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Rotei (ロテイ Exposure) is the fifth chapter of Part 2 of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mei's main story, the third chapter of Part 2 Showa-hen, and the thirteenth chapter of the main story overall.

Plot Summary[]

Part 1[]

Keiichi and Kazuho head to a shady coffee shop where they can talk in private, which Keiichi learned about from Ooishi in a previous world. Keiichi explains that he and Shion were investigating Hinamizawa in the previous world, even before he met Kazuho, so he already knew who the three girls were before their first meeting. There were limits on what they could investigate on their own, so they went to Ooishi for help. Kazuho is impressed Keiichi kept going and never lost hope, even as his friends pushed him out of town. Keiichi and Ooishi bonded over mahjong in the previous world, but they haven't interacted much this time because Keiichi feels responsible for what happened to Ooishi after getting him involved last time. Kazuho tells Keiichi that Miyuki and Nao aren't here. Keiichi explains that after the three girls left, terrible monsters appeared that defeated them, then he suddenly woke up in the Okinomiya school. For him it's been 2 weeks since then.

He says this world is very different: Shion doesn't exist; Keiichi's family moved directly to Okinomiya this time instead of Hinamizawa; Mion, Satoko, and Reina are acting like completely different people; Rika died 5 years ago; and Hanyuu apparently doesn't exist. Kazuho is just relieved she has someone she can talk to. From here on, Kazuho wants to figure out how to get back to 1993, because she's sure that's where Miyuki and Nao are. Meanwhile, Keiichi wants to find the truth behind Rika's death. In the last world Hanyuu said the real Rika's soul was sealed away somewhere. Since she was replaced on the day of Watanagashi, the real Rika must've been the one who accused Keiichi of bullying. She may have actually sent him away to get him in contact with Shion, or to prevent him from being targeted by tsukuyami. Keiichi vows to help Kazuho get home, and asks her to help him too.

He explains that the dam project was approved 5 years ago, but there are still both supporters and opponents. The conflict is taking a heavy toll on the Three Families, especially Ayaka, and they're blaming her because she's an outsider. Kazuho is shocked to learn Ayaka is an outsider.

Part 2[]

Keiichi explains that Ayaka is not Hinamizawa native but an adopted child from a distant branch of the Furude family. Rika's parents both died a year after she did, so Ayaka was brought in to be the family head 3 years ago. Keiichi doesn't know anything more about Rika. Shion isn't around because she's still at St Lucia. Kazuho mentions that she attends St Lucia in the future, and Keiichi realizes that's why her school uniform looks like Shion's. Keiichi tried calling St Lucia to get in touch with her but they always hung up on him, so he thinks Kazuho might have better luck calling. Kazuho suggests they go in person and posing as family. Keiichi then says he has something else to show her, so they leave the cafe and walk to Okinomiya station. He tells her to go in and buy a ticket. As Kazuho walks into the station she bumps into an invisible wall that prevents her from going further. Keiichi says some force prevents them from leaving Hinamizawa and Okinomiya, but other people are able to go in and out.

Keiichi asks about Kazuho's brother Rei, then says Rei is in another class at the Okinomiya school. But when Keiichi spoke with him, Rei said he didn't have a little sister. Right then, Irie and Satoshi pull up in a car, having finished practicing at the batting cages. Irie offers Kazuho a ride home, so Keiichi gives her his phone number before she goes. Kazuho hears a loud crash as she's getting into the car, but nobody else hears it. During the drive back she realizes she heard the same sound when Nao first arrived in 1983, so she tells Irie to hurry to the Furude Shrine.

Part 3[]

They quickly reach the Furude shrine and Kazuho jumps out of the car. She finds Nao on the ground by the door to the shrine storehouse, then rushes over. Nao is happy to see Kazuho, but Kazuho is distraught that she came back after all the effort they went through to get back to 1993. Nao insists she had several reasons for coming back but the most important one was simply that she wanted to, then she hugs Kazuho. Meanwhile, Satoshi and Irie arrive. Nao introduces herself as a dear friend of Kazuho's, then they all head to the clinic.

After diagnosing Nao with light fatigue, Irie leaves to take Satoshi home. Alone, Nao tells Kazuho everything that's happened since they split up. She thinks something that changed in 1983 might be the cause of the Sleeping Sickness. Nao insists she wants to help her mother, even if Rena wouldn't want her to. Miyuki and co. are going to keep investigating in the future, and Tamura might be able to page Kazuho if anything comes up. Nao suggests that since Rika died in this world, that meant she was unable to help Akasaka, and that's why Miyuki died here. Previously, Miyuki explained to Nao that Akasaka headed home after Rika's warning and Chisame's father took his place on the Hinamizawa investigation. In the previous 1983 Rika denied knowing Akasaka every time Miyuki asked about it, and yet Akasaka thanked her for saving his wife and daughter. Nao was hoping to ask Rika about that, but that's no longer an option. Nao also criticizes Kazuho for not investigating more, but Kazuho says she promised Ayaka she wouldn't. Then just as Nao is about to ask who that is, Ayaka steps into the room.

Part 4[]

Ayaka asks Takano to give the three of them a ride to the Furude shrine. At the Furude house Ayaka brings out tea, then formally introduces herself. She insists everything she's about to say is the truth, then asks them to promise they won't say any of it to the other villagers. Nao asks what'll happen if they break that promise, and Ayaka responds "people will die". So they both agree. Ayaka brings over a huge stack of files, then asks Nao if she's heard of Hinamizawa Syndrome. Nao lies and says she doesn't, so Ayaka gives a detailed explanation. With Rika and her parents dead, there was no longer a Queen Carrier. Hinamizawa Syndrome was supposedly eradicated by Hifumi Takano, but before his death he said reoccurrence was still possible so the researchers decided a replacement Queen Carrier was a necessary precaution. They searched for distant relatives with Furude blood and found the Saionji family. Their youngest daughter, Aya Saionji, was adopted into the family under the name Ayaka Furude. Three years ago researchers conducted a medical procedure to artificially make her a Queen Carrier. Not even the Three Families know about that, only Takano and Irie. Ayaka mentions that people with terminal symptoms become aggressive, then kill themselves.

Kazuho remembers the bloodbath at the Watanagashi festival. She asks Ayaka if it's possible for the Queen Carrier to control infected people and force them to develop symptoms. Ayaka snaps and demands to know where they heard that from, but Nao says it wasn't someone from this world. Ayaka calms down and says she's never heard anything like that. But there's a similar phenomenon where infected people are drawn to protect the Queen. Nao finally asks why Ayaka is so forthcoming with secret information. She says someone instructed her to tell this to the right person at the right time, but she refuses to say who and ends the conversation there.

Part 5[]

When Kazuho wakes up the next day, Ayaka isn't around and Nao is already dressed and eating breakfast. Kazuho apologizes for learning so little during her time here, but Nao reassures her and says she did her best. After breakfast, Ayaka comes back while they're washing dishes and says it's time for school. Kazuho thinks back to last night, where she explained to Nao what all the club members are like now, that Keiichi remembers previous worlds, and that Satoshi is here this time. In the previous world Keiichi said that Mion, Shion, Rena, and Nao were the only club members with siblings. That seems to contradict what this world's Keiichi is saying, but Kazuho hasn't had a chance to ask him about it.

Everyone heads to school together. Ayaka goes to the principal's office, while Kazuho and Nao head toward the classroom. Kazuho warns Nao before she enters the room that Satoko probably set a trap, but when she opens the door there's nothing. Nao starts walking toward Reina and almost calls her Sis, but stops in her tracks and trembles when Reina introduces herself under the name Reina and says "welcome, new transfer student". Nao forces a big smile and introduces herself, then says she needs to use the bathroom and rushes out of the classroom. Kazuho tries to stop her, but she feels a stabbing pain in her back. After checking that there's no wound and nobody there, she chases after Nao.

Part 6[]

After school Reina asks Nao if she'd like to do something together, but Nao says she's busy and leaves the classroom. Reina is sad and thinks Nao hates her, but Kazuho tries to play it off as her just being nervous on her first day and asks Reina to bear with her. After heading out, Kazuho finds Nao crying on the edge of the school grounds. Nao apologizes for getting flustered twice today. She finally understands how Miyuki felt meeting her dad in the previous world, and feels really bad for being so harsh on her. Kazuho says she didn't understand how hard things were for Miyuki either until she came to this new world all alone, and they vow to apologize to her next time they see her.

On the way home, Kazuho is telling Nao about how Reina's family is living happily in a world without her, and Kazuho's family is doing the same. Nao says they shouldn't dwell on it, and should focus on moving forward. They want to learn the cause of Rika's death, find out if Hinamizawa Syndrome is related to the Sleeping Sickness, and find a way home. Kazuho is far more motivated to do all this now that Nao is with her.

Part 7[]

At the clinic, Kazuho and Nao ask Takano about Hinamizawa Syndrome, telling her they heard about it from Ayaka. Takano is surprised Ayaka trusts them this much, and re-emphasizes this is confidential information that they can't tell anyone. Nao asks why Hifumi was interested in Hinamizawa Syndrome in the first place, and Takano explains it's because the microorganism causing the disease may have a will of its own,s similar to toxoplasma. The Queen Carrier gives orders to the regular viruses. If the Queen is gone, any infected people become aggressive trying to come in contact with a new host. Nao asks if the Queen can command the infected to kill others or themselves, but Takano says that's impossible and the government would never allow something so dangerous in the wild. Takano also says the Queen is no longer necessary and they only made Ayaka one to be extra cautious.

Nao points out they were only able to dam the village and scatter the residents because the disease is allegedly eradicated. Nao also asks if this parasite can live inside animals or other things. Takano says animals are possible but wonders what she means by other things. After thinking back on the tsukuyami they've encountered, Nao says things like household appliances.

Part 8[]

Takano says the virus has never been tested on non-humans, but it does emit electrical waves that might be able to move electrical devices. Kazuho starts to ask if that's the true nature of the tsukuyami, but Nao quickly stops her. There's a knock at the door and Satoshi steps in, followed by Reina. Watanagashi is going to be more crowded than usual this year since it's the final festival, so they came to ask about making the first aid hut bigger. They also ask Kazuho and Nao to help out.

Kazuho is wondering if Nao could handle spending time with Reina. Nao thinks it over for a second and agrees, then Reina hugs her. Takano says it would be cute to call Tomitake in to take pictures, and Reina teases her, calling Tomitake her boyfriend. Kazuho is confused because she thought Tomitake didn't exist in this world. She glances at the calendar and it reminds her the day of Watanagashi is coming soon.

TIPS[]

TIP Name JP TIP Name EN
再会後の帰路 Reunion on the Way Back
静かな調査 Quiet Investigation
菜央流切り替え術 Nao-Style Replacement Technique
123と34 123 and 34
Under construction This article is under construction and may be incomplete.

Please be patient while the rewrite is in progress.

Reunion on the Way Back[]

Quiet Investigation[]

Nao-Style Replacement Technique[]

123 and 34[]

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