Kakugyouki, the Mystical Investigator had said, naming himself Hishamaru. Harutora had impressions of those two names, and he remembered that they had indeed been two especially famous ones among Yakou's shikigami, but why would Yakou's shikigami be here? His mind was befuddled and his gaze stared intently at the oni before him, unable to move.
"R, Really? Is that the real Kakugyouki? No way!?"
"Shut up, Tenma, how would I know whether it's real or not!"
Kyouko reprimanded Tenma who had sunk into a panic by the side, but her internal shock was clearly audible from her angry voice. She only reprimanded others to force herself to stay stable.
Touji's gaze was solemn, and he asked of Natsume who was lying in the arena: "Natsume! Can you tell?"
But Natsume, who was collapsed on the ground and had a close look at the strange figure, couldn't reply to Touji's question for some time. Her mind was close to paralyzed, and all she could see by looking up from her position was Kakugyouki's overwhelming, gigantic bulk.
She squeezed out the words "I don't know......", her gaze still lingering on the oni before her.
"I don't know, Kakugyouki is a servant shikigami, which is a materialized spirit! Moreover, it was an ancient 'demon' that lived for several centuries - rumored to be a true oni. Going by those sayings, its exterior could have changed significantly...... E, Except for the spiritual characteristic of its single arm......"
The Mystical Investigator couldn't help but snicker upon hearing Natsume's explanation. Natsume could 'see' the link of spiritual power between the Mystical Investigator and the oni, and this oni - Kakugyouki - was surely his shikigami that he used.
"I materialized, yet you show no signs of awakening......"
"How troublesome, Natsume-kun. It seems like this will take some time."
The Mystical Investigator let out two kinds of voices one after another with an entranced look, two obviously different voices.
"What's going on? The whereabouts of Hishamaru and Kakugyouki were lost after Yakou died, and they're still unknown even today! What are you playing at?"
"I do not intend to answer the question you ask, my King."
"It's alright, Kakugyouki - the situation is very simple, Natsume-kun. As Yakou has reincarnated into your body, I am Hishamaru's reincarnation, and that is why Kakugyouki is beside me. We have always been gathering comrades, waiting for our master to awaken."
The Mystical Investigator was in a trance, speaking for both Kakugyouki - the oni before them - and the reincarnated Hishamaru - himself - at the same time. Natsume unconsciously stared dumbfounded.
"......This, how can such a stupid thing......"
"That won't do, King. Reality is laid out before you, it is undeniable."
"Hishamaru, enough talking, let's get that brat first."
A sadistic smile floated onto the Mystical Investigator's mouth, like a cat torturing mice.
At the same time Kakugyouki took action.
Its target was - Harutora.
Kakugyouki's body was gigantic, and it was hard to imagine that its movements were quite swift. Its fist closed the distance in moments, swinging towards the spectator seats - right underneath the railing Harutora stood on.
The patterns on the wall flashed intensely, and the originally colorless and transparent barrier flared in countless sparks, the air shaking violently. The National First-Class barrier's shape distorted, creaking.
Even so, the magic practice field barrier that was the pride of the Onmyou Academy did not break, but it was unable to block the intense physical shock. Harutora who stood above it lost his footing due to the shaking magic practice field and tumbled down.
Harutora fell into the arena from the railing. The arena was specially set to not react towards humans out of safety considerations.
Natsume shrieked in surprise as she saw Harutora fall, and Kyouko and Tenma also screamed out. Touji cursed, quickly running towards the front of the spectator seats.
Kon hurriedly chased after Harutora in fright and slammed into the barrier as a result. Touji who was rushing forward grabbed Kon by her tail, roaring: "Go around from the back entrance!" and then threw her out.
Kon frantically took advantage of that time to leave the spectator seats, and seeing this, Kyouko also had Hakuou and Kokfuu quickly leave and chase after Kon.
The shikigami could still be controlled from outside the arena barrier after they entered the area. She hadn't actually considered what actions the shikigami and Kon could take after they entered the arena, since even now her mind was still blank.
Tenma ran to the front of the spectator seats along with Touji.
Kyouko also hurried after them.
"Hey, are you alright!?"
Harutora heard the voices calling out to him from above. He endured the pain from the fall, standing up in the arena.
He was right by Kakugyouki's feet.
Kakugyouki kicked out with its right leg, sweeping towards Harutora and leaving him with nowhere to hide. He hastily dodged and blocked with the shakujou, but it wasn't certain whether that move would actually be effective. Before he noticed, he was flying backwards in midair like he had been hit by a car.