"It's no good getting old. Just like overworked metal, an overworn man is prone to fatigue. Still to this day, though, nothing beats a piping hot bath." "I envy you your health. We should all be so lucky." "I wouldn't say I'm healthy. I'm only just fending off illness. A human being, if he lives his life right, should last to a hundred and twenty." "Really? That long?" "That long. I can assure you. Before the Restoration there was a shogunate vassal in Ushigome named Magaribuchi. Magaribuchi's manservant was a hundred and thirty." "Now that's a long life." "That it is. He lived so long he lost track of his own age. Up to one hundred was fine, but from there he stopped counting. He was a hundred and thirty when I met him, and he was still going strong. I can't say what became of him, but could be he's still kicking." Thus saying, he rose and left the tub. The man with the mustache was lost in his own world, grinning as he seeded the waters around him with isinglass-like droplets. The brute who plunged in next was not your typical brute. His back was a living canvas. The design, it seemed, was Iwami Jūtarō wielding his long sword, preparing to vanquish a serpent. Regrettably, the design work was still in process, and the serpent was nowhere to be seen. One sensed, as a consequence, that master Jūtarō's enthusiasm was duly subdued. "Far too tepid," the brute exclaimed as he plunged in. Another one plunged in after. "Agreed ... could stand to be hotter." Despite these words, his face makes a grimace, as though it's plenty hot. "Afternoon, boss." He greets the Jūtarō man as their eyes meet. "Hey," is Jūtarō's curt response, followed after some pause by a question. "What's with Tami?" "What's with him? You know how he loves the bells and lights." "I don't mean just the bells and lights ..." "Quite right. There's something with that guy -- for whatever reason, folks don't like him -- hard to say why -- they just don't trust him. A craftsman can't be like that." "Exactly. Where he should be humble, he's pompous. That's why no one trusts him." "That's the truth. He may be skilled in his craft -- in the end, though, he's only hurting himself." "The old Shirokane-chō guard is fading away. There's the cooper Moto still, the master brickmaker, and there's you. I was born and raised here too, but does anyone know where Tami's from?" "That's the point. It's a wonder he's come as far as he has." "It sure is. For whatever reason, folks don't like him. The man has no friends." The censure of Tami goes on and on.