Towards the Sunrise (暁に, Akatsuki ni) is the twenty-second episode of the Nurarihyon no Mago anime.

Summary Edit

At daybreak, Inugamigyōbu Danuki, Nurarihyon and Nattō Kozō are making their way back to Ukiyoe Town. Inugamigyōbu Danuki questions if Nurarihyon knows what a "tamazusa" plant is. Nurarihyon recalls this plant being a snake gourd, what they call a "letter" in modern times. He explains the origin of the nickname in which the snake gourd seed resembled a knotted letter. Nattō Kozō admires Nurarihyon as the Supreme Commander for his trivia, to which Nurarihyon feels insulted. Inugamigyōbu Danuki explains that a millennium ago, retired Emperor Sutoku once raised an army against the current emperor of the time, Emperor Go-Shirakawa. His forces were defeated and exiled to where they are trekking now, to Sanuki Province. Supposedly, he had spent the rest of his life there and became teary-eyed every time he heard the chirping of the Nightingale because it reminded him of the ancient capital he left. The legend was that the nightingale was saddened by this so much that it wrapped its own beak with a tamazusa leaf to silence itself. As Nattō Kozō admires Inugamigyōbu Danuki's apparent knowledge of trivia, Inugamigyōbu Danuki explains that he named his son "Tamazusa" from this legend and that he wanted him to be understanding and know right from wrong. But his son renamed himself to "Tamazuki" to mean "to covet the throne", highlighting his intentions to rule over all Yōkai. In another part of Shikoku, tentacles of black aura wrap around themselves and disappear. Suddenly, a large explosion occurs around the aura, scaring off a flock of crows from afar. Within the debris, a crow Yōkai is seen trying to fly away from another Yōkai comprising of a black aura. The black aura manages to catch the crow messenger by his leg, but the crow messenger slices it off with his spear and fly off. Later in the morning, the crow Yōkai is seen flying over Ukiyoe Town on its way to the Nura House from the west. An onlooking Nura Clan Yōkai spots him injured and the Nura Clan Yōkai assemble. Karasu Tengu tells the Nura Clan Yōkai not to attack as the crow Yōkai is one of their own. As the crow Yōkai feebly lands, he reveals having a message. Rikuo rushes up to the Yōkai to tell him to rest first before delivering his message. Karasu Tengu convinces Rikuo to let him speak, since he had desperately been trying to give Rikuo his message through his critical injuries. Rikuo allows the crow Yōkai to speak. The crow Yōkai informs Rikuo of the Shikoku Yōkai having crossed Chichibo Pass before sunrise with a large army. Karasu Tengu then calls for medical attention, to which Kejōrō and two other Nura Clan Yōkai put the crow Yōkai on a stretcher and carry him away. Watching this, Aotabō feels delighted over his chance to fight soon. Kurotabō recalls that their fortress at Chichibo Pass was deemed unsafe and evacuated and wonders why a messenger would still come from there. Kubinashi explains that some of their Yōkai wished to risk their lives staying there to relay news from there to the end. Karasu Tengu feels pity for these Yōkai, while Yuki Onna and Kurotabō go to check on the crow Yōkai. Watching the ruckus from on top of a tree, Mezumaru and Gozumaru are disappointed and angry that they couldn't stop the Shikoku Yōkai at Mount Nejireme since their clan was facing internal problems at the time.

Now on board a train with Nurarihyon and Nattō Kozō, Inugamigyōbu Danuki explains that Shikoku was once the treasure house of Yōkai, especially for Tanuki Yōkai. Inugamigyōbu Danuki is revealed to have disguised himself as an old man with his tail still exposed behind his back, to which Nattō Kozō, holding a can of beer, can't tell if his disguise is good or bad. Nurarihyon recalls that the number of Tanuki Yōkai once exceeded the number of Humans there. Inugamigyōbu Danuki confirms this, up until 300 years ago, when an ill-omened incident ocurred among the Tanuki Yōkai. He reveals that they once tried to take over a castle from the Humans, to which Nattō Kozō is horrified. Inugamigyōbu Danuki explains that with their supernatural powers, his army should've easily defeated the Humans, but instead, the army was massacred by a sword wielded by a Human. Nurarihyon guesses that he is speaking of the Legacy of the Conqueror, and the sword to be the Maō's Hammer. The scene cuts to the Maō's Hammer placed beside Inugamigyōbu Tamazuki sitting in the Ukiyoe Town Skyscraper as Kagibari Onna informs him of their reinforcements passing through Chichibo Pass at sunrise and arriving at Ukiyoe Town by midnight. Kagibari Onna feels uneasy that Tamazuki hasn’t asked about Inugami, so Tamazuki asks her how he’s doing. Kagibari Onna reports Inugami having stayed put, as though he is eagerly waiting for their final battle against the Nura Clan. In a dark corner, Inugami is crawled over and panting. Tamazuki asks Kagibari Onna if she is worried, to which Kagibari Onna admits that she is not because she has him for safety.

Nurarihyon, Inugamigyōbu Danuki and Nattō Kozō have switched onto another train in the evening, this time a Sleeper train, which Nattō Kozō is excited about, having been his first time riding one. As they’re in a private room, Inugamigyōbu Danuki switches back into his normal form, albeit smaller. As Nattō Kozō enjoys his cans of beer, Inugamigyōbu Danuki describes "kojutsu" to Nurarihyon by explaining that the "ko" (蠱) in "kodoku" represents many poisonous insects brought together on one plate with the purpose of killing each other off until one remains. He points that the last insect will infuse itself with the hatred of curse of those killed, and will then be known as kodoku. Focused on his story, Nattō Kozō accidentally starts to spill his beer onto the floor. Nurarihyon realizes that the Maō's Hammer Tamazuki possesses works the same way as kojutsu, while Inugamigyōbu Danuki agrees. As the train passes through a bend, Nurarihyon demands sake from Nattō Kozō.

Inugami is still inside the skyscraper crawled over and panting at the same spot. Meanwhile, Tamazuki is out on the streets of Ukiyoe Town. A news report flashes on a TV screen mounted on top of a skyscraper, reporting a landslide at Chichibo Pass that morning. On the outskirts of town, he encounters Kana, whom is horrified that he is able to identify her. He explains that he is not like Inugami with his long tongue and need to lick her. Scared, Kana starts to run off, but Tamazuki offers to reveal to her Rikuo’s secret Yōkai form. Looking back at Tamazuki, she realizes that he has the same scent as the mysterious figure. Tamazuki finds it strange that Rikuo would protect a Human like her. Walking into a park, Kana asks Tamazuki for information about the mysterious figure he keeps meeting. Tamazuki begins by reflecting on his own similarities with Rikuo, in that both have been entrusted with the power to rule all Yōkai. Kana disagrees, to which Tamazuki starts to walk up close to her and ask her what makes him different. He asks if she is afraid of himself. Kana denies this and claims that she just hates him instead. She defends herself by claiming the mysterious figure and him are two completely different people, in that the mysterious figure is definitely a good person. Upon feeling her crush on him, she blushes retracts her statements about the mysterious figure. Suddenly a Shikigami flies towards Tamazuki. Tamazuki rips the Shikigami apart with his arm and Yura is seen running over to the two. She defends Kana from Tamazuki, thinking he is a Yōkai. Tamazuki identifies her as an Onmyōji. Yura checks on Kana, whom is fine. She then takes this opportunity of encountering a Yōkai to spread her warning to all Yōkai not to harm the Humans, even encouraging them to kill one another. Tamazuki comments on how worthwhile, and yet nauseating it is how he encountered more of Rikuo’s friends. About to leave, he claims the next time they meet will be nothing like their encounters just now. He asks Yura her name, which she proudly states as an Onmyōji. Surrounded by a twister of leaves, Tamazuki bids farewell to Yura, leaving her and Kana alone in the park.

Now nighttime inside the Nura House, the clan Yōkai are running around in preparation for their final battle with the Shikoku Yōkai. Shōei is resting among them. The Yōkai are worried over Supreme Commander Nurarihyon’s absence, Rikuo’s leadership and the complete destruction of the Chichibo Pass Fortress. From all over the house, Aotabō is heard screaming in impatience. Meanwhile, the council members have formed another meeting. Hitotsume Nyūdō is also frustrated over Supreme Commander Nurarihyon’s absence, while Asajigahara no Kijo is worried about their impeding assault. Zen claims they have no choice but to rely on Rikuo, the future Third Head. Gyūki pauses him, reminding him that they need to know how Rikuo feels first. Mokugyo Daruma agrees with him. In a good mood, he calls for someone to report on Rikuo’s status. Ko-oni appears and stumbles to tell Zen that he is in the foyer. There, Rikuo, in his Yōkai form, seems to be enjoying himself with a large bottle of sake. The Nura Clan Yōkai rush over to meet him. He offers Aotabō, Kurotabō and Yuki Onna drinks while Wakana happily cooks away in the kitchen. Hitotsume Nyūdō and the other officials are surprised at Rikuo’s attitude. Mokugyo Daruma comments that Rikuo is quite interesting, to which Hitotsume Nyūdō comments that he can’t win against the Shikoku Yōkai with what he thinks is bluffing and walks off. Zen is among the Yōkai relieved for Rikuo. Kejōrō comes into Shōei’s room to fix his bandages. Shōei notices a change in mood throughout the mansion and wonders what happened. Kejōrō merely expresses her confidence in Rikuo, to which Shōei smiles. Meanwhile, Nurarihyon and Inugamigyōbu Danuki each have a cup of sake in front of Nattō Kozō.

In the skyscraper, Tamazuki releases Inugami, whom is now panting and frowning at him. Tamazuki explains that the powers he inherited from his father were already useless from 300 years ago and that he wants to change everyone’s misunderstanding of his level of power. With the remaining Seven Phantom Travelers, the two make their way down the skyscraper where a group of their fellow comrades await them. Tamazuki claims to understand Inugami’s jealousy and proclaims to surpass his father. Tamazuki then proceeds to slay some of his own Yōkai. Kagibari Onna and Gangi Kozō are shocked, while Tearai Oni is excited and the last member is emotionless. Upon seeing the Maō's Hammer glowing purple, Tamazuki proclaims that the sword is wailing and wants more blood and hatred. Inugami smiles at him. To the sea of Shikoku Yōkai crowding the main foyer on the first floor, Tamazuki proclaims their time to emerge victorious and not fear the Nura Clan. The Yōkai give a loud cheer. Their cheer is heard by flocks of crows around town. Kuroumaru and Tosakamaru detect the Shikoku Yōkai now moving to the main streets of Ukiyoe Town.

As Rikuo leads his first ever Hyakki Yakō out of the Nura House. Hitotsume Nyūdō tries to stop him. The Hyakki Yakō tells him to get out of their way, but Hitotsume Nyūdō claims to want to speak to Rikuo. He proceeds to remind him of the fact that Supreme Commander Nurarihyon is not around and that he doesn’t have the consent to lead a Hyakki Yakō into this battle against the Shikoku Yōkai. Gyūki steps up to agree with him, but Zen claims that they can’t do nothing at such a critical moment. Gyūki then reminds everyone that they must proceed with caution, then proceeds to claim heading out to battle is an option with Rikuo able to form his own Hyakki Yakō, and that no one can stop him. The Hyakki Yakō strongly agrees with his point and begin to scold Hitotsume Nyūdō. Frustrated, Hitotsume Nyūdō is forced to agree, but brings up the question on how many Yōkai are actually loyal to him, and how the Nura Clan would be drastically downsized should they all head out to battle. Rikuo merely smiles until Mokugyo Daruma approaches and tries to ask Rikuo if they do have a chance. Aotabō sternly agrees that their Hyakki Yakō can win, to which Mokugyo Daruma disregards his overconfidence with beating the Shikoku Hachijūhakki Yakō. Suddenly, from above, Sasami reports a large mass of Yōkai aura coming from the southeast. Tosakamaru reports this aura coming from the northwest and northeast too, to which Hitotsume Nyūdō begins to panic, discouraging many of the Hyakki Yakō Yōkai. However, Rikuo only seems to await their arrival. Flying down from the sky, Kuroumaru reports to Rikuo of the proxies that have immediately joined them after he sent off a circular message. Rikuo praises him. Meanwhile, the streets of Ukiyoe Town are beginning to pour with the Yōkai aura of the Shikoku Yōkai. Kurotabō feels excited over this increasing wave of Yōkai aura, while Aotabō feels his energy growing, and Kubinashi and Yuki Onna admire Rikuo, the latter feeling love for him. Everyone in the Nura Clan now feels confident, with the exception of one suttering Hitotsume Nyūdō. Gozumaru and Mezumaru agree to join the Hyakki Yakō under Gyūki’s praise. Kejōrō declares their departure and the Nura Clan Yōkai cheer loudly. For once, Karasu Tengu praises his sons and cries. Tosakamaru is slightly annoyed by his father’s softness. As Rikuo’s brand new Hyakki Yakō leaves its home base, Nurarihyon, Nattō Kozō and Inugamigyōbu Danuki are still on the train back to Ukiyoe Town, now rounding another bend in the tracks.

Next episode previewEdit

Natsumi observes Kana treasuring her new hand mirror. Kana asks the mirror who the prettiest of the Humans and Yōkai is. Playing the mirror in a high-pitched voice, Natsumi responds claiming Kana is. Kana finds her strange.

Characters in order of appearanceEdit

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