When Houri called out to Hotoki Shirayuki with a surprised voice, Hotoki Shirayuki immediately turned her head and showed a joyful look when she saw Houri. But then she remembered something and covered her mouth while looking to the right and left in a panic.
That look, almost like planning to find a place to hide.
“… What the hell?”
Houri could not help but whisper, and then went straight up and asked.
“What are you doing here?”
“I… I…” Hotogi Shirayuki seemed to be getting more and more flustered and then began to speak incoherently.
“I… I just happened to be passing by! Definitely not stalking you!”
The corners of Houri’s mouth twitched slightly.
Isn’t this completely exposing yourself?
The so-called Miko, can’t even lie?
At that moment, Houri sighed and asked directly. “Why are you following me?”
“Uh…” Hotogi Shirayuki couldn’t help but lower her head, looking like a child who had done something wrong and said in a mosquito voice. “I just wanted to see what kind of places you usually go to and what you do when you’re alone.”
“Hmm?” Houri frowned and said with extreme confusion. “Why do you care about such things?”
“Because… Because…” Hotogi Shirayuki’s head was getting lower and lower, and her voice was getting weaker and weaker, and then she said. “Because you have a special destiny, so I can’t just sit back and do nothing.”
“Is that so?” Houri smile bitterly.
The great man destined to save the world.
The evil man destined to destroy the world.
Can control the direction of the world with one thought.
Such an existence, for others, is indeed a person that needs to pay attention to.
However, no one would take this matter seriously.
Except for Hotoki Shirayuki.
“It seems that you are very confident in your divination.” Houri raised his hand as if trying to show his whole body and said. “But do I look like that kind of great person? Is it possible that there was a mistake in your divination, Hotogi-san?”
“No, that’s not it.” Hotogi Shirayuki raised her head, and instead of the timid look in her eyes, she said this with great seriousness.
“Although I can’t confirm exactly which direction your future will go, your destiny is indeed very special. After that, I also asked people in my old family for a reoccupation, but everyone’s result is that they think you will influence the direction of the world.”
There is indeed a huge difference between Hotoki Shirayuki’s seriousness and her usual gentleness when it comes to talking about professional aspects of knowledge.
At least, Houri couldn’t bear to say ‘you’re wrong’ when he saw the seriousness of Hotoki Shirayuki’s face.
So, Houri said helplessly. “That’s why you followed me here out of a sense of mission or sense of justice, but you got lost here and not only couldn’t find me, but you almost didn’t know how to get out, didn’t you?”
Hotogi Shirayuki covered her mouth at once.
She looked like she was saying, ‘How could you know?’
Houri really wanted to tell Hotogi Shirayuki that he could tell by the way she looked just now that she was lost, otherwise she wouldn’t have shown a happy expression when she saw her stalking object and then panicked when she remembered.
“It’s just, how did you get lost?” Houri said. “This place is abandoned, but it shouldn’t be hard to find the exit, right?”
“Bu-but I just can’t find the exit.” Hotogi Shirayuki again lowered her head, her voice also became weak again, with mosquito voice said. “Because this is the first time I’ve been outside.”
“First time outside?” Houri was stunned.
“… Yes.” Hotogi Shirayuki said softly. “Before I came to Butei High, I had always stayed in the shrine and was not allowed to go outside, and even after I came to Butei High, I was not allowed to go outside without the permission of the shrine.”
The surrounding atmosphere changed completely with one sentence.
Houri’s emotions were also completely dissipated.
Looking at the shoujo in front of him, who had her head bowed and seemed embarrassed to face himself, Houri’s eyebrows furrowed tightly and he said in an unkind tone. “What is the meaning of this? Is there anyone in this day and age who is doing things that restrict the personal freedom of others?”
“… Since ancient times, shrines have existed to guard something, and Hotogi shrine is the oldest part of it.” Hotogi Shirayuki said with a gentle smile appearing on her face. “So, from birth, we Hotogi Miko are the ones who have to exist for the sake of guardianship forever.”
At this moment, Hotoki Shirayuki’s face is wearing an impeccable smile, but in Houri’s eyes, there is an unspeakable sadness.
This made Houri realize one thing.
That is, he must say something.
No man can be indifferent when a woman shows such an expression.
Even Houri is the same.
So, Houri said this directly.
“The other two cards you drew last time when you helped me with divination, can you bring them out for a moment?”
Hotogi Shirayuki was stunned first, then nodded, took the cards out of her pocket, pulled out the forest and river cards, and handed them to Houri.
But instead of taking both cards, Houri drew the one of the forest and said, as if talking to himself. “Last time, you said that this card represents loneliness and proves that my past is different from others, right?”
“Ye-yes.” Hotogi Shirayuki affirmed Houri, but her expression was a bit unsure.
Obviously, Hotogi Shirayuki did not know what Houri’s intention was when he said that.
It wasn’t until the next second that Houri said. “However, this card representing loneliness has always been in your hand, which is too unlucky, so now I will take it away, and from today, you will not be alone.”
Saying this, Houri put the card away, scratching his cheek, in Hotoki Shirayuki’s stunned expression, like changing the subject he said.
“Of course, as this card represents, now that I have also taken your past away, your life starts from this moment now, enjoy it as much as you want. Anyway, you have left the shrine and came outside, aren’t you?”
After saying that, Houri extended a hand towards Hotoki Shirayuki with a slight smile.
“If you get lost, then I’ll take you with me.”
“So, don’t worry.”
A slight ripple appeared in Hotogi Shirayuki’s eyes.
Looking at Houri’s hand, and looking at Houri’s smile, Hotogi Shirayuki timidly stretched out her hand and took it up.
This is the beginning of the bond between Houri and Hotoki Shirayuki.