The group returns to Dagna unscathed and find the village going about its regular business. Amaira directs the sisters’ wagon to the Robin’s Roost tavern so that bread can begin to be baked. She convinces the tavern owner to lend use of the ovens to bake the bread, as it will be good exposure for them, and asks the sisters to share the recipe, to which Hildegarde agrees. Violette and Vittoria set to baking.
Momoko goes to speak with Shan at Shotokai Dojo about Maera’s desire to gain magic power for her own ambitions, instead of for the benefit of others. Shan can’t remember from whom Remilia Atkascha learned her magic, and then agrees to distract Maera so that Momoko can go home unfollowed. After Momoko checks in with her apprentices, she goes to speak with the mask merchant.
Zorran goes to the tavern to see what the hubbub about the bread is, asking which shape tastes best. After suffering enough annoyance, Hildegarde throws a rye roll at him. He breaks it in half and gives one half to a cat-girl, which causes a ruckus.
The next day, Momoko asks to borrow Amaria’s skeleton horse to go searching for the guard captain, Kotiro. Zorran informs Momoko about her stalker, and agrees to take Maera to The Walled City to see about finding someone willing to speak with her about magic. Maeve offers to accompany Momoko on her search.
They eventually come across Kotiro and Bekan scowling over a “Go” board at a campsite. Kotiro says he was planning to make an entrance on the day of the festival. One of the headless birds flies overhead and Maeve shoots it down on her second shot. When they return to Dagna and seek out someone to purify the dead bird, Ordan snatches the corpse and throws it into the fire. Some animosity between Amaira and her mother get expressed over the contract signed with Lord Aberthrax of The Castle.
The festival day arrives!
The market square is the centre of activity. A contingent of samsarans arrive, curious about the goings on. The Ahlgren sisters have a table set up to offer bread products. Monika makes an appearance, greeting people left and right. Many from South Crystalmere show up by the wagon-full, along with many baked goods made from other grains than wheat. Tiefelings are preparing roasted pig and the Robin’s Roost tavern brings out mead and ale.
Dirk Ironstag starts playing music, and is largely panned by the South Crystalmerians. Maeve plays her flute and gets an excellent reception. Momoko sings and plays her lap-harp and then reads her haiku about the lands joining. Shan also reads a poem, followed by Amaira. Zorran flubs his performance and gets a pity clap from a few in the audience.
After the poem time, Momoko introduces Kotiro, who makes a dramatic entrance and performance. The rest of the night is raucous with drinking and merriment. Vittoria confides in Maeve that Wannar is “kind of amazing”. Later in the night, a wave of nausea goes through the crowd: in the humans and cat-girls who tried the new “wheat bread”.
The following morning, Kotiro tells Momoko about a samsaran who feels he is being targeted for murder in each of his lifetimes (seven incidents so far).