I awoke, wrists bound, held upright by two goons dressed like living shadows, who knows how much later. Cricket, bound in the same way, sighed in relief.
“Thank God,” he whispered. “We’re in Kyoto.”
I shuddered. “Kyoto? As in, Japan?!” He nodded.
I looked around. We were in a dark, shadowy room, with a lighted aisle to a large chair. An equally large, shadowy, intimidating man was seated upon it, looking down at the bowing form of Lin. They were in deep conversation, which Cricket translated in my ear.
”’You were delayed,’ that’s the big guy. ‘I know, but I retrieved what you wanted.’ ‘Yes, in quite the creative way, I must say.’ ‘You flatter me, Master.’”
So this was her master.
”’You’ll soon be able to get what you wanted,’ that’s Lin again. ‘I sure hope so.’” The man rose, as did Lin. They both approached us. Our captors forced us to bow when he approached.
“This is Tan Xiaoli,” Lin introduced in Chinese. “And this is…”
The master interrupted in flawless English: “Arthur Livingston, I presume?”