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The Days Change By (変わりゆく日々 Kawari Yuku Hibi) is the fourth chapter of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna manga.


A flashback occurs to a teenage Tomoe finding Madoka's note about her running away from home. Tomoe desperately talks to people throughout town but to no avail, and breaks down crying as it rains. The Minai sisters' lives changed when their parents were murdered and the fire happened, and Tomoe studied hard and worked part-time to support herself and Madoka only for her to run away. Ooishi then arrives to shield her with an umbrella.

At Kakiuchi Station, Madoka wakes up Tomoe from her nightmare. Madoka asks if she dreamed about the fire, and Tomoe asks if she also dreams about that. Madoka says she's still not over it, but when it happens Yamaoki comforts her, giggling as she says this. Madoka asks why Tomoe doesn't go back to her dorm instead of sleeping in the duty room, and Tomoe explains she's been very busy. Madoka tells her to slow down.

Tomoe looks out the window as it begins to rain and wonders why she and Madoka live together now. When Madoka ran away, Tomoe met Ooishi, who was a friend of her father, and met Yamaoki. She became a police officer at his suggestion and got to where she is now. She even managed to reunite with Madoka, who she thought lost, and has a good friendship with her.

Tomoe believes her efforts were not in vain. She goes for a walk when she sees Natsumi sheltering from the rain by herself. Tomoe meets her and Natsumi says she talked with her friends a lot. Tomoe helps dry her hair, which causes Natsumi's pigtails to unfold to their natural long length. Tomoe compliments her and says she looks pretty with her hair down, but Natsumi gets sad. She explains she used to let her hair down but was given the nickname of Zashiki-warashi because of how creepy she looked. Natsumi wasn't as good at speaking as she was now, so the bullying continued. Tomoe takes note of Natsumi's sensitive and shy personality and how she's lost confidence in herself, and reaches out to pat her head. Tomoe tells her to stop worrying about what people used to say and compliments her for being kind, serious, and honest, and to be more confident. Natsumi replies that she also admires Tomoe for her honesty.

Tomoe suggests she wear her hair down for school tomorrow. Natsumi worries about doing that, but Tomoe says that since she didn't cut her hair, that means she still likes it and wanted to keep it. She reminds Natsumi to be more confident and is sure that everyone will notice how lovely she is. Natsumi needs to change little by little to make the world a better place for herself.

At home, Natsumi brushes her hair and remembers Tomoe's words, but also remembers someone trying to cut her hair. Natsumi takes some pills and resolves to trust in Tomoe.


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