Chapter 49 – An Ordinary Onmyoji Who Gets Caught Up
The big incident at the hospital that started calmly and ended quietly.
At the same time, a man bounced up the covers in his bedroom in the middle of the night and was instantly awakened without having time to fall back asleep.
After tapping his confused head and sorting out the current situation, the man immediately began to react.
“Hello, my name is Ichisato of ■□ city, XX prefecture. The warding of □△ Hospital in the same city has been breached. Threat level is estimated to be more than 3 and less than 4. Probably murder type. Please dispatch a neighborhood Onmyoji immediately. Onmyoji registration number is ………”
First, contact the Onmyoji Agency’s Emergency E-Yōkai Y Countermeasures Section C and ask them to dispatch an Onmyoji to the site.
When there is a clear occurrence of Yōkai, as in this case, the Onmyoji who senses it is obliged to report it.
“Damn, of all places it occurred in my section.”
Ichisato gently tossed the phone away with a click of his tongue.
His heart wanted to smash it as hard as he could, but his conscience held him back in the name of repair costs.
He was finally becoming well-known, and he did not want to waste his money.
Instead, he heads into the living room, roughly tugs on the light cord, and begins to change into the clothes that are still hanging on the indoor clothesline.
“Keys, and my phone is …… Oh, shit.”
He returned to his bedroom and shoved the essential modern equipment into his pocket.
With a long coat over his Onmyoji costume, he is ready to go.
He gets into his car and drives down the night road, relying on the shining headlights.
“Oh, damn. What a bunch of crap.”
Ichisato, who had been occupying the roadway, proceeded this far without stopping even once, but was caught at a red light just as he was about to arrive at his destination.
He turned his irrational anger toward the light, wondering why it was not a green light.
He calmed down his anger and stepped on the accelerator pedal as soon as the light turned green.
When he arrived at the location, there were already three Onmyoji gathered there.
Two of them were his acquaintances, but the other one was a face he did not see very often.
Although he remembers greeting him at the gatherings, …….
“Sorry for the delay. I’m Ichisato, in charge of □△Hospital.”
“Thank you for your hard work, Ichisato-san. We also have just arrived.”
“I apologize for the inconvenience caused by my incompetence this time–”
“We don’t have time for pleasantries. Tell us the location of the occurrence.”
Ichisato’s apology was interrupted by the only man in the room whom he did not know very well.
He appeared to be a little older than Ichisato, but the wrinkles between his eyebrows and the tired look on his face made him look much older.
The man seemed to be in a great hurry and returned to a state of meditation the moment after he spoke up.
“I’m sorry about my companion. There’s a person related to him in this hospital.”
The man tapped him on the shoulder in a familiar manner.
Normally, he would be annoyed by such a friendly tap on the shoulder, but not if it was given by someone he respects.
“I am also very sorry for the inconvenience caused to the Tonobe family. However, isn’t the Tonobe family outside the scope of my dispatch request?”
The Tonobe family is well known among the families in the area because they have inherited the art of warding.
They are a family with a long history and a good track record, boasting a level of skill that is superior to that of ordinary warding techniques, and are even entrusted work by the Prefectural Government.
This is exactly the kind of Onmyoji that Ichisato aspires to be.
“This guy woke me up. So, I followed him. He said, ‘Something troublesome may be happening,’ so I came over and found out that Yōkai had really appeared.”
According to Tonobe-san, the man accompanying him is the head of the Kyobe family, though that name didn’t ring a bell with Ichisato.
He probably belongs to another organization, not the Kanto Onmyoji Association.
He wondered what kind of connection he had with the Tonobe family, but now was not the time to ask that question.
Although the way he said it was rather upsetting, Kyobe’s point was valid.
They must locate the Yōkai as soon as possible, and the four of them must exterminate it before the number of victims increases.
Even now, the number of victims is probably increasing.
The Kyobe-san who was meditating was in the process of activating ten small summoning formations.
That alone indicates that he is a user of the summoning techniques and that he is sending the Shikigami into the hospital.
Since he is doing the reconnaissance on Ichisato’s behalf, the latter cannot help himself but to bow his head.
“The wards were broken above the mortuary. The fact that it was destroyed in an instant suggests that it is a murder type. My warding can resist up to a Threat Level 3 for a while, so taking into account the fact that no miasma has been detected, I would say it is below 4.”
In an effort to share the information as quickly as possible, Ichisato quickly relayed all the information he had.
One of his acquainted Onmyoji wrote down the main points, tapped the meditating Kyobe on the shoulder, and displayed the information to him.
Then all the Shikigami began to move closer to the mortuary.
Ichisato could not see them, but if he could see them, he would understand why there is a relationship between the Kyobe and Tonobe families.
When Yōkai intrude into a building, it is essential to know the location of them beforehand.
If the Threat Level is a 2 or 3, it does not matter, but if it is a 4, there is a high risk of death caused by a surprise attack when they first encounter the enemy.
As soon as Ichisato pulled out a reconnaissance talisman from his pocket, he was approached by Tonobe-san, who then said, “I would like to do some reconnaissance myself.”
“Hey, just to be sure, did you really sense a Yōkai?”
“……?……Yes, I’m sure. My wards were destroyed.”
“That’s something I can confirm, too. But you know, I don’t smell any kind of Yōkai whatsoever.”
Onmyoji require other talents in addition to spiritual power.
One of them is spiritual sense.
It is the ability with which one can see, hear, and detect signs and traces of Yōkai , or in many other ways anyway, the ability to perceive spiritual entities.
The level of talent and the method of sensing varies from person to person, and Tonobe-san is said to be able to detect the presence of Yōkai not only by sight, but also by smell.
Even if they are out of sight, he can detect the enemy ahead of time through smell. For Onmyoji who make their living fighting, the stronger the spiritual sense, the better.
“The smell is too weak for a 4 to be there. But the wards have certainly been destroyed. So, it is possible that it moved somewhere else.”
Upon hearing Tonobe’s guess, one of Ichisato’s acquaintances disagrees.
“That’s just not possible. It’s not likely that he would leave his vulnerable hospitalized prey and go somewhere else.”
“Normally, yes, but I don’t think it’s in this hospital. …… It’s a murder type, right? If the Yōkai hasn’t appeared after all this searching, I can only assume it maybe left or didn’t appear at all.”
If it were a Threat Level 4 murder type, it would no doubt be rampaging with gusto.
It would be fulfilling its murderous urges by slaughtering hospitalized patients who are unable to put up a fight.
However, the Tsuyoshi’s Shikigami have not been able to find even a trace of any Yōkai, let alone the scent of blood.
It has already been more than 20 minutes since the reconnaissance began and the presence of the Yōkai is becoming questionable at this point.
“I can’t find it anywhere. So, the information you just gave me is correct.”
“Huh? Even though I was sleeping, no Onmyoji would be unaware that the wards he had established had been broken!”
Ichisato couldn’t help but raise his voice.
The hospital assignment that resulted in the breach of his warding was a major challenge that he had to overcome.
The requester is a famous local hospital. Since patients suffering from diseases gather here, it is easy for impurities to accumulate.
It was a request that was a step above his ability, but if he did well here, it would be an impressive achievement, and the requests he would receive in the future would be better suited for his abilities.
When this request was presented to him, he saw it as an opportunity. It was a great chance to spread the name of the Ichisato family, which had not made a big name for itself in the past. Even if he knew that the hospital was looking for a cheaper Onmyoji with a lower rating in order to save money.
He got all the expensive tools he needed, which were a little more than a foot out of his budget, he performed the most exquisite ceremonies handed down in the Ichisato family, and he created the best warding he could currently construct.
Without a doubt, it was a masterpiece that was second to none compared to his predecessors.
The alarm function in case of destruction was definitely incorporated as well.
Being denied of such a masterpiece would hurt anyone’s pride, even though he is just a novice.
“I see. ……”
Receiving a strong criticism, Tsuyoshi sunk into his thoughts.
Then, Ichisato received a call on his phone.
[“This is the Emergency E-Yōkai Countermeasures Division. Is this the number belonging to Ichisato-sama?”]
“Yes, this is Ichisato. I have arrived at the scene.”
[“After receiving Ichisato-sama’s report, the Divination Team conducted an investigation, but there was no Yōkai activity detected in the neighborhood. Is the report you just made a few moments ago a false one?”]
Ichisato could not understand what he was told.
The Yōkai that should have definitely appeared was not here?
This couldn’t be true.
The talismans that had been placed at the main gate so as not to be seen by anyone had burned out, and there was a sense of ward obliteration that was strong enough to break his deep sleep.
It is impossible for Yōkai to not have come here.
The wards were not so fragile that someone could easily break them just to harass him, and there was no artificial cause that he could think of.
For better or worse, the Ichisato family is a no-name household.
“There is no doubt. A Yōkai has emerged. It must have left. …… and it’s ……. …….”
But this is where his confidence wavered.
The Onmyojutsu’s Divination Team never misread anything.
Moreover, when they receive a notification and limit the scope of their search, their accuracy is amazing.
That Divination Team said, “There are no Yōkai here”.
If there is no evidence that Yōkai have relocated to the vicinity, it is quite natural to conclude that Yōkai have never appeared here in the first place.
Ichisato, who had expected to have to risk his life to clean up his own mess, was relieved that he did not have to fight a Threat Level 4 murder type.
At the same time, he was also worried about what will happen to him after this.