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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter Two ~


Six Imperial Army camps were under Kyou-ou's command, and among the six generals, half of them boasted of their undefeated records. However, Gyousou was not one of them.

For Gyousou, the deeply trusted general of the Imperial Left Army, he was defeated miserably at exactly Tetsui.

The time was around the end of Kyou-ou's era. Unable to withstand the emperor's exploitation, Tetsui shut down its official granary, and shoved off its tax duties. The Bun provincial army rushed to try forcing the granary open, but the citizens nearby gathered in Tetsui, shut themselves in, and continued resistance. The duty of leading the Imperial Army and taking care of the situation fell onto Gyousou's shoulders.

Gyousou led his left army of 12500 soldiers to surround Tetsui. At the same time, all the provincial army that surrounded Tetsui were ordered to retreat to the back.

The frontline troops led by Gantyou and Eisyou of course opposed this action. How much time will one Imperial Army camp take to release Tetsui, when even two provincial army camps together failed?

That's hopeless, Gantyou said annoyed, and Eisyou sneered.
" How modest you have turned! -- Of course it is not hopeless. Things that go out of hand with two provincial army camps are perfect for us to set them right. However, it would be inevitable that a considerable amount of time is required. I would sure hope that there would be no snow when we return home."

Very true, Sougen agreed. He was then the general of Zui Province Left Army.
" If snow freezes of the mountains at our back, ample supplies and manpower cannot circulate. Bun Province does not have enough stored supplies to keep our troops fit till spring, so we must win before winter comes."

" We are moving supplies from Sakuken (ጧ). I had ordered Seirai () to open the official granary and prepare supplies that enable us to substain for the winter, before snow falls on the mountain trails."

What an insult! Eisyou straightened his back.


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