(Well, looks like I was able to get one chapter summary in under the wire after all!)
Beneath the cut is a detailed summary of 7 Seeds vol. 22, chapter 115 by Tamura Yumi. Don’t click through if you don’t want spoilers. Download the raw here.
Taking a break from Hana and the girls for a while, we return to Ayu and Aramaki. As they’re walking along, Kuroda suddenly gets frisky. Ayu acts annoyed and tells him to go eat if he’s hungry, but Aramaki explains that he just wants to play.
Ayu of course has no idea how to play with a dog. Aramaki shows her how to throw a stick for him. Are you stupid? she thinks, when Kuroda excitedly shows her the stick he fetched. What’s fun about this?
Meanwhile, two other dogs come back with a present of a dead animal for Aramaki. Ayu says she’s never seen those two before and Aramaki explains that his dogs are all scattered, searching for Hana’s scent.
She asks him how many dogs he has and he says it’s now too many to count, but he guesses over a hundred. If they’re all together, they’d devastate the landscape, so he keeps them separated in packs.
She says the dogs were originally from Hokkaido and there don’t seem to be any on the main island, in other words, he introduced a new species to this part of Japan and they’re flourishing. In fact, they may be breeding too quickly to the point of destroying some existing flora or fauna.
He says he’s sorry, that he hadn’t thought of it in those terms. He was just happy to have them with him. She says it can’t be helped, that he had his hands full with his own survival.
She notices he seems down and wonders if she shouldn’t have said what she did. She asks him if he’s angry and he says no, but he doesn’t know what to do about the problem he may have started with the dogs. He thinks he doesn’t really want to do anything about it at all.
She says that’s okay, that if worst comes to worst, something else will come and destroy the dogs to preserve the balance.
He chokes on his drink and touches his back and asks if he’s all right, then asks him if she said something strange. He says he’s fine and that she’s amusing, and then she explains that it’s like if there were too many lions and they ate all the rabbits, then the lions would die off next. Nature will always try to restore the balance.
He says he understands, but that without the dogs, he wouldn’t be alive right now and that he plans to keep them.
Later when she’s alone, Ayu reflects on how it felt to touch Aramaki. She seems surprised that she touched someone of her own volition. She wonders if he minded.
The next morning they head out and Aramaki says they should be able to see the ocean soon. Ayu notices he doesn’t seem to have slept well. She decides it’s not always appropriate to say some things even if they’re true.
As she’s walking, a round fruit falls off a branch and is about to land on her head. Aramaki calls out to warn her, but she’s already reaching up to catch it.
Aramaki tells her there’s just seeds inside, nothing to eat, so he uses them as balls. He demonstrates, throwing them for the dogs, and she’s impressed by their reflexes. He says he can do the same and asks her to throw for him. She throws it high and he jumps up to catch it.
They play catch for a while, with Ayu wondering all the while what she’s doing, and then Aramaki finds a stick he can use as a bat and asks her to bat for him. She asks him if this is some sort of skills test, but he says it’s just a game.
She wonders what use a game is right now, but goes along with him. She misses the first two pitches, but then hits one, and then another. He asks to bat, too, and they play all afternoon.
They’re both exhausted afterwards, having used muscles they don’t normally use. She asks if this is baseball, and he says a small part of it. He says it’s more fun with more people, and she asks what’s fun about it. “It’s just a waste of time, isn’t it?”
“It wasn’t a waste of time,” he says. “Not to me.” He thanks her and says he can keep on living for a while now. He adds that it’s the first time he saw Ayu smile, too, but she’s already asleep.
Later on, she wakes up, appalled that she fell asleep without noticing it. She thinks she should get up and keep guard or something, but it feels too nice lying here next to him and the dogs. Eventually she decides the dogs will warn them if there’s a problem.
As she thinks about how Aramaki has lived all these years with his dogs, she realizes why there were no dogs among the animals at the training centre. If there had been, they would probably have risked their lives for Gengorou during the test, which their teachers wouldn’t have wanted.
Meanwhile, Hana is collecting food for another meal. She finds some wild mushrooms, but decides to pass on them because they might be poisonous.
Then she runs into the little horse, who seems afraid of something. She also finds more mushrooms, and when she gets back to camp, Fujiko says she’s seen them around lately, too, though there hadn’t ever been any before.
Fujiko says it looks like a shiitake, just like the ones they saw in the shelter. Hana agrees, but says they can’t be sure, so they shouldn’t eat them.
While they speak, mushrooms seem to be popping up all over the place, and the little horse continues to tremble in fear.
The POV switches back to Aramaki and Ayu for one last page. Aramaki says he can smell the ocean close by and Ayu asks if even his sense of smell has become doglike, since she can’t smell anything yet.
As they approach the top of the hill, Kuroda starts barking excitedly…