Chapter 096 is ninety-sixth chapter of Volume 17.
Upon arriving, Nanami notices that it was snowing and feels that something was different, wondering how long it had been since she last came. She sees Kuromaro frozen stiff nearby, who tells her he'd already met Tomoe, who could not spend the rest of his life with Yukiji after all. He says Yukiji had already died and everything was all over. Nanami, horrified at the news, asks what happened and Kuromaro shows her a flashback of what had occurred.
Nanami sees Yukiji when her husband burst through the door with jelly desserts. Yukiji impassively tells him that people behind her back were saying she should not have become the bride of the house because of her weak body and due to that, could not bear children. She tells him that eight years have passed since she came and throughout that time did not have a child, then goes on to say she'd given up on children and that he should marry another who could give birth a healthy child, telling him that she doesn't mind if he takes in a concubine or makes another girl his new wife. Her husband hugs her and tells her he cares for her, then asking if she returned the feelings. She slaps him playfully then leaves the house, wondering if Nanami knew how happy she felt.
She sees one of the servants who had caught some fish but suddenly feels sick. Another of the servants says happily that she could possibly be expecting a child after all. It is soon confirmed and everyone in the household is elated. Yukiji then silently tells Nanami that she had made a new member of her family, and goes on to thank her because she was able to become happy, believing that she was a messenger from heaven. Yukiji quietly thinks about how even though she was happy, she feared that it could suddenly be taken away, just like long ago. Looking up, she sees sakura fall from the tree even though it was rare for sakura to blossom here and smiles.
Sometime after, Akura-Ou is awoken by furball, who had grown many times bigger than before. When Akura-Ou asks where Tomoe was, Furball says that he went deep into the mountains of the world below. Akura-Ou says that's perfect and decides to stretch some muscles. Furball suggests the small country in the west in the mansion where Yukiji lived.
Yukiji watched as all she loved went down in flames and Akura-Ou appears, bearing the head of the lord of the house. Akura-Ou asks for Yukiji and one of her servants cover for her, giving her time to escape. When she tries to go instead, her servant states that she is carrying the lord's child and that the bloodline could not end like this, begging her to escape. Yukiji blames herself and her bad luck for her husband's death, then she envisioning him hugging her and calling her silly, telling her he loves her and asking her if she loves him back, to which she says a tearful yes. She decides she must protect her only child, no matter what. Suddenly she hears her name called and looks up, seeing Tomoe. She stands up and, determined to save her unborn child, throws away her pride and begs him to save her, tears falling from her face.