Risai was woken up by some faint talks at
the middle of the night.
" I was so-- hungry!"
" Me too. I have brought tea."
" Hurray! Why not eat together?"
Risai slightly raised her head upon such innocent conversation, and the
servant (ä, jyogo) by her pillow turned back in an astonished look. A
girl's face showed up, as she leaned out her body from the bed's entrance.
" I am so sorry. Have we woken you up?"
Not at all, Risai shook her head.
" Is it that you haven't even had your meals? Because of me?"
Risai asked, and Suzu (é) shook her hand
" Just-- just that we have let the chance to eat slip away. Syoukei
(Ėął) has come with supper, so we will be alright."
" Please take your meals. I am okay myself."
Risai said, and the girl named Syoukei laughed out at Suzu.
" Come back and set up the table. In the meantime, I will be staying
Umm, Suzu nodded and left the bed. As if to take Suzu's post,
Syoukei sat down beside Risai's pillow.
" I apologize for the unsighty fuss we have made. I am a jyoushi
(j, a post to record matters happened within the palace), and
my name is Syoukei."
"... Oh not at all. I should be the one to apologize. I seem to
have created so much trouble for the servants. I am already okay now with
" That is not decided by you but by the doctor, isn't it?"
" Please don't worry about it. There is a shortage of manpower here,
and please accept our apology for not being able to take care of you to
" Oh no... The servant has been taking care of me very well."
Risai's eyes wondered around for a while.
" The same goes for Kei-ou... Kei-ou
gives me the impression of an honest person."
" Or better put, sober and honest to the point of idiotic, I would
Syoukei chuckled, and Risai looked back surprised.
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