Chapter 10:Beside You
Anata no Soba
Takiko realizes that it's Kutou's army who is attacking, and warns everyone to run for safety. The villagers won't listen though, and blame her for bringing them there. Tomite holds off Hien and Shigi's attack with his ice arrows, but Haagas is completely unaffected by Tomite's power, and just shatters the ice. Although Takiko warns him not to, Tomite goes after the trio. Unnoticed, the weird kid appears.
Further down the valley, the army is attacking the village, and Hagas protects two children from some arrows. He asks Tomite to tell him where Uruki is, but Tomite instead attacks, and is no match for Hagas. Shigi appears behind Takiko and is about to kill her, but Hatsui manages to save her.
Tomite has been taken captive by Hien/Shigi/, and they threaten to kill him if Takiko doesn't come out of Hatsui's shell. She steps out in front of them, and Shigi prepares to kill her, But Rimudo appears. Shigi and Hien ask why he's protecting her, still referring to him as "Taki". Rimudo tells them that Taki is not his name... "my real name is Rimudo... no, it's URUKi!". Hien, thoroughly distracted, gives Tomite the chance to escape/be rescued by Soruen. Haagas attacks Uruki and Takiko, but is stopped by Namame. Then rocks start moving from underneath them, and a dragon (Touda) pops out of the ground, with the mysterious child riding on its head. The villagers watch, stunned, as the dragon takes off into the sky with the warriors on its back. The warriors are equally frightened to find themselves above the clouds. They talk briefly, and the child reveals herself to be Taiitsukun and then promptly jumps off the dragon and bounces away on the clouds, leaving a group of puzzle, stunned and confused priestess and warrior. Soruen warns then that Tomite’s arm might be broken, so they need to land quickly, but Tomite says it’s not important, but it’s clear something is bothering him. The necklace Takiko is wearing suddenly glows, and a light comes from it and points through the clouds, with the character “To” appearing in the jewel. the symbol for “Hikitsu”. The light leads them to a mountain range, where a man stumbles and clutches his face. The Seishi land their dragon in a place sheltered from the snowstorm outside, and Tomite passes out. After tending to him, Takiko, Namame and Rimudo decide to go looking around the caverns in the mountain, and Takiko and Rimudo talk a bunch., and Rimudo tells her she doesn’t have to worry, because he’ll always be near. Takiko is touched by his words and they share a “Special Moment”, with Namame standing around staring at them.
The medicine Tomite’s been taking apparently gives him some hallucinogenic dreams, because he wakes up going all “EMUTATO!!!!!!!!”, scaring Hatsui witless, and surprising Soruen. Tomite is pissy and moody and mean, and tells Soruen that they have to go find Takiko before Hikitsu does, or else there’ll be trouble.
Rimudo, Takiko and Namame continue exploring the caves, and Takiko is about to ask Rimudo about the kiss, but just as she’s about to speak, he silences her, and the flame of their torch goes out. Uruki sets out a violent cutting wind, as a stream of watery snakes come at them, but the wind does nothing against it. They realize it’s all made of water, as it ties around them. A figure in a black cloak walks towards them across the water, and they realize it’s Hikitsu.