“Sounds damn useful.” Kerowyn’s eyes narrowed. “What’s the catch?”
“Catch?” Kamiya started.
“Magic has a price,” the captain said levelly. “Anything that strong has to have a hell of one.”
Yamagata’s eyes narrowed slightly at the man. Don’t you dare-!
Himura’s gaze let it slide off, subtle as water. “It does.” He glanced at Ayame. “When the little one is the age you call thirteen, or fourteen, she will be given a blade. Perhaps a sword, if those skills are hers; perhaps a knife, or even an iron fan. And she will carry that weapon, or one like it, until the end of her days.” Moving without hurry, he drew his saya from his obi, holding the sheathed blade out level, one black bar in front of red silk. “As this blade remains with me, always. Even were I bound and imprisoned, even were I kneeling on the execution grounds, no sane citizen of Yamato would take it from me.”
“On the face of it, that would seem not to make sense,” Selenay said neutrally. Her gaze flicked to the captain, who suddenly looked as if she’d been hit on the head with an iron club. “I take it there is a reason.”
Himura shoved the saya back under his obi. “It is… the closest I can come in your tongue is sealing weapon. The smith’s craft ties it to the hanyou who carries it, using the soul of steel to steady the Gift if pain or anger should drive one beyond reason.” He scanned the room, mild gaze passing over every council member in turn. “For if anger seizes us, if life is threatened, our Gifts respond.”
“Huh! So do Heralds!” A grim older lord from near the Holderkin lands scowled at them. “And they don’t flaunt swords in the streets!”
I’ve had enough of coddling these fools. “Lavan Firestorm,” Yamagata said bluntly.
Ah, that had even the idiots’ attention.