Hisho no Tori #2
Juuni Kokuki — 十二国記
(The Twelve Kingdoms)
Translated by o6asan
First edition released on 2009.Jul.15
Second edition released on 2013.Apr.28 : Current
Hisho(丕緒) left there, after fading footstep of Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏) who got angry and went out the room. When Hisho(丕緒) went out, the confused lower official looked at him and the summer sun went down. Hisho(丕緒) didn’t call on his working place and went to the west along the main street which extended from east to west through Jichō(治朝).
The south of Jichō(治朝) almost opened. At the very back of the center of Jichō(治朝), a huge gate rose high as if it scooped out the slope of the mountain. This is the only gate, Romon(路門), to reach Enchō(燕朝) — the celestial place, which spread on clouds. There weren’t a lot of people who were able to set foot on Enchō(燕朝) through this gate. Even the officials were no exception in that all of them had not the right to get into. Although the difference of Jichō(治朝) and Gyōten(堯天) is the same as the ground and the sky, there is no difference about the both of them to be shut from the celestial place.
Hisho(丕緒) glanced at the gate, walked further to the west on the main street, and went to Tōkan-fu(冬官府). Tōkan-fu(冬官府) was made from the main office and numbers of large and small works which surrounded the main office. Hisho(丕緒) came through intricate roads between the works. Although it was the familiar road for him, he had come less often recently. The noise and smell which leaked from surrounding high walls were familiar, too. Checking the sound of a hammer, the smell of red-hot iron, and everything, he came through the gate of the end.
The works are a section which belongs to Tōkan-fu(冬官府). A house, which is the center of the section, is fundamentally made from four small buildings surround a yard. Various size works are adjoining. In most cases, a works is much bigger than a house. So they called the works as the section of Tōkan-fu(冬官府). The house Hisho(丕緒) visited had not the west building, moreover. The west side of the yard was cut by a cliff, beyond which the two huge peaks held a canyon between themselves.
The faded peaks blocked your way and obstructed both sides of your view. You could look through the evening glow between peaks, far mountains’ bottom dimming, and the sun went down mountains which look pale indigo lines. You should see the city of Gyōten(堯天) in the more lower direction. In fact, you weren’t able to see it because of blocked by the thick green woods. The slope which continued from the yard was covered with pear trees.
The pear trees which Shōran(蕭蘭) had planted. Saying not to want to see the lower place, Shōran(蕭蘭) had continued to threw the pear fruits from this yard. Trees, which were lucky to take root and grew bigger and bore fruits, and then covered the slope of the bottom of a valley. They had the pure white flowers in spring. The clouds of the snow-white pear flowers covered the valley. What a brilliant scene it was!
It reminded him of Shōran(蕭蘭) who had looked at it with her narrowing eyes. Her expression had a strong resemblance to the bird which Hisho(丕緒) saw at Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏)’s balcony strangely. There is nothing to relate to each other, though.
When he lost in his thought, a voice which was surprised from behind carried out.
The young man showed up from the north room, and ran up to him, with crumpling and laughing face.
“It’s really great to see you, Mr.Hisho(丕緒)”
“Long time, how’ve you been?”
The man who noded yes was the lord of this house. He was a chief of Rajin(羅人) who were special craftsmen making Tōshaku(陶鵲). Rajin(羅人) held tens of craftsmen in works which belonged to Rajin(羅人). The craftsmen’s cheif was called master and the master of Rajin-fu(羅人府) was Rajin(羅人). The young man had a gentle manner which was suitable for truly delicate workmanship, his name was Seikō(青江).
“Please — please come in, sir.”
Seikō(青江) was almost taking Hisho(丕緒) by the hand. In fact, he looked like beginning to shed tears at any moment. As a matter of fact, Hisho(丕緒) had not been visiting Rajin-fu(羅人府) for about a year. Once, he had almost lived here. These days, not only he did not visit Rajin-fu(羅人府), but also he did not go out of his residence at all. No Ruler, no Shooting-arrow ceremony. This was convenient circumstances for him, he did not drop in Ra-shi(羅氏)’s works, and he entirely shut himself in his own residence. In this spring, Seikō(青江) sent a bearer who had the message ‘please come and see since the clouds of pear flowers started’. But he refused it. He knew Seikō(青江) was anxious about his body and sent the bearer to him on the pretext of flowers. He understood his refusal made Seikō(青江) hurt deeply, but he never felt up to it.
He set foot in the room after about a year, there was no change than before. The room was crammed with desks and shelves which were filled with various tools and mountains of notes and plans. A year earlier and always, here was like this. — Since Shōran(蕭蘭) attended to Rajin(羅人), since Hisho(丕緒) had come here for the first time as Ra-shi(羅氏), here has been no change.
When Hisho(丕緒) looked around with deep emotion, Seikō(青江) blushed.
“We litter with things as usual……”
“This is the way it goes. I can’t remember this room was settled exactly.”
Murmuring an excuse, what Seikō(青江) was confusedly gathering up was old notes and plans. Hisho(丕緒) wondered goods lay scattered about the desk were made by Seikō(青江). All of them looked like about old Tōshaku(陶鵲). Seikō(青江) looked at the ground as he was ashamed of himself, probably noticing Hisho(丕緒)’s look.
“I was wondering … I am remaking old Tōshaku(陶鵲), because I think it probably trains me.”
“uh-huh” murmured Hisho(丕緒). As Hisho(丕緒) did not give instructions, Seikō(青江) did not have what to do.
“You are eager and splendid though, I tell you to give up it for a while.”
Seikō(青江) raised his face up with a smile rapidly.
“So, we are going to make the new Tōshaku(陶鵲) for Ruler, Sir?”
“We have to make it. Soon, we will have a Taisha(大射).”
About the instruction of Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏) who summoned Hisho(丕緒), he told Seikō(青江) who looked amazed. While Seikō(青江) understood Hisho(丕緒)’s talk, he was definitely depressed and depressed.
“We have very short time. Sorry, but I have to hurry you up. Use your discretion in making it.”
“I can’t make such ……”
“I don’t care. We only need the Tōshaku(陶鵲) which can fly less awkward and be divided less unsightly. It’s pointless to try to use your brains. I am satisfied, if we can hold the ceremony with no problems.”
“But……this is the first Taisha(大射) for the new Ruler.”
Hisho(丕緒) had a half-smile.
“I think the Ruler will be replaced soon.”
“Mr. Hisho(丕緒),” Seikō(青江) said disapprovingly.
“I hear we have a female ruler again.”
It’s easy for Hisho(丕緒) to imagine the reign of female rulers. A female ruler has dreams on the throne, soon loses interest in them and ruines herself. The reign of Ruler Yo(予) was six years, the former female ruler was Ruler Hi(比), her reign was only twenty-three years. And her former was Ruler Haku(薄), hers was sixteen. Kei(慶) had three continuous female rulers, and interregnums were much longer than reigns.
“It is pointless to devise. Its appearance makes it suitable, and O.K. if it seems to be auspicious.”
Seikō(青江) glanced down sadly and dropped tears at his feet.
“……Please do not say such a thing but show me a brilliant shooting-arrow ceremony again, sir.”
“I have no idea. We have short time, we have no choice but to reuse one of old Tōshaku(陶鵲). Please do use cheap tricks for variety.”
Seikō(青江) drooped his head and looked hurt.
“…… I will go and get you plans anyhow. Please wait a moment.”
The back of Seikō(青江) who was leaving the room looked lonely. Seikō(青江) was Shōran(蕭蘭)’s pupil. After Shōran(蕭蘭) disappeared, he pulled up from the craftsman to Rajin(羅人), but Hisho(丕緒) stopped thought of Tōshaku(陶鵲) at that time. Although they only use Tōshaku(陶鵲) at a shooting-arrow ceremony, if he isn’t endeavoring to plan about it on a day-to-day basis, he can’t make it use for a sudden ceremony. Nevertheless, after Seikō(青江) became Rajin(羅人), only a Tōshaku(陶鵲) Hisho(丕緒) never made. Hisho(丕緒) knew Seikō(青江) thought it was his fault. He blamed himself that the reason of Hisho(丕緒) not to make Tōshaku(陶鵲) was the lack of his skills.
Hisho(丕緒) sat on Seikō(青江)’s seat. On the desk, some trial workmanship and old plans were located in a line. A blue Tōshaku(陶鵲) were on the note arranged and accumulated. He thought it was probably used instead of a paperweight, old thing which handed down in Rajin-fu(羅人府). The picture of the bird with a long tail was dyed in the center of the china square board filled with the fine designs. A picture of a magpie(鵲). He thought, first of all, it was such a simple thing.– He noticed being cracked to the Tōshaku(陶鵲). Looking carefully, a lot of very thin cracks were running to the form which divides the tail of a magpie(鵲). Here and there which were patched.
“…… It’s very good job.”
Probably, Seikō(青江) did. Only Shōran(蕭蘭)’s pupil could, she had brought up him with such tender care. Who could complain to him this splendid skill.
Hisho(丕緒) picked up the Tōshaku(陶鵲). In its own way, it was thick and heavy. A light Tōshaku(陶鵲) flies well, but it may fail to be hit because of moving so quick. So, it is better to have a certain weight and a slight hollow of its bottom. In this way, its floating time is longer. — This is the earliest style of Tōshaku(陶鵲).
All Ra-shi(羅氏) have made the best use of inventiveness since then. At first, in order to keep shooting correctly, it flew as slowly as possible, and the device was made by form and weight so that it might float in the air for a long time. Before long, it came to adhere also to appearance. What was only china board of a circle or a rectangle came to take various forms. They are dyed not only by the elaborate pattern, but inlaid by gold or jewelry. Soon, even how to fly has been devised, and also how to break by examining a material and processing has done. Now all Tōshaku(陶鵲) are not ceramic. It called Tōshaku(陶鵲) is probably the vestiges of an ancient time.
However — real birds were hit in very ancient times. Various birds including magpies(鵲) were released, and shot. But, Saiho(宰輔) which serves as a Ruler’s prime minister hates the taking of life. Then, in spite of having been an auspicious ceremony to affect the future, it was usually that Saiho(宰輔) does not attend the shooting-arrow ceremony. It is not an auspicious ceremony.– someone thought so or not, the time of when or what country who knows, they became to use china boards instead of real birds. And the same number of real birds as the number of Tōshaku(陶鵲) which were shot down became to be released into the palace garden.
Nobody knows why they are magpies(鵲). Probably it is related to the magpie(鵲)’s voice is supposed a sign of joy. Possibly the main aim is releasing birds than shooting down Tōshaku(陶鵲). More shooting down them, more voice which is supposed a sign of joy sounds.
They had been made like being shot down and broken to pieces without fail.–and then the main aim of the shooting-arrow ceremony changed and changed to shooting down and breaking Tōshaku(陶鵲) after thought and device of long line of Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏) and Ra-shi(羅氏). Tōshaku(陶鵲) which plays music is Hisho(丕緒)’s masterpiece which he made.
In retrospect, that was the most prosperous shooting-arrow ceremony for Hisho(丕緒). Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏) of those days was Soken(祖賢), the reign of Ruler Ri(悧) was entering the end of the period. — Of course, he didn’t understand it around that time.
When Hisho(丕緒) became a Ra-shi(羅氏) because of his hands having good skills, Soken(祖賢) was already very old and experienced man in his work as Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏). Hisho(丕緒) was given all knowledge he needed by Soken(祖賢). His warm personality — and he had some innocent in his mind, Hisho(丕緒) was very happy about their work that they were thinking of the shooting-arrow ceremony. If one device was made, another idea was going to be born. He came to Rajin-fu(羅人府) with Soken(祖賢) everyday and having been at work and unconscious of the passage of time, including Shōran(蕭蘭) who was already Rajin(羅人), and they repeated trial and error again and again. People called Soken(祖賢) the Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏) in Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏), and they did Hisho(丕緒) the Ra-shi(羅氏) in Ra-shi(羅氏) before long. As the Tōshaku(陶鵲) which plays music made Ruler Ri(悧) very happy, the Ruler who got down from on the clouds and visited Sekichō-shi-fu(射鳥氏府), rewarded Hisho(丕緒) and others by himself. There was no honor beyond this for officials who lived in Jichō(治朝). It was good old days.
– But, Ruler Ri(悧) changed. It was considered whether he let the next Tōshaku(陶鵲) sound what kind of music, this time perfume would be attached to magpies(鵲) and when they would be broken and rich smell flown. — While considering those things, the reign of Ruler Ri(悧) began to darken. Probably the next Taisha(大射) was held three years afterward. Although celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Ruler Ri(悧)’s ascension to the throne was held, he already tended to change the tyrant at the time.
Nobody knew what made Ruler Ri(悧) do so. Someone said what his son was assassinated made deep cracks between Ruler and his close aides. It did not become clear who killed his son. Then, Ruler Ri(悧) was possibly caught by suspicion and fear. It was said that he was frequently hard on officials. Soon it came down from on the clouds and had a bad influence around Hisho(丕緒). Ruler was to measure officials at every turn. He thrust the difficult subject which seemed to be impossible, and, occasionally asked officials for the proof of too much loyalty. His behavior had not an exception to Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏). At the 60th anniversary he ordered them to show better shooting-arrow ceremony. His manner implied that he would not tolerate them not doing better than last one.
Remembering of those days, Hisho(丕緒) breathed with difficulty even these days. The devices of them became the duty, not the pleasure. Shishi(司士) who is Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏)’s superior was too eager for success, and put in much interference with a lot of instructions. The less excellent than last time, the ceremony would not have been needed. This sense of duty and Shishi(司士)’s interference without considering on the work ground, made to prepare it much difficult.
But, the ceremony had succeeded, he thought. Ruler Ri(悧) was very pleased with saying more wonderful than last time. Both Soken(祖賢) and Hisho(丕緒), however, weren’t satisfied by that. Although Tōshaku(陶鵲) were broken splendidly, it was not seemed a good sign. Around the shooting-arrow ceremony, the many officials Hisho(丕緒) got used to seeing were missing. Ruler who lose the people’s trust looked at the scenes of Tōshaku(陶鵲) broken was very chilly and empty, even if pottery birds looked like brilliant flowers, played beautiful music with sweet smelling.
Still — no therefore, Soken(祖賢) was eager to make new devices.
“This time we will make Ruler feel better.”
In the courtyard, when Soken(祖賢) rode astride his chair and told what he thought, he was like a little child thinking a trick.
“Yes, but how, sir?”
Hisho(丕緒) asking, Soken(祖賢) turned his face skyward with Uh…
“It is not enough gaily and flowery, but more exhiaratingly. I don’t talk about feeling high, I talk about feeling warm and smiling unconsciously. He has unconscious smile on his face and looks all round. He finds the same kind of smile on the faces of top aides. They look see it each other, they feel connected with themselves and happy. — How is that?”
Hisho(丕緒) smiled wryly.
“You say always such a thing that I do not see or so.”
“Don’t you know about it? Well, when we happen to see a heartwarming scene, we feel something. We look see mutual faces which are laughing, and find to be able to relate each other, like that –”
“I know what feeling you talk about. But I don’t know how to pull into shape.”
“Shape,” said Soken(祖賢) with tilting his head slightly to one side, and said again with doing it to another side.
“Well, I don’t guess Gagaku(雅楽) fits my thought.”
Gagaku(雅楽), that is also called Gasei(雅声), is an abbreviation of the music of elegant and orthodox. It is classical music which is used for great religious service or a ceremony of the nation and played by only traditional instruments, the songs sung with it is not music, but prayer. The composition suits a magic spell by the arrangement of sound than a melodious music. Although it is profound and solemn, in it the much pleasure of music doesn’t still remain.
“So, do we take folk songs?”
Soken(祖賢) jumped while answering yes.
“That’s good. Not a voluptuous song they sing at a banquet. More lighter song –.”
“Like children’s songs?”
“It isn’t bad. Work songs are suitable, too. Well, house wives often sing together when they wash at the riverside. We play some music from here, and others from there. How do you think?”
As Hisho(丕緒) with a wry smile looked at Soken(祖賢) who brightened his eyes, Hisho(丕緒) turned a look to Shōran(蕭蘭). Sitting on the stone of the end of the courtyard and throwing the fruit of the pear, Shōran(蕭蘭) heard their talking and had the smile, which was a nanny’s smile who has this kind of difficult little children.
“Yes, I don’t mind to do what you say.”
Shōran(蕭蘭) threw the last fruit. On the bottom of the valley small pear woods were going to grow because she continued doing patiently.
“But, using folk songs are more difficult than using Gagaku(雅楽). Gagaku(雅楽) has mechanical styles by its theory, though, folk songs have a various chaos.”
“But, you can, Shōran(蕭蘭)?”
The old man pulled her hands so that he might pester. Shōran(蕭蘭) smiled wryly and looked at Hisho(丕緒). He held his laughing and showed a sigh.
“We must tune their sound by breaking birds actually and prepare them one by one. Tuning by our own ears. And following it, we will shoot birds. We need a throwing machine again.”
“Some from here, others from there.”
Soken(祖賢) declared proudly. Hisho(丕緒) nodded.
“Yes, we need a lot of throwing machines. A throwing machine per a song, we must decide a position exactly by plural marks, where a archer will break a bird.”
“Oops, it’s a big job. All Tōkan(冬官) must be mobilized again.”
Shōran(蕭蘭) also sighed but still smiled. Devices of materials, throwing machines, production of birds themselves — always, she need team play finally, as a result get into a big thing with whole Tōkan-fu(冬官府). But strangely Tōshō(冬匠) don’t make a disagreeable face. That’s a craftsman, like Shōran(蕭蘭) too, who rise to an unreasonable demand. The plan of Soken(祖賢) and Hisho(丕緒) is very difficult one which nobody has made, they are willing to help them, in spite of complaining apparently.
Hisho(丕緒) himself is none other than this kind of craftsman. Making Tōshaku(陶鵲) superior to the last time which had the goal forced other persons was painful. But, to carry out the unreasonable demand positively shown is pleasant. He was glad at this time because he had hard time before.
Was Seikō(青江) came into Rajin-fu(羅人府) as a craftsman exactly these days? Though Seikō(青江) wasn’t still good as a craftsman, but even he was being joyfully to manual works.
– But one day, Soken(祖賢) was suddenly taken away by soldiers who intruded.
Hisho(丕緒) doesn’t still know why it happened. He knows Soken(祖賢) led to suspicion of plotting a rebellion, but Soken(祖賢) never had treacheries to Ruler. He was probably implicated in the crime of rebellion by misunderstanding — or a lie, but the circumstances were too complicated and there was no ways by which Hisho(丕緒) knew what happened. His appeal that rebellion by Soken(祖賢) never occurred did not reach anywhere. First of all, he did not know about appealing whom for help. Shishi(司士) who is Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏)’s superior avoided Hisho(丕緒) for fear of implication, Taiei(太衛) and Daishiba(大司馬), they are bosses of Shishi(司士), on the clouds, Hisho(丕緒) had no method of meeting them, even if appealing to help him. Although he wrote a complaint, he got no answer, and he didn’t know whether it was even in high officials’ hands.
As you, of course, know, ordinary people have no powers — he did not remember who said so and consoled him. Hisho(丕緒) and Shōran(蕭蘭)’s friends and acquaintances said it should be glad that they were not implicated in the case. Because Soken(祖賢) probably protected them at the risk of his own life, the conspiracy of Hisho(丕緒) and Shōran(蕭蘭) weren’t doubted and they were never examined at all. That broke up him much more. When Shishi(司士) met him at last, he told Hisho(丕緒) the worst thing. As Soken(祖賢) had no relatives, Hisho(丕緒) should take his body.
He had no more rage and no more tear. Doing as he was told to take away Soken(祖賢)’s severed head, holding it with his hands, he got into A conviction.
– Magpie(鵲)’s voices are signs of joy. To shoot down them can’t be auspicious signs.
It is wrong to please audience because of seeing Tōshaku(陶鵲) are shot, broken and fallen. Essentially, we should not shoot Tōshaku(陶鵲). Never hit, never break. But, the shooting-arrow ceremony is an event as shooting Tōshaku(陶鵲). Though shooting down Tōshaku(陶鵲) should be banned, Ruler’s power forces it for a courtesy event. It is not an auspicious sign but an ominous sign. He believed that the event is the shooting-arrow ceremony in which they have confirmation.
“We will remove all smells from them.”
One day, after finishing Soken(祖賢)’s funeral, Hisho(丕緒) showed up to works and told Shōran(蕭蘭) so. ‘Oh dear’, Shōran(蕭蘭) dilated her eyes and regarded her hands embarrassedly.
“I don’t mind. –But, we make it this far with considerable effort at last.”
There were rolling a lot of small silver balls in a small plate. In these balls the perfumed oil which Soken(祖賢) aimed at was contained. Soken(祖賢) was particular about their scent. He wanted only good scent but the scent with which they felt happy. Happy — and satisfied, he claimed such a smell is good enough. He consulted with woodworkers of Tōkan(冬官), came to works everyday and made up the perfumed oil. The size of the balls perfumed hair oil was put in was also devised so that it may be fragrant with elegance, this moment, Soken(祖賢) was already killed, but it just completed at last.
“No smell is better. We will change the sounds of Tōshaku(陶鵲) broken. More dismal sound is better. The music we use is not good with lively. On the contrary, I think Gagaku(雅楽) of the funeral for the late Ruler is more suitable.”
Shōran(蕭蘭) sighed, giving a wry smile moderately.
“You say to me to redo all, don’t you?”
Shōran(蕭蘭) looked at the small plate again. She looked sorry — or sad.
“But, even if you desire so, we cannot use the Gagaku(雅楽) of the funeral. We cannot call it a celebration.”
“O.K. You can use folk songs. But I don’t need happy songs. Less tones. I want lonelier music.”
“I see.” Shōran(蕭蘭) murmured without emotions, and said nothing. Although they made up Tōshaku(陶鵲) they removed smells from and let play lonely sounds, they had no opportunity to show it to Ruler Ri(悧). The Ruler Ri(悧)’s reign had ended on 68th year.
Hisho(丕緒) continued making Tōshaku(陶鵲) during next interregnums. Unnoticed, he became to see people’s image on Tōshaku(陶鵲)’s because of Seikō(青江)’s word.
“Why is a magpie(鵲)?”
Seikō(青江) held a best hand and very bright. After Soken(祖賢)’s death, Shōran(蕭蘭) kept Seikō(青江) with her and trained eagerly as if she tried to fill the big hole.
“They say that magpie(鵲)’s voice is a sign of joy.”
Seikō(青江) listened to Hisho(丕緒)’s explanation and tilted his head.
“There are probably other birds as auspicious ones. Why, more beautiful or more precious? Strange.”
’Exactly’, Shōran(蕭蘭) stopped her hand manipulating and her eyes were brightened with interest.
“I think you’re right. It is good even if Hōō(鳳凰) or Ranchō(鸞鳥).”
People can’t possibly shoot down Hōō(鳳凰) or Ranchō(鸞鳥). — Hisho(丕緒) smiled wryly, but thinking about it again, this is very strange.
Magpies(鵲) aren’t precious. They are ordinary birds are seen in a village or agricultural land every day. It has a black head and black wings like a crow, only the root and the belly of wings are white. And a long tail. The tail of length as long as the body length is also crow’s color. Though slender wings and a long tail are graceful, it has neither exceptionally beautiful color nor eye-catching markings. It has no particular beautiful voice. It is an ordinary bird like a sparrow or a crow, at the beginning of spring it picks the ground, and nuts when autumn comes. Sights of the birds are overwhelmingly walking and hopping on the ground than flying in the air.
– He considered suddenly they seemed like people.
Very ordinary people who are anywhere. They wrap themselves in simple clothes and finish most of their lifetime by cultivating the ground. They have neither particularly outstanding skill nor speaking of beauty. If they keep to hone their skills or be diligent in their studies, the highest position they can rise will probably be just that of a lower class official like Hisho(丕緒), they cannot rise up on the clouds. But, they didn’t hate it and made continuous lives innocently — and that’s all.
Magpies(鵲) are people rightly. If they are satisfied and collapse from laughter, singing with joy, it will be a good sign for a Ruler exactly. People’s joy is a proof that is Ruler’s reign is right. If people sing and chatter, a reign of Ruler will be to continue for a long time.
He thought his intuition is right that what they shoot Tōshaku(陶鵲) and feel happy are mistake. The power which Ruler has shoots people. People who are shot break into pieces. To shot down and be happy are absolutely wrong. By daring to make a mistake we make them check the fear of the power. — have to do.
He wanted to make Tōshaku(陶鵲), by which archers who shot down and break had the guilty feeling.
“– I make tentative dug up as it is.”
He came to himself by unexpected voice. When Hisho(丕緒) looked back, he found Seikō(青江) who had just come back and held volumes of paper.
“Fortunately, all plans by you remained.”
Oh, Hisho(丕緒) breathed out.
“Then, choose good one from them.”
Seikō(青江) drooped his head.
“……Do you give up my skills so much?”
“I say you’ve got it wrong.”
Seikō(青江) shook his head in silence. Hisho(丕緒) murmured again, “you guess wrong.” He suddenly remembered his palm with large weight, and found it still holding the Tōshaku(陶鵲) by his eyes.
They tried to choose and make a good one from them, but, this was too difficult for Hisho(丕緒) who already expected it’s difficult. Even if the plans remained, Tōshaku(陶鵲) was actually made by Shōran(蕭蘭) and owed a lot of processes to their delicate handiwork of her and Tōshō(冬匠). Both materials and facons, Tōshō(冬匠) who had charge reached details through a trial and error process. If you have neither eyes nor hands of the Tōshō(冬匠), you never know its moderation. Though it was craftsman that actually made, the master helped them by oral instructions or directly at the workplace. In other words, it was necessary to do again from the beginning, if Tōshō(冬匠) actually related to the work didn’t exist anymore. Besides — to make things worse, Kei(慶) had always had a lot of troubles since the end of Ruler Ri(悧)’s reign. Many of craftsmen disappeared so that Shōran(蕭蘭) didn’t live here anymore, and the number of craftsmen who remember moderations were limited. It was impossible to make old past Tōshaku(陶鵲) at once. Many of processes should try and err from the beginning — then, it’s no difference between making old and new. That makes new things easier not to be bound by past records.
He thought so but couldn’t make a move. During he was not able to be a bad loser and continued to choose one of old plans, the new Ruler formally took the throne. In accordance with ancient ritual, when the new Ruler entered the palace, all officials, the higher and the lower, welcomed her at on the clouds, but he could not see Her Highness because he as the lowers was so far away from her. He could know neither her face nor her personality. Only thing leaves no doubt, which was flown from above the clouds, was she is a daughter who came from another world. They say the girl does not know much about common sense and is very nervous.
’Again’, this thought let him lose his making energy of Tōshaku(陶鵲).
Ruler Haku(薄) ignored the power, and was drowned at the luxurious life. She rose to the highest position, obtaining the extreme luxury and going into raptures, she never came down to the ground. Ruler Hi(比) was interested only in power oppositely. She was pleased that she had willing and able all officials and people at her command. And, Ruler Yo(予) was interested in neither of them. She secluded herself at the depth of the palace and stayed there for a long time. She denied the power or even the both of her people and her country, when she showed herself in the imperial court at last, she already became a tyrant who went out of the ordinary groove.
The New Ruler having just entered the palace, Hisho(丕緒) was called again by Sekichō-shi(射鳥氏). Same as before, Suiryō(遂良) was courteous and familiar like trying to curry favor with Hisho(丕緒).
“Well, did you get a good idea?”
Suiryō(遂良) knitted his brows embarrassedly, when he heard Hisho(丕緒) replied shortly “No”. Next, he was with a smile as mediating Hisho(丕緒).
“Fortunately or unfortunately, next shooting-arrow ceremony seems to delay than our expectation. They will let Taisha(大射) be postponed until the next.”
“Postponed — ?”
Suiryō(遂良) screwed his face when Hisho(丕緒) asked back with dubious.
“Don’t ask me the reason why they do that. I never know about it. It might be the New Ruler intention — or, it might be an intention of important people, who knows?”
It could happen, Hisho(丕緒) nodded.
“We will have the first Taisha(大射) for the New Ruler at Kōshi(郊祀). I’m sorry that we can’t show Her Majesty a good Taisha(大射) at her coronation, but we have more time now due to that.”
Kōshi(郊祀), that is a ceremony for praying the happiness of the country to the gods, is held on a winter solstice. Especially, the first Kōshi(郊祀) is very important for the New Ruler and the country. The first Kōshi(郊祀) has a Taisha(大射) naturally. — It is absolutely sure. Even if Hisho(丕緒) makes it by an original idea from nothing, it will be working in time because he has two months and more until the winter solstice.
“The future of all Kakan(夏官) rests on your shoulders. I dump everything on you. And you, save our faces by making something good.”