Summary of vol. 31

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Summary of vol. 31

Hi!

Here is the next summary of Mokushiroku arc!  :) I really like this Shinto themed plot even if it's quite challenging to explain since I'm not so familiar with Japanese folklore Kojiki and Nihonshoki. But thanks to Kuwabara-sensei, we all learn a lot! 

 

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MoB vol. 31 (Youhen Mokushiroku / The Revelation of Universe - Futsu)

Katsuragi Ichizou has arrived to Matsumoto. Naoe asked him to rescue Miya and take her to save place. However, Ougi family's house is surrounded by media and it seems that something serious has happened. Ichizou asks from onlookers what's going on and someone says Ougi family's mother has come home, but she can't find her daughter. No one saw her come out, so this is very odd. How she can disappear in such a way? 

Meanwhile Miya wakes up in the train that is about to arrive to Koufu station. They're far from Tokyo and Miya wonders where they're heading for. Take take a taxi. Miya asks where they're going and Yuzuru says that to his friend's home. They arrive to an estate that looks like a very high class and expensive Japanese inn. Everything is like from the historical drama since there are many servants that bow deeply to Yuzuru and call him 'My Lord'. Yuzuru's way to speak also changes as if he's different person. Miya feels uncomfortable, but Yuzuru convinces that everything is fine. Miya is treated like a lady and she gets her own room and caretakers. Worried Miya demands Yuzuru to tell what's going on, who these people are, where Yuzuru has been these 3 years and where Takaya is.

Y: "You're right. Maybe it's better if I explain everything. Those people, they're my friends and together we fight against the bad people."

M: "Against who?"

Y: "Against those who are hurting Takaya."

M: "People who are hurting... my brother?"

Y: "Yeah."

M: "Who? Who would hurt him?"

Yuzuru looking deeply into Miya's eyes tells that he only wants to protect Takaya. And he's ready for using even Devil's powers to do that. Miya gets very afraid hearing how souls remain in the Earth and continue living after death.

Yuzuru goes to his own room and meets Kousaka there. They talk about APCD while Yuzuru is watching the beautiful sunset view of Mt. Fuji from the window. Sometimes Yuzuru speaks and acts like Shingen, but most of time the body is controlled by Yuzuru or Miroku. Kousaka feels proud of that Yuzuru became more powerful after getting Shingen's soul into his body. Now he has Shingen's memory, knowledge and powers. Yuzuru asks if Kousaka got known where Takaya is, but he didn't yet. "...I can't wait forever", Yuzuru says and his diabolical looking face gives goosebumps to Kousaka. Yuzuru continues saying: "He's a latch that keeps me 'locked'. Without removing the latch I can't be enlighten. I wanna have Ougi Takaya already. I wanna eat that soul that has matured for 400 years! If I can't get him soon, I'll eat everyone here!"

K: "...By all means, My Lord."

Y: "My name is Miroku! The one who will be enlightened and who leads the others to the Paradise!"

K: (´_`;;)

400 years ago this belligerent Bodhisattva was reincarnated, but he didn't wake up. At the time his name was Uesugi Kiheiji Kagekatsu. Maybe because he was born close to Uesugi Kenshin, he lived his life without awakening. However, he revived to the present world. Once again... after 1200 years.

Y: "Before the next 'meal' we shall destroy the Ikkoushuu. Those people believing in the supremacy of Amida's Pure Land shall kneel down in front of me. Those miserable and foolish people who don't know that the only way to find peace in their souls is come to me. Shall we teach them what's the true way." 

K: "As you wish."

In Japan, there are many Buddhist sects. Ikkoushuu was a militant monk group of Pure Land sect that believes Amida Buddha to be a savior and anyone can get in his Pure Land Paradise by chanting his name. On the other hand, Miroku (Maitreya Bodhisattva) is a long-waited savior in Shingon sect. There can't be two different saviors, so Miroku wants to crush his rival. At least in Japanese Buddhism, there various types of Buddhist deities. For example, Amida belongs to nyorai (如来) group and Miroku is part of bosatsu (菩薩), Bodhisattva group. Nyorais have enlightened, but Bodhisattvas are still looking for their own. Bodhisattvas have mission before they can become enlightened too and Miroku's mission is to save everyone from suffering.

Okay, back to the summary! Takaya and Naoe visit Motomiya family's house. Eiko says that she didn't know Kaoru to be Hiruko nor he was drifted away. But she remembers one night 14 years ago when Tooru and Kaoru suddenly came to Motomiya's family shrine in the middle of night. They both were soaked and Tooru begged Motomiya family to take care of Kaoru. Kaoru stayed with Motomiya family for around half a year and met Satoko while staying with them. There was something weird about Kaoru, for example he was talking alone and it seemed that he had mental problems. One day Kaoru escaped to a sacred place called Ooyunohara. Tooru tried to stop him, but couldn't. After that no one saw Kaoru anymore. At last Eiko gives them an address where they can find 'Saniwa'.

Takaya, Naoe, Rei and Yuuta travel to a small hot spring village in the mountains. Unfortunately Saniwa wasn't home at moment, but her son offers them a room to stay since Saniwa's family owns a hot spring hotel. Their hot spring is famous for it's purifying powers and Saniwa's son recommends Takaya to try it. And so, Takaya and Naoe take a bath together. The water is spiritually very strong and makes Takaya to feel dizzy. He wants to get his powers back so that he can fight again. Here Naoe finds an ideal moment for having some intimacy with Takaya. 

 

p.48

Preventing him to say anything anymore, Naoe pressed his own lips onto Takaya's. Takaya breaks the kiss and pushes Naoe's chest aside.

T: "I'm not on such a mood..."

Without caring Takaya's words, Naoe moves his lips to younger man's neck. Trying to escape Takaya says: "Isn't this... detoxification treatment..?"

Naoe doesn't say anything, but leads his hand to Takaya's inner tight and pushes in a finger.

T: "Naoe...!"

Naoe spreads out Takaya's hole with the finger inside of him. As the water gets in the body, Takaya moans. Naoe moves his finger eagerly in and out, letting the water come in Takaya's body. When the tingling water starts to feel painful, Tayaka grabs Naoe's hair tightly. As if trying to make Takaya moan more, Naoe keeps touching that sensitive spot inside of him.

T: "D-don't... Naoe...! Nao... Aaah!"

In a trance Takaya grabs Naoe's wrist and brings his face close to the older man's.

T: "What's on your mind...? Naoe..."

Naoe wraps arms around Takaya's neck and kisses him deeply. Without having any idea what Naoe is thinking, Takaya gets a bit mad and tries to get some distance, but then Naoe grabs Takaya's and his own manhood and starts to rub them together.

T: "...Mnn...!"

Reflexively Takaya tries to get up, but Naoe doesn't let him go.

T: "Don't... Naoe! I'm not fully conscious now!"

Naoe won't stop at this point. He simultaneously rubs their organs together. Necessarily Takaya's throbbing manhood responds to the caress and Takaya's back slides down. Takaya feels he's about to drown and cries out.

T: "Naoe... Stop, I....!"

By accident Takaya gets water into his mouth. The water feels as if it's burning his internal organs and it makes Takaya cough loudly. The water permeates into Takaya's body making him feel as if his bones are melting. Like trying to make the poison come out Naoe's hand grasps Takaya's testicles hard, making the younger man shake his head strongly. 

T: "Aah... Aah... Aah!"

Reacting with the water, the sperm that spilled out, becomes steam. 

 

After the bath Naoe carries Takaya to their bedroom where Rei is already sleeping. As watching Takaya's sleeping face, Naoe prays to stay strong. Takaya needs him now more than ever, so Naoe has to be strong in order to protect and support him. He also thinks about the sword of Futsu... the sword that brings death people alive... Naoe's phone ring and he leaves the room so that he won't wake up Takaya and Rei. Then a person wearing traditional clothes sneaks into the room from window. This intruder tries to find something, but he gets shocked seeing Naoe standing on the door and showing Rei and Tooru's amulets on his hand. "Are you looking for this?", Naoe asks. Takaya gets up and grabs intruder's arm. This mysterious person has three arms... He is Hiruko! They start to fight. Rei takes a form of Yata crow. Takaya asks why Hiruko came back now, not 50 years ago. Hiruko smiles devilishly and says "I was in a foreign land. But as the prediction says, I came back with the gods that were drifted away. Don't get me wrong. My revenge is Hirukos' revenge. It's not only my personal revenge for that what happened 50 years ago. The gods are returning now. Why are you staying on Jimmu's side?" Takaya stiffs: "On Jimmu's.. side?" H: "That bird (Rei)... That's Jimmu's bird. And the God inside of you isn't suitable ally for Jimmu but for Nishikitobe." This God that Hiruko is talking about, is Kihachi. Hiruko asks Takaya to join them so that they can together create a new country where to live. The gods that were drifted away will replace the gods living on the land. The fight continues and one of the Hiruko's friend catches Rei planning to kill her (because she's Nachi guardian). Then Takaya shouts that they can't kill Rei, because she's Kaoru's child. Hiruko and his friends stiff and escape.

They finally meet Saniwa, an old lady named Isomura Teru. Saniwas are like Shinto priestesses who have spiritual skills and also ability to communicate with the gods. They discuss about Hirukos and the amulets. It seems that Hirukos are planning to revenge to the gods that drifted them away. In the folklore, Hiruko was a child of Izanami and Izanagi, but his parents drifted him away (=sacrificed). Next, Teru takes a look of amulets. One of them is from the Grand Shrine of Motomiya and another one from the Grand Shrine of Nachi. It seems that one amulet is still missing, because there is a famous word 'Kumano sanzan' (熊野三山), that refers to the three most sacred shrines in Kumano: the Grand Shrine of Nachi, the Grand Shrine of Motomiya and the Grand Shrine of Hayatama. If Tooru and Satoko had amulets, then the third one with the crest of Hayatama shrine must belong to Kaoru. But it's quite possible that Kaoru doesn't know that Satoko was his sister or that Rei is his daughter, so he doesn't know about the existence of third amulet either. Even if they don't have Hayatama shrine's amulet, Teru can see a writing that says 'Three moons will tell the location', when she puts Nachi and Motomiya amulets together. They all wonder what does it mean. They also wonder if three armed Hiruko and Kaoru are related to each other since Hiruko is looking for Tooru's amulet. They heard voices outside. There is a huge group of villagers wanting to kill Takaya. Rei attacks to them (in a form of Yata crow) and the villagers lost their consciousness. They recognizes that Rei is possessed by a God. Then the God talks by using Rei's mouth asking what the God from foreign country does in Kumano. This 'god from foreign country' seems to refer to Bishamonten (it's originally from India) inside of Takaya. The God wants Takaya to leave Kumano immediately. However, Teru explains that Takaya and the others are here for protecting people in Kumano, they're not bad people. They ask what's the sword of Futsu and why Hiruko wants it. The God says it's hidden and only the chosen one who shoots the arrow to the mark can get it. The sword of Futsu is the sword of resuscitation, and Taira Koremori brought it to Kumano before drowning himself into the Nachi Bay. Naoe asks if the sword of Futsu can really save people from the death. Is it just legend or did it really happen? And is Kaoru wanting that for saving himself from the death (As a Nachi guardian Kaoru will die to Hiruko curse too even if he's Hiruko. Kaoru is now around 25 years old so his end is close). The God says that the power of the sword is true, but only chosen ones can use it. After that the God disappears.

Everyone returns to Teru's home to rest. Teru tells that the God was the main deity of the Grand Shrine of Kumano, Susanoo (the God of storms). They get information about three armed Hiruko: his name is Kanemitsu Shingo. Next morning, Takaya, Naoe, Kubuki and Teru go to visit Ooyunohara where Kaoru disappeared. It's a place where the Grand Shrine of Motomiya originally was. Ooyunohara has extremely sorrowful and powerful energy, making visitors to cry. They can feel that something horrible happened here in the past. There is an altar and on the top of that there are two rocks that are actually graves. In the past corpses were drifted into the river that flew to Ooyunohara. Those dead souls were worshiped here. 100 years ago here was flood that drifted people and Motomiya shrine (and it's gods) away. Lots of people lost their lives. That's why Ooyunohara became 'a graveyard' and those two graves are for the victims of that flood: one for the gods and the another for humans. Survivors decided the rebuild the Motomiya shrine to the different place so that it won't be destroyed by flood anymore. And so Ooyunohara became abandoned. It's absolutely forbidden to touch those graves. Takaya asks if Kaoru touched them. Teru weeping tears says that Kaoru made an oath with a God he should have never done.

At Jingo-ji temple in Kyoto, Hayato is sitting alone in front of the statue of Yakushi nyorai. It's late evening. Nakagawa comes there and they start to talk about Takaya. Hayato isn't happy to hear that Naoe is with Takaya in Kumano. Nakagawa asks if it's because Tachibana is a former retainer of Uesugi. Hayato holds his rifle closer and says that it's not because of that, but he hates how Tachibana thinks that only he has the right to protect Takaya. Nakagawa understands that Hayato has feelings for Takaya and how he wants to protect him. Nakagawa convinces Hayato that they don't need to worry about Takaya's safety, because Tachibana will definitely take good care of him. Then they hear that some girl wants to meet Hyoudou Hayato. Together with Nakagawa he hurries to the gate. There is a girl whose brother was possessed by a kanshousha. Earlier Hayato caught this kanshousha (because he was enemy) and imprisoned him to Jingo-ji temple. Of course this girl doesn't understand that her brother's soul isn't in that body anymore since now it belongs to this kanshousha, a samurai named Koheita. Reporters and journalists surround her and Hayato asking them to tell some details of the Red Whales. Hayato gets pissed off and explains that APCD isn't disease, but being possessed by a vengeful spirit, onryou. He also explains that the Red Whales isn't a religious cult or a terrorist organization. They have nothing to do with this scandal and that Shiba Eiji is lying. Without any warning Koheita attacks and injuries Hayato. Everyone gets in a panic. Hayato and Nakagawa close the gate again. But they can't rest at all, because suddenly the spiritual atmosphere in the temple has changed. Monks from Mt Hiei are attacking spiritually and try to exorcise all onryous from Jingo-ji temple! Meanwhile at Enryoku-ji temple in Mt. Hiei, Akechi Mitsuhide is watching how the monks are chanting the mantra. But then enormous lightning strikes the temple.

At the very same moment, dressed in a white kimono, Shiba Eiji (Nobunaga) finishes his mantra at Atsuta shrine in Nagoya. He was the one who send the lightning to strike Mt. Hiei. When he steps out of the hall of worship, he sees Mori Ranmaru and other high ranking retainers waiting for him. R: "My Lord, we saw a fierce lightning rising up to the sky. That was truly magnificent!" His lightning touched the Enryoku-ji temple and cancelled their spelling. Nobunaga's retainers ask why he saved the Red Whales in Jingo-ji temple. Nobunaga laughs and says that before long they will get known. Shiba will have a business meeting tomorrow so he and Ranmaru get on the limousine and head for the Shintoukai Broadcast company that is under Nobunaga's control now. Ranmaru tells his report how things are going. The next scene is quite interesting so I translated it!

 

p.141

N: "By the way, Ran. Has that man returned yet?"

R: "No, not yet."

N: "That useless moron. What the fuck he's doing. I gave him lots of time to finish this task."

R: "That's true, but actually..."  

Ranmaru whispers secret details into Nobunaga's ear so that the driver can't hear. Nobunaga sharpens his eyes.

N: "Really?"

R: "What a nuisance. We couldn't expect that he would manage to escape to Shikoku. Shall we send someone to get rid of them before they interrupt us more?"

Nobunaga couldn't help but smile.

N: "Send assassins and drive them away from Kumano. But don't kill."

R: "I can't kill them, huh?"

N: "Of course not. That man has still lots of responsibilities to do." 

Saying so Nobunaga reaches out Ranmaru's face and grabs his chin. Younger man gasps in surprise.

N: "Don't let that man to come on my way anymore. I don't care if he has two or three arms. Send the Tatara for this mission and tell them to get the rest Imperial regalia to me in few weeks."

R: "Ye-yes!"

N: "Without them the sword of Kusanagi is just worthless rubbish."

As saying so Nobunaga kisses Ranmaru roughly. At first Ranmaru is amazed, but eventually he clutches Nobunaga's kimono collar with his trembling hands. As if enjoying the feeling of soft fruit Nobunaga is sucking Ranmaru's lips to his heart's content. He licks his lips and says with a cold smile on his face. 

N: "I'm going to smash down the Shadow Shikoku."

Nobunaga's voice is so bloodlusted that it almost wakes up Ranmaru who is drunken from the intensive kissing with his lord.

N: "We have to protect Jingo-ji temple. But it's time to be serious. And before long the Real Pure Land will also collapse." 

Nobunaga says so and tears off Ranmaru's shirt all at once. The buttons fly and hit the window glass. Usually Nobunaga doesn't show this side of himself in public, but now he bends young man's slender body on the seat and comes on the top of him.

N: "We have to teach him one thing: Humans can't exist if they escape from the life. How can he think that anyone can live without a body? Life itself is the source of everything."

R: "My... Lord..."

N: "I'm hungry for you."

Nobunaga bends Ranmaru's legs so that young man's feet touch the ceiling. He binds Ranmaru's arms with his shirt so that the younger man can't move freely. Without any hesitation Nobunaga thrusts two digits into Ranmaru's body and enjoys how he responds with moans.

R: "Mm... My Lord... Please... Stop!"

N: "That's right. The physical body wakes up passion inside of us and the passion is the source of all power. How can anyone feel passion without a body? Wow, you're so heated already. Yes, feel me, Ran. With all your heart, feel my overflowing life through that body you're having now!"

R: "S-Stop!"

Nobunaga takes Ranmaru's one testicle into his mouth and bites it vigorously. Being afraid of getting his balls bitten off Ranmaru stiffs and his face becomes pale.

R: "Nnn... My Looord!!" (@A@;;;;)

There is a scream in the car. Nobunaga's mouth is covered by fresh blood. He looks like a predator that is having meal. Ranmaru is unconscious. Nobunaga brings his fingers onto his lips and licks blood as if it is very delicious. Smile appears on Nobunaga's face. His eyes are so cold and mad, expressing that no one can stop him.

 

Ohoh! Any OdaMori shippers here? :) By the way, in novels Nobunaga calls Ranmaru "Oran". In the past it was common to add letter 'o' in front of female names. For example, in MoB OVA you can hear Shintarou calling Haruie "Otsuta" instead of calling her "Tsuta". According to some historical sites Nobunaga used this way to call Ranmaru in real life too. Even if it was used for females in their case it was Nobunaga's way to show affection for his young lover (at least they had extremely close servant-lord relationship, but it's highly possible that Ranmaru served Nobunaga in sexual way too since it was very common at the time). 

In Shikoku everyone is astonished what happened in Kyoto. It seems that something stroke Mt. Hiei making their spell to fail. Reijirou is asked come to see someone who wants to meet him. In the room he sees Satta and a woman who is keeping Satta as a hostage. Woman introduces herself to be Kadowaki Ayako, Kakizaki Haruie. Reijirou says that he had heard about her from Nakagawa. Ayako asks about APCD and Kagetora. Reijirou tells the truth that they haven't done anything wrong and that Takaya is their friend. Ayako gets mad and says that's not true.  R: "When Ougi was suffering the most, what were you guys doing?! If you're his friend, why didn't you help him?! Do you even know anything about him? How much have you seen his true self?" Ayako drops her gun and starts to cry. She explains that she felt so terrible being caught by Oda and kept imprison so long. She couldn't help Kagetora even if she wanted to do so. Utarou comes to the room with tea. As Reijirou introduces him to Ayako and says that Utarou helps Takaya at Mt. Tsurugi. Utarou says that if Ayako wants to know more about how Takaya is doing recently, she should ask from Nakagawa or Tachibana. Ayako asks desperately if Naoe has also joined the Red Whales and why he left Uesugi. Satta, Utarou and Narasaki all turn to look at Reijirou and ask "Kada-san? What does she mean?" ó__ò Only few people know the true identity of Naoe... Reijirou decides to tell the truth who Tachibana Yoshiaki really is and why he's here. Ayako starts cry again, but this time because she's happy and relieved. That's our Naoe. He would do anything for Kagetora, even leave Uesugi in order to be together with him. No matter what, he would always choose Kagetora. Then Utarou makes Ayako to wear a spiritual bracelet so that she won't be able to use exorcism. Doumori comes and asks Reijirou to have a talk. It seems that someone is trying to break their spiritual barriers. Suddenly Kiyomasa arrives. He has come all the way from Kumamoto to help Reijirou. He says that Hayato was on the tv and that he told everything to the media. Reijirou is dumbfounded. He couldn't expect Hayato to revival everything. Then they hear the sound of siren and go to see what's happening outside. Police cars are driving to the front yard of their fort. They're shocked to be found by modern people.

Meanwhile in Kyoto, police officers and paramedics have come inside of the Jingo-ji temple area. Hayato is taken to the police station for interrogation, but Nakagawa escapes to Shikoku. Even if Hayato tells to truth about APCD, himself and the Red Whales, no one believes him. Suddenly they see from the window that it has started to rain. It's golden rain. Everyone get astonished. Hayato remembers what happened in Miyajima and gets worry. He escapes from the police station and runs to the Jingo-ji temple. Before this the golden rain has fallen only the above of shrines, but this time the rain is covering the whole city of Kyoto. After he reaches the temple he doesn't find anyone there. Everyone has disappeared. In the sky he sees Orochi (a multi-headed serpent). He tries to shoot it, but it's too strong. After all he's saved by a monk and the rain stops. The monk says that their land has started to stain. But there is a way to get everyone back: Isonokami shrine in Nara. Hayato decides to go there. 

Takaya and Naoe are solving another clue about 'three moons'. Number 3 is very sacred in Kumano: 3 limbed Hirukos, 3 main shrines.. When Taira Koremori came to Kumano, it's quite high possible that Nachi guardians helped him to hide the sword of Futsu. Then Rei also joined to their conversation saying that the gods (of Hayatama, Nachi and Motomiya shrines) said that the Moon is in the shrine. What is found in every shrine and what looks like a moon when light hits it? Yes, it's a mirror! In the other words, it's possible that those three mirror are actually 'magic mirrors' that may tell the location of the sword of Futsu. Takaya, Naoe and Yuuta steal scared mirrors from Hayatama and Nachi shrine. At Motomiya shrine they encounter 4 members of the Tatara assassins. They tell to be ordered by Lord Nobunaga, and asks Takaya and the others to give the mirror to them. Also, if they don't leave Kumano, they will kill them. As they start to have fight, Yuuta stabs Takaya by a knife. He has been on Hirukos' side all this time! He just tried to get known where the sword of Futsu is! As Naoe exorcises 2 assassins, the others and Yuuta escape.

Ushio wakes up at the cave. He was possessed by a hyouirei, but finally got himself back. He has no idea where he is, but finds a torii gate. There is an around 13 years old boy wearing Shinto priests clothes. The boy says that it's better to not pass the torii gate, because that shrine is a sacred place for Nishikitobe. He explains that Nishikitobe are indigenous people of Kumano and they were destroyed by Emperor Jimmu. The hyouirei that was possessing Ushio was a soul that belonged to Nishikitobe. Ushio asks why the boy isn't at school, but the boy answers that he has lived in this shrine for all his life, so he doesn't go to school like normal children. Next, the boy tells that Nishikitobe were a folk that used mineral resources of Kumano and learnt to control minerals by using spiritual skills. The onryous of Nishikitobe can create their own host body for example from mud, stones or oil (in other words, that oil creature that followed and killed Tooru was an onryou of Nishikitobe). Ushio asks if the boy is a descendant of Nishikitobe, but the boy says he's just a Kaoru-sama's servant who takes care of this shrine. Ushio demands to see Kaoru because he promised Tooru to kill Kaoru. The boy gets sad after hearing Tooru has died, and he also tells Kaoru is Tooru's younger brother and also three eyed Hiruko. Together with Nishikitobe Kaoru is creating new world to Kumano. The boy tells his name to be Tsukasa. He also asks Ushio to join them because they will be winners soon, since the one who controls Kumano, controls the whole Yami Sengoku. Then Kanemitsu Shingo, the three armed Hiruko, comes there and is frustrated to fail getting the two missing amulets. They have also an another way to get known the location of the sword of Futsu. Shingo has a box and inside of that, there is a skull of Taira Koremori. They're planning to resurrect him and ask directly where the sword of Futsu is. 

Takaya and the others illuminate the mirrors by a flashlight, and then the hidden writing comes visible. It says 'Draw the bow of Gotobiki and shoot the flying dragon'. Teru says that Gotobiki is a holy rock in Kamikura shrine. Takakuraji is the main deity of that shrine and in the same place he also granted the sword of Futsu to Emperor Jimmu. Flying dragon might be Hiryuu shrine ('Hiryuu' means flying dragon) that is next to Nachi Falls. They wonder if the sword of Futsu is hidden in the waterfall. 

Kousaka arrives to Jingo-ji temple to see what happened there earlier. There he meets also Kikkawa Motoharu and Akechi Mitsuhide who barely survived from the lightning attack to Enryoku-ji temple. Mitsuhide and Motoharu are still having Anti-Oda Alliance, but Takeda clan withdrew suddenly. Mitsuhide isn't happy about this. Motoharu says that he saw a dream where he was asked to come to look for Taira Koremori's head in Kumano. The person who gets the head will also receive the whole underworld army of Taira clan, and become the most powerful onryou in Yami Sengoku. Kousaka starts to laugh and says that he also saw same dream. It seems that someone wants to gather onryous to Kumano. 

*Kiyomasa and Ayako are heading for Nara to help Hayato*

Takaya is looking at the blue autumn sky. He feels sad that the next time when there will be clear blue sky in Shikoku is after 50 years. And his soul doesn't exist anymore, not in human world or in the other world either. Naoe has finished preparing the car, so he comes to pick up Takaya and Rei. After seeing Naoe, Takaya hurries to him and buries his head onto older man's chest. Naoe is surprised. 

p.255

N: "Takaya-san..."

The expression on Takaya's face looks painful. When Naoe is about to hug Takaya, the younger man steps back making Naoe surprised again.

T: "I'll lure Kaoru out."

N: "What do you mean?"

T: "I'll use the sword of Futsu as a trap. I'm going to determine what did Kaoru do in Ooyunohara."

N: "Takaya-san."

T: "It's possible that we may need to finish off Kaoru."

Naoe places his hand on Takaya's shoulder and looked deeply into his eyes.

T: "Naoe..."

*Naoe looks at Takaya with very concerned eyes*

T: "Don't look at me in such a way, I'm not preparing for dying."

N: "I can't trust your 'I'm fine'."

T: "I'm just worried if Oda is somehow related to this Hiruko case. Those Tatara guys said same things as Hiruko."

N: "About Nishikitobe?"

T: "Yeah, I'm quite sure that-"

*Takaya coughs hard and he gets fresh blood on his hand he used covering his mouth*

*Takaya and Naoe are shocked*

T: "I'm not going to die yet. What do you think was my reason for living these 400 years? I can't be satisfied before I'm sure about one thing: how long you will love me. I'm going to live till that day you stop wanting me."

N: "Takaya-san..."

After hearing those words Naoe feels that if Takaya is really preparing himself for 'that moment'. Having bad feeling about Oda, Naoe takes a look of amulets he's carrying. The seal has changed! The seal had small pictures of 28 Yata crows. But 17 of them has disappeared! Takaya asks Rei what's happening to the amulet. Rei is completely shocked and says that the birds are representing the amount of the gods in Japan. Takaya and Naoe remember Tooru's last words 'When the all birds have died, Kumano will burn'. Then they understand, it's the golden rain that makes the gods to disappear! They don't much time left!  

At Shintoukai Broadcast company, there's a man looking out from the window. He's holding an amulet of Hayatama shrine on his hand. The birds are disappearing... Tsukasa steps into room together with Kanemitsu Shingo. Shingo apologizes for being not able to get the two other amulets, but he's asks permission for using Koremori's head. The man standing in front of the window says it's fine. Tsukasa says that please leave this to us, we'll get you the sword of Futsu after resurrecting Koremori. And at the last, Tsukasa says: "Please, have Hirukos' revenge and destroy Kumano... Kaoru-sama."

To be continued.

*****

 

Oh dear.

Yes, Shiba Eiji/Nobunaga is Kaoru! D: This is quite shocking twist, because now the whole story of MoB gets completely new aspect. Shiba/Kaoru's third eye is on his back of the head. Earlier Shiba/Kaoru had long hair and he used have a ponytail with a cap so the eye stayed out of sight... I guess he cut his hair shorter, because he didn't need to hide the eye anymore since now most of people around him are his retainers.   

Any opinions about Nobunaga? How do you feel after this twist? :)

lufro
lufro's picture
wow

I am spechless O_O things are getting more and more interesting. Thank you again....

Rina
Rina's picture
My pleasure

The plot is getting very addictive! ^^

sarah3161
sarah3161's picture
that was intense o_o

that was intense o_o

it is interesting to see Nobunaga behaving like a predator

and the heart breaking part - like we are used to- is to see Naoe and Takaya strugglingthank you for sharing this ^_^

Rina
Rina's picture
Kuwabara-sensei is definitely

Kuwabara-sensei is definitely master at writing erotical moments!

It's nice that we can get known to Nobunaga finally. So far he has appeared mostly via Kojirou or Yuzuru (the seed of Demon King), but now he shows his true self and it's quite cool. ^^

You're welcome! :)

Sankia
Sankia's picture
Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ! Oh my god! The scene of the bath is so hot !

The scene where Takaya says: "I can not be satisfied before I'm sure about one thing: how long you will love me." I was going to live till that day you stop wanting me, "upset me! :(

Ayako was very touching too! :)

Thank you for this summary!

Rina
Rina's picture
It is! And more Naoe x Takaya

It is! And more Naoe x Takaya scenes are coming soon! ^^

You're welcome! :)

Sankia
Sankia's picture
That's great !

That's great !

I can't wait for the next summary ! :)

Rina
Rina's picture
Next summary will come in

Next summary will come in this week! :)

labingi
Thank you so much! (And some questions on sex scenes)

Rina, thank you for more wonderful, detailed work on this. Wow, it's hard for me to begin to keep track of what's going on. I'll have to go back and reread it a few times. I agree, cool revelation about Nobunaga, and... intense though the Nobunaga/Ran sex is, I'm actually relieved to have this scene. There seems an interesting tendency in Mirage to take more or less historical "BL" couples and then (almost) never show them as sexual couples, the two main ones I'm thinking of being Nobunaga/Ranmaru and Shingen/Kousaka. Seems an odd choice for a BL work. It's sort of nice to see that aspect of the N/R relationship finally brought up.

However, I am going to complain again about the Naoe/Takaya sex. I'm not understanding it, and maybe others can help me figure out what's going on. I understand that sexual assault is a BL trope; I get where this is coming from on a genre level. But I'm confused on an in-universe, interpersonal level. That Naoe assaults Takaya over and over... sure, that's in character. He wants him; he has centuries of pent-up desire; he has philosophies/plans built up around merging their souls and sucking out his poison and so on. And he does like to dominate him, even though this isn't the central theme anymore, and Takaya keeps giving him signals that it's actually okay to rape him whenever he likes, which is a tremendous license to indulge in all of the above.

What I don't get at this point is Takaya. Maybe someone can tell me what I'm missing. Takaya has generally had an inner conflict in which he has a lot of resistance to sex with Naoe but really wants it. He wants it because he needs the love, the release, the exposure, the acceptance, and he wants to show his love for Naoe. He resists it for a few reasons: 1) fear of being conquered/losing Naoe, 2) prior rape trauma 3) general sexual negativity/shame, and latterly 4) fear of hurting Naoe with Kihachi's poison. Okay, so where does all this stand: 1) fear of conquest/loss of Naoe was mostly addressed by volume 20; there may be echoes of it, but Takaya has basically solved that one. 2) Prior rape trauma is probably still there but seems to be receding, replaced by more immediate (positivish?) experiences of sex with Naoe, ditto (3) general negativity (this seems mostly addressed by vol. 24). 4) The poison appears to be fading as an issue, yes? It's getting weaker. Naoe is not in immediate danger?

So why is Takaya saying no? He seems to be saying no in this scene because he is simply tired and dizzy and is not in the mood, and instead of being allowed to rest, he is sexually assaulted. This is not the previous Mirage dynamic, where Takaya says no because he's grappling with issues/fears he can't face and Naoe (helpfully?) pushes him to face those things and thereby overcome them and achieve what he really wants. I don't see how this is helping Takaya. I don't see how it's addressing his psychological complexes. It seems simply to be denying him rest, agency, and respect. And, again, I completely get why Naoe behaves this way. I do not get why Takaya, after all his "no's" and struggles and so on, seems to proceed after the event as if there's nothing wrong with this. I don't get why he doesn't slug him or read him out or even just pout passive aggressively. How does that work? Yes, Takaya does become aroused because his body seems unable to resist Naoe, but how is one more bit of forced arousal psychologically more important than the integrity of one's own space and choices, especially to someone with the sense of pride and independence of Kagetora? I know it's a trope--but how is this working in Takaya's mind? Can anyone connect the dots for me? Is the idea that Takaya really isn't all that tired and dizzy, etc., but has just trained himself to say no and struggle almost every time they have sex? And if so, what does Takaya think is happening? Does he think he's really saying no, and if so, why isn't he angry? Does he think it's all a game (because it's not played that way)? (I also have Miroku questions but will save that for later!)

Rina
Rina's picture
You're welcome! :) I really

You're welcome! :) I really enjoy making these summaries!

I have to admit that actually Nobunaga is my favorite historical person, and I wondered before reading these volumes if Kuwabara-sensei is going to write anything more intimate about him and Ranmaru, since they seemed already quite close in Karin arc. After all I was very happy seeing them finally together as lovers! 

Yes, in this scene Takaya felt tired, but decided anyway to have bath together with Naoe, because bath really has purifying effect to him and Naoe too. And after this scene, Takaya was like nothing bad happened. Takaya does give very unclear signals and no wonder Naoe is sometimes quite confused what's on Takaya's mind. 

Some my thoughts about Kagetora/Takaya's sexuality + Naoe:

What I guess about Naoe: In my opinion, Naoe thinks Kagetora is just acting being 'difficult to reach', since even here they have their master-servant relationship, because the fact that Kagetora is Kenshin's adopted son doesn't change even if they both have broken up the ties with Uesugi. In Shouwa prequels (Ruritsubame Blues) there was that translated ice scene, where Naoe wondered if they need a revolution (Naoe would be the master, Kagetora the one who obeys). The scene itself had quite erotic mood, so I think Naoe meant this revolution would happen in sexual level, and Kagetora kinds of 'accepted' it because he doesn't stop Naoe's actions properly, but lets him continue. Generally Kagetora almost makes it feel like it's a part of their foreplay. And this of course encourages Naoe to keep going. Or maybe he thinks Kagetora is acting 'difficult' due to his strict purity thinking (Kenshin was very religious (=celibate) and Kagetora admired him).

What I guess about Kagetora: My wild guess is that Takaya says 'no' just for his habit. I don't find any exact reason why he would refuse every time. If Takaya wants Naoe to stop, he would stop him propely. But here he let's Naoe to have sex with him even if Takaya feels tired or isn't on the mood. It's definitely clear that Takaya loves sex and he seriously _craves_ Naoe a lot, but somehow almost every time he says "no" when Naoe is making the first movement for having sex. All in all, my only conclusion is that Kuwabara-sensei just likes to write so and made it 'a habit' of Takaya. (However, IF it's not about 'acting' or 'habit', but still because of the trauma, I really wish Takaya would tell about it to Naoe, so that Naoe could understand him better.)

labingi
That makes sense

Thanks for walking me through this. Yes, that sounds right, that it's just sort of the way they've developed to do it. (It reminds of societies that have a tradition of getting a bride by capture--and once again Mirage reminds me of the Mahabharata!)

In terms of what I, as a reader and writer, like to see in writing, here's a little digressive story. Years ago, I wrote a first draft of a novel from the POV of just one character, and he was unsavory in some significant ways: abandoned his young son, very self-centered, etc. I had a friend read this manuscript, and his response was, in essence, "Am I supposed to like this guy? Because he's kind of a dick." And the thing is, yeah, I wrote him to be kind of a dick; the story is about his learning better as life crashes around him, but I hadn't conveyed that properly because it was all in his POV and there weren't enough cues that I as a writer actually knew his behavior was not laudable.

By that token, I can take on board the Naoe/Takaya dynamic, but as a reader, I would like to see some outside context (that is significant, not just the occasional third party walking in and being confused). I don't know if we'll ever get it: a time when "no" really means no, for example. But I'd like to see it. Just my personal reader response. (Thanks to for the very helpful Miroku notes. I will reply to that soon.)

Rina
Rina's picture
There is also a manga/anime

There is also a manga/anime called Maiden Rose that has a bit similar master-retainer relationship as Naoe and Kagetora have. The master is an oriental prince/division commander who gets molested(/raped) by his knight who is madly in love with him. Since his sexuality is forbidden and he should stay pure and virgin, this prince gets into the vicious circle of sin. Heart wants to enjoy the intimacy with his knight, but the society and his religion forbids it strictly.  Sometimes their relationship reminds me of Naoe and Kagetora.

By the way, I'll get some Shouwa prequels soon, so let's see if there is some answers what's on Kagetora's mind and how he saw his own sexuality at that time. I'm especially curious about how did he feel about having such a young Naoe on his side, since what I have read about Shouwa prequels, it seems that Kagetora was wanting him quite lot.  

Katinka
Katinka's picture
NaoTaka sex is a perpetual topic :)

I am going to complain again about the Naoe/Takaya sex. I'm not understanding it, and maybe others can help me figure out what's going on.

I think I have a pretty good grasp of it, so we can talk. From reading your comment I see that you don't understand why Takaya is saying "no" and then, after Naoe proceeds nevertheless, acts like what happened was okay.

This is an example of a “no” that is actually a “yes”. If Naoe’d stop, as told, Takaya would be furious :) He would think he’s not loved and not wanted anymore. His sense of self-worth and self-esteem would suffer a tremendous blow. If this situation were to be repeated (Naoe stopping when Takaya tells him to), this would feel like the end of the world to Takaya. Remember the “Karin” arc, the whole Kotaro thing – it was the end of the world, Kotaro not being aggressive enough.

This is the interpersonal and sexual dynamic I was talking about in the other thread. The “victim” needs to be conquered every single time. Not just once – you’ve conquered me, now we’re together and can cuddle – no, it has to be a continuing thing, otherwise the “victim” would never believe that it’s something real and true. Naoe disregarding a “no” is proof to Kagetora that Naoe’s desire for him is strong enough. Without that everyday proof Kagetora can not be in a relationship with Naoe.

So, Takaya keeps saying "no" because he has to create a situation where the strength of Naoe's desire is tested and confirmed - time after time after time.

In a healthy pattern there's no focus on pain here - it's just the forcefullness of it that matters. But their pattern is unhealthy :) And (this may come as a surprise), that's Kagetora, not Naoe who's driving the unhealthiness. I can elaborate on this later.

  

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my blog   

labingi
Yeah, that makes a lot of

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you, again, for the explanation.

Mirage, it goes without saying, is a very complicated text. It's a text that takes some sitting with, and I haven't had a chance to sit with/interalize anything post-volume 24, but I've had about 5-10 years to internalize much of what's before vol. 24. It's amazing to jump back into it now but in some ways also a little disconcerting. But I will sort through it; it just takes time.

Katinka
Katinka's picture
I've been with Mirage for so long

I've continuously been with this text for so long - translating, discussing - that certain topics seem very old :) On this one I have been repeating myself for the past 3-4 years within the Russian community, and it has come to the point where I literally can't say anything anymore. *bummer! I like to talk about NaoTaka sexual - and other - psychology!* :) So it feels very refreshing to be able to say all this again in another language. Thank you for posing the questions :) 

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my blog   

labingi
Me with confused questions, part 2: Miroku

It's very interesting to hear the Buddhist background on these different sects. The Ikkou sect has long struck me as weird, and here's the fundamental thing I don't understand: how are these militant quests for power and such consistent with any kind of Buddhist teaching? I know the same inconsistency could be found in most any major religion: the Spanish Inquisition is not in any way consistent with the teachings of Jesus. But what's the narrative for this (either in society in general or specifically in Mirage)? By analogy, the narrative for the Inquisition would be something like Satan is trying to corrupt God's/Jesus' people and needs to be stopped so people aren't "led into temptation." In Mirage, you have these folks from the Ikkou sect who have this massive, massive spiritual power that is, as far as I can see, completely disconnected from any kind of spiritual wisdom. So where does it come from? I get it better with the Yashashuu. They're certainly not very enlightenment (well, Irobe a tad), but they do have a genuine, courageous commitment to duty, which seem to be the genesis of why they were granted these powers ultimately by a god, who I guess is supposed to have some higher wisdom (but maybe not?).

And this brings me to Miroku, because this seems to be the Ikkou sect thing writ large. Miroku is actually reminding me of Knives from Trigun: extremely powerful and extremely self-righteous, with the maturity of a thirteen year old. The difference is I know what motivates Knives; I know why he is the way he is. I have no clue what's going on with Miroku. I don't even understand what kind of entity he is. I get that he's supposed to be the Maitreya Buddha, and I believe Rina explained he awoke too early, i.e. before he really became enlightened/able to bring enlightenment to other people? But, assuming I have that loosely right, what does that mean? Is Miroku fundamentally a different spirit that has been traveling along with Kagekatsu/Yuzuru across the ages? Or is he fundamentally the same spirit--and if he is the same spirit, why do he and Yuzuru have clearly (radically) different personalities? And if he is a different spirit, what is the significance of his residing in Yuzuru (because I've been told this has something to do with Yuzuru being karmically near enlightenment--which I can see in Yuzuru's default behavior, but actual enlightement doesn't seem to have anything to do with Miroku? Where does Miroku come from (I mean mainly in terms of spiritual, karmic development)? How can a figure so profoundly unenlightened be simultaneously the embodiment of the ultimate prophecy of global enlightenment, even if he did awaken too soon? And if he's been "asleep," what put him to sleep? Was he previously awake? Was he in the karmic equivalent of the womb? (I suspect when I have the answer to this question, I may be much closer to understanding what Mirage is actually, ultimately about.) I welcome any info!

Rina
Rina's picture
Ikkou sect & Miroku

Here is some historical/religious background: Ikkou sect is a fanatical part of Pure Land Buddhism. There is also word Ikkou-Ikki that is a group of Ikkou sect believers, who wanted local autonomy that supports their religion. Nobunaga really detested Ikkou sect and also Ikkou-Ikki, because in his opinion state and religion should be separated. Secular Nobunaga didn't hate Buddhism itself, he just didn't like how Ikkou sect declared the Pure Land to be the only truth and how other sects are superstition. In Ikkou sect one is saved just for believing in Amida Buddha. In other words, even if one kills, one can still get in Pure Land Paradise if he/she just has faith. And this point historically made Ikkou sect believers and Ikkou-Ikki very frightening opponent, because they didn't fear anything or they didn't hesitate to use brutal ways to spread their 'ideology'. They were like very aggressive missionaries with weapons. Nobunaga thought those warrior monks to be corrupted since they interfered themselves into political things like tax policy too. As a very fanatic group they of course rebelled against Nobunaga's plans for ruling whole Japan and because he didn't have any interest for Buddhism. 

As for your question, where Ikkou sect gets their power, I'd say the answer is grudge. Amida Buddha himself is thought to be very merciful and good-natured deity, so I don't think he would have done any similar connections with Ikkou sect like Bishamonten have done with Yashashuu. In MoB, the strength of grudge defines how powerful onryou/vengeful spirit is. It depends on the age too. For example, that's why these Nishikitobe onryous are very dangerous (they're hundreds of years older than Sengoku era onryous).  

Next about Miroku:

Is Miroku fundamentally a different spirit that has been traveling along with Kagekatsu/Yuzuru across the ages?

- The original soul is Miroku. Kagekatsu and Yuzuru are his reincarnations in human realm. In Japanese Buddhism, it's said that Miroku's soul/spirit was born in Tusita Heaven (兜率天 tosotsuten) when Shaka (historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama) gained his own enlightenment. As living in the heaven, he's supposed to find the way to save humankind and become Buddha (nyorai, 如来). There are 6 realms (hell, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, ashuras and heaven) in Buddhist cosmology. Heaven itself has several levels where deities live, and Tusita Heaven is one of those levels. Heaven sounds good place to be, BUT it's believed to be very lucky thing being born in human realm, because humans can gain enlightenment by meditating and seeking correct answers. I wonder if this is the point why Miroku was born in human realm in MoB. As I mentioned, Miroku should find his answer in the heaven realm, but I think Kuwabara-sensei wants him to find the answers directly from the human realm rather than staying all time in the heaven realm. Finding the way to save humans while being together with humans, I guess.

Without spoiling too much I can say that when Miroku was born as Uesugi Kagekatsu, his powers were asleep. Kagekatsu didn't know about his true identity or destiny. Next volume is "the Miroku volume", so there will be some essential answers! :)

labingi
Thank you!

Thank you so much for this clear and very detailed explanation! (Sorry for a late reply; real life got crazy.) Grudge as an explanation for so many of these hijinks makes a lot of sense, and I'm looking forward to more Miroku stuff next volume. So, I'm wondering, if Miroku is the "original" soul, so to speak, is his presence as a person a little bit like traveling back in time to an earlier incarnation/earlier version of oneself? To use a weird analogy, would it be a little bit like young Anakin Skywalker (Miroku) inhabiting the same body an old, reformed post-Vader Anakin (Kagekatsu/Yuzuru), and sometimes one of them is talking to you and sometimes the other? (Feel free to tell me if this will all be answered in the next volume!) Thanks!

Rina
Rina's picture
No problem!

I guess I let the next summaries to answer this Miroku question! ;)  Next one comes in few days!

labingi
Translation communities updated

I have added the volume 31 link to both translation communities. :)

Rina
Rina's picture
Thank you very much. :)

Thank you very much. :)

imperfekti
imperfekti's picture
Much love for more Miroku! I

Much love for more Miroku! I won't comment on him too much because I'm late in reading these and will apparently soon learn more, but for now I just want to say how much I like Mirage for putting all these Buddhist (and Shinto, for that matter) figures against each other. In reality, the different schools and their teachings do have some very fundamental differences. Buddhism is often seen as something very peaceful, but of course, with people being people, you can find a lot of aggression in it's history and mythology, so I'm really interested to see how those are used in Mirage. And I'm saying that as a Buddhist - looking forward to see if my currently preferred school will come up and if so, in what kind of a nasty form, haha!

Another thing that is great about Mirage that I think comes up in this volume, is how the things Nobunaga is saying here about life make a lot of sense in my opinion. It would be a lot less interesting if he was just looking out to conquer the world because that's what bad guys do. Here he actually seems to have a interesting philosophical opinion that clashes with Kagetora's. I have not yet totally internalized everything Kagetora is trying to achieve at this point and what Nobunaga's plan is as opposed to that, so maybe that's affecting my opinion, but at the moment I find it really nice that I can look at both the protagonist and the antagonist and think they both have understandable visions and goals. Mirage has been good about not being too black and white about these things before, and it's awesome that's still it's strong point here. All the struggle between the different gods, Buddhas, clans etc. at this point of course also play into this, and it's great (though confusing as well).

I'm also happy to see another relationship with BL nature that doesn't directly involve Kagetora or Naoe in Mirage - or rather, another romantic/sexual relationship between main characters in general. I feel it makes the cast feel more balanced and interesting.

My two cents on the sex part: I personally didn't have much difficulty understanding the dynamic of the scene and their behaviour, but it also wasn't one of the best or most interesting scenes of this nature. For me, it would have been more intriguing if they had actually talked about what Kagetora asked about, ie what was Naoe thinking. Maybe it has been discussed somewhere else in the books before, but I wouldn't mind reading more about how Naoe feels about being able to have this kind of a relationship with Kagetora after craving for it for so long, and how all that ties into their general situation now.

Anyway, fun to see Taira Koremori being involved as well - I'm currently reading the Heike monogatari, so it's nice to see some familiar names here. ^^

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