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Natural Law ( (ことわり) , Kotowari) is the 98th chapter of the manga series ノラガミ Noragami by Adachitoka. The first part was released on January 6, 2022 and the second part was released on February 4, 2022.

Short Summary

The tale of the Mask-Maker continues after his encounter with the wandering monk. Father charges at Amaterasu and is subsequently sentenced to death for the crime of returning from Yomi, his shinki to be excommunicated.

Extended Summary

Chapter 98-1

The chapter opens with a flashback of Father. After the monk grabbed him, Father fought against him until he was able to push the monk off the cliff instead. He collapsed back into the grass, resenting the gods who witness human struggles and do nothing to help.

The scene transitions back to the present, where Father asks Amaterasu why she witnessed so many of his "crimes" but never stopped him. He rushes in to attack her, but is intercepted by Yatagarasu in his three-legged crow form. Yatagarasu warns nearby gods to pull back since their shinki would be in danger, but Father promptly exposes all the shinki present to the God's Greatest Secret by asking whether the gods would like them to learn their original names. The gods, outraged at his behavior, attack him, but he attempts to fend them off using Chiki. Yatagarasu attacks all four of them with a gust of wind, blowing away the three gods as well as destroying part of the city beyond them.

Yuuki's Goodness Net stops Yatagarasu right before he is able to charge Father, and Father stabs him in the chest using Chiki. He addresses Amaterasu, asking why her expression hasn't changed even while one of her "minions" is injured gravely. He goes on to question why she hasn't done anything to prevent him and Yato from killing gods and shinki in addition to humans. He calls himself a necessary evil, referring to his cullling goal. However, Amaterasu corrects him, saying that it has already been divinated that Yato, rather than Father, is the necessary one.

Much to Nora's horror, Amaterasu then sentences Father to death for returning from the Underworld. Father immediately stabs through Yatagarasu, killing him, as Amaterasu goes on to say that Father's shinki will be exocommunicated. She promptly notices the names that Nora had hidden, and forcibly releases at least five as Nora begs her to stop. Distressed, Yukine releases more of his Righteous Net into the city, distrupting traffic below.

Meanwhile, on Tamatsuki, Ebisu and Takemikazuchi are shocked when one of their shinki's names disappear at the same time. They quickly realize that it must be Nora, and wonder if she's died. When Satou questions the sudden interruption, Ebisu apologizes and asks to be told more about the Mask-Maker. Satou then confirms that the Mask-Maker had escaped death on the cliffside, but when he actually died later on, he was able to return to life.

Chapter 98-2

The chapter opens with a flashback of Father and Izanami in Yomi, carving masks. Father tells her about his experience with the monk. Izanami questions him about whether he believes in Eternal Paradise (浄土, jōdo, or the Pure Land) and he responds that he took the appearance of a monk because it was convenient to travel, and that he did whatever it took to survive - visiting villages, trying to hold funerals, repairing houses and bridges, killing, stealing, and even sleeping with a monk.[1] Then, he comments that gods can crush mountains and reverse the tides, yet wonders why they would do that; he goes on to say that he learned the ways of the Immortal World - of shinki, ayakashi, and the Gods' Greatest Secret - and shows an interest in Izanami's brushes. When Izanami drops the mask she was making, he accidentally calls her "Kaya", for which he apologizes. She responds that it's fine because he sees her face as the face of his loved one, and asks him to tell her Kaya's story next.

Back in present day, Amaterasu continues to take the Stray's names. She begs for her not take the name "Mizuchi" and apologizes profusely. Yukine, however, interrupts Amaterasu before she is able to take the Mizuchi name, straying her hand, and says that he has heard enough of these kinds of cries; the Goodness Net continues to aggressively expand over the town.

Numerous vents open all across the area, which Father's Masked Ayakashi take as a sign to swarm the people on the Near Shore. Two gods are caught in Hagusa's Net, wondering why a vent has opened and stating that they need to purify it before the ayakashi posses people. Chaos erupts on the Near Shore as people start attacking and accusing each other. Arahabaki sees the commotion from above and wonders what's going on.

Amaterasu then tries taking Mizuchi's Chiki name and Hagusa's Yuuki name. However, she is unable to take the names; Mizuchi rejoices that her name couldn't be taken. Amaterasu is shocked. Father muses that this is the law ( (ことわり) , kotowari) of Yomi, and that Izanami said so herself - Yomi is full of filth and ayakashi who have lost their spirit so they have no names or human forms, but they can be given names and controlled like puppets with the Word which is infused with Izanami's spirit. The laws of Heaven have no effect on beings bound by the laws of Yomi.

Father provokes Amaterasu, saying that if she wants to punish them, then she should do so with her own hands; he will endlessly continue to come back from the dead, finding replacement vessels, and continuing with his cull. He wonders how he is different from them when they have been doing the exact same thing but Heaven is the one who claims to be "good" and points out that these are the vents that they opened, a Goodness Net that they have been trapped in, and a city that they have burned. Father remarks that they are the ones who are unnecessary.

Meanwhile, a large ayakashi similar to that seen in Chapter 1 is seen causing chaos. It's about devour an elderly goddess but Yato slays it and she thanks him, stating that there was suddenly a huge storm. Yato approaches her and takes her Divine Garment, flying up toward where the battle with Amaterasu is raging.

Characters

Character Debuts

  • Father's family
  • Six unnamed gods
  • Four unnamed shinki
  • Kaya (name revealed)

Characters in Order of Appearance

References

  1. The fast-moon translation states that he "slept among monks"; however, this line in the raw JP scans has subtle suggestive connotations that allude to a different meaning. For more details, please see here.

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