Thorny Path. (イバラミチ。, Ibaramichi.) is the 20th chapter of the Yozakura Quartet manga.
Mina and Kana are walking around town participating the the Nanagou Pilgrimage stamp rally. The encounter Eiji who follows them along as the visit the Nanagou. They first arrive at where Ao is stationed at a table at the base of a Nanagou. Ao asks Eiji why he was here, and Eiji explains that he came to apologize but was caught by Yae who had him participate in the festival. Eiji states that he heard that Ao was laid up for a long time and says that there is nothing she can do about her brother. Ao replies saying that does not mean there is any hope. She tells Eiji that Yae told her that yokai power come from their soul meaning the Gin’s soul must be alive. Ao tells Eiji that her brother had always been stronger than her and that if she gets stronger than he will as well and return to normal. Ao receives a phone call from Kotoha who yells at Ao for help. Ao leaves, going to help Kotoha and invites Eiji to visit the office sometime.
At the next station they encounter Shidou. Eiji apologizes to Shidou, who says they are even since he gripped Eiji arm really hard. Eiji asks why Shidou is not more open about being the strongest one in the town. Shidou tells Eiji that he is overestimating him and the one with strength to protect are the ones at the Hiizumi Life Counselling office. Shidou states he is not as good, but he has enough strength to protect Kana and Mina. Kana interrupts Shidou yelling at him for being unreliable.
At the next station they encounter Kotoha who is thanking Ao for doing the work for her. Eiji tell Kotoha that she is the only other hanyou he has ever met and that very few are saved from falling. Kotoha tells Eiji that they were the lucky ones and they were lucky Akina’s grandfather was able to save them. She tella Eiji that she attributes anything she cannot control to luck, such as falling due to bad luck. Kotoha tells Eiji that falling caused a lot of trouble but since it was not her fault, it is better to make something positive out of it. She continues, saying that she sees herself as a bridge between the youkai and humans of the town, but does not want to criticize Eiji for leaving it. Eiji says he would like to hear more from Kotoha as another hanyou which Kotoha accepts. Eiji then asks if she would like to get drinks together and Kotoha tells him that she is underaged.
Eiji, Mina and Kana then arrive at Touka and Kyosuke's station who had been informed earlier by Shidou of their arrival. As Eiji is about to apologize, Kyosuke stops him say that the score had already been settled. After Mina and Kana have their passes stamped, Touka leaves for the office and suggest to her brother to tag along with Mina and Kana in order to talk with Eiji.
Rin meets Akina at the bottom of a staircase leading up to the temple at which on of the Nangou is based at. Rin asks why Akina is simply standing their and the two make their way up the staircase to where Hime is stationed. Rin delivers a bowl of ramen to Hime, and Hime offers Akina some since had had two bowls. Akina apologizes for not telling Hime about the Nanagou blooming, which Hime replies they are even since she kept secret she was a youkai. Hime finishes her bowl and looks towards Akina’s which she had just given him. Akina returns his bowl to Hime, telling her that he had already eaten. Akina states that all the townspeople have found out she is a youkai and wonders how they will react. Hime is excitedly approached by several children, and Hime tells Akina not much has changed. Hime ask now that Akina knows she is a youkai does change anything.
Hime and Akina’s conversation is interrupted by Kana who yells having finally reached the top of the staircase, followed by Mina, Eiji and Kyousuke. Kana yells at Akina for not being at his station, which Akina replies he had thought everyone had finished. Hime greets Eiji and as he is about to apologize, offers Eiji to return to Sakurashinmachi. Hime receives a call from Kotoha and she leaves to shop for supplies for their party. Hime tells Eiji to think it over as she leaves.
Akina, Kyousuke, Eiji, Mina, and Kana arrive at the last station which is being run by Yuhi and Mariabell. Yuhi relays a message to Akina telling him to appear before the senate. Akina questions what they have to say but remember that they told him that all the youkai would be sacrificed to stop the blooming and the humans and youkai can never coexist. Yuuhi informs Akina that the anti-youkai barrier used by Enjin was a product of the senate, and they are deployed in all neighbouring towns but not activated at the moment. Yuuhi reiterates that he is not taking any sides and ask if Akina if he will be able to continue walking on his difficult path to achieve coexistence between yokai and humans.
Yuuhi leaves and Eiji attempts to bring up their earlier conversation but is interrupted Morino who is riding a bike with Kohime on his shoulders, stating it was time for dinner. Eiji explains to Akina that Kohime has been following Morino for the sake of training. Eiji hands Akina his business card, which Akina states they already have, but finds a private use cell phone number on the back. Eiji tells Akina he is going to have to reject Himes offer to live in their town. He explains that he still owes a Morino a debt of gratitude and their workload was going to increase as they begin working toward full cooperation with Sakurashinmachi. Eiji tells them he will be there tell help if the ever need so.
As Eiji, Morino and Kohime return home, Eiji asks Morino does he not want to greet the group. Morino tells Eiji he finds it difficult facing them despite Eiji telling him that they are not mad anymore.
Akina and Kyosuke arrive at the office to find Kotoha complaining that Hime bought too much food. Kotoha ask Akina and Kyosuke if they know anyone who can help finish the food. Akina and Kyosuke look towards Eiji’s business card and state they know three more people who can help. Eiji’s phone rings.
Characters in order of appearance
- Mina Tatebayashi
- Kana Tatebayashi
- Eiji Shinozuka
- Ao Nanami
- Shidō Mizuki
- Kotoha Isone
- Touka Kishi
- Kyosuke Kishi
- Akina Hiizumi
- Rin Azuma
- Hime Yarizakura
- Yūhi Shinatsuhiko
- Kohime Sakurano
- Kazuyoshi Morino
- Yae Shinatsuhiko
- V Juli F
|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|