Tengu City, Main street, commercial complex...
Today, the commercial complex is rowdier than usual, there is so much energy in the air.
Rather, traffic is through the roof here, it looks like pretty much every citizen of this city is here.
Today's the seventh of July.
It's also the day of the Star festival, also known as Tanabata.
The sun just retreated beyond the horizon. On such an auspicious day, traders and businessmen gunning for people's money brook no delays. The moment the night fell, stalls were already up and running.
To the two sides of the streets were lines upon lines of stalls and shops. The shopkeepers are all calling and promoting their services and promotions. There are Takoyaki stalls, fried noodle stalls, other food outlets, toys, masks, balloons, and various other assortments of festival necessities. They are waiting for the customers to come to scoop up the goods.
It didn't take long for the consumers to come and fill the commercial districts with humans. If a kid or someone short got mixed into this crowd then it would be hard to locate them within the dense crowd.
The exuberant shoppers visited stalls after stalls, despite the slightly higher prices compared to usual times, the shoppers still visited the shops because of the festive mood.
They can only celebrate this occasion once a year, no?
This is especially the case for couples. Intimate couples could be seen engrossing themselves in the festival mood, spending money without due caution. Naturally, the shopkeepers are more than happy to receive their cash.
Granted, the boyfriends who footed the bills are secretly crying inside for the eviscerations of their finances this month.
In any case, this year's Tanabata is very popular.
Tohka exclaimed after seeing the dense wall of humans crowding the commercial district. It's her first time seeing so many people walking around. She grabbed Wu Yan's hand in excitement.
"Shido! Look! Look! So many people!"
Wu Yan is not a stranger to busy streets. However, the sheer volume of people here is outrageous.
Even the festivals on Itogami Island in the universe of Strike the Blood paled in comparison to the turnout of this Tanabata festival.
Furthermore, Wu Yan's dazzled by the women wearing Yukatas of various designs.
Also, the ladies around him are also in Yukatas.
Kotori's wearing a pink wafuku, Kurumi's sporting a black one, Tohka's wearing a purple yukata, and Yoshino's wearing a blue one. Lastly, Shiori was in a white Yukata that had floral patterns on it.
Aside from Kotori, the other four ladies had their hair tied up in low buns. The fresh hairstyle and their exquisite beauty combined into a deadly combo.
"The sky just turned dark and the street is already full with people..."
Shiori chuckled. She warned Tohka and Yoshino at the same time.
"There will be more people around the time of the fireworks, we should all keep an eye for each other, make sure no one gets lost..."
Shiori just finished her speech when Tohka's nose twitched. She closed her eyes and she dashed out in the direction of that smell.
"Uwa! That smells so good!"
Shiori chased after her while Wu Yan bitterly laughed.
"Come, everyone. Let's not lose sight of them..."
"More than that, I think you should be worried about your wallet..."
Tohka teased Wu Yan with a quick verbal jab.
"Tohka's going to eat so many things, I am genuinely worried you might have to do the dishes to pay off her food debts..."
Wu Yan's bitter smile took on a deeper shade of bitterness.
The Itsuka residence's living expenses for Tohka, Yoshino, and Kurumi are subsidized by Ratatoskr since they are spirits. However, because Shiori's still here, they couldn't give them too much money.
Shiori's in charge of the expenses so the spirits have to hand over their money to Shiori.
They gave her the money under the pretext of rental payments for living in the house.
Hence, they couldn't give her too much money lest she gets suspicious.
It's already a miracle they used the budget to keep Tohka fed.
As for pocket money for the Tanabata Festival, naturally, everyone's not given a lot of stipends.
Given Tohka's exuberance, the budget's black or red probably isn't a question in Tohka's mind.
If Wu Yan didn't shell out the dough, who would help her?
Plus, Tohka's technically Wu Yan's girlfriend so...
Wu Yan has to cover all of Tohka's expenses today or risk her feeling dejected.
Since he's sponsoring Tohka, he naturally couldn't leave out the other ladies' interest.
Wu Yan seriously thought about whether or not he brought enough money this time.
Wu Yan's setting is a student in this world, where is he going to draw out that level of money?
In any case, it's not the time to pinch pennies. Wu Yan sighed while grumbling.
"Worse comes to worst, I will just have to sell a few gold coins..."
"Then you better have an explanation ready for when Onee-chan asks you about the source of funds."
Kotori started snickering.
"Make sure you don't raise her suspicion."
"Easy for you to say..."
Wu Yan complained. He grabbed Yoshino's hand before changing the subject.
"Okay, Yoshino, anything you want to do?"
Yoshino panicked with a red face. She meekly pointed at one of the stalls near them.
"Ah, you want some Takoyaki?"
Wu Yan turned towards Kurumi and Kotori.
"What about you girls?"
"Hmm, I am a bit hungry..."
Kotori nodded. She sighed after observing the brief interaction between Tohka who already had handfuls of food with Shiori supervising behind her.
"Following Tohka around should mitigate my hunger..."
Wu Yan touched his pocket when he heard this. Kurumi who had been silent all this while tugged Wu Yan's sleeve. She pointed in a certain direction.
"Hubby-sama, over there..."
Wu Yan, Kotori, and Yoshino looked at that direction in unison. Their expressions changed drastically.
Kurumi pointed at a certain girl with white hair in Yukata as white as her hair. The purple obi complemented her yukata well. That white-haired girl is staring intently at them.
Rather, she's staring at Kotori.
Tobiichi Origami's here!
Kotori also leered back at Tobiichi Origami without dodging her gaze.
After retrieving her memories, Kotori's 100% sure she's not the one who killed Tobiichi Origami's parents.
There's no reason not to look Tobiichi Origami in the eyes. She doesn't need to explain herself to Tobiichi Origami because she did nothing wrong.
Tobiichi Origami spelled out her name with clenched fists.
Looks like Tobiichi Origami didn't buy Wu Yan's theory. She's still assuming Kotori's the killer.
However, she didn't charge over in a murderous rage. This means she believed a part of Wu Yan's explanation.
"What's the matter? Sergeant Tobiichi Origami..."
Kotori raised her chin.
"You want to rush over and kill me? I will not hesitate this time..."
"Exactly what I had in mind!"
Tobiichi Origami said.
"However, before I get conclusive evidence that you're my parents' killer, I will abstain from killing Shiori's sister..."
"You think you have the ability to kill me?"
Tobiichi Origami gave her a frosty stare.
"Not before, however, I don't sense any Reiryoku from you right now..."
The mood turned heavy in an instant.