The party, having chartered the Fortune’s Wind (see: sinking of the Fortune’s Tide) to go to Mantis lands, must first go to Phoenix lands where the Fortune’s Wind has business.
Asako Mamoru receives a vision from his ancestor, the kami Shiba, which motivates him to join the Fortune’s Wind on its sail to Mantis lands. Shiba also guides him to liberate Matsu Tuchi from his imprisonment as a hostage.
While on the several week journey down the Crane coast, Yorimoto Sakeichi discovers that the Fortune’s Wind is smuggling gaijin pepper. When the ship stops and everyone is ordered to stay in their cabins, Matsu convinces Sakeichi (despite Mamoru’s best attempts to diffuse the situation) that they should sneak into the hold to confirm the cargo. When backed into a corner, Sakeichi sets a fuse and they blow up the entire cargo and ship with it.