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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001
(C)sREukЁ@QOOP

 


~ Chapter One ~

***

"...Have you waken up?"
A timid voice could be heard. -- or so Risai thought.
Putting power between the eyebrows, the frozen-like heavy eyelids finally gave way into slits. Within the dim sight shadowed by her eyelashes, Risai could see the face of a worried girl.

"...Thanks God!"
The girl said, and pressed something cold against Risaifs face. Risai was frozen cold from inside, and chills ran through her spine.
-- I can feel the sensation of chill off my face. So, I am ...
" -- Kei-ou"
Risai came to herself. She immediately mumbled, but she could not hear the voice even with her own ears. She opened her eyes wide, and searched on the girlfs face. She could see no red color.

"Oh, please, take your rest. No, you cannot get up yet."
Being told so, Risai finally realized that she was trying to get up.
-- So, I am still alive.
Cold palms wrapped themselves around Risaifs hand. Risai was comforted by the coldness. The girlfs ice-like hands were so cold, but comforting at the same time.

"Here, is Kimpa Palace (g{), in Gyouten (ēV), Kei (c)."
The girl set her big eyes on Risai, and said in a slow place as if she was chewing and tasting every word.
" You have arrived here. You can meet her majesty at any time. So, please relax and close your eyes."
" ...Well...I"
" Everything is okay, so please, take your rest, alright?"

The girl took Risaifs hand, and let Risai touch her own throat. Risaifs hand, guided by the girlfs hand, grasped a round object at the dent under the throat. That object was much colder than the girlfs hand, but it comforted Risai a lot. Risai finally realized that her body was scotching hot and tortured by chills.

gYou must sleep for now... Everything is okay, Youko (zq) would not leave you alone.h
Youko, Risai repeated in her mouth, but her tongue was as if it was stuck tight in the mouth by glue.

"She is not here now, but she has dropped by many times to see you. She is very worried about you, so it is okay even if you sleep now. Everything will be fine."
Risai, in place of nodding, released her eyebrows. The eyelids shut themselves naturally. The sound of wind could be heard. Does such chilling sound come from the cold wind raging outside, or is it just Risaifs ears ringing?

I canft sleep now, Risai mumbled inside her heart.
(...I must... meet Kei-ou...)
-- Risai, you canft think like that.
Among the sounds of wind, Risai could hear a mournful voice. The femalefs face that stood in her memory was one about to cry.
-- What a shameful, frightening suggestion!
Yes, Risai nodded to emptiness.
(I understand that it is inhuman... Kaei (ԉe) )

***

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