Shigeharu stumbled along. Though he was already exhausted from running for his life, the footsteps and chuckles closing in from behind forced him to continue. As he saw that the youkais in pursuit were fast approaching, he hurried a bush. Holding the Sealing Sphere with Yatonokami inside, he crouched and wished that he would never be found...
“How can he disappear so quickly? We’ve lost sight of him!” Myoudouki wondered.
“Shall I send the fox to sniff him out?” Zendouki asked cunningly.
“No, no... if you do not, the fun hide-and-seek game will end.”
“You are right! I shall search for him over there.”
“Let’s meet here afterwards.”
As the footsteps faded away, Shigeharu poked his head out of the bush for a quick peek. When he saw that the fiend couple had long gone, he slowly came out of the bush. Shigeharu dared not rest; he took the chance to continue escaping. Yet, he never thought that the footsteps would sound from behind so soon after! He kept running until he reached a cliff... Trapped between the fiend behind him and the cliff before him, Shigeharu had no room to escape anymore. He turned to stare at the fiend couple as they were closing in; their pneuma had forced him to move backwards.
“Either we kill you, or you jump down the cliff and kill yourself. What do you prefer?” Myoudouki chuckled.
“You are so kind, my dear!” Zendouki complimented her husband in a sweet voice.
But unexpectedly, Shigeharu misstepped and suddenly fell off the cliff. The fiend couple sighed and left. While they felt nothing for his death, it was a pity that they suddenly lost their “toy”. Although he fell off the cliff, Shigeharu was not fatally injured; he fell through branches absorbing a part of the impact of landing; yet, he was still rendered immobile.
Semi-conscious, he had a vague vision that a huge snake had emerged from the faint mist in front of him. It asked him in a flat voice, “You. Do you wish to be stronger?”
“I am Yatonokami, and I can fulfill your wish. You only need to absorb my pneuma. Then, you will become strong and powerful!” She had heard what Shigeharu was asking for in his head. Therefore, she decided to use his desire to control him, making him her puppet...
All Shigeharu could think about was protecting Fubuki. With nary a thought, he asked Yatonokami to fulfill his wish. Yatonokami then shared with him her pneuma without hesitation, and through that pneuma, she gradually gained full control of Shigeharu.