Kitsune Daisuke, Daimyo of the Fox, decided to take advantage of his guests’ “abilities” by charging them with clearing out the Gaki of Kitsune Mori. Bayushi Mamoru, Sanjuro Tatsuya, Sanjuro Yuzuki, Shiba Sagura, and Toritaka Hitomi agreed, accompanied by Kitsune Ayaka and four Kitsune Rangers.
The First Great Gaki-Hunt went amazing well at first, with Sagura and Mamoru taking the only major injuries, which were immediately healed by Ayaka. Dozens of gaki fell beneath their concerted efforts, and after a few hours the forest around them went quiet.
Ayaka was concerned about the sheer number of gaki: usually, her mother kept their numbers to manageable levels. She set aside her worry, stepping into Chikushudo with Yuzuki to ensure her arrival at Court on time. On the way back, however, the two young women noticed a feeling of dread and the scent of blood on the air: they stepped into the real world to see a pair of beautiful Crane women having a maho duel. The first, identified as Ineko, Song of Blood, spoke of a plan to ‘escape the bonds of Taint and mortality both’. The second maho-tsukai flung scarlet lightning at her, which was deflected and claimed several of the Kitsune Rangers, drawing the rest of the party to their location.
There was a brief but terrifying fight: the second maho-tsukai was revealed as an akutenshi, a dark ‘angel’ in the direct service of Fu Leng. The party proved equal to the task, however, as their skill and their Tsi weapons caused the tempting demoness to take flight. When it came to Ineko, however… the party balked. Injured, many of them almost to death, Sagura felt it was still their duty to deal with the powerful blood-mage. Tatsuya and Yuzuki, whose Clan specialized in slaying maho-tsukai, realized it was an impossible task without casualties, and outvoted the Phoenix. Ineko made pleasant conversation, and then fled before the Guardian of the Forest arrived.
They returned to Kyuden Kitsune, the brooding Phoenix continuing on to stay at an inn within the town. The others proceeded to enjoy a relaxing bath, debating about their actions, and the nature of Duty.