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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


= gÏ Koukashou =


Taiki, hand in hand with Seirai, went inside to take a look. Crossing the middle garden, they saw a shrine, but there was nobody inside as well. However, it didnft seem deserted; it was neatly cleaned, and brand-new incense and flowers were offered on the altar where the ancestry was worshipped.

Taiki, with no particular reason, headed west and walked towards the North Palace. He crossed the corridor, went into another middle garden, looked around, and stopped his tracks as he entered the garden of the North Palace.
Taiki looked at what was in front of him blankly for a while, before he looked up at Seirai.

hThere are fields.h
gYes, there are...h
gThere are no fields in Hakkei Palace, are there? Do all Back Palaces have fields?h
gIt would be normal not to have one, I believe...h

gRen was said to have civil war just a while ago, right? Was the situation so bad that they needed to grow vegetables within the castle?h
gThat... that might be the case...h

In any case, Taiki held Seiraifs hands as he walked down the footpaths between the vegetable fields, which were right next to the gorgeous garden of shrubbery. Passing a building corner, they saw distinctively arranged fields extending from their feet. They walked down the neatly aligned footpaths, and reached a corner where low trees lined up in perfect order. That was most likely the scene of an orchard.

Taiki caught Seiraifs attention. They finally found a person. It was a farmer who was holding a pair of scissors and cutting branches from a unknown tree bearing red fruits.

gExcuse me.h
Taiki spoke. He let go of Seiraifs hand, and ran noisily across the orchard under the bright sun.

gExcuse me for interrupting.h
Taiki spoke, and the person in noragi (ڎq a type of waist-length upper garment that wears like a robe) turned back. He stared at Taiki, then looked at Seirai behind Taiki, and gave a gentle smile. The young man wiped his face with his sleeves, put the fresh-cut branch on the pile of grass at his side, and bowed his head.

gI am so sorry to come inside without permission. We are searching for people. Well, nobody is around at the gates, so...h
Oh, the man gave a small exclaim as he tilted his head.
gThere are nobody outside, huh? Then, everyone might be having their morning nap.h

gI am very sorry to interrupt your work, but are there anybody who can introduce us to the emperor? I... I come from the Kingdom of Tai, and my name is Taiki.h

Oh, the man gave a friendly smile on his face.
gReally, so you must be Tai Taiho. It is said that Taiho is a small child, but you are really small, I can see.h

gWell, may I ask who you are?h
gOh, my name is Ou (). Ou Seitaku ().h


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