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The Rat of Darkness Devours the Cat

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The Rat of Darkness Devours the Cat (闇の鼠は猫を喰らう, Yami no nezumi wa neko o kurau) is the fourth episode of the Nurarihyon no Mago anime.

SummaryEdit

At a dark alleyway in Ukiyoe Town First Street at nighttime, a shadow shows Tanrō devouring one of the rat yōkai that surrounded them. Yura jumps off Tanrō and praises him. It is revealed that Kyūso is the leader of the rat yōkai, who slowly approaches Yura, surprised that the Third Heir is friends with Yura, an onmyōji. Kyūso asks her to put Tanrō away and tries to touch her face. Yura slaps his hand away, which was proven to be a distraction to Yura as the rats take Kana hostage. Kyūso asks her again to put Tanrō away and Yura complies, then he knocks Yura unconscious.

Meanwhile, at the Nura House, Yuki Onna and Wakana are bringing out dinner to the Nura Clan yōkai. Kurotabō and Kubinashi converse about the Kyūso Clan taking over First Street from the Bakeneko Clan. Kurotabō asks Kubinashi what happened between him and the leader of the Bakeneko Clan, Ryōta Neko. Kubinashi leaves him without answering. Yuki Onna, Wakana and Aotabō then approach Kurotabō, and Aotabō claims that the Bakeneko Clan likes gambling and are not proficient at fighting. Yuki Onna and Wakana leave to serve the food to the yōkai, whom find the food all frozen.

File:Episode4 2.jpg

Out in Ukiyoe Town, three Kyūso Clan yōkai are chasing three Bakeneko Clan yōkai on rooftops. One of the Bakeneko yōkai is revealed to be Ryōta Neko. The Kyūso yōkai trap the Bakeneko yōkai to a fence. The other two Bakeneko yōkai fend off the Kyūso yōkai while Ryōta Neko leaves them. Back in the Nura House, Rikuo Nura spots a small rat yōkai, who reveals himself to be an rat who runs errands for the Kyūso Clan. He reveals that their clan kidnapped Kana and Yura. Rikuo thanks the rat and runs off to find the other yōkai to get them back, but the rat yōkai persuades him to go alone. Nattō Kozō eavesdrops on the conversation with worry and follows them. The rat yōkai leads Rikuo to a mansion in the middle of the city, where two human-sized rat yōkai capture him and bring him in.

Kyūso, on a throne, greets Rikuo as the Third Heir of the Nura Clan. He claims the Nura Clan crest and loyalty no longer satisfies the desires of his clan. He reveals Kana and Yura in a cage behind the throne. Rikuo begs Kyūso for Kana and Yura, but the yōkai beat him as Kyūso calls for Rikuo to announce he will not be the Third Heir or else Kyūso will kill Kana and Yura at dawn. Kyūso sends Rikuo off.

Through a park, Rikuo spots Ryōta Neko jumping out from a bush. Ryōta Neko introduces himself and the two hide in the bushes to prevent the Kyūso yōkai from spotting them. The two head off to the Nura House together, where they are approached by Yuki Onna, Aotabō, Kurotabō and ironically, Kubinashi at the door.

At the Kyūso Clan mansion, one of the yōkai asks if Kyūso is really going to return Kana and Yura to Rikuo. Kyūso delivers a lethal punch to him and remarks that the choice is obvious that they will not let Kana and Yura out. At this point, Nattō Kozō is still hiding inside the mansion, thinking that Rikuo is still inside. Yura wakes up to find Kana knocked out and demands Kyūso release her. Kyūso refuses, saying he wants to show that without her shikigami, Yura is no onmyōji anymore.

Back at the Nura House, Rikuo had just finished his resignation letter, and had asked Karasu Tengu to send it to all the clan leaders across Japan. Ryōta Neko can be seen resting behind Rikuo. Karasu Tengu refuses, claiming that the official letter would be on the same level as an excommunication letter. Nurarihyon walks in. He reveals he knows about the Kyūso Clan and said he excommunicated them, causing Rikuo to express again his hatred over belonging to a yōkai family. Nurarihyon and Ryōta Neko, who had just woken up, convince Rikuo to bear with the issue to the end. Ryōta Neko makes a promise to Nurarihyon to see the issue through, as he claims his cowardice caused it. Weak and still not fully recovered, Ryōta Neko walks out onto the courtyard to try to fight against Kyūso alone. Tripping over the platform, Kubinashi, Yuki Onna, Aotabō and Kurotabō run over to assist him. All look at Rikuo, waiting for his response. Suddenly Rikuo feels hot, and the sakura tree outside blows in a sudden wind. Rikuo transforms into his yōkai form.

Kyūso, in the mansion, opens the cage encasing Kana and Yura and is about to devour the two. Kana stays behind Yura, who tries to defend them. Without her shikigami, since Kyūso had ate her paper charms, all hope seems lost. However, the Hyakki Yakō, led by Rikuo, breaks into the mansion just in time. Kyūso hoped that Rikuo circulated the letter already. Rikuo reveals it in front of his eyes and tears it to shreds. Aotabō leaps across the room to pry open the cage bars, releasing Kana and Yura. The rat yōkai transform and begin their assault on the Hyakki Yakō.

Aotabō and Kurotabō begin a contest to see who can kill the most rat yōkai. Kurotabō begins with a Dance of the Black Weapons. Kurotabō introduces himself as the Assassin monk, while Aotabō is scoring more yōkai. Yuki Onna freezes some of the rat yōkai. Rikuo, Kubinashi and Ryōta Neko confront Kyūso, as Ryōta Neko vows to avenge his henchmen. Kyūso transforms into a giant rat. Kubinashi constrains him as Ryōta Neko pounces on Kyūso's face, scratching him slightly, but knocking himself out. Although beaten, Ryōta Neko says he is fine. Just as Kyūso assaults Kubanashi, Rikuo blows a blue inferno onto Kyūso, known as Meikyō Shisui "Sakura". As Kyūso perishes, he proclaims the Nura Clan with its obsolete crests will not survive and that he wants to live more freely.

At dawn in a misty Ukiyoe Town, Kana and Yura and the Hyakki Yakō are seen standing on opposite sides of a footbridge over a road, not knowing that Rikuo is on the other side as the leader of the Hyakki Yakō. Yura promises to defeat them the next time they meet. Rikuo bids her farewell and leaves with the rest of the Hyakki Yakō. Kana and Yura are seen staring at their silhouettes within the mist. Kana recalls seeing the silhouette in front before. In the misty, damp weather, Rikuo suggests the Hyakki Yakō stay in town a little longer before going home. Yuki Onna agrees.

Next episode previewEdit

Rikuo asks Yuki Onna her age. Yuki Onna begins crying. Rikuo tries to stop her from crying and apologizes.

Characters in order of appearanceEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Although Rikuo's mother, Wakana, appears in this episode, she doesn't appear in the manga until after the Gyūki arc.
  • This is the first episode where the title of the episode appears immediately after the opening theme.
  • Multi-sketching is used in the scene where Rikuo and Ryōta Neko approach the Nura House.
  • This is the first episode where a Hyakki Yakō appears.
  • This is the first episode where Yuki Onna announces the next episode.

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