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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


= gÏ Koukashou =


The next day at dawn, Taiki changed to formal clothes, and entered the Gate of Koumon (ᦖ), the entrance to the palace located at the north of Jyuurei (d). The palace is called Urou Palace (JR{, lit. Showering Rain), and it is the residence of Ren-ou (), the Emperor of Ren.

The receptionists (sl, daikoujin) that came to meet the ambassador party led the whole party through the Five Gates one by one. Every time they passed through a gate, they walked through a staircase tunnel that penetrates the inner of Mt. Jyuurei (dR). They climbed up the third, the fifth and the seventh tunnel within the huge mountain that cuts in the sea of clouds. After climbing up the last tunnel, they passed the Gate of Roumon (H), and reached the peak that rose from the sea of clouds like an island. There stood the Imperial Hall (, Entyou), and the design of Urou Palace is basically of no difference to Hakkei Palacefs.

Above the sea of clouds, it was even warmer than the world below. Mt. Jyuurei has a less rolling terrain than Mt. Kouki (R), with a gently-sloped, wide peak. The palace buildings that loosely sprinkled on the peak were bigger than Hakkei Palacefs. Even though it was winter at that time, the palace was covered by lush green. Upon seeing this scenary, Taiki felt nostalgia welling up in his chest.

In the palace that spreads itself on the thick lush green turf, buildings have many openings, and corridors and summerhouses mostly have no walls. The palace harmoniously mixed with the surrounding green, and Taiki was reminded of the scenary of Mt. Hou (HR), the mountain he had once briefly lived in.

Taiki and others left the Gate of Roumon, and was immediately led to the nearby Outer Hall. Cool wind circulated in the wide Main Hall, and at the middle of the hall stood the throne. However, no one was sitting on it.

Seeing the empty throne, Taiki was shocked, and Seirai and others were confused, but it was the Ren officials that led the party to the Main Hall who took the biggest shock. They looked confusedly at one another, and looked flustered around the huge Main Hall. Finally, one officer rushed into the empty hall from the side. He whispered something to the receptionist. The receptionist looked surprised, and pressed more questions onto the officer. In the end, the receptionist kneeled in front of Taiki, with confusion written all over his face.

gWe are sincerely sorry for the discourtesy before. Please do not get offended. We are deeply afraid of being discourteous, but... please get inside.h



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