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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


~ Chapter Three ~


" Are my words really so untrustworthy?"
Risai asked softly, and Taiki looked up with a puzzled expression.
" I don't know... I don't know what I should be thinking."

Taiki drooped his eyes, but his expression was still rigid.
" I am a kid, so everyone treats me specially. There are many things you will not let me see, and will no speak in front of me. You will not tell me, because you believe even if you tell me, it would be too difficult for me to understand, and you don't want me to feel that way. I know that every single time, so I don't know whether you are telling me the truth, Risai."

" Even if Rousan's words and the official's rumors are the truth, you would say that they aren't, wouldn't you? You would feel pity that I become worried, so you would say they aren't true, wouldn't you? ... Same would Seirai, and so would everyone else..."

Taiki gave a pained sigh.
" I am a child; that I cannot help. ... But even I am worried of Gyousou. He has been out to a far and dangerous place! I hate to see Gyousou being hurt or being harmed in any way. If he is in trouble, I would like to help. True, I definitely cannot do anything to help. But I will think! I will think hard what I can do! I will do what I can do..."

Taiki stopped his words midway. His eyes were filled with tears. At the same time, his body was drentched by dejection.

"... I have been thinking; Isn't that my job? Maybe to everyone else it is just nuisance..."
Risai felt a faint jab on her heart. The truth is that Taiki was still young. So everyone surrounding him used their wits end to not let this kind-hearted boy feel stressed or sad. To everyone this was just love towards Taiki, but in Taiki's shoes, it was no different from picking on him just because he was a child. -- Did Gyousou know this? Risai suddenly doubted.

"That is not true... Taiki."
Risai said, but Taiki had let go of Risai's hand, and rushed out of the gates. Risai gave a deep sigh as she saw Taiki off, Risai retraced her steps. She headed straight towards The Production and Treasury Office (Toukanfu, ~{).


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