We arrive at Shiro Akodo and convince the gunso to let us in; fortunately, we arrive before any of the other parties competing for the Clan leadership. Unfortunately, there are only 12 samurai there. Lily sends out messengers and Hidetaka stops by a fort on the border, and we manage to gather about 250 more men to fight for us. Our scouts tell us that three armies are approaching, two led by Toturi’s Akodo cousins, and one by Matsu Suko. We try without success to parlay with the cousins’ armies.As the armies approach, Toturi hastily completes his gempuku and Daiken attempts to teach him the fundamentals of dueling as well as court and etiquette.
When Suko’s army arrives, she demands to know if it is true that Arasu’s brother defends the castle. We tell her that it is, and that he was chosen by Arasu as daimyo. She tells us she is honorbound to defend Toturi and the castle, although she does not personally acknowledge Toturi in any way. Torako is under the impression that Suko is very, very angry with her. Tatianna takes Suko a pot of tea and possibly makes a small connection to her. A few days later, the generals of the other two armies also swear to Toturi.
We are acutely aware that the Lion’s respect for Suko is the only thing holding the situation together. Daiken plays several experimental games of Go with Toturi as he tries to comprehend the situation. He talks to Hidetaka about suspicions that Akodo was actually sneakier than Leadership would imply. Finally, Toturi announces his intent to go to war with the Crane in order to unite the Lion. Daiken gifts Toturi the services of his yuriki.
Our party return to Otosan Uchi to report our doings to Doji Satsume. He has a copy of the report about the conspiracy that Kokuei wrote. We relate to him to the best of our ability the events surrounding the transfer of Toshi Ranbo. We are invited to Winter Court by Toturi (Suko is noticeably absent). Kokuei feels betrayed because he wasn’t able to prevent war after all.