This continues from the (short) Prologue. Arakane Rin (CV: Kaji Yuuki) usually takes on the female roles for Aoiza, but not after Aoi’s appearance. That’s partly why Aoi would be under his spartan training, though it’s also ‘cos he unexpectedly looks out for her in his own way. The resident tsundere and shinobi born from the same village as Hisoka, he also has a dog called Moni. He asked Hisoka to have an open-air bath in Miyoshino and enjoys his alone time there – though for some reason Aoi keeps spotting him inside by accident.
Inside her room, Aoi decides to stop feeling down and go outside. She hears a dog barking then and decides to ask about it and if it’s okay to take it for a walk. But she doesn’t see anyone outside – till she hears sounds of water. Thinking that it’s Hisoka cleaning up the bath, Aoi finds Rin bathing inside instead. Obviously surprised, Aoi screams but Rin gets annoyed instead and terms her a peeping demon lol. After they clear up the misunderstanding and Aoi apologises, she attempts to initiate conversation later, though Rin’s attitude also bothers her. He then recalls that she was searching for someone, and Aoi mentions the dog – which apparently belongs to Rin. So Rin brings Aoi to see Moni, which takes to Aoi immediately. Rin suggests to take Moni for a walk together and see the sakura blooming, since she had always been stuck inside her room ever since she came. Outside, Rin pulls Aoi along so that she won’t get lost – though he suddenly lets go when Sanyuutei Housen comes along. Rin isn’t comfortable with Housen and Housen excuses himself from their date.
Afterwards, Aoi spots a priest who appears strangely tired. Rin quickly takes her back to Miyoshino first and calls the rest of the Aoiza members. As he explains what happened to the rest of the team, Aoi is obviously confused and they explain to her about kamon, jingi, uramon and jyaki. Rin wants to involve Aoi, saying that she should do some work too. Kensuke is in favour of this idea, and manages to convince the rest. Rin figures that they should head to Kaneiji Temple as the priest from earlier on belonged there. True enough, the origin – Fujikasa Shiki – is there attacking the temple. Rin turns into his jingi, a bell ornament. However, no one else but touch the ornament except Aoi. So with Rin’s lead, she purifies the guy whom then faints. Aoi also feels faint and Rin quickly supports her, who goes into tsundere mode as he praises her but also says that she has to work harder. The rest of the team are impressed already though.
Aoiza comes to Ginza to perform and Aoi is in awe of the modern architecture in this Meiji era. The rest of the members inform her that fire incidents occur frequently which explains why none of the buildings are too old. Aoiza also wants to include Aoi in their next play, as by having Futaba Aoi onstage, they can resist any jyaki with kamon‘s power. Though in Rin’s tsundere words, he wouldn’t have her onstage if he had a choice as he observes that the way she walks is so unfitting of a girl. Their next play is Shiranami Gonin Otoko, which is a tale about a group of thieves. Kensuke would like Aoi to play the role of Benten Kozou, who is one of the thieves that often disguises as a girl (before, Rin would usually play this role). Aoi wonders what Hisoka does and Rin answers that he’s in-charge of the admin stuff to promotional stuff – though if there was someone who could cook better than him, do accounts better than him etc. than he can be an actor too lol. They decide that it’s best for Rin to teach Aoi since he’s most familiar with the role.
So back in the theatre, Rin starts his spartan training on her – everything from posture to speech. Even though he remarks harshly concerning Aoi’s acting, he mutters that he won’t spend so much effort on someone he thinks has no potential. After hours, Aoi finally reaches a decent level so Rin says that he’ll end here and go back to memorise his own lines. This surprises Aoi since she thought that he would’ve done that before helping her out. In response, Rin goes to tsundere mode and says that he has a responsibility for her to do well on stage. Later that day, Aoi goes to take a soak in the open-air bath, since it should be switched for women now – only to find Rin inside again lol. Meanwhile, a mysterious person approaches Yatsuhashi Shou and offers him a wine cup to drink from.
Aoiza takes to the stage for their performance but are interrupted by Shou and his men, who later seems to have set his eyes on Aoi. Aoiza manages to shoo them away but later that night, Shou is back again to claim Aoi. They successfully purify him and Aoi tells him not to do such things again since women will only dislike him more. After he leaves, Aoi wonders if all men are like that – coming to check on women after hearing rumours. Though Aoi doesn’t reckon she’s anything to check out – to which Rin agrees, in tsundere mode.
The troop are in Yokohama and Rin comes into Aoi’s room, trying to ask her out to walk around the town. However, the rest of Aoiza interrupt before he can even get to asking her out. Annoyed, Rin quickly drags Aoi away. Outside, Aoi observes how there are more foreigners here and they come to the topic of appearance vs. actual age. This causes Aoi to wonders about Rin’s age vs. how he keeps preaching like an old man. Rin probably read her thoughts as he told her to not think unnecessary stuff lol. Along the way, they meet Oosuga Seiji, who happily introduces himself to Aoi as a regular customer of Aoiza’s performances, though he’s been busy lately. Seiji is later called to by Fukuzawa Yukichi for work-related affairs, and even Aoi recognises the guy. Both of them soon excuse themselves for work affairs though, and as Yukichi observes that her “knight” is giving them deadly glares. Rin remarks that it’s fishy for a writer and a military personnel to be working together.
They then head into a shop filled with foreign goods and Rin makes Aoi try on some of the dresses for the performances. He also would do female roles so he feels the need to personally pick them. They’re not doing Western performances now, but Kensuke is thinking of doing some in the future. Aoi is not used to the corset and when she thought that this was Rin’s hobby – he makes the breathing experience worse for her lol. When they’re done though, Rin mutters that she has his thanks and carries the shopping for her on the way back. Upon their return, everyone discusses their next performance, enbu – they would often use real weapons to perform and it’s Kikaku’s specialty. Aoi panics since she has no experience but Kensuke tells her that it’ll definitely be okay – she’ll be performing with him transformed as a sword (his jingi). Rin feels that she still needs training though and drags Aoi off. As they watch them leave, Kensuke remarks that his position as a leader seems to be nothing, while Kikaku remarks in a touching manner as to how reliable Rin has grown up to be.
The performance goes smoothly and after it’s over, Aoi is approached by an old man dressed in a suit. He praises her performance, though also remarks how it’s not meant to be performed and some other things Aoi doesn’t get. Rin later approaches her and they dismiss it. Later that day, they sense jyaki off Chouko. Aoi also runs into Rin in the bath again, and he remarks that he can’t get out if she keeps standing there – unless she wants to see him naked lol.
The next day Aoiza learns of news of a foreign goods shop getting destroyed and they guess that it was the woman from before. Rin and Aoi bump into Housen, who has a kid, Sora, with him. The kid tells them that his mother has been behaving weirdly since she received a comb and disappeared last night. They guess the woman is his mother and they go to search at Chouko’s house. Housen also tags along as Moni gets the rest of Aoiza to join them. There, Aoi and Rin manage to purify her using his special skill. Chouko is weak though and Sora pleads Aoiza to bring him to look for his father in Hirata. Rin feels guilty and requests to take Sora there alone. But Kensuke suggests everyone going, taking this chance to visit Shirogane, Rin and Hisoka’s birth village. Housen also tags along, hoping to get an explanation for what he saw as he promises to keep his lips sealed about their other “job”.
They’re back in Ueno but packing up for their long journey, with Hisoka and Housen tagging along. During their journey, Housen probes for information about their special skills and so the group lets Aoi tell him about Aoiza’s other side-work and jingi. We also learn about Housen’s “Aoiza Manyuuki” – a story which he made based off Aoiza about a princess and her subordinates fighting evil. Along the way, Rin treats Aoi more harshly though Sora notes that they seem to be on good terms – Aoi appears cheerful, while Rin smiles more when they talk. When the group take a short rest, Rin excuses himself and Hisoka goes after him. Hisoka tells him to not take it out on Aoi, and though Rin denies it, he soon realises that he’s taking it out on Hisoka now. Rin wants some alone time for now, though later Aoi goes to see him while also fetching some water for the rest. There, Rin soon opens up to Aoi about his sister, Yui. Her jingi is a magatama and it’s especially strong among all the jingi. That’s why she would often be attacked, and had bodyguards (including Hisoka).
However, one night she was lured away from the guards – who were all killed off, except Hisoka. In the end, by the time she was found, Yui was murdered and her jingi was stolen. Usually a normal person can’t handle it, ‘cos they will feel sharp pains – but what if someone who can take them exists? Or if it has fallen into the wrong hands? Hisoka still feels guilty and still can’t face Rin properly. But Rin sees Hisoka as his family and so would like him to move forward and find his own happiness. Rin wonders about whether his sister’s life was a heavy burden, since she carried heavy expectations and only lived, fought, and died for Aoiza’s purpose. In response, Aoi tells Rin to not decide what Yui felt. The expectations may have also been a form of encouragement for Yui, and she feels that there must have been good things for her too. Aoi apologises since she isn’t in much position to comment, but Rin obviously feels otherwise as he pulls her in for a kiss.
But after they separate, they are interrupted by an attack. Both Aoi and Rin fend them off and head back to join the rest – as Rin mutters to himself, thanking Aoi for being there for him earlier. Sora feels bad for getting them involved, since the assassins are after him, it may have been better if he wasn’t born. Immediately, Rin tells him otherwise. Everyone, his parents and they, are protecting him out of their own will. Sora also feels similarly in wanting to protect his parents, so he shouldn’t blame himself and say such lonesome things. It’ll be dark soon so rather than camp outside with threat of danger, Sora leads them to a nearby inn for the night. Rin also tells Hisoka that those words he told Sora, can be said to him too. Later at the inn, Aoi walks into Rin in the bath again. But this time, Rin honestly thanks Aoi for earlier.
As they head for Hirata the next day, they are under more attacks. They finally make their way to Sora’s place and find Inomata Hagiji there. Sora’s father is the current head of Hirata, making Sora the successor. However, Inomata wants the position (and earlier on, he is seen being given a head pillow by a stranger), which resulted in him poisoning Sora’s father and sending people after Sora’s life. Rin suspects that the one behind Inomata and Chouko’s cases is the same person, and has a bad feeling since there has been too many cases recently. Aoi and Rin successfully purify Inomata and thankfully, Sora’s father’s life isn’t in danger. They part ways from Sora and continue onto Shirogane.
There, Rin brings Aoi to visit Yui’s grave, where Hisoka is already. Aoi observes that Hisoka constantly apologises, and forbids him from saying it anymore – which reminds them that Yui said something similar in the past too. Seeing the grave, Aoi is reminded of how her grandmother would visit her own mother’s grave too, as a form of greetings and to be able to move forward. Aoi thinks that this may be what Rin is feelings now and would like for him to move forward too.
Aoiza returns to Ueno and a banquet is underway. However, Aoi is distracted by the recent happenings and wants to go back to her room – till Rin tells her to stop cooping up and that it’s easier to just say everything. The Hime sisters note that Rin seems to observe Aoi closely which catches him off-guard. But the rest agree with Rin’s words, so Aoi speaks of her uneasiness, since all the people so far were merely caught up. Rin understands this, though points out that it depends on the person since usually weak people desire strong powers, and maybe even he himself depends on his jingi. However, Aoi still feels that to be consumed by such strong powers ‘cos you’re too weak to control it is no good after all, since it’s a power meant to protect. She would like to protect Rin and co. – and this makes her feelings very obvious and everyone starts teasing them.
A few days later, they head to Kamimori village, Kikaku’s birth village. It’s in Nikko and the biggest village which worships jingi and holds many old literature and such. Perhaps they’ll find something about Futaba Aoi and how Aoi came here. When they finally reach Kamimori, they first go to visit the room holding the jingi of Kikaku’s family (the other one is with Kikaku). Hachi, Housen and Hisoka actually don’t need to visit since they don’t hold a jingi, but Hachi decides to tag along anyway. To everyone’s surprise though, in a turn of events this jingi ends up getting absorbed into Hachi’s body. Only a descendant of Kikaku’s family can accept this though, and eventually it is revealed that Hachi is the younger brother of Kikaku. Due to this unexpected reunion, they decide to not let the two brothers participate too heavily in their next performance, Yaoya Oshichi. It’s a tale of a woman who sets the town on fire, in hopes of meeting the one she loves. Aoi will play her, and Rin the man she loves. There also isn’t much time for them to search through the literature but Aoi is okay with this.
Of course, she has to go through Rin’s spartan training. Rin takes Aoi to a temple in the area, claiming to be bringing her to a similar setting to the play to get a feel first. But since he didn’t bring Moni along, it’s almost like a date between them. Rin spots an elderly lady with a broken sandal strap and offers to fix it for it. Touched, the woman remarks on how considerate Aoi’s “lover” is and Aoi in turn, doesn’t deny it and agrees. After the woman leaves, Rin is obviously embarrassed, but he admits that he didn’t hate getting misunderstood like that. After all, he wouldn’t kiss someone he didn’t like. Aoi is shocked by his words, and Rin instinctively shouts back – before apologising and reveals that he actually invited her here to confess that he likes her. Aoi eventually says that she does too and Rin kisses her.
On the day of the performance, Rin is appalled by Aoi’s sloppy way of dressing and helps her fit on her kimono better. Rin is very used to this and points out how the wearing of a kimono should help bring out the body figure – so someone with a bigger chest would bind it. Aoi gets self-conscious as Rin looks at hers and remarks that he doesn’t mind her “modest” one lol. After he’s done, Aoi is pleasantly surprised by how cute he did up the obi etc. and Rin mutters that it’s her first lead role so it’s better for her to look cute. After the performance, Rin goes to see Aoi in her room. Recalling the play’s story, he wonders if it was fate for it to end in tragedy, and if they will see the same end. But for Aoi, if it is fate then there’s nothing one can do. However, she would rather think about how they can act now. Rin ponders over this, before commenting on her poor acting, though speaking to himself, he is also troubled if she did show her best form on stage.
Meanwhile at a temple, Seiji approaches the elderly lady, Obana En, and passes her an obidome before leaving. Luckily, Rin and Aoi manage to purify her in time. They perform Yaoya Oshichi again and this time, and after the performance, Seiji comes over and compliments Aoi. However, he also comes to say goodbye as he won’t be able to see their performances anytime soon as his work is getting busier. Both Rin and Aoi think that they should call the rest over, since he’s a regular after all. But Seiji says it’s okay and leaves them. Aoi can’t help but wonder over Seiji. Seeing this, Rin gets a bit upset over how she’s always interested in other things, and that she should only think about him at times too – and he leaves her in confusion lol.
Outside in the streets of Nikko, Rin tags along Aoi as he was also asked by Kensuke to do so. Five incidents have occurred since she came and it’s unnatural. Usually it happens every few years, ‘cos the reason jingi became uramon is usually that it was deserted, or became impure for some reason. But it has been increasing ever since. It started to increase just before the fall of Tokugawa era and started towards the Meiji era – which was understandable since it was very unstable times. But now it’s much more peaceful times so it’s odd that the cases are increasing. There’s probably someone trying to lure Aoi and while they don’t know the motive, Aoi should definitely be more wary. When she’s gone, it’s unsure whether that capability will be returned to them or not etc. basically it’s all unclear. But of course, he’s also worried over her as a lover, and Rin gets embarrassed when Aoi smiles over this.
Aoi spots fancy-looking houses and gets Rin to lead her there. There, it’s the district where many there are noble residencies. They spot Seiji riding a carriage towards one and decide to follow behind. Seiji is talking to the mansion owner, Sakazuki Kikusuke, a prejudiced man who thinks that he’s more suited for the Chancellor of the Realm role over Sanjou Sanetomi. They discuss over how Sakazuki has been sleeping everyday with the item Seiji gave him, and Seiji having to handle some work on Sanjou. When Seiji leaves, both Aoi and Rin seem to sense jyaki off Sakazuki. They head back first to convey this to everyone. They learn from Housen, who told stories in parties in the residence before, that Sakazuki is a hedonistic man such that despite not doing any work he still desires the top government position. Later, Aoiza split up to investigate this matter just in case, though Aoi notice that Rin is a bit off.
Aoi is with Rin as they check on the mansion the next day and notice it’s eerily silent. When everyone gathers later, they learn that Sakazuki fired all his servants and has been cooped up in the house for a few days. Aoiza decides to break into the mansion the next day, but the jyaki is worse than ever and Sakazuki has completely lost it. Kensuke remarks that it may be too late, and Aoi recalls that Rin said something similar. They explain that Sakazuki may “disappear” and that was the reason for Rin’s recent attitude – he was hesitant on telling her this truth: a person will disappear completely with the jingi if it has been too many days already. Aoi and Rin purify Sakazuki, but it’s too late in the end as Sakazuki still disappears.
Seeing how shaken Aoi is upon seeing this, Rin and Hisoka take her back first to cool down. Later that night, Aoi decides to go take a bathe only to find Rin inside. But this time, Rin is okay with her coming in with him and he confesses to her that he was equally shaken when he first saw this at a very young age. He then went into the bathe and sat there for a long time as he cried. He was scared but couldn’t bring himself to confide in anyone. Before he knew it, it became a habit and he would often take long bathes and reflect on himself. Rin then tells Aoi that it’s okay to cry as much as she wants, and to smile after that.
Aoiza is informed by Housen that Sanjou will be coming to Nikko, and they’re extending their stay to investigate more into the matter just in case. Kensuke says that they’d better start earning some money too, as they still reside in Nikko. Aoi suggests The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter as they have a 12-layered kimono. Naturally, she’ll have to play Kaguya-hime while the five guys play her suitors. Hisoka will play the bamboo cutter while Housen will write the script – who does so very quickly. Naturally, Rin gives her training starting from mannerism. When they’re done, he lets her off to eat as he goes to do some investigation. But when he’s back they’ll practice her lines – so she has to memorise them asap. Rin tells her to stop complaining and to show him her fabulous performance – and by now Aoi catches that it means that he sees potential in her.
Once the day is over, Aoi goes to take a bathe only to find Rin inside once again. In the end, they’re both together inside again. Aoi learns from him that he received harsh training from Yui since young. And truth be told, he never thought of protecting jingi since without them, nobody would get hurt. But his feelings don’t matter and they exist anyway. So in that case, at least now he’d like to protect Aoi and the people involved so that they won’t get hurt. Days later, Aoiza hears that Sanjou is in Nikko but can’t find a way to meet him in person. So for now they are still focusing on their performance. After a successful performance, Housen later passes a message from the Kamimori village members. It’s something they found from the old literature which may help them: when the sword calls for thunder, the mirror will open the return path for the god. While they try to figure out what this means, Kensuke merely watches them silently.
Later, they hear news of Sanjou acting weird and Aoiza decides to head over. There, all the other people have fainted due to the overwhelming jyaki, in fact, even Housen feels bad. Only a strong jingi like Yui’s magatama can cause this and true enough, Sanjou has it. Rin is enraged but Aoi manages to calm him down, as she reminds him that he once said that no one deserves to die. Both of them purify Sanjou and save him in time, and the magatama is finally back in their hands. Seiji probably wasn’t behind Yui’s death since he was too young then, and even less likely Sanjou. To add on to the situation, Futaba Aoi starts cracking and Rin tells her to keep this from the rest as it will rattle them since there’s no telling what will happen. However, Kensuke observes them from the side.
Back in her room, Rin comes to talk to her about Futaba Aoi. He raises the possibility of never returning home is it breaks, and asks what would she do then. In reply, Aoi says that she’ll remain by his side, as well as the others, since they’ll protect her. Rin breaks into a warm smile and he promises to protect her. Still he’s bothered by the thought of the culprits behind Yui’s death and gets overcome with the thought of revenge. Quickly, Aoi calms him down and says that he shouldn’t be driven to hunt down Seiji. Revenge will only breed more casualties. Rather, she’ll support him so that they can protect can prevent people getting hurt by uramon. In that case, she wouldn’t need to fight too. Rin is heartened by her words and is thankful to her. He tells her that it’s okay and not to worry over him and the screen goes dark…and Aoi wakes up later to find Rin missing. (Was it my imagination, or did they just do it?)
Aoiza prepares to return to Ueno but they receive a letter from Yukichi, he wishes to speak to them about Seiji. It’s suspicious but they receive him anyway. Yukichi is in full knowledge of uramon as well as the incidents of Sanjou, Sakazuki. Yukichi wants them to work for him to build the country, if so he wouldn’t need to take the trouble of using uramon anymore. He continues leading them on when Rin mentions about Yui’s death, and of course there must be a reason why he knows all this knowledge. Kensuke soon tells everyone to not listen and they all realise that he’s merely here to cause conflict among them. Of course they also refuse his offer and Yukichi leaves them. Rin apologises for getting worked up for nothing. Hisoka tells him not to blame himself, but he should trust his friends more and Rin accepts this advice.
Kensuke asks for the person who leaked information to Yukichi to own up, and that he won’t blame him. Rin adds to this too since he’d rather choose to believe in his friends. Nanami then admits that he’s the one, though as much as it sounds like an excuse, he never expected things to turn out this way. Housen also owns up that he isn’t innocent either, since he knew about Nanami’s situation. Nanami explains that back when he was away from Aoiza, he got offered a job by Yukichi. He got questioned about uramon etc. and he told Yukichi. He never thought that Yukichi would “corrupt” it on purpose so that normal people can touch jingi, and hence artificially create uramon. Since young, Yukichi had the likes of Toki Yatarou supporting him from the shadows, and he would be willing to do anything to serve Yukichi’s goals. Seiji served Toki since young and so it’s very likely that he’s the one going around spreading uramon.
Since Aoi is in possible danger, Rin decides to protect her 24/7. Even when going to bathe, he plans on being by her side, and it shouldn’t matter since they went in together before, and are lovers. He also thanks Aoi since he was always motivated by revenge and to retrieve Yui’s magatama, but he knows that he can’t protect Aoi that way. He feels that Seiji, who had been working under Yukichi’s ambitions and out of fear due to Toki, probably can’t make proper decisions like that. In comparison to him, Rin’s actually happier to have Aoiza members care for him, even though he had been acting unfortunate all along. It was Aoi who made him think that way now. He feels that back when he could only cry at his sister’s death as a kid, he has to grow up to become someone capable of protecting Aoi. Aoi isn’t sure about the whole kid vs. adult issue, but she’s happy that Rin thinks of her like that.
Meanwhile, Toki is seen ordering Seiji to kill the Aoiza members tonight, before they leave Nikko. Seiji is reluctant at first, but if he doesn’t do it, Toki will do so himself. So Seiji eventually accepts this and leaves. Toki can’t forgive them for rejecting Yukichi’s offer, and believes that it’ll come back to block Yukichi’s ambitions if he lets them off now – just like how he had to kill off Yui back then who apparently also rejected Yukichi’s offer. Later that night, Aoiza is alarmed by the chaos heard outside. They find Seiji, who apologises to them but he has to act on his orders to kill them. He plans on killing Aoi since with her gone, Toki will no longer bother about Aoiza. Seiji raises his gun as he promises to make it painless, but Rin jumps in. Before Seiji can attack again, Kensuke cuts him and says that his true wish isn’t this and he’ll show him what it is. Kensuke suddenly grabs Seiji and disappears with him. Shocked, everyone else can only stare in silence. He clearly knows something they don’t, and they decide to trust their leader and head back to Ueno as planned.
Back in Ueno, Miyoshino, they all search for Kensuke and Seiji – but it’s fruitless so far since they need to hide from the wary eyes of Toki. Aoi remains inside Miyoshino for her safety, since Toki may attack her. Inside her room, she realises that it’ll soon be her birthday and Rin overhears this. Of course, he doesn’t know the concept and Aoi explains that it’s to celebrate the day you were born, a bit like how people celebrate Buddha’s birthday. Rin remarks how he’s happy to have met her, someone born so far into the future that by normal standards he’ll never have meet. He’d like to celebrate for her so he disappears for a bit. When he’s back, Aoi hears him fending off the Hime sisters, as he’d like to celebrate alone with her. Rin had bought some sweets for her and gives her a bell as a present – he’d actually bought it for her a while ago but didn’t know how to pass it to her. Aoi thanks him and outside, she hears Hachi and Housen commenting on how they both saw him outside seriously picking sweets. Rin gets embarrassed and kisses her before dashing off lol.
Aoi notices that Futaba Aoi has more cracks and she probably doesn’t have much time left to be able to use its power. So she suggests asking Yukichi directly to everyone’s surprise. Yukichi seems to be like a person who will listen to reason, if it fits his goals. She even hand-picks Housen to deliver the letter and message. Aoi reveals to everyone about what happened to Futaba Aoi and how she’d like to at least convince Yukichi to stop spreading uramon to prevent further incidents before she becomes a pawn he can no longer make use of. If it’s too late, she’ll no longer be of use. Rin though, insists that she shouldn’t think so and she’s apart of Aoiza, and his important person no matter what.
A reply from Yukichi does come the next day, asking to meet Aoiza at Zoujouji next Wednesday, 8pm. The day finally arrives, and Aoiza decides to go meet him even though they still haven’t heard news of Kensuke and Seiji. Toki interferes them though, and remarks how Aoi is similar to Yui. Rin confirms that Toki is the culprit and assures Aoi that he won’t lose his cool. Toki also uses uramon‘s powers on himself. There’s no choice but to fight Toki, and Kensuke and Seiji join them at this point. With everyone’s help, Rin and Aoi manage to purify Toki and quickly go to meet Yukichi.
But soon after they rush over, a fire breaks out in theZoujouji temple. Yukichi remarks that his motive today was to destroy the old, unchanging Edo symbol, and to create a new Meiji era. He wants Aoiza to witness the fading of Edo and leaves them. Kensuke uses his power to call rain, which puts out the fire. Aoi is disappointed that she couldn’t convince Yukichi, though with Seiji on their side now, he probably can’t spread uramon further. Futaba Aoi also finally shatters. Back at Miyoshino, we learn that only Kensuke has such a power – though he can only do so once more as his power is soon depleting. Also, Seiji holds the mirror jingi. But ‘cos he had been in constant contact with uramon, he soon couldn’t use his own jingi properly. Kensuke helped him to regain it though, during the time they hid. This relates back to the message Housen passed to them “when the sword calls for thunder, the mirror will open the return path for the god”. This is Aoi’s only chance to return, since Kensuke may soon lose his power with Futaba Aoi broken. Rin quickly grabs Aoi, and tells her to not go, as their happiness is only beginning now.
Rin bombards Aoi as he refuses to literally let her go – and even tells her to become husband and wife. He tells her that he’ll protect her from everything, instead of being protected himself all the time by Yui, Hisoka, Aoiza. He knows that he should see her off with a smile, but he can’t. Rin asks if Aoi hates him and doesn’t want to be with him, to which she answers in his favour. So Rin declares that she’s his wife from now on and asks for her answer, though she only gets one option: to marry him lol. The rest tell Rin not to trouble Aoi but see that Aoi’s face is completely red. Rin remarks that maybe she can’t answer him with everyone else around and decides to take her to the room, and he won’t let go of her till she gives him a positive answer.
In the epilogue, Aoi wakes up from a dream of Rin’s past proposal to her. Several years have passed and they’re a happily married couple. When Rin learns of this, he asks if she prefers his past self and Aoi answers that she loves the him then and now, and will always love him.
Rin is so insistent, as he can’t imagine a world without Aoi. In that case, he’d rather die, or go together with her. But Kensuke says that there’s only enough power to send her back home. Hisoka then holds Rin back, saying that he’s doing something cruel to Aoi. It’s okay if it’s mutual but if not, what about the people’s feelings back home? Aoi will soon realise this and start to feel painful upon this. Rin himself knows the pain of losing family in an unreasonable manner, and if he can still hold Aoi back like this. Rin can’t say anything in return to that, and can’t bring himself to hold Aoi back by robbing both her past and future. So he tells Aoi to hurry up and leave, before he suddenly changes his mind and clings onto her again. So both Kensuke and Seiji send Aoi back, and Aoi thanks everyone before she leaves. As she enters the mirror, she hears Rin saying that he was happy to have met her, but can’t bring herself to look back as she holds back her tears.
Omake 1 (unlocked when you finish any one ending)
Aoi just finished her bath and sees everyone hanging up their wishes for Tanabata. Hachi keeps hanging everything near the top of the bamboo, reasoning that it’s an easier place for God to read off. But Rin is annoyed at this. Aoi remarks that it’s better if everything is balanced, to which Rin agrees. The rest tease them for being so in sync and to brush off the embarrassment, Aoi quickly reads the wishes. Kensuke wants uramon to be settled asap, while Hachi wants to eat lots of sasa dango…lol. Hachi reads Aoi’s and it’s for everyone to be happy. Rin quietly remarks how it’s like her personality, and they soon finish decorating the bamboo.
Omake 2 (unlocked when you finish both endings)
For some reason, Aoi dreams of her and Rin being in the same class, with Hisoka as their home economics teacher. She’s obviously confused, but then remarks how a school uniform suits Rin, and he looks cool. Rin gets embarrassed and starts acting tsundere and they both start arguing. The Hime sisters tease them and tells them to be more honest with each other. As if taking their advice, Rin suddenly declares that he and Aoi are on very good terms, in a special way, and no one should dare lay hands on her. Hisoka asks if he’s done with things so that class can move on, but Rin wants an answer from Aoi lol. At that moment, Aoi wakes up from her dream. She wonders if she dreamed that ‘cos she wants to get along better with Rin. Rin comes into her room to ask her to come for breakfast, as Hisoka was getting worried that she wasn’t showing up. Aoi merely stares at Rin’s face, and then remarks that she wants to get on better terms with him. Embarrassed, Rin quickly tells her to come quickly as Hisoka calls for them.
I’m sorry that this took…longer than expected lol. It’s not that Rin’s route was long, but I couldn’t find the time to sit down and play through much due to RL stuff. Anyway, Rin’s route was really cute ‘cos he doesn’t stay tsundere for too long (to the point of annoying you). I like how he and Aoi would bicker a lot at first, but along the way came to understand each other etc. And yes, for the return ending it is a “bad” ending in a sense, since you don’t even get an epilogue. Honestly, when I first saw Omake 2, I thought that perhaps it was a reincarnation of them in the future…! …Nah I was hoping for too much, sobs.
Story-wise, it’s similar to Kensuke, just that it focuses on certain aspects more/less. CG-wise, I have to say that I preferred Kensuke’s but I really like both of Rin’s omake stories. They were both cute, even though the second was rather random. Anyway, I wonder how long the next character (Nanami) will take for me to finish, huhuh.