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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter Two ~


The previous emperor of Tai was named Kyou-ou (遉, the self-indulging emperor). He reigned for 124 years.

Kyou-ou loved glamour, and indulged himself in extravagance, but he kept close guard with regards to politics. He indulged himself with playmates within the palace, gathered beautiful concubines at his back palace, and wasted the treasures of his kingdom like tumbling water, but he had never ever granted his playmates with official positions, and let them involve in administration. This is the reason why it had been often said then: Darkness reigned the beddings, and light reigned the court. (*)

In fact, setting apart whether Kyou-ou was a wise ruler, Kyou-ou was not the least foolish with regards to administration. He emphasized on customs and focused on righteousness and order, disliked radical changes or reforms, and built a solid and sturdy era in his reign. Towards his reign's end, the government treasury was depleted and the kingdom was poor, but compared to other kingdoms, it could be said the erosion due to corrupted administration was kept to the minimum. There were evildoers that took advantage of administration creaks and ate out the whole kingdom, and the situation worsened after the death of Kyou-ou. However, it is correct to say that Tai had done a great job in surviving all these. Many able provincial lords, officials and military men who knows right from wrong were left.

Among them all, Gyousou stood out as the best of the best. Gyousou was originally the Imperial Army General, and was one of the star officials deeply trusted by the previous emperor. He knew thoroughly about governance, and won the heart of many able people who hailed him with admiration. Gyousou's army was famous even in other provinces, together with its military and administrative subordinates. Gyousou received Taiki's vows and ascended to the throne. The court was rapidly cleaned up, and Tai was on the track towards a new era.

--Gyousou has everything required to be on the throne, many people said.

That was true in some sense.


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(*) Translator's Note:

Here is another metaphor in the Japanese text. The character for "beddings", Q, originally means "the bed; bedroom," but here it also symbolizes Seishin (Q), the private residence area for the emperor within the palace. The character for "court," , also means "the morning," but here it also symbolizes Entyou (), the place where daily administrative assemblies are held.

Therefore, at least two other meanings can be inferred. "Dark in bed, light in the morning." (surface meaning), and "Darkness reigned the emperor's private life, but light reigned his administration."

The Japanese text: QɉĈÁAɉĂ͖