Characters (in order of appearance)


Tokimori Hazama heads toward Arashizaki Shrine on the back of his black dragon Kokuyou.

Lady Mayuka and Shichirou Ougi are relaxing in the shrine's sacred tree when she senses a powerful Ayakashi above them. Shichirou flies into the sky and finds both Hazama (who he determies is human, but can sense no humanity from) and Kokuyou. Hazama introduces himself and says he has a request. Shichirou tells him to approach his father, the current clan head instead. Hazama insists it is best suited for someone like Shichirou, who questions if he will be the sacrifice for the land or not. Hazama adds that in the past, Mayuka was very violent, and the Ougi ancestors were the result of sacrifices to the gods. Shichirou says he doesn't have any reason to trust Hazama, who in turn asks if he knows any honest humans. Hazama intends to return as many times as it takes to make Shichirou listen, and warns him that the shrine will be the Commander's next target. As Hazama leaves, Shichirou slashes through him with a blade of wind, and feels no resistance, suggesting that Hazama is not even a spirit, but possibly only a consciousness.

After Hazama returns to the house, he finds that Chushinmaru Karasumori has emerged in his absence, despite his soul having been properly transferred to an orb. Sumiko Sumimura's Shikigami believes it is the same condition as with Madarao, and Hazama, though initially shocked, says it is fine for now. Inwardly, though, he suspects this is a sign that time is running out. Chushinmaru entertains himself by roughhousing with a very reluctant Kumon. Yoshimori notices that Hazama seems very fond of Chushinmaru. Hazama announces that it is time for Yoshimori to begin an advanced technique. Yoshimori is hesitant, but Hazama says he already has the foundation, as he has already used it at Karasumori. The technique is Shinkai, and its power is close to that of a god.


Volume 31
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