Usagi, Gen and Sanshobo are surrounded by ninja of the Neko and komori clans. The two ninja factions seem
more intent on killing each other than paying any deal of attention to the
other three. It is a different matter however, when they attempt to
Komori and Neko Ninja alike
give chase. A Neko Ninja flings a shuriken into the head of a Komori Ninja
about to cut Usagi down from behind. Usagi's thanks are cut short as the
Neko Ninja punches him in the face and makes off with grasscutter. Another
Komori Ninja cuts down the fleeing Neko Ninja, taking grasscutter for himself.
Usagi grabs hold of the ninja's foot as he tries to fly away. His efforts
are in vain as the Komori Ninja slams him into a tree branch. Chizu flings
several shuriken at the receding Komori Ninja, scratching him, but not injuring
him enough to prevent his escape.
There seem to be no other survivors as silence once again settles
throughout the forest. Gen blames Chizu for the loss of the sword and
knocks her to the ground with a mighty back-hand slap. Her friendship with
Usagi prevents retaliation, and she explains that the shuriken that she
wounded the Komori Ninja with was laced with a deadly poison. They need only
find the body to retrieve grasscutter. Gen is less than pleased that Chizu
has joined their party and the pair exchange some choice words before
setting off to look for the body. Behind them, unnoticed, another
As they search, Usagi talks to Chizu about her motivations. She intends
to retrieve grasscutter and throw it into the sea before the Komori Ninja or
others in her clan can use it to their advantage. Her clan does not suspect,
but she feels the blade to be far too potent a weapon to be left idle at
They discover the body, but grasscutter is not with it. Another has
beaten them to it and so they follow his trail to the east. As does
The trail leads them to a peasant's hut. They enter the hut, disturbing
the occupants. Sanshobo lets out a gasp of surprise. The head of the peasant
family living in this hut is none other than Lord Ikeda. He escaped death in
the revolt and has been living as a peasant farmer ever since. Ikeda recalls
his old retainer and greets him warmly, but is curious about his travelling
companions; two samurai and a Neko Ninja.
Gen spies grasscutter on the floor of the hut and retrieves it as
Sanshobo explains. Ikeda invites them to tell more of their story over food.
Chizu draws something from a hidden compartment at the tip of her saya. She
drops it unnoticed into the fire pit as she takes her food, then leaves on
the pretense of scouting the area as the item she dropped into the coals
begins to burn.