Saiunkoku Monogatari Episode 32

Episode Title: A Woman’s Word is Her Bond
Refers to: Shūrei’s final words to Chūshō. A man’s word is his bond, but so is a woman’s word. Chūshō can threaten to do whatever he likes, but so will Shūrei and her allies.

Shōrin finally meets up with Shūrei and gives her the map of the Sa household plus a letter from Ensei before quicly retreating back to safety. Shūrei in turn asks Sakujun for the outfit of a maid, even though they both know what Shūrei is going to use it for.

Sure enough, Shūrei slips in amongst the other household staff and listens in on different conversations, trying to hear hints about where Kokujun or Lady Eiki might be held. At the end of the first day however, she has made no progress. And no more by the end of the second day either.

Thankfully, Shōrin is sticking around to try to help Shūrei. He returns to Ensei after his first meeting with Shūrei, and Ensei tells the young lad to tell Shūrei not to worry about Lady Eiki. Chūshō isn’t stupid; he knows not to try to hurt Lady Eiki. Ensei says that the person being hidden is Kokujun and that he’s likely still alive, as Chūshō will want to keep him as a “backup” for being the head of the family. You know, just in case anything happens to Sakujun. Which wouldn’t be anything to worry about, right? So, Shūrei just has to find the entrance to the dungeon. 

It’s interesting (and amusing, I won’t lie) watching Sakujun bait Shūrei as she tries to figure out where the hidden entry to the basement (dungeon) is located. They both know that’s what she’s looking for so Sakujun doesn’t bother to hide his knowledge of what she’s trying to do. Sure have a maid’s outfit, why not. Yeah go help clean my house. You’re not going to find what you’re looking for. 

At the end of the second night, Sakujun informs Shūrei that his grandfather Chūshō will want to see her the following day. She is going to be marrying into the Sa family, after all, so it’s only natural that the patriarch will want to meet the family’s newest addition, no? Shūrei gets all pissed off at the situation and doesn’t quite realize how dangerous Chūshō can be. Sakujun’s the psychopath and he could definitely kill her if he wanted to, but so could Chūshō.

Elsewhere in Koren, Ensei, Seiran and the others are still hiding out safely at Rin’s house. Seiran is keeping up his patrols while Ensei… is being Ensei, ha. He tries to bait Seiran playfully about Shūrei making Gan Lu tea for them both later after the swearing-in ceremony, but Seiran doesn’t bite.

The next day, Sakujun takes Shūrei to meet his grandfather. It’s a wonder how Chūshō can even breathe, constantly sitting in a dim room with that stupid incense always burning. He must be immune to its effects I guess.

Chūshō has no interest in Shūrei’s role as a co-governor; he only sees her as someone who could be Sakujun’s wife. When Shūrei refuses the engagement between herself and Sakujun, Chūshō threatens to burn the city down, start violent riots, and even kill a man named Yūshun Tei if Shūrei does not give in. Shūrei is very shaken by these threats, and she keeps remember words that were told to her a few episodes earlier. Can she trust that Yūshun Tei is ok? Can she continue to put her trust in the Merchant’s Guild and Shō Sai?

Taking a deep breath, Shūrei decides to trust in Ensei and Shō, so she formally refuses Chūshō’s wedding plans once more. She’s going to call the old bastard’s bluff. And then, for whatever stupid reason Shūrei decided was a good idea, she spills her plans to a now-enraged Chūshō. Shūrei doesn’t care that he’s going to hold her hostage at the Sa household until after the swearing-in ceremony, because she’s already written an emergency letter for Eigetsu transferring all of her authority to him if anything happens to her. The ceremony can still take place, Sa province will just have one less governor.

Thankfully Shūrei is able to exit the room safely on her own accord as Chūshō suddenly seems very overwhelmed upon hearing what Shūrei. Could it be the incense? A bad heart? Hey, maybe he’ll drop dead of a heart attack and spare someone the trouble of having to kill him!

So with some very important ceremonies about to take place, Shūrei’s got her back up against a wall. She’s about to become a co-governor… except she’s being held captive, she’s about to get married against her will, and she still hasn’t managed to find out where Kokujun or Lady Eiki are being held. Damn!

 

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