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By Laura Joh Rowland

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Probably you wish a maid? should you move domestic, you’ll take me with you? ” below the other conditions, Reiko wouldn’t lease one of these shifty personality as Lilac, yet now she acknowledged, “Yes, if that’s what you will have. ” Lilac grew to become to her, eyes agleam. “It will be larger if I didn’t need to paintings. might be i may be your better half as a substitute? ” on the girl’s mercy, Reiko acknowledged, “All correct. ” “Someday I’d prefer to marry a wealthy samurai. may well you discover a husband for me? ” The nerve of her! Reiko’s jaw dropped. evidently sensing she’d overstepped herself, Lilac stated, “Yesterday I advised you I’d go searching in your son. What if i do know anything approximately him, too? ” “Do you? ” Reiko gasped with wish while she hated Lilac for taking part in on her vulnerability. “I might,” Lilac stated, artful and having fun with her strength over Reiko. “But if you'd like me to inform you what, you’ll need to make it worthy my whereas. ” “All correct. certain! ” If the lady helped reunite her with Masahiro in addition to remedy the homicide, Reiko may marry Lilac to the shogun himself. “Tell me! ” She observed how keen Lilac used to be to snatch the prize. The girl’s fingers curled into little greedy claws. Dimples bubbled in her cheeks. yet her gaze measured Reiko. “How do i do know that if I let you know, you’ll continue your finish of our cut price? ” “You can belief me,” Reiko guaranteed her. simply then, the door opened and guards peered in, checking on Reiko. Lilac all started guiltily. They either waited in taut silence till the guards close the door and left. “I can’t speak now,” Lilac whispered. “Not the following. ” “Then the place? whilst? ” Reiko pleaded in an pain of frustration. “Tomorrow,” Lilac stated. “But—” prior to Reiko may possibly protest to any extent further, Lilac jumped up, bowed rapidly, and ran from the room. 18 Escorted by way of Gizaemon and a squadron of troops, Sano and Detective Fukida inspected workplaces, a safeguard room, and reception chambers that contained not anything of curiosity. ultimately they arrived in Lord Matsumae’s inner most quarters. Gizaemon leaned within the doorway whereas Sano and Marume seemed round the bedchamber. The lacquer tables, monitor, iron chests, and silk cushions have been aligned parallel to the partitions. The alcove held a jade vase that contained a department of scarlet berries and a scroll with calligraphy so stylized that Sano couldn’t learn it. The decor might have been lifted from any stylish samurai condominium in Edo. The servants had neatened the room in the course of Lord Matsumae’s absence, yet Sano may well nonetheless scent his stale physique scent, which had soaked into the mats at the flooring and partitions. “What are you searching for? ” Gizaemon requested. “I’ll comprehend while i locate it,” Sano answered. Gizaemon snorted and chewed a sassafras toothpick. “This shouldn’t take lengthy. ” Fukida opened chests that held dishware for serving tea and sake, cards, a chessboard and items. Sano went to the cupboard. inside of he came across outfits, shaving apparatus, a toiletry equipment with replicate, brush, and comb, and pairs of trainers. The booths for bedding have been empty; it had most likely been taken away for laundry. not just did Sano now not recognize precisely what he was once trying to find that would implicate Lord Matsumae within the homicide, he hadn’t a lot wish that he may locate it the following.

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