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|Preacher Pursuit arc|
|Chapters||33 • 34 • 35 • 36 • 37 • 38|
|Preceded by||VS. Special Fire Force Company 1 arc|
|Followed by||Asakusa arc|
The Preacher Pursuit (伝導者追跡, Dendōsha Tsuiseki) arc is the fourth story arc of the En En no Shōbōtai manga series. It revolves around the beginning of the search and investigation of the Preacher by all Special Fire Brigades.
Conference of the Battalion Commanders Edit
In central Tokyo, Raffles III, the emperor of Tokyo, informs his attendants to gather all of the Battalion Commanders of the Special Fire Brigade. Later on at the 8th Special Fire Fighting Church, Shinra queries Akitaru on the reasoning for his and Tamaki's presence at the gathering, and he explains that since he was a witness of the Bug experimentation as well as the White Hoods that killed Rekka, they would be an informative presence there. From behind the door, Arthur peeks his head through, letting everyone know he's no longer lost. On the journey to the gathering, Akitaru mentions that this is the first time since his becoming of Commander that the amassing of all the Commanders has happened. As they arrive, Shinra is astonished to see the Amaterasu, the generator that powers all of Tokyo, for the first time in person. As the 8th walk in, Shinra spots the Commanders of the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th, for the first time, as well as the rest of the Commanders. He glances at Benimaru Shinmon, pulling a smile at him, to which he calls Shinra a brat and walks away annoyed. Everybody begins to pray as the emperor walks in, though Benimaru sits relaxed, legs on the row of seats in-front of him. An intense atmosphere is settled, as the emperor begins talking. He finalizes by stating that all of the Special Fire Brigades must treat the preacher as a major threat, and for all of them to investigate and rid of him. Beinmaru interrupts imprudently, to which Gustav confronts him for being so rude, telling him to apologize, but is spoken back to disrespectfully. The 7th Commander then stands up, stating that the 7th Special Fire Brigade will be acting on their own accord as always, and leaves the building with his colleague. As Gustav shouts at the stubborn and young Commander to come back, the emperor tells him to leave him alone. In an unknown location, Joker's Associate speaks to him over a device, asking him if he can hear the gathering. The man on the other end seems to be amused by the emperor's desire to eradicate the preacher.
Raffles looks to Shinra, claiming the boy has Adora Burst, a pure flame that is rare among Third Generations. After explaining what it is, Giovanni suspects that the Preacher is looking for the Adora Burst, and so Shinra should be protected, but Shinra protests to this, claiming he can protect himself, to which Hibana agrees. After the conference ends, Giovanni confronts Hibana as he initially thought she would be on his side as they're both affiliated with Haijima. After stating she treats the 8th specially, she walks always dissatisfied, saying she'll send data on the giant Flame Humans. leaving Giovanni irritated. Later on, Akitaru and Tamaki return from their journey, and Iris questions Shinra's whereabouts as he's not at the Church, to which Akitaru states he'd went to buy some supplies. Shinra is then seen walking through an alley thinking about the Preacher, and is then confronted by Joker, startling him greatly. Shinra prepares for a fight, but Joker tells him to relax, and encourages the boy to keep chasing after the Preacher, as he'll find Shō there too. Soon after, in a dark room lit with multiple candles and filled with people of White Hoods, a boy with a katana walks through the middle of them and sits, revealing himself to be Shō Kusakabe, the leader of the Ash Flame Chivalric Order organisation.
Formation of the 8th Brigade Edit
Shinra is shocked by the news of his little brother being affiliated with the Preacher, and before he could question the Joker, he disappears. As he returns to the Church, he begins contemplating the fact that he will soon confront his brother, and the promise that he made with his mother about protecting his family, and swears to stand by it. Soon after the 8th members gather, and Akitaru gives each member a pile of papers to look over and spot any clues that may relate to the White Hoods.
Arthur becomes quickly exhausted by the labor of paper-work, and while Shinra mocks him, his stomach rumbles, alerting the idea of making food. Tamaki rushes to the kitchen and comes back out bare-skin with an apron on, leaving everyone baffled. Takehisa, disappointed by the view, shuns her out of the kitchen, and asks Shinra to give him a hand instead. While cutting the vegetables, the company commander notices Shinra's troubled mind, and reassures him that he can speak to any of the commanders if needs be, to which Shinra genuinely thanks him. As Shinra hands out the food to everyone, Akitaru and Takehisa converse, stating that the victim of their first ever case was wearing all white clothes, and that there was a red cross in the remains, the same red cross of the White Hoods.
As Akitaru and Takehisa figure out a connection between people wearing white clothes and turning into Flame Humans, they begin to reminisce about how the 8th Special Fire Brigade was formed and their first mission. Three years ago, while Takehisa and Maki were still soldiers of the Tokyo Army, another soldier at the base, Takehisa's friend, fell victim to the phenomenon and began transformation into a Flame Human. Struggling to kill his own friend albeit going through extreme pain, another group of soldiers came to purify and kill the Flame Human; the trauma leading Takehisa to leave the army. Soon after, hearing sirens in the streets of Tokyo, he chased the sounds and came across a fire scene, and an Akitaru still working for the normal fire brigade.
Akitaru, at the scene of a fire, is accompanied by the 3rd Special Fire Brigade. The Fire Officers discuss gaining points for purifying the Flame Human, and deciding to go for the more aggressive one than the quiet one, as it'll be more fun. Akitaru argues the Fire Officers are treating the situation like a game, and that they should split up in order to purify both Flame Humans, but to no avail. Instead, he decides upon himself to take care of the purification, stealing a Seven-Style Fire Fighting Battleaxe from the 3rd's Matchbox to do the job. As he walks in, Takehisa walks toward him, commenting on his common frustration with the way the 3rd handled the situation, and joined Akitaru to purify the Flame Human. As they confront the stagnate Flame Human, they both agree that praying and baptism is important in purifying a Flame Human so that they at least get some sort of salvation. Takehisa aims his baptized gun while Akitaru prays, and before ending its life, Takehisa remembers the words of his dear friend. Afterward, Akitaru states they'll get into a lot of trouble for passing the restricted tape by the Special Fire Brigade, but both are fine with the punishment as they feel they served justice. Akitaru then speaks about his desire to create a Special Fire Brigade.
Visit to Asakusa Edit
Akitaru resolves that he wants to create a Special Fire Brigade and that he wants Takehisa to join. Two years later, the two gather at the 8th Special Fire Fighting Church, stating this'll be their new headquarters. As Takehisa ridicules Akitaru for deceiving him into joining, promising the brigade would have incredible members and he would get a pay raise, he states he knows of somebody who would be a fitting match for the brigade, referring to Maki, to which the flashback ends and Maki blushes. Shinra, feeling he had to be honest with everyone, tells them about his encounter with Joker. Soon after, the brigade looks over the report of their first ever mission. Takehisa recollects that the victim was wearing purely white clothes, and that there was a red cross in the remains, and after a company that was located in Asakusa came to collect the remains, though none of them were related to the victims family. Later on, in Asakusa, Benimaru Shinmon the Battalion Commander of the 7th Special Fire Brigade is seen walking through the streets, being greeted by Kantarō and other people. He soon arrives at the 7th Special Fire Fighting Station, giving the daifuku he received from an old lady to Hinata and Hikage. Konro informs Benimaru that the 8th had contacted them about paying a visit, but Benimaru states his disinterest in any of their affairs. A 7th brigade member bursts through the curtain door, claiming that they have arrived, with Akitaru and the rest greeting the unhappy Battalion Commander.