Forgotten Promise

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 The fox is the same as the little fox we saw in a dream in the past, fluffy and furry, and the way it peeks at us makes it look very lovable.


"Waah, fox-chan !!"



 However, the little fox, her body shaking with fear at the sound of Amane's voice, which had grown excited at the sight of her, hid behind the sliding door.



"Kora, don't scare her. No matter how fluffy and furry she is..."


 I chided Amane, who looked disappointed.

 Come to think of it, Amane has had a thing for these kinds of small animals since she was a child, but when she first met them, they often surprised and ran away.

 It seems that that part still hasn't changed.

 Sakaki let out a sigh at such an exchange.


"Konoha, these people are not here to harm you in any way. If you are a descendant of the god Inari, why don't you behave appropriately..."

"…………………… Yes, okaa-sama"


 Her mother gently admonished her, and after a few moments of looking on ...... This time, a young girl of about 10 years old, not a little fox, appeared from the other side of the sliding door, sneaking out just like the little fox from earlier.

 It was a cute little girl in shrine maiden clothes, but like Sakaki, she had bob blonde hair, fox ears, and a little tail.


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"Kyaaaaa !! Cuteeeeee!!"



 Amane's reason collapsed at the sight of such a lovely figure ...... and the girl was startled by an even louder voice than before and pulled back over there again.



"Ah, not! No matter how cute she is, calm down a little!!"


 I give a little chop to my childhood friend for being a little bit crazy... Which reminds me, cute things are always in Amane's strike zone?

 It took another few minutes of wasted time to calm her down from her excitement.


"... I am so sorry. She was so lovely that I forgot about myself."


 As Amane regained her composure and bowed her head, the girl, Konoha, finally appeared from behind the sliding door.

 ...... She still seems a bit wary and hides behind her mother (Sakaki-san), though.


"Even God would not be offended by the praise given to their daughter, but ... My daughter is a bit shy. I'd appreciate it if you'd go easy on her."


 Konoha-chan glances at us from behind Sakaki-san who has a wry smile.

 Even God was smiling, like a normal mother and daughter, but I looked at Konoha-chan, who was peeping at us, and took out a letter from my pocket.


"We were investigating this letter that was delivered to a local coffee shop 30 years ago. And in the process, we ended up here..."

"!? That letter !!"


 Konoha-chan's eyes widened when she saw the envelope I took out.

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"As I thought, you were the one who delivered this letter to that coffee shop 30 years ago, weren't you?"



 Konoha-chan looked down for a while, but then gave a small nod.


"Yes... It's the letter I left in that coffee store a long time ago..."



 Then Konoha-chan began to talk.

 She told us about her only friend who was on this mountain 30 years ago.

 At that time, when the Shirasagi family owned this mountain, there was a purely Japanese-style mansion on the mountain, and a girl lived in the mansion.


 The girl seemed to be cherished as if she were a picture of a girl in a box. She rarely left the mountain where her house was located, and naturally did not make friends in a life where she rarely came into contact with others.


 At that time, the girl was to meet her parents at their family-owned company.

 To the shy Inari God's child...


 Konoha-chan was just discovered while she was practicing her "humanization" training, and she became friends with the girl... and they started playing together all the time.

 Konoha-chan, who played with a girl who was not allowed to come down from the mountain very often, always looked at the view from the top of the mountain and made a promise to the girl.


[Someday let's go to that coffee shop together that we can see from here...]


 But one day 30 years ago, the girl suddenly disappeared from this mountain.

 Not only the girl's family, but also the house, which was big and magnificent, was gone in no time...

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 Hearing that much, Sakaki-san groaned in agreement.


"I see ... 30 years ago, after the Shirasagi family fled in the night, there was a period when Konoha was very depressed ...... that's what it was all about?"

"Escape at night, huh...?"


 I see ... Then it would certainly be a sudden disappearance.

 First of all, no doubt, because it would have been so sudden for the Shirasagi girl...


"So, are you saying that Konoha-chan left that letter at the coffee shop because she wanted to get in touch with the girl?"


 Konoha-chan nodded her head in nervousness at Amane's frank question.


"Y-Yes... Maybe in that coffee shop, the letter could be delivered... but because that letter is here now... It didn't get delivered, did it..."


 Konoha-chan, who is gradually becoming sunk as she says it... It might be understandable to hear that your letter of 30 years ago was not delivered.



"It is indeed impossible for this letter to be delivered, I think, Because it doesn't have the name of the person to whom it's being delivered, and we don't know who's sending it... Above all, this characteristic..."

"? Is there something wrong? I thought I tell exactly what that girl looks like..."


 She asks me questions in wonderment and seems to have no idea what's really wrong.

 Just as she did so, the parent peered from the side at the notepaper that went with the envelope and frowned.


"Let's see......... Ah, surely this would be..."

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 Sakaki-san begins to talk to her daughter who looks confused, as if to admonish her.


"Konoha, I'll ask you a few questions, do you recognize the clothes these people are wearing?"

"? It's western clothes. We are not very familiar with it..."


 Konoha-chan says, indicating the shrine maiden outfit she is wearing.

 I'm sure for these two, western clothing is not familiar to them... They've probably been wearing the same clothes for many years.


"Then, do you know that only a few people in this country wear kimonos for everyday wear?"



 Konoha-chan did not seem to understand what was being said, and her expression froze as it was.

 Ah, this is... The Shirasagi family, who lived in the mountains at the time, always wore kimono at that time, so for her, who was originally based in the mountains, she must have had the perception that kimono = everyday clothes.

 It seems she didn't think the girl in question hadn't worn a kimono since she left the mountain.


 And the first real name that might come to mind is that the girls called each other "Kono-chan" and "Chi-chan" at the time and did not know each other's official names...

 It would have been different if at least the name "Shirasagi" had been included......... What can I say, this girl seems to be also sheltered.

 Sakaki-san seemed to have guessed what I was going to say and showed me a frown.


"Don't look at us like that... A god like us, who is worshipped on the land, cannot move very far from a specific place. We, who have a shrine on this mountain, can only look down on the ground below us at best... "


 The result of being worshipped to have the land protected ...... That being said, it makes me reluctant to point out the bias in the information.

 It's all about human convenience, after all.

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