After a few days rest from the Topaz Championship, the group is summoned by Shiba Yahiko the Emerald Champion. It seems a ronin was murdered overnight, and normal investigations have no leads. The Emerald Magistrate Kitsuki Hiroyuki, has asked for permission to use the case as a test for Kitsuki evidence to be allowed in Imperial Courts and Law.
After a quick discussion with Hiroyuki about duties, they investigated the scene they discovered two bloody fingerprints on the window and ledge, and a scrap of dark green silk. In the room they found a bag of coins, a number of travel orders and a book with strange calligraphy. The body itself showed one wound, and that the ronin had a bleeding disease. There was traces of heavy opium use in the mouth and defensive wounds on his hands. The shugenja could not crack the cipher of the book. They also found several cherry blossom petals that seemed different that others. Isawa Akrio and Shiba Tsuned noted that they seemed to be from the House of the Silk Flowers, a geisha house in the town. His daisho set seemed to be rather new and had marking from a crane weaponsmith.
Questioning the six samurai in the Inn, was not very productive, but takata nagori, did learn and get the basics of how to fingerprint someone down. He managed to sooth a courtiers anger about ink stains.
In discussions with Kakita Maroshi and his assistant Kakita Etsuko, they learned that Haraiki was considered a honorable man, and that he was going to be offered into a minor family of the crane. His duty this year was to assist in guarding the encampment of the Fox clan during topaz championship. Last year, Haraiki was instrumental in preventing a major robbery and was gifted a new daisho by the crane and unicorn for service rendered.
His commander for this year daidoki shika, let haraiki lead the night watch with two ronin to command. They reported nothing strange during the topaz, but Shika did inform the party of Haraiki’s eight year old daughter.
The party then did split up as several attempted to find the undergrown opium trade, shiba and isawa went to the house of the silk flowers using the invitation they had to interview zenmi, who also informed them of the family connection and history, shiba and isawa then set up a morning appointment with the madam Kaminako for rest of the group as to not disrupt the evening activities at the house.
The next morning the group interviewed Zenmi with Kaminako present, the line of questioning about opium brought forth another geisha who mostly served the ronin passing by but received larger and more elegant gifts than most. Questing her they discovered that she was passing out opium to those who knew a code word, a ronin named Kuroka , had set it up so she was gifting that which was gifted to her. Bypassing the spirit of the opium trade laws, the amount she had was much more than personal use, but did have a crab tax stamp on them. She pointed the group to a fireman known as the Orchid of the Steel Blossom, as who picked up most of it.
after spending most of the day not being able to find the fireman, the group retired to a tavern and attempted to arrange a meeting with them through a waitress, after a couple of hours the group was approached by a peasant using various bribes and threats they attempted to gain their assistance and arranged a meeting in two days.
Returning to the inn for the night, the group found waiting for them Shiba Yahiko
, Bayushi Yoichi, and Kuni Hideko, explaining what evidence they had found, and what they where looking for Yoichi asked for a showing of fingerprinting, then asked Kitsuki to show his fingerprint. At that point there where shocks as Kitsuki’s Hiroyuki fingerprint matched the bloody one, and inside his saya was blood as he predicted, further checking in his room found a torn kimono that matched the part found on the window, Haraiki’s travel log and a opium pipe and small amount of opium. Hiroyuki was unable to explain how this had come into his possession, Hideko and Yoichi then informed the Emerald Champion that they had witnessed Haraiki suppuku , and that they had planted the evidence to show that the so called Kitsuki evidence was not worthy of Imperial courts. Hideko and Yoichi had given a sealed scroll of their plan to the Emerald magistrate before the topaz championship of their plan. The ronin’s daughter while in the yogo lands had shown signs that she was awakened and able to become a shugenja, in exchange for his life, his daughter was being adapted by a yogo sensei as her own daughter, and she would be raised and trained as a yogo shugenja in a prestigious house. Hiroyuki nodded in disappointment and handed his sash back to Shiba Yahiko as he failed in his mission to allow kitsuki evidence to be used in courts. She thanked him for his service, and as he was leaving, she re offered the position to him, he thanked for for the honor, but wished to return to his own clan duties, she asked if his son would be interested, but he also had duties, he recommended that any of his yuriki in this investigation would be honorable enough to serve the Empire. Yoritomo Taiko accepted the offer.
The group then prepares to head out the next day with the imperial contingent to Toshi Ronbo, then over into the Lion lands for a simple go tournament.