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Opening Arc (Chapters 001-041)

14 year-old Yoshimori chases a fishbone Ayakashi, but 16 year-old Tokine trips him with a Kekkai. Tokine criticizes his using a huge Kekkai to catch such small prey, reminding him to conserve his power in case a larger enemy appears next. Yoshimori insists that he can defeat anything that challenges him. Frustrated, Tokine leaves him to clean up. Noticing her scarred hand, Yoshimori is reminded of his promise: to become strong, so that no one will ever be harmed because of Karasumori again.[1]

On another night, Yoshimori chases a small Ayakashi, but Tokine captures it first. Yoshimori sleeps in the next morning, using a Kekkai around his bed to keep his grandfather from waking him up. Shigemori scolds Yoshimori over breakfast, both for wasting his talent and losing to Tokine again. Yoshimori leaves home for school in a bad mood and runs into Tokine, who expects him to still be upset over his defeat. She gets annoyed when he follows her, and blinds him by reflecting sunlight off of her compact mirror into his eyes, allowing her to escape. At school, Yoshimori's teacher Mr. Kurosu scolds him for falling asleep.

At home, Yoshimori and Shigemori fight over dinner until they both sense a breach in the low intensity, anti-Ayakashi Kekkai around the school. Yoshimori and Madarao rush to the Karasumori site, but Tokine and Hakubi are already there. Tokine teases him about needing a handicap and blinds him with a smoke bomb. Yoshimori still manages to find the Ayakashi first: Tsuchigama, a ground-frog that rapidly fires earth bullets by taking material from the ground. Yoshimori is startled by the Ayakashi's power, and it escapes. Tokine corners it next, but is also overwhelmed. Yoshimori intervenes and draws Tsuchigama's fire. Tokine protects him with a Kekkai, which allows Yoshimori to destroy Tsuchigama. Tokine criticizes Yoshimori for being reckless and leaves him to clean up. Yoshimori uses several Shikigami to help with the repairs, and takes off his shirt, revealing that he was wounded in the battle. He orders Madarao to keep this a secret from Tokine, but a bird Shikigami from Tokine arrives and drops a package on Yoshimori's head. It turns out to be a small container of her grandmother's special medicine, which heals wounds caused by Ayakashi.[2]

Cabbages Before Dying, Part 1

Yoshimori finds the ghost of a young man wandering outside of Karasumori Academy.[3] Oddly enough, the ghost doesn't realize that he's dead, so Yoshimori warns him to stay away from the school and sends him to Mother-san, a psychic counselor who helps wandering ghosts pass on. Later that day, Yoshimori runs into the same ghost outside of a sweet shop. Despite Mother-san's counseling, the ghost has trouble believing that he's dead, but has been wondering why everyone but Yoshimori has been ignoring him. Yoshimori explains a Kekkaishi's ability to see ghosts, and more importantly, their duty to destroy ghosts that linger around Karasumori, since they can transform and become dangerous, the same as Ayakashi. However, the ghost recovers some of his memory: he recalls that he was

Tokine reminding Yoshimori that it's very dangerous for them to hang around ghosts

a pâtissier, and that he was reaching for cabbages when he died. This excites Yoshimori, as he has a chance to get baking tips from a real pro, and the two become fast friends.[3] They are interrupted by Tokine, who demands that the ghost pass on before he hurts someone. That night, Yoshimori and Tokine rush to the school after sensing a disturbance, only to find their ghost friend still hanging around. Hakubi confirms that the presence they sensed is still inside, so the ghost tags along. The Kekkaishi find a ghost that has partially transformed. Instead of destroying him, Yoshimori disarms the ghost (literally), reminds him of the family he has left, and sends him to Mother-san with a stern warning not to return. While this should have been a good lesson in what happens to ghost who stay too long, all the pâtissier takes away from it is that Yoshimori is a nice guy that wouldn't hurt anyone unless he had to.

Teacher's Pets

Yoshimori senses an evil aura at school, and is soon approached by Yurina, who tells him about a suspicious teacher that she saw earlier. From the roof, they spot a girl passed out in the bushes, and Yurina mistakes her for Tokine. Yoshimori rushes to save her, only to find that it is Mao Shinohara instead, and that she's safe, though a bit confused. Yoshimori reassures Yurina, then tries to find Tokine so he can warn her. However, he spots her talking with Tatsumi Mino, a popular teacher.[4] Yoshimori becomes jealous and tries to trip Mino with a Kekkai, but is startled when his Kekkai is quickly broken, and Mino stares in his direction. More concerned than ever, Yoshimori goes to Hiromu Tabata for information on Mino, but doesn't find out much. That night, Yoshimori debates how to warn Tokine about Mino without angering her, but
can't come up with anything. He senses a presence at Karasumori Academy and rushes off, meeting Tokine on the way. He finally warns her, but is shocked when Tokine says she's been watching Mino (she means for suspicious activity, but Yoshimori thinks she's interested in dating him). Yoshimori misses the rest of the conversation, as he is too stunned by the "revelation" and numbly follows Tokine to school. They confront Mino inside, and discover he is controlling three female snakes, which he uses to attack people. Mino sends one snake to attack, while the other two stay nearby to defend him. Targeting Mino with Kekkai also fails, as another snake blocks them from forming with her body. Yoshimori damages the lead snake, but it heals and grows larger. Hakubi notices that the snakes aren't Ayakashi, but still smells one nearby. He and Tokine spot an Ayakashi insect on the lead snake, but can't target it because of the snake's swift movements. Yoshimori holds the snake in place with his Kekkai, allowing Tokine to destroy the insect. Freed from the Ayakashi's influence, Mino shows deep regret for the people he's hurt, and begs the Kekkaishi not to hurt his snakes. They agree, though Yoshimori and Hakubi instantly regret this when Mino begins to charmingly thank Tokine, proving that Yoshimori's instincts about Mino weren't totally wrong.[4]

Yomi Kasuga: Friend or Foe?

Yoshimori doesn't know what to make of Yomi Kasuga, a clumsy but well-meaning investigator from The Shadow Organization. It appears she was once a friend of Tokine's late father, and talks about him quite
a bit.[5] Sensing this might be a sensitive topic for Tokine, Yoshimori meets Yomi alone at Karasumori and asks her not to mention Tokio in front of her. This turns out to be the least of his problems, though: Yomi drugs his tea and ties him up, then has her ogre, Yoki, ambush Tokine when she arrives. Yomi reveals that her friendly persona was an act: she's actually come to Karasumori to increase Yoki's power in order to earn the respect of her clan, who made fun of her for Yoki's failures. She also hates Tokine's father for trying to comfort her.[5] Tokine manages to avoid Yoki until Yoshimori wakes up and frees himself, but by then Tokine is largely exhausted.[6] They try to separate Yomi from Yoki, but this turns out to be useless, since Yoki can understand Yomi's orders even if she doesn't speak them aloud. Tokine keeps an eye on Yomi while Yoshimori does his best to defeat Yoki alone. Unfortunately, Yoki taps into Karasumori's power and continues to grow stronger, eventually breaking his contract ring with Yomi and growing out of control. Yoshimori is impressed and grows more eager to fight, but the battle is interrupted by the arrival of Odo and Hakudo, two Shadow Organization members who have come to arrest Yomi for her betrayal.[6] With assistance from Shigemori and Tokiko, Yoki is quickly destroyed. Yomi is heartbroken that Yoki is gone, but Yoshimori discovers that Yoki has regenerated, though he is now powerless and tiny enough to fit in Yomi's hand. Yomi realizes that she was wrong to hate Tokio for his kindness, and apologizes to Tokine before being taken away.

Yurina's Sixth Sense

Yurina Kanda, Yoshimori's classmate, has been able to see supernatural beings for a while now. She can't distinguish between ghosts and living people,[7] which is a problem: she gets distracted by the ghost of a schoolgirl at a busy intersection, and is nearly hit by a car. Later, Yurina sees the same ghost at school, but this time Yoshimori is talking to it, and even able to touch it. Worried about what this might mean, Yurina follows Yoshimori and the ghost when they leave class, and she overhears him threatening to destroy the ghost (though only after she threatens to curse students). Yurina is now very afraid of Yoshimori. Yurina's friends Kyoko and Ayano plan to visit the school's cherry blossom tree, which blooms out of season, but the high school stu

Yoshimori tries to comfort Yurina

dents have taken all the best spots. Yurina's friends decide to visit school after hours to see the tree, even though this is against the rules. Yoshimori overhears them and warns them not to come, though only Yurina is afraid of what he might do if they disobey him. That night, Yurina goes to school to meet her friends, only to run into an Ayakashi. Yoshimori destroys it, but is surprised to see Yurina, since he blocked the front gate with a Kekkai (Yurina came through the back). Tokine arrives, annoyed that Yoshimori let Yurina come, but in the next moment, a horde of Ayakashi arrives.[7] Yoshimori places Yurina under the tree and surrounds her with a Kekkai to keep her safe. He and Tokine proceed to destroy the horde, unaware that Yurina can see the Ayakashi, and is growing more and more afraid that they will destroy her next. Noticing how upset Yurina is, Madarao sniffs her and informs the Kekkaishi that Yurina has a sixth sense, which allowed her to see everything. Yoshimori is shocked, and makes several bumbling attempts to comfort Yurina. This convinces her that he is a good person, and she agrees to keep the Kekkaishi's nightly duties a secret. Yoshimori makes a Shikigami to accompany her home, and Yurina keeps the used paper as a good luck charm.

Hiwatari, the Freezing Foe

Yoshimori trains with a large boulder, trying to catch and hold it up with a small Kekkai. Shigemori observes and brags that he was able to break open two boulders that size in his youth, making Yoshimori determined to do better.[8] Yoshimori is still tired that night from training so hard, but goes to patrol Karasumori with Tokine anyway. They encounter Hiwatari, a small but swift ice-producing Ayakashi. Hiwatari avoids their attacks at first, but when it is finally caught with a Kekkai, escapes by shooting large ice shards that can even penetrate Kekkai. Hiwatari hides in the school pool and freezes it over, remaining hidd

Yoshimori and Tokine face Hiwatari

en beneath the ice. Yoshimori pounds the ice with Kekkai, and when Hiwatari emerges, Tokine hits it with a kunai. This only angers Hiwatari, and he freezes Tokine's leg to the ground, then charges up a large ice shard to fire at her. Yoshimori protects her with several Kekkai around themselves, but Hiwatari's ice is strong enough to break it. Tokine helps Yoshimori focus when creating the next Kekkai, and together they are able to reflect Hiwatari's own attack back at it, defeating it. Yoshimori carries Tokine home on his back despite her protests. Inwardly, both reflect on the battle and decide that they need to become stronger.[8] Tokine practices making many small Kekkai at once in a precise formation. Yoshimori tries the boulder exercise again, but ends up launching the boulder high into the air and, being unable to catch it with a Kekkai, letting it smash into the ground. In the process, the boulder breaks open, revealing an iron core that should have made it impossible to break in the first place, meaning Shigemori was lying about his strength all along.

Kouya: Madarao's Fierce Friend

The demon trio of Honetaro, Uhosuke, and Nagao invade Karasumori, though they end up as more of a comedy trio by how fast they're captured. But they turn out to be a distraction for their boss Kouya, who in turn is revealed to be Madarao's old friend. Though Madarao abandoned him to serve Tokimori Hazama, Kouya wants to be partners again. Madarao refuses, since he is firmly devoted to Tokimori, who asked him aid the Sumimura Clan. Kouya already hates humans for stealing his home and indirectly causing Madarao's death, but he has an especially strong hatred of Tokimori for ending the partnership between Kouya and Madarao. Enraged that Madarao w

Yoshimori releasing Madarao's seal

ould still serve that same human, Kouya attacks. Madarao realizes that in his sealed state, he is no match for Kouya's power, and asks Yoshimori to remove the seal around his neck. Though Shigemori has warned Yoshimori in the past that it is dangerous to remove Madarao's collar, Yoshimori does so, and Madarao's full power and natural form are restored. Madarao warns Yoshimori to stay out of the fight before facing Kouya. Kouya attacks with brute strength and speed, while Madarao relies on illusions and poisons to gradually weaken Kouya. Both take heavy damage and seem close to death, but Kouya draws on Karasumori's power to keep fighting. Yoshimori insults Madarao's pride to motivate him to fight, but insists on serving as a distraction so Madarao can deliver the finishing blow. Madarao is reluctant to kill Kouya, but Karasumori gives him the needed power to do so, and Kouya asks it of him as well. Yoshimori saves some of Kouya's fur so he can be given a proper burial. Shortly after, Madarao loses control due to Karasumori's power and begins to run wild. With help from Tokine and Hakubi, Yoshimori gathers the beads that make up Madarao's collar, strings them together with Nenshi, and re-seals Madarao.

Shiki's Shining Hour

Yoshimori offers Tokine his latest cake creation while on duty. Though she enjoys it, Tokine hides this by complaining that he should spend less time baking and more time training, which greatly upsets Yoshimori. At home, he is so depressed that he considers giving up baking. In an attempt to revive Yoshimori, Shuji recommends that he try the legendary chocolate cake sold by a local bakery. Unfortunately, Yoshimori has his Kekkaishi duties during the sale, so he leaves a Shikigami to hold his place in line. Some thugs show up and try to muscle their way in line, but after taking a beating from them, the Shikigami defeats them and buys the cake. Yoshimori patrols Karasumori with Tokine as usual, but tires fast because he put so much energy into the Shikigami. After some trouble, Yoshimori destroys the Fire Mole with a large Kekkai, passing out right after. After waking up, he lets the reason for his exhaustion slip out, and T
okine becomes furious that he still doesn't consider his Kekkaishi duties top priority. Yoshimori's troubles continue at home: despite claiming not to like the cake, Shigemori has eaten all of the extra pieces, leaving none for Yoshimori. Yoshimori gets a chance to redeem himself with Tokine when she asks him to help her with a problem at her house. It turns out that both she and her grandmother are deathly afraid of cockroaches, and Tokine's mother, who usually gets rid of them, is away. Yoshimori comes up with a plan to use miniature Shikigami to lure the bug out, but at the last moment, Tokine freaks out, shoving him so that the bug is squashed on his shirt. For some time afterward, Tokine won't go near Yoshimori, constantly replaying the scene in her mind. She finally works up the nerve to give Yoshimori a new shirt and a piece of the legendary cake that he missed out on, restoring his love of baking.

Cabbages Before Dying, Part 2

Yoshimori realizes his ghost friend is enjoying the undead life way too much to pass on, and decides to discuss his case with Mother-san. They visit the bakery where the pâtissier worked and speak with the head chef. They learn that the ghost's name is Masahiko Tsukijigaoka, his younger brother Toshihiko runs their family snack food business, and that they lost their parents while very young.[9] Masahiko was working on a cabbage-based desert when he died, but was also worried about his brother. Masahiko refuses to be reunited with his brother, afraid that Toshihiko hates him for abandoning the family business. Y

Yoshimori and Masahiko recreating the cake

oshimori forces Masahiko to come with him and Mother-san as they follow Toshihiko around town, and are surprised when he stops at the site of Masahiko's death. Yumeko approaches Toshihiko and tries to explain the situation, but he refuses to believe her and demands that they meet him in one day and prove they've met his brother's ghost. Masahiko decides to re-create the cake he made for his brother after their parents died (he told Toshihiko that they sent it from heaven). After numerous tries, the cake comes out right, but gets damaged in transit. Out of time, they present the ruined cake to Toshihiko. Amazingly, he recognizes the cake as Masahiko's work: this is the second time his brother has given him a cake from beyond the grave. Comforted, Toshihiko tells Masahiko not to worry about him, which allows Masahiko to finally pass on.

Masamori, the Other Sumimura Brother

At Karasumori, Yoshimori is experimenting with Kekkai and Nenshi, accidentally creating a flying weapon that hits Hakubi. Tokine scolds Yoshimori, both for hitting Hakubi and not studying the Kekk
aishi scrolls. At home the next day, Yoshimori goes into his family's storeroom and takes some scrolls, but can't read them. Oddly enough, Toshimori can, but doesn't understand the techniques described. Yoshimori remembers that his older brother was denied access to the scrolls because he wasn't a Legitimate Successor. At Karasumori, Yoshimori and Tokine encounter Sasorigama, a scorpion Ayakashi with a steel body that gets stronger each time he sheds, and a horrible scent. At first, the Kekkaishi only find Sasorigama's discarded shells, while Madarao and Hakubi are reluctant to track him because he smells so badly. Meanwhile, Masamori arrives, using his landlord Kurohime to find the Ayakashi, but chooses to observe for a while. Tokine discovers Sasorigama, but by then he has shed several times and overpowers her. Yoshimori comes to her rescue, but his Kekkai are also destroyed. Sasorigama draws on Karasumori's power, becoming even stronger. Masamori finally intervenes, using multiple Nenshi to bind Sasorigama's scythes and a five-layered Kekkai to destroy the body. Masamori introduces Kurohime to Yoshimori and Tokine, and says that he'll be staying for a while, which excites Tokine and angers Yoshimori.

At school, Yoshimori's friends are all curious about Masamori's return, but any mention of him just sends Yoshimori into a rage. Yoshimori goes home, and finds that Masamori wants to talk. At first, Masamori only teases Yoshimori about his crush on Tokine, but he finally gets down to business and lectures Yoshimori on his responsibilities. The conversation only leaves Yoshimori angrier and more resentful of his brother. Yoshimori finally gets a chance to escape Masamori when he patrols Karasumori Academy that night, but is annoyed that Tokine wants to discuss Masamori, anyway

Masamori lecturing Yoshimori.

. While they search for Ayakashi, a forest suddenly begins to spring up all around them. It is the work of a botanical Ayakashi, but that means that someone purposely planted it. They try destroying the trees individually, but the trees grow back. Even worse, the trees bear exploding, poisonous fruit, the seeds from which sprout attacking tentacles. After a narrow escape, Yoshimori decides to surround the whole forest with a huge Kekkai, while Tokine starts a fire. Yoshimori's Kekkai becomes unstable, so Tokine opens a hole in it with her own Kekkai. The air that rushes in sets off a huge explosion, destroying the forest (and very nearly Masamori, who was watching nearby and protects himself with a Kekkai). After clearing up the remnants of the forest, they realize that the mess is too great to handle alone, and send Shikigami to their families requesting help. Tokiko, Shigemori, and Masamori arrive to help with the clean up. Masamori is impressed by Yoshimori's power, but makes him think otherwise.

While repairing the schoolyard, Yoshimori is scolded by his grandfather for being so reckless with his power. At school the next day, Yoshimori daydreams about Ayakashi taking over the classroom, only to be awakened by his teacher, who makes him stand in the hallway with a bucket of water on his head. Yoshimori cheats by placing the bucket on a Kekkai, which reminds

Discussing Karasumori

him of how Masamori trained him the same way years ago. At Karasumori that night, Yoshimori and Tokine argue about Masamori. Tokine wonders what Yoshimori's problem with his brother is, and Yoshimori insists that Masamori is a bad guy. He adds that Masamori should have been the Legitimate Heir, but Tokine scolds him, knowing that would upset Masamori. Yoshimori tries to track Masamori, but according to Madarao, Masamori doesn't leave a scent to follow. Yoshimori spots Masamori standing on a Kekkai high in the air, and tries to reach him, but isn't used to the jumps and stumbles several times. Yoshimori reveals his plan to seal Karasumori, so that they no longer have to guard it and it will never cause anyone to get hurt. Masamori agrees, but warns him it will be both extremely difficult and dangerous, considering that even Tokimori Hazama couldn't do it. Masamori leaves, but later Yoshimori feels his brother's power spreading over the land like an ocean. He chases down Masamori and demands to know what he's doing, but Masamori says he wouldn't understand. When Masamori decides to end his stay at home, Yoshimori asks him to bury Kouya's remains on the mountain he used to live on.

Lord Uro's Broken Bed

Yoshimori senses an odd presence while in class, but it passes by quickly, and he decides not to investigate because there is no evil aura. Later he heads to the school roof for his usual nap, and finds the origin of the strange presence: Lord Uro and his servant Mamezo. Unsure of what they are, Yoshimori warns them to leave, but Mamezo explains that Lord Uro is looking for a Kekkaishi, so Yoshimori takes them back to his house. Surprisingly, Shigemori knows exactly who Lord Uro is, and greets him as an honored guest. He explains that Lord Uro is a land lord that lives near Karasumori, and that it is a Kekkaishi's duty to assist the god upon request. It seems that Lord Uro's bed is broken, and he needs a Kekkaishi to fix it. Yoshimori bakes doughnuts for Lord Uro, and in return, the god tells him how Tokimori requested the land of Karasumori for his own use. Lord Uro falls asleep before Yoshimori can ask any

Bed successfully fixed.

questions. The next day, Lord Uro, Mamezo, Shigemori, and Yoshimori set out for the Colorless Swamp, Lord Uro's home. Lord Uro opens the path his hidden dimension and goes ahead. Shigemori warns Yoshimori that if he takes too long, he may lose his mind and forget everything. To prevent this, he writes the most important details on Yoshimori's hand and forearm. Shigemori opts to stay outside the dimension in case Yoshimori needs help from the other side, and Yoshimori follows Lord Uro. }Yoshimori finds that Lord Uro's bed is actually a barrier sphere, maintained by an ancient box. The box is cracked, however, and Yoshimori realizes he must restore it to fix the barrier. The first attempt fails, so Yoshimori pours an enormous amount of power into the box, which fixes it but also dramatically increases the size of the barrier. Lord Uro is so pleased that he hops into the barrier, activating it but also putting Yoshimori in danger, since it was only intended for a god. Yoshimori finds it hard to breathe, but insists on asking Lord Uro about Karasumori despite Mamezo's protests. Yoshimori's desperation reminds Lord Uro of the great sadness in Tokimori when he requested the use of Karasumori. Mamezo forcibly ejects Yoshimori from the dimension to protect him, but his mind already seems to be suffering the effects of prolonged exposure: he cannot seem to remember who he is. Yoshimori thinks he hears Tokine calling to him, and reaches for her, only to be grabbed by Shigemori, who pulls him to safety. The incident leaves growing doubt in Yoshimori's mind about Karasumori's origins, and he chooses not to share the details of his adventure with Tokine.

Little Brother's Little Secret

Yoshimori welcomes Toshimori home from school, and finds he's brought two friends (Gatcho and Konta) along for tutoring. Both are a little afraid of Yoshimori, because of the horror stories Toshimori has told them about his "evil" older brother (this was an attempt at making them behave).
But the actual Yoshimori is so mild-mannered by comparison that they instantly see through Toshimori's stories, and end up being nuisances around the house. Toshimori loses his cool and accidentally knocks them out with a Kekkai, then turns to Yoshimori for help. Yoshimori helps him take care of his friends until they wake up. Tokine comes over with food that her mother made for the boys, but sees a cockroach in the kitchen and ends up tossing curry all over them instead. Yoshimori helps her clean up, and Toshimori is surprised when his friends tell him that not only did they have a great time, but that they think Yoshimori is cool (largely because he gave them sweets).

Kokuboro: The First Invasions (Chapters 42-62)

The White Feather Trio

On his way to school, Yoshimori is stopped by Tokine, who is surprised that he set out before her. She starts to ask what he's been up to lately, as he's been avoiding her lately, and she suspects he's working on a secret training method. However, Tokine is disgusted to find him drinking three coffee milks at once, and storms off without asking him. Yoshimori loses the class's monthly coffee milk battle (a game of rock, paper, scissors where coffee milk is the prize) to a boy named Nakameguro. At home, Yoshimori wonders about how Tokimori Hazama came to be involved with Karasumori, since it first belonged to Lord Uro. While studying an ancient scroll, he realizes something and rushes to ask his grandfather about it. Yoshimori and Shigemori discuss how the further away a Kekkaishi is from his Kekkai, the more its power weakens. In addition, Yoshimori realizes that in order to sustain something of great power like Lord Uro's bed, a great deal of power is needed. However, the same principle still applies, and that is why the bed must be repaired every so often. Beyond that, a great deal of power would be needed to seal something as powerful as Karasumori, and he wonders if this was why Tokimori needed the land's power. Yoshimori wonders if the technique used to create Lord Uro's bed could be used on Karasumori. Shigemori senses the direction of his thoughts, and warns Yoshimori not to get ahead of himself, since he still hasn't mastered the basics. That night at Karasumori, Yoshimori asks Madarao what Tokimori was like. He is disappointed when Madarao goes on to describe Tokimori as an extremely attractive man. Yoshimori gives up and tries to recreate the feeling of Masamori's ocean Kekkai. Tokine arrives and is stunned to see a powerful aura around Yoshimori. She interrupts him and accuses him of doing something stupid and dangerous. Yoshimori storms off. A spy from Kokuboro summons child-like, triplet Ayakashi that make up Shirahago, and orders them to being a simultaneous attack from the sky, ground, and underground. The triplets resent being ordered, but obey under the threat of punishment.

Madarao laughs at Yoshimori for thinking he could seal Karasumori, when even Tokimori couldn't do it. Even so, Madarao promises not to get in his way, though he knows everyone else will try to stop Yoshimori. Suddenly, they sense the Ayakashi, but from three different areas. Yoshimori chases Hizuki, who evades him by surrounding Yoshimori in feathers. Yoshimori manages to destroy Hizuki's left arm, which regenerates. The spy finally gives the signal for the attack to begin. Yoshimori damages Hizuki again, and the triplets soon reunite. Fuzuki is then destroyed by Tokine's triple-layered Kekkai. The remaining triplets are furious at the loss, and Mizuki begins to transform as well. They merge (which was normally impossible with only two of them) to become Shirahago, a giant, white owl Ayakashi. Shirahago releases powerful winds and sharpened feathers that damage much of the surrounding area. Tokine's multi-layer Kekkai is broken under the assault, but Yoshimori protects her with his own Kekkai. Yoshimori tells her to attack only when Shirahago's feathers all return to its body (otherwise it will regenerate from the extra feathers).

While Tokine holds Shirahago in place by jamming a Kekkai into its neck, and Yoshimori uses another to destroy its head, but the rest of the body remains active. Yoshimori is beginning to think more strategically, which impresses Tokine. Yoshimori makes a huge Kekkai that surrounds Shirahago, but the size makes it unstable and it cannot be collapsed. Yoshimori asks Tokine to place another Kekkai around his so they can use a multi-layer collapse, but Tokine lacks the strength to create a Kekkai of that size. Instead, Tokine pierces Shirahago with multiple Kekkai arrows, which resemble thin beams. This weakens Shirahago enough to stabilize Yoshimori's Kekkai, allowing him to collapse it successfully. Knowing they will need help to repair all the damage to the site, Yoshimori and Tokine send Shikigami birds to their homes to request backup. When Tokine can't explain her new technique, Yoshimori accuses Tokine of training secretly behind his back and becomes more determined to create a new technique.

One of Tokine's Shikigami birds spots the spy, who quickly destroys it with a whip-like tentacle from his hand. Hakubi confirms that the person who destroyed the Shikigami had a human scent, but that the smell is changing now. Yoshimori spots the spy and chases him. The spy reveals a green, whip-like arm that he uses to evade capture and leave the school, but Yoshimori continues chasing him. To prevent the spy's escape, Yoshimori surrounds a huge section of forest with a Kekkai, trapping him inside. The spy decides to use the vial that Byaku gave him, which increases the power and sharpness of his claws, allowing him to slice through the Kekkai. The spy throws trees at Yoshimori to cover his escape, but leaves one human arm behind. On his way back, Yoshimori runs into Madarao, who has caught the spy's lookout Ayakashi, which resembles a green bat. Hakubi concludes that the human skin disguise is the result of careful planning by a larger group, since Ayakashi would normally use illusion or transformation to appear human. Seeing Yoshimori deep in thought, Tokine confronts him about whatever he's been hiding. She is furious when he admits to wanting to seal Karasumori, but when he explains he doesn't want anyone else to get hurt, she realizes he really means her. She makes him promise not to try it alone and accept her help as needed.

Gen Shishio, A Troubling Comrade

Yoshimori and Tokine warn Tatsumi Mino that Ayakashi disguised as humans may sneak into the school, and that he should report anything suspicious to them. Yoshimori and Tokine continue to discuss the Ayakashi, and Yoshimori insists that Tokine call him (as opposed to Mino) if she finds one. Tokine realizes that he is maturing and no longer a crybaby. Yurina, having noticed a new student that smells like blood, drags Yoshimori up to the roof between classes to tell him about it. Unfortunately, Yoshimori repeatedly asks her to tell him about it later in a dull, robotic tone and walks away. Before he can get back to class, he is grabbed by the same new student, who also drags him outside. Yoshimori gives him the same treatment, but the new student loses his temper and brutally punches Yoshimori into a wall, revealing him to be a Shikigami. On the roof, Yoshimori sits up in alarm as he feels his Shikigami destroyed. Both he and Tokine then feel an evil aura at the same spot and rush to the scene, only to find a set of huge claw marks in the wall. They both stick around to restore the damaged wall. Yoshimori is concerned because the Shikigami was supposedly a major improvement over his usual ones, and confused because he felt the evil aura after the Shikigami was destroyed, as if the Ayakashi wanted to be found. Yoshimori leaves Tokine to repair the wall and rushes off, sending out several Shikigami birds to track down the Ayakashi. Yoshimori comes across a group of high schoolers that have been beaten up, and learns that a transfer student is the culprit. One of the Shikigami spots the new kid harassing Mino, and Yoshimori rushes to help. Mino is alone when Yoshimori reaches him, but confirms that the student had amazing power and knew that Mino had power as well. Yoshimori senses another Shikigami being destroyed and runs off. Two more Shikigami are snatched from the air before Yoshimori spots the student on a nearby rooftop. After destroying the Shikigami, the student runs, and Yoshimori chases him, with Tokine joining the chase soon after. Suddenly, the new student turns and attacks. Yoshimori barely dodges the first few blows, but is quickly overwhelmed. He manages to trap the student in a Kekkai, but the student's hand transforms into a large wolf claw. Tokine arrives just in time to see the student tear through the Kekkai with no effort. He introduces himself as Gen Shishio, a Night Troop member sent to assist them. However, he is greatly disappointed in their lack of skill.

Yoshimori refuses to believe Gen's claims of being from the Night Troop, and accuses him of being an Ayakashi. Gen calls Masamori on his cell phone, then gives it to Yoshimori as proof. Masamori confirms Gen's story, but Yoshimori still doesn't like Gen's attitude. Tokine scolds them both for making a scene at school. Yoshimori returns to class and asks Hiromu for info on Gen. Hiromu doesn't know much, but reports that lots of girls like wild boys like Gen, which only makes Yoshimori angrier. Yurina tries to talk to Yoshimori about Gen, concerned he might be a threat, but Yoshimori's mood worsens and he scares her away. Yoshimori goes home, but Gen is there, planning to introduce himself to Shigemori. Yoshimori tries to kick him out, but Shuji scolds him for being rude. Yoshimori is still mad about Gen that evening at Karasumori, and Madarao agrees (but only because he doesn't care for Gen's looks). Tokine insists that they at least get to know Gen better before making up their minds about him, but Yoshimori is more worried that she might become interested in dating Gen. They sense an Ayakashi, but after Yoshimori fails to capture it, Gen rips it apart in just a few seconds. Yoshimori demands that since Gen is assisting them, he not do anything without consulting a Kekkaishi first. Gen replies that Kekkaishi are supposed to be the most powerful ability users, but that Yoshimori and Tokine are weak.

Gen destroys yet another Ayakashi that escapes Yoshimori, then leaps away. Yoshimori is about to chase him, but Tokine stops him and scolds him for not cleaning up the mess that Gen left. Yoshimori points out that Gen always leaves them to clean up the messes he makes, then gets in a fight with Madarao for pointing out the exact number of times it's happened. At school, Yoshimori and Gen pass each other without speaking (though Yoshimori glares at Gen's back). At Karasumori that night, Yoshimori plots to attack Gen, but Madarao reminds him that he has bigger issues to worry about. Madarao leads Yoshimori into the school, where they find Ookubiguruma, a rolling Ayakashi with retractable spikes that rips through the first Kekkai easily. Yoshimori can only dodge until Gen arrives, and he manages to match the Ayakashi's rotation speed and force it outside. but Ookubiguruma reveals its spikes while Gen is clinging to it, slashing him deeply. Yoshimori takes over for Gen, and keeps using Kekkai until he finds the perfect amount of strength to slow the Ayakashi down, so he can hit it with another Kekkai. Seeing this, Gen realizes that Yoshimori is a rare type of fighter than can change his techniques in the middle of a battle. Yoshimori is surprised when Gen returns to fight despite having been injured. Hakubi reveals that Gen is part Ayakashi, and his body heals much faster as a result. Yoshimori overhears Ookubiguruma mention a bounty on his head. He drives the Ayakashi into the school so it has less room to move, then uses a Kekkai to keep it from spinning until he destroys it. Hakubi and Gen suspect that the bounty must only be on Kekkaishi, and Yoshimori figures the same Ayakashi group is behind it. Gen tries to leave without cleaning up, but after getting protests from Yoshimori and Tokine, admits that he only knows how to destroy. Tokine lets him go, but is more hopeful that they can get along in the future. Yoshimori finds Gen relaxing in his favorite rooftop napping place the next day, and they reluctantly share the space. They begin to discuss Gen being part Ayakashi: Gen only notes the downside, but all Yoshimori can see are the benefits. Though they don't agree, it's one of the first real conversations they've had since Gen's arrival.

Yoshimori is having trouble dealing with Inoushi Boar Bull's power when Gen swoops in and slashes it to pieces. In a fit of jealousy, Yoshimori shouts that Gen will never get any girls if he keeps stealing, but Gen ignores him. Oddly enough, Yoshimori soon finds out from Yurina that a girl is interested in Gen: her friend Aoi Shinagawa. Despite having gone to the same elementary school with her and Yurina, Yoshimori doesn't remember her well. He does agree that a violent person like Gen is no good for a nice girl like Aoi, though this is more because he can't believe any girl would like Gen. That night, Yoshimori encounters Youkyokusai, an Ayakashi that uses magic tricks. Gen is captured right away, so Yoshimori distracts the Ayakashi while Tokine frees Gen. Gen forces Youkyokusai to retreat, while the Kekkaishi box him in with Kekkai, only leaving room for him to escape directly into the path of Gen's final attack. At school the next day, Yoshimori watches Gen reject Aoi after she presents him with her sketchbook, full of drawings of Gen. Yoshimori later asks why Gen couldn't be nicer to her, but Gen simply replies that anyone would hate him once they found out what he was. Yoshimori doesn't agree, since as much as he dislikes Gen, he also doesn't hate him.

Tokine Takes Charge

Yoshimori fails to catch another Ayakashi before Gen destroys it easily, prompting the usual argument. Tokine is distracted by the fight, and is nearly attacked from behind by another Ayakashi, but Gen destroys that one as well. Gen leaves the clean up to Yoshimori and Tokine, but Yoshimori follows him and insists that he at least treat Tokine more respectfully. Gen can't understand why Yoshimori is sticking up for her, since their families are supposed to hate each other. The next day, Yoshimori and Tokine argue on the way to school, with the end result being that Yoshimori is depressed throughout the day. He and Gen meet on the school roof, where Gen admits he can't understand why Yoshimori likes Tokine. Predictably, Yoshimori gets upset, but he can't explain it, either. Yoshimori and Tomonori learn from Hiromu that a local idol, Kimiya Hachioji, is visiting their school. Yoshimori has no interest, until he sees Kimiya leaving with Tokine. Extremely jealous, Yoshimori follows them, with Hiromu and Tomonori tagging along. Both Hiromu and Tomonori think Tokine and Kimiya must be dating, which Yoshimori angrily denies. A group of overexcited runs by, convincing Yoshimori's friends to ditch him, and Yoshimori himself has lost sight of Tokine and Kimiya. Luckily, he spots Gen nearby and asks him to track Tokine by scent. It turns out that Gen has been following her all along. Yoshimori becomes more depressed as he sees Tokine and Kimiya first holding hands, and then Kimiya carrying her bridal style as he leaps over rooftops. This immediately makes Gen more concerned, but Yoshimori is too busy sulking to pick up on it.

They follow Tokine and Kimiya to an abandoned building, where Kimiya is revealed to be possessed by the Ayakashi Nouotoko (Brain Man), which has the power to draw out hidden abilities. Tokine followed Kimiya only because Nouotoko threatened to take his life. Yoshimori misses most of this, still thinking that Tokine is on a date, until Gen points out the Ayakashi. Nouotoko demands that Tokine surrender her body to him, so that he can learn more about Kekkaishi and Karasumori, and collect a reward from Kokuboro, a group of Ayakashi that are targeting the site. Nouotoko makes the mistake of saying that he chose Tokine because she was the weakest, which angers her into attacking him relentlessly while Yoshimori and Gen watch in shock. Tokine squeezes some more info out of Nouotoko before destroying him. Having learned that Tokine likes guys taller than her, Yoshimori is determined to sleep more, which he hopes will help him grow.

Yoshimori isn't having much luck patrolling Karasumori, as Gen and Tokine keep taking his prey before he can destroy them. He finally decides to get a bird's eye view, and positions himself on a Kekkai high above the ground. This allows him to spot an Ayakashi, but in the process of destroying it, he falls into the school pool and catches a cold. Unable to get up the next day, Yoshimori stays home from school in his father's care. However, that night he goes to Karasumori, heavily bundled and sneezing, and manages to save Tokine from Kokuboro's Hisui. This heroic act doesn't spare him from being scolded by his grandfather, though.

Kurosu, the Closet Cat Lover

Eight years ago, seven year-old Yoshimori noticed Masamori staring at his own hand. Realizing that Masamori felt neglected for not having the Houin Mark, Yoshimori drew it on his older brother's hand in an attempt to cheer him up. In class (present day), Yoshimori are Yurina are startled to see that the ghost of a black cat has attached itself to their teacher Kurosu. Yoshimori tries asking about it without revealing that he can see it, but Kurosu insists that he never owned a cat. Yoshimori explains to Yurina that ghosts that stay in Karasumori too long eventually become monsters, so it needs to pass on quickly. Yoshimori tries asking Kurosu again, but learns nothing useful. Gen sees the cat, but Yoshimori stops him before he can destroy it. Gen points out that the cat will turning into a bigger problem if they leave it alone, and Tokine agrees, but doesn't interfere because Yoshimori feels so strongly about it. Yoshimori approaches Kurosu again, and manages to get him talking about cats. Kurosu recalls that a friendly stray cat used to live around the school, but that it hasn't been seen recently. After finding out from Aoki that the cat was killed by a car, Kurosu walks around the school and finds a dead sparrow. Recognizing it as a gift from the cat, he praises it one last time, and the cat's ghost passes on. Yoshimori is glad that he didn't have to intervene and destroy the ghost.

Kokuboro: The Second Invasions (Chapters 63-83)

Negotiations by Kaguro

Yoshimori receives a message from his mother in the form of a Shikigami bird. She warns him that strong enemies will be coming, and that he should work with Masamori. Shigemori agrees with her, and though he doesn't like the fact that Masamori is now part of The Shadow Organization's Council of Twelve, admits that they may need his help. Yoshimori points out that it would be easier to depend on the Yukimuras, but Shigemori firmly refuses, using their 400-year feud as his excuse. On the school roof, Yoshimori reflects on his grandfather's words. He realizes that even though he and Tokine retain a somewhat awkward friendship (in that most of his recent memories are of her turning her back on him and being largely annoyed), they were much closer when they were younger. Yoshimori is startled out of his memories when Gen appears, but instead of arguing, they relax on the roof together. They are interrupted when an unfamiliar voice comes over the PA system an announces itself as being from Kokuboro. Yoshimori and Gen rush to the broadcast room, but Yoshimori spots the strangers already leaving through the schoolyard. Tokine stops Yoshimori and Gen on the way down, pointing out that while they may be Ayakashi in human skin, they might also actually be human. Tokine is concerned about how easily they got into the school, and wants to ask her grandmother for advice, but Yoshimori insists that they handle it themselves, since Shigemori and Tokiko don't work together well. He asks Gen to work with them, but Gen will only commit to his mission (which is to help them, and Tokine notes that's as close to a "yes" as they'll get from him). Yoshimori arrives at Karasumori early that night, but he's still the last to show up. He, Tokine, and Gen go to meet the five Ayakashi from earlier that day. The Ayakashi claim they want to negotiate, and their terms are very straightforward: they promise not to hurt anyone if Karasumori is surrendered to them. Gen refuses and attacks, but is quickly taken down by Kaguro, who then destroys Madarao and Hakubi. Kaguro withdraws to watch as his team grabs Gen and runs. Yoshimori follows despite Tokine's warning, and they are lead into a trap: a blocked-off area that nullifies Kekkaishi powers. Tokine offers to distract the Ayakashi so that Yoshimori can leave the area, but he stays to protect her, both of them getting hurt in the process. Tokine agrees to do things Yoshimori's way, and his plan is throw Tokine above the area's range so that she will be free to attack.

Tokine traps the four Ayakashi in Kekkai, then places another in mid-air for her to stand on, so she remains above the nullifying area. Yoshimori escapes the area, but the Ayakashi Haizen reveals his acid spray, melting all the nearby Kekkai. The Ayakashi begin hurling the heavy nullifying stones, which can't be blocked with Kekkai, but Gen returns in time to stop Yoshimori and Tokine from being crushed. Kaguro attacks Gen again and draws him away from the fight. Yoshimori and Tokine yell at Gen to come back, knowing how easily Kaguro beat Gen moments before. Haizen fills the field with smoke, then sprays acid into the sky, making acid rain down. Tokine and Yoshimori take cover under an overturned nullifying stone. Tokine worries for Gen, but Yoshimori chooses to believe in him. Sekia and Haroku began firing lasers and throwing boulders at them. Knowing their cover won't last long, they decide to attack. Sanan raises Haizen over the field so he can rain acid down on the Kekkaishi directly, but they startle the Ayakashi with a triple-layered Kekkai elevator, which gives Tokine time to spear Haizen before his acid can reach them. Yoshimori quickly destroys Haizen, and then Haroku. The Kekkaishi feel Gen's energy flare and know he's alive, but Sekia grabs Tokine and Sanan threatens to kill her. Yoshimori feels Gen's energy fade, but instead of going to help him, chooses to stay and rescue Tokine, and begins to tap into an unknown power. Suddenly, Kaguro kills Sekia and Sanan, freeing Tokine. He explains that he didn't approve of their tactics, and wants to see more of Yoshimori's power later. After Kaguro leaves, Yoshimori frantically digs Tokine out of the rubble, and though she is safe, he feels guilty that she has a visible scar on her neck where Sanan's wing cut her. Kyoichi Hiba shows up with an unconscious Gen and bad news: because Gen broke the rule and transformed, he will be taken off the Karasumori assignment. Yoshimori and Tokine refuse to accept that, but Gen agrees with Hiba's ruling and ignores their protests.

Breaking Gen's Limits

Yoshimori can't stop thinking about Kyoichi Hiba's words about Gen being a monster. He looks for Gen at school, but Gen doesn't show up. Yoshimori goes to Karasumori early that night (Madarao reveals he's waiting for Gen). Tokine is convinced that because Gen trained so hard to control his powers, he wouldn't just give up on a mission. They sense an Ayakashi, and soon find Hazemukuri. Yoshimori tries to capture it, but its segmented body separates and flies in all directions, striking anything in its path (including Yoshimori). Madarao advises him to destroy the head, which should destroy the body parts as well. The Kekkaishi have trouble pinning down the head, but Gen arrives and is easily able to slice through it with his high speed. Gen explains that he'll do his job until he's replaced, and leaves before they can stop him. Tokine is disappointed that all the progress they've made with him seems to have been undone, but Yoshimori gets angry. While Yoshimori and Tokine have their Shikigami repair the damage to the school, they discuss Gen. Yoshimori doesn't want to admit that he likes Gen, and insists on saying that he owes him a favor that hasn't been repaid yet. He wishes Gen would resist his being fired and fight back. Yoshimori decides to ask Masamori about Gen's past. Oddly enough, just when he tries to call Masamori on the phone, Masamori shows up at the Sumimura house. Yoshimori explains that Gen saved his life, and Masamori says he'll think on the matter. Masamori decides to explain Gen's past, and starts by saying that Gen nearly killed his own sister.

Yoshimori learns from Masamori that Gen's powers first developed when he was young, and that a misunderstanding with his family caused Gen to fully transform and run away. When his older sister Ryo tried to stop him, Gen attacked her, and had to be captured by Masamori. Afterward, Gen joined the Night Troop and learned to control his powers. Yoshimori is depressed by Gen's story and frustrated because he doesn't know what to do. He shares the news with Tokine and asks her for advice. She has no answers, either, but still wants to find Gen. Gen shows up to patrol that night, and Yoshimori awkwardly tries to start a conversation. Gen runs away, forcing them to chase him down. Yoshimori accuses Gen of being afraid now that they know his past. Gen loses his temper and attacks Yoshimori, and Yoshimori agrees to fight him despite Tokine's protests. Yoshimori holds Gen in place with several small Kekkai, and encourages him to ask for a second chance at protecting Karasumori. Mistaking this for pity, Gen becomes enraged and lunges at Yoshimori's throat. He stops just before connecting, recognizing that Yoshimori truly does trust him and needs his help. Gen points out that he'll still be reassigned, but Yoshimori insists that he'll go against Masamori if it comes to that. Kyoichi Hiba arrives and tells them that Gen is now allowed to stay at his post. Gen is stunned, while Yoshimori and Tokine congratulate him.

Gen skips school to meditate, so Yoshimori visits his apartment, bringing food prepared by Shuji and himself. Gen tells him to leave the food and go, but Yoshimori insists on eating with him, since it was intended for them to share, so Gen finally lets him in. Among the food is a chocolate cake that Yoshimori made, which Gen eats without any comment on its taste, to Yoshimori's disappointment. A female visitor rings Gen's doorbell. Upon hearing her voice, Gen becomes extremely anxious and insists that Yoshimori not let her in. The woman finally kicks the door in, introducing herself as Atora Hanashima, a demon tamer and Gen's trainer from the Night Troop. Tokine accompanies her, and neither Tokine nor Yoshimori understand Gen's reaction, since Atora turns out to be perfectly friendly. Atora is surprised to learn that Gen ate Yoshimori's cake, since he hates sweets, but recognizes this as a sign of their growing friendship. She explains that will evaluate how the addition of Gen impacts the teamwork between Yoshimori and Tokine with a test, but if they fail, then Gen must return to the Night Troop with her. Gen arrives at Karasumori Academy very much distracted, which makes Yoshimori and Tokine worry about their chances of passing. Atora appears riding a large, lightning bear demon named Raizo. She challenges them to capture her within a half hour, without injuring her, all while avoiding or defeating various demons she's brought with her. Gen chases Atora alone before the Kekkaishi can stop him, but Atora halts him with a series of commands, since he has been trained to obey the sound of her voice.

Yoshimori soon joins Gen, and they are both shocked by one of Raizo's thunderclouds, leaving Tokine to deal with Sensuke, a mischievous burrowing demon. Tokine reunites the trio (through force) so they can come up with a team strategy, which is the point of the test in the first place. Gen explains that Atora is only a minor threat: her beasts are the real challenge, Raizo being the biggest threat. Using Gen's advice, Raizo is quickly beaten, but only eight minutes are left in the test by that point. Atora then takes to the air with the help of Majirou, a winged beast that fits on her back and can detect enemy and ally movement with its sensitive hairs. Tokine suggests relying on Gen's speed, but Gen is forced to admit his problem with obeying Atora's commands. Yoshimori gives him tissue to plug his ears with, which has the added benefit of forcing Gen to trust them, since he cannot hear their voices, either. The Kekkaishi fill the air around Atora with Kekkai, which allows Gen to rebound between them rapidly as he tries to grab Atora. With only twenty seconds left, Sensuke returns to distract Tokine, forcing Gen and Yoshimori to invent a new plan: Gen hurls Yoshimori at Atora, and Yoshimori encloses himself and Atora in a Kekkai. However, he misses her and only grabs her scarf as time runs out. The trio is convinced that they failed, but surprisingly, Atora says that they passed, since Gen put his faith entirely in Yoshimori. Before Atora leaves, she encourages Gen to keep his friends close.

The Supposed Death of Heisuke Matsudo

At Karasumori, Yoshimori thinks it odd that all of the Ayakashi are rather small. He and Madarao discuss Kokuboro's plans for the site. Madarao reveals that Ayakashi need ties to people and a place to call home, or else they will simply drift aimlessly until they die. The next day, Yoshimori finds that his father and grandfather are preparing to go somewhere for the day (a funeral, though this is not stated), leaving Yoshimori in charge of the house. Shigemori is strangely silent and moody.[10] (In the anime version, Shuji explains to Yoshimori that Heisuke Matsudo, a friend of Shigemori's, was killed by Kokuboro the previous night. Yoshimori tries to comfort his grandfather, and says that he would have gone with him. Shigemori scolds him, saying that it would have been a disaster if Karasumori had been attacked while Yoshimori was elsewhere, and that protecting friends must come second to their duty to the land.)[11]

The Kokuboro War: The First Battles (Chapters 84-101)

Preparations for War

Yoshimori returns home from school to find his grandfather on the phone with Masamori Sumimura, discussing the difficulty in observing Kurosusuki. Shigemori asks Masamori to increase the number of people he has deployed in Karasumori. At Karasumori, Yoshimori wonders why Shigemori is talking to Masamori so much lately, and suspects it has something to do with the recent death of Heisuke Matsudo. Madarao has trouble believing that Matsudo would die so easily. Yoshimori asks Gen's opinion of Masamori, figuring he can depend on Masamori if Gen trusts him. Gen says that Masamori is like no other, and Yoshimori is reassured.[12]

Gen later becomes increasingly distracted, which Yoshimori notices.[13] Depressed from an encounter with Tokine, Yoshimori goes to the school roof to relax. Gen tells him not to worry since they seem to be getting along, which cheers up Yoshimori. Yoshimori tries to find out if Gen likes a girl, but Gen says no one can love him, since they would never accept what he is. He wishes his power was more like Yoshimori's and leaves.[14] Yoshimori looks for Gen Shishio at school, wondering why he would want Kekkaishi powers instead of his own.[15]

Gen's Last Battle

At Karasumori, Tokine tries to tell Yoshimori that her grandmother has left, but Yoshimori is preoccupied with finding Gen and talking to him. When Yoshimori finds him, Gen runs away. Unable to locate Gen, Yoshimori decides to yell encouragement to him. Meanwhile, a massive black cloud appears over Karasumori,[16] and countless Ayakashi emerge from it. Yoshimori, Tokine, and Gen Shishio begin fighting the invading Kokuboro Ayakashi. Gagin finally sets foot on Karasumori, incinerating everything nearby with his entrance. [17] Gagin is greatly disappointed to find that Karasumori only has three young defenders, and destroys some of the weaker Ayakashi to get them out of his way. Gagin launches fireballs at the Kekkaishi, but Yoshimori is able to protect himself and Tokine. Gen throws a tree at Gagin, but he destroys it easily. Gagin is amused by their efforts, but warns they won't stand a chance when he transforms.

Gagin transforms into a six-armed centaur,[18] and the incredible heat from his body makes him difficult to hit. Gagin throws fireballs at both the Kekkaishi and Gen, then attacks Gen himself. Tokine separates them with a Kekkai before Gen is seriously harmed. Gagin notices that both he and Gen heal quickly. Yoshimori surrounds Gagin with a Kekkai, but Gagin destroys it easily. Gagin focuses all of his attacks on Gen, but Gen refuses to give up.[19] Gagin's flames change color, and though Yoshimori and Tokine both try to protect Gen with Kekkai, Gagin's fireball tears through both and hits Gen, destroying a good portion of both his arms. Gen quickly regenerates, but Gagin launches another volley of fireballs. Yoshimori barely manages to protect them all with Kekkai. Gen realizes there is only one way to beat Gagin: he must fully transform, even if it means being kicked out of the Night Troop. Yoshimori and Tokine remain confident, believing help will eventually come, but Gen knows the Night Troop is occupied elsewhere. He tells them his plan, saying that only a monster can beat a monster. Yoshimori corrects him, saying a monster doesn't risk his life for others. Gen fully transforms into a wolf-man. Yoshimori is impressed, but refuses to let Gen fight alone as Gagin prepares for a final attack.[20]

Gen is surprised that Yoshimori isn't afraid of his wolf-man form. Gagin flies high above the site and charges up a huge fireball. Yoshimori advises Gen to attack after the fireball is thrown, and is confident his Kekkai can deflect it (Gen points out it failed to do so earlier). Yoshimori admits he would like Tokine to be somewhere safe, but asks her to stay beside him. Tokine agrees and encourages him to do his best. Gagin finally throws the fireball, and Tokine creates a stairway of Kekkai for Gen to quickly climb. Gen attacks Gagin, slashing off his three right arms.[21] Tokine advises Yoshimori to angle his Kekkai diagonally so that Gagin's fireball can be deflected with less power. Yoshimori refuses and creates his Kekkai so that the fireball hits it straight on, insisting that since Gen Shishio is risking his life, he must do the same. Gen continues to attack Gagin, who is stronger but unable to keep up with Gen's speed. Gen slashes through Gagin's flame barrier, much to Gagin's shock. Yoshimori struggles to deflect the fireball, and Tokine insults his strength, giving him the extra push he needs to throw the fireball back at Gagin. Gen slashes open Gagin's barrier again, allowing the fireball to hit Gagin head-on. Gen is about to strike Gagin down when Kaguro suddenly appears, driving two swords into Gen's back. Gagin falls and is caught by his subordinates. Kaguro gives Gen one last chance to become his ally, but Gen refuses. Kaguro rips his swords free, mortally wounding Gen as Yoshimori and Tokine look on in shock.[22] As Yoshimori and Tokine worry over Gen, Kaguro says Gen should have had more courage. Yoshimori attacks him, but Kaguro easily avoids him, and leaves after saying he expects a lot more from Yoshimori. The black clouds withdraw along with Kokuboro.

Gen eventually wakes up to Yoshimori's pleas, reverting to his human form. Shigemori Sumimura and Kyoichi Hiba arrive. Hiba only seems concerned that Gen broke the rule not to transform. Tokine tries to explain that his doing so saved their lives, but Hiba explains that Ayakashi Majiri are more vulnerable than true Ayakashi, which is why Gen isn't allowed to transform. Hiba notices that the cells around the would are working very slowly and normally would have healed already. As an Ayakashi Majiri himself, he can sense Gen's life ending and admits that while he hates Gen, he never wished for his death. Gen asks Hiba to take his apology for failing to defend the land to Masamori Sumimura. Gen's life flashes before his eyes, and he is confused at why Yoshimori is crying over him. Gen wishes he could have apologized to his sister, but smiles and says he has no regrets. Yoshimori recognizes the sensation of the land's power assisting someone in dying, and begs Gen to fight it. Masamori arrives at Karasumori with the Night Troop's Relief Unit, but is shocked when Yoshimori tells him that Gen is already dead.[23]

The Night Troop Moves In

Though he knows he likely won't be welcome, Masamori goes to the funeral held by Gen's family, taking Yoshimori with him. Masamori is greeted by Gen's father, but they are quickly interrupted by Ryo Shishio, who demands that Masamori leave, blaming him for Gen's death. Masamori returns the unopened letters that Ryo wrote to Gen, explaining that he didn't give them to Gen because he thought it was too soon. Ryo is greatly upset by this, because Gen never realized that she wanted to apologize to him. Yoshimori tells Ryo that Gen wanted to apologize to her, and that he was in Gen's debt. Ryo and her father are startled to realize that Gen had made a friend. After leaving the funeral, Masamori invites Yoshimori to blame him, saying the Gen needed a purpose in life to keep living. Yoshimori swears to crush Kokuboro. Masamori says that others are also angry, and he will be the one to take command.[24]

At Karasumori, Madarao asks Yoshimori why he didn't let Shigemori take over his duties for the night. Yoshimori says that Karasumori helped Gen die, and that things would have been different if Gen wanted to live. Tokine arrives just as Yoshimori begins to cry, and though he tries to hide it, Tokine reminds him that she's used to seeing him cry. Yoshimori insists that Gen had no reason to risk his life for Karasumori, but Tokine thinks he had a different reason for doing it. Tokine says it's okay for him to cry, but Yoshimori thinks she'll make fun of him. Tokine insists that she wouldn't, inwardly admitting she hoped they could cry together. Yoshimori swears he'll become stronger, so that he won't have to cry anymore. At school, Hiromu asks Yoshimori about Gen suddenly transferring out of school. Yoshimori walks away without answering, and goes up to the roof.[25]

Tokine informs Yoshimori of her grandmother's return. Tokiko intends to create a path to Kokuboro's castle in Kurosusuki. Tokine is worried about how dangerous it is, but this gives Yoshimori an idea. As Tokiko leaves home, Yoshimori secretly follows her, though she detects him right away. He begs her to take him to Kurosusuki, but Tokiko refuses. Yoshimori continues following her as she leaps across rooftops, finally attempting to catch her with a large Kekkai. Tokiko effortlessly dispels it with Sekkai, then traps him with a Kekkai around his foot. Yoshimori eventually escapes. Tokiko gets into a taxi in an attempt to lose Yoshimori, but he attaches a Nenshi to the back of the taxi and uses his skateboard to follow. This works until he hits a bump in the road and nearly falls into a river. Tokiko catches him at the last moment with a Kekkai, but drops him into the river anyway and tells him to go home. Yoshimori begs her again to take him to Kurosusuki. Tokiko tells him that as a Legitimate Successor, his duty is to protect Karasumori. Yoshimori says he will eventually seal Karasumori so that no one will be hurt, but for now he wishes to avenge Gen Shishio. Tokiko says that he cannot go as he is, because he has not truly learned how to use his power yet, and leaves him at the river. At home, Yoshimori thinks over her words, but doesn't understand what she meant.[26]

Still confused over Tokiko's lecture on learning to truly use his power, Yoshimori runs to a local temple to let out his frustration. A priest there offers to listen to his problems, but Yoshimori says it can't be fixed by talking. Yoshimori asks for permission to run in the woods behind the temple. He attempts to catch the crows in the woods with Kekkai, but they are too fast and begin to peck him for disturbing them. Yoshimori decides he will capture every crow no matter what, but fails and returns home beat up. The next day, Yoshimori dedicates himself to training hard. Tokine overhears him and decides to do the same. Shuji discovers Yoshimori's baking tools tucked away in a box, a sign that he has decided to focus on training. Yoshimori is able to capture some of the crows, but still needs to work harder.

At Karasumori, Tokine tells Yoshimori not to overwork himself. Yoshimori points out that she has been doing the same thing. Tokine defends this by pointing out that they don't know when Kokuboro will return, and that she worries if she doesn't stay busy. Madarao senses multiple intruders, and soon they are surrounded by mysterious figures. Thanks to his training, Yoshimori quickly captures all the intruders with Kekkai, shocking Tokine with his improved speed and accuracy. Before Yoshimori can go any farther, his hand is trapped by a Kekkai. Masamori Sumimura appears overhead on one of Mukade's shadow bugs, noting that Yoshimori's reaction time has improved, but that he still acts without thinking. The intruders are all revealed to be members of the Night Troop, and Masamori says he has moved their headquarters to Karasumori for the time being.[27]

Yoshimori returns home from school to find the dining room full of mostly male Night Troop members. Yoshimori is uncomfortable with so many people, all of them ability users, in his home. Toshimori moves into Yoshimori's room so that some of the kids can sleep in Toshimori's room. Yoshimori apologizes in advance if he happens to wake Toshimori while leaving for Kekkaishi duties at night. Toshimori says it's no problem: since he can't help in other ways, the least he can do it put up with it. Yoshimori decides to train in the backyard, but finds Night Troop members already training there. Similarly, the dojo is also full, so Yoshimori decides to run to the priest's temple for traning. Along the way, he admits that he thought he might need help protecting Karasumori one day, but still does not like the current situation. Sensing he is being followed, Yoshimori takes to the rooftops and spins around, confronting three male teenagers.[28]

Yoshimori takes the three boys in his training spot behind the temple. One invites him to spar with them. The boys introduce themselves as Night Troop members Shu Akitsu, Dai Yaegashi, and Sen Kagemiya. Shu adds that he and Sen are Ayakashi Majiri. Sen starts the spar before Yoshimori is ready, suggesting that three on one should be not problem for a Legitimate Successor. Yoshimori notices that Dai is the slowest and targets him first, but Dai vanishes from the Kekkai once captured. Yoshimori is surrounded by multiple copies of Dai. Yoshimori protects himself from Dai's throwing needles with a Kekkai, but notices that the needles only come from one direction. He realizes the clones are illusions, and captures the Dai who threw the needles, causing the clones to fade. Yoshimori then chases Shu, who suddenly reveals two large, bat-like wings and flies out of his reach. While Yoshimori is distracted, Sen appears behind him and places claws against his throat. Sen says he expected more from a Legitimate Successor. Yoshimori abruptly activates a thin aura that destroys Sen's claws and drives him away. Yoshimori demands to know what they're thinking, as Karasumori is dangerous and one of their friends is dead. Sen says there is no point in worrying, since Gen Shishio was stronger than them, and there is no chance of them defeating someone stronger than Gen. Sen even points out that they have the same experience of watching Gen's back as he faced a strong opponent. Yoshimori swears he will defeat Kokuboro and take revenge for Gen.[29]

Operation: Capture the Kekkaishi

At Karasumori, Tokine finds it odd to have so many allies present, and notices Yoshimori has something on his mind. Masamori gets a phone call alerting him to Kokuboro's approach. Masamori prepares his troops and tells them not to hold back. He tells Yoshimori not to do anything rash and warns him not to get killed. Masamori suspects that Kokuboro's reason for attacking a well-defended location is because they are desperate to restore their weakened leader. He considers using Tokiko's gateway to Kurosusuki in his plans: he intends to crush the invasion force, and then invade Kokuboro's castle to completely end the threat they pose. Hakota spots Kokuboro's forces approaching and alerts everyone else. Odo creates a huge fireball, and Todoroki knocks it into the black cloud, destroying many demons in the process. Masamori commands his troops not to let the enemy set foot on the land.[30]

Sen notices that Yoshimori is searching for something while he fights. Madarao detects the scent of a human skin disguise and alerts Yoshimori. Yoshimori abandons the battle in hopes of finding Kaguro, but orders Tokine not to come when she tries to follow. Sen follows him in secret. Yoshimori confronts the Ayakashi, but is quickly surrounded by Spider Goons, and realizes this is not Kaguro.[31]

The Kokuboro War: The Second & Final Battles (Chapters 102-121)

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Once Yoshimori learns the Ayakashi's mission is to capture a Kekkaishi, he surrenders on the condition that he is taken to where Kaguro is. Shion returns to Kokuboro's castle with Yoshimori as her prisoner, restrained by her webbing. However, he is able to resist being controlled by her spiders, and Shion has to occasionally reapply her webbing to hold him. Byaku meets Yoshimori, who loses interest upon learning he is not the boss and demands again to see Kaguro. Annoyed with his attitude, Byaku brings in Sen, who Shion also captured. Byaku threatens to kill Sen unless Yoshimori submits to his control. However, when Byaku attempts to implant his worm in Yoshimori's head, Yoshimori releases a powerful light aura that destroys the worm and some of his bindings. Shion quickly restrains him, but Hekian warns Byaku that Yoshimori could further damage the castle if this continues. Byaku orders Shion to continue weakening Yoshimori and has Sen taken to the dungeon.[32] Shion's attempt to reason with Yoshimori is interrupted by Heisuke Matsudo and Kagami, who make short work of the Spider Goons. Rather than fight, Shion decides to flee. In exchange for Matsudo freeing Yoshimori, they establish a non-aggression contract: Yoshimori will not attack Byaku, who is Matsudo's target, and Matsudo will not attack Kaguro, who is Yoshimori's target.[33]

Vengeance and Kaguro

While searching for Sen, Yoshimori meets and defeats Koshu, and then comes across Kokuboro founder Princess.[34] Mistaking her for an escaping prisoner, Yoshimori removes her restraints and is captured by her in the process. Amazingly, Princess decides to let him go free, having tired of the castle, and even gives him a mental map of the castle to aid in his search. Yoshimori quickly finds and frees Sen.[35] Sen offers to detect Kaguro's demonic aura, but in doing so, realizes how dangerous Kaguro is and tries to convince Yoshimori not to fight him.[36] Yoshimori ignores his warnings and confronts Kaguro with a head-on attack.[37] Kaguro remains firmly in control for most of the battle, even when Yoshimori reveals his incomplete Zekkai, which acts as armor but is soon proven ineffective against Kaguro's attacks.[38] Kaguro purposely agitates Yoshimori by talking about Gen's shortcomings, but Yoshimori accuses him of being weak. The battle is briefly interrupted when part of the castle collapses, and Sen again pleads with Yoshimori to escape. Yoshimori returns to the battle, but Sen dives between him and Kaguro's next attack.[39] Yoshimori instinctively produces a light aura that destroys Kaguro, but falls unconscious in the process. He and Sen remain trapped until a small group consisting of Shigemori and Night Troop members arrive[40] to forcibly free them.[41] Yoshimori awakens shortly before they escape the collapsing dimension.[42] Upon their return, Tokine slaps Yoshimori, scolding him for being so reckless and worrying everyone. She urges him to take better care of himself, shortly before he passes out, exhausted from his adventure.[43]

The Mysterious Kiyoko (Chapters 122-123)

After his return from Kokuboro, Yoshimori notes that his senses are sharper. A mysterious girl begins appearing around Karasumori Middle School, and students suddenly begin discussing the appearance of Kiyoko, an infamous wandering spirit. Yoshimori gets a description of Kiyoko from Hiromu, and learns from Yurina that Kiyoko only appears to tell the truth. At first, Yoshimori isn't concerned, until he notices that everyone he comes across has mysteriously parted their hair to one side. Shortly after that, everyone is drinking coffee milk, and they find Yoshimori's not conforming to this peculiar behavior very strange. Yoshimori suddenly recalls that while he was napping earlier, a strange girl came to him and whispered that everyone would part their hair that day. He quickly realizes that Kiyoko isn't telling the truth, but making her truths reality. By the time he leaves school that day, people have also started wearing scarves twisted multiple times in the front (in addition to the parted hair and coffee milk).[44]

The next day, everyone is still behaving as they did the previous day, only now they are ending their sentences with "gowasu" and adding a wink and finger sign as well. Since Tokine didn't mention anything odd, Yoshimori assumes that only the middle school half of the academy is being controlled by Kiyoko. Kiyoko visits him again while he's trying to nap, and Yoshimori demands that she stop her pranks and leave. Kiyoko refuses, revealing that spirits who don't become Ayakashi or aren't reborn live long, painful existences, and that pranks are her main source of amusement. Because she is so old, Yoshimori offers not to take action against her if she tells him the truth behind Karasumori. Kiyoko says she doesn't know anything about it, but on the other hand, warns Yoshimori not to tamper with Karasumori, as even the gods have trouble controlling the power of the sacred lands sometimes. She runs away, leading Yoshimori in a chase across the school, during which Yoshimori accidentally snatches the toupee off of Kino Motoharo, a kind-hearted teacher. Yoshimori manages to catch Kiyoko with a Nenshi and demands that she stop, upset that he embarrassed such a good man. At home, Shigemori advises Yoshimori to treat Kiyoko kindly, as her pranks are ultimately harmless, and because she travels a lot, she'll leave eventually. The following day, the middle school returns to normal, and Kiyoko again visits Yoshimori while he's napping. She whispers that Karasumori will soon awaken, then leaves, somewhat impressed that Yoshimori managed to stand up to her.[45]

The Apprentice Exorcist's Quest (Chapters 124-130)

Enter the Exorcist

Yoshimori is circling Karasumori Academy, trying to narrow down the exact location of Karasumori's power source, and where the power's influence ends. Yoshimori finds it odd that the power seems to end precisely at the school's surrounding wall, especially since the school wasn't built 400 years ago. He thinks that if he understands the details of Karasumori, it will put him one step closer to finally sealing it. Madarao laughs at the very idea, which puts Yoshimori in a foul mood.

Tokine and Hakubi arrive just before an intruder is detected on the grounds. Yoshimori and Tokine chase a dark creature across the site. Tokine notes that its strong demonic aura, combined with its large body, will make it a difficult catch. Without warning, the demon is struck from behind by a flying stake. Yoshimori and Tokine both catch sight of a hooded figure leaping toward them. With a loud cry, the hooded figure channels a large column of spiritual power into the demon, using the stake as a focus, resulting in an explosion. The Kekkaishi are shocked as the hooded figure rushes past them to inspect its prey. The large portion of the demon near the stake has been totally vaporized. The hooded figure notes that the demon is "the wrong one" and even offers a small apology to it as Yoshimori demands an explanation. The hooded boy offers to clean up the mess that he caused, but Yoshimori explains that the land is the responsibility of the Kekkaishi, and asks him not to act on his own. Upon realizing that he is in Karasumori, the hooded boy becomes excited, stating that spirits would come there to recover faster. He murmurs that Karasumori is "that guy's" target, then quickly laughs it off. At Tokine's prompting, the boy introduces himself as Takeshi Kongo, a 16 year-old exorcist, then quickly collapses from exhaustion.

Yoshimori and Tokine pick up Takeshi and his pack, which is full of large stakes. Yoshimori takes Takeshi home with him, but reveals to Tokine the next morning that despite being weak and covered in wounds, Takeshi vanished overnight. However, Yoshimori is confident that he will return, since he purposely hid one of Takeshi's stakes. Sure enough, Takeshi is waiting at the gates of the school. As it turns out, Takeshi only returned to thank Yoshimori for his kindness, and doesn't even realize a stake is missing until Yoshimori points it out. Yoshimori tells him to rest, but Takeshi refuses because he is chasing a certain spirit that he is determined to seal, which sparks Yoshimori's interest.[46]

Takeshi enjoys a relaxing evening at the Sumimura Home, when he suddenly loses his temper and demands that Yoshimori return his missing stake. Yoshimori refuses, but admits he has a reason other than being concerned for Takeshi's help: he wants to know if Takeshi can give him any advice on how to seal Karasumori, so that no one else will be hurt because of its power. Takeshi can offer no help with Karasumori, but agrees that it is unlike any of the nearby Shinyuuchi. Takeshi then reveals that he is not a fully trained exorcist. Yoshimori is shocked, considering how impressive Takeshi was at destroying Ayakashi, but Takeshi tells him that destroying spirits and sealing techniques are basic for an exorcist. However, his training was cut short due to his master's death, and he shares the story with Yoshimori: Kurogane saved Takeshi from an evil spirit named Jaren, inspiring Takeshi's dream to become his disciple. But only three days after his training began, his master was killed in battle by Jaren. Takeshi is determined to fulfill his master's wish of sealing Jaren, and says he only recently understood Kurogane's connection to Jaren, and that very moment, Jaren appears in Karasumori.[47]

Hunting Jaren, Devourer of Hearts

Takeshi detects a spirit at Karasumori and rushes to deal with it, with Yoshimori and Madarao close behind. Yoshimori mentions that he senses a strong demon, though isn't sure if they're sensing the same thing. Takeshi admits that demons and spirits are similar, but says that the relationship between spirits and exorcists is deeply hidden. Yoshimori assumes Takeshi is exaggerating and points out that the Sumimuras have been fighting demons for generations, and that Yoshimori himself has been doing so since before he began elementary school. Takeshi respectfully insists that Yoshimori can't handle an enemy like Jaren, which Yoshimori takes as an insult to his power, and confronts him over it. Takeshi explains that he only meant an outsider would not be dedicated. When facing strong spirits, exorcists must form a residence contract, which has two effects: it draws the spirit's focus, which prevents the spirit from influencing the surroundings, and it increases the relationship between spirit and exorcist, making the exorcist's attacks more effective. This is dangerous, however, because the exorcist is then more vulnerable to the spirit's power, especially his mental psyche, and if his willpower isn't strong and dedicated enough, he will be consumed by the spirit.

Takeshi tells Yoshimori to go home because his will isn't strong enough to risk his life against the enemy. Yoshimori refuses to let Takeshi risk his own life, because Karasumori is under his own jurisdiction. Yoshimori surrounds Takeshi with a Kekkai, but Takeshi easily penetrates it by throwing a stake through it at Yoshimori. Yoshimori forms a Kekkai around himself to stop the attack, but half of the stake's length sinks into Kekkai. Takeshi throws several more stakes with the same result, then charges them with his spiritual power. Yoshimori is overwhelmed, and Takeshi points out that if he cannot even deflect the stakes, he is not ready. Tokine and Hakubi later find Yoshimori sitting against a wall, with a stake driven through his backpack to prevent him from moving. Tokine frees him, recognizing Takeshi's handiwork. Angry at himself for losing, Yoshimori goes alone to retrieve the stake that he hid from Takeshi, so that he can return it, and tells Tokine to go ahead. Yoshimori (now carrying Takeshi's missing stake), Tokine, Madarao, and Hakubi soon arrive at Karasumori. Yoshimori calls for Takeshi, but spots Jaren instead. Takeshi soon appears, wounded from battle, and sadly reports that Jaren was able to free himself from all of the stakes that Takeshi had worked so hard to embed in him. He worries that he will never be able to seal Jaren because his will is no longer strong enough. [48]

Yoshimori tells Takeshi to just put the stakes back in Jaren, but Takeshi continues to doubt his own willpower. He had only Kurogane's journal to use as a guide, and is sure it was only a coincidence that he could make a contract with Jaren because of his master's recent death. Yoshimori asks Takeshi to explain the willpower that he keeps mentioning, and Takeshi tells him it should already be familiar to him. Yoshimori recalls Kaguro telling him that a Kekkai's strength increases with willpower, and recognizes that his desire to avenge Gen Shishio made him stronger. Takeshi claims that focusing concentration and sensitivity, as well as having an unwavering will can bring out a person's strength, but that he can't do it in his current state. Madarao and Hakubi locate Jaren as he appears before the group. Jaren likes their concerned expressions and attacks, but Yoshimori knocks him away with a Kekkai. Jaren decides to deal with them slowly and runs away. Since Jaren seems to be targeting Takeshi, Yoshimori places a Kekkai around Takeshi, still thinking on willpower. Tokine adds her own Kekkai around Yoshimori's, and assures Takeshi they will somehow defeat Jaren as she leaves with Yoshimori, Madarao, and Hakubi. Takeshi tries to get out with a stake, but is now repelled by Yoshimori's Kekkai (which implies that Yoshimori's will is currently stronger than his own). Takeshi realizes he hasn't warned them of the true danger: Jaren causes his opponent's heart to waver, twists it, and then devours it.[49]

Jaren appears in front of Yoshimori, Tokine, and Hakubi. Yoshimori is impressed by the evil aura he senses, but Tokine feels suffocated, as if something is probing them, and warns Yoshimori to keep his distance. Yoshimori points out that he can't fight if he stays far away, and surrounds Jaren with a Kekkai. Oddly, Jaren does not seem alarmed, and Yoshimori is still able to sense Jaren's malice with through the Kekkai. Yoshimori watches in shock as Jaren simply walks out of the Kekkai, melting it away at his touch. Jaren dissolves his body into a black whirlwind and surrounds Yoshimori, who has surrounded himself with a Kekkai. Tokine and Madarao are unable to get closer, and Hakubi realizes that Jaren is targeting Yoshimori. Jaren laughs at the idea of Yoshimori protecting Karasumori, and Yoshimori responds that he never wanted to. Jaren replies that he shouldn't do it then, but Yoshimori insists he has to because of monsters like Jaren. Jaren suggests that Tokine could guard the land instead, but when Yoshimori points out that she is from another family, Jaren cruelly calls them both replacements: they work in a pair, so it doesn't matter if one should die, as there will still be someone to take over. He says that it had been that way for a long time, but Yoshimori simply never realized. Yoshimori refuses to believe him and says that there are other Kekkaishi, so Jaren immediately suggests there should be someone more suitable for the job, turning Yoshimori's thoughts to Masamori, and questioning why Yoshimori was the one selected. Yoshimori's will weakens, and Jaren instantly attacks him, melting through the Kekkai with ease. Jaren is then struck by Takeshi's stakes and driven back.

The Exorcist's Contract

Takeshi rejoins the group, warning them that Jaren is skilled at using twisted logic and manipulation his opponent's beliefs, which allows him to devour the hearts of weak people. He tells them to retreat, because confidence is the only thing that can keep them from being consumed. Yoshimori is worried because Takeshi hasn't fully recovered, but Takeshi says that he will not waver because he shares his master's wish that no one would be hurt due to their own weakness. Jaren begins to taunt Takeshi: he says that Takeshi isn't a real disciple because he only trained three days, and that Kurogane didn't deserve such loyalty as a man who harmed others to make his wishes come true. Takeshi recalls that Kurogane warned him not to be like himself, proof that at least some of Jaren's words are true. Jaren says this is because he ate Kurogane's heart, but Yoshimori says the relationship between Takeshi and Kurogane isn't something for Jaren to decide. Yoshimori and Tokine pummel Jaren with their Kekkai, causing him to flee. Yoshimori chops Takeshi on the head, saying that he should take his own advice and not listen to Jaren. Tokine says that she and Yoshimori are good at what they do, and that the three of them will be stronger together. Takeshi says that he must reset the master and follower contract with Jaren. He explains that he initially planned to use the thickest stake (the one Yoshimori hid earlier) to destroy Jaren, but will use it to make the contract instead.[50]

Yoshimori and Takeshi continue to pursue Jaren, pummeling him with Kekkai and stakes. Yoshimori and Takeshi compliment each other on their attacks, and when Jaren dissolves and flees, they chase after him. Tokine and Hakubi chase after them, wondering what the pair could be thinking. She recalls that Takeshi has already told them that normal attacks are useless: Jaren will only dissolve and escape, manipulating the opponent until it devours their heart, leaving only an empty corpse. Yoshimori suggests that they maintain an overly positive attitude: Tokine dislikes this plan, but Takeshi agrees (likely because being overly positive is normal for him).

Yoshimori and Takeshi keep up their plan of attacking Jaren and staying positive, and Yoshimori notes that it seems to be working: Jaren is growing weaker. Despite this, he wonders why only Takeshi's techniques do any real damage. Takeshi says it is because Yoshimori's technique is not appropriate for fighting Jaren: the Kekkai technique is effective against physical beings, but Jaren is a spirit that has no solid form. Exorcist techniques, on the other hand, use the stakes as a focus to send power directly into the enemy's body, and in addition, the contract works almost like a curse. Yoshimori wonders if Zekkai would work, but admits he still can't use it properly.

Jaren suddenly stops running and confronts the pair. Tokine catches up and warns them to get away as she sees Jaren gathering power. Takeshi tells Yoshimori to get away as well, since he's not used to Jaren's malice, but Yoshimori claims that he'll only know if it's possible for him to fight Jaren if he gets closer. Jaren suddenly grows in size, and says he's stronger because of the malicious hearts of humans, which give him power. Jaren claims that Kurogane was especially tasty, and that every human has a malicious heart. Combined with the power of Karasumori, he laughs that they have no chance against him. Yoshimori is confused, because Jaren's words have no effect on him: from what Takeshi told him of Kurogane, he feels Jaren is mistaken about him. Takeshi realizes that Jaren is only focusing on a small part of the overall man that was his master, and knows that Kurogane truly regretted his crime, and hunted Jaren to make up for it. This makes Takeshi more determined to stop Jaren. Yoshimori surrounds Jaren with a Kekkai, and Takeshi throws a stake imbued with his power at Jaren. Jaren shrieks as he is struck, and Takeshi says he will bear all of Jaren, and commands him to kneel with an explosion of power. Takeshi proclaims the contract a success, and Jaren seems stunned before he dissolves and flees again, this time leaving Karasumori for good. Yoshimori is alarmed, but Takeshi assures him that Jaren cannot move too far away from his master, and that he will take care of Jaren slowly later on. Yoshimori and Takeshi begin to loudly celebrate, much to Tokine's embarrassment.[51]

In the middle of an art class where he is supposed to sketch a student model, Yoshimori's thoughts turn to Takeshi. As of their last meeting at Karasumori, Takeshi intends to keep chasing Jaren. Tokine warned him not to strain himself, but Takeshi replied that he wouldn't be successful if he didn't strain himself. Despite this, he is confident due to Kurogane's teachings. Takeshi was glad that he came to Karasumori, and jokingly thanks Yoshimori for changing his mistaken way of thinking, though he quickly credits Yoshimori with only 1% of the work. They both promised to keep pursuing their individual goals and parted ways as friendly comrades. Yoshimori is certain that Takeshi will seal Jaren one day, and feels the same about his chances of sealing Karasumori. As the art class ends, the female teacher collects the sketches, and remarks that Yoshimori's has a solitary atmosphere.

In the Sumimura Home's dojo, Yoshimori works on improving his Kekkai positioning. Recalling Takeshi's positive attitude, Yoshimori decides that the more he desires strength, the stronger he will get. He briefly considers the family's ancient scrolls, some of which descries how to maintain a frame of mind, but questions if that is suitable for him. Yoshimori figures there may be other ways to seal Karasumori, and decides to rely on finding a way with his own skills. His thoughts turn to the "other Kekkai" he has sometimes used in the past. He practices, and is able to produce a dark, flame-like aura around his body. However, upon trying to expand it into a spherical shape and calling the technique by name, it promptly vanishes. Frustrated, Yoshimori struggles to understand what he did wrong, and decides it is because he has never seen a real Zekkai. Yoshimori calls Sen Kagemiya at Night Troop Headquarters and asks him to describe what happened in Kokuboro in detail. Sen explains that he initially thought what Yoshimori created there was Zekkai, but now realizes he was mistaken: Zekkai is a technique that destroys everything it touches but the caster, but since Sen was within it and unharmed, it was not Zekkai. Also, Yoshimori's creation was not black as Zekkai usually is, and Sen describes it as having been stable, flawless, and so perfect it was suffocating. Yoshimori has no idea what Sen means and asks him to speak simply, which annoys Sen and makes him hang up. Yoshimori returns to the dojo to practice, producing the aura again.

A few days later at Karasumori, Yoshimori and Madarao encounter Udedango, a rolling Ayakashi. Yoshimori decides to test his still imperfect Zekkai on it, but Udedango merely knocks him aside and keeps going, until Tokine uses her Kekkai Spear on it. Madarao frustrates Yoshimori further by comparing his lack of improvement to Takeshi, who learned quickly. Yoshimori decides that Zekkai doesn't suit him, and chooses to walk a different path than Masamori, planning to make a new technique to seal Karasumori.

Aiding the Tengu of Aibasan (Chapters 131-133)

A Kekkai for the Karasutengu

Yoshimori returns home from school exhausted one afternoon, but is told by his father and Toshimori that they have a guest. Upon discovering that the guest is a bird-like demon seeking a Kekkaishi, Yoshimori wants nothing to do with it. Toshimori reminds him that with their grandfather away, Yoshimori is the only Kekkaishi in the house, so he reluctantly meets with the demon. Yoshimori initially refuses the demon's request, but becomes intrigued when he realizes that it is extremely rare to encounter a demon able to move freely during the day. The demon introduces himself as Shidou, a karasutengu and servant of Kokuunsai, the god of Aibasan, a mountain Shinyuuchi. He asks Yoshimori to assist him in preserving his master's bloodline. The problem is that Kokuunsai is a pervert that spends all of his time following a certain human woman. Shidou wants Yoshimori to contain Kokuunsai in his mountain home with a Kekkai, forcing him to continue the bloodline (tengu essentially reproduce by dividing their bodies, so there is no need for a mate). Yoshimori agrees to help, but only if he can ask Kokuunsai about Karasumori. Shidou agrees, but warns him that the conversation may prove both difficult and dangerous, so Yoshimori should prepare himself mentally. Shidou flies Yoshimori to Kokuunsai's hidden castle (passing Shigemori's hiking group along the way). Seconds after they arrive, an enormous, clawed foot smashes down in front of Yoshimori, nearly crushing him, and Shidou confirms that his master has returned. [52]

Yoshimori sits in shock as the enormity of Shidou's request fully sinks in: Yoshimori is expected to create a Kekkai that will contain Kokuunsai, the enormous god of Aibasan. Meanwhile, the karasutengu bring Kokuunsai food and drink while he sizes up Yoshimori. Even worse, Kokuunsai is in a bad mood from being made to stay in the castle, and keeps randomly lashing out and destroying parts of the castle with his gigantic limbs. Shidou grabs Yoshimori and flies him out of harm's way, and Yoshimori tells him that the situation is hopeless, there's no way he can succeed. Shidou explains that continuing the bloodline is of the greatest importance, and that the clan has made many sacrifices to keep Kokuunsai in the castle. Shidou reveals that outsiders are forbidden, and that intruders in the castle are normally killed on sight: Yoshimori's only hope is to be classified as a guest by Kokuunsai, so his leaving prematurely would likely upset the violent god. The food and drink were meant to improve Kokuunsai's mood, thus improving Yoshimori's chances.

Kokuunsai eventually labels Yoshimori a guest, and the karasutengu further improve his mood by implying that Yoshimori is a friend who will introduce him to another girl. Yoshimori dislikes this role, but has little choice when Kokuunsai begins questioning him about the girl. Yoshimori unknowingly describes Tokine, and while Kokuunsai seems impressed, he remains fixated on the girl he likes. Kokuunsai eventually gets drunk and passes out. Yoshimori still insists the Kekkai won't be enough, but Shidou assures him that he will have the clan's support. First, they tie Kokuunsai down, and provide Yoshimori with "reimeigan", a secret medicine designed to strengthen the body, erase fatigue, and significantly increase power and concentration. Also, Shidou gives Yoshimori a tengu feather, which will temporarily contain the entire clan's power. Overwhelmed by their dedication and heartfelt pleas, Yoshimori agrees to try and successfully creates a Kekkai around Kokuunsai. Shidou flies Yoshimori away from the castle at top speed (again passing Shigemori's hiking group along the way). Yoshimori tells him there's no need to rush home, but Shidou informs him that the job is only half done: he also asks Yoshimori to exorcise the girl that Kokuunsai likes, so he will be unable to approach her. Yoshimori doesn't think he can do it, since he knows nothing about exorcism and doesn't have any talismans with him. Yoshimori is startled when he finally sees the girl Kokuunsai likes: she is an attractive 18-year old exchange student from America named Sandy Brackman.[53]

The Exorcism of Sandy Brackman

Shidou and Yoshimori continue to observe Sandy Brackman, the young woman that Kokuunsai is infatuated with. Shidou wants Yoshimori to exorcise Sandy so that demons cannot get near her, but Yoshimori is convinced that normal methods won't keep Kokuunsai away. Shidou suggests that because Sandy is a foreigner, she can't sense spirits, but due to Kokuunsai following her, Sandy's spiritual energy has increased, which draws wandering spirits to her (which could be dangerous if they come into conflict with Kokuunsai). Shidou also asks Yoshimori to teach Sandy about the spirit world, since she could become spiritually aware at any time. Shidou forces Yoshimori to confront Sandy, but he is too embarrassed to speak to her and runs away. Left with no other choice, Shidou transforms into a human so he can explain things to Sandy instead. Yoshimori calls home and asks his father to give him a crash course in exorcism, and also sends a Shikigami to pick up some talismans. Meanwhile at Aibasan, Kokuunsai wakes up and finds himself trapped in Yoshimori's Kekkai. He immediately loses his temper and breaks free, wanting to see Sandy.

Yoshimori gets the talismans and finds Shidou, who has explained everything to Sandy (using the excuse that he and Yoshimori are spirit investigators). Yoshimori warns him that the Kekkai has been broken, and Shidou mentions that he does feel something rapidly approaching them. Kokuunsai appears in the form of a short, older man. Yoshimori asks why he doesn't chose a more appealing form, and Shidou explains it's because his master has too much evil intention. Upon seeing the old man, Sandy screams in fear and hides behind Shidou. She reveals that the old man's constantly following her has made her afraid to be alone, to the point where she can't sleep. Realizing how much he's upset her, Kokuunsai runs away, and Yoshimori chases after him. Shidou apologizes to Sandy, assures her she won't be bothered anymore, and asks her not to blame the old man, since he only liked her smile. Yoshimori and Shidou try to cheer Kokuunsai up (Shidou explains that humans judge by appearance, and that Kokuunsai need only to recover his youth by dividing, thus tricking him into continuing the tengu bloodline). Kokuunsai flies away before Yoshimori remembers to ask him about Karasumori. As a reward for his help, Shidou gives Yoshimori one of his feathers, saying it might come in handy. At home, Shigemori says he thought he felt Yoshimori vanishing from the human world, but Yoshimori says nothing. Later, Yoshimori tries waving the feather, wondering what it does. He is immediately surrounded by talking crows, all of whom he can now understand.[54]

The Box Plot (Chapters 134-147)

Okuni's Inspection

At Karasumori, Yoshimori has brought another chocolate cake for Tokine to try, but she tells him she prefers cheesecake. Just then, Okuni arrives in a palanquin carried by her hooded subordinates. One of them asks where Masamori is, but Okuni says she doesn't really need a guide. She is the first to spot a mysterious box on the ground behind Yoshimori.[55] Madarao confirms that it has no scent, and Okuni says they should be more alert, as the box was already there when she arrived. Yoshimori mistakenly assumes she put it there and destroys the box immediately. Madarao detects something else, and Yoshimori heads up to the school roof to investigate. Just then, Miki Hatori and Higurashi from the Night Troop arrive. Hatori apologizes to Okuni for being late, and explains that Masamori was held up by an emergency, so she has come as his representative. Yoshimori returns holding another box. Alarmed, Hatori tells him to put it down and get away from it at once, as it has the same appearance of the box that caused the crisis at Night Troop Headquarters. Okuni explains that they were sent to investigate Karasumori with Masamori as her guide. After confirming that Masamori is dealing with a box crisis as well, Okuni asks Hatori to explain it in detail.

Hatori explains that a strange box was delivered to them, and it quickly swallowed up Misao. Masamori gave orders not to open the box, but it soon opened on its own, releasing Amaarashi, an Ayakashi that controls rain clouds and wind. After being caught, its belly exploded, releasing many smaller demons. In the chaos that followed, Akira went missing. Night Troop members began to find boxes in other places around the headquarters. After hearing the story, Madarao suspects there are more boxes at Karasumori as well. Okuni decides to solve the mystery of the boxes in addition to her inspection.[56] Yoshimori remains with Okuni while the others search for boxes. Okuni asks why he isn't searching as well, and Yoshimori says he doesn't take orders from outsiders. He asks if Okuni knows what the box is, and Okuni says it is a normal box, being manipulated by a special spell. Her theory is that the ability user controlling the box has a power very similar to Yoshimori's.[57]

After Okuni recalls everyone from the search, Okuni's subordinates perform a spell on the box, and are then able to remove the lid. Okuni explains that because it was too difficult to dispel, they broke the spell by force. Inside the box is one of Kakushino's papers with the number four written on it, though the paper is ripped in two. Okuni says the box is for entry and exit, and that the ability user can manipulate dimensions like a Kekkaishi. As an example, Okuni uses a seashell pendant to open an eye-shaped portal in the sky, through which an enormous archive of books can be seen. Okuni goes through the books to narrow down the box culprit, and finds out quickly due to it being such a unique ability. Hatori inwardly notes that Okuni is the keeper of the Shadow Organization's archives, recalling that Masamori once said it wouldn't hurt to have her as an ally. Hatori tells Okuni that the box at Night Troop Headquarters is no longer active, and Okuni guesses that this is because the ability user is now dead. Hatori speculates that the boxes at Karasumori should all have spells on them. Okuni says that there are generally limits to a person's ability, and that if anyone had enough power to manipulate boxes at Karasumori and Night Troop Headquarters at the same time, she would definitely know about them. Okuni abruptly ends the discussion, saying she knows all she needs to, but refuses to share what she's learned with the others, which makes Yoshimori furious. Suddenly, four boxes around Karasumori open, releasing four strong demons.[58]

Yoshimori guesses that the boxes were planted in advance. Hatori volunteers herself and Higurashi to help deal with the new threat. Okuni and her subordinates watch as the others decide on a strategy. Hatori offers to provide cover, but insists that the Kekkaishi should be the ones who actually defeat the Ayakashi. Higurashi reveals a strange ability to grow large, black wings (Yoshimori at first mistakes him for an Ayakashi Majiri), and after Hatori hops on his back, they take to the sky. Tokine suggests that they split up, and Yoshimori agrees. While Tokine handles the first Ayakashi, Yoshimori attacks the second, which resembles a giant snake. He avoids the projectiles that the Ayakashi spits from its mouth, and blocks the mouth with a Kekkai before using a larger one to destroy the whole body. Hatori notes that the Kekkaishi don't even seem to need help, and easily destroys the third Ayakashi when it attacks her. Okuni seems somewhat impressed with the progress, but suggests they should be figuring out what the box user is actually after.

Madarao has some trouble tracking the final Ayakashi because it keeps moving, but finally leads Yoshimori to it. Unlike the others, this Ayakashi resembles a woman with short, wild, dark hair, dressed in a kimono. The Ayakashi comments that though Yoshimori is cute, she hates men, and immediately attacks with long strands of hair. Yoshimori tries to protect himself with his Zekkai armor, but is still restrained by the hair. Madarao is captured as well, and with nothing to protect him, the hair saps his strength. The Ayakashi is struck from behind, and her head falls off, but it regenerates al most instantly. She turns her attention to Hatori, who attacked her, and sends hair strands to attack her. She tears off Higurashi's wing, but he assures Hatori that he can regenerate it quickly. He asks if the Ayakashi might be of the humanoid type, but Hatori disagrees because its appearance doesn't quite fit. The Ayakashi draws on Karasumori's power and begins to transform, its hair thickening into many arms. Hatori notes that it is the perfect type to send to Karasumori: it moves quickly, loves to fight, hates humans, and can steal energy from foes, so it can quickly transform. Yoshimori tries to use Kekkai to catch the Ayakashi, but it avoids them and targets Higurashi, missing but tearing off a large chunk of the school roof.[59]

The Kurokabuto Crisis

The fourth Ayakashi continues to avoid Yoshimori's Kekkai with ease. Hatori does major damage to its body with her Black Wing. The Ayakashi regenerates instantly, but Yoshimori takes the chance to destroy it with a Kekkai. However, hidden hair strands emerge from the ground and school, binding Yoshimori and Higurashi. The Ayakashi regenerates yet again, but a giant arm bursts out of the school and grabs it.[60] Yoshimori watches in shock as an enormous, armored Ayakashi bursts from Karasumori Academy. The Ayakashi eats the smaller one trapped in its hand. Okuni identifies the Ayakashi as Kurokabuto, nothing that the means of its creation were sealed away, because of its extreme threat level, and that few people should know about it. The smaller Ayakashi repeatedly regenerates from leftover strands of hair, and Kurokabuto continues to eat it. Hatori notices that Kurokabuto's body is incomplete: only its upper torso, head, and right arm are fully formed. Hatori attacks Kurokabuto with her Black Wing, hoping to destroy it before it can fully regenerate. However, Yoshimori notices that only is the attack ineffective, but that Kurokabuto's armor is evolving. Yoshimori tries to destroy the head with a Kekkai, but Kurokabuto is again unscathed. Kurokabuto tries to grab Higurashi as he flies by, and Higurashi notices that the spot it touched is rotting away. Kurokabuto suddenly grows a left arm and nearly grabs Higurashi again, forcing him to land briefly. Yoshimori notices the walls around Kurokabuto have turned black. Kurokabuto hauls itself out of the school, and Yoshimori realizes that if it lands, it will do so outside of the school, landing on nearby homes. He makes a large Kekkai that knocks Kurokabuto back into the schoolyard, sending it crashing into the school. Okuni states that Kurokabuto was originally a failed creation, because it ignored orders, searched for enemies, and destroyed indiscriminately. She fears this one would become complete if it remained in Karasumori long enough, destroy everything there, move on, and repeat the process.[61]

Okuni recognizes that Ichirou Ougi must be the one behind the simultaneous box attacks, but says he has gone too far. Yoshimori reminds her that she wasn't going to get involved, but Okuni replies that she didn't expect the Kakushino Twins to have something so dangerous in their possession. She explains to he and Hatori that Kurokabuto is an Ayakashi created in ancient times as a tool of war, but recognizes no master and will destroy anything it considers an enemy. Okuni suggests removing Kurokabuto from the site and sealing it elsewhere, because destroying it would prove too difficult. She admits that she is uncertain whether or not she can seal it, causing Yoshimori to immediately shoot down her plan. He asks if it has any weak points, but Okuni insists that it does not: it was created not for battle, but for pure destruction. Yoshimori insists on fighting Kurokabuto, thinking he will come up with a plan along the way, and intending to use the power of Karasumori as a last resort. Hatori admits that she agrees with Okuni's plan, but asks Yoshimori how would use the land's power. Yoshimori tells her that the power seems to appear when someone truly desires or accepts death, and thinks it will do so if he can convince Kurokabuto to desire death, though he has no idea how he will manage it. Yoshimori destroys a portion of Kurokabuto's still developing body not covered by armor, but is dismayed when it regenerates a large portion immediately. Hakubi suddenly appears, trying to tell Yoshimori that Tokine has vanished into a box, but is grabbed by Kurokabuto. Yoshimori is stunned, but focuses on Kurokabuto as it rises to its feet. Yoshimori again forms and collapses a Kekkai within the armor, but Kurokabuto again regenerates at once. He decides he must destroy it faster than it can grow back, and collapses multiple Kekkai in various parts of the body. Okuni watches as Yoshimori expends more and more power against Kurokabuto, actually making it stagger momentarily, but it refuses to go down. Kurokabuto suddenly attacks, nearly smashing Yoshimori, but Higurashi yanks him away in time. Hatori pleads for Yoshimori to give up, but Yoshimori catches an overhead glimpse of the town, realizes what he must defend, and returns to face Kurokabuto again.[62]

Yoshimori attacks Kurokabuto again, recalling that both Kaguro and Takeshi Kongo implied that his Kekkai became stronger because of his feelings. With new resolve, Yoshimori attacks Kurokabuto with such force that it falls to the ground. Miki Hatori recalls a conversation with Masamori where he mentioned Yoshimori's habit of suddenly surpassing his own power many times over, and wished he could do the same. Yoshimori avoids several frenzied grabs from Kurokabuto, but takes a glancing blow and is sent crashing to the ground, though his Zekkai armor protects him. Okuni watches, somewhat impressed with Yoshimori's power, but concerned that it has not matured as much as Tokine's, who she is observing at the same time through one of her eye-shaped portals. Yoshimori is able to create a crack in Kurokabuto's armor, and Hatori notices a distortion in the air around him. The distortion around Yoshimori continues to grow, impacting everything around him, including Kurokabuto and the school ground. Okuni decides she can no longer leave things as they are and opens a portal, releasing a column of light that pins Yoshimori to the ground. Okuni explains that she is restraining Yoshimori to keep him from destroying the town, but Yoshimori is furious at her for getting in his way. Okuni decides to use her full strength on him, and Yoshimori worries that Kurokabuto will cause more damage. He manages to break free with a burst of power, and is shocked to see an aura of power seeping up from the land and surrounding him. For some reason, Okuni is unable to see the power, and Yoshimori notices that Karasumori's power is also surrounding Kurokabuto. Okuni notes that Kurokabuto is now complete.[63]

Yoshimori is confused by the appearance of the mysterious white aura of power surrounding he and Kurokabuto. He recognizes the sensation from times in the past when he was flooded with so much power that he lost sight of himself. He realizes it must be Karasumori's power, and wonders why it would surround him, since he thought it only worked on Ayakashi. Yoshimori decides he doesn't care so long as it's helping him and renews his attack on Kurokabuto, now powerful enough to create a gaping hole in its armor. Yoshimori demands more power, and the aura around him increases. He briefly wonders what would happen if he allowed himself to bask in the power, but it suddenly vanishes. Instead, the aura around Kurokabuto increases, allowing it to regenerate from the damage. Yoshimori cannot understand why the power left him, and Okuni advises him to give up fighting. She proposes blasting Kurokabuto to a remote mountain region with no people, where Shadow Organization forces could deal with it properly. Yoshimori protests, but Okuni explains that while incomplete, Kurokabuto's only instinct was to grow, so while Yoshimori was putting his all into the battle, it was not even trying to fight. However, now that it is complete, it will enter battle mode, and a person like Yoshimori who does not have full control over his power would be in the greatest danger. Okuni then opens a large portal in the sky, and Hatori worries that Karasumori will be judged too out of control for the Kekkaishi to handle. Kurokabuto's eyes suddenly change color, and it summons an energy katana. Okuni worries that she will not have time to complete her plan before it selects a target, and Yoshimori tries to draw its attention. Instead, Kurokabuto unexpectedly plunges its katana into the ground, apparently trying to attack Karasumori.[64]

Yoshimori can't understand why Kurokabuto would attack Karasumori when the land was sharing its power with it. Karasumori's power reemerges, this time lancing into Kurokabuto violently and causing it to collapse in pieces. Yoshimori is again surrounded by Karasumori's power, and realizes that Karasumori wants him to destroy Kurokabuto with its power. Yoshimori becomes furious at the idea of being toyed with, and the power retreats. Tokiko Yukimura and Shigemori Sumimura begin collecting Kurokabuto's remains with Tenketsu. Reiji Kakushino watches as Shigemori asks Yoshimori what happened. Yoshimori says he angered Karasumori, and suddenly remembers Tokine. The Kekkaishi, Miki Hatori, and Higurashi gather to study one of the remaining boxes. Yoshimori tries to explain that Tokine vanished into one, but is too frantic for Tokiko to understand entirely. Tokine unexpectedly appears behind them, and Yoshimori immediately worries that she may have been harmed. After assuring him that she is fine, Tokine explains that she was chasing the box culprit.[65]

Okuni blames the Kekkaishi for simply maintaining the status quo for 400 years and allowing the danger of Karasumori to remain unchecked the whole time. She states that she cannot ignore this. Shigemori warns her that if she were to make rash judgments without consulting the Kekkaishi, they would have to treat her as an enemy. Okuni responds by laughing and directing the full force of her hostility at the group, overwhelming them. She explains that the only reason the Shadow Organization doesn't control the world is because they only wish to preserve it, and if Karasumori threatens to disturb the order, they will correct it regardless of their wishes. Okuni advises Tokiko and Shigemori to better control their Legitimate Successors and leaves abruptly.[66]

Yoshimori collapses, exhausted from his efforts, and wonders aloud about the power that surrounded him during the battle with Kurokabuto. Shigemori claimed he had never heard of such a thing, which makes Yoshimori wonder if he was wrong to reject the power. Tokine disagrees, saying that if he relied on another power, he would be useless without it. Tokine doubts that the power Yoshimori felt was actually Karasumori's, and he tries to re-summon it as proof, but cannot. Tokine questions why the power would aid him when it only helped Ayakashi before, and Yoshimori guesses it's because he's a Legitimate Successor. Tokine guesses that Karasumori built up stress and just needed to release it. Yoshimori wonders if he should have listened to the power, admitting that he doesn't hate Karasumori.[67]

Julia Roppongi, Yoshimori's New Girlfriend? (Chapters 148-150)

Yoshimori relaxes in a tree on school grounds. He sees a girl fall from a nearby rooftop and quickly creates a Kekkai that catches her safely. She wakes up in Yoshimori's arms, and he's relived that she's safe. He makes up an excuse about a tree cushioning her fall and walks off, unaware that the girl is watching him with a love struck look on her face. The next day, Hiromu wakes Yoshimori up at his desk, telling him someone is asking for him. The girl he saved introduces herself as Julia, says she is a first year in high school, and thanks him for saving her. She wants to repay

Yoshimori saves Julia

him somehow, and though Yoshimori says she doesn't have to, she insists. Julia says it was fate that they met and leaves. Yoshimori is very confused, and Hiromu guesses that Yoshimori is the only one who doesn't know the girl. Hiromu explains that Julia Roppongi from Class 1-D had been asking around about Yoshimori, warns him that he is her prey. Yoshimori thinks Hiromu is overreacting since Julia seemed nice, but Hiromu claims that if anyone breaks up with Julia, she will uncover everything about him and spread rumors not just to all the girls in Karasumori, but in the entire district. Later, Yoshimori opens his locker, but is horrified to find that Julia has filled it with little hearts, placed a picture of herself inside, and left him a love letter. Julia, who was watching from behind a nearby locker, comes out to greet him, and Yoshimori immediately runs away. Yoshimori retreats to his classroom, but Julia shows up there as well, so he hides from her again. Only finding Hiromu and Tomonori, she gives Hiromu a packed lunch she made and asks him to give it to Yoshimori (Hiromu is surprised by this, since middle school students have lunch provided for them). The other boys in the classroom excitedly tear the pack open, revealing a large amount of yakisoba, which leaves them all stunned. Yoshimori ventures to the high school section of the school to return the lunch to Julia, but doesn't want to meet her face-to-face. Instead, he creates a Shikigami clone of Tokine and has her deliver the lunch. The other students recognize Tokine, and Julia is furious that another girl is interfering with her prey. She decides that she must eliminate the competition.[68]

Julia drags Yoshimori from his class. Up on the roof, Yoshimori is relaxing when he hears Julia's voice, and sees her dragging his Shikigami clone. Yoshimori tries to signal his Shikigami to escape, but instead it stays, allowing Julia to hug it, much to Yoshimori's annoyance. Yoshimori returns to class thoroughly depressed, since the Shikigami promised to see Julia after school. Hiromu admits that it might not be such a bad thing, since Julia is pretty, and Yoshimori likes older girls. Yoshimori goes to the high school section and considers asking Tokine to pose as his girlfriend so he can get rid of Julia, but the very thought overwhelms him. Madoka notices him and warns him to do something about Julia, since Tokine is really mad. She offers to go get Tokine, but soon comes back and sadly reports that Tokine doesn't want to see him. Yoshimori wonders if this means Tokine might actually be jealous. After school, Yoshimori decides to try his luck at running away from Julia. Hiromu warns him that Karasumori Academy has always produced a large number of exceptionally talented people that excel in various fields, and thinks Julia might be one of them. After Yoshimori leaves, Hiromu adds that Julia displays approximately a twenty-fold increase in athletic skill when pursuing a target. Yoshimori flees over the rooftops, shocked that Julia is able to keep up with him. Just when he is considering using a Kekkai, Julia suddenly falls off a roof, and Yoshimori has no choice but to save her again. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a trap, as Julia was counting on him to save her. She drags him to a nearby park, but neither is aware that Tokine is angrily watching them from the bushes.[69]

Yoshimori tries to think of some way to escape from Julia, but is stunned when she says that she wants to get to know him better. Tokine is greatly annoyed as she watches from the bushes, wondering why Yoshimori doesn't simply run away. Julia thanks Yoshimori for saving her and compliments him, something he isn't used to. Julia begins talking about their future together, which at first overwhelms him, but he doesn't seem to disagree with her ideas. Yoshimori realizes how cute Julia is, but quickly reminds himself that Tokine is the only girl he thinks of. Oddly, Julia is able to sense he's thinking of another girl and gets annoyed. Tokine decides that she won't save Yoshimori anymore. Unable to resist Julia, Yoshimori creates a Shikigami clone of Tokine and has her try to pull him away from Julia. Tokine emerges and furiously punches Yoshimori in the head, yelling at him not to use her face like that. Julia faints in shock, and wakes up later in the arms of Yoshimori's Handsome Shikigami, who comforts her. That night at Karasumori, Tokine is still mad and won't talk to Yoshimori. He apologizes again, but Tokine blames him for not being firm with Julia and being nice to her, instead of driving her away. Yoshimori admits he has no idea why Julia likes him, and Tokine says it's because Julia thought he saved her life. Yoshimori gets mad and bumps Tokine off the school roof with a Kekkai, bouncing her off another and catching her in his arms. Yoshimori says he did it as a simulation of the time he saved Julia, and asks if Tokine will fall for him now. Tokine starts to see why Julia like Yoshimori so much, and Yoshimori promises to turn Julia down properly. The following day at school, Yoshimori finds out from Hiromu that Julia dumped him. It turns out that Julia has fallen in love with Yoshimori's Handsome Shikigami, but she also took the turn to spread rumors that Tokine had magic powers.[70]

The Unforgiving Dragon Deity (Chapters 151-153)

At Karasumori Academy, Yoshimori tries unsuccessfully to call out Karasumori's power, much to Madarao's annoyance. Tokine and Hakubi soon arrive, and Tokine suggests that Yoshimori should focus on other training. She worries that Karasumori is being targeted again, but Yoshimori has no idea what she means. Tokine reminds him that after the incident with the Kakushino Twins, Kyoichi Hiba came to their homes to talk with their grandparents. Yoshimori is frustrated by his inability to understand, and Tokine criticizes him for not listening well. Yoshimori shrugs this off and rededicates himself to protecting Karasumori and solving its mysteries. Madarao notices that the rain clouds are very large, and Yoshimori sees something white falling from them. An enormous dragon crashes to the ground in front of them, and it attacks Yoshimori as soon as it wakes up, saying it will not forgive.[71]

Madarao tells Yoshimori a legend of how the young lord of Karasumori was said to have had a dragon for a playmate. Tokine interrupts them, asking if they should be so calm about the dragon currently occupying Karasumori. Yoshimori angrily demands if she thinks they should destroy it. Tokine points out that the dragon is covered in wounds, so Yoshimori assumes that someone really strong and mean was responsible and offers to get rid of them. The dragon's tail suddenly smacks Yoshimori and sends him flying. Yoshimori catches himself with a Kekkai and demands to know why the dragon hates him. The dragon recognizes the technique, and Madarao warns Yoshimori to be careful, since such a high-level Ayakashi is bound to be very proud. Tokine introduces herself to the dragon, explains their duty as Kekkaishi and desire to settle the matter peacefully, and requests that the dragon leave as soon as possible. The dragon seems calm enough, but insists that Yoshimori stay away, since it doesn't like him for some reason. Tokine discovers that the dragon didn't choose to come to Karasumori, assures it that its wounds will heal swiftly, but asks it to leave immediately after, since they don't know what impact Karasumori will have on the dragon. The dragon finds this funny, and tells her that it cannot be toyed with by another power. The dragon focuses on regenerating while Tokine checks for traces of any technique used on it, but only finds marks indicating it had been tied up, indicating that the person who transported it had incredible skill. From the dragon's interest in Kekkai, she assumes that someone with similar abilities is responsible. Yoshimori asks if it could be a prank, but Tokine says that toying with a land-god class Ayakashi is practically suicidal, even though she senses no malice behind the act. Suddenly, water begins to spray out of the dragon's body, damaging the school. Hakubi warns Tokine that if this continues, they won't be able to stop the dragon. Just then, Yoshimori realizes who the culprit must be. Meanwhile, high above the school, a woman dressed in a Sumimura Kekkaishi uniform watches with a smile on her face.[72]

The Dragon Deity continues to rampage in Karasumori Academy, shouting that it will never forgive. Yoshimori becomes furious, and addressing the culprit, he wishes that they would have more consideration for others as he launches the dragon into the sky by creating an enormous Kekkai beneath it. Yoshimori boosts himself into the air using a Kekkai, calling his mother an idiot as he goes. Yoshimori calls out to his mother and tries to reach her, but powerful winds keep him from doing so, causing Sumiko to state that he still has a ways to go as she leaves with the dragon. Later, as Tokine and Yoshimori clean up the site with their Shikigami, Yoshimori is still angry at his mother for causing so much trouble. Tokine suggests that Sumiko may have some sort of plan, and Yoshimori replies that even if she did, it wouldn't make sense to them. Tokine tries to comfort Yoshimori, but finds out in the process that the real reason he's upset is because he didn't get to see his mother.[73]

The Return of Mudou (Chapters 154-165)

The God of Illusions

Mr. Kurosu bids farewell to his class as they begin their spring holiday, after which they'll enter their second year of middle school. Yoshimori is especially happy and rushes home with plans to sleep in the whole time, but instead is greeted by his father, who is on the phone with Masamori. Masamori asks Yoshimori to help him with something. Yoshimori is of course reluctant, until Masamori adds that it is work related to a Shinyuuchi and scheduled for that night.

Despite having agreed, Yoshimori is in a bad mood that night at Karasumori. Tokine assures him she can handle things there since it seems to be a quiet night with no Ayakashi turning up. She can't understand why the two brothers don't get along, and Yoshimori claims that even if he tried, Masamori wouldn't let him. Masamori appears suddenly, and Tokine inwardly notes that he seems different. Yoshimori suddenly becomes nervous and tries to change his mind, saying he thinks something might happen at Karasumori. Masamori says their grandfather will help out if anything happens, and boosts them into the air with a Kekkai, where Mukade is waiting on one of his shadow bugs. Along the way, Masamori asks about their mother and Karasumori's state, and Yoshimori realizes he is well informed despite not being around. Masamori warns Yoshimori that Karasumori is not on their side as he may think, and that it is a monster.

Their destination is a shrine on the rooftop of a building in a crowded city. Masamori explains that there are actually two shrines, and they each serve as an entrance to the Shinyuuchi. Masamori tells Yoshimori to guard the white shrine, and make sure that nothing escapes. Masamori provides no other information much to Yoshimori's annoyance, but leaves him a cell phone to stay in touch and warns him not to enter the shrine, adding that they can't have the Legitimate Successor dying. With those cryptic words, Masamori leaves, ignoring Yoshimori's protests. [74]

Yoshimori tries to follow Masamori by making Kekkai in mid-air, but is startled when his cell phone rings. Masamori tells Yoshimori that he'll be out of range for about two hours, and reminds him to stay at his post. Yoshimori asks what's in the shrine, but Masamori only says it's his prey. He adds that if sunrise comes and he hasn't returned, he may need Yoshimori's voice to call him back from the depths. Yoshimori is frustrated, but notes that Masamori rarely every asks him to do anything so seriously. Yoshimori tries to call Masamori back, but the number cannot be reached. Growing bored, Yoshimori wanders around, and finds a pool of water near the white shrine. Suddenly Masamori's hand emerges from the pool. Yoshimori reaches for it, but as he grabs it, realizes that it isn't a human hand. The hand pulls Yoshimori into the pool. Yoshimori later wakes up to find a mysterious man standing over him. He grabs Yoshimori by the neck and says that he will take his body.[75]

Yoshimori is held captive by a mysterious man in white, who says he needs Yoshimori's body so he can go outside for a while. Assuming this is the person that Masamori is after, Yoshimori activates his Zekkai armor, forcing the man to let him go. The man is confused and runs away in frustration. Yoshimori runs after him but loses sight of him. While wandering through the forest, Yoshimori meets Masamori, but immediately notices he is behaving strangely. Yoshimori activates his Zekkai armor again, forcing Masamori away and revealing him to actually be the same man in white. The man demands to know how Yoshimori recognized him, since he used an illusion of a person Yoshimori would want to see, behaving in a way he would want to see. Yoshimori points out that Masamori would never be so affectionate with him. The man tries to negotiate, offering to grant any wish that Yoshimori has in exchange for his body, but Yoshimori realizes it would only be another illusion. The man begins to cry in frustration, making Yoshimori wonder why Masamori would be after him. They are soon interrupted by a smaller person, who ignores Yoshimori and begs the man, Lord Tan'yuu, to flee before "he" finds them. In the conversation, the person reveals that Tan'yuu is the god of the land as well as "his" target. Tan'yuu is concerned about dawn approaching, and says he won't last without a host.[76]

The Immortal Mudou

Lord Tan'yuu says that his land has weakened, and his servant becomes angry at Yoshimori for refusing to give the god his body. Tan'yuu seems resigned to die, and Yoshimori is still under the mistaken impression that Tan'yuu is the person that Masamori is pursuing. Meanwhile, Mudou searches the land for the god, destroying the surroundings as he does so. He arrives at the lake, spots the god in the lake's reflection, and realizes Tan'yuu has been hiding there. Mudou leaps into the lake and emerges on the other side, appearing in front of Tan'yuu. Mudou grabs Tan'yuu with his scarf, but the god is saved by a Kekkai that destroys it. Mudou seems amused as Yoshimori stands ready to fight him.[77]

Mudou immediately recognizes both the Hazama-Ryu Kekkaijutsu and the Houin on Yoshimori's clothing. Yoshimori finally realizes that Mudou is the person Masamori has been chasing. Lord Tan'yuu abruptly decides that he doesn't want to die. Mudou realizes that Yoshimori is Masamori's brother, and tells him not to interfere. Mudou's flying balls easily smash Yoshimori's Kekkai, and Mudou's scarf wraps around Tan'yuu and yanks him toward Mudou. As he does so, the Tan'yuu trapped in the scarf is revealed to actually be his servant, while Tan'yuu flees in the form of the servant. Mudou recognizes the switch, instantly shoots one of his flying balls through the servant's body and leaves him for dead, and chases Tan'yuu. Yoshimori activates his Zekkai armor and throws himself between the flying balls and Tan'yuu, temporarily deflecting them but also harming Tan'yuu in the process. More flying balls strike Yoshimori from behind, catching him off guard, and Mudou's scarf is able to capture Tan'yuu. Mudou spins one of his flying balls and slams it into Tan'yuu's chest. Yoshimori demands to know what Tan'yuu did wrong. Mudou warns him not to be fooled by appearances, and says that Tan'yuu has been kidnapping humans and stealing their souls. He points out that Tan'yuu has already used his illusions to trick Yoshimori. Mudou claims to understand this, since the land would most likely vanish if Tan'yuu did not survive in this way, but also points out that Tan'yuu also used his servant as a decoy, and questions if Yoshimori really wants to protect a coward and a liar.

Yoshimori admits he isn't sure whether Tan'yuu is good or bad, but still finds it weird that Mudou, as an Ayakashi himself, would talk about right and wrong. Mudou replies that while it is natural for Ayakashi to kill humans, Tan'yuu far overstepped his bounds by becoming too obvious, and for that reason, Mudou has come to judge him. He claims that as a human, Yoshimori probably wouldn't understand how Ayakashi behave. Yoshimori refuses to stand back and watch, and Mudou calls him a simple person, claiming to understand where Masamori's inferiority complex comes from. Yoshimori notices that the ball Mudou attached to the god's chest has gradually gotten bigger. Mudou suddenly attacks with his flying balls, and while Yoshimori gets his Zekkai armor up in time to block, the force of the blows knocks his down. Mudou admits he was trying to buy time by talking, and that everything he told Yoshimori was a lie. He confesses to being the one who killed countless humans and stole their souls, but adds that he is a close friend of Masamori's. Mudou poses a question to Yoshimori: after Mudou kills Yoshimori, would Masamori mourn his passing, or would he be happy?[78]

Mudou suggests that Masamori would be pleased if Yoshimori died, because it is natural for those who are not naturally gifted to hate those that are. Yoshimori asks if Mudou was telling the truth about being Masamori's friend, and Mudou says it is only partially true: they were friends in the Shadow Organization (which surprises Yoshimori). Yoshimori asks why Masamori is chasing Mudou, and Mudou says he is not the best person to answer that. Mudou suddenly attacks, repeatedly striking Yoshimori with his flying balls. Even with his Zekkai armor, Yoshimori takes considerable damage. Mudou tells him that the flying balls are similar to Zekkai: they eat away at whatever they touch. However, both Mudou and Yoshimori recognize that he is not able to fully use Zekkai. Lord Tan'yuu wakes up and offers to grant Mudou whatever he wants, but Mudou refuses, saying he will grant his own desires, and that he's using Tan'yuu and Yoshimori as footholds to gain them. Yoshimori feels his head growing light, and tries a last resort maneuver, but finds himself hesitating for some reason, and assumes something is missing. At first he thinks it is because he's not in Karasumori, but recalls he has still performed above his usual level in other places with no trouble. He recalls his adventures with the Tengu and Kurosusuki, but wonders for the first time if he was really just using his own power in the latter case. As Mudou halts his attack and begins to approach Yoshimori, a Nenshi shoots out of the lake and wraps around his ankle. Masamori emerges from the lake with his Zekkai, vaporizing Mudou's body. After witnessing Masamori's power, Yoshimori inwardly notes he can't possibly be the one who's gifted. Masamori is upset that Yoshimori entered the shrine against orders, but tells Yoshimori to be on his guard. He tells Yoshimori that "The Immortal Mudou" won't die so easily. Sure enough, the ball attached to Tan'yuu's chest remains, and fragments begin to collect on the lake and rapidly reform into Mudou's body.[79]

As Mudou reforms in front of them, Yoshimori questions Masamori about he and Mudou being former comrades. Masamori seems surprised that Mudou would mention it, but tells Yoshimori that back then, Mudou could recover from any wound as if it had never happened. He even admits that Mudou has been confirmed dead, cremated, and buried at least twice, but has risen from the dead each time. Masamori adds that he actually witnessed Mudou rising from the grave, and that all of this back when he was still human. Yoshimori decides to leave Mudou to Masamori, and goes to check on Lord Tan'yuu, who is still restrained by pieces of Mudou's scarf and the ball attached to his chest. Now fully reformed, Mudou attacks Masamori, who again defends with his Zekkai. Tan'yuu recognizes Masamori as the one who came to stop Mudou, and asks Yoshimori if Masamori is strong. Yoshimori says he is.

Yoshimori tries to remove the ball from Tan'yuu's chest, but is unable to. Masamori yells for him to destroy it instead. Mudou immediately grabs Tan'yuu with his scarf to keep Yoshimori from interfering. Yoshimori splits the scarf with multiple Kekkai and catches Tan'yuu with another, only to find that the ball is no longer attached to the god's chest. Mudou has taken back the ball, which has grown slightly larger than his hand. Yoshimori notes that the sky has grown darker, and Mudou says he has drained the Shinyuuchi's power from its god. Mudou absorbs the ball into his arm, and announces his intention to use it right away and switch to a more battle-ready form. Masamori senses Mudou's demonic power rising exponentially, but to his shock, Mudou becomes a teenage version of himself. Mudou explains that this is merely a step in his overall process: he intends to regress up to the very moment that he was born, although he has no idea how many lives he will have to steal to do so.[80]

Yoshimori watches in concern as Masamori's Zekkai falls against Mudou, and Mudou is impressed because it prevented Masamori from being fatally wounded. Yoshimori is shocked because he has never seen Masamori in such a weakened state. Mudou suddenly begins throwing discs at Yoshimori and Lord Tan'yuu. Yoshimori blocks the damage with a Kekkai, but it is easily destroyed. Masamori throws himself between Mudou and the pair, but soon falls to one knee. Masamori orders Yoshimori to take Tan'yuu and run. Yoshimori refuses to leave him, and they begin to argue. Yoshimori finally says that if Masamori is going act like that, he should just go ahead and defeat Mudou. Mudou is amused and offers Masamori a choice: he can choose whether he or Yoshimori will live. [81]

A Bond Between Brothers

In a flashback, Yoshimori and Masamori carry home bags of groceries. Trying to keep up, Yoshimori trips and falls, but Masamori manages to catch his bag. Masamori reaches out to help Yoshimori up, but notices the Houin on his hand, and instead grabs Yoshimori's wrist roughly and drags him along. Yoshimori apologizes, and Masamori wonders why Karasumori chose Yoshimori.

In the present, Mudou orders Masamori to chose whose life will be spared, his or Yoshimori's. Masamori hesitates, and Yoshimori tells Masamori to stop protecting him, so that he can handle things himself. Masamori lets his Zekkai fall and asks Mudou to take Yoshimori's life. Both Mudou and Yoshimori seem surprised as Masamori lists his reasons to live: he has duties to the Night Troop, and other unfinished business, so he cannot afford to die yet. He claims to have fulfilled his role as a brother, and is sure that things will work out for Yoshimori, either through luck or talent because he is "the chosen one." Mudou compliments Masamori for making the same choice he did, and Masamori rises to leave. Mudou launches two extra large discs at Yoshimori. Inwardly, Masamori reveals that he made his choice in the hopes that Yoshimori's mistrust of him would finally allow him to fully use Zekkai, which requires the accumulation and domination of negative feelings. Yoshimori dodges the discs, which pass over him and head for Masamori, who defends with his Zekkai. Mudou reveals that the larger discs aren't harder for him to control as he previously stated, and Masamori realizes Mudou was aiming for him all along. Masamori struggles to push back the two discs, and in desperation to save him, Yoshimori activates Shinkai, bathing the area in white light. Mudou and the discs are obliterated, and Masamori recognizes this as the same "Zekkai" Yoshimori used at Kurosusuki. As the light fades, Yoshimori collapses from exhaustion. [82]

Masamori frantically tries to wake up Yoshimori, and is somewhat relieved to find that Yoshimori is merely exhausted. Masamori is amazed that Yoshimori would still save him after the things he said to him. Lord Tan'yuu tells Masamori to leave, and Masamori apologizes for allowing things to come so far. Tan'yuu repeats his order, explaining that he has the power to end and then recreate the Shinyuuchi. He admits he is uncertain whether he and the land will cease to exist, or if he will be chosen as the land's master again, but prefers either fate to Mudou (who is regenerating yet again as they speak) destroying everything. Tan'yuu offers to create an exit for the two brothers, as thanks for their defending him, intending to end Mudou's existence by destroying the land with him trapped in it. Masamori refuses, asking Tan'yuu to look after Yoshimori while he deals with Mudou. Tan'yuu questions the wisdom of this, because after what he has witnessed, he is fairly certain that with Yoshimori's power, he is the most dangerous person there. Masamori is shocked, as he had assumed that Tan'yuu lent his power to Yoshimori to use, but Tan'yuu confirms that he did not. Masamori leaves Yoshimori in Tan'yuu's hands, saying he will find his own way out. Yoshimori wakes up soon after. Tan'yuu tells him that there was once a lake where the land now stands, and that he was given life by the memory of the lake. As Yoshimori stares at him, he sees the image of a bird in Tan'yuu's face. Yoshimori suddenly remembers Masamori, who has confronted Mudou with his Zekkai again. Tan'yuu explains that it was Masamori's wish that Yoshimori escape safely, and transports him out of the land through a ripple in the lake.

Mudou admits he was surprised by Yoshimori, and guesses that the things Masamori said about Yoshimori were all lies. Mudou is suddenly surrounded by white feathers, which slowly began to dissolve his body. Masamori explains that he has earned the master's wrath, and says that the land and Mudou will both soon vanish. Masamori wants to ask Mudou one last question, and Mudou guesses that he wants to know how to escape the reason of the world. The answer, according to him, is the freedom that an Ayakashi has. Masamori snags Mudou with a Nenshi, and pulls him against, and then into his Zekkai. Masamori says he has no desire to reject his own self, and instead says he only wants to know why Mudou turned away from raising children as his true purpose. Mudou claims his ideas never changed, and Masamori replies that he is sick of the lies.

Yoshimori emerges out of the side of a building, catching himself with a mid-air Kekkai. His only concern is for Masamori, who is nowhere to be found. [83]

Yoshimori frantically beats on the side of the building, angry that Masamori chose to stay behind and let him escape. Yoshimori eventually returns where he first entered the shrine, and plunges his hand into the well, frantically reaching for Masamori, but is unable to enter the land a second time. [84]

Yoshimori frantically calls Masamori on his borrowed cell phone. Masamori finally answers, having emerged in an ally. Yoshimori points out that Masamori said earlier he might need to be called out of the depths, and Masamori assures him that he kept his promise. Yoshimori demands to know what happened, and Masamori tells him that though he feels like he lost, the master took care of things. Yoshimori asks Masamori to stop saving him, but Masamori counters by asking why Yoshimori chose to save him after everything he said. Yoshimori says he can't stand to see people get hurt. Masamori inwardly notes that if Yoshimori's "Kekkai" comes from the will to protect, then it is nothing like Masamori's Zekkai, which can only destroy. Masamori confesses that all the bad things he said about Yoshimori were lies, and Yoshimori apologizes for not following his orders. Masamori thanks Yoshimori for helping him, and tells him not to change. Yoshimori asks what happened to Lord Tan'yuu, but Masamori admits he doesn't know, and that he'll deal with the Shinyuuchi later. He also finally admits that he's so tired that he can't move, and asks Yoshimori to come get him.

As Mukade travels across the sky on one of his shadow bugs, a voice calls out to him, and he turns to see Yoshimori with Masamori collapsed over his back. Mukade at first fears that Masamori is dead, but Yoshimori assures him that he isn't. The morning sun begins to rise, and Yoshimori notes that when the light hits Masamori's smiling face, he really does look like he's dead. [85]

At Karasumori, Yoshimori explains to Tokine, Hakubi, and Madarao that the shrine, which was originally one but split into two, became unstable, but that Masamori united the shrines and stabilized it again. Yoshimori excitedly notes that fixing dimensions is part of a Kekkaishi's power, which must mean he can do it as well, though Tokine seems doubtful. Yoshimori wonders why Masamori lied about being recovered so quickly when he was obviously still wounded, causing Tokine to smile. Yoshimori wonders if the Shinyuuchi will be okay, since it was a nice place, apparently unaware that he has drawn a doodle of Tan'yuu in the dirt, which makes Tokine laugh. Tokine says everything will be fine, and inwardly notes she has never heard Yoshimori talk about his brother like this, and wonders if they're getting along now. [86]

A Matter of Intelligence (Chapters 166-169)

Yoshimori is exhausted as he begins his third year of middle school, due to Kekkaishi duties the previous night. Tokine merely tells him he should be more mature and try harder, before leaving him behind on the way to school. Left alone, Yoshimori suddenly thinks of Gen Shishio, but doesn't know why.

At Karasumori Academy, students are looking at their new classroom assignments. Yurina Kanda is worried because her friends Kyoko and Ayano are in a different classroom, but Ayano points out that Yurina will be in the same class as Yoshimori again. Yoshimori learns from his friends that Tomonori Ichigaya is still his classmate, and they still have Mr. Kurosu as their teacher. In typical fashion, Yoshimori sleeps through the entire school day, and Tomonori wakes him up as school is ending. Yoshimori is stunned to find that his desk is directly in front of Mr. Kurosu's (Yoshimori nodded in his sleep, which Mr. Kurosu took to mean Yoshimori had no objection to being placed there). As Yoshimori desperately tries to get Tomonori to exchange seats, a familiar voice calls him. He is shocked to see Shu Akitsu from the Night Troop at the classroom door in a school uniform. Shu explains that he is now a student there and introduces himself to Tomonori. Yoshimori drags him aside, and Shu confirms that he has been dispatched there along with Sen, who is in fact in Yoshimori's class. Tomonori points out that the new transfer student (Sen) was absent, which shocks and distresses Shu. Shu later explains that he and Sen are now part of the Night Troop's Intelligence Unit (they used to be in the Combat Unit on Sen's suggestion), and specifies that they are there to investigate Karasumori, not assist the Kekkaishi as Gen did.

Yoshimori and Shu meet up with Tokine after school, and Yoshimori is bothered by how familiar the two seem with each other. Shu begins to explain how membership in the different units of the Night Troop works, but Sen finally appears to interrupt him. Shu immediately demands answers from him. Seeing Sen in his uniform, Yoshimori suddenly realizes why he thought of Gen that morning: Gen will never move past his second year of middle school. Sen is a little annoyed that Yoshimori seems so spaced out, and wonders if he has a problem with them being there. [87]

The Prophecy (Chapters 170-180)

Pest Control

Yoshimori catches up to Tokine on the way to school and expresses concerned over Sen Kagemiya and Shu Akitsu. He notes that they seem distant, and that Sen in particular seems tense and probably has trouble connecting with people. Later on the school roof, Yoshimori and Sen sit together. Yoshimori recalls Tokine's advice from that morning, which was to act normal, which should make Sen relax as well. Meanwhile, Sen is still slightly annoyed that Yoshimori is worried about him, since it complicates his investigation. Yoshimori suddenly senses an Ayakashi entering the school grounds, which surprises Sen since it's the middle of the day. Yoshimori confirms that it is a weak Ayakashi, and sends a bird Shikigami to deal with it. Trying to act friendly, Sen asks if Yoshimori would make a Shikigami clone for him so he can skip class as well. Yoshimori says no, since it would use up his power, and tire him out, which would defeat the purpose of him skipping class to rest in the first place. Sen gets mad that Yoshimori has a logical reason to refuse, and is about to stab him with a claw when Sen's phone rings. Sen answers and explains that Shu has just destroyed an Ayakashi on the high school's third floor. Yoshimori's Shikigami returns with two butterflies, which surprises Sen, since he thought Shu took care of the problem.[88]

Yoshimori and Sen discuss the butterflies. Yoshimori assumes they multiplied, which is problematic because they are so weak that it is difficult to detect them. Yoshimori and Sen find more butterflies as they move through the school. Yoshimori leaves his Shikigami to deal with the butterflies outside, and asks for Sen's help in getting rid of the ones inside without attracting notice. Together they destroy the butterflies they come across in the middle school. Yoshimori and Sen begin arguing when Yoshimori accidentally forms a Kekkai around two butterflies and part of a person. Yoshimori suddenly sees a Shikigami bird bearing his grandfather's features, which signals them up to the roof where Shigemori Sumimura is waiting. There, Yoshimori and Shigemori begin arguing over Shigemori's insistence on wearing his Kekkaishi attire in broad daylight. Sen is intrigued by the possibility that he might get to see all four Legitimate Successors in action at the same time. For that reason, he suggests to Yoshimori that they will need all the help they can get. Suddenly, many butterflies surround Yoshimori's Shikigami bird and destroy it. Yoshimori is confused, since he felt no evil aura or transformation.[89]

Yoshimori and Sen continue destroying butterflies inside the school. Yurina approaches them, afraid of the butterflies, and Yoshimori reassures her. Some students near the butterflies suddenly begin to feel ill. Yoshimori wonders if the butterflies have a leader in a nest somewhere, and regrets that Madarao isn't there to track for him. He then remembers that Sen is a tracker and asks him to track the nest. Sen is reluctant to use his abilities around the Kekkaishi, but knows it will look suspicious if he refuses. As Sen begins tracking, both Shigemori and Tokine sense his aura. Sen is unable to track a leader because all the butterflies have the exact same level of power. He guesses that they reproduce by dividing. Shu calls Sen's phone and tells them that some students are now able to see and hear the butterflies, and some have begun to feel ill or faint. Sen realizes the butterflies are all slowly evolving. The butterflies quickly develop the ability to cut people. Yoshimori plans to surround the entire school with a Kekkai and manipulate it so that it only destroys the butterflies. Tokine appears and tells him not to. Yoshimori ignores her and creates the Kekkai. Tokine insists that he isn't skilled enough, and Yoshimori replies that there isn't time to evacuate. Yoshimori is desperate to save the people, but before he can proceed, Tokiko arrives and uses Sekkai to cancel Yoshimori's Kekkai.[90]

Joining Forces

Yoshimori warns Tokiko Yukimura not to get in his way, and explains his plan to encase the entire school in a Kekkai that destroys only the Ayakashi. Tokiko replies that if she thought he could actually do that, she wouldn't have stopped him. She stresses that there will be no second chance if he makes a mistake, and Yoshimori insists that he won't know what he can do unless he tries. To prove her point, Tokiko creates a Shikigami clone of Tokine, and challenges Yoshimori to create a Kekkai around both Tokine and the clone that will only destroy the clone. Sen is shocked that both Tokiko and Yoshimori would put Tokine at risk. Yoshimori tries, but in the end cannot bring himself to endanger Tokine. Tokiko shocks everyone by completing the challenge herself, safely destroying the clone. Tokiko points out that if Yoshimori cannot even do that much, there is no way he could successfully carry out his plan. However, she admits it is basically a good idea, and that she will do it in his place. Shigemori Sumimura interrupts, telling Tokiko not to make such decision on her own. Shigemori refuses to let Tokiko attempt her plan, since trying to surround the whole school might send her into a rampage. He explains how as a young girl, Tokiko would sometimes lose control, make several time-space holes and vanish into one, which would force him to clean up her mess. Both refuse to back down, and Shigemori finally suggests that all four Kekkaishi work together to form the Kekkai. Tokine explains that it would lighten the load on each of them, and be much easier to move the trapped Ayakashi away safely. Tokiko is against the idea because they have never practiced it, and Shigemori insists that it will be fine if she leads the process. He also points out that their connections will never improve if she always works alone. Yoshimori agrees to try if it will save everyone, and Tokiko reluctantly gives in. Sen is stunned by the idea of the four Legitimate Successors working together.[91]

On a Kekkai above the school, Tokiko explains the plan: she will create the initial structure and footholds for the Kekkai. Tokiko admits that her biggest concern is Yoshimori, since the Kekkai will depend on their complete synchronization and their powers complementing each other. As they separate, Yoshimori apologizes to Tokine for his earlier actions, but she says it's okay and wishes him good luck. With one Kekkaishi positioned at each corner of the school, Tokiko initiates the Kekkai. Yoshimori and Tokine are both unsettled by the sensation, but manage to proceed through the steps of accepting the power of the other Kekkaishi, adding their own, focusing it until it is stabilized, and then acting as a pillar to send the power upward. They manage to form the Kekkai successfully. Most of the Kekkaishi are strained as they boost themselves up into the air with elevator Kekkai, slowly raisng the Kekkai filled with butterflies above the school. However, Sen notices that the Kekkai has become unstable and is close to collapsing.[92]

The giant Kekkai containing the butterfly Ayakashi threatens to collapse, but Tokiko Yukimura is able to stabilize it. Sen Kagemiya uses his partial transformation to observe, and notices the butterflies are starting to transform again. This causes the Kekkai to swell, and Yoshimori floods it with his power. Sen then realizes that the four Kekkaishi are not filling equal roles: Yoshimori continuously pours in power, Tokiko suppresses the excess, Shigemori Sumimura maintains the Kekkai's stability, and Tokine regulates the power. Once the Kekkai is complete, the Kekkaishi began to move closer in order to compress it. Sen realizes that Tokiko has been the force behind the Kekkai all along. Tokiko is having trouble constantly controlling Yoshimori's power, and coats the entire Kekkai with her power, which speeds up the compression. Once the Kekkai is small enough, the Kekkaishi destroy it together.[93]

Interrogating Saki

Shigemori Sumimura has Shikigami birds bring him his Tenketsu so he can collect the remaining fragments of the butterfly Ayakashi. He and Tokine are noticeably exhausted from their efforts, though Yoshimori and Tokiko Yukimura are not. Sen Kagemiya notes that Tokiko was forced to handle things in such a rushed, risky way because of Yoshimori, whose power seems limitless while in Karasumori. Yoshimori returns to school to make sure things are okay there. Shigemori is annoyed with him because the matter is still unresolved: because the Ayakashi were crafted by human hands, they need to seek out the ability user responsible. Yoshimori arrives at his class, but only manages to interrupt Mr. Kurosu, who yells at him for being late and disruptive. Yurina Kanda is pleased that Yoshimori managed to protect everyone. Tokine later convinces Yoshimori to follow her to where their grandparents have captured Saki, the ability user responsible for releasing the butterflies. Saki instantly recognizes them. Yoshimori demands answers from Saki, but Tokine holds him back. Tokine says she brought Yoshimori because she wanted the four Kekkaishi to be able to work together.[94]

After hearing Saki's prophecy, Yoshimori doesn't believe her. Tokiko Yukimura also has doubts, and asks Saki to reveal more about her identity. Saki insists that she can't answer, explaining that doing so without permission from her master might result in punishment, and that the matter is related directly to her master's life. Tokiko still doubts her intentions, but Saki is under orders to return to her master. As a compromise, Saki summons a butterfly Ayakashi and has it cut off part of her hair. For a shrine maiden such as her, this act lowers her spiritual power, and she offers her hair in place of her life, so that she might be released. Tokiko finally allows Saki to leave, not liking the idea of picking on someone so weak. While she does not fully believe Saki's prophecy, she admits that her uneasiness has increased. Yoshimori and Tokine return to school. Later at home, Yoshimori thinks about the prophecy, and renews his determination to train and seal Karasumori so that no one will be hurt by it.[95]

Return to Aibasan (Chapters 178-180)

While relaxing on the school roof with Yoshimori, Sen asks what he thinks about the prophecy. Yoshimori admits he's worried, but says it doesn't impact what he originally wanted to do. Yoshimori suggests they ask the master of another Shinyuuchi. Sen is amazed that Yoshimori even knows two gods. Yoshimori admits they are difficult to contact directly, which is why they have servants. He tries to use Shidou's feather to summon him, but only draws an excited murder of crows. Later on, Yoshimori waits on the roof of his home for the crows to return. They bring their boss, Sekigan no Ginji, and Yoshimori explains that he wants to contact Shidou. Ginji says it can be done, but insists on payment first, much to Yoshimori's surprise. That night at Karasumori, Tokine finds Yoshimori deep in thought, and assumes he's stressed out over the prophecy. She tells him not to worry, and to depend on the people around him, especially since he isn't the only one protecting the site. Yoshimori agrees, and then abruptly asks her what crows like.

The next day, Yoshimori presents Ginji with a simple BB pellet (crows like round, shiny objects). Ginji is thrilled, and instantly flies off to set up a meeting with Shidou. Yoshimori waits on his roof for Shidou to arrive. Instead, he is approached by twin karasutengu, who introduce themselves as Haikawa and Haisawa. They thank Yoshimori for helping their clan, and explain that because Shidou is overseeing Kokuunsai as he attempts to continue their bloodline, he cannot leave Aibasan. Instead, Shidou instructed them to bring Yoshimori to the castle. Recalling Tokine's offer to depend on her as well, Yoshimori decides to bring her along as well. One of the twins goes to fetch her (with no prior warning). He soon catches up to Yoshimori and his karasutengu, who have flown ahead, but Yoshimori is shocked to see that Sen grabbed onto Tokine and is being brought along as well. This results in a loud fight over how Sen shouldn't be touching Tokine inappropriately.[96]

After landing at Kokuunsai's castle at Aibasan, Yoshimori, Tokine, and Sen Kagemiya immediately begin fighting over their travel arrangements. Haisawa goes to get Shidou, who demands to know why Yoshimori brought girls to the castle (he mistakes Sen for a girl until Yoshimori corrects him). Shidou explains that they are in the middle of Kokuunsai continuing his bloodline in seclusion, which involves him splitting into two forms: his older body, and a younger heir. Shidou's hope is that they will be able to train the young heir to stay away from women, so he will not give them the same problems that Kokuunsai does. Yoshimori asks if a butterfly came to visit (referring to Saki's Demon Illusion Butterflies), but just then, there is a large thump that shakes the whole castle.

Shidou grows alarmed, worrying that the seclusion has failed because Yoshimori brought a girl into the castle, and that Kokuunsai has sensed her presence. A nearby mountaintop erupts, showering the castle with rocks. The other karasutengu gather, eagerly awaiting for their master to emerge. Shidou says that their home exists only because it has a master, and that everything there is subject to the master's mood. The castle is then hit by a storm consisting of rain, lightning, and a tornado, forcing Tokine to protect herself and Sen with a Kekkai. Sen notes that she is calm, and she replies that she's used to all the trouble that Yoshimori causes. As the tornado bears down on the castle, Yoshimori attemts to protect the area with several large Kekkai.

Sen again asks Tokine what she will do if the prophecy of Karasumori's destruction is true. Tokine admits she is limited in what she can do (which Sen notes is similar to Yoshimori's answer), but that she'll keep a close eye on Yoshimori, because he acts to protect others, but does so without thinking. The weather suddenly clears up, and the karasutengu gather again. The mountaintop splits open, releasing two large tornadoes. Shidou announces that the heir has been born.[97]

Shidou nervously waits to see if the new heir is good or evil while the other karasutengu celebrate. One of the two tornadoes suddenly vanishes, and a young, winged boy suddenly flies past Sen Kagemiya and tackles Tokine, burying his face in her chest. Tokine immediately tries to push him away with little success. Yoshimori storms over and pulls the boy off, asking Shidou if he is the new heir. Shidou regretfully says that he is. The boy suddenly pulls away from Yoshimori and buries his face in Sen's chest, but instantly comments that Sen (who he mistakes for a girl) is flat. Sen quickly slashes the boy with his claws, and both Yoshimori and Sen stop him from hurting the boy any further. The boy immediately latches onto Tokine again. In response, Yoshimori grabs the boy, punches him in the head, throws him into the air, and hits him with a Kekkai. Shidou demands that he stop, since the heir's immorality is Yoshimori's fault for bringing a girl into the castle. The boy (who is named Tobimaru) is caught by Kokuunsai, who lands at the castle and declares they will have a feast (despite his huge size, Yoshimori thinks he has gotten smaller).

The three guests later find themselves at the feast, which they all want to leave. Yoshimori tells Shidou that he only wanted to talk, but Shidou says they can't leave until the feast is over: even with his reduced power, they must not do anything to provoke Kokuunsai's anger. But Shidou says things are going well, since Kokuunsai is happy and drinking, and asks Yoshimori to help out with his plan. Basing the appearance on a book that Kokuunsai showed interest in, Yoshimori creates a troop of scantily-clad female dancers out of Shikigami. The feast is successful, ending with both Kokuunsai and Tobimaru asleep. Shidou later confirms that he was visited by Saki's butterfly, but knows nothing of the "god of disaster" that was mentioned in Karasumori's prophecy. He says that his version of the prophecy said that every Shinyuuchi would be in danger, and to be careful around humans, especially ability users. Shidou suspects that since Karasumori's prophecy was more specific, it means that Karasumori is in more danger. He says that he would not normally believe the words of a random stranger, but heard rumors of a large Shinyuuchi in the north having vanished.

After arranging for some karasutengu to return the guests to Karasumori, Shidou also gives them wrapped gifts. On the way out, however, Tobimaru tampers with the boxes and alters the gifts inside. After returning to Karasumori, Tokine is annoyed at being put in danger. Yoshimori defends himself by saying they all got a reward, and demands that they open the boxes right there. Yoshimori's is a tornado that picks him up and slams him into the ground, but Sen's and Tokine's boxes release clouds that temporarily give them both large breasts. [98]

Schemes of the Ougi Clan (Chapters 181-194)

A Sumimura Suspected

Namihira and Rokurou Ougi of the Shadow Organization's Investigation Office unexpectedly visit the Sumimura Home with questions about the recent Shinyuuchi hunting.[99] Shigemori explains that their job is to investigate suspicious matters concerning the Shadow Organization. Namihira assures them not to worry, since it would be another office that took action to resolve the case. Shuji begins to leave because he is not a Kekkaishi, but Namihira asks him to stay, wanting to speak to all of the Sumimuras. Namihira informs them of the disappearance of Mashiroko Lake, noting that there was no known guardian and that people generally avoided it because of the mist. He shows them a picture of the black hole at the site, and explains how he believes a high-level ability user capable of manipulating space removed the Shinyuuchi's power, thus creating the destroyed space in the picture. Shigemori asks if he believes they are involved, and Namihira admits that is the more likely answer. Shigemori instantly dismisses Yoshimori and Toshimori as the culprits, as they aren't powerful enough, and when Namihira asks about him, Shigemori says he wouldn't reveal his secrets to an outside. Namihira is amused because Masamori said the same when asked, and mentions that he has already restored the Shinyuuchi.

Yoshimori recalls that Masamori also restored the Unnamed Shrines, which is proof that he is capable of such a thing, and doesn't like the idea of Masamori possibly becoming power-hungry like Mudou. Yoshimori asks how serious a crime that stealing a Shinyuuchi's power is. Namihira replies that in addition to being a sin agains the gods, it is punishable by death in the Shadow Organization. The Sumimuras refuse to accept that, and Namihira shows them another photo: Sumiko Sumimura standing near the black hole. Namihira says one of his subordinates has the power to collect memories from items and places. Shigemori calls the photo a fake, but Namihira points out that not only is Sumiko a high-level Kekkaishi, but because she is not a Legitimate Successor, she has been allowed to wander around freely. Namihira asks Shuji if he truly knows what goes on in his wife's mind. Shuji immediately asks him to leave. Rokurou says that a woman who neglects her family and children can't have a good personality. Shuji throws tea at him, but Shigemori stops the tea with a Kekkai, while Yoshimori surrounds Rokurou's hand in a Kekkai to keep him from attacking. Yoshimori says a weird thing like Rokurou has no right to judge his mother. Rokurou tries to break free, but Yoshimori places more Kekkai on him and orders him to leave without resisting any further. Rokurou loses his patience and destroys the room with a cyclone, though the Sumimura are protected by a Kekkai. Rokurou says that even a close family will cut off the black sheep when the situation gets bad enough. He creates tornadoes to carry he and Namihira away.[100]

At Karasumori, Yoshimori tells Tokine that Rokurou Ougi is a wind ability user. Yoshimori is still angry about Rokurou calling his mother a black sheep. Tokine asks if there is any way to contact her, and Yoshimori says no, causing Tokine to wonder if Sumiko even knows she is suspected of hunting Shinyuuchi. Yoshimori reluctantly agrees she may be powerful enough to do it, but can't believe she would, since the only reason to hunt Shinyuuchi is to gain power.

Sen shares what little he knows about the Ougi Clan at Yoshimori's request. They are a large, famous clan of powerful ability users, though only the strongest have the ability to do what Rokurou did. 8 out of 10 in the family are wind ability users, which Yoshimori thinks odd since abilities are far less common with his distant relatives. Sen says their families aren't on the same scale, but that the Kekkaishi are still well-known because their ability to manipulate and create space is so rare. Yoshimori recalls that Namihira said the same thing. Yoshimori still resents that his mother is a suspect just because they are few in number, and swears to get even with the Ougis. Sen tells him not to, since it is no joke to challenge them.[101]

Yoshimori returns home from school and asks if his mother has been found yet. Shigemori says no, and tells him to focus on Karasumori. Yoshimori notices that his father is really worried. Shigemori says it isn't odd for the Shadow Organization to suspect Sumiko, because of a single job she did for them before Toshimori Sumimura was born. Though the mission was only for her to seal off the area while the rest of her team calmed the god of a Shinyuuchi, Sumiko killed the god herself. When her team demanded an explanation, Sumiko said that the god asked her to do it. In order to preserve the natural balance, Sumiko then cuts open the god, spilling its child onto the ground. Sumiko says it will become the new god. After this mission, Sumiko began to roam the land. [102]

Yoshimori climbs up the school roof, and finds Sen Kagemiya sitting on a water tower. Sen says he has things to think about, and wanted to try a different location for a change. Wanting to do the same, Yoshimori makes a Kekkai in mid-air so he can sit with Sen. Yoshimori mentions that Sen seems troubled, but Sen doesn't want to tell him about the Night Troop members that were killed by the Catfish Deity. Suddenly, they spot something flying overhead. Yoshimori becomes alarmed, orders Sen to stay there, and rushes toward the object by making a stairway of Kekkai in the air. As the object gets closer, it resembles a small tornado. Yoshimori confronts it, only to find Rokurou Ougi in it. Yoshimori asks why he's there, and Rokurou says he wanted to look at the place that Yoshimori was guarding. Sen is unable to tell what's going on, since Rokurou's body is hidden by the tornado, and decides to use his powers. In school, Tokine senses Sen's aura, and wonders what's going on. Sen determines that the visitor is a high level wind-user, and realizes that he must be the one that visited the Sumimura Home recently. Rokurou is unimpressed by Karasumori, and asks why Yoshimori got so upset about his mother being insulted. Yoshimori replies that Karasumori isn't as important as family, which surprises Rokurou. He wonders why Yoshimori is Karasumori's guardian if he thinks that way. Yoshimori says that it would be dangerous for the people living nearby if he didn't. Rokurou says Yoshimori is ignorant: a Shinyuuchi's guardian protects the land's power, and is usually willing to sacrifice anything for that goal. Yoshimori says he'd prefer that Karasumori had no power at all, but Rokurou says his reason for existing would vanish if that happened. Yoshimori insists things would be safer that way. Rokurou unleashes a large tornado, and suggests that people born in a land cannot understand its value. He says that Yoshimori's existence caused both his mother and brother to become outcasts. Yoshimori refuses to believe that. Rokurou says that he has no real interest in power, but that if he doesn't strive for it, there would be no place for him in the world. Rokurou leaves, and Yoshimori and Sen return to school, but Rokurou's words haunt Yoshimori.

On the way home from school, Yoshimori spots a Flying Shikigami. He follows it, unaware that Tokine is following him as well. The Shikigami leads Yoshimori to one of Okuni's masked subordinates, who reveals himself to be Namihira. He thanks Yoshimori and apologizes for his previous visit, explaining that his true purpose was to discover the intentions of the Ougi Clan. Namihira mentions that Sumiko and Masamori are in bad situations, and he wishes to discuss that. Yoshimori agrees to hear him out.[103]

Visiting Okuni

Namihira tells Yoshimori that Okuni wants to study Kekkaishi abilities. Doing so might allow them to prove that Kekkaishi weren't involved in the Shinyuuchi huntings. Yoshimori seriously considers the offer, realizing that if he allows Okuni to examine him, he might be able to clear his mother and older brother of suspicion. Namihira explains that Okuni simply has an overwhelming thirst for knowledge, and may be willing to share information with Yoshimori in return. Yoshimori warns that there are many things he wishes to know, and Namihira suggests that he negotiate with Okuni directly. Namihira summons two Flying Shikigami to transport them.

At Okuni's Mansion, Okuni explains to Yoshimori that her ultimate goal is to know the truth. Yoshimori wants to know more about the Shinyuuchi huntings, Karasumori, the Ougi Clan, and the prophecy. Okuni says her answers will depend upon his own performance. A subordinate tells Okuni that Masamori has gone to confront Ichirou. Okuni explains to Yoshimori that Ichirou is a very dangerous opponent, but that Masamori could no longer tolerate his friends and family being targeted. Okuni admits she doubts even Masamori thinks he can truly win against Ichirou. This makes Yoshimori furious, and he grabs Okuni, demanding to know where Masamori is.[104] Okuni suddenly explodes, revealing herself to have been a Shikigami. The true Okuni appears in an eye-shaped portal, and she tells Yoshimori he must first cooperate with her. She shows him a Shinyuuchi simulation that she designed, where a tree acts as the land and a lizard acts as the master. Okuni's subordinate explains that they want to discover what happens when a Shinyuuchi's god is killed. They ask Yoshimori to sit under the tree and let them handle the rest, but he refuses, being more concerned about Masamori. Okuni admits she has people observing Masamori at the moment, but tells Yoshimori it would be better for him not to go, since a Legitimate Heir's presence might change a personal conflict into a family conflict. She reminds him that family struggles could be potentially endless. Yoshimori still refuses, but Okuni tells him that Masamori does not want him there. Yoshimori insists because Masamori is doing dangerous things for his sake, but Okuni argues that Masamori feels personally responsible. Yoshimori hates the idea of Masamori living like a shadow and wants to help him in any way he can. Okuni says that Yoshimori is too pure, and so he cannot do the kind of dirty work that Masamori takes on. She decides that Yoshimori isn't ready to bargain with her, and orders Yoshimori to be locked up, reasoning that Masamori would agree with it in order to keep Yoshimori from getting involved. Okuni's subordinates surround Yoshimori and trap him within a column of light.[105]

Yoshimori wakes up some time later. Worried about Masamori, Yoshimori tries to leave, but becomes lost in the mansion. He decides to ask Okuni where Masamori is, so he can confront Masamori and convince him to stop taking on such dangerous tasks alone. Yoshimori encounters Masamori in the mansion, and instantly notices the smell of blood on him.[106] Yoshimori demands to know why he's there and what happened with Ichirou Ougi. Masamori realizes that Okuni must have brought Yoshimori, and tells him that such things don't involve him. Yoshimori insists that they do, particularly Rokurou Ougi wrecking the Sumimura Home, their Sumiko Sumimura, being suspected of Shinyuuchi hunting, Masamori confronting Ichirou, and Masamori standing before him covered in blood. Yoshimori adds that Masamori came to help when Karasumori was in danger, so it should be no different if Yoshimori wants to help him. He pleads with Masamori to depend on his family and friends, rather than trying to do everything himself. Masamori ignores this and tells him to go outside, where Mukade is waiting to take him home. They continue to argue until Masamori collapses, revealing the extent of his injuries. Okuni appears nearby in a portal and tells Masamori not to overdo it. Masamori asks why Okuni brought Yoshimori there. Okuni says he should be thankful, since she stopped Yoshimori from trying to get involved with Masamori's battle, even though Yoshimori damaged much of her home with his struggles. She adds that she could ask for compensation, and then asks how Rokurou is doing. Masamori realizes that this is the name of the Ougi brother he rescued, but is surprised when Yoshimori recognizes the name, too. Yoshimori explains that Rokurou is the one who wrecked their house, and asks if Rokurou isn't an enemy, inwardly recalling that he didn't seem interested in Karasumori. Masamori asks to speak with Okuni in private, and tells Yoshimori to go home, and that they'll speak later. However, Yoshimori waits outside until Masamori is done.[107]

Yoshimori asks Masamori what he and Okuni discussed. Masamori avoids the question. Two of Okuni's subordinates bring out a large container that is sealed with many talismans and carried by flying Shikigami. Masamori prepares to leave, but Yoshimori reminds him that he promised they would exchange info. Masamori says he is borrowing two spellcasters from Okuni who are especially good at body modification. He hopes they will be able to save Rokurou Ougi. Yoshimori is surprised to learn Rokurou is injured, and Masamori claims that he put Rokurou in a critical state. Masamori adds that Ichirou Ougi escaped, which may cause problems for Yoshimori in the near future, and apologizes for this. Yoshimori can think of nothing he wants to say, and so only tells Masamori not to push himself so hard. One of Okuni's subordinates suggest that he transport Yoshimori home so that the others can go directly to Night Troop Headquarters. Yoshimori agrees to this, and Masamori warns Yoshimori that he may need his help in the future.

Yoshimori is greeted harshly by Tokine upon his return home, literally being yanked from the sky with a Nenshi and slammed to the ground, destroying the Shikigami in the process. Tokine is furious that Yoshimori left without telling anyone and made them all worry. Noticing that he made her cry, Yoshimori desperately apologizes to her, and to his family later on at dinner. Shuji forgives him, but points out that Sen was really worried, and tells Yoshimori to apologize to Tokine again. Yoshimori decides not to tell them what Masamori was doing, as he doesn't want them to worry.[108] Yoshimori tries to catch up with Tokine as they both leave for school the next morning, but Tokine runs ahead because she is still mad at him for leaving her behind, which sends Yoshimori into another fit of depression. Yoshimori sulks on the roof at school. Sen Kagemiya arrives and is disgusted by Yoshimori's appearance. Sen admits he's already forgiven him, but warns him that Tokine will abandon him eventually if he keeps making the same mistake. Sen notes that Yoshimori is like Masamori in that they both take on dangerous things alone. Yoshimori asks about Rokurou Ougi's condition, and Sen says that he has been in a small house with Okuni's spellcasters and will likely have to stay there for some time. Sen asks what Yoshimori and Masamori discussed at Okuni's Mansion, which makes Yoshimori realize how odd it was for Masamori to ask for his help.

In an effort to make Yoshimori feel included, Sen invites him to come home with he and Shu Akitsu. They take him to Night Troop Karasumori Branch, which is actually a small apartment in a nearby complex. Yoshimori's first impression is that it seems incredibly normal. They are greeted at the door by Hakota's Mother, who takes care of the housekeeping. Yoshimori is surprised to find Hakota and Kyoichi Hiba staying there as well. Yoshimori also learns that despite how much Sen skips class, he is actually a very intelligent student. Yoshimori heads home, but is confused when Sen and Shu follow him. Sen reveals that they've been invited to dinner at the Yukimura Home, which shocks Yoshimori since he's only been there once. On the way, Tokine's mother calls Shu's cellphone and asks him to pick up some things for dinner, and Yoshimori is stunned by how close they seem. Yoshimori plans to get back on Tokine's good side, and gives her a whole cheesecake that he made himself that night. Yoshimori promises he'll change gradually, since others seem capable of it. Madarao thinks that Yoshimori is already changing at an amazing rate. Tokine forgives Yoshimori and likes his cheesecake.[109]

Healing Hidagou (Chapters 195-205)

Attack of the Mad God

At Karasumori, Yoshimori shares his snacks with Sen Kagemiya and Shu Akitsu on the roof. Sen can't understand why Yoshimori appears so relaxed, considering Saki's prophecy and the recent Shinyuuchi hunting, and asks if they should share with Tokine, who is patrolling the courtyard with Hakubi. Yoshimori tells him not to, since the snacks he shared are actually his baking rejects, and he doesn't want Tokine to taste them. While they are arguing over Sen's odd nickname for Tokine, a mysterious figure appears overhead. Everyone spots it around the same time, and watches as it slowly descends to the ground while holding an umbrella.

Yoshimori confirms that the intruder is not an Ayakashi since they did not detect it, and Tokine assumes that it is not human. Hakubi adds that it isn't a spirit either, but is very powerful despite its small stature, so it may be a god. Madarao agrees, and Sen realizes that it must be a true-born god. He explains that there are two types of gods: powerful Ayakashi who become gods if they stay in a Shinyuuchi long enough, and gods that were born in the Shinyuuchi. Trueborn gods should be pure and without malice. Hakubi notes that such a god normally could not leave its land. The god looks upward, and rain begins to fall. The god begins to release a large amount of malice, and Shu recognizes that the rain is actually blood. Sen suspects that this is the god of calamity that Saki warned them about.[110] After hearing this, Yoshimori immediately forms a Kekkai around the god, intending to destroy it. Sen stops him, explaining that killing a god is a serious crime. Yoshimori insists that protecting Karasumori is his duty, which makes this a special circumstance. Sen disagrees, because a great deal of proof would be needed to prove such a thing was necessary, and Yoshimori's family, specifically his mother, is already under suspicion for a related matter. Madarao suggests chasing the god away, which Yoshimori quickly agrees to, but Sen stops him again, since they know nothing about the god's abilities.

Meanwhile, Tokine notices that the land beneath the god's feet has turned black. Without warning, the land sinks into the black space, taking the Kekkai with it, but the god remains. Yoshimori decides to discuss strategy with Tokine, and Sen goes with him to get a closer look, and asks Shu to observe the area not yet touched by the god's blood rain. Because they don't know what impact the rain will have on Shu, Yoshimori creates a long, Kekkai roof for him to fly under. While they regroup with Tokine, the god's black area expands. Tokine thinks they should make the god leave before he does anything else. Sen goes to take a look around, but reminds Yoshimori of his earlier warning. The black spaces begin to expand at a faster rate. Yoshimori lifts the god off the ground with a Kekkai, but suddenly finds his arms weighed down by a tremendous force as the Kekkai quickly sinks into the ground again. Tokine wraps a Nenshi around the god in an effort to move him, but is unable to. Sen reports the situation to Masamori Sumimura over his cellphone. Tokine's Nenshi begins to sink as Yoshimori's Kekkai did, dragging her forward. Yoshimori and Hakubi grab onto her, and Tokine lets go so she won't be pulled in. Shu calls Sen and tells him that a giant umbrella has appeared over the school and is releasing the blood rain. Worse, it seems to slowly be getting bigger. Sen confirms with Shu that the god's black spaces have nearly surrounded the entire school. Sen shouts to Yoshimori that if this keeps up, the school may sink next. The moment he says so, the entire school begins to sink.[111] Sen notes that there seems to be no reason behind the attack, but because it involves a god, they cannot act recklessly. Tokine notices the god's umbrella starts to spin, and Shu reports the same is happening with the giant version above the school as well. This seems to increase the amount and force of the blood rainfall, which in turn begins to sink objects in the area faster.

Yoshimori desperately forms a Kekkai around the entire school, but doing so makes him feel enormous pressure. Tokine explains that when she used Nenshi on the god, every raindrop made her feel as if the weight was increasing. Sen realizes that both the rain and the black area cause the sinking effect independent of each other, so they are even more powerful when combined. Sen asks Tokine to destroy the god's umbrella, since it is likely connected to the larger one and is probably the key to stopping the rain. Tokine destroys the top half of the umbrella, and the giant version takes the same amount of damage, but both quickly regenerate. The god increases the sinking effect as a result, so Tokine snatches away his umbrella with a Nenshi and runs, trying to lure the god away from the area. Sen is amazed that Tokine would put herself in such danger, but then says that there is no need for Yoshimori to protect her, because it implies that he doesn't believe in her own power. The god begins to follow Tokine, firing blood rain at her. Tokine uses the umbrella to protect herself, but her leg gets splashed and lands on a black area, causing her leg to sink in. She is unable move as the god approaches her. Yoshimori panics, torn between his desire to protect her and the need to avoid causing trouble for his family.[112]

Tokine raises the god's stolen umbrella and offers to return it if he leaves, asking where he comes from. Instead of answering, the god begins to change again, its appearance becoming more threatening. Yoshimori grabs the umbrella with a Nenshi, yanking it away from Tokine and drawing the god's attention to him. The god moves toward Yoshimori, and Sen offers to take the umbrella so Yoshimori can focus on maintaining the Kekkai. Oddly enough, the god begins to cry tears of blood, demanding that his umbrella be returned. Sen is shocked when Yoshimori simply holds the umbrella out to the god and apologizes. The god sprays blood in Yoshimori's face, and the pressure on both he and the school immediately increases. Yoshimori is nearly swallowed up by the ground, but manages to save himself with a Kekkai to hang onto. Sen comes to help Yoshimori up, but begins to sink as well. Sen yells at Yoshimori for endangering himself, since he is the Legitimate Successor and is vital to Karasumori's protection. Tokine surround the god with a triple-layer Kekkai. Sen tries to stop her, but Tokine reluctantly destroys the god.[113]

The blood rain stops falling, the giant umbrella over the school vanishes, and the black areas making up the god's territory vanish as well. Sen asks Tokine if she really understands what she's done, and Tokine says they had no choice. Noticing the still crumbling school, Tokine sends for reinforcements, since they are all still stuck in the ground. Tokiko and Shigemori arrive to free their grandchildren, and shortly after, one of Okuni's masked subordinates arrives. The subordinate explains that he was investigating a nearby Shinyuuchi hunting incident, and says that the god who appeared in Karasumori was the master of Hidagou, a damaged Shinyuuchi. Tokiko asks why the master didn't disappear if the land is gone. The subordinate says that is often the case, but not this time. He announces his intention to report everything that happened back to the Shadow Organization, and warns Tokine that she may bear the greatest responsibility. He agrees that there was no other choice, but killing a god is still a serious crime. Shigemori questions why they are suddenly being helped, and the subordinate says he only desires the truth, and wants to avoid it being twisted. Yoshimori is clearly worried as the subordinate leaves, and Tokine reassures him, saying no one was seriously hurt.

The school is repaired completely before daybreak. Sen notices that Yoshimori is troubled. Yoshimori asks what'll happen to Tokine, and Sen admits he doesn't know, despite the fact that it was clearly self-defense. Sen suddenly gets angry at Yoshimori, blaming his acting without thinking and refusal to listen for everything. He demands that Yoshimori understand that Tokine also has a desire and duty to protect the land as a Legitimate Successor. Yoshimori admits that what he wants to do and what he does are always different. Sen encourages him to rely on his friends more, and Yoshimori thanks him.[114]

Adventures in Hidagou

Mamezo visits Yoshimori at home, and they discuss the incident with the mad god. Yoshimori expresses his desire to return the fallen god's umbrella to its rightful place, and asks Mamezo to guide him. Together they journey to Hidagou, the god's land. Tokiko is in the middle of repairing the damaged Shinyuuchi with a net-like Kekkai while one of Okuni's subordinates watches. Tokiko says it was her responsibility, since someone from her house destroyed the god. Yoshimori offers to help, but Tokiko declines, until the Kekkai suddenly bursts open. Tokiko changes her mind, and asks Yoshimori to venture into the damaged dimension and seal up any extra holes.[115] Mamezo detects an evil presence within and volunteers to accompany Yoshimori. Tokiko warns Yoshimori that his only task is to repair, and that he should return at once if he encounters an enemy.

Once inside, Yoshimori and Mamezo locate the god's house and leave the umbrella there. Jammed in a water wheel behind the house, Yoshimori finds an object resembling a Tenketsu. Mamezo detects an enemy approaching and warns that anyone able to exist in such a hostile environment must have a uniquely powerful body.[116] Their opponent is Yamiankou, an Ayakashi that Kekkai are useless against. Mamezo helps Yoshimori escape, but realizes as they run that Yamiankou is after the odd Tenketsu that Yoshimori picked up. Yoshimori manages to defeat Yamiankou by surrounding himself with his Zekkai armor and piercing the Ayakashi's outer layer with a wooden post, exposing it directly to the harmful environment. Mamezo determines that Yamiankou was being controlled by humans, and Yoshimori realizes that the odd Tenketsu must belong to the Shinyuuchi hunters. More importantly, the different shape proves that Kekkaishi are not involved in the Shinyuuchi attacks.[117] The damage to the area by Yamiankou's attack speeds up the dimension's deterioration, forcing Yoshimori and Mamezo to flee. They are suddenly attacked by a masked ability user who can create glowing blades around his limbs. His target is the odd Tenketsu, and Yoshimori realizes he must be a Shinyuuchi hunter.[118]

Yoshimori quickly finds himself fighting a losing battle: the hunter is able to harm him even through Zekkai armor. Mamezo manages to teach Yoshimori how to focus his power around a central point, enabling him to shape his Zekkai into the familiar spherical shape for the first time. However, when Yoshimori sees the Zekkai will destroy the hunter's arm (and that the hunter clearly has no fear of this), he immediately cancels the Zekkai, which allows the hunter to grab the odd Tenketsu and escape.[119] Okuni's subordinates leads Tokiko to them, and Mamezo reports the loss of the odd Tenketsu to Tokiko. Yoshimori blames himself, but Tokiko says he should be satisfied with being uninjured. She decides to teach him how to repair Shinyuuchi, though quickly becomes frustrated with his inability to follow directions.[120]

Tokine Imprisoned (Chapters 206-220)

The Transfer Team

Yoshimori eventually makes some progress repairing Hidagou, but a Shikigami bird arrives from Tokine with startling news: she has been taken into custody by the Shadow Organization's Prosecution Office for her role in the Hidagou Lord's murder. Okuni's subordinate finds the quickness of this action suspicious, and Tokiko urges Yoshimori not to do anything reckless. Tokiko and Yoshimori return to Karasumori. Yoshimori is worried that his doing anything might make things worse for Tokine, but Sen sees through him and forces him to admit he wants to save her. Recalling Tokiko's advice to rely on others, Yoshimori asks Sen for help, and Sen agrees to arrange something.[121] Yoshimori obtains permission from his grandfather to leave Karasumori again, but with the understanding that he must be prepared to face any consequences his actions create.[122] Yoshimori joins a small team from the Night Troop, headed by Miki Hatori and consisting of Sen, Shu, and Hakota. Hatori displays a document that should force the Prosecution Office to turn Tokine over to the Night Troop, and Yoshimori thanks them all for helping.[123] Hatori arranges for the group to travel by boat to Guillotine Island, the Prosecution Office's base. Hakota and Shu must remain at the dock so there will be room for Tokine on the return trip.[124] After reaching the island, Hatori presents her documentation to the co-wardens, Saigo Enjouji and Saikaku Enjouji. This is interrupted by Yashiro, one of the operatives that took Tokine away. Yashiro claims Tokine attacked her, killed her partner Kiyoderu Yuugami, and escaped, which shocks Hatori's group. The co-wardens invalidate Hatori's document (their word is law on the island), instruct her group to leave, and issue orders to recapture Tokine at once over Hatori's protests.[125] This leads to a violent confrontation in which Saigo reveals her sadistic nature and love of beheading prisoners, before she escapes. Sen has no trouble tracking her because she is a powerful Ayakashi Majiri, and well aware that they will now be treated as criminals for trying to save Tokine, Hatori's group decides to pursue Saigo.[126]

The Hunt for Tokine

They are temporarily sidetracked, first by a battle with Saikaku's Shikigami clones, and then by the island's numerous magical traps and demon guardians.[127] Sen briefly spots Tokine, but she vanishes into a forest. Realizing how distracted Yoshimori is by the sighting, Hatori gives him permission to check it out.[128] Yoshimori arrives in time to save Tokine and Kiyoderu from Saigo, sending her flying by slamming a huge Kekkai into her. Before they can escape, Yashiro and Saikaku confront them.[129] Saigo returns and orders Yashiro to back away from her prey, but Yashiro uses her psychic power to make Saigo collapse. Kiyoderu warns Tokine and Yoshimori about Yashiro's power shortly before he collapses as well. Yashiro orders Tokine to submit to brainwashing, or she will be responsible for her friends dying. Though Yoshimori is unable to see Yashiro's attack, he is still able to sense it coming and defends himself with Zekkai armor, which renders Yashiro's attacks ineffective against him.[130] Kiyoderu suggests that Yashiro may want to brainwash Tokine so that a Kekkaishi will either be responsible for the Shinyuuchi huntings, or claim they were. Yoshimori immediately demands to know if Yashiro is involved with the Shinyuuchi, but she backpedals and falls to her death. Kiyoderu believes this is a programmed response to prevent Yashiro from revealing info, and that whoever controlled Yashiro also ordered Tokine to be brainwashed.[131] Tokine becomes upset when she realizes Karasumori is unguarded, but Yoshimori is confident their grandparents will manage, and is more concerned about her. Yoshimori is jealous at how close Tokine and Kiyoderu seem to be, but Kiyoderu gives Yoshimori some romantic advice, none of which he understands.[132]

Once back at Karasumori, Yoshimori's troubles with Tokine continue. Yoshimori wants to convince Tokine to rely on him more, but Sen points out he usually has the opposite impact and causes people to worry about him. Tokine is on restriction because of her recent actions (with Tokiko replacing her at Karasumori), so there is no chance to see her outside of school. Sen offers to find out how reliable Tokine considers Yoshimori, but begins arguing with her and forgets to ask. After three days of not seeing Tokine, Yoshimori sneaks over the wall between their homes, and accidentally sees Tokine bathing.[133] This causes him to be greatly distracted and nervous, especially around Tokiko, who rather correctly assumes that Yoshimori's wicked thoughts are to blame. After Tokine's restriction is lifted, Yoshimori avoids her, until Tokine loses her cool and attacks him to keep him from running from her again. Awkward apologies are exchanged, Tokine finally thanks him for saving her, and asks him to teach her how to bake, since she is no good at it. Shocked, Yoshimori agrees.[134]

Rise of the Shinyuuchi Hunters

Souji Hiura: Enemy or Ally?

A huge fissure mysteriously appears in the schoolyard at Karasumori Academy. Soon after, the Night Troop delivers the news that Mount Okubi, a Shinyuuchi of vast importance, has been attacked, and this seems to be impacting others around it. Worse, a new prediction listing sites likely to be attacked has surfaced, and Karasumori is next on the list. Yoshimori promises the land he will protect it, and oddly enough, hears a muted response in his head, though he mistakenly assumes it was Madarao.[135] A support team consisting of Makio, Todoroki, and Takemitsu is deployed to Karasumori, not by the Night Troop, but by the Shadow Organization Headquarters. A huge Ayakashi soon attacks, but is quickly destroyed by Souji Hiura, who introduces himself as a new Kekkaishi assistant ordered to protect Karasumori. Yoshimori, however, recognizes him by his eyes as the same masked Shinyuuchi hunter that attacked him at Hidagou.[136] Oddly, Souji cannot say who he reports to or which office he belongs to. Under orders to obey the Kekkaishi, he tries to follow them home. Upon learning that Souji has a letter requesting he be allowed to stay at the Yukimura Home, Yoshimori insists that Souji come home with him instead. He later confronts Souji about their meeting at Hidagou, and in the process learns that Souji will do nearly anything a recognized authority orders him to, even endangering his own life.

Yoshimori remains highly wary of Souji, eventually coming to the alarming conclusion that Souji may be the "god of calamity" described in Saki's prophecy. Souji's behavior, however, is less suspicious and more confusing than anything else: he does not go to school,[137] and remains stiff, formal, and largely expressionless at all times. Two giant Ayakashi are dropped on Karasumori that night, and even after Souji saves Tokine, Yoshimori orders him not to fight, still convinced he is dangerous.[138] Tokine urges him to watch how Souji performs, reminding him that he was suspicious of Gen at first, too. Souji displays amazing agility and resistance to injury in battle, even managing to save Yoshimori, though this only upsets him. Souji insists he must protect the Kekkaishi, and Yoshimori sets out to prove that he needs no protection,[139] defeating one of the giant Ayakashi on his own. Souji defeats the other with Tokine's assistance, but then begins brutally hacking at its body after it is dead. Tokine tries to stop him, and now covered in blood, Souji approaches her with a cold look in his eyes. Yoshimori tries to intervene, but suddenly recieves a painful backlash in his head that sends him to his knees.[140] However, Souji merely thanks Tokine for her help and compliments her skill. In order to prevent Souji from attacking innocents, Yoshimori makes Souji promise to inform him before defeating anything. Souji finds a controlling charm attached to the defeated Ayakashi and leaves to pursue the culprit, soon returning with a suspicious man[141] who turns out to be a rouge Shadow Organization researcher hired by two female ability users. Yoshimori discusses his suspicions with Shigemori, who suggests they may be able to learn the motives of the one who sent Souji, and says he will leave it to Masamori to investigate.[142]

Yoshimori tries to get some answers from Souji concerning his orders and who gave them. For the most part, Souji is forbidden discuss anything of note, ultimately saying he only follows orders. Yoshimori is frustrated because that basically makes Souji a puppet, an idea that greatly upsets them both. Yoshimori begins to realize that his words have a powerful impact on Souji.[143] Yoshimori and Tokine agree that Souji is not evil, despite the fact that he may be involved in Shinyuuchi hunting. Sen, however, is convinced that Souji is evil, but fails to convince anyone else of this, since he lacks convincing proof. Yoshimori asks Souji to treat the idea of not harming the site or people nearby as a promise and not an order, since it will make him trustworthy, and so long as he keeps his word, they can be friends. Souji agrees. Concerned about the recent intruders at Karasumori, Yoshimori requests that Shigemori teach him more powerful techniques.[144] Shigemori gives Yoshimori the "no thought" box, a training tool created by Tokimori Hazama. Supposedly, Yoshimori will only be able to break it open by first clearing his mind. Yoshimori proves completely unable to do this at first, and all conventional means of breaking the box fail, leaving him frustrated.[145]

The Voice of Karasumori

Two members of the Night Troop's Sorcery Unit are deployed to Karasumori: unit head and charm designer Fumiya Somegi, and Ito Orihara, an intensely shy charm neutralizer. Fumiya explains that an area in the schoolyard gives off a strong magical response, so there may be an invisible mark there. Fumiya creates a floating copy of the mark that was applied to the ground. He says that it is a common charm technique: a way of marking a caster's territory, so that it will respond better to that person's power, and be difficult for others to use their power on. He and Ito begin to remove the mark, but Yoshimori immediately senses danger to the point where he falls to his knees.[146] He begs them to stop as a mysterious earthquake begins. Yoshimori explains that Karasumori is weakened by recent events, and that with the land's current instability, even removing the mark would be bad. Fumiya is confused since Yoshimori talks about that land as if it were alive. Fumiya then realizes that the mark is not a target sign, but a collar that forces the target to obey. Removing it would cause all of the force applied to the land to be released at once. Yoshimori apologizes to the land for not noticing earlier. But when Fumiya tries to put the mark back, Karasumori's power leaks out and pushes against it. Yoshimori begs the land not to resist, and hears a voice shouting "No more!" in his head as the earthquake gets worse. The voice says it is tired of being there, and wants to leave and see the outside world. Yoshimori promises the voice he will provide it with a more interesting place, if it will wait a little longer, and the voice agrees. However, Karasumori's influence has caused all Ayakashi Majiri present to begin transforming.[147] Sen manages to stay in control, and Todoroki is quickly knocked out by Takemitsu, but Shu becomes a highly aggressive vampire and repeatedly targets Tokine. Yoshimori reluctantly stays near the mark in case Karasumori grows upset again, leaving Makio, Tokine, and Souji to capture Shu. Yoshimori reminds Souji that because Shu is a friend, he is not to be harmed. Souji keeps his promise as he recaptures Shu, even allowing Shu to bite him in the process.[148] Yoshimori explains to the others how he was able to calm Karasumori, though admits he has no idea how to keep his promise to it. Fumiya and Ito are able to neutralize the mark on Karasumori.

On the way home, Tokine is able to use her ability to read techniques with her fingers to understand the principle behind the "no thought" box. Even more amazing, Yoshimori learns that Souji routinely clears his mind while using his own powers,[149] though this turns out to be because Souji genuinely thinks of nothing in combat, so there is nothing in his mind to clear. But this also means that Souji somehow manages to battle without any thought at all, which even he cannot accurately explain, though Yoshimori likens it to the state he himself enters while overwhelmed by Karasumori's influence. Souji's advice is enough to enable Yoshimori to smash open the "no thought" box, revealing a small orb inside. Yoshimori takes it to Shigemori, who then opens the sealed well in the backyard, revealing a secret training ground at the bottom.[150]

The Blank State

Shigemori instructs Yoshimori to practice entering and maintaining the blank state, which will be the second step of his training. Yoshimori quickly finds that the chamber is rigged with various extremely distracting illusions, making it difficult to focus.[151] Yoshimori later complains about feeling drained by the training, as well as the sensation that he is being watched, but Shigemori admits this is normal.[152] Eventually, Yoshimori is approached by Shimano, a nekomata that guards the well and has come to assist Yoshimori in completing the training. Other than advice, he tends to guide Yoshimori by delivering powerful electric shocks.[153]

Yoshimori gives Souji a mechanical pencil, which Souji accepts with much gratitude.[154] Masamori returns home, and Yoshimori demands to know why. Masamori says he is entrusting Karasumori to Yoshimori.[155] Yoshimori is concerned about Masamori's odd behavior, but Shimano tells him that Masamori merely understands the situation, because Karasumori depends on Yoshimori succeeding with the training.[156] Yoshimori reports to Karasumori one night to find that Makio has left for another job with many other Night Troop members. Yoshimori notices that Souji is missing as well.[157] The next morning, Yoshimori questions Souji about his absence, but Souji's orders forbid him from answering.[158]

Saki returns to Karasumori to share the details of her master's death and the dismantling of her former group, Serpent's Eye. She plans to seclude herself and focus on her predictions, and promises to share any useful information she obtains. Yoshimori learns from Makio that two Shadow Organization executives, Ichirou Ougi and Okuni, have been killed.[159] Determined to refocus his efforts on training, Yoshimori displays a perfect transition into the blank state.[160] Shimano introduces the final phase of the training: the blank state's perfect form, which necessitates the creation of a landlord, a type of clone that will control the user's power. Once selected, the landlord's form cannot be changed, and Shimano urges Yoshimori to carefully think on it.[161]

Shichirou Ougi, Legitimate Successor and future Ougi clan head, comes to Karasumori to introduce himself and apologize for his brother Rokurou's actions. Yoshimori is immediately suspicious and orders him to leave. Shichirou claims to be interested in Karasumori, but admits to being unimpressed with both Sumimura brothers that he has met. Sen warns Yoshimori not to fight Shichirou, but when Shichirou attacks Sen, Yoshimori enters the blank state, attempting to destroy Shichirou. However, Shichirou proves powerful enough to slash through even Kekkai produced in the blank state, destroying much of the school in the process. After discovering that Yoshimori has never felt the limits of his power, Shichirou seems pleased and leaves.[162]

Inspired by Shimano's appearance, Yoshimori settles on a form for his landlord, but only manages to create the shadow, and still needs to iron out the details. On the way home from school, he encounters one of Okuni's subordinates, who reveals himself to be Namihira. Namihira has a burned mechanical pencil retrieved from the site of Okuni's murder, and after using his ability to examine its memories, saw Yoshimori's face. Though he believes it was dropped by Okuni's killer, Namihira also knows that Yoshimori was at Karasumori at the time. Yoshimori is stunned, realizing it is the same pencil he gave to Souji.[163] Yoshimori confronts Souji with the evidence and demands to know if he killed Okuni. Souji cannot answer him, but feels extremely guilty and apologizes, though only for losing the pencil that Yoshimori gave him. Yoshimori discusses Souji with Sen, who urges him to focus on his priorities. Sen insists that Yoshimori shouldn't keep someone he can't trust at his side, hoping he will drive Souji away. Yoshimori instead convinces Souji to promise the next time he recieves an order to kill someone, he will first attempt to kill Yoshimori, who will stop him.[164]

Karasumori Hunted

Yoshimori continues his training, but Shimano senses something is wrong, and is worried by how hard he's trying.[165] Noticing Yoshimori seems extremely focused, Tokine asks if he is focusing too much on the blank state, though she does not really understand it. Yoshimori does not respond.

Kakeru returns to threaten Karasumori,[166] accompanied by Ichigou. Kakeru recognizes Souji as "Number Three", a former comrade, which startles Yoshimori since Souji claimed not to know them. While Ichigou draws Souji into a fight, Kakeru uses a spell to transport the school into the sky, and creates a giant gear around it capable of destroying the entire town.[167] Yoshimori and Tokine try to attack Kakeru, but they are blocked by Nigou, a phoenix Ayakashi Majiri that manipulates fire.[168]

Yoshimori cannot summon the blank state,[169] as he is plagued with doubts about Souji. Kakeru threatens to destroy the town if the Kekkaishi move against her. Souji manages to cut off Nigou's arm, temporarily removing him from the fight. Yoshimori pleads with Souji to stop fighting because the town is being held hostage, but Souji ignores him. Ichigou pins down Souji, then asks why the Commander chose Souji, but abandoned Ichigou and the others.[170] Tokine reflects on Ichigou's words, and realizes that the invaders were abandoned by the Commander, and are hunting Karasumori for revenge, while Souji is still serving the Commander. She angrily points out to Yoshimori that Souji is on their side and tells him not to hesitate any longer. Yoshimori becomes determined to protect Souji from the person who gives him orders. Souji reveals that the Commander's plans are centered around revenge.[171]

Yoshimori assists Souji, just as Nigou transforms and re-enters the battle. Souji overpowers him and is about to kill Nigou, but hesitates upon recalling his last promise to Yoshimori. Ichigou uses the distraction to grab Nigou. Sen informs Yoshimori that Fumiya Somegi and their allies have gathered to neutralize Kakeru's spell.[172] Ichigou uses a giant cyclops connected to his body to pursue Karasumori's defenders.[173] During the battle, Souji saves Sen, who still believes the worst of him.[174] However, Sen soon realizes how badly Souji has been injured, but Souji refuses to acknowledge this, based on his promise to Yoshimori that the people around him would not be hurt. Sen tells Yoshimori about Souji's injuries and determination to keep fighting, and begs Yoshimori to stop him.[175]

Ichigou fills the schoolyard with copies of his giant, creating a ceiling and effectively trapping Karasumori's defenders inside. Yoshimori enters the blank state and successfully summons his landlord Shiguma. Just as Nigou and Ichigou move to capture everyone, Yoshimori places Kekkai around them both, halting their movements. Both Nigou and Ichigou prove unable to break or escape Yoshimori's Kekkai.[176] Kakeru sets the gear into motion, breaking the Kekkai that Tokiko had set in place to prevent it. Yoshimori creates several Kekkai able to hold the gear in place, and tells Sen to go help the Sorcery Unit.[177] Fumiya completes his preparations and activates his counterspell, destroying the gear. Shiguma tells Yoshimori his Kekkai are no longer needed, so Yoshimori dispels them.[178] There is a large distortion as the school returns to the ground. Yoshimori captures Michiru and Kakeru with a Kekkai, and Shiguma announces it is time to punish them.[179] Yoshimori asks Michiru and Kakeru if they realize what they've done. Michiru says they do, and Kakeru is shocked that Michiru would cooperate as if they were prisoners. Michiru tells her that this is the end. Kakeru desperately apologizes to Michiru and bursts into tears. Yoshimori decides that he won't punish them.

Shichirou Ougi touches down on Karasumori, immediately landing mortal blows on Michiru, Kakeru, Nigou, and Ichigou with wind slashes. Shichirou explains that he waited for the Kekkaishi to settle their business, and hopes they won't interfere with his. Noting that Karasumori is Yoshimori's family business, Shichirou says he is doing the same for his family, and he is tasked with ending the situation in a grand fashion. He then releases numerous wind slashes, greatly damaging the school and the surrounding area.[180] Yoshimori tries to stop Shichirou, who manages to hold him off while focusing on his goal of damaging the school. Shiguma changes into a bird form and urges Yoshimori to focus. Yoshimori places Kekkai around himself and the others for protection. Karasumori's power begins to emerge from the ground and approach Yoshimori, but he tells it to stay back and watch. Shichirou then notices that Ichigou is gone. Sensing an attack from behind, Shichirou lashes out with an attack, but finds it is Souji instead. Yoshimori is stunned as he watches Shichirou seriously wound Souji.[181] Tokine catches Souji with a Kekkai. Souji apologizes to Yoshimori for not being able to keep his promise about remaining unhurt. Shiguma tries to get Yoshimori to calm down, but Yoshimori angrily leaves to confront Shichirou, starting to dispel the blank state and Shiguma as well. Realizing something is wrong, Tokine tells Sen to look after Souji. Shiguma vanishes, and Tokine begs Yoshimori to stop because he isn't acting like himself. Karasumori's power emerges again and offers itself to Yoshimori. Suddenly, a huge, white sphere surrounds the school, and Shichirou vanishes. The damage to the schoolground begins to vanish.[182] Tokine is very worried about Yoshimori, but Sen assures her that he did the same thing while fighting Kokuboro, and that the "white Zekkai" will only harm enemies, as it is born out of a desire to protect. Tokine tries to get Yoshimori to respond to her voice, with no success. She finally grabs him, and he does not seem to recognize her. Tokine hugs him in desperation, and the white sphere vanishes. At the same time, Souji, who had sat up while the sphere was in place, collapses. In the aftermath, Shichirou's fate is unknown. Shu Akitsu finds the Boy Kekkaishi who attempted to make contact with Karasumori's spirit world, but he had apparently been brainwashed and had no idea what was happening. Souji was badly injured, and the Relief Unit is on the way to treat him. Yoshimori is greatly upset about Souji being wounded. Masamori arrives at the Sumimura Home and asks about Yoshimori. Yoshimori says he's fine. Sen rushes in, clearly panicked, and tells Masamori that Shichirou Ougi has returned. Yoshimori overhears and goes to confront Shichirou, who is waiting outside.[183]

Souji's Recovery and Interrogation

Shichirou Ougi apologizes to Yoshimori for the way things happened, and asks how "Number Three" is as Masamori joins them. Yoshimori insists that isn't Souji's name, but Shichirou points out that "Souji Hiura" itself is only an alias, and he has no real name. Shichirou adds that Souji wasn't his target and that it would be troublesome if he died, and offers to bring in the Ougi clan's best healers. Shichirou states that he only kills those he intends to. Masamori agrees that it is likely the Ougi clan has good healers, which gives Yoshimori some faint hope that Souji can be saved. Yoshimori asks why Shichirou kills people, and Shichirou says it is his job, and he neither likes it nor hates it. His family has always been power hungry and would sacrifice anything to keep it. Likewise, it is impossible for him to escape his surroundings, even though he has his own way of doing things. Sen reports that Souji can't move but is now awake. Yoshimori says he won't forgive Shichirou, but feels he understands what Shichirou was saying.[184]

The next day, Masamori scolds Yoshimori for not resting as he was told. He points out that worrying over Souji won't change anything. Yoshimori says he's fine. Masamori refuses to accept this and forces Yoshimori to have breakfast and go to school, pointing out that he can't ignore the worries of other people. On the way to school, Tokine tries to reassure Yoshimori about Souji's treatment. Her attempt at comforting him makes Yoshimori realize that Masamori was right: he cannot ignore it when Tokine is worried for him. He apologizes for making her worry, and though Tokine laughs this off, Yoshimori sees it as an exaggerated response. He questions all his efforts at training, if he is still hurting Tokine. Yoshimori promises Tokine that he will never do anything to make her cry again, and asks her not to worry about him. At school, Sen calls Yoshimori outside to talk. Yoshimori says he will use the blank state without summoning Shiguma from now on, because not being able to stabilize the power caused trouble for everyone. Yoshimori admits that he was overwhelmed by Karasumori's power, and that things could turn very bad if he can't handle it properly.

Yoshimori watches over Souji, and is thrilled when Souji suddenly wakes up.[185]Though Yoshimori is concerned about his wounds, Souji seems no different from usual and asks about breakfast. Souji is surprised to find himself in different clothes, and Yoshimori explains that the Relief Unit healed him. Yoshimori apologizes for allowing Souji to get hurt, and asks why Souji pursued Shichirou Ougi when Yoshimori was handling it. Souji simply says he had to keep his promise. Yoshimori reflects on how difficult it is to protect everyone, and that sometimes one promise must take priority over others. He tells Souji to choose for himself what he wants to protect. He says it's okay if Souji doesn't always listen to others, because Yoshimori is the same way.

Yoshimori finds Sen Kagemiya with Kei Sazanami, who introduces himself. Sen explains that they are going to interrogate Souji, as he is connected to both the Shinyuuchi Hunters and the plot to destroy the Shadow Organization. Yoshimori protests, but Sen points out that they could have done this behind his back, but Masamori wouldn't allow it. Sazanami tells Sen not to let anyone near the room. Sen stresses that he understands Souji isn't a bad guy, but their lives are on the line.[186] Yoshimori and Sen wait anxiously as Kei Sazanami finishes his interrogation of Souji. Yoshimori is clearly hostile toward Sazanami, but Sen assures Sazanami that Yoshimori understands the importance of the interrogation. Sen asks if Sazanami was able to get any info out of Souji on the Sousui, but Sazanami was only able to get bits and pieces. Yoshimori asks them to let Souji rest.

In the Sumimura Home's well, Yoshimori brings out Shiguma so Shimano can meet him. Though Shimano seems somewhat distracted by Shiguma's appearance, he accepts that Yoshimori has reached the ultimate blank state. Yoshimori says that this isn't enough: he lacks power and focus, and was swept away by Karasumori's power when he couldn't maintain the state. He asks for a jutsu that will make him stronger, but Shimano insists that there isn't one: the ultimate blank state is the highest achievement, and all that remains after that is increasing one's own fundamental power and strengthening the whole being. At a loss, Yoshimori trains by running. Meanwhile, Shimano admits that while he still has his doubts, Yoshimori is finally proceeding to the next stage.[187] Yoshimori prepares an enormous cake to celebrate Souji's recovery. Souji is stunned at first, but accepts the cake. Yoshimori forces Souji to try different treats, trying to discover if he has a preference. Souji admits to liking chocolate, though only because of the color. Yoshimori promises his next cake will be chocolate, anyway.[188] Yoshimori completes a cake and goes to show it to Souji, but finds Souji has disappeared.[189]

Operation: Seal the Lord

Mother's Return for the Lord

Yoshimori is depressed by Souji Hiura's disappearance. Fumiya Somegi says the prints suggest that Souji left on his own. Sen Kagemiya feels certain that the Commander called Souji back, since he left his belongings and took only the clothes he was wearing. Yoshimori is distressed because he urged Souji to make his own choices, but Fumiya belives that Souji is taking care of himself the way he sees fit. Yoshimori asks where the Commander is, intending to confront him, but Sen points out that no one knows that at the moment. Yoshimori's mother Sumiko Sumimura unexpectedly returns to the Sumimura Home, leaving him in shock.[190] Yoshimori demands to know why she's returned without warning, and why she didn't show her face while handling the Dragon Deity. Sumiko merely smiles and says she can move with confidence when things are in chaos. She asks Yoshimori to show her his Musou state, which only shocks him further.

At dinner, Yoshimori is oddly quiet, while everyone else has basically re-accepted Sumiko back into the Sumimura Home. Shigemori finally asks why she returned, and Sumiko says she's come to move the lord of Karasumori. She reveals that his soul is unable to die, and that she and Yoshimori will accompany the lord the following morning. Shuji refuses to allow this since Yoshimori will miss school, but Sumiko points out he is the most in sync with the lord. Shuji criticizes her for pushing her children away when they need her and only using them when she needs them. Yoshimori insists that it's fine, but Shuji storms away, and Sumiko follows him. Shigemori asks Yoshimori if he's really okay with this. Yoshimori replies that Karasumori is at its breaking point and that he's been preparing to seal it all along.

That night, Tokine and Hakubi leave the Yukimura Home for Kekkaishi duties, and spot Yoshimori leaving his home as well. Tokine thinks Yoshimori looks depressed and assumes it's because of Souji Hiura being missing. She goes to talk to him, but is shocked by the sudden appearance of Sumiko in a Kekkaishi uniform. Sumiko tells Tokine to come help them get the lord, and though she is greatly confused, Tokine follows them to Karasumori.[191] At Karasumori, the Night Troop members on-duty are introduced to Sumiko. Sen notices that Yoshimori seems strangely subdued. Sumiko says that the Kekkaishi need to do something special, and asks that the Night Troop merely observe. Sumiko states that she, Yoshimori, and Tokine will enter the spirit world and pull out the lord. Sumiko explains that Tokimori Hazama created the spirit world they are about to enter, which is actually a barrier supported by four jugu, one in each corner. Without warning, Sumiko uses a Sensory Kekkai to locate the jugu, the sensation of which visibly disturbs Yoshimori and Tokine. Sen is also stunned, likening the sensation to when Masamori uses Kurohime to search, but far quieter, more casual, and cold. Sumiko creates a Kekkai underground to raise the jugu, and everyone but Sumiko is stunned when a large, black castle rises from the school's courtyard. Sumiko calmly says that the lord is inside, and instructs Tokine and Yoshimori to create barriers around their bodies before they go in, to protect against the spirit world's influence. Yoshimori's barrier is a little too powerful, but Tokine gets it right on the first try. Sumiko comments that Tokine's training has been going well, but that it will be a little longer before she finishes, which startles Tokine. Sumiko creates a bridge of Kekkai and tells the Night Troop not to enter, because they'll die. Hakubi questions if it's okay for he and Madarao to enter as well, and Madarao says it's fine because they have separate bodies. Tokine is impressed by how much Sumiko knows, and is determined to find out what else she knows. Sumiko enters the castle first, not waiting for Yoshimori and Tokine to catch up.[192]

Once inside, the entrance seals behind them. Sumiko obtains two lamps from a lamp seller and gives them to Yoshimori and Tokine, claiming not to need one herself. The path then splits, and Sumiko suggests that they separate. Tokine and Hakubi follow Sumiko, leaving Yoshimori and Madarao to their own path.[193] They encounter strange, frightening visions on their path, though these turn out to simply be Shikigami. Yoshimori suspects that all the castle's inhabitants are Shikigami, but wonders what Kekkaishi could have made them. They proceed through the castle, unaware that a glowing, child-like figure is observing them. Madarao is unable to track the lord because the whole castle has his scent. Yoshimori suddenly hears the sound of a child's laughter, and invites the lord to play with him.[194] Yoshimori and Tokine run into each other, and Yoshimori explains that he believes the lord to be a child who is bored. A child's voice invites them to follow the sounds of clapping. Tokine is worried that Karasumori might overwhelm Yoshimori again. Yoshimori blames himself for that time, assures her that he'll watch himself this time. He states plainly that Karasumori isn't evil, and that because he's been trapped for 400 years, he'll want to play more before he comes out. Yoshimori and Tokine briefly separate to try catching the lord on their own, but both end up at a room filled with playing children. However, they don't know which one is the lord, since they don't know what he looks like. Yoshimori searches until he spots a closet and opens it, revealing a pale young boy hiding inside. The boy tackles Yoshimori, knocking him to the ground, and begins to laugh. Yoshimori asks for his name, and the boy introduces himself as Chushinmaru.[195]

Sumiko reunites with the group, and together they return to the castle's entrance. Sumiko states that because the lord is a noble, he cannot simply go outside as is. She takes out a black orb and suggests that he ride in it instead. Chushinmaru is at first reluctant, but agrees once Yoshimori reminds him of the promise to take him somewhere better. Chushinmaru's body vanishes when he touches the orb, in which a white flame appears. Sumiko instructs Yoshimori and Tokine to leave before her, while she carries the orb in a box. The reason for this is not clear until they are outside, and the castle vanishes instantly. Sumiko explains that the castle existed only for the lord's sake, and without him it ceased to be. Likewise, anyone still in the castle would have vanished as well. The gathered Night Troop members are allowed to see the orb, and Yoshimori describes Chushinmaru as an energetic child, which shocks them. Sen notes that not even a minute passed since they went in, and Sumiko explains that time inside the castle was stopped so the lord would not grow. Makio asks if the site will become normal once they remove the lord. Sumiko says it will remain a sacred land, but they no longer have a reason to fight here. As the group moves to the gates of Karasumori Academy, the school suddenly collapses and is totally destroyed. Sumiko says this is because the ties to Karasumori's power have been cut, and that not even their power can restore it. Sumiko tells Yoshimori to properly say goodbye to Tokine, since he won't be seeing her for a while.[196] He tells Tokine that he and his mother will be leaving in the morning. Tokine points out that he can always come back, but Yoshimori is unsure of this: it is his job to seal Karasumori, but he isn't sure if he'll succeed even with his mother's help. Sensing the growing distance between them, Tokine begins to cry. Yoshimori immediately apologizes, but Tokine says she's okay. He tries to take back the entire conversation so he can do it over again, because he would rather see her smile. Tokine says she loves his kindness.

The next morning, Yoshimori and Sumiko prepare to leave. Shigemori Sumimura intends to make Shikigami clones to go to school for Yoshimori, having done the same thing for Masamori in the past. Sen asks Yoshimori to call once the lord has been relocated. Sumiko decides to take Madarao with them, and destroys the rock from his doghouse, revealing a small, striped orb within that is Madarao's true form. Yoshimori promises Tokine that he will definitely return. Shortly after Sumiko first returned to the Sumimura Home, she told Yoshimori to use the blank state in front of her. Upon doing so, Yoshimori realized she was a Shikigami clone. She admitted that she only had a seventh of Sumiko's power and memories, and was sent to collect him. Yoshimori admitted that without the blank state, he wouldn't have known the truth, and realized that the gap between his power and his mother's was wider than he ever guessed. He then resigned himself to go along with her plan, as she had over ten years of preparation for it.[197]

Tested at the New Karasumori Castle

Sumiko's clone and Yoshimori arrive at what appears to be an abandoned house. She explains they will begin training to seal the lord there, so the house is essentially the new Karasumori castle. That night, Sumiko's Shikigami shows Yoshimori the orb containing Chushinmaru's soul. The orb is now cracked because the lord's power is too great to be contained for more than a day or two. This makes it necessary to transfer the power to a new orb fairly often, which will be Yoshimori's job. The Shikigami demonstrates, using Nenshi to combine the old orb with a new one, breaking the old orb in the process. She adds that Yoshimori will need the blank state to accomplish this. Yoshimori is concerned about what would happen if he should fail. The Shikigami says that the lord would obtain a body and become human, and his time would flow forward (it was stopped to prevent him from growing up and becoming reckless with his power). Madarao comes in to warn Yoshimori that the house is surrounded by Ayakashi.[198] Yoshimori emerges from the house and begins destroying the Ayakashi. He is eventually caught off guard by a group of Ayakashi who bind him and close in to attack, but Sumiko's Shikigami saves him and calmly notes that he could have died. Yoshimori enters the blank state and summons Shiguma. The Shikigami warns him to still be careful, since he cannot currently handle this many Ayakashi. Madarao agrees that there are a very large number, and wonders if something other than the lord could be attracting them. Sumiko's Shikigami has to save Yoshimori a second time, and decides to offer some advice. She teaches him to use Sensory Kekkai in order to detect and pinpoint the location of enemies around him. Sumiko's Shikigami tells him to use it every night.[199]

Yoshimori trains during the day by running and capturing crows with Kekkai. Sumiko's Shikigami tells him that she will keep moving so long as her power lasts, so she can't use too much. Therefore, they must rely on Yoshimori's power for defense. She instructs Yoshimori to repair the holes in the roof. Since it is the lord's home for the time being, Yoshimori is allowed to use Shuufuku, but she insists that he do it directly, without any Shikigami to aid him. During the repairs, Yoshimori notices that Shuufuku seems easier to use. That night, while Shiguma attempts to guide Yoshimori through transferring the lord to a new orb, Madarao warns them that Ayakashi have already gathered outside. A tree suddenly smashes into the top level of the house, where Yoshimori is still attempting the transfer, though it doesn't hit anyone. Yoshimori looks outside, but he can only see minor Ayakashi, none of which should have the power for such an attack. Sumiko's Shikigami tells Yoshimori to fight while she handles the transfer. More trees slam into the roof, so Yoshimori places a Kekkai around the whole house. Even this does not stop the next tree, although Shiguma notes that it did not penetrate the Kekkai, but instead seemed to come from inside. It is then that Yoshimori sees an odd door floating above them. The door then vanishes.[200] Yoshimori and Shiguma are having trouble predicting where the doors and attacks will appear from next. Yoshimori moves to the roof for a better vantage point, but the next attack targets the lower part of the house where he can't see. Sumiko's Shikigami asks if she should help, but Yoshimori decides to handle it so as not to cause her any trouble. Yoshimori finds that by limiting the range of a Sensory Kekkai, he can maintain it for a longer period. He is now able to see the next door as it appears, but is surprised when a second door appears almost instantly. He tries to destroy one door, but a rock flies from the other, forcing him to dodge. Madarao sees the door and seems to recognize it. A door suddenly opens directly in front of him, and a demon inhales and devours him. Yoshimori expands the Kekkai's range, but finds nothing. The attacks continue, but this time with eight doors appearing. Yoshimori counters with Shikigami clones of himself, rebounding a rock back into the door it is fired from and hitting Kumon. With the door left open, Yoshimori leaps through it, ready to face his attacker.[201] Yoshimori finds nothing but darkness on the other side of the door. Shiguma suggests that they escape quickly, but a Sensory Kekkai detects nothing. Shiguma then suggests narrowing the Kekkai's range in order to raise the sensitivity. Yoshimori eventually finds what appears to be the house. Shiguma says this is because the doors were last near the house, so this is likely an imprint of the last thing they saw. They soon find imprints of the eight doors as well. Yoshimori is impressed with how much Shiguma knows, but Shiguma says he is only saying things that Yoshimori knows subconsciously. Yoshimori finds a central ninth door that the others are connected to. The door will not open, so Yoshimori simply tears through it with brute strength. The door vanishes, leaving him outside and quite some distance from the house. Realizing it was a trap, he races back to the house, only to find that Sumiko Sumimura's Shikigami has driven away the enemy. She coldly instructs him to fix the entire house tomorrow.

The following night, the Shikigami explains Yoshimori's mistake: without him, the training doesn't get done, and more importantly, the lord was left unprotected. She stresses that he cannot leave the lord's side. Madarao bursts in, having just recalled something important about what happened yesterday. Someone knocks on the door, and Madarao instantly recognizes both the smell and the energy as someone from yesterday. A man phases through the wall, and the demon that ate Madarao appears at the window. The man reveals that he is Tokimori Hazama.[202]

Training Under Tokimori Hazama

Yoshimori is stunned by Tokimori Hazama's return, but Madarao is overjoyed. Hazama explains that he used Kumon's power in the attack last night. He asks Sumiko's Shikigami to make a collar for Kumon, so he won't be impacted by the lord's presence. Hazama explains that the attack on the house was a test, which Yoshimori failed. Specifically, Yoshimori allowed a weaker opponent to draw him away from his goal of protecting Chushinmaru: he must protect the lord no matter what it costs him. Hazama adds that another reason not to leave the lord's side is because Yoshimori is more powerful in his presence. Hazama announces he will take over Yoshimori's training, with Sumiko focusing on improving his basics.[203] Yoshimori has trouble creating a Kekkai precisely in the center of a target. Hazama insists that accuracy is needed for the major techniques Yoshimori will learn. In addition, Yoshimori lacks intuition. Hazama explains that Yoshimori has a sensory gap: Shigemori trained him to create Kekkai with his right hand, even though Yoshimori was originally left-handed. However, Yoshimori finds it easier with his left hand. Hazama says they will fix the gap. Sumiko's Shikigami gives Yoshimori a small cloth bag for carrying around the lord's orb.[204]

While Hazama is away at Arashizaki Shrine, Chushinmaru emerges from the orb, despite his soul still being contained in it. Sumiko's Shikigami believes it is the same condition as with Madarao, and Hazama says it is fine for now. 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.[205] In order to explain the concept of Shinkai, Hazama compares it to Zekkai: where Zekkai concludes with erasing everything, Shinkai initializes everything. In other words, it creates a new world. Shinkai uses more power than would be possible for a normal human, but it will be possible if Yoshimori uses Chushinmaru's power. This will enable him to create a world where the lord can be safely sealed. He asks Yoshimori to create a nice castle, since Chushinmaru likes them.

Shu Akitsu and Sen Kagemiya arrive in town to visit Yoshimori. Sen tells him that Karasumori Academy is using portable classrooms and sending students to nearby schools. Sen and Shu are shocked to learn that Yoshimori is simply carrying Karasumori's power in a bag around his neck. Sen says that according to the prophecy, there are only two vital locations left to be attacked: Arashizaki Shrine and the Shadow Organization Headquarters, and both are nearby. Yoshimori suspects Hazama is hiding things from him, and worries that the people living there will get caught up in the war. Sen suggests trying to trick Shichirou Ougi into giving them information.

The trio go to Shichirou's school, but find out he left early. They leave, only to run into Shichirou with two girls.[206] Shichirou sends the girls away, then transports the boys to the roof of a nearby building so they won't be interrupted. Yoshimori asks if Shichirou's home is being targeted by the Commander. Shichirou says that's the rumor. Yoshimori asks why that is, since Shichirou was working for the Commander. Shichirou says that isn't Yoshimori's business. Yoshimori insists that Shichirou should properly protect the town. Shichirou says his priority is his house and land before the town. Shichirou asks if Tokimori Hazama is trustworthy. Yoshimori admits that Hazama is his master, and though he looks shady, he is a hard worker. Shichirou thanks him, and admits he wants to keep innocent people out of the chaos, since he has always lived in this area.

That night, Hazama prepares to leave the house. Yoshimori asks if he is going to visit Shichirou, and wants to speak to him first. Hazama admits that Shichirou's home is being targeted by the Commander (who he refers to as "Nichinaga"}, but urges Yoshimori to focus on the training. Yoshimori is surprised to learn that Hazama seems to be on a first name basis with the Commander.[207]

Defending Arashizaki Shrine

Just as the Commander's sea serpents have almost entirely covered Arashizaki Shrine, Yoshimori creates a Shinkai around the shrine.[208] Yoshimori's Shinkai destroys the Commander's serpents, freeing Kaigen in the process. Shichirou Ougi notes that the technique doesn't seem ominous as it did last time, and instead feels serene. Yoshimori explains that Tokimori Hazama said that Shichirou wouldn't be able to defend against a psychic attack. Shichirou refuses to ask for help, but Yoshimori says he is only interfering on a whim because he doesn't want the land destroyed. Lady Mayuka is uncomfortable with the situation, but Hazama assures her they have no plans to harm the land (though he does add that the Shinkai will expel anyone who tries to attack Yoshimori, to discourage her from attacking). Yoshimori extends the Shinkai to cover the entire mountain, and borrows Chushinmaru's power to do so.

Yoshimori notices Souji Hiura arriving on a flying Ayakashi. Zero attacks the Shinkai, but it does little damage, and is only a distraction to allow Souji to escape with the Commander, who also activates a huge spell that covers the entire mountain and takes away all of Shichirou's men.[209] Hazama instructs Yoshimori to dispel the Shinkai. Hazama notes that Yoshimori seems a bit pale and shaky from producing the Shinkai and using Chushinmaru's power while in the blank state, and though Yoshimori claims he is fine, Hazama tells him to rest for a moment. Yoshimori inwardly notes that his body is out of energy. He apologizes to Shichirou for interfering.

Shichirou states that Shinyuuchi hunting requires someone like Yoshimori who has the power of spatial control. He adds that Souji was one of the ones sent to Yoshimori's house for the attack on Karasumori, and was supposed to kidnap a Kekkaishi from the Sumimura and Yukimura families. However, Shichirou injuring Souji was not part of the plan, which is likely why Souji fled. Shichirou adds that the Shadow Organization was observing the house, so they already know what happened. Shichirou predicts that a war will soon break out between the Commander and the Shadow Organization. Yoshimori is disturbed that the land will get caught up in the battle. A large tornado touches down before them, and Shichirou instantly recognizes his father Nizou Ougi and his brother Rokurou Ougi. Rokurou says an intruder placed several of Okuni's subordinates under hypnosis and made them burn her house on the night of her assassination. He learned from Masamori Sumimura that the Commander has such a power. Nizou orders Shijima to account for everyone who was taken and expel them from the clan, as the clan cannot be held responsible for any acts they commit under the Commander's control. Shichirou dislikes the thought of abandoning his men, but Nizou insists they are no longer his. Nizou tells him to settle things on his own, but he will do so without help. Shichirou accepts this. Nizou and Rokurou leave, and Shichirou finally thanks Yoshimori on behalf of his clan. Yoshimori makes sure to say goodbye to Shichirou before leaving.

Yoshimori feels he could have done more to prevent Shichirou's men from being taken, and wonders if Souji was brainwashed. Hazama says there's no point in wondering what if, and that the test run went well. Yoshimori is appalled at the thought that Hazama only agreed to help Shichirou in order to test Yoshimori's Shinkai. Hazama points out that based on how tired Yoshimori is from the night's activities, he won't have the time for another test run.[210]

The Truth Behind the Legend

Yoshimori learns about the fall of the Shadow Organization Headquarters from some local crows and confirms it with a phone call to Sen Kagemiya. Tokimori Hazama insists that their plans have not changed, which upsets Yoshimori. He says what Yoshimori thinks of him doesn't matter, so long as Yoshimori concentrates on the sealing for Chushinmaru Karasumori's sake. Yoshimori guesses that Hazama is so desperate because Chushinmaru is his son, but that the lord doesn't know this. Yoshimori says he's been thinking of other ways to handle their situation, but Hazama says there is no other way: outside of a Shinkai, Chushinmaru would drain the lives of others just by existing, though this Hazama's fault, as well as why he is not fit to be a parent.[211] Hazama reveals the details of his past to Yoshimori.[212] Yoshimori realizes that Chushinmaru was responsible for the fall of the Karasumori Clan. Hazama admits that he changed the story so that his son would not be blamed.[213]

Yoshimori is concerned about his chances of a successful sealing, since Hazama was unable, and Yoshimori considers Hazama's creations (Lord Uro's bed and the black castle formerly under Karasumori Academy) to be far beyond his grasp. Hazama points out that Yoshimori is not alone: he will have power from the lord and land, as well as the cooperation of the other Kekkaishi. Hazama, on the other hand, only had the land's power at the time. In the event that he failed, he created an insurance policy: he trained ability users from the Shadow Organization, told them the false legend of the Karasumori Clan, and left them in charge of Karasumori. Included in this was the Houin ritual, which is really only a symbol that appears on those Chushinmaru favors. Hazama manipulated all of this to bind the Kekkaishi to the land, and went a step further by instigating conflict between the various Kekkaishi families. Though he did not wish for them to wipe each other out, he admits that only the strongest ones survived, which suited his plans.

Eventually, Hazama met Sumiko Sumimura, and they devised a plan: Sumiko searched the world for a suitable sealing site. Yoshimori is stunned to realize that Hazama is to blame for both Sumiko and Masamori leaving home, the feud between the Kekkaishi families, the Sumimuras having to fight Ayakashi, and all the deaths at Karasumori. Hazama agrees and apologizes, but urges Yoshimori to focus on the sealing so it can all end. Hazama says that Spirit Reservoir Owners like Chushinmaru typically age to the point where they cannot move, and repeatedly die and come back to life. He wanted Chushinmaru to avoid any further suffering, and sealing him will accomplish that. Hazama warns Yoshimori that if he decides to quit, Sumiko will perform the sealing herself. He believes Sumiko is cooperating for the sake of her children. This makes Yoshimori furious, but Hazama says he will use whatever means he has to. Hazama says he has no more power, that only his lingering feelings for his son keep him bound to the world, and that his time is almost up.[214] Yoshimori punches Hazama, but his fist passes through him. Yoshimori demands all the information he will need for the sealing, but refuses to accept any further orders from him. Yoshimori swears when it is all over, he will be the one to make Hazama disappear. Hazama says he wants to remain in the world for his son's sake.

That night, Yoshimori destroys Ayakashi around the house while Chushinmaru cheers him on. Yoshimori asks Chushinmaru if he wants to be able to live outside, and go where other people are. Chushinmaru wonders why he still can't go outside, but soon becomes excited over the castle that Yoshimori has promised to build for him. Chushinmaru says that though Hazama has his faults, he is still his favorite servant. Yoshimori decides to go along with all the lies that Chushinmaru has been told.[215]

A Visit from Tokine

Yoshimori calls Masamori from a pay phone and asks if Hazama visited him. Masamori confirms that he did, and says he will defeat the Commander himself. Yoshimori is confused by Masamori's confidence, but happy for him. Yoshimori then calls his father, who is at a grocery store, and asks him to send some additional clothing. Yoshimori is then shocked when his father hands the phone to Tokine.[216] Yoshimori says his training is going well, and Tokine says that Mikeno thinks she is almost ready.

Yoshimori tries return to training, but is distracted by thoughts of Tokine. He realizes he really wants to see her. Tokine arrives later with some things that Shuji asked her to drop off. The visit is very awkward, so Yoshimori brings up Hazama, but is annoyed that Hazama still hasn't apologized to Tokine's family. Tokine says that Mikeno told her that Chushinmaru Karasumori was Hazama's son. Tokine's task in the overall plan is convince the god of the land where Shadow Organization Headquarters is located to move to a new location. Yoshimori is concerned, but Tokine says she's fine, and points out that his role is far more difficult. She says they must do their best, so no one else will meet the same fate as her father. Tokine leaves, but they are both unsatisfied with how awkward the visit was. Yoshimori suddenly runs after Tokine, insisting that if she were fine she wouldn't look so worried. Yoshimori offers her a chance to back out of the plan, but Tokine refuses. Yoshimori hates that Tokine hasn't smiled. Tokine hugs him, smiles, and makes him promise that they'll see each other again.[217]

Chushinmaru Karasumori is excited by both the nearby storm and the thought of his new castle. Yoshimori decides to be truthful, and tells Chushinmaru that his power hurts everything around him.[218]

A New World

Yoshimori and Chushinmaru Karasumori arrive in Hakuma's spirit world, riding on Kokuyou's back. With them are Shigemori Sumimura and Tokiko Yukimura.[219] Tokiko sees "Mahora" and assumes, just as Tokine did, that it is Hakuma's god. Tokine asks "Mahora" to do something about Chushinmaru's power. "Mahora" seems insulted by the very idea of being asked to clean up a mess that humans made. Yoshimori explains that Chushinmaru's power isn't his fault, and that he isolates himself to protect others, but he really does want to be a normal child. "Mahora" replies that even if Chushinmaru's power were taken from him, he would continue to drain the lives of others, and that the only way to erase his power would be to consume him, effectively ending his life. Chushinmaru rejects this idea at once, because he is determined to become a great man that brings honor to his family name, for the sake of his parents. Yoshimori asks that Hakuma be handed over to them, and to Tokine's surprise, "Mahora" agrees to talk to the land's master, the true Mahora. Mahora emerges from Hakuma's trees, and the false Mahora identifies itself as "The Gazer" who observes the world as it changes.[220] Shigemori and Tokiko offer to escort Mahora to a new home. Mahora seems to agree with The Gazer's suggestion to leave without protest. As Mahora prepares to leave, the Gazer plans to accompany him, and instructs Suigetsu to come along. She allows the Gazer to consume her. Tokine wishes Yoshimori good luck with his part as she leaves with the others on Kokuyou. Masamori entrusts Yoshimori with sealing Karasumori's power for good and returning home afterward. Yoshimori asks Souji to look after Masamori for him, and creates an enormous Shinkai.[221]

Yoshimori vows to create a world filled with whatever Chushinmaru Karasumori wants. Chushinmaru immediately asks for a castle, and Yoshimori draws on his power to make an enormous castle. Chushinmaru is impressed, but Yoshimori says that with their combined power, they can freely manipulate the Shinkai, so this is only the beginning. He surrounds the castle with a sprawling town, and even adds a mountain overlooking it. Chushinmaru is amazed, but Yoshimori reminds him that now he'll need playmates. Chushinmaru asks for Ayakashi, and while Yoshimori begins with Ayakashi he's encountered, he ends up adding a copy of nearly every creature or person he's met. Chushinmaru then demands girls, but Sumiko Sumimura then arrives. Yoshimori is puzzled how she got so close without him noticing. Sumiko comments on how large the Shinkai is already, but encourages him to add more, since it should surpass the contents of his old castle. Yoshimori adds girls, children, and townspeople. Sumiko notes that Chushinmaru looks happy, and Yoshimori says he has only provided what Chushinmaru wanted so far. Yoshimori then adds a copy of Gen Shishio, and at Sumiko's suggestion, a copy of himself as well. The black orb containing Chushinmaru's power breaks, and the power flows back into Chushinmaru. Yoshimori is concerned, but Sumiko says it's fine: Chushinmaru has no real body there, so he can live happily until he disappears. Sumiko offers to guide Yoshimori to the exit, but as he turns to leave, Chushinmaru shouts out that Yoshimori has created the best world ever. Sumiko leads Yoshimori into darkness, and says if he keeps going, he will eventually emerge outside. She says he did well, but then reveals that the Shinkai will not be complete until it is closed from the inside.[222]

Yoshimori angrily says he hates the idea of Chushinmaru. Yoshimori promised to protect him so Chushinmaru could live outside, but Chushinmaru never accepted that possibility. Sumiko points out that Chushinmaru chose that fate so he could protect others, but Yoshimori continues to say he hates the whole idea. Sumiko finally says that she thought everyone would be happy with it: if she seals the Shinkai, Yoshimori would no longer be the heir, and their family would no longer be bound to Karasumori. Sumiko says she doesn't understand people's hearts, and that someone with her power isn't capable of living as a normal person. She admits she was unable to do anything for Yoshimori or their family, and that all she can do is use her monstrous power for their sakes. Yoshimori insists that she isn't a monster and that things will be fine if she's with them, but Sumiko says they're already used to her not being home. Sumiko reveals that she visited Yoshimori while he was training under Hazama, only to find him fast asleep. She admits that was the last time she saw him with her own eyes, and after saying so, her body dispels, revealing it to have been a Shikigami clone. With her last words, Sumiko says it will take some time to seal off the huge world that Yoshimori created.

Hazama appears and tells Yoshimori it's pointless to resist: Sumiko has a hard will, and Yoshimori is nowhere near her level. He points out that Yoshimori has been in the spirit world for three days, which is his limit. Hazama says he's achieved his goals now, and that Yoshimori is free to do what he wants. Yoshimori gives Hazama a real body within the Shinkai, which will keep his spirit from fading. Then he punches Hazama in the face, and orders him to stay by Chushinmaru's side, and to eventually tell him the truth about their relationship. Yoshimori returns home, only to find his family eagerly awaiting him. [223] Yoshimori apologizes and falls to his knees, alarming everyone. A clone Shikigami of Sumiko Sumimura enters behind him, and Yoshimori reveals that he couldn't convince her to come home.

An End to Conflict

The next day, Yoshimori and Tokine leave for school at the same time, and walk together. Yoshimori says that Toshimori has gone ahead, even though they now attend the same school (due to Karasumori Academy's destruction, middle school students are taking classes at the grade school). Yoshimori asks about the Shikigami that his grandfather sent to replace him at school. Tokine says that it acted like an old man, which doesn't surprise Yoshimori, since the same thing happened when Masamori was in school. They pass the former site of Karasumori Academy, where construction on the new school has already begun. Yoshimori wishes he could still attend there, but Tokine says it's not that great with the portable classrooms and the loud construction. Yoshimori mentions that his night job has ended, and Tokine asks if his Houin has gotten paler. Yoshimori reasons that since Shikigami get weaker the farther away they are from the creator, the Houin might fade if the connection to Chushinmaru was severed, and that his mother's Shikigami might vanish once the Shinkai at Hakuma is complete. Tokine comforts Yoshimori by saying he'll soon be back at Karasumori Academy as a high school student.

Yoshimori goes to class with his friends at Mikageyama Grade School. Toshimori, Konta, and Gatcho come to visit him, and he shows them a new castle cake design. On his way home from school, Yoshimori senses something, looks at his hand to see that the Houin is finally gone, and realizes the Shinkai is completely sealed.[224] Yoshimori brings Tokine to his house while his family is out, so he can teach her how to make cheesecake. Tokine asks if he will become a pastry chef, but Yoshimori says he will become an architect so he can make a castle. Tokine calls him a dreamer, and Yoshimori reveals he only wants to make a castle big enough for the two of them. Tokine points out that to be an arcitect, Yoshimori would need to know math, which depresses him. She adds that she wants to be a math teacher, so she can teach him, but the thought of Tokine as a teacher horrifies him.[225]


  1. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 1
  2. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 5
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 9
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 3
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 4
  7. 7.0 7.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 6
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 8
  9. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 7
  10. Kekkaishi manga, Chapters 82-83
  11. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 33
  12. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 84
  13. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 85
  14. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 86
  15. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 87
  16. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 88
  17. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 89
  18. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 90
  19. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 91
  20. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 92
  21. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 93
  22. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 94
  23. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 95
  24. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 96
  25. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 97
  26. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 98
  27. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 99
  28. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 100
  29. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 101
  30. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 102
  31. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 103
  32. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 104
  33. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 105
  34. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 106
  35. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 107
  36. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 112
  37. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 114
  38. Kekkaishi manga, Chapters 116
  39. Kekkaishi manga, Chapters 117
  40. Kekkaishi manga, Chapters 118
  41. Kekkaishi manga, Chapters 119
  42. Kekkaishi manga, Chapters 120
  43. Kekkaishi manga, Chapters 121
  44. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 122, pages 1-17
  45. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 123, pages 1-18
  46. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 124
  47. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 125
  48. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 126, pages 1-18
  49. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 127, pages 1-18
  50. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 128, pages 1-18
  51. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 129, pages 1-18
  52. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 131
  53. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 132
  54. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 133
  55. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 134
  56. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 135
  57. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 137
  58. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 138
  59. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 139
  60. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 140
  61. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 141
  62. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 142
  63. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 143
  64. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 144
  65. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 145
  66. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 146
  67. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 147
  68. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 148
  69. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 149
  70. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 150
  71. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 151
  72. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 152
  73. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 153
  74. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 154
  75. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 155
  76. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 156
  77. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 157
  78. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 158
  79. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 159
  80. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 160
  81. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 161
  82. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 162
  83. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 163
  84. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 164
  85. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 165
  86. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 166
  87. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 168
  88. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 170
  89. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 171
  90. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 172
  91. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 173
  92. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 174
  93. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 175
  94. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 176
  95. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 177
  96. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 178
  97. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 179
  98. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 180
  99. Kekkaishi magna, Chapter 181
  100. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 182
  101. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 183
  102. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 184
  103. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 186
  104. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 187
  105. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 188
  106. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 191
  107. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 192
  108. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 193
  109. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 194
  110. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 195
  111. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 196
  112. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 197
  113. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 198
  114. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 199
  115. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 200
  116. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 201
  117. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 202
  118. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 203
  119. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 204
  120. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 205
  121. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 206
  122. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 207
  123. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 208
  124. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 209
  125. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 210
  126. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 211
  127. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 212
  128. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 214
  129. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 215
  130. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 216
  131. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 217
  132. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 218
  133. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 219
  134. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 220
  135. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 221
  136. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 222
  137. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 223
  138. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 224
  139. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 225
  140. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 226
  141. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 226
  142. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 228
  143. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 229
  144. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 231
  145. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 232
  146. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 233
  147. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 234
  148. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 235
  149. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 236
  150. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 237
  151. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 238
  152. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 239
  153. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 240
  154. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 241
  155. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 242
  156. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 243
  157. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 244
  158. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 245
  159. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 246
  160. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 247
  161. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 248
  162. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 250
  163. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 252
  164. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 253
  165. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 254
  166. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 255
  167. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 256
  168. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 257
  169. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 258
  170. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 259
  171. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 260
  172. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 261
  173. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 262
  174. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 263
  175. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 264
  176. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 266
  177. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 267
  178. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 268
  179. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 273
  180. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 274
  181. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 275
  182. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 276
  183. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 277
  184. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 278
  185. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 279
  186. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 280
  187. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 281
  188. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 282
  189. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 283
  190. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 284
  191. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 285
  192. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 286
  193. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 287
  194. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 288
  195. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 289
  196. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 290
  197. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 291
  198. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 292
  199. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 293
  200. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 294
  201. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 295
  202. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 296
  203. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 297
  204. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 298
  205. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 300
  206. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 301
  207. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 302
  208. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 307
  209. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 308
  210. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 309
  211. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 312
  212. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 313
  213. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 315
  214. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 316
  215. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 317
  216. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 321
  217. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 322
  218. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 329
  219. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 338
  220. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 339
  221. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 341
  222. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 342
  223. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 343
  224. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 344
  225. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 345

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