With Makoto unable to use chopsticks properly, Yuuichi is reminded of what Mishio told him about Makoto’s health deteriorating. As they’re walking outside later, Makoto comments on how cold it is and how she likes the warmth better. She would prefer if spring would come and stay forever because then she’d always be energetic. At school, Yuuichi goes looking for Mishio, but she doesn’t talk to him. He remembers that ten years ago, he found a young, hurt kitsune and nursed it back to health while he was staying at Nayuki’s home. He and the kitsune spent a lot of time together, but Yuuichi had to abandon it when he had to return home. All of this causes him to wonder what started back then. After class, he once again finds Makoto waiting for him at the gates and she again is looking forward to eating a meat bun. He of course buys one for her and also buys a set of bells that she picks out from the 100 yen shop. She wears those bells on her wrist as they head home, though they stop near the arcade because Makoto sees some girls getting their picture taken. Yuuichi suggests that they all take a picture together, but Makoto calls herself a freeloader just like he had said before.
Since dinner that night is curry, Akiko gives Makoto a spoon to eat it with. And much to Makoto’s embarrassment, Yuuichi brushes her teeth for her after she’s unable to hold her toothbrush. She also sneaks into his room again that night to sleep together with him. She insists that it’s because Piro wants to, but Yuuichi knows that it’s really her who wants to. Unable to sleep, Yuuichi sneaks out of his own room after Makoto is asleep and pays a visit to Monomi Hill. At the top where he has a view of the city, Yuuichi hears the tingle of bells behind him and realizes that Makoto followed along. She says that she was afraid of being left behind, but those words suddenly trigger her memory of something similar that happened in the past and how she searched for Yuuichi. Yuuichi yells for her not to remember and hugs her instead, telling her that she’s a person named Sawatari Makoto. Once the two of them return home to their bed, Makoto confesses that she’s afraid of sleeping alone and finding herself in a place where she can’t see anything. Hearing this, Yuuichi promises not to leave her alone anymore.
The next day, Yuuichi is once again unable to get Mishio to talk to him at school. Strangely, Makoto isn’t waiting for him at the gate after school, and she’s not at home either, so Yuuichi goes out to search for her. He never finds her and returns home where Akiko learns that Makoto hasn’t been to work at the nursery since they stopped letting her bring Piro. Yuuichi thinks that everything is his own fault, but then Makoto returns home dirty and covered in snow. She falls down because of her high fever after having unsuccessfully searched for Piro since the cat disappeared. When she calls out to Yuuichi as she’s lying sick in bed, he holds Makoto’s hand with his own warm hands. The morning after, Yuuichi prepares to leave for school, but Makoto doesn’t want him to disappear on her. He decides to stay home and keeps her company, even feeding her an orange. That night, Mishio calls Yuuichi out when Makoto’s sleeping, and he admits to her that Makoto has become like a child. Mishio knows that when Makoto loses her power, she becomes feverish; by nature, this would be the end. However, Makoto continues to live in an incomplete human form because of how strong her feelings toward Yuuichi are.
Despite this, Mishio reveals that Makoto wouldn’t survive a second fever. As for what Yuuichi can do, Mishio tells him about a legend of a mysterious beast that lives on Monomi Hill – the Youko, an apparition-like kitsune. The village where it appeared was struck by a disaster, and so it became a symbol of calamity. That’s what Makoto is, but Mishio also says that Makoto’s type shouldn’t have such abhorred existences. When Yuuichi realizes that Mishio has been through the same experience, she confesses to having known a boy when she was young whom she played with and thought that that the happy days would continue forever with. However, that boy started to lose his memory, and Mishio could do nothing but watch. Because of how she herself turned out, she knows that Yuuichi will go through a bitter experience from now on. Still, she asks him to stay strong, and Yuuichi reassures her that he will. With all of this on his mind, Yuuichi tells the whole story to Nayuki and her mother. Akiko admits to having known that Yuuichi had been keeping the young kitsune in secret back then and recalls how Makoto loved the sound of bells. She finds it strange that although this is like a fairy tale, she’s not really surprised – perhaps she personally always knew. Nayuki, on the other hand, doesn’t understand, but believes because both her mother and Yuuichi say so.
Yuuichi decides to take some time off from school and spends all of it with Makoto, teaching her to make paper airplanes and reading to her. At one point, Akiko and Nayuki hear Makoto happily playing with the bells on her wrist in Yuuichi’s room. Having gotten to the point where she’s only speaking basic sentences, Makoto one day asks Yuuichi to read her the same shoujo manga as the first time he read to her. After hearing the ending where the hero promises to come back and marry the girl, Makoto says that she wants to get married to Yuuichi. That way, they can always be together.
This episode really stirs the emotions. They way they were going, I probably would have cried if Makoto died this episode. It’s so sad to see her become like a child that after having seen her be so energetic for so long. The ironic thing is that she always insisted that she wasn’t a child. Speaking of child, this is just too cute.
Of course I’m still wondering what’s going to happen and if she’s going to leave an emptiness in the household if (or when) she’s gone. I’m also curious what happened to Piro and if Mishio serves any purpose other than helping Yuuichi with Makoto. It’s looking as if next week’s episode will conclude this arc, and I’m getting ready for quite a tearjerker.