While the Soga sisters were visited by Manami and told of their predicament by the being they once called their enemy, the mysterious youkai that had been accompanying the ushi-oni had made her way to the village where the Soga and Hata clan's human survivors had fled. Much to her horror, an angry mob had formed with the intent of killing members of both clans. Having already caught Soga no Nagahiro, the people let his wife Kazue escape, planning to attack the Hata clan's house next.
Having become aware of this, the heads of the clan were preparing to leave, letting the mob decide the fate of their daughter Hitomi. The girl had locked herself up in a room and had spent all her time sulking after cutting her hair short, leading her parents to believe that she had been cursed. While Kazue had reached the house and began to help the two organize their escape along with their servants, the kirin quietly snuck into the building to have a look at Hitomi, noticing how she was being ignored.
The girl was lying down on her side, an empty look in her eyes. She didn't even notice the door being opened, though she suddenly became aware of someone approaching her as the door was soon closed behind her. "Who is it?" Introducing herself as a mere benefactor, the kirin helped Hitomi up from the floor and took a good look at her, a frown appearing on her face as she saw the condition of the girl. "What happened to you? Why aren't you with your family?"
Getting no response from the traumatized girl, the kirin's attention soon turned to the main entrance of the house as the angered yells of the mob were heard in the distance, getting louder with each passing moment. "Death to the traitors!" The building itself was quiet as the rest of the clan had already left, leaving Hitomi and the youkai to fend for themselves. Realizing that something had to be done to save her, the kirin's expression turned from a sad frown to an angered glare as she got up.
She soon walked up and opened the door, making her way to the entrance of the house to confront the angry mob. The peasants halted their advance and looked on as the youkai stood in their way, their resolve suddenly weakening as she spoke out to them in anger. "What manner of monsters are you? The young women of the Hata and Soga clans were your protectors and saviors! Is this how you thank them for protecting you all those years, and not leaving you to die in the flames?"
Some of the young men in the group began to mumble, trying to find a witty response to this accusation. Before any of them could speak, the youkai took a step forward, continuing in her speech while driving the mob back. "Shame upon all of you. If you insist on continuing this foolish quest for revenge, then you will have to start by killing me!" The intense glare given by the regal youkai destroyed the morale of the mob as it scattered, the people running away in fear of being cursed.
Looking on as the commoners returned to their homes, the woman began to calm herself, her expression becoming more calm yet retaining a feeling of melancholy as her face remained in a slight frown. She turned around and returned to Hitomi's side, seeing the girl's staring at her with curiosity as she stood near the entrance of the building. "Why did you want to help me?" Explaining to her that she owed the Hata clan a favor, she then asked the girl to follow her outside.
The girl gave a slight nod to the woman, walking after her while seeing the odd way her feet avoided the grass once again. As they walked, Hitomi slowed down for a moment to gather her thoughts, snapping back to attention as the kirin spoke to her as the two were soon surrounded by trees. "I'll be taking you under my wing for a while. I'm not sure if your friend Kuniko is ready to see you again after what had happened, and it seems your parents didn't want to take you with them."
Taking a quick glance at her surroundings, the kirin turned around and swung her right hand down, forming a transparent barrier in the shape of a small house around Hitomi. "Please wait here. I'll be back as soon as possible." As the youkai departed, the girl sat down on the grass and closed her eyes, thinking through all that has happened within these last two days. Meanwhile, the kirin arrived back at the Soga shrine, dashing there after making sure Hitomi would remain safe.
Kuniko, Mariko and Manami turned to look at her as she stepped inside and listened on as she spoke out with a solemn expression. "Soga sisters, I am sorry to say this, but I bring back with me some dire news..." While the ushi-oni suddenly made a remark about the kirin's mention of not returning in a while, everyone present ignored it as she continued. "...your father, Soga no Nagahiro, is dead." Both sisters gave the woman a blank stare, left speechless by the revelation.
The silence was soon broken as Kuniko suddenly grabbed the girl by the collar, demanding to know the details of what happened while violently shaking the woman in a fit of panic and anger. Waiting for her to calm down, the kirin closed her eyes while Kuniko soon fell down on her knees, shedding bitter tears and hugging herself while sobbing. "The villagers blamed him and the Hata clan for not stopping you. They had already cornered him when I had arrived."
While Mariko began to cry as well, Manami seemed to lose the smug grin she had from her face, placing a hand on the girl's head. "Quiet down, will you. She's probably got something else to say." The youkai let out a sigh, telling them that while Nagahiro died, Kazue managed to escape with the Hata clan, and that she drove off the villagers by herself after losing her patience with them. She then turned back towards the entrance, bidding them farewell once again.
"I need to finish up a few things. Best of luck to all three of you." As the youkai went back to check up on Hitomi, Mariko moved over to sit next to her sister, the two remaining silent after the initial shock of the news. Manami looked on, grabbing her sake gourd and taking a swig before placing it back down. Her ears perked up as Kuniko suddenly spoke out to her, an unnerving grin appearing on the woman's face while a few tears still ran down her cheeks.
"You said our kind were hated earlier, right? Isn't that kind of ironic, considering the fact that there are people who deserve that hate far more than any of us here?"