A young woman named Fuu is working as a waitress in a tea house when she is harassed by a band of ruffians. Another customer, Mugen, offers to take care of them in exchange for food, but ends up instigating a brawl. Jin, a stoic young ronin in samurai garb, enters the tea house in the midst of the fight. Mugen attacks Jin after he proves to be a worthy opponent and they begin fighting one another, ignoring a fire that started during the brawl. They both faint from smoke inhalation. When they awaken, they find they have been arrested for the murder of Shibui Tomonoshina, the magistrate's son, and are to be executed. With help from Fuu, they escape and Fuu asks them to travel with her to find "the samurai who smells of sunflowers," a mysterious man Fuu can give little description of, but whom she insists she must find. They agree to join her, with Fuu making only one condition: they are not to duel one another until the journey is done.