I'm back and just finished the summary of vol. 39. :)
MoB vol. 39 (Kaminari no Ikusaba - Battlefield of Roaring Shrines)
Kumano is on fire. As the prediction said, conflagration all over Kumano area started right after the golden rain started to fall on Ise shrine. Sun goddess Amaterasu was the last God remaining, but now she was also spirited away to the netherworld. Ooyunohara and all shrines in Japan has started to make roaring and eerie sound that echos all over the country. Oda troops are celebrating since they have got the Inner shrine back. Kagetora side soldiers are escaping even if Kada Reijirou, Doumori Inosuke and Date Masamune are trying to encourage their troops to continue defending. Then suddenly, Ise priestesses (斎王, saiou) are descending from the heavens to the battlefield. In old times, Ise priestesses were unmarried girls of imperial family who served Amaterasu in Ise shrine. Even after their physical body dies, priestess' soul remain in this world, ready for protecting Ise shrine. Around 40 different priestesses descends to various places in Ise and start to chant a prayer of purification. Their chanting purifies onryous' grudge and make them forget fighting.
Takaya meets Kaoru who is fatally injured in front of the entrance of Ise shrine area. He tried to stop Nobunaga (who was using Rei's body) to pass the gate, but Nobunaga made Kaoru's body (Taira Koremori) to rot. Kaoru is regretting killing Nobunaga earlier. Without that this wouldn't have happened. Is this Nobunaga's revenge for killing his host body? Koremori tries to encourage Kaoru that they can still safe Rei's body. They just have to drive away Nobunaga's soul and then put Rei's soul back to her own body. Kaoru gets a bit hope back and he combines his own soul together with Koremori's. Naoe as using a form of spiritual bird appears in front of Takaya who had heard from Kaoru that Nobunaga performed kanshou on Rei. Naoe feels so sorry for not being able to identify Nobunaga's new host body before it was too late. Takaya says it's not Naoe's fault. Then he tells that Nobunaga has gone to the Illumination shrine and he has got the sword of Futsu back. He has also used hypnotism on Miike Tetsuya, making him to protect the shrine. Toyotomi Hideyori is with Takaya and tells him about the dream of lady Ichi, Hideyori's grandmother and Nobunaga's sister. Lady Ichi appeared on Hideyori's dream and asked him to destroy the jewel of Yasakani that is enshrined at Nobunaga's Saint Azuchi castle. Nobunaga needs the sword of Futsu for finishing the spelling, but if one Imperial regalia of Japan (the sword of Kusanagi, the mirror of Yata or the jewel of Yasakani) is missing, the sword of Futsu won't work. Takaya wonders if it's too dangerous to destroy heavenly item, since the spiritual balance in Japan may collapse and they don't know what kind of effects it may cause. And the sword of Futsu is also necessary for bringing the gods and people who where spirited away back. After all Takaya begs Hideyori to lead the attack to Saint Azuchi castle, and he also asks him to find out where lady Ichi is right now. Takaya would like to exchange some words with her. Yuzuru and Kousaka comes to them. Takaya says they have to save Tetsuya, get the sword of Futsu back and stop Nobunaga. Yuzuru wants to go there with Takaya. Naoe told to Takaya about how he was sent to space-time by Miroku. Takaya feels worried if he can trust Yuzuru or not. He knows that Miroku wants to remove the latch that Takaya is in order to achieve his enlightenment. But if there is still 'real' Yuzuru left inside of that mixture of different personalities of Miroku, he definitely doesn't want to destroy the world yet. After all Takaya decides to trust him and leaves for the Ise shrine together with Yuzuru and a crane origami (Naoe).
Meanwhile at Mt. Kurata, Nobunaga as using Yamanaka Shikanosuke's body is pleased seeing how his troops are fighting. But now he needs to concentrate on spelling in Ise shrine so he says that the connection via the seed of Demon King will go offline for while. He promotes Ranmaru to be the general of all Oda troops. As the connection cuts and Shikanosuke leaves, Ranmaru watches sorrowfully after him. The flames of Honno-ji temple have engraved into his soul eternally. The last thing he saw in his original life before dying was the back of Nobunaga disappearing into the flames. Ranmaru wonders why he remembers these memories now... ('My lord... Are you planning to go alone again?') As the burning desire of Nobunaga fills Ranmaru's heart, he vows to stand beside him and see together the world they couldn't see 400 years ago.
Roaring shrines all around Japan are making Shinto priests terrified. They don't know what's happening. The gods are getting replaced by gods that were victims of Amatsukamis and Emperor Jimmu. For example, in the Grand shrine of Izumo a God named Kotoshironushi-no-Mikoto replaces Ookuninushi-no-Mikoto. Kotoshironushi uses one priestess' body and tells to the priests that the original gods will take their country back from Amatsukamis.
Nagayo Takashi rushes to see Reijirou after hearing that Shiba Eiji has died. He freaks out finding Shiba's corpse resting in the coffin (they reserved one room to keep the remains because Kaoru wants to bury his/Kaoru-sama's body in Ooyunohara after everything is over). Nagayo is shocked and demands answer how the Red Whales will explain this. Media and SEEVA's fans will go crazy when they hear about this! Reijirou admits that this truly is a complicated matter to explain. This body was originally Shigeno Kaoru that was killed by Shigeno Kaoru's soul. It's like a suicide, but still a bit different... As a reporter Nagayo says that people needs to now the truth. He can't hide Shiba's death. Then his phone rings. His colleague informs that Shiba Eiji will come to Shintoukai broadcast company's live tv interview tomorrow. Nagayo is confused. The corpse in front of him is definitely Shiba, but he's having a tv interview tomorrow?! And not only interview, it's going to be live streaming?! Nagayo says that he needs to see if Shiba really comes tomorrow, so he decides to go to Nagoya.
Irobe and Chiaki are sneaking into Taira army's base area. Takaya asked them to exorcise Taira Kiyomori. Before they attack, Chiaki admits that Yashashuu isn't real Yashashuu if all they five aren't together. This life they haven't fight together yet. It doesn't matter if Kagetora and Naoe have left Uesugi. This isn't about Uesugi anymore. This is about them. The bond living together for 400 as members of Yashashuu. Irobe becomes emotionally moved and says that it's his fault that Uesugi clan was crushed down. Yami Sengoku has truly attempted all of them... Yashashuu, Irobe... and also Kenshin. Irobe says that Kenshin let Kagetora off for protecting him. He didn't want him to die of soul demise. But the way he did the dismissal was cruel.
I: "Yami Sengoku attempted Lord Kenshin's weakest point."
Irobe says that Kenshin wasn't a God, he was a human like everyone else. He never was good at communicating with other people. Kenshin always wanted to have some distance to other people. Even if Kagetora didn't exorcise his biological father, Houjou Ujiyasu, it was fine for Kenshin. But somewhere deeply in his heart he felt pain, since Houjou's blood will always flow in Kagetora's veins. The bond between biological father and child is after all strong. Maybe this was the reason Kenshin couldn't handle Kagetora's dismissal well, but just abandoned him. After having this conversation they both are full of enthusiasm. Chiaki says "We're team Yashashuu, arent' we? Tottsan." (Chiaki calls Irobe 'Tottsan'! Cute :) ) After this they try exorcism, but somehow they don't their powers at all! It seems that Ise priestesses are taking Bishamonten's powers too! Taira's skeleton soldiers recognizes them and attack.
Takaya and Yuzuru are heading for the Illumination shrine. It's foggy that they can't see in front of them at all, so Yuzuru takes off his belt so that both him and Takaya can hold it so that they won't get lost from each other. The whole shrine area is full of extremely strong spiritual power and Takaya is having problems for walking forward. He has never experienced this fierce power before. It's difficult to breath. Sometimes spiritual lightnings strike close to them, but Yuzuru protects both of them with his goshinha. Naoe has telepathic connection with Takaya via origami bird Takaya is holding on his hand. Naoe will inform him if he gets known something about Nobunaga's movements in the shrine area. He also asks Takaya to be careful with Yuzuru. Even if Takaya is still terrified what almost happened to Naoe in Miroku's space-time, rather than being angry, Takaya feels sorry for Yuzuru. He couldn't protect him. And that's why all this happened. He remembers how Kenshin asked him to keep eyes on Yuzuru and if he's showing any signs of Miroku's awakening, Takaya should kill him instantly. It was his duty for this life. But... he can't kill Yuzuru, there is no way he could that.
T: ('I'm so sorry, Yuzuru... I couldn't protect you even if I vowed so...')
Y: "What's wrong, Takaya...?"
*as if Yuzuru reads his thoughts*
Y: "Don't apologize."
Y: "You don't need to feel sorry. If I didn't want this to happen, it wouldn't have."
Takaya widens his eyes and looks at Yuzuru surprised. Yuzuru tells that during these 5 years he was pitying himself since he couldn't help Takaya. He wanted to have powers for helping Takaya and the others.
Y: "I... wanted to protect you, Takaya."
At that moment Takaya didn't see any signs of Miroku in Yuzuru's eyes. Yuzuru doesn't feel bitter about what happened in Kumamoto. Takaya almost killed him, but Yuzuru has forgiven that. He also was about to eat Takaya's soul, so they're equal now.
Y: "We're best friends, aren't we?"
Takaya feels pain in his heart. Yuzuru's words bring some memories from 400 years ago in his mind.
- Let's protect Echigo together, Kagekatsu...
T: ('Is this our fate, Yuzuru...?')
Next, battle time for Shibata Katsuie and Sanada Yukimura! MoB Katsuie uses quite disrespectful language when he's talking about Hideyoshi. I seeked for some information about their relationship and actually there is a quite interesting background story why Katsuie is against Toyotomi clan even though Hideyoshi was one of Nobunaga's most faithful retainers. It seems that historical Katsuie didn't like Hideyoshi at all. Some sources say it was because Katsuie's family was very high ranking Oda retainer and he couldn't stand a farmer like Hideyoshi becoming more higher ranking than himself. However, some also speculate the reason for hating each other was because of lady Ichi. It seems that after Nobunaga's death Hideyoshi wanted to have Ichi as his combine, but she refused (Hideyoshi was the ring leader of killing her first husband, Nagamasa, and their sons...) and got married with Katsuie. After all both Katsuie and Ichi committed a suicide after being bate by Hideyoshi. True or not, but what a complicated incident!
Kaoru proposes them to get contact with Ise priestess named Asahara who once stopped the forbidden spelling once in ancient time. Ushio and Torigoe rushes to ask help from Shinto priests if they can help calling Asahara. They success and Asahara agrees to help them.
At Mt. Kurata Oda clan is having big troubles to defend against the troops of Date Masamune, Doumori Inosuke, Kitabatake Tomonori, Chousokabe Morichika and Gotou Matabee. Mori Nagayoshi (Ranmaru's big brother) begs Ranmaru to escape to Outer shrine before it's too late. After hesitating to leave the battle field, Ranmaru after all orders everyone to evacuate as soon as possible. When he's about to leave, Masamune and Kojuurou block his way by a jeep. They both want to revenge the death of Kojirou and Masamune's cousin Shigezane (they both died at Uwajima battle in vol. 28). Ranmaru says that he doesn't recommend Masamune to come on Oda clan way.
R: "...Masamune-dono. Do you know where Lady Mego (Masamune's wife) is right now?"
M: "Mego... After Sendai was invaded by Uesugi she should be with them... Don't say that-"
R: "Uesugi follows our orders now. In other words..."
*a beautiful octahedron shaped crystal appears on Ranmaru's hand*
R: "This is Lady Mego's soul crystallized by My Lord's hands. If she is in this form, even I can shatter her soul into pieces. Should I crush her in front of your eyes?"
Masamune can't do anything. If he attacks, his beloved wife will die. Oda soldiers start to shoot Masamune and Kojuurou's car.
Takaya and Yuzuru are approaching the main hall where Nobunaga should be. However, they're stopped by Miike Tetsuya and other Himuka clan's members. They are all under Nobunaga's hypnotism. As knowing Takaya's weakness of hurting modern people, Nobunaga seemed to make Tetsuya and the others his shelter. Yuzuru recognizes that Tetsuya is holding the sword of Tamamaki (玉纏御太刀, tamamaki-no-otachi). It's a treasure of Ise shrine. Yuzuru says that the sword shows it's heavenly powers if descendant of a God uses it. Tetsuya is an offspring of Mikenu-no-Mikoto, so in other words... Takaya and Yuzuru are in trouble! Yuzuru warns Takaya that they should not underestimate the power of the sword since he has experienced it once before. Takaya is astonished. Yuzuru faced the flames of purification, so he should not remember anything of his past lives... If he doesn't remember his life of Kagekatsu, how he can remember life before that?! Takaya asks what happened to Yuzuru at that time. Yuzuru says that he was killed by that sword in his past life. Takaya gets shocked but can't say anything since Tetsuya and the others attack furiously. Tetsuya slashes Yuzuru's body, making him cry in a great pain. Takeda Shingen inside of Yuzuru also wails. It seems that the sword of Tamamaki really is Miroku's weakness. As the battle continues, Tetsuya pierces the sword through Yuzuru's chest. Yuzuru falls on his knees, bleeding a lot. Takaya rushes to his side as using evil eye for beating Himuka clan's people.
Y: "Sorry, Takaya... This sword... It's too much for me..."
*Yuzuru has cramps and collapses onto ground*
Next Takaya and Tetsuya have a battle. Haruie inside of Takaya proposes them to try their powers there. Buddhist powers against Shinto powers? Takaya says it's impossible since they're inside of spiritual barrier. But Haruie encourages him. She will help. Together they chant and for Takaya's great surprise the sword of Bishamonten appears on his hand! As the sword of Tamamaki and Bishamonten strike against each other, a great flash happens. Shock wave collapses Torii gate and trees, everyone is smashed down. As the dust falls down, Takaya gets stand up and rushes to Tetsuya who is laying on the ground lifelessly. Blood is bleeding from his nose and he doesn't breath. It seems he hurt his head seriously. Takaya is in panic and tries to bring Tetsuya back to life, but then the doors of shrine opens and Nobunaga as having Rei's body steps out saying "What a nuisance..." Nobunaga says that his soul is directly connected to Shinobashira (it's the most scared part of Ise shrine), he will become God soon. Then Nobunaga attacks on Takaya via Haruie. Takaya feels as if someone is squeezing his heart, tangling his veins and his mind is getting scary. It hurt so much! Takaya begs Haruie to wake up but it doesn't help. Suddenly someone stabs a dagger on Takaya's back. It's Yuzuru. With the dagger Yuzuru pulls out Haruie's soul and Takaya is released from Nobunaga's torture. After Takaya stands up again he begs Yuzuru to not kill Rei's body, but Yuzuru says it's impossible. Nobunaga is having the full power of heavenly treasures now. He needs a body for that, so they need to kill his host body in order to stop him. They win or die. There aren't any other options. Nobunaga attacks and Yuzuru tries his best to shelter both of him and Takaya.
No: "This is your end. Kagetora, even if you disappear, I'll never forget our battle."
Nobunaga uses the power of heavenly treasures and the shrine becomes bright. Takaya and Yuzuru answer to the attack by using their goshinha's with all their powers. Then, something weird happens in Rei's body and Nobunaga starts to lose his control of himself. It's Naoe! He has finally got connection via the seed of Demon King and tries to sabotage Nobunaga's movements. However, Nobunaga manages to keep control. Haruie tries to help Naoe and also attacks. Nobunaga prepares hakonha, aiming Haruie with that. Yuzuru grabs the sword of Tamamaki, chants Miroku's mantra and throws it piercing Nobunaga's hakonha hand. The battle ends with Nobunaga pointing the sky with the sword of Futsu and finishing the spelling. A great light column rises to the heavens. But then, a lightning from the northern sky strikes Nobunaga.
All onryous, Irobe, Chiaki, Kousaka, Ushio, Torigoe, the Red Whales navies... Everyone are shocked seeing that light column. Nobunaga did it... Meanwhile Masamune and Kojuurou are fighting with Ranmaru trying to save Lady Mego. Ranmaru is about to shoot Masamune but then the light column rises to the heaven stealing Ranmaru's attention.
R: "Lord Nobunaga...!"
He's extremely happy understanding their lord has finished the spelling successfully. However, Kojuurou uses that moment and shoots Ranmaru on head.
Uesugi's army comes to help Irobe and Chiaki for fighting against Taira clan's massive army. Chiaki feels uncomfortable knowing Kagetora, Naoe and Haruie being inside of the spiritual barrier with Nobunaga. He remembers well the nightmare that happened 30 years ago. Now he has same feeling as the time back then. Chiaki wants to stand on the same battle field with Kagetora and shouts: "Come back! The one who can lead us, is only you bastard! Kagetoraaaaa!!"
Worried about their friends, Reijirou and Hideyori are willing to get in the Ise shrine area, but Miroku's powers have created an ivy nest around it. They try to cut vines, but then Kousaka comes there and stops them saying that they will die if they continue. These plants are alive, there are part of Miroku. Kotarou comes there too and says that Tokugawa Ieyasu was the one who stroke Nobunaga. About Miroku's ivy nest: In vol. 36 Yuzuru ate the seed of Demon King and after that it started to grow in his stomach. Somehow Miroku could take the control of this 'demon plant' and after all it became part of his body.
Nagayo Takashi arrives to Shintoukai broadcast company and tries to meet Shiba Eiji there, but he's kicked out by security guards. On the yard he meets Yazaki Tooru, Takaya's former classmate who is having part-time job at Shintoukai. Yazaki recognizes Nagayo to be the same journalist who interviewed the leader of the Red Whales, Kada Reijirou. Yazaki asks if the rumors about Takaya being a member of cult religion is true. Nagayo tells him everything he knows and Yazaki feels relived hearing that Takaya isn't a criminal. Together they both try to get sneak in the studio where Shiba's next interview should be. On the corridor they can see from the screen that the live broadcast has already started. And Shiba is there! Shocked Nagayo and Yazaki rush into the live streaming room. There are lots of staff members but... Shiba Eiji isn't there. They're both more than shocked. Shiba is visible on the screen but he isn't here...
Na: "It... can't... be... What is this... trick... What's happening here?!"
Then, Nagayo feels someone's existence behind him and turns to look over his shoulder. Shiba Eiji dressed in suit is standing there.
Na: "What does... this mean...?"
Na: "Di-Didn't you die at Ise?! You were definitely in Ise all this time! I investigated everything. Keeping Ougi Takaya as hostage at Ise shrine and blowing away Mt. Asamagatake from Mega Float (= Azuchi castle, in media it was called Mega Float and it was planned to be part of Shintoukai), it was you who did all those things, right? And didn't Shigeno Kaoru named person shoot you till death at the Inner shrine!"
*everyone is shocked*
Na: "Your true name is Shigeno Kaoru. You just used Shiba Eiji as a false name. In that case... Who was this person who died at Ise?!"
*Nagayo shows the picture of dead Shiba Eiji*
No: "It's me."
Nobunaga tells that after connecting his own soul to Shinnomihashira in Inner shrine he can appear everywhere in every form. Shintoukai broadcast company is one of the shrines he's worshiped. Nagayo loses his words. Is this why Shiba bought Shintoukai?! For manipulating media?! Nobunaga smiles and tells that people who know too much will lose their lives. Nagayo is frozen in fear and eventually gets a heart-attack (caused by Nobunaga's powers), collapsing on the floor as Nobunaga leaves the site. After that Nagayo is taken to hospital by an ambulance. At the yard Yazaki meets a taxi driver who took Nagayo there, He's worried what will happen now, since Nagayo had some important tapes to take to Miyako television broadcast company in Kyoto. Yazaki decides to deliver the tapes to Kyoto since everyone needs to know the truth he and Nagayo found out.
Ichizou has found unconscious Naoe and brought him to hospital. On the way to hospital he met Kousaka who decided to follow them. It seems that the seed of Demon King may have caused some damage in Naoe's brains since he doesn't wake up. Then, Kousaka goes to him and whispers some mantra in Naoe's ear, making him to wake up. Ichizou leaves them alone. Naoe blames himself for not being able to stop Nobunaga. Kousaka admits it's a pity. How strong Nobunaga really is? Even Miroku couldn't stop him. Naoe demands Kousaka to tell what he knows about Miroku. As looking out from the window, Kousaka finally confesses that he has performed kanshou for 1200 years now. He wanted to change the future he saw in Miroku's space-time. He doesn't tell what kind of future he actually saw, but says that he was trapped to space-time for long time, but luckily he was saved by Koubou Daishi, Kuukai, Naoe asks was that the reason Kousaka let Takeda Shingen to perform hyoui on Yuzuru. Kousaka tells that using Miroku was necessary. Thanks to him they could track down Nobunaga. Kousaka needed to wake up Miroku since Yashashuu/Kenshin failed with him already, and as a contribution he granted Shingen to Miroku. Naoe is a bit shocked. He asks if the future has already changed, but Kousaka just mysteriously says that they will see later. They change topic to Kagetora. Naoe places his hand to chest, above of his heart is.
N: "My hand is tied together with his."
Kousaka doesn't get the point what does that mean. Naoe just silently stays still keeping his hand over his heart.
K: "Does that mean Kagetora is alive?"
Small translation starting on p. 171:
N: "We won't be separated anymore..."
Naoe whispered so in a quiet and calm voice. We walk together. Even at this moment.
We walk together.
We live together.
N: "Our hands... won't be separated ever again."
Kousaka kept looking at Naoe without saying anything.
In the next scene, Naoe, Kousaka and Ichizou are heading for Ise by a car. Ichizou drives while Naoe and Kousaka are sitting on the back seat. As looking out from the window Naoe confesses that he did some terrible things to Kagetora while he was under recoreving after creating Shadow Shikoku. Naoe was unable to speak at the time, grieving and blaming himself being so weak and powerless. Naoe says he used his body on Kagetora for expressing his sorrow. He did it at Mt. Tsurugi, the holy mountain for death pilgrims. All those dirty things that were spoiling Present Kuukai. Naoe says that Kagetora never stopped or scolded him about it. Ichizou starts to shed tears as listening to Naoe's confession.
At Ise shrine Reijirou and the others are looking at Miroku's ivy nest worrying. Takaya is still inside with Nobunaga there. Kiyomasa will stay at Ise while Reijirou and Hideyori's troops are planning to attack Saint Azuchi castle for destroying the jewel of Yasakani. If one heavenly treasure is out of game, the others won't work either and Nobunaga can't do anything after that. Suddenly Takaya appears there. Everyone is happy but confused how he could escape from the nest so easily since no one can enter there. Takaya tells that due to Ieyasu's strike Nobunaga is unconscious. He will stay in Ise and try to keep the situation stable while Reijirou and the others are in Saint Azuchi castle. Reijirou recognizes that Takaya doesn't have a shadow. He gets worried... This is just Takaya's illusion? When they're saying goodbyes before leaving for the attack Takaya comes to Reijirou.
R: "We... will definitely meet again, right?"
T: "Yes, of course."
They look at each other sincerely and thank for everything so far. As Takaya leaves, for some reason Reijirou feels in his heart that this was their last time seeing each other...
Taira Kiyomori comes to the battlefield where his army and Uesugi are having a fierce fight. Kiyomori is one of the most powerful onryous Yashashuu has never fight against, so Chiaki, Irobe and Uesugi's army are having big troubles. When Chiaki is about to being defeated Takaya appears there and shelters Chiaki with his goshinha.
T: "Are you fine, Chiaki?"
C: "I didn't expect you to help us, but let me say that you're fucking late! Are you the one who called those priestess ladies?!"
T: "No, they appeared by themselves. They try to protect Amaterasu."
*Irobe rushes there*
I: "How is the Inner shrine? What was that light column rising up to the heavens?"
T: "Nobunaga succeeded his spelling. Our country's spiritual powers has fallen onto the hands of Ooyunohara onryous."
C: "What the fuck! You couldn't stop Nobunaga?!"
*Chiaki grabs Takaya's shirt*
*Takaya looks at Chiaki with regretful eyes*
T: "He may succeeded on his spelling, but the spirit of Toshogu shrine paralyzed Nobunaga who has become the main deity of Shinto now. He can't move or use his powers. This is our change to attack Saint Azuchi castle."
After telling Reijirou and Hideyori's plans for destroying the jewel of Yasakani, Takaya recognizes Uesugi troops surrounding them. The skeleton soldiers of Uesugi are touched seeing Kagetora being with them. They're whispering "Kagetora-sama..."
I: "Please, take the command, Kagetora-dono."
Irobe says and gives Kenshin's commanding baton (采配, saihai, you can google it if you want to see how it looks like :) ) to Takaya. He says that Takaya is the only one who should lead Uesugi's army, and all soldiers want Kagetora to be their general. Takaya hesitates, because he has decided to not use exorcism anymore. Furthermore, he's Uesugi's 'enemy' since he is Present Kuukai. Chiaki encourages him saying that this is war against Nobunaga, no one blames Takaya for using exorcism for saving the world. Still hesitating, Takaya takes commanding baton on his hand and feels Kenshin's warmth on it. After that he turns to the troops and orders everyone to attack. Akechi Mitsuhide comes suddenly there and helps them to fight against Taira clan. Ise priestess stop their spelling and Yashashuu can use exorcism again. With help of Takaya, Irobe manages to exorcise Kiyomori. When the souls of Taira clan gets purified, Chiaki turns to Takaya's side, but he isn't there anymore. Only the commanding baton is laying on the ground. Chiaki get's worried. "Kagetora... you..."
Ushio, Torigoe and Ushio's subordinate are heading for Hana-no-Iwaya shrine in Mie prefecture. It's the same shrine where Izanami's grave should be located on. There they can try to bring everyone who were spirited away to netherworld back. Rei has gather all gods together in the other side, so now Ushio and the others need to go to that shrine and finish rituals. Ujiyasu in a form of dragon gives them a ride. Torigoe is more than shocked meeting a real dragon or riding on the back of it! While flying, they see tengu's all over Japan trying to extinguish fire in Kumano. After they arrive to the shrine Asahara named Ise priestess is already waiting for them there. Ushio thanks Ujiyasu for everything and promises to come help him to extinguishing the fire right after bringing everyone back. He also praises Ujiyasu as a warrior and says that he understands quite well now from who Takaya inherited his leadership skills.
Naoe, Kousaka and Ichizou arrive to Ise shrine. There they meet Reijirou who is preparing for leaving soon. He doesn't hold a grudge against Naoe for exorcising Satta. Reijirou says that he can't forget how bravely Naoe fought against Nobunaga earlier. How much he sacrificed for saving Takaya... Reijirou says that Satta must be happy too and ready for moving to next life, thanks to Naoe. These words touches Naoe's heart. He after all had, and has still, a bond with the Red Whales.
R: "Take care of Ougi."
*Reijirou looks at Naoe with earnest eyes*
After that confident smile appears on Reijirou's face as he and the others leave. After being left alone, Naoe turns to look at Miroku's nest feeling that Takaya calling him.
Meanwhile at Oda's camp in Outer Shrine Niwa Nagahide and Mori Nagayoshi have returned. Shibata Katsuie lost his life while fighting against Sanada Yukimura. Nagayoshi hurries right away to Ranmaru's side. Ranmaru got a shot to his head and has been unconscious since that. He was rescued and brought here. Now he has returned to his concussions. I translated this sad scene. Starting on p. 213:
N: "(*)Naritoshi... I mean, Ranmaru. Hang in there."
He had got a shot in his head. It's a miracle that he was still alive since the injure was fatal. Half consciously Ranmaru moved his gaze to Nagayoshi.
R: "... Big... brother..."
Nagayoshi, who was holding him, had his eyes full of tears.
N: "You... You led the division well, Ran. It was splendid. You've become a worthy warrior."
R: "Big brother..."
N: "You really have surpassed me..."
A small, happy smile appeared on Ranmaru's face. He extended his hand for begging his brother to lift him up. Nagayoshi helped Ranmaru to sit up and felt how his little brother pressed his head on his chest, just like he used to do when they were still small kids. As caressing Ranmaru's hair, Nagayoshi could hear him whispering quietly: "Where is... our Lord?"
N: "He's in the Inner Shrine. That Ieyasu bastard attacked and paralyzed him."
R: "I... need to... go..."
Ranmaru's heart was still on the battlefield.
R: "I need to... go to his side..."
R: "I have to... save him..."
Nagayoshi's heart hurt to see how deeply his little brother loved Nobunaga. Ranmaru's wounded body was covered by blood and there was no way he could move his body anymore.
N: "It's enough. You have served Lord Nobunaga better than anyone. You can rest now. "
But Ranmaru didn't agree. He kept whispering quietly "My Lord... I... need to... My Lord..." till his voice became weak and he had his last breath.
Ranmaru's soul leaves the dying body of Hatayama Satoshi.
R: <<"I'm going to... My Lord's side... And I'll... save him...">>
After saying so Ranmaru's spiritual form bows to Nagayoshi, and hurries to Inner shrine to help Nobunaga.
(*) Naritoshi (成利) is Ranmaru's birth name. Actually the editor had a small typo here, since the furigana of Naritoshi's name kanji was written incorrectly 'Shigetoshi'. There was also another typo with Nagayo Takashi's name: Takashi was once written in furigana as 'Kouji'.
*Masamune transformers into a dragon and protect Miroku's nest from Oda clan*
Naoe meets Kiyomasa, Doutetsu and Kotarou in the Inner shrine. They tell about the nest and how Nobunaga is paralyzed inside of it. They also tell that Takaya manage to escape, but Naoe doesn't believe it was 'real' Takaya, since he can hear Takaya calling him. Kousaka tries to stop Naoe going inside, since Miroku really hates Naoe and may kill him instantly if Naoe gets too close. But Naoe doesn't feel afraid, he steps in front of the nest. For everyone surprise, they hear Yuzuru's voice.
Y: <<"Naoe-san...? Finally you came. Takaya was calling you all this time...">>
*Naoe looks at the nest painful gaze in his eyes*
Y: <<"He's on his limits. Please, hurry.">>
Naoe feels quite shocked hearing those words. Then, the thorny vines of ivy slowly move aside making some space that Naoe can step in. Kousaka, Kiyomasa, Doutetsu, Kotarou and Ichizou are looking with widened eyes how Naoe steps into the nest. After that Naoe is in, the vines block the entrance again so that the others can't follow him. As walking deeper into the nest Naoe finds Miike Tetsuya laying on the ground unconsciously. This was the place where Takaya and Yuzuru fought against Nobunaga... Then he finds Yuzuru sitting on the ground. He looks like he's deeply asleep and there are countless of vines growing from his body. And from short distance of Yuzuru, there is Takaya laying down on the ground too. His body has been here all this time. Takaya the others saw was just his illumination. Naoe kneels down next to him. Takaya's body is full of scars and bruises. He places his hand on Takaya's forehead and feels him being still alive.
Naoe calls out his name several times, but no reaction. He keeps caressing Takaya's forehead and then... he sees Takaya's lids moving a bit! Takaya opens his eyes quietly. He doesn't have a ruby colored eye anymore, now his both eyes has returned to their original color. This scene is so heartbreaking. Starting on p. 229:
Seeing Naoe being there, a small smile came to Takaya's lips.
He couldn't even speak anymore.
Naoe answered to Takaya's gaze and smiled slightly back at him.
Takaya's fingers barely moved, but he tried to tell something. Naoe saw this and gently wrapped his arms behind Takaya's neck and lifted him to sit up. As being embraced by Naoe, Takaya felt relieved and smiled.
His breathing was so thin. Naoe held Takaya's right hand as seeing him trying to whisper something.
N: "It's fine, Takaya-san.... Everything is fine."
His mind was still working well. Takaya held tighter Naoe's hand and rested his head on Naoe's chest, looking up to him. He needed to use telepathic waves for communicating.
T: <<"I'm sorry... Naoe. I don't have enough power anymore.">>
N: "It seems so... but don't worry. You can use telepathic waves."
T: <<"I'm so happy... You came on time. I hoped you would help me. I can't do it alone.">>
Takaya had earnest look in his eyes as he kept telling to Naoe.
T: <<"There is... something... over there...">>
N: "Over there?"
T: <<"At Shinobashira.">>
Naoe followed Takaya's gaze and stared at the main hall.
T: <<"I don't know what is there... but... I feel I definitely need to know.">>
T: <<"However, I don't have enough strength to walk there alone.">>
Takaya looked directly at Naoe's eyes.
T: <<"Shall we go... together?">>
Naoe had a sincere expression on his face as he looked back at Takaya.
T: <<"Would you... come with me?">>
Naoe had kept being silent, but eventually he asked with a calm voice.
N: "To the roots of Amanomihashira...?"
Takaya kept looking at Naoe with confident eyes. Naoe understood the true meaning of Yuzuru's words that Takaya was on his limits. Yuzuru didn't mean that the situation at main hall will get out of control if Naoe doesn't come to help. He either didn't mean that Takaya's powers are on his limits now.
Yuzuru meant that Takaya's life is reaching it's end soon.
Naoe knew what would happen if he took Takaya to Amanomihashira.
His breathing was already so weak.
Even so Takaya wanted use his last powers for asking Naoe to come with him.
Silence was everywhere.
When Naoe stayed still he could hear Takaya's heart beat. And possibly, Takaya heard Naoe's heart beat, too.
Naoe loved the feeling how Takaya's hand hold his own hand.
The verdant nest of ivies, the fresh smell of Japanese cedar and the air full of holiness. This sacred place.
Naoe hold more tightly Takaya's hand.
N: "...I come with you."
The relief filled Takaya's eyes and Naoe also softened his gaze.
N: "Let's go to check it together."
The scene ends with Naoe lifting Takaya on his arms. Yuzuru doesn't say anything nor stop Naoe taking Takaya inside of the holy shrine. Together they walk to the Shinobashira.
To be continued.
Unbelievable, next summary is the last one!
Takaya being so weak and fragile here breaks my heart. He can't even walk or speak anymore... And the way he's kind of 'saying goodbye' to everyone is... :'(
I was also touched by Ranmaru and his love for Nobunaga in this volume.
The grand shrine of Ise is HUGE. There are around 5 kilometre distance between Inner (Kagetora's camp, surrounded by Miroku's nest) and Outer shrine (Oda's camp). Sometimes I had problems to understand where in Ise shrine everyone was. Takaya and Yuzuru headed for the main hall of Inner shrine where Nobunaga was spelling (it's also the place where Amaterasu is worshiped). Shinobashira and Amanomihashira are the most sacred places in the main hall of Inner shrine.