Takeshi and Yamamoto talk and the kami of the mountain suggests that the Hatamoto take Inari with him to the Winter Court in a portable temple. After all, the kami points out, the megami is in love with him, as if that were explanation enough. Takeshi demurs that it would be rude to wake her from her well-deserved rest to which Yamamoto retorts that all the Hatamoto has to do is make things worth her while.
Takeshi abruptly changes the subject, saying that he visited Hieiyama to do Yamamoto the courtesy of informing him that he would be away at the Winter Court for a while, and to ask the kami to help the Tensai should any trouble erupt, especially from the Nohebi. The kami of the mountain agrees to this and asks after Goro but Takeshi does not know who that is. Yamamoto recommends that the Hatamoto ask Akari. The kami adds that Soichiro should be reminded that the deal that Raijin made will expire when spring comes.
The kami and the Hatamoto part with the former commanding the latter to stay alive: apparently Yamamoto had bet half his mountain against the rice fields of his brother-in-law, Orochi, who just happened to be the patron deity of serpents and the Nohebi. Yamamoto learned that the performance of the Tensai Clan at the Winter Court would be of grace and courage, with Takeshi allowing the Shogun’s ashigeru to fire their muskets at him. Naturally, Yamamoto bet that takeshi | Takeshi]] would prove immune to musket fire and survive. Takeshi could feel a vein throbbing in his forehead; so that was why Akari sent him to Takuma to ask about bullet-proof armor!
It takes a week for Takeshi to track down Akari. The Oniwaban happens to be with Goro when the Hatamoto finds her so she introduces the tanuki to her childhood friend. The Lady Kumo, who was lurking nearby as a spider, asks the Oniwaban to introduce her to the Hatamoto as well, but Akari demurs. Takeshi then grabs his childhood friend and demands why she thought it was a good idea to set him up as target practice for the muskets of the Shogun.
The Oniwaban acts shocked and tells Takeshi to be gentle with her on account of her wound. Upon hearing this the Hatamoto backs off until he realizes that Akari’s wound had already fully healed a while back with the onset of winter. Akari looks to Goro for help but the tanuki is too busy rolling on the ground laughing. Of the Lady Kumo, the Oniwaban sees no sign.
Finally, after a lot of persuasion, Akari tells Takeshi that the musket fire stunt was Yugiri’s idea. The Hatamoto stomps off in search of the Onmyouji loudly comparing him to various foodstuffs, particularly mochi (since the Onmyouji has a habit of putting on a lot of weight during the winter months), and graphically describing what would happen to Yugiri once he catches up to him.