Hm, well that was a relatively interesting route I suppose. Though this sounds like a headache to write about if you ask me. Anyway, this time around I’ll try and compress the summary so that it doesn’t become as much of a tl;dr to read through. I’m not quite sure if romanizations are correct but I’ll just hope it is.
Continuing off from where the prologue left off, if you chose Sumi route Tooru will side with the theory of Natsuha being cursed, more accurately when roughly translating things, it’s something called “tokihami” which refers to time being “eaten”. It’s a legend of sorts passed on in the town where they tell the bad kids that if they don’t behave, the Nanatsurao will come and turn them into old (wo)men. Of course it’s passed on just as a tale to tell the misbehaving children, there’s no recordings of actual cases of it. Well resuming the story…
First off they convinced Natsuha that things will be okay, even though they were saying some lies but oh well. After that they began thinking of what to do. For time being things will be split into two parties. Alice and her parents will work on the theory of it being a disease. Meanwhile Tooru, Sumi and Hishaku will work on the theory of it being tokihami.
During this conversation, the past of Sumi was revealed. Sumi is a kind of youkai that’s born in a house on the verge of being abandoned(?). If the landlord strongly wishes for it, youkai like Sumi are born.
However when Sumi came into existence, the house was already abandoned with no one there. Perhaps she was born too late but in any case, it was already abandoned. Soon after being born in the house however, Sumi was called with “Come to Monobeno and protect Sawai Tooru”. After being called, she realized that she must exist to protect Tooru and Tooru’s house. So she set out to Monobeno and during the road there, that’s where she met Hishaku. It’s something that she only knows now but, she was a very young and powerless youkai, meaning going outside was very dangerous, she would become an easy meal for other youkais.
When she was in danger, Hishaku stepped in and helped her. After hearing what she wanted to do, Hishaku tried to stop her. Because Monobeno apparently has a barrier of sorts. Low level youkai like her would easily be blown away if they tried to approach it. However Sumi refused to stop and tried to go to Monobeno regardless. At that point Hishaku decided to follow Sumi on her journey.
It was also Hishaku who protected Sumi from the barrier and let her inside Monobeno. Once Sumi arrived at the house, it was exactly when Tooru was born. Sumi and Hishaku were strongly welcomed by the family and thus ended up staying in the house up until now.
Going back to figuring out the problems however, various points were bought up. First of all, there’s the idea of asking Himemiya. It’s said that Himemiya once binded a contract with the Nanatsurao, meaning if there’s a person in the town that knows much regarding it, it would likely be Himemiya. Tooru was stopped by Sumi because Sumi doesn’t quite like Himemiya. She feels as if they’ve been observing Sumi and Hishaku ever since they entered the town. Skipping along the story…
Instead, they ended up on suspecting the reasons of their mothers death. Tooru’s memory of her mother during the final few years is fairly vague but there seems to be a relationship between the two. Thus Tooru began searching his parents rooms for things that could become a clue.
There was not much of interest to be found in the room of Tooru’s father but Sumi found a diary of sorts in his mother’s room. It turns out that Tooru’s mother died at a young age of 41. Which is vastly different from Tooru’s memory of her. After much of a mess, they managed to find a safe. But there’s no key to it. As they were struggling to find the key to the safe, Natsuha came home with Alice and Natsuha revealed that she had a key within her purse for as long as she can remember. She decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea to throw it away so it was there ever since. Tooru took the key and attempted to open the safe, the size matched and indeed, the safe opened.
They found a picture of their mother nearing her death, but what they saw was not a 41 year old woman, it was someone who was old enough to be a grandmother. Thus proving that their mother died from the same problem and Tooru’s father struggled working to prevent it before finally falling from overworking.
Going to do some skipping but before that I’ll point out some things. It’s revealed that Natsuha is still growing, not as ridiculous as before but overnight she grew by 4cm. Also the back story of Alice’s father and mother are revealed.
It turns out that Alice’s father had a fatal disease. He used to work at a big hospital but no matter what treatments he took, nothing worked on curing his disease. While he was despairing over the fact, Alice’s mother essentially beat him up and dragged him to Monobeno saying that she knows a famous doctor. Which was Tooru’s father. In the end Alice’s father got his disease cured and thus owes his life to Tooru’s father. That was one of the contributing factors to why they decided to settle down in Monobeno.
Now skipping along the story more, we arrive at searching for a certain youkai.
What the youkai taught them was that, the Nanatsurao no longer exist in Monobeno. They left to Izumo to train to become gods(?). And that was hundreds of years back, meaning forget Natsuha, not even their mother was born yet. And even if we assume that it was tokihami, tokihami is essentially a miracle of sorts performed by the Nanatsurao. Meaning that the only way for it to happen is if the Nanatsurao personally arrive and do it. Going further, as said, it’s unheard of for cases like Natsuha where she rejuvenated at one point. Put bluntly it disproves the tokihami theory. Although it’s mentioned that the Nanatsurano left a spider as a guard in the waterfalls deep in the mountains which is protected by the Himemiya with a barrier. The youkai tells them that if they want to investigate further, it would probably be wise to talk to Himemiya.
As they were sorting things out and preparing to do such however, disaster struck. When waking up they found a letter on the table by Hishaku saying to stay home because it’s safe that way. Implying that it’s currently dangerous outside. On top of that, when searching for Natsuha they found that she was no longer in her bed. While Sumi and Tooru panicked and frantically searched the house for Natsuha, a phone call came from Alice. Apparently Natsuha went to their house. Tooru rushed over but was prevented from seeing Natsuha because she doesn’t want him to see her, that’s why she ran to Alice’s house to begin with. According to Alice’s mother, she aged yet again. And this time she became much older, she says that she looks slightly older than her even.
It was during the conversation that a phone call came in Alice’s house. Apparently the town is in a fuss and the clinic that Alice’s father works in got crushed by a giant foot. Shock aside, they decided to rush to the scene and during the road there, besides the giant foot they also spotted various youkai which should no longer exist in Japan or at the bare minimum, Monobeno. Because they’re all youkai which are recognized as “cannot live in peace with humans”.
Ignoring them for time being, they arrive at the clinic which has been turned into a pile of rubble. Thankfully they managed to find Alice’s father within the rubble with relatively light injuries.
Here they split up again, Alice’s father and mother will stay at the clinic because there could be others injured as well and he’s the only doctor in town. In the meantime Tooru and Sumi will head over to Himemiya’s place. If it’s her, she would surely know what’s going on. Wandering around the town they discover that there’s youkais of all sorts everywhere.
Eventually after some fuss of preventing a fight between youkai and humans breaking out and meeting up with Hishaku, they find Himemiya who swiftly settles the situation (temporarily). During this time they talk with Himemiya regarding all of the events that happened so far as well as the current situation.
Himemiya eventually tells them regarding the contract the Himemiya’s made with the Nanatsurao. It was essentially to separate the place in two. In one side you have Monobeno and the youkais that live in peace with humans. On the other side you have all of the youkais that cannot live in peace with humans. As long as the power still exists, these two sides will not be able to see or contact each other. Meaning it’s nearly two entirely separate worlds. Apparently the waterfall mentioned before serves as a medium of sorts(? wasn’t paying attention much at this point) to maintain the separation of the two sides. The reason that the Himemiya observed Sumi and Hishaku is because, the only person in the town who could possibly get through the barrier and do something about the waterfall is Hishaku who turns out to be a fairly strong youkai. Thus both sides were marking each other with suspicion. However it was proven that Hishaku has no intentions to do such, meaning that the cause of the incident isn’t Hishaku but something else.
It was at this point that a bad thought flashed through Tooru’s mind. That is, the relationship between the separation of the harmful youkai and harmless youkai and Natsuha’s symptoms. Tooru asked Himemiya that if something defiled the waterfalls, would it try to restore itself? The answer was yes and if following that line of thought, it would match with Natsuha’s symptoms. He proceeds to tell Himemiya that at the same day as the entire mess happening, Natsuha turned older again. It feels a bit much to be a coincidence. Eventually the discussion leads to the point of bringing Natsuha to Himemiya’s place.
Upon arriving back home however, they found no one. There seemed to be a mess in the room Natsuha was staying in and Alice who was supposed to be taking care of her is gone as well. At one point it was suspected that some youkai invaded the place but that was dismissed after Sumi pointed out there was no signs of intruders, it’s more likely that Natsuha tried to leave and Alice attempted to stop her. Realizing this, they go outside and begin searching for Natsuha. Eventually they come by an injured Alice who was crying over being unable to stop Natsuha. According to her she said that Natsuha mentioned something along the lines of “I remember now! I must hurry and go there” and tried to go out.
Although Alice wanted to come along, it was decided that because her leg was wounded she would only slow them down so Alice got left behind. Tooru and Sumi proceed to search towards the direction Natsuha ran into and eventually found a clue.
They realized that Natsuha was headed towards the waterfalls, en route to it they ran into Touko who apparently helped Natsuha arrived near the waterfalls. She didn’t take her all the way to it because of the barrier causing her to feel bad when approaching it. During the trip she revealed that Tooru’s father once requested her the same thing saying it was an emergency, he came to the waterfalls alone.
After arriving Touko left and Tooru suddenly felt nauseastic however Sumi didn’t feel anything wrong and if he touched Sumi, the feeling would disappear as if it never existed to begin with. In any case they advanced while holding hands and eventually arrived at the waterfall. They were greeted by a not so welcoming voice.
The spider left behind by the Nanatsurao was the voice, she claims that Natsuha is safe but she refuses to see them and thus tells them to leave the place or else die. Tooru refuses to back down saying that there’s no way that’s true and eventually they get into a fight.
Needless to say, it’s not as if Tooru had any superpowers or Sumi was a tough youkai so the person who would win is obvious. At the last moment however, they were saved by Natsuha. With the spider acknowledging Natsuha’s will, she allows them to pass the waterfall and meet Natsuha.
We’ll set aside the fact that Natsuha became very old at this point and move onto the discussion. Natsuha can apparently no longer leave the waterfall as she has become part of it. Even on the chance that she left the waterfall, her emotions will influence the state of the waterfall. Which is why when she was shocked of her age advancing again, youkais which should no longer exist in Monobeno appeared again in large quantities. Even more important than that however, if she leaves the waterfall she’ll simply die. I feel like there are points I either wasn’t paying enough attention to or was flat out left out but in any case, point being shes’ stuck in waterfall.
Tooru promises her that he’ll visit her every other day with Alice and the others and that he’ll come up with a way to release her from it all even if it means going to Izumo to find the Nanatsurao.
In the epilogue you get to see Tooru and Sumi having their marriage in the waterfalls with Himemiya more or less serving as the priest organizing it all and that’s about it for Sumi route. The marriage might seem sudden but that’s because i practically skipped every single romantic development Sumi had during the route so… yeah, mainly focused on the mystery bits.
Final word count not counting this section is at about 2300, nooooooooope. Still far too lengthy and I thought I was doing a decent job at cutting out details. Either I need to work harder or I picked the wrong story to start writing in. Sigh, ah well as long as the point gets through it’s fine I suppose…
Regarding the story itself, I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about it. Was pretty entertaining when things got serious and Natsuha’s condition worsened at the end but besides that, nothing in particular caught my eye I suppose. Oh I did like the credits song though.
And next up is Alice route… My target is to suppress the word count for summary to less than 1000 so it’s also less effort to blog.