After a ritual in the village leaves her hovering on the brink of death, Asahi is rescued by the power of the water dragon god! Has he awakened to feelings of compassion, or does Asahi need to flee this treacherous world before something even worse happens to her?
Back in the land of humans, Asahi is suffering from burns because well, they tried to test her again. It seems Subaru’s mother is very intent on keeping her son away from the strangely charming child that came into their world. But now, the Water God has developed a soft spot for his tribute and when she is about to be harmed again, he unleashes his wrath upon the village. In the process, he also harms Asahi and Subaru, the latter of which becomes sick and has to be nursed back to health by Asahi. Meanwhile, for the pantheon of gods, this is but a drama that they enjoy watching – the fact that Asahi soundly rejected the Water God, him starting to be compassionate towards her, the existence of Subaru – everything is amusing to them.
When the Water God also bestows a boon on her, unasked I may add, he exalts her to a position of respect (well, more likely fear) in the village. She is made into a priestess of the Water God and assigned a caretaker, Tsukihiko, who informs her that there is no way back. (Case study: another person had crossed time and come here). Resigned to her fate, but still hopeful for one day returning back home, Asahi accepts her position. She shows a happy face to everyone else, Subaru especially, but inside she is also despondent over the fact that the Water God has such a big role in her life that she can’t even cry without bringing down a flood. (I like this continuous theme of divine ‘boons’ being not all that great for the one it is bestowed upon). Every action of the gods has a consequence for the humans they think so little of, despite them having disdain for the fact that humans would beseech them as if they are some beings to act according to the whims of humans. Subaru, for his part, is a little afraid of his humanness compared to a god, but is also determined to protect her from harm and this cruel Water God.
This sequel, overall, had a lot of development compared to the first one, but it still did not feel like it was living up to its first book. It tries to be light at times, with the amusement of the other gods, and little Asahi being placated by food and games, but considering her situation of it, it does not feel enough to balance out the dark parts. I am, though, still invested in the storyline, what with Asahi now being a young woman in the last few pages!