Heading north by boat up to Phoenix lands, and drop in on Fujiko's parents. Phoenix lands are still recovering from the famine, and things are quite bad. As we head west, things get worse and there are plenty of signs of starvation.
On reaching the area around the Village of the Golden Pine however, things are much better. Harvests have been bountiful, and peasants are unhappy because everything is too good.
The Lord Shiba Orinosuke still appears to enjoy hunting, and is still head over heals in love with his beautiful wife Mitsuko. We sit and chat, and I ask whether I could accompany him hunting tomorrow. He seems confused, and the more I ask him about how his hunting is going (he spends every day out hunting, according to the peasants and Mitsuko), the more evasive he becomes.
Everyone retires to bed except for the lord and lady and myself, whilst I do some painting (the area seems to bring out the creativity in me) for a short while. Soon after going to bed myself, I'm woken by a woman's scream from somewhere in the house. Grabbing my Katana, I rush out to Orinosuke's room, where Mitsuko is screaming about a monster. Followed by Aki, I charge inside and see Lord Orinosuke standing before Mitsuko, his arms made of fire, and Mitsuko with severe burns on her.
Orinosuke stands back, and I hold a sword between them. Fujiko bursts into the room and says that Orinosuke is some form of fire creature. He admits to having killed the original Orinosuke, but that the original wasn't a nice person, and that he has fallen in love with Mitsuko.
Around this point Mitsuko looses it, grabs a dagger and tries to stab Orinosuke. Various people try to stop her. Orinosuke reaches for her, his arms turning to flames as he does so. I try to chop his arm off to prevent him from harming Mitsuko. He pulls back, and strikes at Fujiko. A fight ensues, in which he is finally taken out.
However, he looses control of his body at this point, and begins to change into a ball of fire. We grab Mitsuko and hastily leave the house. Orinosuke dies in a great ball of fire that rises up into the sky, taking the shape of a phoenix, then flies north. Mitsuko runs off and hangs herself.
We head off to see the Shinjo Damio, for Fujiko to report in the little detail of having killed one of his vassels, and also a Phoenix (which is, after all, the scared animal of the Phoenix clan). The Damio takes it relatively well, and accepts the excuse that we didn't know the guy was a Phoenix at that point, only that he'd murdered the original Orinosuke.
He head off towards the Imperial City. On the way we come across a village where some Lion are boiling a peasant.