noticing that he did not manage to stop the chant,

"<...are the countless whisp of flames.>" Nora continued. "<Leaving a trail of embers, they refuse to die down.>"

Not only did the youth chant, but his hands changed into different hand signs. He seemed unused to such a thing since he was slowly making the signs. Nonetheless, his actions proved to be correct and there was no mistake as golden whisps of flames lit up around him, growing in number, and burning brightly.

Using his tentacles, the man tried to strike Nora, but his tentacle only left deep marks on the ground as Nora used a simple but swift evasion method. However, he managed to trick the youth who was focused on the hand signs and a tentacle was about to hit his chest, but Nora smirked and from his left hand, a bandage extended to grab the sword that was long forgotten by Nora when started to do his hands signs and had suddenly appeared in front of him, probably summoned back by the youth. The bandage skillfully took the form of a hand and it grabbed the sword, meeting the strike from the tentacle with surprising ease.

Once again, the reflexes from a transcendent shone and it made the man grit his teeth, even though he risked his life swallowing another seed, he was being toyed by the youth.

The number of fireballs increased exponentially, and they appeared to surround the man. He tried to leave the area, but a transparent wall in a cylindrical shape stood in his way.

"<They have one mission, that cannot be left unfinished...>" Nora muttered. "<...to take those who should not exist in this world to their rightful place.>"

The heat from the whisp of flames began affecting him and the man's resistance to certain elements had gone up quite a bit, in fact, it was easy to tell how dangerous this spell was since the heat generated by the floating fireballs was causing the leaves from the trees to ignite.

Even after using his tentacles and clawed arms, he failed to stop the youth so the man desperately tried his luck with the barrier. Banging it with all his strength seemed useless, he even focused on one point but not even a crack formed. Despair consumed him and he turned once again to Nora. The youth had calmly walked to the other extreme of the barrier and exited it just like that.

"AaaHHh!!!" The man screamed.

Knowing the reason why the youth left, the mad dashed madly in his direction, but no matter how much anger he wanted to release on the youth, the barrier remained undisturbed.

"<Fox Fire: Scorching Burial>" Nora intertwined both hands together to finish the spell.

Like he was directing the whisps of flames, they gathered at one point, and that was where the man was. No matter if he tried to roll or run away, they closed on his body and the heat kept pilling up.

"CcUrsEeee! YyOUuu!!!" The man screamed before he was engulfed in fire.

--------------------------------

3rd Person POV

"CcUrsEeee! YyOUuu!!!" The man screamed before he was engulfed in fire.

Listening from the outside, Nora watched the fire form a large pillar. It grew until the end of the cylindrical barrier, and that was until a couple of kilometers up.

"That thing about teaching me spells by transferring knowledge sounds wuxia-ish and unreliable, but damn, ain't it cool?" Nora watched in amazement the spectacle.

Taking a look around, the area had been cleaned up of trees during the fight. They were lying on the ground and that made Nora a bit troubled.

"These are not those kinds of trees with ancient history in them, are they? I certainly hope not that one of this soon-to-be firewood will be hiding some ancient sealed evil creature or god. That would be too much even for the current me. Urgh, my head. I know, I know. The side effects of the spell are not only this much, I figured. Was it because we did it in a hurry? Stability, is it? That sounds like something troublesome. Well, I guess with more practice I won't be troubled by it." Nora seemed to be talking to someone, but no one else was around him.

The area might've been cleaned up, but he was still close to the peanut gallery. Glancing their way, he furrowed his eyebrows. Ignoring the burning pillar, he walked in that direction. With each step, the ground would crack under his weight, or rather, the sword's weight, but after thinking for a moment, he began walking again. The first step was the same as the others and that made the youth curse inwardly, but from the second step onwards, the ground remained the same. From there on, no damage to the ground was made, and if you paid close attention to his steps, you could almost spot that the sole of his footing never came in contact with the ground.

His movements caused mixed reactions among the peanut gallery. The youkai side was relieved to see him returning safely, but the human camp was not so happy, they were tense and warily glared at the approaching youth.

Ignoring them completely, Nora took notice of several arrows stuck on the ground and he briefly wondered about their use, but he kept walking nonetheless. Using a serious expression, he glanced everywhere like he was looking for something, and he almost cause a certain red-eyes young woman to faint again. However, soon he stopped and a wry smile found its way into his face.

"I didn't expect that after dealing with that guy, I would get ambushed by such a sensual woman. Should I call this a lucky encounter?" Nora spoke aloud.

His word made several people tilt their heads and wonder if he was losing it, there was clearly no one around him, but that soon changed. Those overseeing the young man only detected another presence, right behind him, after they saw her lowering the hood of her cloak. From their position, they only caught sight of her silver hair, but their attention was soon drawn away by something lying behind the young woman... a coffin.

"Ara? Handsome, could it be that you knew where I was located the whole time...?" The young woman emphasized such a thing in a loud tone of voice. " How cold of you~ I blew you so many kisses and you did not even respond to my affections~"

Using a playful tone, the woman stood behind Nora. Her height was much lesser than Nora's, but she stood on her tiptoes to whisper into his ears.

"Could it be that you wanted to keep our flirting in secret~?" The young woman used a sensual tone to insinuate something.

Almost gluing her body to Nora, she did not seem to mind that his breasts were being squeezed on his back, in fact, she had a teasing smile as she pushed her body closer to Nora.

"Oh dear, I knew the attractiveness of my ears was outstanding but it is beyond I had imagined." Nora mumbled. "Miss, I know that you want to distract me using those wonderful weapons of yours, but since you have already sealed my movements... Can you step away? There is one fox inside me about to go bonkers, and the golden one with the youkais is sending me unfriendly looks. I am not sure why, since I am not even flirting with you. However, I don't mind flirting with you if you release me after I do it."

Pausing for a moment, Nora turned back to see the woman closely. She was so close to him that their faces were almost touching, a little push and a couple of things will definitely 'collide'.

"Although your beauty is amazing and I am a little dazed by those pair ruby-like eyes of yours. I would rather take our relationship slowly, with a cup of coffee for starters. That said, there is not a man that does not like lewd women, but getting tied up is not my style. I prefer to do the binding, and if you are up to the challenge, I could teach you one thing or two." Nora said.

"Oh my, I am not sure what you are trying to say~" The young woman spoke in a playful tone. "Well, I certainly wouldn't mind if you taught me one thing or two, but be aware that I would not stop with 'two'. I am the curious type..."

Licking her lips, the young woman finally stepped away from the youth, when their figures finally parted, the youth had thin black chains holding him in place.

"How did you get behind me without me noticing...?" Nora ignored her words and asked.

"I wonder~ How did I do it~? I fooled everyone else's eyes, why couldn't I fool you as well?" The young woman mumbled. "That said, I have to admit that fooling you was a bit of a gamble. Those pretty green eyes of yours are so troublesome..."

Listening to her words, Nora did not show any reaction on the outside, but he was rather surprised on the inside.

"Oh, thank you for the compliment, but dear, you are evading the question..." Nora pointed out in a calm tone of voice. "Besides, you seem awfully familiar with me, be honest with me, have we slept before?"

That question made more than a few people trip, in particular, those who wanted to attack the young woman for trapping the youth. Some others could only cough after failing to swallow their saliva and seemed as surprised by the question as troubled they were by the coughing fits. Such a question was spoken in such a calm manner, that went perfectly fine with the way the young woman was speaking. It did not seem like she had ambushed the youth and trapped him for her benefit. They looked like a pair of friends or lovers as they flirted with each other, but that question was too sudden for the peanut gallery to follow, no, not only the peanut gallery, even the young woman was frozen in place with her mouth open.

"Eh? What did you imagine? You pervert, I did not mean anything sexual, I mean literally sharing a bed, look, I am a child, so sleeping with an onee-san figure when I was younger is not strange, right? However, you just had to imagine the most dangerous possibility huh. You closed pervert." Nora shook his head.

Trying to squirm his body, he was unable to release himself from the chains. Seeing that, the young woman regained a bit of her earlier bearing and smiled confidently again, or so she believed.

"F-fufu, you say some amusing things, but how can you be so sure that we did not sleep together in 'that' way? You can turn into an adult so it is not impossible, besides, your mentality is more mature than any boy your age. I am a bad Onee-san so I could've eaten you..." The young woman winked.

"Hmph, I doubt it, you are a virgin, aren't you? So we did not sleep together, since that is the case... it was not sleep talking." Nora sighed.

His conversation was making it difficult for his help to arrive since they took heavy damage from his choice of words, but the one who took the heaviest damage was the young woman who was left speechless again.

"W-what m-makes you think that I am a virgin?" The young woman asked.

Her words carried a strange intonation, she seemed to be trying to fit into her earlier persona and be offended but at the same time, she seemed to be slightly happy with the youth's supposition.

"If you release me, I will tell you." Nora playfully stuck out his tongue.

Taking a deep breath after hearing his answer, the woman closed her eyes and when she opened them again, her earlier emotion was nowhere to be seen. She gave off a calm and flirty air, the same as when she appeared.

"You really have a bad personality." The young woman giggled. "But I like it."

"Not as much as you." Nora chuckled. "I can't deny that you are funny to talk to."

Once again, the conversation made everyone else feel like they were some kind of the third wheel. It was to the point that made them wonder if those two were enemies or if they had just met up here to go on a date.

"If you are not going to tell me if we had met before..." Nora muttered. "Could I be shameless and ask what the heck is this accursed chain? It almost feels like it was tailored made to chain me down. Don't tell me..!? Are you secretly a Yandere!?"

"Ptff, hahaha, only you would say something like that." The young woman laughed. "But you are wrong, it is not specially made for you, I am willing to share that it was made tie a certain type of enemy, and Tamamo-no-Mae was one of them."

"Is it because she has fluffy tails!? You monster!" Nora accused.

Giggling in response to Nora's word, the young woman shook her head.

"This is the first time I was called a monster for that kind of reason." The young woman glanced at the coffin.

Pulling a metal seal from her bosom caused Nora to inwardly call her a pervert and thank her, however, the youth did not stop once to free himself. However, no matter how much force he applied, he was unsuccessful. The chains clung tightly to his body and did not budge an inch.

"Damn it, why couldn't the onee-san who attacked me be the type that liked to be tied herself? Now I have to be the subject of her latent desires. However, Nora-kun is not a pushover! I am a sadist at heart so there is no way I will allow myself to be tied down!!!" Nora shouted.

His aura increased several times and the ground where he was standing was the victim of his overflowing ki. Nonetheless, the chains were not very friendly and they gave off a shine before the aura around Nora vanished.

"The f*ck!?" Nora cursed.

"This will end soon, don't worry, I will make it easier for you so don't resist." The young woman spoke in a kind tone, even showing a certain amount of worry.

"The heck? You sound like a molester attacking a girl on a train, could you please change your phrasing? There are kids here!" Nora scolded.

Giving up, the young woman did not have the energy to retort. She simply stuck the seal on the coffin at the same time she pulled a straw doll, one that had several accessories adorning it.

Her actions happened to give her just enough time to jump away to avoid a katana that sliced the spot where her neck was a moment ago.

"Get away from him!" Raikou shouted full of anger.

The young woman evaded Raikou, but she soon had to evade the next wave of attacks. Kasen's exaggerated weapon came crashing from above and caused a crater to form on the ground after the young woman dodged the blow.

"That was pretty close..." The young woman wiped her nonexisting sweat.

She was prepared to dodge some other moves but her attackers had their minds in another place.

"Nora-kun, you sure seemed to have fun... I hope that our assistance was not some unneeded meddling on our side." Kasen's gentle smile looked somewhat cold.

"Mom does not recall raising you like that! You need to be more careful of women who approach you, but mom understands that you are such a handsome young man and you will attract countless women, however, you are still too young and inexperienced. One bad lady could take you away!" Raikou articulated with her hands.

"Sorry, flirting is in my blood. It is part of my raison d'etre, I can't change it..." Nora muttered with a faraway look.

The young woman did not mind that they were taking their time since opening the coffin required time, but she could not help but have a certain thought. He had guts to declare that in front of two semi-jealous women.

"If you can't help it... You can flirt with your mother all you want! I, Raikou, will be your flirting partner!" Raikou declared.

If Nora had his hands free, he would've covered his face in embarrassment.

"Forget about that! The coffin is about to open!" Nora retorted with a red face, obviously self-aware of the strange stares he began receiving from the peanut gallery.

"How can I forget it!? It is an important issue! Mom will not stand for this! Naughty children need punishment, but on the account of your first time, mom will be gentle and let it go." Raikou continued.

"...Kasen-san, please help me." Nora pleaded.

"Hmph." Kasen snorted. "Good for you, you now have a beautiful woman fawning on you after you flirted with another one, aren't you happy?"

The youth was at his rope's end, and now that the coffin was being used, he used his ability to peer inside, and what he saw made the fur of his tails stand straight from fear.

"Sorry, but you were late the moment I used the seal to open up the coffin. No hard feelings, ok?" The young woman said.

Just as she finished her words, the coffin opened and an oppressive feeling enveloped the area. It was not something so simple as the difference in strength or league, but something much different.

The lid of the coffin was slowly pushed open from the inside, and the one inside used his hand to do so. For those looking from afar, they could only make up an extremely bony hand with the purple skin clung tightly to the bones grabbing the lid and slowly opening the coffin, but that was not all, and an extremely fetid smell drifted out from the coffin, close to the smell of a decomposing corpse, along with a strange flowing black mist. For those who had faced similar things before, they could recognize it at first glance.

"Miasma!?"

"Is it a walking copse? No, there is no way that a mere walking corpse can have that level of miasma leaking from it, it has already covered half of the temple's plaza and it has not even stepped out of the coffin."

"Even in hell, the undead does not have such a lethal miasma and foul smell, I don't like to do this but... exorcist! Use whatever art you have to ward off the miasma, it will prove fatal for you, and in case you start feeling unwell, use any detoxifying art because it has already affected you!"

"We don't need you to tell us that!"

"Akagi-chan, Kaga-chan, use these scrolls to keep Amagi-nee-sama safe, I will take the front lines, and make the others from the hidden village join the ranks of my people to maintain the barrier in my absence!"

"I will go with you! I cannot trust you anymore-nya! Shirone-nya, stay here-nya."

The reaction from the peanut gallery varied greatly, but each one of them began moving after the miasma appeared. It was no longer a matter of fearing for their life if they interfered, even if they did not, they would be threatened. Despite their fears, they took a step forward and joined the front lines.

The leader of the youkais tried to peel off the nekomata that clung to her body as she advance but the stubbornness of the black-haired girl was amazing, and following them from a distance was a white-haired little girl who ignored their warnings to stay behind.

From the oni-kin side, the death seeker who held resentment against Tamamo no Mae did not stay behind and along with several like-minded comrades, they took the lead.

On the exorcist side though, only a couple from the extra clan people were pushed forward, they looked weak and they did not seem to hold any important position, their inexperience shown by the tearful expressions as they walked forward. The five great clans did not send anyone from their younger generation, but rather from their older one, the most experienced divided into two groups one that will go forward and the other to hold the fort, given certain importance to dealing with their new foe but not daring to use all their forces.

Regardless of what was happening around it, the one in the coffin stepped away. Like what was observed on its hand, the rest of its body was in a similar state. Wearing a decrepit leather armor, it would've barely hidden important places like the heart and lungs, but it also seemed to include the arms and legs. From the rest of his body, you could see its poor condition, you could not see any muscle whatsoever and his face did not have any hair, his eyes, or where his eyes were supposed to be, two sunken holes that would make anyone panic if they stare it long enough appeared. On its back, his only equipment was an old long wooden bow along with a quiver of arrows, but like the rest of his equipment, it had seen better days, the years had deteriorated it and it might even break if used.

"...H...ung...y"

A raspy voice left its mouth, only being audible for Nora, Raikou Kasen, and the young woman.

Being the closest to it, the creature first glanced at the young woman and bared its teeth, but she raised the straw doll she carried some symbols that were not visible before shone and the creature changed targets. It was about target the closest trio but the noise addition to the battlefield made him turn to them.

"...Food...need..."

Moving on instinct, he focused on the noisy group getting close.

Noticing that they had the attention of the creature, the more experienced ones spread, taking those that were related to them along. As a result, the inexperienced ones were left alone, forming a group. Seeing (?) this, the creature stood idly for a moment, studying their reactions, saliva dripping from its mouth, but it persevered perhaps due to curiosity or something else.

"I-It's g-glaring t-this way!"

"Not attacking? Hah, must be scored of our numbers!"

"Idiot, even if we're are numerous, we can't underestimate it. Listen, we have to surround it and..."

"Blah, blah, blah! Who cares about that? The clan head gave us a mission, if we accomplish it, we will get great rewards!"

"G-Guys..."

"Weren't you shaking just before coming here? Now that we have several people here, you suddenly got all gutsy."

"Shut up, I-"

"Guys! Behind you!"

The ones who did not spread out had begun a heated argument, but from their group, there was one who was paying attention to the humanoid creature. It had moved silently, with surprising swift movements, like a hunter stalking its prey. However, when it reached the group at arm's reach, its saliva dripping nonstop, it could not be patient anymore. His arms shot with precision and strangled the quarreling targets. Everyone thought that he would snap their needs, but a creepy grin formed on its face and-

"He..heh...f...finally..."

It mumbled under its breath.

"Release me! Don't you know who I am!?"

"I don't think it cares!!!"

Struggling under its grip, the due tried to pry open its hands, but a superhuman strength contradicting his form kept them in place. Nonetheless, they could not even think of a way to escape because-

"<Drain>"

Words that you would normally hear from litchs or vampires leaked from its mouth, but the result was far more horrifying, without any ability to resist the creature, the duo had their vitality visibly drained. First, it was their magic, it took nothing more than a breath time... next, their vitality, everything was drained. Their blood followed and soon their skin mirrored the creature's. After a moment, what was left was empty carcasses, but the creature was not satisfied, it continued to drain them until their shape could not be hold and they turned to dust, crumbling on their spot.

The creature seemed satisfied for a moment, but soon, everyone heard a loud sound coming from its stomach, and its expression soon crumbled.

"N..not...e..nough...more...I...need...more."

His words were clearly heard by everyone this time, and before the remaining people from the group could do anything-

"<Drain Wave>"

Its words were a command, and the miasma that had spread out everywhere suddenly got heavier and misty hands tried to grab anything close to it. Beginning with those with any way to fight, they slowly began to take their energy. It was a slower process, but in exchange, those being subjected to it became able to feel their life slowly drained. Nonetheless, not everyone was helpless, observing the situation, a certain blonde fox lit fireballs a dispersed the mist. On the other hand, the exorcists used their traditional techniques to ward off the miasma, thus they were spared from it.

Such a thing seemed to incense the creature and when it was about to personally attack other groups-

"Enough! In the name of -------, I order you to heed my commands!" The young woman shouted as she held the straw doll towards the creature.

Like some sort of controlling device, it caused it to turn into an obedient puppet, or at least it behaved because its hunger was not cured, it glared (?) at the people surrounding it as saliva dripped from its mouth.

"Hunger, you only have one job." The young woman spoke. "Swallow Tamamo no Mae, but do not digest her, she is inside that man!"

As she said this, the young woman had a complicated expression, she looked both nervous and scared for no understandable reason. However, she still commanded the creature by pointing in one direction.

Lying there was Nora who was incapable of retreating, Kasen was pushing the miasma away with her oversized weapon and Raikou tried to cut the chains, but the voluptuous woman was unable to cause even a scratch, no matter how desperately she tried.

The creature did not wait for anything else and unlike before, it did not take its time, it was given a target to satiate its hunger so it wouldn't delay his meal. Raikou, Kasen, and Yasaka saw this and each one of them tried to stop it, but Yasaka's spells were eaten away by the creature when it simple touched them, Raikou's lighting was the same and only the katana made contact with it, but the small cut it received was closed after eating the flames and lighting. The only different outcome came from Kasen, she stood before it and used a purely physical blow on it, making it stranger and causing a deep slash wound that almost tore its shoulder, however, like before it began healing itself, whether it was because of the energy it absorbed from the earlier attacks or the spoils it had before targeting Nora, Kasen was not aware, but the young woman did not despair, expecting such a thing, she put away her weapon and used the temporary straggler she caused to take a firm stance with her left arm was on the front and the right one was behind a basic punching stance, but under her breath, Kasen chanted and black words like curses appeared written on the bandage. Kasen took a deep breath and the ground below her feet sunk before she used a palm strike to hit the chest of the creature.

Giving a silent scream, a hole formed on the humanoid creature, and the miasma attacking people lost its shape momentarily and did not continue its actions. Kasen tried to do a follow-up attack but two things happened that prevented her from doing so. She got dizzy and lost all strength in her body, and the young woman watching all this interfered.

"Kasen-san! These damned chains... Raikou! I don't mind calling you mom or whatever, just take care of her!" Nora yelled.

"N-no, use this change to a-attack it..." Kasen weakly said.

"Making this more difficult! You foul!" The young woman shouted and send an icicle in Kasen's direction.

After hearing Nora's words, it was like Raikou got wings on her back and she leaped in Kasen's direction, taking her along and arriving near Yasaka. Raikou wanted to go back and assist Nora but she was too late.

The creature went crazy and stood before Nora. Holding the youth's head with both hands, he began absorbing his strength. Nora's aura diminished slowly, but the more time it passed, the faster the suction got.

"Hunger! Stop playing around, take the nine-tailed fox, she is our target!" The young woman said.

A little unwilling, the creature changed tactics.

"Damn it, damn it, damn it! " Nora continuously cursed. "Don't you have any useful skill!? Some ancient spell, or secret technique you read in the palace when you were working there!? Huh!? Yeah right, where the heck will I find those damned catalyst? Tamamo, you dummy! Huh? I am calling you a dummy? Because you are, urgh, awaken hidden power, awaken!!! No good, I am not the main character, I couldn't awaken some BS power, I even took damage for saying something so embarrassing. Wait, if I fondle Yasaka-san's breasts, I could get stronger... Huh? Why am I an idiot all of sudden?"

Nora's rambling caused even the creature to be a little at a loss for a second so without the proper skill set to retort, it resumed its actions. Moving its hands, the miasma gathered around it and formed a large mouth, it bit Nora halfway and every time it made swallowing noises, Nora lost one tail. The only ones that tried to stop it were Yasaka and Raikou, but the young woman stood in their way multiple times. However, rather than doing it out of malice, she looked affected by her actions, often glancing behind her to check on the process.

It was when two tails remained that the mouth parted with Nora, his fox ears and tails transformed back into the ones of a cat. However, that was not the reason why the miasma stayed away. Silent until now, the magatama on Nora's chest was shining brightly. Its light caused damage to the creature and dispersed the miasma. Enveloping Nora, it protected its owner. Said owner though, released himself from the chains, they seemed to have lost their function and they no longer clung to his body.

There was no sound but for a completely different reason, besides the young woman that seemed to be expecting the spectacle and Yasaka who was vaguely aware of the magatama, there was only a certain old man who calmly accepted what he was seeing. The peanut gallery could not accept or believe what they were seeing, regardless of their clan or origin, those standing here knew about the thing on the nekomata's chest.

"You really do as you please..." Nora commented.

Raising his head, he glared hatefully at the creature.

Noticing that the creature was still regenerating from the damage that Kasen caused, Nora did not opt to run, he gathered all the ki that he had left when he reached the transcendent level that was basically nothing at this point, and before his league decreased more than it was already doing, he swung his fist in the creature's chest.

"Give me back... Tama-chan's tails!!!" Nora yelled.

The hole was still half-opened, and Nora struck there. Their close distance cause his attack to easily reach the creature without any form of interference and that allowed him to inflict heavy damage on the creature. Not only because the strength used was high but the magatama's light covered Nora's arm during that moment and that added extra damage.

"Ah! Ah... pain, hunger... Ah...I, why? Urgh...the curse...you...can..."

The creature's eyes gained a moment of clarity when the light touched it and observed (?) Nora, it seemed to go berserker and before the young woman could command it, it lowered its mouth and bit Nora's arm.

"...curse...blessing...kill...me..."

Speaking in a hoarse voice that only the youth could hear, it lost reason again and its saliva began dripping in great amount and Nora became its target. Nora, however, had taken his arm back and he covered his arm, blood dripping from the bite. The youth leaped backward and was about to charge at the creature when he turned his back hastily and swung his healthy arm to smack away the sudden attack of a tentacle.

"...kKillL YOu, III WwiLL, Kkill YoU!"

Making a sudden appearance, the man that Nora thought to have killed ambushed, or tried to do so. His attack was so erratic and hasty that even Nora who lost his transcendent senses could ward off the attack. His figure had shrunk a meter or two and he was missing an arm, several parts of his body were charred and the tentacles had been reduced to three, every step it took made a strange sound and you could spot some calcinated parts on his legs. Several of his eyes had lost their functions and the reddened skin in some places was the evidence of how it happened.

"You gotta be kidding me, don't you know how unpopular of a character you are? Dude, get a hint and drop dead." Nora complained.

The man was angered, but he still cautiously circled Nora to get close to the young woman.

"Ara? You were alive?" The young woman asked in surprise.

"BbArely... DdiD thE PlaN wOrK?" The man asked.

"More or less, I accomplished what I was set to do." The young woman nodded and used the straw doll to order the creature to fall back.

"WwhAt AareE yUo doING? WWE HaVe to KiLL tHeM!!" The man noticed what his partner did.

Shaking her head slowly and looking at the man like he was an idiot, she ordered the creature to enter the coffin despite its unwillingness. It was only after that she used the seal on the coffin that she sighed in relief.

Using the opportunity when no one dared to attack her because they were afraid to be on the receiving end of the man and her attacks, the young woman grabbed the chains and stored them.

"I have no other business here, this operation was a battle against time to begin with, and I am against harming children so I will not help you harm him." The young woman said and she pulled the coffin close to her.

"WwhY? THey ArE ouR EnEmies!" The man refuted.

"You are an eyesore, I am already angry from causing that child some pain, and now you start blabbing your nonsense. Think for a minute, even if there were no children here, I would not stay to kill everyone else. Even if I used my full power, walking out here alive would be impossible, they are coming soon and our spells will not hold them back any no longer. Have you faced a god before? I can tell by your expression the answer to that question. You are truly useless..." The young woman shook her head in disappointment. "Well, you will understand what I mean soon enough, have fun facing several gods, I am sure they will be happy to teach you the difference in strength between the two of you."

Without waiting for the man, the woman created a teleportation magic circle.

"See you later, handsome, I hope to see you soon." The young woman playfully blew a kiss in Nora's way.

However, that kiss was smacked (?) away by a black-haired girl who stood before Nora.

"Not if I can stop it-nya!" Kuroka angrily said.

Getting thumbs up from Raikou, Kasen, and... Yasaka, Kuroka happily snorted.

"Ara ara, it seems we can't flirt anymore." The young woman giggled. "We will meet again, when we do... I will tell you my name~"

"Eh? No, please don't. I don't wanna, I almost died when I met you once, I am afraid that in our second meeting I will be eaten in a different way." Nora hastily shook his head.

The young woman had a blank look and her lips twitched after hearing that. She did not expect to be rejected so blatantly, the young woman had confidence in her charms and despite being enemies, she had not directly harmed him so there should not be that much dislike towards her.

"YUo aRe gOIng to AbAndoN Me HeRE?" The man could not believe her actions.

Annoyed that she was interrupted when she was going to flirt again, the young woman turned to the man and spoke in a harsh tone of voice.

"You might not know this, but even your special body will not be able to hold all the power you just swallowed. It is a certain death that awaits you, and you can't do anything about it. Only a madman would dare to swallow a second seed before he had received enough blessings from their lord, or they would risk themselves becoming mindless mutations. However, there is one good point in all this. You fulfilled your duty and that was what was expected from you. Besides, I never liked you so I planned of getting rid of you after the mission was over." The young woman glared at the man.

Ignoring his shocked expression, the young woman put a finger on her lips and after licking her lips, she managed to come up with the right thing to say.

"My name is Lina~" The young woman said and disappeared before a retort came her way.

Along with the coffin, she left.

"Wait! I did not want to hear it!!!" Nora roared.

The youth's actions made the man react, he went crazy and started to wreak havoc.

"Oh my, he is surely angry. It is almost like he was dumped by the girl he liked." Nora commented like it was not his business.

"I think it is worse-nya. That lady was too interested in Nora-nya. It was like in those internet doujinshis, NT- hummmgh." Kuroka tried to speak but Nora hastily covered her mouth.

"Alright, Kuroka-chan is banned from using the internet for a long time." Nora sighed.

The calmness in the youth's tone made the man even angrier, so he targeted Nora.

"I WiLL KiLl YoU FiRst!!!" The man tried to shorten their distance.

No one moved or try to stop him, because-

"Huh? Can't you feel their presence? You must be beyond angry not to notice those scary presences that are about to arrive.

It was then that the man paid attention to such a thing, however, it was too late.

"I can tell from a glance that you are a sinner!"

Standing, or rather, floating in the air, a female figure declared. She has blue eyes and green hair that is longer on the right side. She wears a dark blue, black, and white dress with gold decorations and one ribbon on both sleeves, one her head she wears a blue and white hat with a gold emblem in front and a red and white bow on the back, the emblem and bow are balanced equally. There seems to be a pattern on her uniform that seems balanced and she carries a long rod in her hands.

"<Last Judgement>"

Raising her rod, the female figure swung it down from her high position. The attack that followed was something that many could not forget from that day onwards. A pillar of light descended and engulfed the man, after the attack ended, there was nothing from that man left.

"Finally, he would make us fight bitterly for another hour or so, but everything worked out in the end." Nora sighed.

"(You have one hell of a luck, if you didn't have the magatama, Tamamo would've been captured... Hmm, getting rescued does not sound that bad.)"

A certain female voice coming from Nora made many people turn their eyes at him.

"Amazing, so many people want my autograph!" Nora jested.

"(I think they want something from you, but an autograph is not what they seek...)" Tamamo retorted.

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3rd Person POV

In an unknown location, a certain young woman arrived and was soon surrounded by a group of young women, they were all wearing hoods and cloaks so their figures were hidden.

"I have returned... I take it that you all saw what I saw, after taking a look at the recording I left here before giving back the coffin." The young woman muttered.

"Indeed, it was quite the spectacle. However, didn't you get in trouble for leaving that man to get killed?"

One of the figures asked.

"After I told them what he did, and knowing what the effects of the seeds have, they turned a blind eye to my actions. I guess that my success was the reason." The young woman shrugged her shoulders.

"However, as we expected, the magatama stopped Hunger from taking Tamamo no Mae, he only absorbed most of her strength."

Another figure muttered in concern.

"They planned to use a curse of madness on her so her personality or ego was just something that would get in their way. I reckon that they were delighted that I helped them to solve that issue." The young woman, Lina, commented. "They even rewarded me with these..."

Like it was her duty to do so in this way, Lina took out a ring from her breasts. It caused one of the figures to touch her chest and sigh.

"Oh, a ring of vengeance. To give back a critical wound to the attacker, it is almost at the level of a weak sacred gear."

A knowledgeable figure said.

"This one returns about 50% of the damage, or so they bragged." Lina mumbled.

"Everyone, do not get distracted. There are still a couple of issues to discuss."

Turning her attention to the figure that spoke, Lina awaited for the issues to be mentioned.

"The people we worked with will not let the opportunity to catch Tamamo no Mae just slip off. She is now vulnerable so they could use these changes to get her... And harm could come to that young man."

In a worried tone, a figure expressed her opinion.

"It is the result of his actions... there is nothing we can do, he should've expected this when he made the magatama to be delivered to him." Lina spoke. "Besides, thanks to our attacks on the different mythos, we are short-staffed, they will not allow us to move freely for a while so intervening is impossible."

"I am sure everything will work out, the guts he showed in the fight are amazing, he just has to muster more guts and he can overcome any challenge."

Using a cheerful tone, one figure muttered.

That earned her a few wry smiles and a few chuckles.

"If it is possible, I shall personally go, it is my responsibility." Lina said. "He might not join our efforts thanks to our meddling so my help will leave a good impression."

"That would be for the best, but the greater issue is about Hunter's actions. I did not expect it to willingly do that..."

Another figure commented in disbelief.

"I am curious about that as well, its sanity should've been long corroded by its needs to feed itself. Normally, you would get your arm bitten off if he did what he did to someone else." Lina furrowed her eyebrows.

"He got that too soon... he might get in trouble because of it before it was planned. However, it will take a while before it shows itself."

Shrugging her shoulders, Lina had no answer to that.

"It could not be helped, his nature is difficult to grasp. Even if we spent days studying him, we would never be able to be ready for his strange actions." Lina smiled wryly. "Perhaps he simply got liked by Hunger?"

Her remark did not get positive feedback since they knew what the identity of Hunger was.

"Showing our face might make it hard for us to move in the future..."

A figure muttered, changing the subject.

"If someone else other than me was given the mission to get Tamamo, they wouldn't have allowed her to remain at his side. The worse case would've been that he was killed and that is unthinkable. I did my job, everything for our ideals, isn't that right?" Lina concluded. "My dear sisters..."

"Yes, our ideals!"

All the figures agreed to it.

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Author's Notes

Well then, a lot of happened and you might be confused so ask any question you might have.

I did a lot of info dumps instead of fighting, I also limited Nora's strength despite giving him so much of it. However, do keep in mind how dangerous would be if Nora began carelessly throwing spells without being capable of controlling the output. For that matter, Tamamo worked hard to avoid a situation of friendly fire. Well, that is my humble idea.

Anyways, this is it for this time chapter, I hope you enjoyed it.

Kind of down theses days so I am glad I managed to finish the chapter despite feeling like no writing.

Gotta say, lately I have such a luck, I write at night and there are blackouts during those times so if my phone is not charged fully... Heh.

Just my luck...

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