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By Lucia St. Clair Robson

After the execution of her father, the younger and gorgeous woman Asano is in grave possibility from the robust Lord Kira. so as to shop herself Asano needs to locate Oishi, the chief of the combating males of her extended family. She believes he's 300 miles to the southwest within the imperial urban of Kyoto.
Disguising her loveliness within the humble clothing of a touring priest, and calling herself Cat, woman Asano travels the fabled Tokaido street. Her purely instruments are her quickly wits, her samurai education, and her lethal, six foot-long naginata. and she or he will desire all of them, for a ronin has been employed to pursue her, a mysterious guy who will play a job in Cat's drama that neither can have ever imagined. . . .

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In his travels he had met a pink-cheeked farm woman, a “darling named Kasane. ” “Kasane,” he wrote. “A curious, candy identify. ” gazing her, Cat discovered that Kasane too had misplaced her domestic and a friend and have been pursued via enemies. Cat vowed to compensate for her personal meanness of spirit. “Elder sister,” she stated. Kasane jerked unsleeping. She jumped up, grabbed her pack, and started suffering into the straps. “I’m sorry to hold up you, mistress. Please forgive me, even though I don’t deserve your forgiveness. ” In her haste Kasane fumbled with the roll of mats. Cat helped her fasten them in position. “While I slept and wasted time your gentleman waits for you within the south kingdom. ” “Don’t fear your self. we have now time. ” Cat settled her furoshiki on her again, then retrieved her employees from the place it leaned opposed to the boulder. “Dewa mairo? lets cross? ” They hadn’t walked a ways alongside the abandoned highway whilst Cat felt a shy tug at her sleeve. “Forgive my rudeness … . ” Kasane held out a around white paper fan. a person had written on it in an easy, masculine hand utilizing hiragana , the syllabary of ladies and the poorly knowledgeable. Cat was once relieved to work out that the writing held neither chance nor caution. “Where did you get this? ” “I chanced on it in my pack. ” Kasane crowded on the subject of glance over Cat’s shoulder. “Who wrote it? ” “It’s a poem. ” And an unpolished and presumptuous one at that, Cat concept, yet she held her tongue. Cat was once relatively amused via the unsuitable yet heartfelt try at eloquence of a tender guy stuck up within the romance of the line. She learn the poem aloud. The final maple leaf, blasted via an icy wind, turns pink and falls. “What does it suggest? ” “You should have an admirer. He most likely paid a servant to slide this in between your issues. ” “Dame! most unlikely! ” Kasane blurted out. She lined her mouth in horror at her personal rudeness. “Maybe it used to be written by means of the good-looking younger guy who was once observing you final evening within the See No Evil. i believe his poem signifies that your chilly glances wounded him. ” “Is that so? ” Kasane used to be rattled. She became her face away and waved her hand, as if to scatter one of these preposterous suggestion. but if Cat gave the fan again to her she held it reverently and stared at it earlier than sticking it into her gown and less than her sash. “No one ever despatched poetry to this unworthy individual before,” she confessed shyly. Wisps of hair have been already escaping from the shimada hairdo Hawk had created on her the day earlier than. Kasane had wrapped a blue-and-white fabric round it and tied it on the base of the thick looped membership of hair. The kerchief made her glance back just like the commoner she used to be. She wore her enormous straw pilgrim’s hat over it. She wore mud-spattered textile gaiters and straw sandals over naked toes. She had tucked the skirt of the pilgrim’s gown into her sash on the small of her again. Her brother’s pilgrim’s gown had long past overboard with him, so Cat had traded his wadded jacket for a couple of used white gowns from Wave, the owner of the See No Evil. Wave most likely had every thing she had ever bought saved someplace within the hotel.

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