Akari’s investigations seem to lead her nowhere because of the mystery of the one Takuma referred to as “The Missing One” who seems to sit at the center of it all—like a spider in its web, the Oniwaban finds herself musing. She decides to change tack and looks over the list surviving former Su nobles. From this she chooses to visit one who seemed to be the most suitable for her to approach, a widow named Kasumi who has a five-year-old son named Yoshirou.
Kasumi lost her husband to his gambling debts long before the war between the Su and Tensai started. The Oniwaban, taking on the guise of Akiteru, decides that the best way to approach the mother would be through her son. Akari befriends the and gets herself invited to tea.
Over tea the Oniwaban makes small talk and does all she can to put the widow at ease, even to the point of doffing the mask that Akiteru habitually wears. Slowly, and by degrees, Kasumi warms up to Akiteru and lets slip certain details of her life. For instance, the widow and her son have not been treated very well by the nobles of the Tensai or even of the Su. The boy plays by himself, ostracized by his peers, and has more than once complained to his mother about feeling looked down upon by those he once called friends.
Seeing tears well up in the widow’s eyes, the Oniwaban suggests that they go for a stroll in the lanes by the shrine and Kasumi agrees, hoping to regain her composure. As they walk, Akari hints that she may be able to arrange for Yoshirou meet new playmates by having him study at the geisha school that the Daimyo himself attends.
Suddenly a group of peasants attack the Oniwaban and the widow and it seems that Kasumi is their actual target. Akari defends her and is injured in the process. It dawns on the Oniwaban that the movements of the peasants are too smooth and precise to be those of simple peasants: their attackers are ninja!
The attack occurs in broad daylight and is witnessed by peasants tending the gardens beside the shrine. They hurry to the officers nearby and report to them what has befallen the Oniwaban. Yugiri, Murasaki, and Takeshi rush to the scene followed by Inari and Kawa but all are too late to stop the attack. The assailants are able to escape cleanly, leaving Akari bleeding on the ground.
Helped up by her childhood friend, the Oniwaban checks on the widow and sees that she is tended to by the Onmyouji and the Kaishaku. Inari embraces the woman, calming her hysterics while Kawa allows the widow to hug her quieting the woman further. Yugiri raises an eyebrow as he notices Kasumi briefly flinch before accepting the comfort from the little fox. The Oniwaban and the Hatamoto rush to the house of the widow to check on Yoshirou whom Akari fears has also be targeted.
(At this point the table chooses to declare that Kasumi is actually none other than The Missing One, the Oniwaban of the Su. She had manipulated Akiteru into launching an investigation that would bring the plight of her family to the attention of the officers. So deft is her manipulation that none suspect her, not even her son, Yoshirou.)
Akiteru and Takeshi find Kasumi’s household in a panic: the ninja had also been there and had turned everything topsy-turvy. The boy is badly frightened and clinging to his nurse but is otherwise unhurt. The rest of the household are likewise deeply frightened but suffer no physical harm. Takeshi has his Ashigeru secure the area and the Hatamoto attends to his friend’s wound when the latter starts to feel its effects. The Hatamoto takes special care to ensure that his friend’s secret remains intact.
When the others catch up to Akari and Takeshi, they witness Yugiri pause, hesitate, and suddenly withdraw because of something that apparently only he can sense. Akari sees this, looks around the house, and sees Lady Kumo hovering nearby. The Oniwaban gets up and, against the protests of her friend, takes the Kami outside to talk. At the same time, Inari moves to Takeshi’s and warns him against the Kami that his childhood friend has gotten involved in. The two goddesses acknowledge each other but take no action.
The Lady Kumo turns her attention back to Akari and expresses her disappointment in the Oniwaban implying that the Kami had taken Akari on as an apprentice of sorts. When the Lady Kumo tells the Oniwaban that she may be missing something, Akari voices her suspicions about the ninja attacks since no one had been hurt and no lasting damage had been dealt. At this the Lady of Spiders seemed less disappointed, leaving Akari even more perturbed.