Having expanded their empire, such as it is, with the addition of the theater, the characters check out the neighborhood for other imperial opportunities. Nearby, they see the Sugawara Inn, and earmark it as another fixer-upper worth investigating. As they are wandering around, Odo returns with a message that Reiko wants to see them again — and that it is urgent.
Reiko is waiting for them at the Matsunaga Noodle House. She offers them noodles, but they’ve already eaten dinner, so they pass on the food. She informs them that, since their discussion earlier in the day, she’s been piecing information together and has come to a disturbing conclusion. She believes that the tainted statuettes that the characters had fenced to her after recovering them from the Mist Tigers may have, in turn, been fenced back to the cult.
She tells them that the statuettes had been sold to the head of the Golden Hornets, Suzuki Ichiro. She had assumed that he was reselling them elsewhere, but with the new information about a connection between the Golden Hornets and the Eaters of the Dead, fears that he’s been buying them for more nefarious purposes. She tells them that he employs a hanyo woman who specializes in blood magic named Kumiko, and that, if she’s tied to the cult, he could have been buying them for her.
The characters confirm that the woman Reiko knows as Kumiko is the cult leader they know as the Raven. Reiko tells them that she is an amoral opportunist, but she’s not a nihilist. If everyone is dead, she’ll have nobody to sell things too. Therefore, she suggests that they investigate the Mist Tigers, since they were ones in control of the statuettes to begin with, and points them to a section of the Dancing Fan district where she believes that they operate.
The characters agree to investigate. Before they leave, Reiko asks for a favor. She hands Saeko a letter and asks them to deliver it to her sister. It’s the first confirmation that either she or the Captain of the Guard have given that they are, in fact, related. She says that, if Isako refuses to take the letter, to tell her that it’s about their mother.
The characters return to theater to disguise themselves prior to scoping out the Mist Tigers’ safe house. Being in possession of a theater full of costumes and makeup gives them a bonus on their disguise checks. They turn themselves into junk peddlers and hang out in the area where they believe the safe house to be. After a short period of observation, they see someone suspicious enter a house with what they deduce to be armor disguised under clothing.
Saeko uses her performance skills to hawk their cheap costume jewelry and assorted crap procured from the theater. Her pitch persuades several passers by to purchase items, including one of the suspicious characters who comes and goes from the house. Satisfied that they’ve figured out which house is the safe house, and having gotten a good look at one of the Mist Tigers up close, they decide to talk to the Captain of the Guard.
While they form a plan of action, they decide to go talk to the Captain of the Guard. As befits her station, she’s working late into the night, so she is available to talk. She asks them about their interrogation of the Raven, and wants to know how she up and disappeared. Saeko inform her that the Raven seemed very confident when she was talking with them — too much so. The characters surmise that she’s either crazy, or there is something deeper going on which they haven’t uncovered yet — a possibility that is deeply troubling.
They tell Isako that they are on the trail of the Mist Tigers, and ask about their role in the city. She tells them that they are relatively new in town. They’re known to be assassins who use poison, and there have been several unsolved murders over that time period that fit their methodology. However, she doesn’t know who is directly employing them or what their goals are. The characters ask if she’d be willing to pay a bounty to bring the Mist Tigers to justice, and she says that she’d be happy to do so.
Before the characters leave, Saeko delivers the letter from Reiko. She broaches the subject discreetly, and Isako looks pained, but accepts the letter and bids them farewell. They return to the Dancing Fan district, discussing their next steps on the way. They plan to wait for one of the Mist Tigers to leave the house, and then subdue and and interrogate him.
In preparation, Asami uses her disguise kit to take on the appearance of a Mist Tiger.