Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora
Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001
~ Chapter Three ~
Youko's head tilted aside.
"...How shall I put it? It is very difficult to put our beast self into words. I have never invoked a Meisyoku myself, but I think there have been times I tried to invoke one. There is no concrete memory of the experience anymore, but there was a feeling that must be a Meisyoku. That must be a Meisyoku, but that is big trouble, and I should not go further unless in special situations. Such is the vivid feel."
"There are a lot of other things in such nature. When we were young, we took up our beast appearance. Then we knew how to take up human appearance. We take up human appearance, and then return to beast appearance -- this is Tenpen (転変, lit. change) that we knew. However, to the questions of in what time, under what circumstances did we learn Tenpen, we have no idea. Even when we are asked, we can only answer 'Some time ago, naturally.'"
"Probably equivalent to we knowing how to walk or how to speak."
"Probably. Many of our power as kirin is inborn during our beast times. Meisyoku is one of them. We do not remember when we learn about it. However, we can feel that is it. Probably we had tried to do it when we were young. One day, we realized that we have legs, and suddenly out of nowhere came the impulse to try running around... The feeling should be similar, shouldn't it? Without knowing why the idea started or what would happen nexy, we feel like running along, and we start running. Then we know that it would mean trouble, and we pull ourselves back -- Such was our experience, I believe. However, Taiki was a Taika. He lived in Hourai till ten, and returned to this world. At that time, he had already grown up in a person's appearance."
"There had been no beast time, you mean?"
"Yes. Therefore Taiki, who held no memory of a beast, lost a lot of power that should be possessed by a kirin. When I met him at Mt Hou (蓬山), he could not perform Tenpen, and he could not succumb youma as his Shirei (使令). I don't believe he knew how to invoke a Meisyoku either. Instead, I believe something happened that led him to instinctively invoke a Meisyoku. Something very evil, very frightful had happened to Taiki. Then Taiki was sucked into it, and could not come back..."
"...Even so, do you think I should not help save Tai, Keiki?"
Keiki turned his eyes on Youko, and then let his eyes wander off.
"Please do not ask me such things that in no way I can come up with an answer."