“Carter is never going to let us live this down, is she?” Jack had muttered, trying not to fidget with his obi.
“After that mess on Simarka?” Daniel had let one eyebrow arch. “No. Never.”
At least now Jack wasn’t trying to untie or retie anything, proof that long experience wearing uncomfortable formal uniforms was good for something. Daniel took a long, deep breath, and pushed himself to his feet again. “Sorry. I… didn’t expect this many people.” Thousands. Maybe tens of thousands; Shitori was as big as Kintetsu, if a little more vertical. And Aragane had been bigger than this?
They didn’t lose a place like the Mountain. They lost a whole city.
“It’s a small station.” Dogen rubbed at his chin, taking in the sights with a calculating eye. “But after two weeks on the rails… it is astonishing, how crowded all this room seems.”
Daniel did not need Jack’s aside glance to recognize Politician Scheming, thank you. He just hoped the scheming was mostly on their side.
Yukina was frowning. “Lady Ayame. If we’re going to get the Koutetsujou’s parts in time, we should be going….”
“This will only take a minute.” Ayame nodded at Kurusu.
The samurai hid his sigh well. “Stay out of trouble.”
Yukina’s eyebrows jumped; she smothered a chuckle. Suzuki was silent, but shoulders shook under his steamsmith’s jacket.
Ikoma looked indignant. “I do!”
One blue-black brow slanted up. “Terrible form.”