Honestly, the reason why I did Sakyou second was because I found him super shady. I certainly didn’t expect to love this route as much as I do now, and his sharp tongue only adds to his
sarcastic cunning charming personality. (*ﾟｰﾟ*)❤
Sakyou is the son and heir of the Sagihara family, a family of hatamoto serving the Fushimi clan in Yamashiro Province. In addition, his family are also descendants of Amakuni—a group of legendary blacksmiths formed back in the Heian period. After his family was murdered, Sakyou threw away his status and came to Edo seeking for revenge. While he may look like a sheltered noble, his journey has taught him how to survive and carry himself in the world. 18 years old.
Tokaido Fake Wedding Parade Arc
If Kayo asks for Sakyou’s help, he immediately tells her to get off the horse. She has no idea how to do it since the horse is still struggling violently, and she’ll definitely fall off if she tries to get off… but he assures her that it’s alright and only asks her to do it quickly. However, Kayo is shocked when her vision suddenly sways. Her legs become unsteady, and she can’t feel the horse’s back—even though she’s supposed to be sitting on it. At the same time, she can hear Enishi screaming that she should’ve just asked him to help. It takes a while for her to realize that the horse has thrown her into the air. Out of panic, she closes her eyes thinking she’s going to fall… except she never hits the ground.
When Kayo opens her eyes again, she finds herself in Sakyou’s arms—with him asking her to calm down. At first she’s really confused about what just happened, but then she realizes that he must’ve caught her the moment she fell down. Sakyou lowers his voice as he asks Kayo to leave the rest to him, and she nods without really understanding what he means. She simply believes that he’ll do something to get them out of this situation, but she learns the meaning behind his words soon after that.
Meanwhile, Suzukake finally manages to calm the horse down. He assures her that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and she doesn’t have to worry either because Kayo is unharmed. Suzukake wonders if she was surprised because the footman suddenly approached her, and obviously this causes the footman to feel bad. He immediately apologizes to Kayo for the incident, but she assures him that she’s alright—because Sakyou caught her in time. However, she instantly turns pale when the footman notices her charm on the ground. She completely forgot because of the horse’s sudden panic attack, but this is the biggest problem for her. It’s strange for a bride to carry a protective amulet, not to mention it has her name written on it.
Kayo starts panicking inside when the footman picks up her charm, and he looks confused upon noticing that it’s a protective amulet. Before she can figure out what to do, Sakyou suddenly whispers “pardon me, princess” into her ears… and then he proceeds to pinch her arm. With a very charming smile too. Σ(ﾟーﾟ；) Both Enishi and the footman are obviously surprised when Kayo screams in pain, and Sakyou follows this up by pretending to check her condition. He lets out a loud gasp on purpose before pointing out that her arm has been stabbed by a thorn, which must’ve happened when she fell off the horse. Since the incident was caused by the footman, Sakyou quickly pins the blame on him for injuring Ookubo Tadashige’s bride.
The footman nervously apologizes and asks Kayo to go back into the office, so they can treat her wound before the thorn goes even deeper into her skin. Fortunately for him, Suzukake says they don’t have to do that. As the princess’ doctor, it’s his job to look after her wound. Besides, it’d be quicker than going back into the office. The footman looks REALLY relieved to hear this. He gladly leaves the job to Suzukake and tries excuse himself, but Sakyou reminds him that he’s still holding onto Kayo’s charm. When Sakyou tells him to give it back, the poor thing quickly hands the charm over, wishes them a good journey ahead, and runs away immediately after LOL. Kayo is completely speechless. She doesn’t really understand what just happened, but she does know that Sakyou has saved her twice—in two different ways.
After the footman left, Sakyou sighs saying that worked out somehow. He then hands the charm back to Kayo, and she thanks him before putting it back into her sleeve. She admits she was really afraid that the footman would notice her disguise, and he smiles saying he knows that. She needs to make sure that she won’t drop her charm again though. That nearly gave her a heart attack. When Suzukake asks where the thorn is, Sakyou answers that the thorn is obviously a lie LOL. Of course Suzukake is really surprised, and Kayo can understand since Sakyou’s acting was really convincing. She only saw through his act because he pinched her, or else she would’ve been fooled as well. Enishi actually saw this too, and he’s clearly not happy with what Sakyou did to Kayo… but Sakyou points out that they didn’t have any options.
Everyone else comes out of the office not too long after that. They find it strange that Kayo isn’t sitting on the horse, so Saneaki asks if something happened. However, Sakyou calmly denies this and suggests leaving the checkpoint as quickly as possible. While his reaction is clearly shady, everyone agrees to resume their journey after that. Suzukake apologizes for scaring Kayo as he helps her to get back on the horse, but she actually feels grateful—both towards him and Sakyou. Thanks to them, she didn’t end up getting hurt.
Along the way to Hakone Station, Sakyou leaves his spot at the back of the formation to talk to Kayo. He apologizes for pinching her arm earlier, but she thinks it was her fault to begin with. She shakes her head and thanks him for getting them out of that situation, but then Suzukake also comes over to apologize to him. Suzukake feels bad, especially because he still doesn’t understand why the horse suddenly went wild. Kayo doesn’t think Suzukake did anything wrong though, and she also apologizes for troubling them… so Sakyou tells them that it wasn’t anyone’s fault. This makes her feel a bit better, though she knows that she might be depending too much on his kindness.
Just then Kei tells Suzukake to fix the horse’s accessories. They’re all messed up because of the incident at the checkpoint earlier, and it’s making the horse look shabby. As Suzukake goes to fix them, Sakyou sighs saying he’s just glad that Kayo is unharmed. However, if something happens again… he wants her to rely on either him, Mitsuyoshi, Hanzou, or Saneaki. He wouldn’t really mind if she chooses Tsuzuramaru or Kei, but he finds them a bit unreliable. He wants to guarantee her safety as much as possible, so he warns her not to rely on Suzukake or Enishi no matter what. He’s giving her this advice in order to keep her safe, and so he asks her to keep this in mind.
At first Kayo is a bit taken aback, but then she asks if Sakyou is worried about her. He replies that it’s only obvious, because she’s the center of this wedding parade. As her guard, it’s his job to prioritize her safety. It still makes her happy though, so she smiles and thanks him for the concern. He quietly answers that he didn’t do anything that deserves her gratitude, then he averts his gaze and turns away from her. However, she notices that his ears are a bit red… and this makes her feel embarrassed too. ｲﾔﾝ☆(*´∀`)σ)))))*3ﾟ),･´.､
Sadly, despite this cute moment with Kayo, Sakyou is actually still waiting for the bandits to appear.
If Kayo asks everyone to stay calm, Sakyou is satisfied to see her acting like a real princess. He agrees that the mantis isn’t a tough opponent if they can remain calm, and he sends everyone to go on ahead. Since he looks so relaxed, Kei agrees and asks him to take care of the youkai. Before leaving, Kayo asks Sakyou not to push himself too hard… so he smiles and thanks her for the concern in return. The youkai looks very amused as everyone escapes with Kayo. It’s planning to kill them after dealing with Sakyou, but he calmly blocks the way—saying he won’t let it take a single step ahead.
The youkai mockingly says that Sakyou should’ve stayed with his friends and fought it hand-in-hand, but Sakyou only smiles and answers that it must be joking. He thinks the youkai should be worrying about its own life instead, but of course it doesn’t take him seriously. When Sakyou draws his sword, Hotarumaru, the youkai laughs saying it’s useless and quickly disappears. After all, Sakyou wouldn’t be able to touch it if it’s invisible… right? Nope. The youkai made a fatal mistake by underestimating Sakyou’s intelligence, which in fact stands on a terrifyingly high level. (⊙ω⊙✿)
Since the youkai is releasing its excitement into the air, Sakyou uses it to detect its location and slashes its torso. He’s clearly disappointed that the youkai isn’t as powerful as it says though, since he was expecting this battle to be a bit more… uh, enjoyable. As the youkai cries out in pain, Sakyou decides to put it out of its misery by beheading it—sending more blood to fly onto your screen. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡ As the youkai lies dead on the ground, Sakyou sighs saying it doesn’t entertain him in the slightest bit. He couldn’t care less about small fries like this, because all that he wants is to crush those bandits as fast as possible. After taking a deep breath to calm himself down, he leaves to chase after everyone else.
By the time Sakyou catches up, Kayo is really worried about him. He apologizes for making her worry, but then she notices that his kimono sleeve is stained in blood. He says it’s the youkai’s blood though, and he asks her not to worry because he’s completely unharmed. She thinks they should still show it to Suzukake just in case, but then he holds her hands and lightly shakes his head—telling her that she shouldn’t touch tainted blood like that. When she tries to argue, he continues saying that she’s different from them. She’s different from him. Once this journey is over, she will return to her peaceful life. If it was him, he can bathe in blood and have no problems with it… but they obviously can’t let her do that. When Sakyou asks her to prioritize herself, Kayo feels that his hands are really warm and soothing.
Feeling jealous of Sakyou, Enishi quickly interrupts and pulls them apart. He also points out that Kayo is blushing, and he gets horrified at the thought that Kayo might’ve fallen in love with Sakyou LOL. Kei has to drag Enishi away from Kayo when he starts asking her to hold his hand too, and he continues whining as they resume their journey.
During dinner, Kayo notices how graceful and refined Sakyou is. This brings her to wonder about what he usually does in his daily life, so she asks if he’s working as a bodyguard. He answers that he’s a ronin, and he’s traveling from one province to another in the hope of finding a job. Noticing that she looks surprised, he asks if she finds this unexpected. Kayo nods and admits that she was surprised too when Sakyou first introduced himself as a ronin, because he really doesn’t look like one. She also mentions that his parents must be highly respectable people, mainly because of his polished manners.
However, Sakyou replies that he’s an orphan who doesn’t have any parents nor relatives. Of course Kayo is surprised and feels terrible for bringing this up, but he assures her that it’s alright—it’s all in the past. He gently smiles at her, but she notices that his smile also looks a bit sad. Kayo still feels bad though, and she tries comforting Sakyou by saying that he’s very strong and graceful. She believes he will be able to find a job, and he thanks her saying he’s hoping for the same thing. Feeling awkward, Kayo then tries to change the atmosphere by pouring tea for both of them. She can’t find a teapot at their table though, so Sakyou decides to go outside and fetch one—which obviously causes her to feel even worse. Sakyou says he feels grateful for Kayo’s consideration, but he asks her to just take it easy.
When Sakyou turns his back at her, Kayo feels embarrassed because he DOES realize that she was trying to comfort him. In the end, she only apologizes and leaves the task to him. However, just before he leaves, Sakyou mutters: “A merchant’s daughter is so carefree.” ∑(‘◇’*)ｴｪｯ! Kayo doesn’t catch this and asks if he said something, but he quickly says it’s nothing. Instead, he gives her a smile and asks her to wait here for a while—he’ll be back soon.
Kayo refuses to be touched by the bandits, as she doesn’t want them to stain the shiromuku. Instead, she says she’ll take it off by herself. Shiguragi obviously isn’t pleased with her haughty attitude, so he snickers and demands her to strip in front of them. Kayo can feel herself trembling in fear and embarrassment. She never thought she’d have to reveal her skin in front of these vulgar bandits, and she sadly apologizes to her parents in her mind. Fortunately, Sakyou arrives before she can even take her obi off. When Shiguragi asks who he might be, Sakyou answers by throwing a spinning top onto his face—hitting right him in the eyes. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡
This instantly pushes Shiguragi back, and Sakyou tells Kayo to run away by using an animal trail on the right side. An oni grabs her sleeve and tries to pull her back, but he quickly throws his spinning top to hit the oni—also in the face. Beautiful, isn’t it? ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* The oni groans and clutches his face as he collapses to the ground, so Sakyou takes this chance to send Kayo to escape. Kayo feels really terrified as she follows the trail. Her body flinches whenever she recalls what just happened, but she forces her legs to keep running. At the same time, she’s also desperately praying for Sakyou’s safety.
To be honest, I’m more worried about Shiguragi LOL. Kayo only stops when she eventually hears a horse’s neigh, and she follows it to find her horse tied onto a tree. Most likely by Sakyou, who must’ve found her along the way.
Kayo gently pats the horse’s back, knowing that she must be scared too. She also assures the horse that Sakyou will surely be alright, so she decides to wait for him to catch up. Kayo is right about this. Sakyou is doing fine even though he’s alone. The bandits, however, aren’t exactly okay. Sakyou says they’re just as low as ever for trying to strip a girl naked in a place like this, but Shiguragi only scoffs and calls him a dog of the shogunate. Upon hearing this, he smiles and replies that he’s not working for Tokugawa… but the next second, that smile turns into a snarl. As he takes out his sword, Sakyou states that he came from the Sagihara family—the family of bankata serving the Fushimi clan in Uji, Yamashiro Province. Sakyou knows they recognize the name, and Shiguragi’s shocked expression only confirms that he actually does remember.
When Shiguragi orders his men to attack, Sakyou easily dodges everything. He fell behind back in Mount Hakone, but now that they’re in an open space… he has an advantage. His long sword, Hotarumaru, can crush even the savage bones of oni, and he’s going to let them have a taste. From there, Sakyou swings Hotarumaru without any hesitation and wipes the ground with oni blood—leaving only Shiguragi in the end. (⊙ω⊙✿) Before moving on, Sakyou asks Shiguragi to state his name. Shiguragi agrees. After stating his name, he draws his chained scythe and swings it in the air—ready to take Sakyou on. Silence hangs in the air as they glare at each other, waiting for the right timing to attack.
The first one who makes a move is Shiguragi. He casts the chain on his weapon around Sakyou’s neck, and then he uses it to drag Sakyou over to his side. However, just when Shiguragi is about to finish him off… Sakyou swiftly blocks his scythe with Hotarumaru and cuts off the chain. This causes Shiguragi to lose balance, and Sakyou takes this chance to slash him. Shiguragi screams in pain as he falls onto the ground, while Sakyou uses the tip of his sword to cut Shiguragi’s hood. Shiguragi is an one-horned oni from Oumi Mountain, and Sakyou still remembers his face. He creepily chuckles saying Shiguragi needs to suffer more, so he won’t kill Shiguragi that easily. First, he’s going to start by chopping off the horn on Shiguragi’s forehead.
Meanwhile, Kayo is getting worried. It’s been a while since she escaped, but there are absolutely no signs of Sakyou showing up anytime soon. She doesn’t want to consider the possibility of him getting defeated, but she decides to take a look—just in case. She knows it’s dangerous to go back, and maybe she should just stay with the horse… but she’s worried about him. She can’t just stay still and do nothing. Besides, she might be able to fight and help a bit. Kayo then takes out the “bride’s dagger” from her pocket and draws it out of its sheath. Unaware that she’s actually holding Juzumaru, she backtracks to the clearing—where she sees figures in the distance. She keeps herself hidden as she slowly makes her way towards them, but then she notices a certain smell in the air. The smell of blood. It gets stronger too as she goes further, and so she decides to check the situation while still hiding in the bushes.
Just then Kayo hears the sound of a sword digging into someone’s flesh. Repeatedly. The next thing she sees is Sakyou drenched in blood, laughing as he asks how it feels to be stabbed in the stomach. He’s not done yet though, and he moves on to dig out the eyes next. At first Kayo feels relieved to see that Sakyou is alright, but that’s only until she notices the figure at his feet—who turns out to be Shiguragi. Shiguragi is severely bleeding from head to toe, and he’s no longer moving. He’s weakly lying against a tree. Even a glance is enough for Kayo to tell that he’s not in a condition to fight back. When Shiguragi coughs, Kayo realizes that he’s actually still alive—albeit barely. His breathing is rough, and he’s groaning in pain.
Shiguragi then asks Sakyou to kill him quickly. Sakyou continues stabbing Shiguragi, but just as he said earlier… he won’t finish Shiguragi off that easily. He says it’d be a waste, because he really enjoys seeing Shiguragi grimacing in pain. Shiguragi scoffs and points out that Sakyou was referring to them as lowly scum, but Shiguragi doesn’t think he’s all that different from them. Upon hearing this, Sakyou’s eyes are instantly filled with rage. He yells at Shiguragi not to lump him together with oni like them, then he stabs Shiguragi with both hands—which finally finishes Shiguragi off. In the last seconds of his life, Shiguragi calls the name of their leader and the person he’s been serving all this time—Zantetsu.
On the other hand, Sakyou chuckles and asks if his father was watching him. At the same time, Kayo is doubting her eyes. Is this really the Sakyou she knows? He’s smiling creepily after killing Shiguragi, with blood covering both his kimono and his face. Kayo suddenly feels incredibly sick, and she quickly leaves while suppressing the nausea. She finds it hard to believe that Sakyou could kill anyone in such a brutal way, especially because the Sakyou she knows is always so gentle and kind. She just can’t think of them as the same person.
Unfortunately, they are one and the same Sagihara Sakyou.
Just then Kayo senses someone’s presence behind her, so she quickly turns around and points the bride’s dagger at them. The person behind her lightly dodges and asks her to wait, revealing that he’s none other than Sakyou… though he’s still covered in blood. Can’t you at least wipe it off your face before you follow her? It’s scary LOL. Kayo quickly apologizes, but Sakyou tells her that it’s fine. He has wiped out the whole oni group, so she doesn’t have to worry anymore. When she thanks him for saving her, Kayo notices that Sakyou has reverted back to his usual gentle self. This causes her to wonder if she was only seeing things, and she concludes that it must be because she’s not familiar with that kind of view. Sakyou is a kind and polite person. There’s no way he’d enjoy the moment he murdered Shiguragi, right?
However, Kayo is surprised when Sakyou suddenly grabs her hand—asking her to let him see the dagger she’s holding. He recognizes the pattern on the dagger, and his suspicion is confirmed when she hands it over. Sakyou then tells Kayo that the bride’s dagger is in fact Juzumaru, one of the Five Heavenly Swords. There’s no doubt about it, as it bears the same pattern of six circles linked together. When Kayo wonders why they’re using the wedding parade to carry such an important sword, Sakyou answers that Juzumaru will probably be given to the winner of the tournament in Sunpu Castle. Due to the tournament in different provinces, the shogunate needs to deliver the Five Heavenly Swords to the castellans all over Hinomoto. That’s why they’re probably using the wedding parade to make sure that Juzumaru will safely arrive in Sunpu. After all, people would never thought that the wedding parade is actually carrying one of the Five Heavenly Swords.
Kayo doesn’t get why the shogunate is going this far though, and she decides to share the doubt in her mind with Sakyou. For people, the tournament is similar to a festival. She finds it strange that they’re holding it so soon after Tadanaga’s death, and she wonders if it’s actually related to his suicide. From Sakyou, Kayo also learns that the daimyo of the Sunpu clan has been stripped of his rank and civil rights ever since that day. In addition, Choushichirou is in confinement as well. It seems like there are still some internal conflicts between the Sunpu clan and the shogunate. The Five Heavenly Swords opened a long period of war, and they symbolize peace of tranquility in Hinomoto. The shogunate might be trying to achieve something by giving Juzumaru to the new castellan of Sunpu, most likely because they want to indirectly announce that the new castellan’s position and authority is higher than Tadanaga’s. In any case, there seems to be a political dispute going on behind the screen.
After hearing all of this, Kayo realizes that she has accepted a very dangerous job. Sakyou also asks her not to tell anyone about Juzumaru, because he thinks one of the guards might actually be a spy for the shogunate. It will be for her own sake too, so he wants her to keep this a secret—just between the two of them. Kayo agrees, but she’s surprised to hear the possibility of a spy among the guards. She has no idea who it is though. After that, Sakyou takes Kayo to go back to the main road. He’s concerned about how everyone else is doing, though he believes they will be just fine.
By the time they return, Kayo and Sakyou learn that their friends have defeated all the oni who ambushed them. Enishi is horrified to see Sakyou covered in blood though. Sakyou assures them that he’s unharmed since it’s all his opponents’ blood, but Enishi still asks him to do something about that appearance of his. They will reach Sunpu soon, and he obviously can’t walk into town looking like that. Realizing that Enishi has a point, Sakyou nods saying he’ll wash all the blood off. He’s more concerned about them though, so he asks Suzukake to check if anyone is injured—just to be safe. They can’t lower their guards before they arrive at Sunpu, so he wants everyone to focus.
As she watches over their interaction, Kayo continues telling herself that the Sakyou she saw earlier must be a false image caused by her imagination. The person she’s seeing right now is the real Sakyou, who’s always kind and attentive to everyone. He probably couldn’t forgive Shiguragi for the latter’s crimes, and that must be why he looked so terrifying earlier. Now that she’s watching how he interacts with everyone, it all feels like nothing more than a dream… so she decides to stop thinking about this. When Kayo lifts her head, she realizes that Sakyou has moved to her side. He points out that her beni is all messed up, so he’s going to fix it for her. Kayo feels bad and tries to refuse, saying that he doesn’t have to do that much for her… but Sakyou says it’s not a problem at all. Besides, he also has to play the role of her attendant as the substitute for Hanzou.
After gently wiping the beni on Kayo’s face with a cloth, Sakyou takes some beni from the container with his finger. He comments that it’s a beautiful, glossy crimson, then he applies it onto her lips. The moment Sakyou’s finger touches her lips, Kayo subconsciously gasps… because the red beni on his finger reminds her of Shiguragi’s blood. He asks if there’s something wrong, but she quickly says it’s nothing. She doesn’t get it either, but she actually felt scared of him for a moment. Once he’s done fixing Kayo’s beni, Sakyou pulls back and says it looks really nice on her. He’s gently smiling at her as usual, but no matter how hard she tries… she can’t seem to look him in the eye.
While Kayo is waiting for her palanquin, she runs into the guards in town. She thought they’ve departed ahead of her, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Sakyou soon comes over to say that he didn’t expect to see her here, and she can only nod in return. Even though it’ll be only for a short while, she’s happy to be able to see him again. When Kayo thanks everyone for protecting her throughout the journey, Sakyou smiles saying she doesn’t have to thank them. They were only doing their job, and they received payment as well. However, Kayo says it won’t change the fact that everyone protected her with their lives. She feels especially grateful to Sakyou, as he was the one who saved her from the bandits.
Sakyou thinks Kayo is exaggerating, but she answers that she’s not—he really did save her life. Since he’s still calling her “princess”, she also reminds him that she’s no longer playing that role. She asks him to call her by name instead, and so he starts calling her “Kayo-san”. This surprises her a bit, even though she was the one who asked him to do it. He also praises her for doing a great job, because he knows their journey must have been harsh for a woman. He doesn’t think they would have succeeded if it wasn’t for her hard work, but she smiles and says it’s all thanks to him. Along the way, his calm and gentle words have saved her for so many times. Without him, the journey would’ve been even more painful for her.
When Kayo lifts her head, she finds Sakyou smiling at her. Enishi gets REALLY jealous to see them getting along so well, but Sakyou answers that they’re just saying goodbye. After all, Kayo and him won’t be able to see each other anymore from here on. Suzukake feels a bit sad to part with everyone, but Saneaki says there’s nothing they can do about this. As people say: “Treasure every meeting, for it will never recur.” Kei doesn’t think so though. If they’re following the path of sword, there’s a high chance that they’ll run into each other again in the tournament. Tsuzuramaru also points out that they are friends who have shared meals and rooms together during this journey, so he’ll gladly help if they ever need anything… and of course Kayo isn’t an exception. She can always rely on him, and he’ll do everything he can to help her.
Upon hearing this, Enishi quickly adds the same goes for him. He remembers that Kayo’s father is running a restaurant, so he’s going to come and pay her a visit. This makes Kayo really happy. She wants to thank them for taking care of her during the journey, so she invites them to come to her restaurant once they’ve settled down in Edo. Suzukake happily accepts her invitation; Kei only says he’ll drop by if he feels like it; Tsuzuramaru gets hungry upon thinking about the food; Enishi is delighted since he doesn’t want to lose contact with her; while Saneaki sighs saying Enishi doesn’t change AT ALL up until the end LOL. However, Kayo then notices that Sakyou seems to be lost in thought… and he has a rather severe expression. When she asks if he’s going to come too, he looks startled and quickly answers that he will. She feels relieved to hear this, and she tells him that she’ll be waiting.
Kayo’s palanquin comes right after that. Before leaving, she thanks them for everything and says that she will be looking forward to seeing them again. They all wave at her in return, but Sakyou is staring off into the distance. This makes her feel a bit doubtful inside, but she tries convincing herself that she will be able to see him again. As she rides onto her palanquin, Kayo prays for a reunion with everyone in the future…
Kayo doesn’t know that after parting with everyone, Sakyou continues his journey into a cave. A hunter saw some oni coming out of the cave before, and yet he can’t seem to find anyone inside. For a moment he wonders if the oni has fled, but soon enough… he senses a presence coming. He quickly hides himself, and after a while, an oni appears to ask if anyone is there. It seems like all of his friend has moved away, and he’s the only one left behind. Before the oni can chase after his friends, Sakyou comes out of hiding and points his sword at the poor thing. When the oni asks who he is, Sakyou only tells him not to move… or else he’s going to cut him down.
You’re planning to kill him anyway LOL.
When Sakyou asks the oni about his friends’ location, the oni realizes that Sakyou must be the man who murdered Shiguragi and his friends. Sakyou nods saying he’s right, and he’ll die too if he doesn’t answer. If he reveals where his friends have gone off to, then Sakyou promises to let him go. Feeling cornered, the oni eventually answers that all of his friends are heading towards Edo. He then asks Sakyou to let him go as promised, but Sakyou only answers this by killing him on the spot… because there’s no way he’d fulfill a promise made to an oni. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* Now that he has learned their location, he’s also going back to Edo to chase after them. Next time, he’ll definitely find and kill Zantetsu. He’ll definitely accomplish the goal he’s been working towards all this time.
Everything is for the sake of avenging the Sagihara family.
One day, Kayo takes the shop curtains down once she’s done cleaning up. When Orin and Yanohiko ask if she’s closing the restaurant early, she nods saying they’re having a private party with the people who took care of her. Just then they hear the sounds of fireworks blasting off in the distance, marking the beginning of the Tournament of Sword Retrieval. Orin also mentions that a lot of samurai are flooding the gate of Edo Castle, while Yanohiko sighs in envy. He says he wants to become a fine samurai too when he grows up, so Kayo chuckles and tells him to do his best. Orin and Yanohiko leave soon after that, and Kayo goes back inside to help her father with the food. Today, they’re having a party with the guards who protected her through Tokaido. It’s been a while since the last time she saw them, and so she’s really looking forward to it. She’ll do her best to make them happy!
A few hours later, everyone arrives and starts a lively banquet. Enishi happily says his drink tastes REALLY good, because he’s enjoying it with Kayo. She asks him not to call her “princess” anymore, but he says it’s fine since she’s a real princess in his eyes. As Enishi orders more drinks from Kayo’s father, Suzukake and Tsuzuramaru are enjoying the food. Or more like arguing over them, because Tsuzuramaru keeps picking Suzukake’s food LOL. Kei warns them to eat quietly though, while Saneaki apologizes to Kayo’s father for the commotion they’re causing… except Kayo’s father doesn’t mind at all. Kayo was able to return safely thanks to them, so he asks them to let him do this much in return.
Soon after that, Enishi comes and tells Saneaki to stop looking so serious—he should drink too. Despite Saneaki’s attempt to refuse, Enishi fills his cup and literally shoves the drink into his mouth LOL. Saneaki instantly chokes saying he can’t take it, but Enishi doesn’t listen until Kayo eventually comes to stop him. Enishi thinks Saneaki is really boring since a banquet wouldn’t be complete without alcohol, but Saneaki says enjoying the delicious food is enough for him. He dislikes alcohol and heavy drinkers since they tend to behave like Enishi. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋ Suzukake finds it rather surprising that Saneaki actually has something he dislikes though, and Tsuzuramaru nods as he chews his food. Saneaki is really strong, and so they find it unexpected that he’s weak against alcohol.
In contrary, Kei points out that Tsuzuramaru has been eating and drinking nonstop. Tsuzuramaru laughs saying he can’t seem to stop because the food is really good, and Kayo is happy to see them enjoying the party. The lively atmosphere reminds her of their journey, which feels nostalgic somehow. When Suzukake asks if he’s holding his chopsticks the right way, Tsuzuramaru tries to fix it since he’s still not doing it right. Kei tells him to stop since he won’t be able to enjoy his food that way, but Suzukake replies that he wants to fix it properly… because Sakyou warned him about this during their journey. However, this also reminds him that Sakyou isn’t here with them today.
Noticing that Kayo’s father seems confused, Saneaki explains that Sakyou was the one who saved Kayo from the bandits. Without him, she might not have survived. Kayo’s father says he really wanted to thank Sakyou for protecting his daughter, and Kayo is clearly disappointed since she wanted to see him again. A few hours have passed since the banquet began, so she wonders if Sakyou isn’t coming after all. Since Kayo looks sad, Enishi puts down his cup and exclaims that he won’t forgive Sakyou. How dare he make Kayo sad after acting all cool in front of her! ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Kei says they should wait for a bit longer though.
Putting that aside, Kei thinks Enishi is drinking too much. Kei refuses to take care of Enishi after the party, but Enishi replies that he doesn’t want to receive such treatment from a man either. If he ends up passing out, then he’ll just sleep on Kayo’s lap. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* However, Enishi notices that Kayo isn’t listening to them. Despite her attempt to deny it, he knows that her mind is full of a man who’s not even here with her. In the end, Sakyou took the best moment of their journey. Enishi whines that he lightly rescued Kayo from danger too, though it was only once or twice. Enishi lets out a loud sigh before ordering even more drinks, with Kei saying that he won’t be held responsible if Enishi really ends up passing out. The fact that Sakyou is the only one missing casts a shadow onto Kayo’s heart. She can’t help but wonder where he is and what he’s doing right now.
To answer Kayo’s question, Sakyou is actually wandering around the streets of Yoshiwara. He heard that Zantetsu went Edo, but he hasn’t figured out their location yet. There are rumors about oni in Yoshiwara, and so he came to track them down. Not too long after that, he overhears two men talking about an oni with a sword—even though the oni clan isn’t allowed to wield one. They seem taken aback when Sakyou suddenly approaches them to ask for more details, so he apologizes for interrupting. It’s just the oni they saw might be the one he’s been chasing after, and he wants to know where they saw this oni. One of the men replies that they didn’t actually see the oni themselves, since the one who saw him was an oiran.
The oiran’s name is Murasaki, and they can find her on display at one of the brothels nearby. While she’s not exceptionally beautiful, she’s quite alluring. She’s a high-ranking courtesan though, so commoners like them won’t be able to use her services so easily. The man also mentions that Murasaki would laugh over his boring stories, so he likes her better than a beauty who would accompany her guests in silence. Sakyou, on the other hand, has absolutely no interest in her. He only wants to know where Murasaki saw the oni. The man doesn’t know the details though, so he suggests visiting Murasaki directly—because she seems to know a lot about oni. The man also admits that he never listens since he’s always busy staring at her body instead, but Sakyou already runs off before he can even finish his sentence.
From there, Sakyou goes to ask Murasaki about the oni. She confirms that she did see an oni, so he asks her about the location and details. She laughs saying he’s a strange samurai, and she asks if he came to Yoshiwara only to ask her about the oni she saw. However, Sakyou replies that it’s a very important issue to him. He begs her to share the details with him, but she doesn’t seem interested. She only says that she tends to be very forgetful recently, and she asks if they can switch to a more interesting topic. He’s now in Yoshiwara, so he should have more fun. At first Sakyou refuses saying he’s in a hurry. Once again he asks Murasaki to tell him about the oni, but she only answers that he looks scary.
Murasaki is clearly not willing to share information just like that. She’s aware that she’s not beautiful, but it doesn’t mean Sakyou can treat her like a newspaper substitute and ditch her right after that. Everyone in the district would laugh at her for selling information instead of her body. Murasaki then asks Sakyou to have some drink first, hinting that she might eventually “remember” the details. This leaves him with no choice, so he agrees and takes a sip. When Murasaki asks him to drink more, Sakyou refuses saying her beauty is enough to get him drunk. Σ(-`Д´-ﾉ；)ﾉ!?
Murasaki is surprised that Sakyou can be so smooth despite his innocent looks. However, she has seen a lot of people from every side of the world… so she can tell that a flame is burning in his eyes. A very dark and large flame that might even burn himself down. She can only imagine what kind of hell he has seen behind that gentle face of his. Sakyou doesn’t respond and remains silent, until Murasaki finally decides to share some information with him. She just “remembered” that last night, one of her customers saw an oni with a sword at the riverbank of Rashoumon, Fushimi-machi. Sakyou immediately thanks Murasaki, and she mentions that it’s a really strange occurrence because of Rashoumon’s connection to oni. In the past, Watanabe no Tsuna defeated Ibaraki-douji—an oni from Mount Ooe—at Rashoumon.
Sakyou already leaves before Murasaki is done talking though, unaware of what she says right after he’s gone: “…he’s on the pursuit, and yet has no idea that he’s being pursued himself. Ah, how interesting…”
Following the hint given by Murasaki, Sakyou finds himself in a different side of Yoshiwara. The brothels there offer prostitute of the lowest ranks, so it’s possible for oni to visit them frequently. However, Sakyou starts feeling dizzy soon after he arrives. Just as he wonders if Murasaki slipped something into his drink, three oni appear from the shadows to block his way… and that’s when the realization hits him. He’s been tricked, and he walked straight into their trap. One of them laughs saying it’s unbelievable how he really fell for it, while another one mockingly points out that his feet seem unsteady—must be because of how good Murasaki’s drink tastes.
In return, Sakyou only scoffs saying they’re being cowardly by grouping up to ambush him. He thinks it’s just like the oni clan to take such a dirty way, but they’re not provoked at all. If anything, they want to see how long can he keep up that impudent attitude. One of the oni then asks if Sakyou still remembers him, revealing that he’s actually the dealer Sakyou slashed at the illegal gambling site before. The scar Sakyou gave him is still hurting, even until this very moment. Ever since that night, he’s been hiding in Yoshiwara while waiting for a chance to get his revenge on Sakyou. Now they’re here to avenge Shiguragi and their fallen friends as well.
All three oni start attacking before Sakyou can do anything, and one of them manages to slash his right arm. They actually want to keep going until he dies, but fortunately for him, a roundsman happens to be passing by and quickly comes to stop them. The oni group has no choice but to run away, but not before warning Sakyou that he won’t be able to leave Edo alive. Not after he angered the oni clan. They’re going to kill him one day. Until then, he can tremble in fear as he waits for his death. After they’re gone, Sakyou drags himself to hide in the shadows and waits until the roundsman leaves. If he gets caught, he will only get into trouble. Sakyou cries out in pain as he holds his wounded arm, but he tells himself that he can’t collapse here. He needs to run.
Meanwhile, Kayo and her father are sending Kei and Enishi off after the banquet. Just as expected, Enishi has passed out and is now sleeping on Kei’s back. Kei is obviously not happy about this, and he grumbles as he carries Enishi onto the street. Kayo’s father offers to carry Enishi for him if he’s tired, but Kei says it’s not a problem at all. The problem is that he doesn’t know what to do with Enishi, because he has no idea where Enishi lives… so he decides to bring Enishi to his house and ask his grandmother to take care of the guy. Just then Enishi opens his eyes and calls Kei’s name, so Kei replies that he wants something tangible instead of verbal gratitude. Next time, Enishi will have to pay for his meal. Sadly for Kei, that’s not exactly what Enishi wants to say.
Enishi: “…I feel sick… I might throw up…”
Kei: “Wha… Hey, WAIT! Are you kidding me!? I’ll take you to the riverbank, hold on until then!”
Since Enishi is… like that, Kei sighs saying Kayo and her father can leave them be. He thanks both of them for the party, and he also starts calling Kayo by name instead of the usual “princess”. She asks him to visit their restaurant again anytime, and he gives her a brief nod before leaving with Enishi.
Kei: “Wow, wait wait. I’ll kill you if you puke here!”
…and so Kayo goes home with her father LOL.
In the end, Sakyou didn’t come to the party and it makes Kayo really sad.
After taking a bath, Kayo finds her father in the living room. When she asks what he’s doing, he answers that he’s keeping accounts to record the expenses for today’s party. Everyone ate a LOT, just as expected from samurai who are chosen to guard the wedding parade.
I bet it’s mostly Tsuzuramaru though… They have to stock up on drinks tomorrow, or else they won’t be able to open the restaurant. Knowing that her father did a lot for today’s party, Kayo thanks him for hosting the banquet. Everyone was singing praises for his cooking. Her father smiles and answers that they protected his precious daughter, so he can never thank them enough for that.
Kayo’s father sneezes right after saying this, causing her to wonder if he caught a cold. He admits that it does feel a bit chilly for him, so she asks him to take a bath to warm up. She also scolds him for always prioritizing other things over himself. He agrees to take a bath now that he’s done with the accounts, but he also asks her to go to bed. She’s been excited for the party all day, so she must be tired by now. Kayo obediently nods and goes back to her room after that, and she opens the door to cool herself down after the bath… but Sakyou quickly comes back into her mind. She heard that he has returned to Edo, so she’s hoping that he’s doing well. At the same time, she also wonders if she can see him again.
Kayo is blankly staring at the view outside as she thinks about Sakyou, until she sees Yanohiko running through the street. She finds it strange for him to be outside at such a late hour, and she goes out to call him since it’s dangerous to roam around at night. However, before Kayo can tell Yanohiko to go home… she notices that both of his hands are stained red. For some reason, he’s also carrying a bowl of water in those hands. Kayo is shocked and asks if he’s injured, but Yanohiko answers that the blood isn’t his. He’s just delivering some water for a certain samurai who collapsed not too far from where they are. Yanohiko wants to leave right after that, but Kayo quickly decides to go with him. There’s no way she’d allow him to see an unfamiliar person alone.
From there, Yanohiko takes Kayo to the backyard of a shop in the same street. He also mentions that he first saw the samurai on the street, but the samurai went to hide there because he’ll only attract people’s attention otherwise. Yanohiko promised to bring some water for him, and that’s why he’s holding a bowl of water. Following the direction Yanohiko is pointing at, Kayo hesitantly takes a peek behind the alcohol barrels… and she’s really surprised to see that the injured samurai is none other than Sakyou. He’s weakly sitting on the ground with his back against the barrels, and he looks just as surprised to see her. Blood is flowing out of his arm, staining the sleeve of his kimono red. Even at a glance, it’s really obvious that he’s severely injured.
Kayo is both shocked and confused to see Sakyou in such a state. She’s about to leave and call a doctor for him, but he quickly stops her—pulling her sleeve so hard that she finds it hard to believe he’s injured. Sakyou very briefly states that he’s being chased, and so he asks Kayo not to tell anyone about him. After thanking Yanohiko for the water, Sakyou exhales in relief and says that he has calmed down a bit. While Kayo is clearly worried about his wound, he only says that he’ll leave at once… so he asks her to pretend that she never saw him tonight. Kayo refuses saying she can’t do something like that, but Sakyou smiles and asks her not to worry about him. He doesn’t want to drag her into his problem.
Sakyou then gets up and tries to walk away, but he collapses immediately after. Kayo panics and has no idea what to do, but there’s no way she can leave him alone in that condition. Beside her, Yanohiko asks if Sakyou is alright. He looks like he’s about to cry, so she nods and tells him to go home—saying he can leave the rest to her. Yanohiko’s voice trembles as he asks if Sakyou isn’t going to die, but Kayo reassures him that Sakyou will be okay. She’s going to stay with him, so Yanohiko doesn’t have to worry. However, Kayo does warn Yanohiko not tell anyone about what happened tonight. Yanohiko nods and obediently leaves, though he keeps turning back to check how Sakyou is doing.
After that, Kayo puts Sakyou’s left arm around her shoulders—asking him to hold onto her as she helps him to stand up. She can feel his weight on her shoulders, but she can tell that he’s desperately doing his best to get up without putting any burden on her. In any case, Kayo asks Sakyou to go to her room. If he stays here, someone will find him sooner or later. He seems very reluctant about this though, because he doesn’t want to trouble her. Kayo can either say that she’s only doing something obvious; point out that he’ll cause a bigger trouble by collapsing here; claims that she’ll get a nightmare if she leaves him alone; or ask him not to speak anymore. Either way, she refuses to accept “no” as an answer and brings Sakyou back to her house.
By the time they make it back to the restaurant, Sakyou feels bad and apologizes. He knows he must be heavy, but Kayo assures him that she’s actually quite strong. She regularly attends a naginata dojo after all. She’s glad that her father is currently taking a bath though, and she uses this chance to take Sakyou into her room. He’s breathing heavily, and she wants him to get some rest as quickly as possible. As soon as they enter Kayo’s room, Sakyou shuts his eyes and sits down—putting his back against the wall. Kayo has no idea what she should do in this situation. The best treatment she’s ever done was to help washing Yanohiko’s knees when he scraped them. She’s just an ordinary daughter of a restaurant owner, and she obviously doesn’t know how to treat serious injuries.
Kayo thinks about getting various things that might be necessary, such as salves for cuts and a cloth, but in the end she can only remind herself to calm down. Right now, she’s the only person who can help him. In contrary, Sakyou remains calm and knows exactly what he needs. He then asks if he can borrow some shochu, a needle and a thread, and also a spare cloth that she doesn’t need. Kayo quickly leaves to fetch these things, but as she takes a bowl of leftover shochu from the restaurant… she starts wondering about what Sakyou is going to do with them. When Kayo returns with all the things he asked for, Sakyou thanks her and asks if she can heat up the needle by using the candle’s flame. After that, he also wants her to put the thread through it.
Kayo nods and immediately starts heating up the needle. In the meantime, Sakyou uses the cloth to wipe off the blood around the wound… then he takes the shochu into his mouth and sprays it onto the wound. When Kayo asks what he’s doing, Sakyou explains that shochu can be used for detoxification. It cleanses toxins, and he wanted her to heat up the needle for the same reason. Sakyou then asks if he can have the needle. Right after Kayo hands it to him, he begins sewing up the wound on his arm with a perfectly calm expression—as if he’s only doing normal needlework. Of course Kayo finds this unbearable to watch, and Sakyou feels bad for showing such an unpleasant sight in front of her. However, he still refuses to receive proper treatment from a doctor. If she calls anyone to check up on him, he’s going to leave immediately.
Sakyou is glad that the wound is on his right arm though, because he’s left-handed. Even if he has to lose one arm, he can still accomplish his goal as long as he has his left arm. Until then, he can’t allow himself to die. Kayo frowns upon hearing this. She realizes that looks terribly scary right now, and she remembers that he had the same expression when he stabbed Shiguragi… but the next moment, it reverts back to his usual gentle expression. Sakyou smiles saying he has patched up the wound, which should be enough for now. Kayo then asks if he needs some fresh clothes to change into, but he shakes his head and asks her to take the bundle tied onto his sword instead. She opens it finds a kimono inside, and he apologizes before saying that he wants to change—subtly asking her to leave the room. This makes her feel really awkward, so she quickly leaves to get a bed from the room next door LOL.
After a while, Kayo comes back with a bed for guests and her father’s herbal medicine. She’s not sure if it can help, but she thought it’d be better than having nothing. However, she soon notices that Sakyou has fallen asleep on the floor… so she spreads the bed open and moves him on top of it. As for his sword and kimono, she decides to hide them in her closet. She finds his sword really heavy though, mainly due to its length. By the time she’s done, Kayo realizes that Sakyou seems to be in pain. As she gently wipes off his sweat, he also starts muttering a certain name—Zantetsu—in his sleep. This causes her to wonder about what happened to him, especially because he mentioned that he was being chased.
Kayo then takes out a nightwear from her closet and puts it on top of Sakyou. It’s a nightwear that her father bought for her, but she’s not using it because of the fine quality. She feels that it’d be a waste to wear it. Kayo thinks Sakyou looks very beautiful and transient as the moon casts its pale blue light onto his face. Wrapped in a woman’s nightwear, he looks like a princess in a picture book. At the same time, having him sleeping in her room gives her a really strange feeling. After that, Kayo also sets up her own bed behind the wooden screen and lies down. The moment she closes her eyes, all the tension inside of her instantly melts away and she starts feeling very sleepy. She falls into a deep slumber soon after that, while wishing for Sakyou to recover as quickly as possible.
The next morning, Kayo leaves Sakyou—who’s still sleeping—in her room and works in the restaurant as usual. She can’t focus at all though. She continues thinking about him even while serving the customers, and she keeps breaking things as the result. Her father asks if she feeling unwell since she’s been spacing out today, but she assures him that she’s fine and apologizes for the damage. Soon after that, Kei comes to visit their restaurant with Kinshirou. He looks happy to see that business is going well for them, though he’s definitely not pleased about what happened last night. After parting with Kayo and her father, Enishi gave Kei a rough time by wailing and throwing up on his back. Σ(-`Д´-ﾉ；)ﾉ!? He finally left in the morning, while whining about the hangover LOL.
When Kinshirou asks if Kayo and Kei know each other, she returns the question back at him. Kayo had no idea that he knows Kei too, so Kinshirou explains that Kei and him are coworkers. In fact, they came here for work today. Kinshirou then asks if Kayo saw a group of people in cloaks and a man with a long sword last night. Kei explains that a quarrel involving bloodshed occurred in Yoshiwara yesterday, and they’re currently pursuing the people involved. The term “long sword” instantly brings Sakyou back into Kayo’s mind. She tries asking if they have other features, but Kei says that’s the only hint they have. The incident happened at night, and both parties escaped immediately after.
Kei asks if Kayo knows anything about this, but she nervously answers that she doesn’t… so he nods and asks her to contact him if she ever finds anyone suspicious. They only came for that reason today. While Kei wants to order something, they’re just too busy to have a meal right now. Kinshirou also thanks Kayo for cooperating, then he takes Kei to leave and gather more information at the row houses nearby. Right after they walk out of the restaurant, Kei notices that Kayo has followed them outside. He asks if she has something to tell them, but she’s clearly hesitating. In the end, she only says it’s nothing and asks him to do his best at work. He says he’ll work hard even if she didn’t ask him to, then he says goodbye and walks away with Kinshirou.
Kayo actually followed them outside because she wants to learn more about the incident, but she knows that if Kei finds her suspicious… she probably wouldn’t be able to cover it up. Soon after that, Orin comes out and asks if Kinshirou visited Kayo’s restaurant as well. When Kayo asks if they also came to her place, Orin nods saying the incident in Yoshiwara sounds really dangerous. Orin wants Kayo to be careful not to walk around at night, though she’ll also have to warn Yanohiko about this later. Since the sky looks dark, Orin quickly returns to her store after that—leaving Kayo with a lot of questions in her mind.
The incident in Yoshiwara. Sakyou’s wound. How he said that he’s being chased.
Kayo can’t help but wonder if the person Kei is searching for is actually Sakyou. Just then a drop of water falls onto her cheek, and she puts her back against the door as she looks up at the cloudy sky above.
What did Sakyou do last night? Who did he meet up with…?
As she watches over Orin’s back, Kayo feels an indescribable doubt spreading in her heart.
In Edo Castle, Iemitsu holds a meeting with Tenkai, Munenori, Mitsuyoshi, and Tatsukage. They still can’t find Choushichirou and Asakura, and Sunpu’s ichibangatana also went missing at the same time. There’s a possibility that they might be conspiring to incite a rebellion by using Choushichirou’s name, so Iemitsu eventually issues an order for the Iga clan to be positioned in Sunpu. No matter what happens, they have to retrieve Juzumaru as fast as possible and stop this rebellion.
Meanwhile, Kayo continues to watch over Sakyou in her room. Three days have passed since the day she brought him home, but he hasn’t opened his eyes yet. He seems terribly disturbed in his sleep, and he also mutters incoherent words from time to time. Kayo has been praying for Sakyou’s recovery as she waits for him to regain consciousness, especially because he seems to be suffering from the pain. Today, Sakyou is calling his father, mother, and older sister in his sleep. He also mutters Zantetsu’s name again and swears that he’ll never forgive him. Kayo panics when his breath gets even heavier, so she holds his left hand and tries calling his name. If he’s having a painful dream, then she wants to help by waking him up as quickly as she can.
Kayo isn’t sure if her feelings reach Sakyou or not, but after she calls his name repeatedly… he eventually opens his eyes. It takes a few seconds before he recalls that she saved him that night, and he seems a bit surprised to hear that he’s been asleep for three days. She then asks if his left arm is hurting since he kept crying out in his sleep, but he answers that he just had an uninteresting dream. Sakyou gets up from the bed when Kayo gives him a glass of water, and he notices the bucket of water and towel she placed next to his bed. This makes him realize that she’s been nursing him for the last three days, though she doesn’t think she did much to help.
Now that Sakyou has regained his consciousness, Kayo decides to ask about what happened that night. He falls silent for a moment, then he answers that he got into an argument with a ronin. It turned into a big fight, and the ronin is still searching for him… which is why he went into hiding. Of course she doesn’t know that he’s actually lying, but she still feels concerned about him. She knows how strong he is, so his opponent must be very powerful to be able to hurt him to this extent. Also, she can’t shake off the feeling that he might be related to the case in Yoshiwara after all. Just then Sakyou drops the glass, wincing in pain as he holds his right arm. Kayo panics and asks if the wound is hurting, but he smiles and assures her that he’s alright—the pain has subsided.
Kayo isn’t convinced though. She then asks Sakyou to show his arm, only to learn that the wound has gotten even worse. It’s terribly swollen, and he also adds that if they leave it be… he might not be able to use his right arm anymore. Kayo can’t believe how easily Sakyou said that. It’s like he doesn’t care at all, even though he might lose his own arm. Worried about him, she then asks if they should call Suzukake to take a look at his wound. She’s actually been thinking about this in the last three days. She believes that Suzukake won’t tell anyone that he’s hiding in her room, and they can feel at ease too because Suzukake is their friend. Kayo feels that it’s not a good idea to ignore Sakyou’s wound just like that, and she doesn’t think he would mind if they call Suzukake over… but he refuses.
Sakyou apologizes saying he doesn’t want anyone to find out about this situation, and Suzukake isn’t an exception. Kayo doesn’t understand since Suzukake is reliable and trustworthy, but he quietly replies that trusting others is extremely difficult to him. In fact, he finds it harder than anything else. He also feels bad for troubling her, so he takes out some money from his pocket and shoves it onto her hands. Sakyou says it’s not much, but Kayo is really surprised to find 2 ryou on her palms… which is quite a lot. When she asks about the meaning of this, he smiles saying it’s the least he can do to thank her. In return, he wants her to keep his presence a secret. In other words, he’s trying to bribe her. She can either get angry; tells him that this only makes her sad; laugh it off as a joke; or accept the money just to make him feel better. The first two choices will result in Kayo giving the money back to Sakyou, while the last two will make her receive the money for different reasons. Either because he convinces her to accept it, or her agreeing to keep the money until he needs it in the future.
In any case, Kayo makes it clear that she didn’t help Sakyou for money. Upon hearing this, he closes his eyes and laughs at himself. He admits that when he’s talking to her, he can really feel how shallow he is as a human being. She’s sincerely taking care of him, and yet he was trying to solve everything by using money. In the end, he feels that he’s truly rotten to the core. Kayo immediately denies this and says that he’s a fine man, but Sakyou replies that it’s only because she doesn’t know the real him. He’s not exactly the person she thinks he is. Kayo doesn’t know why Sakyou is being so harsh on himself, but that doesn’t change her opinion of him. For Kayo, Sakyou is the man who protected her and saved her life. While it’s true that she doesn’t know the real him, Kayo still believes in the Sakyou she knows.
Sakyou seems taken aback to hear this, and he notes that it seems very easy for Kayo to put her trust in other people. However, Sakyou is really surprised when Kayo suddenly gets up and moves closer to him. When he asks what she’s doing, she replies that she’s running a business. Despite her looks, she believes she’s a pretty good judge of character. Even after taking a closer look at him, Kayo still can’t see Sakyou as a bad person… and she trusts her intuition. There’s a brief silence before he eventually starts laughing. He finds her interesting, and he thinks her words would convert even the worst villain into a saint—which makes her feel really embarrassed. In any case, Kayo wants Sakyou to get a lot of rest so he can recover. He nods and thanks her, then he asks if she doesn’t have to help out in the restaurant. She answers that she can take a short break today. They have a helper, and she already informed her father as well.
Happy that Sakyou has woken up, Kayo then goes to cook some porridge for him in the kitchen. When her father comes and asks what she’s making, she quickly replies that she’s hungry. He seems confused since she already ate her lunch just earlier, so she nervously laughs and adds that she often gets hungry lately. Putting that aside, he tells her that Omatsu is here to pick her up for their naginata practice. Kayo has completely forgotten about this, and she wonders what she should do because she doesn’t want to leave Sakyou alone. At first she considers skipping practice for today, but she quickly changes her mind when her father asks if she’s not feeling well. He notices that she’s been acting strange recently, and she keeps spacing out in the restaurant too. Knowing that her father will only get suspicious at this rate, she quickly assures him that she’s alright—at the same time reminding herself to be careful. She decides to go to the dojo after “eating” the porridge, so she asks her father to tell Omatsu to go on ahead.
After that, Kayo returns to her room and gives the porridge to Sakyou. He apologizes for the trouble and thanks her before eating it. She’s a bit worried about whether it suits his taste or not, so she feels relieved when he says it’s really delicious. Kayo then tells Sakyou that she has to leave for naginata practice, even though she actually wants to accompany him. However, he answers that she shouldn’t sacrifice her daily life for him. He knows that he’s not in the position to say that though, because he’s already troubling her anyway. He asks her to attend practice without worrying about him since he’s doing fine right now. Kayo nods saying she has asked her father not to go into her room, so Sakyou can rest without any worries. He sends her off with a smile when she leaves, and she finds this interaction a bit embarrassing.
Even during practice, Kayo keeps thinking about Sakyou. She’s planning to buy some medicines for him on the way home, only snapping out of her thoughts when her teacher tells her to move more freely. She also receives a warning to watch her footwork, as well as a reminder not to neglect the basics. In the end, she can’t really concentrate until the training session is over. Similarly to her father, Omatsu asks if she’s not feeling well. It’s really unusual for her to receive so many warnings. Kayo obviously can’t tell Omatsu about Sakyou, so she can only assure Omatsu that she’s alright.
Omatsu also mentions the bloodshed in Yoshiwara, which leads Kayo to realize that rumors about the incident are spreading far and wide. Omatsu says they should be fine today since it’s still bright outside, but she wants Kayo to be careful whenever she walks home in the evening. Especially because the town seems to be rather dangerous recently. Omatsu then asks if Kayo wants to drop by the sundries store on the way home. She saw beautiful kimono collars not too long ago, and she believes they’ll look good on Kayo. Unfortunately, Kayo has to turn the invitation because she has… uh, “something to do”… at home. Omatsu seems disappointed, but she’s willing to wait until Kayo is available. She wants to buy matching collars together, and Kayo agrees to go with her next time.
After buying a healing salve, Kayo returns home and finds Yanohiko in front of her restaurant. Upon seeing Kayo, Yanohiko immediately asks if Sakyou is alright. He’s been worried about Sakyou ever since that night, but Kayo tells him that Sakyou is doing fine. He’s currently resting in her room. Kayo also asks if he told anyone about Sakyou, but since Yanohiko really kept quiet about the encounter… she smiles in relief and tells him to never share the secret with other people. However, Yanohiko then asks if he can see Sakyou. Kayo hesitates for a moment, but she thinks it might be okay to let him in. Yanohiko was the one who found Sakyou anyway, so he already knows about Sakyou’s condition right from the start.
Yanohiko has been concerned because he couldn’t do much to help Sakyou. The only thing he could do was to give Sakyou some water, so today he brought a candy that he purchased from a peddler. Moved by Yanohiko’s kindness, Kayo finally agrees to bring him inside. She does warn him to keep this a secret from her father though. If her father asks, she wants him to say that he simply came to play in her room. From there, Kayo takes Yanohiko inside to see Sakyou—who vaguely recognizes the boy. She introduces Yanohiko as her neighbor, as well as the boy who brought water for him that night. Sakyou feels bad for causing Yanohiko to worry, but Yanohiko happily hands the candy to him—saying his wound will heal in no time if he eats it.
Noticing that Sakyou seems taken aback, Kayo explains that Yanohiko has been worried about him. She knows that Yanohiko was probably waiting for her earlier, just because he wanted to ask about Sakyou’s condition. Upon hearing this, Sakyou smiles and accepts the candy from Yanohiko. He thanks Yanohiko before eating the candy, then he nods saying it’s really delicious—so much that it makes him feel better. Just then a picture book slides down from Sakyou’s lap. Kayo is a bit surprised to see him reading it, and he apologizes for borrowing it without permission. Since he obviously can’t leave her room, he had a lot of free time and nothing to do. She understands that it must be boring to stay inside all day long, so she asks him not to hold back. The picture book was given to her by a customer not too long ago.
Beside them, Yanohiko comments that the princess in the book resembles Sakyou a bit. Kayo panics and quickly scolds him for being so rude, even though she actually agrees LOL. Sakyou says he doesn’t mind though. If anything, he feels happy to be compared to such a beautiful princess. Yanohiko nods saying a kanzashi would suit him better than a sword, and Sakyou laughs saying it’s truly unfortunate that he was born as a man. Yanohiko also says that if Sakyou is bored, he can come over and play with him starting from today. Kayo is surprised and reminds Yanohiko that Sakyou is injured, so he shouldn’t push Sakyou too hard… but Yanohiko points out that Sakyou would be bored otherwise. He also promises to bring his toys along. In contrary, Sakyou smiles saying he’s looking forward to it. Yanohiko leaves soon after that, happily saying that he’ll visit them again tomorrow.
Kayo, on the other hand, feels really bad. She apologizes for disturbing his rest, but Sakyou answers that he actually loves children. Their innocence makes him feel relaxed whenever he’s with them. Sakyou has a very gentle expression as he says this, and this surprises Kayo a bit. This is probably her first time seeing him smiling like that. The Sakyou she knows is really calm and composed, but not exactly stoic either. He responds to funny stories with a smile, and he makes jokes too sometimes. However, that smile feels fake to Kayo somehow… and she’s wishing that he’d always laugh like he did today. Since Kayo keeps staring at him, Sakyou then asks if there’s something on his face. She quickly says it’s nothing though, and she gives him the salve she bought earlier—offering to help if he can’t apply it on his own.
Sakyou says he can do it himself though, so Kayo tells him that she’s going to help out in the restaurant now. She also realizes that his peaceful and relieved smile makes her really happy, though she doesn’t know the reason. Not yet, at least. When Kayo comes to the restaurant, her father asks if Yanohiko has left. He actually wouldn’t mind having Yanohiko over for a bit longer. She only nods and apologizes for not helping out in the last few days, but he laughs saying she’s always working hard. They have a helper too, so he wants her to spare some time for herself too. A customer comes to order some soba after that, and Kayo thanks her father before going back to work.
The restaurant is as busy as always, and the day ends in the blink of an eye. In the evening, Kayo makes sweet broiled carp and pickles for Sakyou’s dinner. Similarly to before, she’s a bit worried about whether they suit his taste or not… but he finds them really delicious. He also tells her that sweet broiled carp and pickles are both his favorite food. He admits that while he doesn’t like sweets, he has always loved sweet broiled carp—as strange as it may sound. Kayo is surprised to hear this, and Sakyou quickly realizes that he’s made a mistake by mentioning his dislike for sweets. He asks her to forget what he just said, but it’s too late. She already figured out that if he doesn’t like sweets, it means he actually didn’t like Yanohiko’s candy—he was only forcing himself to eat it. Kayo thinks Sakyou is a really kind person, but he answers that she’s the kind one. He can tell that she did her best to cook today’s dinner, even though it’s only for someone like him.
Kayo remains humble though, since she believes that it’s only obvious to help Sakyou. She’s glad that he enjoys the food, and she can’t help but admire his refined table manners. Noticing that Kayo is staring at him, Sakyou awkwardly tells her that he finds it hard to eat if she’s looking at him like that. He wonders if there’s something wrong with the way he eats, so she apologizes saying it’s the exact opposite. He looks so graceful when he’s eating, which is why she was completely charmed. She admits that she’s always admired his elegance, and it inspires her to learn from him. He doesn’t seem to be aware of this though, because he’s only behaving naturally. This leads Kayo to wonder if Sakyou’s sophisticated appearance is also related to his refined manners. He said he’s an orphan, and yet she feels that he actually came from a prestigious family.
Sakyou finishes his dinner soon after that, and he thanks Kayo for the delicious food. When he asks if she has eaten dinner, she nods saying she did have a meal after closing the restaurant. She actually wanted to come back sooner, but they had a lot of customers today. Kayo then tells Sakyou that she’s going to change, and she hides behind the wooden screen as she starts taking her kimono off. However, Sakyou soon notices that he can see Kayo’s reflection on the mirror… so he suggests covering the mirror with a cloth. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite catch what he says and asks if he said something. He awkwardly explains that even though she’s hiding behind the wooden screen, he can clearly see her reflection on the mirror… but since she still doesn’t hear it, he eventually gives up and decides to just avert his gaze LOL.
It doesn’t end there though.
Kayo gets curious since Sakyou seems to be hesitant. She leans closer towards the wooden screen in the hope of catching his voice, but unfortunately… her foot slips and she ends up falling over along with the wooden screen. Sakyou comes over to ask if Kayo is alright, but then he suddenly stops. He looks startled as he freezes in place for a few seconds, then he quickly turns around in a panic. As much as he wants to help her to get back up, he finds it rather difficult to look straight at her… because she’s in her underwear. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿. She’s only wearing her hanjuban, and that’s definitely not a ladylike appearance LOL. She obviously gets REALLY embarrassed and apologizes to him, then she quickly puts the wooden screen back to its place and hides behind it. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ
After changing into her nightwear, Kayo comes out and finds Sakyou still sitting at the same place—with his back turned towards her. When she tells him that she’s done changing, he quietly turns around with a troubled expression LOL. If Kayo apologizes, Sakyou will reply that it’s not good for a woman to show her skin before marriage. If she jokingly asks—out of embarrassment—if she’s THAT sensual, he’ll sigh saying most men will find her attractive… though she doesn’t seem to be aware. If she asks him to forget what he saw, he immediately agrees to pretend that it never happened. If she tells him that she doesn’t mind at all, he’ll say that he DOES mind. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ In any case, Sakyou asks Kayo to keep in mind that he’s a man too. He warns her not to trust him too much, and that she should be more careful around him.
After an awkward silence, Sakyou asks Kayo not to look so sad. It wasn’t her fault, and he’s not blaming her at all. However, this also leads him to think that it’s just wrong for a shady man like him to stay in her room. He feels bad for troubling her, and so he’s planning to leave tomorrow morning. Upon hearing this, Kayo immediately protests and asks Sakyou to stop saying that already. It makes her feel like he’s putting some distance between them. Sakyou thinks it’ll be bad for Kayo if he keeps staying here, but she answers that she’ll be really troubled if he leaves. She’s really worried about him even now, and it’ll only get worse if he goes away. She’d surely space out at work and get scolded for breaking too many plates. That’s why until his wound is healed, she wants him to stay under her care. She claims that it’s not for him, but rather for her own sake.
Kayo is aware that she’s making a weird argument, but Sakyou smiles and calls her name for the first time. He admits that being with her feels strange to him, because she brings peace to his heart. Whenever he’s with her, he always finds himself smiling before he knew it… and he wonders why. When Kayo asks if it’s because she’s childish like Yanohiko, Sakyou chuckles saying that might be true. He decides to accept her offer though, agreeing to stay with her until his wound is healed. This makes her happy, and she reminds him that Yanohiko is also looking forward to play with him. Since it’s already late, Kayo then decides that it’s time for bed and goes to spread the bed for Sakyou. He tries to stop her and says that he can do it himself, but he suddenly winces in pain when he tries to lift the bed.
Noticing that Kayo is concerned, Sakyou asks her not to mind him. He only forgot about his wound and carelessly used his right arm. Similarly to before, Kayo isn’t convinced at all and asks Sakyou to show the wound on his arm. When he quietly pulls his sleeve up, she realizes that the wound is still swollen. In fact, it looks even worse than before. Just as she thought, the salve she bought doesn’t seem to be helping. He asks her not to worry since the effect might kick in tomorrow, but she’s not sure if it’s really okay to leave his wound in that condition. Kayo keeps thinking about this as she goes to bed, until she eventually falls asleep with that doubt in her mind—sharing her room with Sakyou for another night.
The next morning, Yanohiko comes when Kayo is working in the restaurant. He cheerfully says that he’s here to see “samurai-san”, so she quickly asks him to lower his voice. It’s a bit too late though. Her father heard that, and he asks who Yanohiko is referring to. Kayo is obviously surprised and doesn’t know what to say, so she nervously tells him that it’s nothing. Luckily for her, he doesn’t inquire further and only asks if Yanohiko is here to play. Yanohiko nods saying he came to visit Kayo, and she asks if she can leave the restaurant for a while. Her father doesn’t mind since they only have a few customers at this hour, and he tells her to accompany Yanohiko without worrying about the restaurant.
However, this doesn’t mean that Kayo’s father doesn’t notice anything. Before she follows Yanohiko into her room, he stops her and asks if he can talk to her for a moment. He’s aware that she’s no longer a kid, so there must be things that she doesn’t want to share with him… but still, he wants her to come to him whenever she has a problem. He has put her into a lot of hardships as well, and he’s only wishing for her happiness. This makes Kayo realize that her father seems to know that she’s hiding something from him, but for now she can only thank him in return.
After that, Kayo takes Yanohiko to see Sakyou in her room. Just as he promised, Yanohiko brought some toys for Sakyou—a pinwheel and a bamboo dragonfly. Sakyou finds them very nostalgic, and Yanohiko happily watches as he blows the pinwheel. Yanohiko then reveals that he actually brought a set of dochu sugoroku too, which is a sugoroku with pictures of the 53 stations of Tokaido. He says he received it after buying candies, but unfortunately he can’t read… so he brought it along in the hope of asking Sakyou to read it for him. Sakyou is surprised to hear this, and he asks if Yanohiko doesn’t learn how to read at the private school he’s attending. However, Yanohiko says he never went to a private school since his family doesn’t have the money.
Sakyou falls silent for a short while, then he turns to Kayo and asks if he can borrow a brush and a paper. When she hands them to him, he writes iroha uta on the paper and shows it to Yanohiko. Since iroha uta contains every single kana, Yanohiko will be able to read if he memorizes and copies them down. Sakyou then reads out the entire poem for him. When Yanohiko asks about the meaning, he answers: “No matter how grand a moment might be, it’ll eventually come to an end. It’s the same for everyone, so you should stop chasing after transient dreams.” … (´・ω・`)
Kayo admits that she only memorized iroha uta vaguely, and so she never knew that it has such a deep meaning. Yanohiko doesn’t understand the meaning though. He finds it fun to dream, so he doesn’t get why the poem is telling them to stop. Sakyou only answers that it’d be better not to know. He thought of the same thing when he was small, but it’s different now. Sakyou then closes his eyes, and Kayo notices that he looks sad… though it’s only for a very brief moment. The next second, he lifts his head—as if he’s pulling himself out of it—and tells Yanohiko to copy the poem. If he memorizes everything, he shouldn’t have any problems with basic reading and writing anymore.
Under Sakyou’s guidance, Yanohiko starts copying the letters one by one. He manages to get the first 3 letters—”i”, “ro”, and “ha”—down, and Sakyou praises him for doing a good job. At the same time, Kayo feels happy to see Yanohiko getting along so well with Sakyou. Yanohiko’s hand grows weary soon after that, so Sakyou decides to end the lesson for today. He also gives Yanohiko an advice to practice writing everyday, memorizing the poem one step at a time. When Yanohiko asks if Sakyou is going to teach him the continuation, Sakyou answers that he will. In return, he wants Yanohiko to review the letters he wrote today… and Yanohiko happily promises to practice at home.
As she watches their interaction, Kayo chuckles and says that Sakyou resembles a teacher in a private school. He shakes his head saying he doesn’t have much to teach, but he does believe that education is important. If possible, he wants all children to receive the chance to learn. For now, however, Sakyou will be occupied for the rest of the day. Yanohiko has a lot of plans for him, including playing with bamboo dragonflies, spinning tops, and also sugoroku. Despite his busy schedule, Sakyou smiles saying he won’t get bored anymore thanks to Yanohiko
Upon realizing that it’s nearly 2 in the afternoon, Kayo leaves to make some tea for them. She’s glad to see Sakyou and Yanohiko enjoying their time together, especially because the former seems to be feeling better. Since Sakyou doesn’t like sweets, Kayo also takes some pickles for snack and returns to her room. Unfortunately, they just don’t have the time for tea today. The moment she goes inside, Kayo is shocked to find Sakyou groveling on the floor—clutching his right arm. Beside him, Yanohiko looks really worried and keeps calling him. From Yanohiko, Kayo learns that Sakyou was playing with him until just a while ago… but then he’s suddenly attacked by pain.
Sakyou tries reassuring Kayo that he’s alright, and the pain should go away eventually. Kayo knows that Sakyou is hiding something though, so she forces him to show his arm. Just as she feared, the wound is now swelling even more than yesterday. At this rate, he might really lose his right arm. However, Sakyou still asks Kayo not to call anyone. When she tries to argue, he says that losing his right arm isn’t a serious problem for him. Since Sakyou is clearly not in a good condition, Kayo then asks Yanohiko to let him rest for today. Sakyou apologizes to him and promises to teach him the continuation of iroha uta next time, but Yanohiko only asks him to get well soon. While Sakyou also assures Yanohiko that he’s alright, Kayo knows that he’s not “alright” at all… and she can’t continue ignoring his wound. Before Sakyou can ask her anything, Kayo points out that she spilled the tea and leaves to make some new ones.
…except not really.
Kayo actually dashes out of the restaurant and runs all the way to Suzukake’s house. She quickly finds it thanks to the white banner he put up as a sign, and she explains that a certain person is severely injured. She can’t bring herself to reveal that it’s actually Sakyou, but Suzukake says she doesn’t have to tell him everything. He can see that she’s in a hurry since she’s running out of breath, and he immediately agrees to follow her without asking any questions. When Kayo returns to her room, both Sakyou and Suzukake are really surprised to see each other—though for different reasons. Sakyou is definitely not pleased, but Kayo only apologizes to him. If she can get his arm healed by doing this, then she wouldn’t mind even if he hates her.
Sakyou doesn’t answer when Suzukake asks him about the wound, so Kayo explains that it’s on his upper right arm. Sakyou remains silent as Suzukake rolls up his sleeve to check the wound, and Suzukake notes that it’s a sword-cut. It’s infected and filled with pus, so Suzukake asks why he ignored the wound until it reached this stage. Sakyou answers that he already tried to treat it somehow, but Suzukake tells him that a half-hearted treatment will only make it worse. Suzukake then gives Sakyou a herb, explaining that it’ll impair his senses temporarily. Before the effect wears out, Suzukake’s going to cut Sakyou’s wound open and remove the pus inside with ground pine. He also asks Kayo to wait outside. He knows that Kayo must be worried, but it’ll be a harsh sight for a girl. He assures her that everything will be alright though, and he promises that Sakyou’s arm will heal properly.
Kayo has no regrets. Sakyou is probably angry at her right now, but she’s glad that she called Suzukake. While waiting in the living room, Kayo can hear Sakyou groaning every now and then. She knows that it must be painful for him, and she quietly prays for his arm to heal. After a while, Suzukake comes out to inform Kayo that he’s done. When she goes inside, she finds Sakyou with a fresh new cloth wrapping his right arm. Suzukake explains that Sakyou’s arm is fine now that the pus has been removed, and he gives Sakyou a salve as well. If he applies it every day, his arm will gradually heal. Suzukake also asks both of them to wash the cloth used to wrap the wound with hot water, and change it with a dry one each day.
Kayo nods in understanding, while Sakyou thanks Suzukake for the treatment. Suzukake laughs saying they’re friends who have journeyed together, so he asks Sakyou not to be so formal with him. Of course Suzukake doesn’t know anything about this situation. He doesn’t know why Sakyou is staying in Kayo’s house, or why Sakyou got injured in the first place. However, he does know that Sakyou ignored his arm because he couldn’t call anyone. If Sakyou doesn’t want to share the reason, he won’t ask and won’t tell anyone either… and Sakyou really appreciates his consideration. Suzukake takes his leave after handing the salve to Kayo, but he will come again to check up on Sakyou.
Sakyou turns silent again after Suzukake leaves, and Kayo can tell that he’s indeed angry. He then asks why she brought Suzukake over, even though he already asked her not to call anyone for so many times. She apologizes saying it’s because she was worried about his condition, and she just couldn’t leave him like that. Besides, she wants to know why he’s avoiding people that much. She thinks it’s about time for him to tell her the truth, because she knows that he lied about having a quarrel with a ronin. If that’s the only reason, he wouldn’t have to hide himself to this extent. Since she’s currently staying with him, Kayo believes it should be safe for Sakyou to share the reason with her. Kayo notices that Sakyou looks really troubled, but she’s not going to back down. Once again she asks him to tell her everything, because she wants to help him.
After a brief silence, Sakyou finally sighs and admits defeat—knowing that Kayo is right. She’s sheltering him, and so he has to tell her the truth. Sakyou then asks if Kayo remembers the oni group who attacked her in Satta Pass. Of course she can’t forget about them even if she wants to. Back then she was ready to face her death, and who knows what would’ve happened to her if he didn’t come. That day, Sakyou killed a certain oni from Oumi Mountain. He also admits that even before then, he’s done something that made them angry… and now they’re out to take revenge on him. Kayo asks if he got wounded because of them, and Sakyou nods saying he got careless back then.
However, Sakyou looks really surprised when Kayo asks if he’s related to the case in Yoshiwara. His eyes widen as he asks why she knows about that, which only confirms that he’s indeed the one who caused it. She explains that on the day after she brought him home, Kei actually came to visit the restaurant. From Kei, she learned that the police are currently looking for the people involved. Upon hearing this, Sakyou sadly laughs and says that he’s become a fugitive—both for humans and oni. Kayo says it’s not his fault though, because the oni group attacked him first. She believes the police will understand, so she asks him to go to the magistrate’s office and explain the truth.
While Kayo does have a point, Sakyou says it’s impossible for him to visit the magistrate’s office. It’s true that they might understand if he explains his circumstances, but it would only work if he’s 100% innocent himself. Sadly, he has done a lot of questionable things before. After losing his parents, he dropped into the darker side of the world and stained his own hands to keep on living. That’s why it’d be inconvenient for him if the magistrate’s office starts investigating his background. Kayo finds it very difficult to believe that Sakyou has done dirty jobs before, especially because of his gentle personality. She says she can go and submit a testimony as a witness, but he instantly rejects this idea. If she does that, the oni group will resent and target her instead. Besides, what would she say if they ask what she was doing in Yoshiwara? Considering her background as a merchant’s daughter, she wouldn’t be able to explain anything. Not unless she reveals that she met him through the fake wedding parade.
Sakyou asks Kayo not to worry about the police. They don’t know the identities of the people involved, so it won’t take long until they stop pursuing the case. Kayo is still worried because the oni group might come to attack him again, but Sakyou says that’s his problem. There’s no need for her to feel concerned, as he can always take them on once his wound heals. He also swears that next time, he’s definitely going to obliterate the whole oni clan from Oumi Mountain—killing every single one of them without exception. Upon seeing this, Kayo notices that Sakyou’s issue with the oni clan wasn’t exactly caused by the incident at Satta Pass. It seems like they have a long history that started before he went on a journey with her.
Sakyou then admits that for now, his biggest fear is that he might expose Kayo to danger. If the oni group find out that he’s staying at her place, they might drag her into this issue… and he wants to avoid that at all costs. This makes Kayo realize that it must be why Sakyou kept saying how he doesn’t want to trouble her, and why he asked her not to call anyone. She assures him that everything will be okay though, since they only have to keep his location hidden from the oni group. Even if they find out, she can also fight a bit with her naginata. She tells him that she’s pretty good, and she should be able to protect him. As Kayo lifts her hands and shows her stance, Sakyou smiles saying she’s very reliable and strong… but he asks her not to think about things like that.
Sakyou gently holds Kayo’s hand with his left hand, telling that her hands are different from his. They’re not meant to be stained in blood nor for fighting. She’s giving him peace that he has forgotten long ago, and that’s already enough for him. Once his wound heals, he’s going to leave. Kayo actually wants to ask what Sakyou means by that, but she can see tints of despair and sorrow in his eyes… and she can’t bring herself to say anything else. Noticing her expression, Sakyou asks Kayo not to look so sad. He thinks she’s a really kind person, though probably too much for her own good. After he leaves, he wants her to forget about him and return to her daily life… because she deserves to be happy, unlike him.
Before Kayo can argue, Sakyou completely changes the subject by mentioning that he hasn’t drank her tea yet. He cheerfully says that he was waiting for her to return with some tea, but she brought Suzukake back instead. While he’s aware that it might be rude of him to ask, he feels thirsty and wonders if he can have some tea. Kayo nods and immediately goes to make a cup of tea for Sakyou, but she knows that he did it to end the subject—to stop her from getting too involved. She felt that she can understand him a lot better in the last few days, compared to when they were traveling together… but it seems like he’s holding emotions that go beyond her imagination. Before going back to her room, Kayo mutters the question she couldn’t ask Sakyou earlier:
“Sakyou-san, does that mean… you don’t mind even if you’re not happy?”
Meanwhile, Choushichirou is hiding in a ruins with Asakura, Tsuzumi, and Nanae. He’s bored because he can’t play outside, but Asakura asks him to be patient for now. By now Tsuzumi has successfully made a pact with Juzumaru as well, and Choushichirou is wishing for him to gain the power to seal youkai soon. As Nanae takes Choushichirou to play in another room, Asakura informs Tsuzumi that their preparations are complete. All that’s left for them is to find the place where they can see Tadanaga again.
It’s been ten days since Sakyou came to Kayo’s house. From time to time, she would sneak out of work to check up on him in her room. Today, she returns early after closing the restaurant at noon. When he asks if she’s done with work, she nods saying her father is going out to visit Yohee—her uncle. She also reveals that she has something nice for him today. One of their regular customers, Saburou, lent her a picture book, and he highly recommended it for the good story. Knowing that Sakyou must be bored to stay in her room all day, Kayo then invites him to read it together. The book contains several kanji that she can’t read, and she’d be happy if he can teach her how to read them.
Sakyou smiles and accepts Kayo’s suggestion. When she goes to sit next to him, their shoulders are lightly brushing against each other. After putting the book on the floor, they open the cover and start reading it together. A comfortable silence flows between them, until Sakyou mutters about how interesting the story is. He then flips to the next page, but Kayo tells him that she’s not done reading yet. He quickly apologizes to her, but she only shakes her head and chuckles. As she spends her days with him, she feels as if they’ve always been together since a long time ago. She even feels like they can always be together from now on.
Just then Kayo notices a piece of paper stuck between the pages, and she picks it up while wondering if it belongs to Saburou. She flips it over to find a picture of a man and woman embracing each other, but… Upon seeing the picture, Sakyou instantly panics and snatches it from her hands. He tells her that it’s not something a woman should see, because it’s actually an obscene picture. In other words, porn. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Sakyou is clearly not happy about this, and he can’t help but question what Saburou was thinking about by leaving the erotic picture inside the book. However, before Kayo can say anything, they suddenly hear her father’s voice asking if she’s in her room.
Both of them are instantly thrown into panic. Kayo asks Sakyou to hide, but he hesitantly points out that there are no place for him to hide in. Ignoring his attempt to argue, Kayo quickly shoves Sakyou onto her bed, covers him up with her nightwear, and then rolls onto the bed herself. When her father comes in, he looks really confused and asks if she’s feeling unwell. Kayo nervously answers that she’s a bit tired, so she decided to lie down and read the book from Saburou. Since she did everything in a rush, Sakyou’s face is actually pushed against her legs right now. She can hear him holding his breath under the nightwear, but she can only apologizes to him in her heart—at the same time wishing for her father to leave soon.
Kayo’s father then says that when he was taking down the shop curtains, Saburou returned in a panic. He said he made a small mistake with the book he lent to her, and he wants her to give it back first. Of course Kayo knows that Saburou must be talking about the porn LOL. She then nods and hands the book to her father—asking him to give it back to Saburou. Her father gives her a questioning look when she stretches her arm to him instead of getting up from the bed, but he accepts the book anyway. He seems concerned as he asks if she’s really alright, but she quickly reassures him that she’s fine—saying that she will recover after getting some sleep. He leaves to visit Yohee after telling her to take it easy for today. He might come home a bit late, so he wants her to stay at home until then.
Kayo doesn’t have any time to feel relieved though, because Sakyou is still hidden under her nightwear. If anything, the relief only turns into guilt and embarrassment instead. Even though it happened in a rush, she still ended up pushing his face against her legs. After crawling out of her bed, Kayo reluctantly turns around to find a really flustered Sakyou. He wears a troubled expression as he peeks out from under her nightwear, and he gasps out that she’s just unbelievable. Kayo quickly apologizes and asks if he found it hard to breathe, but Sakyou falls silent instead. When she asks if he’s angry, he lets out a heavy sigh and says that’s not the problem.
Sakyou has reached the conclusion that Kayo doesn’t have any self-awareness as a woman. This isn’t the first time either, since he can say the same thing about the changing incident and the porn incident. Kayo tries to say that the porn one wasn’t her fault, but Sakyou only tells her to listen LOL. On top of everything that has happened so far, she also placed his face against her legs. He scolds her for being so disgraceful, and he asks if she actually forgot the fact that he’s a man. The options here are one of my favorites in the entire game. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.*
- “It’s not true.”
If Kayo denies it, Sakyou 100% doubts her since her actions suggest otherwise. She says it’s because she never lives with a man aside from her father, and she didn’t mean to make him upset. Since he’s currently staying with her, he also feels bad and finds it hard to scold her further.
- “I forgot.”
If Kayo blatantly admits that she really forgot, Sakyou pouts and instantly turns silent. Noticing that she has made him really, REALLY angry, Kayo quickly adds that it’s because he’s very beautiful… but Sakyou sulks saying that’s enough LOL.
- “Sakyou-san is a man.”
If Kayo makes it clear that she does see Sakyou as a man, he nods saying it’s good if she understands. She also admits that she really enjoys talking to him, so maybe she has acted overly familiar with him. He feels guilty because she looks terribly sad, and so he tells her that he’s not angry—he’s just worried about her.
- “You’re more beautiful than most women.”
If Kayo says that Sakyou is more beautiful than most women out there, he asks if that means she wouldn’t mind if a beautiful man pushes his face against her legs. When she answers that she would mind, he nods saying he’s not okay with that either LOL.
Conclusion: No matter what you pick, Sakyou will act like a mother to Kayo. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡
After another heavy sigh, Sakyou makes it clear that he’s not blaming Kayo for anything. He’s just really worried about how defenseless she is. He’s a man too, and she wouldn’t be able to protest if he attacked her in that situation. However, Kayo argues that Sakyou is exaggerating with that example. She doesn’t know much about men, but she believes that he would never treat a woman violently. Upon hearing this, Sakyou glares at Kayo. His voice drops as he notes that she doesn’t seem to get this at all, and she leaves him with no choice but to make her understand.
Right after saying this, Sakyou grabs Kayo’s shoulders and pushes her down onto the bed. As she looks up at him, she notices that his usual gentle expression has disappeared… and he looks nervous somehow. When she asks what he’s going to do, he only points out that her strength isn’t enough to shove his arm away. She can’t move at all as he draws closer, and his long black hair touches her cheeks when he leans in. She asks him to stop and tries to get up, but his left arm is keeping her in place. Sakyou then tells Kayo that she knows way too little about men. At the same time, she can feel him strengthening his grip on her shoulders. She did think that he looks like princess in a picture book before, but the person who’s looking down at her right now is undoubtedly a man. When this thought appears in her mind, her heart suddenly starts racing.
Kayo nervously tells Sakyou that she understands what he’s trying to say. At first he remains silent, but her voice trembles when she begs him to stop. Upon noticing this, he quietly lets her go and apologizes… then he turns away from her and sits down. He admits that he went too far because of how innocent she is, but she replies that it’s all her fault to begin with. An awkward silence hangs in the air. She wants to say something, and yet she can’t find any words to say. Eventually, Kayo asks Sakyou to look her way. However, he only apologizes and asks her to leave him be for a while. He needs some time to calm his mind down. Sakyou also admits that while he only did that to teach Kayo a lesson, he nearly lost control somewhere along the way… and he sighs saying her father might kill him before any oni could LOL.
Just then they hear the voices of children outside, including Yanohiko’s. One of them refuses to play with Yanohiko because he’s not good with spinning tops, and he takes the others to leave Yanohiko behind. Yanohiko tries to stop them and promises to practice more, but the other boy only says that they’ll play with him once he gets better with spinning tops. Sakyou wonders if something happened between them, and Kayo goes outside to see what’s going on. Upon seeing Kayo, Yanohiko bursts into tears and reveals that everyone is making fun of him because he’s not good with spinning tops. He asks what he should do to improve, but sadly she has no idea since she’s not good with spinning tops either. However, Kayo soon realizes that Sakyou might be able to help and takes Yanohiko to see him.
After explaining everything to Sakyou, Kayo tells Yanohiko that he’s really good with spinning tops. Even during their Tokaido journey, he threw his spinning top at the oni who attacked them. Yanohiko is really impressed when Kayo tries to imitate the way he threw his spinning top, but Sakyou only sighs and warns her not to talk about such things in front of a kid. After that, Sakyou turns to Yanohiko and tells him that when people hurt others, they have to be ready to get hurt as well. He wants Yanohiko to promise that he will never use a spinning top as a weapon. It’s only after Yanohiko makes the promise that Sakyou agrees to teach him how to play with a spinning top.
Sakyou then takes out his own spinning top from his bundle. He says it will be better to have a board or a mat so they won’t damage the floor, so Kayo takes out a shogi board from her closet and asks him to use it. It’s her father’s shogi board, but it’s been stored away ever since he bought a new one. First off, Sakyou asks Yanohiko to throw his top onto the board. Yanohiko nods and gives it a try, but sadly the top stops spinning immediately after. Upon seeing this, Sakyou tells him to wrap the cord a bit more tightly around the top. They have to make sure that it’s firmly wrapped, or else it won’t spin properly. When throwing the top, they also have to throw it straight onto the ground. In order to set an example for Yanohiko, Sakyou wraps his own top with the cord and throws it—sending it spin powerfully on the shogi board.
Yanohiko is amazed by how Sakyou seems to be able to do everything, and he asks Sakyou to do it one more time. Kayo, on the other hand, is worried about his right arm. She feels bad since she only thought of asking him for verbal explanation, but he assures her that it’s alright—the wound is healing up nicely. Besides, he’d lose his touch if he doesn’t start moving his right arm. Yanohiko watches in amazement as Sakyou throws his top again. He sadly wonders if he’ll be able to spin his top like that, but Sakyou smiles saying he’ll improve in no time if he keeps practicing… then his friends won’t make fun of him anymore. Since Yanohiko looks really sad, Sakyou decides to teach him a more interesting technique—”tightrope walking”. He holds the cord with both hands and balances the top, sliding it across the cord.
Both Kayo and Yanohiko are impressed to see how good Sakyou is with spinning tops. When Yanohiko asks if he practiced a lot when he was small, Sakyou nods saying he used to play with spinning tops as well… so it brings back a nostalgic feeling for him. His older sister would laugh whenever he showed her this “tightrope walking” technique. His father would frown and ask if he’s planning to open a show tent, while his mother would calm his father down. From the way Sakyou talks about them, Kayo can tell that he used to have a good family. He nods saying his days were filled with happiness back then. He took it for granted and thought that happiness would last forever, but…
Sakyou: “…for whom will the glory of this world remain unchanged…?”
Sakyou: “One day… I will recall this moment I spend with you and Yanohiko as a nostalgic memory.”
…why would you quote iroha uta here… (´；ω；`)
Feeling motivated by Sakyou’s words, Yanohiko vows that he’ll learn how to do “tightrope walking” too. Sakyou reminds him to start from the basics though, so Yanohiko immediately takes another attempt by throwing his top onto the shogi board. It stops moving not too after that, but Sakyou tells Yanohiko that everyone has to start somewhere. Perfection is never instant. Effort and daily practice are very important, and it also applies to Yanohiko’s iroha uta practice. Yanohiko happily promises to do his best. He thinks Sakyou’s top looks really cool, so he’s planning to get a similar top once he gets better. Sakyou also says that it’s nice to have objectives like that, because they will surely help Yanohiko to improve faster.
While Yanohiko wants to see “tightrope walking” one more time, Kayo has to stop him because Sakyou’s arm is still injured. Yanohiko is clearly disappointed, and Sakyou reassures her that he’s okay… but Kayo still won’t allow him to play with the spinning top any further. It’s only been a few days since he received Suzukake’s treatment, so she wants him to be careful just in case. Instead, Kayo invites Yanohiko to read a picture book with her on the porch. They have a nice weather today, so it should be nice to go outside. Yanohiko feels really bad upon realizing that he was being selfish, and he apologizes to Sakyou for not thinking about his condition. Sakyou answers that he doesn’t mind though. If anything, this only makes him realize that Yanohiko is really kind.
Since there’s no one at home, Kayo also invites Sakyou to join them on the porch. He seems reluctant at first, but she assures him that everything will be alright. They’ve closed the restaurant for today, and her father will return late as well. That, and getting some fresh air outside will also be a nice change of pace for him. Sakyou eventually agrees, and he comes out to join Kayo and Yanohiko on the porch. It’s really warm outside, and the gentle breeze makes it tempting to bask in the sun. Based on Yanohiko’s request, Kayo then starts reading the tale of Princess Kaguya for him. He leans onto her and quietly listens to the story, glancing at the illustrations every now and then. Beside them, Sakyou is watching over them with a peaceful look in his eyes.
Before long, Kayo realizes that Yanohiko has fallen asleep. He looks really happy in his sleep, so Sakyou wonders if he’s having a nice dream. Here, Kayo mentions that Yanohiko seems to respect Sakyou a lot. Yanohiko told her that when he grows up, he wants to become a fine samurai like Sakyou. On the other hand, Sakyou thinks Yanohiko will grow up to be a fine young man—who’s far better than someone like him. Soon after that, they hear Yanohiko calling Sakyou in his sleep. Kayo chuckles when he mumbles that he can spin the top, as it seems like he’s playing with the top even in his dream. Upon hearing this, Sakyou smiles saying Yanohiko looks really cute when he’s sleeping.
However, the next moment, they hear Orin’s voice from the front door—asking if anybody is home. She quickly notices that the restaurant is closed today, but she feels like she heard voices from inside. Before Kayo can do anything, Orin comes to the backyard and finds them on the porch. Yanohiko always goes to visit Kayo whenever he gets the chance to do so, and so Orin figured out that he must be playing with Kayo again today. Orin then apologizes for the trouble, but she instantly stops upon realizing Sakyou’s presence. After looking at both of them in silence, Orin finally lets out a deep, emotional sigh and notes that Kayo has reached that age too.
When Kayo asks her to keep this a secret from her father, Orin gladly agrees and promises that she won’t do anything unnecessary. She says she has a lot of experience despite her looks, so she understands how Kayo feels… though Kayo thinks she completely misunderstood LOL. After that, Sakyou also stands up to introduce himself to Orin. When he asks her not to tell anyone about seeing him here, Orin nods and asks them not to worry—she’s definitely on their side. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ After taking a closer look at Sakyou, Orin smiles saying he looks really beautiful and gentle. Sakyou seems surprised to hear this though. When he asks if he gives off that impression, Orin nods and adds that Kayo and him look like a young couple with Yanohiko sleeping between them. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪
Kayo instantly turns red and tries to protest, but Orin only says there’s no need for her to get embarrassed LOL. She wants to wake Yanohiko up so he won’t disturb their time together, but Kayo asks her to let him sleep for a little longer. She’ll feel bad if they wake him up, and she also enjoys playing with him anyway. After handing a bundle of rice crackers to Kayo, Orin teasingly asks her to invite her to the wedding. Then she leaves Yanohiko in their hands and walks away while grinning LOL. Of course this causes Kayo to feel rather awkward, but she assures Sakyou that their secret should be safe with Orin—she won’t tell anyone about him.
Sakyou then asks if Orin is Yanohiko’s mother, so Kayo explains that Orin is actually Yanohiko’s aunt. His mother is Orin’s younger sister, but he lost both of his parents. She’s currently taking care of him with her parents, but she’s busy running her store and her parents are elderly. It’s not exactly easy for them to take care of him, so Kayo wants to help them as much as she can. Sakyou can relate to Yanohiko since he lost his parents as well, but he’s certain that Yanohiko will become a fine man in the future. Even if he doesn’t have his parents anymore, he’s surrounded by a lot of people—like Kayo and Orin. Kayo shares Sakyou’s opinion as well, and she gently strokes Yanohiko’s hair.
Yanohiko wakes up soon after that. He seems really confused and asks about his spinning top, so Kayo tells him that he fell asleep while reading a picture book. Just as they expected, Yanohiko says he had a nice dream that involves him getting really good with spinning tops. Sakyou tells him that his dream will surely come true if he works hard, while Kayo mentions that Orin dropped by to share some rice crackers earlier. Since Yanohiko wants to eat them and the wind has become a bit colder, they decide to go back inside and have some tea to go with the rice crackers.
In the evening, Yanohiko reveals that he can write the first line of iroha uta properly now. Sakyou asks him to move on to the next line after that, and he happily nods saying he’s practicing at home everyday. After eating some rice crackers, Yanohiko spends the rest of the day playing with Sakyou in Kayo’s room. The sun is already setting outside though, and Kayo has to ask him to go home for today. It’s dangerous to go outside after it gets dark, not to mention Orin would be worried as well. At first Yanohiko looks sad because he still wants to play with Sakyou, but Kayo asks him not to worry. He can always come to visit Sakyou again tomorrow or the day after. Sakyou also nods and confirms this as true when Kayo asks for his opinion, so Yanohiko eventually goes home—saying he’ll see them again tomorrow.
After Yanohiko leaves, Kayo asks about the condition of Sakyou’s right arm. She’s worried that he might be tired after playing with spinning tops all day, but he reassures her that it’s fine. It doesn’t hurt as much anymore. They haven’t changed the cloth for today though, and so she decides to help him do it. At first Sakyou refuses because Kayo has been helping him everyday, even though it must be unpleasant for her to see the wound. However, she points out that he won’t be able to wrap the wound by himself. She says it’s useless even if he holds back after all this time, so she wants him to just give up and show his arm. He can’t say anything in return, so he obediently rolls up his sleeve and allows her to treat his wound.
Following Suzukake’s instruction, Kayo applies the salve he gave them onto Sakyou’s wound. She’s still wrapping his arm with a fresh cloth when they hear a man angrily yelling outside, making her wonder if there’s a fight between drunkards. After finishing up the daily treatment, Kayo takes a look outside from the gap on her door. Following her, Sakyou also comes over and peeks from behind her back. One of the men is actually none other than Enishi, and it appears that he has spilled his drink onto the other man’s kimono. He lightly apologizes, but the other man is clearly not willing to forgive him. Kayo is confused to see Enishi, but Sakyou also recognizes the other man as one of the oni who attacked him.
When the oni angrily says that Enishi won’t get away with this, Enishi asks if that means the oni is going to treat him to have more drinks. He makes it clear that he doesn’t like drinking with men though, which only angers the oni even more. While Kayo is worried about Enishi, Sakyou believes he’ll be fine. Instead, he’s more concerned about what the oni is doing around this area. The very next moment, a certain man appears from the corner of the street. Aside from the cloak he’s wearing, Kayo notes that he’s carrying a long sword as well. The man tells the angry oni to just ignore Enishi and move on, and the oni obediently leaves Enishi alone. However, Sakyou is shocked upon recognizing the man as the oni he’s been hunting all this time—Zantetsu.
To make things even worse, Zantetsu and the oni are also searching for “a certain man” who vanished around this area. One of their friends was following him, but lost track of him in this vicinity. As Sakyou whispers Zantetsu’s name, Kayo notices that his expression has completely changed. In contrary to how gentle he usually is, his eyes appear cold and ruthless right now. When Kayo asks about the man they’re looking for, Sakyou confirms that it’s indeed him. They’re the oni clan from Oumi Mountain. Sakyou also drops a hint that they’re the ones who murdered his family, but Kayo doesn’t catch it. She’s more worried about him instead, and she tries to point out that they haven’t found his exact location yet. However, he knows it’s only a matter of time… and she might get dragged into his problem if they find him here.
Kayo takes another attempt by asking Sakyou to stay, at least until his arm is healed. It’d be reckless if he leaves before then. Since he remains silent, she asks him to promise that he won’t leave her house without saying anything to her. He clearly wants to argue, but then she points out that Yanohiko would be sad if he suddenly disappears… and the same goes for her. At first Sakyou looks really troubled, but since Kayo keeps looking straight at him, he eventually smiles and gives in—agreeing to promise that he won’t leave without telling them. Noticing that Kayo looks very relieved, Sakyou then asks why she’s being so kind to him. He asks if she’s not scared to have him staying by her side, considering he’s being pursued by oni.
If Kayo says that she’s not scared at all because of how kind he is, Sakyou will reply that she trusts others too easily. He thinks it’d be very easy to deceive her, but also admits that he’s been saved by her kindness. Whenever he’s with her, he always feels like he’s tainting something pure and beautiful—because she’s just too kind. If Kayo admits that she’s actually scared, Sakyou says it’s normal since he’s causing her to worry about unnecessary things. He knows that he can’t let this continue, but he seems really torn when she asks him to stay without worrying about how she feels. If Kayo replies that she can’t leave him alone, Sakyou nods saying it’s because she’s a kind person… but he says it’s not a good thing to treat everyone kindly. If she accepts everyone like how she’d take in a stray puppy, she’ll have to deal with troublesome people like him. If Kayo replies that she never thinks about it that way, she’ll also add that her worst fear is for Sakyou to leave without a word. He seems taken aback for a moment, because he never knew how it feels to have someone worrying about him. He finds the sensation heartwarming, but at the same time it also feels terribly painful. For the current him, her kindness is shackling him down.
Either way, Kayo finds it frustrating because her feeling doesn’t seem to reach Sakyou. She doesn’t know what she should do to stop him from leaving, so she admits that she actually wants him to stay with her forever—even after his wound is healed. Sakyou is only looking back at her in silence though, and out of embarrassment, Kayo quickly leaves to prepare dinner. Right after Kayo walks out, Sakyou whispers that the time has come.
Sakyou: “We shall never allow ourselves to drift away, intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams.”
Sakyou: “This is a transient dream… If I stay here any longer, I wouldn’t want to wake up anymore…”
WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS!? _(:3」∠)_
Meanwhile, Kayo is pondering about what she just said. She wants to stay with Sakyou more, and she’s trying to figure out what her heart is trying to say when her father returns home. He brought back some vegetables from Yohee’s field, as well as a huge carp that Yohee shared with him. Since her father wants to use the carp for dinner, she then offers to do the cooking for him. She knows he must be tired since he just came home, so she asks him to get some rest instead. After that, Kayo cooks sweet boiled carp in the hope of making Sakyou happy. As she delivers his dinner into her room, she cheerfully asks him to guess today’s menu… but her room is filled with a sad silence.
It takes a while before Kayo realizes what’s going on. The door in her room is left open, allowing the night breeze to flow inside—carrying a single cherry blossom petal to brush her cheek. Sakyou is nowhere to be seen. Even though she finds it hard to believe, she soon reaches the realization that he already left. Kayo is stunned as her gaze sweeps across the room. Usually Sakyou would welcome her back with his gentle smile, but despite the promise he made earlier… he vanished without a word. She rushes to the door and takes a look outside, but she can’t see him anywhere. However, she finds 3 ryou and his spinning top on the floor. It’s the top that Yanohiko wanted because of how cool it looks. As she holds his top in her arms, she whispers that she doesn’t need any money. The view outside is turning blurry with tears as she stares at the darkness of the evening.
The next morning, Suzukake comes to check up on Sakyou with some medicines… and he’s really shocked to learn that Sakyou has left. Similarly to Kayo, Suzukake thinks it’s really reckless of him to leave without waiting for his arm to heal. He won’t be able to change the cloth by himself, not to mention he also has to apply the salve too. However, Kayo reveals that Sakyou actually did take the salve with him. He should be okay for a while, but both of them are still worried about him. Suzukake thinks the salve will run out in no time, and Sakyou will have to apply it properly until his wound is completely healed.
Soon after that, Yanohiko also comes to see Sakyou—saying he wants to learn the continuation of iroha uta. Kayo sadly tells him that Sakyou will be away for a while, and she hands the top he left to Yanohiko. At first Yanohiko is happy and says that he’ll show it to his grandfather, but then he suddenly looks up at Kayo and asks if he’ll be able to see Sakyou again. Kayo smiles and gives him a nod, but Yanohiko points out that she looks really sad… which is why he had the suspicion that Sakyou isn’t going to return. Upon hearing this, Kayo quickly forces a smile and apologizes to Yanohiko—reassuring him that they’ll be able to see Sakyou again soon. Yanohiko looks incredibly relieved to hear this, then he says goodbye to Kayo and runs off to practice more with his spinning top.
After Yanohiko leaves, Suzukake says it feels really sad how Sakyou left without a word. Kayo can’t deny this at all, but she also knows that Sakyou must be afraid of dragging her and Yanohiko into his problem. After a brief silence, Kayo tells Suzukake that she’s made up her mind. If Sakyou is leaving her, then she’s going to chase after him. He said he doesn’t want to get her involved, but this is her own choice to make. Suzukake seems taken aback at first, but then he laughs saying that sounds just like her. He can’t seem to ignore Sakyou either, so he’s going to inform the residents of the row houses too. Sakyou probably hasn’t gone far enough, and they might see him somewhere in town.
Kayo thanks Suzukake for the help, and he takes his leave after promising to visit her again once he finds a clue. At the very least, Kayo wants to deliver the new salve to Sakyou. She reminds herself that she can’t drown in sorrow all the time, so she has to pull herself together and find him as quickly as possible. Kayo then looks up at the clear, blue sky above, believing that somewhere in Edo, Sakyou is also looking up at the same sky. She bites her lips as she dashes off to town.
Meanwhile, Asakura is still busy searching for the path to see Tadanaga. There are five paths to Yomi in Hinomoto: Yomotsu Hirasaka, Nirai Kanai, Koumadan, Fudaraku, and Rendaino. They have to find one of these paths in order to summon Marebito and ask him to resurrect Tadanaga. By now Choushichirou has gotten bored of otedama, and Nanae doesn’t seem to be feeling well either… but Asakura soon receives a report that they’ve found one of the paths—Koumadan. It’s located in the mountains of Edo, so Asakura commands everyone to head out immediately.
From the streets of Edo, Sakyou can hear the fireworks launching from Edo Castle—marking the start of the tournament. He also noticed that there’s a lot of samurai in town today, all ready to fight in the tournament. His right arm is still hurting a bit though, and he soon bumps into a certain man in town. When the man angrily yells at him, Sakyou immediately recognizes him as the oni who was shouting at Enishi before. At first the oni only finds him familiar, but upon noticing Hotarumaru… he quickly realizes that Sakyou is the man they’ve been searching for. The oni certainly didn’t expect to run into Sakyou in town, and he mockingly asks about where Sakyou has been hiding all this time.
Since Sakyou is only glaring at him in silence, the oni asks if he’s going to draw out his sword. He doesn’t think it’s a wise idea though, considering they’re currently standing at a crowded street. If they draw their swords here in broad daylight, it’ll turn into a commotion and they’ll only get chased by the police again. Sakyou responds to this by curtly asking about Zantetsu’s location, and the oni answers that Zantetsu is currently registering for the tournament. If Sakyou wants to see him that much, the oni suggests entering the tournament as well. He’s going to report their encounter here to Zantetsu though, so he tells Sakyou to be very careful—so that he won’t die before his match comes.
The oni flees immediately after. Sakyou quickly chases after him, but ends up losing track of him around Edo Castle. Just then he sees a ronin and a samurai walking out of the gate. The samurai is complaining about how the registration itself is already tiring, while the ronin mentions that they seem to have strong participants this year. It’s not going to stop them though, and both of them are aiming for victory. Upon hearing their conversation, Sakyou realizes that the tournament provides a great chance for him to take his blood revenge. If he challenges Zantetsu in the tournament, he’ll be able to openly reveal Zantetsu’s crimes in front of the shogunate. It’ll be the perfect stage for him to avenge the Sagihara family.
Meanwhile, Kayo is searching for Sakyou in town. She tries asking around, but so far her search has been fruitless. Due to the tournament, a lot of samurai have been flooding the main streets of Edo… and people obviously won’t remember their physical features one by one. Two ronin start hitting on her when she tries asking them, so she quickly refuses and runs away. Even though she can’t find any information regarding Sakyou, Kayo reminds herself not to give up—mostly because she’s really worried about his wound. Soon after she reaches the bridge, Kayo runs into Suzukake. Similarly to her, he has asked around but couldn’t find any information. Edo is currently very lively because of the tournament and the Five Swords Festival, so it’ll be hard to find Sakyou among the crowd.
Noticing that Kayo looks rather pale, Suzukake asks if she’s alright. She nods saying she only ran out of breath after all that running, but he points out that she’s been going to town in the last two days… so he doesn’t want her to push herself too hard. He has to return to his clinic now, and he asks her to get some rest for today. Kayo wants to continue searching for a bit longer, but she promises to go home after that. She also thanks Suzukake for helping her, but he thinks it’s only obvious—he’s worried about Sakyou as well. Suzukake then leaves saying he’ll contact her if he finds anything, while Kayo continues her search. She wants to find a clue regarding Sakyou’s whereabouts, no matter how small it might be.
After parting with Suzukake, Kayo returns to town in the hope of finding Sakyou. She chases after a few people who resembles him from behind, but gets really disappointed when she finds out that it’s not him. After a while, Kayo starts wondering about what Sakyou is doing right now. The thought alone is already painful enough for her, and she can’t help but think about why she’s being so desperate. Or rather, she’s starting to realize that she’s not doing this out of pure concern… but rather because she holds a different feeling towards him.
Unfortunately, after roaming around for a while, Kayo ends up running into the two ronin who hit on her earlier. They don’t think it was necessary for her to run away from them, and they start joking about how she must’ve run away because they look scary. Kayo replies that she’s in a hurry, and she asks them to let her go if they don’t need anything from her. However, they answer that they do need something from her. It’s not that they’re going to eat her or anything, they just want her to keep them company. They came to Edo because of the Five Swords Festival, but it’s rather depressing for two men to see the festival together. Luckily, Enishi soon appears and stops them from bothering Kayo—saying it’s 10 years too early for them to talk to his princess. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡
Kayo is obviously surprised to see Enishi, but he proudly announces that he comes out when his princess is in trouble. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* When one of the ronin asks why he’s referring to her like that, Enishi only asks if they’re aware of Kayo’s identity. This causes them to think that she actually comes from a warrior family, and he starts explaining that she’s only disguising herself as a common town girl. Normally, ronin like them wouldn’t be able to speak to her. Thinking that they’ve gotten themselves in trouble, both ronin immediately apologize to her and flee. It’s only several seconds later that Enishi laughs saying it was all a joke LOL. When Kayo thanks him for saving her, he explains that he was taking a walk when he saw them hitting on her. He thought it was a rather risky situation, so he decided to help her.
Kayo is impressed by the way Enishi spoke to the ronin though. She says he really sounded like a samurai who’s guarding a princess from a warrior family, and he nods saying it’s because he hears those words all the time. He quickly stops himself though, then he changes the subject by asking what she’s doing here… so she tells him that she’s searching for Sakyou. Enishi is obviously confused, but Kayo apologizes saying she can’t explain the details. He jokingly mentions that the hint of intimacy between them is hurting him, but he promises to contact her if he ever sees Sakyou. If he really does find Sakyou though, he wants her to play with him as the reward. As Enishi takes his leave, Kayo thinks about how funny he is. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ
Kayo continues searching for Sakyou after that, but she couldn’t find any clues and ends up returning to her restaurant in the evening. When her father welcomes her back, she apologizes for taking so long and immediately starts helping out. He asks if she found her friend’s lost “cat”, but she shakes her head saying she’ll keep searching for it. This is obviously a lie that she made up, so she can get her father’s permission to leave the restaurant from time to time. Of course Kayo feels really guilty for lying, but she can’t tell her father about Sakyou. On the other hand, she can’t leave the restaurant for no reason either. Her father is supporting her search though. She did tell him that the “cat” is injured, so he’s hoping that it manages to stay alive out there.
Kayo falls silent upon hearing this. She recalls the moment when she found Sakyou behind the barrels, and it sends chills to run down her spine. Negative thoughts start appearing in her mind, but she quickly shakes herself out of it. She assures her father that the “cat” will be fine, since it’s really smart and strong. Her father doesn’t seem convinced, but he’s hoping for the best too. A customer soon calls Kayo to make an order, so she goes back to work after that. In the end, time goes by very quickly as she works—leaving her with no chance to feel down.
That night, Kayo feels really exhausted—so much that her legs are almost numb. Ever since Sakyou left, her room feels strangely wide and empty to her. She used to feel his presence whenever she goes to sleep and wakes up everyday, but now she can’t feel his presence anywhere. She doesn’t have to hide behind the wooden screen anymore whenever she has to change, and he won’t be here to scold her either if she makes a careless mistake. She won’t be able to read picture books with him, make his dinner, and laugh with him anymore. Kayo whispers that she feels lonely without Sakyou, but her words disappear into the silence in her room.
Kayo’s tears flow out as the fact that Sakyou is no longer here sinks deep into her heart. She wants to see him. She wants to talk to him. She wants to see his smile. At that very moment, Kayo finally realizes that she’s in love with Sakyou. It feels painful for her whenever his image comes into her mind. His gentle and mild demeanor, his beautiful profile, the kindness that appears in his calm eyes from time to time… Kayo has never fallen in love with anyone before, so she never knew that loving someone can be so painful. She keeps thinking about where Sakyou might be right now, calling him in her heart as she lies on her bed, until she eventually falls asleep from the fatigue.
The next day, Yanohiko comes to visit when Kayo is cleaning up outside. The first thing he asks is whether Sakyou has returned or not, and he looks really disappointed when she answers that it might take a while before Sakyou comes back. Since Yanohiko says that he’s improved a lot with spinning tops, Kayo asks if he wants to show it to her. However, Yanohiko refuses because he wants both Sakyou and Kayo to watch him together. Until then, he’ll keep on practicing. A boy comes and invites him to play together after that, so Yanohiko happily takes his leave. Kayo is glad to see him getting along so well with his friends though, and she thinks Sakyou would be happy too if he learns about this.
Just then Kayo’s father comes out and asks Kayo to run an errand for him. Their knife is losing its edge, so he wants her to bring it to Kouetsu’s place. Kouetsu is a famous polisher—a craftsman—in Edo. Normally polishers would only sharpen swords and nothing else, but Kouetsu has a long history with Kayo’s family. He’s giving them special treatment because of this, and he’d regularly sharpen their knives. Kayo’s father felt bad considering Kouetsu’s reputation as the top polisher in Edo, so he tried asking another polisher to sharpen their knife before… but the result is just not the same. It doesn’t feel right if it wasn’t sharpened by Kouetsu, so he decides to rely on Kouetsu again. Kayo nods saying she’ll deliver it to Kouetsu’s place, and her father asks her to be careful as he sends her off.
By the time Kayo reaches Kouetsu’s house, she suddenly hears a familiar voice from inside. She instantly stops, holding her breath as she takes a peek. Just as she expected, she finds the man she’s been looking for—Sakyou—sitting inside with his back turned towards the door. At first Kayo is happy that she finally found him, but then she notices that Sakyou seems to be arguing with Kouetsu… so she decides to watch for a while. Before long, Kayo learns that the reason behind the argument is because Kouetsu refuses to sharpen Sakyou’s sword. Sakyou doesn’t underestand why Kouetsu is rejecting his request, and he begs Kouetsu to do it as he’s the only one who can polish Hotarumaru. Kouetsu makes it clear that he has no intentions to sharpen the sword though, and he asks Sakyou to leave instead.
Sakyou asks Kouetsu to tell him the reason, or else he won’t be able to accept the rejection. Hotarumaru needs to be polished at all costs, and he’s willing to pay for it with everything he has. However, Kouetsu simply answers that money isn’t the problem—it lies in Sakyou’s heart instead. Sakyou is really confused and asks what he means by that, but Kouetsu concludes that their discussion is over if he doesn’t get the meaning. Once again Kouetsu asks him to leave, and Sakyou has no choice but to pull back. He grits his teeth as he opens the door, and he looks incredibly shocked to see Kayo outside. Before she can even say anything to him, he immediately dashes off without a word. Somehow she gets the feeling that she won’t be able to see him again if she lets him go, so she quickly goes to chase after him.
Kayo ends up losing track of Sakyou around the river bank, but she keeps on running until she eventually trips. She sinks into a crouch as she rubs her knees, and she can’t help but wonder why he ran away. She finally found him after searching for so long, and yet he didn’t seem happy to see her… so she wonders if he actually doesn’t want her to search for him. Kayo puts her head against her knees and holds back her tears, but not too long after that, she senses someone’s presence behind her. When she turns around, she finds Sakyou with a really troubled expression.
Sakyou looks terribly concerned upon seeing the way Kayo holds her knees, and he asks if she’s injured. She tells him that she’s alright since she only scraped her knees, but he still asks her to let him check the wound. If it’s bleeding, he’ll wrap it up for her. After saying this, Sakyou kneels on the ground and takes out a washcloth from his pocket—carefully tearing it into small parts. He’ll use it to wrap the wound for now, but he wants her to wash it clean and use a salve once she returns home. Sakyou then lifts up the edge of Kayo’s kimono and is about to touch her leg, but he suddenly stops himself, averts his gaze, and apologize for the rudeness. He thinks it might be better if she treats the wound herself, but she blurts out that she wants him to treat it for her. She gets embarrassed immediately after, so she adds that she won’t be able to do it properly by herself.
Upon hearing this, Sakyou only gives Kayo a sad smile. She’s fully aware that she’s troubling him as well, but she doesn’t want to lose sight of him anymore. She wants him to stay with her. When his hands touch her legs once again, the sensation turns the pain on her knees into something sweet. The gentle breeze is carrying his scent towards her, and it feels nostalgic to her. Just as he thought, her knees are bleeding. As he wraps up her wound, he asks her not to run along the river bank since the ground is rough. She replies that it’s because he ran away, and she asks why he did that when she finally managed to find him. When he asks her not to cry, she denies it and says that she’s not crying… but then she realizes that her vision is turning blurry. Something warm rolls down her cheek when she blinks.
Sakyou gently touches Kayo’s cheeks and wipes her tears away, saying that all he ever does is to make her sad. He wants her to understand that she’s important to him, but that’s exactly why he doesn’t want her to stay by his side. Kayo remains quiet for a while, but she reminds herself to stop crying—she has to tell Sakyou that she wants him to return. After wiping off her tears, Kayo lifts her head and gives Sakyou the salve from Suzukake. He looks taken aback and asks if she chased after him just to hand the salve to him, but she admits that it’s not the only reason. She wants him to come back, but he sadly answers that he already told her—he doesn’t want to drag her into his problem.
Kayo can either tell Sakyou that he’s really mean; ask him to get her involved; point out that he lied to her by leaving without a word; or say that she’s worried about him. Either way, Sakyou will apologize to Kayo for breaking his promise. He knew she’d stop him if he didn’t do that, and the more she asks him to return, the more he wants to go back to the warmth he found in her room. He’s also happy to hear that Yanohiko and her are both worried about him, but still… he can’t return to her house. When she asks if it’s because the oni group from Oumi Mountain have reached her neighborhood, he confirms that it’s indeed one of the reasons. However, he also has something that he really needs to do right now.
This reminds Kayo of Sakyou’s argument with Kouetsu earlier, and so she decides to ask about what he’s planning to do. After a brief silence, he answers that he’s going to participate in the tournament starting from tomorrow. Kayo is really shocked. She points out that he’s being reckless since his right arm is still injured, but Sakyou only asks her to come and see his match. She’ll find out what he’s trying to do, and he asks her not to give him any questions until then. After thanking Kayo for the salve, Sakyou bows down his head and leaves. She doesn’t have the courage to chase after him, and she can only watch his back as he walks away from her.
In the end, Kayo returns home without giving the knife to Kouetsu. She tells her father that Kouetsu was busy with a customer, so she’ll visit him again another time. Not too long after that, Suzukake comes to visit Kayo in the restaurant. She warmly welcomes him inside and makes a cup of tea for him, along with a plate of grilled trout. He looks really confused since he didn’t order it, but she says it’s a bonus because he’s always helping her. Before, he mentioned that he loves grilled trouts… and so she decides to make it for him. Suzukake happily thanks Kayo for the treat, then he starts eating the grilled trout she served. He also mentions that he’s been asking his patients about Sakyou, but he couldn’t find any information.
Since Suzukake brought up the topic of Sakyou, Kayo then tells him that she actually met Sakyou today. Suzukake asks if that means Sakyou has returned to her room, but Kayo sadly answers that he refused to come back. If anything, he’s going to participate in the tournament tomorrow. Similarly to her, Suzukake thinks Sakyou is being reckless. His right arm hasn’t fully recovered yet, and it’s definitely not a good idea to wield a sword in that state. Kayo explains that she tried to stop him, but it seems like Sakyou’s decision stands firm. Suzukake doesn’t think Sakyou would change his mind either even if they stop him. Suzukake then tells Kayo that he actually has a match too tomorrow, so he’s going to see Sakyou’s match and pay attention to the wound.
After a brief silence, Suzukake wonders why Sakyou doesn’t seem to care about his own life. He would’ve lost his right arm if he ignored it. Even if it’s not his dominant arm, Suzukake just doesn’t get it. Kayo tells him about how Sakyou said that he has something he really needs to do, Suzukake nods saying it’d be nice if Sakyou can have his wish granted soon… because both of them will always be on his side. After finishing his food, Suzukake leaves saying he’ll see Kayo again tomorrow. Kayo is actually really scared upon thinking about what might happen tomorrow, and she’s praying for Sakyou’s safety in her heart.
The next day, Kayo is still feeling worried as she goes to watch Sakyou’s match with Suzukake—who has successfully won his own match. While waiting for Sakyou’s turn to come, Suzukake takes out a copy of the tournament’s diagram from his pocket and points to a certain name—Zantetsu. His match is coming up next, but he has a terrible reputation. People say that his way of fighting is really cruel, and he injured his opponents as well. The match starts immediately after that. When Zantetsu walks into the arena, Kayo instantly recognizes his long sword. She still remembers him as the oni who was roaming around near her house.
As soon as the match begins, Zantetsu scoffs saying his opponent is so weak and boring. He laughs and calls his opponent a “small fry” as he repels the latter’s attacks, provoking his opponent to entertain him more. He grins as he continues pushing his opponent back—repeatedly attacking his opponent with the back of his sword—and Kayo finds his smile really creepy. Eventually his opponent gives up and admits defeat, but Zantetsu doesn’t stop attacking. He only snickers and says that he can’t hear anything. Both Kayo and Suzukake are shocked. She thinks Zantetsu really cruel for doing this even though he’s clearly winning, while Suzukake can see that Zantetsu enjoys torturing his opponent.
Just as Suzukake is about to get up from his seat, the referee finally stops the match… though he has to pull them apart before announcing Zantetsu as the winner. Kayo is worried about Zantetsu’s opponent though, and Suzukake thinks they should just disqualify Zantetsu for his cruelty. However, Suzukake is surprised upon taking another look at the tournament’s diagram. When Kayo asks if there’s something wrong, he answers that Sakyou will have to fight Zantetsu if he wins his first match. Kayo is surprised to hear this, but at the same time… she also remembers that Zantetsu was searching for Sakyou. She can’t help but wonder if Zantetsu has something to do with why Sakyou asked her to see his match.
Just then Suzukake points out that Sakyou’s match is starting, and Kayo quietly watches as both Sakyou and his opponent bow down to Iemitsu. Once the match begins, Sakyou and his opponent are glaring at each other for a while. The one who makes the first move is his opponent, but he easily blocks the attack with Hotarumaru and counter-attacks. From there, he gradually pushes his opponent back before finally hitting his opponent’s wrist with the back of his sword. As his opponent groans and drops his sword, the referee ends the match and announces Sakyou as the winner.
Both Kayo and Suzukake are impressed to see Sakyou’s complete victory, but Suzukake is still concerned about his arm. It’s definitely not good for him to keep fighting when he’s still injured, not to mention he’ll have to fight Zantetsu in the second round. Kayo nods and admits that she actually doesn’t want Sakyou to participate in the tournament either, but she also knows that they won’t be able to stop him. His match against Zantetsu is going to be held tomorrow. Somehow Kayo has a very bad feeling about this, but she can only pray that nothing will happen to Sakyou.
…but sadly we all know that something will definitely happen.
The next day, Suzukake comes to find Kayo among the audience. She congratulates him for winning his second match, and he happily thanks her in return. However, Sakyou and Zantetsu’s match is coming up next. Suzukake doesn’t think Zantetsu would allow Sakyou to win so easily, so he’s hoping for the match to end safely. He soon notices that Kayo looks rather pale though, and he asks if she’s alright. Kayo nods saying she’s fine. She actually feels really scared inside, but Sakyou wanted her to see his match… so she reminds herself that she can’t look away. She has to watch his match properly. She wouldn’t mind even if he loses, because she’s only wishing for his safety.
When the referee calls their names, both Sakyou and Zantetsu walk to the center of the arena. They turn to look at each other after bowing to Iemitsu, but before the match begins… Sakyou takes a step forward and holds the paper in his hand—a letter of amnesty for blood revenge—high in the air. He then formally states his identity as Sakyou of the Sagihara family, and he’s here to avenge his entire family. His parents and older sister were murdered by Zantetsu Douji, a brutal and cruel criminal who’s currently standing in front of him… and now he’s challenging Zantetsu to a match. Kayo is obviously shocked. She never knew that Sakyou’s parents and older sister were murdered, but now she understands why he’s forcing himself to fight in the tournament despite his wound.
The referee immediately orders Sakyou to stop, as blood revenge is considered as blasphemy against the sacred tournament. The audience, on the other hand, is roaring with applause. They’re cheering for Sakyou, and they want the referee to allow him take his revenge. Pressured by the audience’s support for blood revenge, the referee slowly backs away… but Sakyou doesn’t seem to hear their voices anymore. He’s only glaring at Zantetsu in silence. In contrary, Zantetsu is grinning in amusement. Now that Sakyou has revealed his background, Zantetsu can understand why he’s holding such a deep grudge against the oni clan. Zantetsu then accepts the challenge, saying he’ll gladly send Sakyou to see his family soon.
When the match officially begins, Sakyou and Zantetsu are glaring at each other—waiting for the right timing to charge in. The one who initiates the first attack is Sakyou, but Zantetsu repels Hotarumaru with his sword and counter-attacks. For the next few seconds, both swords are blocking each other in the air. This leads the audience to think that they might be equally strong, but sadly… Sakyou ends up losing to Zantetsu’s power. Blood spurts into the air when Zantetsu’s sword grazes Sakyou’s right shoulder. From his reaction, Zantetsu can tell that the wound on Sakyou’s arm—the one inflicted by his friends—hasn’t healed yet. He sneers saying Sakyou must’ve underestimated him a lot, considering Sakyou has the guts to challenge him in that condition.
As Sakyou curses and grits his teeth, Zantetsu decides to provoke him even more. He challenges Sakyou to try and slash him if he can, even reminding Sakyou that he came here to avenge his family. Falling for Zantetsu’s provocation, Sakyou completely loses his reason and strikes. However, Zantetsu swiftly twists his upper body and blocks all of Sakyou’s attacks—ridiculing him at the same time. He wants Sakyou to rage even more, but he also notes that if people can kill others with anger alone… no one would have to suffer. Hotarumaru powerfully cuts through the air when Zantetsu dodges to the side. This motion sends Sakyou straight forward, exposing his back to Zantetsu as the result.
Of course Zantetsu isn’t going to waste this perfect chance, and he quickly lunges in to slash Sakyou’s open back. At first Sakyou manages to dodge and Zantetsu’s sword only cuts his kimono instead… but Zantetsu continues attacking immediately after, not giving him any chance to breathe. Sakyou quickly blocks the hit, but suddenly he hears a creaking sound from Hotarumaru… and he stares in disbelief as the blade cracks and crumbles. Zantetsu grins saying Hotarumaru is way too good for him, because no matter how good a sword might be, it’ll be nothing more than a dull blade if the owner is weak. Sakyou gasps when Zantetsu swings his sword, knocking Hotarumaru away from his hands. As Hotarumaru flies and dances in the air, Zantetsu’s blade scratches Sakyou on the chest.
Fresh blood splashes onto the white sand of the arena like a bright red flower, and Sakyou collapses to the ground. The audience was expecting to see a glorious scene of revenge until just a moment ago, but now they’re watching over him with grim expressions. After confirming that Iemitsu is really shaking his head, Mitsuyoshi comes down to the arena and stops the match. He says it’s extremely rude to use and taint the sacred tournament with blood revenge, and he immediately orders the guards to take Sakyou away.
Meanwhile, Kayo is really worried and starts panicking. Suzukake asks her to calm down though. Despite the amount of blood, the wound itself seems to be light… so Sakyou should be fine. Suzukake takes Kayo to the waiting room after that, where they see Sakyou lying weakly on the floor. However, the guard stops them from getting any closer—asking what business they have with Sakyou. Suzukake explains that both of them know Sakyou, and he asks for the permission to treat Sakyou’s wound. The guard refuses though. He tells them that Sakyou has committed a crime by tainting the tournament with his blood revenge, and he will be thrown into jail. Based on Iemitsu’s order, he’s not allowed to see anyone.
Kayo is really shocked to hear this. She begs the guard to forgive Sakyou for what he did, but the guard curtly refuses and tells her to go away. Kayo doesn’t give up though. She tries calling out to Sakyou, but sadly this only causes the guard to push her away for being so persistent. Luckily, Suzukake manages to catch her just in time. He tells the guard not to be so violent towards her, but again… the guard only tells them to shut up. If they dare to go against him, he’ll throw both of them into jail along with Sakyou. This threat doesn’t work at all though, because it only gives them the idea of joining Sakyou in jail. Suzukake realizes that he’ll be able to treat Sakyou there, and the guard looks really troubled when Kayo asks him to imprison them too. He finds them creepy LOL.
In any case, the guard refuses to let them through and chases them out instead. Knowing that they won’t get anywhere, Suzukake takes Kayo to leave for now. Kayo is about to argue when she senses someone’s presence, and she turns around to find Enishi—standing behind them with his arms folded. He notes that Sakyou was defeated in such a flashy way, then he walks up to Kayo and lifts her chin up. After taking a really close look at her face, Enishi sighs saying she looks like she’s about to cry. He wonders if she would be as worried if he’s the one who got injured, but she only tells him that this isn’t the time for jokes. When Suzukake asks if he also came here because he’s worried about Sakyou, Enishi vaguely answers that it’s something like that.
The guard is definitely not pleased to see Enishi though. He immediately orders Enishi to leave as well, but Enishi lightly asks him to let them off out of consideration. At first the guard doesn’t get why he has to be considerate towards Enishi, but he seems to recognize Enishi’s face soon after… and his attitude suddenly changes. The intimidating expression he was wearing changes into fear. On the other hand, Enishi smiles upon noticing that the guard seems to know his face—which makes it much easier for him. After nodding at the guard, Enishi tells Kayo and Suzukake that Sakyou will be alright. They’re going to treat his wound and release him from jail later, so Kayo and Suzukake doesn’t have to worry.
However, Kayo finds this really strange and asks why Enishi can do that much. Enishi seems taken aback by her question, but he quickly grabs the guard’s shoulder and says that the guard owes him a favor. The guard got drunk and nearly died in the ditch before, and Enishi was the one who saved him. The guard is clearly confused because he doesn’t remember anything like that, but since Enishi is subtly forcing him to agree… he has no choice but to confirm this as true. Enishi continues saying that he’s asking the guard to repay him for the favor right now, and the guard will surely convince Iemitsu to let Sakyou go—even if he has to put his life on the line. Enishi says he’s going to discuss this with the guard, so he wants Kayo and Suzukake to go home for today.
Enishi pushes them out of the waiting room after that, so Kayo leaves Edo Castle with Suzukake. Kayo is still concerned though, and she can’t help but wonder if Sakyou will really be okay. Suzukake also thinks that Enishi is a mysterious person, but there’s nothing they can do for now… so he asks her to trust Enishi and wait. In the end, Kayo returns home with doubts in her mind. She keeps wondering if Sakyou is okay, and if the shogunate really called a doctor to treat his wound. What would she do if they’re not releasing him out of jail? Or rather, what can she do for him? Even after lying in bed, Kayo can’t seem to fall asleep at all… and she ends up staying awake until morning comes.
In the morning, Kayo decides to visit Edo Castle again today. When she walks out of her room, her father notices that her eyes are red. He asks if she couldn’t sleep last night, and she admits that she was indeed wide awake. She assures him that she’s alright though, and she goes outside to put up the shop curtains. They have a nice weather again today. Just as she narrows her sleepy eyes and turns her back against the bright sunlight, she notices a shadow approaching… and it turns out to be Enishi. After greeting her good morning, Enishi invites Kayo to take a walk with him. He can see that she’s still concerned about Sakyou though, so he asks her not to worry—because Sakyou will be released today.
Kayo’s expression instantly changes upon hearing this, and Enishi jokingly says he feels jealous because she looks so happy. She quickly denies this and says that she’s just worried about Sakyou, so he decides to let it slide and drops the subject. Enishi also mentions that Sakyou would be lonely if no one comes to pick him up, so he asks Kayo to go and see him. Kayo gladly agrees and immediately dashes off, leaving Enishi to wonder about what she likes from a difficult man like Sakyou. Kayo’s father soon comes out to call his daughter, but he only finds Enishi outside. Before he can figure out where his daughter has gone off to, Enishi asks him to bring out the drinks and put everything on Sakyou’s tab LOL.
From there, Kayo runs all the way to Edo Castle. She arrives just as Sakyou walks out of the gate, so she quickly runs up to him. However, he quietly averts his gaze from her. He admits that he feels pathetic for showing such an awfully incapable side of him, especially because he was the one who asked her to see his match. She asks him not to say that because he put up a good fight, but he snaps out that there’s no way such a match can be judged as good. He apologizes upon realizing that he has surprised her, but he also points out that he failed to take his blood revenge. He nearly got killed by Zantetsu in his attempt to avenge his family, and he feels like cursing himself for it. He was the one who challenged Zantetsu, yet he was defeated and has to keep living while carrying that shame.
Sakyou walks away right after that, not turning back even once to see Kayo. For a moment, she doesn’t know what she should say. She feels like his back is denying everything, but she quickly chases after him. Kayo calls out to Sakyou by the time they reach the bridge, and it’s only then that he slowly turns around to see her. The first thing she asks is if his family was killed by Zantetsu, and he frowns as he answers with a nod. Sakyou closes his eyes as he starts telling Kayo about his past, as if he’s pouring out all the pain in his heart. When he was 11, his family witnessed slave trading done by the oni clan from Oumi Mountain.
It was raining that day. Sakyou caught a cold and had a fever, so he had to stay at home and waited for his family to come back. He was sleeping when he heard a commotion from outside. When he went out to the garden, he saw his family’s vassals running around—all of them looking really pale. He also heard his nurse telling everyone not to let him out, but it was too late. He soon figured out that something terrifying has happened to his family. After shaking his nurse off, he ran outside and followed the people who were going to see the cause of the commotion. He kept running even though he was drenched in the rain, until he eventually saw a crowd surrounding an alley.
At the same time, Sakyou could sense the smell of blood in the wind. He then made his way through the crowd… only to find the corpses of his family. Soon after that, the nurse came and covered his eyes. She told him not to see it, but he could never forget the sight he saw that day. Both of his parents were lying in a pool of blood on the ground. His older sister, who was pregnant, died while covering her stomach with her hands—as if she was trying to protect her baby. Even until now, Sakyou still clearly remembers the beautiful hydrangeas that were growing at the side of the road.
After that, Zantetsu got exiled for murdering the Sagihara family… but for Sakyou, that punishment was nowhere near enough. He became a ronin at the age of 12, and he requested for the permission to take blood revenge. He fell into the darker side of the world in order to gain information about the oni clan, and he’s been living with only one goal in mind—to take revenge against Zantetsu. However, he ended up losing and even has to continue living in shame. Kayo asks him not to say that though. He managed to avoid death, and she believes it’s a good thing. While blood revenge might be important to him, Kayo wants Sakyou to live for himself—not for revenge.
Sakyou answers that Kayo is really kind, and he thinks that must be why she gets so concerned about a hopeless man like him. However, he says she shouldn’t get involved with him any further. He wants her to just forget everything and go back to her happy, peaceful life. Sakyou then says goodbye to Kayo, telling her that he truly enjoyed the days he spent with her. Before he can walk away, she quickly pulls his sleeve and stops him. Kayo can either say that she doesn’t want to say goodbye; remain silent; cling onto him; or angrily tell him that he’s being egoistic. Either way, she will ask Sakyou not to leave—knowing that he would only march onto his own death if she lets him go.
As the answer, Sakyou gently removes Kayo’s hand from his sleeve. He then smiles and thanks her, saying that he understands how she feels. He promises to visit her restaurant again, but he’s going to come as a customer next time. He’s going to receive treatment for his wound either, so she doesn’t have to worry. In return, he wants her to leave him alone for today. He received comforting words from her on top of losing the match, and he feels really depressed right now… so he asks her not to make him even more miserable. Sakyou leaves right after that, with Kayo sending him off in silence. She’s aware that she might only be a hindrance for him, but even so… she wants him to be happy. She wants him to smile.
Sakyou never turns back, and Kayo quietly watches as he disappears into the crowd.