Tatsu is a slightly-delusional painter who lives in the wilderness. He spends his days painting nothing but the image of his love, a princess he believes has been incarnated as a dragon. His work is noticed by a servant of Kano Indara, an aging master painter who has no male heir or disciple to whom to pass his skills. The servant brings Tatsu to Indara under the belief that Indara can help him find his princess in exchange for allowing Indara to pass his knowledge on to him. Once there, Tatsu is led to believe that Indara's daughter, Ume Ko, is the princess. Tatsu agrees to stay, but now that he has found his love he no longer has the inspiration to paint the masterpieces that he once produced. Ume Ko pretends to kill herself so that Tatsu can once again find inspiration through his sorrow, and once he regains this she reveals herself to him. He has learned that "love must be a slave to art", and they live out the rest of their days together, with Tatsu painting her as he once did.