Through the Cracks Ch6 bit – Humbling


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?”

Humble himself?”

“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.”

21 thoughts on “Through the Cracks Ch6 bit – Humbling

  1. Out the window, through a few walls, maybe through the crews of a Navy ship* or two… And woe be to anyone who tries to follow him over any bridges!

    *Having not read the books, I’ve no idea if they have a Navy or not.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. >Which has to be driving a lot of the Yamatoans crazy, where’s the seaweed!>
        And I can’t remember perfectly but seaweed and derived products seemed to be a fairly important part of at least some traditional Japanese diets.

        That will be nearly as much a problem as all the diary products that Valdemar uses that the Yamato people simply can’t digest.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wonder if the Yamatoans are getting certain dietary deficiency problems?

        Because I bet salt is more of a premium in Valdemar. Especially sea salt. Which often has iodine in it. You don’t need a lot of iodine but you do need some. And given the island nature of Yamato, their bodies are used to it being pretty available except in some pretty remote areas.

        Through war can disurpt that kind of trade . . . . but then you get people who say things like “I made war with swords, not salt.”

        Or the omega-3 fatty acids and other good stuff that is in fish . . .

        Liked by 2 people

      3. There’s trout in Valdemar. Canon. I’m guessing people are eating a lot of that. And Lake Evendim… is very, very odd. I suspect salt’s coming from that direction.

        Not to mention, insect-eating has probably moved from “backwoods habit” to Healers like Gensai prescribing it. Did you know stinkbugs are an awesome source of iodine?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. *Googles Valdemar Lake Evendim*

        Huh. Massive hole in the ground caused by magic explosion. (Yamagata, take note.) Big enough to support fishermen and — pirates? Like Jack Sparrow light or just bandits with boats who //think// they’re pirates?

        …and is part of the oddity of the lake you reference caused by background magic radiation?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, he would be.

    So fast your head would spin.

    Selenay is generally inclined toward life.

    And this situtation was bound to happen one way or another. Because having the hanyou conceal what they are is short-term solution because it cannot hold up long term. Because children like Ayame cannot control their Gifts upon manifestation. It was going to come out and people like Selenay would want to know why they weren’t informed before people were bleeding on the streets.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *G* And this is one of the reasons Kenshin’s been hanging out in the dojo. He had a good guess this would blow up, and he wanted to be sure it was a controlled burn!

      Which is why he made ’em walk. After all, Yamagata has thoroughly insulted Selenay, keeping all this under wraps. Maybe it was the best thing he could think of to do, but it was an insult. So Kenshin has just made sure there was a public apology.

      …Yes, he expects to suffer consequences for that. Ouch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So Kenshin has just made sure there was a public apology.

        Especially since despite her generosity toward their stranded people, Yamagata clearly had no problem with continuing to slight and insult her. Ignoring not only her generosity but the fact that she has been trying for past two years to treat him with the exact courtesy and respect or as near as she can give as his rank would befit him in HIS cultural terms to the BEST of her knowledge. And if she does insult them, once she knows about it, she apologizes and avoids doing it again.

        In other words, Selenay has been upholding her end of the courtesy bargain.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She has indeed. However, Selenay also has a stable power base, a people who love her, divine intervention on her side, and isn’t scrambling madly around trying to keep a whole bunch of cantankerous (and highly armed) people mostly pointing the same direction. Yamagata is trying to both keep his people together and not step on too many toes in the process. I’d give him kudos for pulling it off this well, IMHO.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yes and no… Putting people under obligations they cannot pay back? Breeds resentment. Even if they don’t know. And feeling guilty about your actions and secrecy breeds resentment, too. Totally illogical, but there you go.

        So having your lord catch you out is not comfy, but it might actually be something of a relief to Yamagata. Eventually. Probably not today.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I’d give him kudos for pulling it off this well, IMHO.

        I’m trying to get him credit where credit is due. And it is due. Because keeping his people together has likely been a headache and a half.

        Still, especially in his internal narration, he gets annoyingly rude toward Selenay and the rest.

        Maybe I’m just annoyed about the small factor about them clearly not intending to get so much as a “by your leave” before they barged in on Valdemar. Yes, they weren’t aiming for Haven in the original plan but they still were planning to enter her country without even trying to ask. Wars start over that kind of thing. Amongst other very unpleasant things.

        If Selenay had tried to do this, bring a bunch of her people to HIS DOMAIN in Yamato without asking or even thinking she needed to ask at all with ABSOLUTELY NO WARNING, Yamagata wouldn’t have nearly as nice about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Given the Companions would have been screaming about demons all over the place… he would have been justified

        Fair point.

        Even without the Companions screaming about demons . . . I still don’t think such a meeting would end well. At least not for everyone.

        Look just how close it came to going that badly pear-shaped in Valdemar and many of them don’t have “attack first, ask questions later if anyone survives” mindset – which to be fair to Yamatoans, if you had the kind of critters they do eating people, you’d have the mentality about anything or anyone that appeared out of nowhere too . . .

        Plus, you know, foreign magicians and their habit of trying to conquer Yamato . . . no reason to assume this bunch of foreigners doesn’t have ideas in that direction . . . after all, everyone else they’ve met does.

        Through given that they sent Kaoru’s father to Valdemar, they must have heard something about that country that made them think sending someone to scout out it’s potential as a back-up in case things didn’t go exactly according to plan to a good use of a loyal samurai (and if you don’t need the back-up, well, trade relationships and all that jazz . . .)

        Liked by 2 people

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