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Abominable Creature ( () むべき (もの) Imubeki Mono?) is the ninth chapter of the ノラガミ Noragami manga series written by Adachitoka.



Synopsis

The chapter picks up from when Kazuma approaches Hiyori, having realized that she is able to see him. Hiyori recognizes him as one of Bishamon's shinki, and is startled when he correctly identifies that she is a half-spirit, which he seems to find un-respectable. Hiyori, assuming that he will kill her, tries to run away; however, Kazuma stops her using bind, then hides from sigh using umbra.

Kuraha and Bishamon then arrive, to Hiyori's dismay. She prays to the gods to save her, then becomes even more discouraged when she remembers that Yato would be the one to answer her prayer. She's surprised and confused when they simply talk with one another as if she isn't present. Kazuma informs Bishamon that he hasn't found Yato yet, and Kuraha offers to track him down with his sense of smell. Bishamon and Kuraha go ahead, while Kazuma stays behind under the guise of investigating the area one more time.

Kazuma releases Hiyori from the spell and warns her not to become too involved with Yato. He returns her wallet, which he had stolen in order to learn her name. When Hiyori questions why Kazuma saved her, he says that Yato helped him in the past. Kazuma also asks if he's in good health, since the last time they saw one another, Yato was blighted and injured. He corrects HIyori when she says that Yato has been purified, by clarifying that his blight was from within rather than an outside source. He advises that Yato should quickly get rid of Yukine. Hiyori defends Yukine, but Kazuma emphasizes that keeping him will only worsen Yato's condition, and eventually, kill him. Before he leaves, he asks Hiyori to somehow save Yato, because he does not want to lose his benefactor. Hiyori relaxes, realizing that Kazuma is Yato's ally.

When Hiyori asks him about Nora, Kazuma responds with disgust and offense, telling her not to repeat that name in his presence. Before he leaves, Kazuma states again that Yato will die if he doesn't resolve things with Yukine.

The scene transitions to Hiyori sitting at home with her parents. She thinks about all the times Yato has been stung by Yukine, and blames herself for enabling Yukine's bad behavior. She gets a text from Akira inviting her to visit the shrine for New Year's. Once there, she meets Akira and Ami. At the shrine, Hiyori wishes for Yato and the others to be safe.

Later in the night, she encounters Tenjin, Mayu, and Tsuyu. Hiyori asks if he has seen Yato– he has not, but mentions that Yukine came to his shrine recently to ask to be employed. The chapter then presents a flashback: Mayu seemed sympathetic that Yukine only lated a month with Yato, and Tenjin's other shinki shared in her sympathy. Yukine complained that Yato has no money or shrine, and expressed concern over his questionable past and the fact that he already has Nora. Tenjin told him that he cannot offer Yukine a name, since doing so would turn him into a stray.

The flashback ends as Tenjin remarks that a stray is like "the private parts of a god," a remark which earns him a scolding from Tsuyu. He explains more seriously why strays have a stigma among gods and shinki: they cannot be completely loyal to one master if they carry more than one name, and thus at some point they would inevitably betray their master. He compares this to how re-naming Hiyori would an offense to her parents. A stray is something they instinctually dislike and distrust, so it is customary to remove one's name before gaining a new one. Hiyori asks why strays even exist if they are so widely frowned upon; Tenjin explains that they're used for dirty jobs that gods don't want their own shinki involved in. Hiyori asks if he knows anyhting about Nora, but Tsuyu and Mayu interrupt to discourage her from bringing her up in Tenjin's presence. He agrees that he does not wish to have any sort of connection with a stray, and the three of them depart, leaving Hiyori at the festival.

Hiyori wanders off from Akira and Aimi to feed a stray cat in an alleyway, acknowledging that not all strays chose to become one. While wondering how she can help Yato and Yukine, Hiyori drops out of her body, and sees Nora across the street. She approaches nervously but politely, and asks if Nora knows where Yato is. Nora points out that Hiyori is a half-phantom, and Hiyori realizes that indeed, she's lured in by their scents. Nora then draws her attention to the masked wolf phantoms behind her, which promptly attack. Hiyori leaps into a tree to avoid them, but is quickly pursued, the wolves tearing at her kimono. Hiyori attempts to flee, leaping away. She tells Nora that she poses threat to Yato, and asks why Nora is attacking her. Nora replies that she doesn't think that Hiyori is well-suited for Yato. Hiyori continues to run away, and is chased by the phantoms until they disintegrate with the sunrise, leaving only their masks behind.

The scene transitions to Hiyori in the restroom at school. She turns around after washing her hands to find Yato sprawled out on top of the stalls.

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