I just finished reading this volume. Things between Kagetora, Naoe and Minako are getting worse...
Spoiler alert: This text will have spoilers from the main story (vol. 40) so read on your own responsibility.
Shouwa prequel vol. 8: Gurenzaka Buruusu (Crimson Hill Blues)
It's Autumn 1961. This volume starts with a scene Nobunaga arriving back to Japan from the States. After he gets on the car he confessed to Ranmaru that they were about to die when the aircraft was landing. It seems that Kagetora used his powers and surrounded the plane by a spiritual barrier that locks souls inside of it. Kagetora was possibly planning to drop the aircraft and then exorcise all the souls, including Nobunaga and Ranmaru, when their human bodies die. After all for some reason Kagetora didn't do anything. But still Nobunaga is terrified what almost happened to them. Ranmaru also feels shocked and worried since he has never before seen Nobunaga so scared as now.
Kagetora is watching how Nobunaga's car leaves the airport. Nagahide walks to his side asking why Kagetora didn't kill Nobunaga. He just says that the wind direction changed and he didn't want to drop the aircraft over the houses. Next, they escape some Oda retainers by a motorbike. It seems it's Nobunaga's revenge. After getting to safe place Kagetora falls on his knees, having big difficulties to breath. Nagahide gets very worried about him since Kagetora really is about to be choked, but fortunately Naoe and Hakkai drove there just in last moment. Naoe rushes to Kagetora side and gives him an oxygen mask, helping him to breath. Kagetora needs medical care, but he can't go to hospital because he and the others have become outlaws. Police forces are looking for them and due to this they can't go to public places (hospitals, parks) anymore. They also need to change the place they're lodging all the time so that they won't be caught. Naoe knows one old doctor who has his own private clinic, so they take Kagetora there.
Police officers visit Kitazato's home too. Minako's mother orders her to not meet Kasahara (Naoe) and Kase (Kagetora) anymore since they're criminals. Minako begs that her parents would break her engagement with Takehiko. She doesn't want to marry him. Her mother asks if Minako has fallen in love with someone else. As Minako doesn't answer anything her mother supposes "It's Kasahara-san, isn't it?", making Minako feel troublesome since she loves Kase, not Naoe. Minako's mother asks her to forget romance affairs and concentrate on marrying Takehiko. Their engagement won't be cancelled. Minako goes to her room and longs Kase. It's long time since they met last time. Suddenly she hears someone calling her outside. As she looks out from the window she sees Haruie standing on the street. She goes to her. Haruie tells that all of them are fine, but they can't move outside since police officers are hunting for them. Haruie also tells about Kagetora's bad health condition and asks if Minako could get Kagetora's medicine from the pharmacy.
Irobe and Hakkai are exorcising Oda's onryous at Mt. Ishizuchi. They found a sacred place where is an altar and a big column. They're shocked finding four women chained into this column by a spell. Irobe breaks the spiritual barrier by using an arrow of Bishamonten. The women are released. One of them in panic starts to look for something from the ruins of the column. "My baby! Where is my baby!" Irobe and Hakkai are shocked as one of women finds and takes in her arms a small baby. Suddenly all these women lose their consciousness. The women and baby are taken to a hospital. Things are getting mysterious since it's seems that none of those women is a mother of this child. Plus, none of them remember anything about the incident anymore. It seems that they all are from same city and all of them have lost their baby due to a miscarriage. There is also something weird on baby too. He has a weird mole on his skin. Irobe is wondering what's going on and lets Kagetora to know about this case. Some hyouireis try to kidnap the baby from the hospital, but Irobe manages stop their plan. After this Irobe gets a permission to go and take the baby with him to Shikoku in order to keep him save there.
Naoe sees off Haruie to the station. Kagetora ordered her to go to help Irobe for protecting the baby in Shikoku. Naoe proposes that he can take care of getting Kagetora's medicine. Haruie doesn't want to say that she already asked Minako to do that, so she lies that Mr. Murauchi's wife will take care of that. Haruie asks Naoe to keep eyes on Kagetora. She tells that she actually quite worry about how Kagetora's powers are rapidly rising and how his body can't control his powers anymore. Hmmm... Interesting. Could it be possible that Kagetora's soul demise started to show symptoms already 30 years ago? These symptoms (unstable powers, physical body is getting weaker) are quite same what Takaya had...
Minako visits the Murauchis for bringing Kagetora's medicine there. Mrs. Murauchi asks her to come in. For Minako's great surprise Kagetora is also there. Kagetora is surprised and understands that this was Haruie's plan to give them opportunity to meet. Mrs. Murauchi moves to another room leaving them alone. Kagetora embraces Minako tightly and whispers into her ear that he really wanted see her. Minako buries her face onto Kagetora's chest and starts to shed tears. "I can't stand this pain anymore..." Kagetora whispers with a hoarse voice. Minako stays there for a while.
At Ginza Naoe by change runs into Kousaka and tells him about Irobe, the baby and women. Kousaka says that the situation is getting more troublesome since it seems that Oda clan has got in their hands many ancient spells. Naoe asks if Kousaka knows something about those spells. According to Kousaka, like the spell in vol. 7 when Oda clan made Kagetora's copy, this baby spell is also part of very secret rituals of Imperial court. Once Emperor on purpose made a child between him and former Ise priestess (Kousaka probably means here his grandfather, Emperor Kounin and his wife Princess Ikami who was an Ise priestess before Kounin forced her to marry him). The baby between them was buried alive and used as a scarification for this spelling. Naoe loses his words since the story Kousaka told is so brutal... Imperial Prince was sacrificed alive?! The baby used in this spell have to be related by blood to the speller, so in other words the baby Irobe saved is Nobunaga's son. Naoe learns from Kousaka that Nobunaga probably forced some lady (possibly someone from his cult) to carry his child, and this child was used for the ritual. It's more effective if the mother of child has high spiritual powers (that's why Emperor chose Ise priestess). In Nobunaga's case he's looking for priestess... High skilled priestess. "Like that woman who had connections to our Takeda clan. That dragon lady." Naoe feels shocked. Is Kousaka talking about Minako?! Kousaka says that she is also Kagetora's woman... perfect in Nobunaga's opinion for this kind of brutal ritual. He can get a spiritually strong child and also hurt Kagetora at the same time.
Meanwhile Kagetora is sitting on the bench, having big troubles to breath. He wonders why he feels so lonely all the time even if he has Yashashuu, Nokizarus and many trustworthy friends in his life. Why it feels like he is fighting alone? What is this loneliness? He also feels very worried what his doppelganger did and said to Naoe. How much did Naoe see Kagetora's true self? His doppelganger unified with him, nesting now in Kagetora's heart. Sometimes, like now, Kagetora can hear doppelganger whispering things: 'Naoe will recognize soon your true self', 'When he knows, he will abandon you' and 'You can't bluff him forever, Uesugi Kagetora'. Kagetora begs his heart to stop saying so. Kagetora admits he isn't such a strong person as Naoe thinks he is. Naoe can't stand someone being better than him, that's why he's craving for Kagetora. If Naoe gets known how weak Kagetora actually is, he would definitely lose his interest. In order to keep Naoe interested in him, Kagetora has to crush Naoe and not let him come any closer. 'This hurts so much, Minako...' Kagetora thinks. Minako is the only one who accepts him as he is. Hugging her always makes him to feel save... Relieved from this mental pain.
Naoe saves Minako from hyouireis that killed the Nokizaru ninja who was protecting her. Hyouireis were about to kidnap her, but before they did so Naoe managed to take Minako to his car. Naoe is secretly very annoyed that Haruie lied to him about the person who takes care of getting Kagetora's medicine. It seems that the person is Minako, not Mrs. Murauchi. Naoe's voice is very cold when he asks if the medicine is just an excuse for Minako to meet Kagetora. Minako says that she just wants to help, nothing else, but Naoe keeps questioning: Why do they meet each other secretly? Why aren't they openly a couple? Is Minako perhaps feeling guilty about something? Minako doesn't answer anything to those question, but in turn asks why Oda clan is targeting her again. Naoe explains that it's obvious since she is Kagetora's girlfriend now. Of course they try to hurt Kagetora as much as possible. Without any feelings is his words Naoe says that Minako is a burden to everyone, especially to Kagetora. Minako asks what should she do in that case, any other ways than breaking up with Kase?
N: "I really would like to recommend you to do so, but as long as Kase-san loves you, it doesn't make any sense."
*Minako bites her lips and looks out of the car window*
M: "Is it better if I don't exist?"
N: "Don't say so."
M: "I know everyone hopes so."
N: ('Not everyone, only me. I really wish you would just disappear.')
Minako asks what Oda clan is planning do with her and Naoe answers that is something so horrible that he can't let Minako to know about it. His answer makes Minako feel afraid.
N: "If you were a man, we wouldn't have this problem."
M: "You're right. I wish I had born as a man. If I were man, instead of being protected, I could protect him."
N: ('If you were a man...')
*Naoe looks at Minako through the back mirror coldly*
N: ('You would steal my place.')
After this they both stay silent. Naoe in his mind hopes that Minako would disappear, get out of their life. Through the mirror he sees that Minako is shedding tears on the back seat, frustrated that she just causes harm to everyone and Kase, unable to help them. After all Naoe takes Minako to her home. For calling to Hakkai, Naoe gets off his car and walks to public phone box. When he's about to press the number, Atou Morinobu, the leader of Nobunaga religion cult, points him with a gun. Morinobu asks where Kimyoumaru-sama is. He knows that Yashashuu hid the baby somewhere. Naoe says that he won't tell anything, but then Morinobu says that cult members have set bombs in Kasahara's hospital and they will explodes them if Naoe doesn't tell. Mori Ranmaru appears there and orders Morinobu to put down the gun. Ranmaru says that he has an interesting proposal to Naoe. He asks Naoe to send Minako to Oda clan. Secretly of course, so that Kagetora would never know. Naoe is shocked. Ranmaru adds that if Naoe does what they ask, Oda clan will keep this little secret. Plus, Kagetora's life will be saved. And all members of Yashashuu can continue their lives on aboard. In Japan they don't have any future anymore, death penalty is waiting for all of them if police catches them. Ranmaru convinces that Nobunaga will keep his promise, since he's very a trustworthy and generous man to his retainers. Naoe doesn't give any answer and leaves the site.
Haruie arrives to Shikoku. It seems that the baby really is Nobunaga's since they heard from Naoe that Atou Morinobu called him 'Kimyoumaru-sama'. Kimyoumaru was Nobunaga's first son's (Oda Nobutada) childhood name (but this baby here doesn't have Nobutada's soul, they just have same name). As holding the baby Haruie says that she would have say "Yes" if Kuchiki had proposed her. She saw Kuchiki as an ideal partner, but Nobunaga ruined everything. Nobunaga's general, Sakuma Morimasa and Morimasa's daughter Lady Tora, have performed kanshou on a young couple and pretend to be the parents of the baby. However, Irobe doesn't trust them and eventually they start to fight. Morimasa steals the baby, but then something weird happens: somehow the baby starts to shine and heat up to so hot that Morimasa drops him to the ground. After this he and Tora escape. Haruie rushes to hold the baby who is crying. Haruie recognizes that the baby is holding something in his hand. It's a white stone that has a Sanskrit writing. It's a sign of Miroku Bodhisattva! Irobe finds it mysterious since Yakushi Nyorai is the deity of the temple they're now, not Miroku. How the baby can have such a stone in that case? And what was that energy? Suddenly Haruie seems to be hypnotized and she starts to speak "Three... Demon King's... children.... Nobunaga.... will... use... three... his... own... children... and... use... them... Find... the two... other... children... and... gather... the stones... together... Then... Miroku... will... descent... from... the Heavens... and... destroy... the Demon King..." Irobe understands that the baby is borrowing Haruie's mouth for speaking. What is this child? A kanshousha? If he's Nobunaga's child, why he is helping Yashashuu? And Miroku? Is he descending to human world?
Interesting! Does this mean that these events in Shouwa prequels possibly caused the reason why Miroku borns in the main story?
Kagetora, Naoe and Nagahide get a call from Irobe who tells everything what happened in Shikoku. They discuss about the baby, the ritual and Nobunaga. Kagetora says that he will stay in Tokyo, but orders Naoe to leave the capital city area and try to find the two other children. Naoe refuses, he doesn't want to leave Kagetora's side. Nagahide joins to their conversation.
Naga: "Naoe doesn't like that you don't break up with Minako." (Nagahide thinks that: Naoe fell in love with Minako --> Kagetora on purpose "stole" Minako from Naoe --> Naoe is mad to Kagetora about this)
Naga: "You would be annoyed if Naoe poked his nose into your relationship with her. That's why you try to drive him away. Everyone knows that. You wanna stay in Tokyo cause you don't wanna leave her."
*Kagetora looks at Nagahide angrily*
K: "Take care of your words. That's not my intention."
Naga: "I don't like her. Not at all. I don't care if it's because dragon lady's blood is flowing in her veins or what, but she is disturbing us. You can't concentrate on this war because you're too busy with protecting her."
Kagetora angrily says that it's wrong to blame Minako, but Nagahide keeps complaining that they can't sacrifice more Nokizarus (Uesugi's ninjas) for her sake. Kagetora has to break up with her, now. After all Nagahide leaves the house angrily. Kagetora asks Naoe's opinion about the situation. Naoe just says that they should keep protecting Minako. Kagetora is a bit surprised especially when Naoe proposes that Kagetora should escape together with Minako. Kagetora's body can't last long anymore so he should avoid fights and leave Tokyo as soon as possible. And it's also dangerous for Minako to stay in Tokyo too. That's why they should escape together. They stay silent for a while, but eventually Kagetora sighs, says "I really wonder what you're truly wanting to do" and leaves the room. Naoe starts to think about Ranmaru's proposal.
Kagetora and the others get a new buddy, 15 years old Takayashiki Tetsuji whose both parents died because of Kuchiki's business. He got an ability to see behind the walls and also foresee after his parents passed away. It seems his grudge against Nobunaga woke up his spiritual skills even if he's just a normal boy (not a kanshousha or a hyouirei). Kagetora, Naoe and Tetsuji go to spy Nobunaga who will meet Prime Minister and some CEOs from the States at a high class Japanese restaurant. Kagetora and the others hide themselves in a nearby building. With his powers Tetsuji can see what is happening inside of the restaurant where Nobunaga and the others are. It seems that Nobunaga gives a bribe to Prime Minister, targeting to get a permission to build something new to Tokyo again. Suddenly Nobunaga rises his gaze and stares at building where Kagetora and the others are. Tetsuji is paralyzed. This is a first time the target recognizes that Tetsuji is spying on him with his powers! Kagetora orders Naoe to escape with Tetsuji while he runs to face Nobunaga by himself. Naoe and Tetsuji escape. They're stopped by Ranmaru who asks if Naoe has made his decision already. Naoe gives a strict answer and it's no. He definitely won't betray Kagetora's trust, no matter what kind of benefits he would get! Kagetora and Nobunaga fight. In the middle of their battle, a mysterious monk dressed man appears between them. This mysterious man says that both Nobunaga and Kagetora have to die or the whole world will be devastated. The man attacks with an enormous power, injuring both of them very seriously. Ambulances arrive and take Nobunaga to different car than Kagetora. Nagahide, Hakkai and Kousaka hijack the ambulance that was on the way to take Kagetora to a criminal hospital. They drive the car where Naoe and Takita are already waiting for them. Naoe starts medical treatment for Kagetora who is still unconscious. Eventually Kagetora opens his eyes slightly and holds Naoe's hand tightly. With a hoarse voice he begs everyone to protect Matsukawa shrine. Nagahide and Hakkai head for the shrine. Just before they arrive there a powerful lightning, almost like an atomic bomb, strikes the shrine destroying it completely. Tens of people die, but Nagahide and Hakkai survive thanks to their goshinhas.
Right after the events in Tokyo Kagetora, Naoe and Tetsuji escape to Yamanashi prefecture. There is a valley on the roots of Mt. Tenmoku. They stay at Sakaguchi Kouyou's house. Kouyou is actually Minako's biological mother's cousin, and dragon lady's blood is flowing on her veins too. Dragon ladies are priestess who were worshiping a dragon god. The legend tells the following story: in Sengoku era this area was Takeda Shingen's prosperity. His son Katsuyori faced his end on this valley when he was fighting against the Odas. Takeda's female samurais committed also seppuku together with Katsuyori, and these women became a dragon god. Thanks to being a dragon lady, a priestess, Minako has some spiritual skills and sometimes she even takes a form of dragon. Naoe doesn't stay at Sakuguchi's, but visits Kagetora regularly for giving him medical treatment. Kagetora broke up with Minako. Before he left Tokyo, he sent her a farewell letter. Naoe feels relieved that Minako isn't part of Kagetora's life anymore. Kagetora and Naoe are alone in Kagetora's bedroom, discussing about the war. He says that they can't know how many times they need to perform kanshou before they success to exorcise Nobunaga. They're 'Yasha', demons. Performing kanshou gives them just a fake body, fake life. Everything is fake. Naoe can't stand hearing these sad words and embraces tightly Kagetora who sitting on the futon bed. Kagetora's eyes open wide as he feels Naoe burying his face on his neck. "Naoe...?" he whispers. Feeling a bit unsure Naoe gathers his courage and flips his hand under the garments of Kagetora's kimono. As Kagetora doesn't do anything stop his actions, Naoe gets some hope. 'Our life isn't fake. If this hot body of yours is fake, then it means that my anguish is just an illusion. The only thing I want is this. His heart beating in this chest', Naoe thinks in his mind as he holds Kagetora more tightly in his arms. The embrace is so strong that Kagetora gets problems to breath properly. "Na... o... e..." he says with a hoarse voice and places his own hand on Naoe's that is touching his skin under the garment. Naoe is surprised since Kagetora's move is encouraging Naoe to touch more, not stop. 'Can I touch more? Can I keep going? I want to touch him more. His body, his heart', Naoe wonders and is about to keep going, but then he hears Kouyou asking him to come to downstairs since Sasaki-san (Irobe) named man is calling.
Time passes. Naoe is visiting Kagetora. He feels so happy and relieved that his and Kagetora's relationship is getting better at last. Naoe loves to see Kagetora's gentle smile again and he is also happy how they can finally talk about something else than war or Nobunaga. Tetsuji rushes to the room and says that a guest has come. Naoe wonders who is it and goes to the downstairs. Naoe's heart sinks into darkness as seeing that the guest is Minako. Later on that day Kagetora and Minako go to visit a shrine together. They sit down on the bench and discuss about their relationship. Before Kagetora left Tokyo, he sent a farewell letter to Minako. In letter he explained that everything is too dangerous and he can't make Minako happy, so it's better if they don't meet anymore. Minako tells that she was very sad. But then she decided to find Kase and eventually Kousaka named man told her Kagetora's current location. That's how Minako find her way here. Minako says that she would regret the rest of her life if she doesn't stay with Kase now. Even if it's just a brief time together (she knows Kase's body won't survive long anymore), if they can be together now, she can say that she had a happy life.
K: "No, it's not a good idea. You should go back."
M: "Where to?"
K: "To the world you belong to. The darkness where I'm isn't a suitable place for you. Moreover, I couldn't give anything to you."
M: "You gave me so much happiness that I can never give you that much back. "
K: "I haven't given anything to you, just receiving. I couldn't even help you when you were sad."
M: "But you gave me something very precious, didn't you?"
K: "What did I give?"
M: "Your heart. You opened it to me. You told me about your anguish, sadness and pain... The one who didn't give anything was me, not you."
M: "I know that I may be a burden. And I understand if you want me to leave, but I just wanted to tell this to you face to face."
K: "No, you can't do that."
*Kagetora holds Minako's hands*
K: "Why did you come here? Don't tell me that-"
*grabs Minako's shoulders*
K: "Don't be stupid! I don't want you to do so! I-"
M: "I'm not going to take my own life."
M: "I abandoned everything. For being with you."
M: "I don't want to regret anything."
*they look at each other*
M: "We'll become happy. You and me."
K: "You know that you can't return to normal life after this."
M: "I always want to be with you."
K: "I just make your life danger, so I wonder if I really can make you happy."
M: "You do. As long as we are together, I'm happy from the bottom of my heart."
K: "We don't have much time. That Kase Kenzou who you love won't exist long anymore."
M: "I don't mind even if your life as Kase Kenzou ends and you become a different person. I'll wait for you. I'll come to look for you. You are you, no matter who you become..."
*Kagetora pulls her into embrace*
K: "You really don't understand anything..."
K: "Please, stay with me... I want to be with you..."
Naoe hears their conversation. As feeling devastated his heart falls into darkness. Starting from that day Minako stays at Sakaguchi family's together with Kagetora and Tetsuji, and she takes care of nursing Kagetora.
Some weeks pass. Naoe visits Kagetora who has recovered so well that he can already walk without someone's help. Naoe feels irritated seeing how Kagetora and Minako look like a married couple. Minako is like Lady Haru, Kagetora's wife in Echigo. And Tetsuji is like his son, Doumanmaru. Naoe also feels annoyed how Minako has started to act towards him. Instead of a friendly greeting, she has started to greet Naoe with a deep bow... as if trying to apologize about something. Minako knows about Naoe's feelings for Kagetora. And she also knows that Naoe hates her. Naoe is about to leave without any words, but Kagetora stops him and they go to discuss just two of them. They also have the following conversation:
K: "Why don't you say anything (about her)?"
N: "Is it weird if I don't complain?"
N: "I won't disturb you two since I don't have any right to do so."
K: "Why do talk in such a way?"
N: "I'm going accept your relationship with her. But I'm sorry if my way of speaking or my behavior doesn't look so."
Before Naoe leaves, Kagetora gives him a letter that he wants Naoe to post. Naoe leaves. However, he never post it. After recognizing that the letter is from Kagetora to Minako's parents, Naoe burns the envelope with his lighter.
At night Oda clan's onryous attack the house. With the help of Tetsuji and Minako, Kagetora manages to exorcise them. Kagetora, Minako and Tetsuji escape to Nagoya since it is too dangerous to stay at Kouyou's house any longer. On the way Tetsuji tells to Kagetora that earlier Naoe met a guy named Handow who asked if Naoe's answer is yes or no. It was somehow related to Minako. Tetsuji mentions that Naoe answered 'no', but still he wonders if Naoe was the one who told the Oda about their location. Kagetora feels quite shocked and worried. He can't believe that Naoe would do so and expose their location. After arriving to Nagoya Kagetora asks Naoe to visit him immediately. Naoe rushes there after hearing that Oda clan attacked them earlier. Kagetora strictly asks what did Naoe and Ranmaru talk about. Naoe tells the truth. Kagetora seems very relieved, so Naoe asks: "Did you doubt me?" Kagetora answers that no, but he wanted to hear it directly from Naoe. For a while they're quiet, and then they have a following conversation:
K: "I need to give you an order."
K: "Take Minako with you and escape somewhere far."
N: "What do you... mean?"
K: "I give you a task to protect Minako. Leave the front lines and escape with her somewhere far where Oda won't find her."
N: "Leave the front lines... at the moment... like this..."
N: "Give me a break. We're already lack of power. Who will replace me?"
K: "I will. I give Minako to you. Don't let the Odas to get her. We can let them to make a child between Nobunaga and a war priestess. Protecting Minako is your priority now."
N: "No way. The only one I protect is you, not Minako."
K: "...Think that you're protecting me."
N: "Why? Why it would be same to protect her as if she is you? She isn't you!"
K: "Think that you're protecting my heart."
N: "What the heck that means?! I'm not going anywhere! My place is beside you...!"
K: "I'm asking this because I trust you!"
*Kagetora looks at Naoe with a painful look on his eyes*
K: "I'm sure you protect her in the same as you always protect me. No matter how tempting propositions the Odas will do, you'll refuse them immediately. You're the person who follows my will better than anyone else. You think like me, you act like me. You're such a man."
N: ('Fuck this shit. Why the heck you're asking me this kind of favor! How can you ask such a thing! What do you want to say by asking this! Are you putting a curse on me or what!')
K: "I'm going to exorcise Nobunaga with own hands. You have to protect Minako with all your life, so that I can also fight against him with all own powers. You're the only who can protect her."
N: "Why me? You also have Nagahide, Haruie and Katsunaga-dono!"
K: "Because it's you! Because you're the only man I can trust in this world!"
N: "You're... lying... You don't trust me...."
K: "I do. I really do."
N: "You're asking me because you don't trust, aren't you?! You're just testing my loyalty!"
K: "I trust you."
N: "Can't you understand how much I...!"
N: "Saying that you trust me... It's a lack of consideration to say so to me at the moment like this."
K: "Please, go and take her with you, Naoe. And protect her instead of me."
N: "Your trust is thoughtlessness."
K: "I can only ask you. You're my only guardian, the only one I have."
*Naoe's eyes are full of tears*
N: "How far you're testing me..."
K: "Go and do what you need to do, Naoe Nobutsuna."
Eventually Naoe can't do anything but follow Kagetora's order by saying "As you wish."
Kagetora tells about his decision to Minako and she takes it well. She feels sorry that she couldn't protect Kagetora no matter how she tried. Kagetora says that that's not true, Minako protected him a lot, even now. Minako starts to cry as Kagetora promises to come to her after the war against Nobunaga is over. He hopes that Minako can wait for him, and Minako promises to do so. They kiss and hug each other for the last time. Later on that day they prepare a car. Kagetora gives a paper to Naoe. There is an address written on it. Their destination will be Aso in Kumamoto prefecture. Kagetora asks Naoe to remember Tetsuji's face, because next time they meet Kagetora may have performed kanshou on Tetsuji. Naoe feels shocked. Was that the main reason why Kagetora accepted Tetsuji to help them? He already in the very beginning decided to perform kanshou on him? How terrifying. Naoe and Minako say goodbyes to Kagetora and Tetsuji, and then leave.
To be continued.
I admire Minako's courage to give up everything for being together with Kase. It's must been super hard for her to leave her family, carrier as a pianist and even her own future! It proves that she sincerely loves Kase more than anyone and that the decision was well considered. But I also feel so sorry for her getting involved into this complicated mess that Kagetora and Naoe has caused together.
Naoe's having hard times too... :( Kagetora's comment "Why don't you say anything (about her)?" was quite assholish because it sounded like he's trying to make Naoe jealous. Good that Naoe ignored this provocation and said that it's not his business to criticizes their relationship if Kagetora and Minako are happy together.
Nobunaga is heartless again. Terrible to think that someone would use his own child (well, the souls aren't same sons he had in his original life, but still...) for black magic! Interesting to see how this Miroku thing will progress from now on.
Naoe and Minako are heading for Aso... Getting closer to 'those events'! D: