The three arrive at the cave entrance in the forest by the next morning. Exhausted, Maribell Walters falls asleep, and Ruko takes the opportunity to meditate. He eventually awakens and allows Alundra a chance to sleep. Maribell Walters awakens and clings to Ruko, telling him what she had seen.
According to her, the beast in the pit below the city of Jades was a serpentine beast with sharp fangs. She reveals that Po Shiang believes the fake medallion is the real one and that Ruko has been taken care of by Junichiro. When he got what he wanted, Po Shiang sold Maribell Walters to the Dragon Blooded leader of Jades, Iselsi Saraban Deris for a very large sum of money. She was meant to be some sort of sacrifice to the creature living below the city.
Ruko vows to return her to Pine Acre and suggests they evacuate the town for their own safety. He allows her to get some more sleep, and then Alundra awakens from her rest. They discuss matters, and during their talk he tells her about his history with Maribell Walters and how he and Mustang Thunder killed her lover, Marin.
Alundra seems suddenly wary and wants to leave immediately, staring out the cave entrance. They pack up their supplies, wake the girl, and leave at once. On the third day of their travels, both Alundra and Ruko hear a commotion overhead. Alundra takes Maribell Walters and rides off away from the forest, leaving Ruko to monkey leap into the trees and grab hold of an archer. He uses him as a shield and gets some information out of him, including the fact that they came from Jades and that they are working for someone. Before he can get their boss’s name, an arrow flies from a different tree, and Ruko jumps down onto his horse and takes off.
He eventually catches up with Alundra and hangs back, watching her interactions with Maribell Walters. He follows her into the wilderness, perhaps a bit unsure of her intentions and eventually returns to the camp. He gets a slap for being inconsiderate and not returning at once.
They eventually make it back to Pine Acre, where father and daughter are reunited once again. Ruko strongly suggests that they both leave the town for their own safety. They decide to head to the safety of the Crossroads Hostel. It is then that Ruko hatches an elaborate plan. After they sneak Maribell Walters out of Pine Acre, they are to fake her suicide. That way Mayor Bruce Walters can send a letter to Iselsi Saraban Deris telling him of his daughter’s death and to offer recompense for the loss of his sacrifice.
They are interrupted by a servant saying that 20 armed archers are here looking for the monk. He disguises himself as the old man once again and goes forth about the town. The archers tear things up a bit, and he uses his disguise to follow a guard around into Greasy Joan’s shop. Ruko knocks the man out, and they tie him up and store him in the shop for later.
Disguises himself…greasy joan…knocked out and tied up archer.