Deliciously creepy Matoba, a mysterious, unscrupulous exorcist with his eye on Natsume (and his enigmatic tubby yokai kitty), writes the boy and then shows up in front of his house to ask for help rooting out a yokai that's been preying on powerful exorcists. Natsume's not too keen on doing anything for Matoba, but his concern for what might happen if he doesn't outweighs his revulsion at cooperating.
Ooh, that Matoba is so bad! What was in that letter?! We don't even know what he's really up to, but it doesn't matter. Whatever it is, it isn't good. I love how Midorikawa just lets him think his sneaky, self-serving thoughts and scheme to his cold heart's content without letting us know much more than Natsume--which isn't much, as Matoba keeps pretty mum about such things and just smiles and watches and waits. It's when he acts that we get nervous--and excited! The joy of seeing him look angry or surprised by Natsume's (or his allies') disruption of his carefully laid plans is worth the wait, even if we just get one little panel of him taken aback and glaring before he gets himself under control. Sweet. He'll be back, the clever villain. And so will this reader!
This volume also has two shorter chapters relating how quiet Natsume came to be friends with schoolmates Nishimura and Kitamoto. Yay for warm, fuzzy backstory!