Hi everyone! :)
I just finished this summary! First of all, have to say that this was absolutely heartbreaking volume. The plot is mostly about Naoe and Kagetora longing each other. Their agony was so real here that I literally cried almost all the time while reading this for the first time. Secondly, I really love the cover of this volume! Naoe wearing Ise shrine guard's uniform and then Kagetora on the background... It fits very well to the story! I made four shorter translations for the first scene. It's quite long (more than 40 pages) so I didn't translate all, but some my favorite parts I especially liked.
Well, here is the summary! Have a nice weekend! ^^
MoB vol. 37 (Kakumei no Kane wa Naru / Ringing Bells of the Revolution)
The volume starts with Naoe waking up in a weird place: he is surrounded by the ruins of a town. Ruins, everywhere. Just a moment ago he was in the Azuchi castle and had fight against the Red Whales. He can see no one there, it's completely silent. Only he's there. Naoe checks his wristwatch. It has stopped exactly on that day, hour and minute when the impact happened. The ground is covered with reddish brown sand and there is a dim sun in the sky. Where is he?! What did happen in Azuchi castle? Did everything become devastated? Is Naoe the only one who survived? He can't even sense Nobunaga's existence anymore. Naoe gets super worry about Takaya and calls his name.
N: "Where are you! Please, answer to me!"
*No one answers*
N: "Kagetora-sama! Where are you!"
*shouts with all his powers*
N: "Please, answer to me Takaya-san!!"
Naoe's calls disappear in the silence. He tries to send a telepathic wave to connect with Takaya, but even with that no response. There isn't any signs of Takaya or others' existence.
N: "This... doesn't make any... sense. Am I... the only one? The only survivor?"
*falls down on his knees*
N: "Did he..."
*remembers Takaya's kissing his lips*
*shoulders start to tremble*
N: "You... aren't here anymore?"
N: ('He has died.')
*head full of despair*
N: ('He's... dead.')
Then some Naoe's agony starting on p. 12:
I need to kill myself. I need to follow him. Right here and right now... But just killing physical body isn't enough. I need to kill my soul too. But how could I do that? I don't even have any tool for killing my body. Naoe placed his hands on his throat. It doesn't make sense if I struggle myself, because then only my body dies. He looked up to the sky, trying to remember how could he cause soul demise to his soul by himself, but then he remembers that no one knows how to do that.
Hahaha, even if he was laughing, the expression on his face told anything else but not joyfulness.
What the heck I'm...
It was unusually quiet around him. As if he was having burn out, Naoe sat there for hours. He didn't care about his appearance. If Naoe got a mirror now, he might be quite shocked seeing how much older he may look like, but there wasn't time for such things. Something dazzled his eyes. As Naoe looked quietly down, he saw a silver spiritual bracelet on his wrist gleaming in the setting sun.
Maybe I made a mistake how to solve this situation.
It's quite possible that I made a huge mistake.
Why... Why didn't I look for the method of causing soul demise to my soul too?
N: ('Why didn't I find the way to leave this world together with you?')
I was wrong about what I needed to look for. I wonder if I only distressed him as I was struggling to get the sword of Futsu. Instead of that, I should have prioritized finding the way to die in the same way as him.
N: ('Please someone, tell me this isn't true.')
Tell me that he's still here.
Tell me this is just a dream!
N: "I can't believe it... Did everything end for nothing?"
Strong agony overwhelms Naoe's heart. Just thinking Takaya dying alone without him, breaks his heart. What did Takaya think at the moment? How did he feel? Naoe is about to get a panic attack as yelling in his heart someone to come kill him. His cry echos, but no one answers... After calming down a bit Naoe understands that it's not sure yet. Takaya can be still alive! He just have to find him in the same way as he looked for Kagetora almost 30 years before they finally met again. Naoe walks and tries to find someone. It's like a desert: no water, no plants, no life. He can't even sense any onryous. Where did everyone disappear?
N: "HEEYYY!! IS ANYONE THERE!! ANYONE?!"
As the sun setting and the sky is getting red, Naoe finds some ruins. It's the Grand Shrine of Ise! But only the ruins are left... What has happened here?! Then, unexpectedly Naoe sees something. In the distant, there is a figure of a person walking!
N: "Hey... Wait. Please wait!"
Naoe runs to him. This person is a very tall and skinny man wearing ancient-style clothing, like a Roman. Man's skin is harsh and it looks like he has similar kinds of scales on his face like reptiles have. Mysterious man opens his mouth, but the language he speaks isn't Japanese. It's a language Naoe doesn't know. Man keeps telling something.
N: "Wait a second. I don't understand what you're saying. What language is that?"
Suddenly the man asks: "Is that... Japanese...? Are you speaking Japanese?"
Naoe gets confused. Is it weird to speak Japanese in Japan? The man is excited and with not proper Japanese skills he tells that nowadays no one speaks Japanese anymore. It's an extinct language that was spoken in ancient times. Naoe's confusion is getting bigger. Ancient times?What year is now? How long did he stay unconscious?
N: "Tell me the exact time. Where are the other people? Isn't this place Ise?"
Man: "I... se...? This place is called 'Sacred ground' or 'Sanctuary'. I'm a Shinto priest of this Sanctuary. But oh, I just remembered that this place was formerly called 'Ise'."
N: "Please, tell me. Are you sure this is Japan? What did happen to Yami Sengoku? Or onryous and the Red Whales?! How about Azuchi castle and Nobunaga?! And what the heck happened to the Grand shrine of Ise?!"
Naoe gets extremely afraid how many years has passed since that. It seems that he has slept quite long!
Man: "Ya... Yami Sengoku? Are you talking about that war?"
N: "Do you know about it?!"
*man nods and looks at Naoe with serious eyes*
Man: "The way you ask about it... Sounds as if you're from that era."
Man: "Did you see a dream about it or what?"
Naoe feels his vision getting darker. Did that man just say 'era'?!
Man: "I got it, you're genetically restored, right? No wonder you know about Yami Sengoku."
*Naoe turns pale*
N: "What year... is it now? In Western calendar."
Man: "Western calendar? No idea. We haven't used such an old calendar system for long time anymore."
*man points the ruins of Ise*
Man: "That Sanctuary is from the far ancient times... They're the remains of Yami Sengoku you're talking about."
Naoe loses his words. How long did he sleep?! Yami Sengoku happened thousands of years ago...? This mysterious man says that it feels nice to hear someone talking about Yami Sengoku since he can only barely remember what happened at the time. The man says that he has lived on that era.
N: "Are you a kanshousha?!"
*Naoe grabs man's both shoulders*
N: "Ougi Takaya...! Do you know what happened to him?! Or do you know Uesugi Kagetora?!"
*man widens his eyes*
N: "Ougi Takaya! If you have lived when Yami Sengoku happened, you definitely know Uesugi Kagetora! What did happen to him?! Present Kuukai, Ougi Takaya. Please, tell me!"
Man: "...Ougi Takaya..."
The man tries to remember and eventually tears full his eyes.
N: "Do you... know him?"
Naoe feels somehow terrified. Even if their country has become ruins and Japanese has extincted, there a person who knows about Takaya. Naoe demands to know what happened to Takaya.
Man: "Do you really want to know?"
For a while they both just stare at each other with serious eyes.
Man: "That war lasted quite long. Lots of people were involved in it and lots of things changed after that... Uesugi Kagetora... He was the hero of Yami Sengoku. He..."
After hearing this man talking in past tense, Naoe feels that he doesn't want to know anymore. It was enough. He feels as if he has lost everything. However, he can't blame anyone else than himself. There is still one question he wants to know the answer.
N: "Please, tell me... How was he?"
*the man looks at him quietly*
*the man stays long time silent*
Man: "Look, my feelings... They haven't fade or been forgotten."
*Naoe looks up to him with widened eyes*
Man: "Many of memories have disappeared beyond time, but my feelings haven't died."
N: ('What... the...')
*the man's eyes are full of tears as he smiles*
Man: "They won't die..."
Somehow Naoe gets a feeling that is this mysterious man is him? Could it be possible? Future him?
N: "Don't tell me you are..."
Man: "It doesn't make any sense if I answer to the question to what you really want to hear the answer. Only thing I can say that your life from now on will change in many ways."
N: "From... now on?"
Man: "Your answer will be found in the past. The way you live from now on doesn't change the past. Or maybe you can change your past if you start to live with pure heart?"
*Naoe's eyes are overflowing from tears*
N: "I don't have 'from now on' in the world he doesn't exist. If live from now on, I'm doing that only for finding the way to kill my soul. The only thing I wanna know is how HE WAS when THAT moment came!"
*Naoe cries and shouts*
N: "Why did this happen to us!! Why!!"
More agony from p. 30
Takaya's smile comes on wailing Naoe's mind.
- Naoe... After everything ends, let's go back to Echigo...
Not yet! We haven't full that promise yet! We promised to go back together!
- I'll give you so much happiness that it'll cover your eternal loneliness...
I definitely won't accept those to be your last words!
- Want me... Want me more Naoe!
I can still hear his words... The words of his soul...
N: "If haven't chosen that path to walk, this wouldn't have happened?!"
*Naoe falls in despair*
N: ('This is... a nightmare...')
Naoe is on his knees on the ground and wails. The man looks down at him with sorrowful eyes.
This too on p.32
I'll walk beside him till his last breath. Even if everyone else are spitting on him,
I'm the last person who keeps walking beside him. Or even if he becomes valueless, I'm the only one who stays with him till the end. I'm not his worshiper anymore! Or winner. Or loser. I'm the person who shares his life with him. His partner. The person who walks through this life with him.
N: "Please, tell me... How... How can I die in same way as he..."
N: "Please... Before I completely lose my mind... Please."
*Naoe clings to man's legs*
N: "Please, tell me how can I destroy my soul... If you can't do it, please tell where I should go to do it..."
Man: "There aren't such a place."
N: "You're lying."
Man: "Even if there was, I wouldn't tell you."
N: "Why... Why wouldn't you tell?"
Man: "It wouldn't replace the fact that you left him alone."
*Naoe widenes his eyes*
Man: "Humans are weak. Especially a human with a weak soul like you, can't endure sanity when he's facing something forbidden."
Naoe with his eyes completely open and as feeling more than devastated ever, he makes slowly a small smile on his lips.
N: "Why... Why a human like me... Why I need go through things like this?"
Naoe wants to get the time he lost back. He wants to redo his mistake.
N: ('How did he... How did he feel on that moment...?!')
He felt pain in his chest. When 'that moment' happened, how did he feel...?!
He can't get that moment back, since it's distant past already.
And one small translation more! Starting on p. 35:
I didn't want to have eternal life for us. I just wanted to live with you, and die too. If I just could die with you, anytime would have been fine for me. I seriously didn't care when I die, if I die with you! If we could disappear at the same, even if my soul would have been destroyed, I wouldn't have care when it would have happened!
Why this happened to me?!
N: "Even if I didn't want to... live forever!"
Naoe's wailing resounds upon the red land.
Heartbreaking cry resounds all over the remains of Ise shrine that is called nowadays 'Sanctuary'.
It was like howling. He cried and howled, like a dog. As his tears started turn to blood, loosing his mind was close. Recognizing now how the things should have gone, it's mean less. This kind of full devastation...
*The man looks at Naoe with painful eyes*
Naoe keeps crying and shouting till his vocal cords are about to break. Eventually his throat gets too dry and loses his voice. Tears are making his cheeks sticky.
Man: "This isn't the end yet. Raise up your head. This isn't the end. You can still continue living."
*Naoe looks up to him doubtfully*
N: "There isn't future for me."
M: "No, you're wrong. From now on, you can start to live. When the time when you need to fulfill your promise comes, and if it was correct choice, you can feel happiness in the same way I'm feeling now."
Unintentionally Naoe opened his eyes befuddled. He couldn't get the point what this strange man was trying to say.
N: "I won't live! I can't feel happiness... anymore!"
"I also thought so", the man said sincere gaze in his eyes. "But true oath starts from now on."
Naoe shook his head like a boy, not believing what the man was saying.
Man: "Now, let me touch the body that has touched his hand."
*The man holds out his hand*
Man: "Pile up on this hand your hand that has felt his heart beat and warmth. Let me feel those brand-new memories of him that are graved in your soul..."
Crouching Naoe raises up his eyes a bit. The man in front of him looks like a father who held out his hand to his child. Naoe holds out his hand too, and the man receives it.
A smile full of happiness and longing comes on man's lips. He sheds tears as Naoe is looking at him dumbfounded. After enjoying the touch of Naoe's hand, the man thanks and tells that Naoe has still a long path to walk. But now he should return to the world he's living.
N: "I don't have... such a place..."
Man: "No, you have. There is still a place you belong to."
N: "As if there is..."
*Naoe sheds tears*
N: "My only place is on his side. I don't belong to the world where he doesn't exist."
Man: "I know. That's why you have to go."
*Naoe widens his eyes and looks at the man*
Man: "He's alive."
Man: "Don't worry, he is still alive. Your beloved person..."
Naoe feels that something comes back to life in him. Takaya is alive?! He hasn't die?!
Man: "I'm also still on the way in this life. The life in this planet continues much longer than it was expected... Humans may face their extinction soon but the life itself will still continue... My life too won't end yet... As I said I'm still on the way on my journey."
In the distance, they can hear bells ringing. The man says that this is good timing. The sanctuary will wake up now. He also guides Naoe to make a hole onto the curtain of time as soon as possible. He can help to cut the thread, but the rest Naoe has to do by himself.
N: "What do you mean with a thread? Something is worshiped over there. Are you a servant of Amaterasu?"
Man: "Your dream ends now."
Suddenly the sky becomes covered by clouds and a sand storm appears, making this mysterious man to disappear. Confused Naoe can hear people chanting Miroku Bodhisattva's mantra as the scene ends.
Miike Tetsuya and Shigeno Kaoru are on the shore of Ise bay. They both survived thanks to Tetsuya's flying skills. It's midnight and the whole Ise bay area is colored into black and red. The impact was huge. Nothing was left. And it also caused a big tsunami. The shore area is completely devastated. And there must be lots of victims too. Meanwhile, Kiyomasa landfalls to another shore by a small fishing boat. He managed to save Torigoe's life and escape from Azuchi castle before the impact happened. He also saved Atsushi who got some injuries when the helicopter exploded. Kiyomasa himself is also badly injured. Earlier he got a gunshot on his leg when they escaped from the castle with Takaya. He feels so worried what happened to the others. Takaya, Reijirou, Naoe, Hayato... all they were in the castle. On the shore they meet Hakkai and some other onryous who seems to know who Kiyomasa is. One of them introduces to be Sanada Yukimura and says that at the order of Toyotomi Hideyori he came to meet Kiyomasa. Yukimura was originally Takeda Shingen's retainer but after many twists he became Toyotomi Hideyoshi's vassal. Kiyomasa is dumbfounded hearing that Hideyori has resurrected. Next the volume tells Kiyomasa's story: he was born in a small village. Hideyoshi was a common foot soldier and he took Kiyomasa as his protégé. To Kiyomasa Hideyoshi was like a father, and he deeply admired him as much as Hideyoshi admired Nobunaga. After Hideyoshi's death, Kiyomasa was taking care of Hideyoshi's heir, Hideyori. Kiyomasa was the most supportive and trustworthy retainer to Hideyori. However, Tokugawa Ieyasu wanted to take over Japan and for doing that he needed to get rid of Toyotomi clan. Kiyomasa was assassinated (poisoned) by Tokugawa clan. Few years after that Tokugawa destroyed Toyotomi and Hideyori was forced to commit a seppuku. Holding a grudge against Ieyasu and Tokugawa clan kept Kiyomasa's soul in this world, unable to move to the next life. Kiyomasa asks if lord Hideyori is waiting for him. To that Yukimura tells that of course. Toyotomi clan has decided to fight against Oda, restore the glorious times and take over ruling Japan. Memories from old times comes to Kiyomasa's mind. Could they still do that? Toyotomi clan ruling Japan? Hideyori as his master? The dream they had, could it finally become true? For everyone's surprise Kiyomasa kneels down and starts to laugh.
K: "Hahaha. It's impossible. Too late, you know?"
Y: "No, it's not too late. Kiyomasa-dono."
K: "Ruling over... our country? I can't believe there are still simple-minded onryous having such a dream. The era of trying to take over Japan has already ended! Yami Sengoku isn't anymore a battle field for making our Sengoku era dreams to come true!"
*Kiyomasa starts to cry*
K: "Lord Hideyori, why did you come so late! Why didn't you come to me five years ago! Present me isn't a person who would risk his own life for helping Toyotomi's glory to be restored!"
Kiyomasa's heart belongs to the Red Whales now. He doesn't have any lords anymore. He's just Katou Kiyomasa of the Red Whales. Yukimura tries to talk Kiyomasa into their side, but it doesn't help. Even if he will always have devotion to Toyotomi clan, Kiyomasa has decided that his place is with Takaya, Reijirou and the others. Disappointed Yukimura says that there is no other way than punish Kiyomasa for betraying them. Hakkai and Atsushi are aware of upcoming battle. As shedding tears Kiyomasa prepares for defending himself and he orders Hakkai and Atsushi to take Torigoe to save place.
K: "I stick to the spirit of the Red Whales. It shall be the proof of our friendship for my conrades."
*Kiyomasa and Yukimura start a fierce battle*
At Mt. Kouya some young monks are asking permission for going to fight. One of them is a monk named Takigawa who helped Takaya and others two years ago (in vol. 28). They want to purify the souls of onryous. It's against the cycle of life that dead spirits remain and doesn't move to next life.
People start to receive messages from those people who disappeared in Kyoto. It seems that the messages come from 'the netherworld'.
Oda Nobunaga and Akechi Mitsuhide are facing each other in front of the bridge that leads to the Inner shrine of Ise. Even if Sutoku flew over them and stroke the Azuchi castle causing a huge explosion, they didn't stop staring at each other. Last time they met at Aso, and before that it was Honno-ji temple 400 years ago. At the time Mitsuhide betrayed Nobunaga and with his troops he surrounded the temple where Nobunaga was staying overnight with his pages. Nobunaga committed a seppuku as being surrounded by the flames. As Nobunaga is feeling his castle is sinking to the Ise bay, the expression on his face is little by little turning in rage.
N: "Get out of my way, Mitsuhide."
Mi: "No, I won't let you across this bridge."
Even if Nobunaga has different appearance now, Mitsuhide can still see the same signs of anger that Nobunaga used to have in their original life. Mitsuhide says he heard everything from Shigeno Kaoru and wants to know if Nobunaga really was the one who woke up the souls of Sengoku era warriors to the present time. Nobunaga admits it was him. Mitsuhide wants to know the reason.
N: "I wanted to bring the forest back to life. Humans are trees and this world we're living is the forest. The forest is made of human spirits. However, this country's forest is about to die."
Mi: "A Forest?"
Nobunaga explains that their country has changed dramatically in these 400 years. When they were still alive, humans had strong spirits and 'the forest' was vital. But modern people are so weak and pathetic, they have destroyed 'the forest'. The trees there are now thin and feeble. Taking care of society is same as taking care of forest: sometimes have to fell poor ones so that the healthy ones can grow strongly. Leaving rotten branches will eventually rot the whole tree. Nobunaga felt that someone needed to do something before their country will die spiritually. If onryous can keep fighting, only the stronger souls can remain. After all Nobunaga decided to be the one who makes the first move and that's why Sengoku era onryous are here. Mitsuhide disagrees with Nobunaga. He can't support such a unequal idea.
N: "Get out of there, Mitsuhide."
*angry looks on Nobunaga's eyes*
N: "I'll kill you goddammit."
As Mitsuhide keeps staring at Nobunaga defiantly, Nobunaga takes a big breath and shouts with a loud voice: "MOVE YOUR FUCKING ASS AWAY, YOU DAMN KUMQUAT HEAD!!"
Mitsuhide draws back his body and kneels down. The trauma of being scolded by Nobunaga lives still deeply inside of him. Then they start fight. In the middle of nenpa battle, Nobunaga steps on something soft. The asphalt beneath of him is like mud that is sucking him deeper! Earlier Mitsuhide set up the spell on the ground. If someone steps on it, this person will sink in the ground and never come up anymore. Mori Rikimaru and Murai Sadakatsu are shocked seeing their lord sinking into soft asphalt. They try to save Nobunaga, but they're beated by Kikkawa Motoharu and some other onryous. "My looord!!" Rikimaru cries as Nobunaga has already sank till his face. However, Nobunaga won't give up so easily and he grabs Mitsuhide's arm, making him to lose his balance. Due to this, Mitsuhide also falls to the soft asphalt and together with Nobunaga they both disappear under the ground.
Ah, Nobunaga and his interesting nicknames for his retainers. :') It's said that Mitsuhide had a wide and bald head, so Nobunaga called him 'kinkan atama' (kumquat head). Other famous nicknames given by Nobunaga were 'monkey' (Hideyoshi) and 'dog' (Maeda Toshiie).
Yuzuru sits on the cliff in front of Kitama shrine in Futamiura (in Ise bay), and watches how the bay area is colored in red and black. There is still the energy of heavenly treasures in the air.
Y: "This is like an another planet... We've come to a very far place, Takaya."
*Takaya is laying unconsciously next to Yuzuru*
Y: "I miss our time together in Matsumoto. The time when I still could play around with you... Once you gave us drive till Oomachi city by your motorbike. We used to chat at McDonalds in front of station before our part-time job shift started. We used visit game centers. I still remember how you always became irritated if I won you. In Sendai when you couldn't save Kokuryou-san's wife, we were like this... I looked after you till early morning... It's time to wake up, Takaya."
*Yuzuru places his hand on Takaya's eye lids*
Takaya opens slowly his eyes and first thing he sees is Yuzuru next to him.
*Yuzuru smiles slightly*
Y: "It seems that you remember me."
Takaya asks where they are and what did happen in the castle. And where is Naoe. Yuzuru says that he saved them and that Naoe is alive. As feeling a bit relieved, Takaya touches his own forehead and is surprised feeling something there. He has a couple of 2 centimeter high lumps on his forehead. They are like horns.
T: "What are these..? No way..."
*Yuzuru shows his palm, it's like a mirror*
Y: "They aren't horns. Look more closely... It's Kannon Bodhisattva."
As taking a closer look, Takaya understands that Yuzuru is telling the truth. There really is two tiny figures of Kannon Bodhisattva on his forehead! Yuzuru tells that he found many pieces of shattered souls in Azuchi castle. He felt so sorry for them, so he picked and gathered them together. It seems that that those souls belonged to Takaya's friends who came to save him, but they faced their end while fighting against Nobunaga.
*tears start to flow from Takaya's eyes*
T: "No... It can't be... No way..."
Meanwhile in Toushi-jima island (in Ise Bay), Reijirou carring Nakagawa on his back drifts to the shore. Somehow they survived, but Nakagawa is unconscious and doesn't breath.
R: "Hey, Nakagawa! Nakagawa, hang in there! Wake up!"
Reijirou tries to resuscitate him, but Nakagawa's body doesn't show any signs of life. Reijirou collapses on Nakagawa's chest and whispers desperately: "...Na...kagawa..." He gets a flashback what happened in Azuchi castle when he, Nakagawa and Narasaki were facing Nobunaga. It was so close. Nobunaga was aiming to destroy their souls by hakonha, but their strong counter-attack ruined the first hakonha wave.
No: "What the heck-!"
R: "Don't underestimate us!!"
No: "You fucking rats!"
R: "Taste our revenge! Nobunagaaa!!!"
Reijirou shot Nobunaga to the forehead, but before the bullet touched him, Nobunaga sheltered himself. With his powers, the gun on Reijirou's hand started to melt. As Reijirou was confused for few seconds, Nobunaga prepared the second hakonha wave. The black hole appeared on Nobunaga's hand and it was pointing straight to Reijirou. At the moment hakonha wave was released, Nakagawa and Narasaki rushed to shelter Reijirou with their goshinhas. Reijirou also used his goshinha, but this time hakonha was much stronger than last time. They can't survive! At the last moment Nakagawa looked at Reijirou over his shoulder.
Naka: "Keep living, Kada-san!"
Right after that Nakagawa and Narasaki's souls broke into small pieces. The flashback ends.
R: "Nakagawa... Narasaki..."
They both sacrificed their lives for Reijirou. After hakonha Nobunaga didn't make sure if all three of them died, but he left somewhere. Reijirou found Nakagawa's host body being still alive, so he escaped with it as feeling sorrowful for leaving Narasaki's corpse there. From the castle area he found a lifeboat and with that he managed to escape.
R: ('We were supposed to die together... This doesn't make sense... You all leave me alone here! Nakagawa... You always supported me...')
Reijirou remembers his memories of Nakagawa. He was always there for Reijirou. Scolding him, taking caring of him, understanding Reijirou's weakness better than anyone else. Nakagawa was a doctor who always cherished everyone. Nakagawa's host body starts suddenly to breath as Reijirou tries to once more bring him back to life. The host body opens his eyes slowly.
H: "Where is Dr. Nakagawa?"
Reijirou widens his eyes of confusion why the host body asks such a question.
H: "Where did he go? He is the person who was possessing me, why did he disappear?!"
Tears start to flow from Reijirou's eyes. He can't hold these feeling of losing friends anymore.
As if Takaya heard Reijirou's cry, he was also grieving Nakagawa and Narasaki. Takaya gets a flashback when he saw Nakagawa last time. It was at Mt. Tsurugi. Nakagawa had started to read a modern novel that told about a man who spent one winter in a snowy mountain village in Touhoku area. As the nature was covered with snow, the main character felt as if he was a silkworm that was sleeping in it's cocoon. Nakagawa said that he feels same in Shadow Shikoku. Even if it's always cloudy in Shadow Shikoku, it has somehow curing effect for comforting everyone's sorrows. Nakagawa also said that he would like to visit that mountain village and spend one winter there like the main character did. It's his dream. He hasn't lived in snowy mountain area, but Takaya must feel nostalgia if he also reads this book. "Please, tell me what did you like it when we meet next time", Nakagawa said and gave the book to Takaya. However, Takaya never finished to read it or tell how was it. Flashback ends. Takaya cries and Yuzuru looks at him sorrowfully.
Y: "Don't be so sad... They all are with you, aren't they."
Sobbing Takaya wonders if he ever did anything good for Nakagawa who was always cherishing everyone. This most kindest person ever doesn't exist anymore, there won't next life for him.
Reijirou says goodbye to Nakagawa's host body and leaves for finding the other survivors. I'm not sure if I have mentioned it before, but Nakagawa's host body was suicidal before he possessed him. When the host body was about to commit a suicide Nakagawa's spiritual form stopped him and asked to lend the body to him. Host body original owner's soul goes kinds of 'offline mode' when the body becomes possessed by a hyouirei. While possessing the host body Nakagawa tried to heal the soul of original owner to stop suicidal thoughts. That's why the host body was quite shocked being left alone, because all this time he had some kind of interaction between Nakagawa and him while he was possessed.
Takaya keeps grieving the lost of his friends. Then he asks from Yuzuru what did happen to Emperor Sutoku. It seems that he and the castle both sank in the depth of Ise bay. Then Takaya recognizes Chiaki and Haruie's spiritual forms being together with them. Also Kotarou and Doumori Inosuke (he lost his host body in the Outer shrine). Yuzuru saved and gather them here. There is also one spiritual form more and it's Irobe. His body died in explosion.
Y: "He said that he finally understood what the real hope is. He wants to help you to getting rid of Nobunaga."
Takaya doesn't know what made Irobe to change his mind, but having Irobe on their side again, it reliefs Takaya. Seeing Haruie looking so sad, it makes Takaya sad too.
T: "You'll catch cold if you're like that... Come here."
Yuzuru tries to stop him because the seed of Demon King is plant to the soul too. Nobunaga can still use her, so the best way would be exorcising her. Takaya says that's why Haruie should be with him. He can keep Haruie save if she comes in his body.
Y: "No, don't give your body to Nobunaga!"
T: "It's fine. Come, Haruie."
Haruie's spiritual form looked shocked. This was her first time to hear about her having the seed of Demon King. She tries to stop Takaya, but eventually he pushes her soul into his body, hugging her.
T: "Yuzuru. Tell me where Naoe is now."
*Yuzuru stays silent*
Y: "Naoe-san... He is still alive. But... I don't think you'll see him anymore in this world."
T: "What... do you... mean? You know where he is, so what do you mean with that I wouldn't see him anymore?! What the heck you're talking about!"
With cold look on his eyes Yuzuru tells that Naoe is very deeply connected to Nobunaga. It's too dangerous to keep him close to them. They can't let Naoe to wake up. In terror Takaya grabs a hold on Yuzuru's shirt and demands the answers.
T: "What did you do to Naoe? Where is he?!"
Y: "I won't tell you. Even if I told, it's a place where you can't go."
T: "What did you do to him?! Bring him back, right now. Bring Naoe back!"
Yuzuru tells that the world will change completely if Naoe wakes up again. It's a world that all of them fear the most... Takaya knows that Naoe is just used by Nobunaga, he hasn't change his side on Oda. He will definitely keep protecting Takaya whatever will ever happen. As Takaya keeps demanding to get Naoe back, Yuzuru gets irritated.
Y: "Naoe, Naoe, Naoe... All the time, you just keep talking about him. Understand now, that's why I'm not gonna wake up him. I should have said he died. But because I didn't now you will just lose your mind and suffer. If I had done so, your obsession on him would have ended too..."
As Chiaki and Irobe are watching over him quietly, Takaya collapses on the ground and desperately tries to send a telepathic wave to Naoe, but he don't get any respond.
T: ('We won't see each other anymore... It can't be. Am I... dying like this? Without seeing Naoe never again? Was that our last time being together..? Is this... the end of us? Did everything end without saying farewells to each other?!')
T: "Don't... Don't lie to me... Naoe will definitely..."
*Takaya gets in panic*
T: "Come back to me, Naoe!!"
T: ('Where are you? If you can hear me, wake up! Didn't we supposed to live together! Walk through this life together, till the very last breath!')
"Come back, Naoe!" Takaya cries desperately as the tears are flowing from his eyes.
At the entrance of Ise shrine everyone are speechless. Nobunaga and Mitsuhide sank inside of asphalt. They both disappeared. "Mitsuhide-dono... We have to save him!" Someone finally cries. Before anyone else does anything, Motoharu, instead of saving Mitsuhide, takes the sword of Futsu and writes on the ground quickly a sign that will seal the spell eternally. The asphalt becomes solid again. Nothing can do anymore.
Mo: "It's fine. Let's leave it in this way."
Everyone are shocked how Motoharu sealed the spell without saving Mitsuhide first. Sadakatsu and Rikimaru are shaken for losing their master. As Motoharu is still too drugged from adrenaline to anything, someone whispers: "He sealed... Nobunaga... He sealed the Demon King of Sixth Heaven!" Little by little the others start to rejoice.
Ushio, Tetsuya and Kaoru arrive to the central of Ise city. Skeleton warriors of Oda and Taira clans are having fight. Ise has become like a battle field of Sengoku era.
Kiyomasa and Yukimura are having a fierce fight. They are both extremely strong and it seems that there won't be end before one of them dies. However, they're stopped by Date Masamune who decided to come to Ise with Katakura Kojuurou. Masamune felt frustrated since in Shikoku the Red Whales didn't tell anything what's happening or they didn't let Date clan to help them. That's why they decided leave and come to help. Masamune is suspicious if Toyotomi clan is really against Oda clan, since there wasn't anyone who admired Nobunaga so much as Hideyoshi. What is more, Hideyori has Oda clan's blood in his veins. Hideyori's grandmother is actually Nobunaga's little sister, Ichi. Originally she was married to Azai Nagamasa, but after her husband betrayed Oda clan, Nobunaga executed Nagamasa and brought his sister back to home. After that she got married with Nobunaga's general, Shibata Katsuie. Ichi's daughter (with Nagamasa) became Hideyoshi's combine after getting old enough. Hideyori is their child. In other words, Nobunaga is Hideyori's great uncle. Yukimura says that the restoration of Toyotomi clan is the most important thing. The generation that is leading Toyotomi now, didn't know Nobunaga since they were born after Nobunaga's death (Hideyori was born 11 years after the incident of Honnou-ji). No matter how Nobunaga is Hideyori's relative, if he comes on their way, Toyotomi clan treats him as an enemy. Then Chousokabe Morichika comes there. He is the forth son of Chousokabe Motochika, the lord of Tosa, and younger brother to Nobuchika who the Red Whales tried to resurrect. Morichika fought with Toyotomi clan against Tokugawa Ieyasu, but lost his life in the siege of Osaka. Kiyomasa feels worried seeing Morichika alive. He wonders if Morichika wants to get Shikoku back to him. In the past he was once the lord of Tosa too, and Reijirou, Nakagawa and the others who were peasant warriors knelt down in front of him. How this will affect to the Red Whales from now on, if the former lord has resurrected? Suddenly another person comes there too. He is around junior high school aged boy to whom Yukimura and Morichika kneel down. It's Hideyori.
H: "It's been a while since last time, Kiyomasa."
*boy smiles to Kiyomasa*
As an old habit, Kiyomasa is about to kneel down too, but then he remembers his own decision to not have any lords anymore. He's the member of the Red Whales now, he can't kneel down to anyone. However, it seems that Hideyori isn't angry even if Kiyomasa won't serve him anymore. He tells that his grandmother appeared in his dream last night.
K: "Grandmother? Did you meet Oomandokoro-sama (Hideyoshi's mother)?"
H: "No, my mother's mom."
K: "Lady Ichi? Did Lady Ichi appear on your dream?"
H: "Yes. I have never seen her before, but I knew right away that she is my grandmother. She was so beautiful."
K: "What Lady Ichi wanted to tell to you?"
H: "She wants me to attack to the Saint Azuchi castle. One of the heavenly treasures, the jewel of Yasakani, is enshrined there. She said that if we break it, we can stop lord Nobunaga."
Everyone is astonished because Lady Ichi's request sounds very dangerous and why would she want to stop her own brother?
Takaya and the others are heading for Ise shrine. Takaya is really worry about Naoe, but Haruie's soul inside of him tries to encourage him. Yuruzu said that Naoe is alive, so there is possibility that they will meet again. But it's just so difficult to think positively because Takaya can't feel Naoe's existence anymore. The situation is exactly same as some years ago in Hagi. Chiaki (now possessing a dog) says that he will perform kanshou on human body so that he can use exorcism again. However, Takaya has forbidden to use exorcism anymore, so he won't let permission for that. As Chiaki scolds Takaya to draw himself up, he starts to remember Hayato's words how he should go to Naoe's side. He wants to save Naoe, no matter what. His scarification can't be wasted like this!
T: "I go to find Naoe. You guys can go to the Inner shrine first."
Y: "Give up, Takaya."
T: "With your powers you can stop the final step of Nobunaga's Hiruko spelling in Inner shrine. You can do it..."
*looks at Yuzuru with angry eyes*
T: "...Since you're Miroku, aren't you."
Y: "I got it. But you can't find Naoe even if you used Yata crow."
T: "Can't be sure without trying first."
Then he asks Kotarou (possessing a young woman) and Doumori (possessing a cat) to attack Ise shrine with Yuzuru. Doumori feels a bit worried since he can't forget how Naoe exorcised Satta in the Outer shrine. But Takaya says that Naoe is still a member of the Red Whales, they need to save him. Then they heard news that Motoharu has succeeded to seal Nobunaga with a spell. They are all shocked. Takaya sends Kotarou and Yuzuru go to check the situation.
Naoe sees a dream where he is sitting on the express train. When the train is passing an oldish and small train station, he can see sorrowful Takaya standing on the platform of it. There is a tear falling down on Takaya's cheek as he looks how the train passes him. Naoe gets in a panic. Takaya shouldn't be there. He has to get off!
N: "Stop! Please, someone! Stop this train!"
Naoe cries desperately, but no one hears him and the train just keeps going it's way without stopping or turning back to that station.
N: "Takaya-san... Takaya-san!"
Naoe runs to the end of the train and can only see how the train station leaves behind.
In next scene Naoe wakes up in the darkness. He's floating in the air, unable to move his limbs. Someone's red eyes are shining in front of him. "Finally you got up, Naoe", says a familiar voice. Naoe recognizes right away that the voice belongs to Kousaka Danjou. Kousaka says that Naoe is such a foolish man to step into Miroku's trap. Naoe demands to know what's happening to him and where he is now. Kousaka tells that close to that train station Naoe just passed.
N: "How the heck you-"
K: "Miroku sent you to space-time. You're in a big trouble since it's not easy to break his spell."
Kousaka says that it's quite impressing for that Shinto priest to recognize Naoe's consciousness. Naoe asks if Kousaka knows who the mysterious priest was. He just says that it's easy to see just only peering in Naoe's mind. But Kousaka is also impressed how Naoe was able to return till this point by himself. What is that strong bond that helps him to fight against the powers of Buddha?
N: "Fuck you, Kousaka. Tell me everything you know. What do you mean that Miroku created this time travelling? Didn't Yami Sengoku already end a long time ago?"
K: "A long time ago? Do you really believe that?"
Naoe is sure that he had slept for thousands of years, but Kousaka explains it's just a trap. The most fearful power of Miroku... weaving someone's consciousness in far past or far future by a thread.
N: "Far past and far future?"
K: "Yeah. If you don't cut the thread, your physical body will never wake up. Your body and soul are left to the present, but your consciousness keeps wandering somewhere in far future."
N: "You're... lying. I can't believe that. If it so, what's this place?"
K: "Can't you hear him? It's Kagetora's voice. He's calling you."
Naoe concentrates on listening. He can hear it! It's definitely Takaya's voice. He's calling Naoe's name with heartbreaking and sad voice.
N: ('It's his voice... I can hear it!')
Naoe is astonished. Even after soul demise and Yami Sengoku, Takaya is still living! As if Kousaka read what's on Naoe's mind he says: "No, you're wrong. Take a look." After that like a huge movie screen appears in front of Naoe. He can see Ise, the present one with concrete buildings, greenery mountains, people living there... This is definitely present time!
K: "Since the very beginning you didn't travel in time. Your body and soul stayed all the time in the present. But without being here, you would have sleep and miss everything."
*Naoe is still feeling a bit suspicious*
N: "It can't be... What did happen to my consciousness...?"
Kousaka tells that sending someone into space-time is Miroku's the most fearful weapon. It seems that Miroku thought Naoe to be too dangerous since he has the seed of Demon King, so Miroku sent him somewhere Nobunaga can't reach him anymore. However, this means that Naoe would have kept sleeping eternally. Naoe feels cold shivers running down on his spine. Is this the power of future Buddha? What a terrifying power... Naoe was so close to be captured in the far future. Is this what the priest said about cutting the thread? Did he manage to do that? How about Ise? Was it the future of their country is going to face some day? Japanese becomes extinct, the land will be covered by reddish sand, everything will be ruined... However, Kousaka says that even if Naoe took a peep at future, it doesn't mean that it will the future. Naoe can change it if he wants. Naoe remembers the priest said "This is a dream". In other words, it was only dream?!
K: "You were just seeing illusions. Forget what you saw and wake up. The battle against Nobunaga hasn't ended yet. Yami Sengoku is still continuing."
Naoe gets hope. It hasn't ended yet?!
N: "I see... You... saved me."
K: "Don't be so ashamed. I have no intentions to save you."
The way Kousaka knows about Miroku and space-time sounds almost as if he has experienced same thing earlier... Could it be so? Has Kousaka experienced this too? Then, Kousaka enlarges the view of Ise anf they can see Takaya there.
This scene was so sweet, so I translated a bit. Starting on p. 146:
He saw Takaya standing on the bridge. He was facing to the ocean, keeping his hand on the handrail, looking up to the sky, anguish look on his face trying desperately to get connection with Naoe.
Strong feeling of love filled Naoe's heart.
I understand now... How great thing is to be alive and exist.
Naoe felt he needed to go back to Takaya's side right away.
However, I can't leap there where he is even if I can see him. Just like it's impossible to jump into movie through the silver screen.
N: "How can I go back?"
K: "There aren't any other tricks than making a hole onto the curtain of Miroku's spell. You just have to pray."
Only pure and strong prayer can break the spell, Kousaka said.
If he could break the spell of this space-time that is separating them, he can return. Break the time and return to that place. To the place where his life still continues. Naoe wished. He prayed with all his heart. I'll return. To the place where I live. To the place where everything hasn't ended or I haven't ruined our future yet. To the place where I can embrace you!
It seemed that Takaya sensed his existence. Takaya who was standing on the Isuzu bridge and trying to get connection with all his powers, suddenly opened his eyes widely. Just now, for a moment, at this empty sky, he felt catching Naoe. It was definitely Naoe.
As if not letting that only connection to break, Takaya send a strong telepatic wave.
T: <<"Are you there, Naoe? Come back!">>
Like Kuukai who pulled the retsumyousei on the ground, Takaya was pulling Naoe back to the real world. Naoe kept praying.
N: <<"I'll return...">>
N: <<"...to the place where I'm living! To the present!">>
The figure of Takaya standing stock still at that platform in my dream, overlaps with present Takaya. I won't leave you alone. Right now, I'm getting off to that small station you're waiting for me. And if possible, we can continue our journey together!
They reach out each other's hands. Their fingertips are meeting on the surface of the curtain as they're praying all of their hearts. And that strong prayer in their fingertips, like a needle, makes a small hole in the curtain. The hole extends.
N: <<"I'm coming back to our present!">>
Next, Takaya sits on the bridge, breathing heavily. Just a while ago, he definitely grabbed someone's wrist and pulled it. It was Naoe's hand. There is no mistakes about that. Haruie also is sure that it was Naoe. As Haruie is celebrating with joy inside of him Takaya feels more than relieved. Naoe is alive and fine, they will definitely meet soon. However, almost right after being a bit happy, Takaya's heart sinks into despair again. Why he has to be so weak? Has he already given up? Naoe is doing everything for him, but what can he do for Naoe? Haruie tries to encourage him and thanks to her Takaya finally gets in 'normal' mental state again. They have to make sure that Nobunaga's soul is purified. Before that Naoe and Haruie are still in danger. Takaya gets on the motorbike and decides to leave for Ise shrine.
Meanwhile Naoe wakes up in the real life at a shrine that is located on the shore of Ise bay. It seems that one Shinto priest found him laying on the shore after tsunami and brought him indoors. He has been unconscious only several hours. As feeling extremely relieved to being back in the real life again, Naoe is full of motivation to change 'the future'. That experience in 'the future' made him understand that he was just trying to avoid accepting the reality as trying to find a way for prolonging Takaya's lifetime. This must have made Takaya sad for seeing how much Naoe is suffering and afraid of being left alone. But if he can promise following soon after him, Takaya could pass away peacefully. Even if Takaya has kept saying that he wishes Naoe keep living after his soul demise, but Naoe is sure that secretly he wishes they could die together. As knowing to die together, there won't be anything fearful about death. They could die happily together. No need for feeling afraid of leaving another alone. Naoe is confident that he can still make Takaya's death to be peaceful. He won't do that mistake he experienced in 'the future'. They can still get off at the same train station. But... The one who can destroy Naoe's soul... The only one who can help them is... Nobunaga.
Sakaki (Nikaidou Reiko's coworker) is hearing Atou Shinobu about The Pigeons, Shiba Eiji, Oda Nobunaga and the cult religion. Shinobu is denies everything, but Sakaki sees the connections.
Torigoe wakes up at the hospital. He gets a text message from Isomura Teru, who was spirited away to the netherworld. For a great surprise he answer to her message! He starts to exchange messages between real life and netherworld.
Kiyomasa, Hakkai and some Red Whale guys who survived are heading for the Inner shrine of Ise. Maki, Reijirou's right hand, is also there and he's ready for revenging his friends' death. Hideyori and his retainers continued their own way to other place and didn't follow Kiyomasa and the others. In the downtown some onryous are dancing and signing that the great lord of Oda is sealed. As Kiyomasa and the other arrive to the parking area of Ise shrine, they see Kikkawa Motoharu sitting there.
K: "Did lord Nobunaga come here?!"
Mo: "If you're looking for him, Oda Nobunaga is here."
K: "Wh... What?"
*Motoharu stamps again*
Mo: "I sealed Nobunaga down here. He fell into Mitsuhide-dono's spell."
K: "What... do you mean?"
Mo: "Nobunaga sank into the ground together with Mitsuhide-dono. And I sealed the spell."
Kiyomasa knocks the asphalt skeptically. No one moves under the ground. Then, Takaya comes there and everyone are happy and relieved seeing him fine. Takaya kneels down too and tries to find any signs of life, but nothing. He thanks Motoharu a lot for doing such a brave thing, but Takaya feels still worried. It's possible that Nobunaga can get out, if the exist appears somewhere. Motoharu gives him the sword of Futsu that Nobunaga was carrying. Takaya decides to hurry to Isonokami shrine in Tenri for bringing everyone from the netherworld back. As he and Hakkai are about to leave, they hear a crack sound. The asphalt is rising! Something is trying to come up! And also two big circles appear around them. Takaya understands that someone is making a spiritual barrier there! However, he can't do anything, it's too powerful. Motoharu and the other are locked inside of the inner circle. Suddenly Motoharu feels someone grabbing his ankle. There is a hand rising from the ground! And then... also a head! Motoharu freezes in fear. He knows it's Nobunaga who tries to come up. Nobunaga's strong grip breaks his ankle and screaming in pain Motoharu falls down on the ground. Nobunaga pulls himself and also Mitsuhide's lifeless body on the surface. Takaya tries to use the sword of Futsu, but it won't let him to use it. Only descendant of God can uses it. With his powers, the sword of Futsu flies to Nobunaga's hand. Kiyomasa attacks furiously, but Nobunaga beats him easily. Then Nobunaga faints Takaya (by using Haruie inside of him), lifts him up on his shoulder, takes the sword of Futsu and leaves saying that the revolution shall start now. Motoharu, Hakkai and Maki are locked inside of the spiritual barrier and can't do anything.
Mo: "Wa... Wait!"
With broken ankle, Motoharu tries to get up a bit.
Mo: "I won't let you across this bridge!"
Nobunaga stops a bit before the bridge and looks at Motoharu over his shoulder. With his free hand, he starts to prepare hakonha. The black hole appears on his palm. "Es...ca... pe..."
whispers Kiyomasa with a hoarse voice from the outside of the spiritual barrier. He is still alive, but very weak.
K: "It's... hakonha... It will... break... your souls... into pieces..."
Motoharu gets shocked as seeing hakonha growing. He has never seen this before.
Mo: "Are you... going to smash us away?"
*hakonha gets bigger*
Mo: "Are you... going to smash down everyone who aren't useful for you and across this bridge?"
*Nobunaga stays silent*
Mo: "Answer to me, Oda Nobunaga!!"
Right after that hakonha bursts the inner spiritual barrier where Motoharu, Hakkai and Maki are. Nobunaga leaves taking Takaya with him.
Some time passes. Ushio, Kaoru and Tetsuya finally arrive to the parking area. A disaster is waiting for them. Some trees has collapsed, the asphalt has risen up and there are several bodies laying down. First Ushio finds seriously injured Kiyomasa. Tetsuya is shocked finding him in such a condition. They try to bring him back to life, but Kiyomasa stays lifeless. For Ushio's surprise, Reijirou comes there. His ponytail is messy and he looks like a survivor from shipwreck. Reijirou's serious eyes are locked to lifeless Kiyomasa.
U: "Oh my goddess, you're alive! But why you're alone? Where is Nakagawa and the others? They were with you, right?"
R: "Fucking Nobunaga."
Reijirou's voice is so low that it makes goosebumps to Ushio. This isn't normal Reijirou. This is a man who wants to revenge his friends' death. As watching at his face, Ushio understands that something serious has happened. Reijirou looks at the Inner shrine area's forest, eyes full of revenge.
At the Inner shrine, Nobunaga is preparing for the last step of Hiruko spelling. He changes his clothing to the most formal court dress, and then he heads for the Illusion shrine together with some priests and guards. He carries Takaya on his arms. As they arrive to the stairs that are leading to the Illusion shrine, they see a man dressed in uniform standing in middle of the stairs. It's Naoe. Previously Ranmaru showed him shrine area (in vol. 34) so he knew where to come for meeting Nobunaga. Guards are about to attack, but Nobunaga stops them.
No: "What are you doing here, Naoe?"
As Naoe doesn't answer anything, Nobunaga says he won't accept anyone coming on his way.
Nobunaga tries to figure out what's on other man's mind, but then Naoe opens his mouth: "I was maybe wrong about what I truly wanted". Nobunaga keeps looking at Naoe dubiously. He doesn't know what happened to Naoe while their connection was broken in space-time. Naoe's own eyes are fixed on Takaya.
Na: "Use... Hakonha... on... me..."
Nobunaga watches how Naoe is struggling to ask his favor. Eventually Nobunaga smirks a bit.
No: "You want me to use hakonha on you, huh... If you're serious about it, in that case you will vow loyalty to me, right? Help me finishing Hiruko spelling. After that I shall grant you with hakonha."
No: "Otherwise, you can also have a fight with me. If you can exorcise me, the sword of Futsu is yours. And if I win, I shall destroy you by my hakonha. So, do you help me or shall we see which one of us is stronger? Choose."
To be continued.
Yay, Toyotomi clan joins to the story! And Sanada Yukimura was also quite a surprise. :D
Naoe in Miroku's space-time was so painful to read... That train scene too. :'(
And then facing Nobunaga alone...