Ohara had managed to make it back to the Soga Forest after escaping from her close shave with death. She stopped by the shores of the swamp, breathing heavily. Surrounded by dark green reeds, the surface of the water rippled, reflecting parts of the dilapidated old manor here and there. The deep wound on her arm where she had been sliced by the sword of Hi-no-Kagutsuchi was exposed. Mysteriously enough, very little blood flowed from it.
Ohara did not have any intention of returning to Isma. But there was something in the Soga Forest that calmed her demonic soul. Sitting down on the trunk of a fallen larch tree, she whispered to herself.
I meant to get revenge, but in the end I didn't even manage to kill the one who killed Loki...
Something hot welled up in Ohara's eyes, and her bronze cheeks became moist. The night breeze cooled her well-formed face, gently wiping her tears off.
The white visage of a girl entered Ohara's field of vision.
It might have been the fact that only hatred had kept Ohara going that caused her to notice that Yumiko had half-unintentionally followed her after running out of Nakajima's house.
You just killed my mom...
Nakajima's voice still echoed in Yumiko's ears. As if trying to shake free from it, Yumiko slowly raised her hand, glaring at Ohara with tear-filled eyes. The psychic power bestowed upon her by Izanami would surely finish her off in a single attack.
But Yumiko hesitated.
Ohara-sensei is also a victim here. Nakajima's mother surely was also possessed by a demon. And I...
"Heh, heh, heh." As if she had read Yumiko's mind, Ohara sniffed her bloody fingers, suppressing a giggle.
"Foolish sympathy will destroy you. Have a look at my fingers! Some of your family's blood still on them!"
"Stop it!" Crying out, Yumiko closed her eyes and swung her hand.
Tollowing the arc of that hand, Ohara's chest was rent open. A spray of her blood drenched the surrounding area. Yumiko unconsciously ran over and pulled up Ohara's broken body, almost coiled around the larch log. In a brief moment, all traces of scales disappeared from her face. Her ghostly white lips quivered, trying to say something.
But Yumiko could not hear whatever it was she was trying to say. Tears rolled off her cheeks and onto Ohara's face. All of a sudden, there was a rumbling roar from the shores of the swamp, and the entire area was steeped in miasma.