Kaisei arrives at the geisha house with the oni medicine in time to hear Yugiri explaining that Soichiro may have fallen ill because he had been poring over a supernatural contract for the past week. The Takumi gives the medicine and the instructions of its administration to Setsuna who immediately takes steps to administer the medicine to the old Karo. Oni medicine being what it is, everyone is no longer as panicked over Soichiro as they were before, but the worry is still palpable.
There is still the matter of the strange supernatural contract and what it means for the clan. When Takeshi offers to have a kami look the contract over, Yugiri voices his reluctance to incur any more supernatural debts. He proposes that he remain in Teishou to watch over the old Karo while the rest of the officers attend the Winter Court. The roles would have to be shuffled, of course: Kaisei will stand in as Karo and Misako will take over as Takumi. Yugiri will do his best to catch up with Soichiro but if they fail, Takeshi will have to stand in as Onmyouji.
After outlining his proposal, Yugiri withdraws to perform the rituals of his auguries. He goes to the courtyard, blindfolds himself, takes up his bow, spins around and lets the arrow loose. Tearing off the blindfold he tracks the arrow’s flight and sees that it lands in the graveyard. The Onmyouji sets off to fetch his arrow and to draw his auguries there. Takeshi sends off Keiji to escort Yugiri but Murasaki waves him back, making it clear that she’ll be the one escorting the Onmyouji.
Yugiri sits in the graveyard and starts reading his books and casting his auguries. He becomes aware of a ghost manifesting behind him, and even though the Onmyouji cannot see who it is, he somehow knows that it is the shade of of Koushi, the former Karo who was killed in the pyrrhic war that gained the Tensai the lands of the Su. Koushi was the only son of Soichiro and the late lamented Saki. The Onmyouji pretends not to notice the spirit and continues with his work.
Koushi starts recounting the events that led up to the war with the Su and how the corruption in Chisu, spurred by the Nohebi, threatened to spread into Teishou. The war was a defensive war. It was to purge the land of a pestilence that threatened to engulf it.
Yugiri starts to write out his divinations, reading them aloud as he goes. An onlooker would think that the Onmyouji were replying to the ghost and asking Koushi questions. But that could not be the case since the Onmyouji had not acknowledged the ghost and is acting as if the spirit were not standing directly behind him.
Yugiri, strangely enough, senses Koushi’s amusement, and can swear that the ghost is smiling behind his back. The former Karo continues his confession: the pestilence—what some kami had taken to calling the ‘spreading of all things black’—had supernatural roots and the Daimyo, along with the other officers had to take on debts to certain kami—debts that about to come due in spring.