Hanae and Haruitsuki are dragged by the horde of little yōkai into the lair of their master. Afraid that they were about to be eaten, Hanae finds out they are not in the situation he thinks they are in.
PlotNight has fallen while Hanae and Haruitsuki are still stuck inside the Mononokean. Hanae peaks outside and sees an even larger horde of yōkai compared to in their earlier predicament. Haruitsuki notes that the yōkai are ready to go and pushes Hanae out, which irritates the latter. However, Haruitsuki reminds him that he volunteered to be the bait. But Hanae retorts that he'll go when he's ready and reminds Haruitsuki to save him before the yōkai attack. Haruitsuki quickly answers he will, without an inkling of motivation. Irritated, Hanae states that if he were to get eaten, he will turn into a yōkai and curse Haruitsuki, to which Haruitsuki responds that he'll exorcise him immediately. Hanae tries and tries to step outside but obviously hesitates. Pissed, Haruitsuki calls out to him and he immediately answers he's going already. Haruitsuki, however, offers him his necklace. Hanae accepts and asks if the necklace would keep the yōkai from attacking him. Haruitsuki answers that it doesn't work like that though and states that he told him to show some motivation. Haruitsuki adds he won't care if Hanae's eaten, to the latter's chagrin, but states he can't let anything eat the contents of his necklace. Hanae interprets it though as Haruitsuki telling him he'll definitely rescue him before he's eaten. Annoyed, Haruitsuki pushes Hanae, who falls to the horde of yōkai awaiting outside the Mononokean. The yōkai quickly take Hanae away with them. Haruitsuki runs after Hanae and the yōkai, only to be stopped in his tracks as he notices another horde of yōkai hiding in the ceiling of the corridor. The second horde ambushes Haruitsuki. Now in the yōkai's lair, Hanae opens his eyes and notices roots attached to the ceiling of the room. Up above, a large yōkai mutters about how a human child was brought to him but that there is nothing he can do about then laughs. Hanae screams in fear at the though of the large yōkai eating him and shouts for Haruitsuki. Hanae looks around and finds Haruitsuki still lying on the floor, flunked by the little yōkai, and thinks that Haruitsuki was eaten first. Haruitsuki, however, gets up and comments that the yōkai are heavy. Initially glad he's alive, Hanae scoldingly asks Haruitsuki why he let himself get caught, too. Haruitsuki only retorts that he thought the yōkai were after Hanae. Hanae tells him to not ask him and points to Haruitsuki the yōkai up in the ceiling.
The huge yōkai addresses them as human children and asks them if the two can see and hear the yōkai. Haruitsuki notices the roots connecting the yōkai to the ceiling before asking if he's the leader of the little yōkai. The yōkai affirms and notes that the little yōkai indeed has brought some unusual humans. The yōkai asks, as the two can see yōkai, whether they've heard of a specific one who runs a shop that sends yōkai to the Underworld and calls himself Master of the Mononokean. This confuses Hanae, as he knows Haruitsuki is the Master, but he is human. Haruitsuki straight up asks the yōkai what he wants from the Master of the Mononokean but the yōkai only answers that it's pointless telling a human. In response, Haruitsuki summons a portal to the Underworld, which surprises the yōkai. Haruitsuki finally introduces himself as the current Master and asks what does the yōkai want. The yōkai expresses its surprise as it didn't expect a human Master. Initially hesitating at the prospect of asking for help from a human, the yōkai requests Haruitsuki to send them to the Underworld. Haruitsuki agrees but with reservations. The huge yōkai shows understanding and tells Haruitsuki to send the little ones first then send him last.
The little ones go through the Underworld portal. A terrified Hanae assists in getting the yōkai through. Hanae asks the huge yōkai if there are any more. He addresses the yōkai as Big Boss Scree, which the yōkai reprimands him for. The yōkai still answers though that he's sure there are no other more little yōkai left. Finally, all the little yōkai have gone to the Underworld. Hanae then points out that the only one remaining now is the huge yōkai, which baffles the latter. The yōkai then asks if he did not understand. Hanae only answers confusedly. Haruitsuki closes the portal and Hanae hears it close, which shocks him. Hanae asks Haruitsuki why he closed the portal when the huge yōkai is still there. The yōkai, however, asks Hanae to look at its body closely. The yōkai explains that as he has already spread his "roots" in the mundane world, he can no longer leave. Haruitsuki further explains that the roots are known as a parasite shrub that attaches to yōkai to paralyze them and drain the yōkai's strength to grow. He adds that the roots is called a curse in the Underworld, while it is called an incurable illness in the mundane world.
The huge yōkai tells Hanae that it has long planned to send the little ones to the Underworld before it withers as it is its final responsibility as the little ones' parent and expresses its gratitude to the two for granting its request. It adds that now, it can die in peace. Hanae asks the yōkai whether the little ones knew about the situation, to which the yōkai answers the little ones do not as it did not want to worry them. Hanae then declares he is sending the yōkai to the Underworld even if it meant cutting all of its roots. Surprised by the declaration, Haruitsuki asks him what he means and wonders why Hanae is so motivated despite being afraid earlier. Haruitsuki further states that the roots are not like normal as they grow bac right away. Still determined, Hanae states he will find a way to get them off no matter how long it will take. Hanae adds that it is cowardly to disappear without a word and reminds the yōkai that the little ones are waiting for it—that the farewell it wants cannot be the farewell the little ones want. The yōkai angrily tells Hanae that he speaks as if he understands it. The yōkai adds that it has thought many times to say good bye but each time, it would nearly scream that it did not want to leave the little ones. It states that it would have been willing to tear its body in half if it meant it could go the the Underworld with them, as watching the little ones grow gave it reason to live. However, it can no longer protect the little ones and so must be sent to the Underworld where they should be safe. The yōkai states that it only has one wish and that is to watch them until they can take care of themselves but it is futile to hope for it now. This disheartens Hanae.Suddenly, Haruitsuki grabs the necklace he gave Hanae back when they were still stuck inside the Mononokean. Haruitsuki then tells the yōkai that if it's willing to do anything to be with the little ones, there is a way. Haruitsuki opens the container attached to the necklace and brings out a pill. He explains that taking in the pill will temporarily weaken the parasite shrub but adds that it causes tremendous pain that has even caused some to die. He proceeds to ask the yōkai if it still wants to take the pill. The yōkai ponders if it is really possible that until its body wither, it will be with the little ones and concludes it does not want to part with the little ones. The yōkai finally requests Haruitsuki to send it to the Underworld, signifying it is willing to take the pill despite the risks. Haruitsuki obliges and throws the pill inside the yōkai's mouth. The roots blaze up, sending the yōkai into excruciating pain which bothers Hanae.
Haruitsuki re-summons a portal. Hanae carries the now asleep shrunken yōkai. Haruitsuki states it is due to the pill and also to having its anxiety decrease. Haruitsuki thinks to himself that whether it will wake up now depends on how strong the yōkai is. The yōkai opens its eyes and Hanae hugs it and shouts his relief, only to be scolded by the yōkai and Haruitsuki. Haruitsuki wonders that the yōkai is strong enough to scream after the ordeal it went through. The yōkai apologizes to the two for the inconvenience it has caused and states it should go as the littles ones await it. Hanae asks the yōkai if it can move despite the pain previously. The yōkai only says that it will rest as it go. Haruitsuki though states that the little ones did not wait and points out the little ones by the portal. The yōkai states its disbelief, but nonetheless is glad it did not give up. Assisted by the two, the yōkai passes through the portal and once again thanks Haruitsuki and Hanae. The yōkai says that it would tell the whole Underworld about him which alarms Haruitsuki as he states he does not need more work. Haruitsuki however adds that he has done nothing that deserves the yōkai's gratitude as he only relied on the pill and the yōkai's strength to be the only way to exorcise it despite being the Master of the Mononokean and apologizes. The yōkai on the other hand reminds him that it was the one who asked for it so he has nothing to apologize for and finally departs for the Underworld.Before they go, however, Hanae stops them and offers his apology to the huge yōkai for his actions earlier but states he cannot make up for saying the yōkai's previous decision was cowardly. Nonetheless, the yōkai states that because of Hanae, it was able to avoid becoming a coward. The two exchange smiles. Haruitsuki tells the yōkai about an apothecary in the Underworld called Kiyakudo, whose master is strange but sells good medicines. The yōkai finally bids Haruitsuki and Hanae farewell. Haruitsuki closes the portal and Hanae sighs in joy after exorcising the yōkai but second-thinks that all he did was scream, in the sidelines. Haruitsuki however states it is not the case as he was the one who made the yōkai ask to be exorcised, that if it were not for him Haruitsuki would not have even given the yōkai the option for the pill. Haruitsuki mentally adds that it was because he was afraid of giving the yōkai the pill. Haruitsuki, however, suddenly collapses.
Characters in Order of Appearance
Characters in bold denote the characters' first proper appearance.
- Hanae Ashiya
- Little Screes
- Haruitsuki Abeno
- Mononokean (Visually)
- Big Boss Scree
- First Master of the Mononokean (mentioned, not named)
- Master of Underworld Shop (mentioned, not named)
- A yōkai was once the Master of the Mononokean.
- Hanae participates in his first exorcism after Fuzzy's.
- The kanji '根' is the character for "root" while the kanji '憑' is the character for "possess, haunt."
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|Volume 5||Volume 6||Volume 7||Volume 8|
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|40 • 41 • 42 • 43 • 44 • 45||46 • 47 • 48 • 49 • 50 • 50.5||51 • 52 • 53 • 54 • 55||56 • 57 • 58 • 59 • 60|
|Volume 13||Volume 14||Volume 15||Not yet in tankōbon|
|61 • 62 • 63 • 64 • 65||66 • 67 • 68 • 69 • 70||71 • 72 • 73 • 74 • 75 • 76||77|