An unsuspecting soul had just come up to tend to the garden pots on this Haven roof, swearing at the heat. Meditating in a shady corner, Kenshin kept his eyes almost closed, and his ki quiet. Not here, no one here.
What should I do?
For samurai, it would barely be a question. Yamagata-san was the rightful daimyo of Choshu-in-Valdemar, chosen and confirmed by all his people, not just the surviving samurai. More than that, he was an honorable lord, who had done all he could to destroy the corruption of the Shogunate and build a new, more humane government. Even Yamagata’s silence on the matter of hanyou might well be the best choice he and his advisers could find; these Valdemarans lived with guardian spirits among them, even if only the Karsite Firecat had vision clear enough to see a hanyou for what he truly was.
I still don’t know what Altra said to Kaoru, at the last. If it was not to me – it must be a matter for Heralds alone. Perhaps the spirits themselves are not certain how to proceed?
That, he could well believe. The guardian spirits of Chi’in had had the most contact with the youkai of Yamato, and that had led to centuries of efforts to conquer their islands; by steel, by coin, and by magic. Because youkai were not the akuma a kirin was bound to destroy, but….
If Katsura believed we could find safe refuge here – then Companions must be more forgiving than the kirin. Even Altra threatened, but he did not attack.
A very calculated threat, that. Carefully given in full view of Megumi and her Herald, as representatives of Valdemar; and given when no noncombatants were present.
So that if he were wrong, and I truly was an akuma – no innocents would be hurt.
They’d been given a chance. They’d been given peace, offered with an open hand; and if the other hand held a silver dagger, well, that was only sane with strangers. What else could Yamagata have done, but show his people were fair, and honorable, and just, and pray Valdemar learned that of them before they realized all of Yamato’s heritage?
No, any born to bear two swords would be honored to find a place with Yamagata-san.
But I… was not.