This volume was amazing! Wow, somehow I really loved the dark atmosphere here. And this time the plot flew so smoothly. Previous volume (vol. 33) was a bit messy, but this was very easy to summarize. :) Sensei gives us some view of Oda clan and also what Nobunaga is planning.
MoB vol. 34 (Youhen Mokushiroku / The Revelation of Universe - The Demon King of the Sixth Heaven)
Takaya is kidnapped by Nobunaga. Everyone is shocked how this could happen and only in few seconds. Ayako gets mental breakdown, blaming herself to be so weak again, like 30 years ago. But the most shocked is definitely Naoe. It's very scary how he just sits on the chair and looks down quietly. Ayako tries to reassure Naoe that he shouldn't do anything reckless alone, because if they work together with the others, they will definitely save Kagetora. However, Naoe says no comment about that, only just "Haruie... Thank you." leaving Ayako to wonder what does Naoe mean with that.
Reijirou assigns Kiyomasa to take the charge of rescuing Takaya. They start to plan a huge rescue and attack operation to the Grand Shrine of Ise. Naoe hijacks one helicopter and forces one pilot of the Red Whales to give him drive to Ise. Satta Shinjuurou tries to stop Naoe, but can't do anything since Naoe threatens to exorcise everyone who comes on his way.
After seeing nightmares Takaya wakes up in the dark dungeon where only one candle brings some light to the darkness. He's chained, his body is washed and he has been dressed on clean clothes. He gets terrified seeing Nobunaga there too. Nobunaga tells they're at the shrine that is inside of the mountain called Takakurayama, close to the Outer shrine of Ise. Takaya shouts asking if Nobunaga is Kaoru and is Nobunaga the one who started Yami Sengoku. Nobunaga just smiles slightly and grabs Takaya's chin saying that he didn't expect to tame 'tiger' so easily. He is the owner, Kagetora is his pet tiger now. All Takaya can do is just glare at Nobunaga angrily. Finally Nobunaga says that it wasn't him, who opened the Pandora box of Ooyunohara, it was Kaoru and Nobunaga was the one who just called him to do that. 30 years ago at Aso, Nobunaga's hakonha and Kagetora's exorcism powers impacted causing an explosion that destroyed Nobunaga and Minako's physical bodies. After that Nobunaga was recovering his soul in a space, where he heard the cries of death people. They were the souls of Nishikitobe and the others who were destroyed by Emperor Jimmu. Nobunaga promised to help them to have their revenge, but only if the onryous of Sengoku era would also wake up. Nobunaga wanted to give new opportunity to Sengoku era onryous for having a battle again. However, they had a problem: they needed a living person who would have enough spiritual powers to open the grave in Ooyunohara. Nishikitobe onryous heard about Hiruko drifting and together with Nobunaga they put a curse on Nachi guardian baby, who would born with three eyes. And this baby was Shigeno Kaoru. Takaya is fuming with anger. So this means that Nobunaga destroyed Kaoru's life already before Kaoru was even born?! And sacrificed him and caused him lots of agony?! And murdered him?! Nobunaga says "No, he's alive" and explains that he transferred Kaoru's soul into woman's womb and he was born again as 'Tsukasa'. Kasumi named Tatara onryou lady raised him. They lived together with Oda clans onryous in the mountains of Kumano. Nobunaga hid himself there too with Ranmaru, and 5 years ago Nobunaga made his debut as Shiba Eiji and Ranmaru appeared as Hatayama Satoshi at Takaya and Yuzuru's school in Matsumoto. Takaya is dumbfounded. Kaoru is alive? Nobunaga says that it was a reward to Kaoru. Now he got a healthy body, that won't have Hiruko curse. In Nobunaga's opinion, he kinds of 'saved' Kaoru's life. Takaya is so angry and he demands Nobunaga to tell what he's planning for. Nobunaga tells that he made a favor for Sengoku era onryous when he woke up them. They can continue their fight and prove to the mankind that death people can come back life and survive even if their original body doesn't exist anymore. The border between life and death will collapse, and only strong ones can survive. He mentions that humans are meant to be survivors and their battle for having right to live starts already when sperms are competing who will impregnate the egg. And the one who is going to govern this new world, will be Nobunaga. Takaya calls Nobunaga 'megalomaniac' and says his plan is sick, but Nobunaga denies saying that this is reality, the fight for living happens all the time in the nature. When Takaya is about bite Nobunaga, he smashes Takaya on the floor and leaves him there with some lustful spirits (色情霊, shikijourei).
To put in a nutshell, Nobunaga's ideal world is a place where only the strong ones can survive and live. Every soul have to fight for staying alive. As performing kanshou is getting normal, physical bodies become 'products'. For example, there won't be any need for curing diseases anymore, since strong ones can get a new body and perform kanshou on it.
Nobunaga meets Ranmaru when he comes out from the cave shrine in Takakurayama. The Red Whales has sent a letter of advise where they demand Oda to release Takaya or they will attack. Nobunaga asks Ranmaru to send them an refusing answer saying that Oda clan wants Kada Reijirou's head or Takaya will turn Shikoku to be the real Hell. Everything is going as Nobunaga planned. However, suddenly his chest starts to hurt and Nobunaga falls on his knees. Worried Ranmaru rushes on his side and is about touch Nobunaga's back, but Nobunaga slowly refuses saying: "Hohoho... It seems this Nachi guardian's body it's about to reach it's end soon..." Ranmaru kneels down in front of Nobunaga and says that he knows a good body that his lord can use for performing kanshou next. It's Motomiya Rei, pure Nachi guardian and Kaoru's daughter. She has much more power than Shigeno Kaoru's body. Nobunaga accepts Ranmaru's good propose and asks him to bring Rei to him.
Naoe and Miyamae (pilot) arrive to Ise and together they head for the Outer shrine, where Nobunaga should already be waiting for Naoe. When they walk to the entrance of shrine area, they meet Ranmaru there. He wants to see Naoe proving that he's serious about leaving the Red Whales and becoming the retainer of Oda. Miyamae upsets and asks if Naoe is really going to change his side to Oda. For Miyamae great shock Naoe starts to exorcise him. "P-Please, stop it.. Tachibana-sa-" he begs mercy, but Naoe exorcises him. Satisfied Ranmaru asks Naoe to follow him to the shrine.
Ayako, Kiyomasa, Hayato, Eikichi, Satta, Doumori and Narasaki have come to Ise too by helicopters. Ayako understands that Naoe's 'thank you' truly meant 'goodbye'. She hopes from the bottom of her heart that Naoe won't do anything stupid, and that both he and Kagetora are fine. Kiyomasa tells that Reijirou has asked all Sengoku era clans to fight against Oda with the Red Whales. He asked also Uesugi. Ayako stiffs. Irobe Katsunaga is a very insistent person, who won't change his mind after he has decided something. Shadow Shikoku is against their mission, so it's sure that Irobe will exorcise all the soldiers of Red Whales and Kagetora too if they meet. Ayako says she is a bit worry why no one has heard anything from Uesugi clan for long time. Has something happened? Meanwhile, Hayato and Eikichi find Miyamae's host body sitting on the bus stop. They understand that this host body doesn't have Miyamae's soul anymore, he has been exorcised. Hayato is fuming with anger because it seems that Naoe has betrayed them. They can't go to the Ise shrine area since it's covered by extremely strong spiritual barrier and there are shrine guards patrolling in front of the entrance gates.
Takaya is suffering from the seduction of lustful spirits. Those spirits are souls that couldn't move to the netherworld, because of their sexual life (sex addiction, rapers, cheaters) while they were still alive as a human. The spirits touch and lick Takaya's skin trying to make him crazy. With all his powers Takaya tries to not surrender to Nobunaga's trap and stands the torture. After laying down there quite long time, the door opens and Ranmaru steps in. He wants to introduce their new loyal retainer who will be Takaya's special caretaker from now on. A tall man wearing black suit uniform that belongs the guard of Ise Shrine steps in the dungeon too. Takaya loses his words. It's Naoe! Ranmaru explains that Naoe sold his own soul for saving Kagetora.
Next scene contains a flashback what happened after Ranmaru brought Naoe to meet Nobunaga at his residence. Nobunaga wearing a white silk night kimono appears on the veranda and looks very satisfied seeing that Naoe really came. He tells the rules: if Naoe sells his soul to Nobunaga, they will use the sword of Futsu for saving Kagetora's life from the soul demise. And as his oath to be loyal to Nobunaga, Naoe has to accept the seed of Demon King.
Back to the dungeon: Takaya demands Ranmaru to leave him and Naoe alone. It's fine for Ranmaru, but he mentions to Takaya that Lord Nobunaga will see everything what happens there. After they are just two of them, Takaya asks Naoe to come closer. He kneels down in front of Takaya who is also standing on his knees. With trembling hands the throws away Naoe's cap. Takaya feels his whole world crushes down after seeing the seed of Demon King on Naoe's forehead. He can't hold his tears and starts to cry: "Aaaahhh!!! Why?! What have you done?!" Then, he crabs on Naoe's collar and yells angrily: "I'm gonna kill you!! I'm gonna kill you Nobunaga!! I cut you into pieces!! I torture you to death, NOBUNAGAAAAA!!!!" In Takaya's opinion, this is the worst thing that can ever happen. Naoe is now Nobunaga's slave and even his soul belongs to Nobunaga. The only way to become free is exorcism or hakonha. As tears are flowing to his cheeks Takaya desperately says that he didn't want this. He prefers dying rather than seeing Naoe bowing to Nobunaga.
T: "Your soul belongs to you, you have to be free!! The one you vow eternal loyalty by your own will should be only me!! Only me!! You...!! You went to sell your soul to Nobunaga..!! YOU'RE MINE!! YOU'RE MINE NAOE!!!" As crying too loud, Takaya starts to cough up some blood. Breathing heavily, he grabs Naoe's collar again. It happened then: He felt Naoe putting his own hand on Takaya's. Naoe endures and tries to smile.
N: "He can't... control... me..."
Takaya overcomes with surprise as seeing Naoe forcing himself to smile a bit. As seeing that Takaya understands: this is gambling. This is the biggest gambling ever. Naoe's last hope to save Takaya. Even if there is only 1% possibility to win Nobunaga, Naoe was ready to take the risk, giving himself to be a bet of this the most dangerous game.
N: "Forgive... me... Please... Forgive... me..."
Takaya could feel Naoe's toughs from his hand:
('My love will stay unspoiled...')
As shedding tears Takaya tries to accept the situation. "Go then!!" he shouts. When Naoe is leaving Takaya can see Nobunaga's smile on Naoe's face. After being left alone Takaya goes to sit in corner and hugs his knees. He's fuming with anger. Even the lustful spirits don't have enough courage to approach him anymore. He decides to kill Nobunaga even if he would lose his own life. It's the only way to save Naoe. But Takaya can't use exorcism powers anymore, so he feels so pitiful. This new feeling in his heart... Strong jealousy... Nobunaga has taken away the most important person to him.
T: "He took Naoe from me... My Naoe..."
*Ayako and the others are planning how to sneak into the Grand Shrine of Ise*
Ranmaru shows the shrine area to Naoe. The Grand Shrine of Ise is very wide since distance between Outer and Inner shrines is several kilometers. Ranmaru shows him 'the illusion shrine' that Nobunaga is building for himself. Ranmaru tells that after the Hiruko spelling is over, Nobunaga will replace the sun goddess (Amaterasu) and become the main deity of Shinto. All Shinto and Buddhist deities will follow his orders, and also all onryous and modern people. Naoe is terrified. Nobunaga is seriously making himself to be a God. Ranmaru says that Naoe is lucky, since all retainers of Oda clan will get permission keep living as chosen elite. He orders Naoe to protect the shrine and exorcises all soldiers of the Red Whales if try to come save Kagetora.
Akechi Mitsuhide has taken good care of Shigeno Kaoru (=Tsukasa) and took him to visit Ooyunohara. Kaoru gets all his memories back. Memories of his childhood being bullied at school, because he needed hide his third eye with long hair, how he was drifted away, how Tooru saved him, how he got known with Satoko, how he hated humans who did this to him and also how the voice lured him to open the lid of sacred grave. Kaoru starts to cry that even if he hated humans he loved his original body, because it was him. This body he's having not isn't him. Mitsuhide tells that 'Kaoru-sama' who raised Kaoru is actually Oda Nobunaga. Kaoru feels bitter to been fooled by a man he tough to be his father for all these years. Then they meet Teru, who asks Kaoru to come see someone in the hospital. Kaoru meets injured Rei and gets known that this girl is his and Satoko's daughter.
Takaya is angsting in the dungeon. He didn't just lose Naoe, but also the bracelet he got from Naoe. He remembers that he may took it off at Nachi Falls, but doesn't remember what exactly happened. Maybe he dropped it? As feeling super depressed, the door opens again and he sees Naoe there with a blanket.
N: "I got a permission to bring you a blanket."
T: "A permisssion... huh?"
*Takaya smiles sorrowfully*
When someone leaves the Red Whales, there aren't any possibility to return. They can never be together with Naoe anymore.
T: "You have become my enemy."
N: "To not lose you, I even become your enemy."
As putting the blanket on Takaya's lap, Naoe tells that he doesn't have any intentions to return to the Red Whales. Instead of returning, he will exorcise all of them. Takaya stiffs. Then Naoe looks angrily at the lustful spirits around Takaya. They remind of Naoe himself, making Naoe angry. Takaya says they won't be able to seduce him. But it doesn't mean that Naoe would touch him either anymore.
T: "I don't want to be touched by a man whose identity I don't know."
He can't be sure if it's Naoe or Nobunaga who touches or speaks to him. It's disgusting in Takaya's opinion.
N: "If you fight against Lord Nobunaga, I need to fight with you. However, I have fought already enough with you so... You can exorcise me."
T: "It's not your will, but Nobunaga's."
N: "No, it's mine."
T: "Don't touch me, let me go!"
N: "I won't."
As they struggle, Takaya sees Naoe wearing the bracelet on his wrist. It's the same bracelet Takaya got from Naoe. The exactly same one Takaya lost earlier. Naoe found and wore it. Naoe begs Takaya to cooperate with Nobunaga, so that Takaya would be released outside of this dungeon. As a kanshousha, they can help Nobunaga to fulfill his plans for making a society where everyone can decide their own fate. He tries to explain that in some ways Nobunaga is right and what he's doing is actually necessary. Naoe grabs Takaya's chin on his hand and says that Lord Nobunaga gave him permission to use all kinds ways to remove the fangs from Uesugi Kagetora. Takaya spits on Naoe's cheek and pushes him away saying: "Go to hell and tell to Nobunaga that I'll never accept his plans!! And I'll definitely kill that bastard!!" Naoe bows to him and leaves saying that he will exorcise everyone from the Red Whales. As being left alone again, Takaya is about die of jealousy. He wants to believe that Naoe still loves him, and that Naoe is just talking like that because he's under Nobunaga's control.
*Houjou Ujiyasu as a form of dragon saves Ushio from Nobunaga's news broadcast company*
At Nobunaga's residence, Nobunaga, Ranmaru and one of the Oda's general, Ujiie Botsuzen are talking about the next step. Nobunaga has secretly rebuilt his former home castle, Azuchi. However, Azuchi castle isn't just a normal castle, but it's a high develop combination of a ship and a castle: it can sail on the sea! Now Nobunaga can sail all over the world by it. Nobunaga asks Botsuzen to bring the castle to Ise before the Red Whales are attacking. After Botsuzen hurries to fulfill Nobunaga's request, Nobunaga asks Ranmaru to drug Kagetora with an incense called 'Ranjatai'.
Ayako witnesses how amazing teamwork the Red Whales soldiers do together. Led by Hayato, they sneak into shrine area making the guards to faint one by one. After getting inside enough they change their clothes to guard uniforms.
Teru, Torigoe and some other modern people who have spiritual skills, gather together at Motomiya shrine. They try to make s spell that protect the shrine from the golden rain. In the flames Torigoe sees a person. It's Chiaki Shuuhei. Chiaki is amazed how modern people can see him. He tells what's happening in Shikoku now and he tries get contact with Kagetora. When Torigoe asks who is Kagetora, Chiaki tells he's Present Kuukai, Ougi Takaya. Torigoe says he knows him. Chiaki tells that he needs Kagetora's help immediately, since Sutoku's powers are getting stronger and stronger... Soon it's impossible to control him anymore. Chiaki asks Torigoe to get Sutoku's stolen rosary back. Then Kaoru with Mitsuhide comes there and Kaoru tells that Lord Nobunaga stole Sutoku's rosary.
Nobunaga orders Naoe to visit him asking how is his revitalized body. After the seed of Demon King was plant onto his forehead, Naoe's body started to recover from damage that Kihachi's poison caused him. His damaged manhood too, is in shape and working again. Nobunaga jokes sarcastically if Naoe wants to try how it works with some Oda clan's women. Embarrassed Naoe just says it's an honor to get healthy body back. When Nobunaga is about to go back to the indoors, he stops on the door and says to Naoe that he should forget Kagetora. Nobunaga explains coldly that Naoe and Kagetora's feelings for each other will eventually cool down. Humans change and sometimes the thing they call 'love' dies. Naoe is shocked and can't understand why Nobunaga says such a things to him. At last, Nobunaga orders him to exorcise the Red Whales soldiers that have come in the shrine area. They can hear the sounds of guns from the distance.
Kiyomasa seizes Mt. Asamagatake in Ise and protects Kongoushou-ji temple. Uesugi's retainer, Hakkai, has served Kiyomasa since Karin arc and is also now there.
*some plot things happen here*
Ranmaru appears to the dungeon and prepares the Ranjatai. Takaya is confused what's happening. Ranmaru explains that with this incense it's possible to see Amida's Pure land. Takaya gets in panic. Is he planning to drug him with this incense?! As the strong scent of Ranjatai rises in the air, Ranmaru covers mouth and leaves saying: "Sweet dreams, Kagetora."
Meanwhile Ayako and the others divide themselves into two groups while they're chased by Oda's retainers. Ayako and Eikichi run to Kotarou who has possessed one shrine guard. Kotarou says that Takaya has moved to Nobunaga's residence, he won't be at the dungeon anymore. Ayako get's worry about Hayato's group that is heading for there. Hayato, Satta, Doumori and Narasaki ran to the Takakurayama where Takaya should be kept imprisoned. When they arrive there they're confused why the door is open and why there aren't any guards. After all they find the dungeon empty. When they're about go back to outside, they see Naoe standing in the end of corridor. They're all shocked. Led by Hayato all of them attack with guns, but Naoe shelters himself with goshinha. Naoe is stronger than them and he uses nenpa for shooting their guns away from their hands. Satta manages to reach Naoe and tries to block his way so that the others can escape.
S: "I'll stop him! You guys can go, Hyoudou-san!"
*Satta becomes unable to move*
N: "Noumakusamanda bodanan baishiramandaya sowaka. Namu tobatsu Bishamonten!"
*Narasaki and Doumori try to save Satta*
S: "Are you going to exorcise me, Tachibana?! Tachibanaaa!!"
N: "Chastise the evil spirits! Lend me your powers!"
H: "Stop it, Tachibanaa!! TACHIBANAAAA!!"
The hallway becomes bright by dazzling light of exorcism. At his last moment Satta remembers Takaya and how he was saved by him. Takaya trusted the Red Whales and fought on their side. He helped Satta and the others to forget their grudge. 'Commander Ougi... I'm so happy that we could met. I think I can die in peace now.' Satta's soul disappears in front of Hayato, Doumori and Narasaki's eyes. Hayato yells "SATTAAAAAA!! Tachibana, you son of a bitch!!"
*Hayato, Doumori and Narasaki attack*
Doumori and Narasaki froze because they're hyouireis. As a kanshousha Hayato can keep running towards to Naoe.
N:"Namu tobatsu Bishamonten! Chastise the evil spirits!"
H: "Stop fooling around!!"
*The hall way becomes bright again*
Led by Kotarou, Ayako and Eikichi arrive to Nobunaga's residence where Takaya should be. Big fight starts when Fuuma ninja's are sturggling with Oda's retainers. Ayako and Eikichi run to look for Takaya. When they enter Nobunaga's bedroom there they meet Ranmaru who points them with a bow and an arrow. He greets smiling: "Welcome back, Kakizaki Haruie. Unfortunately Lord Nobunaga isn't here. If you're willing to see him, go to outside and look up to the sky!" Confused Ayako and Eikichi rushes to the yard.The sky is like a planetarium or a big movie screen. They can see Nobunaga there! He's in the gorgeous room decorated with many treasures and paintings. And for the most shocking thing is that beside of Nobunaga, there is naked and drugged Takaya. Ayako screams "Kagetora!!" Nobunaga welcomes Ayako and the Red Whales to the Grand Shrine of Ise. He says he's not there, but at his Azuchi castle. Everyone in the Red Whales are more than shocked seeing naked Takaya on Nobunaga's arm. Nobunaga says that all death pilgrims of Shikoku will see this too. Present Kuukai as his pet, the sword of Futsu on his hand and Buddha statues behind him in that golden room... Nobunaga looks like a God.
To be continued.
Exorcising scene was so cool! But poor Satta... He befriended with Naoe when Naoe sneaked into the Red Whales.
I really like how Sensei writes Nobunaga to not be thoroughly bad guy even if he's the main villain. Usually I feel that the villains are described to be evil in all kinds of ways, but Sensei shows that everything isn't just black and white. In Kaoru/Tsukasa's memories Nobunaga is the most kindhearted and gentle person, who parented and took care of him as if Kaoru was his own child. Even though he used Kaoru for his own plans, he didn't kill him when the time for performing kanshou came. Instead of that, Nobunaga gave Kaoru a healthy body without Hiruko curse so that he can live normal length life. I think Nobunaga's plans (= physical bodies become 'stuff' and only strong ones have right to perform kanshou) truly are questionable, but his emphatic and caring side is actually quite sweet. :)