I was overjoyed to hear of your new appointment to Kyuden Agasha—perhaps now that you are closer to the Imperial lands, we may have the opportunity to be reunited some day soon. Alas, I do not know when the snows that have enveloped the Seppun’s estate will clear and we will be able to travel with Kage-sama, or even if any Miya Heralds will be able to travel in order to bring this message to you before spring.
In addition to the poor weather, recent times in the lands of the Seppun have been quite eventful—Seppun Ayumu-sama tragically died in his sleep of completely natural causes about which I know absolutely nothing, and his son has now ascended to his position. Unfortunately, prior to his demise, one of the attendees at Court, Mirumoto Yume, had gifted Ayumu-sama with some exotic spices rumored to be from gaijin lands. One of Ayumu’s associates, Bayushi Matahari, publicly acknowledged the gift to him shortly before his untimely and in no way suspicious death, and now vicious and hurtful rumors are circulating about Yume’s role in Ayumu-sama’s undoing.
Something about Yume—perhaps it was her innocence and her piety—reminded me of you, and I could not stand idly by while she was maligned for an occurrence that was utterly and without a doubt completely uncaused by any mortal being’s actions. When I heard the victimization of poor Yume, I confess that I publicly demanded that all those attending Seppun Doi-sama’s court cease to spread their vile slander. I even went so far as to have a servant fetch my naginata from my quarters and bring it to the banquet, so that I could defend the honor of the Dragon maiden from any who would dare to face me. None responded, but I fear the rumors are not yet completely quashed—some servants, with whom it would be unseemly to duel, no doubt still talk out Yume when they are out of earshot of any noble samurai.
I pray that you do not view my service in the defense another woman as an affront to the special bond we share, for even as I spoke of the unimpeachable honor of Yume, it was you of whom I was truly thinking. And if I could not do the honorable thing even for her, by what right could I say that I am worthy to defend your honor, if and when that opportunity arises?
A number of days later, another samurai was also found dead, though this was clearly a violation of the heavenly order, for he was murdered! I have it on good authority that the victim, Akodo Smoove, was well known for his ability to seduce many a fragile and trusting samurai-ko, a concept I find utterly repulsive and have absolutely no familiarity with whatsoever. So initial suspicions about the death currently point to one or more of his paramours being behind his death, but the wise and knowledgeable Kage-sama is still pursuing the investigation with our most capable assistance. It is fortunate that the Kitsuki investigator and his team always seems to be around when murders happen—otherwise, how else would
the plot progress Imperial Justice be administered so swiftly?