Accounts of Strange Incidents

Thirty-Fourth Panel

Contracts

Takeshi demands that Yugiri explain himself


Kaisei and Takeshi reach Misako’s chambers in time to see Akita entering with tea. The officers see Yugiri halfway out of a closet discussing a document with Misako. The Hatamoto pounces on the hapless Onmyouji and demands that he explain himself. Yugiri’s bewildered attempts to explain the document he and Misako were studying only seem to aggravate Takeshi even more.

Kaisei steps in and diffuses the situation by asking if the document makes any references to the oni. The Onmyouji and the acting Karo pore over the document again and find no mention of oni specifically but realize that the terms are precise: the land will literally be moved to another world. Yugiri begins to offer a suggestion but demurs about competing the thought, much to the frustration of Kaisei, Misako, and Takeshi, and to the amusement of Akari who has been spying on the four all this time and relaying what she sees to Kasumi who is at once both impressed and envious at the methods of the Oniwaban.

Akari’s amusement is cut short when Setsuna suddenly enters her chambers and frantically demands that the Oniwaban follow her. Soichiro seems to have fallen faint from fever in the geisha house. The old Karo seems to be delirious and thinks that he is discussing a certain document with Saki, his wife and former Oniwaban, now long deceased. The Head Geisha sends maiko to summon the other officers.

“What do you think of the fine print, Saki?”


Akari is joined by the other officers as well as Misako, Natsumi, and Tenka. The Oniwaban hurriedly sends Kaisei out to ask Iwao for a tincture that would break the old man’s fever. The Takumi rushes out with his assistant Fuyu in tow to look for the oni and finds him, bruises from Ikkini still fresh, pondering the shogi board that he had set up under the oak tree, unsure what his first move should be. Kaisei get’s the oni’s attention by suggesting a move. The oni happily moves the piece as the Takumi explains the urgent need for oni medicine. When Iwao says that he will take a look at Soichiro after the game, Kaisei quickly checkmates him.

Grumbling under his breath, the oni gets up and makes his way to the clan house choosing a path that would take him straight through the center of town. Panicked at this, Kaisei stops the oni and leads him back to the shogi board to start another game. The Takumi send Fuyu to the geisha house with the instruction to bring Soichiro to Iwao instead. To the credit of the oni, he asks Kaisei about the symptoms that the old Karo is manifesting as he and the Takumi play. Kaisei draws on his photographic memory to describe the symptoms as best he can and is grateful to see the oni scratching notes on the ground. He also notes that Iwao’s game has suddenly gone to master level. Then suddenly the oni excuses himself to prepare the medicine.

After some time, Iwao returns with medicine and instructions how to administer it. The Takumi starts wondering what is keeping the officers from bringing the old Karo over when Fuyu returns and tells Kaisei to return to the geisha house instead. The Takumi finds a way to checkmate the oni and takes his leave. Apparently Yugiri was against moving Soichiro suspecting that the illness may have a supernatural component. Knowing that the Onmyouji may be inscrutable but never stupid, Kaisei hurries over with the medicine, dragging poor Fuyu behind him.

“Make sure that he takes this medicine on a full stomach.”


End of the Thirty-Fourth Panel
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