Sen and Sadako discover the bodies of the six Bayushi horseman on their way back to the party. They are able to deduce that the one on watch was struck with a sleeping elixir and then strangled by a wire. The other samurai had their throats slit. They rush on and find the party camped a short distance away. They make sure there are no other assassins before entering the camp. Sen and Kaminari ride back and take a look at the bodies, returning as the camp begins to wake. They soon discover that Kome is missing. Kaminari is able to track the general direction allowing Takkeji to project through the void to that particular location. Unfortunately, the location is not a happy one and he begins to scream even before his soul has returned to his body. Sadako, Sen, Ryoma, Takezo, and Kaminari decide to go in person. Sen, realizing the location they are likely hiding in, begins to prepare the group for entering Traitor’s Grove. They enter the disturbing grove and Ryoma is separated from the group. He sees a vision of his mother, her throat slit, trying to tell him something but vanishes as the party approaches. Sen sends word to Kome that they are nearby, to which they begin hearing his screams, leading them to where two men are about to torture him. The party arrives in time and blades meet flesh, though they vanquish their foes they take a great deal of damage themselves. The party returns to camp as Scorpion magistrates ride up investigating the six dead bushi along the road. Sen and Ryoma take them to the bodies and they continue to investigate. The magistrate tells them not to leave Kyuden Bayushi until they have been cleared and to inform Kome he will be wanted for questioning. The party arrives at Kyuden Bayushi and soon after the magistrates visit them each with questions about Kome, the cargo, and their traveling papers. A mysterious hooded figure brings news to one of the party members and Sen pulls on his contacts to try and get Kome sprung— only to discover that the potential source of the tension between the three rival claims on the caravan may be a box that has somehow made its way into Hitomi’s saddle bags! If it wasn’t bad enough that there is the potential for the party to be arrested for smuggling, they all receive an invitation to tea at the palace! What ever gifts will they bring?