fact, I've seen many such children in my village.
No, more than that…


 ”…? What? Don't just stand there staring at me for a long time.”


 The beautiful dark-haired girl looked at me with rough words and an annoyed expression on her face, but she was wearing a kimono that was heavily disheveled, and she did not put her hair up in a bun or comb her hair.
And from her eyes, I could see a clear hostility.
But I realized…


 ”I'm sorry, I just thought you were so cute.”


 Well, since we were both only children in appearance, I would spit out such a blunt remark and throw it away without a second thought.
However, the girl who has a low tolerance even in the game is surprised by such a single word, and she looks a little embarrassed and shy.
Behind her childish smile, I was thinking coldly, “She's a childish girl, isn't she?”


as the grown-up said before, I'm going to be your caretaker.
So, nice to meet you.
My name is…”


 At that moment, I must have been full of ideas.
Maybe I was filled with resentment from the hard life I'd led.
So I approached her without thinking twice, hoping to get a taste of her sweet juices.


 But, it was a big mistake.
I should not have made such an unprofessional and uncharacteristically greedy move.
Seriously, it was a terrible and irreversible mistake…




 ”Oh? You're awake? Should I say good morning? Oops…?”


 I woke up from a bad dream, and almost on reflex, I thrust my spear into the demon that was looking into my face.
Of course, the demon avoids it by a hair's breadth, as I should have expected.


 ”That's terrible.
Why should I get speared by a spear so soon after you wake up?”

 ”It's more than enough that you're a demon.
You used sleeping potions, didn't you?”


 I ask, looking back at my somewhat hazy memory.


You remembered? Well, well, you don't have to thank me, okay? You didn't even eat, so you must at least get some sleep to keep your strength up, okay?”


 I can't help but raise an eyebrow at the monster who says this so self-satisfiedly.
It would be far worse for my mental health to sleep unprotected in front of her.
Because it shouldn't be okay, should it? She should be eating me, right?


 I check my fingers, nose, ears, etc.
to make sure I haven't been “nibbled”, and the demon shrugs her shoulders.


 ”You're as careful as usual.
Why is it that you don't trust me?”

 ”Who would trust a demon?”


 I say this with a reproachful tone, and look up at the sky through the hole in the cave.
And it seems there's no fog.





 ”Well, I gave that one a kick yesterday to adjust the difficulty level.
Maybe that one still crouching in pain.”

 ”I knew it was you who made that sound and whispered at me during the battle yesterday.”


 That thunderous roar during the battle, followed by a sudden weakening of the fog, was this girl messing with me after all.


 (Still, the youkai is still alive after getting kicked by this girl? It seems we're dealing with a Great Youkai.
And the candidates for the owner of the fog are limited…)

 ”Well, at least that one didn't look like a person and didn't move well.
Rather, it was so slow that that one's minions had to carry it.”


 ”Hey, hey, don't doubt me, okay? Even a demon who is a liar doesn't lie all the time.”


 I look away from the monster, who is laughing and deceiving me, and narrow down the list.
Fortunately, I had read several books on Youkai from the gorilla princess on a whim, so the candidates came up immediately.


 ”Is that clam the best candidate?”


 If it had a body, used fog illusion, had no human form, and moved slowly, the most likely candidate was that monster.


 ”Shin/shen (蜃)”…
a giant clam, from which the word mirage is derived, is a monster that has been told down through the ages in the past lives, and in the game “Firefly of the Dark Night (Yamiyo no Hotaru)” it appears as a kind of Youkai.
In the original game, this big and powerful Youkai torments the main character by showing him hallucinations of his dead family members.


 I don't know if it is the same individual or not, but it is lucky anyway.
It's not that powerful in direct combat.
It's probably not that mature, judging from that fog yesterday.
And it must be very weak if it has been kicked once by the demon in front of me.


 (Given Kizuki Ayaka's character, even if it is a servant, like me, she would not leave me there if she is not sure that I am dead.
So there are some ways to defeat it.)


 In yesterday's battle, her movements lacked precision, probably due to nervousness.
I have accompanied her in her work several times, but at that time she was accompanied by another exorcist who was older than her…
Well, in the game, she had been indecisive, but now she was on her first solo mission, so it would be so.
Even with that in mind, this extermination will not be so tough.


 ”First, I'll join up with the others…

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