Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora
<The Shore in Twilight, the Sky in Daybreak>

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter One ~


Sanshi (q) drew a deep sigh. The dull golden darkness that enveloped her. The "somewhere" that is both narrow and boundless.

-- I made it.

This time she could spare departing from him. This time she could be beside him instead of losing him. Venting restlessness that nearly blinded her sight, her sigh made her so calm that it fogged her mind. It was until a voice suddenly popped out somewhere within the dull golden darkness when she came to herself.

" -- This is..."
Sanshi came to herself by a voice tinged with surprise.
" ... a cage."
" Gouran ()"
Did he follow to here amidst the chaos? A cage, Sanshi asked back half surprised, and noticed it herself.

She was in the shadow of the familiar Taiki. Even Sanshi didn't know where exactly she was. It must be somewhere in the dull golden darkness into which she fell. A place without up or down or boundaries.

Different from a beast or a human, Sanshi doesn't sleep, so she doesn't understand. But she could sleep, she would know that it was like inside a dream. Vaguely she knew it was "somewhere," but she didn't know where exactly it was. She didn't even know whether she fell into the dull golden darkness, or whether weak dull gold rays shone into the place.

However, this "somewhere" was narrow. She clearly sensed that it was narrow. She felt as if something hard and sturdy was enclosing the place. For sure, that something is nothing like the dangerously weak golden glow.

-- A cage. Definitely. They were bottled in.

" That is..."
She mumbled, but she couldn't feel any air passing through her throat. Maybe she was just thinking aloud, and was just about to mumble it out.
" What is this shell?"
Gouran's "voice" was filled with doubt. Again, it might be just her feeling that it was a "voice" after all.

" A shell..."
It was Taiki, she instinctively knew. The existence of Taiki was tightly wrapped by something extremely tough.
Sanshi guided her consciousness outside tentatively. Normally her will can escape from the "somewhere" and touch the mana that connects to Taiki, but now some viscous resistance blocked her will.
" I cannot get out of the shadow..."


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