Nine years have passed. Kaoru, distinguished by a strong and distinct odor, declines to pursue
any romantic relationships, though he is desired by many court women. He becomes curious
about the circumstances of his mother's flight to the nunnery. Niou does pursue romantic
relationships. He, in fact, deliberately competes with Kaoru.
Kobai, To no Chujo's oldest surviving son, takes over as head of the Fujiwara clan. He has
married Prince Hotaru's widow, Makibashira. They have a son together, Hotaru's first. He
tries, as is tradition in the Fujiwara clan, to marry his daughters into the imperial family.
Higekuro has died and left Tamakazura with two daughters. He has instructed her to marry
them into the imperial family. After some competition for the daughters, the retired Emperor
Reizei, who has long been interested in Tamakazura, accepts Himegimi as a replacement. She
bears him two children. His other women, Chujo and Akikonomu, become jealous. The
present emperor, angry that he wasn't given first choice of daughters, settles for Wakagimi.
This turn of events turns people against Tamakazura, who is accused of arrogance in
thrusting two daughters into the imperial line.
Prince Hachi, the Eighth Prince, is introduced. Living in exile, his wife, late in her life, gives