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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter Two ~


Risai bowed, and Gyousou stood up with a nod. Risai looked him off -- and then returned to Kaei's side. Kaei broke down into tears, but in a different light from before. Her tension was loosened. For a while she cried, and then she broke into a bright smile somehow.

" Risai, I realize now what you meant by his majesty was different from yourself. Yes! I now can come to accept what you said."
" I also reconfirmed my impression."
Risai smiled bitterly.

After that, Kaei looked as if the tension on her shoulders was lifted. The temperature difference between Kaei and Gyousou's subordinates was balanced, and Kaei looked gradually like a member of Gyousou's team.

It was around that time that Risai read similar altitude changes here and there.
Similar to Kaei's release of her unsettlement, voices of apparent discomfort could be heard here and there. Like Kaei, those who couldn't get accustomed to Gyousou's ways, or were upset by his haste exceeded in number than what Risai had expected. However, such voices died down gradually.

Risai was frightened by that.

What exactly Risai was frightened about could not be easily put into words. Roughly speaking, weren't the extreme good the same thing in nature to the extreme bad? Both are prominent, and the only difference was the opposite directions in which they protrude. Just like how the most wicked tyrant attracts disasters, was Gyousou also attracting disasters?

The administratin was apparently settled down and bound into a single piece for the time being. Worries about Gyousou's iron fists, discomfort about his haste, and fear about his swiftness and bravery were cleared for the time being. When Taiki came back, the problematic officials' treatments were all finished. Everything that was anticipated to move after such wickedness was removed were placed under surveillance, and were taken care of. For the temperature difference between original subordinates and outsiders, the friction that contributed to such difference was reduced.

Then there should be no more problems. -- But somehow, Risai could not shake off the unsettlement that something was amiss.

Wasn't some seed of disaster hidden under the water surface?

Risai failed to spot the seed, and in reality, the seed showed itself from under the calm water, nearly without any warnings.


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