Accounts of Strange Incidents

Twenty-Second Panel

Fathers

“Please take in our daughters!”


Later in that day, Setsuna, the head geisha of the Tensai, approaches Akiteru with a concern: several peasant fathers from the Nohebi have approached her and begged her to take in their daughters as geisha so that they will not be taken away as payment for the gambling debts their fathers had incurred.

The Oniwaban asks her if the mother geisha house would be able to accommodate more maiko and if the daughter house she is setting up in the former Su lands could handle the overflow. Setsuna agrees and goes to make the necessary arrangements. As she leaves, Akiteru reminds her that this is only a stop-gap solution at best and does not address the real problem. Furthermore, not all the daughters who are offered are to be accepted as geisha; only those who show obvious talent. The Head Geisha nods and departs.

In the office of the Takumi, Kaisei, concerned about the rumors and how this would affect his family, asks Natsumi what had happened to her natural father. The kitsune replies that her kitsune father had disappeared during the war between the Tensai and the Su. Saki and Soichiro have been taking care of her ever since until Kaisei adopted her.

Soichiro approaches Yugiri for an augury that would indicate the most favorable day to present Tenka to the Shogun. The Onmyouji asks why to the Shogun and not to the Imperial Court, to which the Karo replies that the Shogun is closer and therefore more dangerous.

“The Shogun is closer and therefore more dangerous.”


Yugiri says that he cannot see Tenka presented so soon, at which Soichiro says that he would appreciate it very much if the Onmyouji were to stay by the side of his Daimyo. Yugiri, however, successfully manages to deflect this task to the Takumi once again. When the Karo voices his concern that Tenka has been acting strange of late, Yugiri suggests that perhaps the Daimyo should become closer friends with his Hatamoto in order to have the favor of the gods rub off on him.

Meanwhile, Murasaki gets flustered at the growing amount of attention attention she is getting from the Suzaku, all of whom style themselves as her elder brothers and have sworn to watch over her even though she can easily best any dozen of them all at once. Kazuhira is particularly vocal. She seeks out and finds Takeshi, who, along with the other officers, has summoned all the merchants in Ranzan who are known to deal in firearms to a meeting in the Takumi’s office.

Only three answer the summons and the officers recognize them as trusted merchants and men of good repute in Ranzan. Keiko is present as the Takumi’s secretary while Setsuna, Susume, and Mariko serve refreshments at the meeting, all the while listening in on the conversation which very quickly turns somber.

When the officers get confirmation that it is the foreigners, the Portuguese, who have been buying the women, Akiteru quietly and discretely instructs Setsuna to start a whispering campaign among the Ranzan women to prevent their men from gambling, if they value their livelihoods and daughters.

“Have the women warn their men against gambling.”


End of the Twenty-Second Panel
to the Twenty-First Panel
to the Twenty-Third Panel

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