Out of the Darkness

Schemes within Plots within Machinations

Bayushi-sama,

This has been a most enlightening period for my fellow Junior Magistrates and me. Kimiko-san found the end of a Scorpion’s blade, Togashi-san found several bodies in the lake and I found a ninja who is not, in fact, a relative of ours.
Further insight came from the Kakita artisan who is paying Mirumoto-sama a visit. He was able to confirm that the ninja is not simply a manifestation of the overactive dreams of the Junion Magistrates. Also, using his visit as a pretext, I was able to glean some further information about Kage-sama from the personal journals of Seppun Ayumu-sama, may he rest in blessed Yomi. Transcriptions of the journal entries relating to Kage-sama are appended.
Kage-sama himself also related stories of this ninja, and their occasional past conflicts, stories which I have transcribed directly from his words, and included as well. If this ninja is truly not one of us, then perhaps the Kitsuki would be quite useful in unmasking him. As Tangen said, why defeat your enemies when you can allow them to defeat each other?
Perhaps the most interesting interaction of all, however, was with the Crab vinegar merchant, Shoku Mifune. His gift of a Jade Wakizashi was most generous. The only possible conclusion is that there must be more koku to profit from in in the vinegar trade than in the opium trade! I will do all I can to learn the secrets of this highly successful businessman, that I might pass them on for our own merchants to profit from. Perhaps the Crab servant that he framed for the murder of Smooth would be a useful tool…

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