"Do you fancy him?" Yukimura overhears Yanagi ask Sanada as he moves a tile across the board. He watches as his danna looks up, quickly looking down towards the strings on his shamisen as Sanada glances his way. Yukimura barely sees Yanagi give them both a curious look.
"What makes you ask, Renji?"
"The trip to the theater, the jade hair ornament, various kimono totaling in the thousands of yen. You could have done any of those things for Hanako, but you chose to do them for a geisha. People are bound to talk if they get wind of it."
Yukimura thinks Yanagi has a point, but he starts playing a song on the shamisen instead of interjecting like he would otherwise. Though, the fact that the man knows his secret is not only completely annoying but worrisome. He tries to ignore it for the sake of his danna. If Sanada doesn't mind, then neither should the other man. It is really none of Yanagi's business.
"Renge is a better conversationalist." Sanada pauses, contemplating the board. "You know that I don't abide by rumour. Let them speak. I'll be sure to deal with them accordingly."
"That leads to assumption that you actually talk, and Genichirou, that attitude will win you no favours."
"Hn. It has done me wonders so far."
The conversation dies as Sanada moves his piece. Yukimura watches them interact from the other side of the room. He isn't sure how his danna took that topic, but he hopes it doesn't reflect badly on him in the future. Every once in awhile, he crosses the room and refills their tea cups. He doesn't dare interrupt their strategising by talking. He continues to play the shamisen in between the breaks.
"Checkmate," Sanada says eventually.
Yukimura looks up, his fingers stalling on the strings. Yanagi rises. He bows to Yukimura and says something in a low voice to Sanada that he can't make out. The other man leaves the room quietly and the geisha waits a few moments before crossing over and sitting next to his danna.
"Is every thing okay Sanada-san? I hope Yanagi-san didn't upset you."
"You agreed with him, yes?"
"I know you have your own reasons for the things you do."
"That isn't an answer." Sanada removes the pieces from the board. "He doesn't upset me. Occasionally the things he says are annoying, but he can't help it. Knowing everything is part of what makes him so useful."
"Do you...what Yanagi-san said?"
"I wasn't lying when I said you were a better conversationalist."
"That isn't an answer either. Your wife can't be that bad, Sanada-san."
"You know that I consider you to be a close friend. My wife and I have nothing in common. It was purely an arranged marriage of convenience."
Yukimura nods. "Did you win?" he asks. The previous subject made him a bit uncomfortable and he didn't want to discuss it any longer. Thinking about such things is not allowed until he is in the privacy of his own home.
"Barely. Yanagi is incredibly formidable." Sanada sounds relieved by the change in topic.
"He works with you?" The geisha picks up the empty tea mugs as Sanada finishes placing the shogi tiles in their case.
Sanada nods. "In a way. He knows many things about a great number of subjects."
Yukimura knows from the vague answer that his danna can't say anything more. Yanagi is probably some high ranking official like Sanada himself. He doesn't press further.
"The shamisen was a nice touch. Thank you."
Yukimura gives him a light smile. "Were you able to think better?"
"Quite. I think it was what I needed to edge him out."
"My pleasure." A smug look appears on Yukimura's face and he bows slightly so that Sanada can't see it. Eventually they fall into a comfortable silence, the only sound is the pendulum of the clock in the corner. Knowing his danna is deep in thought, Yukimura finishes cleaning up the tea and exits the room, leaving the older man to brood.