Travelling a high mountain trail in the evening, Usagi and Gen begin to
wish they had taken a less hazardous route. An owl - a bad omen - seems to
be dogging their footsteps. As night falls, they are pinned under an
outcropping of rock above which a group of bandits wait with bow and
Unable to go left, right or down, the pair decide the only option left is
up. Reaching the top, they gain the element of surprise on the bandits who
are all very soon joined with their ancestors. The owl - its omen of death
seemingly fulfilled - perches nearby the corpses.
Several hours later, Usagi and Gen stuble across a seemingly deserted hut
as it begins to rain. Upon opening the door, Gen is attacked by a young girl
who mistakes the two for bandits. The misunderstanding is soon sorted out
and the two of them discover that the girl is not alone. Her husband is
wounded and lies comatose. Moving closer, they two samurai discover that the
man is none other than Zato-Ino. He has a deep arrow wound with the arrow
Gen has his blades heated and Usagi prepares to do some grisly work.
Eventually, the arrow head is pried out of Zato-Ino's body and with the woud
cauterised, Usagi and Gen retire outside for a time. Usagi questions Gen
about Ino. He was supposed to be long dead. Gen reveals that Ino was badly
wounded, but not dead. Now it seems it may not matter either way - neither
of the two expect him to live to see the dawn.
Usagi returns inside as Gen spots the own and races after it. Inside,
Ino worsens and Usagi does what he can. Gen returns somewhatwetter in
time to hear about Ino and his wife's life. They were attacked by the same
bandits that were slain earlier, however Ino was not so fortunate and
sustained his wound. When the owl returns, Gen's obsession gets somewhat out
of hand, although he does have the opportunity to add a decoration to his
As night falls, the three settle down to sleep, discovering at daybreak
that Ino's fever has broken and that he will live. The two ronin leave,
knowing that Ino and his wife will be alright. The owl,thwarted, flies off
to meet its own destiny.
When Ino awakes, he immediately notices Usagis scent in the air but his
wife tells him the story of the two mysterious samurai. It seems to them,
and also to Usagi and Gen miles away, that is will be a nice day.