Investigating reports from Juntoku no Chūkyō regarding a mysterious merchant in Awa Harbor, the five generals of the Hashinara clan quickly found the racketeer in question. Clad from toe to tip in black cloth, with a white mask under his hat, the merchant spoke with a strange, grinding voice and moved with jerky twitches. For all this, he seemed friendly enough, and explained that he was selling poor-quality swords, failures, in bulk. Though these weapons were anything but poor-quality, Fubuki recognized them as being crafted by the same legendary smith notorious for making "Cursed" weapons.
Not wanting any more of these blades distributed to the public, Hashinara Yoshitakatomo bought the whole cart, only to have another cart wheel itself out of the house behind the merchant, full to the brim with more blades. With the help of his Sheele, Aotsuki Tsukamoto recognized gears beneath the cart's wheels as the source of its self-locomotion. Karakuri, according to Yoshitakatomo, a kind of trick clockwork popular among the richer classes for entertainment.
Meanwhile, Fubuki had transmuted into a tiny fox and stolen into the house. Inside were four more copies of the same merchant. Further inspection showed them to be more wood and gears under their robes than humans. Before Fubuki's investigation could continue, it was interrupted by a shower of bombs with various coy expressions painted on them from the rafters above. First a flashbang, then three smoke grenades that masked the disappearance of the merchants within.
By this point, Maxim had burst through the door and was attempting to save the man he saw inside, but with little luck. A few moments and a powerful breath from Sanosuke dispelled the smoke, but the clockwork men were nowhere to be seen. Outside, Kagami pointed out that she'd seen a person on the roof, and Tama found a discharged bomb with a sullen face drawn on it. At the same time, the first merchant had suddenly changed its tune, confirming that yes, Yoshitakatomo actually could meet the smith behind those fine weapons.
Fubuki teleported beneath the floor-boards, while Maxim followed by use of a trapdoor Sanosuke had pointed out during an investigation of the interior. Transforming her*self into a hat, Fubuki rested on one of the marching merchant's heads as they progressed through a tunnel until reaching a stone room with more carts of weapons. Also present, watching over them, was a mysterious creature comprising a cloak tapering to blades at the end and a mass of vaguely humanoid red ribbons under a death-marked mask. The Blade Wraith immediately spotted Fubuki even through the disguise and, while she* fought valiantly for a hat, the four "merchants" and creature were able to slay her* in short order.
Before falling, Fubuki had sent a message to Yoshitakatomo covering the situation and the princess-daimyō was about to make her* own magical entrance just as Maxim reached the door. Both were too late to save Fubuki, but perhaps she* can still be rescued from true death if they act quickly enough. Standing in their way, though, were the Blade Wraith and four karakuri merchants, now revealed to be hideous clockwork dolls under the guise.