Sejanes listened to a murmur of speech too low to be heard. Caught the quick strides of the queen and her bodyguards coming his way, and carefully straightened his robes. Grimaced at a stray spot of ink on one cuff. Herald-Captain, if Himura and I can’t keep her safe, no one can.
A blink of surprise. :You think Kenshin would protect her?:
He’s the one who made Yamagata walk here.
“Made him walk here?” Voice low, Selenay regarded Sejanes with a thoughtful frown. “Bright Lady, are you serious?”
So Kerowyn had been filling her in. Good. “Oh, yes,” the ex-Imperial said dryly. “You don’t think Yamagata would humble himself before a gaijin Queen of his own will, do you?”
“Even to greet the Emperor, daimyo ride,” Sejanes stated. “At least until they enter the outer gates of the palace itself. The way of the samurai is not just the sword and the bow, but the horse and the bow. For one of Yamagata’s station to walk is to admit his honor is in peril. That his service to you may have been flawed, and requires your judgment.”
Valdemar’s Queen stared into him as if she would read his soul. “I should have tracked down Darkwind’s dyheli allies and asked them to take the language – and the culture – the moment the Yamato dropped in on us.”
“I doubt you would have found a volunteer,” Sejanes shrugged. “They’re very private people.”
“So. Given that you’re the next best thing we have to a chatty Yamato, tell me. Why,” Selenay asked dangerously, “would Himura make Yamagata walk to me?”
“Because this isn’t just a matter of a minor injury, smoothed over by a lord’s proper attendance on the ruler of the land. If what Karal told me is true-” Gods, if it is! “This is life or death for all the hanyou in Valdemar. And Himura knows it. He walked here. He’s thrown himself on your mercy, for the sake of the child. And because of who he is, Yamagata had to match him. Choshu itself kneels at your feet, waiting for you to choose life or death.” Sejanes’ smile turned wry. “Mind, if it’s death, I suspect Himura will be through the nearest window with every last one of his people he can salvage.”