This is the last part of Universe arc! :) I guess after last summary many wonders what's seriously going on in Uesugi. This volume threw light on the reason for Irobe's decisions and also more information about Miroku.
MoB vol. 36 (Youhen Mokushiroku - Dakuha no Shou/ The Revelation of Universe - The Impure Devastation)
Naoe is receiving his punishment at the storeroom in the basement floors of Azuchi castle. For five hours Mori Boumaru has whipped him, causing terrible wounds all around Naoe's upper body. Finally Nobunaga arrives there too. Boumaru proposes hakonha to be a suitable punishment for rebelling against the seed of Demon King, but Nobunaga just laughs scornfully. He's almost amused to see how far Naoe is ready to go for saving Kagetora. Ayukawa has come there too and he leaves alone with Naoe as Nobunaga and Boumaru return to the upstairs. The only question Naoe has on his mind is 'why?'. Ayukawa is a very loyal retainer of Uesugi. Why would he be here? It doesn't make any sense.
N: "Ayukawa... Why...?"
A: "If you had exorcised Kagetora-dono, this wouldn't have happened. It's all your fault. Because you didn't purify his soul, he created Shadow Shikoku."
Ayukawa tells that he submitted an emergency request to Irobe when Kagetora was summoning the powers of retsumyousei for creating Shadow Shikoku. Ayukawa's request was to call for the Underworld army of Uesugi to stop Kagetora, but Irobe hesitated and after all they were too late. The army is sleeping in the dark border of Heaven and this world. During these 400 years Kagetora has woken them up only 4 times, since the Underworld army is the last lifeline to protect humans. Ayukawa says that one month after Shadow Shikoku was created, Irobe decided to wake up the army and punish Kagetora. Naoe is shocked but also confused because nothing happened in Shikoku. What did happen in that case? Irobe was calling them but...
A: "Naoe... We lost our place to return."
N: "What? Did something happen in Underworld? Ayukawa!"
A: "Underworld... The place where we shall sleep in the future... The place where Lord Kenshin also formerly was... The place that should be between this world and Heaven... Last time when Irobe opened the doors to Underworld, it lost it's balance."
N: "What... What do you mean?"
A: "It perished."
Takaya is sleeping in the room of highest floor of Azuchi castle. It's midnight and Irobe has come to see him. It's their first time to meet in this life. "Finally we meet, Kagetora-dono", he whispers and feels sad how the things between Kagetora and Uesugi ended up. Takaya's face reminds him of Kagetora's first life. Irobe remembers how seriously Kagetora took their mission for hunting onryous. When all onryous have disappeared, Yashashuu can also purify their souls and continue their journey in samsara. But, it seems that as long as there is death, there will be also onryous. Many humans die with grudge and then an onryou is born. It seemed an impossible mission, but Kagetora had hope to see some day a world without any onryous. And when that day comes, Kagetora, Irobe, Naoe, Haruie and Nagahide can finish their mission and face the flames of purification. Irobe thinks that he may know Kagetora's reasons for creating Shadow Shikoku, but it's still unforgivable. With various emotions inside of him, Irobe kneels down to Takaya and whispers: "Please forgive me, Kagetora-dono..." At that moment Takaya opens slightly his ruby eyes and looks at Irobe silently. His gaze is similar to awaken Buddha. With a serious tone of voice Irobe tells that the all is because of Shadow Shikoku. It blocks souls to closed place, obstructing the normal flow of samsara. And the burden that was born caused by this block was directed to Underworld. Irobe tells that when he was opened the doors of Underworld, Shadow Shikoku's energy caused fatal unbalance in Underworld and obliterated it. It was a nightmare. As the Underworld became devastated, the soldiers of Underworld army were also involved in. They were engulfed to some kind of rift. Nothing was left. Everything vanished into the darkness. One whole world disappeared at once. Irobe saw all this by his own eyes. They couldn't close the door of Underworld by themselves because Underworld became like a black hole that was sucking everything in it. However, Irobe and the others were saved. But the saver wasn't Kenshin, it was Nobunaga. After being saved they fought against Nobunaga with all their powers, but after all Oda was too strong. Irobe and the others waited Kenshin to come save them, but nothing happened. It seems that Bishamonten has taken Kenshin's soul away, somewhere they can't contact him anymore. No one in Yami Sengoku knows that Uesugi is now under Oda clan. Irobe shows a deep wound on his neck and says he tried to commit a suicide. General who has destroyed his own army, can't keep living. However, Nobunaga didn't let him to die. Mori Ranmaru used his special hypnotism powers on Irobe. If Irobe tries to end his own life, his body will stop movements by itself. Nobunaga said to Irobe that Shadow Shikoku will destroy this world too if they don't destroy Shadow Shikoku before that. Irobe says that Lord Kenshin's order was after all to protect the safety between this world and the netherworld, so Irobe decided to help Nobunaga. Shadow Shikoku is bigger threat than Yami Sengoku itself, but they can't destroy Shadow Shikoku as long as Present Kuukai exists.
I: "It's enough, Kagetora-dono. Please, accept to be exorcised by us."
Takaya has closed his eyes again. It seems that Irobe was talking to the illusion all this time. Then, Nobunaga comes there and complains how Uesugi guys can't somehow understand to not come to his room without permission. Nobunaga mentions that Kagetora is still under the effect of Ranjatai and won't understand. He won't let Irobe to exorcise Kagetora yet. Irobe asks if Nobunaga wants them to exorcise Kagetora someday or should they expand his lifetime. Which one does Nobunaga want? Smiling slightly Nobunaga gives a mysterious answer that he doesn't wish anything because he will eventually lose it. Then he walks to Takaya and grabs the collar on his neck, shaking him violently. Nobunaga says that at Nagashima, Ikkou-ikki troops are led by a golden Yata crow, trying to break Nobunaga's spiritual barrier in Ise shrine. Irobe asks why Nobunaga doesn't use heavenly treasures for attacking Ikkou-ikki, but Nobunaga answers that inside of spiritual barrier it's not possible. He has to send Ooyunohara's onryous there. Nobunaga asks Hyoudou Hayato to step into room. The uniform he's wearing shows that he's now part of very high ranking guard squad. It seems that Nobunaga really liked how Hayato stopped Naoe's plans for taking Takaya outside of the castle. Nobunaga orders him to take Takaya into a secret room and keep him save there. Then Nobunaga says they have to prepare for the second attack, because Miroku is coming to visit them. Irobe gets goosebumps and asks if Nobunaga means Narita Yuzuru. If Kenshin couldn't keep Miroku chained, then Nobunaga doesn't have other option than destroy this Bodhisattva by himself. N: "That creature makes everything become ashes. Emptiness surely is one way to be saved, but I don't need such a salvation."
In the storeroom Naoe is too shaken to do anything. He can't believe that Underworld army of Uesugi has perished. And the soldiers of it too. Those fellowmen who have been with Yashashuu for 400 years... They have perished? Because Shadow Shikoku was created? Did they accidentally kill Kenshin's army? Something snaps in Naoe's head and he starts to laugh loud as if he has lost his mind. Ayukawa, who standing in the corridor just in front of the door of storeroom, hears Naoe's insane laugh echoing.
A: ('Suffer Naoe. We were the army of justice, our mission was to protect the order of this world... That's why we got permission to keep living. But... You didn't finish Kagetora who had changed himself to enemy side. Your deep rooted delusion let our world to break down! Yes, your blindness to Uesugi Kagetora has destroyed this world. How many worlds you need to destroy before you understand it! Underworld army of Uesugi has disappeared and it's your fault Naoe! There shouldn't be such an insanity of wanting someone for 400 years! Definitely not!')
Ayukawa hits the floor on corridor by his knuckles and cries. He's so angry. He can't understand why Naoe let this happen. Then he sees Takaya standing in the end of corridor watching him with ruby eyes.
A: "Kagetora...! You...! You're the Devil himself!! You ruined Naoe's mind!"
A: "No?! The thing you did destroyed our army! "
Ayukawa attacks and tries to hit Takaya, but Takaya's illusion disappeares and Ayukawa runs towards the wall and bumps into it. Takaya voice asks why did Ayukawa join to Oda. As trembling in fear and rage Ayukawa yells that if Kagetora hasn't ever been born, Naoe, Uesugi and this world wouldn't have become a mess like this. As looking Ayukawa with sad eyes Takaya's illusion vanishes once again and says "Leave... This castle will sink."
People in Japan are escaping to aboard, because the society is about to collapse at any moment. Companies are bankrupting, factories aren't working, schools are closed...
Kubuki (the Red Whales guy who followed Takaya, Naoe and Ushio to Kumano) and Neiha (the leader of White Sharks) attack with the navies they're leading for sinking Azuchi castle that is anchored in Ise bay. In the castle Hayato sees from the window how his beloved navy is firing them (Hayato is the real leader of Muroto navy, but after vol. 33 he asked Kubuki to replace him temporarily) and he feels terrible. He wonders how this happened. Why he is on Oda's side. Didn't he want to kill Nobunaga for revenging what happened to his friends? "I haven't forgotten... I haven't..." He whispers with sad voice.
Ujiyasu helps Ushio and one Fuuma ninja named Hachirou to invade on one Oda patrol ship that is protecting the Azuchi castle. Thanks to the help of Yata crow (Takaya), Ushio and Hachirou manages to seize the controlling room and they are preparing for launching a missal to Azuchi castle.
Kiyomasa arrives to the hotel that is locating close to Toba named town in Ise. There he meets Reijirou, Nakagawa and Hakkai. Everyone is relived seeing Kiyomasa alive, because Mt. Asamagatake was blown away by Nobunaga. Kiyomasa introduces Narita Yuzuru and Kousaka to Reijirou. Kiyomasa whispers to Reijirou that Yuzuru claims to be Uesugi Kagekatsu and also Miroku Bodhisattva. He says he tried to check if Yuzuru is telling the truth, but it was too scary. Kiyomasa has an ability to know person's true heart just by touching this person, but after he touched Yuzuru, Kiyomasa felt as if he was sent into cold and dark space. Nakagawa asks if Yuzuru is the friend Takaya has been worried about.
Y: "Eh..? But... Takaya doesn't remember me at all..."
N: "No, even if he doesn't remember your name or face, he remembers your existence. Ougi-san couldn't sleep for days, because he was so worried about you."
*Yuzuru's face becomes serious*
Y: "Takaya... He suffered... because of me?"
Yuzuru's unstable reactions worries Reijirou, but Kiyomasa says that they can trust him. He would be great help for getting rid of Nobunaga. Then, Ayako arrives there by motorcycles. She tells that everyone was killed in the Outer shrine of Ise. Reijirou tries to not start crying after hearing that. Nakagawa falls down to the chair, not believing that they have lost their important friends. For everyone's surprise injured Narasaki Takeshi arrives to the hotel too and collapses on the floor. He tells that Yata crow helped him to escape and lead him here. Narasaki tells what happened to Satta, how Doumori lost his body and how Hayato was taken to Nobunaga.
Akechi Mitsuhide, Kikkawa Motoharu, Shigeno Kaoru, Torigoe Takaya and Miike Tetsuya are arriving to Ise by a helicopter. They are all shocked how much damages the battle with Oda and the other clans and the Red Whales has already caused. Mitsuhide and Motoharu will continue their way to Ise shrine but before that they try to land to Azuchi castle area so that Kaoru, Torigoe and Tetsuya can get off there. In Ooyunohara Yata crow (Takaya) told to Kaoru the true self about Kaoru-sama/Nobunaga, how Nobunaga used Kaoru for his own plans and how Rei wanted Takaya to asks Kaoru's help. With a broken heart Kaoru decided to go meet Nobunaga by himself and ask the truth. He wants to save Kumano, but his feelings for Nobunaga are still strong.
Ayako wants to talk alone with Yuzuru in the garden of the hotel they're staying.
A: "Yuzuru-kun... What does this mean? Is it true you're Uesugi Kagekatsu? Kagetora performed kanshou to be close to you, right? Kousaka told me so. And that Lord Kenshin adopted you so that your powers won't wake up. Is it true too?"
Y: "Kenshin... Aah, that guy who hindered my enlightenment? 400 years ago when I descended from the Heaven, this man called Kenshin, recognized my identity since he had connection to Bishamonten. With the powers of the Four Heavenly Kings he put a latch on me to block my enlightenment. But I don't have any memories of my past life. That Kousaka named guy told me about my past."
A: "What do mean with 'a latch'?"
Y: "Uesugi Kenshin put this latch on the door of my soul. And even in this life, he put it again. As the proxy of Kenshin, the only one who can remove this latch is Takaya. Only if he removes it or if I face the flames of soul purification, I can be free again. What a troublesome thing, don't you think so?"
A: "So that's why you want to save Kagetora from Oda?"
Y: "No, it's not like that. You know, I love Takaya from the bottom of my heart."
Ayako gets confused how Yuzuru's personality changes suddenly. He has completely different sides of himself. Then Ayako gets a flashback from time when he asked about Miroku from Kousaka.
Kousaka told that Miroku is a threat to the Six Realms because he destructs and contrasts.
K: "We humans can't even imagine that destruction. If we let him to obtain the enlightenment, all the laws of nature that keep ourselves alive will be devastated. And of course the Six Realms where we keep reincarnating will also disappear."
Miroku will destruct this world and reset everything. Chemical elements, physics, molecules, time, material and souls... All will be reset and after that Miroku will contract the new universe. For making new world with new systems, first he has to clean up the old world. And that is 'the enlightenment of Miroku Bodhisattva'.
A: "Why... Why do you know about this?"
As smiling coldly Kousaka said that he has lived much longer than Yashashuu. Kousaka Danjou Masanobu wasn't his first life, he was already kanshousha back then. After Ayako's flashback ends, Yuzuru asks Ayako to show her true self.
A: "My true self? What do you mean? You know I'm Kakizaki Haruie."
Y: "Not that side of you."
*Yuzuru moves his hair aside for showing his bare forehead without the seed of Demon King*
A: "Yuzuru-kun, you don't have the seed anymore! What did happen to that?!"
Y: "I ate it."
*Yuzuru smiles coldly*
Y: "Too bad for you, right, Nobunaga-san?"
Then, Ayako feels like something inside of her tries to step out. Ayako feels herself falling down to the darkness. Her body becomes controlled by Nobunaga.
A: "Hohoho... You saw through on me... Good job, Miroku! What an excellent skill to scent out this Demon King!"
*devilish smile on Ayako's face*
Y: "You were quote shrewd to plant that kind of seed on me, but telling the truth it tasted disgusting."
A: "Hoho, what a cheeky Buddha you are. I could expect you removing my seed, but I couldn't believe you would eat it. You truly are something special. Now, be nice and work for me."
Y: "It's you, who should follow my orders. Give Takaya back. You aren't a proper person to have him. Or what if... You want me to eat you too? "
Flames surround Yuzuru who keeps confident eyes locked on Ayako. Nobunaga's smile appears on Ayako's face.
A: "I'm not such an easy meal as Takeda Shingen. If you wanna get Kagetora back, rather than me, you should destroy the Red Whales first. You can make them to be your dinner."
Y: "I'm a gourmet, you know."
*they both prepare for attacking*
Y: "Time to die, Demon King."
Enormous power discharges from Yuzuru's body causing a big explosion that shakes the whole hotel area. The Red Whale guys get in panic because they think Oda had fired them. In the yard they find lifeless Ayako laying on the ground and Yuzuru standing next to her. They are all shocked seeing Ayako's body burnt. She is dead.
R: "Did you... kill her?"
K: "You bastard, what did you do to Kakizaki!!"
Y: "I just exterminated the mouse."
R: "The mouse?"
Y: "You all are morons. How could you let this puppet to be with you?"
R: "What the hell?!"
They unbutton Ayako's shirt a bit and find the seed of Demon King on her chest. It has become black and smoking. Everyone is terrified after understanding how Nobunaga was with them all this time.
Even if Yuzuru has the powers of Bodhisattva, it seems that he doesn't have any memories of being Uesugi Kagekatsu. Yuzuru isn't kanshousha, so I guess Kagekatsu's soul was purified when he passed away. In MoB, there is a term (成仏, joubutsu) I would translate in English as 'purification'. Literally it means 'to go to Heaven' or 'to become a Buddha'. In the novel, it's also used for term when deceased person moves to the next life after his memories of the latest life has been purified. Too bad, I really hoped to hear what kinds of feelings Kagekatsu had after the Siege of Ootate ended.
Takaya as a form of Yata crow appears in front of many Sengoku era generals, asking them to join the battle for defeating Nobunaga. Yata crow appears also in the yard of Takeda Shingen's residence. Miya sees this small golden bird outside and hears it calling her: "Miya... Follow me..." The voice is definitely Takaya's so without hesitation Miya follows the flying bird from the residence to a small shrine close by. Yata crow sits on the torii gate and looks down at Miya. Miya asks if he has died or why he is in such a form.
T: "I'm alive, Miya."
M: "Who are you? I want to know who my brother truly is!"
*Yata crow looks at her with sad eyes*
T: "Miya, I'm me."
Then a car drives there. Ichizou and Sawako (Takaya and Miya's mother) get off the car after seeing Miya is there. Miya runs crying to hug her mother. Ichizou says that Yata crow guided them from Matsumoto to here. When she looks up to the torii gate again, Yata crow isn't there anymore.
Next Yata crow appears to the small room where Takaya and Hayato are. Takaya uses the bird to talk with Hayato, and asks why Hayato has chosen their enemy and forgotten his friends. How can he be on Nobunaga's side who killed lots of his friends? Nobunaga will definitely kill Kubuki and Neiha too if they don't stop Nobunaga now. With a sad look on his face Hayato says that he hasn't forgotten his friends, he will surely find the way how to make Kubuki and the others to stop the firing. But the crow says that they won't stop, because they want to revenge. It's the spirit of Muroto navy, they will continue till their last breath. Yata crow demands Hayato to realizes that he is just entranced from the power that Nobunaga has, that's all.
H: "Commander Ougi... After all you think that those people who has lost lives should give up, right?"
*Takaya doesn't say anything*
H: "People who were killed doesn't have any right to live anymore, right?"
H: "Defeated people should just accept their fate. That's what living people think."
They argue, Hayato trying to defense Nobunaga's ideology and Yata crow defensing Shadow Shikoku. Suddenly Yata crow disappears and Takaya wakes up shouting "Stop fucking around, you deceased moron!" Breathing heavily Takaya tries to get sit up, but Ranjatai has made his body heavy.
T: "Your life... it already ended a long time ago..."
H: "Comman... der..."
T: "Spiritual forms are just... trying to live the lost time... That's all. No matter how brutally... or cowardly you were killed... After death, there is nothing."
Takaya tries to tell that Nobunaga's plans won't give peace to onryous. It just makes the situation worse. Struggling with other souls won't save anyone because revenging for revenge causes just a vicious circle. Takaya explains that he wanted to create Shadow Shikoku so that spirits like Hayato and the others would stay till they accept death. Shadow Shikoku is a place for mourning own death, accepting the end of this human life and preparing for the next life. It's a place for spirits who died suddenly, brutally, unfairly... In Shadow Shikoku they can under go those emotions and eventually accept their death. Takaya says he really believed Shadow Shikoku to help everyone, he truly believed and that's why he created it. Possessing another people body doesn't make them to accept death, they're just avoiding to accept it.
T: "You have just... entranced from Nobunaga's powers. He will kill everyone you love! Everyone! Wake up, Hyoudou!"
A: "It's enough, Uesugi Kagetora."
Ayukawa is standing at the head of the stairs, his face is full of hatred.
A: "We have heard enough your bullshit."
Ayukawa blames Kagetora for killing everyone in Underworld army and being such a selfish. He has wondered how to get rid of Kagetora and tells he finally found a way. As sensing danger Hayato moves to shelter Takaya.
A: "If Naoe doesn't exist, you don't have any reason to stay in this world, do you?"
Ayukawa shows a knife that is covered by fresh blood. Takaya holds a breath.
T: "Ayukawa...! "
A: "If Naoe becomes exorcised first, you would follow him, right?"
T: "What did you do to Naoe...?"
*Ayukawa shows the knife*
T: "What did you do to him?! Ayukawa!"
Ayukawa attack with the knife, but Hayato stops him with his martial art skills and flings the knife away from Ayukawa's hand. When Hayato rushes to pick up the knife he hears Takaya crying "AYUKAWAA!!". Ayukawa has also a gun and he's pointing Takaya with it. He pulls the trigger.
*Kumano navy from Genpei era joins to the sea battle and it's on Nobunaga's side*
Takaya founds himself on the floor, Hayato protectively on the top of him. It was Hayato who got the shot. Just when Ayukawa pulled the trigger, Hayato sheltered Takaya. Ayukawa swears and tries to shoot again. However, with his last powers Hayato attacks on Ayukawa and pushes him down to the stairs, killing him. Takaya rushes to hold Hayato who falls down on his knees.
T: "Hyoudou... Hyoudou!!"
Sharp pain in bullet wound makes Hayato almost unable to breath and he can barely keep his eyes open.
T: "Hang in there! Hyoudou!"
With trembling voice Hayato asks if Takaya got any injuries. Takaya tries to bandage the gun shot wound, but it's bleeding too much.
H: "...You should go... Commander... Ougi..."
T: "Hang in there! I'm gonna make it stop bleeding!"
H: "...It's... too... severe..."
*suffering in strong pain*
H: "This body won't be saved... Don't worry about me... You should go... Hurry..."
T: "Don't be stupid, I'm not going to leave you here!"
With trembling hands Hayato shows he's still carrying the white rope called 'hakuchuusoku'. He gave similar to Takaya too in vol. 24. It's a symbol that someday they will have a duel where they can see which one of them is stronger.
H: "I won't die before... I have... dueled with you..."
H: "Go to him... Tachibana's... Naoe Nobutsuna's side..."
*Hayato gives his baton to Takaya*
H: "Go! Hurry up!"
T: "You're my subordinate! Don't dare to die yet!"
Hayato watches how Takaya escapes to the roof leaving him alone there. The lack of blood makes him feel very dizzy. He remembers his childhood as an unwanted child, his friends in navy and how he met Takaya. As feeling cold he recognizes his end is to be close. However, for some reason he doesn't feel like performing hyoui or kanshou anymore. He just wants to face the death as it comes. With his last breath he whisper: "...Ougi..."
Takaya beats guards by the baton he got from Hayato and also uses Kihachi's powers to get his way to the storeroom where Naoe is kept. He has been so worry what Ayukawa did to him. In his heart Takaya prays Naoe to be alive and not been exorcised. Eventually he finds Naoe lying on the cold floor of storeroom, unconscious. Seeing Naoe's upper body covered by painful looking fresh scars, the view breaks Takaya's heart. Naoe has suffered a lot. Takaya feels someone has come to the door. It's Irobe Katsunaga.
T: "Katsunaga... dono..."
I: "Should I have exorcised both of you at the same time...?"
Takaya shelters Naoe by covering him. He tries to fight back tears as he sees Irobe standing there.
T: "Did you... Move to Oda's side for exorcising me?"
I: "It's not too late. We can still save you."
T: "In that case you have to exorcise both of us..."
Takaya places his hand on Naoe's back and feels him breathing. He is still alive. It seems that Ayukawa stab him but couldn't kill his best friend after all. Naoe can still survive if he gets cure.
T: "Let us go."
I: "I won't. Please, Kagotora-dono. Accept us to exorcise you."
I: "It's fine now."
Takaya looks at Naoe's unconscious face and smiles a bit. He wonders if he and Naoe have lived enough.
T: ('Did I live enough...? How about you...? You accepted Nobunaga's seed of Demon King and let him to kill you countless of times. Wound after wound... You gathered new ones... It's like the bond between us. It's enough now. You have fought enough. You have lived and suffered enough. Life after life and even after letting Nobunaga to kill you, you still continue loving me.')
As thinking how Naoe will be left behind, Takaya thinks that maybe exorcism would be the best for Naoe. Naoe will definitely grief, but also have hope that some kind of miracle would happen someday and would meet again in the far future. Exorcism would stop his grieving, he would accept Takaya's death. It would be peaceful way to die. 'But... it's not time for that yet', Takaya thinks on his mind and stands up.
T: "Let us go. Naoe needs medical care."
I: "You know, Uesugi Kagetora. Lord Kenshin always loved you. Have you forgotten everything he taught to you?"
T: "There is no way I'd forget."
I: "You were the man Bishamonten loved the most."
Irobe says that Bishamonten is grieving to lose his 'son' to death spirits. He blames Kagetora's actions to destroy all their soldiers that have walked beside them more than 400 years. How can Kagetora still say that what he is doing is correct?
T: "Did you accept to follow Nobunaga even if you knew what he was planning?"
*tears start to flow from Takaya's eyes*
T: "If you stand on his side, I won't show any mercy to you."
After seeing Takaya crying Irobe understands that he is also grieving about the loss of Underworld army. They both are grieving, not only Irobe. Takaya demands to explain everything properly later after Naoe gets medical care first. But Irobe says there is no need for any excuses since Shadow Shikoku already exists and it's blasphemy for their mission as Yashashuu.
T: "It's not a blasphemy but a place where to accept the death."
I: "I won't accept you letting lifeless things to live as they're alive. That's the point I agree with Oda."
T: "But after Yami Sengoku Oda is making a world that is based on fighting! World where humans can escape from the death by performing kanshou. Do you accept that, Katsunaga-dono?!"
I: "Can't you understand we lost the only way to end Yami Sengoku, when you created Shadow Shikoku? How do you think we can fight? You can't even have your powers or exorcise."
T: "I use this eye."
Suddenly Naoe stands up and covers Takaya's mouth by his hand.
N: "You're bad boy, my beautiful beast. You shouldn't come here."
It's Nobunaga who is talking. It seems that the seed of Demon King has cured Naoe's wounds almost completely. Naoe's face is close to him, devilish smile on his face. Takaya feels terrified.
Then Nobunaga scolds Irobe, because Irobe's subordinate (Ayukawa) has killed the new guard Nobunaga recruited yesterday. Takaya stiffs. He must mean Hayato. He didn't survive?!
T: "It can't be..."
The scene ends Naoe fainting Takaya and taking him back to the highest floor of castle. Irobe watching after him a bit terrified how the life in Naoe's eyes has disappeared.
Kaoru gets permit to enter into Azuchi castle. Torigoe, Tetsuya and Atsushi stay in the storehouse and wait for Kaoru to come back. He meets Nobunaga at one guest parlor. Nobunaga says he was quite concerned about Tsukasa and asks what happened to him at Nachi Falls.
K: "I'm so sorry for making you worry... I was captured by the Red Whales..."
As looking at Kaoru with gentle eyes, Nobunaga just smiles and says "I see". He says he feels grateful to Tsukasa since thanks to him Nobunaga finally got the sword of Futsu. Nobunaga starts to talk about his little sister, Ichi. He says that Tsukasa reminds him of her. Ichi is probably the only woman Nobunaga has ever loved sincerely. Every time Nobunaga talks about her, something changes in his eyes. Kaoru has always sensed that Nobunaga is lonely. Even if he has lots of authority and retainers, his soul has always been lonely. And because of that Kaoru feels terrible to think Nobunaga as an enemy. He doesn't want to hurt or leave him alone. As looking Nobunaga having Kaoru's own body, he dares open his mouth and ask is it true what Yata crow told him. Was Kaoru born just for this? Did Nobunaga kill Kaoru's family? He demands to know why did Nobunaga steal his body, and also tells that his memories has returned. Smile from Nobunaga's face disappears.
K: "I hold a grudge against you, Kaoru-sama!"
N: "Go head. If you still had this body, you would die soon."
As remembering the Hiruko curse and how Tooru and Satoko have already died from that Kaoru feels shocked. The body Nobunaga is having now, the one that once belonged to Kaoru himself, will also die soon.
K: "Could... Could it be possible that you gave me this body so that I won't die...?"
N: "I wanted you to find the happiness, Kaoru."
It was the first time Nobunaga called him Kaoru instead of Tsukasa. Kaoru gets confused, he isn't sure what to believe. Then Naoe comes into room and puts down Takaya who is bound by ropes and his ruby eyes are covered so that he can't hurt anyone with Kihachi's poison. Kada Reijirou and some other soldier of the Red Whales will arrive soon. Nobunaga is pleased to get Reijirou's head. Takaya shouts that the Red Whales will never surrender.
No: "I leave the execution of Kada Reijirou to you. Exorcise him."
Na: "Yes, sir."
T: "No, Naoe! I won't forgive if you do that!"
No: "I'm Naoe's master now. He obeys everything I ask. Naoe Nobutsuna, Irobe Katsunaga. Exorcise all of them. Let them face their final death."
*Naoe gives an electric shock to Takaya who tries to get up*
Nobunaga is about leave the room but he orders Kaoru to keep eyes on Takaya.
No: "You won't betray me, right?"
In the next scene Takaya and Kaoru are in the parlor that locates in highest floor of Azuchi castle. Takaya tells that his family was murdered by Nobunaga 30 years ago. Every modern people Kagetora had connection were killed. Kaoru is shocked. He understands this man to be the same as the Yata crow that came to talk with him in Ooyunohara. Suddenly Takaya starts to feel burning inside. For some reason Kihachi's powers started react to something (Tetsuya is in the castle and because he's a descendant of Asara, Kihachi becomes active).Takaya looks like he's about to die, so Kaoru starts to cry help. They heard someone coming up the stairs. It's Mori Ranmaru.
Meanwhile Nobunaga feels upset. He heard from Boumaru that Ranmaru has returned to the castle, but he didn't come to see him. It's very odd, because Ranmaru has a habit to come to see Nobunaga right after coming home. He has always done that, every single time. Secondly, why would Ranmaru come back from the Outer shrine without Nobunaga's permit? Nobunaga sends Boumaru to look for Ranmaru.
Reijirou, Nakagawa, Narasaki, Yuzuru and Kousaka arrive to the castle area by a ship. Naoe has come to see 'the guests'. The Red Whale guys deal with conflicting feelings after they meet Naoe in Oda's uniform at the gate of castle. Naoe is surprised seeing Narasaki there, because he should be imprisoned at the Outer shrine. Narasaki tells that Yata crow helped him to escape and that he still believes in Naoe even if he exorcised Satta. After the Red Whales Yuzuru passes by Naoe looking at him with sharp eyes.
N (Nobunaga): "You came, Miroku."
Y: "Only to kill you, Nobunaga."
And finally after Yuzuru, there is Kousaka. He sneers at Naoe how foolish man have to be to sell own soul to Nobunaga. The Red Whale guys are separated from Yuzuru and Kousaka, and taken to a storeroom in the basement floor. Reijirou makes fun of the room asking if this is the place where Nobunaga meets his guests. They are surrounded by Naoe, Irobe and some Oda's guards.
Nao: "We asked you to send the head of your leader, didn't we?"
Nakagawa, Narasaki and some other Red Whale soldiers step to shelter Reijirou.
R: "Where is Ougi? Bring him here and release him first."
Nao: "Your head first. After that we release and let him go."
R: "Don't tell bullshit. You're just planning to exorcise all of us."
As seeing the cold eyes of Naoe, Reijirou understands Hayato was telling the truth all the time. Naoe was with them only because of Takaya, not because he felt fellowship to the Red Whales. This man is the most dangerous. He can do anything for Takaya. Before Reijirou and the other can do anything they are captured by a spiritual net that seals their powers.
R: "Danm you... Tachibana..!!"
Naka: "Please, wake up! Tachibana-san! You won't save Ougi-san'n life by doing this! What you're doing now just hurts him more! You don't want to do this, right?! Gyaa-!!"
*Nakagawa gets an electric shock*
Naoe is completely different person compared to that who he was with the Red Whales. Now he just looks like a decapitator as he wears the black uniform and holds a baton on his hand.
Haruie's soul says goodbye to her Ayako Kadowaki's body and flies to Shikoku. There she tries to help Chiaki to cool down Emperor Sutoku.
Back to Nobunaga's parlor! Ranmaru has come to there. Takaya senses there is something weird on Ranmaru. It's actually Kotarou! It seems that when Ranmaru pulled the trigger at the Outer shrine, Kotarou used ninja skills and somehow managed to possess Ranmaru. He's one the most closest retainers to Nobunaga so with his body Kotarou could enter the castle easily. Kotarou tells what happened in the Outer shrine to the Red Whales and also that Ayako has the seed of Demon King. Takaya falls in the despair. Not only Naoe has it, but also Haruie. Takaya feels angry and decides to save Naoe and the others. When they try to escape, Boumaru comes there and asks what is happening there. Kotarou throws a smoke bomb and slashes Boumaru's throat open. Some Oda retainers heard noisy sounds coming from there and they try to get into room, but Kotarou as using Ranmaru's voice orders them to stay back since the room they're is Nobunaga's private area. Takaya, Kotarou and Kaoru escaped to the roof, but they can't go anywhere because some guards point them by guns. Takaya doesn't have any option than take Kaoru as a hostage. Suddenly Tetsuya comes there flying and beats the guards. Takaya is speechless meeting Tetsuya after these years in a place like that. They need to go back into indoors. There Tetsuya and Kaoru try to remove the spiritual collar that Takaya is wearing. That collar seals his powers and it also gives fatal electrical shock if Takaya tries to get out from the castle. Kihachi's grudge inside of Takaya is reacting to Tetsuya (because he's descendant of Asara) making Takaya to feel extremely painful since the collar is locking all the power. After all they manage to break the collar, but Kihachi's powers overflow causing a huge fire explosion destroying the whole room.
A bit before the explosion Yuzuru meets Nobunaga privately at the fort of Azuchi castle. Devilishly smiling Yuzuru wants Nobunaga to give Takaya back, but Nobunaga just chuckles and they have following conversation:
N: "At first I wanted to use your evil powers for helping me to rule Yami Sengoku, but I have recognize that you cause only harm."
Y: "I wonder if your soul is delicious."
*Yuzuru licks his lips like a snake*
Y: "Maybe even more delicious than Takaya's. I wonder if Demon King's soul has chewy texture... It seems to have smell... Like a durian. Or maybe like a dried horse mackerel... I'm gonna eat you now, Kippoushi!" (Kippoushi was Nobunaga's name when he was child. I wonder if Miroku knows it because of Takeda Shingen?)
*Yuzuru attacks with a powerful nenpa, but Nobunaga wards off his attack*
N: "I bash you up, you damn vicious Buddha!"
Great duel starts. They're both very strong, but then something happens in Yuzuru's body. As terrible pain wave forces Yuzuru to kneel, he vomits blood and eventually falls down on the ground. Nobunaga smiles satisfied as looking down at Yuzuru who is suffering from strong pain. Nobunaga tells the seed of Demon King lives still in Yuzuru's stomach and now it starts to melt his organs. "You... bastard..." Yuzuru says voice trembling. It feels like all his organs are pierced by razor sharp spines of ivy.
N: "It's you who is getting eaten, Miroku."
Then the explosion in the room where Takaya and the others were, happens. Nobunaga becomes dumbfounded seeing his castle's highest floor in fire. Yuzuru looks also shocked and he whispers "Taka...ya...". Nobunaga's general, Murai Sadakatsu, rushes there in panic and tells that Ranmaru and Tsukasa were in that room. It seems that Kagetora committed a suicide by exploding himself, killing Ranmaru and Tsukasa too. Nobunaga loses his temper. It sounds too ridiculous to be true.
N: "I return to the castle, Sadakatsu!"
S: "What shall we do with this person?"
N: "His body has broken so he won't be able to move. Eventually my seed will eat him completely. Leave him to rot."
Kiyomasa with around 20 soldiers sneaks into Azuchi castle. They set some explosives that will blow up the castle after 100 minutes. Before the explosions Kiyomasa and the soldiers try to find and save Takaya and the others.
The explosion echos and feels in the basement floor too. Everyone wonders what is happening in the upper floors. As the guards are confused, Reijirou uses that moment and snatches the rifle that was laying on the floor, starting to fire. The spiritual net breaks and the Red Whale soldiers start the counter-attack. After fighting for a while Irobe rushes back there and shouts to Naoe that something bad has happened to Kagetora. Till that moment Naoe has been like a execution robot without any feelings, but after hearing what Irobe said something happens in his eyes. Naoe forgets the fight and rushes to the stairs, heading for the upper floors.
Meanwhile Nobunaga has reached the second highest floor. With some other retainers Ujiie Botsuzen is there and tries desperately open the door that leads to the stairs to the highest floor.
N: "What the heck you're doing?"
B: "M-My lord!"
*Nobunaga looks like an angry demon*
B: "The door is jammed. We can't open it...!"
N: "Move your ass away."
Nobunaga pushes his retainers aside and opens the steel door by his powers. Both two parlors in the highest floor are all ablaze. Retainers try to stop Nobunaga going to the highest floor because it's too dangerous, but without caring Nobunaga climbs the stairs up. He doesn't find anyone's remains there, only Takaya's collar. As seeing how the collar is broken he understands Kaoru has betrayed him. "Tiger has escaped", Nobunaga says and orders his retainers to capture Kagetora immediately.
Takaya and the others have managed to escape from the room before Nobunaga came there.
Torigoe and Atsushi find Emperor Sutoku's rosary. When they hurry back to the helicopter they find their pilot unconscious. Irobe is also there and he tells that he exorcised the pilot. As seeing Torigoe in rage, Irobe sees the similarity between Torigoe and Takaya, they're almost like brothers. He is also surprised seeing modern people being involved into this. Torigoe with angry voice demands Irobe to move away, because they need to return those rosaries to Shiramine shrine in Kyoto so that they can save Shikoku. He tells that a man named Chiaki Shuuhei asked him to do that. Irobe is dumbfounded hearing that Nagahide is alive because he thought he died in Shikoku. Torigoe shouts that modern people are tired of this mess that onryous are causing. In his opinion every onryou should just accept their death and pass to the next life. But Torigoe says he understands onryous, since they're just people who has faced misfortune death. They have to tell about onryous and Yami Sengoku to the other modern people so that they could understand onryous better. This causes a flashback to Irobe. Kenshin said same thing to Irobe earlier.
"Modern people should know about Yami Sengoku. In that way the power of exorcism will intensify and the true power will come into this world."
It was Kenshin's will. More than one year Irobe has walked in the darkness, feeling hopeless and fearing the future. After hearing Torigoe's words he started to see light of hope in his darkness. Irobe propose to take Torigoe and Atsushi to Kyoto since he knows how to drive a helicopter. He says that he wants to take modern people save from this kind of place. Atsushi decides to stay at the castle to help Tetsuya and Takaya. When the helicopter is about to take off, it explodes.
*Some sea battle here*
Meanwhile Reijirou, Nakagawa and Narasaki are seeking their way up to the higher floors. More than half of their soldiers are killed so far and they have only 40 minutes time to find Takaya and Hayato, and escape before the castle blows up (they have radio connection to Kiyomasa who let them know about the explosives). The castle is relatively huge and like a labyrinth so it's difficult to find the right way. Then find themselves in the corridor where some Kiyomasa's soldiers are laying dead. On the corridor, there is also standing a man with red wavy hair, wearing a white kimono and holding a blood covered spear on his hand. It's Nobunaga and it seems that he killed all those 20 soldiers by his own hands. Reijirou shows his rage and tells to come here for getting Nobunaga's head. As remembering Takaya's words he won't show any fear even if he's facing to the Demon King. "You're quite arrogant man, Kada Reijirou. I like that. I'll take care of Shikoku from now on. Feel how your soul shall be shattered soon by my hand", Nobunaga says and turns his palm towards to Reijirou. Something like a black hole appears on his palm. It's hakonha! "This is your end, Kada Reijirou", Nobunaga says as the energy in hakonha is getting stronger.
In the second floor of the main tower of Azuchi castle, Takaya, Tetsuya, Kotarou (still possessing Ranmaru) and Kaoru seize the parlor where Imperial regalia of Japan and the sword of Futsu are. While invading the room Takaya kills Ujiie Botsuzen who was guarding the room. Before they knew it, Naoe walks into the room and takes Tetsuya as a hostage. As Naoe is pointing Tetsuya's head with a gun, Takaya rises his hands up and tries to get closer to Naoe. He knows that Naoe won't shoot him so he doesn't feel afraid of him.
T: "Let Tetsuya go, Naoe!"
However, Naoe turns the head of gun towards Takaya and pulls the trigger. For a moment Takaya couldn't understand what did happen. Finally the burning pain in his arm makes him realizes that Naoe shot him. He looks at Naoe's cold eyes not wanting to accept that Naoe really had shot him. The same hand, that is holding the gun, has the bracelet that Naoe gave to Takaya.
T: "Naoe...! Y-You...!"
As the angry of being betrayed is growing, Takaya prepares for using his powers. But then he feels the point of another gun touching on his neck and someone says: "Your game is over now, Kagetora". As looking over his shoulder he can see Kotarou holding the gun. At first Takaya is confused why Kotarou would do this, but after seeing the smile on Ranmaru's face, he recognizes that Ranmaru has taken back his own body. Takaya can see Boumaru's spiritual form holding Kotarou's spiritual form behind them. Ranmaru and Naoe force Takaya to wear spiritual handcuffs. Tetsuya begs Takaya to not do that because without Takaya's powers they can't do anything. However, Takaya wears the handcuffs and demands Naoe to release Tetsuya. Naoe does so.
Ta: "If you manage to escape from here... Please, tell to everyone."
Ta: "Tell to them everything you have seen here."
As if he said farewells to Tetsuya, Takaya steps closers to Naoe.
T: "I guess you wanna have an accessary, huh?"
Takaya's bloody hand hauls in Naoe's tie.
T: "I gave up the immortality. I'm gonna share the nihility with you. You wanna me to say to him so. Right, Nobunaga?"
As pulling Naoe's tie stronger, Takaya brings their faces closer and shows him a challenging smile.
T: "I make you want to me more."
Takaya presses his lips against Naoe's and kisses him in the most deepest way as it's possible. He also grabs Naoe's head between his hands. It's his last way to fight against Nobunaga. With all his soul and body he kisses Naoe, pushing his tongue deep into older man's mouth. I translated this scene a bit, starting at p. 221:
T: ('Feel me, Naoe!')
I'm gonna invade you. In the same way you have always invaded my body with you, I'm gonna fill you with me. I'm gonna overflow myself in your body!
T: ('So that there won't any space for Nobunaga.')
Naoe grabs Takaya's head and tries to push him off, but Takaya won't allow that. I'm not gonna let you go! This kiss mirrors all those ten thousands of kisses we have shared together. Remember them! Remember the night you desired my lips as if you wanted to drink up all Kihachi's poison. Remember the hotness inside of me, how it felt seeing me laying under you and how you felt when you trusted in! Remember all those sensations your flesh felt inside of me!
T: ('Remember me!')
Naoe's chin jumped a bit.
Takaya's whole soul was murmuring dirty language to Naoe's soul. Eventually Naoe's tongue started to answer to Takaya's actions in his mouth. It was like a small sign of life in Naoe's body that had committed a mental suicide. Takaya concentrated all his powers to pump sensation into older man's tongue. As getting response, Takaya could feel Naoe coming back to life a bit.
T: ('It's not enough yet.')
T: ('Ravish Nobunaga's existence by your love for me!')
That man underestimates you. I'm gonna drag out your true madness that will surprise him. Your immense love and hate that made me crazy for these 400 years. This craziness that has destroyed even a one world!
Tetsuya and Kaoru are catching their breath and just staring at Takaya kissing Naoe. Even Ranmaru is too taken aback to say anything.
T: ('You are there, aren't you, Nobunaga?!')
Takaya spoke fiercely to Nobunaga'a existence that was concealed in Naoe's body.
T: ('Finally I can pollute you, you bastard.')
This man's madness isn't that simple. I'm gonna teach that to you! Your plan to control him was a mistake. Only just seeing his bottomless craving for me will drive you insane. After facing his true madness you'll definitely regret trying to invade his body.
Wake up Naoe! Show him how much you desire me! Don't shut it up, show it to him! Forget reasons and morals, unleash everything!
T: ('Desire me... Want me more!')
Unleash your soul that was withering after seeing the end to be so close. It's Nobunaga's mistake to think you to be a man who can let go that easily. If I disappear you will die of craving. Starving and starving, as suffering from the hunger of me, eventually you will destroy this world. Make Nobunaga crazy with that craving and kill him! Unleash your beast. And the bottomless hunger for me that can't fill your body or soul! Unleash the way how you crave for me endlessly as if this is our last day to be alive. The worst graving in history...!
T: ('Unleash yourself!')
Takaya starts to tear off Naoe's shirt.
Ranmaru points them with the gun.
R: "Whatever you're planning to do, stop it now!"
But Takaya doesn't show signs of stopping. He wraps his hands with handcuff around Naoe's neck keeping older man's head in a tight grip and keeps kissing him more and more fiercely.
R: "I said stop it!"
There was a muffled bang in the room and Ranmaru's body was slap onto the wall. Naoe has shot him on shoulder. Ranmaru slumps to sit down on the floor.
As pushed by Takaya's whole body weight, Naoe's body gets pressed onto the wall and the gun falls down from his hand. Naoe slips down to the floor with Takaya, and the younger man comes above him, sitting on his lap in riding position.
The scene ends with Naoe flipping Takaya beneath him and being himself on the top. At the moment when it seems Naoe is getting full control of himself, they all hear something exploding outside. Naoe separates their lips and says: "Sutoku's rosaries broke into pieces." Takaya gets horrified. Voice is definitely Naoe's, but the one who said it wasn't Naoe, but Nobunaga. He got the control of Naoe back! Nobunaga curses that some modern people tried to steal the rosary. Tetsuya rushes to the window to see what happened. The helicopter is on fire.
Te: "It can't be, Torigoe...!"
T: "Wait a second, why Torigoe is here?!"
Te: "He came with us! He wanted to return the rosary to Emperor Sutoku!"
Kaoru gets in panic and runs down the stairs. Nobunaga borrowing Naoe's face smiles maliciously and tells that now the great spiritual barrier of Shikoku will break down and Shikoku will sink. Suddenly they hear countless of smaller explosions. They are the explosives that Kiyomasa and the others set up. Time is out, but Nobunaga seems not care. He explains that as long as he has the sword of Futsu, Azuchi castle will reform by itself no matter how badly and how many times it gets destroyed.
T: "You bastard, Nobunaga!"
Then Naoe escapes from the room. "Wait, Naoe!" Takaya cries, but he couldn't follow him. Kiyomasa rushes to the room and he is more than relieved finding Takaya alive. He explains they need to leave the castle immediately because it's about to sink at any moment. They're stopped by wounded Ranmaru, but Kiyomasa manages to make their way out of the room with Tetsuya.
Kaoru has come to outside. The wreckages of helicopter are in fire. He blames himself for causing Torigoe's death. If he hadn't hesitate of killing Nobunaga, Torigoe would be still alive. As the tears start to flow from Kaoru's eyes, he sees someone appearing from the wreckage. It's Kousaka Danjou. He's holding the fragments of rosary on his hand. Then, with Kousaka's powers the fragments unite and the rosary becomes complete again.
Meanwhile Takaya and Kiyomasa arrive to the meeting point at the wall of Azuchi castle. Only four soldier of the Red Whales have survived. Worried Takaya wants to return to the castle because Naoe, Reijirou and the others are still there. And also yorimashis (host bodies of hyouireis) who are innocent. Have to get them out of here.
Ushio and Hachirou start to launch missiles to Azuchi castle's main tower. Oda retainers are preparing for evacuate. Botsuzen who was killed by Takaya was the chamberlain of Azuchi castle. He's dead now, so Ranmaru takes the command. He's very serious of defending the castle to the last and wants everyone else to escape to save place. He asks Rikimaru to follow Nobunaga to Ise shrine and protect him. Nobunaga's helicopter takes off. Takaya and Kiyomasa try to stop him, but they can't do anything. As Nobunaga leaves, Ooyunohara's onryous fly to the castle and start to defense it. Kousaka and Yuzuru come to Takaya, Tetsuya and Kiyomasa who are very surprised seeing them being in the castle too. There are ivies growing from Yuzuru's body. Miroku's mysterious powers saved his life when the seed of Demon King was about to eat him from inside. Yuzuru is holding unconscious Torigoe on his arms. Yuzuru saved his life when the explosion happened. Takaya asks Kiyomasa to take Tetsuya to save place. He can't die in such a place. Takaya wonders if he and Yuzuru put their powers together, they may managed to sink this castle. Takaya feels very uncomfortable because he can die in any moment if he uses his powers too much. He wants to save Naoe, no matter what. He can't let Naoe's scarification be for nothing. Suddenly Takaya feels familiar aura behind him. As if his prayers have been answered, Naoe is standing there, holding Irobe's badly burnt dead body on his arms.
T: "Katsunaga... -dono..."
Naoe is still under Nobunaga's control. At least Takaya thought so until Naoe opened his mouth and said: "Ka... ge... to... ra..."
It's Irobe! He's lending Naoe's body for speaking. Naoe's mouth says: "It's... coming..."
Takaya starts to feel enormous pain in his leg as if something is trying to get out of his body. Blood starts to flow out from his skin. Yuzuru rushes to Takaya's side.
Y: "What's wrong, Takaya?!"
T: "Something broke the spiritual barrier of Shikoku..."
The sky is turning to flames as they see a huge fire ball flying towards them. It's Emperor Sutoku followed by Chiaki and Haruie. After all they decided to unleash Sutoku so that people in Shikoku would be safe. Sutoku is in rage and wants to get his rosary back. Kousaka throws the rosary in the air so that Sutoku can get it. As Sutoku is attacking to the castle, Yuzuru stands in front of Takaya and protects him.
Meanwhile Nobunaga is on the way to the Inner shrine of Ise with Murai Sadakatsu and Mori Rikimaru. The whole Ise bay is a huge battlefield. Nobunaga is mumbling by himself, cursing how Naoe managed to block him away. Nobunaga felt Naoe's overflowing love for Kagetora. It was so strong that Nobunaga lost his control on Naoe, unable to do anything. When they land to the parking lot area of Ise shrine, for some reason all Oda clan's retainers have disappeared. When Nobunaga, Sadakatsu and Rikimaru head for the bridge that leads to the shrine they are stopped by Akechi Mitsuhide, Kikkawa Motoharu and few other onryous.
Mi: "Long time no see... Wasn't our last time in Aso, was it?"
*looking at Nobunaga with sharp eyes*
Mi: "I won't let you pass this bridge."
Then, a big fire ball flies over them and falls to the Azuchi castle causing a huge explosion.
To be continued.
So this was the end of Universe arc! Did you like it? :) Personally this was maybe my favorite arc in MoB. Sad thing is that the story approaching it's end... Only four finale volumes left... I don't want this story ever to end. *sigh*
I felt sorry for Irobe. He must have felt terrible all this time. Another scene that made me sad was Hayato's death. His fate was also quite tragic...