Book 1: Chapter 82: The “Nameless” Tea Utensil
Lily awoke to find her body clean and dry, tucked in her bed. She didn’t know what happened yesterday, but whatever it was she felt embarra.s.sed thinking about it. She trusted Nanako unconditionally, but even then, how did she get her into her room?
“Master,” s.h.i.+u’s voice came from outside her door.
“Come in.” Lily stood up, holding a mirror to comb her long hair.
“Master, a disciple of the dojo just came to deliver a message. He said that if you want to study tea ceremony with Lady Sakiko, you will need to visit the shop in town to buy a tea utensil,” said s.h.i.+u.
“Eh? Ah… I see,” Lily just realized. Right, if she wanted to learn about tea ceremony, she couldn’t just go there barehanded. Asking Sakiko to borrow her tea utensils? That wasn’t really nice.
“I got it,” Lily answered, “later on, I’m going to town to buy something. Please notify Lady Sakiko that I’m going to visit her tonight.”
“Yes, Master… And what about…”
“I, I have to humbly apologize you, Master. Please punish me tonight!”
“Oh?” Actually, punis.h.i.+ng s.h.i.+u was really tiresome. Lately, Lily had so many things to do. “Why would you say out of the blue?”
“Because… yesterday you fell asleep in the bathtub. We were afraid that you would catch a cold so Nanako and I brought you in without your consent. We d- dried your body and p- put your clothes on for you…” The more she talked, the more apparent a blush became on her cheeks, drool dripping from the corners of her mouth. “But don’t you worry Master. Except for that, we didn’t do anything weird to you!”
“Eh?” It was normal for the slaves to help their Master dry their body and put on their clothes, but s.h.i.+u and Nanako made it sound like something extremely strange, which made Lily’s face redden. “Alright, alright, speak of it no more. If it happens again, just wake me up. I got it… I got it alright.”
“So Master, will you punish me tonight?”
“No, I’m not gonna punish you,” Lily suddenly felt evil as she spoke coldly. Indeed, she was a little enraged as her two slaves had done something to her without her consent. It could also be that she understood that to a little girl like s.h.i.+u, no punishment was the true punishment.
After Lily had dressed and groomed herself, she left for town, leaving s.h.i.+u to look after the house. ‘Yeah, that should be a good enough punishment for her.’
Although the dojo had many shops on the isle, they didn’t sell any tea utensils. So, Lily was going to the tea utensil shop by the riverbank in the town.
Standing by a deserted street near the riverbank were several wooden houses hidden behind big trees.
Lily stood outside the shop, looking at the tea utensils being displayed inside.
They all looked beautiful and exquisite, but they had no special features. They looked much more ordinary than the s.h.i.+no Teacup Lily had seen at Sakiko’s.
Of course, Lily understood that Sakiko’s s.h.i.+no Teacup was a Grade Five tea utensil! In the entire Kanagawa prefecture, it was an outstanding, precious item. How could something in a little shop by the roadside compare to it!
The tea utensils’ shopkeeper was an old chajin wearing a gray hat. He asked, “Miss samurai, what tea utensil do you need?”
Since Lily was walking in town with a sword, ordinary people would look at her with respectful eyes.
“Miss samurai, the items in our shop are all the tea utensils with good grades. They aren’t just some domestic items.”
“Mister, how much are these tea utensils?”
“Haha, which one do you like?”
“That one,” Lily pointed at a white porcelain teacup among the many tea utensils.
Lily liked that teacup because the patterns on the other tea utensils around didn’t catch her interest. Since that was the case, she just simply chose one without any decoration or colors.
Although it had a pure, simple white hue and there was nothing to write home about its shape either, the pure nature of that simple teacup had touched Lily somehow.
“Haha, miss, you’ve got keen eyes,” the chajinhttps://tching.com/2012/04/h.e.l.lo-chajin/”>1 took the teacup and showed it to Lily. “This is a Grade Two tea utensil. Moreover, for a pure white teacup with no special quality to make it to Grade Two, you can tell just how extraordinary the maker was. This tea utensil costs fifteen kan. If you like it that much, just take it, but please, don’t bargain.”
Fifteen kan, Lily was startled inwardly. It was just an exquisite little utensil but it was so expensive! Of course, she knew the price was reasonable for a Grade Two tea utensils.
There was no other way around. If she wanted to practice tea ceremony, she shouldn’t use bad quality tools. But she wouldn’t be able to afford it if it was too expensive. The tea utensil also represented her learning att.i.tude toward the tea ceremony.
She said, “Sir, tea utensils are elegant and stylish. I have heard that their price is fixed. Regardless of the buyer or the seller, once the price has been set, there’s only sell or not sell. I understand that the price is non-negotiable. However, this is perhaps the highest price I can afford,” Lily said as she took out fifteen kan. Even though she said it nicely, her hands were slightly shaking.
After her recent adventure, she had earned a profit of more than one hundred and sixty kan. However, after buying Genji Swordstyle, she only had a little more than sixty kan left, and there were still so many things she needed to spend on. Even a teacup cost her fifteen kan. Sigh, she was about to run out of money again.
“Oh, right, Sir, what’s the name of this tea utensil?”
“This one was made while the master was practicing his skills. It doesn’t have a name and the master didn’t want to inscribe his name on it so the buyer wouldn’t know his name.”
“Alright, then I’ll call it Nameless,” Lily smiled as she stroked the teacup.
The tea utensil “Nameless,” Lily had finally received her first private tea utensil.
Having tea utensils symbolized status and elegance in the Heian period. At the same time, the tea utensils weren’t just to admire or enjoy, to the samurais and the onmyojis, they had other special functions.
On the way back, even though Lily was running out of money, she still bought several beautiful kimonos. Among them was a short-skirted kimono.
Receiving the clothes she had spent twenty kan to buy, Lily was startled. She needed to buy the tea utensils for her studying purpose, but why did she buy these clothes?2
Besides, while she spent fifteen kan to buy tea utensils with a clear purpose in mind, the things she bought along the street cost her twenty kan!
‘Can I still call myself a man like this! I’m clearly more feminine now!’
‘Alright… No matter what, I have only two nice sets of clothes to wear anyway. Since I have already bought it, there’s no reason for me to return it.’
When Lily returned to the dojo, she only had twenty kan left.3
- j.a.panese word for “tea people” https://tching.com/2012/04/h.e.l.lo-chajin/
- Robinxen: Lily is becoming a shopaholic.
- Robinxen: I think my Chapter 82 was superior, don’t you think?.