Saiunkoku Monogatari - Chapter 1.1

Published at 6th of February 2017 03:37:40 AM
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Chapter 1.1

Shuurei stood on the small mountain her mother was buried on, gazing down at Kiyou . By the time she had returned from Ran Province, summer had ended and her mother`s death anniversary had passed . Seiran had cleaned the grave, and given an offering of handpicked flowers and incense .

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Shouka, with whom she had come here together with, had gone home ahead of her, leaving only Seiran and Ensei standing by her side . Shuurei had smiled slightly at the two of them, but she hadn’t said anything . Since then, she had been merely standing in that place, staring down at Kiyou below . She didn’t speak to the pair with her, and she had quite honestly forgotten the fact that they were even there .

After so much time had passed that the shadows had grown long, Shuurei abruptly spoke .

“Hey, do you two remember? Two years ago, on a day just like this we came together to visit the grave . ”

Ensei looked as if he was asleep by the base of a tree . His eyes flew open . Seiran quickly raised his head as well . They turned to look at her, but they could only see her side profile, arms folded .

Shuurei didn’t look at the two, keeping her gaze fixated on Kiyou .

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At that time, Ensei was the government of Sa Province, and Shuurei was running around, disguised as a man to work as a page in the Ministry of Finance .

She’d wanted to take the national exams, but women weren’t allowed to take it . Even so, she hadn’t given up, and had received tutoring from Kouyuu every night . Shouka and Seiran had made onigiri for her, and she had told Ensei, who had brought them, her story bit by bit .

It was only two years ago, but it felt like the distant past .

That summer, women became able to take the national exam, and Shuurei had become an official .

Standing before her mother’s grave, she had decided to take the one chance she had been offered .

And, one other person–

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The person in the place she had sworn to definitely reach . The person she chased from behind .

The person who had granted Shuurei the path which should have been impossible .

She had learned from that person, and thought that she wanted to chase after him . As she frantically rose to the top, he said he would wait, always .

Always .

Shuurei closed her eyes .

“Seiran, is what you said before true? Has Kouyuu-dono truly been imprisoned?”

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“Yes . A little while before you returned home, Ojou-sama . ”

“After Ran Shogun, it’s Kouyuu-dono . It`s sure busy–”

Shuurei run her hands through her hair at Ensei`s words .

She understood why Seiga had looked at her and laughed before she’d left for Ran Province .

They were struck one by one preemptively, without mercy .

“–I`m heading to town now . ”

Translation notes:

1 . The chapter title is a bit of a play on words using the Kou family’s name . A direct translation would be something along the lines of ‘crimson flash point’,  but obviously I took some artistic liberties here to make it flow more poetically like the original Japanese intends .

2 . Shuurei’s POV tends to run more towards… stream of consciousness, I suppose? It’s difficult to explain, but I hope I’ve managed to convey that somewhat here . (It’s actually rather interesting how each character’s POV tends to have a different tone in writing, it might be interesting to expand more on that in a separate post) .  

Whalin thoughts:

Shuuuuuureeiiiiiii *heart eyes*

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