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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter Three ~


Hehehe, Sanshi chuckled.
Gouran's reproaching voice sounded from somewhere, but Sanshi did not take heed of it.
--It's that kid who is wrong.
"I cannot forgive anyone harming Taiki..."
Sanshi had been standing aside for long, watching over Taiki. Even though filth is accumulating, Sanshi could do nothing but withstand it. Sanshi knew little about this world. However, as far as her mindless understanding with her half-awaking consciousness went, Sanshi recognized it is vital for Taiki to be behind guardians' protection. At least, the guardians had fulfilled their duties of providing Taiki the minimum level of protection and basis of living. However, as far as Sanshi observed, those guardians seemed to know nothing about themselves being filled with filth.

"Where!? Where... are the enemies?"
The guardians were clever in manipulation. But who is the real black hand behind them?
The guardians did not seem to actively persecute Taiki. There seemed to be no hatred or antagonism as well. From the way they imprison Taiki under the crime of treason, their hatred must be directed toward Gyousou.
Strictly speaking, they are not Taiki's enemies. Therefore, Sanshi neglected the guardian's persecution and unreasoning. However, to anyone who breaks the limit...

"I'm just warning them... Even in chains, Taiki is still a kirin, and they should always remember that."
That hidden hand just extended a little. Any actions above this would cut in Taiki's strength. Therefore Sanshi restricted herself to just warnings.
"I have been yielding whenever I can."

To be honest, Sanshi would like to immediately grab Taiki and escape. This noble body above all on earth except the Emperor has been captured by such lowly people, forced into a life of hardship, smitted by rude words and even physical beatings... How could Sanshi bear forgiving this? Sanshi's heart and body has been writhing and moarning, as she withstood the humiliating ordeal Taiki faced. Even under snaps and fists, Sanshi tried to ignore what guardian had been doing. Even under snorts and swearing, Sanshi bit her lips while her inners were tearing apart. Sanshi even withstood the accumulating filth.

"...What a shame!"
Why must Taiki undergo such ordeals?
"Why hasn't Taiou come to rescue Taiki?"
Sanshi mumbled, in the slightly tainted dull golden darkness, Gouran's voice could be heard.
"...I wonder if His Majesty is still alive."
"How dare"
"But His Majesty has been lured to Bun Province."

Sanshi pressed her hands on her chest.
What if... What if Gyousou was captured and put to death by the rebels? Who is then going to rescue Taiki?
--What if the current situation continues forever?
The idea finally came to Sanshi, and fear began to grab her heart.

Even in tiny amounts, filth was accumulating. The evidence wasthe tainted dull golden color. If this continued for years, what would happen to Taiki?

(End of Volume I. Continuing on Volume II.)

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