"Yomi, what do you think?" Seiji privately inquired his bonded female spirit.
"This girl has probably been affected by her mystical connection. It's unknown whether this is good or bad. For now, it seems that she still has her sense of reason. Still, it'll be difficult to predict what happens in the future with her," Yomi told him.
"Is it possible to stop this?"
"It's not. This is a change within herself… and even if you suppress her mystical connection and return her to being a normal person, it won't change the fact that she's been influenced to some extent already. Not to mention, it's impossible to suppress a mystical connection. At least, I don't know how to do it."
Seiji fell silent.
Yukari finished absorbing the female demon's experience mist. The glow on her hands faded and the black spiderwebs disappeared.
The moment that she put her hands down, she collapsed right towards Seiji! Seiji caught her in his arms.
"I'm a little tired. Let me take a nap," Yukari whispered to him as she closed her eyes.
The cherry blossoms gathered and started forming into even more humanoid spiritual monsters!
The battling continued.
The purple-haired girl slowly opened her eyes.
She discovered herself to be sleeping in an unfamiliar bed. She was also wearing brand-new pajamas that weren't hers.
'Who helped change my clothes?'
This was the first question Yukari thought of, but she then naturally recalled the gently smiling maid senpai.
She then recalled what happened before she fell asleep… Suddenly, Yukari entered a strange realm again, and came face to face with the same gigantic reddish-purple haired girl with the lower half of a spider!
Once again, Yukari felt a chill run down her spine because she was still scared of this existence. But, she wasn't as scared as last time, because she faintly realized who that spider woman really was.
Yukari directly exchanged glances with the spider woman, and spoke resolutely, "I won't turn into you… I definitely won't lose to you!"
"Heeheehee~" The spider woman responded with the same chilly laugh as last time. It sounded as if she was amused and scoffing at Yukari.
"Heeheehee~" Yukari also smiled and made a similar yet different sound.
'I am myself, and you are also part of myself.
'I shall control you rather than being controlled by you!'
Fear, rejection, running away… All of these would be useless. She could only bravely face the spider woman head on.
Just like when she first underwent the trial to become Awakened.
Actually, this was another type of trial, a long-term trial.
The result of failing this trial would be losing her sense of self. She would become a monster. Only by surpassing this trial would she become truly strong!
That disappearing drawing didn't actually exist. It had only appeared before her as a familiar form. That had been the signal of the long-term trial's beginning… was what Yukari believed now.
She had made Seiji worry about her. She needed to explain things properly to him.
Yukari finished organizing her thoughts and was about to get out of bed when she heard a knock on the door.
"Yukari, are you awake?" Seiji spoke from outside the door.
The battle had concluded at dawn rather than continuing all the way until morning.
Mika, Kaede, and Mayuzumi were all rather tired from the all-nighter. However, they all had some energy remaining, and they all rejected returning home, preferring to wait for Yukari to wake up.
They were all concerned how the purple-haired girl would be after waking up, especially about her mental condition.
It was because they were companions, but also because they were all Awakened. Yukari's problem of possibly becoming Tainted might happen to them as well. They all wanted to understand the situation.
Seiji explained as much as he possibly could, and emphasized that he would do his very best to protect all his companions.
But, as long as there was still risk, it would be impossible to completely eliminate the girls' feeling of unease.
He sincerely hoped that Yukari would be alright when she woke up… Otherwise, he would have to load.
But even if he loaded to last night and didn't allow Yukari to participate in this battle, she would have to face a battle sooner or later. And if she was affected by her mystical connection the moment that she battled, then loading would have been meaningless.
As for having her quit his knight order, avoid fighting entirely, and obediently remain as an ordinary person… He didn't know what reason he could tell her for this, nor did he think that this method would be effective.
In the end, it was impossible to suppress Yukari's mystical connection. Yukari was destined to be affected by her mystical connection from the moment it Awakened.
As for that mysterious drawing… Seiji was rather suspicious about it. Did that drawing really exist? Could it have been an illusion produced via Yukari's mystical connection?
No matter what, he could only wait for her to wake up before he could ascertain her condition.
Seiji knocked on her door and heard her responding.
"I'm awake, and about to get up… How's the Domain?"
"Everything is fine there. The battles have ended."
Seiji waited outside the door for a few minutes. Yukari then opened the door and walked out after she finished changing her clothes.
"Good morning… How do you feel?"
"Pretty good. Morning, Seiji."
Yukari smiled while Seiji looked her over. He then smiled as well.
'Everything is fine as long as you're alright.'
Seiji, Yukari, Mika, Kaede, Mayuzumi, Kazuko, and Natsuya all enjoyed a delicious breakfast prepared by Mai. They then sat down together in the living room.
Yukari explained to everyone about what she had Awakened to.
Obtaining her ability was only the beginning; it was no one-time process to be over and done with.
Yukari told everyone about the drawing which she believed to be an image created by the monster version of herself. She talked about how she thought it was the signal of the beginning of a new trial. It could be viewed as a battle against one's own new ability—the will of the mystical connection.
Either one would end up controlling the power, or be controlled by the power.
"My current condition is that I've taken control of a small portion of the spider woman. Or, maybe it's more accurate to say that I've gained a small portion of her powers… I don't know how to precisely describe it. Although I'm using the word 'control', the real situation is far more complex than simply controlling the power. I just don't know how to describe it better. I'm certain that I'm still myself, but I don't know how to prove it to you all. Maybe you all think that I'm changing into a monster…
"All I can say about this is to please believe in me," the purple-haired girl told everyone directly.
The room fell silent for a moment.
"I believe you," Seiji spoke up first.
Although he had just said the same words to Kaho, and she ended up having such a big problem, he still chose to believe in his companion.
"I was really worried about how you were acting last night, but I feel like I can trust you with that current look in your eyes. Besides, when you Awakened, you used your own strength to break free from the mystical connection's control, and faced against it directly to pass your trial… that's why I believe you'll be able to continue prevailing."
"Seiji…" Something flashed in Yukari's eyes.
"If there's anything I can ever help with, please let me know. Make sure to ask for help as soon as possible if you're ever in a tight spot. I'll help you out, no matter what the situation is," Seiji spoke adamantly while looking directly at her.
Yukari smiled, with her eyes becoming watery. She looked quite moving with her incredibly beautiful smile.
"I will, Mr. Hero."
"I'm not a hero, I'm the Team Leader."
"Alright then, Team Leader."
Both of them exchanged smiles with a joyous atmosphere.
Seiji chose to believe in her, so nobody else said anything about this.
Not only was Yukari motivated by his trust, Mika and the others also felt reassured. If any of them met a similar situation, they knew that Seiji would never abandon them.
Something flashed in Natsuya's eyes as she watched all of this. She seemed to be thinking about something.
The cherry blossom mystical glowing phenomenon continued through the morning with no noticeable changes.
However, this was only on the surface. Kazuko's Domain having issues was the best evidence that something was wrong behind the scenes. There was definitely something behind this phenomenon, but there wasn't enough information.
Seiji went home to sleep after having stayed up all night. When he woke up, he saw that there was a message from Soul Society.
Seiji's expression froze over when he saw the message.
Approximately two weeks later, the new Spirit World "Realm of Cherry Blossoms" would be born. This Spirit World would release a tremendous amount of spiritual monsters that would even harm ordinary humans!
Soul Society issued an important mission to all its members and affiliates. Before the Realm of Cherry Blossoms summoned itself, everyone would ally to protect humanity and fight against the dangerous existences about to come!! 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far