A trio of generics enter a building to investigate reports of a strange man standing on the roof. Once inside, they notice a kin (stringed instrument) on the floor.
Generic A: An instrument left on the floor is big news indeed! Let’s notify the palace immediately!
Generics A and B depart, but C stays where he is.
Generic C: This instrument randomly appearing here is not suspicious at all. I think I will take it for myself.
Generic C picks up the kin and plucks a note, only to die. Sefuru listens to his screams from the rooftop.
Sefuru: Hahaha, killing generics is so much fun! But maybe killing named characters would be even better…
At the manor, Tenma and Yorihisa are sparring with wooden swords. With Yorihisa easily winning, Tenma requests a break, during which time Akane comes over to talk to Yorihisa about Inori. Even Takamichi is mentioned.
(Tenma: How dare she talk about other men and not even mention me?)
Tomomasa arrives and starts flirting with Akane.
(Tenma: That’s it! I have to get her away from all these rivals!)
Tenma drags Akane away.
Akane: Tenma, what’s the matter?
Tenma: Why do you keep going to all these other men instead of me? They may be stronger, smarter and better-looking than I am, but I should be the only one to have you!
Tenma activates a budget-saving flashback.
Tenma: Whenever we’re apart, I get worried, wondering who you’re with, and what you might be doing with them. Things would be so much easier if you’d just stay within my sight, okay?
The arrival of Yasuaki interrupts their conversation; Tenma runs off whilst Akane meets up with Tomomasa, Shimon and Yasuaki.
Tomomasa: Okay, enough with the love games, the plot is waiting. Last night, a generic was killed simply by playing a kin.
Yasuaki has brought a kin with him.
Yasuaki: The kin in question has eight strings, where most have seven; this turns it from a harmless instrument into a deadly tool of evil.
Tomomasa reaches out to pluck a string of the kin, but Akane stops him.
Akane: You’re a named character- don’t throw your life away!
Tomomasa: Akane, if you’ll apply your mental faculties to the situation, you will notice that this kin is a regular seven-stringed one. The Kin of Evil awaits us at the temple.
Yasuaki: In order to purify it, we need a Water Element Hachiyou, who, coincidentally enough, is one of the two we have yet to locate.
Tomomasa: Hmm, we could assume that the remaining Hachiyou are the two bishies from the OP (myself included) who have yet to receive a gem, but I’m sure the more efficient way to go about this is have Takamichi look through endless scrolls.
That afternoon, Tomomasa and Yorihisa take Akane to the temple. Before they go inside, they stop at a bazaar to let Akane browse.
(Tomomasa: That’s it, Akane, come to see the advantages of Kyou- then you’ll want to stay here with me instead of going home.)
Yorihisa: Do you think this cursed instrument was all a plot to kill the emperor?
Tomomasa: Well, there’s a vague chance that this completely randomly found instrument might have ended up in the emperor’s hands before anyone else thought to play it or even check its origin, so yes, it’s clearly an incredibly subtle and clever scheme of evil.
Akane decides to wander off into the nearby trees alone. She encounters Eisen, who plays a sorrowful tune on his flute. Akane breaks down in tears.
Eisen: I’m sorry, was my playing that awful?
They are interrupted by the doleful tune of the cursed kin.
Tomomasa: What sort of idiot would play a cursed instrument?
Sefuru materialises in the temple.
Sefuru: Hahaha, the man who died has conveniently become a vengeful spirit who will now play a tune that affects the Ryuujin no Miko! If there’s a less convoluted way to cause trouble, then I sure as hell don’t know what it is!
Akane loses consciousness as she falls into a white, low budget setting. Tomomasa and Yorihisa carry her home.
That evening, the Hachiyou gather around the unconscious Akane.
Yasuaki: The Ryuujin no Miko has great powers, such as the ability to call for help or cheer on her destined bishounen. When they are disrupted by cursed instruments of evil, it puts a great strain on her. At this rate, she may never awaken again.
(Tomomasa: How could I have misjudged? They weren’t after the nameless emperor at all, they were after the main character!)
Tenma: Damn it! Akane should only rely on me, so Yasuaki, is there anything you can do to help her?
Yasuaki: Since I am the only one here with any kind of skill, I will go to the temple and look at the kin. Come to think of it, I probably should have done that in the first place.
Yasuaki goes to the temple, where Sefuru is waiting.
Yasuaki: I don’t suppose this situation is your doing, by any chance?
Tenma and Yorihisa randomly appear next to Yasuaki.
Sefuru: There’s three of you? I’d better run away in case I actually lose to you and get sealed away.
Sefuru runs onto the rooftop, where Inori is waiting.
Sefuru: There’s only one thing I can do in this situation- vanish!
Sefuru disappears. Yasuaki runs onto the roof.
Inori: Yasuaki, he’s gone!
Yasuaki: I sense that he is actually still here in invisible form. Golden chains, bind him!
Chains surround Sefuru.
Sefuru: Oh no! I’m trapped by these easily avoidable chains that don’t restrict my movement at all!
Tomomasa arrives to question Sefuru.
Tomomasa: Now that you’ve been captured, you might as well tell us how to undo the damage you’ve done.
Sefuru: Yes, having gone to all this trouble, I may as well tell you how to reverse it. Someone must pluck the very string of the cursed kin that sent her to sleep in the first place. Of course they’ll die, but that was probably my goal anyway.
Tenma: Main characters can’t die! We’ll find a way out this somehow.
A cliffhanger ending? To be continued…