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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter Two ~


-- His majesty might become a very outstanding wise emperor (, en-tei).
The moved comments came from Risai's closest subordinates who traveled with her from Jyou Province (B) .

" The three advisors (O, san-kou) were also impressed by how unprecedently fast the dynasty is put in place."
" That is true."
" The soldiers all rejoice upon such an outstanding emperor. The people were also welcoming!"

Risai nodded smilingly. The sheer fact that Gyousou was originally a military official made him popular among the soldiers. Kyou-ou focused on administrative rulership, and it was natural for soldiers to be relatively regarded less. At the same time, the newly coronated Gyousou immediately disposed of Kyou-ou's personal treasures, and sent supplies to all public granaries in the kingdom as the winter approached, so the people were greatly satisfied. Winter in Tai is harsh, and it becomes an immediate life-or-death question if food and charcoal run out of stock. The people sang praises as supplies were filling the granaries that had once been emptied by Kyou-ou's extravagance.

" It feels like a great new era has come."
The subordinates laughed.
Risai also had the same feeling. Praises could the heard from the people. When they entered cities, the citizens' warm comments on the imperial army showed their admiration towards the new emperor. Besides the people, the officials that walked around the palace all wore lively expressions.

However -- a speeding cart is one that makes squeaky noises. Risai joined the government as the general of provincial army, and noticed some mysterious shadows here and there within the apparently brightly lit government. Risai knew of the shadow's true identity around the time after the winter solstice ceremony.


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