The Tiger’s Maw Unit Elite hear the tactics that the newly proclaimed Shogun Kaneka makes towards undoing Hantei the 39th’s forces in the Yobanjin lands. They will have a single season to accomplish their mission of gaining information, reuniting the Unbowed and getting in position for the arriving armies. The group spends time with their family, loved ones before they depart on a dangerous task.
Matsu Nobu spends the day with his son, who is being trained to be an Akodo, and eventually with his wife Matsu Yofun. Kuni Hisui spends the day studying and romancing his wife, Kuni Osako, and eventually has a large meal with many of his allies and friends. Hisui ended up assigning K’mee to hold his place in the Elemental Council. Hiruma Genshu hangs out and plays Go with Heichi Shinwa. Nishimura meets with his wife, Kaneko discovering that she is the head of the infiltration Family now. They both decide to send their child to train with the Dragon, allowing him to choose his way. Finally Toku Gattsu spends the day with his friend and her care taker, Shaym who thinks she is nearing a break through, but that she is haunted by a demon.
The group gathers together, and Isawa Sezaru transports them to the outskirts of the Dragon lands. There they meet Akodo Tsudao and Hakumei. While Hakumei tackles Shinwa and excitedly tells him everything he has missed, Tsudao and Sezaru talk about the going ons in the Empire. The exchange a number of letters, reports going back and forth, and Tsudao talks of the Obsidian Championship that is going on in the Empire, along with one of her spies being compromised. Sezaru suggests that the Tiger’s Maw Elite can help and then disappears in a bolt of lightening.
Tsudao makes a deal with Nobu, offering to gather up the Dragon and the Yobanjin she can while they go to the Obsidian Championship, interact with whoever is offering aid, and to spy upon the Championship. She says that Ginawa is already working it, but perhaps he can offer some aid. She also reveals that she is Kolat and one of their masters, working for Akodo Kage. Hakumei offers to go with the group to by pass the traps of the Dragon lands, however many suspect she has missed Shinwa.
Spending a week in travel, they arrive to the tourney grounds outside of the Obsidian Champion’s castle, north of the Seppun lands. The group breaks apart, with Hisui and Genshu gathering up a ton of information about the tourney, and on the Empire’s movements. They discover how the Crab used jade on the oni and won the war, they know the Lion and the Hawk are skirmishing and threatening war with each other, that Yogo Junzo and Tsuruchi are seeing the down fall of the Gijain lands across the sea, and a number of minor topics.
Nobu, Hakumei and Nishimura find the tent in a secluded part of the camp, and find an old man who keeps his back to them and when they give the pass phrase he wishes them to gain entry to Miya Satoshi’s tent and steal the log books of the years 1129 and 1130 and then bring them back, and then a short time later, he will then wish them to take the books back so they are not missed. The group then departs and scouts out the Imperial Tents, and discovers that a number of nearly mindless undead Seppun wander the grounds. Analyzing their weakness, Nobu thinks he knows how to pull it off and will need to wait for the Tourney to start.
Meanwhile, Gattsu and Shinwa take a seat at a tent food and sake house on the main thoroughfare, and scope out who is getting accepted into the tournament:
Crab: Hida Jūbunna and Hida Matyu
Crane: Gurifisu and Diadoji Tsukuro
Dragon: Kitsuki Kaagi and Togashi Okkio
Lion: Ikoma Kazue, Ikoma Ujiaki, the twins Matsu Anga and Matsu Hisan, Matsu Toshiro, and Matsu Daoquan.
Mantis: Yoritomo Haruka
Unicorn: Ide Hiro, Moto Tsume, Otaku Kamoko, and Moto Sada.
Scoprion: Bayushi Tesaguri, Bayushi Setsu, Bayushi Ken, Shoshuro Himitsu, Bayushi Hisa, and Bayushi Paneki.
Imperial: Myia Satoshi
Oni: Okura on Oni and Yakamo no Oni
The two are feeling slightly overwhelmed when Gurifisu comes over and challenges Shinwa for taking more then a passing glance at a lady. The challenge nearly comes to its conclusion when the woman comes over hearing the bold words and it turns out to be the princess Hantei Shoje. Suspecting that Shinwa came here to compete, she suggests that he answer the challenge in a way that serves the Empire, and face the Hawk Champion in the tourney. Shinwa agrees, not fully thinking it out. The Hawk withdraws, promising a swift victory for himself and Shoje gives the young bushi a token of luck for saying she was pretty.
The group comes back together, talks over the plan, but that is derailed as Shinwa confesses what occurs at the tent. Feeling that he must go through with it, the group offers what support they can, and Nobu figures this may actually aid their plans. Hakumei however grows angry and Shinwa doesn’t realize she has romantic feelings for him, which only intensifies the issue. In the end Hakumei wants to help him, although she clearly has her reservations about it.
Nishimura and Gattsu goes with Shinwa to try and get into the tourney, and both manage to fail the tests. Shinwa however gains entry, but only because the Hawk Clan paves the way, as Gurifisu appears to want to have the eye of the Princess as he undoes this challenger.
Matsu Gohei arrives just before the end of the registration, having regained Toshi Rambo, and makes it clear his hate of the Hawk. He then joins the tournament, and the Emperor calls together the challengers, and tells them that one of them will be the Obsidian Champion, he then goes on to say that he will elevate four of the challengers to become his personal body guards, having tired of the rotting Seppun, should any of one of the four impress him so.
And so, the Obsidian Championship has begun!