Chapter 2 (Onisarashi-hen)
Premonition is the 141st chapter of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni manga and serves as the second chapter of Onisarashi-hen.
A reporter is stating that three days have passed since the volcanic gas eruption started, and it is still going on. Japan's military is proceeding with rescue actions, but with difficulty. She continues by saying that echoes of the incident are being seen across the country. Natsumi's grandmother, however, says that it's a curse and has nothing to do with a gas tragedy. Then, Natsumi hurries to school without eating breakfast. After Natsumi's departure, Grandma states that Oyashiro-sama will curse their family, because they left Hinamizawa. On her way to school, Natsumi is thinking about the Hinamizawa Disaster. She thinks about how the Disaster involved Okinomiya, the town she lived in last year. In her opinion, the tense atmosphere at home is curse enough. Grandma always repeat, "It's his curse", Mom is in a terrible mood, and Dad... But it alright, she thinks, because they're her family. Then, she shouts happily that her family will make up soon. Chisato and Tamako appear behind her and think that she's talking about her relationship with Akira, but she denies it. At school, Akira walks by and Chisato tells Natsumi that there's no need to rush her answer. Tamako asks what Chisato they should do after school since it's Saturday. Natsumi remembers that her family was going to visit some relatives, and she was supposed to bring keys to get into the house.
When she gets home, she is locked out. Then, she realizes that she can go to Chisato's house or Tamako's house. At that moment, it begins to rain. On her porch, she thinks that she would call Chisato if the rain would just let up a little. A moment later, a man holding an umbrella walks up to Natsumi and introduces himself as Mamoru Akasaka from Okinomiya Books. He explains that it's a small publisher in the Okinomiya area, and they publish regional tales books. They travel from town to town listening to the stories that local elders tell. He says that he heard that a granny from Hinamizawa lived here, and he wanted to talk to her. After he asks Natsumi why she's alone, she says that she forgot her duplicate key. Another man arrives and says that they can talk to her while they wait for the rain to stop. Akasaka introduce him as his colleague, Kuraudo Ooishi. He wants to know what she knows about Okinomiya, but she says that she doesn't know anything about it. Oishi continues, saying that as a bonus he will treat her to lunch.
The scene changes to a restaurant, and Natsumi is wondering what the heck she's doing there. Oishi says that the three of them already have a beautiful friendship, but Akasaka tells him to stop being unnecessarily suspicious. Akasaka continues and asks Natsumi what she knows about the beliefs of Hinamizawa natives, specifically the worship of Oyashiro-sama. Natsumi tells him that her grandmother worships him in an altar, but she doesn't know much about him. Akasaka says that the worship of Oyashiro-sama has elements of eschatology in it, of the coming of the end of the world. He says that after the gas disaster, people of the village, especially elders, started to commit abnormalities. They all went to perform some sort of religious ritual because they were cursed or to avoid being cursed. He continues by saying that many people who had taken part in the ritual had participated in terrible acts. Some of the accidents were burnings and killings, but most of them were suicides. Some cases even involved people clawing out their throats. Akasaka say that the police is dealing with these cases with discretion, and the general public doesn't know about them for the time being. He goes on, telling Natsumi about some other cases. A person killed various tenants by putting agricultural chemicals in a kitchen pot, a person burned his own home and drowned himself, and another person shot and killed his sons and grandsons before killing himself. All of these people had something in common. They were all from the vicinity of Hinamizawa and Okinomiya. Then, he asks Natsumi if her family will be okay. She is about to say, "They'll be okay." when Oishi accuses her of lying. He says there are a lot of things that he wants to know, and he wants her to answer his questions. Toudou Akira comes by and hits the table with a panel that he's carrying. He says that it's forbidden to enter restaurants while wearing a school uniform, so he and Natsumi will leave. Oishi says that she got away, but he will have other chances.
In the park, Natsumi thanks Akira and says she's okay, and Akira says that that's great. He offers to walk her home. She tells him to wait a second, and she calls her house from a phone booth. Her grandmother picks up the phone. Natsumi asks if she went with Mom. Grandma says that they must have missed each other. Natsumi asks if everything is okay. Grandma asks Natsumi if she was worried about Oyashiro-sama's curse and says that everything is okay. While walking home with Akira, she realizes that she hasn't given him an answer, yet. Akira asks if they're close to her house, and she tells them that they are. When they get to her house, it is covered with talismans. Akira says he will see her at school and walks off. Inside, a reporter on television is saying that people from Hinamizawa are committing aberrations, and other people are shown insulting people from Hinamizawa. Then, Natsumi hears puppies barking. She rushes to the bathroom and sees her grandmother drowning puppies in the tub. Natsumi tells her grandmother to tell her what she's doing. She says that she's performing a charm, so the puppies will receive the curse in her family's stead and asks her granddaughter to hand her the next cage of puppies. Natsumi, terrified, runs away, while her grandmother prays to Oyashiro-sama. Natsumi calls her mother and tells her what her grandmother is doing. He mother responds by telling her to get out of there and that all the elders from Hinamizawa are going crazy.
A day or two later, Natsumi is walking to school and remembers that her mother told her not to tell anyone that she's from Okinomiya, because they can't move until they pay off the loan on their house. She meets up with Chisato and Tamako, and Tamako says that she's glad no one from Hinamizawa lives near them. Tamako says that she wants to ask Natsumi a weird question, but Chisato scolds her. Tamako says Chisato was wondering the same thing. Natsumi tells them that Okinomiya and the town she's from have similar names, and people get the names mixed up all the time. Chisato says that she's glad Natsumi isn't like those weirdos. Later, she meets up with Akira. She tells him that she lived in a town far away from Hinamizawa and has nothing to do with curses. He takes her hand and says that he believes her.