WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 7 of Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood, "Confidential File 637, A Fleeting Spring," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Following the success of Asahi’s plan to free Sawa from Nue’s grasp in Joran, the foster sisters begin their new lives in idyllic Asakura – far away from the conflicts and struggles of the world around them. Fully committed to changing and providing Asahi with a stable environment, Sawa works to adapt to her new life. But in Episode 7, the return of a familiar face quickly derails any hopes of peace either Sawa or Asahi might have had.
Following their arrival at the temple in Asakura, Sawa and Ashi are introduced to a young woman named Rinko who allows them to stay in a derelict building on the property. After taking some time to clean it up, the two sisters head out to explore their new surroundings. They pass by a local school and Asahi – finally able to interact with people her age – is overjoyed when they invite her to play with them. This is when the pair meet a local schoolteacher named Oikawa. A young, soft-spoken man, Oikawa seems to take a genuine interest in Sawa and Asahi, even suggesting that Asahi attend the school and begin her education.
Back in Tokyo, Jin wastes no time in tracking down Makoto and the remaining vials of blue blood. After thoroughly interrogating a resistance leader, Jin finds the Nue defector and meets her in a public place. Makoto has been busy following The Treasurer’s advice, collecting information on the whereabouts of a mysterious treasure with the potential to topple the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Jin seems aware of Makoto’s efforts, yet pays them no mind. Though she's already found some of the hidden clues needed to locate the treasure, Jin’s primary concern is with the vials of blue blood stolen from Janome’s lab. Using her worsening condition as leverage, Jin offers Makoto a refill of painkillers in exchange for the remaining vials. Though hesitant, she begrudgingly accepts his offer -- but manages to pocket one of them without him seeing.
After some time in Asakura, Sawa and Asahi seem comfortable with their new lives. Makoto arrives and approaches a sleeping Sawa, but is stopped by Asahi and withdraws when the former wakes up. Not wishing to cause her sister any unnecessary stress, Asahi decides to keep Makoto’s appearance a secret. The two then prepare to attend a local festival with Oikawa, who has grown close to both sisters during their time in the village.
At the festival, Asahi tries to bring Sawa and Oikawa closer by leaving them alone, but they're interrupted by Makoto. Sensing Sawa's distress, Oikawa tries to lead her away but is dealt a fatal wound. Not knowing where the strike came from, Sawa hears Asahi scream and rushes to find Makoto -- who's ingested the last of the blue blood and transformed into a cat-like changeling -- holding her hostage.
Makoto is displeased with Sawa’s change of heart, saying that her time in hiding has made her go soft. Despite Makoto’s goading and threats, Sawa refuses to leave the village and stands her ground, prompting Makoto to mercilessly strike Asahi down. Enraged by Asahi’s death, Sawa changes into her crow form, and the two prepare to face off.
Despite Asahi’s best efforts, it seems like Sawa can’t escape the life of violence and conflict she’s grown accustomed to. Though the sisters’ peaceful lives in Asakura were inevitably going to collapse, things ended so quickly that most fans probably didn’t see it coming. Asahi’s death is the hardest to swallow in the series thus far, and though there's always the slight chance of her survival, that probably won’t be the case. What lies ahead for Sawa now that Asahi is gone remains to be seen. Makoto has once again given her something to fight for, but with no allegiances to Nue or the resistance, it’s hard to determine exactly where Sawa stands in the conflict at hand.