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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter Three ~


"That is more than malice. Taiho definitely has chosen his majesty in front of me, but I have never held a single grudge against it. Those who said that I must be grudging, they must be thinking that they would be mad, would never forgive, would hate the person taking all the glory in front of them, if they were me. Therefore they regarded me to be the same as them. That means they are regarding others to be as deceitful as themselves..."

Risai turned silent. In the end, people only measure others based on their own standards. It is the same logic as emphathy, thinking that others must be hurting because they would be hurt themselves. Risai could not disapprove the act of measuring others based on one's own standard. -- The problem boils down in the end to the person's character.

"...Pardon me. I admit... it is not amazing that such people exist. This is the nature of one's judgement. However, I held no malice towards his majesty, and this his majesty also knows. Asen and Gantyou are the same as me, I believe. His majesty always treated Asen with respect, and in the case of Gantyou, his majesty actually treated him like a family member. It might not be appropriate to say Gantyou is an elder brother, but his majesty treated Gantyou as a close senior and a reliable partner, and Gantyou has taken great pride in knowing his majesty."
"I see."

"I cannot believe that his majesty left the palace unguarded so as to persecute us. For one, his majesty has left Taiho in the palace. If the winter hunt were to continue, no way would Taiho be left in the palace."
"Yes-- You are right."
Kaei finally showed a relieved smile on her face.

"However it might be possible that his majesty is doubting one of us and watching us. This I could not dismiss lightly. However, even under such a presumption, it is too curious that Taiho is left here. In conclusion, I believe it is more sound that somebody is luring out his majesty..."
"I see..."

Kaei said, and her expression froze.
"It should be about time that his majesty reached Bun Province. I hope everything is fine."
Risai nodded.
"Let me ask Gantyou and others. Before his majesty returns, it is probably best to prick up our ears."


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