A big shoutout to Demon for joining my patron! Thanks a lot!!
After a showdown against the demons, Nik and Tanjiro braced a long walk. To say they were tired was an understatement, even when considering Nik's 10 points in vitality.
"Don't lean on me... I'll fall." Nik wheezed out, dead tired while Tanjiro simply hung behind him with a pained expression on his face.
"I... am... too... tired..."
Arguably, Tanjiro's condition was worse than Nik. If it hadn't been Tanjiro's eagerness to return as early as possible, the duo might have stayed back in one of the villages and just rest for a few hours before continuing their journey.
"Think of Nezuko! Get on your feet, damnit!"
Nik muttered, his voice clearly lacked the appropriate strength to convey the curse properly while Tanjiro's breath slowly grew steady.
"Tell... Nezuko... I... love... her..."
Tanjiro whispered softly while Nik seemed to regain a bit of his strength and he immediately nodded with a happy, yet, tired smile.
"Sure! I'll tell her that I love her!"
Tanjiro's eyes snapped open and he immediately raised his head in a stupor.
"Nik... san? What did you say?"
"Huh?" Nik looked back and saw Tanjiro's eyes covered in darkness. Well, the bright side was that he had regained his strength while Nik smiled warmly.
"What did I say? You've been out for half-an-hour already?"
Nik lied, but the half-unconscious, drooling Tanjiro would never know this and he immediately snapped into his lovely wife mode and smiled gently.
And thus, he lost his strength once again, falling on the ground face first.
"But you know... I'll still take Nezuko..."
Nik spoke loudly and observed Tanjiro while the latter remained on the ground without any movement.
'He really fainted... guess... we'll camp here.'
There was no way Nik was going to give Tanjiro a ride on his back when he was quite tired himself. Looking around, Nik dragged Tanjiro's body near a tree and helped him lean against the bark while Nik sat near him and immediately took out packets upon packets of potato ch.i.p.s and drank multiple cans of soda at once.
Of course, he ended up burping rather loudly. But Nik was finally satisfied. The plastic wrappers were thrown back into the inventory, not because he cared about leaving evidence, but because he was an eco-friendly Carnal Demon and he finally laid down while looking at the softly glowing moon.
The whole landscape was peaceful and slowly, Nik drifted to sleep.
Nik didn't know how long he slept for, but he knew that Tanjiro had recovered quite well. After all, he was carrying Nik on his back while jogging towards the Mist Mountain.
"What are you doing, Tanjiro?"
Nik immediately jumped out of his hold and asked strangely while Tanjiro simply smiled kindly.
"You looked so tired that I didn't have the heart to wake you up, Nik-san. And I thought that after having a party, you must not really want to wake up early in the morning."
Nik frowned while Tanjiro nodded and replied.
"Yes, I smelled a lot of delicious scents where we were staying. But there were not even bones left, so I thought you must be full."
Tanjiro looked over at the mountain and beckoned with an eager expression.
"Let's hurry, Nik-san. I really want to meet Nezuko."
He grinned while Nik nodded and followed. Once again, they made a round trip and avoided entering the mist village right at the moment. After a couple of minutes, the duo could finally see the hut when Nik suddenly felt a little bit strange and he immediately activated his [Life Vision] and almost instantly, his eyes widened in surprise.
After a few moments, when the duo finally neared the hut, the door of the hit was kicked open by a slender leg... well, to Nik, the leg was definitely the focus and to Tanjiro, the implications of the sudden event were the main focus of his attention.
Tanjiro shouted when a beautiful girl, almost in her seventeen, stepped out. A slender yet curvaceous body while pale white skin stood out the most even in the dawn. Meanwhile, her long dark hair with fire red pigments at the end reached past her h.i.p.s, a pink ribbon preventing her hair from falling over her forehead and big, beautiful pink pupils. The only item that marred her features were the short bamboo scroll pressed against her lips, sealing her mouth.
Nezuko had awoken.
And she immediately turned her head towards the source of the voice and immediately faced with Nik and Tanjiro.
Tanjiro's tears threatened to spill as he slowly walked towards Nezuko, meanwhile, the latter took quick steps towards Tanjiro.
Although, Nik didn't want to admit it, the reunion of the siblings was definitely heartwarming, and from his earlier scout, Nik knew that Sakonji was right behind the tree, observing everything.
Alas, the script seemed to skew a bit, just like how Nezuko's path skewed from Tanjiro's and immediately jumped towards Nik and latching against his abdomen.
Tanjiro's gaze went blank, Nik thought for a moment before softly patting Nezuko's head as she produced 'hum' 'hum' sounds while narrowing her eyes, meanwhile, Sakonji was already floored, his mask hitting the tree, breaking the long nose of the mask unceremoniously.
'Oh, well... too much for a heartwarming reunion.'
Nik thought while a pair of hands grabbed his hand once again and placed it atop Nezuko's head. It was Nezuko's doing of course.
'Maybe she was conscious of my care all along?'
Nik thought silently while he continued stroking her hair while the constant 'hum' of approval made her look a cuter pet than a certain middle-aged crow.
"Tanjiro, don't mind her behaviour! She might have..."
Nik's voice slowly grew softer as he found Tanjiro looking towards him as if he was gazing at a dead being, his fist gripping the hilt of the sword proved his anguish even further while some dark chants kept on emerging from his mouth.
"You two passed."
A calm voice entered their ears as everyone except for Nezuko turned towards Sakonji and sweatdropped.
'His nose...' The duo thought simultaneously, 'broke.'
With the wooden red nose pointing towards the heaven, Sakonji walked towards the duo with light steps and nodded, a bit of warmth seeped into his voice and he continued.
"You boys... have grown wonderfully."
Nik grinned at his words and Tanjiro finally couldn't keep his tears from spilling. After all, he was rejected from his angel sister, all he could do was turn to his master and vent his frustrations out.
And yet, Sakonji perfectly established his social awkwardness through disappeared into the morning mist, leaving the trio alone.
'Once again... so much for a heartwarming, tears spilling reunion...'
Nik groaned internally and cautiously made his way towards Tanjiro and meanwhile, one of his hands was unceremoniously grabbed by Nezuko, who was just a head taller than him and she continued walking with an impassive expression.
"Tanjiro... don't mind the small stuff, brother."
"Don't call me brother..."
Tanjiro turned with an empty gaze as a dark aura seemed to surround him while once again, unintelligible words leaked through his mouth darkly, when...
Nezuko's free hand softly patted Tanjiro's head, stunning the duo. Since Tanjiro and Nezuko were of the same height, their gazes crossed instantly and finally, Tanjiro broke into tears and hugged Nezuko tightly.
Seeing Nezuko patting Tanjiro gently while still refusing to let go of him, Nik couldn't help but smile his time...
'Scratch that... I am not crying.'