This series is just getting better the more I read. I'm liking both of the Arata's, the romance is getting better, the story line is going pretty well. I'm glad that I'm enjoying it more, but not so glad that I'm almost fully caught up.
This volume switches back and forth between Arata and Hinohara quite often, which was nice, and definitely an improvement.
It starts with Hinohara and all of them helping Nagu. Hinohara and Kotoha want to bring him with them, while Kanate disagrees, and Kannagi wants Hinohara to realize that he's going to have to make people submit to him. Hinohara disagrees and tries to convince Nagu that he should join them. Only Nagu seems to know more than they think, and he submits to him. This is rather sad. I don't like that all of them are going to have to submit to him, because I don't like saying goodbye to so many good characters.
Then he slips up a bit and says something untrue to Arata, which makes Kotoha wonder, and so she confronts him. And discovers that he's not Arata. She isn't surprised because she knows that Arata would never look at her like Hinohara does. But she still has a bit of a freak out, (which is hilarious,) before they make an agreement and she decides to call him Arata instead of Master. (They are quite adorable, and I'm loving them together.) And then the four of them continue their journey to the capital, and the next Zokusho and Sho they run into.
Throughout all of this, we see Arata, in the present. He's still fighting with Kadowaki, who we see has a bit of a hard time at home. He's still bullying Suguru and Arata, but we see more of why. His father yells at him, belittles him a bit, and his mother ignores him, and he has no friends. I feel a little bad for him, but he's still a complete jerk. And some stuff happens with him, where everyone starts turning against him and admiring Hinohara, that makes him even worse. He's just full of hate, it's stirring and building inside him.
Arata meets this girl at school, Ori, who knows that he isn't Hinohara. And he talks to her, and is honest with her, and it's nice. (I'm liking her, and am looking forward to learning more about her.) And this makes Kadowaki even more upset. And when he catches Hinohara and Arata talking (through their necklace things) and he freaks out.
The Princess is getting worse, and their necklaces (I'm wondering why they have the necklaces. I know that Kotoha gave them to both of them, and that she got them from the Princess, but why did the Princess give them to her in the first place?) are starting to turn grey. We see that the inner six sinsho are doing something, and find out that they aren't fighting to rule, but don't want the Princess to come back. And they do some big thing, that transports Kadowaki over to their world. And then he gets a Hayagami.
Around this time, Tsukuyo (Hinohara's Hayagami) starts acting weird, but Hinohara doesn't know why. It's warning him, we find out. And then he comes upon Kadowaki, and starts to rather freak out, when something comes from Kadowaki's Hayagami and attacks Hinohara (much like when Hinohara said his Hayagami's name for the first time).
This is a bit of a terrible ending. I want to know what happens next; I'm even a little excited to see what happens next. I'm wondering what being in Amawakuni with Hinohara is going to do to him; if it will soften him up, or make him smarter like it did to Hinohara. He's a little psychotic, so that could be a very good thing. But then again, I don't like him, and I don't like that he was the 'chosen one'.
I'm hoping whatever happens good, and that the story continues to move smoothly. I'm a little afraid that it's going to get drawn out, what with him slowly meeting the other Sho and Zokusho, but I hope it doesn't. It's been good so far, and getting much better from when it started, so I hope it stays that way.