Episode 3: Farewell, my love
The an donuts that Jin and Saki had presented to Princess Kazunomiya are suspected to be laced with arsenic and they are put into the Kodenmacho jailhouse on charges of attempted poisoning. Because it is the princess who was poisoned, the matter has to be dealt with in absolute secrecy or it would jeopardise the union of the shogunate and the Imperial family, and plunge the shogunate into a crisis. Everything will be blamed on Jin and Saki in order to bury the matter.
Jin, who is sent to the great jailroom, is subjected to unrelenting treatment by the head of the prisoner’s group and his underlings. Before long, 100 ryo in bribes is paid for Jin by a mysterious man who is described to have the appearance of a merchant. With that bribe, Jin’s life might be spared … …
But when he declines an offer by the the head of a prisoner’s group to promote him to one of his attendants and instead dares to ask that everyone’s tatami mats be spread out, the man attempts to instigate the rest of the common criminals to kill Jin. That unexpectedly backfires. Sick of killing people on his orders, the common criminals turn against him. One even strikes him in the chest, and he crumples to the ground unconscious. Guessing that he may have a ventricular tachycardia, Jin thumps hard on his chest and saves his life. In awe, the prisoners reverentially get down on their knees one by one and bow to him.
What awaits Jin next is brutal physical torture by government officials. He eventually resigns himself to death and to face Heaven’s judgment.
Meanwhile, Katsu, Ryoma and Kyotaro enlist Shinmon Tatsugoro’s cooperation and attempt to intercede with the shogunate to rescue Jin. Although a merchant, Shinmon is close to Tokugawa Yoshinobu because his daughter is one of the shogun’s concubines.
The results of the investigation by the Tokugawa government’s medical school is gradually disclosed. Arsenic was found in one of the donuts that Jin brought. This makes no sense if Jin had meant to poison Princess Kazunomiya. However, it is not enough to prove his innocence. Matsumoto believes they will only be able to disprove the accusation if they can find the missing tea cup that the princess had drunk from. Believing that this is the fault of the Institute of Western Medicine, Saburi blames Fukuda Genko who hails from the institute.
Fukuda desperately pleads with Taki, who has been put in charge of the investigation of this case, to conduct a fair probe. However, Taki disregards these wishes, and decides on the death sentence for Jin … … Armed with a note from the shogun, Ryoma and Kyotaro attempt to stop the government officials as they convey Jin to the magistrate’s office but the note is dismissed as a forgery.
At the magistrate’s office, Jin, who is prepared for the death sentence, is surprised to hear the magistrate declare him not guilty!?!
Jin later learns from Matsumoto that the missing tea cup was discovered behind an altar at the temple and traces of arsenic had been found in it. The arsenic on the donut was attributed to the tea. One of the ladies-in-waiting was suspected of administering the poison, but committed suicide before she could be interrogated while the mastermind remains at large. Then, to his surprise, Jin is told that Taki’s dissatisfaction with the investigation findings had led to the discovery of the tea cup.
That night, a celebration is held at Jinyudo. As Jin wonders aloud about the person who paid his bribe, Yamada suggests that it had to be Nokaze, who had left Jinyudo abruptly on the night that Jin and Saki were arrested. There is only one way she could have made that money … …
As Ryoma and Jin are about to leave Jinyudo the next morning to search for Nokaze, she appears before them riding on horseback together with a white man. Nokaze cheerfully announces that she is to formally wed. She had in fact gone to the pleasure quarters at Yokohama to sell herself, but was stopped by a subordinate of her French admirer, Lelong, who has been searching for her everywhere. Lelong is a trustworthy man who will make her happy, she assures Jin and urges him to think about his own happiness. Saki appears disturbed by this turn of events as she recalls an earlier conversation with Jin about Nokaze and Miki.
Later that day, Jin seeks Saki out for a talk.
“It seemed that I could have returned to the future
when I was about to be killed.
It may have been my hallucination,
but at that moment,
I didn’t want to go back.
I felt more pained at the thought of not being able to see you,
than with not being able to see Miki.
Even though I don’t wish to return, I may be taken back someday.
I don’t know if a person like that should say such things,
but Saki-san, can you be with me?”
Saki hesitates for a long time. She recalls Nokaze’s words asking her to promise that she will be happy with Jin, as she carefully forms her reply to Jin … …
“My happiness is not being with you.
My happiness is to leave Jinyudo for future generations.
There are times when I feel miserable when you think of things in the world that you will return to some day.
If I search my heart for the reason,
it is because I will not exist in that future that you will go back to.
In that case, I hope to leave something behind.
Of those fleeting days that
I … we lived with you … …”
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