After sneaking into the Dragon Blooded Marin‘s camp, Ruko makes camp for the night. He awakens to the sounds of rustling, and he quickly monkey leaps into a tree. Two scouts from Marin’s group scour the woods for the late night intruder. Ruko realizes he left his backpack on the ground, but the guards pass it by without noticing.
After the guards pass, Ruko grabs his belongings and attempts to sneak away. One of the guards hears him and eventually discovers him hiding. He calls to his companion, and Ruko responds by knocking him out. He hides again when the other guard returns. Ruko goes back to Marin’s camp, but he finds it gone. The tracks from the cart that he once followed are now gone, so he is forced to follow the guard dragging his unconscious companion along.
After a few days of travel, Ruko remembers the map he stole from Marin and follows the path to the location marked Moonsilver Manse. When he reaches the ruins of what appeared to be a once lavish city, he sees a contingent of Marin‘s soldiers marching toward what’s left of a temple. The Moonsilver Manse is a pale, desolate shade of its once powerful beauty. While battered and broken down, the Moonsilver Manse is still a sturdy holding.
Marin‘s soldiers makes their way toward the manse atop a hill, weapons drawn at the ready. Standing outside the entrance of the temple is a warrior wielding a goremaul. The captain of the soldiers confronts the man, demanding tribute and the manse. The man refuses, raises his hammer, and with one swift move bashes in the captain’s skull.
Ruko rushes in to help the man dispatch of the other soldiers. The man introduces himself as Mustang Thunder. Ruko uses his fake name of Wu Jong just to be safe. Mustang leads Ruko inside the manse, where he sees a number of refuges. Mustang explains that he came from Jades originally, and the Dragon Blooded influence there led him to escape with his wife and a group of poor citizens.
Mustang tells of how the Dragon Blooded have been at his doorstep several times. Ruko explains that he’s following their leader Marin to try and return Maribell Walters to her father in Pine Acre. Mustang decides to help him. Ruko asks about the refuges, but Mustang’s wife Akara walks in and assures that she can take care of them.
After looking over the stolen map, the two discern that Marin must have traveled to Larjyn, which is the nearest city and part of the Chayan Republic. They arrive at the gates, but they aren’t let in at first. With a bit of talking, they get one of the guards to take them to meet with Scarlet Dumas, the matriarch of the most powerful family in Larjyn.
Ruko and Mustang question her about whether she has allowed any Dragon Blooded into the town, and she feigns knowing anything of the sort. With a bit of persuading, they talk her into letting them conduct a search about the town. The first place they go is the hall of records, where they meet with a strange man named Octavius, who is in charge of the vast library. They eventually find a recent record book dating back a few months with bits of information whited out. Mustang goes to tell Scarlet about the entries, and she acts angry and says she will take care of Octavius and question what this means. She also offers Ruko and Mustang a place to stay for the night.
Mustang goes back to the record place, and Ruko, who was left behind to watch Leonidas, gets absorbed in some of the many books. While he isn’t looking, Octavius slipped out and now is nowhere to be found. They head to the tavern, take a meal, and decide it safer to sneak out during the night and head back to the Moonsilver Manse.
They allow a few days to pass before going back to Larjyn, and they find smoke on the horizon as they approach. They ride through a town of dead bodies, and they make their way toward Scarlet‘s mansion. On the way they find Marin’s cart of the lumber and tributes from other towns as well as some of Marin’s guards outside the mansion. Ruko and Mustang ride through right up to the house, taking the guards out along the way, and the horse kicks the door right down. Inside Scarlet and Marin are having tea and look surprised at the sudden interruption.
They demand that Maribell be returned. Marin laughs and states that she went with him willingly. He goes to get her, and she reveals that she indeed did leave on her own. Ruko demands that he leave the small towns alone, and Marin says that The Realm will get their needed tribute and will take control of the Moonsilver Manse. Mustang refuses to hand it over, and they end up agreeing to a one-on-one battle. Marin seems cocky until he realizes that Mustang is an Anathema.
The fight is over in two rounds, ending with Mustang crushing Marin‘s head into the Dumas garden fountain. Maribell is distraught, and Ruko and Mustang decide to take her back. Scarlet promises to bury Marin in an unmarked grave, and she tells them that if The Realm find out, her city will be torn asunder. Mustang and Ruko part ways at the Moonsilver Manse, and Mustang promises that if their paths cross again, he will gladly fight at Ruko’s side.