Mai's letter

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Takanata-san, beloved Uncle -

I am shamed it has been so long since I have written - when I was young, each season seemed forever, but now I can hardly draw breath without discovering another month has passed.

I beg of you to offer me your wisdom, for all speak with reverence of your sagacity and insight, and the question that puzzles me is one of family.

Is it possible, do you think, for a brother and sister to be too close? I never had a brother, and Hiroki and Hanako are, as you know, twins rather than simply brother and sister, but I begin to worry that they cannot conceive of lives apart from each other - which, as you know, will become impossible when the time comes for Hana to be married!

We have sent Hana to the House of the Lotus in Hon’eth, that she may be trained in the Flower Arts as befits a young lady of her station, but now Hiro has gone to follow his sister - surely he cannot think to pretend as a geisha, but I do not know what he is thinking.

I sometimes think my children are strangers to me, and that frightens me most of all.

I await any advice you can give,

Your dutiful niece Mai