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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter One ~


Risai put force between her eyebrows. Spurring herself who is ready to slip into slumber again, she gradually forced open her eyelids, and found a manfs profile right next to her.

" She seems to be mumbling about something..."
The man stopped putting his ear near, looked at Risai, and gave a hearty laugh.
" Oh, she opened her eyes."

The face did look familiar, but Risai could not remember where she had seen this face. A girl approached and looked at Risaifs face across the man's shoulder, but Risai could again only sense some familiarity with her face.

-- Who is that? Are there such faces in Hakkei Palace?
Risai would like to recall, but she felt very dizzy. She could not even breathe. Her whole body was scorching hot and painful.

" Are you alright? Do you remember me?"
Risai remembered upon hearing such sincerely worried words.
-- Yes, this is not Tai. This is Kei. She has arrived.

" I'm Kosyou. ... Do you remember?"
Risai nodded. Her view was widened and cleared up bit by bit. She realized that she was on a bed of a room with a high ceiling. The ceiling was not just high, but also wide. Beside the pillow stood a table in black finishing, and the man sat on the table corner, peering down at Risaifs face.

" Mister... Kosyou."
" Yup. You are really something... You have fought well."
The man blinked, as if he was very moved. The girl who was peering into Risai behind Koshou was also dabbing her eyes with her sleeve.

What a surprise. She was alive.

Risai held up both hands lightly. Her left hand responded by showing up in her view, but her right hand didnft show up. She moved her glance, and the sleeve of her yogi (clothing with cotton stuffing, worn during sleeping) spread loosely on the bedding without anything inside.


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