Chapter 164: Inari’s Trip Through the Dungeon

 

 

Takeshi finally returned after confirming that the location he went to check out for me was in fact one of the corrupt dungeons. The last one took us weeks, but from what Takeshi said this one is spitting out the Oni Generals, so I don’t know if that means it is going to be bigger, or if that means it’s going to be smaller because its newer, but either way we plan for a long trip.

The other one was also a pretty close call, and we are in much better shape this time, so I decide to leave Akane with Kenta, and Chika in charge of my primary dungeon while I am away. We have plenty of adventurers, and even Daddy’s groups to keep things under control while we are away so I take everyone else with me.

Last time the Oni were quite a pain, but as we pass through the forest even these Oni Generals are barely a hindrance with who we brought along this time. I grow quite bored passing through the forest with nothing to look at but forest and Oni corpses.

Maybe I can talk Daddy into teaching me that teleport spell of his, or at least trade him a monster for one of his that can cast the spell, but then again with Daddy’s dungeon the way it is, that would mean it would have to be one of his boss monsters.

Mommy visits often enough, so maybe I could have her teach me the spell the old fashion way, but with a spell as difficult as a teleport spell that could take quite a while. I kind of feel bad for leaving when I did, I know Mommy doesn’t have long until the baby is born, but maybe with a bit of luck we can make it back home before she gives birth.

We continue our march through the forest until we come to a ruined village. That isn’t saying much however because by now I am sure most of the villages in Shima have already went the same way this one has. This village looks to have been destroyed long ago, but we follow a trail that has been well used coming up to a small graveyard that has a mausoleum that doesn’t’ quite fit among the rest of the graveyard.

“If that was some dungeon core’s way of trying to hide a tree in the forest, it should have done a bit more research about Shima before using something like that as the entrance to its dungeon… I wonder how the villagers reacted to something like that appearing among the graves of their dead family.  I guess it could have been a lot more discrete before it became a corrupt dungeon, but I don’t see one of the corrupt dungeons caring about appearances like that.”

Takeshi: “It actually looks quite normal inside. The entrance to the corrupt dungeon is actually through a collapsed wall in the depths of the mausoleum. I know the Oni have been the threat in Shima for a while now, but back before them, there were all manner of monsters in Shima. This could have been built so they could keep an eye on the deceased or lock them up if they decided to come back after death.”

“You mean like undead? I hate undead…”

Takeshi: “Yes, and when the dungeon first arrived it could have used that fear against the village. I don’t know if it was the dungeon that destroyed the village or the Oni, but we already confirmed that several of the normal monsters within the dungeon are types that used to be associated with undead. I think these corrupt dungeons still maintain some of the traits of the original dungeon.”

“That’s just great…”

We then enter the mausoleum passing through it rather quickly until we find the collapsed wall leading into a large cavern. The amount of bones filling the cavern is staggering, I don’t want to rest on top of a pile of bones, so after dealing with a group of Oni Generals that come from deeper within we make our way deeper into the caverns.

Soon the Oni aren’t our only problem as piles of bones form hulking undead creatures, but we have enough light based magic from dealing with the Oni all the time, that they cause us no problems. All the bones on the floor apparently weren’t enough because they are no longer limited to just the floor as they hang from the walls and ceiling of the cavern as well.

The webs the hold them in place means we should encounter something that made them, so in addition to the undead, and groups of Oni Generals we expect to see some kind of spider or similar creature at any time now.

When we finally do begin running into the spiders I am quite surprised, not that they are not huge, I just expected them to be larger. They do have an ability that is a pain to deal with though, the webs they use seem to have a necromantic effect to them, so they can cover a pile of bones with their webs and make their own undead.

They seem quite smart as well, and will avoid conflict as much as possible, instead letting the undead they make do all the work. We quickly find out that they may be even smarter than we thought. They have begun using the bones littering the ground to not only form undead creatures, but also to form traps, and if I am not mistaken the bones hanging from the ceiling that we gave no thought to, was actually an early warning system for them to perceive threats at a much greater distance.

I was hoping to get through the bones before setting up camp, but who would have thought after 10 hours of caverns we are still surrounded in the bones. Add that to the time we spend going through the forest before even arriving at the dungeon and our group is quite exhausted.

I decide to let some of the group get some sleep while Takeshi, Satoshi, Saki, Rin, and I keep an eye on things. The spiders are not really that difficult to deal with, it is just getting ahold of them that is a problem, but between them and the Oni Generals that come tearing through almost on the top of every hour, when it is time for us to rest, I don’t even think of the bones any more as I fall asleep.

I don’t even budge until the next morning, or I guess I should say until later that afternoon. We didn’t stop at night fall, I am sure the sun was even already in the sky before we finally did stop so even though I only got a couple hours of sleep it is already late afternoon.

After waking us Yuji, Kaori, Akihiro, Yuzuki, and Hotaru then inform us they just dealt with a Oni General group, and managed to take out one of the spiders in the process, so now would be a good time to get a move on.

We then quickly start to set out back through the dungeon caverns. Until we got though the mineshaft in the last corrupt dungeon there was little deviation from the main path, but with this one it started out in a cavern so we spend most of our time retracing our own steps.

We even tried to wait for an Oni attack before choosing which path to go down, but that has lead us to dead ends as well, either the Oni Generals are not spawning all in one location like the regular Oni did in the last corrupt dungeon, or this dungeon has some intelligence behind it as it is purposely leading us down dead ends.

We finally make our way out of the piles of bones after a week, but the path we have gone down is riddled with dead ends. Some of them take an entire day’s worth of progress before we learn they are dead ends.

At least we are done with those spiders. We are encountering some larger spiders and they are quite a bit stronger, but they attack directly so in the end they are actually less troublesome. In addition to the spiders we are still running into types of undead, but they are less hulking skeletons and more like a Shima variety of death knight.

I can’t say it is a waste, because we have gathered a fair amount of xp, but after almost a month and many dead ends we discover this path itself is dead end, and we have to return all the way back to the part of the cavern that had the bones.

Unlike the last corrupt dungeon we dealt with, some of the monsters here seem to respawn because on our way back we had to deal with quite a few monsters in addition to the Oni Generals.

Yuji: “We basically had to come all the way back to the beginning. Couldn’t we at least head home for a while before giving it another try?”

“We could, but we are not going to, I want to get this set up as soon as possible. The sooner I set up a dungeon here the sooner I can gather xp to set one up at the capital, and I want to get the capital covered in Inari’s protection as soon as possible, because if the capital falls even the villages inside Inari’s protection won’t last long.”

Yuji: “They have made it this long.”

“The Oni have already made attempts on the walls of the capital. They have never tried that unless there was a dungeon inside the capital, and they were able to breach the walls back then, so it’s only a matter of time before they do it again.”

Yuji: “I know… I just hate being underground all this time.”

“Then instead of putting all that effort into complaining, use it to push our way through this place more quickly!”

Yuji: “Yes Mistress….”

I have to agree with him a bit, it is nice to have Takeshi by my side this time, but with all the people around we don’t get any time to ourselves. I could care less what the others might see, but Takeshi is far to reserved for anything like that.

I don’t see why Yuji is complaining though, because I have heard enough during their watch to know that him and Kaori have not been going without. I can say the same thing about Yuzuki and Akihiro, but Saki and Satoshi are too much like Takeshi to do anything like that, so at least I am not the only one doing without.

I guess it could be worse, Hotaru, Rin, and Chika still haven’t found themselves a man. Not that Chika has given up on Tatsuo, but he is still oblivious to her advances. Without us being there maybe she will have a chance to be around him more and get her point across him. Then again it hasn’t worked so far, so who knows.

After another day we enter part of the cavern that doesn’t have the bones scattered about, but now we are worried that means we are going in the wrong direction. We decide to back track a bit taking a few of the different paths but after two more days of searching and hitting dead ends it looks like this is the only path left to us.

The monsters here are quite a bit tougher than the ones we had to deal with down the other path that wasn’t lined with bones, but they are still nothing to worry about between our entire group. I would like to say we are going the right way after traveling this path for two weeks, but the last one took a month so we still can’t be certain.

I can tell you exactly how many days it has been since we entered this place, but it feels like it has been much longer. I received quite a few messages about dungeon cores dying and the like, but I finally receive a message in which I at least need to respond to and that is when I receive a message about how Daddy’s new daughter has been born.

I congratulate him and Mommy, but apologize that I wasn’t able to be there for them. He seems to understand though and tells me to just be careful. I thought we would have been done by the time she was born, but then again they did say she seemed to have come quite earlier than they expected.

On the plus side, if we have to traverse the caverns after I put my plan into action it should take only a fraction of the time, because not only have I been keeping a detailed map of every turn, path, and dead end we have taken, but I am also relaying that information back to Chika as well. Between the two of us we should have a rather decent map of this place.

After finding another dead end, after following a path for two weeks I’m really starting to get discouraged. If it wasn’t for the sheer number of levels I have personally acquired since entering this place I would say I should have sent the others on alone, and only sent for me once they reached the corrupt dungeon’s depths.

I don’t know how strong Daddy is, but I am pretty sure I have at least managed to out-level him now. He has destroyed a few normal dungeons however, and with the way his dungeon works he might have quite a few more skills then me as well, but I think I could at least give him a run for his money.

Daddy didn’t want to bother me so I haven’t really heard much about what he is up to, but I have started to hear some odd things from Chika, and it appears Daddy has had a fallen-out with the Elders about the way they are handling the deaths of all the other dungeon cores.

Then I receive a strange message about Daddy creating another dungeon core… Her name is even Ceres, but I thought that was the name of the old god that he said he was speaking too? He sent a message about forming some kind of group in which he is asking other dungeon cores to help him fight against whoever is responsible for the recent string of deaths among the dungeon cores.

Of course there isn’t much I can do down here, but I told him if there is anything or anyone he needs to borrow from my dungeon that he was welcome to them, but Chika says he hasn’t done anything other than his normal training.

It has been a few months since we last saw daylight now, but I know we must either be getting close, or it is going to be much too large for us to be able to deal with because the monsters have begun to get strong enough now that we can no longer separate into two separate groups to deal with them.

Even with the reduced amount of xp we are getting this way, we have still gained quite a few levels, and I am confident even if we do have to turn back I will have acquired at least enough xp to complete my secondary dungeon in the capital now.

Now the question is if we get to the point in which we cannot progress any further do I create a secondary dungeon there, or just worry about the capital for now, and return here once we gain more levels.

I guess if we make it deep enough, and have acquired enough xp to complete both projects I will go ahead and place the imitation crystal, but if not we can always return…. Or so we thought. A few days later after pressing through a path we discovered a creature unlike anything we have faced thus far.

We have encountered plenty of undead creatures, but this thing seemed alive… It is a giant grotesque spider pieced together with parts from other creatures we have faced here, and humanoid species. If this thing is a dungeon monster, it has to have come from the corrupt aspect of the dungeon, because it reminds me more of those abominations the last corrupt dungeon spawned just before its death, then anything a normal dungeon could conceive of.

The difficulty of battle has quickly shifted as well. We were doing fine using 6 members participating in combat with 2 on standby before, but this creature is taking everyone just to make sure nobody gets put in a bad way.

After we fell the abomination, we give it a thorough examination… Even though the creature consists of body parts from multiple monsters, and humanoids and they seem to extend from the creature at odd angles like they were just shoved into place, they don’t seem to be attached like you would with an undead, and it seems like a living creature.

“How is that possible… Can you make a living undead? I guess there are the rare exceptions like that maid of Daddy’s, but this just doesn’t seem right.”

Akihiro: “That isn’t the only thing that isn’t right!” –He says in a loud voice with a troubled look on his face.-

After telling them we were going to rest here for a bit, while I examined the creature, I seen Akihiro and Yuzuki try to sneak off for a bit of privacy. They never stray far enough to be a problem, or others might say they don’t go far enough, but their sudden return is more troubling then the look on Akihiro’s face.

“What’s the problem?”

Akihiro: “Yuzuki and I were going to make sure nothing was going to sneak up on us from behind, but there is no path anymore…”

“Trust me when I say, it is no secret what you two have been going off on your own for, but what do you mean there isn’t a path?” –I say while standing up and casting [Clean] on my hands after messing with the abomination.-

Yuji: “You must of just looking down the wrong tunnel.” –He says making his way in their direction.-

Akihiro: “There isn’t any tunnel that is what I am saying!”

Yuji sighs, but once he reaches them his face becomes worried as well as he says. “Mistress… You need to come look at this!”

We all then quickly gather at the tunnel, only to find there is no tunnel there. We couldn’t have gotten turned around, that has to be the way we came from, but there is just a solid wall there now…

Hotaru: “We must have gotten turned around during the fight…”

Rin: “There is no way…”

I instruct everyone to take a few step back and cast a few spells trying to break the wall.

Yuji: “Mistress, what you trying to do? You can’t break a dungeon wall…”

“You can’t add to a dungeon behind intruders either, so this has to be some kind of trick!”

Saki: “But the other dungeon was able to summon monsters while we were still in the room as well.”

My spells do nothing against the wall, so I even hit it a few times with one of my swords. “But if it could block us off completely, why even allow access to the dungeon to begin with?”

Takeshi: “Maybe there is a path further ahead that also leads to an exit.”

“I hope you are right… I guess I should have asked Daddy or Mommy to teach me that teleport spell of theirs. I guess for now we have no other choice but to move forward then.”

I only talked to Chika an hour ago, but I need to let her know the path we took is now blocked off. I send her a message and then we have to deal with a group of Oni Generals, but even after that fight was over she has yet to reply back. She could be busy I guess, but I don’t know of anything that would keep her busy enough that she wouldn’t at least answer me. I then try sending a message to Akane as well.

Yuji: “Mistress what’s wrong, did one of the Oni hit you?”

“Nothing like that, have any of you heard from Chika or Akane?”

Rin: “I talked to her before we rested a few hours ago.”

“Anyone else?”

Takeshi: “You talked to her this morning didn’t you?”

“I did, but since the wall blocked us off, I tried to send her a message to let her know what had happened, but she hasn’t replied.”

Hotaru: “Maybe she is just daydreaming about Tatsuo again.”

“She has never, not answered me, I even sent a message to Akane, and she hasn’t replied either.”

Yuji: “Now Akane not answering you I believe.”

Takeshi: “Chika is reliable, so if she isn’t answering you right now whatever she is doing must be important, just give her a few hours.”

“I’m not worried about her, this only happened after we got cut off from the outside.”

Takeshi: “You are worried that the corrupt dungeon blocked [Communication]?  I know those dungeons that attacked Father were able to do something like that, but do you think this dungeon would be capable of something like that?”

“I don’t know I am going to send a message to Daddy just to be sure.” –I say while doing just that.-

We then send a few more messages and even try a communication parchment, but still none of our messages seem to get out.

Yuji: “This isn’t good, your father said that one of the old gods was after you didn’t he? You don’t think the ones that attacked him are now coming for us do you?”

Takeshi: “How could that be? Inari kept the location of this place from everyone, even Father, so I don’t see how they could have found us.”

“Daddy has a way to determine a dungeon core’s location, so it is possible. If that is the case we need to be extra careful moving forward.”

With no other choice we decide to move forward, but the abomination like creatures only get harder the further we progress. In addition to the abominations, we also encounter quite a few other normal dungeon-like monsters and the Oni Generals, making our progress slow to a crawl.

We don’t see any signs of any other dungeons or monsters that don’t seem to belong to this dungeon, but after days we still have no contact with the outside. I am sure Chika has become quite worried as well now that she has lost contact with us, but as long as the dungeon stays intact she will know we are at least still alive.

The abominations do provide an exceptional amount of xp, and Yuji has already reached level 50, Saki and Satoshi are not that far behind. Takeshi and I are the ones that have done the least amount of training, so even though Daddy’s ring has helped a great deal, I am still only level 47, and Takeshi is only 46.

Once reaching level 50 Yuji got his special skill, and for scouting or moving on his own it might be quite beneficial, but in a group setting it isn’t really helpful. As for the skill, as long as he does not enter combat he can make himself completely invisible. He can only do it once a day, but the duration lasts as long as he wants, as long as he doesn’t try to physically interact with anyone, any kind of monster, or animal.

Basically he can remain invisible for days if he wanted to, just as long as he doesn’t touch anything alive during that time. His normal skills function well enough for him to get the drop on anything in combat, so it doesn’t do us much good here.

We could send him scouting up ahead, but inside a dungeon there are other ways to be detected other than just sight, so it would put him at a great risk. I am more worried about him picking up some voyeuristic habits once we return home.

I don’t know what kind of skill I will acquire when I reach level 50, but I can only hope it is a bit more useful in combat.

We have been cut off from the outside for a while now, and I’m now pretty certain it is due to the work of this dungeon. We keep pushing forward while the path behind us keeps getting blocked off to us, so we have to be making progress, but there are still sections of the cavern that I am sure we have passed through before.

I am sure Chika has grown quite worried about us, but I hope she hasn’t done anything rash like coming to look for us with that group I gave Daddy. We are gaining a huge amount of xp every day, but we are starting to run into some of these abominations that are giving us a run for our money.

Yuji returns to the group after scouting ahead a bit and tells us of an abomination that we haven’t encountered yet, it seems like some kind of scorpion, but like the other abominations it’s a mix-match of humanoid, monster, and giant insect like parts.

With how strong these things have become, encountering a new type is nothing to take lightly, so we make sure we are completely prepared before we attack. I start off with charging a full range of my orbs, like the Oni these abominations are strong against most magic except light, but hitting it with 12 spells at once should be devastating regardless if it is strong against those types of spells or not.

We manage to catch the abomination off guard and all 12 of my orbs hit it causing a great deal of damage, and it even severs one of its pincers and a couple of its legs. Everyone else then moves in. The abomination doesn’t have a poisonous barb upon its tail instead a humanoid like torso, so we are not quite sure what to expect from it, so when the arms on the torso start waving around casting spells it comes as no surprise.

With only one pincer the tail has become the highest priority, so Yuji focuses on it, he leaps on top of the scorpion’s body, and fights the tail as it was its own independent creature. It has no head, and he digs his blades deep into the torso without causing it to seem to notice. He then decides to take the easiest course of action and severs the entire torso from the end of the scorpion’s tail.

We expected that to be the end of the tail, but without missing a beat it whips around hitting Yuji in the chest with the end of the severed tip. It knocks him off the scorpion, but Takeshi manages to plant his own sword into the abomination’s head and it collapses to the floor.

“It didn’t hit you that hard did it?” –I say turning to Yuji who is still crumpled in the floor.-

Kaori then quickly moves over to him. “Yuji?” She then quickly flips him over and gasps. I quickly curse and Saki, Yuzuki and I all quickly begin casting healing spells on Yuji. The tail hit him pretty hard, but not near enough to cause this much blood to be flowing from his chest, especially since he is a dungeon monster.

The healing spells don’t seem to have any effect as Kaori quickly exclaims. “Mistress, he’s dead!” She then quickly begins sobbing and hugs Yuji tightly.

“How is that possible, there is no way that thing could of hit him that hard!”

“Inari!” Takeshi quickly calls out drawing my attention to him. He is looking over the body of the scorpion, or more precisely looking at the tail. He then grabs the tail in his arms raising it up to show me. The torso wasn’t severed cleanly so there are hunks of flesh still attached, but as Takeshi holds it up the tail the flesh falls loosely exposing a needle like barb that is at least 8 inches long.

“It had a barb under the torso?!”

Takeshi: “It looks that way…” –He says then drops the tail.- “It’s got a strong smell too, I would say it is definitely poisonous as well.”

“Damnit!” –I then turn back to Yuji and Kaori while sighing. I then run my hand through Kaori’s hair while she continues to sob while holding Yuji to her chest.- “I’m sorry, I should have been paying more attention…”

It takes several hours for us to get Kaori to let Yuji go long enough to examine him. Hotaru, Rin, and Yuzuki try to comfort Kaori, while Satoshi comforts Saki who is taking Yuji’s loss quite hard as well. When I finally get the chance to look over Yuji, it looks like he never stood a chance. Even if the barb wasn’t poisonous it pierced him right in the heart.

I spend the next few hours using [Elven Crafting] to create a large bolt of cloth that I use to tightly wrap Yuji’s body up in. Kaori sniffles and gives Yuji one last kiss before I wrap his face. She then askes “What are we going to do with him?”

“We don’t have a choice. We will have to leave him behind.”

Kaori: “He is your boss monster! You can’t just leave his body behind!”

“He was the only one that had the [Shadow Pocket] spell, and we can’t carry him the rest of the way, but I promise once we get everything taken care of, we will come back for him. With the way this dungeon is working I can’t guarantee we will be able to recover his body, but I promise we will at least try.”

Kaori: “But the dungeon will clear the area long before then!”

“If you haven’t noticed, every time we have backtracked the remains of all the monsters we have killed have remained, so I am pretty sure this corrupt dungeon doesn’t clean up after itself like a normal dungeon.”

Kaori: “I still don’t want to leave him just lying there.”

“He has been with me since the beginning. Do you think I really want to leave him behind?”

Kaori starts to cry again as she hold Yuji’s cloth wrapped body. It takes a few more hours before we can finally convince Kaori into leaving Yuji behind. After that we have become far more cautious. We have encountered a few more of the scorpions, which Kaori takes pretty hard, but we manage to deal with them with no problems.

Without Yuji the battles have gotten a bit harder, but we are still doing alright, that is until we encounter one of the abominations that make all our hair stand on end… It is another one of the scorpion abominations, but the torso mounted on the creature’s tail this time has a head.

It is not only the head that is different, the body is that of a fox beastkin, and it closely resembles one of the beastkin that I summoned for Daddy.

Kaori: “Is that Masato…?”

Rin: “It can’t be! He should be back at the dungeon with Chika!”

Hotaru: “Unless they came after us after we lost touch with Chika.”

Yuzuki: “How do you think he ended up as one of those things though?”

Kaori: “You don’t think Yuji…?”

Group: “…”

Given the circumstances the group handles themselves quite well during the battle, and we about have the abomination killed when two more of the giant scorpion-like abominations quickly move in to attack.

We lost Yuji to one of these things, but we haven’t had any difficulty with them since. Three of them at once though, I just don’t know… I manage to block one of the abominations off with a stone wall, while we deal with the injured one and the other one that joined in.

It isn’t long however till the third scorpion manages to find a gap between my spell and the dungeon just large enough to squeeze through. The third scorpion is then to close to try to block it off again, so I try instead to pin it with a stone pillar, which seems to be working.

We manage to drop the first scorpion, but now there are still two more to deal with. Light spells do the most damage to these things, but Saki and Yuzuki both have to quit attacking so they can focus completely on healing.

I have to keep recasting the [Stone Pillar] spell to hold the last scorpion in place, but it manages to wriggle free a few times, and even when it is pinned it doesn’t stop its tail from casting spells at us. Even though we have already managed to drop one we still have had to fight three of them without stopping to rest, so everyone is starting to run low on magic.

Akihiro and Takeshi have managed to keep the scorpion that is free back while everyone else stacks damage against it. I meanwhile I focus on attacking and pinning the other one,so it can’t get to us, but on one of the castings of [Stone Pillar] that it manages to wriggle out of it quickly rushes the weakened mages.

I quickly try casting my spells again, but not before it manages to grab ahold of Yuzuki. Rin and Kaori quickly break off from fighting the other scorpion to help Yuzuki, but it was too late to save her the moment its pincer grabbed ahold of her.

Splitting up our forces doesn’t help matters much either. The battle really becomes tough after that, and we finally manage to fell all of the abominations, but not without a heavy toll. With Takeshi, Akihiro, and Satoshi trying to deal with the one scorpion on their own after the girls changed targets it left them fighting the other with no defensive help.

Satoshi switched targets as well to give them a hand, but it wasn’t quite enough and we lost Kaori as well.

Losing two of my monsters in a single battle make it hard for me to call this battle anything other than a loss. Even after the loss of Yuzuki, Akihiro managed to keep himself composed until the battle was over, but now that it is over he then breaks down along with the rest of the group.

Takeshi breaks his rule about public showing of affection when he wraps his arms around me in a tight hug while whispering in my ear. “It’s not your fault.” It is only then I realize my eyes are damp as well and my body is shaking. I then find myself fighting back the tears as I bury my head into his chest.

Hotaru, Rin, and Kaori were practically inseparable even after Kaori started dating Yuji, while Yuzuki and Akihiro have been a thing for long time now as well, so they are all taking this loss quite hard, but even Saki is having trouble maintaining herself while her, Satoshi, Takeshi and I deal with the groups of Oni Generals that appear.

After investigating the abomination, the scorpion’s tail really does appear to be the remains of Masato. If he ended up in the dungeon who else is out there? Losing someone you care about is bad enough but even if Akihiro was able to finish out the battle before losing it, if we ran into another one of these things that used Yuzuki, I think that would just be too much, so instead of leaving the bodies behind we decide it to burn the remains first.

That way at least our friends can’t be used against us, in a way maybe it is a good thing that Kaori fell when she did, because I don’t know how she would be able to handle the thought of Yuji coming back to us in the same way.

With no other option we decide to push forward, but with the loses we have had, it is going to be even harder.

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