"Are we really doing this? Teacher?" The same youth that 'welcomed' Nik and Shigure to the guest house spoke with barely concealed despise while the long-haired, pitch-black, tengu-masked man nodded slightly and replied in a hoarse voice.
"Besides me, Shigure is the strongest in the village. Patience is her virtue, else, many would have lost their neck for their disrespect to the only weaponsmith and a pillar-level fighter."
"But teacher, she"
"What? A fake? She is better Kunoichi than my late wife. She is the inheritor of the Swordsmith village and..."
The masked man trailed his words before glaring at the disgruntled youth with barely concealed hostility and malice.
"She is my dear niece. Create more troubles, and you will be stripped off of your duties. Do you understand, my dear student?"
The youth visibly trembled before regaining the clarity of the situation as his impassive expression finally masked his face perfectly and he nodded softly.
"I understand. Apologies for my recent actions."
"Apology accepted. Now, continue the search. The village is already inspected while my sensors did not pick on any object leaving the forest.
The bastard is hidden within the forest. Smoke him out."
Hearing the Village's Head's words, a malicious grin touched the youth's lips as he disappeared with his words left behind.
"As you wish, teacher."
As the youth disappeared, the tengu-masked head took out a pendant with two images embedded on the surface. One was a beautiful grey-haired lady with a pale complexion while the other looked almost similar to Shigure.
"Ah... sis... why did you run off with that damn irresponsible bastard with nothing but swords in his mind!! You were too good for him!!"
The man complained while sitting on the wooden floor when suddenly, he stopped his ranting and looked sideways.
"Oh, come on, now. It's been a long time since we last met and this is how you greet me?"
A hint of amus.e.m.e.nt touched the man's voice while a ravishing brunette stepped out, her icy blue eyes stared at the black mask before sighing.
"I never understood the trend of tengu masks between you two..."
Lisa Lisa muttered while the man shrugged.
"Sakonji made it for me, how could I even thinking of rejecting it?"
Hearing him, Lisa Lisa smiled and sat in front of him.
"You know... he has sired two successors and the most wonderful news is..."
After Lisa completed her words, the village head couldn't help but fall into silence while Lisa Lisa smiled softly.
"So, what are your thoughts, Giryu."
"Well... vouching for a demon... training two extremely capable successors... and finally... breaking the nose of his earliest craftsmanship...
It is too difficult to digest."
"From your words, I guess that you simply cannot accept the nose of the mask broken, right."
"Of course, I can't." Giryu nodded while Lisa Lisa smirked.
"You know... I found something interesting about this Nik."
"He has already mastered the Continuous Focus Breathing."
"So? There are many who achieve it, and only scant few survive against Lower moons, much less upper moons."
"In two breathing techniques."
Lisa finally spoke up, "He achieved Full Focus Breathing in Breath of Water and Breath of Lightning."
Once again, Giryu fell into stunned silence as Lisa enjoyed his reaction and smirked.
"What's more, the other successor also happens to be a Kamado. And from what I have analysed... his synchronisation rate is the highest I have ever seen."
"Higher than your son, Joseph?"
Giryu pointed out while she nodded calmly.
"Yeah, so that is why, I am planning to try and cultivate them into destructive Hamon users, too."
"What do you mean?"
Giryu frowned while Lisa was the one to shrug this time.
"I have stated the same thing to Sakonji and other Cultivators. Stop hiding your inheritance from the truly strong-hearted warriors.
With how Muzan has gone into hiding and sudden attacks on the alliance without a shred of demon activity, we may need every hand on the deck."
"I'll think about it."
Giryu nodded while he looked at Lisa Lisa.
"But... you didn't teach your son. Are you really willing to impart it onto others? Your inheritance."
"Why not? Jojo and Ceasar have talent in pure Hamon, unlike us old monsters. And with their talent, they can easily find their own path.
Isn't Ceasar currently practicing the Breath of Bubble? It's already more than what I could hope to achieve at his age."
"You speak as if you have grown old."
Lisa Lisa corrected Giryu before looking outside the only window of the hut and continuing.
"Honestly, if this era ends Muzan, I am taking one long vacation."
"Good for you."
Giryu nodded as Lisa Lisa stood up.
"I'll be staying here for a while, don't bother me too much."
She commented before disappearing.
"Ah... everyone in this village is so willful..."
Nik and Shigure had already scouted more than half of the border as Nik occasionally used his [Life Vision] before finally stopping with a stunned expression and immediately jumped high before flipping with one of his legs extended while waves covered his foot as Nik dived down instantly.
Shigure immediately frowned at the sudden change, but still retreated while Nik's foot immediately caused web cracks to spread across the ground while Nik let his water infused harem enter the ground before rolling backwards while the small patch of ground exploded.
The situation occurred too suddenly and both, the demon hidden within the ground and Shigure, did not have the appropriate amount of time to adapt as Nik's raging Hamon had already injured the demon quite awfully.
But still, Nik immediately gave the serpent-like man a look while the red alert status window in front of his eyes kept flashing, annoying Nik to no end.
Description: You have encountered a host of Monster Paradise. Kill him with any means possible!
Rewards: World Root 4%, 3000 SO, 2 Stats, 4 SP.
Penalty: All skill points seized for the next three trips!
While bells rang within Nik's mind, the same thing happened to the strange Snake monster that had a similar life-force signature to the demons.
But never did Nik think that he would encounter such a situation and immediately shouted at Shigure.
"We need to kill him, quickly! He is weak right now!"
The Snake-tailed youth immediately hissed but instantly, he crouched while Shigure had already sliced against his head with her prized sword, meanwhile, Nik, who did not want to play any risks, immediately formed a threatening sword of raging blue waves that glittered in the night sky while shooting towards the monstrosity, who looked nothing better than his breakfast and immediately slashed.
'Fourth Style: Striking Tide!'
Nik's sword instantly formed into a razor-sharp tide that flowed unnaturally before slicing the demon onto four equal halves as it let out an unintelligible scream before turning into dust.
As Nik received the rewards, he found his normal quest getting completed while Shigure continued looking at him with stunned awe. Suddenly, her expression morphed into fear and she immediately unsheathed her sword and spoke grimly.
"Nik... stand behind me..."
While Nik was huffing due to such a fast-paced action, he also felt a shiver run down his spine and finally spun to face a brunette with a bomb figure and icy blue eyes that glowed gold before returning to normal.
"Shigure, darling, no need to be so overprotective."
She smirked while looking at the duo.
"I had other plans... but now, you both are leaving with me..."
"I am not going to headquarters."
Shigure, for the first time, spoke firmly before looking at Nik and continuing.
"Neither is Nik."
"No, not the headquarters, but my place...
It seems that I have underestimated the youth... and your changes."
She smirked while looking into the sky and instantly, a black crow flapped down while looking at Nik with disbelief.
"Mistress, you called for me." The middle-aged grumpy crow spoke uncharacteristically softly while the brunette nodded.
"Not a word needs to be spoken. Understood?"
"Yes." The crow looked at Nik before flying away once again.
"I am assigning you two of your new missions. Assist the Body Cultivator to her mansion. She needs capable healers."
The brunette smirked and licked her lips rather seductively while Shigure's expression only grew more annoyed.
Meanwhile, at Nik's side
[War Quest Completed.]
[Side Mission 1 completed...]
'Alright... the war quest? This just grew way out of my paygrade.]