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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter Two ~


" My scare is due to insecurity, I suppose."
Kaei grumbled with a bitter smile.
" Risai and others can understand his majesty's intention with only his majesty's words... I feel. Only I cannot understand his majesty's intentions. As I looked sheepishly around at everyone accepting anything apparently, everyone has already moved forward with his understanding. I always feel like I am left behind..."

" I do not really believe that everyone understands his majesty's intentions."
" ... Is that true?"
" Yes, most probably. We all have times when we don't understand his majesty's way of thinking. However, if his majesty says so, it must be right --we just hold onto such a belief."
" Absolute loyalty, I guess?"
Kaei's voice was tinted with a little loneliness, and fear for some reason at the same time.

"Not quite. We are not to place our trust unconditionally. How should I put it... I am different from his majesty."
" Different?"
" The first time I encountered his majesty, I felt such is the difference in content. How should I put it -- our visions are different. His majesty sees things in places where people like us would never have thought about."

Risai reflected for a moment, and finally raised her head as if the point got to her.
" I knew that Kyou-ou's reign would not last long, but failed to consider the necessary measures beyond it. -- Something like this?"

" Yes, that is right. I am embarrassed to admit that I was the same. I knew that Kyou-ou's reign would never last long. The villians would be to start their exploitation, I predicted. However, I failed to think ahead -- I didnft feel it necessary. Or better put, I didn't even have the idea of necessity."
" I understand what you mean."

" When we see the measures his majesty has conducted, it dawns upon us that is the way it should be. A kingdom is falling. Therefore talents are needed to stop the collapse. It takes time to develop such talents, and put them in strategic places. If one is truly worried about the kingdom, one should have prepared these beforehand. Now everything seems so apparent, but at that time it was unthinkable beyond belief. We had predicted, but we failed to form ideas, as if the future would never come."


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