Thorny Path 4 (イバラミチ 4, Ibaramichi 4) is the 14th chapter of the Yozakura Quartet manga.
At the office, Kotoha begins to explain the plan to Touka, Ao, Shidou, Akina and Kyousuke. She explains that Touka, Ao, Shidou and herself will work to disable the anti-youaki barrier, while Akina and Kyousuke will work to save Kohime. As the groups head out, Kotoho tells Akina and Kyousuke not to do anything crazy. After they leave Akina prepares his tuning, and Kyousuke removes his shackle, stating that it the time to do something crazy.
As Kotoha’s group travel using Shidou’s police car, she wonders what they are to about the anti-youkai barrier. Shidou comments on the device the old man had to activate the barrier, and Kotoha wonders why he had such a device in the first place. Kotoha notices a large shadow overtake them and screams can be heard in the distance by Akina and Kyousuke.
Akina receives a phone Juli, and Akina ask about Hime’s condition. Juli tells Akina that she is alright, while feeding Hime onigiris as she sleep and cries simultaneously. She informs Akina that the rest of the citizens have evacuated to the community center. Kyousuke ask why not have them evacuated outside of town where it would be safer. Juli asks them if they are near the edge of town and asks them to try to leave. Akina and Kyousuke attempt to take a step outside town, but find they are unable to leave, Akina stating that it is as if his will to leave vanished. Juli explains the old man is using a similar techniques to Yae when she removed the sense of abnormality from the townspeople when she sealed Hime’s memories. She then informs them that Yuuhi is busy punishing Yae so they will not be able to rely on her for help, and hangs up.
Akina and Kyousuke then find themselves confronted by Eiji Shinozuka along with numerous black suited figures. Eiji tells them that they are late and ask if they intend to surrender. Akina explains they ended up at the rendezvous point by mistake. Eiji ask again if they are planning to surrender, which Akina denies. Eiji prepares for combat and proceeds to lift up a garbage truck with one arm.
Meanwhile at Jinroku’s ceramic shop, Kiku is pestering Jinroku to hurry up seeing as the rest of the townspeople have already been evacuated. As Jinroku exits the building he heads back inside and exits with carrying a package on his back. Kiku wonders if Hime is doing well, while Jinroku says it she would not die from such a thing.
Hime wakes up in the hospital bed, recalling the word of her grandmother. Juli tells Hime she should stay in bed and tells her that the citizens have been evacuated and offers her some milk. Hime asks what Juli what she should do and wonders if she should stop being mayor, believing she had caused trouble for everyone and broke the dragon spear. Hime then notices a Hidagyu doll on her bed and notices a large assortment of various objects beside her bed, including a tape recording of the town song from Junta. Juli explains they are gifts from the townspeople, who all came to visit before they evacuated and that they love Hime. Hime rubs her eyes and begins to leave to protect the town, but is stopped by Juli. Juli tells Hime to wait at least one more hour and tells leave the situation to Akina and the others. Hime conforms and retreats beneath her bed sheets.
Akina and Kyousuke dodge a vehicle thrown by Eiji. Akina asks Kyousuke is Eiji not an acquaintance of his, which Kyousuke explains they merely exchanged business cards. Akina then asks why he is not affected by the barrier, given he is displaying the strength of a youkai. Eiji explains that he is a hanyou like Kotoha, haven fallen once.
Meanwhile, Kotoha and her group are being chased by the large creature as it launches several attacks towards them. Kotoha receives a phonecall from Akina who asks if they have dealt with the barrier yet. Kotoha explains they are currently preoccupied with other problems. Ao then receives a phone call from Yuuhi, who tells them to hurry up and disable the barrier, as it has knocked Mariabell unconscious, and gives the group a hint, telling them it is somewhere in the metropolis. Ao complains saying metropolis is a wide area, while Yuuhi states he thought it was a big hint. Ao asked why he had called her, and Yuuhi tells Ao that only her power can locate it and hangs up. Ao realizes what she needs to do and proceeds to eat several food items to ready herself. She then uses her Satellite ability to read the minds of all twelve-million people within the metropolis. Ao reads the minds of one of Morino’s suited men and identifies the area as being a high location. Akina and Kotoha recall Ao complaining about the television reception earlier and realize the anti-youkai barrier being deployed from the Tokyo Tower.
Characters in order of appearance
- Kotoha Isone
- Touka Kishi
- Ao Nanami
- Shidō Mizuki
- Akina Hiizumi
- Kyosuke Kishi
- Enjin Hiizumi (Disguised) (Flashback)
- V Juli F
- Hime Yarizakura
- Yae Shinatsuhiko (Flashback)
- Yūhi Shinatsuhiko
- Eiji Shinozuka
- Kiku Yotsuya
- Jinroku Yotsuya
- Junta (Mentioned)
|Volume 1||1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5|
|Volume 2||6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10· 11|
|Volume 3||12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17|
|Volume 4||18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22|
|Volume 5||23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27|
|Volume 6||28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33|
|Volume 7||34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39|
|Volume 8||40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44|
|Volume 9||45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50|
|Volume 10||51 · 52 · 53 · 54 · 55 · 56|
|Volume 11||57 · 58 · 59 · 60 · 61 · 62|
|Volume 12||63 · 64 · 65 · 66 · 67 · 68 · 57+|
|Volume 13||69 · 70 · 71 · 72 · 73|
|Volume 14||74 · 75 · 76 · 77 · 78 · 79|
|Volume 15||80 · 81 · 82 · 82.5 · 83 · 84 · 85|
|Volume 16||86 · 87 · 88 · 89 · 90 · 91 · 92|
|Volume 17||93 · 94 · 95 · 96 · 97 · 98 · 99|
|Volume 18||100 · 101 · 102 · 103 · 104 · 105 · 106|
|Volume 19||107 · 108 · 109 · 110 · 111 · 112|
|Volume 20||113 · 114 · 115 · 116 · 117 · 118 · 119|