When Suika Kawamiya stood before it, she felt very small. Compared to the Maester, she was tiny; his six-foot-three form compared to her five feet with not an inch to spare was bad enough. But regardless, she used the knocker and waited.
A Guado servant swept her inside with a polite greeting and got her a fruity-tasting tea and set her to wait in a sitting room. She examined the paintings; guado lords and ladies of Seymour's line, images of Guadosalam's rootlike structure, and a single painting of Lady Yuna. They were all splendidly done, the portrait of Yuna had been done with exquisite care.
A stylized 'S' was the signature at the bottom left corner. Suika wondered if it meant Seymour had rendered the work.
"My dear," came Seymour's gentle voice as Suika was examining the portrait. "Are you admiring Samuel's work? He's a fine artist, isn't he?"
She jumped slightly, nearly slopping her tea over the rip of her cup. "Oh! Maester!"
He smiled at her, beckoning her back to one of the chairs as he took a seat opposite her. "Please. You came to speak with me?"
"I came to thank you," Suika clarified, putting her tea aside.
A dark brow arched upward. "Thank me? Whatever for?"
"For telling me it could get better. That I could find use again." Suika said. "Benten and I, we've… merged in a way. I'm going to live again through her. With a little name change, but… Benten and I are now..."
"Two sides of the same coin?" Seymour suggested.
"Yes! Exactly. She'll be the 'me' of the moment, the Fukojin of Sairai, while I've been modified a bit to fit the 'Benten' of the past." 'Suika' beamed. "My new name is going to be Harusameya Houmei."
"A lovely name. 'Spring Rain Conceals Light'?"
"Yes." Suika (or was she Houmei now?) said with enthusiasm. "And I've already met our Chichiri. He's very nice. Not at all like the other."
Seymour nodded quietly, listening to her beginning to ramble. She was animated now, seeming much more alive then she had before - it was a lovely change, he decided. Even if she was going to step into a villainy role, it was a lovely change indeed.
He couldn't bear to tell her that in the same time she'd found this new hope, he'd been officially retired. But it was balance, he surmised. Balance in all things.