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By Natsume Ono Masterless samurai Akitsu Masanosuke was persuaded to join the kidnapping ring "Five Leaves" after drawing the interest of its charismatic leader, Yaichi. At Yaichi's prompting he becomes employed as a guard for Katsuraya, a house of ill repute. However, after succumbing to illness he withdraws to the country villa of Goinkyo, an associate of the Five Leaves, to recover. While there, he inadvertently learns more about the history of the gang-particularly the gruff but kind Ume-and about the cords that bind each of the members to their pasts. But the more Masa learns, the more the mysteries deepen