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Characters (in order of appearance)

Summary

Yoshimori realizes that Chushinmaru Karasumori was responsible for the fall of the Karasumori Clan. Tokimori Hazama admits that he changed the story so that his son would not be blamed.

In a flashback, Hazama attempts to contain his son's power, but in the process, Hakubi is consumed by the power and dies. Chushinmaru's power is contained enough where his body is fully visible for the first time. Hazama regrets not simply wishing that his son was born healthy. Hazama has Mio, a lamia Ayakashi, nurse Chushinmaru. He notes that her power is increasing, and wonders if this is Chushinmaru's doing. Mio transforms without warning, startling Chushinmaru, and then explodes. Hazama realizes that Chushinmaru is sharing his power with Ayakashi, and if the flow isn't stopped, they will explode. To prevent this, Hazama designs a sealing collar, and announces that only he, his Shikigami, or an Ayakashi wearing the collar will be allowed to touch Chushinmaru. Hazama notes that whether giving energy or taking it, Chushinmaru goes too far, so he needs to be watched constantly.

As Chushinmaru grows, he is forced to wear a sealing collar himself, which he finds annoying. Hazama excuses this by saying a noble must wear such things at all times, and he has a responsibility to Chushinmaru's dead parents to raise him to be a fine man. Chushinmaru desires to go into town with Hazama the next day, who only permits it because Chushinmaru insisted on going. However, Chushinmaru is confined to a basket for the duration of the trip, with the excuse that a noble should not walk like a commoner. Hazama instructs him not to leave the basket for any reason. Hazama visits a friend knowledgeable on seals, but as they talk, his friend falls down dead and severely dried up. A similar fate has fallen on the rest of the town. Hazama discovers that Chushinmaru left the basket to play with some children, but they all died as well. Still in shock, Chushinmaru asks if he if the cause. Hazama firmly denies this, claiming there was a strange illness in town, and the basket was to protect the young lord. Hazama swears he will protect Chushinmaru with his life.

Hazama explains that as Chushimaru became more self-aware, his power grew more out of control, and wiped out countless villages. To prevent this, he stopped Chushinmaru's time, erased his body, and wrapped him in a Kekkai, but even then his power still grew. Hazama then searched for a place to seal Chushinmaru so he could live in peace. This is what brought him to the forest of Lord Uro.

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