I didn’t know we’d delve into Tanigaki and Inkarmat’s situation so soon, but I’m certainly not complaining! Inkarmat keeps things light at the hospital where she’s being held, selling roots to Koito and using her clairvoyance to locate Nikaidou’s false hand. Tsukishima tolerates it all, but remains all business.
Ienaga Kano is there too, hoping to experience what he couldn’t when his mother fells down stairs and miscarried: the “perfection” of a mother. He also wants to eat the placenta, which…gross. As for Tanigaki, when faced with the choice of searching for Asirpa and Sugimoto or returning to his love’s side, he picks the latter.
Thanks to a flashy rich kid who also chews on roots, Tanigaki learns where Inkarmat is being held, and sneaks in under cover of darkness to reunite with her. Their reunion is soon stained with blood, as Tsukishima returns from his bath with his gun drawn.
Inkarmat uses her pregnant body to shield Tanigaki, having told him moments prior that she’s ready for danger. They both are; being together no matter what the consequences are. Thankfully fortune favors them; Ienaga drugs Tsukishima (and is shot dead in the process), and Koito, grateful for everything Inkarmat did for him during his convalescence, lets them go.
Tsukishima still manages to get a few shots off which graze Tanigaki and leave a trail of blood for him to follow. Needless to say, horseback is no proper place for a nine-months-pregnant woman. But when they rest in an abandoned house, Tsukishima is on top of them almost immediately.
They manage to slip away, but when Inkarmat’s water breaks, Tanigaki carries her the rest of the way, reluctantly shooting his horse in the bum so Tsukishima will follow the wrong blood trail.
By morning Tanigaki and Inkarmat are in Asirpa’s kotan, where Huci and Osoma’s mother are ready to take care of her. The latter tells Tanigaki that Huci has been delivering babies since she was nineteen, and even has a personal god behind her neck that helps her determine the babe’s gender, and thus the proper orientation for delivery.
Tsukishima arrives with gun drawn once more, but hot on is trail is Koito, who orders him to stand down. Tsukishima initially asks Koito whose side he’s on, but in this Koito is unequivocal: he’s on Lt. Tsurumi’s side, but doesn’t believe Tanigaki and Inkarmat need to be killed.
Tsukishima, initially remaining rigid as doing his job is all he has left, Koito appeals to the Tsukishima who gave up on his lost love Igogusa (covered in episode 27). Finally, he stands down. Inkarmat replies to the anguish in his face with an outstretched hand, but then her contractions start.
From there, Osoma’s mom starts barking out orders for the men to make themselves useful. We’re treated to a lot of details of Ainu neonatal care, from the use of sagebrush gauze, tar straps for bracing, antiseptic rasupakap, and Huci’s midwife chanting. The men also roll a mortar to aid the difficult birth.
Eventually, the cry of a newborn babe emanates from the hut. Inkarmat holds her new child in her arms, then offers it to Tanigaki, who makes the obligatory mistake of thinking the umbilical cord is a big dick. It’s a girl, and he couldn’t be happier.
In the aftermath of the successful delivery, Koito insists that Tsurumi must be a man concerned with more than a petty lust for power or willingness to sacrifice anyone and everyone for his own ends. He holds Tsurumi to higher ideals, even Tsukishima isn’t sure if Tsurumi even has any beyond burying his comrades and securing prosperity for Japan.
Koito resolves to believe in Tsurumi, and urges Tsukishima to believe in him in turn. A week later, Tanigaki, Inkarmat, and their daughter depart the kotan. We may not see them again, as their part in this story seems to be complete. Inkarmat offers to tell Tsukishima what she saw in her clairvoyance, but he declines to hear it.
Like the brand-new family whose freedom he and Koito are allowing out of nothing but compassion, he has everything he needs to move forward. So he doesn’t need to hear it.