“Retaliation?” Selenay said neutrally. “From your own people?” Kerowyn had put together quite a story. Let’s see how much of it he admits to.
Yamagata drew back a step, watching her carefully. “He is… Battousai.”
“Katsura’s blade,” Selenay said levelly. “Katsura’s assassin.”
If Yamagata winced, she couldn’t distinguish it from his glare. “Don’t tell me you don’t have your own, your Majesty.”
Now she wanted to wince. Thank the gods Elspeth did resign as Heir. She understands killing, and being sent to kill, but… I’m not sure she would ever accept being responsible for ordering the kind of the things I’ve had Alberich and Kerowyn – and even Skif – do. With luck, Elspeth’s younger brother Kris would. He’d have to. “The Heralds protect Valdemar. And I understand from Heralds Kaoru Kamiya and Kerowyn that Himura Kenshin has affirmed he only intends to use his skills to protect your people.” Selenay paused. “I’m sure you understand that I hope your people are also my people.”
Tell me, Yamagata. Do you mean to stay? Is Valdemar a home for you? Or is our refuge just a place to wait and bide your time, before you start another war?
Tell me the truth. Just this once.
Yamagata looked away. “I understand Himura’s going to have to give testimony as to his whereabouts at the time of a murder in Rethwellan.”
“Yes,” Selenay said cautiously; the Guards had given the Heralds the broad details of the case as soon as they realized the man in question was about to come before the Council. “I believe Herald Kamiya will take it tonight.” It’s going to be hard enough telling our people about hanyou without starting a panic. The last thing we need is a murder investigation hanging over the main example’s head. If he’s innocent.
“Hmm.” Yamagata flicked a glance at her. “It should be interesting to hear what your Prince Consort’s people have to say tomorrow.”
You mean, it will be interesting to see what we say – and do – when the Rethwellans insist Himura’s guilty, Selenay realized. Of course.