The next morning, Kumiko, Saeko, and Miyo set out on the road to Fujiwara. Near mid-morning, they encounter an obake swarm hiding in the trees next to the road. They defeat the giant, bloodthirsty crows and rats easily, though Kumiko gets bitten by a giant rat and is left with a dirty wound. She gets lucky and manages to avoid contracting filth fever.
The group continues on, then stops for a short rest at a fork in the road. One route leads to Fujiwara and the other leads into the hills. After a brief break, they pack up and are about to move on when a wanderer appears from out of the hills. He is dressed like a shinkan, but is bloodied and beaten. When he sees the party, he cries for help.
The characters rush to his aid, only to discover that he has been tainted by something potent - some sort of necrotic energy is undulating beneath his skin. He introduces himself as Ono Hideki, and admits to having been part of a ritual. He begs them to help him in exchange for telling them about the ritual.
The characters try to figure out how to cleanse him by tapping their knowledge of arcana and religion. While Miyo and Saeko achieve initial success, they then manage to make things worse. The stress of the purification ritual unleashes some of the necrotic energy, and his arms and legs burst open to reveal writhing black tentacles. He screams in terror.
Sensing that her chance to find out about the ritual is slipping away, Kumiko tries to intimidate Hideki into saying more. Unfortunately for the characters, this pushes him over the edge and he explodes in a burst of necrotic energy, having fully transformed into a necrotic ooze.
The ooze attacks and gets in a few good hits before it is defeated..
Shaken and disturbed by what they’ve just witnessed, the characters camp for the night. The next morning they decide to investigate the ritual that tainted the wanderer.
Running total: 1399