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To Cut, or Not To Cut (きる、きらない Kiru, Kiranai?) is the twelfth chapter of the ノラガミ Noragami manga series written by Adachitoka.



Synopsis

It's shown that Yukine is now working at Kofuku and Daikoku's shop, both to repay the money that he stole and to later help support himself and Yato. Though Yukine insisted it wasn't a big deal, Daikoku also tells Hiyori that Yukine was hoping to use her old school books that she would no longer need. Moved by Yukine's change of attitude, Yato and Hiyori both start sobbing. Kofuku tells Hiyori that she is owed a total of 10 million yen for granting Hiyori's request to save Yato and Yukine, then corrects it to 1 million after considering a student discount.

Hiyori, Yukine, and Yato visit Tenjin's shrine to thank him & Mayu for their help. The two gods speak on their own while Mayu speaks with Yukine and Hiyori, the latter of whom noticed that there was one shinki missing. Mayu explains that Miyu had been influenced by Yukine's plight. Feeling envious of human life, she cut her own wrist, stung Tenjin, and then was immediately excommunicated (which is a policy that he sternly enforces). Yukine apologizes, but Mayu assures him that it wasn't his fault and he shouldn't dwell on it since it would only harm his master. She advises him to be careful managing his emotions in the future, and to show his appreciation for Yato by dedicating himself as Yato's shinki. Yukine responds by vowing to take up the name of Yuki.

Yato pulls Tenjin further aside and asks him how he can grant Hiyori's wish to return her body to normal. He admits that he doesn't understand the half-human, half-spirit phenomenon at all, but wants to put in extra effort for her now that she's done so much to help him and Yukine. However, Tenjin suggests that he cut ties with Hiyori completely, warning that if she continues being exposed to the world of the Far Shore, she eventually wouldn't be able to return to her normal life.

The scene transitions to Bishamon's estate in Takamagahara, where she is urgently looking for Kazuma, worried that he had gone out without permission again. She finds him in the library with Aiha, who apologizes, since she was the one who asked Kazuma to help her with her task of sorting books. Bishamon leaves after telling Kazuma to come to her room later. Aiha privately laments that Bishamon hadn't even looked her in the eye the whole time she was there. Kugaha is seen disappearing around a bookshelf, but he doesn't say anything. He is then seen draping a towel over Bishamon's shoulders as she finishes her bath; as her doctor, he advises her to take a medicated bath soon.

The scene changes back to Yato, who is changing a baby's diaper. His current clients are the baby's parents, who wished for their child to stop crying so much at night. Yato explains that babies can see the dead, and this one is being teased by a phantom, causing them to cry. After Yato hands the baby to Yukine, a rabbit-doll phantom appears. Yato summons Sekki and Hiyori carries the baby instead. Yukine is worried that he won't be able to cut the phantom without hurting other people inside the house, as well as causing damage to the house itself. Yato tells him that he needs to focus on mentally/metaphorically drawing a line– much like the mindset needed to draw a borderline– between what he wants and doesn't want to cut.

On the first slash, Yukine cuts both the phantom and some furniture. On their next try, Yukine holds back too much and isn't able to cut the phantom deeply enough. Yato then realizes that the rabbit-doll is only a false image created by the actual phantom in the mirror. The baby, desiring a playmate, reached out to their reflection every night. Their desires intertwined and became powerful enough to create an evil spirit. Yato tells Hiyori, who is stood in front of the mirror with the baby, to hold still. This time, Yukine manages to cut only the phantom, leaving Hiyori, the baby, and Far Shore objects intact.

Before they leave, Hiyori notices a mask on the floor. It's the same as the masks worn by the wolves that Nora sent to attack her on New Year's Eve. Kugaha is then shown spying on the three, holding the same mask. He remarks that Yukine was trained well.

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