The Unit awakens to find that the Winter Court has already drawn them in, as numerous letters awaiting them.
Kuni Hisui is having breakfast when he realizes that he is late for a breakfast with his mother, Kuni Tsuma and rushes off with Hiruma Genshu in tow. They get a chance to meet with his mother, pass on the diasho of his father and meet his very brash younger sister who is training to be a bushi for the Hida. The two then drift off into the courts, where they offer to train dueling stances with Mirumoto Yoshiaki and Soshi Harumi. They then find Gobind Surresh and Ide Hiro arguing with each other about the modesty of Togashi Kasumi. Hisui makes a spectral of the situation, trying to import his ‘wisdom’ of mediation in the courts, which catches the two courtiers flat footed. The pairs day ends with the Go competition.
Nishimura writes a spirited letter back to the Imperial Chancellor, Shosuro Nobukazo. He then goes about the court, asking after the Surresh with the servants. He then is drawn into a conversation with Shaym, the Guru, about his championing the common folk. He then latter entertains the lunch of the Maharaja with an epic retelling of a heroe’s sacrifice, and it astounds the Ivory Court. He then ends the evening with judging the Go Tournament with Pranay Surresh and Mohinder. Mohinder remains unimpressed and barely feigns interest, meanwhile Pranay begins a covert talk with Nishimura, expressing her concern over the Obsidian Samurai, and asks for guidance for her great House. The two part under good terms.
Toku Gattsu mean while looks at the courts with near contempt. He talks to the servants, and then skulks about. He eventually decides to leave the Courts, and sneaks into the Surresh wing, slipping in when no one was looking and manages to get up stairs. There, he finds a number of documents and some poison that cast a dark shadow on House Surresh. It would seem they have made a pact with the Obsidian Empire to murder the Maharaja, and then they would assume vast amounts of wealth and power within the new Empire. He then sneaks it back to report to Nobu and take the poison to the doctors over seeing Goshui.
Matsu Nobu finds the courts welcoming, with the bubbly Yoritomo Haruka introducing him to everyone and taking him on a tour of the Winter Courts. He is then stopped by Yasuki Tsuneo who immediately, uses the chance to talk very flatteringly to the Matsu but rubs in his face about his Uncle in Law’s new appointment and corruption into the Lion Clan Champion for the Obsidian Empire. Nobu passes it aside, and moves on as the Cheat, Bayushi Setsu, leers at him from under his mask. He is then taken aside by Gattsu, to hear his finding, but discovers that Shoshuro Himitsu is hanging about. He talks with her, but finds that the new Scorpion Champion has drawn her concerns under his sway and she is loyal to him now. He sends her off, and then learns what the Surresh plans on doing. He draws his Unit together to discuss this over dinner, saying he will give it as a present to the Maharaja on his wedding day. He then attends the Go competition, and wins against the Guru. The Guru and he plan on playing a game of tiles the next day.
The evening ends with Nobu getting a letter back form the respective would be leaders of the Army, written by Isawa Shinpani who has also entered into the fray and says that if he wants to talk to them, he must come to them.