Forest Of Drizzling Rain

(Kuchiba Tsumugi) - (Sanada Makoto) - 朽葉つむぎ - 真田まこと

Volume 1 Chapter 1 Part4

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That day, that time.

At the exact moment Suga was being forced into making a promise with the Kotori Obake, Shiori appeared. Shiori was a daughter of the family of "Ogami-san." Though she definitely knew the folk tales about the forest, this would definitely still be her first time actually meeting the Kotori Obake. Even so, the minute she recognized Suga, without fear she stood between the two.

"What are you doing?! Sugkun, we have to run!"

Of course, the Kotori Obake wouldn't let them go. Floating in the air with her disheveled hair, she smoothly closed in on Shiori. With an impact, the voice resounded through their heads, saying "You can't run from the promise."

Raising his head, Suga saw Shiori spreading her arms and shielding him from the Kotori Obake.

"Please. Please save Sugkun…"

"There is no way to run from the promise."

"Please. I, I  made a promise. To protect Sugkun. So…..!"

"I won't let you run from the promise!"

It seemed like there was no room for negotiation. Even so, Shiori bravely lifted her face.

"Then… then… I'll make the promise!"

Suga couldn't believe his ears. No way, why?!

This scene was reminiscent of the times she had protected him from the bullies. Reckless Shiori, saying such things without thought, that was why she had an endless stream of injuries.

"….. N, no…. No!!! You can't!!"

Using this moment, Suga clung to Shiori in a panic.

But Shiori flung him off. Shiori spoke to Suga, who had fallen flat on his behind.

"But, this…. is too sad….. I know that Sugkun, you were left all alone, and were lonely. But, even so, I don't want Sugkun to disappear! Besides, I, I made a promise that I would protect Sugkun!"

Shiori grinned broadly. Chest puffed out triumphantly.

"…Shi-chan…. But, but, that's…..!"

She certainly had made him that promise. But that wasn't supposed to be for such a life-or-death situation.

But the Kotori Obake did not give Shiori the time for persuasion.

Instead, something much more cruel.

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"Then, a promise with you"

That's mean. Suga's face was drenched with both the drizzle and tears. He felt as though he had fallen into bottomless pit. He didn't want this. Absolutely did not!

"….Then, I'll do anything, so please don't take Shi-chan away right now….!"

He was desperate. He didn't know what else to say. It was frustrating that no other words would come to mind. And then, as if some kind of miracle had occurred, the Kotori Obake said,

"—  Then, I'll make you a promise. In exchange, compensation"

In that pallid face, another grin appeared on those bluish lips.

"Your face, your feet, your arms, your gut, all of it smells of something I hate. —-Therefore, the compensation you shall pay, is the voice that leaks from your lips, your whispers, all that resounds."

The Kotori Obake reached out her arms towards Suga. With her palms facing up, she seemed as though she were making some kind of signal, but all that she seemed to do was bend her fingers. Even so, in front of Suga a shining orb appeared and spun into the air, straight into the hands of the Kotori Obake.

"….What was that? …..Sugkun, are you okay?!"

Shiori asked as if clinging to his words. But Suga couldn't answer. It wasn't that he couldn't find the words to say; though he tried to say he was fine, all that came from his throat was air that didn't form any sound. It seemed that he really was unable to use his voice anymore.

"The promise will be fulfilled"

With loud laughter echoing, the Kotori Obake said,

"You two can no longer run from the promise!"

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