Chapter 1

 New project! If there are many readers, I might consider continuing.

  It was the night of the full moon.
The big blue-white round moon was shining faintly on the snow-covered mountains of the northern country covered with forests.





 Numerous shadows emerged from the dense forest.
They stand in masked figures dressed in special black clothes that have been carefully washed and clean of odors.


 One of them was me (ore).




 We exchange information with each other by hand signals.
And then…
the black shadows all scatter at once.
Through the darkness of night.


 That's right, we're black shadows running through the forest.
We didn't speak.
We were silent, not making a sound with our footsteps, not even breathing hard by using a special breathing technique.
But we were running through the unpaved path as if we were top athletes.




 However, one of our companions in the lead noticed something and signaled with a hand signal.
At the same time, we stopped running and hid in the shadows.
And then we peek out from the shadows of the trees.
From there, we see something huge.




 Of course, I hide in the shadow of a big tree and slowly peer into the shadow of 'it'.
At the same time, I gasp.


 After all, the moonlight reveals its figure.
Its total length could be ten meters.
It was a huge wolf covered in silvery white fur, which roared.


 …Obviously, it was not a creature of nature.
No matter how I look at it, there is no way a wolf could have grown to this size on Earth.
No, that's not the point.
I didn't need to bother with such logic to know.
Because at first glance…
it was something unworldly to me.


 After all, it was visible to me.
A black ghastly light flooded out of its body.
Did those foreigners (Gaijin) call it a 'specter (Youki/妖気)'? To wear such an ominous, nauseating presence meant that the creature before us was not a mere creature, but a being out of the world's order…
a 'youkai'.


 (D*mn!!! It's different from the original information…! No matter how you look at it, it's not a medium youkai! It's a great youkai!)


 I resist the urge to click my tongue at the clumsy work of those hiding in the dark.
Because the moment I click my tongue, that youkai will surely sense our location and attack us.
Although the distance between us and the target may be 30 meters, the “Great Youkai” will certainly hear the sound from that distance.
Their five senses were out of the range of us humans, or even wild beasts.




 I touch the charm around my neck.
I knew that it had no magical effect because I had checked it just in case.
But since it was given to me by that power gorilla princess who had nothing but mines, I couldn't help not wearing it…
Though it was annoying, I might as well have asked for a really effective charm.


 (Bad luck…
or maybe it was a set-up…?)


 That's a possibility.
After all, it's that d*mn family.
It's not surprising from what they have done to the main character in the original story.
Even the main character with a good family was treated like that.
And if it were me, a man of low status, I'd be treated like this…


 (If that's the case, I feel bad for my friends)


 It is not that there is a special friendship among the servants who accompany me.
Because as seen in the original story, we servants are trained to kill our hearts and fight cold-heartedly, like machines.
Even if we are not set up, we do not know many people because we are worn out.
In fact, only one in three of my acquaintances is still alive today.


 But that doesn't change the fact that they were involved in this because of me.




 The leader of the front-row squad of underlings gives a new command with a hand signal.
We each draw our weapons accordingly.
Swords, bows and arrows, spears…
they were coated with charcoal to prevent them from reflecting the moonlight, and with herbs to prevent them from smelling of metal and blood.
And on top of that, there was an odorless, tasteless, and deleterious poison.


 These were all for the monsters in front of us.
If it was a medium youkai, we could fool it with this…
but since this was the first time we were dealing with a great youkai, it was hard to say whether we could go on like this or not.
Even if we couldn't, we had to do it.
By the way, the weapon in my hand is a spear.


 The other squads should already surround the monster.
With four squads of about five servants per squad, this should be enough against a medium youkai…
but it won't be enough to destroy it if the youkai is strong.





 The youkai suddenly roared, and before we could even realize it, we were hit by a terrible blow.
I feel a pain in my head like I've been hit in the head with a blunt object, and my vision spins around and my consciousness becomes blurred.


d*mn it! I can't pass out here…!”


 I force myself to wake up from my fading consciousness and roll over to regain my position.
I knew very well that if I lost consciousness in such a place, I would die.


 ”D*mn it…
It hurts so much…
and that was just one hit…?”


 I stood up and bit my lip at the horror of my surroundings.
Everyone in the squad except me was dead.
They were so miserable that they hardly retained their human forms.
It was probably a blow from the tail of that big wolf.
That terrible blow blew away every tree and rock that hid us.


 And those who came in direct contact with the tail had their upper bodies shredded to pieces, and those who avoided the direct hit had their bodies torn to shreds by the stones and pieces of wood that flew at high speed.
The fact that I survived is a miracle.
It seemed that I was just blown away by the strong wind.
Well, it seems that the gust of wind knocked me to the ground and dislocated my left shoulder.


The surprise attack failed…!”


 I let go of my spear and desperately retreat as the three remaining servants fight against the wolf monster.
For the record, this is not an attempt to flee before the enemy.
A servant whose shoulder is dislocated and whose squad is destroyed will only slow down the others if he rushes into the midst of them.


 So, I observe the battle from a distance in the shadow of a big tree.
The servants who had survived had already lost nearly half their number.
Bows and arrows and sword blows are stopped by its hairs, which was hard as steel, and any kind of spirit or onmyou jutsu is instantly neutralized by its powerful spirit power.
There is literally nothing to do.
The servants, in their own way, are supposed to behave inhumanly, but they are still nothing compared to the irrational violence wielded by the youkai.
One by one, the servants were killed.
Still, they do not run away but fight.
No, they have to fight.
There is no way out for them.
They have no choice.


d*mn you!! Sh*t!!”


 I slam my left shoulder into a tree trunk.
With a gruesome thud, I'm forced into the shoulder, crouching in pain, but soon I'm back on my feet, bracing myself for the pain.
There is no escape anyway, so I can't just sit here and let the pain pass me by.
The more time I waste, the fewer allies I have, and the less chance I have of surviving.


I have to do it…
yeah, I have to do it.
You son of a b*tch…”


 I stood up after saying those words, but I couldn't formulate any more words.
Because despair was in front of my eyes.




 A roaring wolf looked down at me with red eyes.
In its mouth was my fellow servant, covered in blood and with his right hand bent in the wrong direction.
His mask was half broken, and he was breathing hard and spitting blood out of his mouth.
Who was it? Was it Yahiro of the Kawachi group?


Tomobe (伴部), huh? P-Please! Help me…


 Yahiro pleaded with me as he looked me in the eye.
But it was no use.
Not because I wasn't going to help him.
It was because there was no time to help him in the first place.



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