When the two ethereal-looking lovers spot Choubei and Touma, the one with golden hair stands up from their necking session, protests the presence of humans, and transforms into a male form, crushing a fruit in his hand. When Gabimaru spots a little girl with pink hair, he gives chase, leaving Yuzuriha and Senta to deal with the girl’s Groot-like protector.
Yuzuriha swipes Senta’s glasses then drinks some kind of tincture that causes her to secrete a thick viscous liquid from her skin and orifices. Unfortunately, like Senta, we’re not able to see more of her secret ninjutsu, but the next we do see her, the Groot is on the ground.
As for the little girl, she’s extremely quick through the forest, but so is Gabi. When he catches up to her, she Judo-throws him, then later throws a punch that demonstrates strength far beyond the presumed limits of her slender frame.
Gabimaru, desperate to reunite with his wife and thus prepared to do anything, uses his ninjutsu to ensnare the girl in vines. After he monologues about being tired of everything so difficult and warning the girl to tell him about the elixir of life or she’ll “force him to do more,” the girl bursts into blubbering tears. Gabimaru is disarmed, and Sagiri rightfully shoots him a judging look.
Sagiri takes the girl in her arms to comfort her, and they reunite her with the Groot, who tells them he’ll take them to their village for a meal and to discuss the elixir. Yuzuriha agrees with Gabimaru that this could be a trap…until the Groot tells them they have a bath, then she’s on Team Go to the Village.
After Yuzuriha and Sagiri enjoy a nice hot soak (Sagiri insisting she’s not relaxing her responsibilities while making a very pleased sound upon immersing herself made me LOL) Yuzuriha and Senta eat the fruit provided and don’t transform into flower zombies.
The Groot, who is named Houko, explains that there is indeed an Elixir of Life, but it is located at the very center of the island, the map of which is three concentric circles representing the three regions: shore/woods, village, and mists.
Houko is fine sharing this information and showing the humans hospitality, because he’s certain they’re not getting off this island alive. That won’t be because of him—he harbors neither affection nor animosity—but because of the Tensen.
So far, Gabimaru and Sagiri & Co. have only encounter the Soushin—monsters of the forest region. In the central region of Horai dwell the Tensen, who are the gold and pink-haired individuals Choubei and Touma encounter. Described as perfect, eternal beings, no human is any match for the Tensen.
We know Choubei is no slouch, but his giant blade is shattered by Goldie’s bare hand, and both he and Touma are tossed into a pit packed with former human victims, all technically still alive but partially transformed into flowers and in a constant state of bliss.
After Houko’s exposition, Gabimaru heads to the bath with Sagiri tagging along. He chastises her for letting her guard down (we cut to her nodding off after the bath and meal) but she insists she didn’t. When Gabi walks in on the little girl (whose name is Mei), she bursts into tears again.
Mei runs to Sagiri, but Gabi doesn’t understand the fuss; in his village everyone shared the baths except the village chief, who had a private one. As Sagiri pulls up her sleeves and gives the filthy Mei a proper Edo-style bathhouse experience and washes her hair, her remark about Gabi stretching himself too thin takes him back to a memory of Yui saying the same thing.
Gabimaru was initially embarrassed to have his back washed by Yui, but also just dislikes baths. He believes they wash away his “edge”, to which Yui responds by dumping a bucket of water on his head and asking him to clarify if he thinks his wife is wantonly robbing him of his luck in battle.
No, she’s insistent that he’s stretched too thin, and has to take the time to relax and reinvigorate, so he can stay prepared for “the real battle”—her term for life itself. In this battle, he’s the general, she’s the strategist, and victory is living peacefully, honestly, and true to one’s ideals.
Gabi asks if he, as general, can issue a strategic order: for Yui to stop wearing her hair so it hides the scar on her face. He tells her she’s beautiful, making her beam with happiness. We haven’t seen much of Yui, but she makes such an impact in the times we have that I’m confident she’s a worthy rival to Yuzaki Tsukasa for Best Wife of the Season.
Back in the present, Gabimaru tells Mei not to be embarrassed by her scar. When Sagiri says that’s not so easy for a woman, Gabi begs to differ: he knows a woman with a large scar, but no one is more beautiful. Not only is Sagiri “dumbfounded” by this respectable comment, but Mei seems to be won over, as she grabs Gabimaru’s sleeve and looks admiringly upon him.
Outside the bath, as Sagiri smiles over the prospect of Gabimaru being a good person who continues to change little by little, Gabimaru wears a fearful face. Even if his wife told him to relax occasionally, he’ll never see her again unless he maintains his focus.
He knows where the Elixir of Life is, and the kind of beings who may stand in his way. He’ll use the information Houko provided to keep moving forward, knowing he’s sure to collect a few more scars before the mission concludes. If he can look upon Yui’s beautiful face once more, it will have all been worth it.