In the year 1614, two ninja clans battle each other to determine which grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu will become the next shogun.
Gennosuke and Oboro, heirs of rival clans, enjoy an innocent tryst in the secluded slopes of the forest.
With the no-hostilities pact ended, the Iga clan sets out to keep the news of war from reaching the Kouga.
Gennosuke and Udono feast with the Iga clan under the false pretense of coming peace; Forgiveness will end one ninja's life.
The Kouga begin to worry over the absent Gennosuke; Quiet steps are taken to study the lay of the land.
On their return trip to the Iga clan holding, an unexpected bounty is discovered in the wild; Gennosuke remains unaware that a war has begun.
© 2005 FUTARO YAMADA, MASAKI SEGAWA, KODANSHA/GONZO
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