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Random Translation: Anata no Tenshoku wa 'Daiyoukai' Desu Chapter 2


Clephas

382 views

 

Spoiler

 

「やーい、お前のかーちゃん毒婦ぅ!」「何も言えねえ」②

(うご……動け! 動け! 動いてくれ! 今動かなきゃ……!!)

 迫る三者から逃げるべく足を動かそうとする。

 だが、動かない。

 見えない何かに縛り付けられているかのように身体が微動だにしないのだ。

(何これ!? 何だこれ!? 何か……何だろ、何かに包まれているような……)

 その時、威吹の瞳が何かを映す。

 それは半透明の巨大な尾だ。

 自分の全身に巻き付くモッフモフで艶のある毛並みをした巨大な尾。

 それが前方――もっと言うなら金髪の少女の後方から伸びて、巻き付いているのだ。

「あ゛」

 唖然とする。

 少女の後ろから更に二本の巨大な尾が出現し、こちらに近付いている二人を薙ぎ払ったのだ。

 ちなみに被害は男と翁の二人だけで周囲の建造物等が破壊された様子はない。

 どうやらあの半透明の尾、透過させるものを選んでいるようだ。

 などと現実逃避気味に考えていると、

「うぇ!?」

 少女はもう眼前に居た。

 魂ごと骨抜きにされてしまいそうな甘やかな笑みを浮かべ自分を見つめる少女。

 ゆっくりとその口が開かれていく。

(何だ、何を言うつもりだ? 何て切り出す気だ?)

 ド、ド、ドと激しく脈打つ鼓動。

(良いぜ、来いよ。かかって来いよ。こちとら天職大妖か――――)

 どんな発言が来ても大丈夫。

 冷静に切り返して、どうにかこの場を切り抜ける。

 そう決意していた威吹であったが、

「はじめまして威吹、お母さんだよ。千年前からあらゆる意味で愛してる」

 一瞬で打ち砕かれてしまう。

 発露された吐き気を催すほどに甘い感情。

 別段、鋭い方ではないが分かってしまう――”愛している”という言葉に嘘はない。

 ただ、問題は愛情の種類だ。

 母親であると名乗っておきながら”それ以外の愛情”も注いでいる、間違いない。

 恐ろしい、恐ろしい、たった一言でどんな愛情かが分かってしまうほどに、

 瞭然且つ濃密な感情を向けられていることがこの上なく恐ろしい。

 魔性にして化生。

 眼前の少女が根本的に人とは異なるのだと嫌が応にも思い知らされた。

「というわけで、はい。早速私は私のアピールポイントを述べようと思います」

 童女のように笑いながらぱちぱちと手を叩く少女(自称母)。

「――――好きなんでしょ? こういう女の子が」

 表情が一変。

 童女の無垢な笑顔は嘘のように消え去り”裂ける”ような魔の微笑が浮かぶ。

「私は知っている」「私は知っている」「私は知っている」「私は知っている」

「私は知っている」「私は知っている」「私は知っている」「私は知っている」

 たった一言が何度も何度も頭の奥で反響し続ける。

「全知ならずとも、愛する殿方が求むるものを私は何でも知っている」

 白く細い指先に顎を撫でられる。

「毒婦だの阿婆擦れだの傾国の女だの、余人は好きに言うけれど。

でも嗚呼、これだけは言える。私に惚れた殿方は無惨な終わりを迎えるその時まで。

いいえ、迎えても私に心奪われたことを後悔はしていない。

だって私ほど男にとって”都合の良い女”は過去現在未来、どこを見渡しても存在しないのだから」

 はぁ、と吐き出された熱い吐息が耳を擽る。

「妻のように寄り添い、恋人のように繋がり、祖母のように甘やかし、

母のように受け止め、姉のように包み込み、妹のように甘え、娘のように慕う。

そんな都合の良い女をこそ殿方は求めている」

 赤い彗星でも、もっと謙虚だぞ。

 威吹はそう言いたくなったが、

(…………事実、なんだろうな)

 確信に満ちたその目を見れば分かる。

 この母を名乗る女狐は……ああ、もう目は逸らさない。

 間違いなく傾国の美女として悪名を馳せた九尾の狐だ。

 誰よりも男を知る彼女の言葉を否定出来るほどの言葉を自分は持ち合わせていない。

「何て情けないのかしら? 何て身勝手なのかしら? 何て――何て愛らしい欲望なのかしら」

 嘲りと慈しみが入り混じる恍惚とした表情と漂う甘い香気。

 毒気が強過ぎる。目を閉じ鼻を塞いでもクラクラする。

 それでも何とか踏み堪えながら威吹は自称母の言葉に耳を傾け続ける。

「その欲望を満たしてあげられるのは私だけ。

かつて三国を股にかけて淫蕩の限りを尽くした私にだから出来るの。

私ほど君を愛してあげられる女はいないよ? 全身全霊で愛するわ、だから威吹も私を愛してね?」

 チュ、と頬に口付けをされる。

 脳の奥が痺れるような感覚に翻弄されながらも、威吹はこう思った。

(コイツ…………何て……何て身勝手な女だ)

 精一杯あなたに尽くします。

 だから私のことも好きになってくれると嬉しいです。

 上っ面だけをなぞれば実に乙女らしいことを言っているように聞こえるだろう。

 だが、これはそんな可愛らしいものではない。

(押し付けがましいにもほどがある……!!)

 九尾の語った男が求める理想の女性像。

 それに一定の理があると威吹も認めた。

 しかし、それはあくまで自制心やプライドを根こそぎ剥ぎ取った男の本音がそうだろうというだけ。

 そして本音と言っても限りなく無意識に近いはずだ。

 でなくば世の男は本当にどうしようもない屑ばかりになってしまう。

(理性や矜持あってこその人間だろうが)

 だからそう、単純に胸が大きいやお尻が引き締まってるなんて好みはあるにせよだ。

 九尾が口にした妻のように寄り添い云々を素面の状態で求めている者はそう多くない。

 威吹だってそう。恋人を望んでいるわけでもないし、母や姉妹も望んじゃいない。

 むしろその手の欲求は減退していると言っても良いだろう。

 だが九尾はそんな事情などお構いなしだ。

 こういうのが好きなんだろ?

 と一方的に押し付けながら、浅ましくも愛してくれなどとのたまっている。

 身勝手極まる、押し付けがましいにもほどがあるだろう。

(でも真に性質が悪いのは……)

 身勝手を押し通し相手に受け入れさせてしまえるだけのものを持っていることだろう。

 それは視線一つで男の人生を狂わせられる人外魔性の魅力であったり、

 これまでに培った経験とそれに付随する観察眼や話術だったりなどがそうだ。

 この女に目をつけられたら只人に抗う術はない。堕落まで一直線だ。

(俺も今、かなりやばい)

 身勝手だと、押し付けがましいと分かっているのにだ。

 九尾の存在を不愉快なものだと思えない。

 むしろ、心地良さを感じているぐらいだ。

 だから必死に九尾のヤバさを自分に言い聞かせている。

 だがまあ、その結果は推して知るべし。

 風前の灯火よりも頼りない抵抗だ。

(いや、ホントはもう手遅れなんじゃないか?)

 自分はまだ正気なのか?

 この女に抗えていると思い込んでいるだけなんじゃないか?

 とうの昔に篭絡されて夢うつつの快楽に沈んでるんじゃないか?

 目の前の現実にさえ疑いを抱くレベルで正気度が削れていく威吹であったが……。

「やーめた」

 大きく息を吐き出す。

 正真正銘、年季が違うのだ。

 二十年も生きていない小僧に何が出来るのか。

 下手の考え休むに似たり。

 考えても疲れるだけなんだし、ホントに休んでしまえば良い。

 ケ・セラセラ。なるようになるだろと威吹はスッパリ開き直った。

「――……へえ」

 九尾がこれまでとは質の違う笑みを浮かべる。

 感心とそれを上回る忌々しさ、そして忌々しさを遥かに凌駕する恋情に満ちた笑みだ。

「さて、自称母さん。女としての魅力をアピる前にやることがあるんじゃない?」

 名前だ、まず名を名乗れ。

 向こうはこちらの名前を知っているようだがこちらは違う。

 九尾の狐だとあたりはつけているが、人の姿を取っているのならそれ用の名前もあるはずだ。

「何て呼べば良いんだ? 妲己? 褒ジ? 華陽夫人? 若藻? 玉藻前?」

「ンフフフ……ぶっぶー、ぜーんぶハーズレだよ♪」

 顔の前で人差し指をクロスし、バッテンを作る九尾。

 これでもかというぐらいにあざとい仕草。

 明らかに作っているのに、えげつないほど自然に感じてしまう。

 この領域に達することが出来ねば傾国など夢のまた夢なのだろう。

「だってそれは他の男を愛した女の名前でしょう?

もう二度と使われることはない藁屑のような意味のない記号だわ。

千年前から、そしてこれから虚無の果てまで愛し続けていく君に名乗る名前としては適格じゃない」

 今この場で名乗る名前は君の、君のためだけのものでなければいけない。

 耳元でそう囁く彼女に背筋をざわつかせながらも威吹は先を促す。

「ンフフフ、せっかちね。でも良いわ。ええ、私だって早く名乗りたいしね。

千年前からずっとずっと考え続けて、最近――と言っても六年前にようやく決まった名前」

 すっ、と距離を取りクルリと背を向け、

 横顔だけを見せつけながら九尾は静かに自らの名を継げる。

「詩乃」

 少し心がざわめいて、

「名前の由来?」

 偶然の一致だと否定し、

「それはねえ」

 六年前という言葉を思い出し、

「あなたの心に傷をつけた唯一の女ヒトにあやかったの」

 裂けたような笑顔が逆鱗を引き剥がした。

「お、ま、……え、……――!!!」

 激情と共に掴みかかろうとする威吹を九尾改め詩乃が言葉で制す。

「”やっちゃった”ねえ」

 童女のように純真に、

「”怒っちゃった”ねえ」

 毒婦のように悪辣に、

「”意識しちゃった”ねえ」

 詩乃は笑った。

「これでもう――――”逃げられない”」

 金縛りにあったかのごとく身体が微動だにしない。

 尾で縛られているわけではない。

 言葉で縛り付けられたのだ。

「これから私の名前を呼ぶ度、過去の女を思い出して胸が痛む。

ううん、そうと意識させられちゃったもんね。

名前を呼ばなくても顔を見るだけでそうなるかもしれない」

 憤怒と憎悪で綴れ織られた嫉妬の心を剥き出しにしながら詩乃は嗤う。

「どうする? 名前を避けて”お母さん”と呼んでみる?

ああでも、避けようとすればするほど意識しちゃうかもしれないねえ」

 たん、たん、たん、とステップを刻むように再度接近。

 下から覗き込むようにグッと距離を詰め詩乃は言葉の刃を突き刺す。

「逆に詩乃、詩乃と露骨に呼んでみたりするのも一つの手?

それで痛みを堪えながら俺は気にしてませんって風に振舞ってみる?

ああでも、痛みに”慣れちゃったら”ドンドン薄れていくかもねえ」

 つぅ、と詩乃の白く細い指先が胸を伝う。

「”痛みを感じなくなった”その時、君の心は私で塗り潰される」

 ズキズキと痛む心を愛撫するかのように。

「過去の女が介在する余地なぞ一片もなくなる――……嗚呼♥」

 感極まり恍惚とした表情を浮かべる詩乃。

 その蒼い瞳が見つめるのは、いずれ必ず訪れる未来を見ているのか。

「アッハ♪」

 スパッ、とひとりでに服の前が切り裂かれ威吹の肌が露出する。

「その傷の名前が私に変わるまで、あと、どれくらいかな?」

 詩乃は威吹の胸に唇を落とし、舌を這わせた。

 快か不快かも分からぬ感覚が胸元から全身を駆け巡っていく。

「……」

「ンフフフ、どうしたの?」

「……痛感したよ」

「何を?」

「毒婦って言葉の意味を」

 十五年生きて来て、初めて理解した。

 いや、理解したくはなかったが。

 威吹は心を落ち着かせるように深呼吸を繰り返した後、頭を抱えた。

(…………何だこれ)

 幻想世界初っ端のイベントがこれってあんまりにもあんまりだろう。

 ハードとかそういうレベルではない。

 自分は何か悪いことをしたのか? いや、してない。

 清く正しく生きて来たと胸を張れるほどではないが、普通に生きて来た。

 なのにこの仕打ちはあんまりだ。

(あれか、親か、親の血か)

 鞍馬山魔王大僧正こと僧正坊はさておき、残る二つの血。

 京の都を荒らし回った鬼の首魁、酒呑童子。

 三国を股にかけて悪徳と退廃を振り撒いた毒婦、九尾の狐。

 この二つの血の罪業、その報いを受けているとでも言うのか。

「う、うぅぅ」

 遂には蹲ってしまった威吹だが、彼を責めるのは酷だろう。

 威吹はまだ中学を卒業したばかりの子供なのだから。

「よしよし、いい子いい子」

 悲嘆に暮れる威吹を胸に抱き優しく頭を撫でる詩乃。

 その表情は慈母のそれだが元凶のコイツがして良いツラではない。

(柔らかいし、良い匂いがすりゅぅ……って駄目だろそれ!!)

 堕落ゲージが貯まっていくのを痛感し、バッと詩乃から離れる。

「と、兎に角あれだ…………えーっと、母さん?

俺は人を待たせてるんだ。とりあえず、あの……何か色々後にしてくれ!!」

 今は兎に角この女から距離を取るべきだ。

 そう判断し方便を弄する威吹であったがその目論見は呆気なく打ち砕かれる。

「あ、外務省の人間のこと? それなら来ないよ」

「え」

「母親の私が直々に迎えに行くのが当然でしょ? 大丈夫、ちゃんと話は通してあるから」

 するりと、極自然に腕を組まれる。

「それじゃ、一緒に帰ろっか。新しいお家に」

 ニコッ、と微笑む詩乃を見て威吹の意識が遠退いていく。

(こ、これと同居するんですか……?)

 新しい家族ができました。

 そんなワードが脳裏をよぎり、遥か彼方へと消え去っていった。

 

[Hey, your Mom is an evil woman (toxic woman)!] [I... I can't argue with that.]

(Move... Move!  Move!  Move, please!  If I don't move now...!!)

He tries to move his legs to get away from the three approaching him.

However, he can't move.

His body won't move an inch.  It is as if he's being tied down by an invisible something.

(What is this!?  What is this!?  This is... what is it...?  It's as if I'm being enveloped in something...)

At that moment, something was reflected in Ibuki's eyes.

It was a gigantic translucent tail.

It was a gigantic, soft tail with gleaming fur that wrapped around his body.

It was extending from in front of him--- to be straight, it was coming from behind the blond girl to wrap around him.

"Ah"

He was dumbfounded.

From behind the girl two more gigantic tails appeared and swept away the other two that were approaching him.

Incidentally, the only things harmed by the gigantic tails were the guy and elderly gentleman, and there was no damage to the nearby structures.

It appears that she can choose what the translucent tails will pass through.

As he was indulging in that bit of escapism...

"Eh!?"

The girl was right in front of him.

She was giving him a sweet smile that threatened to melt his heart on the spot as she looked at him.  

Slowly, her mouth opened.

(What... what is she planning to say?  What does she want to ask?)

Thump, thump, thump.  His heart throbbed hard within his chest.

(Ok, come on.  Come at me!  My vocation is a great youka--)

No matter what she says, he will be fine.  He will be able to respond calmly and somehow make his way out of this situation.  

Or so Ibuki thought...

"Nice to meet you Ibuki, I'm your mother.  I've loved you in every way for a thousand years."

His confidence was shattered in an instant.  

What was expressed was emotions so sweet as to induce nausea.

He knows he is not particularly perceptive, but he somehow knows... There was no lie to the words 'I love you' as they came out of her mouth.

The problem was the type of love.

There is no doubt in his mind that, though she called herself his mother, she was also expressing 'other types of love'.

It was frightening, so frightening.  It was terrifying beyond belief that her emotions were so obvious and intense that a single word was enough for him to understand.

Devilish and monstrous.  He couldn't help but understand the girl in front of him was fundamentally different from humankind.

"And so, yes... I think I'll state my appeal points."

The girl (self-proclaimed mother) smiled like a child while clapping her hands.

"... you like this, don't you?  This type of girl."

In an instant, the childish, innocent smile vanished as if it had never existed and a demonic smile that looked like it would split her cheeks wide appeared.

"I know" "I know"  "I know" "I know" "I know" "I know" "I know"

That single word echoed in his mind over and over.

"Even if I can't become omniscient, I know everything the man I love desires."

Slim, white fingers caressed him under the chin.

"People say a lot of things about me.  Toxic woman, slut, woman who destroys nations...  But... oh yes.  I can say this even so.  Until the moment the man I loves reaches his terrible end, no; even after that, I never let them feel regret that I stole their hearts.  After all, there is no other woman as 'convenient' to a man as I am, past, present or future, no matter where you look."

Haa her warm breath tickled at his ears.

"This is what men seek in a woman: To be at their side like a wife, to connect like lovers, to be spoiled like a grandmother, accepted like a mother, embraced like an older sister, rely on them like a little sister, and adore him like a daughter."

Even the Red Comet was a bit more humble... or so Ibuki wanted to say, but...

(... She's probably telling the truth.)

Looking into those eyes full of certainty, it is obvious.  This vixen that calls herself his mother is... ah, he can't avert his eyes.  She is most definitely the nine-tailed fox whose name went down in history as a beauty that ruins nations.  He didn't have the words to deny the statements of a woman who knows men more than any other in existence.

"How pathetic?  How selfish?  How... How adorable a desire that is..."

Her expression was ecstatic, full of scorn and fondness, and a sweet fragrance wafted around him.  She was too toxic.  Even closing his eyes and sealing his nose, he became dizzy.  Even so, he managed to stay upright and listen to his self-proclaimed mother's words.

"The only person who can fulfill that desire is me.  Precisely because I once toured three countries, indulging in all forms of hedonism and corruption, I can do so.  There is no other woman who can love you like I can, you know?  I'll love you with everything I am, so you need to love me back, Ibuki?"

Smack, she kissed him on the cheek.  Even as he was being pushed around by the sensation of his brain going numb, Ibuki couldn't help but think this.

(This... what a... egotistical woman.)

I'll devote myself to you entirely, so I would be happy if you came to like me too.  If you took her words at face value, it would seem like she was saying something innocent and womanly.  However, the sentiment there wasn't nearly that cute.

(She's pushy beyond belief...!!)

Ibuki acknowledged that the nine-tailed fox wasn't incorrect in her statement of a man's ideal woman.  However, that was just a reflection of the id revealed when a man's pride and self-control were ripped away entirely.  In addition, that desire was most likely so close to an unconscious desire as for there to be no real difference.  If not, then all the world's men would be hopeless trash.

(It's rationality and pride that make us human."

For that reason, though there were differing tastes like large breasts or tight butts... There were very few men who were seeking the type of woman the fox described while sober.  Ibuki was the same.  He didn't want a lover, nor a mother or sisters.  It would be correct to say that in his case, those desires were faded and weak at best.

However, the nine-tailed fox cared nothing for his situation.  'You know you like this, don't you?' she said arbitrarily and forcefully while shamelessly asking him to love her.  It was the penultimate form of egotism, of trying to force emotion upon him.

(However, what's really awful is...)

That even with her obvious egotism, she had the ability to force one to accept her.  Whether it was the inhuman attractiveness fit to ruin a man's life with a single glance, or the experience she had built up to now in using words and observations to manipulate others.  There was no way for a normal person to resist if she set eyes upon him.  They would fall into corruption in no time flat.

(Even I'm pretty close to the edge.)

He knew she was egotistical and pushy, but he couldn't find it in himself to find the nine-tailed fox's existence unpleasant.  Rather, he was feeling good about it.  For that reason, he told himself over and over again about how dangerous she was.  But well... the results were predictable.  It was a resistance more unreliable than a candle in hurricane winds.

(Hmm, is it already too late?)

Was he still sane?  Did he only think he was resisting her?  Was he not already long-since fallen to her wiles and sinking into a well of pleasure?

Ibuki's sanity was being shaved away to the point where he was unsure of the reality in front of him, but...

"Nevermind."

He let out a deep breath.  To put it simply, she simply was on another level.  What could a boy that hadn't even lived twenty years do against her?  'They who only have bad ideas might as well be asleep.'  Thinking just made him tired, so he might as well rest.  Ibuki decided to just go with the flow and let things happen as they would.

"... Hmm..."

The nine-tailed fox showed a smile different from the ones before.  In it were admiration that was exceeded by annoyance, and a lovesickness that far surpassed her annoyance.

"Now, self-proclaimed 'mother'.  Before you try to show off your appeal as a woman, don't you have something else you should do?"

Her name.  He told her to introduce herself first.  She knew his name, but he didn't know hers.  He'd figured out she was the infamous nine-tailed fox, but if she was taking on a humanoid form, she had to have a name for it.

"What should I call you?  Kumiho?  Daji? Tamamo no Mae?"  "Fufufu... bzzt, you are way off!"

She made an X with her index fingers in front of her face.  The gesture was unbelievably sly.  It was apparent she was faking it, but it felt so natural it was vulgar.  If one couldn't reach that level, there was no way one could be called a siren.

"After all, those are the names of women loved by other men?  They are symbols with no more value than broken straws, destined never to be used again.  They aren't the right name to call myself in front of the man I've loved for the past thousand years and will continue to love until the void takes this world."

The name I name myself here has to be for you, for only your sake.  Ibuki felt chills go up his spine as she whispered that into his ear, but he gestured for her to continue.

"Fufufu, so hasty.  That's fine though.  Yes, I want to introduce myself as soon as possible.  For the past thousand years I thought about it and only recently - six years ago - I decided upon my name."

In an instant, she turned her back to him and made some distance beween them, showing only her profile as she quietly stated her name.

"Shino."

He tried to deny it as a coincidence.

"That's because...."

He recalled her words 'six years ago'.

"It's the name of the only woman to have left a scar on your heart."

With a cheshire cat's grin, she ripped the scab off the old wound.

"You...!"

A Ibuki tried to reach for her in anger, the nine-tailed fox stopped him with words.

"'Now you've done it'"

A pure as a child.

"'You got angry'."

As crafty as the most toxic of women.

"You directed your attention at me."

Shino smiled.

"Now there is no escape for you."

As if he was paralyzed, he became unable to move.  He wasn't tied down with her tails, it was her words that bound him in place.

"From now on, whenever you call my name, you will remember your past woman and your heart will throb with pain.  No, I made you aware  of me this way, so even if you don't say the name, you might feel it just looking at my face."

Baring a heart full of rage, hate, and jealousy, Shino smiled.

"What will you do?  Will you avoid the name and call me Mom?  Ah, but the more you do that, the more you might become conscious of it."

Tap, tap, tap, she once again approached him, deliberately making sound with her steps.  She looked up at him from below after approaching him and stabbed him with her words.

"Another choice would be to call me Shino over and over, wouldn't it?  Are you going to act as if it doesn't matter while enduring the pain?  Ah, but if you get used to the pain, your memories of her might become weaker."

She touched his chest with her slim fingertips, caressing him.

"When you stop feeling pain, your heart will be painted over with me."

As if to aggravate his pained heart.

"There won't be any way for a woman from the past to touch your heart... aaaaah!"

With an expression of a woman overwhelmed with escstasy, was Shino looking at a future that was certain to arrive one day?

"Haha!"

In an instant, the front of Ibuki's shirt was torn open and his skin was bared.

"How long will it be before the name of your wound becomes mine?"

Shino brought her lips to Ibuki's chest and licked it with her tongue.  A sensation that was not quite pleasant nor unpleasant went through his body from his chest.

"..."

"Fufufu, what is it?"

"... I just fully realized it?"

"Realized what?"

"The meaning of the phrase 'toxic woman'."

He understood it for the first time after fifteen years of life.  No, he didn't want to understand it.  Ibuki repeatedly made deep breaths and put his head in his hands.

(... what is this?)

It was a bit much for his first experience of the World of Illusions.  It was beyond hard mode.  Did he do something wrong?  No he hadn't.  He couldn't say he lived a pure and good life, but he lived normally.  But this was just too horrible.

(Is that it?  Is it my parents?  My parents blood?)

Setting aside Soujou Bou (Clephas: one of his three youkai ancestors), the remaining two bloodlines.  The oni who wreaked havoc on Kyouto during the Heian Period, Shutendoji.   The toxic woman who spread immorality and corruption across three nations, the nine-tailed fox.  Was it revenge for the sins of those two bloodlines?

"Uuu...."

It would be cruel to blame Ibuki for getting down on his hands and knees.  Ibuki was a child that had just graduated from middle school.

"There, there, good boy."

Struck to the heart, Ibuki was embraced by Shino, who began caressing his head.  Her expression was that of an affectionate mother, but it wasn't an expression the source of the problem should have had.

(So soft and smells so goood... this is no good!!)

He could feel his corruption gauge filling up, so he pulled away from Shino.

"Anyway... umm, Mom?  I have someone waiting for me.  For the moment, umm... just let me take care of this later!!" 

Right now, he just had to get away from this woman.  Making that decision, he tried to use an excuse, but that plan was shattered in an instant.

"Are you talking about the guy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?  He isn't coming."

"Eh?"

"Of course, after all your mother (me) is coming to meet you.  Don't worry, I made sure to tell them."

She quite naturally wrapped her arms around his.

"Now, let's go home together... to our new house.

Ibuki felt faint at the sight of Shino's smile.

(I-I have to live with this...)

I have a new family.  That phrase briefly went through his head before being swept away into the distance.

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