|Chapter 096||Chapter 098|
Chapter 097 is ninety-seventh chapter of Volume 17.
Tomoe lies in a bed of sakura, dreaming of Nanami's, whom he thought was Yukiji, promise to be his wife in the future and wondering when 'future' was. He is awakened by furball who tells him that Yukiji's home is being attacked by Akura-ou.
After saving Yukiji, Tomoe brings her to a hut where he says is safe. Yukiji hides her eyes so Tomoe will not realize she isn't Nanami and and tells him that some sparks flew into her eyes during the fire and they are painful. Tomoe offers to get her some water to wash her eyes with, but Yukiji ignores it and asks about the hairpin she had seen Nanami give Tomoe, asking if he still had it. Tomoe doesn't reply but is assured that this girl was really the Yukiji he knew because of her knowledge of the hairpin. However, he still feels something was off.
Meanwhile a boy runs to his mother bringing a large fish. His mother asks where he got it and Tomoe appears, asking the mother to cook some food with that fish. He brings it for Yukiji to eat. He asks if her eyes are better but Yukiji denies it despite Tomoe's persistent wishing. He tells her something felt different since he last saw her 8 years ago. Yukiji replies that it has indeed been 8 years ago and that right now, she could not accept him. Tomoe looks away and wonders if he is going to have to wait forever.
Tomoe visits the peasants who made Yukiji's food. Seeing her leftovers, they exclaim that she didn't eat much but Tomoe retorts that they on the other hand are getting fat, his words especially directed on a woman with a large stomach. The other peasants laugh saying that she isn't 'fat' but rather pregnant. Afterwards, he goes back and finds Yukiji sprawled across the floor. Yukiji tells him that she had just seen her dead husband, explaining that when humans die their spirit continues to wander. Suddenly Yukiji lurches and says that her body might not hold on for much longer. Tomoe panics but Yukiji says that she is carrying a child and wants to give birth to it safely no matter what. Tomoe just looks at her sadly, unable to understand why she prioritizes the child before her own health.
He goes back to the peasants the next day and they also learn that Yukiji is pregnant. They tell him that if she keeps not eating, she won't have the strength to give birth and will die. Tomoe asks what happened to the girl with the big stomach from yesterday and they say quietly that she died due to blood loss and that the child could not be saved either. Tomoe leaves, thinking to himself that if it was like that it would be better if the child wasn't born at all.
Tomoe goes to the Dragon King's Palace, determined not to let Yukiji die. He takes the Dragon King's eye, also known as the elixir of life, and leaves a giant burning mess behind him. Behind the rock he suddenly sees a blurry picture of Nanami. He panics, remembering what Yukiji told him of dead people's wandering spirits and rushes back. He is relieved to see Yukiji still well and gives her the elixir, thinking that if she were gone then there would no longer be meaning to his life. He begs her to live with him forever and decides that if he can't live without her, he must then live by her side as a human.