Happy holidays! Akemashite omedeto gozai masu!
Here’s the first sneak preview to Kano, the third book in the Seasons of the Sword series!
Obviously, there are spoilers for Risuko and Bright Eyes — if you haven’t read them yet, you might want to check them out first!
Chapter 1: Tiptown
Lady Hōjō,” sighed the Uesugi captain, “I can’t let you and your party through without an escort—there’s trouble on the other side of the province. We’ve already had to send half of the garrison west, so I can’t spare any men to protect you.”
Mieko gave him her most disgusted Lady Chiyome glare. “Ruffian.” She turned to me and Toumi, kneeling to her left in the captain’s office. “What will Masugu-sama think if we don’t arrive in the capital on time?”
I put my hand in her knee like the supportive lady’s maid that I supposedly was. “I’m sure the shōgun will understand if his cousin, your intended, has to change the wedding date.”
When Toumi gave a dismissive snort and muttered, “Sure he will,” Mieko covered her face in her hands and began to wail.
I handed her a silk handkerchief marked with the orange, three-triangle mon of her supposed clan.
The Uesugi commander ground his teeth, clearly unused to having to manage high-strung noble brides—or cunning kunoichi. “My lady…” He closed his eyes. “Can I get you something, my lady?”
This was the cue we had been waiting for. “Please,” I simpered, “if this humble servant might fetch her ladyship some wine, that might help our mistress’s nerves.”
“Yes, yes,” grumbled the captain. “The stores are immediately across the courtyard, to the right of the main gate.”
As I bowed, Mieko sniffled, “Oh, you go with her, Toumi. She’s always getting lost.”
“Yes, my lady,” said Toumi in a more than passably respectful manner. Really, if you didn’t know her, you might almost have thought she was sweet. Continue reading Tiptown (Kano, Chapter 1)