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When autumn came, tourists who set their sight on the autumn colors would surge into this famous place. They would admired the trees that were changing color to red while strolling the outskirt of the scenic former capital. It was that kind of place.
And then right now the season was none other than autumn.
But, there was still around half a month until the autumn colors were entering the crucial moment.
It was quite the delicate period of time. Although, it was a tourist attraction by nature even without that, so today too Arashiyama was crowded with a great number of outsiders.
The headquarters of Japan's Institute of Divinities here was different.
There wasn't even a single noisy outsider here. It was tranquil to the utmost.
It was a temple that possessed beautiful Japanese garden. It was designated as a world heritage and it wouldn't be strange at all if the place was crowded with the ill-mannered tourists. And yet.
The organization that protected Japan with sorcery.
That was the Institution of Divinities.
In that case naturally it was a child's play for them to lay out something like a magic barrier. It worked on the subconscious of people who weren't aware of the Institution of Divinities' existence and directed their footstep toward another direction…….
And then, in a corner of this tranquil ancient temple.
The old men were discussing.
「They young head of Toba main house……Riona was it?」
「It seems she was playing around overseas for nearly half a month before she finally returned back.」
「Outrageous! As a member of this august body that safeguard the land of gods Japan, there is a limit in even being lacking of self-awareness! As expected she is just a woman after all!」
「However, as expected that girl is the greatest expert of our country.」
「Furthermore it's to the degree that other cannot even come close at all to her. With that as the case, we will have to tolerate some of her selfishness. It's an irritating matter but……」
「This is where I wish we can take that impertinent girl down a peg.」
Within the voices of only people of advanced ages or past middle-aged, the voice of a still youthful young man was raised.
「The Toba girl is certainly someone who can use the divine power of Yatagarasu to a great degree. However, she cannot hope to even use it freely without the permission granted by her 『master』──an incomplete being. If we take advantage of that, then "punishment" can be levied on her as many as we likes.」
「That's certainly possible, elder Kumano-dono.」
「But still. Dangerous mysteries including the space distortion are currently spreading even into our country. In order to safeguard the land of gods Japan too, the existence of Yatagarasu is necessary even now. In that case, hurting that girl's humor just for a mischief should be avoided……」
「Of course, it will be a different story if you can become a replacement Yatagarasu though?」
「That's right. After all is said and done all of you the crow folk of Kumano are also descended from the lineage of Yatagarasu──its legitimate successor after all.」
「Hahaha. Stop that. Can't you see that you all are troubling the young man.」
The old men that were the authorities of the Institution of Divinities were starting to laugh together.
It sounded like a tasteful joke. It also sounded like a scornful laugh toward 『elder Kumano』 who couldn't use the miracle of Yatagarasu no matter how much he wished for it.
The young man was at a loss for words from being exposed to this treatment that was a kind of bullying.
He was at the latter half of his twenties──the only young person in this place. He was wearing a priest attire that consisted of a hakama and a white robe, an appearance that was a little unbecoming for the headquarter of the Institution of Divinities that was a temple after a fashion.
He clenched his fist strongly and held down the feeling humiliation while making an ingratiating smile.
「Even though us the crow folk of Kumano don't have Yatagarasu, we have this.」
What was presented on the tatami of the Japanese room was a purple small silk wrapper.
It was opened and the content exposed. It was a white stone that looked similar with limestone.
But, as expected from the old men who were gathered at the headquarters of the Institution of Divinities. Everyone immediately sensed it. The ardent surge of mystic force that this stone started to emit──.
「It seems to possess a significant history behind it……」
「It's not just a simple magical rock or magical tool. Could it be an item that is related to a god somewhere……?」
「Yes. This is the sacred treasure that us crow folk of Kumano had concealed for many years, the Thousand Pulling Stone. Perhaps this is what they called strange coincidence, recently its divine power is increasing by leaps and bounds, and right now it's not at all inferior even compared to that Toba girl──」
「But, it's meaningless if it cannot be used you know?」
When one of the old men asked that, Asukai Takeru grinned.
The eldest son of Asukai House. The young head who was leading the crow folk of Kumano. A person who harbored a dark feeling toward Toba Riona who was the incarnation of the sacred bird Yatagarasu──.
「Please don't worry. Us the sorcerer of Kumano has poured all our efforts and discovered the method to control this sacred treasure.」
The sign of scheming was squirming in a corner of the former capital Kyoto.
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