WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 14 of Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, "The One Behind the Forest Fire" now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Animelab and Hulu.
Yashahime Episode 14, "The One Behind the Forest Fire," certainly lives up to its title, revealing exactly how the forest fire that first separated Towa and Setsuna came to be and, in the process, foretelling a dire future for Inuyasha's original cast.
It all comes down to Homura, an evil mountain god and an extremely possessive lover. The Episode quickly sets up typical demon-of-the-week stakes, with the beautiful young Tamamo having fled from Homura. She was held captive by him, and while at first appearing gentle, he quickly revealed his true colors, burning anyone who so happened to make eye contact with Tamamo alive. Fortunately, Riku was there to help her escape and take her to Corpse Dealer Jyubei, and to enlist the help of the half-demon princesses to kill Homura.
Things take a more personal turn, however, once Towa, Setsuna and Moroha confront Homura, and he recognizes the siblings. He reveals that he was the one who set the forest fire that separated them-- under orders from a mysterious demon, Zero. Zero seems to be very powerful, to the point that even Sesshomaru simply walks calmly away after she starts burning down the forest holding his daughters.
Sesshomaru seemingly leaving his daughters to die might seem cold, and it could very well be that he doesn't care that much about them. It seems likely, however, that he knew that they would be protected by the tree of ages, particularly since we've seen Rin frozen in time within it. He and Rin may have planned a way to save their daughters using time travel, to prevent Zero and Kirinmaru from murdering them. Nothing is confirmed, but one thing this does reveal is that Zero is a force to be reckoned with.
Recently, Setsuna revealed her ability to turn into a full-fledged demon, a power she fights to keep under control. As Towa fills with rage at Homura's revelations, her hair bristles up and her face contorts in a way reminiscent of Setsuna's demonic transformation. She doesn't go all the way here, but it seems like Towa might soon be discovering a completely demonic form of her own.
In the end, however, it isn't Towa, Setsuna or Moroha that defeats Homura -- it's himself. Riku and Tamamo fly back on Takichiyo's back, and essentially taunt Homura with the fact that Tamamo isn't coming back. Homura, in a fit of emotion, more or less proceeds to burn himself alive with his own powers. A suitable ending for a murderous demon, but the fact that this demon's love for a human destroys him provide some uncomfortable foreshadowing in regards to the potential fate of the original Inuyasha cast.
As Riku watches Homura burn, he thinks to himself, "Nothing good comes from loving a human being. Not for the Great Dog Demon, nor for Sesshomaru." Riku is still something of a mystery, but he certainly seems to enjoy pulling everyone's strings. He's clearly playing his own game and has no problem staying detached from the proceedings. Based on this line of dialogue, however, he clearly knows about the fate of Sesshomaru, Inuyasha and Kagome. Unfortunately for fans of those characters, it seems like this fate wasn't good.
The teaser for Episode 15 shows that viewers will be learning a lot more about just what happened to Inuyasha, Kagome and the rest. This is very exciting, particularly for fans who have missed the old cast or felt like the show has been spinning its wheels. However, one thing seems clear -- Inuyasha and the rest are in a lot of trouble.