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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


= b Sewa =


After more than a month of journey, Taiki returned to Kouki (), only to find that Kouki was still buried in pure white snow. Looking down to the white landscape, Taiki finally landed at the Forbidden Gate.

The moment Taiki and others got off from their kijyuus, the door guards immediately stepped out of the gate and lined up in two neat rows to greet them, white breath coming out of their nostrils. The door guards called, handed the kijyuus to the soldiers, and opened the gates solemnly.

gI was reminded again that we are different from Ren not just in temperature.h
Taiki said, and Seirai laughed.
gI cannot agree more.h
gSeirai, you must be relieved now, arenft you?h
gJust a little.h

They laughed as they passed through the Forbidden Gate, and headed towards the Inner Hall. Apparently the report that the group's return had reached everyone without miss. When they entered the Inner Hall, they found officials lining up at both sides, and the emperor sitting on the throne.

Feeling the uptight and tense atmosphere inside the Inner Hall, Taiki moved to the front of the throne, and kneeled down to pay his respect.
gI have returned safely.h
Gyousou nodded, and waved Taiki to come up to the throne. Taiki stood up, and walked to the side of the throne. He felt the inexplicable relief that he had finally arrived home.

gHow was Ren?h
gThere are really flowers booming.h
Really, Gyousou smiled and said,
gIfll listen to the details later.h
Gyousou then turned to speak to the prime minister.
gWrite a report on the details. They all must be very tired, so we will just let them rest sooner.h

Yes, the prime minister replied articulately, and gave his congratulations to Taiki for his finishing the grand mission. Sougen gave a simple report to all the officials. After the remaining rituals were done, Gyousou had the bind shade lowered, signaling the end of the meeting.

gYou must be tired. Rest well today. Ifll walk you to your room.h
Urging Taiki by patting him slightly on the back, Gyousou exited the Inner Hall.
gNo, I am not tired at all... But, oh, Mister Gyousou, shouldn't you go to attend administrative matters?h
I have heaps of things that I want to tell you though, Taiki thought as he said.

Gyousou smiled.
gToday is the special day of Taiki's return, so I guess it doesnft matter for me to take the day off.h
Taiki was so happy that he felt like dancing around.

gWhat are the emperor and the Taiho of Ren like?h
Taiki clang to Gyousoufs sleeves as he rained stories on Gyousou. The story of how he bumped into the Back Palace. The story of the fields in the palace. The story in the morning when Renrin woke up Taiki and others, opened the windows, brought water for washing their faces, made tea, and made Tansui and others really uneasy.

gI also helped with farming work. Ren-ou...h
Gyousou suddenly pushed Taiki on the back as he talked.
gKouri, this way.h
Oh, Taiki looked around. It should be the right way to return to Jinjyuu Hall (mda).

Cocking his head, Taiki looked up at Gyousou.
Gyousou smiled.
gThis way.h
gOhc Okay.h


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