Kumiko, Saeko, and Miyo introduce Mitsuhide to Odo, then head into town to discuss what’s going on. They wind up at the Fragrant Fern inn in the Yellow Lantern district, which is friendly to urokobito. Mitsuhide shares the following:
- There is some connection between the towns that were eaten, but doesn't know what yet. He suspects that someone in each town was a member of the cult.
- He has begun to gather other shugenja to help seal off Mizuta, but the intensity of tainted energy emanating from the town appears to be growing rapidly. He is worried that, if they don’t act quickly, they will be overpowered when they do attack.
- He thinks that the group should be careful. The cult may come after them.
The group bonds over sake, then Mitsuhide leaves and the characters stay at the inn for the night.
Odo wakes up to find a message from his friend and fellow clan member, Iku, in the form of a dart with a ribbon tied around it impaled in the wall above his head. He meets the group for breakfast and informs them that he has to meet one of his friends at Matsunaga Noodles in the Chrysanthemum district, but will rejoin them later. Saeko suggests that they track down the dead merchant, and asks Odo where the merchant’s guild is located. He tells them that it is also in the Chrysanthemum district, and that he’d be happy to show them the way.
On their way to the Chrysanthemum district, the group run into an urokobito shopkeeper, Aikawa Kosami, who is being shaken down by members of the Golden Hornet yakuza clan. The leader of the group, Hiro, is a hothead who dislikes dealing with urokobito.
As the characters enter the store, they hear him continually refer to the urokobito as “frogs.” His lackeys are standing around the shop, occasionally knocking items onto the floor while laughing. Cognizant that any fight would utterly destroy the rest of the shopkeeper’s inventory, and unsure of how strong the yakuza are, Saeko negotiates on Kosami's behalf, and pays them 10 cranes in exchange for giving him more time to pay.
Once the Golden Hornets leave, Kosami thanks them profusely. Odo then heads to Matsunaga Noodles to meet Iku while Kumiko, Saeko, and Miyo head to find the merchant’s family.
Running Total: 2747