Youko shook her head. "No.""They introduce you to a marriage partner, set the conditions and arrange for the meeting. For afee, they register you on the census and transfer the land. And after that, you split up. That's what anintercessor does.""That's incredible."PAGE 12"You think so?""In Yamato, marriage is not so simple. Well, recently, people have become very adept at gettingdivorces, but it's not exactly an admirable thing to do. Splitting up so simply is pretty surprising."Rangyoku giggled. "Yamato must really be a great place. In my case, when I find the right person,we're going to stay together and have children and raise a family. But if my partition ends up in Wa,that's what I'll do. Did you know that the tax rate in Shisui is seventy percent?""You're kidding!"Taxes typically came to ten percent of the harvest. Adding in special levies to support the militaryand the civil service, it shouldn't exceed twenty percent. That was established policy."Levies amount to twenty percent, and there's a ten percent poll tax. A twenty percent excise taxfor building bridges and dikes. A contingency tax for defending against youma and funding theorphanages. It all adds up to seventy percent.""That's crazy."The law consisted of the Law of the Land and the Divine Decrees, also known as the GreatColonnade. The Divine Decrees were the provisions handed down by Heaven. Not even a king couldviolate them. Laws promulgated by the king were known as the Law of the Land. It was equallyforbidden for province lords and governors to abrogate the Law of the Land. The tax rate wasestablished according to the Law of the Land, and it was ten percent. Province lords and governorswere allowed to impose another five percent on top of that. The current imperial tax rate had beenreduced to eight percent, and no additional levies were allowed.PAGE 13That's what Youko said. "Levies are not now allowed. Furthermore, I haven't heard of anyadditional taxes being imposed. To start with, what in the world are these contingency and excisetaxes? Those services should be provided by the Imperial Army."Rangyoku said with a nervous laugh, "That's why they say Shoukou isa tyrant. Really, I can'tunderstand why the Empress looks the other way when there are people like him around." She cutthe thread she was sewing with and stuck the needle in the pincushion. "Better get dinner ready. Youneed to change. If Keikei sees all that blood, it'll throw him for a loop."