The heroes were sent to champion the Crab cause at the winter court at Black Crane Palace, where the minor oni was still at large. Ranneko went outside alone one night and was approached by the creature, which lamented that the Bloodspeakers could not get access to a good name, so they would have to bind their newly created oni to Randachi. Mako and Ohaitsu reinforced Ranneko, and the oni was killed trying to escape. Evidence suggested that the oni’s summoner could be one of the two other Moshibaru shugenja, Wa’ako or Kurena. All in the Crab quarters were searched, but no evidence was turned up, other than that Yasuki Jinn-Kuen noticed Mako’s Scorpion tattoo and did not reveal this to anyone else.
Later, Wa’ako managed to escape surveillance. While she was missing, a fire started in the Hogosha compound. While Kengetsu worked to put it out, Kurena, Ohaitsu, Mako, and Ranneko chased down the arsonist and captured him alive. Although they deprived him of all his explosives, while they were looking for Wa’ako again, there was another burst of flame, killing the suspect and injuring a guard, Hida Aroru.
Although Mako revealed to the others his Scorpion tattoo (although he was having trouble remembering his past) and the messages he had been receiving from “Hacchan,” there was no hard evidence on which shugenja was a traitor. The heroes finally decided to take both of them away from the shōgun’s court to Friendly Traveler Village. They later received the ranking Kitsuki magistrate’s analysis of evidence, damning Kurena but still implicating Wa’ako. Both remained under close watch in waiting for another Crab Witch Hunter to judge them.