"... I am impressed you can find this place, Keiki
"Of course I always know where Your Majesty is at. ...
is searching for you."
"En-ou (¤) had a puzzled expression
on his face."
"... I would guess so."
"May I sit beside you?"
"Please... Keiki, what do you think?"
"What, to be exact?"
"Even as a beast of mercy, do you also think I should leave Tai alone?"
Sitting beside Youko, Keiki turned silent
for quite some time looking at the Sea of Clouds.
"... The people of Tai (Õ) are pitiful."
Keiki burst out, and Youko nodded.
"I heard that Tai is now desolate, but the situation is probably
much worst than we imagined."
"I agree... Even if it is a time of Kuui (óÊ,
lit. empty seat / throne), it has only been six years. Normally
in six years, very unlikely would it turn to such a desparate situation
that makes people cover their eyes. Before Tai-ou
(×¤) was enthroned the desolation had not been that serious."
"So you have visited Kouki (î) before,
"Yes. It was just after the emperor's coronation, but the desolation
was not to a strikening degree. The substitute government (¼©, katyou)
had been efficient in rule."
I see, Youko mumbled, and looked at Keiki.
"How did Taiki (×êi) look like?"
"A small child he was."
"Keiki's explanation are never enough, as usual."
"Is... is it so?"
Youko laughed on her own for some time.
"Anyways... It was more than seven years ago. Now he must have changed
a lot from what I have heard from you."
I believe so, Keiki only replied.
"Keiki, if you were expelled out of this kingdom, what will you
"What would be a situation where you cannot return?"
"I cannot imagine myself. Taiki was small, but he knew clearly the
duties assigned to him. It was a daunting duty. Whatever catastrophe took
Taiki out of Tai, he would have returned by all means. A condition that
makes Taiki impossible to return is nothing I can imagine."
"...Maybe he is now with Tai-ou?"
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