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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


= z Hakuyou =


gSorry for stopping you from going back to your residence.h

I donft mind at all, Gyousou turned back and said with a smile. The door that just swung open had a very large window behind it. Outside the window the sea of clouds stretched out far. To Taiki, who was born at the alternate world, the sight of a sea up in the sky was just impossible.

From the sea came the soft beating sounds of waves. The sea, which had been always grimy gray, became white today. The sea surface turned pearl white, and faint glowing could be observed, as if something got lit at the seabed.

Taiki gave a shout of joy and rushed to the side of the window. A heavy cotton robe was put on his shoulders.
gPut this on. It is really cold outside.h
gBut, donft you feel cold, Master Gyousou?h
gWhy, this is nothing to me.h

Taiki felt a little guilty but much overjoyed by Gyousoufs thoughtfulness, and he nodded. He chased Gyousou, who had been walking towards the stairs before him, caught his feet at the long robe, and nearly tripped himself up. Seeing that, Gyousou pulled the robe together by the collars and lifted up Taiki with it.

gYou are still so light.h
gI think it is because I am a Kirin (i).h

Taiki was in fact not a human, but a beast called kirin. This shocked even Taiki when he knew of it. Therefore, his queer steel-colored hair is in fact not hair but his mane. Also, he is light, with his weight comparable to those beasts that can fly.

I see, Gyousou briefly replied. Carrying Taiki, Gyousou walked down the stairs at one corner of the hall they were in. The flock of stairs is definitely not short, but when they walked down, they traveled at ten times the speed. Places that are mysterious like this are everywhere in the palace. Taiki at first felt so strange that he couldnft accommodate, but he gradually got used to all of those. Beasts flying in the sky, a sea floating in the sky, people having strangely-colored eyes and hair... This was such a mysterious realm.

At the bottom of the gentle and broad flock of stairs, there was a huge hall. At the hallfs front there was a gate. The door guards standing at two sides recognized Gyousou and Taiki, and opened the gate. Piercing wind and sharp rays of light surged through the crack of the doors.


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