Are you ready for shocking Azuchi castle volume? :) The Red Whales are continuing their mission for rescuing Takaya from Nobunaga's control and Naoe tastes how horrible thing the seed of Demon King actually is.
MoB vol. 35 (Youhen Mokushiroku - Ranka no Shou/ The Revelation of Universe - The Conflagration
Hyoudou Hayato manages to stop the exorcism by punching Naoe on the face. As the fight continues, Doumori gets badly injured. When Hayato tries to attack again he sees the seed of Demon King on Naoe's forehead. He stiffs as seeing devilish smile on Naoe's face.
N: "You rats are from the Red Whales, aren't you?"
Hayato freezes. This person isn't Naoe. Definitely not!
H: "Who are you?"
N: "My name is Nobunaga. Naoe Nobutsuna is under my control. This body is just a living puppet that follows my will."
As using Naoe's body, Nobunaga gets also all Naoe's thoughts and memories about Hayato, for example his history and what kind of person Hayato is. Nobunaga gets interested in him as understanding that Hayato shares quite similar values and dreams as Nobunaga himself too. Nobunaga asks Hayato to become his retainer. He tells that the Red Whales can't fulfill Hayato's ideals, so why would he stand on their side in that case? Nobunaga tells that he also wants a world where everyone needs to fight for having the right to live. As Nobunaga in Naoe's body extends his hand to Hayato and says "Come", Narasaki cries out "H-Hyoudou-san! The sky is...!" Everyone looks up and they can see Nobunaga there with Takaya. The Red Whale guys are shocked. Hayato turns to Naoe and asks what heck does this mean. Nobunaga in Naoe's body answers: "As you can see, Present Kuukai won't return to Shikoku anymore. Ougi Takaya is with us now."
Nobunaga and naked Takaya's picture appeared all over Shikoku making dead pilgrims and the Red Whales more than terrified. Especially Reijirou freaks out completely. He demands Nobunaga to release Takaya right away and surrender before Reijirou orders all their troops to attack Ise shrine. As holding drugged Takaya on his arm's Nobunaga gives the Red Whales 24 hours to surrender or he makes Present Kuukai to destroy Shikoku without any mercy. Reijirou decides to go to Ise for facing Nobunaga by himself. Nakagawa demands to go with him since they're close friends and if they ever die, they die together.
Nobunaga is planning to try the power of the sword of Futsu on Mt. Asamagatake after hearing that Katou Kiyomasa has seized it. Okay, I guess some of us still remember that in vol. 29 there was some talk about the imperial regalia of Japan? The sword of Kusanagi (Atsuta shrine), the mirror of Yata (Ise shrine) and the jewel of Yasakani. Previously the location of the jewel of Yasakani was unknown, but here it's revealed that it's in Saint Azuchi castle (it's the original Nobunaga's castle located in Shiga prefecture). Now Nobunaga has all of them. He is going to use similar a triangle shaped spiritual barrier what Houjou clan tried to use in Mirror arc in Hakone/Nikkou. Saint Azuchi castle, Ise shrine and Atsuta shrine can form a spiritual barrier and inside of that it's possible to use the full power of heavenly treasures (in this case the sword of Futsu). This Azuchi castle ship can sail anywhere in the world, so in other words, Nobunaga can use the sword of Futsu anywhere he wants (and rule the world).
Torigoe decides to leave for Ise. Chiaki Shuuhei told him about the rosary of Emperor Sutoku and how they should return it to him. Till now Torigoe has felt himself powerless, unable to anything, so after getting this change to help and save modern people's life, he is determined on going to Nobunaga's castle. Kaoru told that Nobunaga stole the rosary so that he could make Sutoku angry. Emperor Sutoku is a powerful onryou, whose grudge is luring in Shikoku. If he is unleashed, he will smash down the spiritual barrier and sink Shikoku. That's why it's important to return the rosary to it's true owner as soon as possible. Isomura Teru and some other modern people having spiritual powers have gathered to Motomiya shrine. They try to make a spiritual barrier to shield the shrine area from the golden rain, so that the God of Motomiya shrine would be save and not spirited away.
Kaoru visits Ooyunohara once more and meets a biwa flute priest there. Actually real Taira Koremori is possessing this priest. Kaoru asks if Koremori came to get his original body back. Koremori says that Taira clan wanted to resurrect, but after seeing how Sengoku era onryous are fighting, he changed his mind. He didn't want Nobunaga to get the sword of Futsu, so he wanted other onryous to find his skull so that the location of Futsu would stay secret. Koremori asks Kaoru to join them and fight together against Nobunaga. Kaoru, to who Nobunaga is like a real father, hesitates but allows Koremori to share the body with him.
The Pigeons attack to Motomiya shrine trying to stop the barrier ritual. Akechi Mitsuhide leads Torigoe and Kaoru out of the shrine. At the Kumano river they're stopped by Kanemitsu Shingo, the three armed Hiruko, who was drifted away 50 years ago. He won't allow Kaoru to betray Nobunaga. He has a gun and points Kaoru with that.
Naoe has returned to the guard office and locked himself to restroom. As being in rage he breaks a glass by throwing it to wall. With trembling hands he leans to the sink.
('I'll kill you... I'm gonna fucking kill you Oda Nobunaga.')
After Hayato and Narasaki got arrested, Nobunaga ordered Naoe to return the guard office. This was the first time Naoe experienced how terrifying thing the seed of Demon King actually is. He couldn't absolutely do anything. He couldn't go to save Takaya. He could just feel how Nobunaga used his body and read all thoughts Naoe had on his mind.
Naoe saw everything. He was horrified seeing how Nobunaga displayed Takaya's naked body to everyone. The body, that only Naoe is allowed to see was exposed to everyone. In his heart Naoe was yelling all time 'Stop it! Don't touch him! He's mine!' but he Nobunaga didn't allow Naoe to do anything. He on purpose forced Naoe to see everything.
('I'm gonna beat you to death, Nobunaga!')
Naoe smashes the mirror and with the piece of glass he tries to remove the seed of Demon from his forehead. However, his muscles won't allow him to do that, he can't control his own body. Inside of his own body Naoe can hear a whisper saying 'I'm watching at you'.
"HAHA... AHAHAHA... FUFUFU... HAHAHAHA!!!"
As laughing like a psychopath, the power from his knees vanishes and Naoe falls down to the floor. Even there he keeps laughing loud. After calming down a bit he whispers desperately: "Please... Forgive me... Don't touch him anymore..."
In the guard room, there was also an another guard named Morishita. He got quite worried after hearing Naoe's laugh behind the locked door of restroom. Finally Naoe comes out and he looks pretty normal, no expression on his face. Morishita looks at him confused.
N: "What's wrong?" :I
M: "What did you do there?"
N: "I was masturbating."
M: "Huh..." O__O
Naoe explains it's normal action like eating food, nothing to feel embarrassed. After that Naoe goes to see Narasaki who is kept imprisoned in the basement of guard office. Narasaki says that all this time he trusted and admired Naoe, and can't believe that he would betray the Red Whales, his friends. Naoe says that the people who possesses another people bodies aren't his friends. Narasaki looks at him sadly and whispers forcing a small smile appear on his face "Ah, I got it. We hyouireis don't have any value to exist." Then Narasaki tells that when he was still alive he had a best friend who committed a crime but made Narasaki a scapegoat. Due to that Narasaki was imprisoned. After being released he went to see this friend because he couldn't believe his friend to do such a horrible thing to him. However, this friend just laughed and with some gang they assaulted Narasaki till death. When Narasaki woke up as a hyouirei he was at the morgue. After that he possessed his friend's body. Naoe asks why would Narasaki possess the body of person who murdered him. Narasaki can't answer to that but he yells that he still trusts Naoe to be their friend. Naoe leaves the room saying that he will exorcise Narasaki later.
Takaya is seeing a dream of his brother, Ujiteru. They are sitting on the grass-covered plain, Ujiteru smiling at young Takaya.
U: "What's wrong, Saburou? Aren't you feeling fine?"
T: "I wish the war would end soon."
U: "I hope so too. It would be nice to spend days like this. We understand how dear these peaceful days are when we face hard times."
T: "Please, tell me brother. Can one accept the death after dying?"
As smiling gently at Takaya, Ujiteru tells that after living centuries, Takaya must have already found the answer in his own life. Living while hating and not accepting the death, Takaya has finally come to the point where he can accept the death peacefully.
U: "During these 400 years, hasn't that man save you from the endless nothingness that was nesting inside of you? That strong feeling of nothingness that you have carried all this time. You, who has blamed yourself, apologized your own existence, felt yourself to be the most worthless living being in this planet. That was your endless pain that lasted 400 years. While keep living together, that man cured your weakness. That man, who you hated and loved at same time. Even if you felt yourself worthless and powerless, he accepted you as you are. It took long, 400 years, but eventually that happened."
Ujiteru tells that accepting the death is same. There isn't accepting after death, you have to find it while you're alive.
Still having smile on his face, Ujiteru tells that even if the life after dying might be just mirages, he was saved when Takaya exorcised him. It was the moment when he felt it's fine to die now. Humans can change their way of living, they aren't so incapable as Takaya may have thought them to be. It's possible. And even as a hyouirei it was possible. Even though Takaya has lost his original body (Uesugi Saburou Kagetora) he's still the same person as in his first life. He can find the way to accept the death when it comes.
*Takaya hugs his legs*
U: "What are you afraid of?"
M: "What are you afraid of?"
When Takaya rises his head, Ujiteru has disappeared and now Minako is there.
M: "It must be hard for you to leave him behind."
Minako tells that Takaya can't do anything for making sure that Naoe won't be sad. It's under Naoe's own responsibility to accept that there is death in this world. And he will definitely do so even if he will at first he may suffer and mourn a lot.
M: "I'm sure you already know how he will be in the far future."
As seeing this dream Takaya lays on the floor of Nobunaga's room, tears flowing from his eyes and a small smile on his lips.
In the guest parlor Nobunaga with Mori Rikimaru meets two modern people: Atou Morinobu and Moritaka. Atou family supports a religious sect that is worshiping Nobunaga as a God. Actually the leader of Shiba Eiji's fanatic fan group (The Pigeons) is Morinobu's grandson, Shinobu. Nobunaga asks what Morinobu and Moritaka think about his castle. Both of them are crying of happiness to meet their God, Nobunaga, alive and even visit his legendary castle. Nobunaga feels a bit awkward because Atou family is hoping Nobunaga to bring back old great times what Japan was before World War 2. Nobunaga thinks that nationalists are very narrow-minded and even pitiful. However, he feels flattered to be worshiped like that. He thanks Morinobu and says that Shinobu has done very valued activity as helping Nobunaga to accomplishing his aims. Shinobu's father, Moritaka, bursts into tears worshiping Nobunaga. Moritaka's actions are too extravagant... Nobunaga leaves the parlor saying he will bring some good sake, but in the corridor he calls his retainer, Ujiie Botsuzen.
N: "Cut down Moritaka. That useless moron is rotten."
B: "He is... rotten?"
N: "Such an incompetent jerk can only flatter. He doesn't have his father's faith or his son's ability to take action. He's just a gold digger. The tree will get rotten too if we don't cut down the rotten branches. Do it."
B: "Yes, Sir."
Mori Rikimaru is Ranmaru's younger brother. In this volume Mori Boumaru also makes his debut. Like Ranmaru and Rikimaru, he is also working for Nobunaga. Historically Mori Yoshinari's family was very loyal to Oda Nobunaga, and after Yoshinari died in the battle, some of his sons were given to Nobunaga. The second oldest son, Nagayoshi, served Nobunaga as a warrior, but his little brothers (Ranmaru, Boumaru and Rikimaru) became Nobunaga's personal servant boys. In novel, Boumaru is described to have pretty boy face just like Ranmaru has too, but Boumaru's hair is black and short. Rikimaru seems to have an appearance of teen pop idol. Boumaru's task is to be the leader of pages when Ranmaru is absence.
Nobunaga goes back to his own room and finds Naoe watching over drugged Takaya there. Nobunaga demands reason why Naoe came here since it's extremely forbidden to come without permission to his room. Naoe says Nobunaga should have seen Naoe coming here since their minds are connected by the seed. It seems that Naoe came to look for the sword of Futsu. Nobunaga decides to punish him and asks if Naoe would like to couple with his pet beast. Naoe refuses right away, because he doesn't want Takaya to be touched by his body that is connected to Nobunaga.
Na: "There is no way I would do so..."
No: "I see. In that case, I'll fuck him with this body I have, and you will be one who watches. Choose if you fuck and I watch or I fuck and you watch."
Terrifying feeling invades Naoe. He will never let Nobunaga to touch Kagetora in such a way, never! But if Naoe does it, it's almost same as Nobunaga himself is having sex with Kagetora. Nobunaga laughs scornfully that usually Naoe can do decisions easily, so why he hesitates now. Naoe knows Nobunaga just wants to tease him and try how far Naoe is ready to go for proving his loyalty. He curses on his mind why did he come to Azuchi castle to see Takaya. He should have stayed at Ise shrine!
Naoe jumps up aiming to hit Nobunaga, but Nobunaga barely avoids it.
No: "What a frightening man you are. Even I couldn't foresee that. Have to be careful next time."
As feeling frustrated and blaming himself, Naoe punches the floor and tries to endure this anger.
Nobunaga smiles devilishly and orders Naoe to leave after he has finished. Naoe looks at unconscious Takaya remembering his demanding eyes at the dungeon. Suddenly he can hear telepathically Takaya saying 'You won't hurt me. I'm not gonna be damaged if do it. This won't hurt me.'
Meanwhile Takaya's mind was travelling in the spiritual world. He meets Rei and together they ride on the back of Yata crow to a shrine where they find a mirror. Currently Rei's physical body is in the hospital but her mind managed make connection with Takaya's. When they look to the mirror they can see a scenery of Itsukushima shrine. Itsukushima shrine was the place where the golden rain fell and made Ashizura navy of the Red Whales to disappear. Inside of the mirror there is the netherworld where the rain hid people and the gods. Rei says that she is going to stay there and talk to the gods if they can try to make everyone come back to the real world. She gives Takaya a permit to use the form of Yata crow as much as he wants. As Rei steps inside of the mirror, Takaya gets on the back Yata crow again and decides to return back to Naoe.
Nobunaga gets a call from Ranmaru who is protecting the Outer shrine of Ise. In the shrine they have 140 small mirrors that are representing the amount of Shintou gods in Japan. After the God is sent to the netherworld, the mirror becomes black. Ranmaru says for a few seconds the mirror of Itsukushima shrine was shining a bit. Nobunaga curses on his mind that Kagetora is trying to do something. In the castle Nobunaga's retainers are preparing for using the heavenly treasures.
In the Outer shrine area Ayako and Eikichi are trying to find the place that keeps the spiritual barrier alive. Without any warning Ayako's behavior changes and she starts to exorcises Eikichi. In terror Eikichi begs Ayako to stop and asks if she is going to betray them. Without any mercy Ayako finishes the exorcism and Eikichi's soul disappears. Kotarou sees the exorcism light and rushes there. He can sense something evilness in Ayako.
K: ('No... This person isn't Kakizaki...')
Ayako and Kotarou have a fight. Avoiding the danger to get exorcised, Kotarou hits Ayako's head so she loses her conscious. As feeling something evil in Ayako's body, Kotarou opens Ayako's shirt and finds the seed of Demon King on her chest. He is absolutely terrified because no one knew Ayako being controlled by Nobunaga. The seed is plant so deep that it's possible that even Ayako hasn't recognized having it. Nobunaga has heard and seen everything while Ayako has been with the Red Whales. This explains why Nobunaga knew about Kagetora's soul demise (in vol. 33 Naoe told about that to Ayako). Kotarou considers should he kill Ayako's body right now, but then he feels someone pointing his back by the head of gun. It's Mori Ranmaru.
R: "So you're Fuuma Kotarou... Damn you Houjou clan, even if they were already destroyed, there is still left scum like you. There is no way I'm gonna let you to be alive once I found you. We can't dismiss our spy, Kakizaki Haruie yet."
K: "What are planning to do with Saburou-dono?"
R: "Saburou? Oh, you mean Kagetora."
Ranmaru tells Kagetora will make Shikoku to be 'the Hell' if the Red Whales won't surrender to Oda.
R: "You're lucky, you won't see those flames of Hell."
*Ranmaru pulls the trigger*
Naoe with messy hair is sitting in the Nobunaga's room and hanging his head regretfully. His shirt is open, tie untied and belt laying on the floor. Beside him Takaya is still laying unconsciously.
Na: ('I'm like... an animal...')
Naoe is worrying if he really managed to keep the control by himself without letting Nobunaga to have intercourse with Takaya. During the act Naoe tried with all his powers to block Nobunaga away. Of course Nobunaga kinds of 'saw' everything and sensed how Naoe felt in his heart. Nobunaga comes into the room and orders Naoe to get dressed and go back to work This was the lesson for trying to be sly and use the sword of Futsu without Nobunaga's permission. Naoe begs Nobunaga to use the sword of Futsu for saving Takaya, because hasn't Naoe already showed enough his loyalty to Oda clan. Nobunaga answers that after his plans are finished he will use it. Takaya comes back to his conscious and whispers quietly with a small smile on his face to Naoe: "You won't.... hurt me.... I'm not....gonna be damaged..."
Naoe is shocked, because those are the same words Takaya telepathically told him before the act. By hitting Nobunaga punishes Takaya for interrupting the ritual at the Outer shrine. Naoe tries to stop him to do that, Nobunaga orders Naoe to fuck off and never come back to Nobunaga's room again. Naoe can't do anything else but follow the orders. Takaya's life is after all depending on Nobunaga, so have to be careful. After Naoe gets outside of the castle trembling he falls on his knees. He has to block the voice of his heart, because these feelings cause danger to Takaya. He decides to self-hypnotize himself to forget his love for Takaya in order to win Nobunaga in this game and save Takaya's life.
At Mt. Asamagatake, Katou Kiyomasa, Nakagawa and Hakkai get a call from Ushio who is now on the opposite shore of Ise bay with Houjou Ujiyasu and two Tokugawa Ieyasu's retainers. They warn Kiyomasa to withdrawal as soon as possible because it's seems that Nobunaga is preparing for use of the heavenly treasures. However, Kiyomasa asks Nakagawa and Hakkai to evacuate, but he will stay there and protect the area. After the call Ushio vows to save Takaya by himself. He removes the chip Nobunaga installed in him in vol. 33.
Nobunaga goes to see Hyoudou Hayato who is kept imprisoned in the basement floors of Azuchi castle. Hayato feels discouraged after hearing Ayako has exorcised Eikichi. Nobunaga wants to recruit Hayato, so he tells about his plans and values about life. Hayato feels a bit shocked because it seems that Nobunaga and he, they both want same kind of world. How surprising is that even they both come from completely different social classes, they share these similar values. Hayato can see himself in Nobunaga: a man who has lived in the middle of fear. The man who can't feel save before he's the strongest. Nobunaga says that Hayato has same enthusiasm in his eyes as Nobunaga favorite generals, Maeda Toshiie and Hashiba Hideyoshi (=Toyotomi Hideyoshi), also had. However, Toshiie and Hideyoshi passed away without any grudge, so they won't resurrect. Boumaru comes to inform that the heavenly treasures are finally ready for use. Nobunaga leaves the dungeon saying that he will make Hayato to be the leader of guard section if he changes his side to Oda.
At the shore of Kumano river Kanemitsu Shingo has stopped Kaoru, Mitsuhide and Torigoe. He asks if Kaoru has forgotten the grudge of Hirukos'. Kaoru says that he hasn't but if they keep revenging and revenging, this cycle of evilness will never stop. The tradition has ended, Kaoru shall be the last Hiruko. It's possible that Shingo was bluffed by Nobunaga about that Nachi guardian came to find and kill Shingo's family. Everyone in Kumano thought that Shingo is dead, so they didn't expect him to be alive. It must be a deceit. After all Shingo apologizes for killing Kaoru's family, and commits a suicide by shooting himself to head. Kaoru crying runs to Shingo's corpse and desperately whispers why he needed to kill himself. They see that the golden rain has started to falling in Motomiya shrine. It seems Teru and the others failed to shield the shrine. The second last God is disappearing soon...
At Azuchi castle Nobunaga is pleased to hear that only left God is now Amaterasu in the Inner shrine of Ise and it's already seized be his clan. Things are going according to his plan. Boumaru rushes there and lets Nobunaga to know that Tsukasa (=Kaoru) contacted them. According to Tsukasa, Kanemitsu Shingo commited a suicide. Nobunaga sharpens his eyes because Shingo's suicide is quite surprising. He was supposed to agree with Nobunaga about Hiruko's revenge. Then, Ujiie Botsuzen also comes meet Nobunaga saying that everything is ready for attack. Nobunaga takes the sword of Futsu on his hand and steps to the window, watching Mt. Asamagatake.
Meanwhile at Mt. Asamagatake Kiyomasa and some soldiers are preparing for shelter themselves from Nobunaga's attack. Nakagawa and Hakkai escaped as Kiyomasa ordered them to do so. Suddenly a young man appears to Kiyomasa's behind asking why don't they attack. Kiyomasa and the soldiers are dumbfounded how this man came here because there is a spiritual barrier around the peak of mountain. The man is Narita Yuzuru, his skin burnt badly when Ujiyasu attacked, but now his skin has recovered completely thanks to the powers of Bodhisattva.
K: "Who the hell are you?! Are you an onryou?!"
Y: "My name is Miroku... The same soul that was once called Uesugi Kagekatsu."
K: "U-Uesugi Kagekatsu?! The same person who was a member of Toyotomi's Council of Five Elders(*)?! It can't be!"
Y: "Why don't you attack? That castle deserves to be crashed down."
K: "Don't be kidding! Kagetora is captured there! There's no way we would attack! More importantly, why Lord Kagekatsu is here? Why did you come? Don't tell me Kenshin-"
Y: "Takaya is there."
Yuzuru says as staring at Azuchi castle with sharp eyes. Castle's main tower is getting bright like the sun. Attack is coming soon!
(*) Council of Five Elders (Tokugawa Ieyasu, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Mouri Terumoto, Maeda Toshiie and Ukita Hideie) was appointed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After Nobunaga's death, one of his favorite generals, Hideyoshi, took the command and almost managed to finish Nobunaga's plans to unify Japan. As getting older and his heir, Hideyori, being still too young for taking the rule of their clan, Hideyoshi chose those five daimyous to take care of ruling till Hideyori is old enough for that. The reason why Kiyomasa feels so amazed here is because he was very loyal and close retainer to Hideyoshi.
Nobunaga is spelling mantra and the sword of Futsu responds to it by starting to shine very brightly. He attacks. Bright flash lights the whole Ise bay white and thundering sound echos far away. The whole Mt. Asamagatake is blown away.
In Shikoku Date Masamune and Katakura Kojuurou have found Shimozawa Rairyuu and demands him to leave Shikoku immediately. They have a fight. After all Rairyuu escapes, but Masamune sends their ninjas after him. As been chased Rairyuu gets surrounded by death pilgrims. There are hundreds of them. "Burn in Hell, Kagetoraaaaa!!" He yells as he is trying to escape. Then, Takaya as a form of Yata crow attacks too. Rairyuu recognizes crow's true form and tries to defense himself by chanting Amida's mantra, but it doesn't work. Yata crow's red, cursing eyes make Rairyuu to lost his mind. His terrified scream echos in Shikoku.
Miike Tetsuya and his friend Nagashima Atsushi have come all the way from Kumamoto to help Takaya after seeing Reijirou's tv interview. Tetsuya is sure that Takaya is just discredited to be a criminal. Tetsuya and Atsushi arrive to Motomiya shrine but seems they came late since everyone has disappeared already. They only find Torigoe and Mitsuhide there. Tetsuya tells how Takaya saved everyone is Kumamoto few years ago, making Torigoe to think that maybe Takaya really is a good guy after all (since now Torigoe has been doubtful for trusting to him). Kaoru is still at the shore of Kumano river. As holding Shingo's death body Kaoru whispers to Taira Koremori inside of him that 'Kaoru-sama' will be his enemy from now on.
In Tokyo, Atou Shinobu gets a call from Azuchi castle. His father has died suddenly (poisoned). However, Shinobu seems to not be sad at all. Instead of that, he's rather excited hearing that Nobunaga has used heavenly treasures. After the call Shinobu continues updating the Pigeons' website while listening to Shiba Eiji's music. Suddenly to the chat panel, someone with a username 'Yata crow', writes 'Yami Sengoku won't support this revolution' making Shinobu confused.
Nakagawa and Hakkai managed to escaped before the attack wave of heavenly treasures hit Mt. Asamagatake. They're shocked and feeling powerless. Nobunaga has the powers of God. How can they fight against him?! They're also grieving Kiyomasa, because there is no way he would have survived from the impact like that. Meanwhile in Mt. Asamagatake: for Kiyomasa's own great surprise he is still alive. He was sure be killed after seeing the flash striking them. Yuzuru stands in front of him, facing to the Ise bay and keeping his right hand straighten towards to Azuchi castle. He shielded everyone just with one hand. Kiyomasa is wordless. Yuzuru asks if the attacker was Nobunaga, and removes the dry seed of Demon King from his forehead and eats it. At Azuchi castle Nobunaga senses Yuzuru presences and smiles. Now they can have a duel to see which one is stronger: Demon King or Miroku. Nobunaga orders everyone to prepare for second attack.
Meanwhile Naoe hurries in the basement floors of Azuchi castle. While Nobunaga is concentrating on the use of heavenly treasures, he won't sense what Naoe is doing. He has around 5 minutes time to be free. As showing the seed of Demon King and speaking like Nobunaga, Naoe manages to bluff the guards and order them to release Hayato. As giving him the guard uniform, Naoe orders Hayato follow him. After they're enough far from guards, Naoe gives him secretly a key of motorboat, whispers the number of boat hangar and hurries then back to the upstairs. Hayato looks after him confused.
Naoe takes kimono dressed unconscious Takaya on his arms rushes back to the downstairs. He beats by a baton the guards who recognized what he's trying to do. In the boat hangar Hayato is waiting for him and has already started the engine of the boat. He has also moved Atou Moritaka's body out of the boat. Naoe comes there and places Takaya to the boat. It's enough if they can get Takaya out of Nobunaga's reach. Then Shikoku, the place Takaya deeply wants to protect, will be saved. Naoe says that Hayato can escape with Takaya when Naoe opens the exit gate. Naoe himself can't leave yet, because he wants to get the sword of Futsu for saving Takaya before he will also escape. But Hayato doesn't make any movements for escaping.
N: "What's wrong? Hurry up, go already."
H: "The thing Nobunaga is planning to do... Don't you think it isn't wrong?"
H: "What the Red Whales was originally aiming... Isn't it same what Nobunaga wants?"
N: "What are you talking about? And at the moment like this!"
As looking down to the floor Hayato says that originally the Red Whales just wanted to exist. He explains that Takaya isn't a true revolutionist like Nobunaga. Hyouireis and modern people can't live side by side. He says that Takaya is wrong about that, it's an impossible goal. In Hayato's opinion living beings should live, and he wants to live, not die (I guess dying here means accepting the death and continuing to the next life in samsara/rinne). After comparing his ideals to Shadow Shikoku and Takaya's ideals, his conclusion is that his own ideals are closer to Nobunaga. Naoe is shocked. He can't believe what Hayato is saying. Hayato, who has always been very devoted to the Red Whales.
N: "What did Nobunaga say to you? Don't tell me you're changing your side to Oda! Are you going to turn your back to the Red Whales?! Isn't he your enemy?! He killed all your subordinates!"
As facing Hayato's painful gaze, Naoe demands him to answer how Hayato can forget his revenge so easily, how can he betray his loyal friends. Then someone comes there and says: "That's enough, Uesugi." It's Yamanaka Shikanosuke of Amago clan. He came to Shikoku together with Nagahide and Kojirou to assassinate Chousokabe Nobuchika. Behind of Shikanosuke, there is also an another man that Naoe knows. It's Ayukawa! It seems that somehow he survived even if he got badly injured when Shadow Shikoku was created. Naoe is more than shocked seeing his good friend to be there. Ayukawa is a loyal retainer of Uesugi, why would he be there?!
N: "Ayukawa.. Why... Why are you here?"
A: "We haven't met since Toujindaba (place where Shadow Shikoku was born)... Naoe."
*Naoe is shocked*
A: "At the order of Lord Nobunaga, I kept eyes on you ever since you came to Azuchi castle."
*Naoe feels disgusted hearing Ayukawa using honorific title for Nobunaga*
A: "Naoe, we can't let the Red Whales to have Kagetora anymore."
N: "I can't understand... Why are you on Oda's side...?"
"Give Present Kuukai to us", demands a man who steps out from behind of Ayukawa. As seeing this man Naoe is paralyzed of shock. The man is Irobe Katsunaga....
"Damn it, we were too late!" Ushio cries as seeing Mt. Asamagatake getting blown away by the power of heavenly treasures. He is on the back of dragon Ujiyasu and they were about to attack Azuchi castle, but Nobunaga stroke before them. At the moment they're flying above of Azuchi castle.
U: "Fuuuck!! Kiyomasa!! Nakagawaaaa!!"
This situation is terrible. Ushio feels afraid if Kiyomasa and Nakagawa lost their lives. And Takaya is still captured in the castle. Suddenly a golden Yata crow appears next to flying Ujiyasu. It's Takaya.
T: "Mutou... Can you hear my voice?"
U: "Ou... Ougi? Ha-Have you died or what, or why are you in such a form?! Don't tell me you have lost your life!!"
T: "I'm alive. I'm in the castle now, but I can't move my body."
Ranjatai keeps Takaya's body unable to move, but thanks to Rei, Takaya can use Yata crow for communicating with outside world. Takaya asks a favor from Ushio. He wants Ushio to kill his body at Azuchi castle as soon as possible before Nobunaga uses him for destroying Shikoku. Ushio refuses right away, he definitely can't do that. Ushio also says that Naoe won't accept that either, they both prefer to see the flames of Hell rather than killing Takaya. Takaya nods that Naoe won't ever kill him, that's why he needs to beg Ushio to do that. Yata crow's eyes look like he's crying... Ushio understands those to be Takaya's true feeling: Takaya's heart is crying.
U: "You're blaming yourself, right? For that what Nobunaga did to Tachibana... right? You're blaming yourself for that."
T: "I beg you, Mutou."
*Yata crow looks at Ushio with praying look in it's eyes*
T: "I don't want him or anyone else to suffer anymore..."
Takaya explains that Shikoku must stay as a place where death people can bury their grudge and sorrows, and after that move to the next life peacefully. Ushio and the others can use Shadow Shikoku's power and destroy Azuchi castle, Nobunaga and Takaya too, at the same time. Ushio shakes his head and refuses the idea. There is no way he's going to do so. He says that he will definitely save Takaya and kill Nobunaga by himself.
U: "That's why Tachibana also risked his own life...! You do love him, right?! In that case, don't break his heart! Rather than thinking much of unknown people, you should cherish more yourself and the man you love! You aren't going to be punished! How could you be punished since you have already carried huge responsibility?!"
*Yata crow looks sad and Ushio cries*
U: "If you become happy, I'm sure we others can find happiness too..."
T: "I'm asking this because I want to become happy."
U: "Don't say you wanna die?!"
T: "No, I want to keep living. If I live, I can become happy."
T: "I want to make Naoe happy. But if you and the others can't find happiness, we can't either."
Confident look comes back to Yata crows eyes and Takaya says that Nobunaga's aim is to demolish Shadow Shikoku, but together they can stop him. After that Yata crow flies away.
Ayako finally wakes up and finds herself alone at the Outer shrine of Ise. Beside her, there is lifeless body of Iwata Eikichi. Ayako is confused why Eikichi is exorcised and where is everyone. After wandering around she founds herself at the Illusion shrine where is a huge blast furnace. Something is calling her and after taking a look to the flames she can see Kenshin and Underworld army of Uesugi there. Why she can see them in such a place...?
Takaya as a Yata crow appears in front of different Sengoku era clans asking everyone to gather in Ise.
To be continued.
Oh my goodness!
Ayako has the seed of Demon King, Irobe and Ayukawa have joined to Oda, Hayato also changed his side... Oh dear. All these things are something I could never expect to happen! o__o I personally felt very shocked after Irobe appeared to the boat hangar. In vol. 34 Ayako was wondering why Uesugi clan has been so quiet... This explains quite lot...
So, what do you think about these plot twists?