Thought I'd provide a summary of SHx2 (since apparently no one is translating it yet), but my, this got long.
The book opens with Himeka trying to console her troubled mother, who is more unstable now because both of Himeka’s sisters went missing after saying that they might “get to see the Headless Rider”.
The new trimvirate visit the Sonohara Antique Shop, which is now run by Sonohara Anri. After leaving the shop, they (Kuon in particular) are greeted by Kuronuma Aoba, who is in a van with Blue Squares members. One of the Blue Squares members asks where Yahiro got his scars (he got them in SH from fighting Heiwajima Shizuo). The van drives away, and Kuon tells Yahiro and Himeka not to get too close to Aoba.
In the van, the Blue Squares members ask Aoba whether Yahiro is the one who fought Shizuo. Aoba answers that Yahiro probably is, since Kuon wouldn’t otherwise associate himself with anyone who is not in Blue Squares. The Blue Squares members remain skeptical because Yahiro looks too slim and docile for that. Aoba tells them that Yahiro’s hands were covered in curious old scars (I think in SH? it was revealed that he got them from uncontrollably punching people’s teeth out in his old days). Aoba then does some online research and confirms his idea about Yahiro.
Aoba takes a call and uses honorifics, which prompts his fellow Blue Squares members to think it is from Mikado, but they soon dismiss the idea because Mikado is unlikely to ever get himself involved with them again. Over the phone, Aoba is shocked to be asked to provide information on Tatsugami Himeka.
Several days after, Yahiro has recovered from his injuries, and is accosted by Mairu who wants to talk to him after school. (It is mentioned that Kururi is now the vice president of the Student Council, and that the Orihara sisters have attracted a cult-like following like Izaya used to.) The twins confront Yahiro with questions about how he fought on par with Shizuo, and tells him that his identity can no longer remain a secret.
The new trimvirate meet in front of Tokyu Hands to discuss future plans. Yahiro senses the presence of a dark shadow in one of the alleyways, which turn out to be Celty. While Yahiro is thrilled to run into his goal, Himeka becomes tense with hate and fear at the sight of hers.
Celty approaches them, and to their shock starts a conversation with her smartphone. Celty explains to Himeka that she had nothing to do with the disappearance of Himeka’s sisters, and that she wants to help rescue them. Kuon accuses Celty of not being the real Headless Rider, while Yahiro senses something forced in Kuon’s demeanor. Himeka struggles to believe Celty, while Yahiro finds it more believable based on what he heard about Celty from Shizuo.
Dragon Zombie, a bousouzoku group, approaches them. Ei Li Pei, the leader of the group, asks Yahiro if he is the one who fought Shizuo.
A few days back, Celty is talking to Shiki in the parking lot at Shinra’s apartment. Shiki tells her that she has to prove her innocence in the recent disappearances in order for their business relationship to continue. He also makes a personal request that she prioritize investigating the kidnapping of Akane’s sempai.
Celty feels depressed about the negative Internet rumors. Shinra says that he is now in contact with Tsukumoya Shinichi, and that Tsukumoya can avenge her by hacking the computers of those who spread her rumors. They then talk about how two of the three Tatsugami sisters were (presumably) kidnapped, leaving only Himeka. Celty dismisses the idea of asking Mikado for information about Himeka, and the couple decide to contact Aoba instead despite Shinra’s resentment toward him. (This explains the call Aoba got earlier)
After getting Himeka’s photo from Aoba, Celty is able to find her, and chooses a time to approach her when she is with friends and not in a crowded place. But the sudden appearance of Dragon Zombie interrupts her plans.
Celty recognizes Li Pei’s face, and knows that he was sent back to Taiwan (his birthplace) to be treated for an illness. She had heard things from Izaya about the Ei family, who is Chinese mafia.
Li Pei tests Yahiro’s strength by initiating a fight with him without warning. During the fight, Li Pei notices that Yahiro looks fearful despite having an advantage over him. Celty breaks up the fight when it gets too close to a disastrous defeat on Li Pei’s part, and is astonished when Yahiro manages to match the speed of her shadows. Not aware of the fight that took place between Yahiro and Shizuo, Celty marvels at how Li Pei, someone whom even Kadota and Izaya used to hold in high regard, is defeated so easily.
(Note: Li Pei’s older sisters also appear alongside him, but apart from them having the same looks - with Li Pei described as looking very feminine - not much is revealed.)
Horada and his gang, who (having recognized Kuon’s green hair from an Internet video of Yahiro fighting Shizuo) have been stalking the trimvirate hoping to recruit “the guy who’s on par with Shizuo”, watches the fight from afar. Horada decides to take Kuon (and possibly Himeka) as hostage to blackmail Yahiro into joining them.
Himeka finally believes that Celty is innocent. Li Pei tries to recruit Yahiro into Dragon Zombie, and Kuon hastily rejects the offer on Yahiro’s behalf. Li Pei exchanges numbers with Yahiro and Celty (he mentions that he is jealous of Shizuo and Izaya for being “friends” with an urban legend like Celty). Kuon seizes the opportunity to take some selfies with Celty and claims that he’ll post them “on his blog”.
Celty returns home. Shinra tells her that Akabayashi has called and said that Shiki was missing.
(The Intervening Chapters in this volume, like in all SH volumes, are written in the form of forum discussions. In this Intervening Chapter, we see that Kuon has indeed posted on his blog about meeting Celty; however, he also threw in a lot of made-up details. We also see “Lila Tailtooth Zaiya” commenting on the post, which, as popsiclete has explained here, is an anagram of “Orihara Izaya”.)
The next day, Yahiro notices Kuon’s absence from school. He tries to call, but cannot reach Kuon. Several classmates approach Yahiro and Himeka, and ask them if Kuon actually knows Celty. Yahiro and Himeka sees Kuon’s blog post and realize Kuon has become a conversation topic.
Yahiro goes to Aoba to ask about Kuon. Aoba hints that Kuon may have been abducted, and gives Kuon’s home address to Yahiro.
Yahiro and Himeka visit Kuon’s home. They sense that someone is home, but refusing to open the door. Himeka picks the lock (it is later explained that she learned it from Mika), and they enter to find Kotonami Nozomi, Kuon’s sister, hiding behind a potted plant.
Yahiro and Himeka are surprised that Nozomi knows their names. Nozomi casually reveals that Kuon seemed to have been abducted last night. She also explains that she has a fear for dealing with people, and never lets anyone in except the mailman and Kuon. She then asks for Yahiro’s number, and as soon as he gives it she crawls away from them to call Yahiro from another room in order to carry on the conversation. She explains that she gets nervous talking to people face-to-face. She re-introduces herself, revealing that she makes a living by running the discussion board “IkeNEW!” under the name “Lila Tailtooth Zaiya”.
Himeka asks Nozomi if she and Kuon made up the blog post to get Kuon kidnapped. Nozomi suggests in return that Himeka actually knows who the kidnapper is. (During the course of this conversation, Yahiro reveals that he was kidnapped once in 8th grade by yakuza.) When Yahiro comments that Nozomi does not look worried for her brother at all, Nozomi reveals that Kuon did indeed let himself be kidnapped, as Himeka said.
Half a day ago (the night of the day Yahiro met Celty), Shiki finds himself abducted and sent to a building, along with his driver, by men in sunglasses and masks. They are soon joined by Kuon, who is abducted by the same group of men. Kuon tries to call out to Himeka’s sisters, thinking that they must be in the same building. Shiki starts a conversation with Kuon, and Shiki’s driver identifies Kuon as one of Yahiro’s friends (having recognized Kuon’s green hair from the same Internet video).
Celty asks Shizuo if Yahiro indeed had a fight with him. Shizuo confirms this, and Celty is reminded of Izaya (the other person who fought on par with Shizuo, albeit in a different, underhanded way). To her surprise, Shizuo asks if she remembers Izaya, and proceeds to comment that Kuon seems to be the same type of person as Izaya. Shizuo explains that Yahiro reminded him of himself when he was younger, and asks Celty to caution Yahiro about Kuon’s intentions. Shizuo also wonders how it would have turned out had he been able to maintain a friendlier relationship with Izaya like Shinra. Celty says that while it could have saved people around them a lot of trouble, it could also have been worse, because Izaya could have used Shizuo to do even worse things had they been on friendly terms. Shizuo says that he sees a lot of himself in Yahiro (wondering if Yahiro has ever had a “happy fight), and he hopes that Yahiro will not turn out like him.
Akane runs to Shizuo and Celty, excited to see Celty again. She explains that a sempai of hers (Himeka’s younger sister) has gone missing, and that the sempai is an avid fan of Celty’s, to the point of almost worshipping her as a god.
As Celty is leaving, she senses that she is being watched by someone. That someone - a woman - whispers in her car that “the child must go too,” referring to Akane.
Li Pei awaits Celty at the parking lot of her home. Celty asks if he got her address from Izaya, since Dragon Zombie was in Izaya’s employment at one point. Li Pei says that he has never met Izaya in person, but he’d like to thank Izaya because Izaya “took care of” his gang when he was being treated for his illness. Li Pei tells her that Dragon Zombie is now suspect in the kidnappings because a member of Awakusu-kai has been abducted (Dragon Zombie has a rivalry with Jyan Jyan Jyan, a bousouzoku gang working for Awakusu-kai). Li Pei says that the most likely suspects are “Amphisbaena” and “Heaven Slave”, two organizations that have disappeared because of Orihara Izaya and have since resurfaced because Izaya is gone from Ikebukuro. Li Pei mentions that Shijima at one point tried to pay Dragon Zombie to work for them (which raised Li Pei’s suspicions), and that Shijima asked him about the Headless Rider before going missing, initiating a string of 15 “missing persons who were investigating the Headless Rider”. Li Pei also relates the fight he had with Yahiro, and comments that Yahiro is a “true monster”.
Himeka returns to her own home, but is not let in (she is not allowed to have the key). Thinking that her mother must have slipped into another of her isolated maniac states, she picks the lock and enters to find not her mother, but a gang of kidnappers. The kidnappers take Himeka into their van.
Horada and his gang, who are stalking Himeka (to potentially take her as hostage), witness the kidnapping. Horada orders a subordinate to follow the van on a motorcycle. At this point, Horada is shocked to see a woman leading the kidnappers.
(The 2nd Intervening Chapter again shows the discussion board, now buzzing with talk about Kuon’s disappearance.)
Yahiro returns to his apartment to talk to Togusa (Togusa is the brother of Yahiro’s landlord). Togusa advises Yahiro to ask Celty to talk to Shizuo about the “misunderstanding” between Yahiro and Shizuo (referring to their prior fight), saying that Celty is a good person.
Yahiro returns to his room to contemplate how Shizuo and Celty, two supposed “monsters”, are more human than he is. He then recalls what Nozomi revealed to them about Kuon that afternoon.
Over the phone, Nozomi asks if they know Orihara Izaya, and says that she used to be Izaya’s “slave”, or follower. Nozomi and Kuon lost their parents as children, and were abused by their adoptive parents. Izaya heard about their situation and came to “help” (by making sure that the abusive parents either commit suicide or were arrested/kidnapped). Although Kuon has never met Izaya in person, Nozomi has always told him how great and perfect Izaya is, and how they owed their lives to him. Kuon became jealous of Izaya and worried about Nozomi. (It is also revealed that when Saki became Masaomi’s girlfriend on Izaya’s orders, Nozomi also became the girlfriend of Yatabe, another Yellow Scarves member.) Since Izaya’s disppearance from Ikebukuro half a year ago, Nozomi has refused to leave her house, and lost her ability to communicate normally. Kuon, seeing this, said that he would “become Orihara Izaya” for his sister.
Nozomi also reveals that she makes a surprisingly large amount of money from the website ads. To achieve this, she not only deals in information, but also stages sensational events herself. The money is only part of the reason to do it, she says. She’s running her site this way because it’s “the way Izaya-san would run it”, and even “Lila Tailtooth Zaiya”, her nickname, is an anagram of “Orihara Izaya”. She says that Izaya created many girls like her, and her pretending to be Izaya online would give those girls a reason to live, believing that Izaya is still alive and kicking.
Yahiro, worried about Kuon, recalls that Nozomi has also told him not to worry, because Kuon only saw him as a pawn he could use. Yahiro decides that he does not care, and resolves to find Kuon to complain to Kuon’s face. At this point, Yahiro gets a call from Aoba telling him that Himeka has been abducted. Aoba says they know where the hostages are being kept, and asks Yahiro if he wants to join them in the rescue.
Less than an hour ago, Akane is almost kidnapped, but saved in time by Awakusu-kai members (whom Akabayashi stationed around her in light of Shiki’s abduction). Akane mentions that one of the people in the kidnappers’ van is someone she knows.
At this point we return to Li Pei and Celty’s conversation, where Li Pei tells Celty that Kuon has been abducted, shocking her. Celty gets a call from Akabayashi, who informs her of Akane’s failed abduction, and asks her if she wants to pursue the kidnappers herself to clear her name.
Horada gets a call from his subordinate, who has followed the kidnappers to the building where the hostages are being kept. Horada then gets another call from the subordinate he has sent to stalk Yahiro, who reports that Yahiro is living in the same building as Togusa, which alarms Horada (as he fears that he’ll have to confront Kadota again if he tries to recruit Yahiro). Horada contemplates his options and decides to dump Yahiro (and all the potential troubles associated with him) on Blue Squares. He calls Aoba to tell him where the hostages are being kept (so that Aoba can in turn tell Yahiro to join the rescue).
In the room where the hostages are, Shiki and Kuon have already been kept for half a day. Shiki notices the similarities between Kuon and Izaya, and asks Kuon if he knows more about Himeka’s sisters’ roles in the kidnapping than he lets on. At this point, Himeka is brought into the room. Himeka tells Kuon that she and Yahiro have visited Nozomi, and now know Kuon’s reasons for being the way he is. Kuon then stops pretending and asks since when Himeka has known the identity of the kidnapper. Himeka replies that she realized that it was the only possibility left when she has ruled out Celty as a culprit.
Shiki also comes to the realization that the initial string of 15 disappearances were staged, and he & his driver were actually the first hostages taken. At this point, a woman (who was previously seen to lead the gang that kidnapped Himeka) walks in, and Himeka calls her “Sis”.
Yahiro rides with Aoba in the Blue Squares van. Aoba got the information on the hostages’ whereabouts from Horada, which impresses Aoba. Aoba reveals that he knows about Yahiro’s shocking past troubles with the police and thugs in his hometown. Yahiro says that he has faced enormous animosity and ill will, and has never had a “happy fight” (until Heiwajima Shizuo, it is implied). To their surprise, they see Celty riding in front of them (having been tipped off by Akabayashi), and Dragon Zombie members riding with her.
Himeka’s troubled family background is revealed, with a criminal, abusive father (who disappeared), and an unstable mother. While this made Himeka mentally stronger, it also made her appear aloof and insensitive to her more vulnerable sisters. Himeka’s sisters came to regard the Headless Rider as a god and believe that he/she could lead them out of their cruel world.
We return to the present, where Himeka confronts Aya, her older sister, who says that Celty is “back” and “everything is alright now” because Celty will save them. Himeka reveals that she has met Celty in person, which Kuon confirms. Aya is shocked, but keeps talking nonsense. Shiki tells Himeka that Aya is likely on drugs (the kind supplied by Heaven Slave). Kuon asks if Ai (Himeka’s younger sister) is safe. Aya replies that she is, and she’s “doing her duty” and trying to kidnap Akane. Shiki asks why, to which Aya replies that while Heiwajima Shizuo is allowed to speak to Celty because he’s a superhuman himself, Akane should be punished for doing so because she is a mere human child.
Aya proceeds to explain their goals: to make more people (who have been associated with Celty, e.g. talked to her) disappear, so that one day the whole thing will become an urban legend where Celty takes people away to a painless paradise using her shadows. Himeka pleads with Aya, saying that Aya should try actually speaking to Celty in person (to see that Celty is not what Aya thinks she is). Aya refuses to do so, saying that she already feels one with Celty. At this point, a man barges in to tell Aya that Ai’s attempt to kidnap Akane has failed. Aya leaves the room to kidnap Akane herself.
While waiting to rescue the hostages, Celty talks to Yahiro. She wants to know why Yahiro came to Ikebukuro (worried that he would end up involved with the dark side like Mikado). In response, Yahiro plainly asks her how it feels to be called a “monster”.
Back in the hostages’ room, Shiki tells Himeka that Akane is the granddaughter of Awakusu-kai’s leader, and that Aya now has “no second chance” because she is at war with Awakusu-kai. Shiki manages to trick the guard into approaching them and subdues him, freeing the hostages.
We return to Celty and Yahiro’s conversation. Yahiro says that he came to Ikebukuro wanting to talk to other “monsters” in order to find meaning in himself. Celty demonstrates her headlessness to him, and encourages him.
Using a smartphone, Shiki finds out that the building they are at belongs to Shijima’s family. He realizes that he was kidnapped because Shijima wanted to get back at Awakusu-kai for destroying “Heaven Slave” and place the blame on Celty, but doesn’t understand why Shijima didn’t just kill him. Shiki calls Awakusu Mikiya, who tells him that both Jyan Jyan Jyan (ordered by Akabayashi) and Aozaki’s men are heading for the hostages’ building. Shiki and his driver are about to leave when Yahiro and Celty barge in. Himeka tells Celty that her sisters are “with the kidnappers”, shocking Celty.
Outside the building, members of Jyan Jyan Jyan and Dragon Zombie verbally insult each other. Aoba waits in the parking lot with Blue Squares members (while filming the whole thing). They see Awakusu-kai members arrive, and soon a Molotov cocktail is tossed from the building, prompting an all-out fight between Jyan Jyan Jyan and Dragon Zombie.
At this point, they hear Celty’s motorcycle approach. Aya and Ai, who are throwing Molotov cocktails from the 2nd floor, are overjoyed to finally see their god appear on the rooftop, but they soon notice a second black figure standing behind Celty.
The black figure, who happens to be Yahiro clad in Celty’s shadows, roars and starts taking out the kidnappers, Awakusu-kai members, and bousouzoku alike.
Several minutes later, Yahiro enters the building to confront Aya and Ai. Aya throws a Molotov cocktail at him, but he catches it and extinguishes it with his hand.
Ten minutes ago, Shiki, Celty and the other hostages discuss what is to be done with the kidnappers. Celty wants to stop the kidnappers herself, but Kuon advises her against it, saying that it would scar people like Aya forever if their “god” personally abandons them (just like how Nozomi would probably commit suicide if Izaya were to abandon her). It is therefore decided that Yahiro will confront the kidnappers instead of Celty, and that, to keep Yahiro’s identity a secret, Celty will conceal him with her shadows. (Yahiro also comments that he is “not as strong” as Himeka or Kuon, having learned of their respective pasts, and he is a weak person with violence as his only forte.)
We return to the present, where Yahiro is standing on the rooftop. Yahiro marvels at how his fears disappear because the shadows conceal him; while he has tended to overdo things in his past fights because of his fear, he has better control of his power now that his fear is gone.
Li Pei watches Yahiro’s fight with excitement. He turns to his sisters to suggest calling the mysterious black figure “Snake Hands”.
Soon after, Aoba’s video of “Snake Hands” fighting goes viral, and gives birth to a new urban legend.
In Epilogue A, we see that the discussion board administrator, Nozomi, has posted about Snake Hands, or SH, calling him “Headless Rider’s Sweetheart”, to Shinra’s great chagrin. Shinra and Celty start talking about how Yahiro found out about Ikebukuro’s “monsters” in the first place; they realize that Shinra was the one who told Yahiro about them (on their trip to Yahiro’s hometown prior to SH).
Celty’s “believers” (the kidnappers), including Aya and Ai, gradually begin to recover from the drugs. Aya asks Himeka why Celty disappeared for half a year (before the start of SH, which prompted the Celty “cults” to form in the first place). Himeka replies that Celty was on vacation (with Shinra).
Yahiro talks to Himeka, saying that he wants to protect Himeka and Kuon with his hands. Kuon, who is watching the two, complains to Nozomi over the phone about her spilling his secret. Nozomi says that Yahiro cares about Kuon as a friend even after she tells Yahiro that Kuon only thinks of him as a pawn. Kuon replies that he only wants to use Yahiro, and that “strong, yet naive” people like Yahiro are the reason that he “hates humans.” Nozomi comments afterwards that Kuon cannot be like Izaya because Kuon is “too soft”.
It is revealed that an ad has appeared on the “IkeNEW!” discussion board for “Snake Hands, Ikebukuro’s Mutual Aid Association” (see Chapter 1 of SHx3).
In Epilogue B, we see that Shiki and his men have failed to catch Shijima, who has disappeared (and was also not directly involved in the Celty “cult”).
In an office building somewhere else in Tokyo, Shijima and “Earthworm” discuss how Orihara Izaya didn’t involve himself in the kidnappings, and wonder if Izaya is still alive. Shijima says he only wants revenge on the city itself, and that Izaya is not a priority. Shijima comments that he only needs to nurture “the seeds of tragedy” around the city to make them bloom.
- DURARARA!! SHx2 Summary