Kasyo no Yume -- Toei
<The Dreams of Kasyo -- Prosperity in Winter>

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


= z Hakuyou =


As Taiki (i) left the building, he noticed that the palace looked totally different.

Halting his footsteps at the corridor, Taiki blinked, and scanned the surroundings several times. The changes didnft come from the buildings themselves. The palace wings that stood tall in a row, and the inner garden that extended out didnft change. The white walls, the dark blue roof tiles, and the lower officials that shuttled underneath, all the scenes are just the same as before. -- Except that everything seemed to elude a faint glow from the inside now.

A soft light surrounded everything. As if covered by a silk gauze, the blue color of the rarely clear winter sky was tinged with white from the sun. Even the shadow at Taikifs feet became the color of faded black ink. However, the surrounding scenery had become even brighter than that in the morning.

It wasnft exactly fog. But this unknown something enveloped the surrounding. This something was indiscernibly fine, and contained a faint glow within it, Taiki believed.

gWhat happened?h

A voice came from behind. It was Seirai (), who left the palace wing after Taiki.
Taiki turned back to Seirai, and showed to him the wide inner court without saying anything, as if he asked, gWhat is this?h

gOh, how rare. Hakuyou! (z, lit. white sun)h

Seirai laughed while looking up at the sky. Seirai was assigned to Taiki as Fusyou (), and was also the vice lord (ߛ, [Saisyou]) of the province of Zui (B), where the capital of Tai (Ս) was located. A Fusyou is often assigned to a young Saiho (ɕ) like Taiki for his upbringing. The Fusyou was always by the Saihofs side, looking after everything from the trivialities of his personal life to administrative affairs, while being the teacher at the same time.

gIt is how we describe this kind of weather. The lower world must be sunny.h

Taiki cocked his head.

gThe clouds at the sea of clouds have broken up, and the snow from the lower world reflects the sunlight.h

Taiki scanned again the surroundings that was enveloped by the white glow. It looks just like the sun shining through window binds, Taiki thought. At the far away homeland which is now gthe other worldh, if I wake up in the morning at the very best of weather, it will look just like this, Taiki remembered nostalgically.

gThis wonft happen unless the clouds are all dispersed. That is why we must thank our lucky stars to witness such weather. This cannot be seen many times in a year. What a lucky day!h

gDo you think we can see the scenery of the lower world?h
gWhy not go and take a look?h

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